October 22, 2021

Pork Tonkatsu

In my previous post, I mentioned that I try recreating the food that I usually order in a restaurant so aside from Beef Gyudon, I am also missing Tonkatsu. If we are craving tonkatsu, Yabu is our go-to restaurant if ever we are in Alabang Town Center or Southmall. I can’t remember the last time we ate there, sobrang namimiss ko ang unlimited soup, cabbage, and fruits.  

Anyway, I found this McCormick Tonkatsu Agemono Fry Set P63.75 during my last grocery at Landers. Since I don’t know the taste yet, I only bought one pack, the package includes 85g of Tonkatsu Coating Mix and 25g of Tonkatsu Sauce. I just followed the directions at the back of the packaging.


Ingredients 
1/2 kg pork steak 
1 piece egg, beaten with 1 tbsp of water 
Oil for deep-frying, preheat over medium heat 

1. Dip each piece of pork steak in egg wash. 
2. Coat in Tonkatsu Coating Mix. 
3. Deep-fry until golden brown and cooked through. 
4. Serve immediately with Tonkatsu Sauce. 


The coating mix is only good for 5 pieces of small porkchop, bitin na sa pang-anim. I noticed na mabilis siya maluto so yung first porkchop ko, almost burned pagkalagay ko. Waah! The taste is good naman pero malayo sa lasa ng Yabu (hindi siya crunchy and juicy). Hehehe! Next time, I will try the ready-to-cook Tonkatsu of Landers, or I will do it from scratch. I cooked this last March so now, I am craving tonkatsu na naman.


October 20, 2021

Beef Gyudon Recipe

We are now in the last quarter of the year and until now we are still dealing with COVID19 restrictions. And because of that, our normal routine changed including our food trip because we cannot just go to the restaurant and eat. There are so many rules and regulations that we need to follow and another thing, kids are not allowed in the restaurant yet. And if ever pwede naman, for sure crowded sa dami ng gustong lumabas na rin. 

I don’t want to dwell on it so what I do is I try to recreate the dishes that I used to eat in the restaurant. When I was still in college, Tokyo Tokyo is one of my favorite fast foods (kapag nasa mall), I usually order their Bento Meals, like Prawn Tempura, Pork Tonkatsu, and Beef Misono. It is a complete meal na kasi, you have the meat, rice, veggies, and drink. 

I’ve been meaning to cook my own beef gyudon or beef misono at home but I always had a hard time looking for sake and mirin in the grocery store. If it is available, it is either sake or mirin lang; gusto ko same time ko sila bibilhin. Fast forward to this year, I was able to buy sake and mirin online so finally, I was able to cook my Homemade Beef Gyudon. I checked the recipes online pero paiba-iba naman so I made my own version na lang (inspired by other recipes). 

Ingredients 

1 tbsp of Sesame Oil (or any oil) 
2 cloves of minced garlic 
1 slice onion 
300g of any thinly sliced beef (slice into half) 
1 tbsp of corn syrup (or sugar) 
2 tbsp sake 
2 tbsp mirin 
2 tbsp soy sauce 
Salt and pepper to taste 
3 Eggs 
Optional: pickled red ginger, green onions, sesame seeds 



1. Mix the corn syrup, soy sauce, sake, and mirin. 
2. Beat the 3 eggs. 
3. In a heated pan, add the sesame oil and saute the garlic and onion for 2-3 minutes. 
4. Add the beef and cook until it is no longer pink. 
5. Season with salt and pepper. 
6. Pour the mixture of corn syrup, soy sauce, sake, and mirin into the beef. Simmer for 5 minutes. 
7. If you want an egg, pour the egg on top of the beef. Cover the pan and cook until the egg is almost done. 
8. Serve with rice. 



On my first try, I used Sukiyaki Cut and I added eggs. On my next try, I used the Woosamgyup from Romantic Baboy and I did not add eggs so I just sprinkled some sesame seeds. Next time, if I will cook this again, magluluto na rin ako ng vegetable side dishes like togue.


October 18, 2021

A Dose of Pneumococcal Vaccine

For the past several months, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts about the flu vaccine and pneumonia vaccine but I just ignore them because I don’t want to go to the hospital yet. My son and I rarely go out of the house so I just felt that we don’t need those vaccines. It was funny because I thought my son has Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine or PCV7 (now PCV13) so booster shot na lang naman ang need niya but when I checked his baby book, my son has no PCV7 pala. 


