Monster Staycation Deals
at Richmonde Hotels

Cheese Platter at Richmonde Hotel Iloilo

Cheese Platter at Richmonde Hotel Iloilo

ASIDE from the Halloween kiddie party and staycation offered by Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, two other Richmonde Hotels—Richmonde Hotel Ortigas in Pasig City, and Richmonde Hotel Iloilo—have come up with enticing Monster staycation deals for All Saints’ Day this 2017.

 

RICHMONDE HOTEL ORTIGAS

ENJOY the Halloween break with a relaxing staycation at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, which offers Monster Deals on room rates from October 27 to November 2, 2017.

Superior Room at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas

Superior Room at Richmonde Hotel Ortigas

Rates start at Php3,500 nett for the Mammoth Markdowns overnight stay with breakfast buffet for two persons; while the special Shock and Delight Halloween package, pegged at Php4,000 nett, includes an overnight stay with breakfast buffet for two, plus a pitcher of cocktail and pica-pica platter in the room.

All rates include WiFi access, free parking for one vehicle, and complimentary use of the gym and heated indoor pool.

Richmonde Hotel Ortigas is located at 21 San Miguel Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City. For inquiries and reservations, call 638-7777.

 

RICHMONDE HOTEL ILOILO

THE staycation promotion of Richmonde Hotel Iloilo lasts even longer. Ongoing until November 5, 2017, it fills guests’ long Halloween vacation with fun and enchantment. A luxurious overnight stay in a Deluxe Room costs Php4,000 nett, a Premium Room can be enjoyed for Php4,500 nett, and a One-Bedroom Suite goes for Php8,000 nett. The latter comes complete with a spacious living and dining area, a separate room and a bathtub in the bathroom.

The Living and Dining area of Richmonde Hotel Iloilo's Suite Room

The Living and Dining area of Richmonde Hotel Iloilo’s Suite Room

These rates are inclusive of breakfast buffet for two adults and two children aged 5 and below, WiFi access, and complimentary use of the Fitness Center’s gym and swimming pool.

Richmonde Hotel Iloilo is located at Megaworld Blvd. corner Enterprise Road, Iloilo Business Park, Mandurriao, Iloilo City. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 33 328-7888.

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Eastwood Richmonde Hotel
Transforms into Haunted Hollywood

A buffet of spooky snack delights at Eastwood Richmonde Hotel's 'Haunted Hollywood' kiddie party

A buffet of spooky snack delights at Eastwood Richmonde Hotel’s ‘Haunted Hollywood’ kiddie party

SOMETHING spooky is happening at Eastwood Richmonde Hotel on Sunday, October 29, 2017. From 1 :00 to 5 :00 p.m., the hotel transforms into the Haunted Hollywood.

A most awaited annual family event, Haunted Hollywood is a delightfully terror-themed Halloween party that will be movie-inspired this year. It features fun frights with a hearty snack buffet with drink, assorted snack stations, a magic show, a Horror House for the kids and kids at heart, games, glitter tattoo, photo booth and loot bag filled with goodies. Highlight of the party is the costume parade, where children and parents who come dressed as their favorite Hollywood celebrities or scary movie characters get the chance to win gift certificates for hotel accommodations.

Tickets to the Halloween party are priced at Php850nett each for both children and adults. Toddlers aged 2 and below get to enter for free.

Eastwood Richmonde Hotel's Deluxe Room with King sized Bed

Eastwood Richmonde Hotel’s Deluxe Room with King sized Bed

Should you decide to stay at the hotel for the Halloween break, an enjoyable urban getaway from October 27 to November 5, 2017 can be had for as low as Php3,999nett (room only) and Php4,699nett (room with breakfast buffet for two).

Rates include WiFi access, complimentary parking for one vehicle, and complimentary use of the gym and outdoor swimming pool.

For inquiries and reservations, call 570-7777 or book online at www.eastwoodrichmondehotel.com.ph and get guaranteed best rates and instant confirmation.

 

(Eastwood Richmonde Hotel is located at 17 Orchard Road, Eastwood City, Bagumbayan, Quezon City. Eastwood Richmonde Hotel is also accessible from the 2nd floor of Eastwood Mall.)

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Samsung Twin Cooling Ref
Keeps Food Fresh Longer

The Samsung Twin Cooling Ref

The Samsung Twin Cooling Ref

IN this digital age, when technology keeps getting better as it constantly seeks ways to make life easier and more enjoyable for everyone, household appliances like refrigerators are no longer created equal. Some possess more advanced capabilities, and one of them happens to be the Samsung Twin Cooling Refrigerator.

