Kitchen Friends

Lately I have been seeing a lot of cooking posts on the world-wide web. The posts make me very hungry and makes me feel guilty about not spending more time in the kitchen. I look back at this post I made last year and feel doubly guilty for not pushing through with my promise. In fairness, thanks to the lovely airfryer I received last Mother’s Day, I have slowly eased my way back into the kitchen. Short-cut cooking but still cooking nonetheless. Did I mention again just how much I Love Philips Airfyer!??!!!

Here are other meals we’ve cooked up in our Airfyer.

bangus - baby bears' favorite
bangus – baby bears’ favorite
steak - family favorite!
steak – family favorite!
healthy fried chicken
healthy fried chicken
yummy liempo
yummy liempo

If you need more Airfryer recipes, you can follow I Love Philips Airfryer FB page.

For other drool-worthy cooking recipes, follow Christine’s Recipes and Bam’s Kitchen.  I have been following Bam ever since I started this blog. She is a lovely mom with teenagers – boys! Picky eaters who quite adore their mom’s cooking. She makes cooking seem so easy and always makes sure that healthy meals are on their dining table. I love how OC her blog is – with precise measurements and instructions.

I have 2 friends that I regularly ask for cooking or baking tips. For baking, I have my friend Reg Austria on speed dial. She has yet to make her own FB/IG page or website but she makes the best sweet treats. This creative baker is responsible for all our party needs. I have yet to post all of her beautiful creations that she has made for me through the years. The best cake she ever made for me was for Baby Bears’ 1st birthday party. Check out the eye candy treats she made for the 1st Birthday Ni Hao Kai Lan party I had 2 years ago and here’s another post that featured her classy creation – Air Balloon Birthday Cakes and Cupcakes.

For cooking, I have my friend, Zelda Ng. I’m happy that she finally decided to put up her own blog after much persuasion! 🙂  Not only is she a super mom but she is also a super wifey, making sure she prepares healthy dishes for the hubby. Hop on over to her new blog, Zelda Ng’s Kitchen. She takes great food shots too.  Just looking her pictures will surely give you that push you need to put your aprons on and bring out the pots and pans.

If I ever do get around to puttering around the kitchen again, I hope I can do justice to the recipes and teachings of my friends. Thanks for always entertaining my kitchen questions.  Looking forward to cooking or baking soon with you guys! 🙂 I hope to find the same passion for cooking/baking/food that you guys have.

I Love Philips Airfryer!

I can’t say it enough but I love my Philips Airfryer! I’ve added this to my list of things I can’t live without. It’s actually right on top of the list next to I-tunes, I-phone, Google, Waze and Spotify 🙂

I was gifted this wonderful gadget by my ever techy hubby. I normally don’t consider tech items from his as proper gifts. He’s such a tech freak that I think it gives him more joy to give me tech items than for me to receive it. I’m such a girly girl when it comes to this. He knew I had been eyeing this appliance for months. It has been out of stock for the longest time here in Manila. I even considered having it shipped from Singapore or Hong Kong, but then it would’ve been too expensive already.

I got this baby as a Mother’s Day Gift. Hint: Please cook more! hahaha 🙂

I Love my Philips Airfryer
I Love my Philips Airfryer

It’s from the Philips Avance XL collection. Look at this digital black beauty! 🙂


How do I love thee, let me count the ways:

1.) Shorter cooking time — busy mommas, this gadget is for you! 🙂

2.) Air is the new oil – it uses rapid air technology to circulate air around the food. It’s perfect for the health conscious – use very little or no cooking oil at all.

3.) You can fry to your hearts’ content without the guilt! (fish & chips, onion rings, french fries and potato chips — anytime you want!) 🙂

4.) Food still comes out crunchy and juicy.

5.) Wipe, wipe, wipe and it’s clean! Even easier to clean if you use an aluminum foil when you cook. No more oil splatter mess.

6.) Can be used for reheating — sayonara microwave!

7.) Very economical since you need to buy less cooking oil especially if you are just cooking for 2.

8.) I think this should also help us save on electricity since you now have shorter cooking time.

9.) Did I tell you can also roast and bake with this wonderful invention?

10.) With the timer feature, you can go about with your busy life and just come back for it when it’s done! Ready, set, cook!

