Sunday, June 17, 2018

Cooking Champorado in a Rice Cooker

Hello hello! It's been a couple of weeks that the weather has been quite wet and dreary here in the Philippines.

Naturally, it's fun to just stay indoors where we're all safe and warm. Besides, our homeschooling will 'officially' start tomorrow (Monday) so mommy has got to prepare. But, this weather is simply calling to make a hot stuff of something, right? 

Since I've had my share of a beef noodle soup yesterday at Sha Tin Courtyard Restaurant, I decided it's time to make champorado for this afternoon.

What is 'champorado'? To put it simply, it's like a chocolate congee :D Hahahaha, that didn't sound too yummy. But ever since I was young, it's a toss between the yummy choco-oozing champorado or a warm and comforting Filipino goto/lugaw/pospas -->I have yet to know the ultimate difference between these Filipino-style congees.





So champorado it is! :) A drawback is that our helper is on leave today so I can't exactly stand and stir by the stove, like how it's traditionally made. We've got two kids and it's almost their nap time so this mommy's gotta hurry! I logged on to Youtube and checked out videos on how to make it in a rice cooker. Our Zojirushi rice cooker has a "porridge" function so I figured we could use that today.


Cooked Champorado in our Zojirushi rice cooker


And here we are. I was actually scared it will not come out as good as the stove top cooking but if my father-in-law says it tastes good, then it probably is really good! Hahaha :)

Ingredients


2 rice cooker cups of Malagkit/sticky rice
8 rice cooker cups of water
8 pieces Tablea pennies because that's what we have available (a video I watched said 3/4 cups of cocoa for 1 cup of sticky rice)
Sugar to taste, but I added 4 Tbsp
Milk to taste

Optional: Fried Tuyo fish

Instructions


1. Measure 2 rice cooker cups of uncooked Malagkit/sticky rice. Wash and drain.
2. Put the washed and drained malagkit rice in the rice cooker. Using the same cup, add 8 cups of water. Or if your rice cooker has a porridge setting, match the water added to the line. Example in my picture below, I used 2 rice cooker cups of uncooked rice so I added water up to the porridge 2 cups water line.


3. Gather your tablea pennies and add hot water. Melt the tablea pennies.


4. Add your desired amount of sugar / sweetener to the melted tablea. Mix well.
5. Add the mixture in #4 to the rice cooker.
6. Choose the "porridge setting" in your rice cooker and press on the "cooking" button. Wait for the Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star song to finish to put you in a bit of a good mood :)
7. After about an hour and a half, your champorado will be cooked and ready. Drizzle some milk if you so desire.
8. Add the optional descaled fried tuyo fish.

Enjoy and keep warm everyone!

Note: Some are asking if this can be done using an on/off rice cooker. I haven't tried this with an on/off rice cooker but have seen someone do it in a Youtube video. If you do try it, let me know how it worked for you!


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Party Supplier: Food Tasting with The Creamery Catering

If you're wondering how the food went, right off the bat I'll tell you that the food was amaaaazing! :) 



The Creamery is a highly recommended food catering service in a mommy group that I'm a part of, as well as some blogs here in the interwebs so we decided to give it a try. To be honest, they've been really hyped for me by fellow moms that's why I told my husband that if we are going to have a party at all, it must be The Creamery or no party! Hahaha..LOL! Good thing they still had an available slot for our event date, despite planning it only a month in advance.

I'm glad that we were not disappointed. Food tasting pa lang, wow na wow na! Really, so much WOW! :)

The menu for that day's food tasting


Daddy A says the food was great primarily because of the menu chosen. I disagree a little. Kasi during the party itself, even the kids menu was great! I saw this first hand when a kid guest in our party wanted more servings of The Creamery Spaghetti. Ditto on the chicken tocino skewers :D ---> I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself here (huh? Teleport / Time Travel lang? Hahaha) but I promise to post a separate supplier review for The Creamery.

This food tasting feels like a feast already!

As mentioned, we basically planned this party for a month. I mean the "active planning" part. I was already coordinating with shortlisted suppliers as early as July 2017 (our party date is January 2018) and was canvassing rates and packages but I couldn't finalize or book them without Daddy A's go signal. And this is weird because he was the one who requested for a party in the first place hahaha :)

We coordinated with Miss MJ Jacob for their packages and I like what I saw. Although a little bit pricier compared to other caterers we've tried before, we decided to still discuss with them and have them devise a package that will be amenable to our budget. 

