Pork buns

Gratitude list time 😊

  • PORK BUNS BY TIM HO WAN ARE THE BESSSSSSTTTTTTT

 

Yummeh pork buns are yummeh

 

  • Philippines: My country may be messed up, but I still love it. We are crazy and young as a democratic nation, so all these political pains are expected. But you know what, atthe heart of it all, my fellow countrymen are kind and generous and compassionate. (Now about discipline… Um…)
  • Potato Corner Flavored Fries: Every month I get salty-food cravings, and one of the few that can satisfy these would be the barbecue flavored french fries of Potato Corner. Eez juz guuuuuud
  • Phil: Okay there’s this noon time series that my mom loves to watch (forgot the title), and the lead guy is Brazilian-Japanese model-turned-actor Daniel Matsunaga AND HE IS JUST DREAMY. Cheesy, but still dreamy. And his character’s name is Phil. 😍

photo from a googled site

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Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte is a candidate for the presidential seat in the upcoming Philippine national elections this May.

A lot of people are voting for him because they believe that his no nonsense way of handling things and iron hand in dealing with criminals are just what our country needs.

I’m not sold on him for two reasons:

  1. He has been accused of (and he hasn’t denied it) being directly in charge of the Davao Death Squad, which has killed low-level criminals on the streets of that city he used to be a mayor of. I don’t think I want a president who condones killing.
  2. In interviews and presidential debates, he hasn’t explicitly explained HOW he plans on eradicating crime in the country, and this worries me because he just might resort to using the Death Squad but in a national scale this time.

However, I’m still considering him because his compassion is undeniable. When Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck our country, he sent help but without emblazoning his name on the relief good bags that he sent.

I have a month left to decide whom to vote for, but the prospects are weak.

Gratitude list

  • Down time: my SO’s home department invited me to help plan a surprise birthday “party” for him and his department-mate. Their birthdays were right after each other’s. We went to a nearby country club, had lumch, played billiards and bowling and overall just had a great time in each other’s company
  • Dogs: They used to scare me so much because I got chased by a big black one when I was a kid. How ironic now that our own dog (1 human year and 3 months old) is big (ish) and black, but he’s the sweetest. He’s surrounded by the cats that my sisters own, so he has imbibed some of their mannerisms. Instead of jumping up and licking our faces to greet us, he runs to us and rubs his body along our legs. When we reach down to pet him, THAT is the time he jumps in us and licks our faces. Our dog Bono is part Malinois, part labrador, a tiny part chow chow. I’d also like to think he’s part cat, but maybe that’s just me.
  • Desserts: at the party earlier we has two types of cakes: a banoffee bundt cake with chocolate chip walnut and cinnamon streusel, and an ice cream cake. I just lost all the calories I burned from doing yoga from these cakes.

Cooking

I’m no kitchen whiz, but I’m no klutz either.

Today being meatless Friday, I made some tuna pasta for dinner. No pics, though. We were all too hungry to bother with it.

Since I don’t know how to make pasta sauce from scratch, I turned to ready-made pasta sauces. A personal favorite would be the Clara Ole and Filippo Berio brands. The one pictured below is what I used earlier. It turns out the sauce isn’t just for pasta; you can use it with baked potatoes or sandwiches (IDK how it’ll work with the latter, though.)

Thank you interwebs for the pic.

Thank you interwebs for the pic. Click image to go to official site.

Anyway, I just added tuna flakes to the sauce for some extra bite. Oh and some water because the sauce was way too thick on its own. Top with grated cheese and there you go. 🙂

As for the Clara Ole brand, I like their Three Cheese tomato pasta sauce. I crumble some feta cheese and throw it into the mix to make it a four-cheese sauce. It’s absolutely dee-lish. 🙂

Speaking of cheese–and this makes me wonder if I should just change the title of this post to “Cheese”–I also add some grated cheese to scrambled eggs and put it on toast. I use the Wolfgang Puck method for making the perfect scrambled egg (sort of). My sister uses the Gordon Ramsay method. Either way, our scrambled eggs always come out great. 😀

The best part about cooking? The eating. (but of course)

Worst part? Clean up. 😀

Crimson Hotel’s Sunday Family Brunch

Can I just say this?

I’m not a buffet person. I suck at buffets–if that’s even possible. I haven’t been to a lot, but in all of them, there have always been food items that I wasn’t able to try because I was already too full to get up from the table.

Nevertheless, buffets are always a fun experience. 🙂

Last Sunday, I was invited by Irene E., the co-founder of the South Writers’ League (SWL) of which I’m a member, to try out the brunch at the relatively new Crimson Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa. I got there early, so I got the chance to look around the main lobby, which, strangely, was on the 8th floor. I’m guessing the other floors below it are reserved for parking.

