Bistek Tagalog - Pinoy Beefsteak

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Bistek Tagalog is a regular beef dish at home. I always cook it because my family loves it. It is also one of the dishes I would love my kids to learn how to cook. It is one of their comfort foods that is easy to make so I am keeping the recipe here for them. This is a small batch which is good for 2-3 people.

Bistek Tagalog - Pinoy Beefsteak


500 grams beef (preferably sirloin or any tender beef cuts) thinly sliced
1/2 cup of dark soy sauce (add more if needed)
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 large yellow onion sliced into rings
4 tablespoons cooking oil (I used olive oil to sear the beef)
1/2 cup of water
1 pinch salt and black pepper

Here is how I usually cook it.

-Marinate beef in soy sauce, lemon, and ground black pepper for an hour. You can also marinate it overnight for best results (be sure to keep it in the fridge if marinating overnight)

-Now, heat the cooking oil in a pan. Drain the marinade from the beef and set it aside. 

-Pan-fry all the beef pieces (both sides). Remove from the pan. Set aside

-Add more oil if needed. Saute onions until it softens. 

-Add beef (be sure not to include the juices that drained from the beef) and saute with onions for 2-3 minutes

-Pour the marinade, the juices from the beef and water. Let it simmer for another 2 minutes without allowing the sauce to dry out. Add more water if needed. 

*The beef cuts I used here are thin slices and they are tender so no need to simmer it for a long time. If the beef cut used is not tender, then simmer it until it is tender. Add water as needed.

-Season with ground black pepper and salt as needed. 

-Transfer to a serving plate. Serve hot. Share and Enjoy!

Bistek Tagalog

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Air Fryer Crispy Pata

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 Air Fryer Crispy Pata

Yung nakapag-air fryer na lahat kmi na lng ang hindi. We are so late to this Air Fryer craze but who cares right?! Hahaha! Still, I'm glad we got one now. 

Air Fryer Crispy Pata Recipe

I got our 5.5 L Nutricook Air Fryer 2 from Mumzworld. You can use my discount code MyYellowBells10 for a 10% discount on your purchases. They have everything there. Have you visited Mumzworld website?

Nutricook Air Fryer 2

It was the first time we used the Nutricook Air Fryer 2 to cook Crispy Pata and it was a success. It has crispy skin and moist and flavorful meat inside. When I started using this air fryer, I immediately notice the difference in the taste of food. Everything cooked in it tasted so good. The flavor of the food is retained not to mention the easy clean-up process after cooking.

Moving on to the Crispy Pata recipe. 

- Boil the pork hock in water enough to cover the meat. Add 1 red onion sliced unpeeled, 1 whole head of garlic sliced in the middle unpeeled, peppercorns, bay leaves, and1 tsp of salt, and simmer for 1 hour to 1 hour and a half.

- Once the pork hock is tender, remove it from the pot, let it drain and cool down, poke the skin with a fork, rub it with enough salt (enough to draw out moisture from the pork hock skin) and refrigerate (do not freeze) overnight uncovered.

When you're ready to cook it the next day...

-Preheat Nutricook Air Fryer (there's a preheat setting there)

-Take out the pork hock from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for at least half an hour to get it to room temperature.

-Wipe excess salt and moisture before placing it in the air fryer. 

-Set the air fryer to 180 degrees for 25 minutes two times, and turn the pork hock in between

-Air Fry one more time at 200 degrees for 20 minutes.

Serve with your favorite sawsawan.

Air Fryer Crispy Pata
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Lanna's 18th Yacht Cruise Birthday Party

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Mica is 18! 

Our daughter is now a young adult. Our baby girl is officially a lady. 

Mica's 18th Birthday Outfit

Although you are now 18, to me, you are still and will always be my baby girl. I want you to remember my love that you can always call mommy for anything and everything anywhere in the world you are (in the future) just like you always do now.

Anyhow drama aside...

To celebrate this huge milestone, we rented a 70-foot yacht and invited her closest for a sunset Dubai Marina cruise.

Yacht Cruise in Dubai

18th Birthday Party Ideas

We wanted Mica to have a unique and unforgettable 18th birthday celebration experience worth remembering for the rest of her adult years. The most "very-Dubai" party idea we had in mind was to have a private yacht birthday party.

For the cake, she asked for a simple white carrot cake with yellow roses and streaks of gold

Floral Birthday Cake

Beautifully made and deliciously baked by our friend Mae of Yamyam Cheesecake.

Lanna's 18th Yacht Cruise Birthday Party

Lanna's 18th Yacht Cruise Birthday Party

Yacht Cruise Birthday Party

White and Khaki dress code to which we all happily obliged. Don't they all look so chic?

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

Our guests were her closest and long-time friends in Dubai and just a few family members and friends.

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

White Birthday Party

18 white roses from Dad

White Birthday Party-Father and Daughter

18 White Roses

Decorations of green, white, and gold balloon garland outside the yacht. Unfortunately, we were not able to take any photos before it sailed but the inside simply looks like this. Her friends helped us with it.

