May 28, 2021

Homemade Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie is a French word about the preparation and preservation of meat products and Charcutier is the person who prepares it. Nowadays, charcuterie is not only for meats, but you can also put cheese, pieces of bread, crackers, nuts, fruits, vegetables, jams, dips, and many more. There are no hard rules on how to make a charcuterie board but you can find a lot of ideas, guides, and inspirations online. 


Whenever we stay or eat in a hotel, there is always cheese spread and cold cuts section but I don’t mind the cold cuts because I’m not fond of eating raw foods. Among the hotels that we have visited, Spiral has a room of cold cuts and cheese so it is a feast if you love cold cuts and cheese.


Then three years ago, we revisited Sofitel but we booked a Luxury Club Room for a new experience. During our stay we had access to Club Millesime Lounge, so we have All day complimentary food and beverage and even Cocktail and Scheduled Wine Tasting. The foods and drinks at the lounge are limited pero sayang naman if we will not eat there and we also want to experience the cocktails and wine tasting so yun na pinakadinner namin. And since the buffet spread is limited, we were able to try almost all the foods and that was the time that I finally explored different cold cuts and cheese.


Fast forward to last year, I made my own charcuterie board for our New Year’s Eve celebration. I bought the board at the department store, cold cuts at Alba’s, cheese and nuts from grocery, and fruits from the wet market. Cold cuts are a convenient food because it is easy to prepare, no need to cut or cook the meat. But as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like eating raw foods so I toast the meat in the toaster for few minutes and I cooked the chorizo de Bilbao. Then I just put everything on the cheeseboard. 


Mixed Nuts 
Mozzarella Cheese 
Quickmelt Cheese 
Jamon Serrano 
Tocino (Bacon) 
Salchichon 
Pamplona 
Chorizo de Bilbao 
Dinner Roll 
Fruits 
Chips


Among the Alba’s cold cuts, we like salchichon, pamplona, chorizo de bilbao and butifarra. So whenever we visit Alba, we always buy them. We love these mixed nuts too but it is a little bit expensive. Since this is so easy to prepare, I’m sure this will be part of our future celebrations. 



May 25, 2021

Korean Pancake Mix

I love watching Korean shows, movies, and drama series and because of that I started buying the things, foods, and drinks that I’ve seen from the movies, dramas, and reality shows. In short, nabubudol ako sa kakapanood , I’m thankful that I’m not really adventurous when it comes to food, how much more kung hindi pa ako picky eater. 

One of the things that I noticed is they love cooking buchimgae or pancake. They have different pancakes like gamjajeon, kimchijeon, hwajeon, jangtteok, bindaetteok, jeon pajeon, hotteok and many more. Korean pancake uses different ingredients that are soaked in batter mixed then fry, it is either sweet or savory. Among their pancakes, hotteok is the only thing that interests me.


A few months ago, I discovered this CJ Beksul Hotcake Mix and I immediately bought it since we love pancakes for breakfast and snacks. I used Google translate to check the recipe at the back of the packaging and I also searched online how to use the CJ Beksul Pancake Mix. If you don’t have a weighing scale, it is better to buy the 500g pack, kaya natagalan ako sa pagluto kasi hinanap ko pa yung weighing scale ko. 

CJ Beksul Hotcake Mix Recipe 

500g of CJ Beksul Hotcake Mix 
2 eggs 
400ml of Milk or 280ml of water 

1. Put 2 eggs in a bowl and whisk it. Pour milk or water then whisk it again. Add the 500g of hotcake mix and stir until there are no lumps in the mixture.
2. Preheat the pan and lightly wipe oil in it.
3. Pour 1 ladle of hotcake mixture into the pan. Cook it in low heat for 1-2 mins then flip it when bubbles form on the surface and cook it again for 1 min. 
4. Serve and eat. 

I added milk instead of water and the batter is a little bit runny so I find it hard to cook a pancake, hindi kasi siya nagiging bilog. If I’m using a different brand, I can cook 3 pancakes at a time using my pan pero dahil runny yung batter, I can only cook one pancake. To make my life easier I just cook waffles. I don’t understand why 400 ml kapag milk at 280 ml kapag water. Next time I will use 280ml of milk instead of 400ml. 

