September 29, 2021

Crispy Squid Rings

Crispy squid rings is also known as calamares, calamari, or battered squid rings. According to my research, calamari means squid in Italian and Spanish. I am not sure if the word calamares is the Filipino version of calamari. All I know is whenever I eat in the restaurant, I would either see calamari or calamares in the appetizer menu. 

I love squid and calamari is a good appetizer dish but I seldom order this because the taste is a hit and miss. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is chewy, and sometimes is salty so I just take note of the restaurants that serve yummy fried squid. 

Squid is always part of our menu too but I usually cook adobong pusit and stir-fry squid in olive oil. I tried cooking my own version of calamares too but as much as possible I try to stay away from deep-fried seafood kasi one-time use lang ang oil. Unlike kapag fried chicken or fries lang niluto ko, I can reuse the oil for frying fish. 

So when I saw this Purefoods Crispy Squid Rings, I immediately bought it because I know that I can cook this using Air Fryer or Oven Toaster so I can save on cooking oil. You can save time too because you don’t need to thaw the squid. I used my Philips Air Fryer, the setting is 180C for 10 minutes. 

How to Cook the Crispy Squid Rings 

1. Take out from the freezer. No need to thaw. 
2. Deep fry for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat or until golden brown. 
3. Remove from pan and drain excess oil. 
4. Serve while hot. 

I only cook one pack to try and the squid rings turned out good, it is crunchy but it is a little bit spicy and salty for our taste. I was surprised when my son ate this because he doesn’t like squid dishes. I will buy this kapag nakasale ulit ng Buy 1 Take 1. I bought this at San Miguel Frozen and Chilled.

September 27, 2021

Printable Teacher’s Day Card

International Teacher’s Day or World Teacher’s Day was established in the year 1994 to commemorate the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation. Since then we have celebrated Teacher’s Day every October 5. During pre-pandemic days, we always have half-day classes or no classes during teacher’s day.

This is the second school year that we are still under community quarantine so I am not sure what will happen to Teacher’s Day celebration. It is quite challenging to look for gifts but it is easy to make your own card. I designed some cards that I planned to send to my son’s teacher. If you are looking for some printable cards, you can visit my shop here

You just need a printer, cardstock, and scissors. 

September 24, 2021

Homemade Polvoron

I was 9 years old when I learned how to make polvoron. My cousin is the one making it and I will get a commission after selling all her polvoron. It is not hard to sell kasi madaming bata doon sa dating tinitirhan namin sa Manila so ubos agad. 

Polvoron is an easy recipe but I don’t usually make this at home because mas madali bumili ng Goldilocks Polvoron. Ito yung favorite namin na polvoron and I also buy this for baon or pasalubong if we will travel abroad. Natatawa na lang ko sa reaction ng ibang foreigners when they try polvoron, “it is like eating sweet sand”. hehehe! 

But because our country is still under community quarantine, we rarely go out and I think the last time I went to Goldilocks was few days before Community Quarantine started. So ang tagal na, so yesterday I decided to make “homemade polvoron”. There are so many polvoron recipes online but this is my version.

Polvoron Recipe

2 cups toasted all-purpose flour 
1 cup powdered milk 
3/4 cup white sugar (adjust according to your taste) 
1 cup melted butter 
Optional: Add 1/4 cup of ground or crushed skinless peanuts, cashew nuts, pinipig or oreo cookies 

1. In a heated pan, toast and stir the sifted all-purpose flour until the color change to light brown and you can smell the aroma. Let it cool for several minutes. 
2. In a bowl, add the milk, sugar, and toasted flour. Mix all the dry ingredients. 
3. Make a well and add the melted butter. Mix well. 
4. Mold the mixture using a polvoron molder. 
5. Place in a food container or if you want you can wrap the polvoron in cellophane or Japanese paper. 

I let my son toast the flour and he was complaining na masakit na shoulder niya kakahalo. Hehehe! Natawa na lang ko pero exercise din yan. After he toasted the flour, I prepared the other ingredients and mixed them. Then I called my son to mold all the polvoron. We were able to make 24 pieces of polvoron, we already ate few pieces and I put the leftover in a container and put it inside the fridge. 

