Back to school food

 

 

Comfort food
Chicken fingers

 

This is for those whose kids have gone back to school. I need your help please.

Every year I struggle with my kids’ lunch. They are not of the age where they can be left alone to buy food at the cafeteria. (My eldest may be capable of handling money, but I’m not ready to trust her with daily lunch choice, haha. And she prefers to bring lunch from home.)

Aside from chicken fingers, like the photo above, I need easy, quick ideas to add to our menu. We do our chicken fingers and fish fillet from scratch because the packaged ones come with artificial flavours. There are a few extra steps but everyone is used to it. Sometimes we do adobo, cooked the night before. We also do fried egg with cheese. It’s just been the third day of school and I’m already running out of ideas. Help, please. And feel free to add snack ideas.

Please post in comment section. Thanks!!!

 

 

My sister’s “Everything-free Brownies”

 

 

My sister's brownies. Gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and lacto-ovo-free. It's all good. #brownies @tipsyo
My instagram caption for this, “My sister’s brownies. Gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and lacto-ovo-free. It’s all good. #brownies @tipsyo”

 

Who knew a photo of fudge brownies would get so many readers asking for a recipe? We had this for dessert tonight at my sister’s house. She has a toddler who’s got some food allergies. In an effort to manage his food needs, my sister changed her and her husband’s diet as well.

Even before Gwyneth released her cookbook on gluten-free meals, my sister was already living this lifestyle. The past couple of months have taught me a lot about managing food allergies because of my little nephew. And yet I still know so little. My kids don’t have allergies, thank goodness. But I, on the other hand, am starting to show intolerance toward seafood and shell fish, I think. I’m not really so sure. I am still in denial. I’ve loved shell fish my whole life. So those are my issues.

Back to the brownies.

My sister made an allergen-free batch of brownies. Everyone loved it — the other toddler nephews, my daughters and all of us adults. It was chewy, moist and chocolatey! It contains no nuts, no eggs, no gluten, no milk. And it had dairy-free chocolate chips!

She got the recipe from Imperrfections blog. I’m reposting it…

Ingredients:
(makes one 8×8 pan)

1/3 C white rice flour (or any gluten-free all purpose flour)
1/3 C white sugar
1/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C cornstarch
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
1/4 C oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

optional: 1/3 C dairy-free chocolate chips (my sister used dark chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease an 8×8 inch square baking dish. In a medium size bowl, mix together the rice flour, cornstarch, sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add applesauce, oil, and vanilla and stir until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips then spread batter in the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or so. My sister cut them into one bite pieces.

 

My sister doesn’t have a blog or a public Instagram account, yet. We are encouraging her to start one. I think if she did, she could be of help to so many parents whose kids are dealing with food allergies. Or anyone on a special diet. She has so many awesome recipes!

Speaking of allergies, in the US 1 out of 13 kids has a food allergy. It’s a serious issue. And tomorrow is the start of Food Allergy Awareness Week. I got this info from my friend Heidi G. Find out more here. Please spread the word.

Anyone in the Philippines dealing with food allergies? Feel free to share your stories, recipes, links in the comment section. Thank you!

 

 

Vintage dishes

 

 

I haven’t mentioned anything much about my kitchen renovations. We are done. Completely! And it’s beautiful. I can’t wait to show you. The only problem is, when we tried to turn on the appliances, something went wrong. So we are dealing with these details again. Patience truly is a virtue.

The kitchen is inspired by a farm house – or rather, a farm house sink specifically. It went well with our house because truthfully our house is like a real wooden cottage. It’s your Lola’s house in the province. So having some vintage-inspired treatments wasn’t too far out. Besides, I love vintage cookware and stuff.

 

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My parents sent a box full of goodies on the slow boat to the East. By the time it got here after Christmas, we were so delighted to receive surprises. This is a vintage Pyrex mixing bowl that originally came in a set with green, blue and red bowls. Just beautiful.

 

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It belonged to my brother-in-law’s grand mother. They lived in Toronto. And I’m so honoured to be the keeper of the vintage Pyrex bowl. These were first made in the 1940’s. And apparently the ones from the 1950’s onwards are numbered at the bottom. I don’t see any number in this yellow bowl, so maybe this is really old from the 1940’s.

 

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Check out this classic ad for Pyrex. These bowls were made from 1940 to 1970’s.

 

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There are more lovely vintage finds in our old kitchen storage – cake plates, milk glass, carnival glass. This little pitcher is from my mom. She sent it to me knowing how much I love old things. They just don’t make things like they used to. The jar of Choco Mallows is new. I just placed it there for size reference.

 

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Our everyday dish gets a lot of reaction every time it makes an appearance in Instagram. It’s got a lovely relief pattern of flowers on its rim. The glass is hefty. It hardly ever chips. But sadly, many pieces have been broken. (I don’t want to get into that… sigh).

