Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The CROW #YogaEveryday


I started doing yoga in 2012, after a lot of resisting (It's too slow) and scoffing (It's too easy) I finally went ahead and joined a class because I was going through a lot internally and needed to quiet my mind. I thought it would be 90 minutes of... actually I don't know what I was expecting it to be, but the word that came to mind was definitely not DIFFICULT.

I was so wrong about all my pre-conceived notions about yoga. Not only is it challenging to the body, it is also a challenge to the mind. You are intended to focus on your breathing and the task at hand, and for a chronic over-thinker, do you know how hard that is?

In the beginning, I was so rusty and could not even hold poses for very long. Even if I was flexible (remnants of being a child competitive gymnast) I could feel my muscles screaming in pain every time I would do anything.

I wish I could say I practice everyday, but I really don't. I would say 3 times a week is my average, whether at home or at a class. Every time I work out, I try to start or end my exercise with a few poses, just to practice. In this picture, I am doing my first attempts at crow pose, which requires a lot of core and arm strength. Soon, I'll be able to do it better!

Remember that yoga is not a competition, and I highly suggest you refrain from looking around so much when practicing with a class and just focus on yourself. Everyday you learn something new, and everyday you get stronger.

My secret dream is to drop everything and become a yoga teacher! Someday, it will happen! :)

Take a class with me at One Life Studio: 2F BCS Prime Building, 2297 Chino Roces Avenue, right above Juju Eats. Reservations required 09178513297

TARRAGON CHICKEN ADOBO #WIAT


As a kid, I hated adobo. I know, how un-Filipino of me. I realized later on, when I started cooking, that I just did not like the way all the adobo I ever had was cooked. So, I experimented. To date, I have about 6 really good adobo recipes for chicken, beef, pork and even lamb, using different vinegars and herbs and spices for all of them. This is one my daughter likes a lot so I make it most often. It's not far off from your traditional adobo recipe, but it's what you put in it that matters. For instance, I use a more subtle white wine vinegar for this recipe and I add a handful of tarragon while it's simmering. I love chicken and tarragon together so I thought, why not? Here's how:

Ingredients:

1 kilo chicken, I like using thighs and drumsticks
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup light soy sauce
3 cups water
1 head of garlic, chopped
1 head of garlic, peeled
peppercorns, crushed
bay leaf
2 Tbs brown sugar
Handful of Tarragon

How to:


  • Place white wine vinegar, water, light soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and tarragon in a big pot.
  • Add chicken and turn on heat and bring to the boil. Then lower heat and simmer for about 45 minutes or until sauce has reduced by half.
  • Turn off heat and place a frying pan on the burner and fry chicken , with some of the sauce and garlic and adding the sugar little by little to slightly caramelize chicken.
  • Return to sauce and serve OR store for the next day. (I personally think adobo tastes better the day after) 
  • You can opt to fry a second time if serving the next day and serve the sauce on the side instead.
  • I have this with cauliflower mash, when I'm feeling a bit like being healthy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

QUICK AND HEALTHY QUINOA MEAL #TuesdayTummy


When I want to make myself an all in one meal, I usually take quinoa and see what veggies I have in my fridge that need to be cooked and go with that. One of my favorite combinations is this one- Tri-colored quinoa with roasted squash, crispy bangus flakes, chopped tomatoes and feta cheese. I make a big batch and bring it as baon for a week, or bring it to potluck parties. Here's how:

Ingredients:

1 cup dry quinoa, washed
2 tbs chopped onion
1 tbs chopped garlic
2 cups chicken stock
3 native tomatoes, chopped
1 cup roasted squash
3/4 cup bangus flakes (I used Century and cook it down until crispy)
100 grams crumbly feta cheese
juice of 1/2 lime
2 sprigs parsley, chopped

How To:


  • Place quinoa in a pan and cook for a few minutes until dry (and slightly toasted)
  • Pour in 2 cups of chicken stock plus pepper, to taste.
  • Bring to the boil then lower to medium heat for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  • Fluff the quinoa and set aside.
  • In another pan, add quinoa, bangus flakes, roasted squash, tomatoes and mix well.
  • Squeeze in juice of 1/2 lime and scatter crumbled feta and chopped parsley.
  • Mix well and serve (Warm or room temperature are both fine )


