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Showing posts from 2008

My Favorite Book Contest

National Bookstore, Philippine Star and Globe are having a contest entitled "My Favorite Book". When I read it from the daily news paper last weekend, I knew that this is one contest I want to try! I have a long list of favorite authors and books so it wouldn't be that difficult to find an entry. I rummaged through my e-files and found two articles I've written some time ago about Mitch Albom's and Paulo Coelho's book. TheFive People You Meet in Heaven and The Zahir are my entries to the contest. Both were actually excerpts from the food book I am making. Since the book is not yet been published, I decided to submit the articles to the contest. These authors and their books have touched my life I hope they'll be able to touch yours. In The Pursuit of True Happiness by Sherra Bernardo
“It is the paradox of life that the way to miss pleasure is to seek it first. The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at…

DINOS ALIVE TOUR in Manila

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With the second ber month about to be done, the spirit of merriment has indeed arrived. In our family, the ber season is a period of having fun. Visiting carnivals and festivals is in our to do list. Last year, the kids had a great time in Global Fun Carnival. This year we’re set to experience the world of dinosaurs with the DINOS ALIVE TOUR in Manila. We can't wait for its opening this coming November 28. We've already marked the date in our calendar. If you would like to save the date too, check the details of the event on the organizer's announcement below.

"This 2008, we will be astounded by a visit from the past. Dinosaurs will soon walk back to land and set foot in the Philippines. Dinos Alive! World Tour is set to bring adventure of a lifetime to the Filipino people through these creatures.

The Dinos alive tour is a traveling exhibit which adopts a themed - park environment. An authentic prehistoric recreation of the Jurassic period will display more than 30 life…

In a University with an Oblation Man

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I was browsing through the Philippine Star's website and I came across its section of "Kwentong Peyups" (stories about UP). Quickly, I got inspired and jumped straight unto my laptop keyboard and gloriously relived my UP life through this writing. Read on and join me in my walk down memory lane...
In a University with an Oblation Man(by Sherra Bernardo B.S. Food Technology 1994-1998)
In my teen years, the famous premier university in the country that is UP was every senior high school graduating student’s dream for a college life. It is likewise every parent’s choice for his child’s education. I remember how my mother fought for my UP education against my grandfather’s intimidating sign of a “no-no”. Well, how can you blame my grandfather for shielding me from the frightening initiation rites of fraternities and sororities, which UP is so known for? Add to that, I was entering UP at the height of Eileen Sarmenta’s rape-slay and Allan Gomez’ killing. Fortunately, my moth…

FaMEALy Memories

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When Lucky Me! encouraged us to celebrate Famealy Day at home last September 22, all the more it occured to me that the essential benefits it gives can really go a long way. So, let me share with you my thoughts in living this advocacy...
“Daddy, kanina nag drawing ako! Ang galing ko na mag-drawing.” “Ako Mommy nag-color ako, ang ganda ng pag-color ko!” “Sarap nito Mommy, luto ka ulit nito hah?” This is how typical conversation at our humble dining table sounds. With such inspiring and heart warming remarks, tell me, how can I resist family meal occasions at home? This is simply the kind of happening we shouldn’t want to be missed. A happy memory we must all partake. That’s why; KAINANG PAMILYA MAHALAGA (Family Meals deemed important), became a mantra in our home. We are pleased to declare that it’s a place where absence in the dining table at dinner time is forbidden.
As a working mom, on weekdays, I get to enjoy eating with my family on a single meal occasion only. Though I prepare my…

Macaroons

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We've already started our countdown to Christmas and with just a few days to go, it's true that festivity is just around the corner. For us, Filipinos, Christmas time is synonymous to shopping, party, gifts and of course food (lots and lots of all kinds)! It's that time of the year where talks about dieting and slimming are considered taboo. It seemed that everybody found a way for an excuse to these things. We tend to indulge to high heavens in particular of sweets. Have you ever wondered why sweet goodies normally frequent gift baskets, boxes and jars during the gift giving season? Well, there are a number of reasons I'm sure. But foremost to that I think is that no one in this world hardly appreciate sweet treats. Everybody was born to have a sweet tooth. It's only our threshold that varies. So if you're thinking of giving home made present to your loved ones and friends, this is one recipe you can try and perfect just in time for the holidays. I remember …

