Friday, October 31, 2014

From Around the Web: Our Favorite Articles for October

Every month, I plan to share with all of you the top 5 articles that I found interesting over the past month. This will also be a personal archive of articles I'll eventually read again in the future, so it helps me keep track of everything. If you missed the one for September, here it is. Now let's cut to the chase then, here are my top articles for the month of October, most of which really focuses on kitchen techniques to achieve mastery.   

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The 2015 Starbucks Planner: Start Collecting Stickers on November 3

Following the release of the 2015 Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Giving Journal last Saturday, Starbucks Stores in the Philippines will start handing out stickers for the 2015 Starbucks Planner and release of their Featured Christmas Beverages on November 3, 2014. It's that time of the year to start collecting planner stamps (and beverage stars for Starbucks Card holders) once more! 

Starbucks Philippines Share-a-Latte Moment

Today's the final day for Starbucks Philippines Buy 1 Take 1 French Vanilla Latte Promo! Just purchase 1 French Vanilla Latte and you can get another one for free. It doesn't have to be the same type, so you can buy 1 hot French Vanilla Latte and get a free French Vanilla Frappucino if you like.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Here's a Menu Guide for Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Philippines

Here's a Menu Guide for Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Philippines
After hundreds of hours spent in this coffee shop while drinking a delicious cup of coffee (and earning thousands of swirl rewards points in the process), I can proudly say that Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has been my favorite coffee shop for the past 4 years. 

Although not as popular as Starbucks Coffee, I think this humble little coffee shop has better coffee, a homier feel, and a better music playlist than it's more popular counterpart. It also has an outstanding gourmet menu and a really delicious selection of tea from around the world. I like their drinks so much that at one point, I was able to get 5 Giving Journals (I gave the other 4 as a Christmas gift) because I was hooked to the delicious beverages and good food. 

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf St. Bistro in Bonifacio Global City also serves quality gourmet dishes not found in other CBTL stores, so it's certainly a store I recommend you try out as well.

So, here I am about to ramble about my favorite items from their menu so that you can make the most out of your Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf experience.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Start Collecting Stamps for The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf's 2015 Giving Journal on October 25

Start Collecting Stamps for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's 2015 Giving Journal on October 25

It's finally here! You can start collecting stamps for the 2015 Giving Journal from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Philippines on October 25. I mentioned in my previous post on CBTL's sneak peek video that I usually collect planners from both Starbucks and CBTL every year because I tend to study in both stores a lot. However, between the two I prefer the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf planner because it costs me a lot less money and I really admire CBTL's support of the Real LIFE Foundation.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wyeth's Enercal Plus: Is it Any Good for Your Health?

Wyeth's Enercal Plus: Is it Any Good for Your Health?

Understanding proper nutrition is an essential part of crafting a well-balanced diet. Of course, the best diet should consist of some grain, protein, fruits, and vegetables as recommended by Harvard's Healthy Eating Plate. Unfortunately most of us don't have the luxury of time and resources to plan every meal to make sure we get all the nutrients we need, which is why nutritional supplements and multivitamins are so popular. 

I was recently able to get my hands on one nutritional supplement specially formulated for adults - a can of Wyeth's Enercal Plus. Wyeth describes Enercal Plus as the following:
ENERCAL PLUS is an adult nutritional supplement for health inside and out. It contains Nutri-Life Plus, which contains essential nutrients found in a balanced meal. More than just vitamins, it has whey and soy protein, Calcium and Vitamin D for bone and muscle strength, antioxidants for improved immunity and has 0 grams transfat for a healthy heart.
Wyeth's Enercal Plus is,
  • Made of 100% Vegetable Fat Blend
  • Contains Whey and Soy Protein, Calcium and Vitamin D
  • High in Vitamins A, C, & E
  • Contains Choline, Folic Acid, Vitamins B6 and B12
So based on everything all the information mentioned above, is Enercal Plus any good for your health? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Selecta Ice Cream Christmas Flavors

Last month, I wrote a review of Three New Selecta Ice Cream Flavors that was being sold in SM Hypermarket. The new flavors were Choco Almond Fudge, Mais Con Quezo, and Fruit Salad. As a huge ice cream fan, I bought all tree flavors so that I could try them all out. I did grow up enjoying scoops of Selecta Ice Cream. However, it was a bit puzzling as to why the new flavors didn't come with a major promotional campaign similar to what Selecta has done in the past, but it seems that Selecta has recently released a new TV Commercial introducing the three new flavors as their 2014 Christmas Flavors! 

Which of the three flavors should you buy? Well, I would say it would be up to your personal taste. In my opinion though, I did mention in my review that I loved Mais Con Quezo ice cream flavor the most, and I really do recommend you try it. If you want, they also sell a Fruit Salad and Mais Con Quezo dual tub so you can buy that instead if you would like to try both flavors at the same time. 

