Friday, September 30, 2011

The Housewife Chronicles: Pizza Night!

Making dinner for two is a puzzling math problem.  You'll want enough food for some but not too much leftovers, just enough for another meal or else someone will complain that he's sick of eating the same stuff. You have to measure and portion your meat, fish or vegetable in advance so you do not have to thaw a whole kilo of chicken when it's just the two of you eating.  And sometimes, it is just too much effort to cook a separate meat and vegetable dish. But you also want to cook healthy and well balanced meals.

After two and a half years of marriage, I think I have cooking for two down to an art! One of the easy and yummy dish in my repertoire is this recipe for no-knead pizza.  It is virtually oil free.  It has lots of fiber since I use half whole wheat flour for the dough.  It is a balanced meal; you just choose your protein and vegetables to top the pizza.  And most important, it's easy and quick! haha

I'm not exaggerating when I say that this is quick. 

Prepare a bowl.  Place 500 grams of flour.  I use half all-purpose and half whole wheat.

Add 2 and 1/2 teaspoons of instant yeast,

3/4 teaspoon of salt,

3/4 teaspoon of sugar,

 and 1 and 1/2 cups of room temperature water. 

Stir until combined.  If the dough seems dry and there is excess flour add a tablespoon or two of water until combined.  Leave in a warm spot for two hours until it rises.  You can also leave the dough inside the refrigerator for 2-3 days and just use it when you feel like it.  What I do is use half the dough immediately for dinner and freeze the other half for another day. 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease a baking sheet with a tablespoon of olive oil and spread half the pizza dough with your fingers.  Don't leave it too thick, you want your pizza crunchy and just slightly doughy.  Spread with some pesto or basil oil and tomato sauce. 

Top with grated cheese.

Adding our favorite toppings: onions and mushrooms.  Protein for tonight is shrimp.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is slightly brown and crispy.

Eat hot for maximum satisfaction.  Enjoy!!! 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mommy Fashion: Cheap Alternatives

I've been eyeing this mustard and white sleeveless polo from Topshop and Dorothy Perkins for the last couple of months.  However, my kuripotness can't seem to fork over P2000 for such a simple top.  On a trip to the department store to buy some essentials, I passed by the ladies section and saw a dupe for the polo I wanted,  It was 1/4 of the cost! So so so happy!  I love bargains. hahahaha Anyway, who doesn't right?  I immediately got one in my size, went into the dressing room and was happy that it fitted me perfectly. 

Here's how I wore it for dinner out with my friends. 

Krizia polo, Mango sale green cardi, 168 white jeans, Promod sale wedge, Mulberry from E.

Ang daming sale items noh?  I really love going through the sale racks and finding treasure.  I know all you ladies feel the same!! :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mommy Fashion: Sensible Separates

As of late, my fashion choices is greatly influenced by a little bundle of terror I lovingly call my son. J is an extremely active 18 month old and anyone who takes care of a toddler also knows that it requires a lot of kneeling, crawling and running around. That means no to low cut tops, no to delicate garments, no to dangling earrings, no to wearing short skirts (unless I wear shorts underneath), no to high heels (unless I have yaya with me) and yes to comfy cotton tops, yes to cover-ups (vests and cardigans are heaven sent since they hide my bulges hehe), yes to shorts (it gets hot running after a kid), yes to sensible footwear!

My goal is to be comfortable but not look losyang!

What I wore to lunch and malling with my mom, sister and J:

Color blocking with an old blue tube top, Forever 21 lavender shorts and H&M denim vest.

Do you guys think I should post pictures of me as well? Di ba nakakahiya? haha

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dream Come True

I have dreamed of you for so long, and now that you're here.. I'm never gonna let you go.  

Welcome to my life.

I promise to take care of you, treasure you, never take you for granted.

We may have to work through some sticky situations.. But always know that I'll be there right next to you, guiding your way.


Hello, Kitchenaid K5 mixer.  I wish you came in red.  But somebody dictated that the Philippine market can only have you in white.  I really can't wait to use you.  Checking for a recipe worthy of your debut! :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Food Trip Weekends: Va Bene Pasta Deli

Since moving to Tarlac, most of my weekends in Manila are spent trying out new restaurants with my family.  Anyone who knows me also knows that I have a voracious appetite.  I LOVE eating!!! In Filipino, matakaw ako...sobra. I would read food blogs and note down restaurant recommendations from my friends, prepare a tummy friendly outfit and excitedly wait for the weekend to arrive.  It took us a while to visit Va Bene because my to-try list of restaurants is fairly long.  But we finally went last Saturday and I'm happy we did. 