ASUS eee PC 1000H (It's worth the wait)

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When AsusTek released it's first wave of mini notebook, I must say that I really got interested 101 percent. However, it still didn't encourage me well enough to purchase a unit. With very limited capacity of 4G or 8G drive to choose from at that time, I am quite hesitant to give in. Not until the third installment arrived, I finally yielded. And I have to confess, it was worth the wait. The Eee PC 1000H is among the third generation of netbooks that Asus developed. With Asus being the pioneer in this product category, giving my trust to the brand wasn't much of a worry. Now I'm thankful, it truly delivers!
For me, the Asus eee PC 1000H's satisfiers are the following: - great, clear resolution - weight is manageable (as long as your bag can manage to squeeze it in) - smooth and fairly fast booting and online connection - elegant design - has everything you need for a secondary laptop (it could even exceed some expectations) - relatively big…

7th Filipino Franchise Show

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It's my first time to attend the Filipino Franchise Expo. In general, the show was pretty small. The exhibit area only occupied a third of the World Trade Center. It's a combination of food and non-food industries ranging from medium to corporate enterprises. There were about 80 exhibitors to explore for possible business opportunities. In our case, we are particularly interested in the food category. Among the increasingly popular Food Cart segment, the dominant trends are Siomai and Noodles. It seemed that dimsum already found its way to the Filipinos heart and stomach. I saw a lot of companies offering this particular franchise. Apart from that, Noodle Cart is fast becoming a second popular business opportunity. A typical cart houses a concept of stir-fried noodles with your choice of toppings and sauce. Competition dwells mainly on the type of sauce and toppings used. One serving in a small paper cup costs around Php 25 - Php 39. The franchise package ranges from Php125,00…

Progress Gold Milk and its Disturbing Stock Out

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Like any other blog, I want Our Taste of Life to elicit a positive appeal to its readers. Whenever possible, I try to have minimal not so good rants around here. Unfortunately, our recent experience with my daughter's milk formula did not prevent me in doing so. My daughter is a loyal patron of Progress Gold, one of Wyeth's premium brands of milk. Incidentally, it is having a massive stock out for almost a month now. This is actually not the first time that we experienced such difficulty in buying this milk product in the market. Being a picky eater, my daughter highly depends on this milk for nourishment and it's unavailability is causing us a lot of distress. She refused to take any milk alternatives because she's so accustomed with the taste of Progress Gold. Having used to taking more than 5 servings a day of this milk and then suddenly not getting any for a day, I simply can't bear the trouble she's going through. Her cries pushed me to send a letter of co…

Creamy Tuna Farfalle with Baked Tomatoes

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I have this pasta recipe sitting in my kitchen recipe bin for quite a while now. I've been wanting to share it with you but time was so hard to pin down again these days. Finally, my fingers found its way to my laptop's keyboard. This is a very simple pasta recipe to prepare. Kids and kids at heart will enjoyably make a mouthful of this creamy pasta dish. To break the satiation factor of its creamy note and to provide a juicy twist, I've added some baked tomatoes. Creamy and juicy that's how this pasta will conquer your palate.
What you need:
250 g farfalle (bow tie pasta), 2 cans of tuna flakes (drained), 275 ml all purpose cream, 1 cup pasta water, 1 med sized red bell pepper (cut into cubes), 1 med sized green bell pepper (cut into cubes), 1 small onion (chopped), 4 cloves garlic (chopped), 3 tbsps olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, 3 med sized tomatoes (cut in thin rounds, baked in the oven just until tender)

How to make:
Cook the pasta according to package directi…

Asia Food Expo 2008 (AFEX)

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It's that time of the year again for the food industry's much awaited Asia Food Expo (AFEX). It's an annual food exhibit held at the World Trade Center, Manila featuring all things related to food. Ingredients, machineries and equipment, food and beverage for end consumers, including product concepts are the usual must see in this food event. However, each year, exhibitors are getting fewer and fewer. It used to be a wealth of industrial food items but more interesting exhibitors tend to decrease in number through time. This is really a big sigh! More equipments and packaging are featured this year with minimal franchise food items and food ingredients for industrial use. Processed meats, dimsums, doughnuts and coffee products dominated the exhibit hall. Interesting Wines that typically flood the event are nowhere to be found. Generally, it's still a venue for potential food businesses and concepts but content wise, it just filled the food enthusiasts' glass in ha…

