Chalkboard labels





I tried to organize my pantry the other day. I had some half-opened dry ingredients that ate up too much space in the shelves. So I brought out some of the mason jars I’ve been saving. (My husband was not a fan of my jar collecting. But when he saw that I actually re-use them, he was fine.)

These glass jars are all recycled. The jar on the left was from a cookie-making gift. The one on the right was just from pasta sauce. I have a few “new” mason jars which I use for my green juices. Those were all gifts. I still can’t justifying buying glass jars because we use so much from our groceries alone.


Chalkboard Sticker Labels from Hallmark. These were part of the gift I received from Hallmark and National Book Store. Lookie.


Each pack comes with 6 chalkboard stickers and one piece of chalk. Only P37.00 per pack.


Sophia was my calligrapher.


The kids are into Milo Dinosaurs (cold milk with powdered chocolate mix).


Tadah! The “Milo” jar is labelled.


Soph made a mistake with the spelling of Bisquick. It wasn’t a problem. We erased it using a wet cloth and the chalkboard sticker was good as new.


And there they are. Practical re-usable sticker labels for our glass jars.


Chalkboard Sticker Labels by Hallmark are available at National Book Store. Each pack has 6 stickers and one stick of chalk. Only P37.00 per pack.





Juice Jab



I tried doing a 3day detox with Juice Jab. Tried is the operative word. I failed.

But let me tell you all about it. Juice Jab is a local company that makes wonderful fresh juices and delivers them to you for purposes of detox or cleansing. They use a special grind and press method using a triturator-hydraulic press juicer. From their website – “Our juicing process slowly and gently extracts the natural vitamins, trace minerals, enzymes, and other vital elements found in the fruits and vegetables – this gives an extremely fine quality and flavor which is unequaled by any other method of juice extraction.” True enough, all the juices taste amazing.

You have choice between Mild (replacing one meal with 2 bottles of juice for 3 days), Moderate (replace 2 meals with 4 bottles of juice for 3 days) and Strong (replacing all 3 meals with 6 bottles of juice for 3 days). The kind people of Juice Jab suggested I start with Mild or Medium. But since I’m not new to detox – I’ve tried half a day at The Farm and a 24 hour gall stone flush detox – I figured what’s 3 days of just juice and no solids. So I went for it.


The 18 bottles were delivered to my home with one insulated carrying case packed with ice bags.


Before delivering they asked if I had enough room in my refrigerator. Have I told you enough about my amazing Samsung Inverter Refrigerator? I have enough room.


I started my juicing program yesterday.


Skipping breakfast was tough. But it was really just a psychological battle. I hardly eat big breakfasts. But the thing I can’t live without is coffee – my one cup of espresso in the morning. So that alone caused mental anguish. Haha.


I didn’t experience hunger but I missed eating. The juices fill you up enough. It got tough when I had to let Stella eat her lunch without me while I had my third and fourth bottles at my desk. By mid afternoon I started to feel cold and a bit of tingling in my skin. Then I dozed off for a complete hour. I figured it was my body’s reaction to missing caffeine. I only woke up because I had to pee. (You pee all day). And then I had a cracking headache.

Here’s the breaking point. I had to cut the ribbon at ManilART last night. I had my 5th and 6th bottles before going to the event. While I was there, I kept seeing cocktail food being passed around. I broke at the site of baby sandwiches. So that ended my juice fast. Haha.

I just decided that at this point in my life, detox is not what I need. I really need to exercise and sweat more. I live a pretty healthy life food-wise – I eat everything in moderation. I hardly eat junk food and desserts. I don’t smoke and I avoid smoky places. I drink very little – red wine and an occasional good beer. What I need is to relax, clear my mind, breathe better, sweat and release whatever stress is stuck in me. So this means going back to the treadmill and finding a good yoga place.

