Weekend Treats

by she said

After a super stressful and hectic week of school, mom decided to buy me some treats to munch on over the weekend! Spending this Saturday being lazy instead of doing my homework because we'll be out on Sunday...oops : D It's 5 pm and the only productive thing I've done is eat. Hehehe.

 Look what came in the mail today - these Sweetleaf Soft Batch Cookies!

 Mom saw a photo on Daphne's Facebook page (stalker) about sweet potato chips, so she bought these. They're really yummy, but I liked it better when I added salt!

In the freezer: the only flavor of Ben & Jerry's we all manage to agree on. Why is the tub so small?!

Thanks mommy dearest! I promise I'll do my homework toda- tomorrow : ) : )

21/23 The Fireplace at Hyatt Regency Hotel

By She Said

Finally! We're at number 21 on our summer list, with just two more to go. Pardon us for the delay. My daughter got sick a few weeks before school started and all our plans had to be pushed back. She's back in school now, and her schedule is getting busier as the days go by with homework and all her extra curricular activities. I'm so happy we got to spend some time together for a special Saturdate at The Fireplace at Hyatt Regency Hotel this weekend.

I was lucky to snag a Deal Grocer coupon last month for a 30% discount on The Fireplace's Surf & Turf Dinner and so I guess the timing was perfect.

It was both our first time at The Fireplace and this restaurant is just beautiful. Warm, cozy interiors, perfect for a relaxing dinner. We've both had a busy week so this was exactly what we needed.

 Complimentary Walnut bread with some Beurre D' Isigny French butter.

Surf & Turf Dinner- US Angus Beef with mushroom gravy & Norwegian Salmon Steak served with lemon butter sauce and some oven roasted vegetables.

 Potato Gratin

What makes this Surf & Turf meal special is their Beech Wood Fire Oven that gives that woody taste and aroma to your meat and fish.

I loved this Guava Iced Tea!

My little lady... please don't grow up too fast.

Chocolate Soup with Vanilla Ice Cream- so rich and decadent. We're definitely going back for more of this!

Behind every good meal is always an excellent team providing warm, friendly and knowledgeable service.

Thank you so much to Chef Nelson, Chef Jessienor, Chef Irish, Kendrick, Pocholo & Lorielyn for making us feel at home and taking good care of us!

And it doesn't end there. As soon as we got our bill, we both received complimentary Club at the Hyatt membership cards that entitles us to dining benefits at the hotel's restaurants and Pastry Boutique. Thank you, Ms. Jacqueline Sy! We were tickled pink : ) See you again soon!

Related Posts: 20/23 Cafe Ysabel
                     One Summer, Twenty Three Restaurants

The Fireplace
Hyatt Regency Hotel & Casino Manila
1588 Pedro Gil cor M.H. Del Pilar
Malate, Manila

*Please note that beverages and desserts are not included in the Deal Grocer coupon and they are for a separate charge.

Dear Mom

By She Said

Dear Mom,

I found these old photos of you from one of your trips to Japan in the 1980's. This is how I want to remember you. Beautiful, happy and content. 

You were so frail and thin when you passed away six years ago, today. But despite all the pain and suffering you went through, you were as always, in peace. You laid out to me all your wishes for a solemn wake and funeral when you knew that the end was near, with the kind of strength and grace that belongs only to you.

Bianca and I miss you so much. It has never been the same without you. I miss our long conversations, your laughter, and your calm presence the most.

You'll be happy to know that I've had a couple of parties at home using all your beautiful linens and dinnerware and everyone said I inherited your love for all things pretty and your attention to detail. You taught me well.

Thank you for still continuing to shower us with gifts and kindness as you did when you were with us. Our family and friends have never stopped taking care of us since you left, and I know it was you who sent them.

We know you are in a place where there is no more pain or suffering. So rest well, mom. I know you're watching over us from up there and smiling.


SM Aura Weekend

by she said

Mom and I always like to go window shopping - but that doesn't mean I'm not tempted to buy something every time we go out! I've been resisting since she said to save and wait until I get my birthday money from family. Since my birthday has finally come and gone, I can now buy some of the stuff I want : D

My mom was invited by a friend to check out an exhibit at the SMX Convention Center at the newly opened SM Aura Premier this weekend and it was the perfect excuse for me to tag along so I could check out all the shops there.

I think I spent the most time in Forever 21 trying out an armload of clothes, but I ended up not buying anything. I think it's harder to part with your own money than when mom's paying for it! Haha : ) 

The sales staff assisting us was so patient and nice even if I didn't buy any of the clothes I tried, we just had to give her a thank you gift!

