Afritada with Real Tomatoes

April 18, 2010

Mash the tomatoes in My second son hates eating viand that has red sauces (yeah, he doesn’t dig spaghetti too, pretty weird for a 7 year old). Thus I am kinda restricted on cooking food that has tomato sauces. However today, I really craved for Afritada for lunch. But how can I cook Afritada without the red tomato sauce from the can?

So this is what I did… I fried 4 plump red tomatoes. The reason why I fried them is for me to easily peel off the thin tomato skin. After frying and peeling I set it aside and prepared the rest of the Afritada ingredients.

I used the fried tomatoes as substitute for the canned tomato sauce. I Mashed the tomatoes with the rest of the Afritada ingredients and mixed. Let it simmer until the sauce thickens. Yummy.

The verdict, my son ate 2 platefuls for his lunch.
Afritada that is not Red


Lumpiang Sariwa Expert

December 17, 2009

Lumpiang Sariwa or Fresh Vegetable Roll is one of my favorite snacks or sidings. It’s healthy, light, and I do not feel any guilt even after my second serving. Why do I say so? Well first because this roll is not deep fried and second is its stuffing is composed of vegetables (however other versions do have ground pork inside). Lumpia goes with a sweet brown sauce and then topped with finely chopped peanuts and minced garlic.
I usually include fresh lumpia in my order list whenever I dine in a Filipino restaurant. If I would rate each fresh roll being commercially served then the highest would be from humble place in Quezon City. In my standards, I think their lumpia is the best. First time I got acquainted with it was during a family gathering in my father’s place and this was also the first time I have tasted sophistication in a simple fresh lumpia.

The Lupiang Sariwa Expert

They have the best lumpia in town

Surprisingly this lumpia did not come from a well known, posh, or advertised outlet rather it is from a simple eatery that has a carinderia-like set-up. The place is Lei’s Special Lumpia located at Project 2 in Quezon City. A testimonial that their lumpia is a sure hit is that Lei was able to survive for so many years and it did branch out to other places because of its lumpia’s popularity.

LOCATION: Project 2, Quezon City
TASTE: Sophisticated lumpia
SERVINGS: Big enough for a less than 30 pesos price
BUDGET: Winner
OVERALL: Lumpiang sariwa expert

Farewell to Tita Cory (Ayala Funeral Parade Pics)

August 4, 2009

I was 9 years old when the 1986 snap election for presidency happened. The candidates were President Ferdinand Marcos and Mrs. Corazon Aquino the widow of Senator Benigno Aquino. That was the first time I got acquainted with her because this event was the talk of every news and the discussions amongst adults. I also recall that during the campaign period President Marcos had more advertising power and budget while Mrs. Aquino had less yet her slogan “Tama na, Sobra na, Palitan na” had made a significant signal than the “Marcos Pa Rin” slogan. As a child then I really did not care too much, I was just fascinated with the campaign materials both parties were sending us (I loved the stickers) and entertained by the infomercials with jingles I see on TV.
Few weeks later, the Commission on Elections or COMELEC declared that President Marcos had won the election. Many, including the Catholic Church believed that this declaration was manipulated and a fraud. The frustration of the people, church, military and other civic groups had eventually led to the legendary People Power or EDSA Revolution or as per my history books it was also recognized as a bloodless revolution. This turn of event was not favorable for President Marcos thus he resigned and flew to Hawaii in exile and Mrs. Aquino was then declared President. I remember people were chanting the name CORY and rejoicing because the Filipinos are finally free. That time I also felt the People Power fever but on a child’s level though. School was suspended for a week and my parents stayed in the house as well. It was a like holiday for everybody and that made me rejoice. That was People Power for me twenty three years ago.

President Corazon Aquino died last August 1, 2009 due to colon cancer. The announcement of her death made me sad because as a Filipino we lost a person who was an instrument in uniting our country once upon a time. On a personal point sad because as a woman and a mother I admired her strength as a leader and her devotion as a mother. She was the first woman president in Asia and was able to lead a nation even if she had many detractors. She also cared for the country like a mother because she continued to serve even after her term. She is also a proof that a mother’s love is the greatest because she was always there for her children to be their source of strength even during their lowest. I will never forget Kris Aquino’s statement years ago on television, she said that the only person who gives her unconditional love is her mother and I totally agree with Kris.

