Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Adventures of Tintin at IMAX SM Southmall

I live in the South but I rarely go to SM Southmall, my family prefers going to Alabang Town Center.  ATC has always been our mall of choice because of the vibe of the place and I love how they have maintained it, especially the upkeep of  their cinemas.  Last week I got an invite from  fellow blogger Azrael Coladilla to attend the advance screening of The Adventures of Tintin at the IMAX SM Southmall.  The last time I watched a movie at Southmall the seats were worn out, the floor was sticky and the audio quality was so poor. Another thing the comfort rooms were not well maintained, when I flushed the toilet the water shot up like a geyser, I know yuck.  So my expectations were not very high.

But I was pleasantly surprised to see that there is an ongoing renovation at Southmall not only with the cinemas but the whole mall. The layout of the mall seems wider and better for strolling, the lighting brighter and the comfort rooms were clean and no defective plumbing this time. Looks like with all the upgrades I might be going there more often. 

I am not a movie critic so I won't even attempt to critique the film, but I will tell you about my theater experience.  I was happy to see that the IMAX theater had it's own waiting area, I am always early for screenings so I like that they have a comfy area for you to sit down and wait . Love the layout of the theater, they designed it in a way that there is no chance of the head of the person in the row in front of you to block your view.  I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me in the past, it just ruins the whole movie for me. Another plus point the seats were very comfortable and clean.  The IMAX  SM Southmall experience really makes you feel you are part of the movie, it seems that you and Tintin are together in the search to unravel the Secrets of the Unicorn.  You feel like you are with him in every leap he makes and every bullet he dodges. Definitely worth the extra pesos for  you get to truly have an amazing movie experience in return.

The regular screenings of The Adventures of Tintin starts November 30th and since it is a Philippine holiday I recommend that you head over to the IMAX SM Southmall and be transported to the high seas, the desert sands and beyond with Tintin and his friends.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Average Jane's Giveaway

One of the blogs I really enjoy reading is the Average Jane, I love how witty and funny her writing is.  She makes the most simple subjects very interesting.  She may call herself average but her blog is not average at all.

In the spirit of giving she is giving away a really nice prize. I encourage you to go check it out, join the raffle, then read some of her old posts, and get hooked on the Average Jane like I have.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lechon Flakes

There were plenty of  left-over lechon from the Little Boy's birthday. It seems that with the crispy skin all gone no one was interested in the lechon meat.   Since it came all the way from Cebu I wanted to honor the lechon by making sure that we consume all of it.  And my other reason it was quite expensive there was no way I was not going to get our money's worth by making sure we made use of all of it. 

We already used some to make paksiw na lechon a few days ago, but we still had plenty of meat sitting in the freezer. I thought why not make them into flakes, it would be like adobo flakes but this time it would be lechon.  So I pounded loads of garlic, sauteed them up in some oil, then added the flaked lechon meat, seasoned it with some salt, pepper and brow sugar, cooked it until it was deliciously crispy.  We used it as toppings for several dishes, and when we felt like it dipped it in some vinegar and ate it with rice.  

Of all the dishes we used the lechon flakes on my favorite one was when I added it to my salsa salad, then mixed in some homemade croutons.  Ah I tell you it was heavenly.  It was so good I made the same salad dish for lunch the following day.

As of today all of the lechon has been consumed na, mission accomplished we definitely got our money's worth from this yummy piggy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Little Boy's 5th Birthday

The Little Boy celebrated his 5th birthday recently.  I can't believe it that 5 years have passed.  He was born premature and had a hole in his heart.  He had to undergo a heart operation when he was just a few months old.  He was also born with a G6PD deficiency that limits his diet.  We thought that he would be sickly all his life, but now he is a healthy, super jolly and kulit little man. Even his G6PD deficiency is not much as a hindrance as we initially thought it would be.  When he was an infant we were given a long list of food items that he should avoid.  But now it is alright for him to taste some of the food on the list, but only in small doses.  Whenever he sees us eating a food item on the list he will say "please i want to taste lang, please just 1 or 2 bites lang." His pediatrician says it is okay, fava beans are the only ones that are a total no no.   As you can see from the picture above he has a wicked sense of humor and knows how to have fun. I hope he never losses these two traits. 

