Friday, September 27, 2013

Healthy Friday: Shrimp Sandwich

I always believe in the saying, ''you are what you eat'' and living a healthy lifestyle really improves the mind and body. What you eat and drink is reflected in your appearance so I try to eat the right food to stay healthy.

Today, I wanted to try something different (from salad and Tuna salad sandwich) and since I'm a shrimp lover so I thought why not make a Shrimp Sandwich. They're not only a healthy meal but also low in calories too plus they're full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient called astaxanthin.

Shrimp Salad Sandwich

Ingredients: (Serving Size for 1)
Baguette or any healthy bread 
100 g Shrimps (peeled)
2 Tbsp tomato (chopped)
2 Tbsp Cucumber (chopped)
2 Tbsp Onion (diced)
1 Tsp Garlic (chopped)
Olive oil

1) Deep pan with olive oil, turn heat to low, sauté onion and garlic then fry shrimps.
2) When shrimps are cooked, add chopped tomato and cucumber, dash some salt and pepper. Stir.
3) Turn off heat, put the cooked shrimps on the baguette/bread. Sprinkle parsley on top.

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Museo Nacional del Prado

If you're an art lover then Madrid, Spain is definitely one of the best places to visit. Madrid is regarded as one of the top European destinations when it comes to art museums.

When in Madrid, a visit to the Museo Nacional del Prado is a must. Dubbed as the greatest museums of art, Museo del Prado is the most visited attraction in Spain and one of the most visited museums in the world.

The museum comprises of  Spanish Royal Collections of European art dated from 12th century- 19th century. A collection of magnificent sculpture and famous paintings of Francisco de Goya, Diego Velazquez, Titian, Peter Paul Rubens, Hieronymus Bosch, etc.

But the highlight of Museo del Prado is the Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor) by Diego Velázquez. The remarkable painting portrays the young Princess Margaret Theresa with her maids and other prominent figures from the 17th century Spanish court.

Museo Nacional del Prado
Address: Paseo del Prado, s/n  28014 Madrid, Spain
Admission: 14€

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Torrevieja Marina

Date with my husband at Torrevieja Marina...

Dress: Gianfranco Ferré
Bag: Gucci
Shoes: Zara
Accessories: Silver jewelry from Bangkok market

Friday, September 20, 2013

Torrevieja Night Market and Marina

Just 50 kilometers south of Alicante, Spain is a small city called Torrevieja. When in Torrevieja, you should visit the night market (Hippy Market). Located near the marina, the night market offers a variety of goods like handicrafts, jewelry, paintings, leather bags, clothes, Spanish delicacies, souvenirs and a lot more. Behind the market is a small amusement park that will surely bring blissfulness for all ages.

Nothing beats a cozy walk at the Marina with all the gorgeous boats on sight. And an array of lovely restaurants awaits you if you're feeling peckish.

Torrevieja Hippy Market
Address:  Paseo de la Libertad 03181 Torrevieja, Province of Alicante Spain
Coordinates:  37° 58′ 40″ N, 0° 41′ 0″ W

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Plaza Mayor

The most popular and most visited square in Madrid, Spain is the Plaza Mayor.

Built in 1617, Plaza Mayor was originally an idea of Philip II to remake the bustling Plaza del Arrabal (old name of Plaza Mayor) with the help of architect Juan de Herrera. But construction of the noted square did not start until the reign of Philip III. He employed Juan Gomez de Mora to continue the project but it was Juan de Villanueva who did the last reconstruction and completed the work in 1790.

In the middle of the square is a bronze statue of King Philip III, it was designed by Jean Boulogne and Pietro Tacca in 1616 but the statue was not installed until 1848.

Around the square, you can find souvenir shops and restaurants where you can sit and enjoy Spanish tapas or Spanish wines while watching tourists admiring the Plaza.

Plaza Mayor
Address: Plaza Mayor, 2, 28012 Madrid, Spain

Monday, September 9, 2013

Food Diary: Spanish Influence

One of the things that always excite me every time I am holidaying in Spain is the food! The Spanish had a great influence on Filipino cuisine and because of that, it feels like home to be in España. One of my favorite Spanish dish that we also have in the Philippines is called Empanada.

Anyway, below are photos of some of the famous Spanish cuisine that can also be found in the Philippines.

Paella is probably the best-known Spanish dish. Paellas are sometimes present in Philippine fiestas.

I love Spanish Sardines but I think I prefer the Filipino version.:) In Spain, they serve it as ''Tapas'' and in the Philippines, we eat them for breakfast with rice. Weird!

Pollo Asado or as we call it ''Lechon Manok''. In Costa Blanca, you can find Pollo Asado Stalls where you can buy the whole roasted chicken and in the big cities like Madrid or Barcelona, you can find them in Spanish restaurants. Lechon Manok stalls are also usual in the Philippines.

