Friday, June 29, 2012

l'asperge {asparagus}

One of the things I truly enjoy in late spring to early summer is the asparagus season. Did you know that there are about 300 varieties of asparagus but unfortunately only about 30 are edible.

My gustatory love affair with asparagus started later in life. As a kid growing up in Manila, access to asparagus was not that easy. It was when I spent a good amount of time in Paris in my late twenties that I discovered the succulent fleshy green spears of l'asperge - simply grilled and drizzled with olive or truffle oil! Oh la la!

Many years after, I am still hooked - in fact even more! One of the the promises of spring and summer that is worth waiting for!

Have a  fantastic weekend everyone!

Shared with:

This or That Tursday

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Looking Forward to the Weekend

Deadlines, meetings, airports, delayed flight, training, telephone conferences .... this is how I define the word b-u-s-y these past few days. Oh don't get me wrong - I am not complaining. I am thankful that I am blessed with work that I look forward to doing everyday. But I will not deny that I am looking forward to this coming weekend. 

To pause, to breath, to do nothing but ....

.... smell the flowers - wild or otherwise

.... enjoy my favorite breakfast {raisin bread toast with lots of butter and vanilla flavored coffee} outdoors  while giving thanks for another birthday to celebrate!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Where in the World : Niagara Falls, Canada

Since migrating here in Canada 12 years ago, hubby and I have seen Niagara Falls more times than I can count on my hands and feet. We've seen its beauty in winter, spring, summer, and fall - all of them unique and majestic. If you ask me, I like the falls best in the summertime ....

... simply wonderful and always a sight to behold!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Al Fresco : Pulled Pork Bun with Creamy Colesalw

Having lunch with your friends in your backyard this weekend? Looking for something simple yet delicious and satisfying recipe? Here's a another summer favorite here at home sweet home ...

Ingredients {makes 4-5 sandwiches}

1 kilo pork butt {cut into 2 pieces lengthwise}
1/2  bottle honey garlic BBQ sauce {I used Diana BBQ sauce}
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 pieces dried bay leaves
4 cloves
1/2 tsp liquid smoke


1 small package of coleslaw vegetables
1 tbsp sweet relish
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients in bowl. 
Cover and refrigerate for an hour.


Mix BBQ sauce, black pepper, lemon juice and soy sauce in a resealable plastic bag. 
Add pork and marinate for at least 6 hours. 
Transfer marinated pork and marinade mixture in a cooking pan. 
Add bay leaves, clove and liquid smoke. Add water just enough to cover meat with liquid mixture.
Bring to boil then simmer {turn meat frequently} until the meat pulls apart easily with a fork {about 2 hours hours}.
Remove the meat from the sauce. Let it cool and shred into small pieces.
Put shredded meat back to the sauce.
Serve hot on a bun.
Put coleslaw on top of meat and
Enjoy with cold beer!

Shared with : Deb Duty Photography

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012


As a child growing up in Manila, the month of May - usually referred as "Fiesta Month" is special to me, my sister and our friends. This is the time we get to enjoy the "Perya".

Perya is a carnival, amusement park and a bit of circus rolled into one.

Colors, thrills, laughter, friendship, family, happiness, treats .....

.... you will find it all here. Best of all, Perya was and will forever be part of my Filipino culture!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Loving Polka Dots

I was packing my suitcase for yet another work-related travel on Tuesday and noticed that there are at least 5 dotted tops and 2 polka dot styled dresses in my closet. I guess I really love seeing white or black dots on colored background. The same is true in my craft studio. I've lost count on the number of papers and spools of ribbon bearing polka dots design.

My sweet spots indeed.

Here's to a productive work week!

Mei Ann

Friday, June 15, 2012

Al Fresco : Mint Cafe Mocha

My, it is so good to be home!!! After a couple of meetings out west and an unexpected 7-hour wait at the Calgary airport due to heavy thunder storm lightning, I can't think of anything but a relaxing weekend enjoying a refreshing mint cafe mocha in the backyard.

Oh yeah, hubby and I had this last weekend and I don't mind having it again!

Ingredients {serves 2}:

1 1/2 cups freshly brewed strong coffee
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate syrup {I used Hershey's}
1/4 cup chocolate mint truffle coffee creamer {I used International Delight}
ice cubes
mint leaves for garnishing


Combine first 4 ingredients in a blender.
Blend well.
Pour in large mason jars
Add  ice cubes
Garnish with mint leaves

Have a fantastic and restful weekend!

Shared with : THIS or THAT THURSDAY

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where in the World : Vigan, Philippines

Today, my motherland is celebrating its 114th Independence Day. I may be thousands of miles away from "home", but my heart and prayers are united with millions of Filipinos hoping for a brighter and properous Philippines.

Feeling homesick and nostalgic, I thought I'd share these beautiful pictures of Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines taken during our visit in September 2011.

"I have always loved my country and I am sure that I will love her until death ..... happen what may, I shall die blessing her and desiring the dawn of her redemption."

- Jose Rizal

Monday, June 11, 2012

Al Fresco : Grilled Lemongrass Pork with Vermicelli and Green Salad

I was introduced to the refreshing and distinct taste of lemongrass at a very young age through my mom's and Lola Tacing's {my paternal grandmother}dishes. Mom and Lola would always add this fragrant herb to savory dishes cooked in coconut milk. On a trip to HoChi Minh City (Saigon) several years ago, my "devotion" to lemongrass heightened when I had my first Bun Thit Nuong {Grilled Pork}. Since then, this dish becomes a staple @ home specially in the summertime.

Ingredients {good for 4}


3 tablespoons minced lemongrass {available in most Asian supermarket in frozen section}
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger, minced
3 tablespoons green onion, finely chopped
chili flakes, adjust according to preferred spiciness
a pinch of ground pepper
juice of 1 small lime
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons white wine or any cooking wine

1 kilo pork meat, cut into thin slices {I prefer pork shoulder}
1 package rice vermicelli {follow cooking directions printed on the package}


Mix all ingredients for marinade in a large ceramic bowl.
Add pork into the marinade.
Mix well.
Marinate overnight.
Grill meat until cooked.
Serve on cooled rice vermicelli.
Add some vegetable like letuce, carrots, green pepper, cilantro and bean sprouts.
Best enjoyed with Pinot Noir.

Dipping Sauce:

1 tablepoon Thai sweet chili sauce
2 tablespoons water
juice of 1 small lime
fish sauce {adjust according to taste}
Mix all ingredients.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Screaming for Ice Cream

Hot! Hot! Hot!

A heat alert warning was issued in the city of Toronto today as the temperature soared to 29 degrees Celsius. Yes it was sunny and humid but I love it! Reminds me so much of Manila weather. Aside from spending time relaxing in the backyard eating ice cream and drinking mint cafe mocha {recipe to follow in another blog post}, I was able to design 2 greeting cards. Here's one of them...

Obviously the design was inspired by what I have been eating throughout the day.

Stay cool!

Inspired by:


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bites and Nibbles @ Cafe Central {Wien}

Location : 1010 Herrengasse 14 Vienna, Austria
Cuisine : Viennese cuisine, Viennese coffee and pastries

Vienna tradition at its best.

Guten appetit!

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