FOOD | Beans in Oyster Sauce

Happy hump day!

If you’re at a loss of what to prepare for lunch today, I’m sharing with you one of the easiest and delicious vegetable dish I know how to make (there are not many of them, by the way).

I find that one of the easiest way to add flavor to dishes, especially Southeast Asian style dishes, is adding oyster sauce (I used Mama Sita’s, where I got this recipe). I add this to almost all dishes, like pancit canton, chop suey, adobong squid. But my most favorite (quickest and easiest) dish using oyster sauce is stir-fry beans. Those who are purists though may cringe as oyster sauce is not a natural food seasoning. While oyster sauce was traditionally made from real oysters, bottled oyster sauce nowadays are commonly made using oyster extract, and seasoned with lots of sugar, salt, and MSG. Not very good, I must say — so use in moderation.

To make this dish healthier, omit the oyster sauce, and steam the vegetable

Ingredients:

garlic (loads if you like)

ginger (loads, to add flavor)

baguio beans, or add other vegetables if you like

IMG_2200

 

Saute the garlic and the ginger. I think the garlic-ginger combination is a winner. Saute the two until you can smell a fragrant aroma.

IMG_2201

Add the beans (or other vegetables of your liking). Make sure you cut or slice the vegetables thinly. This is a stir-fry dish, and the vegetables should still be crispy when they get out of the pan. Add the oyster sauce. IMG_2202

IMG_2203

Serve with freshly fried fish and a heap of steaming rice. :D

DSC_6501

DIY | Pink Rose Floral Headband

DSC_6501I’m a typical girly-girl. I love clothes, dressing up, applying and wearing make-up. I take pictures every time I’m drinking coffee, especially when I’m at a coffee shop where lighting is really good. I dream of Paris. And like a typical girly-girl, I adore flowers, and flower headbands. After a busy half year, I now find myself having more time at the end of the day and on weekends, so I’m trying to pursue some craft projects. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was make my own floral headbands, or garlands. I’ve seen very few headbands in stores and most of them are too “childish.” So, one weekend, I finally was able to make a floral headband. I think making headbands is a good bonding activity between mommy and kids or auntie and kids, and making your own headbands — for weddings or children’s parties — is more thrifty and fun!

Materials used:

1 bunch pink paper roses (P25)

1 bunch pink paper rose buds (P28)

green crepe paper

Elmer’s glue

floral wire

wire cutter

scissors

 

 

DSC_6494

 

Lay out all your materials in the table or floor. This way you’ll be able to work easier and faster. Most of the materials used are found in school supplies stores (crepe paper, glue, and scissors). The floral wire I bought from a flower stall at the Carbon market. I bought a roll (about 20 meters) for P50. The wire cutter I bought from Expressions. The cutter is old as I used that when making earrings years before. There are variety of ready-made flowers (made of paper, fabric or plastic) in dressmaking supplies’ stores. Downtown Cebu is a good source for these materials.

DSC_6495

I measured 20 inches of the floral wire and doubled the length. The floral wire is flimsy so I doubled it. I wrapped the wire around each other so it would look compact.

DSC_6496 I then cut 2 strips from the crepe paper — 1/2 inch thick and wrapped the paper around the floral wire. I used glue to hold the crepe papers in place. Don’t put too much glue because the crepe papers are really thin.

DSC_6497 At each end of the wire I made a loop. I was thinking that maybe I can wrap a ribbon around this loop so that anyone can wear the headband. We don’t have the same head circumference and the headband can be worn on top of the hair or as a headband tucked under the hair. If you don’t want a loop, you can join the ends, twist them together and cover it with crepe paper. Make sure to glue the crepe paper.

DSC_6498

DSC_6499Finally, place the flowers on the headband. The flowers I bought come with stems, so you can just easily wrap them around the band. Arrange the flowers the way you want them — but I think a cluster of three or more flowers would like great.

DIYheadband

I was absolutely pleased with the headband I made I had to wear it and post a picture in Instagram. Now, I’m dreaming of making my own flowers and more headbands.

Happy Monday, and hope you have a great week ahead!

 

FOOD | Flourless, 3-Ingredient Pancakes

IMG_2357

Good morning!

Yesterday, I took a break from work and browsed my Facebook feeds for updates from my friends and family, and chanced upon a good friend’s convo with her friend on pancakes. Her friend suggested my friend try another alternative to our usual pancakes. Their convo reminded me that I still have a recipe to post in this blog that has been gathering dust in my drafts folder.

I usually get a surplus of bananas from my family in Lazi, Siquijor. Our town grows lots of bananas — we hold the Saging Festival every year to commemorate such — and I seldom buy bananas here in the city because when folks come visit me they bring me lots of good stuff from our province, including bananas. I made this recipe some months ago when I had overly-ripe bananas. I posted another recipe using overly-ripe bananas two years ago, and you might also want to check that recipe out because it was more indulgent what with the vanilla ice cream on top. I used Eugenie Kitchen’s recipe for the banana pancakes I made.

Ingredients:

bananas (overly ripe ones for the “banana smell”), mashed

eggs, beaten

baking power

IMG_2353

Ingredients: 3 bananas (but I added 1 later because the mixture was too eggy), 2 eggs, and a tsp of baking powder

IMG_2355

To cook the pancakes, I used a non-stick tamagoyaki pan so I won’t need to add oil. Flip the pancakes once you see bubbles form.

IMG_2356

And, tada! They are thick banana pancakes because I did not mash the bananas finely. I made 8 mini pancakes, and topped them with syrup and cinnamon.

