Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The One About The Binondo Food Trip (Part 2)

After a filling breakfast at Wai Ying, my friends and I proceeded to Binondo Church just so we could finally see it. Hehehe. On our way to the church, we saw several of those famed purple fire trucks parked on the street and with no one manning the trucks...well, we just couldn't resist...

Picture time!

A friendly reminder :)

We finally got to the church. Pia took really nice pictures of the church.

Anyway, it was so hot in the church that I got hungry already and so we then went to our second chow spot.

Cafe Mezzanine is a coffee shop that is being maintained by an official of the East Binondo Volunteer Firemen's Association.

We were initially at the ground floor but after knowing there were milk teas upstairs, we went to the second floor which was much cozier, thanks to the airconditioning.

We ordered their green milk tea and ube (purple yam) siopao.

We weren't too happy with the food. The siopao at Wai Ying and also the one at North Park are way better. Plus the service there was really bad. The staff weren't too attentive. And so, we gave Cafe Mezzanine...

Three stars

One star

Two stars

But wait! We had more of Binondo after visiting Cafe Mezzanine but that's in the next post... :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

The One About The Binondo Food Trip (Part 1)

Last Sunday, my friends and former co-teachers at The Learning Connection preschool went on a gastronomic adventure in Binondo, Manila's Chinatown. Its busy streets are lined with tummy-filling, hole-in-the-wall chow spots. It was also the perfect opportunity to test drive the Binondo food map that I purchased some months ago.

And so, armed with an empty stomach (none of us ate breakfast that day), off we went to Binondo with our map and our salivating taste buds.

Teacher Pia

Teacher Ginger and I

Our first stop was Wai Ying in Benavidez Street. Teddy Bird introduced me to this little eating haunt some years ago and it has been a favorite of mine ever since. Since then, I have brought my family - and now, my friends - to this gem of a tea house.

We had their pork siomai. It was REAL siomai in the sense that the pork was chopped, not ground, making it really tasty.

We also tried their hakaw which was bursting with shrimps!

For me, Wai Ying has the tastiest congee. It doesn't need any condiments to enhance its flavor although I did put some chili on mine because I wanted mine to be spicy.

Their radish cake was crispy on the outside and soft, creamy, and melts-in-your-mouth on the inside.

Walking around Binondo...

Hmm...where to eat next?

The tarpaulins came to life... Hahaha!

Anyway, because the food in Wai Ying was super good, here are our ratings (0-lowest, 5-highest):

Our first stop left us feeling full already but we were raring to go and try out more eating places. But I'll tell you more about the Binondo feast in my next post (Suspense effect. Hahaha!) as well as a crafty project that went along with it! :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The One When I Made Gnocchi

I made gnocchi...from scratch! :) I first tasted gnocchi when I was still living in Cebu. The cafeteria in the school where I used to work served these. Unfortunately, theirs weren't that good. I stumbled upon a recipe for gnocchi and decided to make some.

I boiled some potatoes, peeled them and mashed them afterwards. Then I gradually added flour until the whole thing looked like bread dough. I added salt and nutmeg. Then I boiled some water as you would when you're cooking pasta. When the water was boiling, I dropped the gnocchi then waited for them to float to the surface (once they do, they're done).

I melted some butter and tossed the gnocchi in it then sprinkled some dried sage (fresh ones are better but I didn't have those on hand) and Parmesan cheese.

These little nuggets of goodness literally melted in my mouth faster than M&Ms could!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The One About The First Day High

Today was my first day of sewing class at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines.

A sewing kit that was given to me ages ago had finally come in handy...

...for all my sewing stuff, of course. :)

I had a blast at class. People there are really nice and helpful, especially my sewing teacher. She was very patient with me in all of the sewing exercises. I was especially happy that she was because, fifteen minutes after class had started, I had already broken two needles. I also couldn't control the foot pedal well at first. Every time I'd step on it, it...vrooms, so to speak. It was also a bit embarrassing because mine was the only sewing machine vrooming. Everyone else's was running on moderate speed. Oh well...in time, I'll be perfect.

My sewing teacher had me do needle exercises.

At first it was kind of easy...

