1.08.2014

Simple and Easy Lechon Paksiw Recipe

Lechon Kawali

We often find ourselves rushed during lunch time. When we have enough time, we do cook proper meals but when we're pressed for time (or when we're feeling lazy) we just buy home-cooked meals in the nearby kitchenette. Lechon Kawali or fried liempo is a favorite, it's not that healthy but it tastes good. When we do buy this dish, we often have to buy one or two more dishes with soup or sauces because fried liempo tends to be too dry.

Then, Berto found this really easy way to "recycle" this dish into Lechon Paksiw, and added his own twist to it. Here's the super simple, easy and fast recipe for Lechon Paksiw:

How to cook Lechon Paksiw (Pork Stewed in a Tangy Liver Sauce)

Ingredients: 

250 g           Lechon Kawali or Fried Liempo, cut into serving pieces (in our case, 3 orders)  =)
1 cup           Water
1 bottle        Sarsa ni Mang Tomas (Lechon Sauce)
1 tbsp          Vinegar
1 pc             Bayleaf
1/2 tsp         Peppercorns
1 1/2 tbsp    Sugar
1 clove        Garlic 

Procedure: 

In a saucepan or small pot, saute garlic until slightly brown. Combine the rest of ingredients and cook over medium flame. Boil for three minutes.

Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until desired thickness of the sauce is achieved. If you want a thicker sauce, you may add cornstarch dissolved in water. Stir constantly. You may also season with salt, as desired.

Tadah! Serve with lots of rice! 

Super simple and easy to make, but super yummy Lechon Paksiw

I told you this dish is so easy and fast to do! Even our picky eater Bea loves this dish!  Go ahead, and try it. Enjoy!

1.06.2014

Weekly Round Up 2014: 1/52 Jan 1 - 5


1/52 Jan 1-5

As part of my effort to try to blog more regularly,  I'm going to launch a new series in my blog: my weekly round up.  In Instagram I joined the photo a day challenge.  Weekly,  I will post those photos here and talk about them a bit more. 


Today,  I'm posting my week 1.

Day 1 - Happy New Year!  Here's a photo of our round fruits.  It is a typical Filipino tradition to collect 12 round fruits for Luck. 

Day 2 -  a photo of my planners.  I really want to be more organized this year.  Hopefully my planners will help me with that goal.  My Fino planner was a gift from Berto while the Starbucks planner was a Christmas gift from my sister.

Day 3- I cooked!  Before 2013 ended last year,  I bought several cookbooks.  I intend to try and cook more this year.  I started with Tinolang Baboy.  Tinola has always been my favorite but lately I haven't been able to eat any because of Bea's chicken allergy.

Day 4 -  family bonding over McDonald's delivery.  Bea has been asking for pancakes,  hashbrown and hot chocolate from McDo and I finally gave in and ordered breakfast.  She deserves a treat on a Saturday before classes resume.

Day 5 - cleaning supples.  Bea and I went grocery shopping last Sunday.  We bought her snacks for school.  I also bought cleaning supplies.  We let our regular cleaning lady go so I have no choice but to add cleaning to my housekeeping repertoire.  :)
 

'till next week for my next weekly round up ;) 

Happy 2014!

Hello guys! One week into the new year!  Wow that was fast!  Berto and I have so many adventures to share,  we don't know where to start.  Hehe. 

As posted in my other blog,  I have several goals for this year,  namely organization, home management and fitness.  As part of my organization and (mental)  fitness,  I really do have to step up my blogging routine to declutter my brain and my phone/camera/laptop of digital files I've kept through time with the intention of blogging about our adventures.  

I'm going to blog more often and more regularly.  There. I've said so many times and I'm saying it again.  Failure in the past must be taken as a challenge for the future right? 

So happy new year dear friends! Let's claim this year as the year when all our dreams will come true! :) 

12.28.2013

Happiness is a Delivery of Pizza Hut Family Pizzas

Stuffed Crust Bacon Cheeseburger and Cheesy 7 Pizza Hut Pizzas

Berto and I looooove pizza. Not a very healthy statement but it is the absolute truth. It is our ultimate comfort food. Early on in our married life, we used to get the Pizza Hut Palm Card regularly. We'd get one then after 6 months it would expire and then we'd get another one immediately! That's how addicted we were to stuffed crust pizzas!

