Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Biscoff giveaway!!!

Because I announced the new Lotus Biscoff Speculoos flavor of Dairy Queen last weekend, I'm getting free Biscoff for me and free Biscoff for... MY READERS!!!

Here's how to win:

3. SHARE the Dairy Queen Speculoos Blizzard poster on Facebook. Here's the pic to share: DQ Biscoff poster

4. Then invite five of your friends (make sure to tag them!) to try DQ Speculoos Blizzard. Remember to set the post to public so Fly Ace Corp. and I can see. 

5. Leave a comment on the blog with your name and the link to your Facebook post.  

That's it!

Contest will be from June 24 to June 30. I will pick six (6) winners who will win a special gift pack from Lotus Biscoff. Winners will be notified via email on July 3. Join na! Good luck!


Congratulations to:

  1. Mary Louise Sanchez
  2. Jeda Gonzales
  3. Lynne Agapin
  4. Carol Chan
  5. Emilie Canapi Prades Udasco
  6. Annie Castillo

Valid for Metro Manila residents only who can claim in the Fly Ace Corporate Center office: 7/F Fly Ace Corporate Center, 13 Coral Way, Central Business Park, Pasay City, from July 3 to July 31 only, Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm. 

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

Biscoff Speculoos + Dairy Queen = LOVE!

This lazy Saturday morning, I was absently browsing my emails and I got this in my inbox today and I immediately sat up and napaluwa ang mata ko from their sockets. Two of my favorite things just got married!!!

Well, having an affair lang pala because this pairing is only available for a limited time!!!

My favorite bread spread of all time (my husband Vince calls it my drugs) Lotus Biscoff and my sentimental dessert (there's a Dairy Queen in St. Luke's Global City so my prenatal visits, our pedia visits and every time I gave birth, we all enjoyed a DQ!) joined together to create two delicious desserts:

The Dairy Queen Blizzard Cake in Lotus Biscoff flavor
To celebrate Father's Day, the Lotus Biscoff caramelized biscuit was combined with Dairy Queen’s Blizzard Cake for a cool (pun intended!) cake that will go perfectly with his coffee. Surprise the fathers of your life (well, the ones without diabetes! My father and my father-in-law both have diabetes so nope, they won't get this cake. Sorry, Papa Jules and Daddy Mon!) with this limited edition treat. The Dairy Queen’s Father's Day Speculoos Blizzard Cake is only available till tomorrow, June 21, 2015!

The Lotus Speculoos Blizzard
Until July 2, you can get to taste the special flavor of Lotus Speculoos Blizzard. It features the caramel taste and crunchy texture of Biscoff cookies together with the sweet and creamy Lotus Biscoff Spread. And just like all Blizzards, this flavor will also be super thick and creamy that it will be served upside-down and it will still defy gravity!

Both are available in your favorite Dairy Queen stores nationwide! We're definitely getting a Lotus Speculoos Blizzard this week with the boys. Hope to bump into you, dear readers!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My first ever carbonara!

This post is brought to you by Nestlé All Purpose Cream.

I'm a pretty good cook. My husband says that's one of the reasons he married me. But you know what? I've never cooked carbonara. The major reason is I prefer red sauce to white sauce. But now that I have kids, I figured I shouldn't impose my culinary preferences on them. Since my boys love pasta, they should try all kinds of pasta and sauces. I mean, all the pasta they know is spaghetti with tomato meat sauce! And, I'll be honest, they don't seem excited anymore when I serve them spaghetti. 

And that's why I decided to cook my first carbonara!
I found a carbonara recipe online and I liked that the ingredients weren't so intimidating. Just bacon (my family's favorite!), ham, cheese, milk and cream. I confess that I have never cooked anything with cream before. That's the territory of my sister, Jacqui, who swears by Nestlé All Purpose Cream. She says that it makes everything she makes extra creamy, adds a great texture, and makes food malinamnam. So for my first ever carbonara, I'm using Nestlé All Purpose Cream!