11.) Your place won’t smell like fried fish anymore . This is especially important when you live in a condo.

12.) It has a divider so you can even cook 2 meals at the same time. Talk about multi-tasking!

13.) The XL is quite large so you can cook a whole chicken, liempo, or pecking duck in it!

14.) For the low EQ cook like me, you can open anytime to peek while it’s cooking.


Sharing with you my first 2 successful airfryer attempts. The only thing I experiment with is the length of time I leave it in the airfyer, depends on how crunchy or juicy you want your food to be.  I was too excited to use it that forgot to take a lot of pictures.

1.) Breaded Pork Chops

a. Season the chops with salt and pepper.

b. Dip each side of the pork chop in a mixture of egg, milk, flour and breadcrumbs.

c. Pop into the airfyer for 12 minutes and ding, it’s done! 🙂

Airfried Pork Chops
Airfried Pork Chops


2.) Lumpiang Shanghai

a. Mix lean ground beef, finely chopped carrots and veggies.

b. Wrap in lumpia wrapper.

c. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

d. Airfry for 10 minutes and serve with your favorite sweet chili sauce!

Airfried Lumpiang Shanghai
Airfried Lumpiang Shanghai


For more recipes, check out the following sites:





Happy Airfrying! 🙂

Barney’s Birthday Bash

While everybody is excited to watch the much-awaited broadway show, Wicked… I am excited for Baby Bear’s first show – Barney’s Birthday Bash.

Barney's Bday Bash (pic stolen from Manila Concert Scene Blog)
Barney’s Bday Bash (pic stolen from Manila Concert Scene Blog)

We watched the 30 minute live show over at Eastwood last year (see post here) and I think she is ready this time around for a longer one. She has been feeling under the weather the past few days and normally it’s hard to get her to take lots of rest. I have dangled the Barney show as bait for her to sleep more so that she can recover before the weekend. I know it sounds bad but you do what you have to do to get them to rest more. 😉 Bad news for me though, I just learned that the show was moved to March 29-30 because the equipment, set and costumes weren’t shipped on time due to the typhoons that recently hit our country. I try to always keep my promises to Baby Bear especially when I use it as a reward for good behavior. I don’t want her to think I was just lying to get her to do what I want. Oops! I will definitely have to think of a way to make up for this weekend.

(details from Manila Concert Scene blog)
(details from Manila Concert Scene blog)

As the title mentions, this year’s show is all about a birthday bash. This is so timely as I am preparing for her 3rd birthday coming up in a few months (huhu, 3 years old… not too fast, my baby). We hope that Baby Bear has a super-dee-duper time with her cousin. I just remembered the theme for her 2nd birthday was also Barney. Wonder if she will still clamor for the same theme again this year. Hopefully NOT! 🙂  

Here are the details for the show.

Barney’s Birthday Bash!
February 1, 2014 – Waterfront Hotel Cebu, Cebu 
(11:00am, 3:00pm, 7:00pm)
March 29 to 30, 2014 – Mall of Asia Arena, Manila
(March 29 – 3:00pm and 7:00pm || March 30 – 11:00am and 3:00pm)

Manila show:
VIP FRONT ROW – Php 3,400.00(Reserved Seats)
VIP – Php 2,970.00(Reserved Seats)
PATRON – Php 2,650.00(Reserved Seats)
LOWER BOX CENTER – Php 1,590.00(Reserved Seats)
LOWER BOX SIDES – Php 1,170.00(Reserved Seats)

Cebu show:
FRONT ROW – Php 3,400.00(Reserved Seats)
VIP – Php 2,970.00(Reserved Seats)
GOLD – Php 2,230.00(Reserved Seats)
SILVER – Php 1,590.00(Reserved Seats)

Tickets for Barney’s Birthday Bash – Manila and Cebu shows is available at all SM Tickets outlets nationwide and at
Call 470-2222

LINKS – Manila show tickets – Cebu show tickets

Related Posts:

Barney Show in Manila 2013

Barney Old McDonald Had a Farm

Barney Show in Manila

I never thought I’d see the day that I would love this purple dinosaur that I used to hate. It’s the all-time favorite of Baby Bear so I’ve changed my mind about how I feel about Barney. 😛 To show how much I love my baby, I even prepared a Barney-Rainbow themed 2nd Birthday. ahh… the things you will do for the ones you love! 🙂

barney invitation
barney invitation

Invite reads: With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you, Barney’s friend __ is turning two!

