Monday, October 28, 2013

Meal Planning 2013 - week 44

I haven't had much time to plan this week's meals as we have been decorating the spare room which has taken up almost every evening- and I do my food shopping on Saturdays so I had to quickly plan some meals in between painting the walls. I did put on a pound last week which is annoying as I was trying to lose weight before going on holiday next week!


Breakfast boiled egg - at the moment it looks like I will be working from home, the high winds means all my trains are cancelled!

Lunch leftover pasta bake

Dinner Steak and potato wedges


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch out for lunch with some colleagues

Dinner leftover chicken en croute for me, chicken kiev for the OH


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch sandwich

Dinner sausage tikka masala - it's a Slimming World chicken tikka masala recipe but I don't want to have chicken three days in a row, but there aren't many other things my boyfriend will eat. I will have a vegetable curry.


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch sandwich

Dinner chicken in honey mustard sauce with mashed potato (that I was going to cook last week but didn't)


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch sandwich

Dinner burger and chips, possibly with mozzarella sticks if time


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch Slimming World Welsh rarebit (from Autumn Flavours booklet)

Dinner TBA - I am going to Clandestine Cake Club in the afternoon and we might be going to the local fireworks event after that. I am away after today so don't want any leftovers or fresh food that needs using up so I might suggest we have a takeaway.


I'm heading off in the morning for a week in Baltimore at my company's head office.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Restaurant Review - Bea's of Bloomsbury

Restaurant name: Bea of Bloomsbury

Location: St. Paul's, London

Description: Tea shop and cafe nestled into the side of the One New Change shopping centre. There is a takeaway counter downstairs and a seating area upstairs.

Reason for visit: Lunch with a former work colleague who works nearby.

I ate: Roast chicken with some sort of potato salad in a herby dressing. Actually a really good option if you are Food Optimizing on Slimming World! Followed by cheesecake, which is not quite so Slimming World-friendly.

My companion ate: Cous cous salad with broccoli - he was on a pre-wedding diet!

The food was: Nice but fairly safe - my chicken was quite plain. They don't have a huge amount of choices at lunchtime but there are different types of meal on offer - sandwiches, salads, pasta, soup - but only a couple of flavours of each. The cakes are to die for though - Bea's is the inventor of the townie, a cross between a tart and a brownie! They also do afternoon tea here, which I would like to try.

The atmosphere/service was: Friendly staff, who brought our food up to our table when we found seats upstairs.

Price range/value for money: Actually not that cheap, I can't remember how much I paid for my meal but I was a bit surprised, I guess chicken and potatoes are quite substantial though and we were in the middle of London (and a pretty expensive shopping centre). On the other hand, it's worth noting that there are free jugs of tap water and glasses in an easy location to help yourself to if you don't want to buy a drink.

Would I recommend it? Yes, it's a nice place, the cakes are great and I'd like to try the afternoon tea.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Meal Planning 2013 - Week 43


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch chicken risotto

Dinner at choir rehearsal - will take sandwich


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch sandwich

Dinner Pizza Express pizzas from Tesco (on a special offer and my boyfriend loves them!)


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch meeting with lunch provided

Dinner chicken in honey mustard sauce with mashed potato


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch sandwich or pasta

Dinner tuna burger/beef burger


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch sandwich or pasta

Dinner hopefully out with my boyfriend (hint hint!)


Breakfast yogurt

Lunch Greek pasta bake I didn't make last week as we went out

Dinner TBA (it was a very busy weekend so I haven't had time to finish planning yet!)

Sunday -

Breakfast cereal

Lunch pissaladiere I didn't make last week


Friday, October 4, 2013

Coffee Break Vigan, A classic Taste in a Historic Place

Coffee Break Vigan. This post is overdue because of my limited time and busy workload I have been setting the post aside until I almost lost the photos. When you’re in Vigan and trying to find a cafe along Calle Crisologo for break and sit down for a hot coffee or cold refreshing drink then the best place is Coffee Break Vigan. It is conveniently located just halfway along Calle Crisologo at Salcedo Street intersection on the right side if you are coming from St Pauls Cathedral.

Coffee Break Vigan has a wide range of hot beverages to choose from, from my personal favorite, cappuccino to Hazel Nut Flavored coffee, another favorite. Now if you are in to cold drinks and refreshments they do have also a large selection which most likely include you own personal favorite.

If you are looking for a light meal or meryenda they also offer a selection of snacks including some local delicacies.

You will definitely fall in love with the place atmosphere and enjoy your coffee, they also have a mezzanine floor where one can quietly chill out with friends or just want to be left alone and enjoy your coffee surfing the net. Now if are a smoker and want to enjoy your coffee while on your cigarette fix they do also have an outdoor section.

