Monday, May 2, 2016

If you are taking a Cebu Pacific flight this May, please do me a favor and flip through the pages of Smile Magazine. When you get to page 149, squeal a little bit-- the higher the pitch the better. Just not too much or they might kick you off the plane. When somebody inquires about your peculiar behavior, tell them you are giggling on behalf of me :3

I don't have any trips planned for May yet so I don't think I'll be seeing a physical copy. Gosh, seeing this reminds me that the entire time I was in Seoul, was thinking of food.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Hello from limbo!

In the last few weeks, I've wrestled with my ideas in cooking, the lack of it and the need to create something creative. I've been trying to conjure something extraordinary in my humble kitchen. Something worth sharing, something that was worth reading.

Therein lies the problem, like my blog title suggests, I am just a chef kuno. Someone pretending to be something I'm not. No, I'm not going through depression nor am I trying to solicit praise. I mean it in a realist way. My juliennes suck, my basting skills non-existent, poaching--not too confident, steak? well. what steak? So what do you do when you suck? You practice. When you get the urge to complain, practice more, then share your journey in the hopes that you can inspire someone else to take their first step.

So here are some of the few adventures (and the lessons?) that transpired in the last few months. Yes, I still haven't acquired a wine glass. Sorry.

Chicken Meatball Linguine
Necessity is truly the mother of invention. I had some spare breadcrumbs/panko lying around and this was the perfect excuse to use it. That and pasta's hard to mess up. Still too safe.

A photo posted by Ice Artificio (@iceartificio) on

Breakfast Sandwich--well cup technically
When you have a muffin pan and want to cook 6 sandwiches in one go, here's the solution. Add/subtract depending on ingredient stash and laziness level. I like to bake mine at 150C in about 10 minutes to keep the yolk soft and the edges of the bread crisp.

Beef Curry
Curry is awesome. You just need to find which kind you like best.

Chili Crab

Now this, I need to give credit where it is due. BOB CASASOLA! Thank you for helping me put Alicia to sleep. I would not have done it without you. All the screaming, coaxing and politely asking the mud crabs to just keel over and stop staring at us with their beady, judging eyes. After a few hours, we finally started cooking our first Chili Crab! Inspired by my first visit to Singapore, I am still amazed at how sparks fly  when deep, bold flavors merge with light and refreshing spices.

Chocolate Cake Cheesecake?
I don't know how to call you. For Valentines, Chalet wanted to create a three-layered chocolate cake/cheesecake with a dark chocolate ganache. It took us hours, the cake turned out okay but we hated cheesecake for a month because of all the tasting we did.

My First French Macaron
Call it beginner's luck, but that's a foot! Okay, I'll be honest only about 6 out of 20 piped cookies turned out okay and the size wasn't consistent. The batter was crazy-difficult to pipe. I finally understood why these things are so expensive.
A photo posted by Ice Artificio (@iceartificio) on

My second French Macaron!
We had dismal results here 4 out of 20.

Senyorita Banana Chocolate Almond Cupcake

The chocolate, almond combo was good. The sad lesson? Senyorita, a small tasty banana variety loses it's delicate flavors when paired with the chocolate batter :( but it's cute yeah?

Caramel Popcorn!

Thomas Joseph is the guy to look for help to solve your kitchen conundrums.
I've never made caramel this way. The subtle zing that the hint of lemon adds is just magical.

Whew! Hungry? I am. Well, I am always hungry.


Friday, February 12, 2016

It's a few hours before the chaos that is Valentines will begin. What? You did not make plans for your significant other?

There's nothing more disheartening than getting answers along the lines of "whatever you want", "anything", "I don't know, what do you want" for the question "what do you want to do this Valentines?"

Any other day "let's do what you want" /"eat where you want" is a perfectly acceptable answer. It's cheeky, shows an indecisive part of you that is willing to explore. 

Some would say Valentines is an overcommercialized holiday. OF COURSE IT FUCKING IS! Just like all the other holidays. We celebrate thanksgiving eating bland turkey(Do you even like turkey? I HATE turkey!), buy too many candles for all souls day, horde sweet ham and Edam cheese for Christmas that we don't EVER finish eating. How are overpriced flowers and chocolates any different? 

