Makeup: A Must!

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Powder, blush, and lipstick

I’ve always been a firm believer that, at a certain age, women should no longer leave the house without makeup. All women bloom when they put on a touch of makeup that play up their features. And I don’t go for “natural beauty,” because often, women without makeup don’t look natural. They look more plain and tired than “natural.” On the other hand, women who put on even the minimum—in my opinion, powder, blush, and lipstick—look fresh and put-together.

To the uninitiated, ask a friend to help you take your first makeup baby steps. Go shopping for the basics together. Then, learn how to apply makeup naturally. Good makeup videos abound on the Internet. Take courage, you’ll love the new you…the real you!

Once you feel more confident, throw in an eyelash curler and mascara in your bag to brighten up your eyes.

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Eyeshadow

Add a natural palette of eyeshadow as well. How can you go wrong? Before you know it, wearing makeup everyday will feel like a natural part of your day already!

This post was written by Meg Murrf Trinidad.

Preggy Belly Tale #1: The Third Time Around!

Last month, my period came four days late. But when I took a pregnancy test, it was negative. False alarm! This month, my period came late again (although I had a good inkling this was no longer a false alarm). When I took the test, it immediately showed just one line (read: negative). “Go back to sleep, Jack. It’s negative again.” I tossed it on the bed, and left my room to munch on fries with my girls.

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Twenty minutes later, Reese and Cate bolted into our room and saw the pregnancy test. They ran to it. Reese snatched it up, and they both studied it with interest. “Mom, what’s this?” When I looked at it again, it already had the two lines! Positive. “Jack, wake up! It’s positive!!!” We suddenly felt giddy (dizzy?), like first-time parents again. Reese: “What is it, Mom? What is it?” Me: “Sssh, we’re going to have another baby. But don’t tell the nannies first.”

When we went to my doctor two days later, however, she made us retake the test. And it mysteriously showed a negative result. Hmmm… either I really wasn’t pregnant (I also actually showed no symptoms) or it was just too early in the pregnancy.

Easter Sunday, I still didn’t have my period. So, we decided to take the test again. This time, positive!!! Two very strong lines. And so begins my third preggy adventure…

This post was written by Meg Murrf Trinidad.

A restaurant’s downfall

I was supposed to share with you another recipe, but while trying to write the article my sister stormed inside my room complaining about her experience during dinner. She was attending a baby shower party and they decided to hold it in a decent restaurant. It was a party of 25. I don’t think it was that big of a deal. I should know, because I used to be an assistant cook and front of house (FOH) for four years in a restaurant. This is nothing compared to a party where you actually have to close the whole restaurant.

She was fuming because it took two hours for food to be completely served. Not to mention that the things they ordered are not out of the ordinary. Provided that they did not order in advance, but you can’t make your customers wait for two hours. That’s just awful service.

When I was in charge of FOH, I always tell my servers and cooks to NOT make the customers wait for long, and if the dish they order would really take time to be prepared, you have to tell them in advance so that they could decide whether they’re willing to wait or opt for something else. As an asst. cook, I usually work with an extra cook plus a grill man. But even with two extra set of hands, sometimes you get rattled by the influx of orders, that’s why prepping is very important.

I start my day earlier than the rest. I see to it that all vegetables are chopped, rinsed and are within reach. I also thaw ingredients that needed to be thawed. I had a couple of experiences where I served grilled seafood and it’s still cold inside. I wanted the ground to swallow me whole during those times. Never would I serve anything that would put my and the restaurant’s name in shame again.

Back to my sister’s experience in this restaurant: the manager said that the orders took long to be cooked because they only had two cooks working that night. That’s a lame excuse! Only big restaurants have a lot of cooks and chefs, a typical restaurant usually only have two working cooks at a time. Some restaurants forget the value of kitchen dynamics. They blame everything on few manpower and peak hours.

If you work at a restaurant, you know that there are certain hours in the day that you will be very busy. So, I don’t see the reason why a group of 25 is different from serving people during peak hours? Restaurant owners and managers alike should take into consideration that food will be served fast if there’s an expediter to take care of the business in the kitchen.

An expediter make sure that the orders are announced, food is being prepared, plated and delivered to hungry customers on time. Work will be a lot easier and there will definitely be a system. I don’t believe in quantity when it comes to kitchen staff, it’s always about quality. And I guess that restaurant doesn’t value quality, nor do they even care if people go hungry because of them. What’s even more appalling was the fact that they were asking them for service charge, since they were a big party. If I were the manager, I would’ve given them desserts instead, free of charge of course.

Dining out is supposed to be a culinary experience. A restaurant’s life span is so unpredictable because there’s so much competition out there. And for one restaurant that wasted those 25 customers they had, your guess is as good as mine on how long their doors will be open for business.

This post was written by Rita Salonga.

Let’s go beyond fried food! Here’s a recipe for sinigang na salmon sa miso

Sinigang na salmon sa miso
Sinigang na salmon sa miso

I did have my stint at culinary school, but I feel in my heart that my passion for cooking is genetic. How else would I learn how to cook regular dishes without any supervision or a recipe book in front of me? I rely on both of my sense of taste and sight. My mom always tells me that her mom didn’t teach her neither, it just came naturally. But I do study to learn the basics (what to do and what not to do) and also to acquire further knowledge in cooking and baking. And one thing that I love about cooking is that you discover something new in the kitchen every time you cook.

Not everybody is meant to be the queen of the kitchen, but I know that for most of the people out there, they don’t really have a choice because they’re married or living on their own. Not all of us can afford help, go through a culinary course, or order take out foods every day. That’s why I feel bad when I hear my friends tell me that all they feed their children is fried food. Honestly, it took me a while to perfect the art of cooking fried chicken, but frying is the simplest form of cooking for most of the moms out there.

It will be good if once in a while you’ll feed your love ones something nutritious aside from fried chicken, fried eggs and hotdogs. They need nourishment and it’s about time that you man-up and start familiarizing yourself with different types of cooking.

You don’t need to be a Martha Stewart; Rachael Ray is fine (Rachael Ray did not graduate from any culinary school). Don’t be discouraged when you don’t succeed during your first try. It takes a while, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that the kitchen is not as frightening as it used to be. Here’s one recipe you could try:

Sinigang na Salmon sa Miso

Ingredients for sinigang na salmon sa miso
Ingredients for sinigang na salmon sa miso

Ingredients:
1 kilo of Salmon (whatever part is available in the market will do)
1 pack of Sinigang sa Miso mix
Sili
Onions, ginger
Talbos ng kamote (or, if you prefer, kangkong)
2 cups of water

Usually in sinigang, you just boil the meat and then add the vegetables and the sinigang mix. I find that it tastes better when you sauté it first with onions and tomatoes, but since I’m using fish and Miso mix, I’ll use ginger instead of tomatoes. Ginger is pampatangal ng lansa, so you don’t really need to put a lot. Depending in the part of fish that you’ll use make sure to mix it gently because you don’t want to end up with a mushy fish in your soup. Put at least two cups of water, and if you want it to be more soupy, then you can add more water. Just make sure to taste everything along the way. Then pour in the sinigang mix, plus the vegetables. Wait for it to boil, then it’s done.

Sinigang na isda usually doesn’t take long to cook. You just have to make sure that your vegetables are cooked, and you’re ready to serve your Sinigang. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me here. I’ll try my best to answer all of your queries. Until next time!

 This post was written by Rita Salonga.