Easy Parties with Red Door Kitchen

Saturday, September 30, 2017

My life is crazy. Even if people think this is fun, it's packed with events left and right and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone. I must say, I appreciate TIME so much that I really spend it wisely on weekends to catch up on sleep, or do a fine job of reconnecting with friends and family. Now since I sleep late and wake up late, I don't have (sometimes) the luxury to actually cook for about 6-8 people. It's a scary task and I don't have the hands to wash the dishes, but if I do I would. Last Saturday, I woke up around lunch time (okay my Mom woke me up) because I forgot I scheduled a feast for the weekend. My Mom was already cooking Spaghetti and I forgot to tell her to relax because everything is taken cared of. Just look at this spread, this is from RED DOOR KITCHEN.

I always pass by this area when going to Manila or nearby Banawe for events or restaurant hopping (as they are located between D. Tuason and Cordillera streets). They have their establishment in one of the shacks there identified with an actual Red Door (so you can't miss it!). They specialize pickup or delivery of great party food which you can even schedule ahead of time. That to me is convenient especially if you're not the type who cooks or have the time for it. I'm a schedule freak so if you can arrange for it before it happens, that's a life saver.

Aside from that, they can accommodate orders even if you need it within the day. Ask them and it should be easy. Like if you have relatives from Canada (oh yes it happened to me just now!) and they need to take something from home, I'll let you in on some great pasalubong items which you can order from them too!

This is UBE ENSAYMADA. Imagine swirls of soft baked bread intertwined with semi sweet ube and loads of salty grated cheese and glistening sugar on top. It was good baby, it was so good it was gone once I opened the box it came with.

My favorite on the other hand is the CHEESE ROLL. I like how this one mixes the love that the ensaymada has but got a thick stick of cheese in the middle. Perfect for cheese lovers like me.

Oh my, I wonder what's inside these wonderfully packaged round things. Now the way this works is that you have to BUILD YOUR OWN COMBO. You have to CHOOSE YOUR NOODLE, then CHOOSE YOUR MEAT and ENJOY.

This is the CHINITOYO. This one is their own recipe. I like how it's packaged well and has got a life of it's own. What I mean about that is the combination of flavors. It's a little sweet, boldly savory and a little spicy too. It's their best one, their best seller. Building the combo, I chose the CHICKEN CHOPS as meat for this dish. I like it a lot because of how they did the breading, I mistook it for that Taiwanese Porkchop I so love from Chinese restaurants, so this one is a healthy option. They even packed the vinegar neatly, so I could put it in a smaller dish and enjoy lunch with my family. I would strongly suggest you order the same, the generous servings and tasty accompaniments are just awesome.

Oh don't get me started about the PALABOK. Their version is with thick rice noodles, really thick eggy sauce, scrumptious shrimp and is super good. They have the pork cracklings on a separate packet so it doesn't get mushy when it arrives. They also provide calamansi for those who would like some. The meat paired with this is the LIEMPO BARBECUE. It's meaty, but hell of a lot soft because it's cooked perfectly. I don't know how they marinated this thing but man, it kinda threw me off as it felt like barbecue from Aristocrat. I definitely dig this the most, so if you're a meat lover... don't trip on your way out because this is so precious. Nothing was left for my Dad LOL. 

 Now this was a surprise. We had company who didn't like the SPAGHETTI of the other take out place (you might know what that is), but this one didn't just pass with flying colors.. she was raving about it. True enough, when it was my turn to get some on my plate, this was wonderful. I felt like a kid again. Now you know those things that could kick some of your childhood memories? This was it. It's sweet, a definite challenger to the more popular Filipino spaghetti without tiring you at all. It's something you would come back for more. Oh and if you're not doing anything, please try the LUMPIANG SHANGHAI. It's meaty, not too hot, has that crunchy exterior you love.

