Tuesday, May 16, 2017

How to enjoy the Walt Disney World as an adult



Planning for our Disney trip was the hardest of all our trips to make, my husband is not a fan of Disney and I don't really even dream of going there. I love castles and my only reason for choosing Orlando is for us to see the fireworks at the Cinderella castle.

I don't want to sound ungrateful but my husband paid $420+ for our 2-day tickets to Disney alone. If I knew it would be this expensive, I would have chosen a different destination. I hope I read this article What It Really Costs to Go to Walt Disney World, before I chose Disney. It wasn't as magical as I imagined it to be. It's a theme park, it involves a ton of walking and being patient in lines for everything. We chose the Magic Kingdom because of the castle and the Epcot, which we enjoyed better because of the world showcase. Nonetheless, I am still thankful for my husband for this vacation. I can now cross this off my bucket list.

Here are the following things that you can do before your trip:

1. Pack your own lunch, bring snacks and a huge bottle of water.
   
Be Our Guest Restaurant 
Review

We had lunch at the Be Our Guest Restaurant. I read that you have to make a reservation at least a month before your visit. I checked for all the available times, for brunch, lunch and dinner. Luckily, I found a spot for us for an 11:30 am lunch.

Even with the reservation, we still had to wait in line before we can go in. I was so excited to eat and see the restaurant.

The interior of the restaurant is beautiful. There are 3 dining rooms at the restaurant, the ballroom were Belle and Beast danced, a dark room where the rose is kept, and a room full of painting and tall wooden music box of belle and the beast.

They will ask for your order and you pay for it at the entrance and then you can choose wherever you want to sit. It was a turn off because it felt like a cafeteria but again, it's my fault for not reading the reviews. We chose the dark room and waited for our food.

How was our food? Blah! It was a very expensive cafeteria food, mine was a bland $17 braised pork and hubby had a very salty $17 carved roast beef sandwich. My $5 Master's cupcake was good but not special and so is hubby's $5 Triple Chocolate Cupcake. We laughed and agreed that the sandwiches I make taste better.

It's the same for every food that we ordered even at the Epcot park. Everything was expensive and didn't taste good. That's why you must bring your own food.

The bottle of water is also important. I tried to refill my bottle from the drinking fountain and it tastes awful! Maybe I'm spoiled because New York's tap water is amazing.

2. Fast Pass

Once you have your tickets and you know your dates, register and schedule your fast pass for the following rides:

Magic Kingdom Top 3 Rides

a. Pirates of the Caribbean  – It's a boat-ride that felt like I was in Venice, Italy. The attractions, designs and characters were amazing.


b. Haunted Mansion  – It's a slow moving ride in a house full of Halloween decorations. It's not a meant to scare you.

c. Space Mountain - It's a roller coaster ride in the dark and you are going to sit by yourself.

You should also remember that sometimes even with the fast pass, you would still need to wait in line to get in.

3. Watch some Disney films before you visit.

I guess this one is important... try to relive that magical feeling and be familiar with the characters again. We just saw the Beauty and the Beast movie when we went so that kind of made me excited about the whole Disney thing again.




We also did our baby announcement pictures at Disney because you know we wished and prayed for our little angel. 





I wish the Avatar was already open when we went there.
I'm more excited about the Avatar than the whole Disney thing. =D

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Deal Alert: $499 Prague 4-star trip, Flights + 5 nights of hotel and breakfast included




Prague is the capital and the largest city of Czech Republic. It tops my list even if it only bagged the number 6 spot in the world’s top 25 destinations from TripAdvisor in 2016It's beautiful and romantic. This is the perfect deal to grab to experience this amazing city.

"Prague, City of a Hundred Spires, a UNESCO monument and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Get to know it in person!"

Thanks to Travelzoo for this amazing deal.

This trip is through Gate1Travel and I promise that this is the deal. We booked our recent trip to Italy through them and with the coupon code, it makes the package even more affordable.



