Thursday, October 24, 2019

Weekend Footnotes: La Vita Ristorante Italiano at Podium Mall

Every so often, usually on weekends, I get a taste of the empty nesters life when all the kids have plans to go out with friends. When that happens, c and I try to enjoy our time together by trying out a new resto. We enjoy these long dinners together when we can take our time and not worry about having to pick up a child from training or a late law class.

It's a good time to have time as a couple, instead of just functioning as mom and dad.

A few weekends ago, we had one of those nights and we chose to try La Vita Ristorante Italiano, an newly opened Italian restaurant at Podium Mall. I wanted to try La Vita because I've seen friends post about their Burrata Pizza. Imagine a whole burrata ball on top of a pizza! Yum!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

How I Enjoy Me Time

When moms hear "Me Time," the first thing that goes to mind is that we need to get away for some time alone. While a trip abroad would be a fun thing to do, the reality is most of us can't just jet away for some personal alone time as often as we'd like.

In order to make Me Time a daily habit, we need to realize that this much-needed personal escape is something that we can all do during our pockets of quiet all throughout the day.

For myself, one of my favorite ways of spending my time alone is to curl up on my side of the bed. I often do this in the early afternoon, right after lunch, to prepare me for the busy pre-dinner time. There are times this happens at night, right after dinner, before I go to bed. With a good book in hand, I am content with everything in my life. If there's no book, there are a lot of saved online articles to read or sometimes I enjoy watching Gordon Ramsay's Masterchef, too.

What completes this ritual for me is catching a whiff of the mild clean scent of my sheets. For me, the scent of my sheets is like an anti-stress agent which helps to relax me. Parang when I smell it, it sends a signal to my brain to relax.

Monday, September 30, 2019

#TPMkitchen: Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon

Salmon is one of my family's faves. My kids enjoy it and they really look forward to having it that I have learned many ways to cook with salmon. Aside from the kids, C  has also learned to appreciate the health benefits of salmon now that he's older and has a lot of dietary restrictions.
Salmon is loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids 

I usually cook salmon with just salt and pepper and a bit of butter. Taking it out of the pan when it's medium-well, cover it and letting the residual heat cook the fish.

We also enjoy salmon when cooked with honey and soy sauce. The combination of honey and soy creates this umami combo of sweet and salty that's a perfect foil to the salmon. I figured that since I'm using the Keta Salmon variety, cooking it with sauce is one sure way to ensure a juicy and tender flesh.

When I first made this years ago, I followed the recipe that says to marinate the salmon in the honey-soy sauce mixture, but then I find that it burns so fast because of the caramelization of the honey. Through the years, I've tweaked the recipe, and the one I'm using now is, in my opinion, the easiest way to do Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon.

Salmon is quite pricey, and its a good thing my kids love to eat everything - including the skin!



How To Get That Crispy Salmon Skin

First thing I do is to make sure that the scales have been removed.

Then, I dry the salmon very well with paper towels to make sure I can get the skin to sear and crisp. I also season the skin with a generous amount of salt.

I place it on a pre-heated lightly oiled pan. You'll know its hot enough when you hear a sizzling sound when the fish touches the pan.

Let the salmon cook for 80% of the time on the skin side. This allows the skin to crisp up, and also results in a gentler cooking for the flesh.


How to Ensure Tender, Flaky Salmon 

Depends on the size of your fillet, but for me it would be approximately 3-5 minutes on the skin side and another 2 minutes on the other side. Again, this would depend on the size of your fish and the heat of your pan. If it's a big and thick fillet, I partially cover the pan to make sure the insides cook at the same time. I don't cover it fully to allow steam to escape because it is important for me to have crisp skin. Pinag-aagawan kase yung balat dito sa bahay.

This will give you salmon that is perfectly cooked to medium – the flesh is flaky and moist inside. It should retain that slightly pink color. You know you've overcooked it when the inside turns into pale pink that's bordering on white.


Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon Recipe
For a quick and easy meal, serve it with a side of steamed bokchoy or any other vegetables. You’ve got a quick dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes!


Ingredients

SAUCE
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 heavy dash white pepper
1 large garlic clove (or 2 small) , minced

SALMON
2 SeaKing Keta salmon slab
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

OPTIONAL GARNISHES
Sesame seeds
Finely sliced chives or shallots/scallions


Instructions

1. Take salmon out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. Pat salmon skin dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Whisk together the Sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Drizzle oil in a non stick fry pan and heat over medium high heat. Place salmon in the pan, and cook skin side up 3 - 5 minutes until skin crisps up. Turn, then cook the other side for 2 - 3 minutes.

4. Pour in the honey soy mixture all over the pan as soon as you flip the salmon, and cook until the fish is tender and flaky.

5. Serve salmon drizzled with sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and chives/shallots/scallions, if desired. Arrange bok choy/vegetables on plate.




I also like to make extra of this because the kids like it when I turn the leftovers into Salmon Onigiri the next day.

Give this Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon a try and let me know if it becomes a greatest hit for your family, too!


*     *     *

SeaKing Wild Alaskan Keta Salmon

I used SeaKing Wild Alaskan Keta Salmon slab in this recipe. One of the things I appreciate about SeaKing is that each slab is individually wrapped in serving portion. Unlike the other brands that I buy where I have to purchase a very big slab and cut it to serving portion size by myself.