If you're a little more adventurous, please do help yourself with the KUNG FU SHRIMP. It's a very good version of Kung Pao Pasta, hotter than usual so it's right for me. I love extremely hot stuff but even though it was just enough, it was lovely! I also like the mushrooms and peanuts, it was a play of textures. I was a little full already during this time but the spice was just so inviting, I had seconds of this. You can also order the pasta and noodles individually, but I strongly suggest you get the combo instead. It's the better option and could save you a few bucks.

For those who would still need a little more carbs, take a LOAF BREAD with your combos. You don't have to go out and buy it from the local bread shop or bakery. They already have some available upon order so don't hesitate to add this on your list.

Now what's a celebration without a cake. Good thing my family loves UBE CAKE, but if you're the type who couldn't make up their mind... they've got one they call CANT DECIDE CAKE wherein they put around 4 flavors in one putting. I super duper love this ube cake though because it's fluffy outside, and the cake wasn't really too sweet which was perfect for the diabetic people in my house. It felt like eating a jar of that lovely ube jam you used to take home from Baguio, and it's really good. I would get one for my Dad's birthday on Sunday. He deserves a treat!

I took photos of the brochure so you get an idea. You can always look it up or ask them while you order. They are also on Facebook

For those who are already tired about the same old food you order for birthdays and special occasions, RED DOOR presents itself not just as a super great alternative, but an equal or even greater promise to be present in your special days. It's affordable, it's so good and if you're going to ask me, it's even better than the usual. I would personally feed this to my friends and family, and it's complete with protein on the combos so you don't have to think about stuff to add because they've got a menu that's really well though of. Add to that the lovely cakes and baked goodies which you can take for a ride, hey it's a home run! 

They also have the CHOCOLIQUOR CAKES BY MARICAR REYES POON which is so popular nowadays, you don't have to look further. Call the RED DOOR KITCHEN office hours at 442-9888 or their mobile number 0999 477 7333. I am already hungry from editing this article, but I'll have to hold it. You go ahead and call them, your family will enjoy something new, something real good for a FUN PARTY!

Hope someone orders a cake for me!

St. Peter Celebrates Death Care Week and Partnership with Breakout Philippines

Friday, September 29, 2017

St. Peter Death care week was launched 11 years ago and it coincides with St. Peter Life Plan's anniversary which is celebrated every October 27. This year, they are partnering with Breakout Philippines from October 1 to November 6. There will be several rooms in Breakout Philippines branches that will be themed together with St. Peter Life Plans. Aside from that, they will also have trick or treat activities in their head office, plus nationwide pink tricycles that would provide FREE transportation from October 30 to November 2 in selected memorial parks, communities to serve as a treat for people who are visiting their loved ones. They will also have displays in major malls to get to their audience, they deem the Filipino public deserve better services and they know they can provide that. During Halloween season, they will have displays and activations happening in Trinoma, SM Megamall and Glorietta and the theme would include some similarities to Anabelle the movie. You can purchase life and death care plans for you and your loved ones right at the venue too so if you don't have one yet, now is the right time to do it. They'll be increasing premium in the next few months so they advise everyone to get one before it happens, especially if you want to be prepared and not want to bother your loved ones when the time comes. You know that happens.

The lowest package they have is Php 625, which is very affordable by any standards. I've witnessed how my family became very stress free because their people took care of things especially when we were at our very stressful moments. I think they ought to be lauded of the exemplary things they've done all these years. This partnership they have with BREAKOUT PHILIPPINES will get people to experience some of their themed escape rooms mixed in with St. Peter elements especially for their employees, Sales Agents and plan holders. You can take off Php 100 off the actual price you pay from October 1 to November 6 in these selected rooms. These will be Boogeyman and Sleep No More at SM North Edsa, the Corpse Bride at Greenbelt 5, the Clownhouse at Katipunan, and Hide and Seek at Paragon Plaza. 

During their first blog conference, we got to talk to Dr. Mildred Vitangcol, St. Peter Life Plans Chairman. She says "We want a lighter approach, because people think of death as sad and morbid topic to talk about. It's not standard for chapels but there are requests that we do entertain. We don't want it to be gloomy and make it feel like a lighter event. We went through discussions, we interviewed them and a lot agreed on pink. Death care week is our way of celebrating our anniversary, and since it's timed with all saints day, we made it our CSR effort to help more people in return.

