Travel

McDonalds of the World: 100% Authentic Swiss Beef

Before talking your ears off regaling you with the nomfinds from my recent Rome trip, we’ll talk about the newest notch in our McDonald’s of the World series- Switzerland. The Cornavin station of Geneva, Switzerland is merely a two-hour train ride from Lyon, France. One fine Saturday, a few of us hopped on a train for a day trip to the neutral country. Of course, I didn’t pass up on the chance to have a quick meal at the fastfood of all nations.

Although it’s only a train ride away from Lyon, going to Geneva was a totally different experience. For one thing, I found the Swiss to be very helpful people. Their transportation system, while efficient and extensive, was confusing for a noob like me. Not that the French aren’t nice, but in Geneva, a couple of people actually approached us and offered to help us with directions (although it was possibly because we looked stupid lost).

Eventually, we found our way to the places we wanted to see and visit. One day was enough to see the Jet d’Eau, which is a gorgeous (and large at 229 feet) fountain of water right dab smack in the middle of the city, CERN (must stop for a geek), the UN headquarters, the Red Cross headquarters, and even the Saleve (for a beautiful view of Switzerland).

At the end of the full (walking) day, we headed to the nearest McDonald’s. There was one along the popular Rue du Mont-Blanc and it was mighty full (see photo for proof!). It seems that the Swiss love greasy fast food too (we’re all the same, at the core).

Mcdonald's Switzerland CBO Meal (about Chf13+/- or Php630+/-)

The menu had the basics, with your typical Big Mac, McChicken, McNuggets, Filet-o-Fish and sundaes. To try something different,  I had the CBO meal. It comes with a side (a choice between regular fries, deluxe fries or a salad), a drink, and if you upgrade your side and drink to medium, a free Coke glass as well. CBO combines three of my favorite things- chicken, bacon, and onions. It was a melt-in-your-mouth combo (at least, according to me). The patty was softer than your typical McChicken, and together with the bacon and onions you get an extra flavorful sammich.

Mcdonald's Switzerland McWrap (Chf7+/- or Php330+/-)

Here’s a healthier-than-most-Mcdonald’s-meals meal, the Chicken McWrap, available in most McDonald’s all over Europe (they also have it in Abu Dhabi). I really wish they offer this eventually in Manila.

And this photo below, is of a Swiss Big Mac. Not much different from other Big Macs all over the world, in size and in toppings. But the Swiss Big Mac has an authentication- the patty is made from 100% pure Swiss beef.

Mcdonald's Switzerland Big Mac Meal (about Chf13+/- or Php630+/-)

Switzerland is a lovely country to visit. Besides the beautiful landmarks and many souvenirs, there were also a lot of Pinoys in the country. For a Pinoy assigned abroad for a while, hearing snippets of Filipino conversation from the next table is somewhat reassuring (you don’t get a lot of it in France, I tell you).

One more important thing to know if you’re visiting Switzerland is that the shops close at about 6-7pm. If you want to get some souvenirs like Swiss knives and Swiss-made watches, make sure you visit the shops before 6pm. And then head to McDonald’s for a quick and cheap enough dinner, they close later than the shops.

DIY

ZOMG, I made apple pie. So domestic, my golly!

I’ll never be the kind of girl who spends hours in the kitchen, I don’t have the patience or the talent for it. The recipes that I share on BaconTunaMelt are, and always will be, simple but guaranteed derrishuz! In the BaconTunaMelt kitchen (at least for now), we always follow the K.I.S.S. rule. With my “kitchen skillz”, it’s either that or burn the house down (and I kinda like having a place to live). Such is the case for these two apple pie recipes that I’ll be blabbing about in this post. Both are really simple to make but oh-so-nommy.

The apple pie is a classic dessert that I’ve always wanted to make but have never had the chance to. Now that I’m slowly starting to learn the basics of baking, I thought it would be a great idea to finally figure out how to make my own pie (it sounds domesticated, I’m so proud of myself!). After a couple of throwaway batches, and a few tweaks here and there, I finally got two perfect recipes. We’ll call one “Juicy Pie” and the other “Saucy Pie” (I like these names, they remind me of the Spice Girls).

