Monday, May 19, 2014

Saturday Nights at T.G.I. Friday's

Here we go again. A night for the moms and dads to hangout, unwind and drink some beer! We kinda took a break from our usual Saturdays at T.G.I.Fridays since April with the Holy Week and one of our drinking buddies who was away for a short vacation in America. But once he arrived from the States, we made sure to continue our Saturday nights at T.G.I. Fridays Highstreet.

We left the kids at their cousin's condo with the helpers who were very nice and patient. It was relieving to know that my children are safe with people whom we trust. With that, I was able to spend my Saturday night worry- free, relaxed, we took our time and I was able to enjoy my cold beer on tap at T.G.I. Friday's.
We chose T.G.I. Friday's for a drink because they have a cool atmosphere. The ambiance felt so homey and the crew's very nice. There were times when the bar was always full and we have no choice but to stay at the dining area with families enjoying their meal. Then again, the people who goes there don't really mind if they see individuals like us with huge mugs. We just spend the whole evening talking while we sip our beer and munch on some more goodies from T.G.I. Friday's.
From our recent Saturday night out, I was able to break my record. From 1 liter mug, I finished 2.5L this time around. Usually, I take 3-4 bottles at the most and that's my limit just to be on the safe side. If I go beyond that... I guess it is not going to be a good sight.

But... for some reason I survived with 2.5 L. I need to be honest, yes, I did get tipsy, but not totally drunk. I mean, we still need to pick- up our kids before going home. My husband broke his record as well, he finished 4L. In situations like these, you just gotta know your limit so you won't get into trouble and of course, to enjoy another round at the end of another productive week.

To match our beer, most of the time, we order Nachos on the side. The Nachos at T.G.I.Friday's is one of the best set I've ever tasted. It never fails... It's perfect!

When I was about to finish my last liter, I came to a point when I craved for something sweet. The Brownie Obssession of T.G.I.Friday's was the answer to my confusing state of matching my beer with anything sweet. It was really good by the way. 2 layers of rich chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with caramel... What a way to end an amazing night.
For us, this is a good way to unwind. To spend it with the people we love to hangout with, choose a cozy place with great beer and food selection. After that, it feels like we've refueled our system and we're ready again to face a week of surprises.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Sister's Birthday Celebration In Subic

This was the first time that a member of the family celebrated her birthday for 3 consecutive days. For some reason we just thought of taking my sister's 26th birthday celebration out of town. It all started in a small conversation. Everytime we see each other we ask how everyone's doing in the family. So she opened up that since she got a job some 2 or 3 years ago, she didn't really had the time to go on long vacations and focused more on work. But this time, she chose to go at least for a long weekend break in celebration of her birthday.

As we were also planning on bringing the kids to the beach, my sister thought of making the said out of town trip as her birthday celebration as well.

Being the eldest, I planned something else with my other siblings and surprised the birthday celebrant for a weekend stay in Subic.

During the first day, we brought food to the beach to be grilled. I was in- charge of marinating everything. From the liempo, boneless bangus and shrimps. My brother took the responsibility to grill/ cook once we were at the resort.
It was a simple gathering where family, the beach and Filipino food made it all memorable. We stayed at the beach the whole day. Later in the afternoon, we went back to Forestview where we had a Deluxe Villa reserved a month before the said trip. Once all freshened up, my brother, my younger sister Les, my husband and me went to the Harbor Point Mall to buy a birthday cake, some beer and more food still in celebration of my sister's birthday.
When we got back, it was surely a surprise for the birthday celebrant to see more food, beer and of course a birthday cake. With all the waiting, she thought that we were just buying ice and she heated up the left- over food for dinner. "Forget about the left- over food, here's another feast for you."

Our evening went around singing for the birthday celebrant, enjoyed and shared with the birthday celebrant's favorite food from Max's Restaurant: Kare-Kare, 2 Whole Fried Chicken, Sizzling Tofu and Chopsuey.
The following day, we're suppose to continue our celebration at Meat Plus. When we thought that one of us called Meat Plus to have a table reserved, maybe to our excitement, turned out that no one did (hehehe!). Even with that, we tried our luck if we can still get a table, but Meat Plus was really full and the waiting line was very long. From there, we went to Aristocrat Restaurant near the Harbor Point Mall and had barbecue (pork, boneless chicken) 2 orders of birthday pancit (canton and guisado). Even if we didn't get a table at Meat Plus, this only proves that Filipino dishes can beat anything especially when it comes to celebrations. 

Our celebration continued when we got back in Manila the following day. We met up with our parents at the restaurant which my younger brother is managing. It was a fruitful gathering worth remembering. The family's complete, we had good food and lots of laughter. 

Mother's Day is near, until our next...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dakasi Makes Us Happy!

It was my husband who introduced me to Dakasi. We both love cold drinks, especially milk teas. When Dakasi Dela Rosa in Makati opened, my husband was one of their first customers and still a frequent visitor.

On a personal note, I'm not into drinks that are fully made of artificial flavorings. When it comes to milk teas, I choose the ones that are rich and as much as possible, made of real ingredients. I have  few on my list and I've included Dakasi immediately first time I tried it. As a matter of fact, it took the top spot.
My family loves Dakasi
It's such a wonderful thing that most branches of Dakasi are within Quezon City. The main store of Dakasi is situated across Edsa- Cubao, minutes away from my home. 

