Cooking with Ajinomoto's Sarsaya Oyster Sauce

Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation recently launched its newest product Sarsaya Oyster Sauce and this got me very interested. For a person who loves to cook, any food product introduced will always be a subject of interest. Why not when it can allow me to come up with meals that excite the palate of my family, making me more fulfilled in what I do. 

Celebrity Endorser

No less than the Primetime King Coco Martin was chosen to be the product endorser of Sarsaya Oyster Sauce. I heard that he is also very much into cooking, being a big fan of his lola's cooking and a with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management to boot. I'm certainly glad to know that men are really very much into cooking and proud of it, just like Chef Mcrhyan Rodrigo who facilitated the cooking demo and cook-off.

Taste Test for Sarsaya Oyster Sauce

With Sarsaya Oyster Sauce now in our kitchen, I lost no time in trying it. Here are two recipes I got from Ajinomoto using their newest product. 

Pancit Canton

My Version:

Ginisarsayang Kangkong with Tokwa

My Version:

The Verdict

Using the Sarsaya Oyster Sauce in these seemingly ordinary dishes indeed provided a new dimension to flavor. It lent its blend of savory, sweet, and salty taste perfectly to the dish, providing just the perfect touch to a satisfying meal without incurring extraordinary cost. I would certainly be experimenting more with my cooking using the Sarsaya Oyster Sauce in the days to come. I'm also checking out the other spices and seasonings available from Ajinomoto.

The Goodness of Villa del Conte's Dark Chocolate

At my age, I limit my consumption of chocolate and other sweets. Because of this, I really choose those that are really good but will not necessarily cost an arm and a leg, so to speak. Fortunately, I found Villa del Conte's Dark Chocolate.

Chocolate Health Concerns

Contrary to popular belief, chocolate is not bad for the health. Like in most things, taking it in moderation is actually beneficial to the human body. Nutritionists however agree that the best option is dark chocolate which has less sugar content and tremendous antioxidant properties.

The higher the cocoa content, the more beneficial it is for those enjoying it. Believe it or not, this ultimate comfort food can be good for the heart, circulation, and brain. It is also said to be good for the skin. But of course, the key lies in moderation. It is more of enjoying the goodness of excellent chocolate rather than packing in on the calories of sugary and cheaper versions in large quantities.

Villa del Conte - Cioccolato Sublime from Padova, Italia

Villa del Conte Chocolates originated from Padova, Italy, a small town in between Venice and Verona. This finest cioccolato was created by Nazzareno Cattapan which was passed on to the following generations. It has since afforded many to enjoy hand crafted artisanal chocolates without the guilt. Continuing the legacy today is third-generation chocolate connoisseur Enrico Nazzareno.

Here in the Philippines, we also get to enjoy the goodness of Villa del Conte Chocolate. I recently tried Villa del Conte's Bonta Dark Chocolates. It is available in three luscious flavors, Dark Chocolate with White Cream and Cocoa Cookies in silver foil wrapper, Dark Chocolate with Cocoa Cream and White Chips in gold foil wrapper, and Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Cream and Whole Hazelnuts in red foil wrapper. 

The new Bonta Dark Chocolates collection is available at Villa del Conte stores in Greenbelt 5, Century City Mall, Shangri-la Mall, Resorts World, Alabang Town Center, SM Megamall, and Robinsons Magnolia. 

For bulk orders, please contact 893-2575 or 621-6101. To know more about Villa Del Conte, you may visit or follow them on: Facebook: 

The LUCKY SCOOP at Baskin-Robbins

From January 22 to February 5, 2017, Baskin-Robbins, the world's most loved ice-cream brand, celebrates the Chinese New Year and gives you the chance to enjoy that delicious additional junior scoop of your favorite flavor for FREE.  By simply buying one of Baskin-Robbins participating heavenly treats at your favorite store, you get the chance to crack open a fortune waffle and get your FREE junior scoop.  Now, isn't that lucky?

I think it is. Imagine getting an additional treat for something you actually enjoy. Treats such as this are always something to look forward to.

The Baskin-Robbins treats that are included in this promo are the Double Value Scoop, Sundae, Banana Royale, Banana Split and of course, my favorite - Milkshakes. Visit Baskin-Robbins shops at the Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, Uptown Place Mall, and SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig; Greenbelt 5 and Glorietta 5 in Makati; Fairview Terraces, Trinoma Mall, SM North (Main Building and The Block) in Quezon City; SM Southmall in Las Pinas; Solenad in Sta. Rosa, Laguna; SM Dasmariñas in Cavite; and SM Pampanga. 

For more information, log on to or check out their social media accounts:, Twitter, and Instagram @baskinrobbinsph.

So hurry down to the nearest Baskin-Robbins outlet now!

Create Delicious Dishes with Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce

Preparing good and nutritious food for the whole family does not end with the Christmas holidays.  Everyday meals can still be a feast with simple and quick dishes that would certainly bring joy and delight to every member of the family. Just take a look at the two dishes made easy and more nutritious using Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce.  