 

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I don’t know much about Vitrock. After googling I found out it dates back to 1934 – 1937. OMG. They’re called Depression Glass. I’ve found some resellers online. I don’t really know if I’ll acquire more pieces of this. My mother-in-law had a lot – we have the sugar bowls, serving dishes etc. Plus I’m actually looking forward to using my own set of china from our wedding.

 

So yes, I’ve turned into a little old lady talking about china and bakeware. But like I said, it’s the quality of these old products that I love so much. Back then everything was built to last. And design was full of integrity.

Here are some vintage-inspired items I’m loving on the net.

 

Collage Vintage

 

01 Bar cart from Serena and Lily. Bar carts are the new black. This design is inspired by a mid-century antique and pays homage to the textural beauty of handwoven rattan.

02 Trina Turk ice bucket. The decorative palm design and gold hardware bring me back to backyard barbecues and the imaginary Palm Beach parties in the 60’s.

03 Reiss Lunata poppy dress. There’s something about the cut and print of this dress that evokes classic glamour even though it’s such a casual dress.

04 Sweater Pup Cookie Jar from Anthropologie. This doesn’t necessarily give a vintage vibe but because I grew up with a couple of dachshunds, I tend to equate these little dogs with the past. Plus, the idea of a cookie jar isn’t really too common these days with everyone eating everything on the go. That, or buying instant cookies wherever and whenever we feel snacky.

05 Kelly Wearstler sugar pot. Inspired by nature and organic lines evocative of marine florals from the 1920s, this Hillcrest sugar pot is quite the splurge at $300. It is part of a complete set.

06 Patisserie Baking Set from Anthropologie. This is so adorable, it comes with everything a little gourmand needs for “baking”. Each kit has an oven mitt, rolling pin, whisk, pastry cutter, cake tin, muffin tin, biscuit cutters, apron and French-language recipe book.

 

 

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery

 

 

I’ve been getting tagged on Twitter and Instagram by people who’ve seen the DAPHNE® Chairs at Vanilla Cupcake Bakery. The photos all looked so adorable that I had to see the place for myself. Over Christmas, I made arrangements with the owner to visit the Glorietta branch. It is located on the second floor of the new part of Glorietta near the walkway to SM. The place stood out in all its cuteness.

 

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This was three days before Christmas. Patrick, the girls and I did some last minute shopping. Soph and Lily were so happy to take a break from the mad rush.

 

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Vanilla Cupcake Bakery had the most adorable and feminine kitchen. We were here to see the decor and use of DAPHNE Chairs as much as to taste the cupcakes. Neither disappointed.

 

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The place was decorated like a playhouse version of grandma’s kitchen. There were tea and baking paraphernalia.

 

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The girls loved all the details. Sophia said, “This is so me! A little bit Cath Kidston with DAPHNE chairs.” She went on about her love for vintage and feminine decor.

 

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I was so giddy to see many DAPHNE Chairs in one space, all being used.

 

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A lot of my Twitter and Instagram followers have mentioned that all my chairs had the logo plaque — a sign of authenticity (because yes, these have been faked and copied. Tsk!).

 

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All the DAPHNE Chairs in Vanilla Cupcake Bakery are authentic. The owner bought them in Dimensione.

 

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I wish I had this many of my chairs in my own home.

 

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I love the mix of different chairs and sofas.

 

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An orange one from the 2012 collection.

 

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We weren’t able to get a seat, the irony. And we didn’t really have the time to sit around. So I don’t have detailed photos of the cupcakes.

 

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But let me tell you, they’re all good – moist, soft, smooth.

 

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The owner gifted me with a beautiful box of 12 cupcakes. The girls chose their cupcakes based on colour and design.

 

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Lily fell in love with the place. And the cupcakes. So did I… and I don’t usually like sweets.

 

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Vanilla Cupcake Bakery is located at Glorietta and Trinoma. Other branches will be opening soon.

 

 

Organic beef

 

 

New Year’s Eve is coming up soon. What are your plans? We always stay home. I think I did the big new year’s eve glamour bash a bit too much too soon. After all those overpriced countdowns, by my mid-20’s all I wanted to do was stay home and do new year’s eve quietly with my family. This year will be the same.

If you’re like me – and you don’t have a real kitchen (that’s a diff story) – and you’re good at sourcing caterers and food sources, you’d appreciate this. The Farm Organics has some good ideas this season. You have til Dec 31st to shop for these at the meat section of The Landmark Supermarket Makati and Trinoma.

 

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For those who want to cook their own roast, we have a Ready-to-Cook Rib Eye Roast also available in our Landmark outlets, which retails at P1300/kilo

 

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The Farm Organics Ready-to-Eat Roast Beef is available the meat section of The Landmark Supermarket Makati and Trinoma until Dec 31. Only P495 per pack, which includes mushroom gravy. Just heat and eat!

 

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Here’s what the ready-to-eat roast beef looks like once it’s heated and plated. The beef remains sooooo tender!

 

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For more info on The Farm Organics, like them on Facebook.