Thursday, December 15, 2011

BPI Real Thrills December 14 to January 31, 2012- Jollibee

So here's the much awaited Real Thrills for you BPI cardholders.

 In between their promo period we bought an ipod. :D

 Shucks! We should be feasting on a bucket of ChickenJoy right now.

Promo period covers December 14, 2011 to January 31, 2012.
Every 2000 purchase from your BPI credit card- 1pc Chickenjoy with rice or Chicken BBQ with rice

Every 6000 - 2 orders of 1 pc Chickenjoy or BBQ with rice and 2 orders of Regular Yum

Every 12,000- 6 pcs Chickenjoy or BBQ with 3 orders of Jolly Spaghetti

Ho Hum..I'm getting Bored with my BPI

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pancakes in a rush ( Its not a mix!)

Pancakes with kids are just the best!  I get a kiss when I prepare them for breakfast.

Although commercially prepared pancake mix are easy to prepare, they are too sweet for my taste. And  I always have this dilemma wherein one box isn't enough, while two boxes are too much.  

It would be easier If I can make pancakes in a rush but in just the amount I need.   

Why not  prepare your own pancake mix and have them in the pantry always.  We need 5 simple ingredients and  no refrigeration is needed.  Just remember to write down the expiration date of your major ingredient- flour.

Pancakes in a rush

3 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 Tablespoons sugar ( you can use less if you prefer)
3/4 teaspoon salt
thats it!

Sift everything into a dry airtight container.

You can double or triple the ingredients and have it all in a large air tight container.  
I always put a sign in my container that says:  

For every 1 1/2 Cup add:
1 egg
1Cup milk
1/8 Cup melted butter
Mix them all together and rest the batter for 10 minutes before cooking ( sometimes I skip the resting).  

Be ready for that kiss!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Share tea buy one take one promo!

Share tea branch located in P Guevarra Street, San Juan is having a grand opening sale of buy one take one.

Shucks! If I'd only known, I could have waited for this promo.

Every small or large tea you buy, you'll be given a same sized free tea! Choices of free tea are: Wintermelon with jelly strip, Taiwan milk tea, or Rock salt cheese with oolong or green tea.

Promo runs from October 28, Friday to October 30, Saturday.

Did you notice the variety of tea stores in that part of San Juan? Reminds me of the mushrooming shawarma stalls in the nineties. As of last count, there are 5 stores all within a 100 meter radius of each other. Tea tap, Serenitea, Bubble tea, Cha time and most recently Share Tea.

We noticed that on the first day of this promo, all of the tea drinkers must be in Share tea. Because the other stores are unusually quiet.

No, I don't drink tea much.

So far in Share tea, I tried their winter melon tea with jelly strip, Taiwan milk tea, qq family milk tea, and aloha fruit tea.

My favorite is the qq family milk tea with it's variety of jelly, pearls, beans, and pudding. I paid 105 pesos for a large sized qq family milk tea.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chinese Style Adobo Chicken

I have always been a fan of "Adobo". No matter what form it is, adobo shrimp, adobo pork, adobo rice, adobo beef or adobo sitaw.

 It seems to me  that anything or everything can be adobo-ed.  Be it vegetable, seafood or meats.

 So with my Chinese taste for anything Filipino, it is but natural to make this oh so Filipino dish a little bit Chinese.

No, it doesn't have any vinegar, peppercorns and laurel leaves.   It is  a simple dish only requiring four ingredients:  Soysauce, garlic, brown sugar and oil.

Ingredients for Chinese-style Adobo Chicken
1 Kg Chicken leg (quarter cut)
1/2 C soysauce
1 T garlic paste ( garlic mixed with salt and sugar and ground into a paste)
1 T brown sugar
1/2 T olive oil
 Thats it!

Saute brown sugar and oil, add garlic paste and chicken quarters ( skin side down).  Move chicken around to absorb all those flavor.  Add soysauce and 1 Cup water .  Boil for awhile until chicken are cook and sauce is reduced.  Season with salt and pepper.  

This is a very versatile recipe, you can try it with pork legs and it will work! You can add some spices like laurel leaves and star anise with the soysauce and it will be just fine too.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bpi real thrills Jollibee starting August 12 to November 2, 2011

Starting August 12 to November 2, 2011, every charge slip from your BPI credit card amounting to 2000, 6000, & 12000 pesos gives you free meals!

