Thursday, August 30, 2007

Presto Pasta Night 27 - Beef & Vegetables Hofan

I missed the big 6 month celebration of Presto Pasta Night of OnceUponAFeast (sigh...) Thus, I made sure this time my entry came in early. I thought of something that will go as a complete meal. This means having carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals in it. So, here's an all original recipe of our Beef & Vegetables Hofan that satisfied this criteria. This noodle dish is actually a spin-off of Beef Broccoli in Oyster Sauce which, is a favorite family viand. Hence, you may also opt to serve the beef recipe with rice if you're not in the mood for pasta. I just love the flexibility of it!

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves 5

Ingredients:
1 400 g pack of Hofan Noodles (Rice Noodles)
1/2 kg sirloin beef, cut thinly in serving portions
1 small sized carrots, cut in rounds
1 cup broccoli flower, cut in serving portions
1 cup cauliflower, cut in serving portions
1 small sized onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tbsps canola oil
salt and pepper to taste


Procedure:

1. Pour boiling water over the noodles and allow to stand for 5 minutes then drain or cook according to package directions.
2. Saute onion and garlic in 2 tbsps canola oil until fragrant. Add the beef and stir-fry until it turns brown. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add oyster sauce, water and vegetables. Cook for a few more minutes or until vegetables are tender and crisp.
4. Spoon the beef and vegetables over hofan then serve right away.

cooking tips** you may adjust the level of water and oyster sauce according to your liking of consistency/viscosity. For a spicy version, just add 1/2 tbsps of chili garlic sauce in step 3.

Everything about COFFEE

I do heart coffee. If you get interested to read this post, perhaps you are too! The mushrooming of café and coffee shops and the birth of enormous coffee products are living proofs of its growing market. It is now one of the most wanted drinks in all age segments. Yes, young and adults alike. Today, drinking coffee at a very young age is no longer taboo. In fact, scenes of bonding parents and kids frequent cafés. Other than that, isn't it interesting how coffee is personified in many different ways and positioned in most inviting views? Think of a warm conversation between husband and wife over a cup of coffee. Think of connecting with friends, meeting new people or doing business. All things important to us, we frequently do with coffee around. Thus far, it's no longer just a drink made more readily available, it's already a lifestyle. So, here are some of the bits and pieces behind that delightful cup of coffee...
Is there really something good in coffee? Yes, definitely! It keeps you awake, perk up your mood and boost that much needed energy. But what is well noted in many researches is it's being a major source of disease fighting antioxidants. In fact, it's known to be better than black tea.

How is coffee consumed nowadays? From plain and simple black coffee to the most complex flavor profiles, the choices are simply amazing. There's an INSTANT which, is usually in powdered form positioned as something easy to prepare. Grab a mug or cup, just add hot water, stir and it's ready to be sipped. Ready to drink (RTD) coffee, normally in liquid form packed in tin cans. Japan recently made it available also in bottles. As the product name implies, it's something ready to drink anytime, anywhere. Simply the right choice for people on the go. Brewed or machine pressed coffee is prepared at home or in coffee shops by filtering the ground coffee with hot water in coffee machines. It can also be infused by steeping in boiling water which, is the traditional way of preparing coffee. In brewed coffee you get to enjoy the coffee's fresh aroma and taste. This café kind of coffee commonly offers a lot of flavors and mostly appeals to the more adventurous market.

What are the different types of coffee beans? There are generally 4 kinds of coffee beans. Arabica, is believed to be the superior grade coffee bean that boasts of more subtle, delicate flavor and aroma. It is produced in the highlands thus, the most expensive variety as well. Robusta, is bolder than Arabica. It's caffeine content is twice as the former and the flavor is also stronger. In contrast to Arabica, it is grown in the lowlands. This kind of bean provides higher yield in farming that's why it's the preferred raw material for most instant and commercial blends. Liberica, is the most popular variety in the Philippines known by many as "Kapeng Barako". It's called as such due to the large size of berry fruit produced by the tree. It has a very strong taste and aroma especially when consumed "black" that is, no milk nor creamer added. Excelsa, is another favorite by commercial manufacturers. It exhibits similar properties with that of Robusta only it has the ditinguishing characters of smoky and earthly notes. Most coffee manufacturers blend these different types of beans to come up with more varied flavors and taste.

