Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cottage Cheese Ice Cream

Cheese-flavored Ice Cream. My favorite! I am a big queso girl so you could imagine my happiness when I chanced upon this flavor at the grocery:

Kesong Puti Ice Cream! Ack, I felt like I was dreaming! A closer look at the freezer made me realize that there were other equally awesome flavors being offered:

There's Macapuno Langka, Macapuno Banana, Ube Keso, Mangoes and Cream, Coffee Crumble, Pandan Pinipig and Tsokolate Tablea. Oh wow!!! Truly, the BEST of the Philippines! I could have hoarded all the flavors if they only came in smaller tubs. But since I have to consider whether or not I'd be able to finish it on my own, I had to settle for one.

Kesong Puti ice cream with bits of kesong puti. So how was it? Delicious! It's not that hard to imagine really, it tasted like cheese ice cream but not as salty as the former. It had a lighter less "cheesy" taste to it and more of a fuller milk taste. So good! Next time, I'm getting the Pandan Pinipig just cause I'm a big fan of buko pandan. After that, I'm trying the Macapuno Banana. Then the Tskokolate Tablea. I am seriously going crazy over these flavors!

Good job Magnolia for introducing this line of ice cream! I go crazy over products that promote and elevate Philippine food. I think our food is world class, we only fall short in how it is presented and marketed. So thank you Magnolia for being so nationalistic and helping turn Filipino food into gourmet.

I don't care if my throat is getting more sore from eating ice cream. This is just too good to pass up on! Cheese on cheese. How more amazing can you get??

Friday, September 27, 2013

Mock Meat BBQ

Barbeque! Barbeque! Barbeque! --said my brain. What do vegetarians do when their brains tell them it wants barbeque? They make their own!

Sharing with you my recipe for a vegan barbeque made from chunks of gluten:

1/2 pack gluten
2 tbsps. peanut butter
1 1/2 tbsps. soy sauce
1/2 tbsps. vinegar
pepper to taste
vegetable oil
bbq skewers

Cut the gluten into chunks. Fry them until browned. Skew the glutten in barbeque sticks. In a separate bowl, mix the soy sauce, peanut butter, oil and vinegar. Generously brush the mixture on the gluten and place the sticks on the grill. Enjoy!

Honestly, I am not a big fan of gluten because it's a tough ingredient to cook with. You can't marinate it too long cause it absorbs the flavor rapidly and if you leave it too long, you'd end up with something too "tasty" or salty. If you don't know what gluten is like, it's just starch. So imagine it being like bread (with hardly any flavor) and you have to put flavor into it.

I really enjoyed my vegan barbeque. To be honest, after taking those photos, I placed them back on the grill cause I like mine a little burnt. I just really like when the sides get a little toasted and because peanut butter has sugar, how the burnt parts get a bit sticky and sweet.

Here's to tasty vegan recipes!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Reunited in Singapore

Among my HS barkada, I'm the only one still living in Manila. The rest of them are either already based in other parts of the world or are working in several different desirable local destinations. We usually get to see each other only in December, when they come home to visit their loved ones. During one of those get-togethers, it was suggested that we should have our next reunion in Singapore (where some of us are based) but nothing ever transpired. So, imagine how excited we all were when we finally agreed to book a flight and meet this August! I mean, come on, this trip has been in the works since foreveeeer (most of us were still here in Manila when the plan was conceived).

Our main goals were simple. We wanted to have some bonding time, to do some of the touristy stuff, and to experience what the locals did for fun. Spending all our nights catching up on each other's lives, we made sure that our days were filled with activities.
 The first thing we ticked off our list was Universal Studios Singapore! We went on a weekday but USS was still packed so we decided to stay until closing. After USS, we headed straight to Siloso beach to watch the Songs of the Sea.

One of the things I loved about Singapore was the food! I was so excited to try two things, authentic hainanese chicken and kaya toast. It was good to know that the stuff I've tried in the Philippines are close to the authentic ones. For pasalubong, we scoured the grocery for Old Town coffee and Teh Tarik milk tea.
Another place we visited was Orchard Road. Aside from the luxury brands, this is where you can find the famous ice cream sandwich and wafer ice cream. We ordered some but gobbled them up before realizing that we still haven't taken pictures of it. Two shops in Orchard that I thoroughly enjoyed were Kikki.K and Typo (CottonOn's stationery store).

