Wednesday, 9 November 2011

SM Hypermarket Bulalo Cook Off

When one speaks of beef and Bulalo, only one place comes to mind: Batangas. Bulalo seemed to be Batangas' specialty that there are so many restaurants - even small-scale eateries in the province that serves this dish, and one's trip in Batangas is incomplete without eating Beef Bulalo. Now that it the weather's starting to get cooler, one's choice for rainy day comfort foods is Bulalo.

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Last November 4, 2011 SM Hypermarket Batangas, set a new record for The Best Tasting and The Most Number of bowls to be served.  There were 10 groups that participated in the event namely: Le Elegancia, Ginazel Catering, Siemen’s Canteen, Hot and Cold Cafe, El Torro, Joel Arceo, Madelyn dela Pena/Lutong Bahay, Tapa Kalderate Atbp., Karlos Place, Place of Mine Catering Restaurant.


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Each team's Bulalo dish were judge by Chefs Aries Cueto and JunJun Borlan Jr. from Lyceum of the Philippines, Batangas and Mr. Jun Lozada, Assistant Manager of SM Hypermarket, Batangas. All of the participating teams needed to produce a Bulalo dish that is not only tasty and delicious, but creative as well. They also had to serve samples of their dish (not below 50 servings), with each bowl weighing at least 100 grams each - complete with meat, vegetables and broth.


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The typical Bulalo dish consisted of Beef Shanks (with marrow), green beans, bok choy and/or wombok, and corn. Some participants went with that, but others opted to go the creative way - by preparing Bulalo Kaldereta, Sizzling Bulalo, and Bulalo Pasta.

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This is a cooking challenge, and each participants had 30 minutes to cook thier dish and plate it as presentable as possible. I got to sample some of the dishes, and I was really thankful I wasn't part of the judging panel as it was really difficult to judge which among the dishes was the best tasting. In the end Le Elegancia won The Best Tasting Dish and Madelyn dela Pena/Lutong Bahay won The Most Number of Bowls, having served 165 bowls. Both teams won 25,000 each. After declaring the winners, members of the audience got the chance to sample the dishes, and I personally agree with the results. Le Elegancia truly served the best dish - it was so comforting and heavenly.

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I was super happy to be a part of this event. Having to taste authentic Bulalo and witness how talented Filipinos are and sharing this day with other bloggers really made this day a fun-filled and knowledge-filled and yes, tummy-filling day. This Cook-off is part of the SM Hypermarket Master Chef which began last July 2011. I know you still remember the marathon that made up weekly cooking demos for three months, and the kitchen makeovers that have 5 lucky winners redesigned by PSID graduates and SM Hypermarket.

Jesz

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Day I Met Ms. Shamcey Supsup

It was really fortunate that we were able to see an update on Pizza Hut Philippines' Facebook page asking bloggers to leave their URLs for an upcoming meet and greet with Ms. Shamcey Supsup, the newest endorser for Pizza Hut. When my sister and I received the formal invitation, we were very happy that both of us will get to be a part of the event.

We arrived at the Pizza Hut Bistro in Glorietta 4 earlier than the call time. Living far away, anticipating the traffic do have its perks, because being first to arrive gave us more reasons to enjoy Pizza Hut's food more in the future, as we were rewarded some GCs. Lesson? Do arrive early. :)



This meet and greet is for Pizza Hut's newest product - the Tuscani pizza. Pizza Hut may be known for their Pan Pizza, but because the Filipinos' preferences for food constantly evolves, they decided to create a pizza that is neither too thin nor too thick - just enough for people to enjoy both the crust and the toppings.

Ms. Shamcey Supsup went around the area to serve our pizza slices. Amazing, eh? Along with the Supremo Tuscani pizza, we were also served this for dinner:



Pasta Carbonara and another slice of the Tuscani pizza (All Meat). If my sister weren't able to finish her food (because she's currently on a weight loss journey), I could say that I was able to actually all my food. All were so delicious!

As for the Tuscani pizza, I appreciated that the crust weren't like crackers. One downside of thin crust pizza is that the crust gets too crunchy. The Tuscani, although the outer crust is quite firm, it was still chewy on the inside, so the whole pizza eating experience was actually more fun.



While all of us were enjoying our food, there was a Q&A portion, and Ms. Shamcey Supsup answered questions about the Tuscani pizza, and some questions about Ms. Universe and her plans for the future. Bloggers also took part of the Q&A, and two bloggers with the best answers were given some GCs.

Fancy a giveaway? Well, if you have a Facebook and / or a Tumblr account, you stand a chance to win awesome goodness from Pizza Hut.



For Facebook users, all you have to do is take a picture of yourself enjoying the Tuscani pizza. It can be a very simple picture, or something wacky like what I did here... let your imagination lead you. Then, check out the Pizza Hut Philippines' Facebook Page and click the "Like" button, and upload your picture using the "Flavor Your Life" app. They just picked the first winner, but this will run until December 8, so you still have more time to upload your picture.

