Grape Salsa with Goat Cheese Crostini
(Welch’s)

Grape Salsa with Goat Cheese Crostini using Welch's 100% Grape Juice

Grape Salsa with Goat Cheese Crostini using Welch’s 100% Grape Juice

WHAT else can you do with Welch’s 100% Grape Juice besides drink it or make Grape Berry Crunch Muffins with it? You can also make Grape Salsa with Goat Cheese Crostini, which is sure to be a hit for cocktails hosted for family and/or friends.

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup Welch’s 100% Grape Juice
8 oz. goat cheese
225 grams cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup seedless grapes, quartered (red, green or a mix)
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp. Jalapeño, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup red onion
1 Tbsp. lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 pc. baguette
cilantro for garnish

1. In a sauce pan, pour in balsamic vinegar and Welch’s 100% Grape Juice, and reduce in half or until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Cool down and set aside.
2. In a mixer with paddle attachment or in a bowl, mix together goat cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream together until light and fluffy. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside in refrigerator.
3. In a bowl, add the quartered grapes, tomatoes, Jalapeño, cilantro, red onion, lime juice and the reduced grape juice. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside in refrigerator.
4. Slice the baguette by 1/4-inch and arrange on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Flip and repeat the process. Bake in a 350˚F oven until golden, about 5 to 8 minutes.
5. To assemble, spread the goat cheese on the crostini. Add a spoon of grape salsa and garnish with cilantro.

Yields 20 crostinis.

Posted in Appetizers, Recipes Tagged , , ,

Grape Berry Crunch Muffins
(Welch’s)

Grape Berry Crunch Muffins using Welch's 100% Grape Juice

Grape Berry Crunch Muffins using Welch’s 100% Grape Juice

WHAT can you do with Welch’s 100% Grape Juice besides drinking it as it is? Well, you can make a shake or smoothie with it. Or, better yet, bake Grape Berry Crunch Muffins with the delicious juice! Here’s how:

1/2 cup low-fat granola
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup Welch’s 100% Grape Juice
1 large egg
1/4 cup canola oil
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1-1/2 cups Welch’s Frozen Blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Coat a muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper cups.
2. Place the granola in a heavy-duty plastic bag and crush it lightly with a rolling pin or other heavy object to break up any large clumps. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until blended.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together grape juice, egg, oil, sugar and lemon zest until incorporated. Add this wet mixture to the dry ingredients, blend and stir with a rubber spatula until homogenized. Fold in blueberries.
5. Fill prepared muffin cups about two-thirds full with batter. Sprinkle with the granola and pat it in lightly so that it adheres to the batter.
6. Cool muffins on wire rack. Serve warm or when cooled to room temperature.

Posted in Cakes/Pastries, Recipes Tagged , , ,

Enjoy Savory Dim Sum
at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila

Assorted Steamed Dumplings

Assorted Steamed Dumplings

WHAT’S Chinese food without servings of delicious savory dim sum? The truth is that dim sum, when done properly, can be so good that you can build a whole meal solely around these savory treats.

Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Lung Hin may be best known for its authentic Cantonese cuisine, but it also takes pride in its dim sum offerings, as prepared by dim sum master chef Wong Chiu Lung. Hailing from Hong Kong, where the best dim sum is believed to come from, Chef Wong has mastered the art of making steamed, pan-fried and deep-fried dim sum.

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings with Garlic

Steamed Shrimp with Gold Leaf Dumplings

Steamed Pork Siomai with Truffle Sauce

Steamed Pork Siomai with Truffle Sauce

So dim sum lovers can now enjoy assorted dim sum treats, including steamed dumplings such as Scallop Dumplings, Spinach Dumplings, Shrimp Dumplings, Chui Chow, and simple but tasty Har Kou, which is also known as Shrimps with Gold Leaf Dumpling. Also on the menu are Filipino favorite Chicken Feet with XO Sauce, Pork Siu Mai with Truffle Sauce from the Yuan Dynasty, and Abalone Glutinous Rice Dumpling with Lotus Leaf associated very closely with the Dragon Boat Festival.

Steamed Pork Spare Ribs with Garlic

Steamed Pork Spare Ribs with Garlic

Baked Barbecued Pork Buns

Baked Barbecued Pork Buns

As for pan-fried and deep-fried dim sum, must-tries include Pan-fried Sesame Radish Cake with XO Sauce, Fried Taro Puff, and crowd favorite Baked Barbecued Pork Buns with their sweet and crisp but melt-in-the-mouth goodness.