The lobby itself is a sight to behold. Here you can find the grand ballroom, the concierge, the receptionist, the lobby lounge, gorgeous paintings, and the Cafe Eight where the brunch was held.

When I got to the lobby, I was surprised to see people entering the grand ballroom. I didn’t expect an event to be happening on such a lazy Sunday, but later on I heard singing; I looked at the sign beside one of the doors and saw that there was mass. That discovery was certainly a pleasant surprise. It’s not often you see hotels holding mass in their grounds regularly.

When my new friends from the SWL arrived, we immediately went to the buffet area. It turns out that the Sunday brunch was a new thing and they were calling it the Sunday Family Brunch. The first thing that greeted us was the bar right next to the entrance and the cashier (more on this later), but what made us ooh and aah was the enormous round table full of a variety of desserts. I saw leche flan, fruits, chocolate stuff, other sweets (I’m sorry I can’t remember any of them; my jaw just dropped). To our left was the appetizer buffet full of breads and spreads and cheese and salads and lots of other small stuff the names of which I can’t remember. Seriously. You just go there to EAT, not memorize names, right?

Irene  introduced us to the Marketing and Communications Manager, Alex Aquino. He talked to us about the brunch buffet and told us that it just started a couple of weeks ago. It was relatively new and was their attempt to branch out to the families. The hotel was known as one that catered to businessmen, but they wanted families–especially the ones living in the south, which is suburbia heaven–to come visit them as well. They had the Sunday mass at 11am (yes, it’s regular), and, given the sosyal nature of the families in the immediate area, you know they’d want to attend mass at a hotel. The idea is: go to mass at the hotel, then have lunch there, too.

The selection isn’t as varied as the other buffets I’ve been to, but that’s not to say the food was not as good; it was excellent, actually. You have your stable pork, chicken, beef, pasta, soup, sushi/maki selections. What I didn’t get to check out were the dedicated seafood and dessert tables, though, and I regret this deeply.

**note: I wasn’t able to take a pic of the main dishes because I was too busy eating.

One standout feature of the Sunday Family Brunch is the dedicated kids’ corner. Kiddie food? Got it! They’ve got the staple spaghetti and pizza, but they also have healthier food like the fruit kebabs. Their kids’ corner also had the chocolate lava cake (holy lord, the only dessert I had, and it was divine!), a cotton candy stand, a popcorn stand, and more desserts. Another part of the kids’ corner was the kids’ play area which featured a large screen where the kids could watch cartoons or other kid-friendly movies, tables and chairs that were both for kids and adults (for those who want to stay in the area to supervise their children), and some games.

The idea to have a dedicated kids’ corner seems genius for me. I don’t know about you, but if I had kids, I’d bring them here once in a while because (and I can’t believe I’m just remembering this now) aside from the kids’ corner, the children get to swim in the pool and play in the deck as well (ask about this as you enter the cafe).

What else can I say?

I met new lovely people and got myself stuffed silly with sumptuous food. ‘Twas a happy Sunday brunch. 🙂

——-

Sunday Family Brunch
11am-2pm
Cafe Eight, Crimson Hotel, Alabang
Php 1,600 (with unlimited juices)
Php 2,100 (with alcoholic drinks)
Reservations not required but recommended.

For more details, visit their website.

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Plugging the blogs of my new friends Gaby and Jacqui.

Gaby writes about budget travels while Jacqui writes about food and travel.

Read what Gaby had to say about this brunch.
Read what Jacqui had to say about this.

Food

Currently on the road, so I’m gonna dump this while still awake:

I bought a doughnut with caramel glaze and CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON.

//edit

It was oh-kay. Deliciously weird. Or strangely delicious?

The daily grind

Today was just OFF.

Last night, I felt great. I cooked pasta for my food the next day and even cooked extra to share.

The next day, though, as soon as I stepped out of the house, I knew something would be wrong. I turned the corner of my street and realized that I had left my glasses at home. Since I was already running late, I decided to just wing the day without them.

Pasta was eaten during breakfast instead of during lunch because life. (Yes, I just used the conjunction as a preposition. Apparently it’s a thing now.)

My back hurt most of the day.

I was lethargic because of this back pain.

I was hungry most of the day, too, and I don’t even know why because I had pasta for breakfast, a full meal for lunch, and chocolate milk for my afternoon snack (because I didn’t have any other food). <– Oh that’s why.

I also had some Korean twizzle sticks out of desperation to get food in my protesting tummy. Thankfully, boss had a spare pandesal to share. If I hadn’t been in her presence, I would’ve swallowed that thing in one bite.

