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Photo of the day: A literal ice cream sandwich

Ice cream sandwich, Filipino-style. Brings back childhood memories.

Recipe: 

Ice cream ( a must)

Bread (any type will do) 

1) Slap ’em ice cream on the bread

2) You’re gtg.


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Recipe: Lemon and Monterey Jack Muffin Cake

I originally planned to bake a lemon cream cheese muffins but was faced with a sudden dilemna once I finished the batter, that 1) I threw away my rusty muffin tin and 2) I only had Monterey Jack cheese. Note to self: Follow the rule of cooking thumb;always prepare the ingredients first! Fingers crossed that it’ll come out edible. Weird but edible.

Lemon and Monterey Jack Muffin Cake

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Juice from 2 medium-sized lemons

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup thick/heavy cream

1/2 cup of cubed Monterey Jack cheese


Directions

1) Preheat oven to 175C.

2) Grease and line a square or loaf pan with greased baking paper.*

I made a big mistake not lining the pan with baking sheet. My muffin cake crumbled !


3) In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy using a stand or hand mixer.

4) Add the egg, lemon juice, zest and vanilla and whisk until fully mixed.

5) Add the flour, baking powder, and cream. Mix until fully combined and no lumps  appear.

6) Add the cheese (but leave about a quarter) and mix it gently using a spatula until the cheese is distributed evenly.

7) Bake for 30 minutes or until knife or toothpick inserted comes out clean.

8) Turn off the oven and take the muffin cake out, crumble and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Put back the muffin cake inside the turned off oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

* Make sure that you line your pan with baking paper since the muffin cake is very soft. Mine ended up as a hot mess and I barely got decent slices out of it for picture taking. Otherwise, just serve it directly from the pan.

Monterey Jack may not be usually used for baking cakes or muffins but hey, I think it tasted “new”. It’s bordering between sweet and savoury.

If you’re trying out the recipe, can you let me know how it turned out and if you find it a good weird or a bad one? Thanks!

Enjoy!

Cheap Eats Review: Tofu House – Bin Mahmoud (near the Indian Supermarket)

My eldest sister is a big fan of everything Korean; soap opera, food, appliances, skincare, anything you can think of! So, it wasn’t a wonder that she has been urging me to visit Tofu House for quite some time now, and we finally got the chance last week.

Located at one of the old towns of Doha, the restaurant looks non-descript and blends perfectly with the shops beside it. Except for the large signage bearing its name, you can easily pass it by. 

The place is small with only one table on the ground floor and sits about 30 persons max at the 1st floor. And boy, it was packed! We were the 4th in queue and there were about 5 after us. It’s good though, a packed place mostly means that they have a patronage which also means they serve good food. It’s bad because the waiting time is bound to make you cranky.


We finally got our turn to sit and wasted no time ordering. Food was served within 15 mins., which was surprisingly fast given the load they had that night. 

Food ordered:

Jjamppong (spicy seafood noodles)

Full-bodied and wholesome. The balance of spices and heartiness of their soup softened the obliteration of my tongue and melted the ice in my heart. 



Kimchi rice


It’s one of Korea’s version of fried rice. It was average for me, as I didn’t taste much of the kimchi ( fermented Korean vegetable side dish, typically napa cabbage).

Assorted fried (as they call it. It’s an assortment of seafood and veggies tempura)


This is so good that I can finish a whole plateful of it! It’s a combination of shrimps, squid rings, peppers and zucchinis. Munch, munch, munch until it’s gone.

Garlic chicken


Just like the “assorted fried”, this one is highly addictive. You can just absent-mindedly sit there with this chicken in front of you and next thing you know, it’s finished. It’s very scrumptious that I wanted to order another plateful to demolish. 

Udon (thick egg noodles soup) 

No pic as the kiddos lunged for it immediately. But from what little I’ve tasted of it, the broth was so flavorful you’d know they didn’t take any shortcuts in doing it.

*Just a tip when ordering, majority of their dishes have big servings and can be shared between two people (if one feels like sharing).*

Customer service

It’s not fancy and they don’t have that much serving staff in fact they only had 2 1/2 that time, one was server/cashier. So it was quite understandable that they didn’t get to attend to us quickly. At least they still tried their best to be friendly and smile at each customer. It’s the kind of place you just order, indulge in eating, and go. Simple.

