Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Foodie Journey: Chili Garlic Butter Shrimp Saute

For young wives/moms and all the working men and women who do not have the luxury of time to spare in the kitchen, here's another quick and simple recipe that I would like to share with you. This should not take you more than 30 minutes. 

I've learned an amazing trick from my mom that added some twist to the shrimp. It's an old time trick that she learned from her mom also and that is marinading the shrimp in lemon soda. This adds a hint of sweetness and it takes out the lansa (fishiness) in my opinion. I've also realized that cooking the shrimp at home gives me liberty of deciding how spicy I want my shrimps. I'm not a big fan of chili but sprinkling a right amount of chili flakes gives the dish a nice kick. Best of all, its cheaper alternative of satisfying your shrimp cravings. Needless to say, for us Pinoys, this flavorful dish is paired well with a bowl of steamed white rice! 

I hope you enjoy and try this out :)

Chili Garlic Butter Shrimp Saute   

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • 1 tsp red chili/pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried/fresh parsley 
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 can lemon soda/Sprite
  • garlic powder
  • pepper


Procedure:

1. Marinade the shrimp in lemon soda for about 10 minutes.

2. Melt the butter and olive oil in a saute pan until hot enough to cook the garlic.

3. Put in the garlic and cook until golden brown. 

4. Add in the chili flakes.

5. Put in the shrimp and cook until the color turns orange.

6. Pour in just a little bit of the remaining Sprite and let the liquid evaporate.

7. Add parsley, garlic powder, and pepper as needed.

8. Serve and enjoy!



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fernandezes in Singapore Day 3

We woke up late the following day so we could get our body well rested and ready to roll for day 3. Before leaving the hotel, we had to fuel up for another jam packed day so we had brunch first. The staff was so kind to serve us kaya toast, soft boiled egg with white coffee, Singaporean's traditional breakfast, even if it was not on their menu. It is a very simple meal but it is so good! I swore to myself that I'm not leaving SG without buying kaya!  

Trying out local food is really important for me because it gives you an understanding of their history and culture. 

Kaya toast is a well-known snack in Singapore and Malaysia. Kaya toast is prepared with kaya (coconut jam), a topping of sugar, coconut milk and eggs, pandan, and sometimes margarine or butter. It is generally served on toast, and also sometimes on crackers. It is considered a breakfast staple, and remains popular in Singapore. The dish is sometimes dipped into soft-boiled egg. Singaporeans and Malaysians often consume this food with a cup of tea or coffee. 
Many Hainanese worked on British ships as kitchen hands. When they settled in the British colonies now constituting Singapore and Malaysia, they started selling the foods which they prepared for the British, including coffee, toast, and French toast, to the local populations. They replaced the Western jams and preserves favoured by the British with native coconut jams. -Wikipedia



Surprisingly, we pretty much covered everything in our itinerary in a span of 2 days! So what better way to waste our time than to spend it in a happy place like Universal Studios! 

Alright guys, are you ready for this? Photo overload in 3,2,1!








We noticed there were plenty of Japanese restaurants and saw heaps of Japanese here in SG so with that being said, for dinner, we decided to have tsukemen at Bugis+. This was highly recommended by the hubs! 


Before going to the airport, we went back first to the hotel where we kept our luggage. We already checked out before noon but the staff was so nice and told us that we could take a shower and freshen up before we leave. We really needed a nice shower because that day was so hot. Thank you so much Ardennes for your extremely great service and accommodation! Please check them out guys! 

