Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gotta Love: Dress Up 6 -- Christmas!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!  And for me, the colors that remind me most of Christmas are red and gold.

Knitted Top: Forever 21
Skirt: Forever 21
Shoes: Charles and Keith

Bangles: Parfois

Wooden Ring: from Boracay 
Necklace: gift from my cousin

Pwede na din pang New Year dahil sa polka dots :P

What's your Christmas color? 

Yummy for the Tummy: Papa John's Pizza

On Christmas day, we went to SM Megamall to buy gifts for our cousins for our annual family get together.  For lunch, we tried Papa John's Pizza located at 3rd Floor, Building A.  Entering the restaurant, you can immediately feel the Italian ambiance with its red and green walls and comfy couches.  (Apologies for the picture quality.  I just used iPad camera to take these.  Post processed in Picasa)

 Papa John's slogan

First thing that I noticed when we settled into our booth is their new beverage offering called Cool Stirrers (if I remember it correctly).  It has two flavors; Tangerine Dream and Apple Orange Rush.

It's pineapple/lemon juice with a mix of tangerine and apple flavors.

How it looks when mixed

Sister enjoying her Tangerine Dream

For appetizer, we had Battered Onion Rings and Potato Wedges.  For both orders, you'll have a choice of what dip you would like to have.  We had barbecue and pizza sauce.  Dad also ordered Papa's Chef Salad.

I really liked the onion rings since it does not have an after taste.  The potato wedges are also delicious.

Papa John's also offer a variety of pastas.  We ordered Spaghetti Carbonara and Penne Diablo Burst

The pasta is cooked al dente.  I liked the creaminess of the carbonara over the penne that we got.  The penne would have been better if it was more spicy.

Now for the star of the meal: the Pizza.  When asked if I could eat one thing for the rest of my life, pizza would be my first choice so I was really excited to try it out.  We got Super Papa.  What interested me is that their pizzas are served with butter and pepper.  I think the pepper is meant to add hotness to your pizza since I noticed that they do not have hot sauce bottles at their tables.  The butter is for dipping the crust.  This is a very nice idea since most people do not eat the crust.  If dipped in butter, it will give an added flavor and you will be able to savor every last bite.

What separated Papa John's pizza from the others that I have tried is their dough.  It has the right thickness for you to enjoy the toppings.  It tastes almost homemade which I really appreciate.

Total bill: around 1400 pesos.  Not bad for a meal for four.  My overall experience was great and I would definitely go back to try their other meals.

Visit their website to see more information on their menu and location.  Happy eating!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Chef Frustrations: German-inspired Noche Buena

Hi Everyone!  Merry Christmas!  Hope you had a great time spending the holidays with your loved ones.

For noche buena this year, my family and I opted to have a different take on it.  No spaghetti, chicken, barbecue, or other noche buena favorites (except for ham of course!).  

I was inspired by the German platter that I saw in a magazine and decided to serve it for Christmas.  So I took charge of the kitchen and of the cooking. 

First I prepared garlic bread instead of pretzels.  Here is my simple recipe for awesome garlic bread.

1. Prepare lots of minced garlic.
2. Heat about 1/4 cup of butter in a pan.
3. Add the minced garlic.  Cook it for about 3 minutes.  Make sure to not brown the garlic since it will taste bitter.  Set aside.
4. Grate some queso de bola.
5. Spread the butter (garlic and all) over some baguette (we bought it from French Baker).  Top with grated cheese.
6. Cook inside an oven toaster.

Finished product :P

Next stop, mashed potatoes.

1. Make sure to wash the potatoes thoroughly.
2. Place in a pot.  Boil until tender.
3. Mash the cooked potatoes with skin in a large bowl.
4. Add butter while the potatoes are still hot.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. You may opt to add fresh milk to make it creamier.

The veggies are the ones that you can buy frozen in the supermarket.  I just sauted it in butter and garlic.  For Germans, they serve sauerkraut.  I don't know how it tastes like but I'm scared to try. :P
As for the gravy, I used McCormick.  Just add hot water and it's good to go.

Maybe you're thinking, what makes this dish German?  Well, it's the sausage.  I tried schublig which can be bought at Rustan's supermarket.  

I cooked it on a stove top grill instead of frying.  

I got so inspired while cooking (watching Junior Master Chef helped a lot), that I even plated the food.  


Now, I'm excited for New Year's eve.  What to prepare next?

Happy eating everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Destination: Magical Bohol (Day 1)

After spending one day in Cebu, we woke up early the next day for our ferry ride to the province of Bohol.  We rode the OceanJet (800 pesos per person).  It is air conditioned with comfortable chairs.  And get this, they have free wifi.  Imagine checking-in in the middle of the sea.

Looking fresh in the morning!

After the two-hour ride, we arrived at the port and we were picked up by our tour van.  After breakfast at McDo (yes, free wifi again!), we started our day tour by going to the Blood Compact site.  This commemorates the friendship that was sealed between the Spaniard Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna back in 1565.

We next visited Baclayon Church which is considered as one of the oldest churches in the Philippines.  The parishioners here are very strict.  The girls and I have to wear a shawl provided at the entrance.  Shoulders and knees should not be seen.

There is also a museum beside the church which contains old relics.  Sadly, we did not have enough time to see it.

