Posted in Home Cooking, PotPourri, Restaurant Hopping, The Grocery Shop-a-holic

In Which the Blogger Enumerates Several Cheap Guilty Pleasures…

Chicken with cream gravy, anyone?

I claim to be a low maintenance girl: it doesn’t take much to make me happy.  I don’t wear makeup, I don’t buy designer duds, I don’t need a freakishly fancy phone with bells and whistles I can’t use.  I’d rather walk than hail a cab or hop onto a jeepney if the weather’s pleasantly cool and the scenery’s nice.

While I do confess to rushing to the cinema for the latest Bond flick or something with James McAvoy in it, I’m happier browsing the magazine racks in my favorite bookstore and curling up later at home with either a mag or a well-loved book.  (Unless my show of the mo’, Last Resort, is on; then I’m on the couch for a good hour of action, nail-biting tension, and Aussie-boy Daniel Lissing…)

And while I do love a posh meal at a fine restaurant, I don’t turn my nose up at cheap eats and treats.  Case in point: the AM Steak Rice Bowl from KFC – it’s a good Original Recipe thigh fillet on top of garlicky fried rice served with some scrambled eggs and a mushroom-infused white cream sauce (kind of like Southern-style cream gravy) on the side.  Savory and satisfying (though the cream gravy’s a touch on the salty side), it’s a lovely way to get your morning started.  Unless…

Homemade tartines, anyone?

…I decide to laze about at home and build tartines out of what’s in the fridge.  I find that the very best tartines are the savory sort: a base of whole-wheat or light rye toast topped with leftover meats and some cheese.  Best combinations I’ve had so far:

  • tinned mackerel with fresh onions, salt, and pepper topped with mild Cheddar
  • shredded leftover fried chicken with a bit of gravy mixed into a teaspoon of mayo
  • leftover bistek (breakfast steaks cooked in a citrus-and-soy sauce with caramelized onions) with French seeded mustard
  • SPAM!!!  (or – and a much better option in my personal opinion – chorizo-flavored Prem)
  • sliced fresh tomatoes, butter, Dijon mustard, and Cheddar
  • leftover sausage and eggs with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan
Pad Thai

I’m also cool with noshing on a cheap but flavorful pad Thai or a plate of food court sisig with a cup of steaming hot rice.  And I am not averse to opening tins and making scads of Chinese-style fried rice with stuff raided from the fridge and chopped up fine.  (Fish fillets work best with soy sauce when mixed into fried rice; leftover pork works with a generous scattering of ground black pepper.)

And, aye: I won’t say no to whipping up noodle soups or dry-braised noodles from those brightly colored packets.  They work a treat with street-stall dumplings or skewers of barbecued pork.

Caramel pudding + homemade cake = LOVE

And for afters, I love something as simple as store-bought caramel puddings or ice cream and a slice of homemade cake – either one I’ve made or my sister’s amazing orange yogurt cake with lashings of chocolate frosting.  (Yes, she’s learning to bake now.)

Barring that, I’ll be a happy camper with a chocolate bar.  Maybe a Meiji Black or a wee Whittaker’s Almond Bar; yeah, that’d be nice.  Especially because…

If Daniel’s on the screen, it must be Tuesday…

…it’s Tuesday and Last Resort’s on tonight.  :p

So, what are your guilty pleasures?


Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

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