little touches
little touches – A is for Awesome Mallows; C is for Cookies
what's inside the loot bag
what’s inside the loot bag
barney rainbow cake
barney rainbow cake

sorry for the lopsided picture of the cake. I was trying to cover the name on the cake but this picture doesn’t do justice to the beauty of the cake and more importantly, the deliciousness. Rainbow cakes are usually just nice to look at and it has become quite a fad (thanks to Pinterest), but more often than not, they are not yummy because it’s just all food coloring. This one though, is by far, one of the yummiest rainbow cake that I’ve tried. Thank you ninang for this labor of love and work of art. 🙂

I never thought I’d see the day that I would be so excited to see the Barney Live in Manila billboard posted somewhere near Eastwood. I had to stop and take note of the telephone number so that I could ask about the show.

Here are the details of the show:

Barney Live at Megaworld Lifestyle Malls
Barney Live at Megaworld Lifestyle Malls

This is her reaction to whenever she sees Barney in the toy store:

So much joy! Imagine if she saw her purple friend up close and personal… this would probably be her equivalent of our chocolate heaven. 😛 Excited for the weekend. I hope we will all have a Super ‘D’ Duper Time!!! 🙂

– For Inquiries and Ticket Reservations, call 709-0888. 

– For VIP Seats and exclusive Meet and Greet pass, you just need to buy P1,500 worth of Barney products at the Magnavision kiosk from July 11-21. One pass admits four but is valid only at place of purchase.

Related Post:

Barney (Old MacDonald Had A Farm

Hello and Goodbye, Little Tomato

Been awhile since I last blogged. I’ve been MIA in the blogging world, twitter world and the real world. Last month, I had an ectopic pregnancy and had to have a Laparotomy. Last month was a blur. Everything happened so fast. I found out I was pregnant, it was ectopic, had a Laparotomy, and now in the process of healing (physical, emotional and spiritual).

There are 5 stages when dealing with loss but I seem to be stuck in the anger stage. I can’t seem to move on from the fact that a cruel joke was played on me. Why give me something if you’re just going to take it away from me? When we learned we were pregnant, for some reason everything was so peachy. We were even confident it was going to be a baby boy. We were already calling him shoti (baby brother in chinese). Even Baby Bear was in on the secret and she would constantly kiss my tummy and talk to shoti.

My little tomato was 5.5 weeks when we lost him. Since it was still so early into the pregnancy, I know he wasn’t a real baby yet for us to be so emotional about what happened. But for me, as soon as it’s a confirmed pregnancy, you start imagining life with your new baby.

I honestly still don’t understand what happened. I am ashamed to admit that I was angry with God the whole time. I felt it was unfair how I would always have a life-threatening emergency during my pregnancies. During my first one, I was on bed rest for 4 months and hospitalized twice. I thought everything was going well with my 2nd time since I didn’t have any bleeding or pain. In hindsight, I would’ve gladly taken the pain in exchange for my baby to be alive.

The doctors are telling me I can try at once within a few months and it is supposedly easier to get pregnant this time. I don’t think I’m ready though for another round of roller coaster emotions. I don’t know how long I’ll be in this stage. I hope I can heal soon. They say that God has a plan and there’s a promise of something better. For now, I don’t know what could be better than having my baby boy… but I would like to still believe that God has a plan for why things happened.

Dear God, I am hanging on to my faith in you that you are taking care of my little tomato. I miss him so badly everyday. I cry for the pain and the loss. I am still confused but I hope you can help me understand, let go and move on. As selfish as it sounds, I am holding on to Your promise that there is a rainbow after this rain.

I leave you with this song called “Hang on Little Tomato”. It’s my comfort song for what happened. It’s melancholic yet hopeful at the same time… perfect for the mood and what I am going through as I wait for my sunny someday to come soon.