I don't have anything but only good words for this small but terrible country. Perhaps, the only thing that I noticed was some Singaporeans can be often cold in public. My husband told me that they even had to organize a campaign just to encourage the people to smile. On the other hand, I found myself smiling the entire trip because of good food, clean surroundings, fresh air, minimal traffic, fun attractions, and so on! So much more to be proud of and grateful for Singaporeans. Medyo mahal mga bilihin niyo pero ang smile libre lang :)

Of course, this trip wouldn't have been super fun without my hubby! Till our next adventure! :)

xoxo,
Joselle

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fernandezes in Singapore Day 2

What will you do if you stumble upon a quirky street like this and no one is around because it is too early? What else than to take a selfie! :)


Thank you to my awesome husband for making me look pretty on my photos. He knows my angle! hahaha. I can never ask for a better travel companion than him. When he's snapping photos of me, I feel  like I am Gisele Bundchen ;P


For shutterbugs out there, be sure to ready your cameras when you pass by Haji Lane. 


I have never seen a country so colorful! More colorful shots in Chinatown! 


Tip: if you are on a budget and want to shop for souvenirs and pasalubongs, don't look else where than in Chinatown.


By Chinatown is also a decent hawker center called Maxwell Food Center that sells inexpensive food and drinks. Here I found my favorite, Milo Dinosaur! Call me old fashioned or pre-historic (like the dinosaur...joke yun.haha) but I am trying to be real. Even if I am now in the US where Hershey's populates, I still love my Milo. I grew up drinking Milo everyday kasi. Milo Dinosaur is a drink originated in Singapore made of Milo (chocolate malt) with undissolved Milo on top. By the way, there is also another drink called Milo Godzilla! hahaha 

For lunch, I had another favorite of mine, X-I-A-O-L-O-N-G-B-A-O or soup dumpling. I definitely was in a food coma after lunch so we headed back to our hotel and took a brief nap. 


After a quick recharge, off we went to Sentosa. Sentosa is an island visited by many people known for it's fun attractions like Resorts World, iFly, Merlion Statue, Megazip, Universal Studios, etc. It's like their version of Disney World! 

My husband and I basked on the ff:

Skyline Luge- a unique wheeled gravity ride that provides riders full control over their descent on purpose built track.

Singapore Cable Car- Leave the hustle and bustle of everyday city life behind and take a scenic joyride onboard Singapore Cable Car! Nothing beats the thrill of taking off in your cable car and having a bird's eye view of the world below!


Tiger Sky Tower- Asia's tallest observatory tower. Offering panoramic views at 131 metres above sea level across Singapore, Sentosa and the Southern Islands, views from the Sky Tower promise to be both scenic and breathtaking.




Breathtaking view of SG from the cable car :)


For dinner, we headed back to the station (Vivo City) and ate at Food Republic. This time I had Cereal Chicken Rice. It's like putting chicken rice and cereal prawn together, double the fun! 


Second day was pretty awesome! 

xoxo,
Joselle



Monday, September 22, 2014

Fernandezes in Singapore Day 1

After my sister in law's beautiful wedding (Fernandez-Barbara) the newlyweds flew over to their honeymoon the next day. On the other hand, Alan and I, went over to the moon as well :)  We flew over to the land of chicken rice, chili crabs, cereal prawns, milo dinosaur, and home of Merlion, Singapore!

We landed in Singapore's main airport, the Changi International Airport. This was recognized the world's best airport and I couldn't agree more! Since we arrived pretty early, we spent a couple of hours and explored what this airport had in store. They showcased multiple gardens perfect for snapping selfies because of their beautiful landscaping. One of them which I liked most was the Sunflower garden. On the other hand, my husband was thrilled like a little boy to hang out in their gaming lounge. We played Xbox Kinect, Call of Duty, Prince of Persia, and Naruto fighting game on PS3. They also have an entertainment area where they cater a mini movie theatre. If you're looking for a R&R after an exhausting flight, they have a spa, gym, pool, prayer room, and napping area! I wish Korea and Japan airports where I usually stop over when I go home to Manila, provide these kind of facilities as they will definitely come in handy. One thing that can be quite a problem having such great facilities is missing a flight. haha.