How is the coffee bean processed? The way coffee bean is handled greatly affects its quality. Whether the coffee will deliver better taste, sweet, caramelic and more lasting aroma, it will depend on all these. Generally, it starts with harvesting. Essentially, when this is done the fruit should be of the right maturity. Then followed by sorting where good quality ones are preferred. Afterwards the berry fruit will undergo pulping to remove the pulp and other parchment. This process can be done in two ways either wet (water washing) or dry (sun or machine drying). Water washing is believed to be better because it causes less damage to the bean than the later. For a more detailed comparison, read here. Subsequently, grading will determine the value of the bean. Last but certainly not the least, roasting. This is the most important process for this will determine the degree of taste from mildest (light roast) to strongest (dark roast). The lower the time and temperature parameters used in roasting, the milder it will be and vice versa. Most flavor oils and extracts are likewise incorporated in this stage to produce the flavored coffee bean.

Who are the world's biggest coffee producer? There's an article that says coffee growers are far more important than coffee makers. Wouldn't you agree? Although coffee originated from Ethiopia, countries that topped the list of coffee growers are Brazil, Columbia, Indonesia and Mexico. In Asia, Vietnam is an emerging big producer too. Don't you wish the Philippines be included in this list? I don't believe our most treasured "Barako" brand will fail in comparison alongside other world brands. What's more with the up and coming of Coffee Alamid? There's no better time to reinvent and develop our coffee industry than now!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

TRINOMA - Foodie Finds

TRINOMA - the youngest Ayala Mall recently opened in Quezon City, generally shows nothing new. It basically has the same mall offering as those we already frequented anywhere in the Metro. Some things worth noting are probably, the proliferation of "new", imported stuffs like this beauty and skin care shop from Australia (the name just didn't register so well so I can't remember), nice landscape outside the mall, being the birthplace of some new restaurants and cafe such as Five Cows and Mrs. Fields Cookie Cafe, spacious cinema lobby and game zone, convenient location and for in-housing another shoppers' haven, the Landmark. Unfortunately, it's still one of the many unopened stores in the mall. One thing that needs significant improvement though is the availability of better signages to and from the carpark area. We find the existing quite confusing and hardly recognizable. On a lighter note, below are some of our good finds that'll give enough reasons for a second visit.

Just the right size carousel. Check it out while there's still a promo. There's an additional P10 plus 1 free ride when you reload your Timezone PowerCard.

Cold Rock, your new kind of ice cream!






Max Brenner, for that rich coffee drink!





Oliver's Super Sandwiches, for real gourmet sandwiches!







Fuzion Smoothie Cafe, there's no better way to drink healthy!







What a nice place to brew for Starbucks! Go see their outdoor branch at the 4th level, very relaxing.





The first Mrs. Fields Cookie Cafe, oh-so-lecious cookies!



Our most interesting pick for the Trinoma visit...

This Resto and Ice Cream Bar really caught our attention when we're roaming around at the 4th level. The resto's name, the menu card, the resto-look and that inviting service won't just let you pass by. When I started to peruse their menu, mouth watering assortment glittered right before my eyes. So, tell me how can we resist?! Minutes after that, we're already savouring these...



Soooo rich and heavy, not for single serving! Again, not for "me", "myself" consumption. I almost raised my hands on this. This is said to be one of the most ordered ice cream cakes. Honestly, I was looking for more satisfying sensory notes. The chocolate ice cream dominated the taste character which is more of that "nestle" plain choco ice cream. The peanut is caramelized and the base is a chunky, chewy brownies type. Sorry, this won't pass a best seller for me.


Surprisingly, this tasted better than the former. The base complemented the choco ice cream and the mallows on top. Plain simple but the taste is well balanced. This you can consume alone.

True to its name, we liked the crunchy texture in it. The ferrero taste is perceivable but not so distinct, it's overpowered by the marsipan like note (which sometimes tends to be artificial in taste when added too much, in this case it did).