Then I remembered that 13 years ago, I decided to skip this vaccine because we can’t afford it and this vaccine is quite new to me. During those times, life is so hard and we are just lucky that part of my husband’s company health insurance is a yearly medicine benefit (vaccine included). We use that benefit for my son’s vaccines except for PCV7, we all know na napakamahal ng PCV7 so doon pa lang mauubos na yung benefit. To give you an idea, PCV13 is a series of 4 doses given to infants who are 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 1 year old. 

Moving on, my husband and I are both fully vaccinated but my son has no COVID19 vaccine yet because it is not available (sa kids) in our country and I don’t know when it will be available. We still don’t have a registration form for kids in our place. And because of that, I decided to get Pneumococcal Vaccine


But like I said, I don’t want to go to the hospital yet so I asked my friend for recommendations. My friend told me about the pediatric clinic where they got their vaccines so I told my husband about it. Thank God that there is a Saturday schedule so my husband and son don’t need to be absent from work and school. My husband just made an appointment online and we scheduled it one month after my second dose of Moderna vaccine

The rate of pneumonia vaccine varies so just check with the hospital or clinic. With regard to our experience, when we asked about the rates, the clinic did not give us the exact rate, ito lang binigay nila.

Pneumococcal Vaccine Rate in the Philippines 

Kids: PCV13 ranges from PHP3800 to PHP5,000 
Adult: Pneumovax ranges from PHP3,200 to PHP4000 

We live in the province so baka mas mahal kapag Metro Manila. But I think the rate is already acceptable kaysa magAsian Hospital pa kami (sa pedia ng anak ko) pero masakit pa rin sa bulsa because three years ago, we no longer have medicine benefits. But for peace of mind and added protection, go lang. My son only needs one dose, unlike sa amin na may another dose ulit after 5 years. 

Common Side Effects of Pneumonia Vaccine 

Pain on injection site 
Muscle or joint aches 
Fever 
Chills 
Headache 
Nausea 
Vomiting 
Stiffness of the arm or the leg where the vaccine was injected 
Weakness 
Fatigue 
Skin Rash 

Fortunately, the only side effect that we experienced is pain on the injection site pero mild lang compared sa pain na naramdaman namin sa COVID19 vaccine. The pain subsided in less than 24 hours. 


“Life or death for a young child too often depends on whether he is born in a country where vaccines are available or not.” - Nelson Mandela

October 16, 2021

Tomato Garlic Prawns

I love shrimp because it is so easy to cook so we always have shrimp. But even though we always have shrimp my menu is limited to few recipes; I usually cook Buttered Garlic Shrimp or Salted-Egg Shrimp

Last week, we received some prawns and I remembered the Tomato Garlic Prawns Sauce PHP42 that I bought few months ago. I just added this because I need to meet a certain amount to get discount and free shipping. Hehehe!


Ingredients 
250g prawns (trimmed and dried) 
1 pack of Lee Kum Kee Sauce for Tomato Garlic Prawns 

Procedure 
Pan-fry prawns in 2 tbsp oil until golden yellow and done. 
Turn low heat and add the sauce. 
Stir well quickly until heated through. 

Or stir-fry 250g shelled prawns in 1 tbsp oil until done. 
Add sauce and stir well quickly. 

I checked the procedures and kulang pala yung sauce ko because my prawns are almost a kilo so I added few ingredients like garlic, tomatoes, and water para dumami. Hehehe! 

2 tbsp olive oil 
2 tomatoes 
4 cloves of minced garlic 
Prawns (shelled and deveined) 
2 tbsp water 
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Fresh or dried Parsley  

1. In a pan, put the oil and saute the garlic. 
2. Add tomatoes and cook for 8 minutes until softens. 
3. Add prawns and cook for 4-5 minutes.
4. Season with salt and pepper. 
5. Add the Lee Kum Kee Sauce for Tomato Garlic Prawns 
6. Add water, dried parsley, and season with salt and pepper. 
7. Stir well for 2 minutes. 
8. Serve 


The taste is good and my husband said, lasang Chinese cuisine. Natawa na lang ako because Lee Kum Kee nga yung brand. hehehe! But I don’t think I will buy this again kasi mas mura kung mag DIY na lang ako and we still prefer buttered garlic or salted egg recipes. But if you like this kind of recipe, you can buy Lee Kum Kee Tomato Garlic Prawn Sauce online too. 