Since we stayed at a friend's house, we were exposed to how Singaporean residents lived. We were able to ride the MRT, the bus and the cab (I was secretly hoping to catch the Cash Cab.. Haha). Our Singapore-based friends also mentioned that the various nationalities of the people living in Singapore meant a mix of cultures with different distinct personalities. As someone who's fond of observing people, I was actually elated to see the differences.

On our last night, our SG-based friends decided to take us to Makansutra Gluttons Bay. It's an alfresco hawker food center that offers a wide array of cuisines. Makansutra is slightly more expensive than the usual hawker food centers but since one of our friends was celebrating her birthday, we decided to have a feast! Our friends made us try the much-celebrated barbecued chicken wings among other things. True enough, it was superb (especially with the rice). While waiting for our food, I was pleasantly surprised to spot a Filipino stall, Gerry's Grill.

We left Singapore with bigger bellies, tons of fun stories to share back at home, and even bigger luggage! It's true what they say about visiting a foreign country, making you feel humbled and blessed and super appreciative. This trip will forever be close to my heart not only because of the conversations (no matter how shallow or profound) we had or the quirky hashtags we blurted out but because of the people I shared it with. :) So, this is me encouraging you to travel and explore the world (or even the Philippines!). Despite all the negative news we hear, it is heartening to see that it's actually a wonderful world that we live in. :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Wear Oxy

Just a quick post because I think this sweater dress from Oxygen is just too nice (and I don't think I was able to give it much justice in my last post):

I got a lot of items from my latest Oxygen haul, their new Curiosi Tees are just too nice to pass up! Drop by the store if you have time. The designs are so nice plus the price is just right! Love Oxygen clothing!

Monday, September 9, 2013

All I need

Icona Pop couldn't have said it better-- "All I need in this life of sin, is me and my girl friend!".

I'm an only child. And to be honest, I enjoy being an only child. It has its advantages and disadvantages but I think the biggest disadvantage is that you don't have that "go to" buddy for your random trips and other activities. That's why I really cherish my girl friends because they are the closest I have to having siblings.

One my closest girl friend is my god sister, who coincidentally is an only child too. I've known her since I was very small and we've been through so much together. We get along really well and because of similarities in our background, we just understand each other.

Since mama died last year, we've grown closer. I owe much to her for keeping me optimistic and pulling me back from the brink whenever I'm bordering on self-pity. An advice to those who lost a loved one-- surround yourself with great people. Bask in the sunshine of their love.

Always remember that friends are forever. The world is a tough world to live in but God sent us angels, in the form of friends, to remind us that there is good in this world.

Material things give you satisfaction to some extent, but it is the intangible gifts that would give you the truest joy-- friendship, hope, and love. Remember, when all else fails, you will be left with the intangibles. And it is these that you can hold to to help you get through the toughest times.

Cheers to great friends!-- and to the many adventures you'd have together!

grey oversized sweater dress - Oxygen
green wedged boots - Charles & Keith

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dating as a Job Interview

We're corporate girls and it's easy for us to take on a corporate mindset on everything-- even on seemingly personal activities such as dating.

It was a friend of mine who first floated the idea of dating to be seen as a job interview. He's a boy and he said that like in job interviews, girls should date boys to see if they fit the bill. That girls won't know if they would like the boy unless they GO OUT with them. What he said got me thinking. But instead of going into a lengthy discussion with him, I decided to do a blog post on it instead. So here goes a guide to approach dating as a job interview.

photo credit:
Before the pointers, let me lay down the context first. GIRLS, you are the company seeking an "employee". BOYS, you are the applicants.

Post Openings - Like in most companies, girls should keep in mind that looking for a partner is not always a fated event, there's also effort involved in the search. When I mean effort, I mean girls should also take on a more welcoming vibe and if she really intends to get into a relationship, to be open to dating around. There are girls who consciously refuse to date because their love life is the least of their priorities-- and these are the girls who "do not have any job openings" as of the moment.

