Category Archives: Food

The Year That Was 2013

Compared to the hectic outdoor activities in 2012, 2013 proved to be the most laid back in terms of travel. We only traveled outside the Metro only once (Palawan), other than that, we pretty much stayed at home. There were a lot of first as usual, but mostly, last year revolved so much around Geoff. In addition, I think the best description for that year is “GRATITUDE”. I am grateful for a lot of things, and I think photo blogging will better describe it.

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  • Geoff turned 1 and a catholic. We are so blessed and thankful to see so many friends and family members celebrating this milestone with us.

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  • Geoff had his first haircut. A bit traumatic for us, however, it did not stop the kiddo from having fun during his first visit to BGC.

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  • I won several contests from the blogs that I stalk. This includes the La Andi package from the Soshal Network, play and learn classes and GC from Bebengisms and One Dental Care, tickets to the Nido Discovery Center from AXA Philippines, and the best so far was the Palawan accomodation and tours by Akira and Everything Nice and 8 Dragon Tours. These blessings were overwhelming and until now, I am still grateful.
How my phone looks like - Cat themed wallpaper. Icons can be customized too!

How my phone looks like – Cat themed wallpaper. Icons can be customized too!

  • I finally had the courage to switch to a touch screen phone. I decided to stay with Sun Cellular since the service is okay and the price of the plans they offer is quite reasonable compared to others.

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  • Geoff attended a play and learn class for a brief period of time. It was such a shame that the commute proved to be harsh for both of us, but I am also glad that he was able to experience “a bit” of discipline and the concept of following rules.

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  • I finally got myself an oven and had my ups and downs in baking, until I finally triumphed. The purchase of this oven led to the creation of Nibbles. I was able to get back all the investment I made, plus a decent amount of savings as well. Through this, I also received a verbal commendation from a customer who said “ang sarap sarap kasi ng revel bars mo”. Such a heart warming gesture.

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  • I was able to bring Babe to the Underground River as our 2nd wedding anniversary getaway. It was quite funny since I booked our tickets as early as March. Come September, an emergency happened and we both thought it was best not to push through anymore, until I learned that I won free accommodation for 3D/2N and an Underground River tour for 2! We immediately rebooked the flight, this time through Air Asia Zest (they have reasonable prices and they were on time for both flights too!). My biggest thanks to Ms. Jenny and Sir Jeron of 8 Dragon Tours for the chance.
Flintstones, we're the Flintstones!

Flintstones, we’re the Flintstones!

  • I made my very first DIY costume for Geoff’s Trick of Treat. Well, Babe helped too. You see the strap, he stitched everything there. I did the skirt and patches, as well as the colors. It was a success, and we could tell that Geoff really enjoyed the event even if we were dead tired by the end of the day.

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  • It was also a year for friendship. Though we don’t see too much of each other nowadays, we are still as close as ever, especially now that our family is growing. Thank you Lord for these people, for without them, I would not be the person I am today.

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  • Babe and I only managed one climb this year. Muntik pa madisgrasya. I thank the Lord as well for guiding me through that ordeal. Indeed, never underestimate nature and everything in it.

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  • Last year also brought us closer to our families. Though not everything was as smooth sailing as we hoped, we were still able to overcome most of the challenges and accepted it as a means of making us and our bond stronger. I am thankful for them, for their continued support and love.

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  • We had several food trips, ranging from really budget to pricey type. I am thankful because food trips meant that we have money to spend, and that we are well enough to eat it. After all, food trips are expensive somehow.

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  • I am also thankful for this little boy (or baby!) as he continue to provide endless love and joy for Babe and I. We are thankful that he is healthy, sweet, and lovable. I also pray that he continue to be a voracious eater. I am hoping as well that this is the year that he starts talking.

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  • I am also thankful for my husband and my marriage. That even though it is not perfect, both of us are making the efforts to adjust and make it work. We were close friends for years, boyfriend/ girlfriend for months, and hopefully partners for a lifetime.

Here’s to a thankful look back at 2013, and a year full of hope for 2014. May you and your loved ones be blessed as well.

Hello Palawan! Food Trip

Sorry for the very long break that I took from blogging. We were yaya-less for almost 2 weeks, add up the quota I need to finish for work. So anyway, here is the second part of our Palawan trip, which is mainly about food.

Now, this trip was set on a very strict budget (due to some unforeseen circumstances) and each restaurant that we ate in was either due to the research that I did beforehand, or due to our own convenience at the time.