2000- one order of either
One piece burger steak with dessert (choice of sundae cone or peach mango pie) or
Spaghetti with dessert or
Yumburger with cheese with dessert
6000- three orders of any
Meals mentioned above
12000- six orders of any meals mentioned above

Ho...Hummm... I'm getting bored of my BPI...:0

Friday, September 23, 2011

Have you seen cheese this big?

Have you seen cheese this big?  I thought I died and went to cheese heaven.  I admit I'm a cheese-aholic.  Salty, nutty, smelly, and gooey cheese is one of my favorite ingredients to play with in my kitchen.  What stops me from finishing that humongous block of cheese is the fat that goes along with it. 
This is a picture of the RELIEF in the ceiling of St Peter's abbey church in Salzburg, Austria.  "Relief"  is defined as a sculptural technique wherein the sculpted material has been raised above the plane (a flat surface).  I might guess that it took at least a lifetime  (or two) for the sculptor to painstakingly carve this work of art.
In our world of hurried  deadlines, wherein a 2  storey- 200 square meter bungalow should only take 8 months to construct.  It inspires me to stop and look at what the human spirit can achieve if we aren't so hurried.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Free Coffee from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf

Sitting down for a cup of coffee is just more than coffee.

 It is taking the time to relax, catch up on gossip and live a little.

Who knows, you might find your dream job or Mr right over a cup of coffee.

Better yet, a FREE cup of coffee.

So Register at this site and have some. .

You can have your choice of Espresso, Cappuccino, Brewed Coffee, Brewed Tea or Tea Latte.

Your drink is redeemable in the following branches:  Alabang Town Center, Tomas Morato-Bellagio Square, Bonifacio High Street, Eastwood Mall, ForbesTown-Burgos Circle, Four Seasons -Salcedo, Greenbelt 3, and Promenade-Greenhills.

Redemption begins at June 20.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

BPI Real Thrills Starting May 21, 2011 to July 31, 2011

Starting May 21, 2011 up until July 31, 2011-  BPI Real thrills gives you Chowking meals for FREE!

Every purchases amounting to 2000, 5000 and 10,000 pesos have corresponding products for free.  

Depends on what time you visit, you can opt to pick the product you prefer. 

 As for me, I'm aiming for the 10,000 pesos free pancit canton platter with siopao and siomai.  

I got this list from Chowking San Juan.

Thanks Ro for helping me put the watermark, I can never do it without you! Mwah!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cha Misua- Happy Occasion Noodles

 We usually celebrate birthdays in the family not with cake or ice cream but with this traditional Chinese "happy dish"- Cha Misua. It is believed that eating Cha Misua on a happy occasion like engagement, wedding or birthdays brings luck and happy life to everyone.

 My misua recipe holds a particular fondness in my heart- it was my late grandma Teresa's recipe.  Nobody does it like her. I made a few changes in the ingredients, but the basic techniques are the way my grandma taught it to be. I got requests from friends to teach cha misua, but it was not meant to be. 

How can I give something that is not mine to give in the first place?

It was Brian's birthday on May 14 and , as usual, he requested for his share of cha misua. I made two boxes of misua and we ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I roast my own peanuts just because they turn out more crisp than store bought ones.
Cha misua are cooked stir fried in hot oil and broth and must be al dente, just like Italian pasta.  Anything soft and soggy are not meant for the table.  And because I can be a tad picky, I cook mine in no less than olive oil. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

ICA batch '87 Cooking Class-day 4

Cooking to me has been a habit that is hard to break.  I would rather spend my weekend cooped up in the kitchen rather than go out malling.  Hitting the market is even more enjoyable than strolling in a commercial mall. 

So when I was tasked to teach 14 kids to cook 3 dishes as a fund raising event for our alma mater,  happy would be an understatement to me.  I've been ecstatic and  exhilarated.  I'd love to share this passion of mine to young mind and hope that someday they would feel the same way about cooking as (*maybe their Justin Bieber collection??) I do.

Here are the pictures I took of the event, when I did remember my camera. 

 After I explained that they have to be doing the recipes from start to finish,  Nina,one of  my enthusiastic student exclaimed " Wow! Just like Junior Master Chef !"  And proceeded to chop mushrooms for her assigned recipe- Fillet of Sole De Berci.

One of the students- Valerie found the salad spinner a "cool contraption"  and carried on spinning the machine without the lettuce. 

The 3 recipes we learned are Satsuma-age, Ceasar Salad and Fillet of Sole De Berci.