Designed to serve as the family’s partner in the journey to living fresh, the Samsung Twin Cooling Refrigerator enables the busy homemaker to provide better-tasting food through innovative features such as the Twin Cooling System, Smart Conversion and Digital Inverter technology.

Committed to encourage healthy eating in Filipino families, Samsung equipped its Twin Cooling Refrigerator to lessen food waste and keep food fresh longer, therefore requiring fewer trips to the market and grocery and assuring more quality time with the family.

Aside from the high-tech solutions that the Samsung Twin Cooling Refrigerator offers, the “freshness experts” behind Samsung’s #LiveFresh campaign also shares a number of practical tips on how to keep food fresh longer in the refrigerator and freezer.

Ref Perspective

MILK, CHEESE AND OTHER DAIRY ITEMS

When it comes to storage, what you need to bear in mind is that different food items need to be kept at different specific temperatures to stay fresh. Milk, cheese and other dairy products, for instance, need to be stored in the coolest parts of the refrigerator because they spoil easily. While the Samsung Twin Cooling Refrigerator is able to ensure farm-to-table freshness of dairy products by retaining 70% humidity level in the refrigerator and thus providing sufficient cool air to keep them fresh longer, it pays to observe tried-and-tested ways to prolong the shelf lives of dairy products even more.

• Store newly-bought or resealed milk for a week after opening the carton or bottle. Make sure that each time you help yourself to a glass of milk, you put back the lid tightly.

• As long as you don’t open them, hard cheeses (like Parmesan cheese) can be kept in the refrigerator for two to four months and soft cheeses (such as mozzarella cheese) can be stored for one to two weeks.

• Unopened plain yogurt stays fresh for up to two weeks, while yogurt flavored with fruits have to be consumed within 10 days. Once opened, the shelf life shortens to about a week in the refrigerator.

 

MEAT, SEAFOOD AND SOY PRODUCTS

Whether raw or cooked, meat, chicken, fish, seafood and soy products give off certain distinct aromas, so they need to be stored in their proper places in the ref. The problem with traditional refrigerators, though, is that even if you store fish in the freezer and tofu in the vegetable compartment, the distinct odors of these food items will still somehow mix and take on the smell (and taste!) of the other food items it interacts with. This is because the ref only has a single evaporator working for both the ref and the freezer. The Samsung Twin Cooling Refrigerator boasts of two separate evaporators for the ref and the freezer, so smells do not mix and spoil each other.

Still, there are practical ways by which you can stretch the shelf life of meat, seafood and soy products even longer.

• Store uncooked red meat (beef and pork) in the freezer no longer than eight months.

• Raw chicken can be stocked in the freezer for a year.

• Cooked meat dishes, when stored in airtight containers, can keep for a week.

• Raw fish stays fresh in the freezer for six to nine months. Cooked fish, however, should be kept for only six days.

• Once you refrigerate eggs, let them stay refrigerated until ready to use. They will remain fresh for three weeks. Hard-boiled eggs, meanwhile, can be chilled in the ref for a week, but once peeled, keep them in the ref for no more than five days.

• Tofu, when frozen, can last for up to five months. When refrigerated, it has to be consumed in five days’ time. Once opened, tofu should stay fresh for a maximum of five days only.

A pleasant surprise--a delicious gift--arrived in the house recently. It's from Samsung, and it is twin specialty doughnuts by Chef Kristine Lotilla, pastry chef of Le Petit Souffle and Freezer Burn

A pleasant surprise–a delicious gift–arrived in the house recently. It’s from Samsung, and it is twin specialty doughnuts by Chef Kristine Lotilla, pastry chef of Le Petit Souffle and Freezer Burn

The mango doughnut variant Made by Chef Kristine Lotilla

The mango doughnut variant Made by Chef Kristine Lotilla

The strawberry doughnut by Chef Kristine Lotilla demonstrates how much longer the shelf life of fruity desserts are when stored in the Samsung Twin Cooling Refrigerator

The strawberry doughnut by Chef Kristine Lotilla demonstrates how much longer the shelf life of fruity desserts are when stored in the Samsung Twin Cooling Refrigerator

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Fruits and vegetables are loaded with fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and other minerals and nutrients especially when they are fresh. So proper care should be observed when storing them in the ref. The crisper is the right storage area for them, but pay attention to the humidity inside the crisper because it affects the shelf life of fruits and vegetables.

• Whole fruits need to be kept in low humidity, and stock them up nicely in the crisper. Keep them free from bruises. Different fruits, however, have different shelf lives in the refrigerator—five days for a whole pineapple, seven days for fresh strawberries, nine days for bananas, two weeks for tomatoes, and three months for apples and oranges.

