Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Erica's Travels: Club Paradise Part 2




There's a small island across from Club Paradise, about a 15 minute boat ride away, where you can request to have lunch with a group or with your special someone. My date for the few days I was there was my good friend Amanda so we were treated to a private lunch where we were the only ones on the whole island.

Grilled Filipino lunch of fish, liempo and veggies with fresh fruits for dessert

Add captionThe view from the boat on the way to the island

With my lovely friend, on a lovely island, having a lovely time.



It was suggested to us that we also go snorkeling, and at first we were so lazy to, but I'm glad we went and did it. So close to the shore, you will find schools of fish- and I mean thousands at a time, that you can follow around until they decide to leave, you will also spot some stingrays and starfish but watch out for the jellyfish!

See all those fish? And you don't even have to swim far!


I am reminiscing and writing this as I am in still not quite spring Paris, and it's making me miss the tropics so much! In my opinion, Palawan is one of the beach treasures we still have that has developments and resorts, but still seems so untouched. This was only my second time in Coron, but it is definitely at the top of my list, and Club Paradise gives you a good middle ground between rustic and nature-y ( You can do sunrise hikes to the highest point of the island, passing through the small lake where the giant resident monitor lizards live!) and a high end place where you feel like you are being taken care of 247 by the staff.

Love love love this place. Be back next time!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Erica's Travels: Discovery Primea Staycation Part 1


Before I left for Paris, I made sure to take time to enjoy and pamper myself because once school starts for me here, I know it's going to be all work and hustle. After my Palawan trip, I immediately checked into Discovery Primea, where I was again treated ( more like spoiled! ) by the ever thoughtful people behind Discovery Hotels.


I love this! I was greeted with a bouquet of flowers, a platter of "Welcome Home" chocolate and another personalized "FatKitch-SkinnyKitch" platter of sweets! I was supposed to be with Ananda, but she followed the next day, so guess who got first dibs on all of this? Again, I love how Discovery personalizes everything- and this goes for ALL Discovery hotels. Just because I want a break from my real home, doesn't mean I don't want a suite that's just as homey, albeit a little bit more fancy ( Umm, do you do home service for this set up so I can have this every time I come home to Manila?)


One thing I love about this hotel- the pool! Not only does it have a great view, it is also HEATED. Yes, heated! Usually when pools are on higher floors it can get really cold. I should know, my condo's pool is on the 9th floor and I never swim because it's freezing all the time. This pool was at the prefect temperature and I wish I had more time in it. I spent about an hour and a half enjoying it before I had to go up to start on dinner. I invited my parents and some friends over for a small despedida dinner where I was going to cook! For those looking for a home away from home that really feels like home- with a kitchen and all, this is the place for you!




I made mussels with a white wine and thyme sauce, braised beef shank and roast chicken stuffed with blue cheese. Since the rooms don't have an oven, the hotel kitchen was kind enough to roast my chicken downstairs. All this without the pots and pans that I'm used to and in a hotel! Pretty cool right?

Next entry about Discovery Primea, I'll talk more about my favorite thing ever.... food of course! :) Stay tuned!


Monday, March 7, 2016

Erica's Travels: Club Paradise Part 1


Among all the beautiful beaches the Philippines has to offer, I have to say that Palawan is definitely my favorite, and after the first time i went to Coron last year, there's no other beach I would rather go to! When I got the invite to go to Club Paradise, I jumped at the chance, even rearranging my schedule to accommodate the trip just a couple weeks before my move to Paris.

I was not disappointed. First of all, I love the seemingly small but very meaningful gestures of Club Paradise, and ALL Discovery hotels and resorts. I was with my friend Amanda, and when we got into our room, we didn't only have welcome pastries, but also a sign hanging on the wall AND framed photos of us on our bedside tables! When we left, we had a little send off jar of cookies and handwritten notes for each of us! The night before we left, management sent over a small cheese plate and 2 glasses of wine. How's that for great service?



It's a good sized island with a lot of rooms, and when we went, we were told that it was almost fully booked, but honestly, although you see other people, it never seems crowded. In fact, in some of our pictures, it really looks like Amanda and I were the only people on the whole island!

Our first day, we went straight to the beach after a hearty lunch before a sunset cruise. We were totally surprised when we realized the cruise was just for us! How romantic HAHA! Usually, guests can sign up for this and it's a  good way to make friends with other people on the island. It was great having the boat all to ourselves and Coron always offers stunning sunsets. You will not be disappointed!






 When we got back to the island, we had a few more drinks while watching the resident bats fly off into the sunset to hunt for food. They usually come back around 6 am or so. It's definitely a sight to see! It's almost unreal.



 More on this crazy beautiful island in my next Club Paradise Post :)












Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Shipping Cart: A new way to shop abroad Part 3



It's my last Shipping Cart delivery before I leave for France and I'm super excited. Since I will be living alone, I can't ask anyone to hold my phone or camera to take videos for the make up and cooking tutorials I plan to do so I went and ordered myself a bunch of cool toys for my phone. I got myself a phone tripod, a set of different lens attachments, a Holga filter attachment, and a selfie ring flash attachment. I bought a few other items as well and now I'm just waiting for them to be delivered to my Shipping Cart account so I can ship them over.

