GIVEAWAY ALERT: Playful diapers & Jeunesse Anion napkins!

Monday, September 09, 2019


I'm doing a giveaway of #Playfulbabydiaper and #JeunesseAnion sanitary napkins.
Please click the links below to join!

Winners will be announced on Friday the 13th! (9/13)

Open to Metro Manila residents only..

Playful Baby Diapers
Instagram post on the giveaway + mechanics

Jeunesse Anion Sanitary Products
Instagram post on the giveaway + mechanics

Paradise Dynasty: Chef's Recommendation at The Podium

Friday, August 30, 2019

When I first tried Paradise Dynasty in S Maison in Conrad last 2016, I was impressed with the quality and taste of the dishes.  But there was a hitch - the distance.  How I wish they opened somewhere nearer me.  It was in 2017 that I learned that they have opened in The Podium mall!  Technically, it's still quite a distance but nevertheless, nearer than the other two branches (S Maison and SM Aura).

I have a confession.  There is this one dish that I truly truly TRULY love from Paradise Dynasty - and that's the Boiled Beef in Szechuan Chili Oil.  It's just sad because I can't order this dish when I'm with my family - as I'll be the only one eating it.  My Panget finds it too spicy while the kids obviously won't be able to take it in.  So for the times that we dine in Paradise Dynasty - I would longingly stare at it's image on the menu and secretly utter 'next time' with a heavy sigh.

Last week, we were treated to Paradise Dynasty's Chef Recommendation dishes, these are exclusive to The Podium branch.  And here they are:

Grouper with Pine Nuts and Fruits 
This grouper tasted so fresh and the flavors were spot on.  Didn't think fruit bits would compliment a grouper dish, but this one was perfect.  Order this instead of your usual grouper fare.

Shanghai Style Braised Pork Belly
 What I loved about this dish is that the ratio of the fat and the pork in the pork belly.  It was just right and so when you bite into a piece, everything is so tasty and blends really well.  My daughter loved this and I felt too that this was kid friendly (as my son is allergic to seafood).  This is something everyone will enjoy, it looks basic but the flavors are there and it's perfect to pair with rice or noodles.

Grilled Grouper with Tofu in Mapo Tofu Style
Here's another variation to the typical grouper dish.  It infuses a classic Chinese dish of mapo tofu and topped it on a grilled grouper.  This dish is definitely filling because I enjoyed the tofu cubes with the grouper.  I like that you can also top the sauce on white rice.  This I think is their vegetarian mapo tofu - the meat is substituted with fish!  It's a welcome variation, in my opinion.

Deep-fried Duck with Steamed Bun (served half)
It wasn't love at first sight, because I judged it immediately when I saw it.  Hahaha!  It was good nevertheless.  Something worth ordering.  I guess I'm just really biased with preferring my duck to be roasted and served in thin sheets of wrapper compared with this dish, served in a steam bun.  It was something different and something you'd want to order just to try a different style on your usual roast duck.  

Here are some of the usual favorites from Paradise Dynasty:

Please visit Paradise Dynasty at the Podium Mall.  They have the most wonderful and committed staff to help you with orders and everything else that you need.  They always serve with a smile and is very knowledgeable on their menu and which dishes goes with what.  The food is served fast hot and fresh too!  They are located on the 2nd Floor

Hope to bump into you there!

Cooking Quest: Homemade Chicken Sopas

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

I really like Chicken Sopas.  I remember when I was in grade school in ICA, I would run down to the canteen right after the bell rang for recess, so I can buy myself a cup of chicken sopas or arroz caldo.  I remember trying this every so often because I really liked hearty soup during recess.  There were times that the canteen would sell out on the chicken sopas and arroz caldo.  But surprise surprise, the kuya or ate who serve will always give me a smile and offer me a bowl that they've kept for me.  Sweet, noh?  Awwww!!