Crowd getting big every minute

Crowd getting big every minute

When I learned that she will have funeral procession along Ayala Avenue corner Paseo where the statue of her husband Senator Benigno Aquino stands, I right away decided that I will be attending. So I went there under the 12 noon sun, patiently waited for the arrival of her casket. As minutes passed the crowd got bigger. The windows and rooftops of the buildings along the mentioned streets were also filled with Cory supporters. The scene I am seeing stirred my vivid memories of People Power. Dominant color on the streets was yellow, flying confetti, and people shouting Cory-Cory. But now instead of fighting for democracy people are showing their respect and final farewell to our dear president and mother.

Under the scorching sun

Under the scorching sun

Ayala corner Paseo

Ayala corner Paseo



Finally her casket arrived and I have seen the sincerity of the people’s love for this great woman. The most touching scene I’ll never forget is when her casket stopped in front of her husband’s statue then everyone started singing “Bayan Ko”, I said to myself, so this is how it felt 23 years ago in EDSA, being united with millions is nirvana.

President Corazon Aquino's casket

President Corazon Aquino's casket


Cory's symbol the yellow ribbon and laban sign

Cory's symbol the yellow ribbon and laban sign

Reunited at last

Reunited at last

After attending her funeral parade I felt that People Power is not just a part of my childhood days. Only after 23 years I realized that People Power is a PART OF MY LIFE and I am lucky that I lived in the time period of this historical event.

Can you imagine what would it be now if it did not happen? Maybe if it really did not happen then we may not enjoy our freedom of speech and I wouldn’t be having a blog site now because government will not allow it.

Again thank you President Corazon Aquino, our Tita Cory, you will be forever remembered.

Fried Rice Supreme

July 21, 2009

Pair this with fried chicken and banana catsup wow. Or eat this as is “kanin pa lang ulam na”.


6 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup minced smoked ham or bacon bits
1 big clove of garlic smashed and minced
1/4 cup onion chives
1 carrot minced
1/2 cup canned sweet corn kernels
2 eggs, fried and chopped
2 tbsp seasoning or soy sauce, to add color to cooked rice
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1tbsp ginisa mix (optional)


  1. Melt 1 tbsp butter in wok pan over low heat. Add garlic and sauté until color turns to light brown. Add onion chives mix then add the carrots. Sauté for 30 seconds.
  2. Add another 1 tbsp of butter. Then add ham and stir fry with the other ingredients.
  3. Adjust to medium heat then add the cooked rice and mix well (prevent the rice from sticking on the pan) with the other ingredients in the wok. Add the seasoning, this will give the rice a brownish color and a tasty aroma.
  4. Add the corn kernel then mix. Then add the chopped fried eggs and mix it well.
  5. Add salt and pepper according to your taste. You may also dash some ginisa powder mix.

Tsoko Nut Again

July 17, 2009

I had a really stressful day in the office and again I went running for comfort at Tsoko Nut to get some oral gratification with my favorite eating buddy. We ordered Meaty Spaghetti (99 pesos) and Bibingka (75 pesos). Once again I got revived after a whole day of corporate dramas and challenges in my office.
Their Meaty Spaghetti sauce is like the traditional home made Filipino spaghetti which is for me tastes better than the Italian style of cooking. It is really filling because the sauce has lots of meat and the aroma is the sautéed Filipino style wherein lots of garlic, onions, and secret ingredients are used. It is like being a kid again in my mama’s kitchen…wow really comforting.
Their bibinka has no impact on the first bite; you need more bites to appreciate it. Once you get its flavor you’ll be contented.


spongy bibingka

spongy bibingka

Yamazaki Ramen House

July 14, 2009

As a food aficionada my search for exceptional victuals to satisfy my stomach is an unending quest. And this quest led me to this rare finding the YAMAZAKI ramen house. I said rare because actually you will never know that this ramen house exists until you go inside the Yamazaki Japanese grocery. Since my discovery then I have invited other foodies like me to indulge on authentic Japanese dish without compromising our budgets. We even have a habit of going here once or twice a week for lunch breaks because now we can afford to do so, no need to wait to have an event for a fancy Japanese dinning. And my circle even renamed this as Japanese Karinderia because like the traditional karinderias, we get big servings at a very affordable price.