And then it got more challenging...

Like I said, however, I had a blast! I took sewing lessons before - like a vocational course type of thing - but I wasn't satisfied with the way it was taught. This time around, I decided that my sewing classes should take place in a fashion school because I wanted to be surrounded by creative people. I wasn't disappointed. Fashion designer John Herrera was teaching another class near where I was having mine and I couldn't help but peek at his creations that he was showing his students. Another class was working on patterns and I marveled at the fabrics they were using.

I left the school with my head in the clouds. Next time, my teacher will have me work on fabrics already...with thread. :) Can't wait!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The One About The Lasagna Roll-Ups

Summer vacation has started but I still cannot bring myself to do absolutely nothing. Last Friday, I enrolled in university because I am still finishing my Master's degree in Family Life and Child Development (because I want to be a professional housewife someday. Hahaha!). Monday after, I enrolled myself in sewing classes in a fashion school. Tuesday, I stayed home but got the itch to do something so I worked on my thesis. On Wednesday, my mom and I bonded and watched "Sex and the City 2." She marveled at the clothes; I marveled on the Rolex watch that Carrie gave Big. While my mom was excited to see Carrie's outfits on every scene, my eyes were glued on Big's wrist. On Thursday, I went to UP to research. Today, Friday, I explored the Kamuning Market and bought my sewing materials. I also got a super short haircut. In fact, it is so short that I probably should have gone to my boyfriend's barber instead to get a good deal. My hair looks like a boy's, anyway, but I paid P350 for it.
I have been spending my summer days being productive each day. I really cannot do nothing.
Anyway, last Tuesday, apart from slaving over my thesis, I made lasagna roll-ups.

The usual lasagna roll-ups recipes I have encountered uses meat sauce with cream cheese filling. I wanted to make mine a tad healthier so instead of cream cheese, I used cottage cheese. It has made the dish lighter while still lending that creamy texture the cream cheese is known for. Also, instead of using ground meat, I used minced eggplant and mushrooms to bump up the healthiness (is this a word?) of the meal.
It was heaven in a roll! I wouldn't get to experience heaven if I did nothing, would I? :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The One About The 13 Things Teachers Don't Tell Parents

I saw this article at the Reader's Digest website. I found it really amusing - and true - and just had to post it here.

13 Things Your Child’s Teacher Won’t Tell You

1. If we teach small children, don’t tell us that our jobs are “so cute” and that you wish you could
glue and color all day long. (It's not "easy," either, so stop saying that. - Little Miss Pinay Crafter)
2. I’m not a marriage counselor. At parent-teacher conferences, let’s stick to Dakota’s progress,
not how your husband won’t help you around the house.

3. We’re sick of standardized testing and having to “teach to the test.” (That's why progressive
schools rock!)

4. Kids used to go out and play after school and resolve problems on their own. Now, with
computers and TV, they lack the skills to communicate. They don’t know how to get past hurt
feelings without telling the teacher and having her fix it.

5. When I hear a loud belch, I remember that a student’s manners are a reflection of his parents’.

6. Your child may be the center of your universe, but I have to share mine with 25 others.

7. Please help us by turning off the texting feature on your child’s phone during school hours.

8. Guys who dribble a ball for a couple of hours a game can make up to $20 million a year. We
educate future leaders and make about $51,000 a year.

9. We take on the role of mother, father, psychologist, friend, and adviser every day. Plus, we’re
watching for learning disabilities, issues at home, peer pressure, drug abuse, and bullying.

10. Kids dish on your secrets all the time—money, religion, politics, even Dad’s vasectomy. (The
younger the students, the juicier the details. Children don't lie, remember? Hahaha!)

11. Please, no more mugs, frames, or stuffed animals. A gift card to Starbucks or Staples would
be more than enough. A thank-you note: even better. (I second the motion.)

12. We love snow days and three-day weekends as much as your kid does. (And suspended
classes when typhoon signals are raised!)

13. The students we remember are happy, respectful, and good-hearted, not necessarily the ones
with the highest grades. (Soooooo true.....)
Sources: American Federation of Teachers; interviews with elementary and middle school teachers in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, and Texas.