Thursday, July 28, 2011

Century Tuna Hotdog: The Healthier Choice

Aljur preferred the healthier hotdog.

There are numerous instant and processed foods available in the market today. As consumers, we had to be shrewd in choosing what we eat. It’s inevitable that people had to be more health-conscious especially when dealing with picky-eater kids. 
Kyle loved hotdogs. There was even a time when that’s all he wanted to eat. Unfortunately, it is not good for him. It was a relief for me to know that Century Tuna had made things easy for me. Imagine incorporating healthy tuna into Kyle’s favorite food? Whew! That pretty solved my problem. I no longer had to prod him to eat; upon seeing it’s his favorite hotdog that’s on his plate, he’d wolfed it in no time. 
Of course, I had to be honest with him. I told him, the hotdog would be a little different in taste since it’s made of tuna. Kyle said, “It’s made of fish. I know, it’s good for me since it has Omega-3.” And I was surprised, he loved it like any ordinary hotdog. He even saw the Century Tuna Vienna sausage in-a-can which he’s planning to taste in the future. 
With Century Tuna Hotdogs and Vienna sausage, there's nothing more to worry about. There are indeed healthier choices in the market today. You can even ask actor endorser Aljur Abrenica!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kiwi Fruits are now in season!

I have always liked the kiwifruit so you can imagine my joy when my aunt came home one fine morning with the onset of the kiwi season in Manila.
Expect the shelves of supermarkets and groceries to be teeming with the freshest, juiciest kiwifruit. “Unknown to many Filipinos, kiwifruit is nutritious and delicious experience. We encourage everyone to enjoy our kiwifruit anytime, anywhere as it is naturally fresh, full of flavor, safe and good for everyone’s health,” says my friend Joom, who hails from New Zealand. He explained that kiwifruit comes from Mount Maunganui in the heart of New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry.

My family enjoyed kiwi’s uniquely tropical juicy texture, tangy, as well as its sweet sour taste. I made kiwi shakes, fresh kiwi slices, and a dessert made of panna cota with kiwi glaze. These yummy goodies helped my family appreciate the refreshing and delicious goodness of this fruit. Try to eat kiwifruit, and taste how delicious it is. 


Thursday, July 21, 2011

My newest find: Kape Isla's Mushroom Burger

Yummy and healthy snack of burger without the guilt!

Eating for me is an adventure in itself. It's like having a surprise gift, left unopened and you're only allowed to peek on the day you're supposed to. So each time I'm served with a different or somewhat unique kind of dish, I feel so blessed. For one, I know that each dish had been well thought off, secondly, I know that I could never thank the one who whipped the said dish, I bet that someone had pushed his or her efforts in order to serve me his or her dish. 

I came into Kape Isla one Friday without knowing exactly what I was up to. I only had in mind that I needed to rest my aching feet from too much walking along Serendra and Bonifacio High Street. So I ended up in this small but cozy coffee shop. I ran into its menu, but I wanted to grab a quick snack before heading home, so I've ordered their mushroom burger with salad and brewed iced tea.  

Yup, I tried becoming vegan for a while. But before you think this sandwich tastes like that famous burger joint in Tagaytay, think again. I'd have to say that this one is a whole lot better--in terms of taste and appearance. While the Mushroom Burger seemed like a take-off from any typical fast food chain sandwiches, Kape Isla's Mushroom Burger has its own appeal. 

Let's start with the salad. It doesn't have that white dressings (read: fattening) you'd usually see in salads. It has vinaigrette dressing instead (which means it has an emulsion of olive oil and vinegar with herbs and spices) for a healthier you. It does the trick, for after eating the greens with apple slices on it, you'll feel lighter yet full. Their mushroom burger was made of Shiitake Mushrooms with thyme and rosemary herbs instead of the typical Oyster mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms have excellent tastes on their own, they even seal their flavors on the foods, regardless if they are dried or fresh. It really tastes so good that I bet even kids like Kyle would love to have as their school snack or meal. The best part of all, it comes with a brewed iced tea already so there's no need for you to order beverages. For P125, that's already a good value for money, right?

Snacking in between had never been this healthy. Load yourself with healthy vegan foods that are delicious to eat. Who says that eating right doesn't equal yummy goodness? I swear, it does. I could turn away from guilty binge-eating with a mushroom burger as good as this one from Kape Isla. And with a free Wi-Fi available at their coffee shop, it's a such blogger's secret haven. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Sunday's Best Video Recipe Contest

Hello foodies! Do you have an original recipe worth sharing? Here's your chance to share it with the whole food nation and have that chance to win lots of awesome prizes. Join My Sunday's Best Recipe Contest.  San Miguel Foods Corporation and will be giving away P25,000 cash and P5,000 worth of San Miguel products as well as special gift packs from their sponsors are up for grabs. 

Joining is so easy. Just make a cooking video of an original recipe. The top 10 video entries will be qualified for online voting while the top 5 entries will become part of the exclusive cook off activity with  celebrity chefs and culinary icons!  So what are you waiting for, join now!

