Cooking for Seven.

I have been assigned at the Shangri-La branch for work for a month now. For the first week, I had a helper who goes to the market and cooked for the staff. When he got replaced by a trainee, the cooking was left to me.  It was hard at first considering we had a very limited budget. Often times I would shell out money from my own pocket just to buy food that could last us until the end of the work day. That went on for 2 weeks. And since I buy from the mall’s grocery department, the cost is higher.

Last week, I requeated for additional budget for the staff meal and it was provided.

I also decided to plan the menu for the entire week ahead of time and go to a wet market instead so we can save, thus having more food to eat.

The menu I made were all untested recipes; meaning I have never cooked them before. You could say that it was a testing ground for me! 

Everyday was a struggle, but I am glad that the meals I cooked were successful.  My colleagues liked them, others are being requested for the following week.

These are some of the meals I cooked, which they really enjoyed eating:

Slow-Cooked Pork Asado






Calamansi Muffins Version 2.


So the boyfie asked me to bake Calamansi Muffins for his Canadian client who recently went to Boracay and have eaten the famous muffins there. I still had calamansi leftover from the first batch so I decided to use those. 

I used the same exact recipe, but the outcome I got was different — in a good way. Maybe it’s the heat from the oven, but this batch puffed like real muffins do! Haha It had a softer, cake-y texture compared to the first batch, which was  a little dense. Tasted better, too. The balance between tangy and sweetness was noticeable. And I just couldn’t get enough!

The oven temperature was the same, but since I was baking cheesecake in the lowermost shelf, I had to place the muffins on top of the cheesecake, whick exposed it to more heat. 5 minutes in and it puffed up and was golden on top. I turned the tins around and baked it for another 10 minutes via convection setting of my oven. And viola! Really good calamansi muffins! 

Calamansi Muffins.

Last December 2014, Don and I went to Boracay for a vacation. He was raving about the calamansi muffins that we should definitely try. Unfortunately, we didn’t know where to find it. Apparently, you have to go early in the morning because it runs out fast. We usually get up around noon! That was the biggest challenge. Haha

I was curious so I searched for recipes of the infamous muffins.  I happen to come across a food hack recipe and I wanted to try it out.  This was through

I haven’t tried using my oven so this was the test! 

NOTE: I prefer listing the ingredients in the order it’s going to be used, but the recipe is exactly the same. I may have used a different technique though.

Squeeze the juice out of the calamansi and measure 1/4 cup.  I used about 70g of calamansi for this.  It’ll be safer to buy more than not have enough when you’re ready to bake!

Combine this with 1/4 cup milk.  I used the same measuring cup where I squeezed the calamansi and measured until I hit the 1/2 cup mark. Stir to combine and set this aside. Note that the mixture could curdle. Mine didn’t, but if it does, that’s totally fine.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set this aside.

Beat butter that’s at room temperature and sugar until it’s light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time and mix well.  Scrape off the side and bottom of the mixer to ensure that everything is well incorporated.

Alternately add the dry and milk mixture starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Okay. Was that complicated? Hehe For those who are puzzled, this just means you add the dry ingredients in 3 batches and the milk mixture in 2 batches alternately. Even simpler: Dry – Liquid – Dry – Liquid – Dry. Do not over mix. Scrape off the sides before adding the milk mixture.

Fill the muffin tins up to two-thirds full and bake in a preheated oven for 15 – 18 minutes.

If you have a non non-stick bakeware, grease the pan with butter or shortening.

See, they’ve puffed up! I stopped baking at 15 minutes and left the muffin tins inside the oven with the door slightly open to cool it slowly.

This is best eaten while it’s still warm.  Maybe better with a hot cup of coffee!

Stupid is Forever.

I bought 2 books today, and I finished reading the first one in less than 2 hours.


Stupid is Forever is written by the phenominal Senator Meriam Defensor Santiago.

I’ve never been interested in politics. And honestly, I’ve never voted in my entire life! It’s all too complicated for me or maybe because I have little faith in the Philippine government system. Sad to say, but that’s the reality.

However, Senator Meriam Defensor Santiago is one of the the only one that stands out among all other politicians. I may not know a lot about politics, but I know this senator is straight as an arrow. She is intelligent, a good speaker, honest, funny and has conviction among other things.

After reading the book, I have known more things about her and many of the things she has done for the country. And I truly admire her for that.

The book in itself is humorous. I was on the third page of the book (the Foreword) and I was already laughing! It is a short book considering most of its content are quotations, smart quips and short jokes. The occasional comic is even funnier! I favorite was the Meriam on Meriam chapter. So candid and funny!

