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    Our P59 Meal + My New Favorite Coffee Shop

    We call this time of the month as “alanganing panahon” haha! Why? Because we just used our salary from the 30th of last month for our bills and it’s a long way from the 15th. We have been having grand meals in the past days so today, we decided to try a budget meal for lunch.

    GG + Ginataang Gulay

    Our Galunggong and Ginataang Kalabasa’t Sitaw Meal cost us just P59! For that very small amount, Daddy A, The Princess, The Little Man (yes! he’s eating solid food now!) and I were filled and satisfied. This is, by far, my favorite meal this week. It’s yummy and filling, but didn’t leave me with an uncomfortably full tummy.

    After lunch, Daddy A took out a special treat from the fridge. He recently met the manager of The Daily Beans while he was going around his AOR. Since he was at the coffee shop already, he decided to try their Blueberry Cheesecake. In fairness ha, their cheesecake is better than the one in a famous coffee shop in the metro.

    Blueberry Cheesecake from The Daily Beans
    Blueberry Cheesecake, P160

    If you find yourself on a road trip going to this part of Rizal, I suggest that you stop over at The Daily Beans. It’s just along the highway so it’s very easy to find.

    So, that’s our tipid-pero-sulit meal today! What’s your favorite swak-sa-budget meal?

    The Daily Beans
    Km. 56 Manila East Road Brgy. Hulo
    Pililla, Rizal

    A Gastronomic Experience at Global Academy

    I’m not very good at fond of cooking (Arjay is the one, true master chef of our home), so when Krisna of Life As A CEO invited to go to Global Academy’s open house, I knew I had to go.

    The open house was held in their Makati branch with Chef Ericka as the “host.”

    Global Academy 2013 Open House

    They prepared four recipes for us: Compressed Watermelon with Roasted Prawns and Citrus Coriander Dressing, Dinner Rolls with Compound Butter, Pan Seared Barramundi with Papaya Salad and Lemongrass Curry Sauce and French Macarons.

    Nose bleed? Have some tissue…
     

    I’d say that the winner recipe for me is the Pan Seared Barramundi with Papaya Salad and Lemongrass Curry Sauce. One- because for the first time I ate salad and liked it. And two- because it’s pretty easy to prepare!

    What do you need?

    • 15-18 pcs. Barramundi Fillets (about 40-45 grams each), skin on
    • 60 grams Green Curry Paste
    • 1/2 cup Coconut Cream
    • 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
    • 3/4 cup Fish Stock
    • 1 pc. Lime, juiced
    • 1 tbsp. Fish Sauce
    • 1 tbsp. Palm Suger

    Preparing the Barramundi Fillets:

    • In a saucepot, heat oil then saute the green curry paste until fragrant. Add coconut cream and simmer until it thickens a little and the oil starts to split.
    • Add coconut milk and fish stock then simmer for 5 minutes.
    • Before serving, add lime juice, palm sugar and fish sauce. Stir and check for seasoning. Balance the sweet, salty, sour and spicy.

    To serve:

    • Heat saute pan with oil until very hot. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper.
    • Pan sear the fish fillet, skin side down first, then after a few minutes flip the fillet. According to Chef Ericka, you’ll know you can flip the fish when it is easily coming off the pan.
    • Place a mound of papaya salad onto a plate. Place the fish fillet on top then spoon sauce all around.

    Ingredients for the Papaya Salad:

    • 1-1.2 kgs. Green Papaya, peeled and cut into fine julienne
    • 150 grams Green Beans (Sitao), blanched and then sliced thinly
    • 1 pc. large Red Onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 pc. large Tomato, finely diced
    • 45 grams Toasted Peanuts, chopped
    • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
    • 60 mls Lime Juice
    • 60 mls Palm Sugar
    • 60 mls Fish Sauce
    • 20-30 mls Tamarind Water
    • As Needed: Cilantro Leaves

    Preparing the salad:

    • Dressing: combine fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar and tamarind water. Mix well then set aside.
    • In a large bowl, toss altogether the shredded papaya, cooked sitao, chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, sliced onion and chopped peanuts.
    • Drizzle the dressing all over until well coated.
    • Serve immediately.