For the complete mechanics of the contest, please log on to 


Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Philippine Star's EAT Dining Festival Cooking Tours

Hello there, foodies!

In celebration of its 25th anniversary on July 28, Philippine Star partners with both Ayala Malls and BPI to provide mallgoers a unique dining experience as it holds "EAT Dining Festival" from July 8-September 30. Selected restaurants at Ayala Malls throughout the country--Glorietta Center, TriNoma Mall, Greenbelt, Serendra, Bonifacio High Street, Market! Market!, Marquee Mall in Angeles City, Ayala Center Cebu, and Abreeza Mall in Davao--have created dishes inspired by Star.

Diners get the special Star-inspired dish for FREE when they use their BPI credit card, debit or pre-paid card for a minimum order of P1,500. The free signature dish should be redeemed on the same day of entitlement and in the restaurant branch and is valid fro dine-in and takeout.

Customers who order the Star-inspired dish gets the chance to win special prizes such as free parking tickets, cinema passes, Timezone free games, and gift certificates from participating restaurants. They will also get a raffle coupon for a chance to win in the weekly and grand raffle draws, which will be published on The Philippine Star.  Weekly prizes for each mall are Samsung microwave ovens, while grand prizes includes Samsung French-door refrigerators.  Customers just have to present the receipt at the redemption booth located at the mall where they made the purchase.

EAT Dining Festival will also have a tour of Star's chefs and food columnists in all Ayala Malls. The schedule are as follows:
July 23 and 24--Chefs Tristan Encarnacion and Sau Del Rosario will be at Glorietta
August 5 and 6--Chefs Heny Sison, Claude Tayag, Sau Del rosario and SHirley May Galvez will be at Marquee Mall in Pampanga.

Lucky participants of the cooking tours may take home EAT souvenir items such as environmental bags, aprons, chef's hats, and stickers designed by TBWA/Santiago Mangada Puno. The EAT Dining Food Festival runs until September 30.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Deco's La Paz Batchoy: Delicious Steaming Soup on a Rainy Day

It was a rainy afternoon. I had been wet and drenched from the rain because I had forgotten to bring an umbrella with me. I wanted a hot soup to make me feel warm. I decided to walk around and see what I'll find. I don't like to eat goto (rice porridge with ox tripe) or champorado (chocolate flavored rice porridge). I don't like to eat anything instant either. I am yearning for my Grandma's batchoy. I regret that I never got to ask her about her recipe. At the time, I didn't have any interest in cooking. It was just bad that nobody ever learned about her recipe so it wasn't passed on to anyone of us. 

Anyway, going back to my desire to eat a hot soup on a rainy afternoon, I managed to find one particular signage on the island. It says, "Deco's: The Original La Paz Batchoy." I have heard of Deco's before but I never had that chance to eat their batchoy. In Manila, their branch can be found at Alphaland Southgate Mall in Magallanes, Makati. But what a small world it is, I found Deco's in Balabag, Malay in Boracay Island!

What do I say about the taste?  I'd like to think it is a whole lot better than its rival Ted's Old Timer La Paz Batchoy. For one, a customer can choose whether he wanted his batchoy to have a miki, misua or bihon noodles. I had chosen miki on my batchoy because of it's more flavorful to use for soups than misua (it'll be thicker in sauce) or bihon (it's hard to swallow). I also liked the fact that Deco's have an unlimited soup broth at NO EXTRA CHARGE. Yes, you can have bowls and bowls of endless soup broths for FREE! 

The crispy pork rinds was perfect for the batchoy. You can also choose whether you want your eggs done with sliced hard-boiled or have it freshly popped on the soup just as like Chinese people do with their nido soup. And best of all, Deco's La Paz batchoy is affordable at P75 for special, P79 for Super, and P85 for Extra. All these are the same except for its bowl size. 

Btw, for those not fond of soups, you'll be glad to note that Deco's also serves tapsilog (marinated beef strips with fried egg and stir-fried rice). 

Deco's La Paz Batchoy can be found at the ground floor of Alphaland Southgate Mall in Magallanes Makati and at Station 2, Balabag, Malay, Boracay Island.

Security Blanket Cookbook Giveaway!

Hi, foodies! 

I'm giving away a limited edition cookbook I got from Nestle's Centennial Celebration.  I just happen to have two copies of those (because I had been fortunate enough to attend two different Nestle occasions) and I would like to share with my food blog followers the other copy for it would be a shame on my part if I keep both. Besides, it would be best to share it with other people especially those who don't know how to cook yet--but would love to learn as well as those who already know how to cook yet wanted to learn more. 

I've tried some of the recipes made by Nestle resident chef Ms. Tess Sutillo on the book. My fave happens to be Mike Enriquez' take on Pumpkin Soup, so healthy and light.  This is a limited edition book that is not made available on bookstores, only a few number of people has this. I'm lucky I've got two and now I'd like to share this with you. 

To join, please read the mechanics.