I also bought a CJ Beksul Doughnut Mix but I haven’t tried it yet but I already made a printable recipe card for future use. Feel free to download the recipe card for both pancake and doughnut. 


Check the links where I bought my CJ Beksul Hotcake Mix and Doughnut Mix or care to share kung saan mas mura bumili. :)


Read: Toro Pannekaker

May 19, 2021

How I Cook My Chicken Karaage

My son loves fried chicken and chicken nuggets. During pre-pandemic days, chicken nugget is always part of my grocery list because that is one of his favorite baon. It is so easy to prepare, I just toast the nuggets in the oven toaster for few minutes. I know, that it is not healthy but what can I do, mga breakfast meals ang gusto niya kainin sa lunch sa school. 

But last year, I stopped buying nuggets since he no longer goes to school, online distance learning na. The day before my quarantined birthday, I bought this Chicken Karaage Set at Ninja’s Pantry (PHP350 for 300g). The pack contains marinated chicken and breading mix so all I need to do is drain, coat and fry. My son loves the chicken karaage but I don’t want to order na kasi mahal magpaGRAB since I live outside Metro Manila. 




So I just made my own version of Chicken Karaage using chicken fillet, salt, pepper, lemon or calamansi juice, Crispy Fry breading mix, and cornstarch. I marinated the chicken fillet with salt, pepper, and lemon or calamansi juice. Then I mixed Crispy Fry breading mix and cornstarch then coat the chicken. Lastly, deep fry the chicken for few minutes or until golden brown. 


I love cooking Chicken Karaage compared to Fried Chicken because I don’t need to precook it anymore. And it doesn’t take so much space sa freezer, whenever I buy chicken fillet kasi, dinidivide ko siya in few portions so may mga ready-to-cook chicken na rin ako na stock. Although, if you will ask my son, though he enjoys my chicken karaage. he still likes chicken nuggets. Waah! Akala ko graduate na kami sa nuggets.  

Update: July 2021

I’m now into online shopping ever since I discovered it last year. And because of that, I started buying groceries online. There are frozen foods that I want to buy but unfortunately, they don’t deliver outside Metro Manila so I was happy when I learned that San Miguel Frozen and Chilled can deliver to my address. 

Read: My Love and Hate Relationship with Online Shopping

I’ve been following their store for quite a while but I was hesitant to order because the shipping fee is expensive and there is no way for me to track my order since they have their own logistics. I’ve been reading reviews so far so good naman so last 7.7 Sale, I finally ordered from their store.


I received my order after two days and all products are in good condition. Frozen pa nung dumating. One of the foods that I ordered is Chicken Karaage for PHP250 (450g). Though I can make my own chicken karaage, I still buy ready-to-eat foods or easy-to-cook meals so I can prepare food even I am busy. 


Last week, I cooked this Purefoods Chicken Karaage and Knorr Gravy Mix, you have two options to cook this; one is deep fry in hot cooking oil for 4 to 5 minutes or toast for 8-10 minutes in an oven toaster. I already have an air fryer so I toast it for 10 minutes. We’re satisfied with this chicken karaage and I will include this in my grocery list next time.


Update: August 2021

I cooked this again but I have no time to thaw the chicken so I put them in the air fryer even it is frozen. I just increase my time to 15 minutes and so far, the same result. 



May 18, 2021

Cricut Project: Easy Iron-On Pillowcase

I don’t like COVID-19 but I won’t deny that because of this global pandemic, my love for crafting is back. So aside from blogging and designing, I started exploring different projects that I can do with my Cricut Maker. My husband’s anniversary gift keeps me busy even I am stuck at home. The only downside is, it is an expensive hobby because I kept on buying tools and craft materials. 

“My problem isn’t that I buy too many craft supplies, my problem is that I shop faster than I create”


Anyway, I bought Heat-Transfer Vinyl last year but I am a little bit scared to start a project because I don’t have Cricut Easypress 2 yet. The heat press is too expensive for my budget and I am not sure if it is worth buying since I only do this as a hobby. But when I learned that there is an expiration for vinyl, I immediately start an Iron-On project. 