Crispy Menudo Lumpia

Make the crunchy and Crispy Fried Menudo Lumpia dish even more delectable with this hearty filling.


2 tbsps. cooking oil 
5 cloves garlic, minced 
1 red onion, minced 
1/4 kg ground pork 
250 g Hunt’s Spaghetti Sauce Pinoy Party Style 
½ cup water 
2 pcs. bay leaves 
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 carrot, diced

1 potato, diced
1 can liver spread
3 pcs. hotdogs, diced
½ cup frozen green peas
Salt & pepper to taste
10-15 pcs. square lumpia wrappers
2 pcs. egg whites 


Start off by sautéing garlic and onions. Add the ground pork and cook until lightly browned. Add Hunt’s Spaghetti Sauce Pinoy Party Style, water, bay leaves and soy sauce, bringing it to a boil. Simmer, then add carrots and potatoes. Cook until liquid is mostly reduced. Mix in liver spread, hotdog and green peas, and cover for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, season with salt and pepperaccording to your desired taste, then set aside and let cool. Spoon 2 tbsps. of menudo over one lumpia wrapper, roll, and secure the edges by brushing with egg whites. Finally, deep-fry until golden brown.

To see how easy it is to prepare The Crispy Menudo Lumpia  using Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce, click the video below.

Seafood Lasagna Roll-ups

Make mealtimes truly memorable with this shrimp-layered and crab sauce-filled lasagna dish.


- ¼ kg shrimp, peeled and deveined 
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. calamansi juice
- 2 tbsps. olive oil 

White crab sauce
- 2 tbsps. butter 
- 5 cloves garlic 
- 1 white onion
- 2 cups cream 
- 1 cup crab meat 
- 2 tbsps. parsley, chopped
- 8-10 pcs. lasagna noodles 

Red sauce
- 2 tbsps. olive oil 
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 250 g Hunt’s Spaghetti Sauce Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tbsps. basil, chopped 

- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- Basil leaves for garnish 


Start by seasoning shrimp with salt, pepper, paprika and calamansi juice. Cook shrimps in olive oil for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, butterfly-cut each shrimp and set aside. Meanwhile, add butter to the same pan where shrimp was cooked. Sauté onion and garlic, add the cream and simmer until thick. Mix in the crab meat, cook for about 5 minutes and season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat and mix in parsley. Set aside.

Next, sauté onion and garlic over medium heat. Add Hunt’s Spaghetti Sauce Parmesan Cheese, simmer until thick and season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat and mix in basil. Set aside. Finally, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Set aside. 

To assemble, lay lasagna noodles flat on a large surface. Spread about 3 tbsps. of the white crab sauce on each and top with pieces of shrimp, while leaving an inch at the top of each lasagna noodle empty. Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top (about 1 tbsp. each). Roll each lasagna noodle while securing the filling inside. Spread half of red sauce at the bottom of baking dish. Place all the lasagna roll-ups on top of the sauce, seam-side down. Keep the lasagna roll-ups close to each other to prevent unraveling. Spoon-in the remaining red sauce. Top with more mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake at 190C for 30 minutes. Garnish with basil leaves.

If you want food that is both delicious, satisfying and easy to make, these recipes will not fail you. Your family will certainly appreciate a surprise of this nature and watch them ask for more. See more Hunt's recipes by visiting on Facebook. 

Make every day a feast to remember with Hunt’s Spaghetti Sauces. To learn more about the brand, visit its website at

Panettone: The Italian Large Cake

It is not easy to ignore the very high boxes of panettone displayed on store windows of high end food stores and shelves of membership shops. They come across as ideal gifts for the holiday season but this sweet bread loaf in its peculiar shape is actually a staple Christmas and New Year delicacy in Western and Southern Europe. Though often described as Italian cake, it's has more similarity to bread than cake as we know it.

History of Panettone

The birthplace of panettone is Milan, Italy. Angelo Motta started producing this cake in 1919. He is credited for the cake's tall dome shape which was made possible by making the dough rise 3x for about 20 hours before being cooked.  Gioacchino Alemagna, another Milanese baker, adapted the same recipe in 1925. The industrial production of this cake was a result of the intense competition between these two bakers. 

The word panettone came from the Italian word "panetto" which means a small cake . The addition of the suffix -one effectively changed the meaning to large cake. Given these facts, it is still believed by many that panettone or at least a version of it dates back to early Roman history.

A Christmas Tradition

Every Christmas, food companies and bakeries in Italy produce millions of panettone. These Italian leavened cakes  are made with raisins and candied orange peel. It is eaten with sweet hot beverage or wine. 

It has become a tradition for Italian families to have a panetto at the Christmas meal table. The practice of doing so spread in many parts of the world where Italian migrants traveled to and stayed. This Italian large cake may technically be bread but it is no less festive and luxurious-looking than an icing covered cake. 

