Sunday, December 21, 2014

#JollyJollyJoyJoy from Jollibee

2014 wasn't a great year for me in general. I took a break from blogging and I didn't care about many things - which made me slightly depressed. I am still trying to cheer myself up, but even during Christmastime, I wasn't as enthusiastic like I was in the previous years.

I am so grateful to have met awesome people this year - especially my bookish sisters, who not only shared their passion for reading, they were also the people who listened to my rants and raves. Like I said, the blogs took a hiatus from time to time during the entire year, but just like the new friends I met, I was also grateful to the people in the blogging community who stuck with me even during my absence. One to mention were the people from Jollibee.

I wasn't as active in attending Jollibee events this year, but this year, I still received awesome blessings from them - be it a free movie passes, or a package of different favorite food from Jollibee. Yesterday (20 December 2014), a package was delivered to our doorstep and I was so surprised because I never expected this. Come to think of it, every Jollibee package came unexpectedly. :) Anyway, this is their Christmas Bucket Treats, which include:

A bucket of Jolly Chickenjoy
This bucket contained six pieces of the langhap-sarap Chickenjoy

A tray of Jolly Spaghetti
Plus points to the packaging - the aluminum tray is perfect as a serving platter, and it came with a sturdy box.

Three regular cups of Buttered Corn
Something I loved from them - it paired well with the Chickenjoy and it wasn't as carbo-loading as eating spaghetti and rice (at least for me).

Three pieces of Peach Mango Pie
This has been a favorite since I was a kid, definite favorite dessert from Jollibee

Three regular cups of drink
Of course, something to chug it all down. :)

The Jollibee Christmas Bucket Treat is perfect for three people, but actually, it is good for maybe six people to share as one piece of Chickenjoy can sometimes be enough for one person. Like what I said on my last post, we still haven't bought ingredients for our Noche Buena... and I was thinking, this could very well be perfect for us since we are (now) a small family of three. Well, we still don't know what to serve for Christmas, but if you wanna save yourself from hassle, you may consider this. Or, you can also gift someone this treat this holiday season.

In their note it said, "Thank you for being one with the Jollibee Family in sharing joy throughout the year." This food package gave me a big surprise, but the note made me teary eyed. Despite my setbacks and personal problems, I am just so so grateful that I am still appreciated. Thank you, Jollibee and to the people behind this gesture. Happy holidays!!!

*** Jenn ***

PS - let me just share a funny story. My sister's camera is dysfunctional, and the camera we borrowed from the neighbor as well as my cell phone was borrowed by my sister. When this was delivered to me, I had problems thinking how to photograph this before it gets eaten. These pictures were actually taken using the built-in camera of the laptop - mom held the lamp to give some light using her one hand, the other held the mouse to capture the image. I held the laptop using both hands, positioning it as best as I could to capture the much needed images. It was sad that we didn't have the good quality camera, but happy that we found a way to capture the image as well share a laugh with my mom.

Recipe | Food for the Gods

Christmas is just around the corner. Do you already have prepared list of food to serve for Noche Buena and Christmas Day? Our small family of three will go a little simple this year - I am thinking of preparing Bruschetta for Noche Buena as we don't really eat a lot during that time. For Christmas lunch, I am thinking of cooking Cabbage Rolls, a pasta recipe, and cupcakes... but we still haven't done our grocery shopping, so all is still not sure as of this time.

Anyway, it is always during Christmastime when I got to eat Food for the Gods, and I consider it quite a favorite - maybe because I don't get to eat it as often as other baked goodies. When we bought the oven early this year, this was something I considered baking, but finding the dates became my biggest challenge.

Thankfully, SM Supermarket now has an aisle for baking ingredients and tools, and they now carry this brand - Dough it All. This brand was such a blessing for home bakers like me as I don't really need that much supplies. I was surprised to see a pack of pitted dates in one of our grocery days, so then I knew the time has come for me to try and baked this awesome holiday delight.

Food for the Gods
{makes 1 pan}

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
How to Bake:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sift mixture into another bowl.
  • From that mixture, get about 1/2 cup and dredge dates, so the dates won't settle on the bottom of the pan.
  • On a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  • Stir in flour mixture into the wet mixture using wooden spoon.
  • Stir in walnuts and dates, and mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Grease baking pan with butter or oil - including the sides.
  • Pour in batter into the baking pan and level.
  • Bake initially for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, lower oven's temperature to 300 degrees and bake further for about 15 minutes.
  • Cool down the pan completely and cut according to your liking.
  • Wrap the pieces into aluminum foil and cellophane wrapper.

