Quarantine FavorEats

Since ECQ last March, home bakers and new cooks were born! Filipinos are very resilient and however hard life can be, we cry a bit and then a little bit more and then stand back up again. It’s okay not to be okay! 😬 Anyway this is a different topic altogether but sharing with you the top quarantine eats we were able to have a bite of during the lockdown. While some came from well-loved restaurants, some have just discovered their passion in cooking or baking and a possible lifelong career!

1. Ube Cheese Pandesal

Who hasn’t heard of the famous Ube Cheese Pan de Sal?? From Philippines to USA, the recipe has been going around and been shared so many times! We were able to taste this thanks to my sister who sponsored us this treat πŸ˜‚ All the way from USA she ordered this from In the Mood for Baking . Mas updated pa siya sa amin! πŸ˜‚ Our foodie baby, Greyson was able to try this and he was so excited to pinch and pull out the cheese. He loves cheese and though there was a generous amount inside, he wanted another pan de sal. Save some for us! πŸ˜‚

Another treat we were able to try from In the Mood for Baking was their Queso de Bola Ensaymada. I enjoyed this the most! It was almost covered in Queso de Bola cheese and it was really soft.

Prices:

Ube Cheese Pan de Sal – P320 / 16pcs

Queso de Bola Ensaymada – P510 / 6pcs, P950 1 dozen

*photos grabbed from In the Mood for Baking

2. Make your own kits! Paella Making Kit from Barcino

For our anniversary since we couldn’t have paella outside, we brought it inside! It was even better since we were in the comfort of our homes. We had their Paella Chorizo Y Pollo.

I felt like an expert! πŸ˜‚ Secret of moms who want to serve the best restaurant-like dishes – get a make your own kit! This was good for 4 so it pretty much lasted us until dinner. Tipid! Also, it was very flavorful a little on the salty side but yummy nonetheless. Grey learned the word “paella” and his palate got exposed to how paella tastes like. Just a note that when you order this via Grab, it falls under GrabMart and it has to be transported via car.

3. Basque Burnt Cheesecake

In fairness ang updated ni hubby for someone who doesn’t open his social media unless it’s for work! He got to this before I did. Basque Burnt Cheesecake with a twist since it has brownies for the bottom layer. Masarap siya! It’s not too sweet and the cheese in the cheesecake was not overpowering! The brownie cake added texture to the cheesecake and the burnt top added flavor. It was the perfect balance.

Bea’s Cookies PH in Marikina

4. Belgian Cookies and Oatmeal cookies

From Bea’s Cookies Ph too! Thank you to my sister-in-law Ate Christie for introducing this to us. Suki na kami! This is baked / managed by a homeschooler. Galing diba? That’s what I like about homeschool even if we haven’t started yet! A twist to this is it had caramel bits too. In this pandemic sometimes we just need that classic choco chip cookie to feel a little better!

A new player in the sweets business is Cain’s! We had the chance to taste these healthy oatmeal cookies thanks to my MIL. It was chewy, not too sweet so there was no guilt when I reached in for another cookie. πŸ˜‚ Oh this is best paired with coffee! Thank you Camille!

5. Baked Sushi

From Phbakedgoodies! By now it has evolved to having scallops, unagi, salmon, taco bake and then came caviar pie! It was our first time to try this top quarantine craze and it did not disappoint. Oh how sushi has evolved! This was so good and worth trying out!

Phbakedgoodies in IG

8×8 = 800

9×12 = 1375

6. Milky Cheese Donuts

Just look at that cheese oozing out! This is a winner! I couldn’t get my hands off this. Sweet, salty and powdery! Another one from Bea’s cookies ph.

7. Vikings for celebrations

*Photo grabbed from Vikings Luxury Buffet

This is pretty much how it looked like! Their 600/head was worth it because it didn’t lose its celebratory appeal plus it lasted us for 3 meals. Minimum order is 3,000 good for 5 pax! The next best thing if you miss celebrating your birthdays in Vikings, you still get to enjoy them at home and this time pwede na leftovers and takeout! For reheating later πŸ™‚

What quarantine eats are your favorites? πŸ™‚

Traveling with a toddler to Osaka, Japan

Last year I wouldn’t dare think of traveling since I was too spent! But as Grey turned 1 year old, we do recover from the aches, lack of sleep and tiredness. Thank God for renewing our energy everyday to do the things we are tasked to do! Our adventurous side is starting to resurface and we decided to make the most of Grey’s first 3 years of life. Reading The Absorbent Mind by Maria Montessori, it was mentioned that the first 3 years are crucial to the development of the child and so are the succeeding 3 years. They absorb everything – language, syntax, science, math and how we relate to one another. Grey loves animals so much and we decided to take him to Osaka Japan where he can see deers in their natural state running free, as well as the Zoo and Aquarium.