Half a kilo of noodles (I used spaghetti noodles so that it's familiar to my kids)
1 can evaporated milk
250 ml Nestlé All Purpose Cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
200 grams sweet ham (since my family loves bacon, I didn't use ham and just added more bacon!)
200 grams bacon
6 cloves of garlic, minced (the recipe called for a whole head but my kids don't like garlic)
1 onion, minced
1 tsp white pepper (you can use black pepper but I prefer white so that it looks nicer, no black spots on the white dish!)
Parmesan cheese, grated
Chopped parsley as garnish

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Blissmakerie: The prettiest and most inspiring party I've ever seen

Early this month, I was one of the women Martine de Luna of the inspirational blog, Make It Blissful, invited to her thanksgiving event. She called it Blissmakerie, a gathering of the women she's worked with or helped in her five years of blogging.

I was surprised to be there honestly (with my constant date, Piero, see below), because while Martine and I are friends, we've not actually worked together. I've long wanted to work with Martine to improve my blogs, but I got caught up in babymaking bliss (that's my kind of bliss!) so I put my sessions with Martine on hold. I also focused on family this year, what with two little boys and pregnant with the third to take care of with no yaya (we did finally get a housemaid)! With so much of life happening, I completely lost focus on the blogs.

But I don't regret any of this blog neglect. In fact, it was a conscious decision. Life was happening very quickly and I just had to live it! While many readers may have disliked the sponsored posts na sunod-sunod, I didn't mind. It was either sponsored content or no content. I had lost my "blogging bliss," as Martine would say. Many reasons. Other bloggers brought me down. A difficult pregnancy. A new baby. Just me and my husband raising our boys, which left us completely exhausted. New jobs. All of these left me with no time or energy for blogging outside of sponsored content.

Blogging became another job, although it remained a job I loved. While I consciously distanced myself from writing about my life (I was feeling very fragile this year), I was thankful that I didn't have to completely give up blogging thanks to my dear sponsors who gave me reason (and compensation!) to keep on blogging.

At Blissmakerie, however, my passion for blogging was rekindled. Seeing how Martine grew her blog and her brand, how she collaborated with other bloggers and brands, and helped grow other bloggers' online homes was just the inspiration I needed to shake up Topaz Horizon and Topaz Mommy. I began feeling that old excitement and thrill of sharing my life with you all. I also started dreaming again, visiting old plans I had for the blog. Read this October 2013 post  about my plans for 2014. The last paragraph says:
So that's what I plan to do this year and next year: blog. Grow the blogs, be more purposeful in my writing, get to know my readers more, build my reputation as a credible and honest blogger. Maybe these steps will help me in the next stage—empire building!—or maybe the next stage is more babies and just settling down to be a simple housewife. Who knows? Whatever it may be, I welcome it!  

Well, we now know that 2014 was just all about babies! But I also went back to magazine work so I didn't become a housewife. I did still remain a blogger. And for 2015, that should be my main focus (outside family, of course!).

Anyway! So let's look at this amazing Blissmakerie event so you get an inkling of how it inspired me to blog blissfully again!

The gorgeous venue was at Scarsdale Artisanal Delights ( along Shaw Blvd. Just look at that styling done by Constance Events Styling (! So pretty! But not sickeningly saccharine. Feminine but not girly. Sweet but elegant. I loved it! So pretty! I really told Constance Styling that if I have blog events next year, I'm totally getting them (if I can afford them, that is!).

My place at the table, marked by a Christmas ball with my name and exquisite macarons from Fat Fingers Sweet Treats (

Scarsdale meant it when they added Delights to their name. The scrumptious food was truly good! And I am really maarte with food! I loved everything on the menu!
This pudding a la mode was beyond fabulous. It just had enough simplicity in it to be comfort food (which it is) but it also had just a bit more eye-widening sweetness and texture so that it's not just any old pudding. Must go back for this!!!