This cold is making my joints hurt. It’s always been a curse since I was a kid. This is why I’m never migrating to places with cold winters. Or with any form of winter. AT ALL.

Here ends my rant.

I shall spend my evening curled up in bed with a book a student lent me. It looks like a pre-teen book about fairy tales. Meh. A book is a book.

———————————-

Today’s random quote:

Me:             Bring food for sharing!
Student1:   Miss, seriously?!
Me:             Did you not get hungry from all this labor?
Student2:   Yes!
Me:             There you go.
ALL:           CAN WE BRING CHIPS?!?!?!?!?! (because chips aren’t normally allowed)

Tomorrow, I shall gorge on chips I can scavenge from the kids. And I’ll bring… something.

A long weekend

My weekend was supposed to start early with errands and work, but I ended up sleeping and eating most of it away.

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My day started out with a visit from this cutie named Sab. I honestly have no idea who this kid’s parents are (my mom knows them and the grandparents), but I don’t really care. She’s such a sweetheart. 🙂

My friend dropped me off at Makati where I was to do my errands. I didn’t get to accomplish ANYTHING because of long lines and not enough time and a system failure.

First I looked for food. Then, I went in search of that elusive BBW Dancing Waters lotion. It’s kind of impossible to find, apparently. I gave up and then just proceeded to PowerBooks where I spent many a happy hour just browsing. I sat down on the carpet in one section and just piled book upon book on my lap trying to decide which one/s to get with my Php500 gift card. All the books I wanted were around Php700++, so I settled for my second choice books which were thankfully already in mass market paperback editions (HENCE CHEAPER). I settled on Christopher Moore’s Coyote Blue (Php 469) and local literary legend Nick Joaquin’s Candido’s Apocalypse (Php195). The Sherlock story in the picture is for someone else.

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Books in front of me…

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…and books behind me…

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…and then there’s just me. 😀

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Book haul of the day. Little did I know that another one would join this merry band of books hours later.

Craving for a cup of coffee (not really), I headed for the nearest Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf branch that I knew of but was oddly surprised to discover that it wasn’t there. I took it as a sign to stop spending, so I decided to drop by the church that was in the middle of the busy shopping district for some peace  and quiet. I found a seat along the walkway just outside the church because it was already full inside. They were praying the rosary, but it was almost done, so I just sat there and observed the people. Families were posing in front of the carabao statues near the side entrance of the church. People were milling about, not even stopping to glance at the church or make the sign of the cross. Some were busy looking at their phones as they rushed to wherever it was they needed to get to.

I sat there quietly just taking it all in. There’s a certain peace to be had just by sitting and observing, more so in close proximity to a holy place.

A few minutes later, anticipated mass for the Feast of Christ the King began. It’s been a while since I’ve heard mass in that church. The priest is always different, so perspectives and homilies are always varied. Yesterday’s priest said nothing really new, in my opinion, but it was refreshing to hear a lively homily outside school masses.

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Decided to head to the small church in the midst of the bustling metropolis to say a quiet prayer of thanks.

When my friend Irish arrived and we finally left the church, we had time to kill before heading on over to our friend’s place where we were supposed to sleep over. It had been a while since we had our last sleepover, so we were all giddy as teenagers. Since there was time to spare, we decided to watch Big Hero 6, but unfortunately, seats were all sold out. We decided to fill our stomachs with something light to get us through the dinner wait..

Irish told me we were to pick something up for her sister somewhere before going to the sleepover. I did not suspect at all that we were actually going to have a staycation at a nearby hotel. I am a clueless and dense person.

You know the funny thing? When Irish told me where we were going, the first thing that came to mind was this guy I dated before. He had a thing there. So I wasn’t exactly looking forward to spending much time in that area.

Irish parked in the hotel basement, which seemed funny at first because I thought only guests parked there. Outsiders were to park elsewhere. BUT YOU KNOW. CLUELESS ME WAS CLUELESS.

We got into the elevator and when it stopped at the ground floor to let more people in, our friend’s husband was there, and he had SUCH a look of guilt on his face that I immediately knew that we weren’t there to pick anything up for Irish’s sister. Worse, he got off on the same floor we did and FOLLOWED US AROUND. Ding ding ding ding ding! Yup, the sleepover would be there. 😀

(Part of me hoped that Daniel Matsunaga would be there, but I figured that would be pushing my luck.)

In any case, we got to the room and when they opened, there were my friends and their babies with a HAPPY BIRTHDAY banner and cake and food.

crappy phone photo, but it contains SO MUCH HAPPINESS :D

crappy phone photo, but it contains SO MUCH HAPPINESS 😀

Part 2 tomorrow. 😀