Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Simple Curry Rice Dinner

Cooking a curry dish using instant Japanese curry roux
Curry is a popular dish in Japan which was introduced by the British. One common curry dish is the curry rice. It is basically rice mixed with vegetables (onions, carrots and potatoes), meat (chicken , pork or beef) and the curry sauce. Instant curry roux is now available in supermarkets (Japanese section) or specialty stores. I remember tasting a very delicious  curry rice in one of our overnight trips in Japan. I sometimes craved for the unique sweet and little spicy taste of curry (the taste is different from the Indian or Thai curry), that's why in one of my visits at a Japanese store in QC, I bought one of the curry sauces available. In our simple dinner, Apple sauteed onions and chicken, followed by the carrots and potatoes. Water was mixed and the curry roux was poured on the mixture until the mixture became rich. Add a little salt (or patis) and pepper. Apple served the curry rice with scrambled eggs. The Japanese eat curry rice using only a spoon. So we served the curry rice with spoons only. The kids asked "where is the fork?" I told them you don't need a fork to eat curry rice. Curry rice with scrambled eggs. A simple dinner but yummy!
Curry rice with egg.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Baby Pat Ensaymada

Baby Pat introduces color-coded flavored ensaymadas
When I see the color-coded Baby Pat ensaymadas it reminds me of our favorite colored M&M chocolate candies. The box of various colors of ensaymadas makes you wonder and ask, "what's inside this colored wrapper?"  If it's your first time to try the bread, it's really intriguing. So when you open the wrapper you will be surprised with the toppings on the bread. Baby Pat uses colored wrappers to identify the flavors of their ensaymada: Purple = ube, Red = Speculoos, Orange = Nuttella, Brown = Tablea, Yellow = Latik. 

Yellow = Latik
 When the soft flavored ensaymada appears before your eyes, there is a sense of wonder - "wow! look at the colors and the topping!" You unwrap the plastic cover excited to take the first bite.
Purple = Ube
After that first bite, you chew and enjoy the flavors. Some flavors are too sweet like the Nuttella and Tableau but the kids love them. Other flavors (e.g. Ube are buttery, which I like). My kids' favorite is the red one which is flavored with cookie butter. After finishing one color, you still crave for more and would like to try the other colors. Parang M&M! Makulay at Masarap!
Red = Speculoos (Cookie butter from Belgium or California). Geof and Julia's favorite!

Butter, ube are mixed inside the soft bread.
Baby Pat ensaymadas come from Sta. Rosa, Laguna. They can be ordered and delivered to you. Check out and like their fb page for orders: Contact Pearl De Guzman.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lechon Ambula

Rayfer is the master cook among the cousins when it comes to lechon ambula
Ambula is a Kapampangan (Pampango) term for  rice mixed with viands. The closest example of an ambula dish is rice toppings. During the Geronimo - Maria Coronel family reunions, lechon ambula is a favorite. Ambula is simply rice mixed with chopped lechon meat and salt. It was a dish that originated from Lolo Memong of Floridablanca, Pampanga. Our Lolo Memong, the Oldies say, used to feed us with his bare hands with the ambula so that the clan becomes a closely-knit family. The ambula is a dish itself -no need for viands or sauce. If you love lechon - the skin, fat and meat -  and haven't tried the ambula, then you are missing one of the simplest yet tastiest lechon dishes. And you can only taste the ambula when you join a Coronel reunion. Mangan tana!
Ambula - rice, lechon and salt: simple but yummy!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Filipino Dishes with a twist at Mesa

Mesa Filipino Moderne restaurant at SM North EDSA serves fusion Filipino dishes. Filipino dishes like the famous sisig, tofu, scallops, laing and fried hito are presented with a twist. Shown below are the dishes we ordered.
Sisig in a pouch - similar to the sipa
Inside the "Sisig in a pouch" - a little bit oily

Their glasses lean like the tower of Pisa

Crispy boneless hito with mangga salad
Laing 2 ways - not so spicy, just right and the kids love it

Tofu salad - shrimp, century egg on top of tofu

Baked scallops with garlic butter

Friday, October 25, 2013

My Thai Kitchen

If you love Thai food especially the spicy tom yang soup and curry dishes at affordable price, My Thai Kitchen is a resto that we recommend. We tried My Thai Kitchen at Eastwood and ordered the Tom Yang Shrimp Soup - spiciness is just right, the fried spring rolls - crispy and tasty with the sauce, red curry chicken - not so spicy which is just right for kids like Julia, crispy kangkong and the pad thai noodles. The service was great. Our lunch was very satisfying and went home happy. We promised to try their other dishes.
Tom Yang Shrimp Soup