After touring Changi airport, we picked up our luggages and took the MRT going to our hotel. You can pretty much tour the whole country using their efficient and reliable trains and buses. I love Singapore's public transportation. It's so clean, spacious, and did I mention they are efficient and reliable? hehe. I could only wish MRT and buses in Manila would be as good as Singapore's.         


For 2 nights, we stayed at an artsy, boutique hotel called, The Ardennes, located in Bugis which we booked via agoda.com. It was also convenient as it was only a few minutes walk from Lavender MRT Station. 


At first, I was a bit disappointed to find out that our room has no window. But to my delight, Alan showed me that what we had was better than a window. He grabbed a remote, pointed it towards the ceiling, and suddenly the sky was above my head. We had a moon roof in our room! It was perfect especially at night because we were able to lie down in the bed while gazing underneath the stars. Can't deny that my hubby is a hopeless romantic! :)

photo from agoda.com
Off we went to Singapore's shopping hub, Orchard Road after we checked in. 

Since it was lunch time and we were starving, we hurriedly grabbed a bite in Takashimaya food court and had my first chicken rice! The one I had was sweet and spicy Thai sesame chicken rice. So good!   

After a sumptuous lunch, we wasted no time and went straight to Gardens by the Bay.

Gardens by the Bay is an integral part of a strategy by the Singapore government to transform Singapore from a "Garden City" to a "City in a Garden". The stated aim is to raise the quality of life by enhancing greenery and flora in the city. -Wikipedia

There were multiple attractions in the Garden but we chose what was closest to our hearts, the Flower Dome. If Alan and I will have a chance to renew our vows, I want our reception held here! hahaha. Like the flowers, our love continue to blossom each day. 


Next to our list was Marina Bay. We were in a jungle earlier and in one minute we found ourselves standing in concrete. Sorry Alicia Keys because Singapore is the real "Concrete Jungle" for me! hehehe :)

Located at the Southern tip of Singapore, Marina Bay is a 360ha development designed to seamlessly extend Singapore's downtown district and further support the city-state's continuing growth as a major business and financial hub in Asia. For more info. check out their website at: http://www.marina-bay.sg/vision.html


All that sight seeing made us so hungry! Luckily, we found this famous restaurant, Jumbo Seafood, around the area. My hubby also found this highly recommended restaurant from Wikitravel and we had to put this in our itinerary. When traveling, we like to immerse ourselves in local cuisines so we just rock exploring food like Anthony Bourdain . hehe. Back to the restaurant, there was a long queue which just showed that this place was the bomb. Their specialties were chili crabs and cereal prawns. It's kind of a splurge but it's worth it! My hubby doesn't normally eat crabs because he's too lazy to peel the shell off but to my surprise, he showed no mercy to the crabs. On the other hand, my favorite was the cereal prawns. I liked how they made the prawns so crunchy and sweet. Both perfect with a bowl of steamed white rice. Nom nom nom.  

THE HIGHLIGHT FOR DAY 1! LOL :D

xoxo,
Joselle

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Matron of Honor to Bride

I know all of you will agree that Nina looks very stunning in her dress and Marvin’s barong looks like a million dollars :) You two look extra ordinarily great together. 

For anyone who doesn’t know me, I am Joselle, the sister-in-law of Nina and her BFF. Today, I am no longer her BFF because I am now giving that role to Marvin. 

I’ve known Nina for 10 years now but it seems only yesterday and I feel like I’ve known her forever. She was the reason that I found my soulmate, her Kuya Alan. 

Nina has the most genuine heart and has no pretenses. She’s humble, warm-hearted, beautiful in the inside and out, and a woman who has great love for the Lord. 

When Nina told me she was going to break up with her former boyfriend of 2 years because she wanted to go through her state of life discernment with Lingkod ng Panginoon, I was tremendously proud of her. It wasn’t an easy thing for her but she bravely and selflessly put God first before herself. In honoring the Lord before anything else, she was pleased to know that her vocation was for marriage and blessed to be pursued by a likewise faithful brother in the community who is no other than Marvin. 