Mulberry Mixed Juice Drink

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When I attended the AFEX 2008, Mulberry Mixed Juice Drink is the most interesting product I found. It's a ready to drink juice with No Artificial Coloring, No Preservatives Added health claims. It's made with natural mulberry juice and fruit concentrate available in two flavors - Apple and Strawberry, with the former being the more acceptable. It basically tastes sweet and refreshing especially when chilled or ice cold. A tannin taste typically perceived from tea is also noted but subtle and mild. Mulberry tea is making big news around the world. It's recognized as the next big thing in the tea market after the much hyped black, green and white teas. Many food manufacturers and tea growers are claiming that mulberry has higher antioxidant levels than green tea. Furthermore, it contains almost all 18 amino acids essential for our body. True enough, when I looked at the nutrition facts pannel of the juice drink it states 17.3 mg of amino acid content per 100 ml. If you consum…

What's in the White Hat?

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Frozen Yogurt is making a big buzz around town. It is probably the most talked about food trend these days. Because I have heard a lot and perhaps have read enough too, I was intrigued and wanted to try it myself. Frozen yogurt is a typical dessert item similar to ice cream in terms of physical properties only, the fat content is lower. Just like any usual yogurt, it may or may not have the live active cultures. When present, frozen yogurt is regarded as healthier than ice cream. The active cultures aide the digestion of food specifically for the lactose intolerant people thereby making the nutrients readily available for absorption without the discomfort. The nearest store to our place that houses this particular food item is White Hat. So that was where we went and sampled. White Hat’s Italian Frozen Yogurt comes with great claims; "authentic, all natural, 98% fat-free, definitely guilt free and with live active yogurt cultures". Pretty good product attributes for a desser…

Presto Pasta Night # 78: Sardines Linguine with Capers

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My entry for this week’s Presto Pasta Night veers away from any pasta sophistication. It speaks of simplicity, hotness and subtlety. It’s your typical “just a matter of minutes meal”. When I woke up this morning hurriedly preparing for work at the same time tied with the responsibility of leaving the kids with yummy breakfast item, a picture of Sardines Linguine immediately crossed my mind. It is one pasta dish that perfectly fits my morning fix. After a quick check at the pantry and a swift confirmation that all the necessary ingredients are there, I decided to have this dish for our breakfast today. Moments later, I am already plating the pasta even before the clock calls me for work.

Let me share with you my Sardines Linguine with Capers, mildly spiced and hot but scrumptious at the same time. The salty notes of capers and the juicy character of tomatoes make a good marriage of flavours. The tasty Spanish Style Sardines created its distinct appeal. Overall, it’s scrummy and fuss fre…

Eat All You Can Restaurants, worry or worthy?

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Quite a long time ago, I received through an e-mail a list of restaurants in the Philippines that are offering an "eat all you can dining experience". Buffets in many restaurants are increasingly becoming popular these days so much so that we often find it difficult to choose among the many options. Here in the South, there are a number of restaurants that joined this trend. In the Paseo de Sta. Rosa compound, in particular, Poquito Mas and Cabalen compete in luring the hungry crowds. Poquito Mas offers an international lunch buffet on weekdays and Mexican dinner buffet on weekends. Cabalen on the other hand, carries in its name the banner dishes of the province of Pampanga. It offers an assortment of Kapampangan Cuisine cooked in many different ways such as fried, "gata" (cooked in coconut milk), grilled, sauted, fire roasted (e.g. lechon) etc. Likewise, the foods/dishes come in various forms. Fish, vegetables, meat, poultry, some rice delicacies and sweets abound…

Tuna Pizza (A DIY Pizza)