• Sliced fruits should be placed inside airtight containers before being kept in the ref, and consume them in four days’ time.

• Vegetables, particularly green leafy ones, prefer to be stored in high humidity. Just slip them inside plastic bags, tie the bags loosely, and slide them inside the refrigerator.

• Different vegetables have different shelf lives—one week for cucumber and whole garlic; 10 days for lettuce; two weeks for broccoli, cauliflower and whole onions; five weeks for carrots.

• Once peeled or sliced, vegetables should be stored in airtight containers and used within five days.

As a leader in technology and innovation, Samsung aims to constantly come up with smart appliances that help people lead a healthy lifestyle. The Samsung Twin Cooling Refrigerator, for one, enables people to enjoy farm-to-table goodness with food kept fresh longer. It created the #LiveFresh campaign to urge everyone to turn to healthy living and maintain that.

For more information on the Samsung Twin Cooling Refrigerator and other smart appliances, log on to Samsung.com/ph or visit the Samsung Facebook page.

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Diamond Hotel Philippines Hosts
Hotel Transylvania Halloween Party

elevator poster-Sept25EON October 29, 2017, the Diamond Ballroom of Diamond Hotel Philippines transforms into Count Dracula’s lavishly luxurious lair in the animated movie Hotel Transylvania, where monsters of all kinds go to get away from it all and party the night away. Discover the world of Frankenstein, Werewolves and the whole spooky bunch over games and treats from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Held in partnership with Magnavision Inc., the frightfully fun Halloween adventure for kids is full of exciting activities, such as Trick or Treat around the hotel, Face Painting, Glitter Tattoo, and Arts and Crafts. Get your pictures taken at the Photo Booth. Sing and dance along with the live musical performances. Indulge in a gastronomic experience at the Food Booths.

Kids in their most creative costumes get a chance to win thrilling prizes. Everyone also has a chance to win a Nintendo Switch with Joy-Con in the Grand Raffle Draw.

Ticket to the Halloween event is at Php1,000 nett per person, and it already includes a snack box filled with yummy goodness and a party loot bag. Diamond Indulgence Card members get a Php100 discount for a maximum of four tickets purchased.

What’s more: Should you decide to stay at the hotel and stay overnight, Diamond Hotel Philippines offers the Halloween Room Package, which is an overnight stay in a Deluxe Room at Php6,000 nett per night from October 27 to November 3, 2017, The package includes a free ticket to the Halloween event (per stay basis), buffet breakfast for two at the Corniche restaurant, unlimited Wifi Internet access, and 20% off on massage and laundry. Stay for two nights and the special rate of Php5,800 nett per night applies. Use rate code HIDEAWAY to book your stay at diamondhotel.com.

For event ticket inquiries, call (632) 528-3000 extension 8461, and for room reservations, call (632) 528-3000 extension 1140 to 43.

 

(Diamond Hotel Philippines is located at Roxas Blvd. corner Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila; with telephone number (632) 528-3000.)

 

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Yes, You Can Turn Fries into a Sweet Treat!

Chocolate-dipped Potato Fries with Pistachio     (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

Chocolate-dipped Potato Fries with Pistachio         (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

I LOVE potatoes. They are a healthy alternative to rice because potatoes are complex carbohydrates, which means that they supply plenty of pure energy that can help sustain power the whole day no matter how many hours you need to work or how challenging the day may turn out to be. Being complex carbohydrates, they are absorbed more efficiently by the body and burned throughout the day.

Potatoes are also loaded with Potassium (which helps keep blood pressure in check and keeps the body properly hydrated), Vitamin C (an antioxidant that keeps harmful free radicals away and helps the body maintain a strong immune system), Vitamin B6 (a water-soluble vitamin that aids in carbohydrate and protein metabolism), and Fiber (which helps improve blood lipid levels, regulate blood glucose, lower blood cholesterol and keep the body feeling full longer), as well as other vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

What’s more: Potatoes contain no cholesterol or saturated fat, no sodium, and contain only 110 calories, so they are good not just for the heart and proper diet but for overall health.

I feel guilt-free and assured that I am doing my body a lot of good when I eat potatoes. These amazing spuds are also a great gastronomic treat because of their versatile flavor and texture.