Last month, spiral artwork was trending so I tried making this project. I just chose pictures and upload them on the Spiral Betty website, downloaded the files, and uploaded them to Cricut Design Space. Good thing that I did not have a hard time cutting and weeding but since I don’t have Cricut Easypress, I only use regular iron. My first try was not so successful but I still kept it because it is my late sister memorabilia.

After my first try, I finally ordered Cricut Easypress Mini at Amazon USA so I can do more Iron-On projects. For my second pillowcase project, I used the Stay Home and Summer Time SVG files. My first try was not perfect because I immediately peel it off so the design was lifted too but I’m thankful that the Summer Time turned out okay. I even washed the Summer Time pillowcase and so far so good. 
I am still looking for a plain shirt so I can use the Wife, Mom, Boss, and Best Dad Ever SVG files. 



Instructions may vary depending on your materials, but these are the instructions of the Heat Transfer Vinyl that I got from The Happy Station. 

Standard Iron-On Vinyl, Glitter Iron-On Vinyl, Flock Iron-On, and Sunlight Changing Iron-On Vinyl

1. Position the cut vinyl on the item you want to iron it on (with the plastic backing on top).
2. Set your home iron to the maximum heat setting.
3. Using your iron, press down on the vinyl for 20 seconds. Do not move the iron back and forth.
4. Remove iron from the vinyl. Let Cool.
5. Peel off the plastic backing. 

Soft-PU Iron-On Vinyl

1. Position the cut vinyl on the item you want to iron it on (with the plastic backing on top).
2. Set your home iron to the maximum heat setting.
3. Using your iron, press down on the vinyl for 20 seconds. Do not move the iron back and forth.
4. Remove iron from the vinyl then peel off (hot peel)
5. Peel off the plastic backing. 


But if you are using Cricut EasyPress Mini, here is the guide for pillow cover 

Preheat Cricut EasyPress Mini to medium 
Place pillow cover on clean Cricut EasyPress Mat 
Preheat pillow cover for 5 seconds 
Place Iron-On protective sheet over iron-on 
Press while moving with firm pressure at medium setting for 5 seconds 
Flip pillow cover over and press for 5 seconds 
Slowly remove liner when cool to touch. 
Allow 24 hours after application before washing 
Wash and tumble dry inside out 
Do not bleach.

May 14, 2021

Betty Crocker Triple Berry Muffin Mix

If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog, you have noticed for sure that I love buying Betty Crocker products, I have tried different variants of their cake mix and cookie mix. My personal favorite is their cookie mix especially the oatmeal. Sometimes I used their cake mix for waffles if I ran out of pancake mix.

Last February, I bought this Betty Crocker Triple Berry Muffin Mix but it was only this month that I have tried it. This is so easy to prepare because you just need to add water or milk, mix and bake. But this time, I tried using my air fryer to make this muffin and I’m so happy because I don’t need to preheat and we had muffins in less than 15 minutes. I used milk for this recipe and I baked it for 12-15 minutes at 160C or 320F in Air Fryer

Betty Crocker Triple Berry Muffin Mix Recipe 

1. Heat oven to 400F or (375F for dark or nonstick pan). Place paper baking cups in 6-regular-size muffin cups (for best results) or grease bottoms only of muffin cups. 
2. Stir muffin mix and water or milk just until blended. Spoon into cups (about 1/4 cup each) 
3. Bake 15 to 21 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Carefully remove from pan (if muffins are not in paper cups, run a knife around sides before removing). Cool completely before storing.

My son is not a fan of berries so I was surprised that he liked this muffin, tig-isa lang tuloy kami ni hubby at naubos niya agad yung 4. Next time, I will buy this mix again, yung bigger version na kasi bitin yung 6 pcs.


May 12, 2021

How to Return Your Shopee Order

I’ve been into online shopping since the last quarter of the year and I appreciate it so much especially now that I’m stuck at home because of community quarantine. Buying things that I need and I want at the comfort of my home is such a blessing and feeling ko kahit magback to normal na lahat, hindi na mawawala ang online shopping sa akin. Kasi mas madali magbrowse kaysa maglakad sa mall. 


But of course, there are pros and cons in buying online and I have not so good experiences too like missing item, wrong product, an order was not received and faulty product. Some sellers refunded me for the missing items, one seller did not respond when I informed them about the wrong product and just recently, I received a faulty product. I bought this Motex Tape Dispenser because it was recommended by fellow crafters, I watched videos and read reviews so I was sold. In short, nabudol ako so add to cart and check out agad. 



