Smart + Cool: How I manage energy consumption at home

Smart Cool

We have turned into people who talk about the weather every single day. In Manila, this is the constant talk now. “It’s so hot!” and “Ang init.” Granted that we’ve been in the middle of summer, but really, it just seems to get hotter every year.

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I’m sure all of you in Manila can relate to this. How hot has it been in the city the past month? Look at the Accuweather report for May 2018. In reality it felt like a degree or two higher. It has been incredibly hot. For reference, 35 degrees Celsius is 95 degrees Farenheit — just 5 degrees away from boiling point. Source: Accuweather

If you’ve been following me on social media you know how I’ve been posting about my guilt-free use of aircon at home. Since December 2016, we have changed our units to inverter-type air conditioners. I can’t be too technical here. Basically inverter airconditoner units have a compressor that operates at high speed in order to cool the room quickly. When the desired temperature is reached, the compressor slows down, maintains same temperature, and saves energy (cost). A non-inverter aircon runs at fixed speed, so it costs you more.

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This is our Klarwind inverter air conditioner from Carrier. We got it in December 2016. It keeps our family room nice and cool. I love how the design is lipstick-thin, it didn’t obstruct the balance of our two elephant lamps.

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That is the Carrier wall-mounted split-type inverter air conditioner in our bedroom. The kids have the same one in their bedroom.

Air-conditioning units are no longer a luxury in the Philippines. Its become a necessity. Since we changed our units to inverter-type air-conditioners in our bedrooms, kitchen, living room and family room, we have noticed the dip in our monthly electrity bills. There was one month where we paid one-third (1/3) of what we spent the year before, with the same amount of use. It was my wish to eventually change the units in our guest room and study from a regular window-type aircon to an inventor. My wish came true and more after I hosted the press conference of Smart + Cool.

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With Mr. Raul Joseph A. Concepcion, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Concepcion Industrial Corporation at the launch of Smart + Cool.

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Mr Concepcion, introducing the Carrier Smart + Cool System.

The Carrier Smart + Cool is a system (Carrier Window Room AC + Smart+Cool Plug + Smart+Cool App) that uses a cool plug attached to your Carrier window air conditioner unit. It helps you to manage your air conditioner usage via a mobile app. It allows you to schedule your air-conditioner to turn on and off when you want it to. You can turn your unit on or off from even from a distance by remote. One of the most interesting functions of the Smart + Cool is it lets you track and monitor your electrical consumption in both peso amount or kilowatt usage. You can actually set a daily, weekly, or monthly budget limit and the app will let you know once you’re hitting your limit. This is a game-changer in smart appliances! Imagine, no more bill shock or guessing games!

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The day finally came when our new window-type Carrier inverter aircons for the guest room and study were delivered and installed.

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Since our house is old, and it already has existing window holes for air conditioners, we kept the model as a window-type and not the split-type wall mounted. The good thing is, this uses inverter technology – environmentally friendly, low electricity consumption, five-year compressor warranty. And that’s not even the most news-worthy part. Let me show you how Smart + Cool works.

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The Smart + Cool app allows you to control and manage your Carrier airconditioning unit from anywhere you are. You can turn it on or off when you’re on the road, or you’re at work. And it lets you track the consumption in either kilowatt or peso. I chose peso. Easier for me, budgeting-wise. But I can easily switch view to see actual energy consumption.

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The dashboard lets you control your aircon unit.

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Like yesterday, I turned on the aircon while I was out for a lunch party. I texted our the kids at home and told them to move to the guest room. The guest room is actually also my husband’s mancave. In the summer months it is the coolest place in our home. This way I didn’t have to turn on the air con in the family room.

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Here’s what it looks like on daily view. It shows that the day before, it cost us P85. And today, our running tab was at P53. I told the kids I wouldn’t let it go beyond P100 per day (for day-use, overnight is another budget limit). I’d be curious to track our consumption over night. But like I said, this is the guest room. Hmm perhaps we should do a sleep over.

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You can also schedule Maintenance Alert. A lot of consumers actually tend to disregard cleaning and maintain their air conditioners. It is so important to be on top of aircon cleaning. Our units are cleaned every six month. For our new window-type inverter unit, we haven’t set up the Smart + Cool app to do the maintenance alert yet. Note to self, set it up. This way, it’ll send me a message reminding me to have my unit cleaned… and Carrier will actually call or text me for a schedule. I love it.

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Basically that’s what it looks like on the wall. You see the Smart + Cool plug on the wall.

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This is the app looks like in Real Time.

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All that from a little cube plug that makes cooling your home so convenient and intelligent.

It’s only been a week since we’ve been using the Smart + Cool System, and I absolutely love it. With this, I can have total control of our new Carrier window-type air-conditioning unit. It has made the management of our air-con much easier. I appreciate the features of the Smart + Cool System by remote, like the on-off facility, scheduler, maintenance service, consumption manager, and real-time chat with customer service.