Thursday, March 2, 2017

Want to Go to Rome? Here are 5 Things That You Should Know



During our first trip to Italy last summer of 2015, my husband and I explored the city and got the chance to see museums for three full days and it was an awesome experience for me. This year, we got another chance to explore the country with some of our friends and relatives and this time, our experience taught us a lot of things that we hadn't experienced during our first visit.

Italy is one of my favorite countries. Every city that we visited - Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Siena, Pisa and Montecatini Terme – is oozing with the Renaissance charm, from the small streets, restaurants and even the architecture of its buildings.  


Despite reports of stealing, burglary and scams, tourism in Italy is still good as I noticed the streets are still packed with tourists. I definitely learned a lot from my second experience exploring Italy. Let me share with you some tips that you might find helpful if you want to explore Italy…

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Jam-Packed 8-Day Trip to Italy: Milan





Husband and I just came back from our trip to Italy with our family. It was our first time to travel together outside America.

We bought our package from Gate 1 travel, which includes our round trip flight to Milan, hotel for 6 nights at Montecatini Terme and a hotel for 1 night in Milan, and also 3 car rentals for our group.

In addition to our hotel in Montecatini, we also got a separate accommodation in Rome and Venice to avoid the long drive.

We landed in Milan, Monday at 8 am. It was supposed to be a perfect time for us to explore Milan early but unfortunately somebody took my sister in law's luggage by mistake so we stayed until 12 noon.

Day 1- Milano

We had lunch at Princi Bakery and then proceeded to explore the city. We went to Piazza del Duomo first to see the beautiful Milan Cathedral and then some went shopping at Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. Later that evening we went to Sforza Castle and then took pictures at Arco della Pace.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Seafood Spaghetti Squash


I made seafood spaghetti squash for brunch! I just want to thank God for making this vegetable that I can substitute for pasta so I can still enjoy eating spaghetti without the extra carbs.

Seafood Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients
Spaghetti Squash
Garlic, Onion
Mixed Seafood
Your Choice of Pasta Sauce


Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Slice the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
Place the squash in a roasting pan, cut-side down.
Add a little water and cook the squash for 45 minutes.
The squash is done when tender. Scrape out the squash using a fork.

For this recipe, I cooked the sauce on the side.
Saute Onion and Garlic on coconut oil.
Saute the mixed seafood and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Add pasta sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes on low heat.

I added cayenne on my sauce because I like it spicy.

Serve and enjoy your low carb spaghetti.




Peanut Butter Oxtail Stew (Kare-Kare)


I made Kare-kare, a filipino dish, for my husband! He was sick and I thought I could make his day a little better by making something special. He usually request this whenever we eat at my parent's house and so I also want to make it for him.

Oxtail meat is expensive! It's $7.29/pound. Crazy! I can buy chicken for 99 cents/pound. The heck! For the love of being a wife, I just hoped for the best. It was my first time to make it and I am glad that the husband likes it.


Kare-Kare 
(Peanut Butter Oxtail Stew)

Ingredients
Oxtail
Garlic and Onion
Coconut Oil
2 tbsp Peanut Butter Powder
3 tbsp Peanut Butter (I used reduced fat chunky Skippy)
Bok Choy
Green Beans
Eggplant
Salt and Pepper to taste







1. Fill a large pan with water, add the oxtail, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer until the oxtail is tender. It took 2 1/2 hours for me.

2. Once the oxtail is ready. In a separate pan, saute onion and garlic on coconut oil. Saute oxtail.

3. Mix peanut butter powder and peanut butter on your broth and add this mixture to the oxtail.

4. Add the bok choy, green beans and eggplant.

5. Serve with Sauteed Shrimp paste on the side.



Friday, February 10, 2017

Power Muffin



I made a power muffin for the sick husband this morning. It's packed with protein, fiber and antioxidants.

I used the following products as my main ingredients for the health benefits. You can click the pictures below so you can check it out on amazon.