Set Minimum Standards - Different girls have different personalities; different needs; and different expectations. Like most job openings, there are set requirements that applicants must be able to comply with. I know, this part is debatable, but for the purpose of approaching this topic with a corporate mindset, let's assume that this aspect is essential. Personally, I've just recently learned the importance of this aspect. Girls should have minimum standards if they want to be in a lasting relationship. If outright, you don't think that guy would have a chance with you, why waste your time dating him? Say for example you're a Muslim (sorry can't think of any other religion) and you know your parents won't approve of you being with someone who is not Muslim, then why would you even date a Catholic? It's a waste of time! Set minimum requirements. Remember that girls, as the position being applied for, have expectations from the "applicant", so right off the bat, it is important that these standards be made known so you won't end up in a "job mismatch". It's also the same for the boys. Don't "apply" for a job if you're not really interested in it. It's one thing to be able to meet the requirements just for the sake of meeting the requirements, it's another thing to actually WANT and enjoy the job.

The Date - This is the actual "interview". Like most interviews, often times, it is the applicant who brings his A game. The girl (the employer) gets her chance to get to know the applicant more and vice versa. This is a very crucial part. For one, it is not only the girl, who gets to decide. The boy has a say too. I remember how I've been to a number of interviews where after hearing about the work, I'd decide to not pursue it anymore even if I get offered the job. Same with dating. Remember that it's a two way street. It just so happens that girls often have the upper hand because technically they are the "jobs" being sought.

Follow up - Most often, this part is the role of the boys. If you're interested in landing the job, you would follow up. Same case if you decide you don't want to pursue it anymore. You don't just disappear, you tell the company that you will no longer pursue your application. Same with the girl. You can't be indecisive for too long. You have to decide as well. If you think he is worth a second chance, go for a second date. Don't just ignore his calls/messages. It's just impolite.

Be patient - The interview is just the tip of the iceberg. We all know that there are so many other requirements you have to pass before you assume office. Same with dating. The first date does not assure you a second, or a third, or a fourth. It most certainly doesn't assure you that you'd end up getting the girl. Like looking for work, you have to be patient. Sometimes, even if the company is interested, there are other factors that prevent them from hiring you. Just be patient. If you really want that job, or that girl for that matter, you will not lose hope. You will wait until you get final word. Anything worth it, is worth the wait.

No to sour graping - If by any chance it doesn't work out, move on. Don't dwell too much on the failure. Remember, when one door closes, a window opens. Never be needy. Don't ever beg--especially for love. Not only will it reflect negatively on you, it will also not beneficial in the long run. It's like looking for a job. Your dream company may have refused you but it does not make you less of a person. Submit your resume elsewhere, you never know which company will see you as a perfect fit.

I don't know if this applies to everyone. I just found what my friend said interesting and I had too much input on it, I didn't think an oral explanation would suffice. Feel free to add to my list/ negate my points! :)

Here's to a successful "job" interview!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Chocolate Mango

I've never been a fan of Mango. Or chocolate in the same degree. But put together, they got me going crazy!

Lately, I've been obsessing over chocolate dipped Philippine dried mangoes. It's weird for me because like I said I don't usually eat mangoes or chocolate but for some reason, this pairing is just too tasty for me to pass up!

I first tasted this at my Tita's. I was so surprised at how delicious it was that I found myself craving this so bad. And so I decided to visit Kultura just to satisfy my whim.

I got two different brands of the mango chocolate. The one on the left is the one I tasted before (and the one featured in two photos above). The other on the right however is one that my boss took with her to give away to foreign dignitaries on a previous trip. As expected, the one on the right is more expensive (just look at the packaging!) Also, the mango strips are COMPLETELY covered with chocolate:

Yes, it looks tastier but for some reason, I enjoyed the semi-covered mango strips (the cheaper ones) than this. It's supposed to be dipped in Belgian chocolate and that gave it a slightly bitter taste. Also, the mango strips were very thin you can hardly taste the mango. The one from Philippine brand on the other hand has a great milk chocolate taste plus you can taste the dried mangoes which is super good even without the chocolate part.

I love these so much! If you haven't tasted this, I suggest you try it soon because this is one Philippine product you would be very proud to endorse! It's so good, I can't wait to give these away to my foreign friends. Lol!

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