I'm not saying you need to jump the bandwagon and waltz around with your partner flaunting a bouquet and a huge stuffed toy. But isn't it a good excuse to celebrate love? Celebrate love on normal days and holidays. Why skimp in showing affections just because it's mainstream for the day? 

Vday celebrations need not be grand  or expensive, just well thought of. Not a "whatever" under the guise of spontaneity. Okay, you feeling thoroughly guilty? Great! Now I can help. 

Restaurants and other many public places are out of the question (yes, windowless transient rooms are probably full too). Luckily, there are still options

If you're not getting your paycheck this weekend like me, your wallet is most likely sighing at the idea. You can go for any of these three things in under a thousand.

Watch Dead Pool

Assuming you're over sixteen, this is a good date movie---if you can still get tickets. No, I didn't get paid to say that, but I do want to see more of Ryan Reynolds' behind trapped in a tight suit and other mutants. You don't even have to bring a significant other. Take your mom--no wait, probably not a good idea. Just book online. Now

Source: Dead Pool's Twitter

Serve Take Away Food at Home

If you can't cook or do not have the time to practice, buy take-out meals or food you do not need to cook and plate it nicely at home. Plus points for creativity. Remember to stay away from specialty shops and restaurants.
Nachos and a cream dip 
Cheddar cheese, grapes, chocolate bar and wine. I don't even have proper wine glasses TT_TT

Because a partner that can cook is extremely attractive and your local grocery will not be that crowded. You don't have to spend much, it just has to be made by you. My boyfriend once made me too-strong coffee with too much sugar. It made me smile (hey love :p) Here's a recipe to Shakshuka, Baked Sweet Potatoes or if you want something simpler, an open-faced chicken sandwich

Grilled cheese. Butter, cheese and whatever bread you can find

Hotdog, toast, coffee, fruits. ANYTHING you have will work. srsly. Just don't say IDK
I was going to say something that rhymes with "it's really the effort that counts" but a flying roach zoomed past me and I will now have to go scream for dear life.

Happy weekend!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

It has been a bleak few months.

I didn't really make anything noteworthy in the last few months. Just when I thought I was going to settle for oatmeal and milk for the rest of my bland existence, a good friend rang me up to bring some post-holiday cheer. It was a scene straight outta Breaking Bad.

"I have cream cheese for a good price"

So now I have bars of heart-stopping cream cheese at my disposal. I knew I had to up my game as I was bound to get tired of the bagel combo no matter how much I loved it.

Today I was finally able to get myself a small oven and some (some meaning a lot) of ingredients to get me started.

I got myself an Asahi OT-3011 oven toaster. Nothing too fancy but it was enough for what I needed now. At 30 liter capacity, it could fit a whole chicken and heat up until 250 C. Not a bad buy at 3,500php

Okay, so maybe I got a little carried away

I'm a little apprehensive to use the oven as it has been a while. But we will see.

Oh and i scored some vanilla beans to mark the occasion.

BNSB. Bring it. We are battle ready.

Please don't ask me to go anywhere. I'm broke as fuck.

Friday, November 13, 2015

On our last day in Jeju, my friends decided they wanted to visit a cafe somewhere in the outskirts of Han Dam Dong. The coffee shop belonged to a member of Big Bang.

We arrived a quarter past seven at Han Dam Dong with no concrete instructions on where to go. The cold wind soaking my clothes while we followed the small dot in the GPS that was pinned in water. After a lot of looking, asking and wondering if we had to walk on water, we found the place.

Unfortunately, the café was already closed, but seeing that we came a long way, they offered that we could look inside. My feet rejoiced at the thought of warm floors and a 화장실(restroom).

Check out our restroom-entrance photos;
Kring  outside the restroom entrance

Regh doing the same thing
Me and AM doing the same thing because of peer pressure. LOL
The interior wasn't completely finished, but most of the furniture has already been arranged. An elegant mix of matte black, white and rustic furniture. The wood and stones gave a classy, contemporary feel. Wooden chairs also meant warm butts--I was so happy.

The bar had an assortment of macarons, carrot cake, coconuts(the ones I've tried in Jeju tastes different, but that's another story), and other non-coffee beverages.

