Looking for the perfect red lipstick to get you all glammed up this coming New Year’s Eve celebration? Well, your search may well be over with the theBalm Balm Girls lipstick in Mia Moore.
Looking for the perfect red lipstick to get you all glammed up this coming New Year’s Eve celebration? Well, your search may well be over with the theBalm Balm Girls lipstick in Mia Moore.
Last week, we went to Dipolog City to visit Zane’s relatives and join them in celebrating their town’s annual fiesta. The celebration revolved around the parade, a church mass and of course, food! We had such a lovely time and we can’t wait to go back there – for good. Our plans of moving down to the “Gateway to Western Mindanao” is currently on the works and we’ll be blogging more about it soon.
Anyway, on the day we’re about to head back home to Dumaguete, Zane’s extremely accommodating Auntie Vivian and Uncle Resty gave us a box of sweet carabao mangoes or “manggang kalabaw.” The box weighed around 10 kilos so we’re talking about lotsa’ mangoes here. On our way home, I was already thinking about what to do with all of them when Zane gave me a light-bulb moment with the idea of making Mango Float.
I’ve been eyeing Samantha Chapman’s Real Techniques makeup brush line for a while now so when I received the brand’s cult favourite items (the Starter Set and Core Collection brushes), I got completely stoked! The brush set that I’m going to feature today would be the Starter Set so without further ado, here it goes:
Marks & Spencer Exquisite Eau De Toilette (£7.50) is a fruity floral fragrance for women dubbed as an “exquisite” display of modern femininity. It opens with the irresistible blend of zesty mandarin and sparkling apple juice. The ambered heart unveils an enchanting concoction made from the airy freshness of rose and melancholically romantic aroma of mimosa both resting on a bed of comforting musk and plum.
We never celebrate Halloween (unless you count the drunken college parties rejoicing from a break at school) and this year wasn’t any different. Or that was supposed to be the plan – meaning there isn’t one – until Sandy happened. Worrying about loved ones a continent away is a very stressful activity, and one I have no wish to repeat. To de-stress we cooked something up that will bring the jolliness of Halloween while also exuding that gentle comfort we desperately need. So, without any prior plans and without meaning to, we ended up celebrating Halloween after all with a very scrumptious Spicy Squash and Coconut Milk Soup with Shrimp.
October has been a very busy month for us because the holiday season is fast approaching. Our workload from our remote clients have peaked since mid-September and judging from the bulk of projects we’re currently working on, they’re enough to last us until December (not that we’re complaining hahaha!).
In times like these, daily meals shouldn’t take ages to make! When you’re pressed for time, it is always practical to have a staple recipe that you can easily put together – and fast. Today, I’m going to share to you my good ol’ chicken and vegetable stir-fry recipe that is not only easy to prepare and make, but is also savory and nutritious too.
Marks & Spencer offers a wide range of bath and body products and for me, the line that stands out the most is China Blue. China Blue is part of the brand’s Floral Collection which features other skincare product lines that are basically floral-scented.
I grew up with my mom’s cooking and even after I’ve learned to cook myself there are still moments when I look back at those early times with longing. When I was younger I took it for granted how delicious the dishes she prepared were until I got my cooking itch at 15 and I begged her for all her recipes. Today, I still do not have all her recipes and I guess I never will since I think she’ll always keep some in her sleeve. I learned this bistek recipe a little over 10 years ago but it’s never the same as when she cooks it (weird but so true). It may be because I play with the recipe a lot and don’t really follow everything my mom taught me. LoL! This is another instance of my tweaking of the recipe since I added broccoli to it. I dub this post “Nostalgia Thursday” with my Bistek with Broccoli recipe.
theBalm Balms Away Eye Makeup Break-Up ($20.00) is an emollient jelly makeup remover that assists in gently removing any kind of eye makeup. It is packed with Vitamins A, C, E and other plant-derived lipids and sterols that deeply moisturize the skin around the eye area including the lash and brow hair.
The best things in life include a bottle of beer — at least in our vocabulary. I’ve heard a lot of beer-battered fish and chips but, in all honesty, I have never had any. There wasn’t any opportunity, I guess. Or maybe I just haven’t asked around enough AND I was skeptical. For a beer lover to be skeptical about using beer in cooking is somewhat akin to being a heretic. I had to remedy that. So, here’s my version of Shakey’s famous Mojo Potatoes: Beer-Battered Potato Rounds, a blend of two of my favourite gluttonic pleasures.