We arrived very early in Puerto Princesa, and was picked up by the Balay Inato shuttle at around 7AM. As we were still waiting for our room to be ready, we decided to eat from their restaurant. The breakfast was quite basic, nothing fancy. Babe and I had baconsilog and tocilog as their signature Inato Chicken was not available at the time.

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After the filling breakfast, we slept first as we came directly from shift. We woke up at around 2 or 3 PM in the afternoon and decided that we were both hungry (again!) and would like to make the most of the afternoon looking around and somehow visit some of the places I had listed prior to the trip.

As we walked to the main avenue (I am not sure if it even is the main avenue, but it is where most of the transport is available and commercial establishments are located~ please forgive my momnesia!)

Babe wanted seafood so when we saw that the Skylight Hotel’s Restaurant was offering fresh seafood, we went ahead and asked the person who was on duty. It was quite disappointing that everything was pricey, so since we were already there, and we already pestered kuya so much with prices, we just settled with their seafood platter, priced at 700+.

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Everything tasted so good, except we think that the crab was no longer fresh. For some reason, Babe’s allergy was triggered and he had to look for a drugstore for his antihistamine. 

We ended the day by going to the baywalk. We were still full from the late lunch earlier, so we decided to make “tambay” (LOL!) by the sea wall. We saw an ice cream cart with bread and relived our childhood. Bread and dirty ice cream? Heaven!

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Our lunch meals for days 2 and 3 were covered by the tour, but, I would like to make a special mention to the most wonderful purchase we did during our Honda Bay tour. The Rock Crabs!

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A few vendors were selling these during our stay in Pandan Island. For 550 pesos per kilo, you would probably get 5-6 pieces. We opted to get the 3 pieces kilo for 280 pesos due to the constant urging by Babe. Good thing we did as this was the closest we could get to a real lobster meal. Babe devoured his share during lunch that day, while I packed these 2 halves for my dinner pleasure.

One of the restaurants that I included in my list is the Balinsasayaw. It’s on the same street from where we were staying, so we only had to walk from the inn, to here. The place was really cozy and when the food arrived, it was love at first sight!

DSC_0263We ordered the grilled tuna belly and garlic shrimps. We paid a little or more than 500 pesos, but I swear, the food will not disappoint!

Finally, for the last lunch (Day 4), I asked Babe if we can try Bona’s Chaolongan. He agreed since the place was also nearby. Right after we went pasalubong shopping, we asked the trike driver to drop us in, and what I read about the price was right. Everything was cheap.

According to the posts I read, the must try was the Chaolong and the French bread (as pictured). Babe liked it a lot because aside from the gigantic serving, he also found it savory. I also liked the french bread. Too bad my palate was not that sophisticated to try a different delicacy. Though I found it yummy, I also found it weird at the same time.
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We were also able to taste the famous Chicken Inato from Hain Chicken Inato. As luck would have it, this is located right in front of our room! Too bad there were no pictures, but I tell you, this is more delicious than the traditional chicken barbeque or Chicken Inasal.

All in all, we probably spent 2-2.5K pesos for food during our stay. This budget may seem small, but I assure you, sobrang busog kami everytime and it’s something na hindi natipid 🙂

Recipe: Sweet and Sour Tilapia

I have read several versions of cooking sweet and sour, regardless if it’s pork or seafood. Here is my rendition:

Another “first”!

Ingredients:

  • Tilapia (in my case, I used 2 big fishes)
  • 1 medium sized carrots
  • 1 bell pepper
  • ginger, onion, garlic
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar or more, depending on your taste
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Oil to deep fry the fish

Procedure:

  1. Heat oil in pan. Make sure that the pan is very hot before placing the oil. Once oil is very hot as well, fry the fish.
  2. Turn fish after about 5 to 10 minutes or until you reach desired crispiness.
  3. Once done, drain oil from fish and set aside.
  4. Cook the sauce. Saute onion, garlic and ginger until onion becomes transparent.
  5. Pour water and vinegar and cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. While sauteing, dissolve cornstarch in water. Set aside.
  7. Once vinegar is cooked (the strong acid taste and smell is more subdue), add the cornstarch and water mixture. Add the sugar after.
  8. Add the carrots and bell pepper and stir occasionally to achieve desired thickness. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
  9. Once sauce is thick enough for your taste, add the fish and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
  10. Serve with a smile and eat with rice (haha!).