 They were taught how to plate their dishes.
Thank you parents for supporting our ICA batch '87 cooking class and hope you had fun!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Free Comic Book Day Tomorrow- May 7, 2011

Free Comic Book Day Tomorrow- May 7,2011. 

You just have to be early and queue up in Comic Odyssey located inside Robinsons Galleria Store to get free comics!  Avatar, Spiderman, Geronimo Stilton and   Archie  are some of the comics you get to choose from this year.  See the complete list here: 

Last year each individual gets to choose one comic of his/her choice.  Its an added summer read for my kids.  :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Subway 6" Sub promo

I am an avid fan of Subway sandwiches.  Their sub does to my kids what I couldn't do-  let them eat vegetables and enjoy it.

I would order their ham sub and pile on the veggies ( including jalapeno), soften the bread with their caramelized onion dressing and toast it a little.  Yum

From April 16 to May 15, 2011 they have a promotion on their spicy italian 6" sub.  The usual 125 peso sub will be sold for 69 pesos only.  What a discount!

The Great Market- Rijeka, Croatia.

 The last stop in our Croatia tour is this local market near the coast .  It is just a few blocks away from the Bonavia Hotel- where we stayed.  Similar to Salcedo Market in Makati, you can find produce and products from small farms around the region. 

The daily market opens at 7 in the morning and closes at 2 in the afternoon.  The temperature outside is 20 degrees C, a sunny day to stroll around the market.

The area outside is for selling vegetable,flowers, herbs, and fresh fruits.

Inside the market buildings are shops selling an astounding assortment of olive oil, vinegar, honey, jams, pate, bottled and canned  products.
You can also see these beautiful Pancetta ( pronounced pan-chetta) on metal hooks sold by the kilogram.

Pancetta are Italian cured meat similar to bacon.  Spiced and dried in the Dalmatian wind, it is a essential ingredient of  Italian dishes.

Wish I can bring some home, but I can't.  :(
But my heart is set on buying a bottle of Truffle.  Truffles are rare wild mushrooms considered as one of the most expensive delicacies in the world.  They have a strong earthy, pungent flavor. 

Truffle dishes in Manila costs a fortune and are predominantly flavored with truffle oil,  because truffle paste are too expensive. 

This 80 gram bottle of truffle with champignon ( mushroom) sold in the market is priced at 44.90 Kuna or roughly 360 pesos.  I didn't even try to ask for fresh truffle, I'm sure they will be far more expensive.

Truffle paste  in this picture are bottled with either with olives or mushrooms as additives.
 This market display with its colorful assortment of pate, shows me how much Croatian people love their breads.  What's a pate without bread?
 They line up for them early in the morning .

 Their breads are mostly crusty and crispy exteriors with dry soft interiors,  perfect for spreading jams, mediterranean honey and pate.
 Dried fruits  and nuts are also sold by the kilogram.

 This vendor is selling almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, figs, cranberries, prunes, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds.

 Dried nuts and fruits are often added on local dishes, ice cream, breads, or used as garnish and antipasti

Some of the dried fruits are very tough, reminds me of our local dried mango.

The smelliest part of the market would have to be the fish market. I was surprised at how much fishes there are in this market near the port. Not much variety.  It seems they do not like fish so much. 

They love mackerel (galunggong) though.

  Mackerels are roasted in open flames and flavored with olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper. 

Markets show us the culture of food in a particular country. 

Croatia's market tells me their love for insalata (mostly flavored with vinagrette), cured meat and breads.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Living a little

I will take the time to live a little this coming weeks.  See God's magical creations, have new friends and humble myself with new experiences. 
I won't be bringing my computer so I cannot write for a while.  But I will see you again when I come back.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hotel Chuo Oasis in Osaka, Japan (Reminicing Japan trip 2)

 Hotel Chuo Oasis in Osaka is a very compact, cheap and delightfully clean hostel you can stay during your trip to Japan.  A night would only cost you 3300 yen single occupancy or 1,150 pesos.

 If  you book your stay from April 10 to July 22, they will give you a 210 yen or 105 peso voucher  from Flet's .  One voucher per guest /per night.   

Flet's is a 100 yen store just across the street, everything there is worth 100 yen or 50 pesos.
(And after asking around, we found out that they also owned Flet's)

Like most of Japan's hostel, the rooms were fairly small compared to what we are accustomed here, but you will be amazed at how CLEAN everything are.