The item arrived in good condition but when I tried the tape dispenser, it can only cut the scotch tape and I was expecting that it can cut various tapes like masking tape. Kasi yun naman ang nakita ko sa videos and sa mga photos ng nagrecommend. So I informed the seller about it and I was advised to use the manual cutting. But what is the use of buying the item if I will still use the manual cutting? I already have a lot of manual tape dispensers at home. And the main reason why I bought the item is I thought this will make my life easier since it can cut multiple tapes. 


The seller advised me to return the item and will refund me. I was having second thoughts in returning the item because hassle na lumabas pa but the amount is PHP600 so sayang din. It was my first time to return/refund an item so I made some research and I also asked customer service about this. Let me share my experience in returning a faulty product at Shopee. 

First, if you want to return or refund an item, make sure that these conditions are met. Personal items, perishable goods, grocery items, jewelry, used makeup, and adult products are prohibited. It also depends on where you purchased the product. I was lucky that the seller accepted the product return.

Refund Only or Return and Refund 

1. Did not receive an order
2. Received an incomplete product 
3. Received a wrong product 
4. Received a product with physical damage 
5. Received a faulty product 

How to Return/Refund Your Shopee Order 

1. File your return or refund via app. 

Go to Me, select To Receive, then tap the order that you want to return or refund. 
Choose the product that you want to refund or return. 
Select Return or Refund reason. 
Add photo 
Explanation on description
Submit 

2. Wait for the seller to respond to your refund or return request. Once approved, you will receive the money on your Shopee Pay. For returns, you need to process how you are going to return the item. You have two options:

A. Drop Off 
B. Self-Arrange (pay the fee and Shopee will reimburse the amount) 

I chose to drop it off since it is FREE and I don’t need to pay a courier. After approval, shipping and select Drop Off (J&T Express), click the View Instructions, I emailed and downloaded my Return Label. I printed my label and packed the item. Buti na lang hindi ko sinisira talaga mga packaging so I was able to reuse the original packaging, dinagdagan ko pa ng mas makapal na bubble wrap. I also printed a FRAGILE sticker to make sure na maayos makakarating din yung return product ko.
 

3. Go to the nearest J&T Express Branch. Make sure that the branch accepts Shopee Returns, may malapit sa amin pero hindi naman sila nag-aaccept ng returns so nagpunta kami sa ibang branch. 

4. At the J&T Express Branch, the staff just checked my printed label and advised me to attach the label and use their packaging tape. After that pinaiwan na sa akin. 

5. Upload the photos of the airway bill and package at the Discuss. 

6. The following day, my parcel was delivered already and the seller refunded me within the day. 

I was thankful that my Shopee Return went smooth and hindi naman nakakastress. 

May 9 - I received my order and tried it. 
Request for return/refund
Printed the label and fragile stickers
Packed the item 
May 10 - Drop off my package at J&T Branch 
May 11 - Parcel was delivered back to the seller. 
Seller approved my return/refund and the amount was returned to my Shopee Pay 

You can check these links for more information 


Things to remember:
Keep the original packaging of the package you want to return, if not packaged properly, J&T may reject your parcel. 
J&T provides free pouches and packaging tapes at the branch.
Make sure to ship out the item within 5 days.

May 11, 2021

Quarantined Mother’s Day Celebration

The year 2020 made me realize that life is indeed short and no matter how I plan, there are things and events in my life that I can’t control. This global pandemic taught us so many lessons in life. It taught us to celebrate life and appreciate small or big things. It taught us to create new traditions and do something that we can look forward to. 

If there is no community quarantine, we usually celebrate special occasions through travels or food trips but since we can’t do that as of now, we are satisfied with celebrating it at home. So last Mother’s Day, I prepared a simple lunch. Usually, the kitchen is closed every Mother’s Day so my husband called one restaurant to reserve food but unfortunately, after lunch pa yung available schedule so I told my husband, huwag na lang.Hangry na ko noon. 

Since I don’t want to spend so much time in the kitchen, I prepare easy-to-cook meals like steak, mashed potato, gravy, and corn. We love this Meltique Beef so it is always part of our grocery list, this is a little bit expensive but still cheaper kasi mahal ang steak sa restaurant. I just put this in the air fryer and cook for few minutes. 