As you can see, I didn't wrap my baked Food for the Gods anymore as it would be just three girls who would eat this, and it turned out to be delicious. One thing I would change should I bake this again was to finely chop the walnuts and dates, as I wanted the gritty feel to my Food for the Gods and not chunky the way this turned out.

This can be a good Christmas giveaway, or a good baked goodie to serve your family for Christmas. If you want to see the full video tutorial on how to bake this, please check Pinay Cooking Lessons video on YouTube.

*** Jenn ***

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Trying Out the Jolly Pancake Sandwich

Hello, hello!

Sometime last week, us three girls went to the nearest Jollibee to eat breakfast. That seemed a little "out of this world" as we do eat breakfast at home most of the time, but recently, Jollibee introduced a new product that caught our attention - the Jolly Pancake Sandwich.

Before I share our food trip experience, a little background - I am not really into pancakes. Now, don't think I just made a contradiction because in my last paragraph I mentioned that the Pancake Sandwich caught our or my attention. Here's the thing - the typical type of pancakes - the one with butter and maple syrup - doesn't appeal to me. The savory kind, now that is what I like. So here at home when it's pancakes for breakfast, I'd cook their share first, and on the remaining pancake batter, I would add something savory - may it be hotdogs, corned beef, or cheese.

So this??? Pancake heaven.

It has everything I wanted with my pancakes - bacon, egg, and cheese. I just loved the sweet taste of the pancake mixing with the salty add-ons and this just made a very good, satisfying breakfast. If there will be complaints, that would be:

1) Not enough for me - I want more, and
2) I hope this is available anytime of the day.

My mom and sister loved it, too, and if we have another chance to eat out for breakfast, we would go for this again.

*** Jenn ***

Friday, November 7, 2014

Magic Moments with John Lloyd Cruz

In the past few months, there were moments that blew us away, in negative and positive ways. We lost two beloved family members (my cousin first then my aunt next - they're mother and daughter), I rekindled a friendship with dear Ela, we traveled to La Union and I was able to set foot in my favorite place - Vigan. There are moments in life that wear us down or uplift us, but one thing's for sure - during low times, we all need that magic moment.

I am sure you will agree with me that John Lloyd Cruz has a magic glow in him - even if you just see him on the TV screens or at the movies, he will surely make your day magical. With the Magic team from URC JackN'Jill, John Lloyd Cruz travelled around the country to bring magic moments to select individuals, as part of the "Nothing Like Magic" campaign of Universal Robina Corporation.

At the Centro Supermarket in San Pablo City, Laguna, the magic moment happened when 29-year-old Charita Tuyogan bought a pack of Magic Flakes which entitled her to pick an instant prize from a bowl at the Magic booth. Charita could not believe her eyes when she read her instant prize: “Congratulations! You win a BIG hug from John Lloyd Cruz, NOW NA!” She was even more shocked when the charming actor appeared out of nowhere and gave her and one-year-old son Jehoram Mendigorina warm embrace. John Lloyd also gave the housewife a Magic Family Treat worth P50,000, which consists of URC products and shopping money. “Ang sarap palang magka-Magic Moment,” said Charita upon learning of her prize.

At the Clark International Airport in Pampanga, 27-year-old overseas Filipino worker Jennifer Daquigan of Sta. Maria, Pangasinan was waiting for her flight to Hong Kong when she suddenly noticed John Lloyd sitting in front. She was thrilled when the matinee idol started talking to her and was excited when the Magic Man presented her with a Magic Negosyo Starter worth P50,000 of URC products. “Napakasaya, ang sarap ng feeling” was how the lucky OFW summed up her Magic moment experience.

At the Robinsons Supermarket in Fuente, Cebu, Jenevie Verances got excited upon knowing she will receive a freebie after purchasing Magic Flakes. Her excitement turned to tears of joy when the Magic man appeared out of nowhere to give her another gift—a Magic Domestic Vacation Package worth P50,000.

Angeles Public Market store owner Corazon Ocampo experienced a unique and rewarding surprise. A URC delivery guy who looked exactly like John Lloyd Cruz, came over one day not only to deliver boxes of Magic Crackers but also to give her a Magic Vacation Package worth P50,000, inclusive of airfare via Cebu Pacific, 2-night accommodation and pocket money.

For University of Cebu students Rosa May Roa, Grace Alcovendas, Bob Burton Paglinawan, Exille Dio Golvin and Harold Hope Ariar, an ordinary trip to a photo booth turned into a magical moment when John Lloyd suddenly appeared to give them a Magic Rainy Day Shopping Spree consisting of P50,000 worth of Robinsons gift checks.