As for juicing, I love the idea. I’d like to keep it as part of my regular diet. I’ve owned a juicer for over a decade, but only used it twice because of the mess. But I think I’d like to get back into it. I love the service of Juice Jab. I’m thinking perhaps Mild or Moderate is what I should be doing. Strong is for the ones who really want to do it for a reason. The only way I would have survived Strong is if Patrick did it with me too. It’s hard doing it alone. It’s best done with a partner so you can encourage each other. He actually tempted me with Terry’s Paella by afternoon. OMG. Bad.

So today is Day 2. I ended my suffering. I had a cappucino and full breakfast this morning. But the thing is, I still have 12 bottles in my fridge. So I decided to continue the process using the Moderate system. Since I already had my much deserved and wanted breakfast, I’m skipping lunch and dinner and replacing them with 4 juices instead. Then the other 2 bottles a day, Patrick will drink for fun.

Again, great juices! Amazing flavours. I recommend trying the Moderate jab first. Do this if you feel you need to detox – like after a long period of eating too much too well (after a vacation) or a weekend of partying hard. It’s good for the body.


Visit or like them in Juice Jab Facebook.



From Our Table to Yours



from our table to yours cover.indd


Before I got my new the new kitchen, I cooked probably twice a year. I knew I could cook but I just didn’t enjoy it. I told myself (and Patrick) that if I got my dream kitchen, I would be a lot more interested in cooking. And it’s true. Now I cook almost every other day — ranging from breakfast fare to simple stir fry veggies, osso buco, bacalao a la Vizcayna, baby back ribs, all sorts of chicken dishes and a weekly baking activity with the kids. I thank google for many recipes but I rely a lot on my parents and my brother for family recipes and the more important wisdom and tricks.

I’m so glad there is a new recipe book that compiles some family recipes from the Philippines’ top foodies. In From Our Table to Yours: A Collection of Heirloom Recipes and Family Memories, chef Angelo Comsti shares generations-old and time-tested recipes. It is a treasure trove of stories, heirloom recipes and family memories from some of the country’s most influential foodies such as Antonio Escalante of Antonio’s (who shares my favourite Ilonggo dish Kadyos with Pork), Joel Binamira of Zubuchon, Aileen Anastacio of Goodies N’ Sweets and Pixie Sevilla-Santos of Forget Me Not Specialty Cakes.

There are more than 50 recipes featuring main dishes, snacks and desserts with personal photos and short stories accompanying each recipe. Some of the recipes which have clear step-by-step instructions and food preparation tips include: beef shank soup (pochero), stewed pork knuckle (estofadong pata), caramel custard (leche flan), prawns with coconut milk and bilimbi fruit, fried pork spring rolls and Christmas cheese balls.


Angelo Comsti_1
Angelo Comsti graduated with a degree in professional culinary studies at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia and has long been working with food. He is a food writer for TV and various print and digital periodicals and a food and prop stylist for magazines, print ads, billboards, restaurant menus and cookbooks.


From Our Table to Yours: A Collection of Heirloom Recipes and Family Memories is exclusively available for P795 in National Book Store, Powerbooks and Bestsellers branches. Shop online at Follow National Book Store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@nbsalert) for the latest events, promos and contests.



Pepito’s Pinoy Sorbet



Pia and Nor Domingo


Meet my friends Pia and Nor Domingo. Pia is my friend from childhood. Her husband Nor may look familiar. He is an actor who’s done a number of commercials and movies. He appeared in Philippine Educational Theater’s “Haring Lear” (a Tagalog adaptation of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” featuring an all-male cast) as Goneril and a restaging of “Care Divas” as Jonie. He was also in the KC Concepcion-Richard Gutierrez movie filmed in Santorini and a number of  more current ones. Nor also works behind the camera as a cinematographer and director.

In between acting stints, Nor thought of starting a small enterprise. He did some research and taught himself how to make sorbet – Pepito’s Pinoy Sorbet. It is now a real family business with their kids Pepe and Pilar helping out at times. While Nor creates the sorbets, Pia does the management side as she is used to running a home-based food business, having been a wedding cake baker at some point.