Monday, October 27, 2014

BOXING #TryThis


I have my favorites when it comes to working out but I always enjoy trying new things. I often times go back to my preferred workouts but once in awhile when I have the time or get the opportunity to, I will do something I don't normally do, like BOXING. Believe it or not, I actually used to box regularly before (about 5 years ago) but to be honest, I always hated being one of the few females in a gym of sweaty men. It's a bit unnerving.

I tried it again recently and while Elorde is still Elorde- no frills and straight to the point, I noticed that there were a lot more women working out, which made me feel more at ease. When I asked, I was told that they had a lot of female regulars working out there.

I started with about 20 minutes of running, but in my case more like a jog/walk situation, followed by another 15 minutes of jumprope. You don't think you'd get tired but you will, specially if , like me, you have not been on the ball with your workouts.

We started the mitt work after and I am probably the girliest boxer you will ever see. I wonder still if my whole look while moving will ever change to look more like a fighter, but unless I box all the time, probably not!

Boxing is about stamina, yes, but it is also a lot of hand-eye coordination. My biggest problem has always been the speedball, as I never can seem to get it right (only with one hand!) I'm hoping to have more time to box when work settles down a bit so that I can do a month straight of boxing and see/ feel the difference in my body. I see now how a 9-5 can make you gain weight! No time for exercise or even to eat proper meals sometimes so it's all about what you can get. Boxing and it's extreme cardio can help fix all that!

My favorite part of any work out is ab work and stretching. You will be doing this for about 30 minutes towards the end of your work out. All in all, expect to be at the gym for about 2 hours. Imagine the calories you will burn and the muscles you will condition if you did this even three times a week?

Tell us your boxing experiences in the comment box!

Angulas #ManicMonday

This is probably one of my favorite things to eat EVER. Those who are not familiar probably are thinking, Ew, they look like worms! These, my friends, are Angulas or Baby Eel, a Spanish dish from the Basque region that was originally known as a fisherman's dish.

The real Angulas can cost about 30 euros up for a small can, but the demand has been so high that they have started to make imitation Angulas, called "Gulas" and this is what they sell here in the Philippines (and even in supermarkets in Spain where I got all of mine) At this point, It does not matter to me anymore if I am eating Angulas or Gulas (actually it does but the former is expensive and unavailable here!)

I have this sometimes when I am too lazy to cook. All you need with it is some crusty bread and chili and garlic to cook it with. It takes all of 5 minutes to open the can or bottle, put in a pan, brown the garlic and infuse the chili. A can you can buy at Terry's is good for two as a starter or with something else or as a full meal for one.

If you are still unsure of how to eat this or cook it, head over to Terry's or to Cirkulo, where the picture was taken and try it there first. Promise, you'll love it!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

JACK DANIELS OLD NO.7 MUSTARD #TryThis



Known for doing a dance around standard spices such as salt, I am constantly on the lookout for new things to substitute. Cayenne pepper has been my hardcore favorite up until now, but given the chance to combine my love for liquor with my love for a great Dijon, how could I resist?

This mustard comes in different flavors; Hickory Smoke, Honey-Dijon, Horseradish, Spicy Southwest, Stone Ground Dijon, and finally, Old No. 7. This one is my favorite, although I haven't dissected the flavors in the others yet - I use this mixed with canned tuna, and it adds some zing to my salad dressings.

My only complaint is that it doesn't come in tiny bottles I can carry around in my purse.. yes I'm a freak like that!


You can find Jack Daniel's Mustard at any SM Supermarket.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

LOUD LIPPIES #BeautyBuzz

If there is one make-up product that can change a look instantly, it's lipstick. A single swipe instantly brightens up your face and a simple color switch can take you from day to night or change your look from simple to sultry in seconds. Don't be afraid to try something new. After all, it's just make-up and can be removed immediately.