I think I’m turning Japanese

Unnoticed noodle house facade

Unnoticed ramen house facade

Presenting the menu...err do you understand anything here?

Presenting the menu...err do you understand anything here?

I am assuming that you will be having a hard time deciding on what to have during your first visit at Yamazaki because the menu is in Japanese linggo. I posted here my favorites for you to try.

Start with their meat packed Gyoza for only 75 pesos.

For the health or figure conscious their Hiyashi Chuka (180 pesos) will make your day. Be careful on mixing the yellow paste, believe me it is more vicious than the wasabe. Add it gradually.

Their set meal is the best. I love their Tonkatsu (165 pesos) and Salmon meal (185 pesos).


Tonkatsu set for 165 pesos

Salmon meal for 185 pesos.

Salmon set for 185 pesos

Lunch feast

Lunch feast

Healthy too

Healthy too

Japanese style

Japanese style

LOCATION: 2288 Fernando St. Pio Del Pilar Makati(Near Makati Square)
CONTACT: 893-2161
TASTE: authentic Japanese
BUDGET: Winner
OVERALL: You’ll be hooked

Natural Beauty

July 6, 2009

Women do spent a lot for the sake of beauty. I admit, I also try and buy products that have promising beauty benefits. If I will compute my monthly beauty expenditure it would accumulate for more than two thousand pesos per month. And sometimes I would even go overboard if there are promising products in the market.
These days, wherein all of us have financial challenges, I did made adjustments with my budget and that would include my beauty maintenance. Aesthetics is important for me; hence I looked for cheaper beautification alternatives giving the same reactions of over the counter beauty products and yet will not imperil my skin and health. I scanned back issues of my beauty magazine collections because I know once in a while they feature some homemade beauty concoctions. And to my surprise I was able to collate a lot of these beauty alternatives and now blogging about it.

I already tried most of these and it gave me same results of the brands I was using. If you will try any of the homemade beauty mixtures below, make sure that all your ingredients and tools are clean. DO NOT try the treatments with items you are allergic to. To be sure, test the mixture on a small patch of skin ideally at the back of your ear where the skin is thinner. If there is no allergic reaction after 24 hours then it is perhaps safe on your skin.


Blackhead buster
You need: egg white, large cotton
-Soak cotton in egg white.
-Cover affected area with the cotton and wait for it to dry and harden completely.
-Carefully remove the dried cotton and the blackheads will come off with it.

Blackhead prevention
You need: cornstarch, vinegar, and clean washcloth
-Mix cornstarch with vinegar and spread on the area for 15-30 minutes.
-Wash off well using the washcloth and warm water.

Pimple cures
-Grind garlic into paste and apply on zit to help heal and stop infection.
-Take some aloe vera juice and apply on the affected area overnight.
-Mix baking yeast with tea tree oil to make a paste and leave on pimple.

Lighten blemish
Gently massage baking soda over pimple. Do not scrub. Rinse with water

Fair face
Mash ripe papaya and apply on face. Leave it for a few minutes and rinse well. After rinsing you will notice that it will give your face an instant glow. Repeat often for faster and fairer result.

Scar remover
Apply cocoa butter, aloe vera juice or vitamin E to the affected area repeatedly until scar fades.

Help for oily skin
You need: 1 egg white, 3 tsp. oatmeal
-Beat the egg white until it is frothy.
-Add the oatmeal.
-Apply the oatmeal paste on skin and leave for 15 minutes.
-Rinse with cool water.

Dry an over oily face
Put a thin layer of Milk of Magnesia all over face.

Instant face glow
Mash 1/3 ripe banana on a small bowl. Use the pulp to wash your face and throat, avoid the eye area. If skin is specially dry or dehydrated, leave this on for 5 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

For firming the face
You need: honey, 1 egg white, 1 tsp. glycerin (available at drugstores), 1/4 cup flour
-Whisk together honey, egg white, glycerin and flour
-Apply over face and throat
-Leave on for 10 minutes
-Rinse off with warm water

Overnight facial
Pat apple cider vinegar on face before bedtime. This will help in getting rid of blemishes and will make your skin youthful.