Watch my Instagram and Facebook page for more and current posts about how Smart + Cool has improved my life, our home, and our genuine family time. For more information Smart + Cool.

#WelcometoIntelligentCooling #CarrierSmartCool

S&R Members’ Treat

 

 

S&R - Members' Treat - March 2018

It’s that time of the year again — the S&R Members’ Treat is happening this March 14 until March 18, 2018 in all S&R warehouse clubs nationwide.

S&R Members will get five whole days of big value and even bigger savings, with Buy 1 Take 1 deals and price reductions of up to 50% off on lots and lots of your favorite everyday products as well as hard-to-find-global brands and more! From grocery staples like breakfast essentials, baon goodies, yummy baked goodies, imported treats, to various gift items, housewares, towels and linens, and even select appliances – EXCLUSIVE to all S&R members.

S&R currently has 14 warehouse clubs nationwide: BGC (Taguig City), Aseana (Pasay City), Congressional (Quezon City), Alabang (Muntinlupa City), Shaw (Mandaluyong City), Imus (Cavite), Nuvali (Laguna), Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, S&R Commonwealth (Quezon City) and S&R Dau (Pampanga).

 

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This is me when I travel. And that’s our luggage for all five of us.

 

As we are now planning our summer trips, I was telling my husband that my shopping and packing habits have changed so much. I used to shop more while on vacation. But now that pretty much everything is available in Manila, I don’t find the need to stock up on things. I used to buy housewares and dry groceries in Toronto and bring them back to Manila. Now, many of the things I need for the home is in S&R.

Here are some photos from my own kitchen.

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Early phase of baking quiche. I buy my Bisquick from S&R. And whenever I am there, I buy fresh produce too. I always get zucchini and cherry tomatoes.

 

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Roast chicken with herbs and Himalayan salt from S&R.

 

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This is me. Cooking in my kitchen for real. The dried herbs, salt, and pepper are all from S&R.

 

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This is me. Not cooking in my kitchen.

 

Here’s a little sneak peek at some of the items that may be part of the S&R Members’ Treat. Some items in photo are representations of items on sale. There may be variations on the actual items.

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1 Oster bioceramic indoor grill, 2 Cosco padded folding chair, 3 Kitchen Classics dish, 4 Copper cookware

 

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5 Ocean Spray Craisins, 6 Aregente artisanal potato chips, 7 Bevti apple juice, 8 Cubi wafers, 9 Ocean Spray Cran-Apple, 10 E. Wedel chocolates

 

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11 Bath towels, 12 Oster steam iron, 13 Cavendish and Harvey candy drops, 14 Storage bins

 

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15 Keter Tuff Packer, 16 Arm & Hammer Oxy Clean, 17 Keter Connect Rolling System

 

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S&R Member’s Treat. March 14-18. Doors will open as early 8am until 10pm.

Follow S&R in their social media accounts to get the latest updates and promos: Facebook snrmembershipshopping, Instagram @snr_official, and Twitter @snr_official.

 

 

DAPHNE® x NBS

 

 

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In celebration of its 75th year in the retail business, National Bookstore collaborated with seven Filipino design influencers including myself. The result were seven collections of limited edition stationery, accessories, and gift items launched under the campaign Inspire with Passion. Among the talents that joined me were  Amina Aranaz-Alunan, Cat Arambulo-Antonio, Cecile Van Straten, Patty Eustaquio, Rajo Laurel, and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo.

“Their unique styles and design philosophies are reflected in each of their lines,” says National Book Store managing director Xandra Ramos-Padilla. “These limited edition items can be gifted to anyone’s family, friends, and loved ones, so that everyone can receive and be inspired by the gift of passion.”

As I wrote in my previous post, I was inspired by “my tropical life”. For the DAPHNE® set, we came up with three prints all reflecting the tropical blooms and textures in and around my home.

 

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The floral pouches for DAPHNE®xNBS

 

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One set of notebooks has all three floral prints in DAPHNE®xNBS. Each of the notebooks are either plain, lined, or dotted.

 

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At the press launch of the Inspire With Passion event celebrating National Bookstore’s 75th anniversary.

 

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I wore a K&Company dress from the current Holiday 2017 collection.

 

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I love that the stylist of the event placed a cute peacock chair in my vignette. In real life I have the biggest peacock chair in my living room. A gift from Vito Selma.

 

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One of the three pouches.

 

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An envelope pouch I meant to be a laptop carrier. But it doubles up as an everything-pouch.

 

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My daughter uses it as a portfolio to carry her art stuff.

 

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My laptop carrier.

 

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I also use it as a clutch.  (OOTD: Shoes from French Sole, one piece culottes & top from Religioso, bracelet from my Instagram shop @AZOTEAph).