Dakasi offers a wide range of hot and cold drinks. Each comes in regular (80-90php) and large (100-120php) sizes. 

Choices are categorized as follows:

COLD Drinks:                                            HOT Drinks:

Special Milk Tea                                          Hot Tea  (Kumquat, Plum Green tea, Ginger milk tea etc.)
Specialty Drinks                                           Creamy Milk Drinks
Matcha Tea                                                   Some Special Milk Teas                                           
Iced Tea                                                        Matcha Tea                                                  
Iced drinks                                                    Some Specialty Drinks                                                 
Fresh Tea                                                     
Fruity Yogurt Drinks
Yakult Tea

They also have add- ons to choose from: Pearls, red beans, grass jelly, coconut jelly and pudding.

Our favorite drinks goes around Jasmine Milktea, Oreo, Rich Chocolate, Honeydew, Creme Chocolate, Coconut, Almond and their house specialty Okinawa. Most of the time, our orders does not contain sugar at all so we get to taste the real flavor or mixed flavors of the drink. I add pearls for some texture. I like Dakasi's tapioca because it's not droopy or over- cooked, it's not mixed with sugar and the size is just right: not too big, not too small. 
The packaging is very appealing too. For take-out orders, they have their own yellow Dakasi Eco-friendly bag. But if I can hand-carry my orders, I opt not to even have our drinks bagged for cost saving purposes.
Dakasi in the morning
Dakasi at night
Any cold drink is perfect for summer. But please take note, especially those that are milk- based, the warm weather will spoil it easily. For every order you make, it's best to consume your drink within or less than 30 minutes.

Our favorites doesn't only go around our drinks, we have our favorite Dakasi branches as well.

1. Dakasi Annapolis Carpark, Greenhills
2. Dakasi Dela Rosa, Makati
3. Dakasi Harbor Point Mall, Subic

We're well- known in these branches, especially at Dakasi Annapolis Carpark in Greenhills. Once we're in the area, we pay this store a visit at least twice in a day. My night visit to the store is my favorite. I get to see the crew of Dakasi all- smiling and glowing as I walk back in the store again.

Dakasi Dela Rosa is my husband's choice because it's near his office and that made him a regular. They already know what to give him, how he likes his drink (no sugar, less ice). Everytime my husband needs to report to work on a weekend, I go with him and I wait in Dakasi. I like Dakasi Dela Rosa because their dining area is big, cozy and they have wi-fi.
Dakasi Jasmine Milktea perfect match for my Dakasi Nacho Chinito

We visited Dakasi Harbor Point Mall in Subic recently and surely, we became comfortable with the crew as well.  Subic and the Harbor Point Mall being one of our favorite destinations, finding out that there's a Dakasi in Subic got us very excited and made us feel that we never left home. They even gave us Dakasi stickers.
"Some" Dakasi stores sell Nacho Chinito (120php). It is nachos topped with a special mixture of cheese, ground beef and jalapeno. It's very good. One of the best nachos I've tasted so far.  Dakasi is "the drink" to start - end your day right, satisfying and happy.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Perfect Sunny Side Up Egg

I learned to make the "perfect" sunny side up egg from an episode of Kris TV last week. Actually, I kinda missed half of the episode already when I turned on my kitchen t.v. But to my luck, I was just in time when Kris Aquino was about to share her secret in cooking the perfect sunny side up egg. While watching, I was preparing breakfast at the same time. 

Perfect sunny side up eggs, coming up!
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 tsp butter (measuring spoon) (divide for 2 sets of eggs)
  • 2 tsp cooking oil (measuring spoon) (divide for 2 sets of eggs)
  • salt and pepper

Kitchen tools:
  • Non-stick pan with cover
  • Spatula
  • Soup bowl
  • Crack and carefully set 2 large eggs in a bowl.
  • Heat non-stick pan in low heat, then add 1 tsp cooking oil.
  • Add 2 tsp butter, melt butter.
  • Slowly, let the prepared eggs in a bowl slip in the pan.
  • Cover and cook in low heat for about a minute.
  • Remove cover add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover again for about 20- 30 seconds. It will depend on how you like your eggs (dry or a bit runny).
  • Same procedure follows with the next set of eggs.

My husband and I like our sunny side up eggs dry, so I cooked ours a little longer than the original time setting. Aside from that, I also added a little of the mixed herbs I have and just a tiny pinch of salt to taste.

For years now, I've been trying to cook that perfect sunny side up egg from my kitchen. We all do! I mean, we all want "that perfect" sunny side up egg in the morning right? Not only it's good for breakfast, but it can match other dishes like Arroz a la Cubana or a filling for our favorite sandwich. I've tried egg molders, non-stick pans of sorts but I never got results that are as perfect as to what I've achieved recently. 

It was fast and easy. Not much oil was used, it took about a minute and 30 and the eggs are done! No flipping of  hot oil over the eggs, it didn't stick, no burnt part, the egg yolks were intact, it was deliciously perfect.