The slow cooker has become somewhat the “ultimate cooking machine” for us this year. It seems as if it can cook just about anything perfectly! Hmmm… Ultimate, huh? To test this belief, I decided to make some pork ribs barbecue this morning. We’ll see how it handles that!
I got the idea of making a barbecue dish from watching a rerun of Top Chef’s BBQ showdown the other day. Seeing those mouth-watering slabs of meat made me want to run to the nearest BBQ hole. Fortunately for our budget, I managed to keep my craving down and resolved to make my own ASAP. And that brings us to today. The verdict? (Cue drum roll please.) It has now been proven that the slow cooker is THE absolute champ of cookery in our house! This Slow-Cooked Spicy Pork Ribs Barbecue is out-of-this-world delicious! And it will give any BBQ joint a run for its money! Yee-haw!
The summer’s scorching weather is almost coming to an end. We rarely had a glimpse of the sun here in Dumaguete since rainclouds have dogged our tails the last several days. As a tribute to the remaining days of summer, we decided to make this Mango, Broccoli and Curly Lettuce Salad with Red Onions and Balsamic Vinaigrette.
We usually do our weekly trip to the supermarket on Tuesdays so that we would not be a part of the typical chaos of weekend shoppers but something weird happened to our grocery. Somehow all the food that we had bought were gone — and it’s only Sunday! Hmmm… Someone was probably eating more than their allotted share. Or maybe our cats are raiding the refrigerator when all the lights are out. Mysterious, eh? The good thing about it was that I had my chance to recreate one of my favourite dishes: Spicy Shrimp in Coconut Milk.
We use face primers for different reasons. Essentially, I use face primers (one that has mattifying benefits) to minimize or control the amount of oil produced from my pores and to help my foundation last longer. I really can’t say that I already have a go-to face primer since I’m still experimenting with different brands as of the moment. But today, I’m going to share to you my experience with the latest face primer that I’m using for daily use which is the the e.l.f. Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer.
Cats are undoubtedly one of the most remarkable animals in the face of the planet. Sure, we’re biased but who can blame us? We ARE crazy cat ladies and proud of it! :) Anyway, there’s a lot of interesting behaviors that are common to domesticated cats that are leaves all of us baffled. And kneading is at the forefront of those. If you haven’t seen a cat knead, you’re missing out on something! It is the motion a cat makes by rhythmically and alternatingly pushing their paws in and out at something soft – most likely a body part (ouch!). We liken it to a soldier’s steady march or washing the laundry, but this one involves claws. Double ouch, right? But strangely enough, it becomes quite hypnotic after a while. It’s some sort of cat voodoo thing, probably. Here’s a video of Kuki kneading the threads out of one of Van’s shirt:
We woke up to an overcast morning and it looked like we were in for another rainy day — and nothing ruins a “rest day” more than rain. Our plans for a relaxing getaway to a nearby resort just went down the drain. But I wasn’t about to let our plans for a seafood lunch get away that easily! If we won’t get any seafood from a beach-front restaurant, then I guess I’ll have to cook it myself. My spicy calamari rings certainly did wonders to salvage our day!
theBalm Cheater Mascara ($18.00) is a deep black mascara with a “volumizing formula” that claims to give noticeable volume and length with just a single coat. It is also infused with Panthenol (a provitamin of B5) – an ingredient that is used in many skin and hair care products, to strengthen and condition the lashes.
When we were on our weekly trip to the supermarket a day ago, I thought it would be a great time to try making a version of the chicken burger. Since we already had a go with the beef-pork combo cheeseburger, the idea to experiment on a grilled chicken patty recipe was always nagging my food brain. And the only way to silence that little jiminy cricket on my metaphorical shoulder is to go ahead and just cook the darn thing. Well, take a look at what I came up with: Spicy Grilled Chicken Burger with Jalapeno bits!
I’ve never been big on body lotions. I’ve tried a good number of them especially during the holidays as gifts but never really found something worth sticking around for. Also, I am kind of lazy to put all that stuff on every single day. I know it’s very important to moisturize regularly but most lotions leave a greasy (or gross!) residue behind and takes forever to dry on my skin.
