Remembering Buwan ng Wika with this quick Palitaw recipe [VIDEO]

Palitaw 1

It’s a real shame when things don’t go as planned.

I had this whole thing set in my head. I wanted to fill my blog this month of August with all things Filipino-related, just because it was the Buwan ng Wika– the Filipino language month. Apart from this Palitaw recipe, I had a list of other food items and Filipino restaurants to feature and review. My planner was so chock full of ideas I felt utterly confident about the whole thing even before I got started.

Unfortunately the execution was… Nonexistent. It’s now the end of August, and all I have to say is “life got in the way”. I hate that excuse but it’s never been more true. It’s getting harder to balance my blogging life and my real life these days.

As July dwindled down the busier my dayjob became. Considering I work until Saturdays and only get to do blog stuff on Sundays and a few hours at night, it was a miracle I managed to crunch out anything at all for August.

I would work so late into the night just to finish writing and editing stuff that it was literally starting to feel like college all over again. (Not necessarily a bad thing but “college life” + work life is exhausting!) Midway in August, it got to a point where I would fall asleep in front of the computer every single night for a week, so I took that as a sign to take a step back and actually get some sleep done instead.

In short, my plan crumbled to pieces before I could even launch it! Guess I’ll have to try again next year… Luckily, I did manage to make one quick Filipino recipe some time ago for one of my most well-loved Filipino treats of all-time. The palitaw has been a favourite of mine ever since the first time I tried it in my childhood, so to give it the attention it deserves, I thought it would be great to share a Palitaw recipe with a short video to boot!

The name palitaw stems from the Filipino word for float, or ‘litaw’. Since these dumplings float up to the surface of the water once they’re cooked, that’s where they got their name.
Get the recipe! >>

Rediscovering my sweet tooth at Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Cafe

Mrs Graham Macaron Cafe

Those who read my blog regularly might have seen me mention a few times how I don’t really have much of a sweet tooth. It’s the ultimate irony for one who likes to bake, it seems. But being here in Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Cafe, it was impossible not to get sucked into the world of desserts. From the cute store to the display of colourful macarons and pastries, the temptation was too great to ignore!

In case you didn’t know, Mrs. Graham is indeed the wife of one of the Graham brothers from my previous post— Chris to be specific. Mrs. Graham’s was actually built before Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop, but I think it’s a really great move to have two stores standing side by side that offer two very different things that somehow fit together. (The his and hers concept is too adorable!)

After satisfying your meal-time hunger with something savoury at the sandwich shop, you can just hop on next door for a sweet ending! Or you can actually order here and then have the sweets brought to Mr. Graham’s. You win either way. 😉

If you really want to find something the Mr. & Mrs. Graham shops have in common, it’s that they both serve food that have some sort of filling between two shells. Also, their interiors both have a cozy and inviting ambiance that’s conducive for hanging out to chat or play board games. I’m already planning a get-together with my best friends in either Mr. or Mrs. Graham’s. 😀

Mrs. Graham’s is more whimsical and artsy in feel– the sort of place that can make your creative juices come alive. (Probably why I saw lots of people doing art.) Being somewhat of an artist myself I can imagine coming here with my sketchbook and pens, then accompanied by macarons and coffee, I’d sit here and draw the afternoon away.
Let’s eat at Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Cafe! >>

Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop earns a spot in my favourites list

Mr Graham Sandwich Shopp

As someone who likes bread, I often feel that the sandwich is under-appreciated. I guess it makes sense in this predominantly rice-eating country. But let me tell you a little secret: a meal here at Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop will change your perspective. You can ask my brother Jason too and he would agree wholeheartedly.

It’s not hard to find Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop in Scout Rallos. Normally navigating through the Scouts confuse me without a GPS, but thankfully this is just the next street over from Timog Avenue. It stands right beside Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Shop– more on that soon!– and you just have to watch out for this sign:

Upon entering, you are immediately met with the smiling face of whoever stands behind the counter. The staff makes this place feel like your friendly neighbourhood sandwich shop, and they are very accommodating to every little request you may have.

You’d think that the limited number of things on the menu would help you decided more easily than if you’re faced with a lot of choices, but all those names sound tasty enough that you’d be tempted to try them all out!

It gets a little more difficult to pick when you see the visual menu. Just look at those fat marshmallows on the ‘Elvis Pressme’ picture, practically inviting you to literally press them!

I definitely have to order that one and take loads of pics on my next visit.
Let’s eat at Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop! >>

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe, as seen through the Huawei P9


As someone who enjoys cooking, one of my greatest dreams has always been to have a home garden. I always imagine myself stepping out through the kitchen door and into a backyard to pick some tomatoes, maybe some fat juicy bell peppers.

It would be nice to be able to just pluck a piece of lettuce from the ground for a salad, and while we’re at it, let’s add some carrots and cucumbers too. This level of fresh ingredients is like every cook’s dream! (Can’t wait for these baby lemons to ripen!)

I experienced some time ago what it was like to have fresh herbs out in our terrace. It seems like potted herbs are the only things that stand a chance here in Manila, and for a while the plant really thrived. It got so big that we had to trim it down and plant another pot.

It was an amazing feeling, being able to just go out onto the terrace and pluck leaf after leaf, adding the basil to pastas or pizzas, and even basil ice cream! Unfortunately as the season started to change into this dreary rainy season, our basil didn’t do so well anymore.

I suppose you could say this Vietnamese Spring Rolls recipe I’m sharing today is an ode to our basil plant. Not only is it an easy classic recipe, but it’s got a lot of veggies in it that make it healthy and light. Using fresh ingredients in any dish is important, and I always take painstaking effort in highlighting them in my photos.

When I used the Huawei P9 to take photos for this post, my goal was the same as always: capture images that will motivate anybody who sees to get in the kitchen and make something. I know that the eyes are the windows to the appetite, so I like to take it a step further by showing how a dish comes together from start to finish. It’s like a gradual journey for the reader that ends with the tummy rumbling!

Truly, food photography can change the way we see cookery and baking. That’s one of the aspects I love the most when it comes to food blogging. It’s no wonder I appreciate the Huawei P9 so much– it helps me share my thoughts and ideas about food through beautiful images. With these spring rolls specifically, I wanted to evoke a sense of fresh deliciousness with the Huawei P9’s help.

I can’t begin to tell you how easy these are! The best part is that you don’t really need to do much cooking, but it’s important that you use good ingredients to fill your rolls.
Get the recipe! >>