 

Recipe: Pork Chop And Beans

Thinking of what to cook on a daily basis and with very limited supplies is quite a source of headache. Just like any other person who is tasked to the kitchen, I have a lot of grocery items that we need to always have. Today, I was too lazy to go out to buy veggies, so I had to settle with what I have in my very little pantry.

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Must always have tomato sauce for emergencies. Got the pork and beans from a loot bag I won last month

With the pork chops from the freezer, I decided to do a dish that I think is not a common variety on most households. Anyway, I successfully made a dish I called Pork chop and beans 🙂

Ta-dah!

Ta-dah!

Ingredients

  • Pork chops (I had about 6 pieces)
  • Garlic and onion, diced
  • 1 pack of tomato sauce, as shown in the picture
  • 1 large can of pork and beans
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 3 tbsp patis (fish sauce)

Procedure:

  1. Heat pan and saute garlic and onion. Wait until the onion becomes transparent. (Stove should be on low heat).
  2. Add the pork chops and the fish sauce. Let it simmer until pork is tender.
  3. Once pork is tender, pour tomato sauce and add the pinch of pepper.
  4. Add the pork and beans last and let the tomato sauce marry with the flavor from the pork and beans.
  5. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes and serve.

Recipe: Cherry Crumble

Disclaimer: this is a recipe adapted from the Yummy magazine November 2012 issue.

Last Sunday, we were supposed to go for a much awaited long overdue (redundant, I know) photoshoot. As usual, it was postponed again, and we were not surprised at all. Just like the previous Sundays, we were cooped at home, making the most out of our weekend. Lemme share some pictures before I go to my main picture.

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After that failed rain play, we went to buy the ingredients for my Pancit Canton (will post it separately) and the supposedly Apple Crumble. Here are what you need for this simple, no bake dessert:

Crust:
1cup brown sugar
1cup butter, softened
2cups crushed graham

Topping
1cup cream, soured with 2tbsp of calamansi
1 and 1/2cup brown sugar
1tbsp cinnamon
2 egg yolks, beaten
Cherries

Procedure:

1. Make the crust. Combine sugar and butter. Once mixed, put in crushed graham. I discovered that 1 pack is more that 2 cups, so I placed everything to battle the sweetness of the sugar (We didn’t have brown, so I used white sugar instead).
2. In a pan, combine all ingredients for the toppings. I suggest though to put the cherries first.
3. Let it simmer for at least 10  minutes, stirring occasionally. You will know that it is ready when the mixture starts to caramelize.
4. Transfer crust into a container, making sure that you press hard enough that there won’t be room for the topping to seep in.
5. Put the topping, and it’s okay if it is still hot. Just let it cool before you place it in the fridge.
6. Put in the freezer to chill and leave it for a few hours. Enjoy!

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The minion waiting patiently for his slice

Girl Bonding At It’s Finest

My girls and I are friends for 10 years. We have been through a lot, and the phrase through thick or thin applies to us. Despite the years we have been together, of course, most of us are sporting a different life. Some are single, with kids, and married. All of us are busy with our own different lives, yet, we never fail to get in touch. Last weekend was of no exception. We all decided to meet up and do some girl bonding over a spa treat and a dinner. Weeks ago, I received a text message from Rney to block the date as we are to set a meet up in Eastwood. Since we rarely meet, this was a welcomed activity that we were all looking forward to. Everybody confirmed and the countdown began, A few days before the actual day, I decided to book our reservations in Sambokojin to ensure our seats, the day was actually a Saturday, and a payday for that matter, thus, we were really glad that the reservation was made. The same thing applied to our spa treat, I had the appointment booked so that our slots were reserved.

Huli man at magaling…

Ay makakahabol din. Bow. Come Saturday, I had to do a few errands which resulted to my being late. In my defense (though I think, ok lang sa kanila, pero sakin hindi), I woke up very early coming from a late shift to do the part 2 of our laundry. I napped for a few minutes then off we went to do the grocery shopping. By the time I left the house, it was past 2 PM, and our schedule for the spa was at 3 PM. The traffic was also horrendous, que horror talaga. We got there at around 3:30, and it was very fortunate that they still allowed us to avail of our spa treats. The Prince Jireh Elisheva Spa For this activity, it was only me, Jaimie and Rney who went and had the scrub. Rney availed the Elisheva card from a corporate promo. When we got there, we availed of the body scrub called Pyamicucu treatment. It started with the actual scrub using water and  natural white granules for the first exfoliation. After about 20 minutes of “settling”, a lotion type mixture of fruits and exfoliant called pyamicucu was generously applied to the whole body, giving it a cool and fragrant sensation. We were again asked for another 30 minutes of “settling” before being ushered to the shower area. My overall experience is just so-so. Being the impatient person that I am, I found the “settling” time kind of unnecessary as I was comparing it to other body scrub services that I availed before, wherein after the actual scrub session, 10 minutes is the maximum wait time before I hit the shower. It was also hot inside the spa, as I heard that they were having trouble with the air-conditioner. They don’t offer tea or water right after but they do have complimentary glasses and pitcher of cucumber water at the reception area. I liked the customer service. Though we were late for the appointment, they still accomodated us, and were very polite and all smiles during our stay. Should you need to get in touch with them, you may check their site at http://www.princejirehspa.com.