We bought two pounds of large potatoes last Tuesday without knowing exactly what to do with them. What’s a girl to do? I turned to Pinterest this morning to look for a simple potato recipe until I stumbled into this beautiful slow-cooked Bacon Cheese Potatoes via Moms with Crockpots. I went directly to their website to see how it’s done, tweaked the recipe a little bit and 10 hours later, the bacon-cheese infused potatoes was ready!
There’s just something about the weekend that always gives me this feeling of anticipation and thrill. Though it’s been years since I’ve participated in any TGIF drinking binge, the urge to go out and get intoxicated is still there. Blame my University days.
Nowadays, I’ve found that the cure to my “weekend crazies” is to just cook something that is a great beer buddy and relax at home with Van (with a drink or two cooling its ass off in the fridge). So, if you’re thinking of cooking something interesting for the weekend that goes splendidly with drinks, my Spicy Pork in a Sweet-Sour Sauce might do the trick.
Last Tuesday was the birthday of our male blue smoke Persian cat. Zavi Boy-O just turned ONE! He’s not so boy-O anymore… :( But he’s still so adorable!
Well, we celebrated by giving all of them some special cat food as treats. Sorry, wasn’t able to take any photos since the house was a mess! LOL! But we did take some pictures when we gave him the chance to explore the world beyond the screen.
Yesterday was Tuesday and it felt very Sunday-ish for us. We woke up at around 9:30 AM, refilled the cats’ food and water bowls, hit the showers and off we went to Robinson’s Mall Dumaguete. Our refrigerator is almost always empty around this time of the week so it definitely is time to do some serious food shopping.
We didn’t eat breakfast before leaving the house so before going to the grocery, we went to look for a place where we can eat something that is filling but not too heavy since it’s not exactly time for lunch yet (it was 10:40 AM). Without further ado, we went straight to Sunburst Fried Chicken Restaurant located at the al fresco area of the mall for some lighthearted meal to enjoy.
Known for their crispy fried chicken and crispy chicken skin, Sunburst Fried Chicken Restaurant was founded in Iligan City during the early ‘70s and they now have 15 branches all over Mindanao and Visayas. We didn’t go here to eat their famous chicken dishes though, but for their (underrated) Lomi (Php 108.00) which we think is perfect for brunch!
Rihanna has the world at her feet. The Grammy Award winning artist who exploded to international fame with the chart-topping hits Umbrella, Disturbia and California King Bed is not only dominating the worldwide pop scene, but she’s also making a name for herself in the fragrance industry.
I have oily combination skin and so I never had interest with highlighters or illuminators because for the most part, they give me an unflattering glow. When I finally got a foundation that effectively keeps the oily factor at bay, I told myself that maybe it’s about time for me to explore a little and add a subtle hint of glow to my regular makeup routine. Enter, theBalm Betty-Lou Manizer!
Li’l Ashké, our shaded silver Persian cat, is a very fierce hunter. Or so she fancies herself to be. When she isn’t dozing (which, since she’s a cat, she does almost 18 hours a day), she’s busy going after beetles, grasshoppers and especially lizards that had the misfortune of getting accidentally trapped inside our house. Whenever we notice that she’s playing with an insect again, we always took pity on the poor beleaguered critter and let it out. Though sometimes we would be too late to rescue the little creature and we’ll find bits and pieces of it scattered all around the house. And here we thought an animal’s hunter instincts get culled out when they’re domesticated. Or maybe she just plays a tad too rough… Wonder how she’ll fare with the big boys in the jungle. *wink*
I’ve tried out cooking traditional Filipino dishes in the slow cooker like the Bulalo and the Pork Sinigang and have been raving about the dishes that came out. The slow cooker gives the soup more taste and all the flavors of the ingredients just come together and pop on your taste buds. I couldn’t be happier! :) So we tried another Filipino favorite, the Tinolang Manok or Chicken Soup with Chayote and Chili Leaves.
theBalm Frat Boy Blush ($21.00) is a lovely peachy apricot cheek colour that can also be used as an eyeshadow. On my cheeks, it looks more like a muted coral pink. This blush has a matte finish but I noticed that it also has a “barely-there” pearlescent sheen quality to it when I’m under the sunlight or any light for that matter.