Experience authentic Chinese dim sum dining at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila's Lung HIn Cantonese Restaurant

Experience authentic Chinese dim sum dining at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila’s Lung HIn Cantonese Restaurant

Experience authentic Cantonese dim sum dining at the award-winning Lung Hin located at Level 44 of Marco Polo Ortigas Manila. The hotel can be found at Meralco Ave. corner Sapphire St., Ortigas Center, Pasig City, with telephone number (632) 720-7777.

Posted in FoodBiz Tagged , , ,

100% Grape Juice Keeps You Healthy

Welch's 100% Grape Juice

Welch’s 100% Grape Juice

IN today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it has become difficult to stay healthy. Long working hours, relentless traffic, unhealthy food, even beverage choices now lean more towards conveniently available but sugar-laden softdrinks.

According to research, the percentage of Filipino households who do not fulfill their dietary energy requirements continues to increase. The Food Consumption Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology in 2013, for example, reveals that 69.3% of Filipinos failed to fulfill their dietary energy requirements. This figure is higher by 2.4% from the result of the previous survey conducted in 2018 by the same agency.

Research also shows that Filipinos are able to meet only 39% of the daily 400 grams² of their fruit and vegetable requirements as recommended by the World Health Organization, thus raising their risk of developing lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular disorders.

Welch's 100% Grape Juice, made from dark purple Concord grapes, comes in 1.89L and 295ml. bottles

Welch’s 100% Grape Juice, made from dark purple Concord grapes, comes in 1.89L and 295ml. bottles

The good news is that there are now alternatives to eating fruits and vegetables to augment one’s intake of such—100% fruit juices, such as Welch’s 100% grape juice. An 8 oz. serving of Welch’s 100% grape juice is equivalent to a whole cup of fruit and contains essential vitamins and minerals needed by the body to function well and prevent many chronic diseases. A total of 40 Concord grapes go into each 8oz.  glass of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice.

Drinking grape juice particularly provides more plant nutrients called polyphenols than eating grapes because making pure grape juice involves crushing grapes, including the seeds and dark purple skin, a process that releases more polyphenols. Polyphenols, which can be found in dark purple fruits, help promote good overall health and support a healthy heart in particular. Each 8oz. glass of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice contains 250mg. of polyphenols and is high in Vitamin C.

Pure fruit juice also only uses naturally occurring fruit sugars and contains no added sugar.

Welch’s advocates better nutritional choices for Filipino families by providing more than just 100% grape juice but also other healthy juice options that are refreshing to the palate and good for the body.

Erika Evaristo Rodriguez, VP-Marketing of Welch's Philippines

Erika Evaristo Rodriguez, VP-Marketing of Welch’s Philippines

“At Welch’s, we value what’s real, we value family, we value health and wellness. For over 140 years, Welch’s has been providing families around the world with products that bring a happy balance of goodness and deliciousness,” says Erika Rodriguez, vice president for marketing of Welch’s Philippines.

Welch’s juice drinks are available in retail outlets nationwide.

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Aliwan Fiesta 2018:
A Visual Extravaganza

The Sinulog Festival of Cebu

The Sinulog Festival Float of Cebu won runner-up honors in the Best Float Competition, while Shaila Bae Rebortera was second runner-up in the Reyna ng Aliwan competition.

FESTIVALS with grand parades, colorful costumes, upbeat music and exciting dance movements are a great crowd-drawer. This is why almost every region, province, even city or municipality in the country has its own annual festival, which reflects its own culture, history and traditions. Festivals effectively draw tourists, both local and foreign, to the place, so people travel extensively just to catch these visual spectacles.

But imagine if there’s one festival that gathers different festivals from different parts of the country, including major ones like the Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo, the Panagbenga Festival of Benguet and the Sinulog Festival of Cebu—complete with parade, dance competition and float competition!

Aliwan Fiesta, an annual event organized by Manila Broadcasting Corporation every April, owns the distinction of being The Philippines’ Grandest Fiesta because it brings together more than 15 festivals of the Philippines in a street dance competition, float competition and beauty pageant. Highlight of the three-day event is the grand parade, which starts at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park and ends at the Aliw Theater in the Star City Complex in Pasay City, where the competition heats up and the grand awarding takes place.

The festival began in 2003 and was so successful that it became an annual event that everyone looked forward to every summertime. This year was no different. Taking place from April 26 to 28, 2018, this year’s edition, the 16th in a row, once again drew crowds.

