Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bigelow's Organic Green Tea

I want to be a regular green tea drinker because I know its good for me. But I was never a big fan of its taste. Until recently, I got this from an aunt who is visiting from San Francisco.

This Organic Green Tea from Bigelow does not taste bitter at all compared to other green tea brands I've tasted. It's very smooth, subtle, full of flavor and being organic is a plus too!



Now, I can manage drinking at least 2 cups a day and hopefully enjoy Green Tea's potential benefits such as:
  • Provides powerful antioxidants
  • Weight Loss
  • Reduces the risk of cancer and high blood pressure
  • Reduces bad cholesterol
  • Can help delay the signs of aging
Does anybody know where I can purchase Bigelow's organic green tea locally? I'm down to the last 6 bags.

Health is Wealth! =)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Calamansi Chicken

This is my take on  the classic recipe, Lemon Chicken. I'm using calamansi instead of lemon. Calamansi is a citrus fruit that is native here in the Philippines. It's primarily used as seasoning in marinades and sauces or as a hot/cold beverage. It is best mixed with fish sauce (patis) or soy sauce (toyo) with chili.

My beloved Calamansi!
 I like main dishes with a kick of citrus flavoring. I'm really amazed how this dish turned out.

Ingredients:
  • 4 pcs chicken breast fillets without skin (I'm trying my best to prepare healthy meals but you may still opt for the chicken fillets with skin depending on your taste preference)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • calamansi juice (squeezed from 6 pcs calamansi fruit)
  • 2 tbsps paprika
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • a dash of rosemary (I used McCormick's)
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tbsps melted butter
Directions:
  1. Combine the garlic, calamansi juice, paprika, pepper salt, rosemary and Tabasco sauce in a bowl. Place the chicken pieces, refrigerate and marinate for at least two hours. 
  2.  Preheat the oven to 425 F
  3. Brush the melted butter over the chicken
  4. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes until sides are well-browned
Workin' it!
while baking...

























This is one of the dishes that's fast, fresh and simple to prepare.

Lunch is now served!
Delicious!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Le Mis Movie Date

The hubs and I went to Robinson's Magnolia last Saturday to watch the movie Les Miserables. We waited for the hype of the film to die down a little before we scheduled to watch it. I loved the girl who played the younger Cosette. So far, the movie was good!


Had some late lunch at Yabu, The House of Katsu. We really liked their Rosu Pork Loin Tonkatsu Set (shared 180 grams)served with Japanese rice, miso soup, Japanese pickles, cabbage with sesame dressing and a bowl of fruit. The serving of the cabbage, tea and rice are unlimited. Writing about it makes me go hungry all over again. I promise to gab about more deets on our next trip to Yabu and please remind me to bring my camera. =)




Mike bought me a light blue polka-dot skirt  with suspenders from Cache Cache afterwards and capped our date off with milk teas from Saint's Alps.

I'll never get tired of going on dates with my husband even in our retirement years. =)

How about you, how was your weekend?

{Images 1 - Fare-Forward, 2 - Running Pinoy, 3 - Yabu House of Katsu FB Page, }

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wishing for Wellies

Do you own a pair of Hunter Boots? I've been aching to have one but the shops I've checked during my trip to the States last year didn't have my size or didn't have the color I wanted. Boo!

Hunter Boots are such a classic! It can be very useful for a rainy day, fashion and for any other purpose. I'd love to have some in different colors.


But the very first pair I would like to have is their Original Back Adjustable Gloss in Black.


Aren't these cute?





I can't wait to have one!

Happy Weekend!

{Image 1 - Heather Bullard, 2 - Amazon, 3, 4 and 5 - Pinterest,}

Thursday, January 24, 2013

One Thing



If i'm only allowed to do one thing for the rest of my life, I choose to travel the world with Mike. <3

How about you? Spill! 

