Glazed carrots – good as candy! Well, almost!

Given my dislike for (laziness to adhere to?) strict recipes, it makes sense that one of my favorite cookbook authors is Mark Bittman.  I love How to Cook Everything and The Minimalist Cooks Dinner for quick, easy inspiration on new flavor profiles and combinations that I wouldn’t ordinarily think of on my own.

I open his books up on my Kindle, go to search, and type in whatever protein or fresh produce I have to work with that day, and usually I’m really happy with what I make.  Today I had 3 huge, super fresh carrots from the Sunday market that I wanted to turn into a side dish to go with my miso sriracha salmon and my oven roasted broccoli and potatoes.  Thank you Mark Bittman, for my glazed carrots that even my carrot-hating husband gobbled up.

Glazed carrots, adapted from The Minimalist Cooks Dinner by Mark Bittman

To make, chop up some carrots into half inch chunks and cover halfway with water, a pinch of salt and some butter (I used 2 tablespoons for 3 carrots).  Set the burner to medium-high heat and cover the pot, simmer for around 20 minutes until tender and water has reduced.  Take off the cover and simmer down a little more, then season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve!  Perfect as a weeknight side dish!


Perfect oven roasted broccoli and potatoes

I love broccoli in all its forms!  Well, as long as it’s cooked well, of course.  Give me broccoli and cheddar soup, steamed (not limp) broccoli with some good olive oil and sea salt, even raw broccoli with ranch dip, and I will be a happy camper any day.  I never understood why so many people don’t like broccoli, but I think it’s probably because they never had it cooked properly.  This recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook is sure to make a convert out of many a broccoli hater though!  Since I needed a starch to serve with dinner, I added potatoes to the recipe.  This was a treat, will definitely make this again soon.

Oven roasted potatoes and broccoli, adapted from the Ina Garten’s recipe (serves 2, or 1 hungry person)

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced (I like the cloves chunky)
  • A few healthy swirls of olive oil (probably 3 to 4 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice

The original recipe also calls for pine nuts and parmesan, but I wanted to keep the focus on vegetables so I omitted them.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees.  Dice the potatoes into chunks (I made them slightly smaller than 1 inch) and cut the broccoli florets from their stalks.  Since potatoes take longer to cook, drizzle the potatoes and garlic with good olive oil, salt and pepper and stick them in the oven for 20 minutes.  Then, add the broccoli florets and add a little more olive oil, salt and pepper and toss them around with the potato mixture.

Bake everything at 425 degrees for another 25 minutes until crisp tender and browned.  Remove from the oven and drizzle with around 3 more tablespoons of olive oil, more salt and freshly ground pepper, a little lemon zest, and a few squeezes of lemon.  Serve piping hot!

Miso sriracha glazed salmon

Ever since I had Cheesecake Factory’s miso salmon, I’ve made my own version at home several times.  I just mix together some miso, brown sugar, and soy sauce until I come up with a concoction that tastes about right, then I brush it on salmon fillets and bake it.  It’s always come out really good, but yesterday when I was searching the net for something to do with the 500 g salmon fillet I had in our freezer, I came across something that sounded way better than miso salmon…miso sriracha glazed salmon!

I tend to use recipes as a source of inspiration, not as a rule, so I threw together toasted sesame oil (I stopped using regular sesame oil when I found this), brown sugar, white miso, soy sauce, sriracha, and garlic in my own quantities.  I think I used a ratio of around 1 is to 1 for everything, with just a little less sriracha, until I came up with a spicy, sweet, salty paste that I knew would perfectly complement the fatty salmon.  I baked this at 400 degrees for 15 minutes since I had a pretty big piece of salmon that I didn’t want to cut into fillets, and it came out perfectly:

I served this with some yummy oven-roasted potatoes and broccoli and some glazed carrots, and we had a healthy, tasty dinner that took less than an hour to make from start to finish.  Plus, I got rave reviews from my husband…doesn’t get better than that!  🙂

Sewing supplies and fabric in Manila

Ever since I got interested in sewing, I’ve been on the lookout for sewing supplies and fabric in Manila.  The range available here is definitely a lot less than available abroad, especially for the sewing notions and sewing machine supplies, but there’s still a lot to work with.  🙂  Here’s what I have so far, will keep updating it with new finds:

Fabric/Tela in Manila

Most stores I’ve been to have a similar range of available fabric, with a lot of plain and printed cotton, knits (jersey, rayon knits, modal, copra knits), denim, silk, organdy, chiffon, and georgette.  Most of the fabric shops only carry fabric and do not have any notions or sewing supplies, which you will have to purchase in a different store.  Here are some of the shops I’ve been to lately:

Cotton Depot (3/F Glorietta 5, Festival Mall and Mall Of Asia) – Cotton Depot carries a wide range of cotton, from broadcloth to muslin to local and Japanese cotton.  The price ranges from 60 Php/yard for the ordinary cotton to 220/yard for Japanese cotton.  They have twill, Cavali twill (220/yard), corduroy, eyelet cotton, crepe (120/yard), jacquard (120/yard), flannel (120/yard), chiffon (100/yard) and several types of denim at 150/yard.  Pique (130/yard), bubble tea satin (180/yard), super merino (750/yard), printed muslin (230/yard), cotton silk (100/yard) are also available.  They also have canvas that works well for grocery bags and the like (I bought some at 120 per yard) and interfacing ranging from 25 pesos/yard for the lightweight interfacing to 45 pesos/yard for the heavy interfacing.  They don’t have fusible interfacing, you can get that at Carolina’s as I mentioned in this post.  Contact numbers:  SM MOA Branch- 8040245, Glorietta 5 Branch- 8367410.  Or you can visit their website here.

Fabric in Cotton Depot, Glorietta 5

Fanbi (Greenbelt 1, 1st Floor) – Fanbi is quite expensive compared to all the other fabric stores I’ve visited.  They have a lot of plain and printed jersey knits (around 250-320 Php per yard), plain, striped and checkered cotton shirtings for office wear (300 Php/yard), suiting fabric, modal, spandex, cotton voile, silk, georgette, and cute printed Japanese cotton at 280/yard.  Not the best value in terms of price per yard.

Fabric in Fanbi, Greenbelt 1

Fabric Warehouse (3/F Glorietta 5, Greenhills, Libis, North EDSA, Megamall, SM Southmall) – Fabric warehouse has most types of fabric, they have plain and printed cotton, rayon knits, jersey (160 per yard), georgette, chiffon, embroidered cotton, etc.  Maybe you can tell that I have been amassing a huge stash that I don’t know what to do with…yet.  Hehe.  Their contact numbers are as follows:  Greenhills (02) 584-8247 or 721-6608, Makati (02) 846-5403 or 728-030, Libis (02) 655-4019, North EDSA (02) 927-4124, Megamall (02) 470-1971, and SM Southmall (02) 805-2481.

Carolina’s (3/F Glorietta 5, Megamall) – Carolina’s has taffeta, satin, organza, jersey knits, georgette, chiffon, silk for lining, sew-in and fusible interfacing, but oddly no cotton.  There are 2 Carolina’s shops in Glorietta 5, the one on the top floor carries their fabric and the one on the ground floor has all the notions.  In the Megamall store, fabric and notions are together.

Expressions (Glorietta 4 and Shangri-La Mall) – Similar assortment of fabric as the other stores, they have nice jersey knits and cottons.  They have some designer fabric in their Shangri-La Mall branch, I picked up some linen that would be perfect for shift dresses or cool summer tops.

Ilaya Street and Tutuban in Divisoria – If you’re up to the excitement and chaos that is Divisoria, there are definitely a lot of great finds just waiting to be discovered.  This is where we got the fabric for our wedding, and it was definitely much cheaper than you can get it in the malls.  Set aside at least half a day to look around.  I have a post on this here.

Designer Prints – We Love Sewing blogged about a shop called Designer Prints in Greenhills here, They’re located in the second floor of Shoppesville across Krispy Kreme, contact numbers are (02)724-81-65/723-69-09.  I recently went to check it out, and I left the store with some imported jersey, striped silk, and some knits for comfy summer tops that I want to make.  They are a bit pricier than Fabric Warehouse/Carolina’s but they do have fabric that designs I haven’t seen elsewhere and the staff is much more friendly than in other shops.