So.. on to the recipes. Basically, both Juicy and Saucy will have the same ingredients and generally the same ratio. We’ll list them on a table so things are nice and neat-

Juicy Pie Saucy Pie
3 large apples 3 large apples
1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder 1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp of butter 4 tbsp of butter
1 pie crust 1 pie crust
2 tbsp of flour

First, peel the apples and slice them thinly (imo, the thiner the better). And here’s how to make the filling. We’ve separated the instructions into two columns to make for easier reading.

For the Juicy Pie For the Saucy Pie
1. In a small bowl, mix the white sugar, brown sugar, and the cinnamon powder, 1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat,
2. In a bigger bowl, pour the butter into the sliced apples and spread it evenly, 2. When the butter has melted, pour the white and brown sugar (if it’s too dry, add a few of spoonfuls of water),
3. Gradually pour the sugar and cinnamon mixture with the sliced apples 3. Stir until the sugar is melted and add the cinnamon and the flour to the mixture,
4. Once the sauce has thickened, add the apples in the saucepan and mix until all the apples are covered in sauce

Then you can arrange the mixture on the piecrust, and then bake your pie in a preheated oven (200°c should be fine), and sit pretty while you wait for your derrishuz homemade apple pie to be done.

Juicy Apple Pie

The Juicy Pie will yield a juicy pie, and you may actually have to drain the juice before you can nom on it (depending on your apples). The Saucy Pie will be ready to nom hot off the oven (be careful not to burn your tongues though). The photo above is Juicy Apple Pie and the one below is the Saucy Apple Pie.

Saucy Apple Pie

Both are reaaally easy to make and also reaaally yummy pies. The Juicy Pie has less sauce and the Saucy Pie is a smidge sweeter. They’re both delicious, according to my tastebuds. To pick a recipe, it would just depend on your preference in the apple filling consistency. If you want the simplest of apple pies, try and make the Juicy Pie, if you want a pie with applesauce, try the Saucy pie. Below is a photo of the pies sliced, Juicy on the left, Saucy on the right.

Which one do you think is nommier? 🙂

Noms

[POLL] HALPZ, there are warts on my ‘taters!

For the first time ever on BaconTunaMelt, we’ll be running a poll. What for, you say? It’s because I found these.. things in my fridge. It is what the title says it is, I’m afraid. I have potatoes with warts on them. And I’m not entirely sure what to make of them. So, I want your valued opinions.

It seems that potatoes, not unlike humans, can develop unsightly warts on their once smooth and clear skin after a certain period of time.  Similar to my previous report about the anomaly that happens to peaches, the potato warts phenomenon occurred after leaving a bunch of them chilling in the fridge for far too long (I should make a whole new category for this, lulz).

Sad Tater

Realistically, they’re probably not called potato warts, but that’s exactly what they look like (to me, at least). Can anyone explain what happened to these bunch potatoes? Besides the growths on the skins that bear a similiarity to the Wicked Witch from Snow White, these sad taters seem to still be in tip top form- flesh tough, skin smooth (ish). What do you think? Are these still edible? Answer the poll below to help me decide what to do with them.

Are these potatoes still safe to eat?

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Life

Kitchen Skills: Level Up!

Oh hai u gaiz! Before we officially start the weekend, I thought to share with you some pictures of this week’s nomz. If you’ve read posts from this blog before, you’ve probably seen me whining about my lack of skills in the kitchen (see disaster here). Fast forward to my stint in France, where burning the kitchen down couldnt be an option. I’ve been forced to find a way to feed myself without heading to the nearest fastfood joint.

The first couple of weeks were terrible. I had no choice but to nom on burnt chicken nuggets, half-cooked eggs, salty spaghetti, and tasteless adobo. Today, I can proudly say that my kitchen skills have vastly improved. What? You don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

Proof #1- Golden Fried Chicken

Everyone told me that fried chicken is the easiest to start with and I have absolutely no idea why. My first attempt to cook some had me chucking half a chicken into the trash bin because the chicken ended up burned in spots and undercooked in other places. Several attemps later, I still couldn’t get it right. But because fried chicken has always been my comfort food, failing the first few times didn’t faze me.

Look at this photo of a beautiful basket of fried fowl from my latest attempt. The skin turned out light, crispy and golden brown, the meat was tender and at the same time juicy, and the was chicken throroughly cooked with absolutely no bloody joints (I hate it when that happens). To achieve that, I baked the chicken in an oven for a good 15-20 minutes at 200°C before coating it in light flour seasoned with some salt & pepper and then deep frying it for 10-15 minutes. That turned out pretty great. I chose to pair the dish with a side of kropek to give it a more Asian feel.