 Every morning, you can have free brewed coffee in this dining table.  Breads are 200 yen per piece ( the same ones are sold in Flet's at 100 yen) :) 

They also have a small kitchenette adjacent to the dining table. We cooked  frozen gyoza bought from the grocery and we cleaned the place afterwards.   
As with everything else, it is sooo CLEAN, you wouldn't dare make a mess.

Beside the kitchenette, you can use these computers for free, you are advised to limit usage to 15 minutes to accompany other guests. 

But if you wake up really early, nobody waits for you to finish.  So I get to use them as long as I like.

 I forgot to take a picture of the room, but I did remember to picture this laminated instruction sheet in the bathroom wall.  Its for the functions in the watercloset. ( yes! the watercloset)

A button rinses your posterior with warm water, another button stops shower or bidet spray.
 You can even control the shower or bidet pressure and the temperature of the toilet seat.
Its like a luxury spa machine for my behind! 

So it will be understandable if you took twice the amount of time inside the bathroom every morning.  :)

Hotel Chuo Oasis
1-9-15 Taishi Nishinari-ku Osaka-shi Japan 5570002

TEL 06-6647-6130
FAX 06-6647-6178

Monday, April 4, 2011

Reminicing Japan trip 2010

 It was day 2 of our trip to Japan and we rode the Japan railways train to Kyoto from Osaka.  

We took the usual touristy pictures outside Kyoto station,  when we saw these two ladies dressed in traditional kimono crossing the street. 

They stood out like a traffic light on a dark street. 
And still I felt that they blend in.   Fashion conscious Japan still have their roots imbedded in tradition.

On the 3rd day, sister and I decided to go to Kobe to try Kobe beef.   Because as the saying goes, when in Kobe, eat Kobe beef...

We ended up in Kobe Harbourland Mosaic Center and found this French decorated jam-packed restaurant named Bistro Kobe Brand .  Its dinner time and we waited awhile to have a table.

 I didn't take a picture of the menu, but I wish I did.  Kobe steak costs a fortune!  Its priced from 2000 yen to 15000 yen. Or 1,000 pesos to 7,500 pesos a pop.

 And when I looked around, all the other people there are eating steak like it's Burger Mc Do.

So I gingerly settled for this plate of Kobe hamburg steak  in demiglace sauce priced at 2800 yen or 1,400 pesos. (Because as the saying goes...when in Kobe beef)

My favorite is the potatoes,  its very flavorful and cooked just right.

 The beef is okay...., it's like ordinary beef with more fat. But I have to admire the Japanese who cooked it to perfection.  They really put so much love to their work.

But the next time I am in Kobe, I wouldn't be placing myself near beef restaurants, 

because I like fish more :o

Bistro Kobe Brand
Kobe Harborland Mosaic Centre

Level 2 Shop 40
1-6-1 Higashikawasaki-cho, Chuo-ku
Kobe, Hyogo 650-0044
Tel. 81-78-360-1722

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Formosa Bakery for those sweet bread cravings

I prefer breads to rice. Eating rice three times a day can make me feel so full, so I find that a sandwich for dinner is just right for me.

Breads are also an integral part of snack time for my kids, and I'm always on the lookout for good breads for them.  I cannot settle for those backdoor bakeshop/ sari sari store where they sell breads at 2 pesos each and tasted too sweet.

Good breads require ingredients that costs more and techniques that only experienced bread artisans have perfected.

Recently we visited this bakeshop in Banawe Street, Quezon City where they sell good quality breads.
Formosa Bakery sells what its name implies, Taiwanese- yeast leavened breads, quick breads and cakes.

We tried this BBQ Bread for 48 pesos.    It consists of  puff pastry dough separated by roasted green bell pepper on a stick, slathered with barbeque sauce and topped with seaweed flakes. Yum. Hubby likes it.

 The roasted green pepper are surprisingly not overpowering and tasted sweet.
This heart shaped pink bread  is called a Full Wheat Meal Bread and it costs 55 pesos. It is a combination of strawberry and vanila -yeast leavened bread with a cheesy interior.  Not too expensive considering it being big enough to share.  The combination of cheese and strawberry is ok.  I like that its not sweet.
My kids like this one, they like the gooey cheese inside it.

This one is named Piccachu, and its highly recommended by the shop girl I asked. ( Do not know why its named after a Pokemon) It costs 85 pesos each.  Its sweeter than the strawberry full wheat meal bread but it tasted heavenly!  Bigger than the two other breads I bought.  It is yeast leavened with a sweet crust sprinkled with walnuts.  The taste reminds me of coffee buns.  I bet it will be great with coffee.
I prefer my breads to be yeast leavened.  Its as soft as quick breads and cakes but without the butter and fat.

