Thursday, October 05, 2017

Shepherd's Pie recipe made special with Gold Seas Tuna

A few months ago, I discovered Gold Seas Tuna—and it's one of my best mom finds this year!

I love tuna. I've loved tuna forever! I make the best spicy tuna sandwich spread. I know because I've not tasted any tuna sandwich better than mine and everyone who's had my tuna sandwich says so, too. I make really amazing tuna and roasted tomatoes pasta. Super quick and easy to make and everyone who's had it thinks it's so gourmet, they get shocked when they find out my tuna's canned. Yes, I'm very mayabang when it comes to my tuna recipes!!!

Maybe one day I'll share the secrets of my super special tuna recipes with you, dearest Loyal Readers. One day, but not today!

Today, I'll share with you the delicious shepherd's pie we made with Chef Rosebud Benitez (the lady at center, with glasses) at The Cookery. With other mommies, I learned to make shepherd's pie with tuna. Not just any tuna but with Gold Seas Tuna Chunks. It is the very best canned tuna in the Philippines, mamas!

  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled, chopped, boiled and mashed
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 720g jar tomato pasta sauce
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed, chopped
  • 150g broccoli, chopped
  • 1/3 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cans Gold Seas Tuna in Spring Water, drained, flaked

1. In a mixing bowl, add butter, milk and two-thirds of the cheese to the mashed potato. Season with salt and pepper (I use white pepper so that my mashed potatoes won't look "dirty."). Stir gently with a wooden spoon until smooth. Cover to keep warm.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until onion has become transluscent. Add pasta sauce, celery, broccoli, and corn. Stir until vegetables are tender (around 7 minutes). Add basil and tuna. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.

3. Preheat oven on medium. Divide tuna mixture between four 1 1/2 cup-capacity ramekins. Spoon in mixture so that it fills just two-thirds of the ramekins. Fill to the top with mashed potato. 

4. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Lots and lotsa cheese! Grill for 4 to 5 minutes or until potato is golden and cheese has melted. Serve.

This was soooo easy and soooo delicious! My husband—who is a meat man—loved it! Definitely a lighter and healthier version of shepherd's pie, which is usually made with ground meat.

Next week, I'll share with you another recipe Chef Rosebud taught us. Of course, we made it with Gold Seas Tuna Chunks—the chunkiest, most delicious canned tuna ever!!! Happy cooking!

This post is brought to you by Gold Seas Tuna.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Exercises we can do at home to get sexier!

It's the last quarter of 2017! I'm almost 41! I haven't done any real consistent fitness regimens at all this year! This time in 2016, I promised myself that because I'm turning 40, I need to be fit and fab. I was going to use #FrancesFabAt40 and #FrancesFitAt40 to document my journey to fabulosity. Alas, it din't happen, mamas.

I did do more physical work than I ever have this year. But since I wasn't consistent, I guess the effects weren't visible. I do feel stronger. I'm doing things I've not done in decades—briskly walk 3 kms straight, jog, climb stairs without dying, heck, I actually can even run up stairs now! So, yes, I am healthier and more fit, but I also want this new strength to be visible on my body.

Problem is, as a super busy working mama who can't rely on yayas and kasambahays to look after the kids while I go to the gym, I can't go to a gym. So let's do this fitness thing at home!!!

I went on YouTube and found this lovely woman who does exercises at home. Bodibiday deserves more views and subscribers, mama, so let's give those to her. Watch her videos and WORK OUT WITH ME!!!

Okay, so I collected the videos I plan to do every MWF (let's start slooooow) on this blog post so I can just keep going back to this page every time I need to exercise. Here we go!

Because I need to tone my arms. My arms are strong. After seven years of lifting and carrying babies and toddler, lifting heavier loads of groceries and diaper bags, I know my arms are. I just don't like that all those muscles are buried by fat!

Because I have a big belly and a big belly doesn't look nice on a skinny lady. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm pregnant again.

Because I want to lose my back fat. How can I be skinny and have back fat anyway???

Because I want nice wide hips. My hips already widened after three pregnancies but I have these awful things called hip dips.

Because I want a big butt! I used to have a cute butt but when I became a mama, it flattened to pancakes. Whhhyyyyy???

