Friday, September 13, 2019

Snack Time : Kumori Puffy-O Japanese Donuts

If you're familiar with the story of King Midas who's a man that turns everything that he touches into gold, then the Japanese, I believe, are the type that turns everything that they create into something that's super cute and pleasing to the eye. I love how the Japanese gives so much attention to detail that even a regular gift-wrapped item turns into a work of art. Then there's their sushi and sashimi creations that just never fails to wow everyone. It's the precision, the balance and how they continues to achieve perfection no matter what.

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That said, my heart skipped a beat when I received a beautiful present from Kumori Philippines about a month ago. It's a box of Puffy-O Donuts and it's available in 3 flavors -- Banana Walnut, Chocolate Caramel and Cheese. I was actually out when this beautiful box arrived so our reliable helper decided to store these in the refrigerator in order to prolong its life. So, as soon as my family and I were ready to give it a try, we quickly warmed this up, prepared our cup of tea or coffee to complement our afternoon snack. 

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

#FrannyCooks : Bangus Lumpia (Milkfish Spring Rolls) with Sarangani Bay Bangus

Just like that, the Ber months have officially begun. Slowly. we're starting to take our Christmas decors out from their usual hiding spot, dusting them to bring back their sparkle and soon enough, I'm sure we can start to hear Christmas carols playing all over town again. It will be my twins' 3rd Christmas and I hope I can make it extra special for them.

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Anyway, new month, new recipe! Recently, I experimented with a new main ingredient. One that I would always have in my freezer but all I do is to ask our helper to fry it. I'm talking about our National Fish -- Bangus (Milkfish). I still remember learning about this little fact back in grade school. True enough, I think bangus is one of those fish that makes your dining table truly Pinoy. In fact, I had a hard time looking for bangus when I was in Singapore and I would ask my mom to bring me boxes of Rellenong Bangus every time she and Papa would visit. We love boneless bangus as I honestly do not have the patience to carefully pluck out every single bone and boy, bangus has one of the most number of bones as compared to the other fishes in the sea. (haha!) My greatest fear is to accidentally swallow a bangus bone as it's very long, fine and well, quite hard to remove.

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Sunday, September 8, 2019

#KabogangKulob with Downy Expert Kontra Kulob

It's raining quite hard as I type this. The twins and I just woke up from our lazy Sunday nap and after playing with their Mega Bloks which ended up with a little fight as L tried to "demolish" her twin brother's beautiful architectural creation. I swear, I love it when I watch J working his creativity with the Mega Bloks, somehow I feel I'll have a future architect and he'll someday build our dream house.

Anyway, I honestly like the sound of the rain gently pitter-pattering on our window pane (that wasn't really intended to sound like a song lyrics) but growing up, my heart would leap with joy whenever I'd wake up to a rainy morning hoping that classes will be suspended that day. I'm pretty sure a lot of you were like that too! As a mom though, days of rain means more challenge in drying our laundry and worst, the fear of it smelling like malodor (kulob).

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I have a very strong sense of smell and sometimes I feel that my nose is directly attached to my stomach. Anything foul smelling automatically makes me feel like throwing up. It's this thing that has been going on since I was young. This is also why I am very particular when it comes to the smell of our clothes, the aroma of our home and the laundry detergent used on my kids' clothes as well. One of the worst smell of all is the smell of damp clothes which wasn't dried properly. Back then, it's the thing that can't be helped as everyone relies on drying their clothes outdoor and dryers weren't as advanced as they are now. Also, the Downy Expert Kontra Kulob wasn't formulated then.

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is back in the Philippines!

I really love how more and more brands we love while residing in the Lion City are also making their way to the Philippines! Case in point, fashion and home-wise we got H&M, Muji, Uniqlo, Forever New and even Pottery Barn present in some of the biggest malls in the country and when it comes to the food scene, oh we got a lot! There's Kam's Roast, Ippudo, Llao Llao, Pezzo and just recently.. Popeyes made a comeback!

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Hold a meeting on top of Popeyes? Why not!
The opening of Popeyes clearly stirred a lot of excitement as we've been seeing numerous board ups all over the metro yet there's really no specific announcement made on when it will open. Finally, its first outlet in Arcovia City opened its doors in May and we've been hearing about the long queue and the wait that can go on for an hour. With my kids in tow, I really don't think it would be wise to join in the long queue so Paul and I decided to wait it out a bit more. Finally, sometime in July, we found the perfect opportunity! It was for a late weekday lunch and true enough, there were zero lines! Yay!

We were really planning to do some grocery shopping at Landers in Arcovia City and instead of going for our staple Landers Pasta and Chicken, we excitedly walked towards Popeyes hoping that our lunch won't disappoint. We had a Popeyes store just a few blocks from our condo in the Lion City so we would have random, fried chicken dinners when our schedules got really hectic and we didn't had the time to cook. My favorite has always been their cajun rice, coleslaw as well as their freshly baked biscuits drizzled with honey. Also, the Popeyes in Singapore would regularly send residents in the area lots of discount and promo coupons so I'd always make it a point to keep a copy in my bag just in case I need to grab some take out before heading home.

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It was easy to get a table and the queue at the cashier was quick and short too. I think it was indeed our lucky day. Checking out the menu, I like that they've localized the line-up to adhere to the local taste. For one thing, they got spaghetti also the price is very reasonable that you can easily get a full meal for less than P150. Add a few more and you get yourself a bowl of soup and ice cream for dessert too.

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Hong Kong's Honolulu Cafe at SM Aura in Taguig

I'm back! It's been a really busy month and yet every time I remind myself about our upcoming trip to the Lion City, I get this sudden surge of adrenaline rush and excitement.