Hmmm..., if you'll ask me if it's worth the calories, I must admit it failed short of my expectations. Two thumbs up for the creativity, presentation and price (very affordable) but taste wise, now I'm having some second thoughts.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kids Hair Salon

Kids seemed so lucky nowadays. Their needs are simplified, tailored fit, made more fun and even better. From more comfortable nappies to power packed milks and vitamins, to more educational toys and techie gadgets even to fun hair grooming! Moms and dads fret no more! Gone are the days for this frightening, so hard to do hair cutting activity. Kiddie Salons made it all easier for us. It simply makes the hair comb - scissors encounter more enjoyable and less traumatic. So what's in a kiddie salon experience? Apart from that refreshing new hair cut, inviting and familiar toys with some favorite kiddie programs await young customers in this establishment. This provides a comforting ambiance to the kid that'll help make the job easier to do. Let's just call it a needed conditioning process. It should be emphasized however, that the skills and the patience of the hair stylist is of prime importance as in making the place more entertaining as possible. Valuing kids' safety all the time, is a mission to work for. Entrepreneurs behind this business concept deserved real commendation. They made a good job in addressing their PTM's (primary target market) needs. Now, getting a hair cut is something that kids will look forward to. However, there are still parents who would rather do the thing than entrust their kids to the hands of someone else. For some, maybe because they are just too careful to be trusting especially for their real young tots, or maybe for the practical ones, they don't find much value for money for the cost of the hair cut. For a price range of P200 - P250, wouldn't you really expect something from it? Whatever the reason is, I believe all parents are one in the purpose of providing what's vital for their kids.

Isn't it great? kids can play while waiting for their turn from the queue!

Riley was happy and so are we :-)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging # 97 Ginger

Scott of Real Epicurian is hosting this weeks' WHB (weekend herb blogging by Kalyn's Kitchen). It's rainy season here in the Philippines. Because of the cold weather, craving for comfort food and drinks is inevitable. It's not surprising then that a picture of warm, soothing cup of tea lingered in my mind. So, off I went to the pantry and concocted a "ginger cinnamon tea".


Preparation time: 15 mins
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 - 1 1/2 tbsps crushed ginger (fresh, peeled)
1 tsp muscovado or brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
1 cup water

Procedure:
1. Boil ginger in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes.
2. Strain and transfer the ginger tea in a tea cup.
3. Stir in sugar and cinnamon, mix well. Enjoy while hot

** honey is also a good alternative for muscovado or brown sugar for an added caramel note

Ginger root is believed to be a very good remedy to most common respiratory ailments such as cold, cough and sore throat. But not only that, it can also be a good cleansing, modulating tool for your voice. I remember during my youngster years, my mother used to give me ginger tea whenever I have a speech competition at school. She said this will preserve my voice in some way. Well, as far as I can recall, somehow it did give me a soothing, relaxing feel. On another note, when we are at the comfort of our home we oftentimes long to be pampered aren't we? And more often than not, food is always our best resort. So, why not pamper yourself with this tea? Sometimes I gave in to the process of "homestyle cooking or preparation". Easily, I can pass on something instant simply because I believe I deserve something better. Don't we?
** read the round up here

Weekend Herb Blogging # 97 Ginger

Scott of Real Epicurian is hosting this weeks' WHB (weekend herb blogging by Kalyn's Kitchen). It's rainy season here in the Philippines. Because of the cold weather, craving for comfort food and drinks is inevitable. It's not surprising then that a picture of warm, soothing cup of tea lingered in my mind. So, off I went to the pantry and concocted a "ginger cinnamon tea".


