In search of the real margarita

I’m a mojito girl. After my UP Law class held a reunion / testimonial dinner a year and a half ago, in some of the photos that came out on Facebook, I was referred to as “that mojito chick.” But long before I was introduced to mojito, I was in love with the margarita. Speedy’s sister, Ava, was housekeeping manager at a swank hotel, she managed to inveigle from the hotel bartender his margarita recipe and she’d mix Margarita when the family got together. That was many years ago. Since then, Speedy and I have concocted so many variations of the margarita, each met with varying degrees of satisfaction.

Margarita, of course, is a rather common Spanish name. And it has always intrigued me who the Margarita was that the drink was named for. Was she as refreshing, as colorful and as pretty as the drink? Was her personality just as complex as the layers of flavor in the cocktail? Did her personality kick as much as the drink?

Curiously enough, no one really seems to know where the “Margarita” originated. And we’re talking of two layers of origin here — the origin of the cocktail mix itself and its name. The stories and theories about the drink and its name are interesting and amusing. »

Laura’s baked oysters a la Rockefeller

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It is said that Antoine Alciatore, the creator of the original Oysters Rockefeller recipe and founder of Antoine's in New Orleans, took his secret to his grave. The chefs at Antoine's say there is no spinach in the recipe but many copycat versions, … »

Fully loaded mac and cheese

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Mac and cheese isn't exactly the most exciting pasta dish in the world. But it's simple to prepare and serving it isn't fussy at all. Serve in a single platter or in individual ramekins with buttered toast on the side and that's it. No carving, no … »

Cheesesteak sandwich

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On a visit to a cousin's house where Speedy and I were wined (with great Brie cheese) and dined (risotto, grilled fish and grilled lamb chops) to our hearts' delight, there was a discussion about cheesesteak. Cheesesteak, of course, is steak and … »

Jambalaya-inspired chicken and sausage rice

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There is Creole jambalaya (with tomatoes) and there is Cajun jambalaya (without tomatoes). This chicken and sausage rice dish was inspired by Cajun jambalaya. Spicy sausage meat is browned and, in the rendered fat, sausage slices and chicken are … »

A la Japadog

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In the Vancouver episode of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain visited the Japadog food stand which has become some kind of institution in Vancouver. Japadog? An amazing East-meets-West concoction which, according to Bourdain, is delicious. It's a … »

Whole wheat bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon

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My introduction to bagels was not a good one. Nineteen years ago, I was pregnant with Sam and bagels were just starting to make an appearance in the Philippines. One weekday, feeling stifled in the office, I walked to nearby Greenbelt for air. There … »

Rosemary and lemon pork ribs

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Let's start the week with the recipe for a dish that's great for any family gathering. You know, like Christmas. Or a birthday. Pork ribs smothered with brown sugar and rock salt, and slow baked, tightly covered, with sprigs of fresh rosemary, onion … »