Martine invited about 20 of her friends, clients and collaborators. I had a lovely time meeting old friends and making new ones. I like this whole concept of collaboration that Martine dreamed up. Part of what discouraged me in blogging was the suddenly fierce competition and cliques. You know that scene in Mean Girls, that "You can't sit with us," scene? So high school, right? Well, it happened to me at an event. I was so shocked. I walked away, hurt and humiliated. I couldn't handle it! Buti na lang the print media table scooted over and made room for me. Print media are the nicest people!

Then I realized at the Blissmakerie event that not all bloggers are bitches. Many blogging women are wonderful, too. Inspiring and creative and passionate. They use their time online to help other women, to build up, to share. These are the women I want to be with!
Make It Blissful's Blissmakers
Martine's celebrity clients.
Martine with Rissa Trillo of Happy Skin, which sponsored some raffle prizes

After an afternoon of good food, conversations and creative fun, Martine gifted each guest with the darling box of bliss. My Blissful Box, which was a pink polka dot sweetheart from Print Café (, contained these lovely things:

  1. watercolor postcards from Bloom (
  2. tags and postcards from Craftsmith (
  3. Hurraw lip balm from Cutieverse (
  4. olive room spray from Heima (
  5. products from Philosophy (
  6. a vanilla bean from The Vanilla Company (
  7. a vanilla bear and products from A Vanilla Story (
  8. foldable flats from Yosi Samra (
  9. nail polish from Zoya (

I had a blissful afternoon, Martine! Thanks for inviting me, feeding me, and giving me my Blissful Box. And thanks for rekindling an old love that had been smothered by new loves (a.k.a. baby boys!). I have big plans for the Topaz blogs. With Piero a little older in 2015, which may mean I'll have more time, I can finally make my dreams for my blogs come true!

To know more about Blissmakerie and Martine's reasons for throwing such a pretty party, click here.

*all photos, except the ones from my Instagram, are from Shutterpanda Photography (, used with permission from Make It Blissful.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My easy, healthy, cheesy holiday dish

If you're looking for a recipe that's super easy to do but is festive and yummy enough to impress the rest of the family—kids and grownups alike!—then let me share my easy, healthy Cheesy Chicken Rice Casserole!

1/4 of the block of butter
1 cup of chopped onion
2 cups of broccoli
1/3 cup of milk
1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
1 jar Cheez Whiz
1 1/2 cup cooked white rice

Preheat oven (or a big oven toaster) at 180°C.
Heat butter in a wok.
Add onion and cook till translucent.
Add the broccoli florets and cook until tender but crisp.
Stir in the milk, soup, Cheez Whiz and rice.
Stir until Cheez Whiz is melted.
Pour all of this cheesy mixture into a shallow baking dish.
Pop into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until it's bubbling!
Serve with love! (This serves 2-4 people.)

I love how Cheez Whiz makes this dish so fast and easy to prepare. The beloved cheese spread adds cheesiness, velvetiness, smoothness and flavor. And of course I love how it's soooo cheesy!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Cheez Whiz Milky Delight for baon or breakfast!

Now that my Vito is going to school, I'm so happy that Cheez Whiz sent me these packs of its newest bread spread flavor.

The Milky Delight reminds me of my childhood when I'd drizzle condensed milk onto my pan de sal. This new Milky Delight flavor really tastes a lot like like that—condensed milk but thicker and denser, with a hint of candy, like Haw Haw milk candy! Sweeeeeeet! Kids will super love it!

I'm making Vito's baon with the Milky Delight today:
A pack makes two sandwiches.
Creamy, sweet, thick. Yum! 
"Why can't I eat it now, Mama?"

A photo posted by Frances (@francesasales) on

And we lost that round, folks. Hindi ko natiis si Vito!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Simple but fun Halloween recipes

I've never been one to celebrate Halloween. It's the Born Again upbringing. But now that I have little boys who just love to get dressed up in costumes and squeal in delighted horror when their Mama Monster chases them around the house to attack them with kisses and tickles, I gotta do Halloween! So we'll do the costumes, the scary decor, and the creepy meals.