SM Megamall Fabric Shops – There are a lot of fabric shops in the basement of SM Megamall, Fine Fancy and Bloomingdales are right beside Fabric Warehouse:

Carolina’s, Metro Department Store, Alabang Town CenterI have a post on it here

Sewing materials and notions

If you want to buy a lot of sewing notions, I’d suggest you head over to Divisoria for better prices and variety, I have a post on it here.  But if you don’t have the time or the energy to brave the crowds there, Carolina’s Lace Shoppe in Glorietta 5 (02-5013781) and Megamall carries the following:

  • Sewing thread
    • Astra and Globe brands, from small spools to 3000 m cones
    • Embroidery thread/cross stitching thread (DMC)
    • Crochet yarn/thread
    • Elastic thread (white and black)
  • Zippers (lengths ranging from 8 to 20 inches), regular YKK and invisible zippers
  • Assorted buttons in almost every color
  • Lace
    • Ordinary lace in a variety of colors
    • Imported bridal lace for wedding gowns (I saw this in Carolina’s Megamall)
  • Ruffles in several types of material and different designs and widths
  • Ribbons, a decent selection
  • Sewing machine needles
    • High speed and ordinary in sizes from 11 to 18 only
  • Rickrack
  • Elastic
    • Black and white only ranging in width from 1/4 inch which sells for 2 pesos per yard to 3 inches which sells for 22 pesos per yard
  • Bias tape in very basic colors (black, red, pink, white)
  • Plain brown pattern paper and tracing wheels
  • Tailors chalk
  • Beads, wires and sequins and other materials for beading enthusiasts
  • Small pouches for crafts
  • Cloth flowers
  • Feather boas (!?!) and other embellishments (I saw some really pretty laser cut flowers that would look great on a polo shirt)

Assorted lace, trim, rickrack in Carolina’s Greenbelt 5

I have seen low-priced notions in Japanese home stores like Saizen but I’m not so sure about the quality of the supplies here.

Pattern-Making and Cutting Tools

You can find your basic pattern making and cutting tools in National Bookstore:

  • Rulers and self-healing cutting mats (I saw a 60 x 45 cm mat for 504 pesos) although they don’t carry very big sizes
  • Scissors of all kinds (make sure you get one for cloth only and one for your paper/patterns)
  • Rotary cutter (out of stock though every time I’ve checked)
  • Tracing wheel (not the very good kind though)
  • Colored pencils for marking your patterns
  • Tracing paper but the biggest size they have is only 20 by 30 inches.  8 sheets costs 147.75 pesos
  • They have a small sewing section with your basic hand sewing needles, pins, pin cushions, and thread

I was able to get most of my stuff in Fabricland (dressmaking shears, tailors chalk and pens), Michael’s (Olfa rotary cutter and ruler) and Walmart abroad when I was on vacation since I wasn’t sure what was available here at the time.

For more specialized materials I’ve seen Manila Fashion Supplies online for Dritz, Fairgate and C Thru brand supplies if you’re really serious about sewing.  I personally haven’t ordered anything from them yet but I will if I really get into sewing and there are tools I really need.  And of course there’s always Amazon and eBay if you don’t mind the shipping cost or if you have relatives abroad that are due for a trip back to the Philippines.  🙂

Sewing Machines

Aside from Glorietta 5, SM appliance stores, and the sewing machine area everyone knows about near the pier, you can also check out the sewing machines on multiply on this site although I’ve had no experience buying from them.

Sewing supplies I haven’t found in Manila yet

Here are the things I haven’t been able to find a source for yet, if anyone knows where I can get any of these please do let me know.  🙂

  • Fusible interfacing (Found!  Update as of April 2012 here)
  • Ballpoint or stretch sewing machine needles (for knit fabrics)
  • Different types of presser feet for sewing machines
  • Dressmaking chalk pens
  • Sewing patterns (Butterick, Simplicity, McCalls, Vogue, are all nowhere to be found!!!)
  • Sewing organizers (bobbin/thread organizers)