September 22, 2021

Air Fryer Chicharon Bulaklak

A few months ago I blogged about “How to Stop Stress Eating When You are Stuck at Home” so I try my best to be mindful of what I eat and drink. I also came to a point when I stopped myself from eating rice during morning and evening. It was hard but slowly, nakasanayan ko rin but after my COVID19 vaccine, my diet was gone because I was craving more foods. I was thinking na baka kailangan ko talaga kumain para lumakas ulit ako, especially after noong second dose ko. 

I’m struggling to go back to my diet again kasi napasarap na naman ako sa pagkain. “I thought about losing weight once, but I don’t like losing”. hehehe! So last week, nagugutom ako so I was planning to cook French Fries pero naubos na pala, then I saw this Cook Express Chicharon Bulaklak

Honestly, my first taste of chicharon bulaklak or ruffled fat was not good. As in nagsisisi ako bakit ko siya binili, ang mahal tapos yung lasa niya “lumang mantika”. Well, what can you expect sa street food na hindi mo alam kung ilang beses ginagamit ang cooking oil. So after that, never na ko bumili and kumain ng chiharon bulaklak. 

But last month, I finally purchased this Ready to Cook Chicharon Bulaklak at San Miguel Frozen and Chilled. Actually, I always add this on my cart kaso sa tuwing bibili na ko, nasosold out lagi so it took me few months bago ko siya nacheck-out. I was thinking “masarap siguro kasi marami bumibili”. 

One pack is 600g and I was happy that it was divided into 4 packs so less temptation sa pagluto ng marami. I only cook one pack to try. I used our Air Fryer, setting is 180C for 12-15 minutes (you can adjust the time kung hindi pa crispy). After eating the chicharon bulaklak, nabago na ang pananaw ko. Masarap naman pala siya kaso nakakahigh blood for sure. Moving forward, I will just buy this pack if I want some appetizer or merienda. Oh di ba, minsan worth it din magbigay ng second chance. :) 

Cooking Instructions: 
Preheat oil up to 180C 
Deep fry chicharon bulaklak for 6 to 8 minutes. 
Drain excess oil and serve. 

"Two forms of fat that are vitally important for brain health are cholesterol and saturated fat." - David Perlmutter

Update: March 2023

Last month, I saw this Ready-to-Eat Chicharon Bulaklak in the supermarket. So meron na pala small pack, one pack is 150g so same din sa big pack na divided into 4 small packs. Nakokontian ako sa laman so ginupit ko para dumami. Mas okay din kasi mas naging crispy siya. 

September 21, 2021

Bicol Express

The last time I went to the grocery was February so I’m really thankful for online shopping because I can still shop. I’ve been buying and trying the San Miguel food products, ever since I discovered that they can deliver the foods na frozen/semi-frozen. And these foods rescued me last week because I have no energy to cook meals; I was not feeling well after my second dose of the COVID19 vaccine. My husband can cook naman but he is busy working during weekdays. 

One of the foods that I tried is “Purefoods Bicol Express”, it is a Heat and Eat foods that you can prepare using your stove or microwave. I’m not fond of spicy foods so hindi ko rin alam ano pumasok sa utak ko bakit ko binili ito. Hehehe! Kitang-kita ko na agad yung mga siling labuyo kapag open ko.

Pan Heating: Heat frozen product at medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes and stir occasionally. 
Microwave: Partially open lid & heat frozen product at medium to high setting for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir Halfway. 

I used our stove to heat the frozen food. What's nice about the Purefoods Heat and Eat is you don’t need to thaw so literal na heat and eat na lang. This is a good buy if you like spicy food, though medyo maalat lang siya for my taste pero pwede na kung may kanin. Sometimes I also cook this at home from scratch pero non-spicy version so hindi ko alam kung Bicol Express pa ba yun o Ginataang Baboy lang. Hehehe!

September 20, 2021

Homemade Fish Nuggets

My son loves chicken nuggets so I used to buy store-bought chicken nuggets for his breakfast or school baon. But when the community quarantine started, I stopped buying nuggets. Instead, I started buying or making my own chicken karaage. And this gave me an idea to make fish nuggets. 