(Instrumental intro is a bit long so just fast forward to 1:24 if you wish to hear the lyric part at once) 🙂

The sun has left and forgotten me
It’s dark, I cannot see
Why does this rain pour down
I’m gonna drown
In a sea
Of deep confusion
Somebody told me, I don’t know who
Whenever you are sad and blue
And you’re feelin’ all alone and left behind
Just take a look inside and you will find
You gotta hold on, hold on through the night
Hang on, things will be all right
Even when it’s dark
And not a bit of sparkling
Sing-song sunshine from above
Spreading rays of sunny love
Just hang on, hang on to the vine
Stay on, soon you’ll be divine
If you start to cry, look up to the sky
Something’s coming up ahead
To turn your tears to dew insteadAnd so I hold on to his advice
When change is hard and not so nice
You listen to your heart the whole night through
Your sunny someday will come one day soon to you

Til We Meet Again, Kitchen!

“When will you cook for me again?!!” Ever since I became a mom, err… ever since I became pregnant, the hubby has been begging me to cook again.  I stopped cooking way, way back. It started with me on bed rest for 4 months, then the baby came along, and now that the baby is 2, it’s now the getting my-life-and-work-back excuse.

So when will I cook again? I’m not quite sure… but for now, the hubby will just have to settle for old food pics I took when I used to cook. Pardon the pre-instagram/pre-iPhone food pics taken before. Maybe if I do decide to get my butt back to the kitchen, the food shots will definitely be better this time. (Hopefully the food will be better, too!) 😉

chicken tikka masala
chicken tikka masala
korean namul
korean namul
chx teriyaki
chx teriyaki
crab cakes
crab cakes
rosemary chicken w/ apple slices
rosemary chicken w/ apple slices
chicken adobo
chicken adobo
eggs ben w/ hollandaise sauce and german sausage
eggs ben w/ hollandaise sauce and german sausage
steak w/ peter luger sauce
steak w/ peter luger sauce
scallops in white wine sauce
scallops in white wine sauce
grilled beef w/ mushrooms
grilled beef w/ mushrooms
lamb chops w/ mint jelly
lamb chops w/ mint jelly
beef salpicao rice
beef salpicao rice
egg omelet surprise
egg omelet surprise
grilled salmon
grilled salmon
shabu shabu soup
shabu shabu soup
shabu shabu
shabu shabu
blueberry cheesecake w/ vaniilla ice cream
blueberry cheesecake w/ vaniilla ice cream
choco-banana pancake
choco-banana pancake
hickory spare ribs (salad?)
hickory spare ribs (salad?)
most requested: blueberry muffins
most requested: blueberry muffins
our version of banana split
our version of banana split
steak AGAIN! :)
steak AGAIN! 🙂

Hmm… I’m suddenly hungry and missing my cooking LOL.

Can’t wait to get back to the kitchen… or maybe for a change, hubby can cook for me! 😉

Raising A Bookworm Part 2

My goal of Raising A Bookworm is moving along as Baby Bear can now graduate from watching the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD already. She knows the sounds of all the letters except for ‘G’ and ‘J’. She interchanges them, so we are focusing on these 2. She also memorizes the movie already and it’s quite evident whenever she does the actions just milliseconds before it occurs in the movie. I am still amazed at how sharp her memory is. Hopefully she doesn’t inherit my poor memory. Anyhoo, all this signals to me is that it’s time to graduate Baby Bear and move on to the next lesson.

The next step is to encourage them to read words by blending the sounds. Again, Leap Frog to the rescue! The next movie in the series introduces words in a story form and more importantly, via song! The best way to get our kids’ attention! 🙂 The Leap Frog Talking Words Factory focuses on how words are built. The Professor uses the help of the Word Builder Machine in forming words. Baby Bear learned about the concept of rhyming words here. (CAT, HAT, BAT) 🙂

It also introduces the concept of Vowels and how they are the glue that forms words. Below is the clip on Vowels: The Sticky Letters

Again, I supplement the movie with toys or books in order to help her see how it also applies to other aspects. I try to prepare her toys that are featured. (i.e. toy CAT, her white HAT, and BAT decor I used during Halloween) 🙂

I also support the lesson with books. As I stated in my Raising A Bookworm post, always try to find the best book that will be able to teach the most efficiently. Clean drawings and singular thoughts per page as much as possible like the ones below.

cat - hat
cat – hat
Hat on Cat
Hat on Cat

Of course, the best way to learn is still via real life application. Sometimes after our teaching sessions, we get her hat and go down to the lobby and count the stray cats hahaha. 😀

Seriously though, I can’t wait for the day that Baby Bear can actually read. I bet it would be so exciting. When that day comes, I might just cry tears of joy! 🙂

Do join me in this journey of mine with Baby Bear. Bookworms Unite! 🙂

Meet and Greet Santa

I want Baby Bear to meet Santa Claus. I wonder how she’ll react? 🙂 She knows Santa via this video.