 

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With National Bookstore’s Managing Director Xandra Ramos-Padilla, who has been a wonderful collaborator and supporter of my brand even before any DAPHNE product was ever created.

 

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Patty Eustacio’s note cards and wrapping paper.

 

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Rajo Laurel had pens and a tote bag.

 

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Chuvaness came up with wallets and a large sized cheque book.

 

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The National Book Store 75th anniversary capsule collection is available online at www.nationalbookstore.com

 

 

My Tropical Life

 

 

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By now some of you may know that I have a new collection of products in National Bookstore. It was launched a couple of months ago as part of the NBS@75 celebration, or the 75th anniversary of National Bookstore, alongside the products of six other design influencers. This is my second capsule collection for National. The first one was a 15-piece collection released in 2015 — these were inspired by the flower names of my daughters.

 

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My first collection at National Bookstore in 2015 was inspired by the floral names of my three daughters – the rose, the lily, and the daisy.

 

For the 75th anniversary of National Bookstore, we were each asked to create three products. I initially wanted my daughters to illustrate the prints. (Yes, they are that good. But like me they can be stubborn when their mother commissions flower drawings. History repeats itself). Because of time constraints, National commissioned a local artist to work on my prints. We came up with three prints based on the world I wanted to convey. I created a set of three notebooks in different sizes, an all-purpose pouch, and a file envelope pouch which can hold a laptop, books, and other things. You may see the launch event and photos of the collection in my next blog.

I am sharing with you the story of my collection, inspired by a hashtag I love to use — #mytropicallife. The past couple of years, I have spent more time at home than working on the road. You may have noticed I’ve slowed down on my TV work – both deliberately and just because – and I used this time to learn new skills, like cooking, gardening, and all these quaint domestic disciplines that I never had much time for. I finally figured out how plants grow and thrive. They no longer die on me, thank God. And because of that, my little “farm” out of town is growing cacao and passion fruit. In a couple of years, I hope I may actually have enough produce from my little farm to call myself a farmer. For now, I have my little tropical garden in our suburban home. I am constantly surrounded by bougainvilleas and frangipani/kalachuchi blooms. And that’s where I got the idea for this collection.

 

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Will post highlights from the launch soon.

 

 

De’Longhi in my kitchen

 

 

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Me in my unstyled, real-life kitchen. With Chef Mitchy Sison.

 

If you’ve been following me in my @DaphneOP Instagram account, you would have noticed my little cooking and baking adventures in my kitchen. I often cook on an open fire – my range is a very good gas/fire range – and I enjoy using my LeCreuset dutch oven for everything from stews to Bolognese. Lately though I’ve been using my smaller De’Longhi oven for baking quiche, bread, lasagne. It heats up faster, and gets the job done without firing up my huge oven.

I have a few nifty gadgets and tools that make working in my kitchen fun. The De’Longhi gelato maker continues to be a family favourite. My kids love creating their own gelato. Vanilla is a family fave. And when we have a surplus of fruit, we also make gelato. Let me know if you want me to blog about my gelato adventures.

This season, I have a new “game changer” in the kitchen. It is the De’Longhi Multifry. As the name suggests, it is technically an air-fryer. But it is also more than that. Sure you can make the perfect “fried” chicken using absolutely no oil. But you can also bake, make risotto, stews, steamed veggies, pizza. The possibilities are endless.

It is now December 11, and I know there are a lot of us with open wishlists for ourselves. Or you have someone very very special to give to – like newly weds, new homecooks, busy moms who have to have a constant supply of “baon”, or a person living alone – consider the Multifry. Keep reading, and please watch the video below.

 

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My gelato maker at home.

 

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We make our own vanilla gelato. And other flavours.

 

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At last year’s De’Longhi Christmas get-together, I saw the Multifry at work.

 

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We made everything from the usual crispy “fried” chicken to kebabs…

 

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To red velvet mini-cakes.

 

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I had loads of fun with my former colleagues in broadcasting.

 

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I shared my books, CHIC – Tips on Life, Style, and Work. Everyone got one.

 

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And went nuts with my De’Longhi family

 

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In my life at home, this is what I have. The De’Longhi Prima Donna XS at home.

 

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My favourite is a tall cappuccino. But since I’m trying to go dairy-free and fat-free, I’m now having an Americano daily. (PS, the De’Longhi coffee machines dont use disposable pods. That is a no-no in my books. I cannot stand adding any more garbage to our landfills and oceans. The De’Longhi coffee machine I have grinds the coffee beans when needed, giving it a fresh ground taste. The waste generated from ground coffee goes into our compost bin. Practically zero waste).

 

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The De’Longhi Multifry

As the name suggests, the De’Longhi Multifry fries food and does multiple other things. It is an innovative cooking appliance combining a low-oil fryer and a multicooker to meet different needs. It enables you to rapidly fry tasty fresh potatoes in a healthier way with minimum oil and to prepare a variety of recipes: from risottos to cous cous, from stews to ratatouilles. Multifry even allows you to bake pizzas, cakes and pies.