After looking around, the owner said we could take photos and offered us some coffee. My heart fluttered at the thought of coffee. They introduced her. She was GDragon's mom.

We all had americano. Their coffee was surprisingly strong compared to the others I've tasted during my entire stay in Korea (apart from the coffee franchises from overseas that was the same everywhere). It was still quite mild from the usual cup I need to function for work. The acidity was mellow and didn't leave a heavy aftertaste in your mouth. Perfect for a cozy afternoon in the province while relishing a well-deserved vacation.

Now I have the slightest idea who GD is (sorry >__<) but if someone offers you hot coffee on a chilly night where the beach breeze stings your already numb hands while wandering in a poorly lit neighborhood, you'd love her.

So, I promise to look GD up--which I'm sure my friends will be very happy to help. Your mom is a warm cup of coffee for someone experiencing her first autumn. And for her, I'm very thankful.

I'm not sure how bad my palette is shot at this weather, and I'm not too confident about my coffee tasting skills. But isn't food about the people  you share it with and the memories you create? And this one definitely tops my first visit in Korea. 감사합니다, 지용의 엄마.

Café Monsant Aewol is currently on soft opening. There is no definite official opening as of the time of writing. It is located at 2546 Aewol-ri, Aewol-up, Jeju-do, South Korea

Whether you're a fan of kpop or not, this place is a definite must-visit. The view by the beach and the huge glass windows promise a breathtaking afternoon with the sunset and an americano in your hands.

How to get there:

Take the 702 bus from the Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal.

Get off at  Han Dam Dong bus stop.

Walk towardsAewol-ro gil, it's the nearest right turn from the bus stop(you're not crossing the road from this route)

When you see the beach, don't panic, you're almost there.

When you reach a fork in the road

and you see this house, turn right

Keep treading that path and take a left, and another left and voila! (It's fairly easy to find the place at this point, I promise)

If all else fails, ask :)

I'm envious of the daytime photos, but the evening view is just as awesome.

Special thanks to Cams Amparo, Regh Dayao, Kring Punzalan, and AM Carreon for the photos and the great company ;) We need to go back here!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Big days call for modest breakfasts.

A friend of mine likes to clean when she's stressed.

I thought long and hard of the things that soothe me when I'm on the edge. Anticlimactic, but yes;

I cook when I'm anxious.

There's something about weilding a sharp object and the hack and slash of slicing that I find meditative.

I colour hair when I'm bored but that's for another day and a different blog.

Perhaps it was my dad rubbing off of me. On big exams, he'd skip the big breakfasts and make me a nice cup of coffee(by nice I mean a HUGE mug).

Today, I'm especially anxious. And without thinking, I was up an about, making a simple breakfast of oats, apples and cinnamon. Tea is today's companion. Didn't want to excite my already excited heart.

1/2 cup whole rolled oats
1/2 apple sliced
Unsalted nuts, about a tbsp
A dash of cinnamon

Cook oats. I have the lazy habit of just adding hot water to oats but I don't like the crushed instant ones. Add the rest of the ingredients. I'd add milk but we're out of stock.

Wish me luck, dear reader. Not sure how you got here, I hope you have a good day.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Today is Cheat Day!
It took me days to to figure out how to make the comment box re-appear (Yes, a non-coder's problem). To celebrate that victory, dinner was in Top Dish!

A friend introduced me to this restaurant a few months back. I've returned a couple of times and each time it was heaven :3

Top Dish or 그때 그집 (geudde geujip) is a small restaurant located in Durban street, near Makati Avenue. I love how the place feels homey and relaxed. You will usually find the owner sitting at the counter watching Korean news or k-dramas. Upon entering the place, you'll pass by the kitchen where the crew will greet you.

I am a Banchan enthusiast (if there is such a thing). Banchan (반찬) are side dishes served in a Korean meal
We had our usual favorites; bibimbap, tteokbokki, and kimbap.

Rice topped with egg, ground meat and vegetables. I am always envious of how they cook their rice - always light and fluffy.

