The Way We Ate- P. F. Chang's

By She Said

It's the perfect time to eat out! So many restaurants are offering great deals and you get to enjoy their dishes at more affordable prices. 

P. F. Chang's has over 200 international branches and has been around since 1993. They opened their first branch in Asia in January 2012, at Alabang Town Center.

We've always shied away from the place. With its grand looking ambience, mixed with replica statues of Chinese warriors, horses and murals depicting scenes of 12th century China, we assumed that the food would be expensive. So, when we came across this poster recently, I made a mental note to include it on our must try list.

After Sunday mass, our agenda is usually either one of two things- lunch with family in Quezon City or lunch or dinner out with my daughter and sister in the Makati or Alabang area.

With the unpredictable weather we've been having so far, we decided to stay closer to home after mass last Sunday for fear of getting stuck in traffic or flash floods.

P. F. Chang's Feast for Four Promo is  available Mondays to Sundays for both lunch and dinner until August 31. You get to choose two entrees, plus you get soup, rice and drinks so we thought this was a good deal. It being our first time, we asked our server to recommend their bestsellers. Here's what we had.

 Crispy Honey Chicken- lightly battered and served in a sweet sauce over a bed of crispy rice sticks.

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce- shrimps in white wine & black bean sauce, mushrooms, scallions and eggs. Where's the shrimp? : P

This package comes with Egg Drop Soup, rice and drinks.

We had high expectations. Service was good, but the food was nothing out of the ordinary. We've had better Chinese fare elsewhere. Maybe, if we do get the chance to visit again, we'll try something out from their regular menu.

Nevertheless, family time is always fun time : D

P. F.  Chang's China Bistro
Ground Level, The Street
Alabang Town Center
Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila                                                                                 Facebook page

All-Pinoy Mini Mart

By She Said

A couple of months ago, a friend of mine invited me to her exhibit at the SMX Convention Center in SM Aura. I grabbed at the chance to check out her food exhibit as well as check out the newly opened mall.

Tet Magno Bugayong and her sister Meck Magno started All-Pinoy Mini Mart in October 2012. Offering a wide array of all natural, homegrown products from local producers all over the country, you can find popular Filipino food products all under one roof. Giving priority to less commercial merchandise thereby giving them a chance to be known in Metro Manila as well as overseas, All-Pinoy Mini Mart offers unique finds as well as pocket friendly prices.

 Sukang Hinalang- spiced coconut vinegar mixed with salted fish sauce, ginger, garlic and chili peppers is the best condiment for grilled or fried meats and fish.

 Tongo's Foods bottled fish products. 
Their famous Secret Sauce is made from flaked tuyo (salted dried herring) in chili garlic oil is perfect to mix with pasta or as a dip for fried fish and dimsum.

 Different kinds of Banana Chips from Laguna, Mindoro and Ilocos. 

My favorite and my daughter's are the Sabanana Chips from Villa Socorro Farm Agri-Eco Village and Farm Resort in Pagsanjan, Laguna. These banana chips are harvested, processed and packed in air tight containers within 24 hours, ensuring the freshest tasting banana chips you've ever tasted. So good! I'm so enamored by these banana chips that I'm considering going on a plant tour they are offering just to see with my own eyes how these crunchy, sweet, delicious snacks are made.

 Ellen's Homemade Polvoron.

Christmas is fast approaching. You might want to consider some of All-Pinoy Mini Mart's products for your gifts and giveaways. Their store is located in Tandang Sora Avenue in Quezon City and for more convenient shopping, selected items are available via Shopinas. You can also check out their Facebook page for a complete list of products they carry. Happy Shopping!

All-Pinoy Mini Mart
360 Ermer Bldg., Tandang Sora Avenue
Quezon City
0952-834.9046, 0928-505.3171
Facebook page

The Way We Ate- Everyday Mom's Cupcakes

By She Said

I've been wanting to try Everyday Mom's Cafe Mocha Cupcakes ever since I read about it over at jin loves to eat. What was stopping me was the bakeshop's location which is quite a distance from where I live. Then, a friend of mine told me that she bought a box of cupcakes from there and how she polished off a dozen cupcakes all by herself. That was enough reason to make me want to try those cupcakes in a hurry! Luckily, I was in the vicinity of the bakeshop yesterday so, I grabbed at the chance to get me a box.