Moisturizer mask
Mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 2 teaspoons of milk. Smooth all over face and throat. Leave on for 10 minutes then rinse with water.
Home facial spa
You need: 1 ripe banana, 1 tbsp. honey, 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp wheat germ oil, 1 tsp. finely powdered oats, 1 tsp. lemon juice (optional if mask will not be used immediately), 1 drop rose oil, distilled water.
-Peel and mash banana. Add honey, egg yolk, wheat germ oil, oats, and lemon juice. Form a smooth creamy paste. If too thick add a bit of distilled water and stir until smooth.
-Add rose oil last and stir to mix well.
-To use, apply to clean face and neck, avoid the eye and mouth areas. Rest for 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Follow with facial toner if desired.
-Use the mask after 2 hours of making.

Facial Toner
Use a blender to puree 1 tbsp. honey, a peeled, cored apple. Smooth over face then leave on 15 minutes. Afterwards, rinse with cool water.

Facial cleansers
Milk is loaded with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA). These softens the skin by exfoliating and dissolving the glue that holds dead skin’s topmost layer enabling our natural emollient oils to reach the surface cells thus moisturizing the skin. Blackheads are removed too!
AHAs are also in lemon juice, vinegar, blackberries, grapes, oranges, tomatoes, and apple juice.
You can sqeeze a lemon and keep its juice in the refrigerator for a week. In the morning dab some lemon juice on your fingers and pat it onto the face. Leave it for 10 minutes and rinse well.

Facial spritzer
Cucumber also have AHA and can give our skin a cool feeling.
-Wash a small cucumber.
-Blend the cucumber with distilled water.
-Strain into a spritzer bottle.
-Use liberally for a cool and refreshing effect.
-Use immediately if possible.
-Keep it refrigerated and use within 12 hours.

Facial scrub
For oily skin: Mix 1 tsp. skim milk powder with 1 tsp. honey. Add few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice if your skin is very oily. Use this mixture as a mild scrub on your face. The undissolved milk powder forms a gentle scrub. Rinse very well
For normal, dry, or mature skin: Mix 1 tsp. full cream or whole milk powder with 1 tsp. honey. Use this mixture as a mild scrub on your face. The undissolved milk powder forms a gentle scrub. Rinse very well

*Use lots of water to rinse to prevent bacterial residue

Stimulating face scrub
You need: Your favorite cleanser and 1 tsp. dark brown sugar
-Wash your face with your favorite cleanser and add bit by bit some of the sugar while lathering and massaging the skin.
-Rinse with warm water followed by a splash of cold water. Pat dry.

Combat crow’s feet
Before going to bed at night dab the egg white onto the lines and finish with a dab of vegetable oil. The egg protein will help erase the lines.

Remedy for dry skin
You need: 1 egg, 1tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
-Beat egg and add oil.
-Add lemon juice and mix very well.
-Refrigerate for 1 hour
-Apply mixture on face and leave on for 15 minutes
-Rinse well and follow with your favorite moisturizer

Wrinkle remover
You need: 1 egg white, 2-3 drops fresh lemon or lime juice
-Beat all ingredients together.
-Cover the wrinkled area with this mixture and let it dry.
-Once dry, wash off with warm water then splash with cool water. Pat dry.

Homemade lip gloss
You need: 1/4 cup beeswax, 1/4 cup castor oil (available at drugstores) 2tbsp. sesame oil, beet juice, double boiler
-Use the top part of the double boiler to melt beeswax.
-Remove from heat and add oils.
-add as much beet juice as desired for color. Store in a jar. Transfer small portion to purse sized container. Any favorite essential oil may be added for fragrance.

Make-up remover
You need: 1 tbsp. full cram milk, small bowl, few drops of sweet almond oil, cotton
-Pour milk in a bowl. Add almond oil.
-Soak cotton into mixture and pat on face.
-Use another piece of cotton to remove the mixture. Rinse off thoroughly so as not to have bacterial residue.