Va Bene's simple menu

Va Bene's simple interior

Va Bene's simple freebee appetizer 

And Va Bene's simply delicious food!
 Polipo salad

Let me start  by saying that everything we ate was delicious.  The compliment bread with tomato dip was fresh and light on the tummy.  It definitely tickled my appetite and left me wanting for more!  My mom, sister and I shared a salad of "Polipo", braised octopus with arugula leaves (P400).  There are not a lot of octopus dishes in Manila and we were intrigued enough to order it.  This is definitely different.  The octopus slices were tender and did not taste fishy at all.  Make sure to take a bite of the octopus, arugula, capers and orange slices together for a well rounded taste experience. 

 Organic eggs tagliolini with portabello, white wine cream sauce and truffle oil

Veal  cheeks ravioli
 Black ink home made spaghetti with seafood marinara sauce

We unwittingly ordered 3 pasta dishes which sent us over the edge of full to stuffed!  Va Bene is generous with their portion sizes and that made me one happy customer.  M and I really loved the Organic Egg Tagliolini (P380).  The pungent truffle oil combined with the cream sauce and portabello mushrooms made for a heavenly first bite.  My sister ordered the Veal Cheeks Ravioli (not in the menu).  This came with 10 pieces of ravioli stuffed with veal ragout, and then coated with a mushroom cream sauce.  The filling was a blend of salty and sweet which made a good foil against the rich sauce.  The only dish that disappointed us was the Black Ink Pasta (P390).  The marinara sauce, while delicious, is too salty.  I felt so thirsty after eating it. I should add that they make their own pasta.  I spied some Italian 00 flour on their counter and I am  bet it makes all the difference in the texture of their pasta.  It was bouncy, firm and toothsome, a big difference from normal dried pasta. 

Delicious! See? No leftovers!

I still need to try the Mixed Mushroom soup and their dessert so I'll definitely be back!

Va Bene Pasta Deli
2nd Floor, Petron Gas Station, Edsa Corner Pasay Road,
Dasmarinas, Makati City

+632 5569442/+63 9173456869

The Housewife Chronicles: Super Moist Chocolate Cake with Whipped Chocolate Frosting

Remember the chocolate cake I stashed away in the freezer?  It finally came out to fulfill it's become my sister M's birthday cake!

Ganache has always been my choice of frosting for chocolate cake.  I wanted to try something with a lighter texture this time and made a simple whipped cream frosting.  You just need to whip up a cup of heavy cream until stiff then fold in 4 ounces of cooled melted chocolate.

 Frosting in the middle for maximum yumminess. 

More frosting.. I love frosting.  I ate leftover frosting for breakfast.  DON'T tell anyone!

It's okay if the frosting is not completely smooth.  Ok, repeat until it becomes true. 

Put some decorations to hide the "not too smooth but it's okay" frosting.  Pink flowers and a happy birthday makes everything better.

Closer shot.


How does it taste?  The frosting has a mousse like texture with the taste of chocolatey ganache.  My mom and sister still preferred traditional ganache but I do like the lightness it gives the cake...Makes it that much easier to finish your slice of cake.. or two.. hehehe

Happy Birthday M!!! We love you very much!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Food Trip Weekends: Hermanos Taco Shop

Good Mexican restaurants have been sprouting up all over the Metro and it's my mission to try all of them! Unfortunately, E HATES Mexican food, and no way will he willingly go to one. But since I came to Manila by myself, I decided to cross Hermanos Taco Shop off my list and grab some munchies.

Hermanos is a nondescript restaurant located at Granada. They certainly did not invest in their decoration as everything is totally utilitarian, just some chairs and tables in a plain room, which does not matter anyway since I just wanted some take out.

Hermanos' happy welcome sign in the Mexican colors!

The menu has a variety of proteins and fillings that you can mix and match with the options on the menu.  If you are feeling hungry, you can opt to get a burrito where you'll have rice along with your tortilla and vegetables.  I opted for some tacos since I just wanted a snack to share with my sister. 

One of the tacos I ordered was the fish tacos (P150).  An order consists of two tacos with a generous filling of fried dory fish with cabbage,onions, tomatoes, a drizzle of white sauce and a roasted tomato salsa on the side.  The main difference with Hermanos from the other Mexican places in Manila is their use of masa harina (maize flour) in their tortillas.  I did not like the tortilla at all!  I do appreciate that it seems fresh but the texture is really off putting. The tortilla is soft without any chewiness and it feels really thick.  The filling was yummy though, the fish was crispy and the vegetables was fresh.

The other is a carne asada taco (P150).  This comes with grilled beef pieces instead of the fish.  The spices used to marinate the beef is really prominent and yummy.  However the beef is cooked well done which made it a bit dry.  I am not sure if there is an option for doneness but I'm sure that it can benefit with a bit more moistness. Overall, I like the tacos and I think they are value for my money.  

Wanna try?  Contact details below.