As a busy mom, I don't have time to create gourmet party dishes. But I do want to celebrate the season with spooked-up versions of my kids' favorite things to eat. With just simple everyday ingredients, I can creep my kids out into stuffing themselves! I especially like how Cheez Whiz—which I've loved since I was a kid—makes these recipes easier to whip up. Instead of using pricey cheeses like mozzarella, I use creamy Cheez Whiz! Since it's not so expensive (but just as yummy), I can serve it generously!

Anyway, because I wanted to inspire my dearest readers into making their own Halloween snacks, my kids and I made our scary treats early so we can show you our delicious ideas!

Spiderweb Pizza
Pizza crust
Pasta sauce
Pepperoni, ham or hot dog
Cheez Whiz
Black olives (if your kids don't like olives, use pepperoni, hotdogs or nori)

Spread pasta sauce generously on the pizza crust (if you don't have pizza crust, just cut out circles in regular sliced bread). Layer pepperoni or ham all over the pizza. Make spiders using the black olives. Pop into the oven and toast for 10 minutes. While it's toasting, put Cheez Whiz in a bowl, heat in a microwave oven to soften it, then transfer to a pastry bag. When pizza's done in the oven, pipe out a spiderweb pattern with the Cheez Whiz. Serve!

You have to put the Cheez Whiz last because if you make the web first then heat, the cheese spread will melt all over your pizza! I learned that by mistake! Heehee! See what Iron Man and I made:

Friday, August 01, 2014

What Iñigo is super ganado about

Appebon Kid partnered with Topaz Horizon for Nutrition Month, which was July, if you didn't know. I didn't know but now I do! At a special brunch at Italianni's Bonifacio High Street, Appebon Kid invited pediatrician Dr. Florianne Feliza-Valdez to talk to mom bloggers about the importance of good nutrition for our kids.

Here are some tips, facts and warnings from Dr. Feliza-Valdez:
  • Once our kids turn a year old, milk should stop being his only source of nutrition. This isn't a real problem since we give our kids solid food (hopefully meat, fruits and veggies and not junk food!) at 6 months old. But some kids are given so much milk, they don't eat real food anymore!
  • Formula milk can be considered junk food if it takes up the majority of what our kids eat. Formula milk has lots of sugar, which attracts bacteria. 
  • Other junk food culprit is instant noodles. Some families think it's okay to give their kids lots of instant noodles because it seems like real food. It's actually just carbs and salt.
  • There are two types of malnutrition: undernourished (child is not getting enough nutrients) and overnourished (a.k.a. chubby kids).
  • Ask your pediatrician for a nutritional assessment if you're worried about your child (too skinny, too fat, too short, etc.). Every child is different and growth is affected by non-nutritional factors like genetics (short mommy and daddy will most likely have short children, for example).
Dr. Feliza-Valdez also shared the 3 N's of Nutrition:

Appebon Kid is a daily nutritional supplement that can help parents meet their children's nutritional needs. Packed with Vitamins B1, B6 and B12, Iron and Lysine, it's in a yummy strawberry flavor that even picky eaters from 2-12 years old will like.

Let's face it: It's hard to make kids, especially toddlers and picky eaters, to eat anything! In my house, for example, it's a battle just to get food into my kids' tummies! Vito eats a lot in the morning and at lunch, but as the day ends, he eats almost nothing and is happy to go to bed with just a glass of milk filling his tummy. I'm not so worried about him because he eats a lot during the day, especially from 7am to 1pm, like he is constantly munching. Iñigo, on the other hand, eats only if he feels like it. Most of the time, what he feels like eating is made of sugar and carbs! Guilty mommy here!

So we give the kids vitamins to ensure they're not undernourished. Still, I would love it if they, especially Iñigo, would eat good food at meal times regularly.

Anyway, Appebon Kid's Nutrition Month Campaign is called "Batang Ganado, Batang Can-do!" They hope that by nourishing our children's appetite for healthy food, our kids will also have the passion and energy to have an appetite for life. Moms at the lunch were asked what their kids are passionate about. Iñigo is passionate about Disney Pixar Cars!