I hope you enjoy this coming holiday season with tubs of ice cream! Let me know what you think of the three new flavors in the comments below. 

Don't miss out! You can follow me on Facebook or subscribe to Chef Jay's Kitchen by email to get updates on new articles. To check out my restaurant reviews, follow me on Zomato.

Chef Jay 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ice Cream is Loads More Fun with Cold Stone Creamery

Ice Cream is Loads More Fun with Cold Stone Creamery Mall of Asia

I recently had the pleasure to try out freshly made ice cream from the Cold Stone Creamery branch in SM Mall of Asia. Cold Stone Creamery is categorized as "Super Premium" ice cream by industry experts, so I was already expecting the ice cream to be really good. What stood out to me, however, was the outstanding service. Everything they do, from dancing to flying cups, is done to make eating ice cream a truly entertaining ice cream experience.

So, here's what happened during my visit to the Cold Stone Creamery.

Erwan Heussaff's Pesto Pasta Recipe: is it Any Good?

Erwan Heussaff's Pesto Pasta: is it Any Good? - Ingredients

Last week, Erwan Heussaff shared his very own version of a 3-Herb Homemade Pesto Recipe on his personal website, The Fat Kid Inside. I know that a lot of people have been giving him a hard time, making accusations that his food doesn't taste any good. Well, let's put that to the test, shall we?

I'm here to give an honest opinion on what his food actually tastes like. Does it taste any good? Maybe he just has a French palate that doesn't really understand the types of flavors that Filipinos want?

Difficulty: Easy
Yields: 5 Servings
Total Cost: 150 Pesos
Cost per Serving: 30 pesos

Saturday, October 18, 2014

You Should Eat More Brown Rice, Here's Why

You Should Eat More Brown Rice, Here's Why

Rice has always been a staple of the Filipino diet, with over a hundred million Filipinos eating a healthy serving of rice during every meal. Try to imagine eating Kare-Kare, Sisig, Bulalo, and other Filipino favorites minus the rice. Pretty hard to imagine, right?

We Filipinos normally consume white rice rather than it's less processed counterpart, but I'm here to convince you why you should consider eating rice that's more brown than white. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Philippines: 2015 Giving Journal

I'm so excited! Here's a sneak peak of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf 2015 Giving Journal. Every November, CBTL Philippines begins the stamp-collecting season for the next year's planner, and every year it's always a better planner than the year before. This year, they started a bit early by officially launching the 2015 Giving Journal on October 25. 

I think Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Philippines wanted to start a bit earlier this year so that more people can get their hands on next year's planner and maybe to benefit more scholars. This is because all the proceeds from the planners are donated to the Real LIFE Foundation. The previous 3 campaigns was able to support 21 Real LIFE Scholars, so let's try to get the word out to support more of them.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Philippine Milk Madness: The Best Tasting Supermarket Fresh Milk

Philippine Milk Madness: The Best Tasting Supermarket Fresh Milk

When we shop for our weekly groceries, we have a variety of choices on what we can buy. With so many brands trying to grab our attention, as creatures of habit we normally try to simplify things and go for what we're most familiar with. It's the same thing with the milk that we buy, so I'm hoping to help you with that decision.

Now, I'm an advocate of making sure that everyone gets to drink at least 2 glasses of milk every day. This is so that we get enough calcium and avoid calcium deficiency, which is still very common even in the world we live in today. 

I think it's important to highlight that the fresh milk that we buy at the supermarkets is actually UHT Processed Milk, and not really 'fresh milk'. There's a difference, since UHT processed milk has been processed in very high temperature to extend its shelf-life by 6 to 9 months. There has been quite a bit of negative reactions to UHT milk, particularly because it allegedly doesn't taste as good as raw fresh milk. But here in the Philippines, we don't really have a choice since it's hard or expensive to get our hands on 'fresh milk'.

Let's make do with what we have. In this article, I'll try to decide on the best fresh milk brand in our supermarket shelves today.

Here's How to Grill a Simple, Delicious T-Bone Steak

Here's How to Grill a Simple, Delicious T-Bone Steak

Steak is one of the most simple yet delicious ingredients you can work with in the kitchen. It's filled with natural juices that bring out really great flavor. Quite frankly, you don't have to add anything except a bit of salt and pepper to grill a great-tasting steak.

In the Philippines, steak is pretty expensive when you go out to eat at restaurants. It can easily cost you over a thousand pesos to have a taste of good quality steak from restaurants such as Outback, Myron's, Racks, Chilis, and other high-end establishments. But who says you can't have a good steak meal at home? 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ken Afford's Delicious Sisig Ala Domeng Deserves More of Your Attention

Anyone who passes by Ken Afford along the streets of Katipunan Avenue wouldn't think much of the place. It's a small restaurant, tucked away in a not-so-obvious corner near more popular establishments such as Bo's Coffee and Xocolat. The place itself does help to make the restaurant stand out. What keeps me coming back to Ken Afford is their delicious home-cooked food, particularly the Sisig Ala Domeng which is one of the best - if not the best sisig dishes - I have tried in Metro Manila. Yes, their sisig tastes better than that of Gerry's Grill, Sisig Hooray, Wooden Spoon, and Gilligans. 