"We want them to know it's not gonna be a heavy feeling, or heavy on the pocket and tell them to get and plan ahead. People were shocked initially, but now they sometimes look forward to see the pink casket. We want our customers to understand our products, so we don't have to hardsell because we build on relationships and trust on our people."

She adds "We have intelligent buyers and professionals understand this when something happens to their family, they are prepared, and not be bothered by it when the time comes. They should know it is something they should put as a priority. When we introduced our programs in the early 2000's, our company has stayed number 1 even if the pre-need industry isn't good. We also have served that viral old man who begged for money just so he can pay for his death benefits. We contributed from our own pockets and paid for it in full. Aside from that, we are also helping a lot of people in Marawi, as part of our CSR efforts, we give them their needs because we are not just in this business for money, we go deeper than that, because we ultimately want to serve these families."

When I asked about how they still make their business successful she said "The secret is DISCIPLINE, you really have to save up for the business because they have strict policies about it especially in our trust funds. It's heavily regulated, and we abide by that. We also have ethics, and that got is where we are today. Our priority are our plan holders but we still accomodate if they need our services."

It actually feels so nice that a private corporation would go the mile and do this for the community. They dedicate time, money, effort to go over and beyond the services that they provide because they know it's the right thing to do. I'm not surprised people are actually waiting for their events during these days of reflecting, prayer and solemnity. They don't forget to also give their plan holders and the general public a hand, then entertain them too.

Congratulations to everyone behind St. Peter Life Plans.  Cheers to more partnerships in the future!

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The Converse x NBA Collection


That's what exactly I said when I saw this new collection from Converse. The All Star is already 100 years old but they keep on churning out new designs and now they're coming out with NBA. 

My favorite among the shoes this evening is the one from Chicago Bulls. The design is basically much like a tougher version of their jersey. This Converse x NBA Collection is obviously for fans of the game and the greatest basketball league in the world NBA. Right now they are launching the rivals with 6 pairs. Boston Celtics and the Lakers, Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. All collectibles and people don't even want to use them because it's so precious. 

The Golden State Warriors

Boston Celtics

Los Angeles Lakers

New York Knicks

Cleveland Cavaliers

Each Converse NBA shoe in this collection is going to have the propreitary Nike Lunarlon technology. So your feet would be comfy and snug because you're feet is protected. Street fashion is not just limited to shoes as they will also be coming out with jackets, sweaters, caps, sweat pants, so you better hurry!

The Chuck NBA All Star Collection sells for Php 4,950 in all Converse stores nationwide. The supplies are limited so if you see em on the pedestals, grab it because it's fate, it's yours, you know it!

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Some Good Things About Canola Oil

Thursday, September 28, 2017

What kind of oil are you using in your kitchen? Is it still palm? Vegetable? Coconut oil? Not that I'm saying it's not good but for me, it's been a good experience cooking with Canola oil. It's got a lot of fatty acids that is essential in your diet, some of which are can't be made by your own body.

Canola actually contains Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It is an omega-3 fatty acid which protects you against heart disease by lowering bad cholesterol. It also contains Linoleic acids which is an omega-6 fatty acid, your body can't produce that naturally but this one has it. Aside from that, it helps you in nutritional gaps because it contains phytosterol. There are a lot of things that Canola Oil has to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Canola Oil doesn't also hamper in the taste of your food, whether Chicken, Beef or Pork, it retains it's neutral taste and it doesn't smell too even in high temperatures. It can do well in frying, sauteing or even baking. A tea spoon of it everyday would reduce the risk of heart attacks, so if you're a health freak, this would do so good on your diet. Remember, cutting down on saturated fats helps cut your cholesterol levels so if you're out and doing grocery, pick up something good on the shelf like Golden Fiesta.  

I am, you should too.