Proof #2- Baked Fish Pesto and Creamy Spaghetti Al Pesto

Although it looks like someone got sick all over my plate, this combo tasted pretty good. There was a tad too much pesto on this dish but my excuse is that I’ve to make use of what’s available everytime I cook and all I had then was a ton of pesto.

The chunk of fish fillet in pesto sauce was the easiest to cook. Baked for only 20 minutes, the fish came out soft and tasty as expected. The classic spaghetti al pesto is easy to make. Made sure the pasta was cooked al dente and I added a little cream with the pesto sauce for it to be tastier.  The carrots were boiled for only 10 minutes and sliced into thin sticks (took the picture before slicing). See how my cooking has improved? This is almost a fancy dish and I made it!

Proof #3: Carbonara Ravioli with Broccoli

Remembering how this dish tastes like makes me want to make some more this week. The cheese and basil ravioli was bought from the nearest grocery and all I had to worry about was the sauce. I had some cream left over from the last dish so I thought to make carbonara instead of the usual tomato based ones.

For the sauce, I sliced up some ham into cubes and fried it in olive oil before adding the cream, water, salt and pepper in the mix. While waiting for the sauce to cook, I boiled a little water to cook the ravioli. A short while later, I mixed the sauce and the noodles and let it sit under low heat for a few minutes. Quick and easy AND delicious. As the side, I used some steamed and lightly salted broccoli. Oha, am I a better cook or what?

If you wanna know the detailed recipes (just in case you were curious and you’re also a noob cook like me), just ask me for it. I’d be most willing to share them. These homecooked meals are very simple to make and delicious.

Etc.

Cook With the Masters

Want to learn how the pros do it? Now’s your chance to catch the masters of the kitchen live in action. Join Manila’s top chefs as they show us how cooking should be done in this weekend nomz extravaganza that’s sure to whet all our appetites.

Lee Kum Kee will hold a weekend long cooking festival called Cook With the Masters on the last weekend of September!. Chef Ernest Gala, Chef Him Uy de Baron, and Chef Sau Del Rosario will showcase several amazing recipes on September 24 (Saturday) and 25 (Sunday) at the activity center of Market! Market. Try and catch the next weekend, you’ll problably learn a useful nom trick or two.

Etc.

Catch the last leg of SM Master Chefs 2011

This three month long event has been running since July and I should have posted about this a long time ago but <insert excuse here>. Procrastination aside, you can still catch the last leg of The Cooking Marathon on September 20 and 22 in several locations in the country.
If you live in Pampanga, North Harbor, Molino, Novaliches, Iloilo, Rosales, Valenzuela, and good old Makati and you know how to get to the SM branches of said cities/towns, you can still catch seasoned chefs showing off their fabulous specialties.

Click here to read more about the event and the schedules on Nomnom Club.

Etc.

Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition

Cooking reality shows have always amazed me. Mostly because I don’t know my way around the kitchen and I easily get flustered under the spotlight. Watching everyday folks being able to create wonderful concoctions while under pressure truly impresses the heck out of me. If it were me, I’d probably burn the set down and/or be banned from the show when I curse like a sailor on national TV after messing up a recipe (almost happened, but that’s another story).

Shows like Iron Chef, Top Chef, Masterchef leave me in awe thinking that there are so many fantastic cooks out there (and I can’t even cook an egg right). More so when Australia’s Junior Masterchef came out. My mind was blown away seeing kids no older than twelve years old cooking intricate dishes like it was a normal, everyday thing. When I found out that the Philippines will host a local version of Australia’s Junior Masterchef, I was excited at the thought of Pinoy kids brewing up awesome Pinoy recipes.

The show started last August 20 and are now filtering the batch of 60 little wonders to get the Top 30. Watch the trailer and be amazed at the cooking skills of Pinoy kids.

 

With Judy Ann Santos as the celebrity host and premiere Pinoy chefs Fern Aracama (of My Thai Kitchen), Rolando Laudico (of Bistro Filipino and a slew of other restaurants), and JP Anglo (of Mu Shu fame) as the judges, Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition is set to find the best little Pinoy chef.