Preparation time: 15 mins
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 - 1 1/2 tbsps crushed ginger (fresh, peeled)
1 tsp muscovado or brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
1 cup water

Procedure:
1. Boil ginger in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes.
2. Strain and transfer the ginger tea in a tea cup.
3. Stir in sugar and cinnamon, mix well. Enjoy while hot

** honey is also a good alternative for muscovado or brown sugar for an added caramel note

Ginger root is believed to be a very good remedy to most common respiratory ailments such as cold, cough and sore throat. But not only that, it can also be a good cleansing, modulating tool for your voice. I remember during my youngster years, my mother used to give me ginger tea whenever I have a speech competition at school. She said this will preserve my voice in some way. Well, as far as I can recall, somehow it did give me a soothing, relaxing feel. On another note, when we are at the comfort of our home we oftentimes long to be pampered aren't we? And more often than not, food is always our best resort. So, why not pamper yourself with this tea? Sometimes I gave in to the process of "homestyle cooking or preparation". Easily, I can pass on something instant simply because I believe I deserve something better. Don't we?
** read the round up here

Friday, August 24, 2007

Raising A Book Lover

In May-June 2007 issue of MomsToday (a parenting magazine in the Philippines), they featured the "10 tips to raise young readers". This article caught my attention because we certainly are raising a "book lover". According to Michelle Gan, "reading is the first skill required to understand and apply concepts, both at work and in life". We are glad that we did not have any difficulty instilling this skill with our son even at a very young age. He’s still a tot but he's someone who would rather trade toys for books. I’ve already proven this a number of times. We don’t have to drag him to go to a bookstore instead of a toyshop. Hence, it was such a treat for him when we went to the newly opened Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street. As expected, he did not go out of the store empty handed. Some friends are asking me how we honed him as such. I think primarily because we started as early as possible. From the moment I felt him growing inside my tummy, we are already journeying together through books. I read something to him as often as I can and it’s not limited to story books and rhymes alone. Even books that I’m reading for work, I communicate my learnings with him. There’s this mother's instinct that told me he would understand in some way. Probably, this is why sometimes we heard people saying nobody is too young to understand. For me what mattered more is that we’re already communicating, establishing our connections even before I helped him see the real world.

Apart from that, leading a good example greatly helps. Apparently, book is one of the many things that connected me and my husband together. We share the same passion for it. Also, we make sure that we visit a bookstore whenever we go to the mall. It’s but an indispensable part of our weekend itinerary. Likewise, books topped the list of our rewards to our kids. It’s a gift waiting at the end of a good behaviour or any milestone. There are actually many ways of molding a lifelong book lover. What's fundamental is to find that, which will rightly fit the parents' objectives as well as the kid's needs and interests. It's but essential to tailor fit.

Umenoya (The Best Japanese Resto in the South???)

Umenoya, a japanese term for a flower is a popular Japanese Restaurant in Paseo de Sta. Rosa. It offers great selection of real tasty japanese cuisine. The best time to dine here is during lunch. Because it is only at lunch time that they offer the bento sets at affordable prices (starts at P200++). On other meal occasions you have to order a la carte style and you may find that some food are a bit over priced. We keep on coming back here and undoubtedly, the taste is consistently good. Unfortunately, we noticed that the service is deteriorating in quality. My colleagues and I recently dined here and we were so dismayed with the poor service rendered to us. We’ve been standing inside the resto for quite awhile waiting for a waiter to approach us and give us some seats. But all that we saw were crews running here and there at the top of their voices. For seconds, we thought we were given a market feel instead of a decent to say the least ambiance! When we were finally seated after making so much attempts to get the waiters' attention, we felt that the table is just not comfortable for a group of five. Therefore, we requested to be transferred to a new one, preferrably the "tatami room" since it's the only table available at that time. However, one of their crews told us that there's a minimum charge of P1500 for the room. Imagine, they have to compute for our bill first so they can decide if they will transfer us or not. It’s quite annoying really! We went there with our hungry stomachs and the least that we would expect (or any customer for that matter) is poor service. We feel that the 10% additional service charge is definitely not worth it. To think that the service charge is added on top of the tax, huh! Anyway, this is the first time that we experience this kind of treatment at Umenoya. Unless they do something to improve on their service, and had it not been for their food, surely I will never go back.