I bought these 
Knorr Potato Flakes and Knorr Gravy Mix during Flash Deals and nagamit ko na rin. I appreciate these foods because they made my life easier and I can prepare them in few minutes. The only downside is masyadong madami yung mashed potato. 2kg and hindi siya nakapack individually just like the gravy mix so halos maubos air-tight container ko para lang mastore siya. Hehehe! Sharing the recipe below. 


Knorr Potato Flakes Recipe 

6g of salt 
900ml of boiling water 
400ml of cold milk 
200g of Knorr Potato Flakes 

1. Boil water with salt then remove from heat. 
2. Add cold milk, then stir potato flakes. 
3. Rest for 2-3 minutes 
4. Stir briefly again after 2-3 minutes until smooth 

Knorr Gravy Mix Recipe 

1. Dissolve 110g of Knorr Gravy Mix in 1L of room temperature water. 
2. Bring to boil, stirring frequently, and simmer for 3 minutes before removing from heat. 
3. Use the sauce as it is, or as a pour-over sauce for pasta, meat, or vegetables.
Optional (I added mushroom)

Since I don't want to keep the box and the plastic, I made a recipe card. I printed and laminated the recipe cards for future use. You can download my free printable recipe card here




Two days before Mother's day, I made this "Happy Mother's Day" cake topper so just in case maisipan nila ako bilhan ng cake. Joke! We always have cake naman every occasion or kahit walang okasyon. hehehe! Hindi nga lang gaano kita kasi chocolate cake yung nabili sa akin. 


This is a simple Cricut project, I just used this Happy Mother's Day SVG file, vinyl stickers, and acrylic cake topper

May 06, 2021

Where to See Wildlife in Canada

Canada is the second-largest country in the world with a total area of (including water) 3.85M square miles. It has a remarkable geographical variety that attracts both tourists and immigrants. Millions of tourists from United States, United Kingdom, China, France, Germany, and other foreigners visit this country. Hundred thousands of immigrants from Asia like India, China, and Philippines choose to live in Canada. 

In fact, Vancouver became a hot spot in Canada because a lot of people want to live there so looking for Vancouver homes for sale or rent is quite challenging. It is also one of the favorite places of tourists, they love to visit Stanley Park, Granville Island, Grouse Mountain, Museum of Vancouver, and more. 


This place is not just an ordinary city because it is connected to nature so whether you are tourists, residents, or immigrants, it is best to visit a wildlife park and enjoy nature. Some of the species that you can see are raccoons, beavers, coyotes, black bears, hoary marmot, Canada geese, cougars, common loon, North West White-Tailed Deer, wild horse, grey wolf, orca, and Great Blue Heron. 

Where to See Wildlife in Vancouver Canada? 

1. Stanley Park 

Stanley Park is the first and largest park in Vancouver, it is a 400-hectare public park that offers scenic views of waters and mountains. It also features beaches, lakes, forest trails, play areas, and aquarium. This is also the home of the great blue heron which is classified as a species at risk in British Columbia.

2. Grouse Mountain 

Grouse Mountain is located in North Vancouver, just 15 minutes away from downtown. It is open 365 days a year and offers a lot of activities, especially during summer and winter. This is the refuge of endangered animals like grizzly bears named Grinder and Coola. You can also spot some owls, hummingbirds, eagles, and falcons. 

3. Strait of Georgia 

Do you know that every year, thousands of variety whales migrate through the water from March to October so Vancouver is one the best locations in the world for whale watching? There are several tour operators in Gulf and San Juan island that offer whale watching expeditions. You can spot whales like humpback whales, gray whales, minke whales, and orcas. If you are lucky you can spot some seabirds like Pacific loons, bald eagles, tufted puffins, harlequin ducks, and brown pelicans. 

4. Brackendale 

Brackendale is the home of wintering bald eagles so whether you are an ornithologist or casual bird watchers, visit this place if you want a closer look at herons, snow geese, eagles, owls, jays, gulls, and sandpipers. Visitors can watch the birds nesting and feasting. 

5. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary 

Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary is one of the top ten bird-watching areas in Canada. This is a protected area where both wildlife and their habitats are protected with nearly 300 hectares of natural marshes, managed wetlands, and low dikes. This sanctuary in British Columbia is open all year-round and home to sandhill cranes, mallards, bald eagles, snow geese, and other bird species. 

These are just 5 wildlife sanctuaries that you can visit in Vancouver but there are more wildlife parks in Canada that you can also explore.

May 05, 2021

My Online Shopping Experience at Amazon USA

I don’t like what is happening in the world, I don’t like that I can’t travel and I don’t like that I’m stuck at home. My everyday life seems like a routine and until now my life revolves in the four corners of our house because of the community quarantine. But instead of sulking and focusing on the things that I can’t do, I wanted to stay positive and try to see the good things in everything. 

“Being positive isn’t pretending that everything is good. It’s seeing the good in everything” 


I may not like this global pandemic but I cannot deny that because of this community quarantine, I learned to appreciate online shopping, you can read more about that in this post “My Love and Hate Relationship with Online Shopping”. It was six months ago when I started my online shopping at Lazada and Shopee, these two eCommerce sites totally changed my shopping perspective. Indeed, shopping is cheaper than therapy. 

After trying Lazada and Shopee, I finally took a risk and bought something from Amazon USA. For the last several years, I’ve been buying ebooks from Amazon but I haven’t tried buying physical products because the shipping fee is so expensive and I don’t want unexpected taxes and fees. But after searching and reading some articles, I finally placed my order last month. 

I’ve been meaning to buy Cricut Easy Press Mini and Cricut Brayer, most of the time not available in the Philippines and if ever meron ako makita, almost double the price. I am tempted to do “Pasabuy” but when I checked Amazon USA, these Cricut items can be delivered straight to my house so I don’t need to use a third party anymore. It was on SALE too. 

I ordered the following 

Shipping & Handling $21.97 
Total before tax: $93.05 
Estimated tax to be collected: $0.00 


I added the card game to maximize my shipping fee. Amazon did not charge any taxes and fees for my order and since my order is below PHP10,000, I don’t need to pay taxes and fees in the Philippines. The expected delivery is May 17 so I was really surprised when my order was delivered after a week. 

April 19 - placed my order 
April 20 - my package was shipped 
April 28 - received my order 


The packaging was simple, no bubble wrap but all items arrived in good condition. I am so happy with my order kasi ang laki ng savings ko. If I will buy this in the Philippines, the Cricut Easy Press Mini range from PHP4,500 to PHP6,000, and the Cricut Brayer range from PHP800 to PHP950 excluding the shipping. My total order in Amazon was more or less PHP4,500. 

My first Amazon order was a success and I told my husband about it. He said “Kinakabahan ako, mas marami mabibili sa Amazon”. I told him, “Why go local if I can go global” hehehe! I still have several items on my wishlist so I need more part-time jobs para macheck-out ko. :) 


Update: May 2021

As I mentioned before, I have several items on my cart so after Mother's Day I finally bought some of them. Thanks to my husband's shopping money gift. lol. I bought 3 items to maximize the shipping fee but after few hours, I was surprised when I received a message from my credit card company. I was charged $27.95. That is not the total amount that I was expecting so when I checked my email. They will ship one item only which is Cricut Easy 12x12 EasyPress, Protective Resistant Mat for $17.86. I got nervous because I thought that the 2 items were canceled and I thought that I need to pay another shipping for the remaining two items. 

I immediately contacted customer service about it and I was informed that I don't need to worry about the shipping fee because I will still pay the same amount. True enough, the following day the 2 items were shipped and there was no additional shipping cost. 

May 13, 2021 - I placed  my order
May 14, 2021 - One item was shipped from New York
May 15, 2021 - Two items were shipped from New Jersey
May 20, 2021 - I received the first item. Nakabox 
May 21, 2021 - I received the remaining items. Nakaenvelope lang and nilagay ni LBC sa plastic. 

May note this sa first package ko na "We've sent this part of your order to ensure quicker service. The other items will separately at no additional shipping cost"


The second package "This shipment completes your order"



Ordered the following items because it is not available in the Philippines. 

Shipping & Handling $24.11
Total before tax $65.95

First shipment is $27.95
Second shipment is $38
Total is still $65.95