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With the fast phased lifestyle many of us are living, short and quick fix meals are highly in demand these days. Most parents like us or homemakers in particular, are time-strapped yet the desire to give our family yummy treats and scrumptious meal is still ever burning. We all require convenience but at the same time we want our food to have our signature touch into it. For this reason, the need to bridge the gap between well laboured meals and instant foods became so evident. This Tuna Pizza recipe, a DIY (do-it-yourself) Pizza is an example of various food solutions for that specific desire. All you need to do is assemble, add some creativity and you're on your way to your own exciting, gastronomic creation. Apart from that, preparing DIY recipes such as this is a good bonding activity for family and friends. What could be more exciting than preparing your own food and relishing huge servings of good laughs in between? It is said that all good things in life are enjoyed best wh…

Taste Throwdown # 2: Cinnamon Cake with Pili Nut

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This is the second post for the Taste Throwdown category of this blog. It's this blog's weekly event adapted from Bobby Flay's Food Network show. Check out my initial post about it here. I'm dreaming big about Taste Throwdown. I'd like to see it grow as a food bloggers' event soon. I'm planning to open it to the foodies out there who love to challenge the passionate "Cooks" in them and want to share their culinary gifts. I hope I can design the mechanics properly and roll it out before long. I'll make an announcement when it's done. Meanwhile, let me share with you my take on the recipe of the Coffee Cake preceding this particular post.
Last week, we were again generously gifted with lots of Pili Nuts from the province of Bicol. Incidentally, the husband has long been requesting for a baked goodie but this time around it was specified to be a Cake. A Cake! I repeated to myself. I’ve never tried making any of this kind at home. I would love …

Shrimp Linguine with Green Olives & Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

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I have two mini cookbooks now frequenting our kitchen counter very often. Surprisingly, even my young tots are busy perusing these books, each spotting his/her own choice of food for request. Simultaneously, I hear cute pleads echoing through out the entire house "mommy, gawa ka nito, mommy gusto ko bake ka nito". Later, these culinary petitions made my weekends busily spent in the kitchen. Perfect Italian and Gifts from the Kitchen both by Parragon are great foodie companion. They are affordable, handy and rich in delectable dishes to prepare at home. The following recipes were taken from these books but I added some twists to suit the flavor to our palate more.
Shrimp Linguine with Green Olives
What you need: 400g linguine, 1/2 cup green olives, 250 g shrimps (shell removed and deveined), 4 small tomatoes (diced), 500g italian spaghetti sauce, 1 small onion (chopped), 4 cloves garlic (chopped), 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp ground dried basil leaves, salt and pepper…

Pampanga's Best Halo-Halo(s)

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When we had a Pampanga Taste Trek some time ago, one of the many great food finds we stumbled upon at this culinary haven, is Halo-halo. The province claims of creamy, rich and tasteful versions of this luscious dessert/snack. If you search Wikipedia, you'll find that Halo-halo is described there as “a popular Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice and milk to which are added various boiled sweet beans and fruits, and served cold in a tall glass or bowl”. With its recent commercialization and move to go onto the mainstream market, Razon’s currently tops this food category. When I had my first experience of its Halo-halo in Guagua, Pampanga, it easily got an 8 out of 10 sensory rating. It’s made of finely shaved ice crystals with macapuno, langka, leche flan and milk. Taste wise, it’s very creamy and milky. The overall taste is not overpowering with just the right amount of sweetness therefore, you can easily consume one serving. This version's advantage is its use of…

THE FASTAURANT (The Italian Fastaurant by Gusto Italiano)

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I already had a number of posts on the booming complex of Paseo de Sta. Rosa in the South. And like I said, its growth is unstoppable particularly the chain of restaurants to feast into. Very recently, another newbie has arrived. The Fastaurant by Gusto Italiano opened its spacious dining establishment and brought in an assortment of Italian Cuisine in the South. Barely a week old, everything about the restaurant speaks of its infancy in the Paseo de Sta. Rosa household. From the menu card to the ambiance, down to the foods being offered, you can see that most are still in the works. Nonetheless, the basic elements in fine dining are there. It has a very welcoming atmosphere (especially from the owners) and a fairly fast service. Four out of Five Spoons there. On the subject of their Italian fare, my colleagues and I have mixed evaluations. Generally, we find their food range still quite limited. There are only 3 types of salads and soups to decide on. Fortunately, my personal choice…