Rice cake in a sweet chili sauce. The perfect companion on a cold, rainy evening 

Steamed bap (rice) with assorted vegetables rolled in gim (seaweed laver) 

Fermented napa cabbage. Did I mention it goes well with beer?

Top Dish is located at
4940 P. Burgos St. Poblacion, Makati
(02) 758-1122
Open from 4:00 PM until 3:00AM daily

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Last year, my world was rocked in epic proportions when they announced that I was part of that year's World Korea Bloggers.

After 3 hours of screaming in celebration, I realized,

""WTF am I going to write? I'm a noob at this"

YouTube videos were helpful but could only do so much. If anything, it was daunting to watch the intricate art of Hansik. All the time and effort it required made me question if I was up for this when I couldn't even get my julienne right.

don't judge my uneven matchsticks! :((( 

So, what do we do? We experiment, make the mistakes, and if we're lucky, get something edible.

With the help of some willing victims friends, we orchestrated our very first Kimjang!

I bought a pack of instant ramyun in case everything goes wrong :p

We made baeju kimchi(napa cabbage), kkakdugi(radish), oi sobagi (cucumber kimchi), and some kimchi bokkeumbap (kimchi fried rice) using some of the kimchi that Dye and I made a few days ago.

that's me pretending to work hard in the background 

Here's the recipe we used based from Maangchi's awesome work.


Napa Cabbage Kimchi

3 1/2 kilos napa cabbage
1½ cup of kosher salt

1 cup light fish sauce 
1 medium sized onion, minced
1 cup of minced fresh garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
7 stalks of green onions, chopped diagonally
1 cup of chopped buchu or green onions
2 cups of julienned radish

For the porridge 

½ cup flour, ¼ cup sugar, water

2 cups of hot pepper flakes (less if you don't want it too spicy)

Radish Kimchi

2 kilos daikon or korean radish
1/4 cup salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup julienned carrots
1 cup julienned radish
2 tbsp fish sauce

Cucumber Kimchi
1 kilo cucumber (about 4 pieces) 
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/2 cup julienned radish
1 tbsp fish sauce

Ready for some pickling action!

When choosing napa cabbage look for shiny stalks and leaves with no holes

Traditional baeju kimchi is usually made with long pieces of the cabbage still intact, but we didn't have enough space in our containers and it ferments faster that way

Mix, Mix, Mix!  wouldn't recommend using your bare hands as it can get quite hot. 

Put in clean plastic containers or earthenware and allow it to ferment in room temperature for at least 24 hours. Refrigerate after and enjoy!

roasted sesame seeds optional

So far, t

they're all still alive. I love you guys. And it did somewhat taste like the Kimchi we buy from the store.

I can't wait to go to Korea and experience the real thing. 아자!

Kimchi fried rice! 

How do you like your kimchi? spicy? a little salty? Would love to hear some tips on how to make it better.

After that we had some serious bonding time. Super serious.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

When somebody says "hey let's make fried Oreos", You need to say yes. It's the law.

I've never made fried Oreos. I've tasted it before, so I thought maybe that, some help from Google, and a little bit of imagination would be enough. 

See that giant a** Nutella? That's a jar of pure magic.

The ingredients are quite simple. Pancake mix, eggs, milk, Oreos, and oil for deep frying. Make sure your oil has a high smoking point like canola or vegetable oil.

1 250gram pancake mix
1 pack of Oreo
2 eggs

I added two eggs to the pancake mix and added some milk until I got the consistency that I wanted. You want your batter a little thicker than usual. This way, you'll have a thicker and fluffier coating. Mix until your batter is lump free. 

Dip Oreo in the batter and drop it in hot oil. If it doesn't go crazy with sizzling bubbles, your oil isn't hot enough. If the temperature is right, it takes a couple  of seconds for your fried oreo to float. Flip it, and take it out once both sides are golden brown. 

THAT is not hot enough. Dammit
They look like marbled potatoes. Now I want potaotes too.

It's already heavenly at this point, but I was feeling a little creative, and still had a bit of Nutella left so I made a drizzle by whisking in some milk with a tablespoon of the sexy chocolate hazelnut spread.

To break off some of the richness, I added some potato chips flavored with nori flakes and wasabi powder.  

And yes, my plating skills need work. A LOT of work.