Hermanos Taco Shop

#27 Granada Avenue, corner Jose O. Vera St.
(Petron Station)
Lungsod Quezon 1112
02 5708425

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I usually just cook breakfast and dinner for E and me. (We eat my mom-in-law's yummy cooking for lunch.) I tend to lean toward simple, easy to assemble meals with not much braising or assembling beforehand. (Read: I am lazy and do not want to stand in front of a hot stove for more than 30 minutes!) I could say that I am the master of 30 minute meals, move over Rachel Ray!  

One thing I know will please E is perfectly cooked eggs.  My biggest hurdle used to be poached eggs.  I have always had the notion that it was difficult and best left to the pros.  But when I saw how easy it was to poach eggs in a Masterchef episode, I decided to take the plunge and pop my poaching cherry! The first attempt was really terrible.  I used the vortex method which is in quite a few Youtube videos.  All the egg white separated from the yolk and I ended up with perfect egg yolk and egg drop soup!  The second trial resulted in beautiful eggs.  The method just requires you to heat up some water until barely simmering (meaning there is almost no bubbles), add a tablespoon of vinegar and a pinch of salt.  Break the egg into a small container, gently lower the container into the water and slip the egg in.  You can use a spatula to gently nudge the egg white closer to the yolk, wait about 2 minutes, lift out of the water, drain on a paper towel and you'll have yummy, oozy poached egg. 

So dinner tonight is just some poached eggs, bread, ham and a mushroom sauce with cheese on top.  Simple  but healthy, yummy food. 

The egg gently cooking in the water.

So proud of my second attempt!  Looks good right?! 

Place eggs on top of some toasted bread and ham.

Whipped up an easy mushroom pesto sauce.

Topped with some cheese and microwave for 30 seconds until the cheese melts.  Watch husband devour and enjoy.  Mission completed!


I have been planning to curl my hair for the longest time but my mom has always told me that I look better (aka thinner) with long straight hair. It made me quite scared that it took me 2 years to actually get a perm. After strenuous research, (Googling hehe) I decided Mr. Shin of Beauty Brick Salon is the perfect place to get beautiful tousled curls.  They offer digital perming which results in curls that look like they've been "set" instead of the traditional tight curls. I hope I don't regret my decision!

 Here is my hair all wrapped up.  There is still no medicine at this point.

My hair with medicine and rollers, all ready for the digital perm machine.

After my stint at the digital perm machine, my hair looks like Little Bo Peep.  Don't worry, I just wanted to show you the size of the curls.  Mr. Shin wanted large curls which I also wanted.  However, I asked the assistants and they recommended the medium rollers just because the large curls requires a lot of effort to maintain.  If you like the look of those Koreanovela stars though, get the large curls.  The medium curls will take a little time to loosen up before turning into waves.

They put neutralizer on my hair to stop the perming process and washed it out.  They are now drying my hair into four sections.  Aparrently, drying your hair in that long spiral is crucial since it makes the hair curlier.  When the hair is dry, you can now separate the curls and put wax for a natural look.  If you want something more structured, mousse can be applied while the hair is still a little wet.

Et voila! Vavavoom waves! haha Or I hope it's vavavoom.  I'm really pleased with the results and I can't wait till the curls get a little bit looser. 

For those wanting to get a perm, I should warn you.  It's the new IT hairdo.  There were at least 5 other girls getting a perm at the salon! 

Wanna get a perm? Highly recommended:

Beauty Brick Salon

Dona Consolacion Building, Jupiter Street, Makati
(From A. Venue, turn right at Mcdonald's and it's about the 10th building on your right)


Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Housewife Chronicles: Dreaming of Sour Cream Cupcakes

I have sour cream in the refrigerator, and when I have sour cream, I dream of moist, melt in your mouth chocolate cake.  Non-bakers would find it strange to have sour cream in their cake, but it really gives baked goods a wonderful delicious tender bite. I whipped up some cupcakes for  E's barkada's daughter and froze the rest for my sister's birthday next week.  But really, I just wanted to sneak a cupcake or two into my waiting lips.   

I have made this recipe twice before and it consistently produced beautiful looking, flat topped cakes and cupcakes. Super ideal for cupcakes with fondant toppers. The usual suspects can be seen below. 

The dry ingredients to be sifted together.

The wet ingredients: luscious sour cream with oil and water.

Leftover batter in the cupcake mold.

Pretend you don't notice the devastated cupcake there.  Somebody might have tried eating a cupcake while it was cooling down. Don't look at me like that! 

 Some of the decorated cupcakes. I love playing with sugar! 

Ok they're not perfect but it's my third time to play with fondant.. Good enough right?  Right?!
(Sorry for the bullying, I can't promise that it won't happen again.  Run away while you can.)

I can't be trusted with cupcakes in the house. I'll have to send these off later and pretend there was just 8 cupcakes to begin with.

 Ok, bye.