Finally decided to meet with MJ late November. For me, despite the conveniences of e-mail and Facebook messenger, nothing beats face-to-face discussions, especially with a very important party supplier. So we were a bit late but Miss MJ still waited for us (sorry!) and happily discussed. We agreed to have a food tasting and even if this is usually scheduled a week in advance, she was able to find a slot for us the a couple of days afterwards.

On the day of the food tasting, I'm so happy we came ahead of schedule. Thank goodness because it really is so embarrassing to come late to a meeting, right?

Anyway, as I mentioned in the beginning, the food simply blew me away. *swoons* They prepared meals from the menu we have chosen and also let us sample some new offerings. A dish like - Kare-Kare pasta. Have you tasted something like that before? Nope? Yeah, me neither!  It was really an old favorite (Kare-Kare) and yet totally new to us (offering it in pasta form). If you need to know, the "cheese" is replaced with bagoong. The flavor was really rich! At that moment I already decided (in my head, at least) to make sure to have it in our package :)


Kare-Kare Pasta

Pork Sisig Taco

Dessert



The nice thing about having this food tasting, aside from checking out the food and making sure the supplier is legit is that you get to see a glimpse of other important factors that would go on in your event. For example, the efficiency of the wait staff. Also important are the styling options from the caterer itself -- remember, there are some basic styling that are already included in the package, so you can maximize this while having your (if you're having a separate one) stylist focus the budget on other stuff.



Shabby Chic - Perfect for tea parties and intimate baby showers






Hmmmm, I wonder if they'll let me taste the Kids Menu

Here are some examples of their optional buffet styling, for an additional fee. 

Rustic - I love how the galvanized elements still feel neat and clean for a buffet set-up





Filipiniana - This is a theme I've always wanted to have for a birthday. Some other time, perhaps :)


Here are some of the table linen that they have in stock. I took pictures and sent it to our stylist, Sugar and Sunbeams. From there, she coordinated directly with The Creamery on which linens to bring on our event day. Hassle-free for us!



I don't know how they call this 'formally' but I think I'll label it as "Contemporary Tropical Chic". I love the rose gold matched with black, the lush wall backdrop and of course the geometric elements that are in this layout.

Contemporary Tropical Chic

Contemporary Tropical Chic

Oooooohh...this one's perfect for a boho fete! I actually want to have a macrame for myself too, just have to figure out how to protect it from Manila's dust and pollution.

Boho



Now, this one's something that fellow foodies and oilers would probably appreciate too. Especially if they will be using real herbs for this. 

For contrast, wouldn't it look absolutely fantastic with steak cooked on the spot? Yes please!



Now for the clincher - which menu to choose? Ultimately everything tasted like heaven and it's really a hard decision to make. So I leave that task to Daddy A. Were it me to decide, I'd probably even choose 2 menus to be combined! Hahaha. The height of being a PG foodie LOL! :D

Seriously, of course you have to consider your budget primarily, the type of event you will be hosting, and your guests as well.


I am soo happy with our final menu and over-all with their food quality and services during our party! Best of luck in your party planning too! :D



Monday, June 11, 2018

Young Living: My March Essential Rewards and FREE oils

Woohoooo!! You know how happy I am every time a Young Living box is delivered to our home, right? Well, just imagine the giddiness that I couldn't even contain. Extremely happy even more so now because I've got lots of free oils! *High fives all around!*

The last 3 oils are all FREE, thanks to Young Living's Essential Rewards program

Are you ready? Let's start this line-up to show you what these individual oils are all about and why I ordered them (before I forget!) hehe..


Cel-Lite Magic Massage Oil:

Tones and nourishes the skin with pure vegetable oils, vitamin E, and authentic essential oils. Grapefruit oil improves the appearance of skin texture, while Juniper oil helps cleanse.

Please don't ask why I have to buy it hahaha but I guess it's pretty self-explanatory, right? Really hoping for gooood results with this one. Of course, coupled with the right diet and exercise.


Cinnamint Lip Balm:

Moisturize and protect your lips with our all-natural lip balm. Featuring pure Cinnamon Bark and Peppermint essential oils, Cinnamint™ Lip Balm helps prevent skin dehydration for soft, smooth lips.

I finally finished my Carmex tube, which my husband totally did not like the scent of. Just imagine his reaction everytime I use it. 

So I searched if Young Living has lip balms and I'm really happy they have a lip balm product line! I chose Cinnamint because of the hot-cold properties (but not too much) and it feels so fresh on my lips. 