Shakey's Christmas Ham Pizza

When it comes to food, nothing screams Christmas like Christmas Ham does. So when my family was offered to try the Christmas Ham Pizza when we decided to eat at Shakey's Paseo de Sta. Rosa, we readily agreed. As lovers of both pizza and ham, we saw no reason not to. 

Shakey's Christmas Ham Pizza

Shakey's couldn't have picked a better time to come out with the Christmas Ham Pizza with the holidays upon us. Slices of ham, bacon, bell peppers, pineapple tidbits, cheese, and ham glaze are placed on top of Shakey's signature thin crust pizza. Of course, we were not surprised that we all loved it.


Our family however is not one to settle for just one pizza. We just had to have our old time favorite Chicken "n" Mojos. We looked for the best deal where we can enjoy both at a lower price.

Shakey's Family Meal Deals

We saw Shakey's Family Meal Deals and chose the Family Meal Deal 2. Note that this is good for 5-6 persons but it was just right for the 4 of us. The package included a Large Thin Crust Manager's Choice Pizza, Spaghetti Platter, 5 pieces Buddy Pack Chicken "n" Mojos, and 1 Pitcher of House Blend Iced Tea.

We replaced the Manager's Choice Pizza with the Christmas Ham Pizza without additional cost. I'm sure you'll notice that additional Pepperoni Pizza. That was actually an added treat for us as we got that for free since we chose to get the Shakey's SuperCard and it was my daughter's birthday.

Shakey's SuperCard

Shakey's SuperCard is a loyalty rewards program that gives members exclusive offers and discounts. The birthday pizza treat is just one of them. With this card, I am expecting my family to be enjoying more pizza in the months ahead.

Cohen Cook-Off Challenge

Enjoying delicious food and losing weight can be contradictory ideas. At the recently concluded Cohen Cook-Off Challenge, I found out that this is not exactly true. Cohen's Lifestyle Centre showed the way to a healthy yet enjoyable lifestyle.

Before the start of the competition, the invitees were treated to a sampling of the products of the Cohen style of preparing food. The main idea is to "let food become our medicine". Not much fun living if we end up being sick because of our lifestyle and the food we eat. That idea therefore makes perfect sense.

The Competitors

Cohen's Lifestyle Center posed a challenge to its clients to come up with a meal that can be quickly prepared at home while facilitating safe and effective weight loss. Showcasing their original recipes were Mary Ann “Dr. Ianne” Tangcangco, 40, a physician who lost 35 lbs. on the program so far; Marian Remo, 30, a businesswoman who lost 16 lbs. to date; and Carrie Luis, 26, a freelance assistant who just started the program.

(L-R) Cohen Cook-off Challenge winner Marian Remo and contestants Carrie Luis and Mary Ann “Dr. Ianne” Tangcangco

The Winning Entry...

Remo won the cook-off challenge with her dish, Beef Stuffed Zucchini with Mango Salsa to take home the grand prize, a Cohen Kitchen Showcase worth P30,000!  

...and the Other Worthy Entries

Tangcangco prepared an Apple Cake

Luis prepared Mushroom Frittata

Cohen's Lifestyle Program

Backed by years of scientific and medical research, Cohen’s Lifestyle Program is a personalized and rapid weight-loss and wellness program that focuses on proper nutrition and uses food as medicine. Each client’s unique blood profile is used as the basis for an individualized eating plan that recommends the personalized quantities of specific types of food that correct the hormonal imbalance that causes weight gain and obesity. 

(L-R) Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre consultant Lorraine Timbol, director Regina Chuavon, CEO Barbara Young and chef Pixie Sevilla

“The Cohen Program has a track record of success in delivering rapid weight loss using only food as medicine. We provide a safe, effective and scientific method of achieving a slimmer and healthier body, where all other methods may have failed,” said Barbara Young, Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre CEO and a certified life coach. 

“Cohen’s Lifestyle Program takes a holistic approach to losing weight. We don’t just guide you in losing weight but we also teach a healthier lifestyle, including cooking and eating habits and the way you look at food. You don’t need to be a chef to be able to prepare healthy, delicious meals. With a little bit of creativity in preparing food, losing weight can actually be fun. With the Cohen Cook-Off Challenge, we hope to inspire more people to take charge of their own health by getting involved in the preparation of their own food” Young added.

Healthy, Delicious, and Easy-to-Prepare

The Cohen Cook-Off Challenge just proved that we can actually enjoy healthy, delicious, and easy-to-prepare meals. We need not make it difficult to lose weight in having to do with bland food. Equipment needed may be readily available in our kitchens. Ingredients are widely available as well in local supermarkets.

Cohen’s Lifestyle Centre offers complimentary information sessions. To schedule an appointment, you may call the Makati office at 828-5251 or (0917) 892-6436.

To know more about Cohen’s Lifestyle Program, visit, or visit on Facebook and on Instagram.