But I did buy a matching pair of socks for mom and I! We love cute socks.
These stores are my mom's happy places. What she does in there and the time she spends in there I'll never understand.

mom: *hyperventilates*

me: mom, relax. it's just SM Homeworld.


We found this yummy looking cookie mix and can't wait to try it. Yay!

We had a super quick lunch at Food on Four, SM Aura's food court, because we couldn't wait to go back and explore the rest of the mall.

Yakitori One specializes in skewered, grilled meats, mostly chicken,  glazed with their signature Tare (sweet & salty) sauce.

An assortment of Japanese Barbeque- chicken skin, quail egg pork wrap, chicken thigh with onion leeks. They're all good!

Yakitori Rice- Japanese rice topped with teriyaki sauce, seaweed & pickled radish.

We ended the day with some Bono Artisanal Gelato : )

This is my mom's idea of a wacky shot...embarrassing much. : P

We can't wait to go back to SM Aura when more stores are open! What a super fun weekend : )

SM Aura Premier
C5 Road corner M. H. Del Pilar Drive
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Metro Manila

The Way We Ate- Cafe Juanita

By She Said

Ask any Filipino based abroad what dish they miss most from home and you'll always get Crispy Pata and Kare Kare as surefire answers. These dishes are the ultimate comfort food for us Pinoys and this was exactly what our balikbayan relatives requested for when we took them out to dinner a couple of months back. Cafe Juanita serves popular Filipino and Asian dishes. They opened a branch in our neck of the woods and we couldn't be happier to indulge their cravings.

 Crispy Pata- deep fried pork trotters seasoned with garlic, ginger & onion served with a soy-vinegar dip.

 Kare-Kare, a Cafe Juanita specialty- Ox tail and tripe stewed in peanuts and toasted rice with tropical vegetables.

 Crispy Tilapia- crispy fried fish served with sweet tamarind sauce.

  Catfish Mango Salad- Thai style crispy catfish on green mango salad.

Vietnamese Lumpia- a medley of fresh vegetables, chicken, shrimp & vermicelli wrapped in rice paper.

Vietnamese Spring rolls- crispy rolls filled with pork, shrimp & vegetables served with greens and fish sauce.

Halo-Halo is a famous Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice, milk, sweet beans & preserved fruits.

Mini Turon- banana fritters served with ice cream.

My daughter and I had a great time at dinner with our relatives vacationing from Canada. Although they were here only for a short visit, they found time to help us complete our summer food adventure. We can't wait for their next visit : )

Cafe Juanita
Molito Lifestyle Mall
Alabang, Muntinlupa City

*click here for info about other branches

Kitchen Stories- Whipped Cheese with Mangoes

By She Said

I've found the best dried mangoes ever! Thanks to Wifely Steps for introducing me to these great tasting and perfectly shaped dried mangoes from Cebu.

 Guadalupe Dried Mango Strips

My daughter and I made some of these over the weekend. So good! We just chopped up some dried mangoes, mixed it with some whipped cheese then drizzled with a little honey for some extra sweetness and spread on crackers. So easy and simple. Also perfect to serve when you have guests.

Hope you all had a great weekend! Ours went by too fast. It's just Monday today, but I'm already dreaming of the weekend : )

Guadalupe Dried Mango Strips
available at Metro Supermarket

Kitchen Stories- Driscoll's Strawberries

By She Said

Strawberries are by far, one of our most favorite fruits. Over the summer, photos of  bright red, juicy and sweet, Japanese strawberries were all over Instagram. To get a taste of these, I would have to go to Japan since I haven't seen any of this type of berries in our local supermarket.

 I found this photo of white strawberries online. Described as amazingly sweet and rich, these special Japanese variety are mainly used as presents for birthdays and weddings. The insides of the strawberries are white, while the seeds are red.

Driscoll's brand of premium fresh berries from California are locally available in select supermarkets in Metro Manila. They come with a hefty price tag, about Php 450 for one pound of strawberries.

I was lucky to find them at Metro Supermarket, Alabang on sale for only Php 249 and we've been indulging ourselves with our favorite fruit for two weeks now! I hope the sale goes on for a very long time : )

 I just slice them up into pieces and keep in the refrigerator. My daughter always comes home hungry from school and her first destination as soon as she gets home is the kitchen, to get a snack.

Ice cream topped with strawberries.

Mixed with muesli.

 We discovered Sans Rival Chips last weekend at the Baker's Dozen in Power Plant Mall.

They're perfect to munch on with these strawberries,

or just simply drizzle with condensed milk.

Loaded with vitamin C, fiber, folate, potassium and antioxidants, these berries are super good for you. I just hope that organic strawberries will be made available in our local markets. I wash fruits and veggies with either baking soda or vinegar but organically grown and free of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides will still be the best.

Sugarbee Sans Rival Chips