Hopefully Daddy A will give me a pucker-up look when I use this, instead of the grimace he does during my Carmex time hahaha :D


Aroma Life Essential Oil:


Aroma Life™ uses Marjoram and Ylang Ylang essential oils to energize your spirit and create a sense of connection.

I was asking around for an essential oil or blend that could help support heart health. And based on my research online, this is the one that is oil users have highly recommended. It's a blend of the powerhouse: Cypress, Marjoram, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum diluted with Sesame Oil.

The back story I read about it is this: there was a skeptical medical doctor who thought D. Gary Young's essential oils are nothing but snake oil. So Gary asked him to bring his patient with the most difficult case and this doctor brought his patient who was overweight and had a heart condition. Gary made a blend (using the oils listed above) and made the patient try it and somehow after that his blood pressure normalized.

I know that this is not medication nor replacement for that so what I'll use this for is just as a support. Kindly consult your physicial or medical practitioner before embarking on any medicine / protocol.



Palmarosa:


Palmarosa grass is steam distilled to produce an oil with an aroma that can be stimulating and soothing when diffused.

So many beauty recipes I have got to try! This has been on my to-buy list for the longest time :)

Sage


Sage emits a strong, spicy, clarifying, and uplifting aroma when diffused. It has been used traditionally for its clarifying properties.


According to DK's Essential Oils book, Sage is primarily used as a warming oil to help relieve aching muscles. It has an astringent quality that makes it a useful skin toner, can act as a hair and scalp tonic and can help calm nerves during periods of stress and exhaustion.

Clove

Clove oil (Syzygium aromaticum) has a spicy, warm scent that’s instantly familiar because of its connection to fall and winter holidays. To produce Clove essential oil, the flower bud and plant stem are steam distilled, and the rich, strong oil that results from this process contains eugenol. This powerful constituent makes it a potent essential oil, and Clove oil uses include topical applications such as massage oils and personal care products.

Clove is an important ingredient in Young Living's Thieves blend and I really want to have this single oil for some special personal blends I'm making :)

Ginger



Ginger oil is a popular essential oil with a warm, energizing aroma. It is steam distilled from the rhizome of the ginger plant and is part of the Zingiberaceae family. Ginger was used anciently in India and China and was taken to the Mediterranean as early the 1st century AD. Ginger is now found throughout the world, and Ginger essential oil is found in many homes.
Ginger essential oil benefits include its topical and aromatic uses, whether the oil is being diffused during a long road trip or applied during a massage. Its spicy, invigorating aroma also makes it popular in the perfume industry.
Ginger is something I've been meaning to add to blends for my tummy :)

My FREE OILS for March! All because of Essential Rewards..

Lemon -- got it for free: My March Essential Rewards free oil for reaching at least 100 PV purchase

Lemon essential oil is cold-pressed from the rinds of lemons, giving its aroma all the brightness of the freshly picked fruit. Cheerful, sweet, and nostalgic, Lemon oil can eliminate odors and infuse your whole home with its clean, lemon-drop scent when diffused.
With its bright and joyful aroma, Lemon oil benefits skin and hair as much as its aroma benefits your environment. Your teens can add a drop to their evening moisturizer to reduce the appearance of blemishes, while you can add it to your conditioner for an aromatic treat that smoothes and shines the look of your hair. Because some citrus oils like Lemon can cause photosensitivity, avoid applying to exposed skin before spending time outside.
This oil is a key ingredient in many hair and skin care products, Thieves® cleaning products, and essential oil blends such as Thieves®, Citrus Fresh™, Clarity™, Joy™ and Harmony™.
Lemon is a staple EO in our home. I love to diffuse it as well as use it for chlorine detox purposes after a dip in the pool :)

Thieves -- got it for free: My Essential Rewards 6th month Loyalty free oil for being on ER that long

Thieves® essential oil is a powerful combination of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils for an aromatic blend that fills any space with a rich, spicy aroma. Inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals used while robbing the dead and dying, Thieves is one of Young Living’s most popular products.
I love anything Thieves from Young Living! This blend is one of my must-have's and I think I've finished 4 bottles already since starting September of last year. After a busy and tiring day at work or when I go to far off places, I make sure to diffuse this blend as we sleep.

Definitely a must-try for you too! I've tried so far their Thieves waterless hand purifier, foaming hand wash, all-purpose cleaner kit.