 

Kodiak Cakes Nutrition

190 calories for 1/2 cup
Carbohydrates 30g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Fat 2g
Protein 14g

I love Kodiak Cakes! I use this to make pancakes.

Organic Cacao Powder

120 calories for 2 tbsp
Carbohydrates 17g
Dietary Fiber 9g
Fat 4g
Protein 7g

Ground Flaxseed

70 calories for 2 tbsp
Carbohydrates 4g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Fat 6g
Protein 3g

Power Muffin

Ingredients
2 cups Kodiak Cakes
2 mashed banana
1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/4 cup Parkay Margarine Stick (lesser calories than butter)
1/4 cup Sugar


2 tbsp Organic Cacao Powder (optional)
2 tbsp Ground Flaxseed (optional)
Chocolate Chips (optional)
Chopped Walnuts (optional)


Mix all the ingredients and bake in a 350 degrees oven.




Monday, January 23, 2017

Cebu Style Dimsum Steamed Rice Topping


Steamed Rice Topping (Dimsum Cebu)

Pork, sliced in cubes
Chicken, sliced in cubes
Shrimp
Canned Sliced Mushrooms
Frozen Green Peas
2 tbsp Oyster Sauce 
2 tbsp Sesame Oil
3 tbsp Cornstarch
Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth - optional, you can use chicken cube seasoning
Salt
Pepper
Soy Sauce
Onion, minced
Garlic, minced
Oil

Steps
1. Heat pan and once it's ready add your choice of oil. 
I've been using only coconut oil for cooking. Saute onion and garlic.

2. After I prepared the pork and chicken, I immediately seasoned it a little bit with salt and pepper.
Saute pork, chicken and shrimp. Cover and allow it's own water to come out. Adjust heat to medium.
If you are going to use the chicken cube seasoning, you can it at this point.

3. Add chicken broth or water. Simmer for 15 minutes or until your meat is ready.

4. Taste your broth. Add soy sauce as needed. Add 2 tbsp of oyster sauce. Simmer.

5. Mix cornstarch with cold water. Add the mixture, starting with only half of it so you can control the thickness of your sauce.

3. Add 2 tbsp sesame oil, the sliced mushroom and green peas. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Pour your topping on your choice of steamed rice. Serve.

I got this recipe from my sister in law. I sliced the meat larger than the original dimsum rice topping. 
This is for husband's lunch today and I had a small serving on top of rice for breakfast.



I also experimented with the sauce and came up with a different topping.
I marinated the pork with Worcestershire sauce and used hot sesame oil.

I liked this recipe better but husband likes the cebu style dimsum topping.

Happy Windy Monday from New York!


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Baked Tilapia with Garlic Butter


Happy New Year! We still have a lot of frozen meat from last year in our freezer which means I haven't been cooking that much during the holidays. We had a lot of parties during the holidays either at my parents' or at my in laws' place so we've been having leftovers whenever we're home.

I'm looking forward to emptying our freezer as soon as possible and hopefully that would also mean more blog worthy kind of meals.

Today, I prepared Baked Tilapia with Garlic Butter for husband's lunch.

Ingredients

3 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
Tilapia
Paprika
Salt
Pepper


Steps
👉 Preheat oven to 350 F
👉 While waiting for the oven to get ready, 
melt 3 tbsp butter  in a pan with the lowest heat of the stove. 
Add the garlic, a dash of paprika and a dash of pepper.

👉 Wash and dry the tilapia with a paper towel.
👉 Rub salt and pepper on both sides of your fish.

👉 Put the tilapia on your pan and pour the butter, 
arranging the garlic on top of the fish.

👉 Bake for 15 minutes and then 
move the baking pan to the upper rack of the oven 
for another 5 minutes to kind of roast the garlic.


I tasted the fish and I really liked it. 
I particularly love the taste of garlic, salt and pepper. 

Now scouting for more tilapia recipes because we have a ton to cook!