During their school’s annual pep rally, little did the students of the Technological Institute of the Philippines Manila know that simply participating in one of the games could win them such a magical moment. After a series of elimination games, Ester Policarpio, Jomabell Loscano, Sheryll Limpios, Zyren Joy Tristeza and Paula Isabel Sazon found themselves lucky to end up as game winners. As they were about to get their prizes, they saw John Lloyd Cruz walking towards their direction. The heartthrob awarded them with a Sem Starter Surprise in the form of Robinsons gift checks worth P50,000, making their victory even sweeter.

But my favorite of all these Magic Moments happened at the Iloilo Airport, John Lloyd pulled a surprise on Micah Seminio of Calumpang, General Santos City as she was waiting for her flight home. The celebrity approached the unwary passenger and talked to her, acting as if they were old friends who have not seen each other for a long time. To celebrate the magic moment, the award-winning actor gifted her with a Magic Shopping Treat worth P50,000, which consists of URC products and Robinsons gift checks.

All Robinsons gift checks are valid for use in all Robinsons Retail Holdings stores such as Robinsons Supermarket, Robinsons Department Store, Handyman, Toys R Us, Topshop, Warehouse, River Island, and many more.

I may not be one of these lucky individuals who won big prizes, but I am very happy to say that I was given some of that magic "dust," as if JL is the fairy godfather. :) This gift may be simple, but during a trying moment in my life, this definitely gave a morale boost!

Just so you know, John Lloyd Cruz and Magic Crackers have a lot more tricks up their sleeve. Who knows, you might find them in your neighborhood one day with their surprises and special prizes, turning ordinary times into magic moments.

But, let us give off some magic moments to our fellow individuals, too.

*** Jenn ***

PS - the videos of all the Magic Moments with John Lloyd are available for viewing at their YouTube page.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Leann's Tea House (Quezon City)

One thing I have learned about food blogging is that there is pleasure in trying new cuisines. I may have not tasted a whole lot of food from other nations, but those I love, I try to eat every now and then. When it comes to Korean food, I have tasted and cooked a few dishes, so when I learned that there is a new Korean restaurant that is not that far from our place, I knew I just have to try it out.

Leanne's Tea House
Leanne's Tea House Leanne's Tea House

Leann's Tea House is a newly opened Korean restaurant run by a family of food connoisseurs. This food place opened last April 2014 and is born out of love for Korean food when the Chua family visited Korea. One of the Chua daughters - Jaclyn - married a Korean, and their first born child is named Leann, to whom the restaurant is named after.

The restaurant has a rather small floor area, but they have three floors to accommodate guests. For this food trip, we were at the second floor, which really had a homey feel.

Side Dishes

Korean Side Dishes
Clockwise from top left - Kimchi, Lettuce Salad, Bean Sprouts, and Potato Salad. I tried all four, and it was the Lettuce Salad I loved the most!

{More dishes after the jump}

Monday, July 7, 2014

Oriental Brushstrokes by Caesar Cheng At Chef Jessie Rockwell Club

Chef Jessie Rockwell Club presents Oriental Brushstrokes, a one-man exhibit of Caesar Cheng from July 1-31 at Chef Jessie Rockwell Club, Amorsolo Square, Rockwell Center, Makati City.

Realistic with fluid, bold expressions; elegant and dynamic – the brushstrokes of Teacher Caesar Cheng echoes the essence of the Lingnan School Tradition of Chinese Painting.

A Lingnan School painting is more realistic than traditional Chinese painting, which sometimes looks flat and two-dimensional, non living, not true to nature, cartoonish, too simplified and even awkward. The opposing diagonal lines in animal drawings highly suggest life, strength and movement. Birds appear alert, shifty, moving, about to fly. With their open beaks, you can almost hear them.
Lingnan style dramatically depicts silence, serenity and stillness—in a lotus pond, in moonlit scenes, early spring mornings and misty mountains.

Teacher/Laoshi Caesar started painting in the late 1960s, when he was in high school. He enrolled in Chinese painting classes at the Liberty Hall in Chinatown during summer breaks for four consecutive years. His teachers were all from Taiwan, Masters Liang Chung Ming, Liang Siu Chung and Wen Bi Ing who taught him traditional Chinese painting.

In the early 1970s, he studied the Lingnan tradition of Chinese painting under Master Hau Chiok. His painting started as a hobby and did not know that he would end up being an art teacher. Painting was his passion, but he ended up taking Commerce at the University of Santo Tomas.

In the early 1990s, before he started to teach Chinese painting, Teacher Caesar had a pet store business and also worked at a pet-related company as a senior aquarist from mid 2003 to 2005. It is, therefore, no cause of wonder why his animal and fish paintings look so real.
Teacher Caesar is a founding member of the International Studies for Chinese Art, Inc. He is currently teaching Chinese Painting at the Confucius Institute at the Ateneo de Manila University and he conducts workshops at Fully Booked in Fort Bonifacio.