It's my first time to try the Keta variety. When I opened the pack, I immediately noticed the paler color. It also doesn't have the strong salmon flavor that I am accustomed to, so this is perfect for people who prefer a milder salmon flavor. No fishy after-taste whatsoever.

While cooking, I discovered that Keta Salmon is leaner. I'm used to cooking salmon with a higher fat content, and I had to adjust my cooking time and method to make sure that I don't put a dry salmon on the dining table. I found that the best way to cook Keta salmon is to let it simmer along with the sauce to ensure that the meat stays tender. Overcooking salmon is a sure way to get tough and chewy meat. Not appetizing at all!

SeaKing Wild Alaskan Keta Salmon is imported from Alaska and is caught in the wild, 
and not farmed.

When C was diagnosed with very high triglycerides levels a few years back, I have added salmon into our diet. I have researched about the benefits of Salmon and found out that

Salmon can contribute to a healthy heart by:
Lowering triglycerides and cholesterol levels
Contributing Omega-3s to maintain healthy arteries and veins
Strengthening cardiac muscles and repairing cardiovascular tissues

Salmon can contribute to a healthy brain by:
Promoting mood related signals and optimal brain function
Reducing the risk of depression, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dementia


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Thursday, September 12, 2019

What's New At Promenade Greenhills?

We are always in the Greenhills area. I do my grocery there, eat merienda with the kids or lunch/dinner with the entire family. Even brunch meet-up with mom-friends are also done in the area. There's so many new establishments to try every time we visit.

Just a few days ago, I had lunch at the newly opened hotpot restaurant in the area. Since I was early, I decided to go around first, and I spotted Beard Papa's!
I have heard that they opened a few years back, and eventually closed down. 
I havent had the chance to try them then, but I'm glad that I've tried 
their new product offering called Lange de Chat puff because it's soooo good!


Friday, August 16, 2019

#TPMkitchen: No-Bake Cookie Butter Cheesecake

A few months back, I worked with one of the brands I often use in my kitchen. I did a blogpost for them (which you can read here) and posted some of the photos on my social media accounts. 

Since then, I got a lot of request from friends and followers to share the No Bake Cookie Butter Cheesecake... so due to public demand, here it is! 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

#BeautyThatCares (Unilever X Shopee Online Sale)

Unilever is in every Filipino family's grocery cart. I don't think its possible to do the grocery and not have a single Unilever item to purchase.

On Friday, August 9, 2019, you can look forward to just that with Unilever’s first ever
#BeautyThatCares Sale, exclusively on Shopee! 

A round-up of some of my fave brands joining the @shopee_ph #BeautyThatCares Sale on August 9 - that’s this Friday na! For this one day only sale, select @unileverphilippines brands will go on sale for upto 75% discount!

Serenitea X Sesame Street


🎵🎶Sunny Day Sweepin' the clouds away 
On my way to where the air is sweet 
Can you tell me how to get, how to get to... 🎼🎵🎶

Napakanta ka ba?


That’s the song going through my head as I ordered a drink from Serenitea.

I kept seeing my IG friends post about their Sesame Street metal straws from Serenitea so I decided to visit this week. It's so cute and my daughter really wanted to have one for herself!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Tokyo: Tips + Itinerary

It's a year late, but as I've promised, I'm sharing our Tokyo travel itinerary. Believe it or not, I still get a lot of messages and inquiries from my Osaka + Kyoto self-guided family itinerary up to now. A lot of moms message me about how thankful they are that they found my online guide and how helpful it was to them.

It is with the same spirit of sharing that I am also writing about our Tokyo trip. Hopefully, you will all learn something from it. I hope you can have the same fun experiences like we did, and avoid our travel mistakes.

But I'm also doing this so the kids and I have something to look back on a few years from now. I realized that in a few years, my kids are all going to be grown, and I just want them to be able to look back on something from their younger years. I don't even know why I'm turning sentimental all of a sudden.

I'm glad that my eldest is now old enough to help with planning. I just took it easy and shared planning duties with her.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Singapore National Age Group 2019

The reason for Singapore as our choice of destination this summer fully relied on the fact that R has a swimming competition there. He swam at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, Singapore Sports Hub for the 50th Singapore National Age Group competition.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Healthy Snacks for Teens

Lately, fave son is always hungry - round the clock it seems! When he gets his after-dinner hunger pangs, I usually ask him to go down to drink a glass of milk/chocolate milk, or eat fruits, fruits with yogurt, light sandwich. Something light lang. But he always complains that I'm starving him! He wants to eat another plate of rice after dinner. Ano ba yan?

Sa totoo lang, on weekend nights, he goes down and prepares food all by himself. But during weeknights, I often offer to do it for him. Naawa na din ako, because his swim training takes up a lot of his time, add to that his extra-curricular activities, there's hardly enough free time left in his day. When he gets home, I want him to have enough time to focus on doing his homework and reviewing for his tests. If I can make his life one less stressful by preparing his snacks, I do it na for him. Even if my girls tease me no end about spoiling him.

So to secure my sanity, I made a list of acceptable snacks that are good for the daytime and considered light enough to pass for late-night snacking, as well. I just plan to fill up the ref with ingredients for these so fave son and my fave girls can make their own snack every time they get hungry. I've read up that teens can have increased caloric requirements during major growth spurts, and may seem to never get full.