PSID Celebrates GOLD at Uptown Mall BGC

Having a very successful exhibit last year means they've got to do even bigger this year as they also are celebrating PSID's 50th year. A golden year of interior design showing glamour, opulence, luxury and design elements that portray the expertise and craftsmanship of Filipino interior designers under the tutelage of Victor Ruel Pambid Jr. Under him are the graduating students of PSID and a couple of alumni from the same institution that felt showcasing their work would be the perfect way to celebrate it.

True enough, students of PSID whipped out their interpretations and different use of color, texture and elements of the precious metal. It has to be felt, it has to be seen, from contemporary, modern, moorish, egyptian, popart and rethro, gold elements were indeed a welcome sight.

The MODERN FRENCH RENAISSANCE living room had a lot of gold wall treatments. It made the room wreak expensive, spacious but not overly decorated. I could imagine this to be a royal study where a prince would be forced to learn piano at a young age, but that's just me.

This one is POP ART, a little difficult to execute because of the limitations of shades that would complement gold. They used metal sheets, purple velvet fabric on chairs and sticked with the gold elements even for the artwork. It was okay but I'd like to see several colors and gold executed in this space, they didn't gamble.

This is the BALINESE kitchen. They had a foreigner in mind as a client in this area. I like the long black marble bar/granite counter which has got a prep area so you can still entertain guests while cooking or preparing drinks. The native ceiling, the Balinese flower details on the cabinets felt a little too native, though if it's needed to interpret their room, I would use different materials. Design shouldn't be so literal. 

I was impressed with this one. Aimed to please a client who's an up and coming fashion designer, they patterned their space with the elements seen with the recent work he's done in recent shows. It's nice to see gold metal, very structural and architectural in nature and used to reflect the rest of the space, it didn't feel cheap, Miranda Priestly would be proud to move here. This is MODERN DECONSTRUCTIVISM.

This MOROCCAN OASIS is more on the moorish side. The bulb shapes, the nice headboard, the brass fixtures, is reminiscent of a palace in the middle east. I like the seating on the elevated platform, a place you can hangout with your friends or family. Why didn't I think of that? 

The space for the CONTEMPORARY EGYPTIAN was laid out quite nicely. It's got ample storage, symmetrical elements and I love the gold trimmings. It's good but what bothered me most was the supposed Egyptian posts, and the water closet. The posts felt a lot staged, almost cartoon-ish, like a sore thumb sticking out from the rest of the things that were there. The water closet, albeit in an open layout should have still been made with a situational private section. It felt too open for comfort, I wouldn't want people be seen taking a dump. It's a his and hers sink, so if they'd do that might as well have something to at least cover or mask it. Or maybe it's just me who's bothered, but there.

In this living room, a CULTURAL AZTEC theme was in play. I like the details on the wall. The sectional would probably be uncomfortable and might need a little getting used to. Let's just say it's not as cohesive as we wished it to be.

Fit to appease a chic successful business woman, this CONTEMPORARY NEOCLASSIC dining room are built with different elements. You've got very detailed chairs, custom made to fit the black white and gold theme, plus an accent chaise lounge chair in the dining table fit to feed around 4 people. I like the things they did with the artwork, mixing around some greek busts with british knick knacks, much to have felt like a London apartment. Pretty good, I like the gold plates on the ceiling too.

This is the INDUSTRIAL LUXE. I know it is pretty hard to actually produce a luxurious industrial spot and I think this didn't quite live up to it. This was rough and I personally don't like how they didn't commit much on the color palette. If you would put wood, it should be cohesive. Yes the bright color might have put focus on the large pantry but it failed on the finish. It didn't look smooth, to get to that luxury they were calling for. If they paid attention to at least have it the same like much of the wood counter and chairs they had in the island and followed the same, then I'd believe their theme even more. Martha would be sad.

