Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Red Light 9-course tasting dinner by Chef Justin Golanco #RESTAURANTREVIEW

Before embarking on my summer, my best wingman-buddy Kim took me out for my current favorite food-spot in Manila; The Red Light, where our buddy Justin Golangco serves up a pretty mean custom dinner for those looking for something special. 

Here was our menu:








Words are not needed when it comes to his menu - here I am, sitting in Berlin, getting extreme withdrawals. Not to sound biased but I loved every single dish (no joke) - and if I had to choose a favorite, it would be tricky but the crab wins for me each time. Followed closely by everything else, haha.

Check out Chef Justin Golangco at:

The Red Light (@theredlightph)

Ground Floor, W Young Building, Felipe St., Poblacion, Makati, 1209 Metro Manila, Philippines
+63 917 585 4043

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Erica's Kitchen: Quick Fix Dinner- Shakshuka

In Israel, Shakshuka is typically a breakfast dish, but in my opinion, you can eat this comforting tomato stew whenever you want! I usually end up making it when I am on my last few days before I need to go on a grocery run because I more often than not have all the ingredients needed to make it. it's easy, comforting, filling and healthy- super tasty too! Try my recipe!


600 grams diced tomatoes
4 large eggs
1 red pepper, seeds removed and diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper ( if you like it hot, otherwise, use 1/2 tsp first and just add to taste)
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 handful of coriander
salt and pepper, to taste
4 warm pitas

How to:

  • Saute onions until translucent then add pepper until softened. Add garlic until fragrant.
  • Pour in tomatoes and simmer for about 2 minutes
  • Add cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and simmer until sauce thickens and reduces slightly.
  • Crack eggs carefully into the tomato mixture, add feta and pop in the oven for about 7 minutes ( more if you want your yolk fully cooked)
  • Throw cilantro on top and serve with warm pita.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Sorry for the silence, but my dinners have basically looked like this, my entire trip. I am morbidly obsessed with my favorite Andalucian dish, Gambas Al Pil Pil, which is basically just prawns cooked in olive oil, with garlic and chili, and lots of bread to dip into the oil.. not the healthiest, I know, but crazy good for the soul! So I have spent all my time scouring the restaurants for their versions of this dish.. my favorite one was at a tiny little hole in the wall restaurant in the old town of Tarifa, a coastal windsport-spot in the south of Spain. This one I had at a fabulous little restaurant in Puerto Banus, Marbella.

As you can see, my food adventures have just begun - but it is really easy to forget to blog about food sometimes, when you only remember you have a blog halfway through dinner.. it's just too good to eat over here! I'm gonna come back looking like a whale!


Muelle de Honor, Casa A, Local 4, 29660 Marbella, Málaga

Fitness: Work out Buddies

One of my best friends has recently become my roommate, and I am so happy that she decided to get on the healthy wagon as I was trying to get back on it because to be completely honest, the last time I was super motivated to work out every single day was when I was trying to lose the 15 lbs I gained in the span of 3 years, from too many late night fast food runs, excessive drinking and just not working out at all. I got lazy and I had to pay for it.

Now, I am still considered skinny by many people, so the whole point for me is not to lose weight but to strengthen my body again, but of course, the whole " well, im not fat, I can afford to hit the snooze button instead of getting my ass out of bed to work out" mentality is hard to fight. So, having a work out partner is great, and here are a few reasons why:

1. You motivate each other. During workouts, Margaux and I are constantly whining about how much we're sweating and how tired we are, but seeing the other keep going gives you the inspiration to keep going til the end and not cheat!

2. You're embarrassed to be "that person" who says they don't wanna work out. You don't wanna let your buddy down so you do it even if you need to drag your feet. You always feel great after, I swear!

3. It's less expensive to get a trainer. Usually, personal trainers who do home service are ideal, because the ones at the gym charge gym rates plus gym fees monthly. If you ask them to come over, you can strike a better deal, especially if there are two of you working out together.

4. You have someone to share your fitness goals with- and who can actually see the difference with you!

5. You end up eating healthier ( most of the time) together after a work out. What a waste of calorie burning if you end up eating silog or sugary cereal after!

6. You push yourself more. Really. As much as I believe in going with your own strength and capacity, I also believe in progress and improvement, which happens when you push, and sometimes, when you see your work out partner doing better, going faster or with better form, you push yourself to do the same.

7. It's just more fun in general! Plus Margaux is better as making imovie videos HAHA!

with our trainer, Glen. Let me know if you want his no!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015



Love you guys .


Erica and Dane <3

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Traveling Tummy: Atelier Vivanda, Paris

If you are planning to go to Paris soon, and aren't sure where to eat, put this on your eating agenda. 

I knew I was eating here before I left for Paris last January, because we were told that it's great value for money. You can get a starter, steak, a side and a dessert for just 35 euros, and although I honestly don't think it was the best steak of my existence, they had something on the menu that will make me want to return over and over again.

Up there is the Fines tranches d'entrecôte fumée maturée, or I guess aged, smoked meat in English. This isn't part of the 35 euro set but it sure is worth the little extra cash you will shell out. I could have eaten just this and would have been totally satisfied with my meal. Thin, tender, slices of meat that seem to melt in your mouth, with just the right amount of saltiness that makes it perfect to eat with bread. And c'mon, bread in France- no contest. I don't think I eat as much bread (and butter- ooooh French butter...but that's for another entry) as I do when I am in France. 

I am posting this today because 1. I was scrolling through my old photos and found this picture and 2. I plan to go back to France in August and want to eat this again! 

Like I said, the steak was ok, not super amazing, but the potato sides and creme brulee were yum, and you'll be hard pressed to find a super cheap meal in Paris, and I think this is a good option. 

Hungry now. 

Atelier Vivanda is located at 20 rue du Cherche Midi, 75006

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Erica's Kitchen: Cacio e Pepe

So this is possibly one of the easiest AND most delicious pasta recipes you will ever make. It takes like 5 seconds to make and tastes absolutely marvelous on it's own or as a side to a meat or chicken dish. Think of it as like mac n' cheese but for adults, because the sauce is literally butter, cheese and pepper- that's it.


500 g pasta
2 cups pasta water
1 cup grana padano, grated
1 cup pecorino, grated
3 tbs butter
2 tbs freshly ground black pepper ( Note: I used a mix of black, green and pink peppercorns)

How to:

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions, set aside 2 cups of pasta water. Drain and set aside.
  • Add pasta water to a deep pan, and add the pasta back in. 
  • Add all other ingredients and mix well until cheese and butter are melted and turn into a sauce.
  • Keep mixing until sauce thickens.
  • Remove form heat and top with more cheese and pepper if desired.
And that is it, folks. Super easy, super good and addicting! I had mine with my #beststeakintheuniverse recipe and topped with a little prosciutto crudo.