    Ingredients for the Thai Green Curry Paste (YUMMY!):

    • 1 piece 2″ piece Ginger, peeled and chopped
    • 4 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
    • 4 stalks Lemongrass, remove tough outer leaves, chopped
    • 1/2 bunch Cilantro, stems chopped and leaves picked and chopped
    • 1/2 tsp. Salt
    • 3 pcs. Green Chilies, seeded
    • 2 pcs. medium Onions, chopped
    • 1 pc. fresh Lime, zested and flesh segmented
    • 3 pcs. Kaffir Lime Leaves, chopped (remove thick vein)
    • 1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
    • 1 tbsp. Asian Fish Sauce
    • 1 tbsp. dried Shrimp Paste

    To prepare the paste:

    • In a food processor or blender, add all the ginger, garlic, onions and lemongrass. Pulse until it breaks down into smaller pieces.
    • Add the cilantro roots, chopped cilantro and chopped green chilies. Pulse until breaks down into smaller pieces.
    • Add the rest of the ingredients and process until it forms a paste.
    • Store on an airtight container. It can last for weeks well covered and sealed tight.

    Global Academy 2013 Open House

    Do you want to try out the other recipes we learned? Feel free to e-mail me at reyesekt@gmail.com so I can share a copy with you!

    GLOBAL ACADEMY
    Website: http://www.globalacademyph.com
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    Three Things I Learned On A Bad Day

    Today was a tough day.

    Today, our two little ones were extremely clingy. Leave their side one moment and they cry like it’s the end of the world.

    Today, we ran out of rice. And drinking water. How could we miss that on our grocery list?! Worse, the supplier did not deliver our water right away. We had to wait hours. Hours!

    Today, two of my clients dumped a load of work on me. All were due… well… today.

    Today, of all days, Mother Nature paid me a visit. The first after more than fifteen months of absence.

    I was at the verge of madness today. The kids were whining and crying all day. I was hungry and thirsty like hell. And I was very, very uncomfortable! God. I wanted to crawl into a hole. I wanted some peace and quiet, even for just a few minutes.

    But, of course, I can’t just mute my kids’ cries and shouts for attention. So, I had to cope.

    Three Things I Learned Today

    1. Working from home is hard. You have to juggle work and the kids. Take it from me: make the kids your priority. Otherwise, they’ll keep bugging you until you run out of patience. You don’t want that to happen because things will surely get ugly! So make everyone happy and put your kids first. Once they get the attention they want, they’ll be little angels who will let Mommy work in peace.
    2. If you do run out of patience, go outside and take a deep breath. Give yourself a moment to cool down and think things through.
    3. Check and double check your grocery list.
    How was your day? I hope it wasn’t as bad as mine!

    Exploring the United Kingdom

    This is dedicated to Krisna, who asked me to publish a post about my UK trip. Haha!

    ***

    This post was first published in my old blog, Coffee With Kim. Minor revisions were made on June 26, 2013.

    In 2010, I flew to the United Kingdom for my internship and for a vacation with my grandmother. I stayed at my grandmother’s house for the most part and a few days in a hostel when I started going to farther places.

    British Guard

    In my first month in the UK, I only went around London and neighboring towns. I went to see Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court, Big Ben, the Tower Bridge (more popularly known as London Bridge), Kew Gardens and more. I also visited the countryside where they had their farms and high end villages. Of course, I didn’t just tour the place. I also worked. Then again, it all felt like playing for me.

    British Guard outside Buckingham Palace

    A British Guard outside Buckingham Palace

    Re-enactment in Hampton Court

    Tower Bridge

    My work allowed me to join events that didn’t really feel like work. I helped out in a fashion show, I assisted in the Barrio Fiesta 2010 and I even got the chance to celebrate Philippine Independence Day with the embassy and other Filipinos in London. I was also able to watch the play, Hair, c/o my boss. Unfortunately, aside from Hair, I was only able to watch Wicked. I wanted to watch The Lion King and Les Miserables as well, but I didn’t have enough time to fit everything in.