Price

It’s quite cheap. Their big serving is what makes this place easy on the budget. We paid about QR250 riyals for the above plus an extra rice, 2 big bottles of water and a Coke. 



Returning?

Absoutely.

Jal Meokkesseumnida!

**Edit: It was garlic chicken not sweet and crispy chicken that we ordered. Thanks to my sister who immediately pointed it out😊.

Tofu House Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: Lunch Buffet at Maison de Sushi – 01 Mall, Abu Hamour


Tucked at the 2nd level corner of 01 Mall, lies Maison de Sushi. With the striking Japanese design and tubular aquarium with cheesy but cutesy fake fishes and plants at the entrance, you will definitely not miss seeing this restaurant. 

Once you step in, you will be immediately greeted by the staff in their Japanese kimono. The design of the place left me mildly shocked (in a good way) as I wouldn’t have thought that this is inside a mall and beside a food court. Hanging wisteria-like paper flowers, lamps ( a lot of them) covered the whole ceiling. Then there’s this massive painting spanning the whole length of the wall. I think it was made for this restaurant as the paper mats have the same drawings.


Their attention to details is shown with how they decorated the tables with cast iton teapots, carved chairs, tablewares, etc. 


I had the chance to speak with the owner of the restaurant as he was making rounds on the tables and he said that he wanted to merge the Asian cuisine with a mom’s-cooking style that translates to homemade goodness and freshness as depicted in the aforementioned painting. I believe you, sir.
Enough about the looks, let’s get on with the food.

Food Orderded

They serve mostly Japanese food with a sprinkling of Thai. Since this was a buffet, I wouldn’t gloss over the details that much but evey single food that was served were all simply delicious. They have a made-to-order style of buffet which is a good thing to ensure the freshness of the product. So I wouldn’t advice anyone to go there on a very empty stomach because they have to prepare the food as per your order. Good food takes time (most of the time).

Sushi Nigiri and Salmon Makizushi – so fresh and so yum. The nigiri is counted by piece so make sure you mention the quantity that you want.

Glass Noodle Pad Thai – It was delicious!  It comes in a small serving which was perfect. You don’t wanna get stuffed to quickly. Plus you can order again. And again.

Tempura – freshly cooked and light. You order this per piece like the nigiri. I initially ordered two think that it comes in a bunch. Imagine the fight I had with my daughter.

Shake Teri (Grilled Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce) – It’s one of ’em fried rolls but it’s not breaded and fried to death. The salmon was grilled to perfection, the roll wa delicately fried and the teriyaki sauce just sealed the deal.

Noodle in soup – the kids were the one who ate this and judging from the cleaned up bowls, it was delicious.

We got a complimentary gift from the owner, which was a torched nigiri prepared by the chef. I love gifts and food. Put them together and surprise me with it? You, sir, have just made my whole day. 



Price

I opted for the Business Class Lunch buffet for QR80 including water and sodas. 

They have another type which is the First Class Lunch buffet for QR130-ish (not so sure about the exact price) which is just basically a more varied selection in their buffet. 

Honestly, the Business Class have enough selection but if you wanna go for the fancier stuff, First Class is the way to go.

Those in gray boxes can only be ordered of you opted for the First Class buffet


Returning?

By the end of typing this post, I started craving for sushi again. At 3AM. So yes, definitely returning.

As I was chatting with the store manager, I can’t but tell him “please don’t change whatever food quality, service, taste you have right now”. He kinda looked at me strangely and said “no, ma’am. We won’t”. 

I do hope so. 

Itadakimasu!

**Update – I recently found out that they are not offering the Business Class buffet (QR80) anymore. So their buffet price is now QR130 inclusive of refillable of soda and water. Plus they have now added a business lunch (not buffet) in their menu.**


Maison De Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Recipe: Waffles with caramel sauce 

One of the perks of waking up early is that you get to have the house all to yourself. And because of the peace and quiet, I found clarity on what to make for breakfast; waffles! 
The high maintenance cousin of pancakes, these little sweethearts are just a meal on their own or can be eaten as a dessert. Whichever way you eat it, happiness will ensue.