{Image: StyleMePretty}



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bicol Express (Pork in Coconut Milk, Shrimp Paste and Green Chillies)

Last Saturday, I prepared Bicol Express for lunch. It's a Filipino dish which originated from the Bicol region. It consists of pork stewed in coconut milk, Filipino green chillies (siling mahaba/pansigang) and shrimp paste (bagoong). This is one of the spiciest dishes here in the Philippines.


This recipe was a specialty of my dad when he was still alive. I remember him lovingly preparing all the ingredients with the coconut milk made from scratch (shredded coconut meat squeezed with water using a cheese cloth or a strainer).


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 Kilo Pork Belly (cut into bite-size squares)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves of garlic(minced)
  • 1 can of coconut milk (gata) or you can opt to make it from scratch
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons of shrimp paste (bagoong) 
  • 1 medium-sized tomato (chopped)
  • 6 pcs green chilli (siling mahaba /pansigang)
  • Pepper
  • Cooking Oil
Directions:
  1. Soak the green chillies in water with salt for 30 minutes 
  2. In a medium-heated pan saute garlic, onion and tomato
  3. Add the pork, stir-fry for 3-5 minutes
  4. Add the coconut milk, shrimp paste (bagoong)
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes 
  6. Add the green chillies (diagonally sliced after soaked in the water/salt solution) and simmer for 8-10 minutes more
  7. Add pepper to taste
Making this dish brings so many good memories of the times I have spent with my dad. I'm glad to 
have shared part of the legacy he has left behind today.

By the way, this is my 100th post. Thank you for being with me on this journey! =)

{Image 1 - Maangchi , 2 - Shape}

Monday, January 21, 2013

Letters to Cleo

I love listening to this 90s alternative rock band: Letters to Cleo. There's something about Kay Hanley's voice that soothes me especially when I feel like immersing myself in waves of nostalgia.

I first saw and heard them in 10 Things I Hate About You. One of the movies I will never ever get tired of watching (I watched it again over the weekend). 

Earlier today, I used the other end of a floor mop as a microphone singing the songs of Letters to Cleo in their Aurora Gory Alice album and their remake of Nick Lowe's Cruel to be Kind.

Letters to Cleo
It's going to take a little while before this last song syndrome dies. LOL.


Oh, I can't take another heartache
Though you say, you're my friendI'm at my wits endYou say, your love is bona fide

But that don't coincideWith the things that you're doingWhen I ask you to be niceYou say, you gotta be

Cruel to be kind in the right measureCruel to be kind it's a very good signCruel to be kind means that I love youBaby, you gotta be cruel to be kind
Well, I do my best to understand dearBut you still mystify and I wanna know whyI pick myself up off the groundTo have you knock me back down


Again and againAnd when I ask you to explainYou say, you gotta be

Cruel to be kind in the right measureCruel to be kind it's a very good signCruel to be kind means that I love youBaby, you gotta be cruel to be kind(You gotta be cruel)

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh

Well, I do my best to understand dearBut you still mystify and I wanna know whyI pick myself up off the groundTo have you knock me back down
Again and againAnd when I ask you to explainYou say you gotta be

Cruel to be kind in the right measureCruel to be kind it's a very good signCruel to be kind means that I love youBaby, you gotta be cruel to be kind(You gotta be cruel)

Cruel to be kind in the right measure(Cruel to be kind)Cruel to be kind it's a very, very, very good sign(Cruel to be kind)Cruel to be kind means that I love youBaby, you gotta be cruel to be kind

It's just one of them days I feel like singing while doing some household chores. It makes them a lot more fun, don't you think?

Happy First Day of the Week!

{Image from RadioMilwaukee, Video from YouTube}

Friday, January 18, 2013

Karma Cleanse

A great reminder for all of us.


Be Grateful
- Let us always be thankful for all the good things in our lives.
- Making a gratitude list is a good practice.

Act with Love
- Sprinkle the world with random acts of kindness even to those people who did you wrong. If there is a choice between being right and being kind. Choose kind.

Check Your Motives
- Doing something for others without expecting anything in return is a true test of a man's character.

Watch Your Attitude
- Always look on the bright side.