    Helping out at the Kariktan Fashion Show

    Philippine Independence Day celebration with the various Philippine government agencies based in the UK

    Foxhills

    After my internship, I had a week left to go to farther places. So, I packed my things and booked a ticket to Scotland.

    I spent three days there. I joined a ghost tour on my first night — frightening, but I’d like to try the other ghost tour packages… the scarier ones!

    On my second day, I joined a tour around Scotland. We went to Glasgow then to Aberdeen. We also went to Loch Lomond where the Loch Ness monster was said to have been spotted. Sadly, Nessie was a bit shy that day so we didn’t see here.

    For my last night, I took a stroll around Edinburgh. I walked around Princes Gardens, tried the chocolate soup and exchanged stories with fellow tourists. It was fun!

    The next morning, I boarded a coach going back to London. It took eight hours to get back home, but it was well worth it. In fact, I think Scotland is the most memorable part of my UK trip.

    I’d like to go back to Europe one day, but I have two little ones now so it’s pretty hard to plan an out-of-the-country. Hopefully, though, we can go there as a family!

    CHAMPS Chewable Vitamins

    A few weeks ago, I received an invitation from the awesome people of Chemical Company of Malaysia International Philippines Inc. (CCMIP) to a bloggers get-to-know Champs lunch. Unfortunately, our Little Man was scheduled for a vaccine that day so I had to decline.

    CCM established its office in the Philippines in 2007. It is a public-listed government corporation and is the number 1 generic pharmaceutical company in Malaysia. The company has more than 400 products in over 800 SKUs or forms. CCM has received several citations as attestation of the quality of its products such as cGMP, certificate of manufacturing facility by TGA of Australia and HALAL certification from JAKIM since 1999.

    I really wanted to go to the event since I’m thinking of trying chewable vitamins on The Princess. So when I received a box of samples from Champs last week, I was overjoyed! Nakakatuwa kasi sobrang daming samples ang pinadala nila. In fact, hindi ako makapagdesisyon kung ano ang uunahin kong subukan sa baby girl naming punong-puno ng energy pero tamad kumain!

    Here’s a rundown of Champs chewable vitamins variants:

    CHAMPS Vitamin C  contains 100mg of Vitamin C (50mg in Calcium Ascorbate and 50mg in Sodium Ascorbate), which can protect little ones from common illnesses. It comes in bottles with 100 chew tabs that have natural-tasting orange flavor. I’m pretty sure The Princess will love these because the tabs come in very cute heart-shaped form.

    CHAMPS M has Vitamin C plus nine essential dietary nutrients – so it basically promotes general health. It also comes in bottles with 100 chew tabs. You can get this one in pineapple flavor.

    CHAMPS M with Lysine contains 50mg Lysine, Folic Acid and nine essential multivitamins. It comes in orange-flavored donut shapes. Like the ones above, you can buy it in bottles with 100 chew tabs. I want to try this on The Princess because it can help boost her appetite. It’s been a bit difficult to get her to eat lately eh!

    CHAMPS C plus Lysine has Vitamin C and Lysine. It comes in bottles of 100 donut-shaped tutti-fruitti flavored chew tabs. This is really good for the little ones when they are sick since it enhances appetite and promotes fast recovery.

    CHAMPS Omega 3 also comes in bottles with 100 heart-shaped tutti-fruitti flavored chew tabs. It contains nine essential dietary nutrients such as Vitamin C, B-complexes and Omega-3. This will aid in boosting the little ones’ brain development and performance.

    All of them sound awesome, right? But since I’ve been reading a lot about the benefits of Omega-3, I decided to let The Princess try that first. She loves the fruity flavor and kept asking me for more!

    Mom’s Verdict: CHAMPS chewables are nutritious, delicious and oh so cute! It’s not hard to get the kids to take the tabs daily because they think it’s candy — so no habulan needed! 😉 In the one week that she has been taking Omega 3, I noticed that she now has an increased appetite. I’m hoping that these vitamins will also protect her from illnesses, especially now that the rainy season has arrived.