October 13, 2021

3 Easy Ways to Escape Work From Home  Stress Without Leaving Your House 

In just a few weeks, another year stuck at home will come to an end. It was a full year of constantly adapting to new protocols and new ways of working. Ironically, being closer to home didn’t make the stress of day-to-day tasks any less heavy. Some of us have joined meetings while washing dishes, skipped lunch to work on a deadline, and even woke up just in time to attend an early morning call. The stress we experience has increased because of more back-to-back meetings and higher demand for multi-tasking. 

To make sure we don’t burnout, we need to stop for much-needed breaks. You might not notice it but even your skin needs detoxing too. The constant change in weather and the temperature inside can be causing your skin stress.

End the year refreshed and ready for whatever challenges come our way with these easy-to-do relaxation activities we can do right at home. 


1. Immerse yourself in new worlds 

There is no shortage of bad news in the world. Yes, we should be updated with current events, but it doesn’t hurt if we immerse ourselves in more positive environments from time to time. Constantly checking emails and updates about work, especially on weekends can cause even more anxiety at a time when you should be taking care of yourself. 

Read a book about a magical realm, about an intense love story, or about a woman finding her purpose in the world. Take it a level higher and join your local book club’s weekly or monthly discussions! Feel the stress fade away as you flip through the pages (or swipe if you’re an e-book convert!) at the end of the day. 

2. Curate a mood-booster playlist 

It’s no secret that music affects our mood. Before the workweek starts, why not set aside a few hours just listening to old and new favorites and create a personalized playlist for every kind of mood? This will be an easy stress-reliever when your to-dos start to pile up. It’s also a palate cleanser for your ears after being in whole-day meetings.

Just hit play and feel the stress melt with the beat. Here are some suggested playlists to get you started: “This meeting could have been an email playlist,” “Overtime will soon be over the playlist,” “Malapit na mag-weekend playlist.” 

3. Make your shower a haven 

Shower time is sacred alone time. It’s the time of day where we can get away from work calls, parent duties, and house chores! It’s the only we can truly be alone to relax. Take it a step further and make your shower a full blow haven of relief by investing in the right products. Set up your favorite candles, ready your trusty scrubs and loofah, and use a cleansing and rejuvenating body wash like Safeguard Detox


Safeguard Detox is enriched with Pomegranate that allows for deep cleansing of the pores, stripping away germs, bacteria, and dirt while leaving skin refreshed and rejuvenated. The fragrant foam will feel like a refreshing escape with every pump.

Schedule your relaxation time

Whatever you choose to detox from the stress of each day, make sure that you make time for it (and stick to it!) It’s so easy to get swamped with the daily tasks that we forget to take care of ourselves. Set an alarm for your reading time, block your weekend to curate a playlist, or set 9:00AM or 11:00PM as your regular shower time. Setting time to rejuvenate yourself means having more energy to give back to the world. So what are you waiting for? Start your relaxation today! 

Safeguard Detox is available in Pomegranate and Bamboo Charcoal. Add to cart when you visit the P&G official online stores in Lazada or Shopee.

October 12, 2021

Walking Tour in Kristiansund Norway

Over the past few days, I’ve been seeing a lot of travel photos on my social media feeds, it seems that other countries are slowly going back to normal. Unfortunately, here in the Philippines we still have restrictions so leisure traveling is far from reality but I am praying that we can travel again next year.

Since I can’t travel yet, let me reminisce about my last trip to Europe and as expected I am not yet finished with my Scandinavian series. Anyway, more than two years ago, we had a chance to visit Kristiansund Norway, our initial agenda is to visit the famous Atlantic Ocean Road. Travel time from Ørland is 5 hours so we stayed at Scandic Kristiansund to rest before driving to the Atlantic Road.



Walking Tour in Kristiansund

Kristiansund (Christianssund) was founded by King Christian VI in the year 1742. It is also known as a polychrome town because of the colorful houses that you can see in the small island municipality. It is located on the western coast of Norway, this municipality has four main islands, the Nordlandet, Kikrkelander, Innlandet, and Frei. 


It was raining when we arrived at the hotel but we still went out for dinner. Since our hotel is near the harbor, we checked the two statues and found the Sundboat. 

Sundbåten 

Sundbåten or Sundboat is the world’s oldest public transport service that is still in use since 1876. It is Kristiansund’s trademark and cultural heritage. This is a nice way to experience Kristiansund because you can explore different parts of the town like churches, galleries, museums, and harbor. A round trip takes only 15 to 20 minutes and it is FREE. 