This entertainment area is inspired by MODERN ART DECO. If you've been to Manila, a lot of buildings actually follow this look. This treatment felt like a bachelors pad, where the sectional turns into a huge bed (bigger than a California King) and it's got a wet bar plus tons of storage and cabinetry on the sides. They enthusiastically said it's for food so you don't have to see it all the time because of the sliding doors. They also thought well about the acoustics as those flower ceiling is intended to bounce off what's coming out of the huge Samsung TV. I like the color theme, it's gold trims are not too overbearing. It's just enough.

This is ECLECTIC ELEGANCE. It's with a hodge podge of personalized items set to fit together like a glove. I specifically like the work area and the colorful headboard which draws you in. They also showed the large screen that you can change artworks in, like a different one everyday. Wouldn't that be a dream? Albeit busy to the eye, this is like organized chaos, with a place for everything you need in a room and small office. There's also a place to entertain, quite nice.

This was the Mindanao inspired bathroom they had for the NEO ARCHIPELAGO style. The wood patterns are from fabric from the region, all of which I think is a better executed bathroom. The water closet is hidden behind those waterfall his and hers sinks. It didn't feel clunky at all. These students really have talent.

They also had alumni, professors actually join in too.

A Michael Pizarro Bedroom. I could say this is the closest to my taste, but I'd probably have to touch that bare ceiling and put artwork on it.

A Vianca Anunuevo and Mark Perez Living Room. It's very miminalist. Clean lines, full of technology, a bit far from the actual mock up on paper.

This is a Mary Ann Venturina Bulanadi Den or Study Room. I talked to one of the nice lady curators of the Nakpil-Bautista Mansion which was erected in the 20th century. She personally invited me over but I was already planning to do that even before she mentioned it. This space was designed with one of the rooms of that museum in mind which was originally a Jewelry Room (they were that affluent to have space for that?). It was modest, but each piece had a story behind it. Those murals on the wall were made by 5 different artists, plus the fruit basket and metal chandelier too. They also had several pieces on the table and unbelievable decades old chairs all made by artisans which we wouldn't know because we're probably not even born yet. I'd like to find out more when I get to visit that place. It's in A Bautista in Quiapo right beside the Pasig River. Identified with a 1914 Viennese Secession style heritage home managed by the Nakpil Bautista Foundation. They also have a museum that tells a lot about the Philippine revolution. I'll feature them separately soon.

This is an Office/Study Room by Stephanie Yan. It's got wall to ceiling gold treatments but still have very Asian elements. Very modern.

This space was designed by Karen Abrera and Aedefy Company. This was based on the art of Japanese Kintsugi where they usually pour liquid gold in between, as a form of art of broken pieces. I like the section with shiplap salvaged from old houses and the marble bar sectioned off by broken gold lines in random sequences. This was a bit deep.

This is a Lalyn Nivera Bedroom. It's a warm industrial luxe styled space, which is very masculine.

This is designed by Pam Laguar and Ezra Halili. It's a living room with a huge red couch, perfect for a large family, very picture perfect. I could imagine several portraits being shot here.

This one is a Jigs Adefuin Ante Room. This also doubles as a study room but mostly to receive guest before a bigger entertainment area. It's very warm and opulent, with repetitive patterns in different textures. I could see Goldfinger or any mob boss enjoying himself here.

This is a space designed by Mike Suqui and Kat Obcemea. It's a bit futuristic, thinking of a time when people are already cultivating vegetation on their walls just to produce food. This is still a living room, concentrating on plays with material.

This one is a brutalist luxe den by Gelo Del Mundo. A place where it'll be very occupied by texture, people will feel and see it once they step inside. This is just one of the things you should see in the exhibit.

The Philippine School for Interior Design (PSID) will be doing this exhibit the whole month of October. Dubbed as GOLD: Glamorous, Opulent, and Luxurious Designs, this is their graduation exhibit set to showcase Filipino design and enginuity. Make sure you visit them at the Uptown Bonifacio Mall in Bonifacio Global City. It's right across the H&M store so you wouldn't miss it. It'll be something cool to see if you're around the area, if you're on a date or just interested in interior design. You can also get referrals to their builders, they can share their stories too. You shouldn't miss this chance because it only happens once a year.
They have a lot to show.