Prepara Trio Tri-Blade Peeler.

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I saw this kitchen gadget at Gourdo’s earlier. And i just had to have this!

My friend, who I work with, bought a mandolin which we use to slice or julienne fruits and vegetables with. If you’ve seen or used a mandolin, you’d know your fingers are doomed! Both my friend and I have been “victimized” by that mandolin, her scars are worse than mine though! But it makes the job easier so we still use it with utmost care. Yeah, after being knicked three times, I learned my lesson! The hand guard didn’t really “guard” our fingers! :P

This tri-blade peeler could julienne, but may require a little more effort. However, my fingers would be totally, totally safe! That’s basically the selling point! Hehe. I have my own mini-mandolin, which I can use to slice veggies with. So that’s not a problem.

I’ll post pictures soon and update on this gadget’s performance.

Unboxing of October BDJ Box.

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Today, I received this month’s BDJ Box.  I just got home from work when I saw it on my table.  I hurriedly changed my clothes and opened the boxes.  Yes, boxes.  I was THAT excited!  So here are the contents of the boxes:

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DIAL CLEANSING PAIR: Dial Coconut Water Body Wash & Dial Coconut Water Soap

These products contain coconut water and will hydrate the skin when used.  I have never tried coconut body washes before so I am looking forward to using these products!  And did I mention they totally smell great?!

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MY CHOICE SMOOTH SKIN PACK: My Choice Spa Salt & My Choice Hand and Body Lotion

I love Papaya products.  I use Papaya soap alternately with my regular Dove soap.  This one is of different form: bath salt.  I haven’t used bath salts before, but I might become a convert after trying this product out!  My skin is really sensitive and easily reacts to products with strong scents and chemicals, so the lotion I might re-think to use.
UPDATE: The bath salt is really nice! My skin feels so soft and smooth after use! I’ve used this only twice, but the results are amazing!

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DOVE HAIRFALL RESCUE

I have been having hair fall problems lately.  Could be because of stress or again, the kind of hair products I use.  This might be a simple solution to that problem.  This pack contains 7 vials and is good for 2 weeks, with every other day use.
UPDATE: I’ve used up 3 vials so far, and yes, there’s less hair fall.

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L’OREAL PARIS YOUTH DUO: L’Oreal Revitalift Laser x3 Serum & L’Oreal Revitalift Laser x3 Anti-Aging Day Cream

Anti-Aging stuff bothers me a little.  I mean, people get old.  That’s a natural part of life!  But I also get that people can and/or should age gracefully!  These tubes only contain 5ml of serum and cream.  Will I see results before the tubes are finished? =P

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REVLON COLORSTAY 16-HOUR EYE SHADOW QUAD

I’m not a big eye shadow user, so I might only get to try this when there’s an occasion or on my date with Don tomorrow! Haha

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YVES ROCHER ZERO BLEMISH GEL CREAM

This product contains Baikal Powder which rebalances skin and minimize pores.  Dab the gel on your T-Zone for all day protection against blemish and shine.  I wonder if this will work while working in the kitchen for 8 hours?!

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STRIP RPT KIT: Strip Ice Cream, Malin+Goetz Peppermint Body Scrub & Malin+Goetz Ingrown Hair Cream

This couldn’t have come at a better time!  I just got waxed yesterday!  If these products work as publicised, I will immediately buy more of these!  The Ice Cream is NOT edible!  It is used to calm inflamed skin: for post-waxing treatment.  The Body Scrub and Hair Cream will prevent and eliminate ingrown hairs.

* Will update this post for reviews!

A Day in the Life of a Chef.

It has been 35 days since I started working at a hotel in Ortigas as an intern.  I was initially assigned at the Omelet Station during the breakfast buffet and at the Live Station during the lunch buffet.  I could now say I am an Eggspert! Haha  I’ll be making a separate post about that experience.  It has been in  my drafts for a week now.  I’m really just THAT busy and tired when I get home from work.

Anyhooo, I could say that I take much pride in the way I work.  I am a “fast worker” in basically everything I do.  I easily get bored when I’m idle so I find other things to do when there’s free time during the buffets, like cleaning my station, or even asking for extra tasks.

This week, I was assigned at the Cold Station (inside the kitchen).  Having to see and prepare for the lunch buffet for over a month, I have memorized all the things to set up: veggies, dressings, condiments, etc.  It’s not rocket science!

I have always wondered why the other interns before me who were assigned in the Cold Station couldn’t deliver or finish on time when it’s the same things being done everyday.  On my first day, I was able to finish preparing everything including the food needed for the Live Station at least an hour and a half before the breakfast buffet was over.  And that’s just an estimate!

Today was a different story.  There are 2 regular Chefs at the Cold Station plus 2 trainees including me.  One Chef makes the complex salads for the lunch buffet and the other prepares the food to be cooked at the Live Station.  My classmate and I prepared the ingredients for the make-your-own salad station.

When we arrived, I automatically got all the vegetables we needed from the walk-in chiller.  My classmate and I also worked together at the Omelet Station so we know we work well together – and really fast!  I peeled all the vegetables while she used her mandolin to julienne them.  The mandolin basically cuts almost everything for us! Takes half the time!  I prepared all the other vegetables which cannot be cut using the mandolin, the dressings, the condiments and the leafy greens.  We were done in less than an hour.  We were asking for more stuff to do in no time.

I also had to slice the fruits for the buffet, which is one of the tasks at the Omelet Station and refilled the toppings for the omelet.  And I am doing these simultaneously.

Towards the end of our shift, we were already preparing the ingredients for tomorrow’s functions.  The only break I had was a 20-minute lunch break and 2-minute water breaks when I feel really parched!

