19 March 2019

Chicken and Pork Adobo

Is there any meat-loving mammal here who don't eat adobo? If that's you, why are you even here? 

I mean, remember the time celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay chose pork adobo burger over a bison and chorizo double stacked burger in the American TV program Good Morning America? What about when Anthony Bourdain learned how to cook adobo? I won't go further and stress the importance of these two gentlemen in the food industry but if they loved adobo, why anyone else wouldn't?

When I became a full-time homemaker, adobo has always been my saving grace. Adobo gave comfort to my husband after a tiring and long travel from the camp. Its thick and flavorful sauce has been my eldest daughter's first experience in appreciating Filipino cuisine. A huge chunk in our family and food stories will always be taken by adobo. 

10 March 2019

Every Day’s a Weekend With Uniqlo's New Minions Collection

For a lot of families, weekends are exclusively intended for doing things together—be it errands, grocery shopping, out of town trips or any extra curricular activities the kids have. But for us, who've been a military family for more than a decade already, most weekends are just like any other day. In fact, there was a point when our army dad didn't come home for 3 consecutive months! Those 12 weekends without him were dragging and dreadful. I prayed so hard to Jesus to never let it happen again. Glad that we're luckier now; every day's a weekend as long as hubs is home.

#TheRayalas love Uniqlo! ♥ 
So when Uniqlo Philippines invited us to a family day, I was ecstatic! Not only we were complete but we also got to help promote a brand we love. We are totally not a fashionable family, it isn't up our alley, but with Uniqlo, looking polished and presentable is easy. It was really a fun day! Uniqlo launched the new summer designs of their graphic tees. Say bello to the Minions!

09 March 2019

Bistek Tagalog

If there's one thing that I can't just easily minimize the consumption of, it has to be beef! I'm a beef-lover since I learned how glorious bulalo is. Then as I grew older, I have always loved my mama's beef caldereta. Its savory sauce made of rich tomato paste, pork liver and some chili was a perfect match to the beef's taste and texture. And one day, after a long and tiring trip along EDSA, my husband and I found ourselves parking in front of a beef pares joint near our house. Yes, instead of going home directly, we stopped by to eat pares—our ultimate post-carmageddon meal. But that's not the recipe I'm sharing here today. Sorry for the confusion, haha.

I got carried away with my beef stories that I went that far. It happened that my husband came home with a big bag of white onions from their farmer friends. The ones we got were actually market rejects. It was still perfectly edible but they came in odd sizes so it's not good to sell anymore. And since white onions rot fast, I needed to consume it before it does. Bistek Tagalog enters the picture. 

19 February 2019

Vegetable and Macaroni Soup with Crispy Bacon Bits

My toddler Samantha is such a joy to feed! She now eats table food and almost everything that I serve to her big sister, Sophia so that means kitchen time is back to easy for me. I no longer make separate food for the tiny one. No more boiling and mashing and storing. My baby foodie now eats freshly-cooked food. Thank God for daughters who love eating as much as I love cooking! It's not always a walk in the park, though. There are days when one of them, or sometimes both, feel like being judgy as if I'd feed them something gross. Well, I've made myself a general rule when it comes to my relationship with food and motherhood—while I enjoy seeing my kids finish their plant-based meals, I still acknowledge the fact that they are humans who deserve to enjoy 'delish dishes'. 

What I mean by delish dishes are food our generation has always loved when we were kids (uhm till now actually). Like spaghetti, burger, fried chicken, pizza, and what-have-yous. Back then, it's every child's dream to eat those on a regular basis. Jollibee was like the god of happiness in the 90s! But not me. As a kid, I was happier to have nilagang baka, pancit and chicken macaroni soup. In fact, I knew my mama, who's a widow, has extra money when she makes us creamy and hearty macaroni soup. She paired it with fried fish or breaded pork chops. It was one of the best memories of my childhood... watching my mother cook for us. Her version of macaroni soup has julienned carrots, shredded cabbage, chicken pieces and sliced hotdogs. I loved my mama's soup but now that I'm a grown-up and have learned the risks of eating hotdogs regularly, I have almost taken that out of our grocery list. Also, pink soups mean there's food color. But guys, this recipe still has processed meat. Why? Duh, bacon!

07 February 2019

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Just like how special bulalo is to me because it brings many memories of my father, this dish is also close to my heart. You see, my mama had a canteen near a college school in Quezon City when I was around Sophia's age. During those times, I learned about a lot of different dishes that we don't usually eat at home. And one of them is Sweet and Sour Meatballs! Yes, would you believe that she didn't serve it to us then that I needed to hang out in her canteen to know what it is? Haha, I'm sure she'd roll her eyes dramatically and might say I just can't remember it. Well, please remind me to ask my older sisters to clarify.

Anyway, so in the canteen, she served this dish with big, juicy meatballs and with thick red sauce unlike most cheap eateries where sauce was too orange and balls were small and full of flour. Too sad that she had to close the canteen. I saw how successful it was! I loved hanging out there and helping her with whatever. Many students liked it there, too because of the delicious and generous serving of food (and also, maybe because my eldest sister was an attractive teenager, lol).

25 January 2019

A Job Well Done by GoodWork.ph

The new year was welcomed well here at home. We began with sorting out our clothes; I taught our househelp to do the KonMari folding. She did it happily 'cause I told her she'd get the ones that no longer look cute to me. We also fixed the kitchen cabinets and miscellaneous shelves. One of my goals as a homemaker is to have a fresh, clean start, which I hope to maintain for the rest of the year. I'm glad I have her onboard with me through all these. I'm not a super mom and I'm so happy God blessed me with a hardworking and kind maid. She's a blessing to our family but I'm aware she cannot do everything. Well, she sweeps and mops the floor every day, she wipes whatever has dust, and she changes our curtains regularly. But still, we felt there was something wrong in our room. Oh, there was one thing she can't do—clean the air conditioner properly! 

Glad I knew about GoodWork.ph. I mean, think of Honestbee for service providers! Amazing, right?

So I gave it a shot and booked a weekend appointment to have our air conditioner cleaned, stat. I knew that the dusts accumulated the past months were partly to blame for the dreadful colds we had. 

23 January 2019


Feeding a growing toddler may be quite tricky given their food limitations and experience. But once you get into the groove in knowing what your kid likes most and what she can eat, serving her nutritious and delicious food can be your second nature. I have three simple tips to achieve that! First, it has to be soft or soupy. Nothing that can choke them or can make their milkteeth hard to chew. Next, it should be a complete meal—think of go, grow glow. Toddlers have unlimited energy and they need well-balanced meals to refuel. Lastly and most importantly, it has to be irresistibly yummy.

Misua con Patola or Almondigas easily tops the list of dishes that we can serve our toddler and the whole family. It's a legit hit especially when it's breezy cool like today. For those who don't know yet, Almondigas came from the Spanish word Albondigas, which means meatballs. So yes, this soup is meatballs-based but loved well if it has patola and misua. There are more savory versions from other countries but here in the Philippines, Almondigas is known to be light and comforting; perfect for sweater weather or when someone's down with a flu.