The five cupcakes were decorated by the Little Girl for her brother.  I think the Little Boy liked these more than his actual birthday cake.  He knows that this one was made especially for him by his Ate with much love and care. He had loads of fun that night, he enjoyed participating in the different party games and eating the food.  As for every child I know the best part was the opening of gifts.  He was excited to rip off  the gift wrappings to find out what his presents were.

This was the birthday spread. The lechon was flown in from Cebu, but since the flight was delayed by 2 hours the skin was no longer crispy.  It was soggy and sad looking which really disappointed us.

So the solution was to take off all the skin and deep-fry them. I know it is not the healthiest of solutions but at least we were able to salvage it the best way that we could.   It turned out fine, but not as good if the lechon skin had remained crunchy despite the flight's delay.

Happy birthday again Little Boy and hope that you grow up to fulfill all your dreams and heart's wishes. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Join BC Bloggers

Dear Friends, if you are like me who is new to blogging I encourage you to join BC Bloggers.  It is a great way to connect with other bloggers and learn from them.  Or if you have been blogging for quite some time this is a great way to increase your visibility.  BC Bloggers is a wonderful way to connect with other people, so join and unveil the BC Bloggers secret :) 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fried Pork Spareribs With Salt And Pepper

I had a craving to prepare a Chinese dish.   We usually order fried pork spareribs whenever we eat out. I found an easy to follow recipe in Yummy Magazine.  So glad I made this dish, it turned out delicious without being too oily and greasy.  The pepper and vegetable toppings added a new dimension to the dish.  Will definitely be adding this recipe to our favorite home cooked pork dishes. 

Here's the recipe.

500 grams pork belly, skin removed and meat sliced into 2x2-inch pieces
1 tsp meat tenderizer
1 tsp five spice powder or ground cinnamon
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsps ginger juice
2 tsps liquid seasoning
2 tbsps gin
1 tbsps sesame oil
1/4 tsp pepper
1 egg, beaten
5 cups cooking oil, for deep-frying
1 cup cornstarch

For the topping
1 tsp Szehcuan peppercorns or black peppercorns
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1 stalk leek, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 finger chili, sliced into rings

1. Mix together pork belly, meat tenderizer, and the rest of the seasonings.  Marinate overnight. When ready to cook, mix pork with beaten egg.
2. Heat oil in a deep pan.  Dredge pork with cornstarch and fry.  Drain on paper towels, keep warm.
3. Make the toppin: Heat the wok or frying pan. Saute peppercorns until just fragrant.  Pound using a mortar and pestle until in powder form, add salt then set aside. 
4. Using the same wok or pan, heat oil and fry garlic until golden brown. Toss in leeks, chili and peppercorn-salt mixture.  Toss in fried pork, then transfer to a serving platter. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Binagoongang Baboy

I was so happy with my first try at cooking  Chicken Adobo sa Gata that it inspired me to cook another classic Filipino dish for the first time - Binagoongang Baboy.  I found a recipe in the March 2010 issue of Yummy magazine.  I've had this dish often in restaurant, but at times I found the meat to be really tough.  That's a major concern for me because The Little Ones would not appreciate that.  So happy that in this recipe the meat turned out so tender.  I guess boiling the meat first really helps in tenderizing it. As usual the Little Girl liked the dish,but I was surprised that the Little Boy loved it too.  He had several servings, I guess  the combination of sweet and salty was to his liking.   And since the dish has no soy sauce he can have as much as he wanted.  His soy intake should be limited because of his G6PD deficiency.  He kept on asking that the sauce be mixed with his rice, "More please, more pa" he said, then he took a huge spoonful, and then turned to me with his "pacute" smile with his head tilted to the side.  