I always buy cream dory or pangasius if I want to cook fish fillet so there is nothing new with my recipe. The only difference is, I sliced the fish fillet into bite-sized pieces and I added cornstarch on my breading mix to make it crispier. I’ve been using Crispy Fry Breading Mix for the longest time so yun na talaga gamit ko sa mga fried food recipes ko. I don’t have the exact measurement kasi binubuhos ko lang talaga sa plate yung breading mix and cornstarch. 

Homemade Chicken Nuggets 

Cream Dory 
Breading Mix 
Cooking oil for frying 

1. Slice the fish fillet into bite-sized pieces 
2. Mix the breading mix and cornstarch 
3. Coat the fish. 
4. Fry the fish until golden brown. 
5. Serve with lemon butter sauce or hollandaise sauce. 

The photo does not give justice but the fish nuggets are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. My two boys love this so moving forward, bite-sized na gagawin ko.

September 17, 2021

How to Book the Right Band For Your Venue

We didn’t expect that COVID19 will dramatically affect and change our lives. This virus spreads from one city, one country and until it spreads all over the world. We have no choice but to adjust our lives with the “new normal” like online distance learning, working from home online shopping, and even online entertainment. 

Unfortunately, not all were able to adapt to the global pandemic, some businesses were closed because people are required to stay home and social distancing is a must. Some businesses are still struggling to survive like the entertainment industry. Artists, actors, actresses, and other performers struggle to make a living because making a live performance is not possible. No concerts, corporate events, birthday parties, weddings, Christmas parties, and other occasions that require bands for hire

We don’t know if COVID19 will end or will stay but one thing is for sure, performers are finding ways to perform whether for profit or not; in order to continue their work, market themselves, and serve their audiences. Despite what is happening with the world, there is still good news because a lot of countries are slowly unlocking and easing restrictions. 

Even though virtual events became a new normal now, soon we will have to book the right band for events like concerts, shows, parties, weddings, and more. So let me share with you the things that you need to consider in order for you to book a gig. 

Things to Consider on How to Book the Right Band For Your Venue 

1. Type of Event 

The first thing that we need to consider is the type of event that you are going to have. Knowing this will give you an idea of how many bands do you need to book. Do you need one performer or several performers? 

2. Date of the Event 

Booking a band is not easy as 1, 2,3 especially if you want to book a popular band. Keep in mind that even for a local band with a loyal following, you need to reserve them for 3 to 4 months to give you ample time to look for alternatives in case your chosen band is not available. You can adjust the date if there is a date conflict. And of course, you will have enough time to plan and promote the events.

3. Know your Audience 

You need to know who is your audience in order for you to book the right performers. Ask yourself if you need a small or big venue for the event. Calculate the tickets that you need to sell to earn money. Make sure that majority of the seats will be filled. 

4. Know Your Budget 

The fourth is budget, how much are you willing to pay for the venue, band, staff, and promotion.

5. Book the Right Band 

Knowing what type of event, date of event, audience, and budget will give you an idea of what kind of band you need to book. You can start sending emails, calling agencies or managers, or simply search a one-stop-shop where you can book musicians. The internet is always a good option because you can narrow your search by location, price, ratings, and genre. 

6. Provide Performance Contract 

It is very significant to provide a contract to protect both parties if something goes wrong. Make sure that your contract shows the date, time, venue, fees, and what to expect and not to expect. 

Once you finished this process, you can start promoting your event and make sure that your ticket will sell.

September 13, 2021

Day 3 in Stockholm Sweden

With all that is happening in the world, I really don’t know when we can fly again. Two years ago, I distinctly remember that I was itching to travel. I wanted to travel on my birthday, school sembreak, and Christmas break but it did not happen. If only I knew that COVID19 will happen, I would definitely push my travel plans in year 2019. 

