Get to know Mhel and Ken Ignacio of Certified Foodies

A Sweet Twist to Your Favorite Pinoy Merienda

Whenever the clock hits 3 o’clock in the afternoon, it’s like our bodies are programmed to want to have merienda. We grew up like this, and I still remember our nanay knocking on our doors at 3pm, announcing it’s merienda time. When we follow her to the kitchen, we’ll be delighted by the spread of different snacks she bought or prepared for us. You’d usually find pansit luglog or Pansit Malabon, lugaw with tokwa’t baboy, turon (we call it valencia), sopas, ginataan, ensaymada, bibingka and, my favorite, champorado.

Champorado recipe made with Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate and Eden Cheese

Yes, champorado. Some may think that it’s better enjoyed for breakfast, but I beg to disagree. 😀 I love champorado for merienda because it gives me a much-needed boost in the middle of the afternoon that’ll last until the end of the day. :) I also love turon, ginataan, peachy-peachy, and, of course, Pansit Malabon.

Ken’s merienda favorites are lugaw, Pansit Malabon and bibingka. The latter, you’d think you can only find people selling them during the holidays, but in Malabon, it’s a regular snack choice because it’s readily available all year round (that’s why we LOVE our home town 😀 ).

If you’ve seen our past recipes, you already know how we enjoy adding our own twists to usual dishes. This time, Ken came up with 2 Pinoy merienda recipes with a sweet twist that we’re sure you’ll both love. He used products from Mondelez Philippines.

Mondelez Philippines, formerly named Kraft Foods, has been around for over 5 decades. They’re the authority when it comes to snacks. Don’t believe us? Under their belt, they have Oreo, Toblerone, Cadbury, and Tiger Enery Biscuits. Their Eden Cheese is a regular when we prepare spaghetti. We also add cheesiness to our ‘flying saucer’ sandwiches with Cheez Whiz. Merienda won’t be complete, especially for our nanay, without a pitcher of her favorite Tang.

Mondelez has been constantly innovating, coming up with new flavors that us Filipinos love. Have you tried their Oreo Coconut Delight? You must! How about the Tang Dalandan, Honey Lemon and Calamansi? :)

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Filipino Food Festival at Fresh Restaurant in Solaire Resort and Casino

It’s about time Filipino food got its well-deserved spotlight in the international culinary scene. More and more countries and word-famous chefs are getting interested with our diverse and rich cuisine. Fresh Restaurant at Solaire Resort & Casino has decided to grab this golden opportunity to highlight our culinary heritage by launching their month-long Filipino Food Festival with Chef Sau del Rosario.

Chef Sau del Rosario for the Filipino Food Festival at Fresh Restaurant Solaire Resor and Casino

 

Chef Sau del Rosario x 20 Years of Love & Cooking Book

You’re not a true Filipino foodie if you are not familiar with Chef Sau del Rosario. He’s practically everywhere – from TV shows, magazine covers, newspapers, and even online. Coming from four generations of native Kapampangan chefs, it’s no surprise Chef Sau pursued a culinary career as well. And by ‘pursued,’ we mean fattening his resume with local and international stints and working with Michelin star chefs like Christian Plumail, Jacque Divellec, and Bruno Loubet. He delves deeper into his 20 years of culinary experience in his recently launched book, “20 Years of Love & Cooking.” If you happen to visit Fresh Restaurant during Sunday brunches, they’re selling copies of his book, which Chef Sau would be more than happy to sign for you!

20 Years of Love and Cooking Book by Chef Sau del Rosario

 

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Baon Ideas with Oreo and Tiger Energy Biscuits

I remember when we were still kids, our nanay wakes up really early in the morning to prepare our baon for school. Ken and I usually didn’t know what she prepared for us, and we’ll just be pleasantly surprised come recess time. I guess that’s why we always look forward to opening our lunchboxes during our breaks. She always makes sure we have something to eat that’s not just delicious, but will also energize us for the rest of our school day.

Oreo Rice Krispie Bars recipe

I’m sure many moms would agree that a good baon is vital during school days. I’m seeing a lot of moms getting creative with their kids’ baon nowadays. If you’re one of them, and you need a little inspiration, we’ve got a few ideas for you. We used 2 well-known products from Mondelez Philippines for these recipes.

If this is your first time hearing about Mondelez (pronounced ‘mohn-dah-leez’, meaning ‘delicious world’), their company was formerly named Kraft Foods. The company has been around for decades and they’re behind familiar brands like Oreo cookies, Tiger Energy biscuits, Tang, Eden Cheese, Cheez Whiz, Cadbury, and Toblerone. If you check their website, you’ll find delightful recipes for fun baon ideas for your kids.

Ken and I love putting a twist on our favorite dishes, and we did exactly that with the recipes below using Tiger Energy Biscuits and Oreo cookies, which are already good baon as is, but we thought of other creative treats you can make with them. These snacks / baon bites will surely give you a boost of energy, so it’s not just great for kids, but also fun snacks to take with you to the office or as merienda at home. Let us know once you’ve tried these recipes, okay? Enjoy! :)

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Highlands Prime Steakhouse Now Grilling at Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons

Ribeye Steak 14-Ounce from Highlands Prime Steakhouse at Estancia Mall Capitol Commons

“Is this the same Highlands as the one in MOA?” asked one of the four undecided women who walked into the restaurant while I was busy taking pictures for the blog. After the server who opened the door said yes, the ladies promptly requested for a table for four. – Well, that’s the kind of marketing no money could ever buy!

Highlands Prime Steakhoust at Estancia Mall in Capitol Commons

Highlands Prime Steakhouse at SM Mall of Asia has already established its name as one of the best steakhouses in the Metro, so it’s no surprise that expectations were ridiculously high when they decided to put up a second branch. Fortunately, their newest branch at Estancia Mall in Capitol Commons, Pasig City did NOT disappoint.

 

Highlands Prime Steakhouse at Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons

The new place is not as spacious as their MOA branch, but they both sport a laidback country house vibe. It has no direct entrance from inside the mall, so you have to brave the heat outside to get to their restaurant – a minor inconvenience easily compensated by their great food and service.

Interior of Highlands Prime Steakhouse at Estancia Mall Capitol Commons

Their dining area is divided into 4 sections. Coming in from the main entrance, you will be welcomed by tables with cushioned seats on the left and a big display of imported wines on the right. At the far end of the room, stands a fireplace that adds to the modern cabin theme of the restaurant. If you take a left turn from the main entrance, you’ll find a small dining area where the restroom and the kitchen are located. The wall leading to the kitchen is made of glass, which gives you a good view to leisurely watch the chefs in action.

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