The summer season is still in full swing and the scorching heat of the sun is not making it any better for my lips! I love the idea of applying lip balms but I honestly don’t like putting one on since most of them are very tacky to wear and some even suck out all the moisture in my lips. Zane is a lip balm junkie and her Burt’s Bees’ Medicated Lip Balm with Clove Oil currently rules her world. I am yet to find a lip balm product to keep my lips hydrated and pillow soft at all times. Last week, I had a chance to try out this limited edition lip balm from L’Occitane. I’ve been using this lip balm for almost a week now and I gotta say I’m loving it!
Zane and I used to live from two different cities which means we fly in and out of our respective hometowns to see each other at least once a month to spend time together and when we actually do, we usually spend it by dining out because we felt that cooking at home will take up too much of our precious little time.
In 2010, a week before we spent our first Valentine’s Day together, we decided to celebrate it at home and I offered to cook for her. She was very surprised with my idea since she didn’t know then that I cook. When she asked me what I will cook, I told her she would have to wait until V Day because it was a surprise and it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore had she known what I’ll prepare. The truth was, I couldn’t think of any recipe on top of my head when she asked me that question. It wasn’t until I was already on my 1-hour flight from Manila to Dumaguete City when I had a light bulb moment and remembered this simple spaghetti aglio olio recipe from a local food magazine. Zane swears by that it’s the best pasta recipe she ever tasted (okay, she may be a bit biased but… oh well…). Since then, she would always ask me to make this simple pasta recipe for her when we see fresh shrimps in the market and in the name of lurve, I always willingly oblige.
Frell, it’s good to be back writing about food! Or cooking something so we can write about it. And FYI, “frell” is a Farscape reference. If you didn’t know that, well… then Google will serve your purpose. :D
Anyway, there I was last night with time on my hands waiting for Van to finish working. I inadvertently went to Pinterest and got hooked looking at mouth-watering images for hours! I knew there was a reason why I made a point not to visit that site the past 3 months when we were swamped with work. It will literally EAT “arns” of your life. (Wow, another Fascape reference... Just shows how much I’m missing the series.) Sorry I got sidetracked, but Pinterest does take a lot of your time – though in a very good way. Definitely a GOOD way since it got us inspired to cook shrimps for today. Last night, I saw this gorgeously grilled shrimps there and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some so I could do the same.
We pretty much neglected our blog the last several months and I think that’s one of the capital sins of blogging. So, yup we’ll be going to a place in hell where lazy bloggers are punished. Since Diablo 3 has something to do with it, it’s a fitting end. *wink* Damn you, Diablo!!!
But anyhow we’re back to blogging now and that’s all that matters! Yipeeee! And if you haven’t noticed, we have “spiffy-fied” our blog. Check out the minimalist banner and new social icons at the top! And new watermark and signatures, too! Also, we have finally made an “About Us” page – after more than a year! Talk about lazy bloggers! LOL!
Since we’ve been MIA for so long, we are apologizing by introducing another addition to our line-up of topics. Below is a teaser image:
Oh my, we’ve neglected our blog again — and this time for almost 2 weeks! So sorry… Our freelance work and familial concerns have tied us up that we haven’t had the time to write. But that hasn’t kept us from cooking! Yep, we certainly have a few recipes that we tried out in our moment of blog hiatus and we can’t wait to share them all!
So, here goes another spicy treat for your mid-week seafood craving: Spicy Shrimps.
This dish is very easy to make and you can do your own variations without any difficulty. The size of the shrimps is not really an issue but the medium ones works best for us. Frozen shrimps will still do if you’re out of fresh ones.
I also experimented with adding fish sauce with this since I’ve heard it enhances the flavor. You can opt to take that out if you want and I’ll understand. Fish sauce is not that popular outside the Asian region, but it really does amazing things to anything you cook or eat. Try it out sometime when you’re in an adventurous and daring mood. :)
What made this dish stand out for me when it comes to taste is the flavor that the ginger brings. Combine that with the sweet-sour taste of the ketchup and the heat of the bird’s eye chili, and your taste buds will be overwhelmed with umami! Just perfect when accompanied with steamed rice and white wine!
1. In a small pan, add the butter. When the butter has completely melted, put in the minced garlic. Sautee until golden brown.