Waffle with Caramel Sauce:

*If you’re going to make the sauce, make sure you do it before the waffles.

Ingredients

Caramel sauce:

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Waffles:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

a pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups milk

2 large eggs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

For caramel sauce:

1. Using a saucepan, combine sugar and water in medium low heat.

2. Once dissolved, increase heat and boil until syrup is golden brown in color. 

3. Add cream, please be very careful as the mixture will bubble vigorously. Stir over very low heat until cream is fully incorporated in the caramel. 


4. Remove from heat and whisk in unsalted butter. Set aside to cool. 


For waffles:

1. Mix the dry and wet ingredients on separate bowls. 


2. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until batter is smooth. Let batter rest for 1 hour before cooking.

3. Pre-heat your waffle maker and cook as per the manufacturer’s instructions.


Serve the waffles immediately with the caramel sauce on the side. Second helpings are not mandatory but preferred.

Enjoy! 

Emirgan Sütis – Al Emadi Bldg., C-Ring Road

Turkish restaurants in Qatar are a dozen a dime. It ranges from the quick and cheap eats to high-end restaurants. With so many to choose from, I think Emirgan Sütis’ edge is that it’s in the heart of the city and being mid-priced that it is, you can expect a very decent meal and a nice ambiance. And the good food helps as well. The place is decorated nicely plus they have an outdoor sitting ( non-smoking though) with cute fairy lights.

We were to late to try their iftar menu, so we went for their a la carte. Unfortunately, there were no more of the Iskander and Doner Kebab  as it was the one offered in the iftar set.


Food ordered

Ayran

I love, love this drink! It’s so refreshing; salty and creamy. It cleanses my palate and prepares it for the incoming food. Plus they serve it in these very cute aluminum cups that’s just so photo-ready. 


Cold mezzeh (ordered separately)

The baba ghanoush had the right smokines to it, which for me, makes it a very good one. The salad greens was a balance of sweet, sour and freshness and their fresh bread was scrumptious.

Grilled kofta

This one was good but not “wow”. But it is still better than the average kofta you’ll find in restaurants. 


Grilled Chicken Breast

Mr. Eats was the one who ordered this and I found that it great. The spices have been absorbed well by the chicken and the grilling made it smokier.

Kazandibi and cappuccino


I have tasted their baklava before and liked it so much so I opted to order something I haven’t tried yet. I got the kazandibi or stiff milk pudding. I’m not a big fan, it isn’t that it’s not tasty. It is, but it just didn’t suited my taste buds. Cappuccino was so-so. 

Customer Service

It was good. Staff was attentive and friendly. They don’t leave you hanging around with your plates empty for too long. 

Price 

Bill was around QR 250-ish but since we used our Entertainer voucher, we paid around QR 170. 

Enjoy! 

Emirgan Sutis Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lo Spaghetto – Al Sadd, Doha

Coming from a rather long and tiring wait from the doctor’s clinic for my husband’s check up, I suggested for us to have our very late iftar at Lo Spaghetto, which is just right around the corner of Toys R’ Us at Al Sadd St. As hubby was about to pass out from the extended fasting, this was the nearest place we could immediately go to. 

The new location of the restaurant is quite deceiving as it doesn’t show much from the outside. But, lo (Spaghetto. Pun intended, sorry) and behold! Once you get it in, it’s an entirely different universe. Rustic yet chic interiors, inside seating is quite spacious and beautiful but what the place can really brag about is the garden seating. It’s like someone’s backyard; trellis and panels with hanging bougainvilleas, and lots of plants. I haven’t seen such a restaurant right in the heart of Doha (except for Chef’s Garden but it is in the outskirts Of the city). It kinda made me miss my home back in Manila.

Food ordered:

Insalata Sfiziosa (Rocket and Grilled Chicken Salad) 


No pretense, just rocket leaves, chicken and parmesan seasoned with balsamic vinegar. All ingredients worked together to make this simple, clean, and delicious dish.


Ravioli Allo Scoglio (Ravioli Stuffed with Spinach and Cheese topped with Seafood Tomato Sauce )


This is what hubby ordered and he enjoyed it. I had a taste of it and it’s good but not as great as the ravioli of The French Olive. But the seafood sauce was freakishly amazing.