 Oh! I just love the Empanada in Spain, they have a lot of different flavors. Onion and Cheese is just orgasmic!

Churros y Chocolate is probably my fave snack when I was a kid. :)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fried Rice on a Lazy day!

There are times (especially on a day off) when you just want to stay at home, maybe lying on a couch and do nothing. Sometimes we're just too lazy to do things that even taking a shower is too much.

If you're too tired for take-outs and food delivery is just not for you or you're saving money, here's a cheap and fun easy way to cook on your day off!

A healthy meal you can make from leftovers.

Asian Fried Rice

2-3 cups Leftover rice
100g Shrimps (chopped)
100g Tofu (diced)
100g Corn
100g Carrots (diced)
100g String Beans (chopped)
1 Tablespoon Soya Sauce
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic

*You can put whatever you want or whatever leftovers! This is just my recipe. :)*

1) Deep pan with olive oil, turn the heat to low, saute chopped garlic.
2) Add tofu and shrimps, fry them. Then add corn, carrots, string beans, Saute.
3) Add the leftover rice and mix them with the other ingredients.

3) Dash some salt and pepper then add soya sauce. Stir and cook for 10 minutes.
4) Serve fried rice while still warm.

Hope you enjoy!!! :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Beauty of Pashmina

Kashmir is one of the beautiful places on my travel bucket list. I would love to see the incredible nature of Kashmir one day. Also called as the Paradise on Earth, Kashmir is also known for its Pashmina. For thousands of years, Kashmir is known for manufacturing Cashmere and Pashmina shawls.

The other day I went to a Cashmere shop here in Ho Chi Minh City to look for a Cashmere shawl with handmade embroidery. A Kashmiri welcomed me in his shop and I was really happy to get some ideas on how to take care and to distinguish real Pashminas. He also showed me the most expensive Pashmina in the world, the ''king of fine wools''- Shahtoosh. A single Shahtoosh scarf cost 2000USD depending on the size. But Shahtoosh is considered illegal since sadly, thousands of Tibetan Antelopes were killed for the luxurios textile.

Anyway, so happy to finally own a Cashmere shawl with embroidery. I have been eying for this type of shawl for a long time. Original price of this Cashmere shawl with embroidery is 80USD but because of my haggling tactics, I was able to get it for 60USD. When I checked online shops for similar shawls, they are more expensive.

Cashmere Shawl with embroidery

How to Care for your Pashmina Shawl:
1) Dry Clean or Wash it by hand in luke-warm water and use shampoo instead of detergent.
2) When drying your Pashmina shawl, make sure to spread them evenly across the rack since hanging them wet will stretch the fabric.
3) Store them neatly by laying them on a flat surface. Store in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight.

How to Determine if your Pashmina Shawl is Real:
1) Real Pashmina/ Cashmere shawls are normally soft and light-weight.
2) Scarf label should be not be glued onto the fabric, it should be sewn.
3) If it's real Cashmere shawl, after how many uses, look for pilling/fuzz.

100% Cashmere pills after some wearing.
4) You can also check by cutting a small piece on one of the fringes then burn it, if it smells like burnt hair then it's an authentic one but if it smells like chemical then it might be a knockoff. 

My Collection of Pashmina from Kashmir.  :) The blue and red Pashminas were bought in Singapore (Little India) worth 150 Singapore dollars each. Real Pashminas costs!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Hội An - Ancient Town

My abrupt visit to the ancient city of Hội An in Vietnam was an amazing one! A small old city but very rich in history, well- preserved architecture and of course, lovely local shopping!

Hội An meaning ''peaceful meeting place'' was once a significant trading center in Southeast Asia. The town was notorious for its spice bartering. In the 16th and 17th century, Hội An has a culturally diverse population with Portuguese, Dutch, Indian, Japanese and Chinese settlers. The town was divided with Japanese settlement athwart the Japanese bridge.

Today, Hội An is a famous tourist destination and  the old town is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The unspoilt infrastructures dating from the 15th to 19th century offers a dramatic outlook.

Hội An 2011

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Villa Carlotta

Known for its gorgeous garden, exquisite art display and breathtaking view, the Villa Carlotta was once home to a noble Milanese family.

In 1801, a famous politician and avid art lover, Gian Battista Sommariva bought and revamped the villa. Up on the roof he added pediment and a clock; transformed the backyard into an astounding botanical garden; and appended a collection of art from Canova, Thorvaldsen and Hayez.

In 1843, Princess Marianne of Nassau purchased the villa and gave it as a wedding present to her daughter Carlotta and George II of Saxe-Meiningen. The villa was then named after her, Villa Carlotta.

At present, the villa is a museum and botanical garden.

Villa Carlotta
Address: Via Regina, 2, Tremezzo, Province of Como, Italy
Coordinates:  45° 59′ 11″ N, 9° 13′ 51.3″ E
Admission: €9