Binirayan Festival of Antique

Binirayan Festival of Antique

Dinamulag Mango Festival of Iba, Zambales

Dinamulag Mango Festival of Iba, Zambales

Pangumagat Festival of Balud, Masbate

Pangumagat Festival of Balud, Masbate

Its 17 contingents for the Street Dance Competition consisted of the Binirayan Festival of Antique, represented by Tribu Tatusan of Caluya; Dinamulag Mango Festival of Iba, Zambales, represented by Ibaile Street Dancers; Pandan Festival of Mapandan, Pangasinan, represented by Tribu Pandan of Pangasinan; Pangumagat Festival of Balud, Masbate, represented by Pangumagat Tribe; Rodriguez Dumagat Festival of Rodriguez, Rizal; Fiesta Republica of Malolos, Bulacan; Manggahan Festival of Guimaras, represented by Hubon Mangunguma of San Lorenzo, Guimaras; Panagbenga Flower Festival of Baguio City, Benguet, represented by St. Louis University; Bakood Festival of Bacoor, Cavite, represented by Teatro Baile de Bacoor; Meguyaya Festival of Upi, Maguindanao, represented by Bugabungan National High School; Bato Art Festival of Luna, Isabela, represented by Tribu Antatet; Dinagyang Festival of Iloilo, represented by Tribu Panayanon; Niyogyugan Festival of Quezon, represented by Hambujan Dancers of Dolores, Quezon; Abrenian Kawayan Festival of Bangued, Abra, represented by Tribu Dangdang-ay; Tagultol Fishing Festival of Atimonan, Quezon, represented by the Atimonan Community Dancers; Kasadyaan Festival, represented by Tribu Buraburon of Burauen, Leyte; and Pandang Gitab Festival of Lights of Oriental Mindoro; represented by the Municipality of Baco.

At the end of the grand parade that lent glam and glitter to Roxas Boulevard and culminated in a spectacular showdown at the Star City Complex, the Kasadyaan Festival of Burauen, Leyte, triumphed over everybody to become the Aliwan 2018 Street Dance Champion. In second place was the Manggahan Festival of Guimaras; while the Iloilo Dinagyang Festival landed in third place. The Meguyaya Festival of Upi, Maguindanao, and Binirayan Festival of Antique placed fourth and fifth, respectively.

Binirayan Festival of Antique

Binirayan Festival of Antique

Pandan Festival of Mapandan, Pangasinan

Pandan Festival of Mapandan, Pangasinan

Five runner-up contingents were chosen: the Abrenian Kawayan Festival of Bangued, Abra; Panagbenga Festival of Baguio City, Benguet; Pandan Festival of Mapandan, Pangasinan; Bato Art Festival of Luna, Isabela; and Pandang Gitab Festival of Oriental Mindoro.

Receiving special awards were the Kasadyaan Festival of Burauen, Leyte (Best Music); Manggahan Festival of Guimaras (Best Costume); and Abrenian Kawayan Festival of Bangued, Abra (Pride of Place Award, or the Best Folkloric Performance).

For the Aliwan Fiesta 2018 Best Float Competition, the Fiesta Tarakloban Float of Tacloban City, Leyte, emerged as the champion. Sinilatan Float of Cotabato City, Maguindanao, and Kapasiti Float of Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, placed second and third, respectively. Taking home runner-up honors were Ipi-Sinulog Float of Cebu City; Catanauan Float of Catanauan, Quezon; Abra New Day Float; Tagultol Float of Atimonan, Quezon; Bangsa Maguiranun Float of Mother Kabuntalan, Maguindanao; Biton Float of Upi, Maguindanao; and Singkaban Festival Float of Malolos City, Bulacan.

Non-competing Star City Float

Non-competing Star City Float

Dayang Dayang Float of Pasay City

Dayang Dayang Float of Pasay City

The grand finals of the Reyna ng Aliwan 2018 had all the elements of a full-fledged beauty pageant, and all the contestants—local beauty queens and muses—were worthy of the crown. But after the different competitions, Chelsea Fernandez (representing the Sangyaw Festival of Tacloban City) brought home the prestigious title. Chanel Mistyca Corpuz (representing the Abrenian-Kawayan Festival of Abra) placed first runner-up. Second runner-up honors, however, went to three lovely ladies—Lady Justerinnie Santos (Singkaban Festival of Bulacan), Ashanti Shane Ervas (Niyogyugan Festival of Quezon), and Shaila Mae Rebortera (Sinulog Festival of Cebu).

Of the seven special awards given out to the Reyna ng Aliwan 2018 contestants, three went to the grand winner, Chelsea Fernandez, who took home the Best in Evening Gown, Best in Swimsuit and Miss White Rose awards. Second runner-up Lady Justerinnie Santos and Shaila Mae Rebortera won the Best in Festival Costume and Miss Unique Smile special awards, respectively. The other winners were Ella Mariz Cayabyab of the Boling-Boling Festival of Catanauan, Quezon (Miss Photogenic) and Novie Shane Leonerio of the Tuna Festival of General Santos City (Miss Friendship).

Posted in Travel Tagged , , , , ,