Of excitements and disappointments

As we planned for this meet up a few weeks back, I was kind of expecting that all 7 of us will be complete, well, I’ll get to that part later. So we were late for our second appointment, which was the 6 PM slot in Sambokojin, an all you can eat buffet in Eastwood. When we got there, they gave our table to someone else, however, when they learned that there will only be 5 of us, they were able to squeeze us in, and up we went towards their dining hall. Initially, it was just me, Rney and  Jaimie again. We found out that Jak had an emergency at the office and will not make it, as well as Kuya Roni who advised at the last minute. We decided to start eating as we were waiting for Bine and Jeralynne.

Sambokojin, by the way, offers a variety of Japanese food. We had tempura, katsudon, stir fried fish and veggies, udon, and sukiyaki. They also have a variety of meat and seafood for grilling, maki, sushi and sashimi for the raw lovers (haha!), and of course dessert.

Josu made it! Hooray!

Josu made it! Hooray!

Anyway, Jeralynne finally arrived and Bine was MIA. Though there was only 4 of us, we still enjoyed the night and made chika the whole time we were there. We came out of the restaurant a little after 9 PM and boarded a cab, the rain that time was really exaggerated.

That was a fine, fine night. A relaxing afternoon, a full tummy, and a bucket of laughter. I hope we can do it again, with all of us in attendance.

Zark’s Epic Burgers

Finally, natuloy din ang burger date namin ni Babe. We went to the newly opened Zarks burgers in Katipunan right after the movie date. We left SM at around 7PM and lo and behold, malakas ang ulan! We did not bring any umbrellas with us, thinking that the day started out fine. Too bad we thought wrong as it was not your typical rain. Literal na malakas ang ulan. The kind that will overwhelm most floodway system kasi Katipunan was flooded that night. Tricycles would not even attempt to ride out that time kasi nga ang lakas ng ulan. We opted to buy ourselves umbrellas instead on the sidestores and braved our way to Zarks.

The walk was enjoyable, despite the heavy down pour. We were just concerned if there were open potholes because aside from limited visibility, there was hardly any lights as well (save for those coming from the traffic). Soaked and quite hungry from the walk, we arrived at Zarks and waited for our turn. We got ourselves listed and somehow noticed that we were the only customers soaked in the waiting area. Fun no?

Then we were called inside and placed our orders. Babe got the Jawbreaker while I ordered the Bacon Wrapped Burger, priced at P250 and P240 accordingly. Our orders came with iced tea and fries. If an upgrade to bottomless iced tea is needed, you just have to pay P20 each. Pwede na!

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The Jawbreaker – triple burger patty with spam and bacon with veggies, of course, fries and iced tea. All for 250 petot

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Bacon-wrapped burger, single patty with tomato and lettuce, with almost half a kilo of bacon (I think!) with fries and iced tea – 240 petot

We were so bloated right after that we considered walking back to the corner of Katipunan. We were able to flag down a tricycle eventually and were so sleepy during the jeepney ride. Just like our first taste of their burgers, we were truly satisfied, but agreed that would try it out maybe next year. Hindi healthy kung dadalasan considering that their burger is truly epic.

Zark’s Burger Taft is located at 2nd floor Archer’s nook bldg,Taft ( front of La Salle taft. top of Yellow Cab) AND President’s Ave, BF homes Paranaque (in front of Shawarma Snack Center)

Zark’s Burger Katipunan is in front of Ateneo, between Pizza Hut and Sizzling Pepper Steak. How to commute from Cainta: ride a jeepney bound to Cubao, get off at Katipunan corner, underneath the over pass. Ride a tricycle from the terminal a few steps from where you got off. Fare is P20, I think. You can also cross the street and proceed to Ministop. There is another terminal there and ask the tricycle that you will be getting off at Pizza Hut.