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Showing posts from July, 2008

frannywanny loves YUMMY

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Today marks the last day of my one-week vacation. It's actually a good break in between two careers where I was able to meet up with a lot of long time friends, update this blog and prepare for the next chapter in my corporate life. As a good sign for the fun things up ahead, I have received word from a fellow blogger that my letter was featured in this month's issue of Yummy. I guess it's no secret that I'm a HUGE fan of the magazine thus prompting me to send the editors a short note to tell them that they are doing a great job! Who would have thought that months after, I will be walking into the lobby of Summit Media as the new Associate Publisher for *make a guess make a guess!* YUMMY and Real Living Magazines . WOW. Ü Sharing with you the published version of my letter to Yummy: click here to enlarge Boy I can't wait to claim my fist ever kitchen tool!

The Art of Shabu Shabu cooking

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Since I've been drinking this nasty Chinese herbal medicine for a week to help cure my stubborn cough and colds, the side effect of this is making my stomach go berserk! Thus, I've been shying away from events that will make me stay out of the house for more than three hours. Hopefully, after drinking the final batch last night, I hope my stomach will finally stabilize the same way that my cough and colds have miraculously disappeared. I almost turned down an invite yesterday to join yet another food blogger's event but thanks to the persistence of Achi Didi and Sophie who were so sweet to pass by for me and to my stomach who remained cooperative throughout the night, I had a blast eating, laughing and bonding with fellow bloggers over pots of boiling shabu shabu! The Magic of Shabu Shabu For those who might be wondering what on earth is a shabu shabu and before you might further conclude that we underwent some kind of illegal activity last night, shabu shabu is a

let's eat some...DIMSUM!!!!

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Lately, snack time has been upgraded from the usual crackers and spreads to steamed Hakaws (shrimp dumplings) and Siomais (pork and veggies wrapped in thin dimsum wrappers) . The good part about it is I do not have to leave my home to enjoy these delicious Chinese treats! I'd like to share with you my latest discovery.... ChiLyn's eat some... DIMSUM! The newest baby of my neighbors Ritchie and Arlyn. People all over San Juan and nearby cities will rejoice to these homemade steamed wonders. They have just recently launched and I'm proud to be one of the first to have a bite of their all-meat siomai (health buffs will enjoy the absence of fats and other extenders), mouth-watering hakaw and my newest favorite, steamed pork spareribs . What I love about it is the fact that these yummy delights are packed in their own individual plastic containers which makes it easy for storage in your freezers. Yes, very OC-friendly I must say. Steaming is also a breeze! Just tra

[Bangkok's Best] The best munchies in town

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To conclude my Bangkok's Best series , I would like to share with you a couple of pasalubong (traveler's presents) suggestions that were all a hit with my family and friends. Bangkok is known for its fresh fruits like lanzones, rambutan, mangosteen and dragonfruit. It is also known for its preserved fruit candies like spicy tamarind, sweetened cherries and a lot more. Well, I'm letting you all in a secret. Discovered within the long stretch of Bangkok's Chinatown are displays of yummy munchies packed in big red plastic bags. Sadly, we forgot the exact name of the store but it won' be difficult to look for it as the store is filled up with different varieties of dried pork jerkies, squid flakes and three of our new-found favorite snacks. First is the Pop Chicken/Pork . This crunchy snack has a perfect sweet-salty blend that makes it very addicting. We were offered a free taste and we instantly bought close to a dozen bags to bring home. A bag would cost you

[Bangkok's Best] Let's get Cultural at Siam Niramit

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When travelling, we always believe that it is important to immerse ourselves into the culture of the country that we're visiting. This way, our minds will be enrich not only on the best retail products available but as well as on the history, traditions and culture of another country other than our own. Despite the short time available for us to go around Bangkok, we made it a point to partake in a couple of tours that will help us understand the rich culture than serves as a very strong foundation for a country like Thailand. We took the advice of friends and scheduled a night to watch Siam Niramit . A cultural show that is truly breath-taking and definitely world-class. Arriving at the area a little past 530PM, we were given our stubs for the Thai-Western buffet dinner and our tickets to the show. With the show starting at 8PM, we took the time to go around a mini Thai village showcasing the different culinary treats and art works all over Thailand. It also has a mini replica