2. Add the onion, ginger and chili and stir fry until the onion bits have become transparent.
3. Toss the shrimps in and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer while covered for another 3 minutes.
4. Serve with a cup of steamed rice and your favorite beverage of choice! Enjoy!
We did our grocery shopping yesterday and managed to pick up the usual staples we needed. Still undecided what to make for today’s Slow Cooker Sunday, we found ourselves having a light-bulb moment while picking up a bunch of potatoes at the veggie stall. This versatile fruit of innumerable culinary uses got us thinking about making a divine soup out of it!
I love making soup, not only during the cold, rainy months but also anytime of the year. By simply combining a few healthy ingredients together, you can create a delicious and filling meal that you and your family will enjoy.
When I was in grade school, the canteen would always prepare soup every Friday. As far as what my taste buds can recall, they made great-tasting soups back then. It was my earliest memory of eating soup since my mother hardly makes some for us back in the day.
I decided to make a trip down memory lane by cooking this chicken potato soup. The sentimental appeal of this recipe never fails to warm our stomachs and our hearts for cold days like today when you just want to get cozy and get comfortable.
Chicken Potato Soup
1. Place chicken strips in a medium saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat for 5 minutes. Set aside.
2. Put the rest of the ingredients and the cooked chicken strips in the slow cooker stoneware pot except for the evaporated milk and grated cheese. Cover and cook on high for four hours.
3. Half an hour before serving, stir in the evaporated milk and grated cheddar cheese into the soup. Serves 3-4.
One of the best things we love about having moved to a new house a few minutes outside of the city is the big open space. Of course the grass needing to be trimmed every few weeks is a little exasperating, but it’s all worth it. And our cats appear to agree! Here’s a picture of Laguum when we took her outside for a little stroll.
It took a few days for her to get accustomed to her collar, but she just needed several minutes to ignore her leash and started sniffing the grass and enjoy the outdoors in all its glory. This includes taking a chunk out of a leaf of one of our porch plants and trying to lie down on the carabao grass! LOL
Now, every time we hang out on the porch, they mewl to be let out and explore outside. Their pitiful cries and “puss-in-boots” eyes are enough to melt your heart and you wouldn’t be able to deny them anything! Crafty little mites! LOL
The change of scenery was certainly refreshing. They absolutely love the view and the assortment of trees, plants, chickens, geese and turkeys makes it more interesting than the bustle of cars and motorcycles. Next up is the beach. Wonder how they’ll react to that! :)
The world almost came to an end. Or at least that was what was going through our minds following the nearly earth-shattering quake of 6.8Mw that said “howdy” to Dumaguete City and its neighboring municipalities and islands last Monday... What a way to greet the week, eh?
But despite the incessant aftershock tremors and the tsunami rumors that nearly sparked a panic-driven population to mass relocate to the nearest mountains, almost everything is back to normal. Mother Nature has unusual ways to make us value our lives, and every little thing that’s in it, better. Of course, we commiserate with all the afflicted people that have suffered any losses and our thoughts go to the families that have lost loved ones in this dire time. We also take this moment to show our utmost appreciation and gratitude for all the blessings and the wonderful supportive people that we have in our lives. Thank You…
In the aftermath of that earthquake, we turn to one of the most-trusted comfort foods in our arsenal, Sinigang na Baboy. This is a common staple in the northern part of the Philippines but is not that popular in the Visayan region.
I was introduced to this delightful and hearty sour soup when Van cooked it last year in one of her culinary endeavors. She is a little self-conscious when it comes to her cooking but this was one of the rare times when she was completely confident. My first taste of the dish completely blew me away. I am not really a fan of anything sour tasting but this one was definitely a keeper.
Well, the fact that I tried to recreate her masterpiece of a recipe on the slow cooker says it all, ain’t it? *wink*
Here’s the recipe for those needing some extra comfort, especially for the chilly days or a laidback Sunday like today.
Pork and Vegetables in Tamarind Soup
1. Place pork cubes in a large deep pot. Pour in water at the same level as the pork and bring to a boil. Take the pot off the heat and throw away the water after it boils for 5 minutes. Remove any scum from the pork meat.
2. Place the pork with the rest of the ingredients inside the slow cooker stoneware pot except the tamarind mix. Cook in high for 8 hours. You may opt to exclude the vegetables during the first five hours of cooking if you want them to be overcooked or too tender for your taste.
3. After 7 hours, add in the tamarind soup mix and stir together with all the ingredients. Cook for another hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Best eaten with white steamed rice. Serve while still hot!