Helichrysum -- got it for free: Technically this was "purchased" as a Quick Order but it's still free because I used the Essential Rewards points I collected over the last half year or so. This is an $87 value so I really saved up my points for this :D

Helichrysum oil comes from a flowering plant that’s traditionally wild crafted in the mountains along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Once ready, the flower is carefully harvested and steam distilled to create the valuable oil. Helichrysum oil uses include diffusing its sweet, stimulating scent during homework and study time, as well as applying the oil topically to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
When I started using essential oils, I thought that this would just be a dream oil. Helichrysum or Imortelle is listed in so many recipes, with varied applications from the many books / apps that I've read. So I never really thought I'd be able to afford this one. I mean, I still can't. But I also didn't ever think it would be achievable to get this via the Essential Rewards points.Uh-uh, just didn't cross my mind. But it's here now so I'm just soo happy :D



=====================


Are you interested to start your oily journey and bring the life-changing benefits of essential oils to your home, family and lifestyle?


Join our family and friends of oilers by signing up HERE

I'm so excited for you as you begin a life of abundance and wellness :)

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Breakfast Idea: Traffic Light Scramble and Green Juice

Breakfast is always tricky for me. To get a good one (healthy, preferably), we need to find the perfect balance between 1) Waking early enough 2) Having ingredients at the ready 3) Not being too busy in the morning. 


This morning, the kitchen muse probably heard my tummy's plea! 

Oh, speaking about that...I was too jolted dancing Zumba the other night and seeing my tummy sticking out TOO MUCH! Yikes! It was definitely more than enough to send my butt cooking healthy in the kitchen.

So whenever I cook healthy, it has to be something that Daddy A would approve and eat as well. We want him to be healthier too! Of course, has to be kid approved too because really, who has that much time to cook 3 different meals?

Sooo...back to our breakfast idea. This is not an original but an adaptation of Body Boss Method's Bondi Eggs & Traffic Light Scramble. It's so easy, are you ready?

TRAFFIC LIGHT SCRAMBLE INGREDIENTS

Soft whole wheat tortilla
4 Eggs
A bunch of Spinach leaves
2 Tomatoes, finely sliced & deseeded
2 Small Onions, finely sliced
2-3 inches Ginger, peeled & grated
Cream cheese
Nut oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven or toaster. Toast your tortilla for a few minutes.
2. Heat your pan. Add oil and heat a bit. Saute onion, ginger, tomatoes. Add spinach leaves and stir until a bit wilted.
3. Scramble eggs and add salt & pepper to taste. Add to the pan to cook.
4. Spread cream cheese to your heated tortilla. Assemble the rest of the omelette inside & fold in half.

Easy, right? I usually add dried chili flakes, but not if I'm sharing it with my kids. This is filling but still so much lighter than when I have rice for breakfast.

=========================================

GREEN JUICE

2 Green apples, sliced
1 Cucumber, sliced
1 Ampalaya/Bitter gourd, sliced and deseeded
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced and deseeded
Few Stalks Celery
Spinach stalks (I didn't want to throw out this out. The leaves were used in the omelette above)




We use the Hurom slow juicer for this and drink it up right away; otherwise, the nutrient content decreases. It doesn't taste too good because I did not add too much fruits. This is subjective though. I feel that if we continue on with this, our taste buds will adjust. What we're after, is to maximize our intake of micronutrients. Anyway, it really tastes a lil bit too green. I just remind myself that it is indeed healthy and just drink up, no looking back! Hahaha :D




I'm still reading up on The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet & The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet Cookbook. Although we probably won't be doing a full reboot anytime soon, it's good to slowly incorporate juicing into our lives :)

So what are you waiting for? If you have a juicer at home, get it out of storage and start using it. Starting small each day will count for something in the long run :)

Have a great day ahead! :D


Friday, June 1, 2018

Boyce Avenue with Moira - Touring the Philippines

What a day!!!

I feel like so many things happened today - shuffling between wifey / mommy modes, talking to friends, job offers which I can't take right now (not a humble brag but I was surprised myself. yes plural, sometimes they just come at the same time) and Zumba in the evening...the highlight is definitely meeting BOYCE AVENUE in the flesh!



You see, I've been in my happy bubble for the longest time. I'm a music lover and I have probably heard them before but it's really just this year that I became "aware" of them. So much so that most days I start my mornings streaming their music. Keep them in the background when cleaning. And singing (their version of the song) in my head while taking a shower. Is it that bad? Hahaha :)


I have to thank my friend the beautiful and very talented Kathy Choy - Ranoa for inviting me to this event. It was quite funny how just a couple of weeks ago I was looking for someone to join me to the concert. I invited her and said it's on a Friday but she said, "Madz, no I think it's on a Thursday." She checked her calendar and BOOM! Turns out she was indeed going to a Boyce Avenue event on a Thursday cause she's the one hosting it! Hahaha..iba ka girl! :) She asked permission if she can invite and luckily they agreed. Warm fuzzies all over!!! That..on top of the sweltering Manila heat!