Because I want toned legs. I know my legs are stronger than they've ever been. I run after little boys! I run up MRT steps! I walk everywhere! But they still don't look firm and toned. So I'm doing this.

Okay, yan na muna, mamas. I'll start this week and then I am super hoping that in a month's time, which would be my birthday week, I'll not only feel better, I'll also look better. Good luck to us!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Frances Finds: OMRON nebulizer for quiet, on-the-go, and effective respiratory treatment

For mamas like me who have asthma, we're familiar with nebulizers. It's one of the best tools to manage asthma attacks. My first nebulization was in my teens, and nebulizers back then were big, heavy and so loud it woke up the dead. I think that's part of the reason I survived my asthma attacks haha

The last time I was confined at the hospital for a deadly asthma attack was 7 years ago. 

Joking aside, asthma is serious business. It's life-and-death. A lot of people who don't have asthma never could understand it. I tell them, "Imagine suffocating. Drowning. Being strangled. Still can't fathom it? Then stop telling me to 'Breathe!' because asthma is not being able to breathe, you dimwit!"

Okay, I don't say that last part. All I say actually is, "I will never wish asthma on anyone, not even my worst enemy." It's sobering to always confront one's mortality when you have an attack. Your first thought is, "Where's my inhaler?" If that doesn't work, your second thought is, "Looks like I'm going to die today." You learn how to be calm in the face of death because you've looked at it in the face too many times. And to be honest, I'm not afraid to die anymore, having been on that brink too often. It really isn't so scary. If anything, all I feel is sadness and acceptance—acceptance because we all die and this is how mine will go, and sadness because life is good and I have a wonderful husband and amazing children and I don't want for us to part ever. I really never want to die.

So serious! I'm actually here to tell you about the new OMRON nebulizer!!! OMRON invited me and other mom bloggers to a delicious lunch at Stacy's BGC where we learned about asthma and allergies and how to manage them well. We also found out about the new OMRON Compair Nebulizer System NE-C801 nebulizer.

Like I said, if you have asthma, you know those nebulizers can be very loud. If you're a mama of asthmatic kids, then you know those loud nebulizers scare kids, especially babies and toddlers. Most of them time, the nebulizer upsets them so much, their crying exacerbates their condition. So you beg, plead, bribe, threaten, weep. Usually doesn't work. What we used to do was wait for the kids to sleep before we put the nebulizer as far away from the bed as its cord and air tube allow, muffle our nebulizer behind (not under) a pillow, and then only then do we turn it on. Now that they're older, they've dealt with the noise so this isn't a concern anymore.

With the new OMRON Compair Nebulizer System NE-C801, however, you won't have to worry about scaring your kids anymore. Hooray!!! Here's why I want to buy it:

1. It's so portable.
Well, all nebulizers are portable but the OMRON Compair Nebulizer System NE-C801 is more so because it's so small and it's so light. It's just a little bigger than my hand, about as big as a Polaroid camera. And at 270 grams, it's so light! If ever I need my kids to get it for me, they can carry it. And if I ever need to bring a nebulizer when we travel, I can! It comes in its own nifty little bag that contains two face masks (one for kids and one for grownups) and one mouthpiece.

2. It's efficient.
This little nebulizer uses Virtual Valve Technology, which efficiently compresses the liquid medication and turns it into the finest vapor so that you get most of it into your lungs.

3. It's affordable.
At just P3,280, the OMRON Compair Nebulizer System NE-C801 is not an expensive medical equipment. It's available at leading drugstores. And because it's being launched to the market, for the month of October, it's only P2,980! Bili na, mga mommies!!!

Oh, by the way, my kids don't have asthma—so if you're a mom who thinks this is all useless information, think again! What my kids have is allergic rhinitis. Then when they have a bad cough or cold, their pedia recommends nebulization with saline solution, sometimes with a few drops of decongestant or mucolytic mixed in, to ease their breathing. So even if you and your kids don't have asthma, as long as you have allergies or you get colds and coughs, a nebulizer at home is still a great thing to have.

To know more about OMRON medical devices and how to lead a healthy life, like their Facebook page.

*This post is brought to you by OMRON. Photos courtesy of OMRON Facebook page.