 

IMG_2326

The Modern Gypsies

IMG_2321 IMG_2322 IMG_2325 IMG_2326 IMG_2327 IMG_2328 IMG_2329 IMG_2330

For as long as I can remember, these what I call modern gypsies have been a permanent fixture in our small town’s fiesta celebration every summer. Five to 10 days before the fiesta and five to 10 days after, they occupy a substantial amount of real estate in town where they set up temporary tents and display their goods all day. Most of these gypsies are traders — selling everything from magic wallets to household wares.

In my childhood, there would be one day when my grandfather would take us to these gypsies and he would allow us to pick one thing and he’d buy it for us. Most of the times, I choose school shoes. In my teenage years, I’d bring my younger cousins to these gypsies and we’d play perya games, often bringing home a bottle of ketchup as a prize, or bringing nothing at all. Fast forward to college, I developed my thrifting habit through these gypsies. Some of them sell second0hand clothes, or what we call locally as ukay-ukay, and I was so obsessed with printed skirts and t-shirts that I’d visit their tents almost everyday and spend my summer allowance on P10 skirts and shirts. This year, I didn’t buy anything, but I still pay them a visit, if only to find a treasure among their wares.

I never knew where they came from, but most of them speak Bisaya, so I’m guessing they either come from Negros Oriental, Bohol, or Cebu. I also always thought they just set up tent anywhere, but realized that they also pay taxes to the local government and the local government chooses where they can set up their tents. I’m concerned about their sanitation — where they take a bath, remove their bowels, urinate, and throw their trash — noticing they there were no visible latrines and trash cans in the area. I wonder how they knew our small town existed, and wonder if they have made friends in the town that they visit only once a year.

DSC_2001

Poppy Coffee & Cupcakes

DSC_1992 DSC_1993 DSC_1994 DSC_1995 DSC_1996 DSC_1997 DSC_1998 DSC_2000 DSC_2001 DSC_2002 DSC_2003

When my boyfriend and I went home to Siquijor last November, on the way back to Cebu, we took a fastcraft to Dumaguete and from there decided to take a midnight boat to Cebu. When I’m too hungry to think of where to eat in Dumaguete, I don’t go adventurous and check out the newest places. Instead, I walk a hundred meters or so from the port to Jo’s Chicken Inato and order a piece of chicken and rice (and pancit canton if I’m not on a budget or in a hurry). And that’s exactly what my boyfriend and I did. After our dinner at Jo’s, we walked around the downtown of Dumaguete, checked out their plaza (and it was filled with people that day being a Sunday and a few days before their fiesta), and tried to find somewhere we can sit and have coffee and sweet treats. We noticed a few new coffee shops in the area but finally settled with Poppy at the Siliman Portal because it was deserted. We ordered coffee (mine had a badly-poured figure of a pig) and cupcakes. The coffee and cupcakes were decent, and so were the prices. All in all, it wasn’t extraordinary, but it was decent.

OUTFIT | Argenti Silk Dress

IMG_2291 IMG_2292

I’ve been asking myself if posting outfit photos are still relevant and interesting in my blog, knowing that I am not a fashion blogger. True, I love dressing up, I read fashion magazines and keep a few of them, I browse fashion websites, I keep myself updated in fashion trends, and even took some few minutes off my day browning the #kimye wedding photos to check on Kim Kardashian’s wedding dress — I don’t love fashion. But I love vintage clothes and I love vintage style. So, to validate my continued posting of outfit photos, although I don’t know if anyone cares, I answered myself and said…the purpose of this blog is all about “thrifting” and “being thrifty” and enjoying life, while being thrifty. And in my life, I am thriftiest when it comes to clothes, so…I guess I’d continue to post outfit photos.

Anyway, I had this Argenti 100% silk dress for some time now. The dress is a size or two bigger than me, but it reminded me of something my beautiful grand-aunt would wear, so I bought it. I had the chance to wear it when one of my friends from highschool, who I endearingly calls “beastfriend” got married. To make the dress fit me, I adjusted the button closure at the waistline, and trimmed and rolled the sleeves up. I love this dress, and I’m glad I wore it to a happy occasion.

Outfit: thrifted Argenti wrap-around dress, thrifted Stacatto pumps, vintage clutch

La Vie en Rose

IMG_2282

 

One hot summer afternoon, I was in the vicinity of the “pink house.” My cousin and I called it the “pink house” and I thought that if I had money, I would buy the house. Until the house opened to the public, and I had no money. I was looking for crepes but the restaurant opens only at 6:30. The boulangerie though is open all day so we ordered food there. La Vie Parisienne is a very popular place, especially for people who want to post pictures in Instagram. I loved the chocolate cake we ordered (P80 per slice) because it tasted like the super-moist brownies I used to bake in college. The coffee — Americano (P100) and Macchiato (P130) — was so-so, not spectacular. The deli sub had generous serving of pork, but I had to chew carefully because the bread was hard and I was afraid my false teeth would fall if I eat the sandwich hurriedly. We went there at 4PM, in the middle of summer, so it was probably a bad time, as I had difficulty relaxing because of the heat. Maybe we should come back on cooler months to enjoy the wine, and the crepes I was looking for.

IMG_2284

IMG_2285

lavie01

I managed to insert an outfit post — this is to thank my grand-aunt of the clothes I received from her last Christmas. The sheer top (which had an open back) had sequined sleeves.

Name: La Vie Parisienne

Location: Gorordo Ave., Lahug, Cebu City