 Moist chocolate cake with a splash of coffee and topped with mocha whipped cream.

Everyday Mom was borne out of a mother's commitment to serve healthy and yummy goodies to her family, most especially to her kids.

We only got to try the Cafe Mocha cupcakes. They were soft, moist and very addicting. Definitely, one cupcake is not enough! My daughter and I are sure to be regular customers here so I hope they open more branches soon : )

Everyday Mom
Scout Tuason corner A. Roces Avenue, 
Quezon City
Tel. 710-1254 

Time To Help Out

by She Said

I have been looking forward to the August 21 holiday since last week, hoping I could spend this day relaxing and eating out with my daughter. 

But this week has been a series of household concerns for me. We live in an old house that's in need of some repairs, and since I've been putting it off, I'm suffering the consequences now. The rainy season brought in the start of an ant infestation inside the house. Thinking it was not a major problem, and since we always keep food in airtight containers, I didn't really put much thought into it until the ants ate into our electrical wiring. So, now we are in need of professional pest control to address this problem as well as other pests in and around the house. The nonstop rains since Sunday also caused some leaks inside the house, which has never happened before. 

I got so worked up and stressed over these things and busied myself addressing my own household problems that I didn't even bother to watch the news about the typhoon. When I found out the extent of the damage brought about by Typhoon Maring, I felt so guilty. Here I was, worrying about such small, trivial things while thousands of others are in evacuation centers, with so many homes submerged in flood waters, while here I am warm, safe and dry.

De La Salle Santiago Zobel School is accepting donations for affected communities in Muntinlupa, Las Pinas, Laguna and Cavite. Donations will be used to provide hot meals, relief goods, and financial assistance. Let's all do what we can and take the time to help out.

A Night of Songs, Laughter & Thanksgiving

By She Said

A big THANK YOU to all who supported the Association of St. John Ma. Vianney's fundraising event this Saturday! There were heavy rains and traffic, but the Sylvia Lina Theater in Alabang, Muntinlupa was filled all the way to the balcony area before the show started at 7:00pm with some guests coming in from as far as Quezon City to lend a helping hand for such a good cause. So grateful and blessed.

The ASJMV Foundation is made up of a group of dedicated ladies very close to my heart. My late mom was a part of this organization and my daughter and I were more than happy to help raise funds to support seminarian scholars.

My daughter, Bianca, third from left, was one of the special guests in 
Songs & Laughter with Mitch Valdes.

Mitch Valdes brought the house down with her music, humor and wit. She is such an amazing talent! She is having another show on August 30 & 31 at Teatrino in Greenhills, this time to benefit the Philippine Children's Hospital, Cancer Wing. I enjoyed the show so much, I want to watch again!  Don't miss this!

Songs & Laughter with Mitch Valdes

The Association of St. John Ma. Vianney (ASJMV) was established in the Parish of  St. James the Great in 1993. With an admirable task to foster vocations to the priesthood, its members have been consistent in their endeavors to give financial assistance to deserving seminarians and candidates for the religious life through the help and donation of generous benefactors.

With more than 30 ordained priests and as well as having supported several ordained priests to complete Licentiate, Masters, and Doctorate programs, ASJMV is currently supporting 32 scholars from different dioceses from as far south as Zamboanga del Norte and in as far north as Sorsogon.

Untiring and generous in their support of the priestly ministry through prayers and personal sanctification, the members of ASJMV are dedicated to assist priests in living out their priesthood to the fullest.

To celebrate their 20th year, they have put together a fund raising concert and we would like to invite you to support their cause. Proceeds of the concert will benefit seminarian scholars, priests and parishes in impoverished areas, as well as parishes affected by disasters and calamities.