Unfortunately, it was already closed when we went there and we did not bother to check it the following day because we have limited time. You need at least half a day so you can explore the stop points. We just took photos of the Klipsish woman which represents the hardworking women of history and the Herring boy which symbolizes the future generation. 



It was a quick visit to the pier because we were hungry already and we need to look for a restaurant. We had dinner at Bella Napoli Restaurant and we immediately went back to the hotel after. 

The following morning, while we were eating breakfast we planned to have a Walking Tour in Kristiansund. We don’t have an itinerary, we just relied on the flyer that we got at the hotel lobby. Despite the gloomy weather, it did not stop us from exploring the city. We checked the nearest tourist spots that we can visit before we check-out.

Byfossen 1742-1992 

We just walk from the hotel and found Byfossen. It is a small waterfall powered by a pump that was opened in the year 1992 to celebrate the city anniversary. 


Kongesteinen 

This large gray stone is located near King Olav’s Gate. It is a symbol of the visit of two royal couples last October 15, 1992, Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark and King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway visited Kristiansund at the same time. 


The war ruin and used to be a public burial ground (1838-1919) is now a beautiful park where you can see statues, fountains, hundred years old trees, plants, and more.

Kirkelandet Kirke 

Kirkelandet Church is a parish church that was built in 1964. It is Norway’s first boldest and modern church building by architect Odd Østbye. It symbolizes a quartz crystal amidst roses. This church can occupy 550 people. 



On our way to Varden, we passed by Svanedammen or Swan Pond and Vanndamman or Water Pond. We saw a lot of birds, swans, and peacocks. 




Varden Utkikstårn 

We ended our walking tour at Varden, which was opened in the year 1892. It is an old tower which is 78 meters above sea level. The view tower will give you a breathtaking view of the shipping lane, Grip island, coastal areas, mountains, and fjords of Nordmøre. It is open every day and the most important thing is, it is free. The space at the top can accommodate only few people, good thing that there are no other visitors aside from us (6 people). 




Our time is limited but I’m glad that we were able to visit some tourist spots in Kristiansund. If we have more time, I wanted to visit the maritime environment, Grip island, old town, Klippfisk museum, and ride the Sundboat. We immediately went back to our hotel so we can check out and start our Atlantic Ocean Road journey.

October 11, 2021

Corned Beef Brisket

I’ve already shared some of the Heat and Eat foods that I have tried before like the Dinuguan, Bicol Express, and Lechon. Cook Express Corned Beef Brisket is another Heat and Eat food product of San Miguel, this is what I prepared when I was still recovering from my second dose of COVID19 vaccine

Nakakatawa because when my son asked me what is our food for lunch? He doesn’t believe me when I said corned beef, of course, we are used to corned beef in cans. Hehehe! But the truth is, the word corned beef comes from the word “corning”, it is an old way of preserving meat by using corns of salt or rock salt. 


We always have corned beef in our pantry but this was the first time that I bought a Corned Beef Brisket online (440g or 900g). I am not sure if it is available in the supermarket since it's been a long time since I went to the grocery. No need to thaw and you can heat this by using your microwave or stove, I used the stovetop method because I want to cook shredded cabbage too. 

Corned Beef Brisket Heating Instructions 

Microwave: partially open lid and heat frozen product at medium to high setting for 10 to 12 minutes. Stovetop: transfer frozen contents to a pot. Cover and heat over medium flame for 12 to 15 minutes. Stir halfway. 


I sliced the beef and added some leftover side dishes plus the cabbage so our corned beef brisket won’t look plain. We liked this so I will buy this again.

October 07, 2021

DIY Gamer Birthday Party Theme

Thirteen is a huge milestone for everyone, it is a transition from tween to teen. So even there is a COVID19 restriction, it did not stop us from celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime moment. My son suggested having a “Gamer” birthday party theme, I initially planned to invite his cousins so they can play video games but for everyone's safety, I did not pursue it anymore. But I still prepare a Gamer Birthday Party to document that my son is now officially a teenager. 



As I mentioned in my previous post, I will share the preparations that I did for this simple party. It took me a week to prepare for the party materials because I don’t want to feel overwhelmed so I spent few hours a day finishing a project. My first project is a birthday card, I designed this “Birthday boy, it’s time to level up”, card. It is a folded card that I just printed, cut, and folded, I print 3 pieces of this card for my husband, mom, and of course for me. This is available in my shop if you need a birthday card for your gamer family or friends.