We were then on our way to see the Chocolate Hills.  We passed by Bohol's man made forest.  It's a two kilometer stretch of mahogany trees located at the border of Loboc and Bilar.  Of course, we stopped by to take some pictures.

Finally, we arrived to see the glorious Chocolate Hills.  I really cannot explain how I felt when I saw these right in front of my eyes.  It felt surreal; then I was giddy as a kid :P

Photo Credits: Lilibeth Olayres

We had a quick stop over to see some tarsiers :)

It was then time to have some lunch.  A must try in Bohol, the river cruise.  

Aboard a boat made of bamboo, we were served sumptuous food while listening to both popular and local dialect songs.

 Felt so peaceful cruising along

A tribe lives at the end of the river.  We were taken there to see them perform.  We can also have our pictures taken with them.

The Albuquerque zoo is also a popular attraction in Bohol mainly because of the python that resides there.  The caretaker, Marimar, also provides some entertainment for the guests.

Our last stop for the day is the Daius Chuch.  It's very majestic and one of the most beautiful old churches I have ever seen. 

At the back of the church was a big grassy land area overlooking the sea.  We had one of the best pictorials here ever!
BFFs for life!

The boys had fun too!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gotta Love: Maybelline Mascara

Last installment on my 3-part post (part 1 and part 2 here)

Now I would like to share with you my thoughts on mascara.  As I have long but thin lashes, mascara is a must to enhance my lashes.

First mascara that I am going to talk about is Maybelline's Hyper Curl Volum' Express.  It keeps my lashes curled up after using an eyelash curler.  It also stays on for a long time.  It's light on the lashes so it's great for daytime wear.

It comes with a slightly curled up brush that fits into the shape of your lashes.  My problem here is it has a little clumping when applied though bearable.

It comes in both washable and waterproof versions.

The next mascara I'm going to share is about Maybelline's Hyper Curl Volum' Express Cat Eyes.  

For me, this is a better version of the other mascara because it comes with a comb, instead of a brush.  It's so much easier to apply and there is almost no clump.  Ingenious, right? :)

It also stays on all through out the day.

The Cat Eye is more expensive than the other Hyper Curl version but it's ok to spend a little more for better results.

Hope you had a great time reading my posts!  Don't forget to take advantage of the ongoing Maybelline sale! 

Gotta Love: Maybelline Eye Shadows

2nd installment of my 3-part post :)  See part 1 here.

I already talked about eyeliners.  Now, I'll share with you the eyeshadows that I use.

The first one that I ever bought from Maybelline is Diamond Glow by Eyestudio in 03 Gray Pink.  I've always liked the combination of pink with gray or silver so this is perfect for me.  I've used this one for all the special occasions I have attended.

I've used this lots of time already :)

Other colors available for this are:

01 Copper Brown
02 Wine Pink
04 Ocean Blue
05 Fresh Green
06 Lilac Mauve

Since I've had this for a long time already, I decided to buy a new one and take advantage of the ongoing Maybelline sale (until January 1!).  I bought Hyper Diamonds in WN-1.  It's a combination of pink, purple, and brown.  Great for everyday use!

Other colors available:

Top: WN-1, GY-1  Bottom: GN-1, BU-1

The great thing about these eyeshadows is that it has instructions at the back!  So don't worry if you are a make up newbie, the steps are very easy to follow.

Easy to follow steps :)

Lastly, Maybelline also provides tutorial online.  Start looking fab girls! :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gotta Love: Dress Up 5 -- Color

I added a splash of color to my wardrobe with my new favorite Love, Bayo blouse (though I may look like I was a month late for Halloween :P).

Blouse: Love, Bayo
Pants: Kashieca
Shoes: VNC

I paired this outfit with my awesome satchel also from Bayo :)

Gotta love: Maybelline Gel Eyeliner

This will be a 3-part post on the eye make up that I use :)

Everybody seems to be afraid to use eyeliners since they might poke their eyes.  But for me, I love it.  It's a great way to highlight my eyes and give it definition.

I used to have the pencil type eyeliners and apply it on my lower lash line.  Although lately, I got interested on applying it on my upper lash line ala Taylor Swift.

It gives a bit of romantic effect unlike when placed on the lower lash line which gives a stronger look.

The pencil type does not do the trick for me.  I can't apply it evenly and close enough to my lash line.  I also tried the liquid type but it's just too messy.  I have to look for an alternative which landed me on the gel type.

Gel type eyeliners are better used for the upper lash line since it's smoother and more controllable than the other two types.  

The one that I got is Maybelline's Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in black.  It already comes with a brush.

To apply, wet the brush a little since it tends to get stiff when some of the product is left on it.  Pat dry with a paper towel.  Give it a few strokes of the product.  Gently stretch your eyelid with one finger then draw a straight line (just like you're drawing on paper :P) from your inner lid to the outer lid or vice versa which ever is more comfortable for you.  Try to be as close to the lash line as possible.  Apply a second coating as needed but be careful to follow the first line you drew so as not to make it too thick.

This is how it looks on me with no other eye makeup.

Photo Credits: Richard Neil Ilagan

I have yet to practice the wing tip since it makes your eyes pop even more.  According to the tutorials I watched over Youtube, it's even easier to make when using an angled brush.  See tutorial below.

Remember, practice makes perfect! 


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