I never used to be a lipstick girl, as I would always focus on my eyes. Smoky eyes were always my favorite whether full on or subtle but lately I find myself spending less time on my eyes (liner and loads of mascara) and more on deciding what lip color to wear for the day. My most used at the moment is Lime Crime's "Wicked" looks so pretty and vampy at the same time, but I'm definitely not afraid to experiment. Today I mixed some colors together to get this metallic periwinkle shade. Remember, it's about having fun! What's your favorite lip color? Share them with us!

Monday, October 13, 2014

STYLISH CASUAL FOR MEN #HowTo



No matter how far I delve into my new mission in foodblogging, I can't escape my roots in fashion. Thus, when approached by a girl friend who admitted to being flustered about her boyfriend's non-style, I decided maybe it was time to do a little 101 on how boys should dress. I myself a huge fan on unisex and understated dressing, I figured a good way to start was by listing bulletpoints as a guide - and starting with the basics.

I've dated guys with different dressing styles - most men stick to what's safe, so sometimes you need to help them out a little, especially when they ask for help. I've had many fun trips to the mall with them.. I love dressing men and showing them styles they never thought they could pull off. If you are a bit of a style nazi like myself, your man might get intimidated and not know where to even start in matching your look. I always always prefer an understated casual look - but I will never say no to a man in a good suit.


  • As for us girls - know your body and what looks good on it.
  • Stock up on basics. Not everyone can pull off bold prints and trend pieces, but every man looks good in a plain white t-shirt.
  • Invest in great footwear - and take care of them. Timeless shoes will go a long way.
  • Wear your pants like they fit you - chinos look good on every man, as long as they don't look like your crotch will pop when you sit down. 
  • Know what to pair with what - this goes especially for the pants + shoes combo.
  • Less is more - monochromes are always a good choice, so stick to black and whites and neutrals, except for those days when you are feeling a bit more adventurous.
  • Don't be afraid of accessories - but make sure they work with the rest of the outfit. And don't pile them on - you don't want to out-accessory your girlfriend.
Invest in key pieces:

  • A few good pairs of chinos
  • A perfect pair of black denim
  • A classic white button down shirt
  • Several plain white black and white shirts
  • A classic black boot
  • A squeaky clean pair of white sneakers
  • Neutral Vans slip-ons
  • A black belt
  • A loose knit sweater
  • A black skinny tie
  • A classic slim cut black suit
Wait - this list could go on and on. The bottom line is - find clothes that fit you well. And when all else fails - watch Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love.. or ask your girlfriend. She knows, haha.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

PANCAKE HOUSE PAN CHICKEN #WIAT (What I Ate Today)


I don't care how many places that serve "comfort food" pop up, Pancake House is the ultimate, least pretentious comfort food for me. I grew up eating here with my grandmother and I crave their pan chicken at least once a week. Sometimes I go weeks wanting to eat this, and I stop myself every time because I'm trying to eat healthy. If I keep it real real, I can honestly say I would eat here once or twice a week. Sometimes I eat the fried chicken with rice and gravy, and other times with a cheese waffle and maple syrup. Either way, until I find a fried chicken that satisfies me as much, and in a reasonable price range (a 2 pc pan chicken with rice is less than P200 as opposed to the ones I've seen at 550 and up an order) I'm sticking to the classic. Pancake House forever!

Monday, October 6, 2014

QUINOA FUSILLI WITH SPANISH SARDINES AND CLAMS #ManicMonday


I've been really trying to eat only healthy food lately but like any normal person, I have my carb cravings and days when all I want is to stuff myself with pasta. Low and behold, I passed by healthy options one day and found a healthier version of one of my comfort foods- fusilli made out of quinoa! Although it's not much lower in terms of calories, it definitely helps that it has more protein and less carbs than regular pasta or even rice. I decided to treat myself without over-indulging, but without feeling "bitin" either. A big plus is that it takes about 15 minutes to make from start to finish- great for a Manic Monday.