The Association of St. John Ma. Vianney 
Foundation, Inc.
Celebrating 20 years in the Parish of 
St. James the Great, Alabang


with Special Guests
7:00pm, Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sylvia P. Lina Theater
De La Salle Santiago Zobel School
Ayala Alabang Village

Tickets are at P2000, P1500, P1000 & P500
For inquiries and ticket sales, you may contact 0917.8500521

The concert's storyline promises to be hilarious, with Mitch Valdes doing her famous impersonations of well known female divas! My daughter, Bianca, will be a special guest at this concert and we're looking forward to seeing you all there : )

Kitchen Stories- Vanilla Cupcakes

Mom and I decided to kick off the long weekend by baking some cupcakes. We are so inspired to bake after the A+++ cookies we made last Saturday. Baking brings happiness to this household and fills our kitchen with the most amazing smells. Even my Tita Donna joined in the fun by helping us make the frosting and mix the batter!

Had to fight the urge to lick the spatula. Can you see the little specks of vanilla bean? Mmmm.

The cutest pink spatula and the lined muffin tray we used to make our cupcakes : )

We just used a serving spoon to put in the batter, but next time we want to try using an ice cream scoop so the size of the cupcakes will be even!

Golden yellow cupcakes, fresh out of the oven.

We used Stonewall Kitchen's Vanilla Cupcake Mix. Since we're still using a small toaster oven for our baking, my mom thinks using baking mixes are safer and fool proof because of oven temperature.

Added some pretty Vanilla Bean Buttercream frosting to a few cupcakes and they were ready to eat. Can't wait to share these with my friends!

I honestly think that baking is good for the soul! I really want to bake again next weekend. Hopefully, we can try making something from scratch next time. What are you all doing for this lovely, lazy, long weekend? : )

Stonewall Kitchen 
Vanilla Cupcake Mix
(includes frosting mix)
available at Rustan's Supermarket 

Kitchen Stories- Vigan Longganisa Breakfast

By She Said

We woke up to the pungent aromas of garlic rice and spicy, tangy, longganisa (native pork sausages) on Sunday morning. All thanks to my sister who spoils us to no end with her cooking.

To be honest, I'd rather be sleeping than find myself in the kitchen preparing breakfast. I prefer to eat something simple to prepare like cereal, yogurt or fruits on most mornings, so this was a real treat!

 Vigan Longganisa

 Sliced tomatoes

Our Sunday breakfast!

My daughter and I didn't help in any way to prepare this breakfast but since this is a kitchen story, let me just say that we both washed the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen after. Haha!

For dessert, we had some double fudge chocolates from Bianca's Ninang Les and fresh cherries from Ninang Donna. Thank you!!! We're really spoiled rotten : )

It's only Monday today, and I already miss the weekend. Let's all have a great week, everyone!

Kitchen Stories- Chocolate Chip Cookies

by she said

We have been without house help since the start of summer until today, and doing housework makes my mom a hothead. She's always on my case about keeping my room clean and a whole bunch of other stuff. This whole week, she's been snapping at me for even the littlest things. 

Mom, please relax. Stress is bad for your health. It's okay for the house to be little bit messy, which goes the same for my room : )

It's finally the weekend! I had such a tiring week filled with projects and long tests and I've been so sleep deprived. School, why???

Then last night, in an angry tone, my mom says: "Set your alarm for 8am, we're baking cookies tomorrow!"

She is so strange.

 My mom loves hanging out at grocery stores. She found some Ghirardelli Cookie Mix during our recent trip to SM Aura and I couldn't be happier when she put it in the cart. I literally thought it was the apocalypse because she never buys these kinds of things!!! We could make cookies from scratch but this mix makes everything so much easier.

 All you have to do is add a stick of butter and one egg to the mix and you're good to go. We just used a wire whisk and a spatula to combine everything together. My mom is very happy, less utensils and dishes to wash.

 Form the dough into 1 teaspoon sized balls and place 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. You can actually make bigger cookies but since we were using a small toaster oven, we had to make smaller ones.

 We were able to make 30 or so cookies. I kinda lost count because I kept eating them fresh out of the oven.

 Perfectly crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. So, so good with a glass of cold milk.

 I think I will name these cookies my Mom's Reconciliation Cookies ʕ•̫͡•ʔ♡ʕ•̫͡•ʔ

Hi, mama! Since you're not mad at me anymore, can we go shopping tomorrow? Peace.