Some of the puns I didn’t understand mainly because I was curious as to whom she was referring to.

This book is an inspiration. I have greater respect for her than before. :)

And now… On to the second book!

A Work In Progress.

I officially moved into my condo last Saturday! Yey!

It was chaotic the first 2 days and I was dead tired from trying to organize my things without shelves!  The contractor has not started the installation so I am living in boxes.

After getting some rest, I sorted out my things based on where I will be placing or storing them.  It was the quickest way to get rid of some boxes.

Of course the kitchen came first, but that became cluttered in no time!

I initially took out my clothes from boxes, luggages and bags and stuffed them in these plastic bins because I was in a hurry to get rid of the boxes and place my clothes all together in one place.  I realized later on that I couldn’t find what I needed because they’re not really sorted properly.  So yesterday, when I got home from a meeting, I placed a big blanket on the floor and took out the bins to sort my clothes.  It took me about 3 hours to finish. Yes, I had that much clothing plus I was being obsessive-compulvise about it!  All my hard work paid off because now I can easily tell which bin to open for the kind of clothing I needed! Hahaha  In total, my clothes are in 3 bins and 2 small boxes.  I stored the clothes [e.g. jackets, chef’s uniforms, dresses, etc.] I’m not going to use soon in the boxes.

Today I decided to sort out my documents since I haven’t done this in quite some time.  My bills are all over the place and this is the most opportune time to update them and throw away the outdated ones.  Again, it took me about 4 hours to finally finish.  I know that is a long time, but I wanted to arrange it in such a way that I only have to take them out when the shelves are installed.  No more fussing by then.  I stored these bills and documents in another bin because I didn’t want them to get all mixed up when the contractors start working.  I also stored my expensive cookbooks inside this bin. I will feel guilty (and mad) if something happens to them! Lol

Don also came to my house after work, he promised we’d go grocery shopping later in the day.  So while I was sorting my documents, he was sound asleep!  We went to the supermarket late afternoon and got what I needed.  I am excited to be cooking a meal tomorrow!  Not in my stove, but in an induction stove for the mean time.  My gas range hasn’t been installed and connected to a gas line and I’m afraid to do it on my own.  I really need to call the company to set things up.

I expect the next coming days to be the same, but I am happy that my house is starting to look and feel like a home. :)

Unboxing of January-February BDJ Box.


So I’ve been wondering where the BDJ Box is.

A few days ago, I looked at the BDJ Box Facebook Page and I learned that they’re making it a January/February Box that’s why it hasn’t come in yet.

I visited the page again today and read that they’re shipping it today. I went out to buy stuff for the new condo earlier today and asked the receptionist if anything was delivered for me. I looked over their desk and instantly recognized the package. Obviously I asked if that’s for me! Hahaha I was that excited!

I opened the box to check it out and then continued on with where I was going. I just had to see what’s inside!

Then as soon as I got back home, I opened the box again to see the contents [in detail].

If you’ve read previous unboxing beauty loot posts, I have mentioned that I have extremely sensitive skin and I couldn’t just use or change beauty products especially those I use on my face. So once I get something that works, I stick to it. Having face allergies are the worst and it takes such a long time to heal. But once again, here’s a box filled with facial beauty products!


Japanese products are wonderful in its own way. But with so many imitations and fake products, I tend to stay away from them all together. I am not saying that they are no good, just that I stick to what I know – products that are tried and tested.

 Let us start.


BIFESTA CLEANSING LOTION AGE CARE, 300ml. This is a water-based make up remover that is gentle on the skin. It is formulated with Coenzyme Q10 for cell renewal and deep nourishment. This will also keep your skin moisturized and prevent it from drying.

I have been using Neutrogena Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes for a while now, but I will definitely try this make up remover. The towelettes are convenient since I just have to pull one sheet and that’s that. There’s more than enough liquid infused in the towelettes to remove everything I put on my face, including waterproof mascara! It also very handy when I’m travelling.

I am a bit skeptic in the water-based part with this product, but I will give it a try. An open mind is always a good thing, right? I will post a separate review on this product in the next coming days. Who knows? This might be ideal for use alternatively with the towelettes.


PIXY EYE SHADOW, 2.8g. It’s Micro-pearl formula creates a soft texture that makes it easy to apply and blends on the lids.

I got the Sparkling Gold 09. What I learned recently is that these boxes send out different shades, sometimes different products. I have been re-thinking these eye shadows because I have been getting a few in the mail and gifts also. First off, I don’t really know how to apply or blend properly. But I told myself I am going to get out of my comfort zone and try it out. And this shade is the perfect color. I don’t want to use colorful shades as of yet.