Ingredients:

1 pack quinoa fusilli
1 jar Spanish Sardines
1 can smoked clams (optional)
1/2 lemon
1 tomato, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil (freehand pour, to taste
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
few sprigs of parsley

How to:


  • Bring water to the boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Remember that quinoa pasta cooks faster than normal pasta.
  • While this is cooking, sautee garlic and tomatoes in a bit of olive oil until softened.
  • Add spanish sardines and clams (optional) and shred sardines into the mixture.
  • Ass salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Add drained pasta noodles to seafood mixture. Add more olive oil if needed.
  • Add juice of lemon and sprinkle with crumbled feta and parsley.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

STARCROSSED LOVERS PLAYLIST #HowTo



I had such a good time making the first playlist, and it seems you all like new music, so I made y'all another one. Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all lovesick but its fun making these.. and since its currently a sunday, this is the kinda vibe I'm on. Only musically, naturally. Haha


A LULU FEAST #SoulfoodSaturday



If you know me, then you know how much I love a multi-course sit-down dinner. I'm just a sucker for anything that is plated to perfection. So when we were invited by Lulu's for a little get-together, we just couldn't say no. I don't even know where to start with describing which of the dishes were my favorite - so I'll let the photos guide me.

I'm normally not a huge fan of anything involving foam - I'm a total fusion-snob, the traditional girl I like to claim I am. But the seared scallops were my favorite. The foam just added a bit of zest without disrupting the flavor of the scallop. I wouldn't mind having some of those right now actually.

My favorite at Lulu's has always been the steaks. This one didn't disappoint - love my steak with a bit of fat on it - that's where all the flavor is. And being the dessert fiend I am.. the entire pallet was perfect, and normally I am not much of a peanut-butter kinda gal, but take it from me - the PB&J bomb was.. well, BOMB.

Here's the full menu - but before I exit this post, can I just say - I AM NOW STARVING.

Thank you for your hospitality, Lulu!

LULU Restaurant

Salcedo Village

G/F V Corporate Center, 125 LP Leviste StSalcedo Village, Makati(0927) 375-9467













Grazing 

Argentinian Hand Chopped Empanada With Chimichurri

Pulled Pomegranate Duck In Steamed and Fried Buns

Lobster & Crab Pao Poached Lobster, Crab, Lemon Mayonnaise & 
Caviar in Steamed & Fried Buns

Seared Scallops in a Carrot & Pumpkin Puree 
with Citrus Seafoam

My Green Mind 

Seared Tuna Nicoise Crusted Tuna, just Seared on the outside, with 
mesclun greens & Citrus Vinaigrette

Off the Hook Seafood 
Citrus Glazed Mahi Mahi In a bed of Lemon & Pea Risotto

Cuts 

 Lamb Shank 12 Twelve Hour Sous Vide Tender Lamb Shank, 
scented with Rosemary & Marjoram with 
Bejeweled Couscous

Rump of Wagyu Steak Adorned with Biodynamic baby Vegetables

Happy Ending 

Lemon Glazed Yoghurt Cheesecake 

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bomb  

Butterscotch Apple Crumble 


Saturday, October 4, 2014

THE BAD APPLE #SoulFoodSaturday


It's SATURDAY which means you can forget your diet for a couple of days and indulge, but for the health conscious like me, who will think twice about eating KFC even if I LOVE it, here's a great compromise. I call it "kinda healthy" food because it seems like a calorie fest but there is actually a nutritious element about it. For instance, this Apple Pie caramel apple from The Bad Apple (Salcedo Market on Saturdays and Legaspi Market on Sundays) is one of my "kinda healthy" favorites because it has a thin layer caramel and an outer layer of graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon, but it's also a fruit aka better than eating a chocolate bar or a pint of ice cream. Also, what I do is, I cut them into wedges and share with my daughter because everyone needs a treat once in awhile without feeling like they over-indulged. The one thing though is that it's HARD not to want to eat the whole thing because it's so freaking good. Taste for yourself this weekend! Follow them on instagram: @TheBadApple_ph but don't say I didn't warn you if you get hungry!