18th Birthday Party Yacht Decorations

And the food is catered by Salt & Pepper. Refreshments were provided by the yacht operator. Had I known the sea would be a little rough that day, I would have ordered dry food and given our guest some motion sickness pill before we sailed on to the sea. 
18th Birthday Filipino Party Food

The yacht cruise was a total of four hours including an hour of swimming which our teenage guests enjoyed.

Yacht Cruise in Dubai with Swimming

Just as the sun is setting, we sailed back to the Marina with all its golden hue. Took some more photos to remember this great day. 

Yacht Cruise in Dubai-Ain Dubai

Yacht Cruise in Dubai-Ain Dubai

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Isabela Beatrice - A Birth Story

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Birth Stories

I didn't realize that my last visit to my doctor would determine when my baby would be born. I was waiting for labor to begin naturally, but due to some health risks because of my age, I had to be induced at 39 weeks and 2 days. My pregnancy was full-term but with no signs of labor yet, my doctor decided not to wait. I had to be induced to avoid any unnecessary complications.

It was December 2021, a week before Christmas, the date proposed was 26 after the celebrations but my husband has another idea. He wanted to have our baby with us on Christmas day and so we all agreed it has to be Christmas eve.

I was excited. Full of courage but nervous at the same time. How hard can it be?! I had two vaginal births before, this will just be the same. Though the last one was 12 years ago. Haha

We checked in at Mediclinic Park View on the eve of December 23. The nurse greeted us with big smiles ready to deliver our baby. Her first question was, are you having an epidural and my answer was no. You probably think I am crazy. Maybe I am just brave.

We put our things aside, get a little comfy, and even turned the tv on. The rooms at Mediclinic are well equipped and are almost hotel-like.

I changed into a hospital gown, lay in bed, and then the nurse started all procedures to induce labor. For a few hours, I was alright, the pain was manageable but after a few more hours I was riding in pain. They gave me pain relievers, pethidine first and then I was on air and gas. Last-minute when I was 6 cm dilated, I could hardly bear the pain. Ferald was watching me helpless. I thought I could do it but I was suffering so we decided to have an epidural. When the pain subside, it was the only time I was able to fall asleep, waiting for the baby to arrive.

Somehow, the birth was not progressing. The baby is stuck inside and not coming down the birth canal as it should. My doctor arrived. She suggested that if after half an hour and birth does not progress, they will have to take me to the operating room for a c-section. She doesn't want to stress the baby cause that is not good news for both of us. 

It was the last thing on my mind. I told my doctor that I wanted it to be a vaginal birth and I was clear about it during our prenatal visits. My baby have other plans but I was determined to have a natural birth. I asked the nurse to change my lying position, she turn me to my side and put a pillow between my legs. Somehow, this helped because after 30 minutes, there was a little movement. With tears in my eyes, I told my doctor to wait for another hour. Seeing that the baby progressed down the birth canal, she waited and without completing the hour, I was ready to push. Isabella Beatrice was born at 3:50 pm on 24th December 2021.

She came out face up and her umbilical cord was at her shoulder. It was the reason why she was not coming out swiftly. 

God is good. He listened to our prayers. When I heard the doctor say caesarian, I prayed hard. My husband and I prayed hard to God to allow this baby, being born on Christmas eve, to have a natural birth story. 

Family photo on Christmas day at Mediclinic Park View Hospital

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Baby Girl Baby Shower

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Baby Girl Baby Shower

Baby showers were not quite popular yet when Lanna & Prince was born. At least for us. Hence no gender reveal or baby showers. Just intimate sharing of great news to family and passing hand-me-downs from bigger siblings and friends.

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Halloween Costumes - Dia de Los Muertos

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Dia de Los Muertos

This is a post-Halloween blog but I'll put it up anyway for keepsake.

I'm just glad I did it. To put that face paint on and enjoyed the celebration coz everyone came to the party.

Halloween Costumes

A few days to our Fright Night with PONG, I was still hesitant whether I'd put that Dia de Los Muertos makeup on. I've been looking for ideas on Pinterest for so many days. There were so much beautiful and extravagant makeup and costumes, it is so tempting to splurge.

We bought the props, masks, face paint, and yet I wasn't hundred percent sure I'm going to do it just because it was so inconvenient to clean up the makeup after. But I did it anyway in the end. This is but a rare occasion. We are not big on Halloween parties in our country as we have a different tradition to commemorate our dearly departed. 

Ate did the work for me even though I got her so pissed off with my nagging, she put on a smile and finished my look. Thank you ate, love you lots. 

It was yet another successful PONG event in the desert.

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Choosing a Ball Gown for Desert Rose Parade

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Blue Satin Gown

Out of probably 20+ gowns we tried, she only liked one. A simple blue satin gown. I was hoping she would want something more lavish. Although we were thrifting since it is going to be a one-time use, there are many nice gowns to choose from at the thrift shop. Borrowing was another option but we found it difficult due to size constraints. The blue gown cost 65 dirhams only. Not bad for the price but design-wise, it was not good enough for me. I was actually hoping she would choose the green one as it has a nicer cut but nope, my persuasion was in vain.
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