Umenoya Japanese Restaurant
Paseo de Sta. Rosa 3, Don Jose
Sta. Rosa City

Monday, August 20, 2007

8 Secrets of the Truly Rich by Bo Sanchez, (a must read financial tool)

I've been an avid follower of Bo Sanchez's writings. I have copies of all his eight national best sellers. His works speak of a thousand life realizations and perspectives, truly enriching that it can work miracles to a reader's life. Perhaps, this makes him one of the most influential people in the Philippines. 8 Secrets of the Truly Rich is the title of his recent book. Who would not make a turn merely seeing the title of the book? Eye catchy, mind inviting, I think you will agree. Especially during this time when most people are yearning for financial liberation and abundance.

Bo, actually presented things that probably we are already aware of or might have even heard before. But these are exactly the same things we need to be reminded of and be reminded more. He put financial blessings and material abundance in a different context, to a higher level I must say. Hence, the title - Truly Rich makes no less than appropriate.

In a nutshell, as Bo has put it, financial ignorance is very expensive. Anyone dreaming of a financial journey needs tools to achieve what's waiting at the end of it. Therefore, we have to create our dream and focus on it. Ride with it! If we can, fly with it. What's more, we have to believe we can make it happen. What the mind can conceive it can achieve! We are gifted with different talents and skills, we just have to know them and learn to capitalize on them. He said, there are three players in a financial game: 1) the spender, 2) the saver and 3) the investor. Who do you think will be the winner of the money game and which would you rather be? You're choice is as good as mine. He who do not only add money but who would choose to multiply his money exponentially will definetely win this crucial game . The master of it all though, we must act now. Never too late, not some time, Now! And when we do, we have to give our best shot. But hey, get rich responsibly and never forget to share some better yet, share more.
From Bo's own words, these left some marks in my memory:

Step #0: Give to God a monthly love offering
Step #1: Free yourself from all bad debt
Step #2: Increase your income and start a sideline
Step #3: Get protection equal to 10 times your annual expenses
Step #4: Create an emergency fund in the bank equal to six month's expenses
Step #5: Create a retirement fund saving 20% of your monthly income in various growth funds
Step #6: Create passive income via businesses and investments equal to or more than your expenses

On which step of this ladder are you now? As for me, I guess I still have to make better, wiser financial decisions to achieve a more secured, rewarding future. In my mind, I know something is for sure. I will not belong to the 30% Filipino parents who depend on their children for a living. I would rather leave my kids with inspiring, wonderful memories than inherit them with a burden. If you're in with me, taking the tagline of one credit card TVC, "let's get it done"!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

PRESTO PASTA Night 25

It happened once again, I almost didn't make it to this Presto Pasta Night by Ruth Daniels of Once Upon A Feast. Why am I always beating the deadline huh? I think I really need to make some improvements on my blog hopping activity. Lucky me this time! I still had a day to prepare for my initial entry. This is another fun and exciting activities of food bloggers around. Each week, all pasta lovers are encouraged to submit a pasta dish of their own and share it with the rest of the blogging community. Ruth makes a wrap up on fridays so everyone can have something to relish on weekends. Being a big fan of Pasta, I simply can't pass on this one. By the way, Pasta here means all types of NOODLES. After checking what ingredients I've got in our pantry, I've decided to make this simple, popular Filipino-Chinese noodle dish called "Stir-fried Chow Mein Noodles". It is more commonly known in the Philippines as Pancit Canton.
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves 4-5


Ingredients:
200 g pack Pancit Canton (Chow Mein Noodles)
250 g chicken breast, cut into strips
1 cup cabbage, chopped
1 small carrots, julienne
100 g green beans, cut in diagonals
1 cup chinese cabbage, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 1/4 cups chicken broth or 1 chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 1/4 cups of water
3 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1 beaten egg
3 tbsps canola oil
salt and pepper to taste


Procedure:
1. Add canola oil in a heated wok. Saute onion, garlic and chicken.
2. Add all vegetables and saute for a few minutes. Set aside.
3. Bring water or chicken broth to a boil. Add soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add the noodles, stir-fry and cook.
5. Mix previously sauted vegetables and chicken.
6. Add beaten egg and continue stir-frying for 2 mins.
7. Transfer to a serving dish and top with hard boiled eggs.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging # 96: AMPALAYA (Momordica Charantia)