 “Don’t say “there’s still time or maybe next time” because there’s also a concept of it’s too late”

Sadly, no matter how I wish, I can never turn back time but I can relive those moments. So finally, I will update my Scandinavian series. More than two years had passed already but I am thankful for this travel experience because I have something to look back. We were in Stockholm for 5 days and 4 nights so now let me share with you our Day 3 in Stockholm Sweden itinerary. 

Day 3 in Stockholm Sweden 

Like I’ve said before, I don’t have a prepared itinerary for our trip so we just planned before we hit the sack. This is a sample itinerary on the Stockholm Pass flyer and we planned to do this for our third day. 

Hop on-Hop Offf Bus and Boat SEK520 
Skansen SEK195 
Vasa Museum SEK150 
Prince Eugen’s Waldermarsudde SEK150 

When we were in Europe, we always check the weather so during our trip the temperature was around -3 to 9 degrees Celsius so it was really cold. The start of the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus is 10AM so we left the hotel around 8:30AM so we have enough time to eat our breakfast at the Central train station.

Breakfast at McDonalds 

For our breakfast we just ordered the 4 McMuffin Bacon & Egg combo, it includes sandwich and hot and cold drinks, the total is SEK180. 

After our light breakfast, we went straight to Bus Stop 21 which is just outside the Central Station. We made sure that we were there before 10AM. There are tour buses passing by like the Stockholm Red Bus Sightseeing Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour but we did not see any Hop-On-Hop-Off bus for the Stockholm Pass. The bus stop started to get crowded and after one hour of waiting, we started to get impatient. According to other tour bus drivers, they did not see any Worldwide Citysightseeing bus.

I don’t know what happened but we were so disappointed. We paid for it but we were not able to use it. We don’t want to wait any longer because time is running out so we just took a taxi to Vasa Museum. We know how expensive taxis are in Europe but we had no choice. 

Vasa Museum Admission Fee 

Adults: SEK 170 
Young visitors: 0-18 years free of charge 

This is part of our card pass so we did not pay any entrance fee. If Denmark has Viking Ship Museum, then Sweden has Vasa Museum; the latter is also one of the most visited museums in Scandinavia. Vasa is the name of the ship that has the shortest voyage in history. On August 10, 1628, Vasa set sail and sank in Stockholm harbor after sailing for 1,300 meters. Thousands of people witness how the ship sank 32 meters below. 

The supposed to be a powerful warship in the Baltic that was built by hundreds of craftsmen became a grave. It was a tragic incident because only 30 crews and guests survived and most of the people were trapped in the ship. After 333 years, the shipwreck was salvaged, reconstructed, and preserved. What you can see in the Vasa Museum is 98 percent original. The museum has 5 levels so it took us more or less 2 hours to explore. You can join a guided tour for 25 minutes and watch the film for 17 minutes.

Skansen Museum 

After our Vasa Museum tour, we went straight to Skansen Museum, it was a long walk but we made it even we are already h-angry. Again, this is part of our pass so we just show our card to enter. 

Skansen Museum Admission Fee 

Child 4-15 yr: SEK70 
Adult: SEK220 
Student/Senior/Group: SEK200 

Skansen is founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius, it is the oldest open-air museum in the world which showcases the buildings, farmsteads, gardens, and animals of Sweden. Skansen covers an area of about 300,000sqm so it is much bigger compared to Glomdal Museum in Elverum Norway. If you have kids in tow, it is a must to add this to your itinerary. I think you need a whole day to maximize your stay because they have a lot of activities. Don’t forget to get a map and a schedule of activities. 

The museum is open from 10AM to 4PM and some establishments closed as early as 3PM so we had very limited time to explore the place. So we are happy that we were able to visit the Skansen Aquarium, Children’s Zoo, Baltic Sea Science Center, and 19th-century town. There is a close and open-air zoo where you can see Nordic animals and domestic animals. We were able to see European bison, brown bear, moose, reindeer, and other Scandinavian animals. 

We had our late lunch at Skansen Restaurant and we enjoyed the food here. We ordered pasta, waffle, ice cream, and of course Swedish meatballs. 