How about you? Want your kids to meet Santa, too? Or in my case, just have a pic taken with him since Baby Bear can’t tell Santa what she wants for Christmas yet… 🙂

See y’all at Rustan’s! 🙂

Rustans' Santa
Rustan’s Santa

Know Your Child Workshop

In line with my goals of becoming a better mom, I attended a half-day Know Your Child Workshop last month. The goal of the workshop is to help parents deal with issues that they have with their kids by understanding the root cause. The objective is to open up the eyes of the parents to the vantage point of the kids to give them an insight about who they are and why they act as such.

It started out with the parents listing all their problems and complaints. The list of issues ranged from the kid watching too much TV, being shy around strangers, being hyper all the time, too dependent on parents or nannies, too much TV and the like.

We first parked that list on the white board and tackled the nature of a kid to better understand their psyche. By nature, they are:

1.) Naturally comfortable – They were born with a clean slate with no concept of right and wrong, what is proper etiquette and without a manual of what to do and not to do.

2.) Always HAPPY 🙂 – The seminarian cited a study that indicates a child smiles about 100x/day, teens at 19x. They are happy unconditionally and sad conditionally.

3.) Always “live in the present” moment

Keeping in mind the issues listed above and items #1-3:

Problem: They are shouting outside when they are excited, running around. You view this as the kids being hyper. In reality, they are just overwhelmed with life and are just expressing their amazement. You tell them NO, don’t do this, don’t do that. They feel restricted. In a social setting, you tell them to stop running around and just sit down.


– They become restrained when outside thus becoming “too shy”.

– They become dependent on you to tell them what to do or not to do because they are not sure anymore what is the right thing to do.

– They cannot enjoy just sitting down so they turn to electronics or TV. Then you get mad when they become too attached to the TV/iPad 😦

4.) Intelligent logically

5.) Daring little people – Unfortunately, we transfer our fears to them subconsciously.

Keeping in mind the issues listed above and items #4-5

Problem: Fear of Dogs, Swimming, Darkness, etc.

Outcome: Kids are intelligent logically. They are very observant and can sense a lot of things especially with the parents or caregivers. They are very attuned to what is happening around them.

Example 1: You are holding your child’s hand and you come across a dog. You inadvertently squeeze her hand extra tight. This very subconscious action signals to the child that the dog may not necessarily be a safe animal. The next time, the child will also tense up when he/she sees a dog.

Example 2: If the parent doesn’t know how to swim and he/she is holding the baby in a pool or beach. They will also pass on their fear to the child.

6.) Independent thinkers

Problem: They see a giant trampoline or a bouncy house and quickly scamper for it. You stop them, tell them they can’t because it’s too crowded, too many big kids, the place isn’t clean, etc. Admit it, the last reason has crossed your mind. 😉

Outcome(s): They are naturally curious, don’t care about the dirt and hey, it’s a trampoline, I want to jump and jump even if I have to be stuck in a crowded place with a bunch of sweaty kids. Not allowing them to makes them feel repressed. They are hampered by your NO. They become more stubborn due to loss of freedom or go into a shell (shyness).

Solution: (PEACE)

1.) Positive – Always take on a positive attitude when it comes to your kids and their experiences. Try to see the world in the eyes of a child and am sure all your NOs may turn into a lot of YESses!

2.) Exercise – More oxygen into the brain creates more happy moods. Happy thoughts, happy thoughts – ‘Nuf said! 🙂

3.) Ask questions – Constantly challenge and stimulate the minds of your kids. They are naturally intelligent and quite the thinkers. Don’t let their minds be stuck in a rut with just mindless TV. Engage with their minds. They’ll have all the time in the world to become couch potatoes later on when they’re older.

4.) Creative – As parents, we should always find creative ways to stimulate their minds and handle our personal issues with our kids. To each his own. No 2 kids are alike. What works for one may not necessarily work with the other. i.e. If getting a kid to drink her medicine entails a puppet show, then so be it.