This other Chef – the one in charge for the prep  of Live Station, for some weird reason, couldn’t and have never finished prepping on time.  Even when I was still assigned at the Omelet Station, we were already taking out the food for the lunch buffet and she’s still working.  Sometimes, we had to remind her that she still lacks this and that.

For someone who has done this a little longer and on a recurring basis, she still forgets what ingredients goes with which food.  To think that she already has the menu in front of her!

I cannot stress out how disorganised she is when she works.  She leaves a certain thing unfinished and starts a new task.  That’s based on my observation.  Maybe that’s also one of the reasons why she forgets.  The taste of the food she cooks is another story. Lol

When we left the kitchen earlier, she was still working on the crepes she needed for tomorrow.  Someone had already dictated the recipe to her and she still couldn’t get the crepe to form properly.  Someone had to make adjustments to the batter for it to somehow work!  Gosh.  I honestly don’t know how she made it as a chef!

Just needed to rant. :)

Banana and Honey Doggie Nibbles.

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I was looking online for new flavor ideas for doggie treats.  No matter how much our dogs like the Pumpkin and Peanut Butter flavored ones, I want to give them different options, too!

I came across this recipe from All Recipes.com.  We had some bananas leftover and they were really overripe. So this was perfect timing.  I was busy the past couple of days so I froze the bananas for the meantime.

Today, I was feeling all hyped up and eager to try out the recipe.  So I took the bananas out from the freezer and started preparing.

First, mash the bananas!  The original recipe called for 2 bananas.  My initial thought was, “What size? Or kind? Or to make it simple, what’s the total weight of the two bananas did the author use?!” No fuss though.  In this recipe, I used 195 grams of bananas.  You can use more or less and just adjust later on.

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Then I added 2 tablespoons of honey.  I was initially against adding honey to my recipes for dog treats, but upon research, I read that it is safe for dogs in moderate consumption plus it’s a natural preservative.

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I only added 4 tablespoons of water.  The original recipe called for 1 cup of water and based on the reviews/feedback, a lot of people who had tried the recipe complained about the dough being very wet and sticky.  So I was careful in adding water.  The bananas were already “liquidy”.  I think even if I put two to three tablespoons of water everything would go fine.  After the water, I mixed in one egg.  Before I forget, I didn’t include the vanilla flavoring in this recipe.

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I added the flour a cup at a time.  I thought that the 4 1/2 cups that the original recipe indicated was too much.  And by adding less water, I only used 3 cups in total.  This is so the dough won’t feel as sticky.  I also added the baking powder together with the last cup of flour.

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Then I had to knead the dough for about 5 – 10 minutes to make a firm dough.  You may need to add more flour at this point. I think I added about 1/4 cup more flour while kneading to keep the dough from sticking to my hands and on my working table.  Totally manageable. After kneading, wrap in plastic film and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

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I like to work in small batches. Mainly to not put a strain on my wrists and arms.  I divided the dough in six.  With a slightly floured surface, I started to roll the dough to flatten it.  Just like the other dog biscuit I made, this dough tends to shrink as you roll them.  Just be patient!  When you’re satisfied with the thickness, cut them using your desired cookie cutter shape and position them in a cookie sheet.  Mine was a little thicker, about 1/8 of an inch thick.  Again, the thicker it is, the longer the baking time.

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I only pre-heated the oven by my third tray of biscuits.  Baked them at 300F for 20-25 minutes, turning the cookie sheet halfway through.  I didn’t want my nibbles to turn very brown so I lowered the oven temperature.  I was surprised that they puffed up the way they did.  I might have to adjust the baking powder for next time.  The kitchen smelled of bananas for quite a while!

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Once the nibbles are baked, turn off the oven and let them sit inside your oven until it cools down.  This is to make sure that the nibbles are dehydrated and prevent it from accumulating mold and get spoiled.  Let them cool completely and store in an air-tight container.

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Banana & Honey Doggie Nibbles

 

For a printable PDF recipe card, click here.

** Original Recipe Cards Template from Creature Comforts Blog.  Edited  by me.  :)

**** UPDATE ****

The dogs loved it!  I tasted it myself and it resembles the taste of white bread.  I guess a few more adjustments to the recipe won’t hurt. =)

DIY: Stamped Gift Tags.

It’s time for some DIY! Oh yeah! =P

Okay.  Enough of that.  Christmas is fast approaching.  I should know, I was born that day and there’s only about 107 days before I turn 30!  The BIG THREE-OH. Lol

I am very unconventional when it comes to gift giving.  A little personal touch is a trademark.  Whether it be the wrapping material I use or the actual gift itself.  It doesn’t matter if they notice it or not.  I get the satisfaction knowing that I used or made something from the heart.  And it saves me a lot of money, too! :)

One of my favorite things to innovate on are gift tags.  Not only for Christmas, but for any occasion!

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A couple of months back, Don and I were at SM Aura and we passed by the Living Well store.  Good thing was, they were on sale.  Living Well doesn’t only sell items for the home (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc.).  They also have a crafts section.  As I went around I saw these cute little stamps that were 50% off!  Who would pass up on that?! Haha I had to get the approval of the mister before I could buy anything.  I wanted to get all of them!  But I only got 3 sets that I thought I’ll have good use for.  He even chose one for himself! =P

Anyway, today, I thought I’d use one of the sets I bought to make gift tags! For this project, I used leftover “special” paper I used for a school function.  Folded them and cut them to the size I wanted ans started stamping!  FYI paper size is 70 cm x 55 cm.

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There were four stamps in that set: an owl, an squirrel, an acorn and the one I assume was a leaf.  The eighth note was part of the Music set Don bought for himself.  I didn’t want to use the acorn.  I used a black stamp pad for a more neutral look.  This way I can use colored pens to write my message.  You can mix and match as you please.  Easy and economical, right?

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Enjoy!