I like how I can view my storage easily and I know exactly which items are already ready to be shipped. They usually send me an email first saying that the item was received and it takes 3 business days for it to be transferred to my storage. When everything is already there, all I need to do is click "Ship it" et voila! it's with me usually w/n a week or so.


And just to make sure you are getting the correct item, Shipping Cart allows you to view the item stored as well. Above is my tripod Yay!


Another feature I appreciate a lot is this- You can click on the items you currently have in your storage and check how much your shipping costs are. Plus an estimated time of arrival if you ship on that day.



I CAN'T WAIT to get my stuff!!!!

Check out WWW.LBCSHIPPINGCART.PH
Instagram: lbcshippingcart
Facebook: www.facebook.com/LBCSHIPPINGCART

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

KASBAH BORACAY: A Fresh take on Moroccan Food


Honey-spiced Aubergine Twirls

Baked Aubergines

Most of you have probably been to Kasbah a long time ago, but if you've forgotten about this little restaurant tucked away in Station 1, it's about time you go back because you are in for a treat via a new look and a brand spankin' new menu. Above is one of my favorite warm mezzes ( their version of tapas or small plates) It's sticky, it's sweet and it's spicy all at once and it will definitely change your mind about eggplants being boring and tasteless. For a little more heat and if you are slightly hungrier, you can opt for the Baked Aubergines stuffed with couscous and breadcrumbs. This was hard to stop eating!

Gambas Morocain

Creamy Seafood Tagine

Do you love seafood? If so, you will absolutely die when you try these two dishes. First is the Gambas Morocain, prawns in garlic chermoula sauce over a fern salad. Don't forget to add a squeeze of lemon for that extra zing. The second one is my favorite dish in the entire menu- Creamy Seafood Tagine. It was love at first bite for me because of Chef Gene dela Cruz' put one of my favorite, and not very commonly used ingredient- fennel! We had to ask for extra bread to sop up all the extra sauce. I swear, if I wasn't in my thirties and/ or had no shame, I would have asked for a straw to drink the rest of it. Thankfully, I was too full to embarrass myself but I can't say what will happen next time I eat this!

Harissa-spiced Chicken Wings

Lamb with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, hummus and a chermoula-harissa yogurt on pita


For those who can't live without their meat, here are some of the choices ( aside from the brochettes if you are really hungry!) The harissa gives new life to everyone's favorite chicken wings. So easy to eat- so forget the knife and fork and use your hands! Don't forget to lick your fingers after! These lamb wraps are like little soft tacos with spicy lamb and a creamy yogurt sauce. I was stuffed beyond belief at this point but I wish I wasn't because I could have had more. This is a great middle of the day snack to share ( or to eat on your own if super hungry!)

If you haven't been to Kasbah in awhile, run don't walk because the new menu will tickle your tastebuds and make your tummy super happy. I had to take a nap after and I missed dinner. But of course, if you are a normal human being who doesn't stuff herself to oblivion, you will be able to enjoy the rest of your day after :)

Kasbah is located at Station 1 in Boracay. Call (036) 288-4790 for reservations.




Wednesday, January 6, 2016

ERICA'S KITCHEN: POMODORO


This is always something I end up making when I buy cherry tomatoes- mostly because I can't resist buying them (they are so cute!) but I end up buying so much and don't have enough time to cook that they usually turn into sauce at the tail end of their lives. Here's a super simple pomodoro recipe. I use this not only for pasta but also when I make baked eggs or even pizza!

Ingredients:

1/2 kilo cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable stock
fresh thyme, chopped
fresh basil, chiffonade
5 cloves garlic
1 red onion
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbs olive oil


How to:

Saute onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil
Add salt and pepper and thyme
Add cherry tomatoes and saute for a few minutes
Add tomato sauce and broth and simmer
When sauce is reduced, add basil

Serve over pasta with feta cheese!


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Shipping Cart: A New Way to Shop Abroad Part 2




As promised, my Shipping Cart package was delivered on time! They told me anytime between December 24-end of the month, so I was delighted that it came on the early end of the promised delivery time- mostly because I had a couple of things in the box that were Christmas presents for my daughter!



Everything comes neatly packed and there is a piece of paper that has a list of everything that was delivered. For 13 items, my delivery fee was a little less than P4,000.


Got myself a few things like this black blazer and a Herschel Supply Co. weekend bag for all the trips I plan to take before I leave for Paris!

I placed another order on December 31 from Urban Outfitters and I am waiting for it to be delivered to my assigned Shipping Cart address and account. Once it arrives, I will be notified and I can have it shipped over. Again, I really LOVE that I no longer need to go to the post office to pick up ordered from overseas. The delivery guy went straight to my condo lobby,asked me to sign a few things and I was free to go up and enjoy my new stuff. Easy Peasy :)

Instagram feed: @lbcshippingcart