Nina also told me that they have never kissed on dates and that their first kiss will be on their wedding day. Her kuya and I were left astounded. We couldn’t believe that it still happens nowadays. We have nothing but great respect for Marvin also for protecting and keeping my sister pure before marriage. I believe that if a husband loves God, he will love and respect his wife even more so like how Christ loves the Church. 

You two are indeed a match made in heaven and it was even proved better when you exchanged vows to each other. We know that this marriage will last a lifetime and will be enjoyed to the fullest because you keep God’s word close to your hearts.

Nina, sis, I’m so happy for you. I am glad that through this community that you are blessed with, you found your soulmate and your true best friend forever. The greatest thing about the sacrament of marriage, especially with God in the center of the relationship, is that every time you see the love of your life, you see a glimpse of heaven. Whenever I am with your kuya, I see Jesus. I feel truly loved by God with the way he treats me. Life seems serene no matter what challenges may come our way.  And I wish you both the same. That every time you look into each others eyes, you see that glimpse of heaven on earth. 

Nina, it is a real honour to be your Matron of Honour. I am deeply moved and so blessed for even being your friend, and even more so that you granted me this opportunity. Thank you very much.

Ladies and gentlemen, could you please stand and raise your glasses once again for Nina and Marvin.

xoxo,
Joselle

Monday, September 1, 2014

Somewhat Housewife

Recently, I get to be what I always wanted to be. A HOUSEWIFE.  

I'd like to share my sentiments and give you updates on how it is like being a somewhat housewife. I say somewhat housewife because I get to do this for a few weeks only, too bad. hahaha.  

Here are 10 things I enjoy doing:

1. I wake up next to my husband every single day and I don't worry if I'm late at work or that deadline that I have to finish. I just wake up and kiss my love good morning :)

2. As soon as my husband leaves, I run and work out.

3. I have longer chance to do my prayer time after a nice exercise and refreshing bath. 

4. I eat and enjoy my fresh pandesal with queso de bola and occasionally, taho!

5. I enjoyed volunteering to cook.  I cook lunch for my retired father in law, eat with him and discuss about his new endeavor and other sensible topics. I wish I could have done this with my papa but since my father is no longer with us, I'm glad I get to this with Daddy.

6. My favorite, I take afternoon naps! 

7. I read and able to write blogs.

8. I cook dinner for the rest of the family members and brunch on weekends.

9. I'm glad when my husband gives me a break from home and asks me out for a date night.  

10. But if I have no plans at all, I'm just glad to welcome my hubby and greet him "okaeri" (welcome home in Japanese) when he arrives home. He's appreciative of the fact that for a month, he's not suffering from and coming to a wife-less home.

That is the day in the life of a superficial housewife. I'm glad God allowed me this break and understand that being a housewife takes a lot of patience and understanding.

In Manila, crazy traffic jams, inefficient MRT (it used to be nice but now it's falling apart), overcrowded public transportation, long working hours are some of the realities you have to bear. My husband will normally get up at 6 am, leave at 6.30 so he can get to Taguig from QC not later than 8 am. That could have only been 30 mins if there's no traffic. He's only suppose to work till 5 pm but if there's a need to work over time, he's required to stay for a couple more hours. So he gets out at 7 and commute for another couple hours so he gets home at around 9 pm. We only have more or less 2 to 3 hours of quality time before he dozes off to sleep. 

Back in Atlanta, I get off at 5 pm, I go to the gym for an hour and eat with the entire fambam at 7pm. I've been way too spoiled with the Southern lifestyle I guess. It's nice to eat dinner together as a family and catch up on each other's day. I think it is essential. I'm glad my employer has great respect and gives value for time with family. 

With my husband arriving home late, I need to adjust. It's not his fault that he gets home late. I am absolutely sure he works late not because of greedy intentions (like getting a promotion or a raise). No matter how badly he desires to come home to me, he's not able to do so because of his work demands. When he works, he gives his best so he won't leave till he gets his job done. Then after a stressful day in the office, he has to deal with the pain of long commute. 