Formosa Bakery
518 Banawe Street, Brgy Sto Domingo,Quezon City.
Telephone number 5168319

New San Juan Branch opened June 19, 2011
Formosa Bakery
Unit 2 Madison Square Building
#229 Wilson Street, Barangay Greenhills, San Juan City.
Telephone Number 7232039

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Today is Pizza Day

When my sister went to Chicago, she asked me what I'd like as a pasalubong.  I said an eatable-not stale-Chicago deep dish pizza.

Really I was joking.  Although I'd love to have tasted one, I never expected her to bring a real pizza from Chicago.  It was a 13 hour plane ride and a pizza probably wouldn't survive it.

But, she did bring this deep dish pizza KIT from Chicago.

 I loved my pasalubong instantly.  It gave me an inspiration to learn to bake a real pizza.  From scratch....

It wouldn't do justice if I bought a grocery pizza crust and just slather it with toppings, not too original. 

So today I made a home made pizza from whole wheat flour, yeast, salt and olive oil.

 Toppings include tomato sauce, roasted red pepper, onion, pineapple, lean bacon, yesterday's hamburger, sharp cheddar and mozzarella.

 I baked it in the oven on 250 degrees for 30 minutes and Tadaah!

It took me at least 4 to 5 hours to make this beauty. 

I will never complain again if it took 45 minutes for my pizza to be delivered.

I like making my own pizza, there's something divine about creating bread from flour. 

And its time well spent when you see the smiles on my kids' face when they devour it with much gusto!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Greedy Monkey- A short story written and illustrated by Brian

 My 8 year old son Brian bought home a little book he made in school, and it's titled "The Greedy Monkey".
It was handwritten, illustrated and completely inspired by a movie we saw in Lantau Island in Hong Kong.

 Once upon a time in the rainforest there was a greedy monkey.  The greedy monkey ordered the other monkeys to give him bananas.  He would say " Give me bananas!"
 The other monkeys asked him, " Can I have some of your bananas?"  He said, "NO!  YOU CAN"T HAVE THESE BANANAS!"

The other monkeys worked for him for several days.  When they got tired of it, they said they quit!  The monkey said "Where are the other monkeys?"
When he found them he said,"Can you please work for me? They said "NO!"  The monkey said, "I will share you my bananas".  They said "OK."  The end....

Sounds like my son will grow up to be a  business manager...  or a people manager- managing people to work for your business.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lots a Pizza free!- a BPI Real Thrill treat!

Do not throw away those charge slips amounting to 1,500 from your BPI Credit card.
BPI real thrills starting December 10, 2010 to February 28, 2011 gives you a 14 inch Great Manhattan pizza free! Redemption is until April 30, 2011.

This promo runs after the Jollibee December promo and overlaps with the Pizza Hut/Dairy Queen/ Taco Bell promo from February 8 to February 28, 2011.
So from February 8 to 28 you get to choose between Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Dairy Queen and Lots a Pizza.
Ok....more reason to....... charge it!
For the list of Lots of Pizza shops visit

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

BPI Real Thrills starting February 8, 2011

Yipee! BPI Real Thrills starting February 8, 2011 to May 7, 2011, Every purchase of at least 1,500 pesos using my BPI Express Credit Card and BPI ATM Express Payment System gives me free meals to no less than 3 restaurant choices:

At least P 1,500- 1 Ceasar salad OR 1 Personal Pan Pizza
At least P 5,000- 1 Regular Supreme Pan pizza
At least P 10,000- 1 Family Supreme Stuffed Crust Pizza OR 1 Family Supreme Pan Pizza


At least P 1,500- 2 Dilly Bars OR 2 DQ Sandwiches
At least P 5,000- 3 Sundaes OR 3 12oz Shake OR 2 9oz Regular Blizzard
At least P10,000- 3 Dilly Bars Or 3 DQSandwiches & 3 9oz Regular Blizzard
- 4 Dilly Bars or 4 DQ Sandwiches & 4 12oz Shakes
- 4 Dilly Bars or 4 DQ Sandwiches & 4 Sundaes
From TACO BELL: (my personal favorite :) )

At least P 1,500- Any 2 Affordabelles
At least P 5,000- Any 5 Affordabelles
At least P 10,000- Any 3 Fiesta Platters
Wow! More reason to make those purchases total up to at least P 1,500. I LOVE MY BPI! :)