Then one day, we decided this habit of ours is not really helping our weight-loss goals, not to mention our financial goals. So we stopped cold turkey. We gave away our Palm Card and just stopped ordering pizzas.

Then a few years ago, we started ordering pizzas again. hehehe. But we resisted getting the palm card, so we wouldn't start thinking that we're wasting the card by not ordering more pizzas. We figured a pizza night every few weeks or so wouldn't hurt. 

We had such pizza night last night. I was feeling a bit down with my painful back and all (yeah, that's my lame excuse!) so I chided him into ordering pizzas so we can eat while we watch a movie on cable. 

So Berto immediately called the Pizza Hut hotline 911-1111 and ordered our favorite Bacon Cheeseburger Supreme. Then the lady on the other line started offering promos. Like the Buy 1 Take 1 Family Pizzas for only P409. It was tempting but customers are limited to only three flavors to choose from. So Berto just said we'd just get a regular order of pizza. Then the lady again told us of another promo, where we can choose the flavors of 2 family size pizzas for P499. It was a great deal since a family pan pizza already costs P429! Another bonus is that they had an all-cheese flavor available, the cheesy 7 where the pan pizza is covered with 7 different kinds of cheeses! Wow! I was immediately sold! I just love cheese-flavored pizzas! We also asked for a stuffed crust upgrade for both pizzas! Yes, that's how much I love cheese!

When the pizzas arrived less than 30 minutes later, our hearts were fluttering and our tummies were grumbling... giving our ulitmate comfort food the warm welcome they deserve! Woo hoo! PIZZA!!!

After this, I'm going on a diet... or maybe I can just start next year. Hehehe...

12.26.2013

Our Christmas 2013

We spent our Christmas the way we usually do every year.  The only difference this year is that Bea didn't play an angel as part of the Christmas mass celebration.  This year we welcomed a new parish priest and well ...  Let's just say he isn't too much into plays and pageantry.  So we went to mass earlier to avoid the crowd.  Before that,  the little girl and I sang our hearts out with our almost decade old Wow Magic Sing.  Yes,  I think I finally passed on the singing bug to her!  Hahaha!  It started when we attended my barkada Christmas party and she heard her 6yr old friend sing Got to Believe in Magic.  Now that song is all she wants to sing! So cute!



After mass,  we had a simple dinner then just watched TV,  waiting for Noche Buena time.  Bea refused to sleep.  She was too excited to open her gifts to even feel sleepy.  And she didn't even have a nap that afternoon.  I swear,  sometimes I wonder where she gets her energy!  After our Noche Buena, (which was comprised of the usual fare: special fried rice,  ham with pineapple sauce,  barbecue, kaldereta, hot chocolate and hubby's buko Pandan surprise),  we opened our presents.  I got a Starbucks planner (weeee !) while Berto got a hot and cold mug (oops forgot to take a pic)  from my sis. Bea received lots of presents this year,  though slightly less because no more gifts from her ninang from my former job  I didn't get to meet up with them before the holidays.  I admired Bea for her determination!  She really didn't open her gifts until it was time.  *clap clap clap!
After playing with her new toys some more,  Bea finally plopped on the bed and asleep in less than a minute.



On Christmas morning,  we didn't get to have breakfast together since I woke up late.  :( Berto woke me with coffee in bed,  telling me that visitors will soon be coming and I should start getting ready.  Argh ! Sure enough,  they came.  Inaanaks I only see every Christmas who don't even bother to greet me when I see them on the streets (hay).

Then our family from my mom's side began to come.  Yey !  Reunions can be pretty tiring but I do miss them sometimes. This year,  some of our family from Tacloban joined us.  They were also ravaged by the typhoon Yolanda and had to come stay here in Manila until this become normal in their area.  It's a sort of blessing in disguise since we wouldn't have had the chance to meet that side of the family if they didn't relocate here.  :)  *focus on the good stuff I always say. 