It's Weekend Herb Blogging once again by Kalyn's Kitchen. The host for this week is Zorra of Kochtopf. Last week I blogged about Moringa, one of the nutritious leaves we have in the planet. This week, I am featuring its nutritious kin Ampalaya, scientifically known as Momordica Charantia and Bitter Melon in English. Ampalaya is a widely cultivated plant in the Philippines. It's getting more and more popular nowadays due to its invaluable health benefits. In actual fact, a number of researches have proven Ampalaya’s ability to increase the production of “beta cells” by the pancreas. This leads to the body’s improved production of insulin. In this way, Ampalaya became most notable for its effectiveness to combat diabetes. We are proud that the Philippine variety is considered as the most potent. Thus, the Department of Health of the Philippines (DOH) endorsed it as one of the best herbal medicines for liver problems and diabetes.
In the Philippines, taste preference is very extreme. Looking at the types of foods available either home cooked, restaurant or commercially made, Filipinos generally want something salty, sour and sweet. Undoubtedly, the latter is considered the most well liked taste driver for many Filipino foods. As a consequence, it’s not surprising that there are about 3 million Filipinos now estimated by DOH as diabetic. To a greater extent people are looking for remedies against this disease and ampalaya surely topped the list.


However, due to the vegetable’s inherent “bitter” taste its consumption is very selective. In truth, this was one of my unwanted vegetables when I was a kid until I went to school and learned about the food pyramid in greater details. Now that I am a mom and a home maker, I am aware of my responsibility for my family’s health and wellness. I have to ensure our menu plan will not only satisfy our taste buds but more importantly it shall meet the family’s nutritional requirements. Thus far, even still at their toddler years I am starting to encourage my kids to eat vegetables. Ampalaya, apart from being known for the treatment of diabetes is also a good source of other essential nutrients such as vitamins A, B and C, iron, calcium and phosphorus. It is for these nutrional rewards that this simple dish usually frequents our dining table.
Stir-fried Ampalaya (Bitter Melon)

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves 6

Ingredients:
  • 1 large Ampalaya (Bitter Melon) fruit, chopped in thin diagonals, soaked in salt for a few minutes and squeezed a little (to lessen the bitter note) then washed with water
  • 1/4 kg ground lean pork
  • 1 med sized onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps canola oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

1. Heat canola oil in a pan. Saute onion, garlic, tomatoes and pork until done.
2. Add Ampalaya and saute for a few minutes (until tender).
3. Add soy sauce, season with salt and pepper.
4. Add beaten eggs and continue stir-frying for 5 mins or until the vegetable is cooked.

* It's best served with any fried fish.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Foods for Indulgence... (foods for second thoughts?)


Warm from the oven PIZZA, rich CHOCOLATEY treat, frosty ICE CREAM, delightful DOUGHNUTS, creamy PARFAITS, savoury CHIPS, oh so yummy CAKES, mouth-watering STEAKS, even that lip-smacking, crispy Lechon (fire-roasted pork) ...the list can go on and on. These are the foods we often get to indulge. We normally heart them because they deliver pleasure and satisfaction in many different notes. The word indulgent is defined here as tolerant, lenient, favourably inclined, yielding to the wishes or appetites, mostly to excessive consumption – put it simply, to give in. All yummy attributes just seemed so fitting to indulgent foods. In fact, we often end it with “insanely delicious!” remarks. On the contrary, they are also referred to as “sinful”. Enticing and delectable as they can be, indulgent foods can also take their toll on our health. These are the foods that usually contain substances which when taken in excessive amounts can lead to unhealthy results. Indulgent foods are typically rich, fatty, sweet and high in calories. Yet, we still opt to have them because we’re willing to splurge for the experience.