I'm a bit irked and sad about it but I need to be extra understanding and patient.  As hard working as he is, the last thing he wants is a nagging and needy wife. I should not be jealous of his work and should be grateful instead for being a great provider. So in return, I need to please the hubby with my home cooked meals,  relaxing massages and some TLC from the wifey. hehe. 

The heart of her husband trust in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Proverbs 31:11-12



xoxo,
Joselle 










Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Afternoon Tea Party!

Hi everyone! I am back in Manila my friends! I'm very blessed to be home once again and be reunited with the love of my life.

Anyway, the ultimate reason why I am here is because my BFF/sister-in-law, Nina, is getting married and I wouldn't want to miss this once in a lifetime event for the world. Moreover, I was also humbled when she asked me to be her matron of honor :)

The past few days I spent in Manila, aside from having some quality time with my hubby (hehehe), I was busy planning for her bridal shower with the help of her sister, Nerisa, and all of her family and friends. When I got married, my family and friends threw a very memorable shower for me and it was one that I would never ever forget in my life so I thought how nice it is to pass this feeling to another bride to be.

The theme of her bridal shower was Afternoon Tea Party and the concept came from my older sister, Ate Joyce. I've been also wanting to experience afternoon tea myself and that's why my eagerness to put together this party was very high.

Before organizing the party, I did my research and googled away some food and decor ideas. Youtube and Pinterest came in handy :)

Nerisa, the bride's younger sister/maid of honor and also my little sister in law, went with me to Divisoria. Divisoria market is a flea market that can be found at the heart of the capital, Manila. To be honest, I've got quite mixed feelings for this place. Before, I try to avoid going to Divi because I heard few horror stories like pick-pocketting. But now, I appreciated Divi more because I had a nice experience shopping and haggling around with my sister in law. The only place I know in Divi is 168 mall but there were things we couldn't find inside the mall and we were clueless on where to go. However, the people were very friendly so we asked for directions and they pointed us and showed us exactly where we needed to go. There was this section in Divi called Tabora. It's a street dedicated for weddings and other special events! We got what we needed for a great deal and we came out of Divi safe and sound. The only tip I could give is to not wear flashy clothes if you want to go to Divi. I didn't even put make up on. haha. I wore simple top, shorts, and tsinelas! (flip flops) It is also hot and a lot of walking is involved so make sure to dress up comfortably. 

After Divisoria, we went to Dapitan Market. Another place to go to if you're looking for materials you'll need for catering and special events. We were looking for a three layered cake stand to put the afternoon tea sandwiches into and was lucky to find it there. Going to Dapitan, we passed by Dangwa, a place where you can get different kinds of flowers in bulk perfect especially for weddings.


For the decor, Nerisa and I with the help of some of our artistic family helped us achieved this dainty and cute table set up. We were happy to see the look on the bride to be's eyes.  She seemed surprised and pleased :)




For food, since it's an afternoon tea party, we thought of making finger food like hor d'oeuvres. Everything turned out good and it was so easy to make. I made deviled eggs, egg sandwich, cream cheese sandwich, crackers with cream cheese and strawberry preserved. Mommy served fruits and cheese, Tita Clair made spicy tuna sandwich, Mayey made oreo truffles, and some guests were so nice to bring more food like doughnuts and empanadas. They were light but we were so stuffed! 



For the program, and what made the shower most special was honoring her. We put words that best describes Nina's character in the doughnuts and explained why we chose those words.



In the evening, we had another batch for the rest of the family and I cooked Penne Pesto Cream Pasta. It was a wholesome, fun, love and spirit-filled day!

9 more days Sis till the big day! :)


Thanks to all of you who helped us make this shower a special one to our beautiful bride to be, Nina. Special thanks to our preppy tea master, Alan! hehehe.




xoxo,
Joselle