Coffee Break Vigan is located at:

3 Salcedo St, 2700 Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

Visit them at their Facebook at:

I just want to mention that this is not a paid advertisement, Overseas Pinoy Cooking do not do paid post. Once in a while OPC do similar post if we like the food and place, and want to share it to our readers. For the record Coffee Break Vigan is owned by my “Pamangkins” never the less the place is great and it is highly recommended if you are in Vigan and looking for a place to chill out while enjoying your Calle Crisologo Tour.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Buttermilk Pancakes with Sausage Gravy

This may not look like the most appetizing dish but it tastes amazing. When other people are eating a full English, I never know what to have - I don't like baked beans, or mushrooms, or fried eggs, and am not really that fussed about bacon - which usually leaves me with a sausage sandwich. Sometimes if I am making a cooked breakfast for my boyfriend I want something a bit more substantial, but sausage and toast by itself is a bit dry. I recently came across a recipe for buttermilk pancakes with sausage gravy from The No Waste Meal Planner by Becky Thorn and it's now my go-to recipe when other people want a full English.

Becky's recipe includes sweetcorn in her pancakes but I don't like sweetcorn (I know you're wondering if there is anything I do like!); you could also serve this with fried potatoes or ready-made potato cakes. The sausage gravy is essentially sausage meat in a milky white sauce; it really reminds me of nursery-style comfort food and is just the thing when you've had a few too many the night before!

You need:

100g sausage meat, either from a pack of sausage meat or sausages broken up

half an onion, chopped

25g butter

40g plain flour

400ml milk

salt pepper

freshly ground nutmeg

for the pancakes

3 eggs

150ml buttermilk

180g plain flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

Crumble the sausage meat or break up the sausages and fry along with the onion until browned.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes then add the milk and stir until smooth. Add the sausage and onion and seasoning and simmer until the sauce has thickened.

It doesn't look particularly appetizing at this stage, but trust me!

To make the pancakes, add a little of the buttermilk to the flour and mix to a paste then add the rest of the buttermilk and the eggs, and the baking powder and mix well.

Heat a frying pan and pour in the batter to make pancakes - you will get about 4 out of this quantity, though I made mine quite thick.

For the other half: buttermilk pancakes, sausage patties (made from the same packet of sausage meat) and baked beans.

For me, buttermilk pancakes and sausage gravy - delicious!

Pork Chop and Tofu with Mushroom and Oyster Sauce

Pork Chop and Tofu with Mushroom and Oyster Sauce. This is just a twist of my Pork Chop with Mushroom and Oyster Sauce, I was originally planning to cook a vegetarian version of the dish by substituting pork chop with tofu but I finally realised that the regular oyster sauce is not a vegetarian ingredient. I know there is a vegetarian version of oyster sauce out there, I have to do another post of the vegetarian version of the dish when I find one.

For now tofu is used as meat extender for the dish, never the less the pork chop fried tofu combination was great, not only that the cost of the dish is reduced it has also become healthier. I used a skinless cut of pork chop for the dish, that means the skin and most of the fat of the pork chop was removed.

Cooking is basically similar to my previous post of Pork Chop with Mushroom and Oyster Sauce, except for the extra cooking step of frying the tofu. Here is the recipe of my Pork Chop and Tofu with Mushroom and Oyster Sauce.


4-6 pcs. skinless pork chops

2 large block tofu, sliced into thin rectangles, fried

200 grams, fresh button mushroom, sliced

1/2 cup oyster sauce

1 small size onion chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 tsp. sugar

1 tbsp. coarsely ground peppercorns


cooking oil

Cooking procedure:

Dash the pork chops with salt and keep aside. Heat 2 to 3 tbsp. of cooking oil in a medium size frying pan. Fry the pork chops for about 3 to 5 minutes each side do not over fry, keep aside. To make the sauce, heat the same frying pan with all the pork chops residue, add in the garlic and stir fry for about a minute now add in the onion and parsley, stir cook for another minute. Add in the oyster sauce and 1 to 1/2 cup of water and sugar bring to a quick boil and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, correct saltiness if required. Add more water if salty. Add in the fried tofu and l let simmer for 2 to 3 minute to absorb some of the flavors. Then add in the mushroom and continue to stir cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Thicken sauce with cornstarch diluted in 1/4 cup of water, cook for another minute or until sauce has thicken. Now add in the fried pork chops a let cook for about 1 to 2 minutes to let the sauce infused to the meat. Serve immediately with mashed potato or rice.