Forgive
- Learn to acknowledge your own mistakes and forgive yourself.
- This is quite difficult to do especially to those who have wronged you but remember letting go of past resentsments will set you free.

Happy Weekend!

{Image via Tumblr}

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Life Lately

They say "Spontaneity is the spice of life". So, while I was organizing every nook and cranny of our bedroom while folding clean laundry with no plans to leave the house, my good friend Rhea called me (on a week day which means she has work) to meet her at Bonifacio High Street / Serendra for a "pig-out session".

Of course after that "spontaneous" phone call, I immediately got dressed and hopped on the first train I could get hold off because my husband brought the car to work. By the way, his office is around the area where I would be meeting Rhea and we could just go home together when he clocks out of work.

We started the festivities with Apple Cinnamon Honey Iced Teas, Vigan Longganisa with Kesong Puti Pan De Sal, Chips with Garlic Mayo Dip and an additional Ensaymada (for Rhea) at Mary Grace Cafe. This is one of my favorite sources of comfort food. My whole family loves dining here too.

Cafe Mary Grace Serendra branch
 I love the little details the owner has incorporated in her restaurants. It feels like home. My favorite Cafe  Mary Grace branch is the one in Greenbelt Mall.



We went for a little bargain shopping at Market Market. I didn't buy anything but Rhea was able to buy a pair of shoes at Payless Shoe Source. Next, we went for cupcakes at Sonja's.




I was tempted to order some of these Red Velvet Vixen


But ordered these instead:

Choco Cream Pie and Pistachio Berries & Cream
Cupcake photos from Cupcakes by Sonja
We had the cupcakes boxed for take out and brought these babies up the CBTL Bar (located at the 3rd floor of GAP and MUJI shops)

For Me: Choco Cream Pie
Rich Luscious Belgian Chocolate Cream in Oreo Crust generously topped with Whipped Cream and Orea Bits
For Rhea: Pistachio Berries and Cream
Brown Butter Pistachio Cupcake with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream Icing
Then ordered our ice blended drinks and enjoyed the slightly cold weather (for Philippine standards) and the view. We also spotted a local celebrity and blogger (Rica Peralejo) at a table next to us. I was too shy to say hi. lol.


Disciplined spontaneity (being spontaneous with boundaries) is something Rhea and I both share. Being spontaneous can be beneficial in our lives. It keeps our mind sharp because having surprises, little twists and unknowns in our schedule and being OK with it can force us to really focus on what really matters. It's also de-stressing since it helps us cope with unknown situations plus it gives us that spur-of-the-moment rush to shake things up a bit in our routine. Keep in mind that even just a little (like a massage, a change of scenery) can go a long way. 

Life is good!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chicken Tikka Masala

I saw this spice paste from Asian Home Gourmet while I was grocery shopping last Sunday. Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the best and most delicious Indian recipes I've ever tasted. So, I decided to give it a try. This is a mix of mild curry enriched with tomatoes and coriander. It is usually served with Naan bread or rice.

I bought this at Landmark Trinoma
Ingredients:
  • 450 g chicken (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Asian Home Gourmet Indian Tikka Masala Spice Paste
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt or cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • vegetable oil
Directions:
  1. Mix the spice paste with the chicken and yogurt for 10 minutes or more
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a pan and saute the onions until soft
  3. Add the chicken mixture. Stir-fry for 3 minutes
  4. Add 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Add yogurt/cream as garnish (optional)

My version of Chicken Tikka Masala while simmering and waiting for the sauce to thicken.
This dish is amazing! It's bursting with flavor and very simple to make.

{Image 1: Culinaris}

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Zooey

I lurve lurve lurve Zooey Deschanel! The first time I laid my eyes on this gorgeous blue-eyed brunette was in 500 Days of Summer. I was really taken by her performance!

Now I've been following her new TV series, New Girl and I'm having a blast. I also love Schmidt and the douche bag jar idea by the way. I think "the douche bag jar concept" should be implemented everywhere, it will make the government generate more income. LOL.