It's my first time to attend a press conference and even if I only brought my JVC digicam and Fujifilm mirrorless camera, (and there were monster cams and full set-ups) it doesn't matter at all. I was just savoring and taking in the experience. I'm a bit chatty here but in real life I can be a bit of a snob when I don't know anyone. Maybe the introvert side of me kicking into overdrive? Hahahaha..

So this is what happens pala at press conferences? The major networks went in first for their one-on-ones. Makes sense because they have to edit and air it in probably two hours or less. The rest of us came in for some Q&A's. I really wanted to ask a couple of questions but I just froze in my seat. Too starstruck and shy :) Don't worry, I'll post the video here as soon as it's uploaded in YouTube.




I met new acquaintances by sitting and walking around. They are so nice! I count myself lucky if I can make fast friends or even just small talk with truly pleasant people.


Okay, let's talk about Moira. She is such a doll! I honestly haven't followed all the reality shows and contests but I've been hearing about her. I was surprised that despite her major talent, she's still a bit flustered sitting next Boyce Avenue - one of her musical influences. 

You know if I was Moira, I'd be scared to death of being a wallflower at a press con like this. Especially if I'm next to Boyce Ave. But no, the press people have all been very gracious to her and she candidly answered questions and even gave out a very soulful "sample" as what most people would call it. You can tell that the Boyce Avenue guys are all very impressed with her too and they even said that if she tries, she can possibly be known internationally too! Well, what is YouTube for, right?

One more thing, Moira is a really very lucky girl! Usually local artists serve as front act to foreign bands but this time -- she's singing, jamming right there with them. Awesome!!! To be given that chance, out of all the other talented singers in the country...definitely speaks volumes about her and her talent. Hugot songs make me a  bit melodramatic but today I'm watching her version of "Sundo"...oooohhh, the feels...




Let's talk about Boyce Avenue. Major major talent right here! You would think they'd just be good with sappy, sentimental love songs. But you know what? They are really able to stretch (in a good way) and reach other genres that are not usually associated with their musical style. Successfully too, if I may say. 

The other thing I like most about them is that they seem to be so grounded, so humble despite their international success. They know well enough to stick to what works, mostly. But they're not one to be afraid to experiment a little. They're different but still the same.

The irony here would be the different paradigm shifts. In the past, boy bands start as teenagers and then fizzle out in their 20's. For them it's quite the opposite and I guess it works well because they have a wider ocean of songs to cover and it just clicks with their age. Also, and this is just my personal insight, their success as a rebel/underdog YouTube band is like a major clapback to the music industry in general. My goodness, they have done it! Now it's weird but also good that they are in the mainstream. That's one of the "different but still the same" I was talking about earlier. 



Best of luck Moira and Boyce Avenue, I will always be a fan!! :D

Oh, and I do hope you can get your wish of performing for a smaller audience. Many artists dream about that but what can we do, economies of scale. But wouldn't it be nice?? Them performing with just a handful (say 50) people around, similar set-up to what you see on their YouTube videos? I'd take it! 














Huge shout-out to Sir Jeman of Orange Magazine. In the few minutes that we talked, you have so generously shared and taught me blogging lessons. All so very helpful! Choy's right, please write a book!! :D





AND AND AND!!! I scored a pic!! It's with Fabian Manzano of Boyce Avenue. We were actually exiting the hotel premises and he was on his way to play some basketball. We just had to re-enter the building and ask if it'd be alright to have a picture with him. Thankful that he agreed! :) Hopefully next time I can take a picture with all three of them! :D

I'll see you guys (yes, you dear readers too!) at the concert!! :D



BOYCE AVENUE WITH MOIRA is organized and presented by WILBROS LIVE.



Tickets available at:

MANILA -     [June 1 at Araneta Coliseum]   - TicketNet.com.ph or Call 911-5555
CEBU -         [June 2 at Waterfront Hotel Ballroom]  - Waterfront Hotel Box Office or Call (032) 232-6888
DAVAO -        [June 3 at SMX Convention Center Davao]  - SMTickets.com or Call (02) 470-2222

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