Finally, after two long years, Paul and I went back to our second home and what made this trip extra special was having our twins with us too. I knew that we will be back (for a visit at least) and I was really determined to take my twins with me in order for them to meet their aunties, uncles and playmates who were like family to us when we were still based there. No yayas with us so it was just me, Paul and our twins. I knew also that it will be extra tiring and physically draining but I was up for that challenge. This is probably one of the rare times in their young lives that J & L got our undivided attention for one full week. In fact, a week is indeed to short to meet up with everyone and to go to all the places on my list. Also, I realized that it's the first time that I'm visiting Singapore as a Mom and I now have a different perspective on what places are considered family-friendly, what restaurants are safe for kids and most of all, I do realized that Singapore has a lot of awesome diaper changing rooms which I am truly thankful for. Manila is slowly picking up pace and I got faith that someday we can turn our little metro into a family-friendly place too.

Now that we're back from our trip and our luggages have finally been unpacked, cleaned and kept again in our storage room, somehow I can't stop thinking about all the fun that the 4 of us had last week and little by little, I feel like my wanderlust spirit is coming out of its shell again. I thought that when I become a mom, I no longer can travel the world but that's not true. At such a young age, no matter how tiring it can be, I believe that Paul and I made the right decision to take our twins with us as we're building memories as a family and we somehow got to know L and J even better during this trip. So, here I am, dreaming of when we will go on a family trip again.

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Perhaps, Hong Kong might be a good next destination. After all, it's one of our favorite places too. They'll be much bigger by then and we can probably visit more places, eat at those tiny restaurants without having to ask for baby chairs and give in to our shopaholic tendencies (guess who among us has this haha). While I continue to day dream, let me tell you about the time that Paul and I took our twins to try Honolulu Cafe at SM Aura. Yaya was on holiday then so it was once again just the four of us. L doesn't like eating rice so we have to look for a place where there's bread. That's when I spotted those buttery golden Bolo Buns with a thick slice of butter sitting in one of Honolulu Cafe's bakery shelves.

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I've heard about Honolulu Cafe from the time it opened in Singapore. I've been wanting to give it a try but knowing that the queue can take forever, I've been putting this visit off until I ended up flying back home to Manila for good. Guess, fate has its way of getting those much talked about egg tarts and Bolo Buns to me as Honolulu Cafe opened in Manila early this year. I'm a fan of the traditional Bo Lo Buns (Php. 50 / 60). I love the crusty top encasing a pillowy soft bread inside. Bo Lo stands for pineapple and I guess the cracks on the crust replicates that of a pineapple shell. You can have it with or without butter but if you ask me, I love it with some butter which melts especially when the bread is freshly baked.

Another must try is the Bo Lo BBQ Pork Bun  (Php. 60) which is my dad's personal favorite. It's like asado siopao only you swap out the white buns with the same bread used for the Bo Lo Bun. The bread has a nice sweetness to it which goes well with the savory taste of the BBQ pork filling. My little L enjoyed this so much that she managed to finish one entire bread all by herself. Say hello to my little bread lover.

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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Fun, Food and Facts at Serenitea Trivia Night

Remember a few weeks ago, I shared with you the super cute tie-up between my favorite milk tea brand, Serenitea and the very iconic Sesame Street? Well, as their promotion for those adorable metal straws has come to an end, the fun continues this time for all trivia lovers out there! If you're the type who just loves to test your knowledge on a wide range of topics from pop culture, sports, politics and more or if you're just super competitive like me, well this is one event that you shouldn't miss!


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The Serenitea Trivia Night will run every Thursday night at a particular Serenitea outlet in the metro. They started last August 22 at Serenitea UP Town Center and today, (yes TODAY), you can join in the fun at Serenitea Robinsons Cyberscape Gamma in Ortigas. I'll share the rest of the schedule below. So basically, all you have to do is to register and sign up at the host branch at least 2 weeks before the event. They can only accept a limited number of participants so be sure to grab a slot before it runs out.

So, are you excited to join in the fun? Here's how!

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

#FrannyCooks : Sausage and Mushroom Rice with Tiger Tacook Rice Cooker

Just tonight, I came across a funny joke. It goes like this:
Me: I'm good at multi-tasking
God: Here, have twins.

I must admit that I have said this line way too many times during job interviews from the time that I've graduated from my university up until my days in the Lion City. Funny thing is, I don't recall telling this to my current boss when she interviewed me last year. Can't really remember why I didn't but well, my plate has been overloaded from the day my twins came into this world and I think that will remain that way up until they probably graduate from college or when I retire..whichever comes first. Thankfully though, being a multi-tasker is normal in today's world. Gone are the days when we have the luxury to do one task at a time. In order to get things done while keeping your sanity intact, you just gotta hustle all day, every day. 

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I got to thank technology for making our lives easier. Not wanting to sound like a tech-crazy millennial but it's true! We now have equipments, gadgets and appliances that can help us get the job done in record time. Just recently, Paul and I were invited to the demo of Chef Kai San of Tiger Philippines where he made 3 yummy dishes using a variety of Tiger kitchen appliances. One that stood out was his Japanese Cheesecake which was made using a rice cooker. Yes. A real, fluffy and yummy cake from a rice cooker. Indeed, we can make more things than just cook rice in a rice cooker. The Tiger Tacook Rice Cooker (Php. 10,000) can make congee, rice, steam your meat and bake simple cakes too. 

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My family has been long time users of Tiger from our lunch boxes which we brought to school, to our water bottles and even our current rice cooker is also the slightly older version but very similar to the Tacook Rice Cooker as it has multiple functions took like make porridge, various types of rice and more. 

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