[Bangkok's Best] Shop till you Drop at the Chatuchak Weekend Market

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Months before our Bangkok trip, a friend who knew that we're planning to go gave me a couple of tips and one of those include "Do not miss shopping at Chatuchak." This began to ignite our interest on the place and after asking more questions, we found out that Chatuchak is a giant outdoor market that only operates during the weekend and is every bargain shopper's dream come true. Also, the market is arranged in what they call an organized-chaos which means, it's highly impossible for one to go back the same route and find the store where you saw the _ insert name of item _ worth 100baht vs. the one you just found at 120baht. In other words, the best shopping strategy here is to buy the item as long as the price is fairly reasonable enough already for you. Thus, we have mapped out our plan early on, we woke up at 6AM to take the BTS down to the Mo Chit station before 8AM. This is to be able to go around Chatuchak before it gets bloodily crowded. From the stati

[Bangkok's Best] Posh shopping at Central World Plaza

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Welcome to the largest shopping mall in Southeast Asia . Located along the Rachadamri Road in Bangkok, Thailand, Central World Plaza houses more than 500 food and retail establishments such as Starbucks Coffee, Muji, Pepper Lunch, Swensens, MNG, Zara and a lot more! This is definitely a shopping haven for all fashionistas out there. As each store occupies a big space giving more room for a wide array of choices and attractive displays as well. The mall is divided into three main areas: the Zen department store , the Isetann department store and the Central World main area . While the Zen department store has a more varied product line-up from the US and countries all over Asia, the Isetann department store focuses more on items made in Japan catering majorly to the Japanese community. Nonetheless, it was a wonderful experience shopping on both department stores especially when availing their price-off promotions. Foodies will also have a blast here at Central World Plaza. He

[Bangkok's Best] Search for the best Pad Thai

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A trip to Bangkok will never be complete without trying their local dishes. And among the popularized Thai dishes that we've grown familiar with, we noticed that only Pad Thai seems to be widely offered in any food establishment all over Bangkok. From food courts to sidewalk vendors to posh Thai restaurants, each has its own version of this delicious and fragrant stir-fried dish. Though each Pad Thai differs in terms of presentation, quantity and toppings, it all makes use of a generous amount of flat rice noodles mixed with eggs, fish sauce and served with crushed peanuts and a slice of lime at the side. With only three days to scour the streets of Bangkok, we didn't waste anytime in trying out what this Asian shopping and culinary mecca has to offer. Every meal always has a plate of Pad Thai for us to try out prompting the start of what I'd call the... Search for the Best Pad Thai Pad Thai #1: found at the Big C food court It was raining so hard during our 2nd ni

on budget travelling

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I've always been a big fan of discounts and price-off promotions. I guess this is one reason why I regularly update myself on the upcoming mall-wide sales and as much as possible I make it a point to go and check it sale out. However, I admit that not all sale promos were good enough. In fact, some were disappointing that I just leave the mall without making any purchase. This fondness also applies on how I travel. As much as possible, I try to scrimp on my air/bus/boatfare to be able to save a bigger chunk of my budget on eating and shopping. Thus, I find joy when receiving alerts from local airline companies regarding their upcoming seat sales. Two months ago, my sister and I availed the zero seat sale by Cebu Pacific for our Bangkok trip. We were excited that we got a great deal which inevitably earned us bragging rights since the regular rate is more than double the amount that we paid for. We were both so excited about the trip that we didn't really mind that we'

Turning ONE in 50 days!

Times flies really FAST! Who would have thought that we're down to 50 days before this blog turns a YEAR old! Any idea on how we should celebrate? Ü

loving what's familiar at Zong

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If there's one cuisine that I can confidently say that I am most familiar with, it would definitely be the Chinese cuisine . Growing up with a family who loves to cook just as much as we love to eat, my taste buds have grown accustomed to the popular and quite exotic Chinese dishes known to man. There's the crunchy, tasty jellyfish, the salty and expensive bird's nest soup and of course, the fried and sarap-to-the-bones frog legs. Don't get me wrong though, we also have a lot (and I really mean A LOT) of wonderful dishes that we are proud of. Among my favorites are the kiampung (salty glutinous rice with pork and peanuts), the hakao (crystal shrimp wrapped in rice wrapper) and the kapsong (minced pigeon wrapped in lettuce and topped with fried bihon noodles with a bit of hoisin sauce drizzled on top). Too familiar with the Chinese cuisine that I tend to be very picky when dining in a Chinese restaurant. Therefore, I guess it's just normal to have my own doubts