Since I also wanted some Chicken Sopas at home, I would buy the trusty Knorr Chicken or Beef Sopas pack in the supermarket.  This has been a staple in all of my supermarket runs.  I would need to have a few packs in the pantry just in case I had a craving.  It was so easy to make and I felt comforted when I had it.  I would still do this after I got married.  I even introduced my kids to having it because they were curious what Mommy was having.  It was last year, I think - that I noticed that the supermarket that I frequent doesn't carry the Knorr Chicken or Beef Sopas anymore.  I remember one time seeing packs of Knorr Beef Sopas on the shelves of Landmark Trinoma (maybe a year ago or so), I bought a few packets.  In my mind, since it was still sold there - I can always go back.  But when I went back a month ago, I didn't see it anymore.  I asked the staff in Landmark and was told that the product was phased out.  I never got a confirmation because I didn't try to call the consumer hotline of Knorr.  Maybe I should.

The past weeks, I haven't felt 100%.  I felt that my colds have been overlapping, bummer right?  But then last weekend, I decided that I need the comforting chicken sopas.  Seeing Rowena's IG post that she made chicken sopas from scratch inspired me to make my own.  I knew I had to do it because there were no short cut anymore.

So I browsed through Panlasang Pinoy's Rich and Creamy Chicken Sopas recipe and used it as a guide.  I tweaked it to become my own version.  I was also tipped by Animetric to use Cheez Whiz instead of salt.  So I bought a tipid pack during my supermarket run.  I will share below the ingredients and the procedures.

I honestly can't believe that I made my own chicken sopas from scratch!  It was possible.  I reminded me so much of the chicken sopas that I had in ICA.  The kids and my Panget loved it too.  It was a success!  Hahaha..  Now, I know that I can do it again - and it's not that hard to do.

1 Kilo Chicken Soup Pack (this is usually the breast part)
6 cups of Water (or more since you will be cooking the macaroni in the 'soup')
1 pack of Elbow Macaroni
1 big can of Carnation Evap
Cheez Whiz
2-3 pcs Knorr Chicken Cubes
1 large Onion
8 strips of Bacon chopped into smaller pieces
1/4 cup Butter
1 medium Carrot (diced)
1 small Cabbage chopped

In a large pot, boil chicken in the water.  Boil for about 20 minutes, take out the chicken let it cool.  When cooled, take out the meat and chop (I rough chopped it, but for uniformity's sake - dice it).  But the bones back in the chicken broth and continue to boil over low heat.  Add the 1 can of Carnation Evap and boil.  Add elbow macaroni and cook.  Please stir from time to time.

In another pan, cook the bacon with little oil.
Add the butter and cook.
Add the onions and carrots.
Cook until the carrots are softened
Add a little chicken broth so you can scrape the pan better

Take out the chicken bones from the boiling chicken broth.
Add the bacon, onion, and carrot mixture to the broth.
Add chopped cabbage and boil 5 minutes.

Taste the chicken sopas and add Cheez Whiz.  Don't forget to season with pepper too!  Oh by the way, I felt that the Cheez Whiz I added was too little, thus I needed to add chicken cubes for more flavor.

That's it!

Hope you enjoy!  If you have other tips, let me know!  I would love to try your version!!

On my next try, I would do the following:
1)  Use Ham instead of Bacon
2)  I'll cook the elbow macaroni beforehand in whole milk and add the liquid to the chicken broth (instead of evap)
3)  I'll add pounded garlic
4)  Use one whole chicken (cut up) for the broth
5)  Use the chicken breast and dice it (I rough chopped kasi)
6)  I will try to put vienna sausages

PAYMAYA: The convenient way to pay and receive money!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Ever since I was introduced to PayMaya, my shopping and spending has never been the same.  I am able to pay bills, buy load and receive money 24/7.  It was so easy!

When they introduced the QR payment, my golly - it became much more convenient!  Even if I didn't have my wallet on me, I would still be able to pay using the app!  I didn't need to take my wallet out!  As we always have our mobile phones on our hands - it was so much easier!  My friends would often wonder why I keep using PayMaya - well, it's because of the ease and convenience.

They have deals like my favorite cash back.  At first I was't aware of that promo, and then one time - I made a purchase in Mercury and I received a text message right after I scanned and paid via QR.  The text said that I received a cash back with the amount of 10% of my total purchase!  Well, since then - I would always make it a habit to use my Paymaya and pay via QR code.