1. Publicly follow Purple Plum Fairy and Security Blanket and Soulful Travels via GFC (Google Friend Connect).
2. Like Purple Plum Fairy on Facebook
3. Subscribe via e-mail (you have to confirm your subscription once you receive the message in your inbox)
4. Blog about this giveaway and link back to this post.
5. When you did all the first steps, kindly fill out this form to make tracking and tallying the votes easy enough for me.

 We will raffle off the names on a fish bowl by the end of August. This contest is open for everyone. For those who live outside Metro Manila, we will send the cookbook to you via courier. The winner will be notified through email or SMS. Thanks and I do hope you can join my mini-giveaway.

Good luck!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL) Beverage System

A cup of CBTL coffee is enough to make me smile.

I have been converted into a coffee drinker recently. I don’t know what happened, I just did. I was surprised myself with the way things had turned out. I guess it all started when my good friend Lourdes Vindollo-Labii had given me a huge pack of 3-in-1 coffee with Tongkat Ali from Dubai.  I remember even joking about it, since as most of us know, Tongkat Ali had been said to be good for men, making them more sexually active, I suppose. That’s what they claim about using that old time herb though. But it is not the only health benefits one can get from drinking such. Anyway, going back to my being a coffee drinker, I have also started frequenting coffee shops.

I feel rightly at home at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (CBTL). I would always see the staff smiling at me upon entering their shops, a good sign of encouraging customers to come back. Not to mention their fast service and good coffee. These are the things all customers would love to see in every establishment.  I love their signature Chai Tea Latte (black tea with Chai masala, vanilla, non-fat milk and foam), Itallian espresso, Viennese blend and cappuccino. On the other hand, my family loves their ice blended drinks like Kyle’s favorite honey dew.

With this amazing beverage system, you can have CBTL drink anywhere! 

The capsules in different flavors.
As a swirl card holder, I also get perks each time I visit the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I get free WIFI access, sometimes to the point of trying out the latest line of Sony laptops like the one we had recently experienced at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf branch in Promenade, Greenhills.
For coffee drinkers like me, especially those who love The Coffee bean and Tea Leaf specialty drinks, the good news is, we can now make it all at the comforts of our home. Yes, folks. You can now afford to make it at home, anytime, anyplace.  Aside from the wide selection of coffee beans and teas in-store, CBTL now sells the single serve beverage system.

My dear Kyle, enjoying the free wifi.

The author checks her facebook and emails.

Sipping a cup of espresso brightens my day.

This innovative single serve beverage system allows one to prepare your favorite espresso, brewed coffee and tea and other delicious specialty beverages easily at the comforts of your home in just one touch.  Just place a capsule into the machine, touch the size of the cup you’d want to put your drink into and voila! You’re all set to enjoy a steaming CBTL drink right away.  So, with just one button, you’ve got many choices! It’s hard to believe CBTL could fit this much variety into such an easy system. Drinking coffee had never been this fun!

Walking into Digital Walker Cafe

Digital Walker Cafe specially blended Iced Tea.

I was recently invited to cover an event somewhere in Eastwood City.  And I’d say I was quite surprised to find out that there’s a café among the rows of gadget stores along that side near the Eastwood mall. Upon entering Digital Walker Café, one could easily feel right at home. They have homey interiors similar to those found in those cozy little coffee shops in either Taipei or Japan.

The menu is posted on its wall.

Cakes and beverages galore!

A slice of these yummy cakes will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.

 The store offers more than just coffee. They had cakes (yes, lots of them), pasta, sandwiches and even rice meals to name a few.  But I heard the best seller is the unagi pasta.  Unfortunately, I never got the chance to sample or have a taste of that famous pasta. Instead, I had their Japanese Burger with sunny side up egg and plain rice. It was bursting with teriyaki sauce on it, in the process, soaking every bit of my burger and rice. Thereby making it a bit salty for my taste. I wish they could just hold on the sauce, put it on a separate container, leaving it all upon the customer if she wanted her meals to have as much sauce.

Japanese burger with teriyaki sauce, rice and egg.

I would also like to comment on their iced tea, it was good. Unfortunately, the café’s name on the container can’t be seen clearly. The writing was done in a deep hue of red with black background on them. Food bloggers like me had a difficult time trying to shoot photos of the said drink because of such. I strongly suggest that they make it in a different color, perhaps white than a dark hue.

In fairness, I loved the corn soup they’ve served us. It reminds me of my abuela’s  (grandma) signature dish. It is perfect for rainy afternoons while tinkering on your laptop with the café’s free wifi access. I had also tried their cakes, fluffy, velvety and perfect to cap off whatever meal you just had.

My fave corn soup.

Overall, I’d still recommend going to this café, because apart from its good ambience, they have really friendly staff. They are the ones that offer a smile each time you enter their shop. And even if one of my fellow bloggers was a bit straightforward to the point of saying outright how bad the food was, I knew that she didn’t mean any harm when she said that. She probably only wanted the café to further improve the quality of their food. I just hope they were not offended by her remarks though, and wishing they would heed our advices soon regarding their food. For I bet, given the right menu choices and presenting their food properly, Digital Walker café will soon be known on its own merits, apart from being a digital store sister.