Things we needed to prepare for:

  1. Itinerary – Some people would say make the most out of the trip and go to as much places and squeeze in as much into our planned itinerary. We played it by ear instead and planned a very flexible one considering priorities and our energy. We stayed for 5 days. Here’s our itinerary sample

The Plan                                            Actual Itinerary

Day 1 – Travel                                     Day 1 – Travel

Day 2 – Tennoji Zoo, Kuromon Market   Day 2 – Tennoji Zoo was closed, so we                                                                                  went to Namba walk (because my soles                                                                              got busted (parati nalang:)) ) and then                                                                                  Osaka Aquarium

Day 3 – Nara Deer Park, Todaiji, Kofukuji    Day 3 – Nara Deer Park, Yoshikien                                                                                       Garden,  Kofukuji Temple, Dotonbori

Day 4 – Osaka Aquarium, Kuromon Market       Day 4 – Tennoji Zoo, Shinsekai,                                                                                                  Dotonbori

Day 5 – Owl Cafe, Dotonbori, Travel to Manila   Day 5 – Nambanaka Park,                                                                                                      Kuromon Market, Travel to Manila

Review of the places in another entry. πŸ™‚

2. List things to bring – I had an initial list and then added to it as the days went along :))

Sample of things we brought – For 5 days. We brought around 8 pants. 8 long sleeves. 2 jackets, mittens, and bonnet (which we rarely used since it wasn’t that cold), several socks. 2 shoes! What are the things you brought for your toddler?

We wanted to pack light as much as possible! We’re still getting a hang of it.

3. Pack medicines – We brought the following: Vitamin C, Allergy drops (Alnix), Calpol for fever, Koolfever, Relestal for possible stomachaches.

4. Brought carrier and a stroller – We used the carrier all throughout since Greyson didn’t want to sit in the stroller! He wanted to be close by since he was in an unfamiliar place.

5. Book train tickets in advance for hassle-free travel. We booked using Klook for our round trip train tickets from the airport to Namba.  Our ETA in Osaka is around 8:30PM and I presume we would be dead tired arriving in Japan so we spent a little bit more to book Nankai Express tickets to Namba. It would be around 30-35 minutes compared to just getting tickets there and would travel for 45 minutes but it would be cheaper though.

6. Bring a few lightweight toys – We brought a fidget board, Elmo (maybe 1/3 his size) and 2 books. All were a mistake :)) We should have brought some small animal toys and a small stuffed toy for the plane ride. We are conscious about Greyson and screen time so we had to bring some toys to distract him. Greyson kept removing and returning the magazines on the shelf in the plane instead so we didn’t have a need for the toys.

7. Snacks and Milk! – We are still breastfeeding so I brought myself. :)) I couldn’t stress more how this has been so convenient for us and saved us a lot (financially, physically!) We latched during takeoff and when we landed he didn’t want to latch so I guess he could take the ear pressure. We brought some snacks like biscuits and jello.

8. Extra clothes, tissue and wipes in his baby bag and diapers – For emergency! We also brought his bowl and a silicone bib just in case the restaurants didn’t provide. But some restaurants in Osaka do provide kiddie plates and spoon and fork.

9. Have fun and take lots of pictures! – Seeing Osaka again thru his eyes was amazing. The lights in Dotonbori, the big 3D displays. The huge Aquarium! His appetite was also so huge and he wasn’t scared to try new dishes. He wanted a bite of everything we put into our mouths! We took lots of pictures that captivated him and made sure to print them so he can keep them in his memory. 1 month has passed and he still remembers them and the gestures associated with the sights that hooked him.

It was really fun to bring Grey along and having him was like reliving your childhood and seeing it now in full color – more conscious and aware of the things around you.

We thank God for allowing us to experience this trip, sustaining us and allowing us to enjoy this trip. That all of us didn’t get sick and that it was relatively smooth. Hoping for more GreyT adventures with our little one and looking forward to discovering the world again thru his eyes one day at a time! <3