The rest of the afternoon was spent singing,  eating,  exchanging gifts,  and then singing and eating some more.   Berto set up our photo booth and had our annual wacky shots taken.  Here is a photo booth pic of me with my crazy cousins and of me and our family.





I love the photo!  And it was Bea's idea too!  I posted it on my Facebook wall with the greeting : 'Tis the season to celebrate LOVE and FAMILY.  Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  Cute huh?


How about you guys,  how did you spend Christmas this year?

12.24.2013

A Very Merry Christmas 2013


Thank you dear God for this blessed occasion.  Thank you for saving us and loving us through your Son,  our Lord Jesus Christ.

Have a very Merry Christmas to everyone!  Enjoy this season and don't lose sight of what we are really celebrating...  God's great love for us!

May our hearts be always filled with joy... Merry Christmas!

Berto, Kwala and Bea

12.18.2013

How To Book A Hotel Room at the Hotel H2O, Manila


Berto and Kwala at Hotel H2O

Last week, Berto and I celebrated our anniversary. We decided we wanted to spend some quality time together, alone. Yep, for the first time in a very long while, we decided to leave the little one behind for just one night.

The first order of business, where should we go. Berto and I love to go on road trips. We sometimes enjoy the trip more than the time we spend at the destination itself. We automatically decided a road trip is the way to go. But where should we go? Our choices were down to Tagaytay, Subic  or good ole Manila. The day before our anniversary, hubby wasn’t feeling too well. I reasoned that he won’t enjoy a long drive, so much to our disappointment we opted to just stay within Manila. We agreed that although Manila hotels charge a bit more, we should also consider the fuel we saved for forgoing a long drive.

Next, we had to decide which hotel should we book. I really wanted to stay in Manila Hotel, but it was just too expensive, they didn’t have running promos at that time. Berto remembered that his cousin got married in one of the hotels along Roxas Blvd. The hotel has a good view of Manila Bay, plus the rates are really affordable! We went to the website www.booking.com and was about to book a room when out on a whim, I decided to check out Hotel H2O.

A few years ago, we got the chance to stay at Hotel H2O when my sister took us along their office summer staycation. That time, we got an aquarium room where one side of the room is one huge aquarium. This time, I thought a bayview room would be more romantic. An overnight stay plus a buffet breakfast costs P4,800 plus sales tax and service charge, net amount is P5,856. I booked it! They didn’t charge my credit card just yet, but they did ask for the credit card information just for assurance. We will still pay at the hotel. At the last minute, I decided to check the hotel website. I was shocked when I saw the rooms’ published rates. They were double sometimes triple the price at booking.com. I clicked on reserve now and was brought to the reservations page. Apparently they always had a promo going on. I saw the bayview room and it costs the same as the one on the booking.com website, same terms and additional charges. It  was aptly called the Best Available Rate with Buffet Breakfast for 2. (true, promise!) I decided to just book at the Hotel H2O website, just so I wouldn’t have to deal with a third party. 

I went ahead and booked the bayview room. I got a confirmation mail, and I was happy. BOOKED! We are actually going to celebrate our anniversary at the hotel! I even emailed the reservations office, requesting for an anniversary greeting on the TV in our room. =)

After a while, I noticed website had another option. It was called the Last Minute Special Full Prepayment rate. This option costs only P4,320 ++. Total cost is P5,270.40. Cheaper than the rate I just booked, for the same room! Waaaah! I wanted to pull my hair out! The only difference was that they’d charge my card immediately, instead of just holding the info for security.  It’s ok with me. We were sure with our booking, I didn't mind if they charged my card now, I want the extra discount!!!

I immediately called the hotel… at 12:30am. Understandably, they front desk told me he couldn’t do anything about it. He advised me to call the reservation office in the morning. 

At promptly 9:00am I called, the phone was answered by Ms. Nicole. I told her about my predicament. She asked me to call back, since her supervisor is not yet there. I called her two times more before I finally got an answer, she told me they would accommodate my request, and that I should only go back to the website and modify my booking! Woot woot! The practical girl in me rejoiced! We saved a couple of hundred of pesos! It was definitely a sign of great things to come!! 

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