For more information, call Chef Jessie Rockwell Club at 890-6543 or 890-7630.

*** Jenn ***

The Best of Lolo Dad's at The Maya Kitchen

June is not just a month for weddings, it is also a month for the fathers, and one Saturday morning at The Maya Kitchen, Chef Ariel Manuel of Lolo Dad's graced the kitchen to share some of the best dishes served at his restaurant. The theme was about "Simplicity of Flavors," but if you are familiar with Chef Ariel Manuel and / or Lolo Dad's, you know there is nothing simple about the flavors they serve. It was unfortunate, though, that I wasn't able to attend the event, but The Maya Kitchen did send me images from the event, as well as the recipe for each of the dishes.

Before I share one recipe, let me just share to you the other dishes Chef Ariel Manuel prepared for the event:

Mediterranean Duck Rice

Mixed Fruits with Vanilla Ice Cream, Rock Salt, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Romaine Caesar Salad

Salmon Sardine with Fresh Garlic Crouton

Shellfish Open Lasagne

and the White Onion Soup, with the recipe below... simply because it's been raining most days and it is just comforting to slurp piping hot soup during bed weather days.

White Onion Soup

Butter (unsalted) 200 g.
White onions (sliced) 2 big pcs.
Garlic cloves (chopped) 2 cloves
Bay leaves 2 pcs.
Fresh thyme 2 sprigs
Salt and pepper to taste
Beef stock 1 liter
Bread sticks 4 pcs.
Gruyere cheese (sliced) 300 g.
Red wine 300 ml.

Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized for about 25 minutes. Deglaze it with wine and reduce until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a boil, and cook for another 10 minutes. Using a hand blender, blend the soup just until you get a rough and thick texture. Adjust to taste, with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread sticks on a baking sheet and put the Gruyere cheese on top, then broil until it bubbly melts.

Ladle the soup in bowls and put a Gruyere crouton on top of each soup.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings


For more information about this event and past events at The Maya Kitchen, please check their website - or message them thru e-mail (

Thank you The Maya Kitchen for the images and recipes.

*** Jenn ***

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Max's Chicken

Last week, I was invited to attend an event at Max's Restaurant. Receiving the invite, I only had one thing in mind - that it might be a meet-and-greet event with Coco Martin as his new movie is about to be shown this week. While eating dinner, I heard murmurs from fellow bloggers asking "What's with Meralco Theater?" and more I felt this would be a Coco Martin related event, maybe we will be part of the premier or something.

When we got to Meralco... gym, not theater, the surprise was revealed. It wasn't a movie event like I (and most of us) thought and/or expected, but a special day to celebrate another one of Philippines' pride - The Gilas Pilipinas, who are set to fly to Spain for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, scheduled to happen August of this year.

with Jimmy Alapag with coach Chot Reyes
with L.A. Tenorio with Beau Belga with Larry Fonacier
Top - with team captain Jimmy Alapag and coach Chot Reyes
Bottom - with LA Tenorio, Beau Belga, and Larry Fonacier

It was a pleasure to meet and greet the players and the coaching staff of Team Gilas Pilipinas. All of them were very friendly and accommodating, allowing all of us to have pictures taken with them. Sadly, one of their members - Marc Pingris - couldn't make it to the event, but being there was already a blessing for all of us.

In college, I was little ga-ga over local basketball... I even once went with classmates to Reyes Gym to have pictures with some basketball players. Over the years, I lost interest with it, but the story of Gilas Pilipinas was something I know by heart, and the way they won over South Korea during the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship truly became one of the most inspiring stories in Philippine Sports. These players showed a lot of heart and courage, something that will instill in the hearts of the many Filipinos, no matter what sport or career they have.

Gilas Pilipinas with Max's Restaurant staff

Before their practice (which we got to watch), they had a photo-op with the people of Max's Restaurant, and seeing the managers in this sort of situation made me realize why most of my dining experience at Max's Restaurant had been pleasant. I always believe that the way the staff in the low ranks treat the customers is also a reflection of how pleasant their work place is, and whenever, wherever Max's Restaurant I visit, the staff treated me with a friendly, yet professional demeanor. Even my foreigner friend opted to dine at Max's Restaurant in the three times he traveled here in the Philippines!

Max's Restaurant, like I said, is the official restaurant of the Gilas Pilipinas on their way to the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. Isang pulso, isang puso. If you want to share your support, please share your images taken at Max's Restaurant at any social media platforms with the hashtag - #PusoToTheMax.

Laban, Team Gilas Pilipinas!

*** Jenn ***

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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}