Mashed potatoes are my favorite because they can take on a lot of different flavors, such as truffle, wasabi, roasted garlic, bacon and cheese. While they are good when cooked to a smooth and very fine texture, I like my mashed potatoes quite chunky, with bits of still whole potatoes mixed into the mash. I used to make mashed potatoes from scratch using fresh potatoes, but in recent years I have discovered dehydrated potatoes from the United States and realized how much easier it is to use US Dehydrated Potato Flakes in making mashed potatoes than making them using fresh potatoes. It’s true, there are mashed potato mixes available in supermarkets, but US Dehydrated Potato Flakes are different because they are made from real, top-quality US Potatoes that have been dried into different textures of flakes, shreds and powder to address different culinary needs. The natural flavors have been sealed or locked in, and, when rehydrated by soaking in water, they go back to their natural state and double in volume.

My other favorite potato product is fries. I like them fried to a golden crisp, not soggy, and the only fries that are able to achieve this are US Frozen Potatoes. Yes, frozen fries—fried in hot oil straight from the freezer so that they turn out crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is difficult to get this kind of texture from fresh potatoes. US Frozen Potatoes also offer quite a number of different cuts, such as straight cut fries, crinkle cuts, twisters, criss-cuts or basket weaves, half shells, tater tots, smileys, and hash-browns. While I have experimented with different cuts of US Frozen Potatoes as a blogger (www.flavorsoflife.com.ph), my favorite cut is the straight cut fries because they have universal appeal and are versatile. They are good with different dips and flavors, and pair up nicely with rice meals, pasta, sandwiches and desserts.

US Frozen Potato straight-cut fries also happen to be the easiest to buy from the supermarket. While twister fries, crinkle cuts and half shells may sometimes be difficult to find, straight-cut fries are always available. They are plentiful in the refrigerated section of top supermarkets such as SM Supermarket, Rustan’s, Robinsons, Cherry Foodarama, and S&R. They come in different brands and in different sizes, so it is convenient to pick up a bag that suits your purpose.

I recently got a 450-gram bag of US Frozen Potato straight-cut fries at SM Hypermarket Cainta, which is near our house. I went straight to the refrigerated section of the supermarket, picked up a bag, brought it to the check-out counter to pay for it, and rode a tricycle back home. It was that easy.

US Frozen Potato straight-cut fries in their frozen state

US Frozen Potato straight-cut fries in their frozen state

Straight from the freezer, fry the US Frozen Potato fries in hot oil until golden brown

Straight from the freezer, fry the US Frozen Potato fries in hot oil until golden brown

Drain the cooked fries off excess oil on a strainer lined underneath with paper towel

Drain the cooked fries off excess oil on a strainer lined underneath with paper towel

Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler

Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler–in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of hot water

Dip the fries in melted chocolate then coat with chopped pistachio nuts

Dip the fries in melted chocolate then coat with chopped pistachio nuts

I have done different things with US Potato straight cut fries, but always with savory ingredients. This time, though, I thought of coming up with a sweet treat using fries as main ingredient. Impossible? No, not really, because my kitchen test turned out well. I fried the US Frozen Potato straight-cut fries I recently bought to a golden crisp and sprinkled salt on them, then I melted dark chocolate (milk chocolate or white chocolate are also OK, dipped the cooked fries in the melted chocolate halfway, and coated part of the chocolate-dipped side with chopped pistachio nuts. It was a medley of flavors and textures, with the saltiness of the fries interacting with the bitter-sweet dominance of the dark chocolate dip and the crunch of the chopped pistachios.

This is a sweet treat that can be served in two different ways—with the fries served separately from the chocolate dip and the chopped nuts in another condiments bowl; or with the fries already dipped in chocolate and coated with chopped nuts. And if you prefer milk chocolate or white chocolate, go ahead and replace the dark chocolate with your preferred chocolate variant. Just follow the same procedure.

 

CHOCOLATE-DIPPED US POTATO FRIES
WITH PISTACHIO NUTS

1 bag US Frozen Potato straight cut fries
vegetable oil for deep-frying
salt to taste
250 grams dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts

1. Heat oil in saucepan. When oil is already hot, drop in US Frozen Potato straight cut fries in batches and cook to a golden crisp.
2. Remove fries from the oil and drain off excess oil on paper towel or strainer.
3. Sprinkle fries with salt to taste. Set aside.
4. Melt roughly chopped dark chocolate in a double boiler (*chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a small saucepan filled halfway with hot or boiling water). Mix constantly with rubber spatula until chocolate is completely melted. Let stand for a few minutes to allow the melted chocolate to cool down a bit.
5. Dip crispy fries halfway in melted dark chocolate. Then dip the tip of the chocolate-coated fries in chopped pistachio nuts. Allow to set, then serve.

 

(For more information on US Potatoes, visit the Potatoes USA Philippines Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PotatoesUSAPhilippines/).

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