PIXY BLUSH ON, 3.5g. This pretty blush will help you pull off that natural, cute flush on the cheeks. It also comes with a handy brush and built-in mirror for easy touch ups.

I got the Passion Roses 04 shade. I think this is a bit darker shade than what I’m used to.  I still have a few that I haven’t used up, but BDJ kept sending one every month! Hahaha


PIXY TWO WAY CAKE FIT, 12.2g. This blends perfectly for a smooth and long lasting base. Use it wet for more coverage or dry for a natural look. It contains two-way whitening squalene oil to prevent dry skin and SPF15 to protect skin from sun damage.

I’ve never tried using cake foundation except when I have my make-up done at the salon. I like the shade though. They gave me the Ivory shade. I think this is the same shade that I buy if not similar. Not too light and not too dark.


PIXY COVERLAST, 10g. This long lasting foundation has Microsphere Powder that covers blemishes. It also controls oil and shine.

What is Microsphere Powder? I assume it’s really tiny powder granules, thus being called micro. Well, as long as it has good coverage and looks natural, then that’s fine by me! Shows how little I know about these things. Hahaha


SUNKILLER PERFECT STRONG PLUS, 30ml. This sunblock features super UV-blocking abilities. It is waterproof and sweatproof. It’s also non-oily and turns transparent upon application.

First of all, who thought of the name, Sunkiller????  It’s pretty direct though.  I have a confession to make. I don’t use sunblock! I know, I know. It just feels so icky all the time. I use make up with SPFs though. Good enough? Hahaha


LUCIDO-L STYLING MILK AIRY, 70ml. This is a leave on treatment for hair conditioning and styling during day time. It coats the strands of the hair for outstanding volume leaving dead-straight tresses. It also has a fruity floral fragrance.

This is the perfect product for my hair right now. Since I had my hair colored, it has become dry because they had to bleach it before applying the actual color, which only stayed for 2 weeks. So now my hair color is much much lighter than I wanted it to be and the ends are really very dry! Bummer.

I still use the Dove Hairfall Rescue serum, which makes my hair soft and shiny. And use Argan Oil for the ends. I might eventually need a hair spa, but I have a lot of expenses while having the condo renovated so this will have to wait.

 One thing I don’t like about leave on products is that it makes my hair oily. It is lotion for the hair after all! But since it is promising “outstanding volume” I will give this a test.

 LUCIDO-L TREATMENT OIL PERM, 50 ml. A perfect fit for permed and colored hair, this overnight treatment will repair and maintain soft and bouncy curls. Can also serve as heat protection serum when styling the hair.

While I don’t have curly hair, I sometimes curl my hair for special occasions or when I feel like having curly hair, but I don’t use serums. So this could be very useful.

And of course, you saw these as backdrop on all the photos:

  • 5 stickers that says, “Rock it and Own it!”  I will definitely will!  I’ve never featured the stickers in my unboxing posts, but I especially love this one! Will be adding it to my photo wall.  I had to take it down because of the move, but I will show you guys once I have put it up on the new condo. :)
  • Kawaii Booklet.  This features some of the products in the box and other Bifesta and Pixy make up products, helpful tutorials and coupons.


All these products and more can be bought at Watsons!

Moving On Out.

Sorry if I haven’t written anything in weeks.  Aside from being busy from moving my stuff to the new condo, I got sick for over a week.  I was on bedrest the entire time — got fever and a terrible, terrible headache, so I was asleep most of the time.


Anyhoooo.  Today, I went to the condo to fix some stuff up and receive the delivery of my appliances.   I bought a refrigerator, a gas range and hood and an AC for my bedroom.  I have a very limited budget.  I still need to buy a washer and dryer plus pay for minor [but pricey] renovations.

I don’t know why, but I got a jolt of excitement when the delivery guys left.   I will be living alone, in my own condo, really really soon!  I was the only one there with no help, but that adrenaline I had gave me the “strength” I needed to push the appliances to their places! Hahaha  Honestly, I think I didn’t have enough adrenaline, because for the life of me, I couldn’t [more like didn’t attempt] to remove the styrofoam under the refrigerator.  It was heavy!

Next is the range.  Wow!  This is such a fragile equipment!  I am afraid even to open the oven door!  After much fuss, I finally got off the carton under and placed it safely in its sweet little corner!  The next problem is the gas… lol

I promise to take better pictures when I go back. :)  And update you guys more.