Here are some dishes we made at home. The first is a roast chicken with sausage and apple stuffing. Its something you can serve for a festive meal – the herbs and apple stuffing give a regular roast chicken that hint of special effort. For this we didn’t use the De’Longhi Multifry, though you could roast a chicken in it. We used the De’Longhi rotisserie oven.

Roast Chicken with Sausage and Apple Stuffing

Ingredients:
One whole roasting chicken, about 1.5 kilo

Stuffing:
1 granny smith apple, seeded and cubed
1 red delicious apple, seeded and cubed
1 teaspoon 5 spice powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 pcs Italian sausage, casing removed
2 slices sourdough bread, cut into cubes
2-3 tablespoons coconut oil

Spice Rub:
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat the Delonghi Oven to 400 F.

Drain any residual liquid in the whole chicken and pat dry with paper towels, inside and out.

In a medium bowl, toss together apples, 5 spice powder, sour dough bread, sausage, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with coconut oil. Mix until apple pieces are evenly coated.

Stuff chicken cavity with apple pieces and close both ends with skewers.

Combine spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl and sprinkle spice mixture evenly over all sides of the chicken.

Place stuffed chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up. After 30 minutes, turn oven temperature down to 350 F and put cover on roasting pan (make sure roasting pan vents are closed).

Roast for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from the oven and rest it rest on a chopping board for 20 minutes, covered until serving.

 

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Ingredients for chicken stuffing.

 

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Five spice rub

 

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Chicken is ready with the spice rub, skewered…

 

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There it is in the De’Longhi oven

 

Honey Thyme Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

1 kilo sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

extra virgin olive oil

rock salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon butter

Instructions:

Using the De Longhi Multifry, remove the paddle and fill the bowl with water 2 inch in depth. Close the lid, select the PAN function, select power level 4, set 10 minutes and press the program start/stop button.

Once the water starts boiling, place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Boil for 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Drain water and attach the paddle attachment.

Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil using the oil pourer at level 2, season with salt and pepper.

Select the OVEN function and select power level 3 for 5 minutes, close the lid and press the program start/stop button.

Towards the last two minutes, add the honey and butter. Cook until sweet potatoes are crispy and coated.

 

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Herbs and honey to top off our sweet potatoes.

 

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The Multifry has an automatic mixing paddle which gently mixes food and permits cooking without any need to manually stir food. Hands free for me!

 

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That butter and honey in the end totally makes this dish what it is.

 

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Honey Thyme Roasted Sweet Potatoes!! Yum.

 

Molten Nutella Lava Cake

Ingredients:
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup Nutella
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Instructions:

Using the De Longhi Multifry, remove the paddle and preheat. Close the lid, select the OVEN function, select power level 3, set 20 minutes and press the program start/stop button.

Grease two small ramekins, then dust with cocoa powder, shaking out any excess. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, and granulated sugar until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Add melted butter and Nutella and whisk until well-combined. Add flour and whisk until incorporated.

Divide batter among the prepared ramekins. Place ramekins on the Delonghi Multifry, and bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. You want to keep a close eye on these; all ovens run differently so remove them from the oven when the edges are set but the center still jiggles slightly.

Run a knife around the edges of the cakes as soon as you remove them from the oven. Let cool for 3-4 minutes, then swiftly but gently invert onto individual serving plates. Garnish with strawberries and powdered sugar if desired, and serve immediately.

 

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The simplest ingredients for molten lava cake.

 

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Folding the egg into the mixture.

 

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Pouring the batter into those little ramekins I’ve had but have never really used.

 

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Ready for the Multifry. It would just take 12 minutes!

 

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A “first” in my kitchen. A real chef helping me out. I’d like to see this as an ongoing series. What do you think?

 

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End product. Molten Lava cake. My kids loved it! So did I. And Im not even a desert person.

 

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Perfect roast chicken

 

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That was our lunch plate. Roast chicken with honey thyme sweet potatoes!

 

Please watch our video. You will see how easy it is to cook and bake using the Multifry. Lots of tips in there too from Chef Mitchy.

 

 

De’Longhi Philippines just opened their first concept store in Ayala Vertis North. It’s worth the drive to Quezon City, I tell you (southerner here). It has a fully functioning kitchen and of course a gorgeous coffee bar. All their coffee machines are there for you to try. They can demo the Multifry for you too. Just tell them Daphne sent you. Have a free coffee as well, while you are there. Follow De’Longhi Philippines in Facebook.

Let me know what you think of me blogging about food and cooking. It’s something I never felt comfortable about because I am a novice cook. But I do love cooking. And more importantly, my kids think I’m the best “chef”. Haha. Would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below or in Facebook.