Opa! Moussaka at Home!

Moussaka!

Of late, everyone I know is seriously getting into Mediterranean food.  My friend Nix and I have been to Cyma where the roka salata (arugula salad with candied walnuts) is divine and the dessert sampler pure Olympian ambrosia. I have friends who get into heated debates as to whether or not Cyma’s gyros (Greek shawarma-style wraps; also known as souvlaki) can hold a candle to those of Cafe Mediterranean (and the debates are starting to look like family squabbles from My Big, Fat Greek Wedding!).  My parents make it a point to have the hummus at California Pizza Kitchen and a certain sweet person with a raging sweet tooth laments the closure of a certain baklava stall formerly found at the Power Plant Mall.  (Stop sniveling, darling; I’ll learn how to make the stuff – soon, I hope…)  I also know several people who will do anything for the perfect kebab or a truly good tzatsiki dribbled over fresh pita bread.

At home, however, the Greek dish of choice is moussaka, that glorious Mediterranean gratin with layer upon layer of good things.  I’d like to think of it as lasagna with a pronounced Grecian accent; plus, it’s a great way to get more vegetables in your diet – all that eggplant: YUM!

 

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The Feast after the Fast

Mayan Passion Kahlua

Hi, everyone!  Happy Easter; I hope you had a good Holy Week wherever you may be.  🙂

In any case, after the austerity of Lent, the celebration of Easter calls for something utterly indulgent to welcome the coming of spring and the arrival of new hope and growth.  Indulgent means anything with chocolate and coffee to me, so I hightailed it over to Delifrance to try out the newest offerings on the menu: the Spiked After 5 coffees and the Flaming Choco Lava Cake.

 

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Culinary Thoughts for Holy Week

Altar of Repose 2007
As hard as it is to believe, the Eucharist – one of the central tenets of the Christian faith – began as a meal the Lord shared with His disciples where He uttered the words “This is My Body…This is My Blood…which will be given up for you.”
The sharing of food among the members of a community – be it for a gathering in a spiritual context or even a common meal – is actually one of the best ways to bring people together.  In the Philippines, the only predominantly Christian country in Asia, Holy Week is marked by family reunions, times that bring people together at the table in celebration of Christ’s triumph over sin and death in the spirit of kinship and camaraderie.

A “Chip”-py Bit of Fun

Salt and Pepper

I am the Yin Yang of Spice

Ah, grasshopper, how little my friends understand me sometimes. I perceive the inherent duality of the world — good/bad, light/dark, up/down, salty/peppery — but am not fooled into taking sides. I am justice and balance personified. I know how to live with contradictions and have a love of paradox. My friends like me for my ability to expound on the “is” of “is-ness.” I know that life is about being here now.

Sandwiches to Soothe Me

ZOMG...!
“Create manual…  Follow up on items-for-testing…  Incorporate items-for-testing into manual…  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHHH!!!”
That was how things went over the past couple of weeks and I’ve only been able to take a real breather just now!  At the time, I could hardly eat anything.  (However, that didn’t stop me from baking gianduja sandwiches or those gloriously healthy peanut butter and wholegrain cookies featured in the last couple of posts!)  Well, except for sandwiches.  I never say no to sandwiches when I’m stressed…
Pancake House's Chicken Asparagus Sandwich
…especially if they’re as wonderful-tasting as the chicken asparagus sandwich from Pancake House!