For Tumblr users,  here's what you have to do: The Pizza Hut Tuscani comes in different flavors and each flavor has its own corresponding prize: Supremo (iPad2), All Meat (iPhone 4), Roast Beef (DSLR Camera), 3 Cheese Bacon & Spinach (Trip for 2 to Boracay), and BBQ Chicken (20,000 worth of GCs from Araneta Center).
  • First up, choose what you want to win. If you're already certain about this, next thing to do is to blog about it, centering on the topic: What would make winning this prize add "Flavor to Your Life." The post has to have 500 words (or more), and must be accompanied with a picture and / or a video that features the Tuscani flavor of your choice (if you chose the iPad 2, your picture should have a picture / video of the Supremo Tuscani). 
  • Go to http://pizzahutflavoryourlife.tumblr.com/ and submit your entry (there is a "Submit" button at the given address), making sure you follow all the prompts in submitting your entry.
  • Ask your friends to "Like" your post, because the number of likes counts to the 10% of the overall criteria. Of course, you also have to take into consideration the creativity, grammar, and use of media.
There will be one winner for each of the prizes. Tumblr bloggers can make as much posts as they can, but the blogger can only win once. Deadline of submission will be on December 8, so do write those posts as early as possible so you can get more likes.

For more details about these promos, check out Pizza Hut Philippines' Facebook Page and Tumblr Page. I am contemplating of joining the Facebook promo... so good luck to all of us who will join.

Big thanks to my sister Jenn of Tara, Let's Eat! for providing the pictures for this post.

Jesz

Saturday, 15 October 2011

My Favorite McDonald's Meal

I still remember my first visit at Mcdonald's, I was 7 years old then and wanted to own even just one 101 Dalmatians Happy Meal. I really bugged my dad to eat there just so I could have a toy. Cheese Burger was my  first meal at the Mcdonald's, and as time passed, I would try different McDonald's food. When I was in college, there was a time that I ate breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonald's! Needless to say, I really love the food here, and in my four years in college, I would often drop by a McDo branch to order the double cheeseburger with large fries and drink before I travel home.

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This year, McDonald's is celebrating its 30th year of providing good fast food to the Filipino. We weren't able to check out the celebrations happening two weeks ago, but last week, my sister and I visited one of the newly renovated Mcdonald's store here in Quezon City - the McDonald’s Commonwealth branch, just outside Ever Commonwealth. Interestingly, this was also the same store where I had my very first McDo meal. 

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I really loved the ambiance of the new store, the place was so bright and spacious, the new uniforms of the staff looked so neat. What I really loved the most was how they presented the menu - giving customers a choice whether they like their meals to be in L or XL sizes (kinda like a shirt, eh?),  giving customers choices what to eat depending on their budget. From the counter, I was also able to take a peek at their kitchen and how the staff prepare the food. Seeing the neat and orderly kitchen gave me an assurance that my meal was prepared in a hygienic way. 

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It's been past lunch and we haven't eaten our lunch yet so we decided to stop at Mcdonald's for a while before going home. I ordered my current favorite- the Chicken McDO meal with Medium Fries and additional barbeque sauce for my fries (I already lost interest interest with the ketchup since I tried dipping my fries in their barbeque sauce when I once ordered their chicken nuggets).

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I really love the crispiness and the saltiness of the chicken and the meat was really juicy. Today seemed to be a lucky day for me, I got my favorite chicken part! I am thankful local fast food now offers unlimited gravy, and since I am a gravy person, I just drowned my chicken in gravy!

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French Fries of Mcdonalds is one of my comfort foods, my fast food meal is not complete without these. Since I discovered that fries go well with their McChicken Nuggets barbeque sauce, I don't think I will go back with the fries and ketchup thingy, but of course I would gladly accept the ketchup sachets given at the counter for me to take home. Of course, we do cook fries at home, too, and since we don't have the barbeque sauce at home, I can use the sachets of ketchup, since we use banana ketchup at home. Why do I love the barbeque sauce? Well, the fries are salty and the sauce has this sweet/sour taste. Perfect combination! Now I am starting to wonder where they get the sauce... I should order a gallon! Hahaha.

Well, no need to put what my sister ate that day - she's currently on her "journey to become slenderella," and she went for Chicken McSavers meal, and it looked funny as her chicken piece was so small compared to my chicken. For 50 pesos, sister said it was worth it.

It's been awhile since sister and I went to a fast food to eat. Come to think of it, she couldn't recall the last time she ate at McDonald's and she found it nice to catch up with the flavors of their food. We do eat together everyday at home, but it was just so different eating outside - savoring food, having a girly talk, and sometimes we would watch people, too.

Eating my favorite McDonald's meal and being with my sister... it sure was a fine day.

Jesz