So, what else can PayMaya do?   When you register, you automatically are assigned a virtual credit card.  This virtual credit card can be used on all international sites that require a credit card purchase!  Can you believe it?  You don't need a physical card to purchase on the popular international shopping sites!

If you do what a physical card, you can get yourself one from their website.  They have promos on it too because you can link multiple cards to your account.  Also, the PayMaya card is widely accepted worldwide!  I have successfully used the PayMaya card in Tokyo and Hong Kong, convenient - right?!!

Try it to believe!

So download the PayMaya app NOW on Android and iOs!  Input the code below and earn yourself P50.00!


Geena's Deliciously Rich Chocolate Cake

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

I am not a chocolate person.  It was only when 8 years ago that I started to appreciate chocolates - the brown ones I mean.  I prefer white chocolate, but some say that it's really NOT chocolate per se.  But I started my appreciation with chocolate during a pregnancy craving while I was pregnant with Kailee.  I would eat certain chocolate cakes and drink hot chocolate.

I like my chocolate cakes sweet.  I've tried so many 'the best' chocolate cakes but most of them are a bit bitter.  I think it's really me - because a chocolate enthusiast will appreciate the more bitter darker chocolates, am I right?  So I'm the pretend chocolate fan.  Hahaha! I can admit that.  Hihi..

My in laws are chocolate lovers.  They like and appreciate anything chocolate.  So during our usual family dinner, I thought to bring a chocolate cake from somewhere we haven't ordered before.  I saw on Leslie's (shootfirsteatlater) and Jin's (jinlovedtoeat) IG feed - Geena's Chocolate Cake.  They were raving about it and it looked really interesting and good!  To be honest, it wasn't very appealing to me - because 'not much of a chocolate fan', but then I made a mental note to remember it for the benefit of my in laws and for future reference.  Hihi..

So I ordered and the very nice person at the other end of the mobile number was very kind to accommodate my quite last minute order.  (Thank you!!) I sent the order from, made payment and waited the next day for my order to come.  I ordered the 10x14 and it cost Php1,650.00.   It was quite painless - our exchange was very fast and clear.  They deliver via Lalamove and so it was all the more convenient, I didn't need to have it picked up!  Yey, right?

When the order arrived, the cake was inside a pristine white box with a black ribbon and a tag that says Geena's Cake Boutique.  When I opened the box - it looked so perfect!  I swear, it looked really chocolatey.  I was honestly a bit repelled since it was all brown!  Hahaha..  Look how perfect the ganache is - my reflection is there taking a photo (buking!)

So that night, when dessert time came - I did the first slice - and I knew I had to try it first, if it was dark chocolatey or if it was the kind of chocolate that I liked.  The slice was quite an experience, the cake knife dug into the ganache and I knew that I was cutting into the cake because of there was a bit of resistance.  This was the first corner slice:

Look at that gooey ganache and chocolate cake.  I was afraid honestly.  It looked really chocolate-y, I was hoping that it will be the right kind of chocolate that I liked!  Hahaha...  And when I took the first bite.  I was sooooo perfect for me!  The texture was exactly how I imagined a rich chocolate cake was to be, the ganache had the sweetness that wasn't overly sweet.  I was honestly afraid that my in laws would think it too sweet!  I gave my panget a bite and he said it was good.  I got my father in law spoon full to try and he said it was good.  It was such a hit!  Kailee and Connor asked for slices too - and they were saying how yummy it was!  We even gave Shobe some to try and she kept going back to my Panget because she wanted more - she looked really cute and messy eating it.

Look at what happened to the cake:

On our family dinners, my Panget and I usually take home the left over dessert.  It was always us and no one else.  But guess what happened - my SIL took home half of what was left!  Hahaha..  I think she loved it too!  See how good it was?

When we got home, Connor asked for a slice.  I was reluctant but gave in.  The next morning, my Panget and I had it for breakfast - and by lunch time - our 'take home' was gone.  It was that good!

Try it if you haven't.

I can't stop thinking about it.  Hahha!

Thank you Geena's Cake Boutique for sharing your creation!  We LOVED it so much!!