When we heard that the museum is about to close, we started walking to the exit where Bus stop 12 is located. We failed to visit Prince Eugen’s Waldermarsudde because it is already late and we were tired already. And because of what happened in the morning, we had no idea if there will be a bus in the afternoon but we were hoping na meron. We overheard other passengers, according to them, the bus will arrive so naniwala naman kami kaya nakihintay din kami. We are thankful na may dumating and we did not take taxi anymore.

September 09, 2021

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha; A Healing Drama

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha is an ongoing Korean drama series starring Kim Seon Ho and Shim Min-a. I have watched the majority of drama series of these two celebrities and they are very versatile actors, they are good at drama and comedy genre. Watching the trailer alone, you can already see their chemistry so I know that this series will be a good one. 

I can't wait so even it is a weekly episode, I started watching it kahit alam ko mabibitin ako. As per my research, this is a remake of “Mr. Handy, Mr. Hong, a 2004 South Korean film. The story is about a smart and pretty dentist "Yoon Hye Jin" who moves to Gongjin after she lost her job in the city. She met Hong Du-sik, a jack-of-all-trades who is very special in the neighborhood because he always helps his neighbors especially the elders. 

As of this writing, I already watched the 4 episodes and every week there are always quotable lines, so this post will be updated until I finished the series. 

"Life isn't fair for all of us. Some spend their whole lives on unpaved roads while some run at full speed only to reach the edge of a cliff." - Hong Du Sik 

"The best thing a parent can do for their child is staying healthy for a long time." Yoon Hye Jin

Money and success aren't the only valuable things in life. Happiness, self-contentment, world peace, and love. - Hong Du Sik

Life isn't a mathematical equation. It doesn't have a clear answer. There's no right answer either, you're just given a problem and it's up to you how you solve it. - Hong Du Sik

Surfing is very similar to life. If a good wave comes along, you ride it and slide off it gently, whether the waves are vicious or stagnant, accept it as is - Hong Du Sik

We all have moments we regret in life. Nevertheless, we can never turn back the clock - Yoon Hye Jin

It's okay to get lost or take the long route every now and then. Every time that happened, life took me on an interesting ride. Ji Seong Hyeon

You're bound to meet unexpected situations in life. Even if you use an umbrella, you'll end up getting drenched. Just put your hands up and welcome the rain. - Hong Du Sik

Stop thinking and forget about it. What's done is done. Just press delete, forget about everything, and feel at ease. - Mi Seon

Life may seem so long, but it really isn't. Throw away unnecessary thoughts and be honest with yourself. - Kim Gam Ri

The best meal is one that you have with your family. Yoon Taehwa

Find someone to lean on for once. You spend your life dealing with people's baggage. When do you ever get to lessen yours? - Hong Du Sik

What may be easy for one person can be something difficult for another. - Yeo Hwa Jeong

There's no manual for dating. Just follow your heart. - Mi Seon

Procreating without planning will condemn you to poverty - Mi Seon

Look around yourself closely, and you'll realize that you're surrounded by many precious things. Kim Gam Ri

People should live among other people. Life may seem like a burden to you at times, but if you choose to be among others, someone will carry you on their back. Kim Gam Ri

Just like that, I finished watching Hometown Cha Cha Cha after two months of waiting every weekend for new episodes. And even it is only October, I can definitely say that this is my favorite Korean drama for this year. I like Hometown Cha Cha Cha because it is like "It's Okay Not to Be Okay" that deals with our mental health.

The setting is the countryside so it is such a breath of fresh air especially that we can't travel yet. I like how relaxing the scenery; both landscape and seascape. I love the chemistry of Kim Seon Ho and Shim Min A and I also like all the casts of this series. Each character has their own struggles too and you can learn from their own story. That's why I love the last two episodes because may ending ang bawat character dito. 

Losing someone you love is very painful and moving on is not easy too. The challenging part is when there is no one that you can lean on because you lost your family and friend. But Hometown Cha Cha Cha will teach you that you don't have to feel alone because you are surrounded by people who are willing to care and love you. 

It will also teach you that there is no problem with grieving but you don't have to stay in that phase. You have to learn to forgive yourself because you deserve to be happy. Your life is precious too and you should not waste it because of what happened in the past.