To prove it, let me share with you a few photos of his 2nd birthday party:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Win Krispy Kreme #JoyInABox!


Krispy Kreme asked me (pretty please with candy sprinkles on it) if I'd like to treat my readers to something sweet. Of course I said yes! So if you're in the mood to treat yourself (or your family, friends, co-workers, etc) to a sweet treat with an even sweeter message on top, why don't you give them #JoyInABox from Topaz Horizon and Krispy Kreme?

Yes, my dear readers! I'm giving away 10 boxes of #MessageDoughnuts from my family's favorite doughnut shop, Krispy Kreme! But you get to pick the message you want on it. Here are a few samples:

So without further ado, let's get on with the giveaway!

The prize:
A whole box of doughnuts with the message you want to tell anyone. It can be a "Happy Dad's Day!" to your father, an "I love you!" to your boyfriend, an "I miss you!" to your friends, "Congrats!" to a new mom or a friend with a new job, or encouraging words to your staff at work. Kinda something like this:

The details:
  1. 10 readers will win a box each of #MessageDoughnuts from Krispy Kreme. 
  2. Contest is open to anyone near a Krispy Kreme shop! So this is a nationwide contest! (Philippines only!)
  3. My contest runs from today till June 12, 12pm.
  4. I'll pick the winners on June 12 and announce on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Winners must reply to my announcement by June 13, Friday 12 noon!!! If I get no feedback, I pick new winners!
  5. Winners will then send me their name, the message they want on their #JoyInABox, and which Krispy Kreme store they'll claim the box from. Bring a valid ID to claim your box of #MessageDoughnuts!

How to win:
  1. Like Krispy Kreme's Facebook page, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter
  2. Like Topaz Horizon's Facebook page, and follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Ya, you kinda have to because that's where I'm going to announce the winners! 
  3. On Instagram: Post a happy selfie and say this: "I want to get #joyinabox from @KrispyKremePH and @FrancesASales!"
  4. On Twitter: Post a happy selfie and say this: "I want to get #joyinabox from @hotlightgirl and @FrancesASales!"
  5. On Facebook: Say this: "I want to get #joyinabox from Krispy Kreme and Topaz Horizon!" Make sure Krispy Kreme and Topaz Horizon are tagged!
You don't have to post on FB, IG and Twitter. Okay na ang isang beses lang. Promise! Para di kayo at ako makulitan hehe.

That's it! Good luck! Mwah! Mwah! Mwah!

*This is not a sponsored giveaway.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

What to do with leftover chicken and rice

Since we have no maids and nannies, I have to resort to food deliveries often. Sometimes, there are lots of leftovers when the kids decide they didn't want what they ordered after all. Now, you all know that eating leftover fast food is depressing. For example, leftover Jollibee Chicken Joy is no longer crispy. So what I do is turn them into something else!

I got this recipe from the package of rice we buy. This recipe is by Chef Laudico but I tweaked it so that it's now mine. It is super delicious!


2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp garlic, minced
4 tbsp onion, diced
2 tbsp carrots, diced (I used red bell pepper since I ran out of carrots.)
2 tbsp celery, diced
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1 cup chicken meat, cooked
2 cups rice, cooked
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk

Heat butter and sauté onions, garlic, celery and bell pepper. The recipe called for carrots but since I didn't have any, I used red bell peppers because they're just as crunchy and sweet. Plus, they add heat that carrots don't!

Add cabbage and when it's a bit limp, add the rice.

You can actually stop at this point and now you have fancy fried rice!

Add chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes. My chicken stock is just two Knorr chicken flavor cubes dissolved in hot water.

(If you have real chicken stock, much better! You'll just have to season the dish with 2 tbsp patis. Since I used flavor cubes, I didn't need seasoning.)

Add milk and simmer for 5 more minutes.

Add chicken meat.

Serve! This is sooo perfect for this rainy weather. Try it!

P.S. I hope you're all safe and warm and dry, dear readers.