‘Spicy Mexican Chicken’

This is what my 4-year-old nephew, “Chef Liam”, called the dish he cooked for us last weekend, when I made a surprise visit to Cebu:

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He’s into a lot of things these days, cooking included.  Nainggit ako sa cooking tools nya – complete set talaga!   My favorite part of our play time was the “Cooking Show with Liam”, where I would play the “program host” while he is the star chef.  He would walk me through the ingredients of his special dish, which were all prepped up by Ate Donna and me:

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The messy kitchen.  Fresh ingredients lahat yan, all picked from their little backyard.

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I loved playing the part of the sous-chef too, while multi-tasking as the program host.  I prepared the “chilies”, “garlic” and “basil leaves” that Chef Liam would use in his chicken dish.

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The blue liquid you see below is his “magic cooking oil” which he said can be purchased only in Japan.  His daddy buys it for him daw, hehe!  (This is actually water mixed with blue food coloring).

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We were able to prepare a full-course menu, but no desserts, because “it’s bawal“.   He has tonsillitis k’se and can’t eat sweets for 10 days.  Smart kid!

Thanks Liam for teaching Ninang how to cook your secret recipes!  It was good to see you again (even just for 2 days) and boy, aren’t I glad to have smelled the flowers again!  It’s been a very, very busy 1st quarter at work (and it will get busier in the months ahead!) so pardon me if this blog has been scant with updates the past few weeks!

Have a blessed Palm Sunday, all!

Food Post: UCC Clockwork

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Adventurous coffee drinkers will surely love it at UCC Clockwork in Blue Bay Walk, where coffee is the prized item in the menu.  I find it a tad expensive than our regular UCC (or Starbucks) coffee but I guess it’s because what you are essentially paying for here is the way your coffee is prepared.  All coffee orders here are specially made, available in different brewing methods that a coffee connoisseur would surely love to partake: from the traditional drip method to the popular cold brew and the more sophisticated syphon, among others.

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Incredible UCC coffee products for sale.  It’s like stepping into a coffee museum and shop at the same time!

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I stocked on my favorite Sumiyaki coffee and UCC Blend in Sticks (Nos. 114 and 117).  UCC Blend No. 114 is mild-flavored, and I love having it as first morning coffee at work.  My second cup has to be stronger (para makapag-isip na ako ng ayos, hehe!) so I choose between No. 117 and Sumiyaki.  The latter has a deep, rich taste that barako fans (like me) will surely love.

UCC Pelica coffee makers are also available.  I was told that the Gold Special is the bestseller among their eco-pod flavors.

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We checked out the 2nd floor of this concept restaurant, and there we found a spacious cafe that’s so nicely decorated.  They have private dining areas that are perfect for meetings or group celebrations.

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We were enticed to try the food in their menu after seeing the words “truffle fries” in it, hehe!  They call it the Black and White Truffle Fries (P190.00) because it’s cooked using white truffle oil and has black truffle bits mixed in it.  It’s so GOOD.  You gotta try this when at UCC Clockwork.

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Another must-try is the Wafu Pasta (Php260.00) which is an olive oil-based pasta dish with bacon, mushroom and parmesan cheese.  The serving is also good for two.

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Good food with a good view.  Just below our spot at the 2nd floor is this working bar kitchen where the different UCC coffee concoctions are made.

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We haven’t tried any of their coffee concoctions yet.  Maybe next time.  For now, we are just happy and content that all our fave UCC products are here, and we will definitely order that yummy truffle fries again on our next visit – and the next.  =)

UCC Clockwork  |  Macapagal Avenue, Pasay City  |  https://www.facebook.com/UCCclockwork

(All photos were taken using my trusty Lenovo K900 android phone.)

Shabby Chic Cake Stands at The Landmark

Just sharing with you these pretty cake stands I saw at the Home Section of The Landmark Department Store last week.  The words “Shabby Chic” and “Patisserie” came to mind when I saw them.

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Prices range from Php300.00 to Php800.00, depending on the size and type.  I like those with wired metal dome covers better.

I was super tempted to get the one with a bird on top, but I have ran out of storage spaces at home na.  So, sa picture ko na lang sya titignan, hehe!

http://www.landmark.com.ph/

Jewelry Flash Sale

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Up for sale is this vintage jewelry set of earrings and ring in 14k yellow gold, with the prettiest champagne pearls, and surrounded by 32 pcs. of 0.02 ct. (about 1.7 mm.) diamond titos.