Some said the pleasure of eating is only in the mouth. Once the food followed the digestive pathway, all olfactory and gustatory stimuli will be gone. Admittedly though, we cannot resign to the pleasures of the sensory experience. It’s but an indispensable part of the eating process. Nonetheless, there are those who have already given it up for some dietary concerns and for the more important preservation of good health. For the others who hardly can resist, why not go for a better alternative? Decide on low fat, no sugar, bite size servings against hefty ones; better yet indulge on a regular exercise to strike a balance and make up for bingeing in rich foods.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Trends in Food, Nutrition and Health... (and Why I want to Blog on these stuff)

Food for Thought is one of Our Taste of Life’s categories where I find great joy in writing. The topics that I’ve blogged and still wish to share in the future are those close to my heart and profession. Thus, you may have noticed that posts on “better for you foods” is becoming a trend in this blog. I feel blessed to encounter all these stuff and delighted that I can share them with you. Being a Food Technologist, in some way a part of me says that Food Professionals owe the consuming public a big chunk of information. We all ought to know what’s in the food we’re patronizing. Identify what good we will get from consuming it and discern if it will match the value of our hard earned money. Besides, food is the most important element for us to keep going and continue our living. Likewise, it can also be the determining factor of our "shelf life" here on earth. Hence, smart eating, healthy living is becoming a mantra now.

So, what's in store for the consumers? What's in the Market today? In so far as processed foods are concerned, many of us might have noted the increasing trends on health, convenience and enjoyment. A lot of products are born each day. In Japan alone, hundreds of product launches are made per month. Generally, the market is now flocked with products that are developed for specific benefits and functionalites. There are those positioned for weight management, naturally healthy and organic, digestive health (e.g. high fiber claims, probiotic, prebiotic), kids nutrition (DHA, ARA etc.), beauty from within, healthy snacking and convenience. Some vital and interesting taglines to look for and worthy of our purchase considerations are the following:
Apart from healthy products, there are also those that are merely positioned to deliver pleasure to the end users. Some things to look for under this category are those that will provide fun and entertainment, new experiences and excitement. And because we all live a busy life in today's era, convenience is also a major category player. Products here normally offer instant satisfaction and minimal preparation to optimize leisure time. What's essential to note though is that not all instant products are considered unhealthy and bad. They are made as such to fit our fast paced lifestyle.

In a nutshell, we're everyday presented with these food trends. Depending on our own needs and wants, we make our purchase of what we think is best for us. Nevertheless, in making our choices we have to bear in mind our ultimate purpose to achieve a healthy, balanced life.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sports and Fashion DEPOTS

For Discount Hunters out there, this might be an interesting place for you. A growing community of Paseo de Sta. Rosa offers a wide array of choices on sports apparel and other sporting goods, swim wear and branded clothing all for discounted prices. Brands with depots here are North Face, Dunlop, Levi's, Dockers, Adidas, Nike, Speedo, Gas, United Colors of Benetton, AND 1 and Mizuno. Discount rates range from 20% - 50%. If you get lucky, sometimes you can also chance upon a 70% discount. Most of the stores replenish their stocks on wednesdays or fridays. Thus, you may drop by a day after any of these two days. Normally, buyers flock on weekends so if you'll visit on saturday or sunday make sure you'll be there early. Stores open at 10:00 am and close at 9:00 pm.
How to get there:
From Manila - drive down SLEX (south luzon expressway) and take Sta. Rosa Exit. Turn right from the Coca Cola Plant and drive through the Sta. Rosa - Tagaytay Road. Paseo de Sta. Rosa is located at the left side of the road in front of Caltex Gasoline Station (2nd traffic light from the Sta. Rosa toll gate). Turn left when you see the towering Ad Post, the depots are just a walk away.
From South - drive down SLEX and take Sta. Rosa - Enchanted Kingdom Exit. Turn left from the toll gate and drive through the Sta. Rosa - Tagaytay Road. Continue as above.

Sports Outlet - badminton and tennis rackets, dunlop watches, slazenger sandals, kontrol shades, sports apparel and shoes, golf items, bags etc.




North Face - Reva shoes, sandals and slippers, apparel, sports bags etc.




Adidas - shoes, bags, apparel, soccer ball, basketball, volleyball, socks, caps and other accessories



Levi's & Dockers - Clothing




Nike - apparel, shoes, watch, bags, caps, socks and other accessories


United Colors of Benetton - Gas, UCB and Sisley brands of clothing, bags, havaianas flip flops etc.






Speedo - swim wear, sandals and slippers, swimming gadgets etc.




AND 1 & Mizuno - apparel, shoes and many sporting goods