The next project is "Ethan is now a teen birthday cake topper", it took me a long time to decide what materials will I use, either vinyl stickers + acrylic or cardstock. After contemplating, I settled for cardstock; I used glitter cardstock, metallic cardstock, and plain cardstock. I’m happy with the result because this is a big improvement compared to the cake topper that I did last year. 



Then for my third project is a cupcake topper or food topper. I designed this using the Game Kids Clipart Set. I printed this using cardstock and sticker paper. I used lollipop sticks for my cupcake or food topper.


Ethan is now a teen 
I paused my game just to be here 
Officially a Quaranteen 
You’ve already lived 1000 lives 
Level 13 unlocked 
I don’t age, I just level up 
Birthday boy, it’s time to level up 

The fourth project is the gift tag, “Happy birthday! You’ve already lived 1000 lives”. Just like the birthday card, it is a folded card that I printed, cut, and folded. 


The fifth project is the 13 banner, I started making my 3D numbers but after few hours of making it, I was not happy with the result so I ended up with this. I printed some graphics to add some designs so it won’t look so plain.


The sixth project is the Birthday Party Hat, I just search for a free party hat template on Pinterest and upload it on Cricut Design Space. I used cardstock for this and added the remaining food toppers that I made. For a family of three, I prepare 3 party hats. 


The last project is souvenir stickers, “Game Over, thank you for coming”. I used sticker paper for this. We did not have visitors but I prepare simple food packs that my husband delivered to my in-laws. 



If you are planning for a gamer birthday party, feel free to download these souvenir stickers here


For regular glossy stickers, I’m using this or this
For cardstock, I'm using this

Just like that my baby boy is now a teen, it happened so fast and in a blink of an eye, my son’s face, body, and voice changed. And because we are stuck at home since the community quarantine started, I barely noticed the changes, unless makita ko yung old photos and videos niya na ang layo na pala ng face and voice niya sa dati. All I knew is tumatangkad siya. 

October 05, 2021

Officially a Quaranteen

Time is slipping away and we just celebrated my son’s 13th birthday and until now, I can’t imagine that my baby boy is now a teenager. I started this blog when he was only two years old, I used to document his milestones and other childhood memories but some of those blog posts are now private. I hope someday, I can find the time to print those blog posts para hindi naman sayang ang photostory. I think it would be a nice gift or souvenir that I can give to my son when he hits legal age. 

But before the legal age, teenage years muna, I still can’t believe that it has been 13 years since my son came into this world. I'm forever grateful to God for blessing me my one and only son. I did not plan to stop working but when I had him, my plans changed. Watching him grow up has been the best decision and experience of my life. Honestly, I really miss my son’s toddler and childhood years kasi when he hit tween, slowly nagkakaroon na ng sariling mundo. 


Anyway, since 13 is a huge milestone for us, I asked my son what his birthday theme? He paused a bit and said “games?”. Well, he was spending more time with games since the start of the pandemic so “Gamer” theme kami. It’s been a long time since we had a birthday theme, I shared them on this post “Birthday Party Theme for Boys”. When he was 10 years old, I planned to prepare for a Pokemon Birthday Party pero hindi ko natuloy but this time, I make time for his Quaranteen Birthday Celebration.

It took me a week to prepare his DIY Gamer Party theme because I did everything from scratch. I used to search for FREE party printables on Pinterest but now I’m proud to say that I can make my own printables too. I will share that in a separate blog post. 


First, I designed his birthday cake topper “Ethan is Now a Teen”, this is much better compared to the birthday cake topper that I made last year. I already invested in my craft materials so I can do more. Then I also designed his birthday cards, gift tags, cupcakes or food toppers, souvenir stickers, party hats and banners. 


Then for the food, his only request is steak so I bought Meltique Beef and Saikoro Wagyu Cubes. Then I prepared side dishes like mashed potatoes + gravy sauce, corn and carrots, buttered French beans, and asparagus. And for dessert, we had Contis Leche Flan and Banapple Banoffee Pie


For safety, I did not bother to invite my family or in-laws so it was just a party of three but I prepared simple food packs as my son’s loot bag. My husband delivered the food packs to my in-laws. 


His birthday gift wish is another Nintendo Switch Game which is Scribblenauts Showdown. Ang dali lang wishlist ng anak ko ever since nagkaNintendo Switch siya, controller or games lang pinabibili niya. Hehehe!