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The earrings have width of 10 mm. each, while the ring is a size 7.5.

Diamond brilliance is rated Fair, with less perceived brilliance and fire which is acceptable for diamonds of less than 0.75 carats, where differences in sparkle are more difficult to perceive (source).

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Total weight of the jewelry (with the pearls) is 8.2 grams.

All these for a sweet price of Php 15,000.00.

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Cash sale only.  The buyer should be willing to meet up with me at Glorietta, Greenhills or Greenbelt on weekends to get the earrings.  Strictly no shipping for this one.

For inquiries, email me at dbrightspot@gmail.com.

Product Review: Sit Smart with BackJoy

One of my resolutions this year is to find a long-term ‘fix’ to my back pain, which I get from sitting for prolonged periods of time – at home.

Surprised at the mention of ‘home’?  Yes, it’s true.  At work, I have no problem because I move around a lot: I interact with my colleagues (so I don’t just sit at my chair all day), I go to meetings located in other floors, and I always take the stairs when it’s just 1 or 2 floors up (or down).

But at home, specifically when I’m blogging, I tend to get stuck at my seat for hours. That’s because it really takes time for me to choose the pictures to publish, edit them, compose my story and then publish it online.  Mas mabilis pa ako gumawa ng policy guidelines kaysa blog post hehe!  Since I do most of the writing at night before sleeping, I started developing this back pain that makes it difficult for me to stand up and which I also feel when I get up from the bed the following day.

I’ve also read that sitting up straight makes us happier and more productive, so I vowed to really do something about it.

It was sometime last year when I saw this stall at Robinson’s Manila selling BackJoy - a seat support that promises to prevent and relieve the pressures and strains that aggravate back pain whenever and wherever you have to sit.  I tried sitting on their demo seat support and it caused me to sit upright, as opposed to slouching forward which I tend to do (may pagkakuba na k’se ako umupo).  I got really interested in the product, but didn’t buy it right away because I want to research about it further.

And research I did.  The SitSmart technology developed by BackJoy transforms our posture by: (a) tilting our hips upright to shift the center of gravity forward and move the pressure away from our lower back, then (b) cups our gluteus muscles so that it will not flatten against the seat under our weight and then (c) lifts the pelvis above the sitting surface for natural pelvic support.

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It’s so safe and easy to use!

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Food Post: Socrates’ Secret Restaurant

A restaurant with the word “Secret” attached to its name is bound to pique my curiosity.  Add to that the enigmatic name “Socrates” and I knew that we’re on to something interesting.

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Some weeks ago, AJ and I were invited to try this Greek taverna located at Laguna Central, Greenfield City.  AJ and I are actually very familiar with Laguna Central – being our “pit stop” whenever we go to Tagaytay or Silang in Cavite.  But we really haven’t explored the restaurant strip there until we were introduced to Socrates’ Secret, a Greek restaurant serving healthy and flavorful Mediterranean-inspired dishes.

The restaurant’s color, feel and ambiance reminded me very much of the movie Mama Mia, which was filmed in the Greek island of Skopelos.  The restaurant’s dominant color is ocean blue – a very calm and soothing color.  This is the color that I would want to look at after shopping in the countless outlet stores at Paseo de Sta. Rosa, which is just across the restaurant hehe.

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My Birthday x Cath Kidston

Thanks to the powers and patience of Mother E, my birthday gift to myself arrived just before Valentine’s Day.  Para na rin akong nakatanggap ng 12 bouquets of flowers when I saw the delivery hehe!

Syempre, ano pa ba ang maiisip kong gift sa sarili ko aside from Cath Kidston items?  Eh di Cath Kidston pa rin hehehe!  I got a cag in bag (because tamad ako magdala ng payong sa office), iPad case (even though I don’t own an iPad) and this tin can of sewing pins that I first saw at the Cath Kidston flagship store in BGC and couldn’t resist getting because it’s on sale.

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London Calling

Let me share with you this fondant cake I received from my Ninang Caro and her family last week (my birthday week), which AJ and I got to slice up only the other day.

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Next to Hello Kitty, I am addicted to anything British.  From my music preferences (The Beatles, Brit Pop heroes like Oasis and Blur, and even The Verve) to movies (I love watching BBC films) to books (Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro, Helen Fielding, and Mark Haddon are some of my favorite British authors) to bags and accessories (Cath Kidston!) and celebrity icons (I’m a big fan of Duchess Catherine and Keira Knightley).

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