Red Curry Chicken

Friend Spring Rolls

Next time, we'll try their other dishes. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Easy Art Lessons by Fernando Sena

Geof and his art work (top, right), "Fruit Stand"
Fernando Sena delivers his lessons at UP Vargas Museum
Graduation Picture of UP Vargas Participants - June 2, 2013
 Fernando Sena is a known painter who conducts art workshops. Lola Cons was one of his students. This summer, Geoffrey enrolled at one of the summer workshops of F.Sena Easy Art Lessons held at UP Vargas Museum. Attending his workshop is really informative - he really presents step by step the art of painting from drawing simple shapes and objects, to shading and then using color like pentel pen, pastel and water color. I am not a participant but with the short period I was observing the lessons, I also learned  a lot and tried to follow his drawing tips and techniques.

Geof loves sketching specially technical objects like airplanes, tanks and warships. Now with the lessons from Prof. Sena, he learned to draw and paint other shapes like flowers, fruits, simple objects and even faces. The art workshop consists of eight sessions plus a team session where the participants are grouped into ten members and they create a group painting. After the tedious and creative sessions, they had their graduation at the Philippine Heart Center last June 2, 2013. The students from five years old to senior citizens received a certificate and medals for their outstanding work during the workshop. For only P4,000.00 for eight sessions, you will learn the basics and with patience and practice, you will become a successful artist.

Thank you Fernando Sena for your untiring dedication to promote painting to all.

Geof and Julia with the Group Painting, "School Scene."
Geof's Grade for the Homeworks

Geof's message to Prof. Sena

Pencil Drawings of Geof

Pastel Art by Geof
The group art work - June 1, 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Zoobic Safari

Zoobic Safari by Geof

 5 May 2013. Our summer trip to Subic inlcudes the Zoobic Safari. First, we saw a lot of birds and farm animals. Second, we took a train that brought us to the many sections of the zoo. The first stop was a close encounter with tigers. We went in a jeep and saw them up close. The handlers also fed them meat. The next stop, we saw where all the tigers were being held. For the third stop, we saw an Aeta dance ritual. Then we saw an exhibit of many animal skins and hides. Finally, we walked over a bridge overlooking a pond full of crocodiles. Even though it was hot that day, I still had a fun experience there.


Milk feeding the goats!

Inside the safari jeep

Ouch! The tiger bit my finger!

Tiger - happy with the finger!

An Aeta Dance

Geof and the crocodiles

Geof and Julia strolling at the Zoobic park

Ocean Adventure at Subic

Our Ocean Adventure by Geof
4 May 2013. During our trip to Subic, our first destination was Ocean Adventure. First, we went to the Animal Kingdom. There, we learned about the many types of animals, birds, and reptiles. Next, we watched Kenyan acrobats do all types of stunts and acrobatics. Third, we watched the dolphins do stunts and interact with the audience. Finally, we watched a show about sea lions doing tricks with their trainers. As an added bonus, one of the audience fell into the sea lion’s pool. After all that, we went to an aquarium and saw all kinds of sea animals. Finally, we bought 2 stuffed animals at the souvenir shop. It was an amazing experience!

Animal Show - Reptiles and Dogs

Kenyan Acrobats - Awesome and Funny!

Dolphins say bye-bye!
Sea Lions Show

Mr. Blowfish!

Souvenir shop

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Toasted Siopao

Have you ever tasted a toasted siopao? It's yummy and the kids loved it. The toasted siopao has meat and egg inside. You can buy the toasted siopao here at Visayas Ave (besides Conspiracy Bar). One dozen of siopao in a box cost P106 (or P96 if packed in a paper bag). 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Kids at Art

Julia with her painting on exhibit
Kids at Art is a summer workshop where kids explore their artistic skills and creativity. It's not really an art class like the ones being conducted by UP Professor Sena but it's more of an activity art session where the kids are instructed to create their artwork following a theme and using a specific medium. We enrolled Geoffrey when he was seven (7) yrs old. This summer, Julia at eight (8) yrs old took the same workshop at Celebrity Plaza. After eight sessions, they had an exhibit at the Robinson's Magnolia. Compare the artworks of the kids. Geof's images are more of technology - cars, submarines. Julia's drawings are more of cute girls, insects and pets.

Playful Animals by Julia 2013

Underwater Animals by Geof  2007