5.) Ear – Always take the time to listen to the stories of your children. Ask them what they did in school and what they did after. How their day was… highs and lows. Asking about them also lets them fall into the routine or habit of telling you about their lives. Believe me, this will come in mighty handy next time when you have a secretive, moping, sulking teen in the house. Take an interest in their lives constantly so that you get to know them more. Let them help you understand why they do what they do and why they are who they are.

That’s it, pansit. I hope you can use some of these tips on your own kids. Have a PEACEful weekend y’all! 🙂

Raising A Bookworm

One of my goals as a mom is to instill a love of reading for my 18 month old Baby Bear. For me, this is important because I believe that once she can read well, she can be good in other subject matters or extracurriculars. This is also particularly good for my little introvert. Introverts want to be always well-prepared so that they can be confident in doing their activities.

The first step is to focus on learning the letters – their sounds and phonics. This is just the easy part. After perfecting the letters of the alphabet, you have to work on actually teaching babies to read. There are actually 2 schools of thought on this matter. It’s Reading vs. Phonics. In reading, it’s basically memorization. You are teaching the kids to “memorize” how a certain letter or words are read. IMHO, Phonics is the way to go. Teach them to sound out the letters to form words, so that they can be empowered to know that they can read even if they encounter a new word, or whenever you are not beside them to teach them how that word is pronounced. Of course, there are some words, that you cannot teach them to read. These word exceptions are called SIGHT WORDS. Examples of sight words are one, two, you, etc. Yes, yes, nerd alert. I actually researched all this. I still get confused sometimes but i think i am getting the hang of it.

In order to do this, I have set up a routine that she has to do every week. All you need is at least 15 minutes a day of exposing your baby and after a year, this should do wonders for your baby.

Here are some examples of my reading program for Baby Bear:

1.) Reading to Baby Bear every day – Find the books that your baby loves in order to encourage. My baby loves touchy-feely books. They are a tad bit more expensive but I buy them because it makes me feel good when my baby is the one who insists on reading. You can see samples of the books I got her here. Also, buy books with pages that have just the word and the picture per page to set up clearly the direct relationship between the two.  Should you move on to books with couplets or phrases, make sure that the words are simple and the pictures are clear. Other good books would be those that are “fun” to read. Examples of these are puppet books, peek-a-boo books, pop-up books, etc.

2.) Supplement the books with toys or other educational materials. — I have discovered with my baby that she loves the “show-and-tell” type of learning activities. Examples:

– We read Eric Carle‘s book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and we supplement with animal toys. I ask her to get the corresponding animal that’s shown on the book.

– When we are learning about the alphabet, I bring out her Melissa and Doug Letter Puzzle and she has to get the letter that we are talking about. It is better to expose her more to the lowercase letters since she encounters this more when reading vs. the uppercase letters which you only see at the start of the sentence or for Proper Nouns.

pic from Melissa and Doug

3.) They say you shouldn’t expose your kids to TV before the age of 2. — I don’t follow this rule. I’ve exposed my baby to TV as early as 6 months but to select shows only. Educational and those that focus on language development such as the ever-famous Your Baby Can Read, and Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD. (Sample clip below) 

Again, I also supplement these videos with books or toys related to the shows. My baby actually scampers to get the toys the very instant I put these shows on.

Your Baby Can Read (YBCR) already has flash cards and books related to the DVD that you are watching.

– The Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD also has a toy, the Leap Frog Letter Factory Phonics which btw, my baby super loves.


Other sample videos and toys for learning all about Letters and Phonics:

– Video: Barney’s ABC; Toy: I actually have the same wooden blocks that were used on the video, which is just the Melissa and Doug Classic ABC Block Cart


No toy? No problem! 🙂 You can always simply use your imagination — you can do actions! Check out this video that teaches phonics. Baby Bear has been watching this video even before she learned this in school.

– Video: Apple, Apple, Aaa Aaa Aaa


Of course, these are all just my personal learnings and what worked for my Baby Bear. You can try them, mix and match, and see what works well for you and your babies. I would also love to hear from you guys, too. I bet you all have your own methods. Do share, so we can all learn together. Mommies unite! 🙂