Wednesday, August 27, 2014

{Weekend Footnotes} Smoked Salmon & Asparagus Pasta Recipe + Central Square BGC

The long weekend that just happened is another excuse for me to share with all of you our foodie indulgences.

Let me start by giving out my recipe for this Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Pasta. What I love about this dish, other than the smoked salmon, is that it is so easy to do.  It is almost fail-proof, and provides a lot of room for improvisation.  You can add cream, leave out asparagus, use arugula, throw in some capers, etc. The essentials are smoked salmon, salt, freshly ground pepper, garlic, and pasta with some olive oil.

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Pasta
8 ounces spaghetti (or other) pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cream (optional)
4 ounces smoked salmon, cut into bite sized pieces
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Add in asparagus at the last 2 minutes of cooking. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.
2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large, shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges-don't overcook it! Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third. If you want a slightly creamy sauce, add the cream and let boil a minute more.
3. Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Turn off the heat, add the smoked salmon and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with lemon wedges and Parmesan on the side.
4. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

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If you've been following me on Instagram, then you know that I've been cooking up all sorts of dulce de leche sorcery. These choco chip cookies filled with dulce de leche are just so good that one tray is not enough for my family.

We promised the kids pizza night, and C's favorite pizza is Yellow Cab.  It surely did not disappoint, and left-overs were gladly eaten for breakfast the next day.

I am so happy that Purple Oven decided to open in the Scout area.  It is now much more convenient to pop in to buy their baked goodies. My kids love their lemon bars and chocolate revel bars
Purple Oven
F7 Building, Scout Rallos corner Tomas Morato, QC

What's a long weekend for if there's no time to visit the bookstore? For my kids, a trip to the mall will not be complete without a pit stop at the bookstore. Fully Booked at Boni Hi-Street is always a fave.

Baskin Robbins Philippines just reopened at Central Square in BGC, and C wanted to take the kids there.
Do you know that Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors?  Look closely at their logo and you'll see 31 between the “B and R”.
Central Square is located beside BGC High Street, and this is also where the new 4DX cinema is located. On the floor where the movie theaters are, we tried Mr. Franks

On the opposite end, but on the same floor, one of our favorite Italian restaurant opened its second store. It's thep erfect place to have an early dinner when watching a movie at Central Square. Va Bene Pasta Deli's original store is located at Petron Gas Station in Dasma.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Goody Gulp Milk Drink + a GIVEAWAY

When it comes to my children's nutrition, I pay extra attention to serve them food that are not only nutrient-rich, but also enjoyable to eat.  Since they are also competitive athletes, I try to serve food after their training which can help their bodies recover from their tiring workouts.  One of their favorite after-training drinks is chocolate milk.

Compared to plain milk, water, or most sports drinks, chocolate milk has double the carbohydrate and protein content, perfect for replenishing tired muscles. Its high water content replaces fluids lost as sweat, preventing dehydration. Plus it packs a nutritional bonus of calcium, and includes just a little sodium and sugar -- additives that help recovering athletes retain water and regain energy. {source}
GIVEAWAY at the end of this post!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

iPad and Trustworthiness

If you are a long-time reader of the blog then you know I am not really a fan of electronic gadgets as toys for my kids.  I have always believed that the best way to spend their time is to engage in recreation with things that remain inanimate until they put them in motion.

But I admit that I cannot totally keep my kids from playing with their electronic gadgets.  In our house during school days, iPads are played only on weekends.  And even then, it's not a play-all-day kind of thing.  I "encourage" them to play for an hour and take a break, and then they can play again after that, but always with a healthy amount of play time only.  Similar to excercise sets, one set = one hour. I am sure not everyone agrees with my way, and we all have different ways of parenting.  But this is what I want for my kids.:)

During summer, they have one-hour in the morning and another hour in the evening to play with electronics. I have discussed with all three of  them that this rule is meant to protect them.  I have witnessed kids of my friends wherein social media/ipads have acted as addictive substance which caused these kids to neglect other areas of their lives.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Learning Library: The Reading Advantage & Wika'y Galing

The first quarter has just passed us; and I am just thankful that exam week is over, and that we survived our Filipino quarterly test.  Just like most kids nowadays, my kids have a difficult time learning Filipino, as well. It is a struggle to teach them grammar in Filipino, and worst when it comes to making them answer reading comprehension questions for stories in Filipino.

That is why, it makes me so happy that there are places like The Learning Library which offers a child-centered program to make our kids love Filipino.  There are 2 Filipino programs to choose from, depending on the level of difficulty of your child.  Read more about their Filipino programs here.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Phenomenal Tip: DIY Instant Pancake Mix

On mornings when the kids' schedule is not that hectic, one of our favorite breakfasts to make and eat is pancakes. Ever since I started making my own from-scratch pancake mix, I stopped buying ready-mixes from the grocery. Read about what brand I used to purchased before I started making my own mix.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekend Footnotes: Duck & Buvette

Buvettes are French neighborhood eateries where people meet for casual food and drink any time of day. This is the inspiration for D&B Duck and Buvette, the newly opened French-inspired eatery located where the old Cafe Provencal used to be. The owners remain the same, and just decided to breathe new life into the old place.

Monday, August 4, 2014

{Phenomenal Tip} How To Make Your Salad Greens Stay Fresh & Crisp Longer

We buy our organic vegetables by bulk and it gets delivered every Tuesday or Wednesday.  Everyone in the family loves salad greens; as such, my fridge is full of organic romaine lettuce, arugula, spinach.  I've read somewhere that loose lettuces such as romaine contain more antioxidants and nutrients than the tightly-packed ones such as iceberg.