Here is the recipe:
1 kilo pork belly, cubed
3 cups of water
1 head of garlic, minced
1 large white onion, minced 
4 tomatoes, diced
4 siling haba, minced
2 cups of shrimp paste
1/2 cup vinegar
4 tbsps brown sugar

1. In a casserole, boil pork in water and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes.  Then drain, and set aside.
2. Saute garlic, onion, tomatoes, and chili peppers in a little oil, and then add the pork.
3. Add the shrimp paste and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
4. Pour in vinegar and stir well.
5. Add sugar and simmer for 10 minutes or just until cooked.  Serve hot. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chicken Adobo Sa Gata

My attempts to make pork and chicken adobo have not been very successful, it always turns out bland.    I've asked friends for tips and adobo recipes, but the result is always a bland dish. So bland that I usually just turn it into adobo flakes.

But with this tasty chicken adobo sa gata dish I was able to attain adobo cooking success.  The dish was bursting with flavor, you can taste the spiciness of the chilies and garlic, the richness of the coconut, and the distinct taste of vinegar.  I also loved that the chicken strips remained very tender.  The dish even tasted better the next day.

And since the dish had no soy sauce the Little Boy could have as much of it as he wanted.  He has a G6PD deficiency, so we try to limit his soy sauce intake.

I do hope that I will be able to have the same success with the traditional pork and chicken adobo. Does anyone have any tips for me?

Here is the recipe:
2 tbsps minced garlic
1 onion, minced
1 kilo chicken breasts, cut into strips
3 cups coconut milk
1 tsp black pepper
3 tbsps vinegar
1 piece of chili, chopped
1 tsp minced green onion
cooking oil

1. In a pot, saute garlic and onion in cooking oil.
2. Add chicken strips, 2cups of coconut milk, black pepper, salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered until chicken is tender.  Add the chili.
3. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and simmer for another 3 minutes or until sauce is thick.  Top with green onion.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gold Leaf Teas

I won this Gold Leaf Tea set about 2 months ago, but was only  able to claim it yesterday.  I don't drink tea nor coffee, my tongue can't handle hot beverages, I drink juice in the mornings. My tea experience had been limited to the free ones served at Chinese restaurants and the ones served to you at spas after you get your massage.  But since I won this set I am going to immerse myself in the world of tea. Reading the pamphlet that came with the prize I was amazed to learn that there are so many tea flavors,  it seems limitless.  

In the box was oolong, mint, chamomile, jasmine, honey lemon, and green tea, plus two mugs.  I chose to have honey lemon, since it was the most familiar among the 6 choices.  So I followed the instructions to steep the tea bag in hot water for 2 minutes, then took it out.  I waited another 3 minutes to take my first sip,  I had to let it cool down a bit, remember my tongue does not like hot beverages.   Upon taking the first sip I was pleasantly surprised, I could taste that distinct tea flavor but it also had hints of honey and lemon that made it refreshing.  It was a great way to start my 37th birthday. I am so looking forward to trying out the other flavors.  Who knows maybe enjoying a cup of tea while reading the newspaper will become a morning habit for me. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I associate this snack with lots of fond memories from childhood.  My first happy memory of kropek is of Mr. Ho's restaurant in Makati.  The kropek was garnish  for their fried poultry dishes, us kids were more interested in the kropek than main dish.  Another fond memory was during Christmas season,  when we would go to the carnivals, kropek was my Lola Ying's favorite snack too, she would buy a bag and she would share it with me, our fingers would get all greasy from the oil.  Then there would be times when Dad would come home from work  his pasalubong for us would be several bags of kropek.  And the fondest memory was when Lola Ying discovered that you can buy uncooked kropek from the grocery and cook it at home. I remember her saying "Now Apo we can have it anytime we would  have a craving", and that she did, we always had a craving for it.  She would cook a bowl and we would share it while I tell her how my day was in school.  

I have to go now I have a bowl of kropek waiting for me, need to get to it before the Little Ones finish it all :)  

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