These are kids between the ages of 8 and 12 years old and they can come up with something this beautiful?

Wow. The plate looks absolutely gorgeous. I can’t even guess how to start making something like this. Imagine if your kid cooked like this? It’ll be like eating out on a daily basis. I’ll be sure to watch the next few episodes of Junior MasterChef Pinoy Edition, I’m sure to learn a thing or two from the young ‘uns.

*photos from the official Junior MasterChef Philippines Facebook Page; video from the ABSCBNOnline Official YouTube Channel

Etc.

8-bit Coke Cans!

Okay, they’re not actually 8-bit, they’re pixelized. But IDC what these are supposed to be called, they’re cute is all I know (and cute is all that matters).

Check out other variations, here’s a couple more from where they came from.

Cannot help but go all “Pew, pew, pew, pew!” when I see these images because of the space invader aliens.

Please put these in grocery shelves, just for the heck of it!

*Got the images from Reddit, the source of all that is crazeh and funneh.

Noms

Gotcha, Nutella & Go!

My Sundays are pretty boring. I wake up around nine-ish to catch up on sleep. When I’m more or less aware of my surroundings, I rush to the grocery to grab supplies for the week. Then I go home, sort my stuff, watch a few movies, and prolong the weekend as much as I can.

Today was going to be a typical Sunday until I saw these babies on the shelves of Carrefour this morning-


Yes, they were glittering when I saw them (in my eyes at least). I saw a random picture of these on Flickr a few months ago. Since then, because I heard they’re big in Europe, I’ve been spying on the snacks aisle of every supermarket I visit. As soon as I spotted them on the shelves this morning, I hoarded three packs (out of the available four) to stock up.

You may be wondering what these are and why I’m making this big a fuss. You see, Nutella & Go! is heaven sent snack cup in the form of pretzel sticks and a Nutella dip. Similar to the local Yan-Yan, you get bite-sized biscuits and some chocolate to dip it in. The difference with this one is that you don’t get just any chocolate, you dip your biscuits in Ferrero’s scrumptious hazelnut spread, Nutella.

As expected, it’s fan-frickin’-tastic. Instead of Nutella on bread, or Nutella on biscuit, you get to enjoy the same delicious spread on neat little pretzel sticks. The packaging is also very handy for both kids and adults, it would be great to bring these on out of town trips for a quick and (relatively) healthy snack. What I kind of wish it also had are those cute animal drawings on the Yan-Yan pretzel sticks.

A 2-pack, er, pack costs  €2.58 from the nearest grocery (around Php150). For orders and reservations, you can comment here or email me, I’ll be back home in November. (KIDDING ONLY!)

Travel

Paris Day One: L’Européen City of Love

My first time in Paris was quite an experience. From Lyon, all it takes is a two-hour train ride to get to the famous city of love. A couple of weeks ago, we made the trip and arrived before noon raring to get things started. But before the imminent sightseeing (and all else), lunch was the first stop.

There are plenty of tourists during summer, and for first timers, all you have to do is to follow the crowd to find something. In this case, what we were searching for was a good place for nomz. The crowd led us across the street from Gare de Lyon (our train stop in Paris) to a blockful of restaurants that seemed popular with both tourists and locals alike. Eventually, we parked our hungry selves on a table in a nearby restaurant that was the right mix of busy and laid back.

It seemed that we made an excellent choice. Pictured above is my perfectly cooked steak that was so good, I kept making gross moaning sounds with each bite. It came with a huge side of fries that went perfectly with the gorgeous slab of beef. It was steak done right.

For the non steak fans (that’s sad), baked tilapia is a good option. It’s light and tasty and doesn’t have to sit in your intestines for three days. These two entrees come with appetizers, both pictured below, its names I’ve already forgotten but its strong flavors, my tongue will surely take a while to forget  There was bread too of course, it’s a staple in good French restaurants.

The meal that comes with an appetizer and an entree costs 22 euros per head which isn’t bad, considering the snazzy place, the hospitable servers (who could speak some English), and the ‘magnifique’ nomz. After lunch at L’Européen, we were all set to paint the love town red.

L’Européen
Location: 21 bis, boulevard Diderot 75012, Paris
Website: http://www.brasserie-leuropeen.fr/