Sunday, March 28, 2010

Summer Kitchenomics

Being a part-time teacher, summertime means no salary. As such, I have paused to take stock over my financial situation and was appalled by the fact that over half of my salary goes to food. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. Suffice it to say that everyday that I go to work, I spend about (at the minimum) Php 120.00 for meals and drinks.

Making baon is not always the easiest thing to do but I have decided that over the summer, I will try to figure out a way to make mealtimes more economical and practical. Also, I think preparing my own meals will be healthier, right?

One way I plan to do this is to experiment on quick and easy recipes that I can keep handy so when classes start up again, I will have them on hand and ready to go. I remember when I was younger, I'd grab a bunch of those Del Monte Kitchenomics recipes in the grocery by the meat or dairy sections. Most of my favorite Del Monte recipes would include pineapples and tomato sauce in the dishes. Although I dislike fresh pineapples, I seem to like it in some cooked dishes, like adobo. I haven't seen those in a while but a quick Google search led me to an upgraded version of these recipes :-) Yup, they're online! Those recipes I used to get in the past were quite helpful in teaching me how to cook, which was a good thing because my mom was never much of a cook. The online portal, on the other hand, seems like a more interactive approach compared to the past paper versions because mom's (or pretend mom's like me!) can share recipes and tips on how to make their mealtimes more affordable yet still delicious and healthy. Promos, resources, and new products can also be found in the site so this gives members a heads-up on what's out there. There are also games and articles that can help make kids aware of the importance of healthy eating.

So, come June, I hope to be more consistent in preparing meals to bring to work. Hopefully this can help cut down on my expenses and better yet, help me live up to the statement: I'm on a diet! A healthy one, that is :-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tea Party for Two

photo by Janine

Watching the movie Alice in Wonderland recently made me think back to the time when I was still a little girl and I'd have tea parties with my dolls and stuffed animals. Now that I'm older, my tea parties have evolved, but it still is a great way to catch up with old friends. My tea parties are now in one of the local coffee shops (yes, they do serve tea!) where I get to enjoy lots of different kinds of teas. I particularly like chai tea lattes but nothing really beats dipping tea bags or tea leaves in a pot of hot water and pouring it right out of a teapot to a little matching tea cup. I remember that when I was younger, I wanted to start collecting tea sets because of the cartoon Beauty and the Beast. Remember Mrs. Potts and Chip? They were so cute!

A popular trend nowadays are the instant green teas that come in all different flavors. It definitely is a refreshing and healthy alternative to the carbonated soda craze that was the norm for most of my growing up years. Compared to sodas, green tea is known for it's health benefits that can help lower cholesterol. It is also known to be helpful for many diseases such as cancers, diabetes, and other diseases. It can also help with weight loss.

With tea becoming a popular beverage nowadays, people are surely becoming more aware not just of the benefits of tea, but also the different kinds of teas out there. There are tea stores now where you can get an assortment of leaves and the like. These are great gift alternatives, in fact. Rather than Over the holidays, my cousin made a lot of hand painted tea chests that she gave out to our aunts. It was a big hit! I kinda wish she gave me one too. I'd fill mine up with mint teas. What about you, what's your type of tea?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Taking the Green Step Forward

Last night before catching the special screening of Alice in Wonderland, my blogger friend Earth and I had dinner at El Pollo Loco. It was the first time I had tried that restaurant and I was quite disappointed for two reasons. For one, I was expecting something different when I ordered the nachos but I ended up with something that was too fried/oily for my taste. To be fair, the soft taco I ordered was tasty, but not as good as I was hoping it would be. I think Earth liked the taco she ordered though, because when I finally arrived, she went to get another one. What disappointed me though was that almost everything we ordered came in styrofoam boxes. And take note: we ordred for dine-in.

Albeit, comparatively, I am not a very staunch advocate for the environment, but I have realized that each one of us has to take responsibility for our share of destruction to our environment. This is why I applaud restaurants that make an effort to make their carbon footprint impact less. For example, when I was in Cebu last week, the Taters store I ordered in had a big sign encouraging customers to not take too many tissues and plastic bags. Starbucks likewise has that sign posted by their tissue dispensers. 

During the recent Superbowl, there was an ad about the audi green police and it was nice to see that even these companies are trying to make an impact on changing the habits of people around the world. Even though the ad was a bit of a caricature of the Green Police, which are environment advocates and in various parts of the world, the Audi Green Police tries to help consumers make more environmentally-appropriate choices, such as whether to use paper or plastic.

The real Green Police is an environmental task force that aims to monitor citizens of New York (there is also a UK counterpart)  and their waste management habits as well as their CO2 emissions. I hope we can have something to this regard also here in Manila. I think we are a little to callous and careless about our wastes and while I do see the convenience plastic, styro and the like give us, it needs to be changed or else we will have another Typhoon Ondoy disaster in the making.

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or check out my other blogs! yapatoots | Fat Girl No More | Daydream Believer | Teacher Ria | OnADietDaw

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