Their bestsellers are the Kare-Kare, Lechon Kawali, and Sisig Ala Domeng. I don't eat the other dishes much, so this post will really just focus on their delicious sisig.

Friday, October 10, 2014

4 Important Tips to Save Money on Groceries

top 4 Important Tips to Save Money on Groceries

I was reading articles from the Learning Centre earlier today and a particular article that caught my eye. It was a piece on '7 Ways To Outsmart Your Supermarket'. I thought it was a pretty good article as it shows us tips on how we can stop the temptation of overspending when in the supermarket. The article has great suggestions, such as (1) stick to your grocery list, (2) never shop when hungry, and (3) more importantly look into substituting items for generic brands

I would like to build on this article. I think they failed to mention a couple of important tips on how to save money on groceries that I also find quite useful. Here are 4 important tips to save money on groceries.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Five Important Nutrients We Don't Get Enough Of

Harvard's Food Plate for proper nutrition

I have to admit, I honestly thought I was one of the healthier people around. I normally would get a small serving of vegetables at every meal, eat the occasional fruit, and never skip a meal. I would exercise at least 10-15 minutes a day and jog around 5km once a week. I also love to drink both coffee and tea, two drinks packed with antioxidants. 

Imagine my surprise when I started tracking my Daily Nutritient Details using My Fitness Pal. I was sadly mistaken. I drink a tablet of multivitams every day to protect myself against nutrient deficiencies, so I only lack around 3 of the 5 nutrients I mention below. However, I'm going to present results without factoring in multivitams because most of us don't drink a tablet each day. Here are my nutrient details over the past week: 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Average
Fiber 16% 18% 16% 6% 26% 40% 46% 22% 24%
Potassium 26% 26% 22% 15% 42% 32% 86% 89% 42%
Iron 16% 26% 43% 31% 40% 121% 32% 41% 44%
Vitamin A 26% 1% 31% 29% 16% 34% 136% 98% 46%
Calcium 6% 33% 4% 58% 40% 117% 95% 107% 58%
*for a 20-25 aged, lightly active male

Looking over the results, I failed to get enough Dietary Fiber and Potassium the most. Since I drink multivitamins daily, I was able to get enough Iron and Vitamin A if I factored it in and towards the latter end of the week I started drinking a lot of milk to achieve my daily Calcium requirements after adjusting to the initial results. 

What happens if we don't get enough of these nutrients?

Philippine Brown Coffee Review: The Best Instant Brown Coffee

Brown Coffee Brands in the Philippines Review

For a lot of us, coffee is an important part of our lives with over 2.25 billion cups consumed every day. Certainly, we rely on a cup of good coffee to help us get started in the morning or to give us a boost later in the day so that we can get through our 9 to 5 office jobs. With coffee comes increased focus, less drowsiness, and deliciousness in a single cup.

I personally prefer a cup of good brewed coffee to jump-start my morning, especially a cup of good Philippine Barako Coffee.  However, we don't always have the luxury of time to brew coffee every single day. Sometimes we just need something that's cheap and easy to prepare. This has led to the increasing popularity of instant 3-in-1 coffee in the Philippines. There are 4 types of instant (3-in-1) coffee to choose from; Regular Blend, Brown Coffee, White Coffee, and Chocolate Coffee.

I know that different flavors are made to cater to a different market segments. Some people would prefer the sweet taste of White Coffee more than the caramel taste of Brown Coffee or the bitterness of a Regular Blend. So it wouldn't really make sense to compare across different varieties. We can, however, is compare the different products of each brand. 

In this article, let's compare the different brown 3-in-1 coffee offered by different brands in the Philippines. Note that each cup was prepared exactly using the measurements recommended on each package as to not dilute the coffee, so that we can get an unbiased idea of the flavor that each manufacturer wanted to deliver. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Chowking's Happy Pao: Piggy and Panda Pao Review

Chowking Happy Pao review

As the commercial goes, "It's time to try Chowking Happy Pao - Panda and Piggy!" So after craving for these cute 'little siopaos' for 2 weeks, I finally got a chance to eat them up! I dropped by Chowking while traveling home from work earlier today to get a taste of Piggy for dinner and Panda for dessert. Ok, that sounded a bit weird.

The Piggy and Panda Pao makes for a good and affordable snack. A Happy Pao with drink would cost you 49 PHP and a Happy Pao a la carte would cost you 39 PHP. Not bad!