[Cooking with Fran] Italian Eggplant Lasagna

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Thanks to Achi Jen for sharing with me this easy-to-do recipe, I'm passing on the not-yet-christmas cheer by sharing it also with all of you! Here's one yummy dish that will definitely make the kids eat their veggies! Italian Eggplant Lasagna What you'll need: -- Italian Eggplants (these are the longer ones as opposed to the short and stout Pinoy Eggplants which are good for grilling or frying) -- Ground meat -- Italian Spaghetti Sauce -- Chopped basil leaves -- Mozzarella Cheese, grated -- Parsesan Cheese, grated -- Ground Black pepper -- Japanese breadcrumbs -- Garlic and Onion, chopped -- Egg -- Oil -- Bechamel Sauce (optional) Step by step: 1) Saute garlic in oil until golden brown, add Onions and Ground meat until the meat turns pink, add the Italian Spaghetti Sauce and let it simmer before adding basil leaves, pepper and other desired flavorings 2) Slice eggplants into thick strips, dunk it into the egg batter and roll into the breadcrumbs, fry the eggplant

These cakes made my sweet tooth happy

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I've recently mentioned in my previous entry that I prefer cupcakes over a slice of cake to cover up the guilt but what I love about eating a slice of cake is the fact that I can fully appreciate the creativity of the baker in putting together a masterpiece that can only be seen through the layers of cake, cream, fruits, nuts or chocolate. In this entry, I will share with you two of my favorite cakes which are not hard to find, are pretty affordable and are truly a delight to have after a good meal. Ü Mariell Torte by Nothing Like Home-made... Small : Php. 485 / Big : Php. 695 I had my first encounter with this cake more than a month ago. When two of my closest colleagues got this for my birthday. They ordered the biggest size and believe me when I say it was BIG! It think the box can easily fit a wedding gown. Yes, it was THAT big! Everyone in the office were awed and excited to try a piece that I actually managed to share the cake with everyone and still have a small port

korean pears for this sick blogger

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I've been down with tonsilitis, fever and clogged nasal passages since Monday and sadly recovery is taking its sweet time making my ordeal a bit harder and longer than I was hoping it would. Just like everyone else, I hate being sick. I do not like being stuck at home and I dislike the itchy, stingy pain that I feel whenever I cough, swallow or even laugh. I guess I'm just lucky that my family and Paul have been taking good care of me. In some ways, I have to admit, spoiling me a bit during times like these. For instance, ever since Tuesday, my grandparents have been calling me at least one every 2 hours to check on my condition. Even if I have no voice and it was really a struggle to talk, I'm really touched that they took the time out to do this for me. Today is Day 5. With minor improvements on my voice and less itch on my throat, I was surprise to come home and see a plastic filled with pears from my grandpa. Knowing him, I'm sure he personally went all t

Spending my Saturday mornings at Salcedo

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Here's where I've been spending most of my Saturday mornings: Located at the heart of Salcedo Village, the Saturday Salcedo Market is a mecca for foodies and Makati residents in search for organic goods, yummy cooked dishes and unique finds. The market opens at 7AM and ends at around 2PM. Over the years, it has grown in terms of the number of stalls available as well as in size (they have extended towards the playground area where more tables and chairs were set up for diners) . However, it continues to attract more and more market goers who would travel all the way to Salcedo every Saturday morning to visit their favorite food stalls or to discover something new. I'd like to share with you some of my Salcedo market favorites: 1) Thai Iced Tea Together with the tag line "It really brings you back to Bangkok!" This I'll have to see after my trip. I love the blend of tea and milk over crushed ice. It has been my perfect companion while enduring th

Dreaming of Cocktails in my Cupcakes

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I'm in love with cupcakes . I always find it more fun to munch on these tiny sweet treats as opposed to indulging in a huge slice of cake which my mom will never approve of. ( "too much sweets! loaded with calories!" , she would always say) Back when I was still in school, my dad would always buy a bag of cheese or chocolate cupcakes as our afternoon snack. I would take one tiny bite at a time to savor the moist, soft filling complimented by the sweet, decadent icing. Growing up, I was exposed to more cupcakes varieties such as the ones popularized by the girls of Sex and the City. Cupcakes topped with colorful flavored icings and sprinkled with shiny edible beads. I would call these fashion cupcakes. Sadly, most of these fashion cupcakes are just nice to look at but terribly fails taste. Some are too crumbly while some are as hard as a rock. The last thing I want when biting into my cupcake is a tall glass of water to help push the dry cupcake down. Ugh. Thanks to