Pepito’s Pinoy Sorbet is a homemade frozen dessert made from all-natural flavors with no artificial colors, low on fat, zero cholesterol and 100% yummy!!! They only make flavors with fruits found in the Philippines.






Me: Why and how did you come up with the idea of getting into the homemade sorbet business?
Nor: Why? The real answer is I was really getting depressed that my work was taking me away from my kids too much. It was really getting painful everytime I see my kids faces everytime I leave and they ask how long I’ll be away. Iana would start counting the days before I even step out of the house.These were precious times. Pretty soon they’ll stop caring and the roles will reverse. I don’t want to miss this and regret! So I thought why not start a business I can do at home? I can work at the same time be with them.

Me: What was the inspiration behind creating Filipino sorbets?
Nor: The original plan was opening an Italian Ice store much like the one I go to in Staten Island. About the time I was perfecting my product, Italian Ice kiosks opened in a couple of places. I had to think of a way to be different from them. I can’t remember who (probably Pia) suggested that to make it unique, I should try making sorbets with local fruits. I thought it was a great idea! Get a product that is ‘foreign’ and give it a Pinoy flavor! It could be attractive to locals and at the same time showcasing Philippine fruits to tourists in a form that is refreshing and familiar to them.

Me: What are the flavours of Pepito’s Pinoy Sorbet?
Nor: Our current flavors are Sampaloc, Guyabano, Passionfruit, Dalandan, Avocado Berry, Pinya’t Sili and Santol. I make Kamias but only when our tree bears fruit. But I always make it a point to come out with a new one every month.








Pepito’s Pinoy Sorbet is available at P190 per pint. Half-gallon (4 pints) and one-gallon 8 pints) orders accepted, at least three days in advance.

It is available at 241 Connecticut St., Greenhills East, Mandaluyong City. Also at Connie’s Kitchen Deli, 4th St. cor. Broadway Ave., Quezon City and The Food Bin, Katipunan Ave. Ext. inside Wham Burger compound.

Aug31 at Mercato Centrale BGC from 7pm to 12mn

Call 925-5817, 0920-907-2901 to 02. Or check out their Facebook page.



Gluten-free vanilla cupcakes



I really love my new kitchen. Since it started operating, I think I have improved my cooking skills. I should say, at least I have increased my interest in cooking and baking. I’m not yet brave enough to show you photos or share recipes. Perhaps one day…

Yesterday the kids and I baked cupcakes. Now I won’t pretend to be Martha Stewart. I’ve used boxed bake mixes. Hey, I like to keep our lives simple. But lately I haven’t been seeing Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines and other brands on the shelves. I haven’t seen any of those canned frosting either.  Then I saw Stonewall Kitchen‘s gluten-free Vanilla Cupcakes (mix) in Rustan’s and decided to give it a try.


Baking gluten free vanilla cupcakes with Lily.
Lily and I waited 20 minutes for the cupcakes to rise. The mix instructions are easy. Just add butter and egg. So if you are allergic to dairy, this isn’t for you. Please look for substitutes.


Waiting for our vanila cupcakes to cool. Then we frost. #vanillacupcakes
Lily chose from our pretty cupcake liners. We have a huge collection (because I love to acquire them). These are from my sister Johanna in Toronto. Here they are waiting to cool. Note, the vanilla part smells so good! The entire house was salivating…


Finished product by Soph, Lily & Stella. Food colouring freaks me out. But boy, did we have fun mixing them.
The frosting mix comes in powder form. You have to add milk and butter then blend. It’s all white. My kids have been watching a lot of Nerdy Nummies (she is awesome!) and told me that it’s easy to turn the frosting into different colours. Lo and behold I just happened to have food colouring in my pantry (have no idea why). And we came up with purple and pink! The sprinkles were purchased in Toronto but they’re all over baking stores here in Manila.


The verdict? YUMMY! All three kids loved it. My brother in law who is trying to have a gluten-free diet loved it! Patrick and I loved it. I’m buying more!