Risotto Ai Frutti di Mare (Mixed Seafood Risotto)


Ah, this one. I have tasted several risotto in my life, this one may not take the top spot but was so good and comforting that I just wanted to curl up in my comfy couch while nursing a bowl of this hearty dish. 

Tiramisu and Cappuccino


I literally cannot pass up the chance to eat a tiramisu in any restaurant if it’s available in their menu. I think I’ll dedicate a post entirely about tiramisu and who makes the best one in Qatar. It paired up really well with their cappuccino which was also very nicely made.

If you’ve ever had the tiramisu from Biella (which for me is really sooo luscious and love), it’s kind of like that but a lighter, airier version. And I like it! It’s great after the rich dish I had, it leaves a sweet reminder in your mouth that you just had a great meal and will remember it for a long time. 

Customer Service

The staff were polite and discreet. They don’t hover around and doesn’t make you feel rushed to finish your meals. They do their timing of checking on tables properly. And the staff assigned to us was very knowledgeable with their menu. There was just a slight hiccup when they initially charged us for 3 cappuccino instead of the two that we ordered. Also, as per the menu the soft drink was only QR8 in their menu but they charged us with QR10. As it was only QR2 more, we left it as is.

Price

For me, it’s bordering to splurge but hey, it was a very enjoyable and relaxing evening that we didn’t mind the tab. 


Overall Review

We had a chill time! I haven’t been to their old location despite the urging of friends and family because that place (behind Royal Plaza, near the Asiana restaurant) has very bad traffic and parking area. I’m not regretting my decision not go before as I don’t think I’d have enjoyed it as much as I did tonight. I very much enjoyed our dinner date and I got to surprise my husband because he didn’t expect that lush greenery of their garden seating to actually exist in one of Doha’s busiest area. The whole set up of the restaurant just made the overall experience great. It’s a cosy little place that is great for a lovey-dovey date or just hanging out and chillaxing with your friends. Now, if they can only serve wine…just a wishful thinking. 

Returning?

YES!!! Absolutely. 

Ciao! 

Lo Spaghetto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Khushaf: Traditional Egyptian drink/dish for Iftar during Ramadan

Ramadan Kareem! It’s that time of the year when the spirit of giving and happiness is at an all time high in the Muslim community. The sense of normalcy of the people despite fasting for about 16 hours in 40C – 50C Qatar heat is a humbling experience.

So what’s a better way to end the fast and start a great meal? A refreshing khushaf.   From what I was told, it has different varieties in the ingredients, ranging from dried fruits and nuts, cooked or soaked in milk or juice or water. 

My version comes from my husband’s mother who always prepared this for them every Ramadan to break the fast.

Ingredients

1 cup of dried prunes

1 cup dried apricots

1 cup dried figs

2 liters water

1 1/2 cup of demerera (raw sugar)*

*you can use any type of sugar and increase/decrease the amount of it, depending on your taste. Just don’t put too much so as not to overwhelm the taste of the fruits

Directions

1. Bring the water to a rolling boil in a pot in medium heat and add the sugar.

2. Once the water slightly thickens, add all the dried fruits and lower the heat to medium-low.

3. Once the fruits start to float and are plumped up, turn off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

4. Refrigerate until well chilled.

Serve in glasses and enjoy! 

Baked Chocolate Glazed Donuts

My daughter is now here in Qatar, hurrah! And because of that, my niece is now a regular weekend visitor at our place. With kids around, it means that we must have an endless food supply otherwise they will start wrecking havoc. 

Sweet stuff are must and as I’m minimizing their junk food intake, I decided to bake chocolate donuts for them  which is a (ahem) “healthier” option than their fried (but oh so yummy) variety.

I got the recipe from this website http://www.annieschamorrokitchen.com/baked-yeast-donuts/. The recipe provided different types of glazes but it was too much for my tired being to make so I only opted for the choco glaze. 


The result? very light and delicious donuts! It’s as good as fried donuts with less oil. I convinced myself that since it’s healthier, I can eat as much as I want. However,  the kids and my husband beat me to it. I haven’t even finished glazing all the donuts when they started eating. I made about 2 dozens but they just gobbled it all up. Bye donuts, ’til the next batch. 

Cheers!