Reduce grey hair
Consume 1/2 tsp of fresh grated ginger and 1/2 tsp of honey every morning.

Hair revitalizer
Rub 2-6 tbsps. of mayonnaise into your hair before washing. Leave under shower cap for 15 minutes, then rinse and shampoo as usual.

For shiny hair
Add 1/4 cup vinegar to 6 cups of cold water. Use this as your final shampoo rinse. Condition afterwards.

Fight dandruff
Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar to 3 parts warm water to balance the scalp’s pH and control dandruff. You can also apply undiluted vinegar to the scalp. Allow it to penetrate then shampoo with mild shampoo.

Hair rinse
Mix 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar with 1 quart water and use as final rinse after shampooing. This will get rid of shampoo residue and leave hair soft and shinny.

Hair conditioner
Shampoo hair then massage the yoghurt. Leave it while you shower and rinse with warm water.

Hair spa
Mix 1/2 cup honey and 1.4 cup olive oil. Work a small amount at a time through hair until coated. Cover hair with a shower cap; leave on for 30 minutes. Remove shower cap, then shampoo well and rinse. Dry as normal.

Hair fix
Add almond oil with coconut oit. Apply on hair 20 minutes before washing. This will keep hair shiny and healthy.


Fragrant salt bath
You need: 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk, 1 cup baking soda, 2 tbsp cream of tartar, 1 tbsp cinnamon
Combine all ingredients and store in a nice container. For a perfumed feeling, add as much as desired whenever you bathe.

Hand moisturizer
Take a few drops of olive oil and massage into both hands making sure all areas absorb the oil. Wear gloves overnight and see how soft your hands in the morning.

For younger skin
You need: 1 tsp. honey, 1 tbsp. apple cider, 1 tsp. extra virgin coconut oil
Mix well and drink once or twice a day. See results on your skin and digestion after a week.

Firm an aging neck
Slather on whole neck plain unflavored yoghurt. Let it stay for 30 minutes. The milk proteins will do wonders to the skin.

Sunburn treatment
Use aloe vera stem and squeeze off the gel from the leaf. Apply on sun burnt skin. The aloectin B contents of aloe vera will help stimulate the immune system.

Massage therapy
Coconut oil is ideal for massages. It protects skin, lathers, and melts easily upon skin contact. It also washes out of towels. Other oils satin and leave odors on towels after a while.
You need: 1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup cocoa butter few drops essential oil (optional)
-To make the massage oil, soften the coconut oil and cocoa butter over medium heat.
-Remove from heat and blend, adding a few drops of optional essential oils.

To lighten dark elbows and knees
You need: 1 tsp. dry milk powder, some lemon juice, some water
-Make a paste out of all the ingredients. (Note: lemon juice is for bleaching and sloughing)
-Rub on knees and elbows. Let it stay for 10 minutes then rinse.

Remedies for tired eyes
Rose water – Soak cotton ball and apply to eyes once a week
Cucumber – Place a slice each on your eyes and rest for 10 minutes to reduce stress
Shredded potato – Put on top of eyes to reduce dark circles. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

Instant fresh breath
Chew fresh parsley and your breath will be sweeter than ever!

Instant toothpaste
You need: 2 tbsp. dried lemon or orange rind, 1/4 cup baking soda, 2 tsp salt
-Place rinds in food processor, grind until peel becomes a fine powder.
-Add baking soda and salt then process a few seconds more until you have a fine powder
-Store in an airtight tin or jar. Dip moistened toothbrush into mixture, brush as usual.

Add a few cups ot tomato juice to the bathwater, soak for at least 15 minutes. This will eliminate any strong smell (even skunk). Ideal for pet smell too.

Underarm alternative
Mix 4 tbsp baking soda in your bathwater. After bathing and drying, apply baking soda under the arm. You may also use cornstarch or vinegar under the arms.

Silky skin
Add 1/4 cup honey every time you bathe. This will help skin to be soft.

Smooth skin
Mix 1 tsp. honey with 1 tsp vegetable oil and 1/4 tsp lemon juice. Rub into hands. Elbows, heels, and everywhere that feels dry. Leave on for 10 minutes then rinse with water.