Anyway, one of my favorite things about Zooey besides her acting is her fashion sense. I like how her clothes are always perfectly put together and how she does her makeup. I am also diggin' her hair style and taste in music. She made me appreciate The Smiths. According to one of her co-stars, she loves borrowing Zooey's Ipod.

I hand-picked some of my favorite Jess Day outfits. Le Sigh! She is such a huge source of inspiration. I can't get enough of the polka dots, ribbons, peter pan collars and crayola-colored dresses. 






I'm including a makeup tutorial I stumbled upon on how to get Zooey's look.


Adorkable!

{Image 1: HellCelebs, 2,3,4,5,6,7, 8 and 9: New Girl's FB Page, 10: WWZDW }

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hong Kong Hours

Warning: This is a photograph-infested post. 

I enjoy traveling to major cities and among them is Hong Kong. It's where East meets West. I've been going back and forth to this cosmopolitan city since 2003 and every time I go back, there's always something new to try, shop, eat and marvel at.

Victoria Harbour, at night.
A few tips when visiting Hong Kong:

  • Get a free map at the airport when you arrive
  • Purchase a round trip Airport Express train ticket, it's a lot more cheaper or you can always opt for the city bus
  • Buy an Octopus Card
  • Exchange your moolah at Foreign Exchange Counters with signs that say "No Commission". 
Our favorite area is Causeway Bay situated in Hong Kong Island. There were times we've stayed at Shama Service Apartments, Butterfly on Morrison and Alisan Guest House depending on our length of stay and of course, our budget.

I'm sharing snaps of our visit to this beautiful and modern city last February 2011.

We've stayed at Butterfly at Morrison

























There are so many cute cafes and coffee shops in the Causeway Bay Area and we'd always like to try something new:

at the Causeway Bay Station (MTR)























































































































































During this trip, me and my friend Rhea decided to meet up. She was traveling with her brothers and soon-to-be sister in law. Mike and I took them to Stanley Market. It's a street market located in the picturesque village of Stanley with an interesting array of little shops selling silk garments, sportswear, art, costume jewelry and souvenirs. It's a bit touristy though however the area is really nice and there are also a lot of cafes and restaurants by the bay. We also took them to Victoria Peak.





































































































Every time I get the chance to visit, I hoard useful items in H&M and Ikea because we don't have this shops yet here in Manila. We always make it a point to eat at our favorite Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao branch in Times Square. We do have this resto in Manila but because we discovered this first in HK, we feel a bit sentimental. We like this better than Din Tai Fung.













































































Mike's favorite Beef in Chili Oil Noodles

























My favorite Xiao Long Bao

























Mike and I decided to explore the city by foot. We walked the streets of the Wan Chai District and ended up in Sheung Wan.


























The old Wan Chai Temple at Queen's Road East

We've always wanted to see the infamous Nam Koo Terrace in Wan Chai which is said to be haunted so we passed by Ship Street and climbed the steps to take a closer look at the old house.















































It’s hard not to be spooked as you make your way up the deserted, shady steps leading to the house.
































It is said that during the occupation, Nam Koo Terrace was used as a military brothel or comfort house for the Japanese soldiers from 1941 to 1945. Local women were raped and tortured inside the house. 

Hong Kong Graffiti
























Pizza Express also has a branch in Ship Street

































































































After that hearty meal of stuffed mushrooms and pizza, we went back to exploring the city by foot with occasional stops for drinks and window shopping.

















































































































































One of Hong Kong's night life area
















































Mike at Hollywood Road
























This is also the city where you can find really high escalators and red taxicabs. 
















































I also recommend stopping by at these places:

- Pacific Place
- Lee Gardens
- Fashion Walk
- Windsor House
- Victoria Park
- Victoria Harbour
- Avenue of the Stars
- Disneyland
- Ocean Park
- Mong Kok Ladies Market
- Jardine's Crescent
- City Gate Outlets
- IFC Mall
- Nathan Road

Hong Kong. Live it! Love it!

{Image 1 via Pinterest and Info of Nam Koo Terrace via Wikipedia}
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