Lamb Adobo from 7000 Islands

It’s Tiernan’s birthday today. He’s 28, but he hasn’t come to terms with it yet.

I, however, have been venturing into the world of Filipino food. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to pull off an adobo without one of the girls here to help me. But between Tiernan and I we managed to follow the recipe to the letter and come up with this:

Lamb adobo

Interestingly, my first Filipino cooking adventure did not take place in the Philippines. There was always someone there to make it for me – friends, restaurants, etc. So here I am in Tiernan’s parent’s kitchen, making my first Lamb Adobo.

I followed the Lamb Adobo recipe by Yasmin Newman. This lovely lady is half aussie, half filipina. Many would argue that is an awesome combination.

Last year on one of my lonely wanderings through Glorietta Mall in Makati I decided to visit the National Book Store. As it turned out, Yasmin was giving a book talk on her brand spanking cookbook – 7000 Islands: A Food Portrait of the Philippines. And it is a portrait.

Very early on I decided that this was to be my souvenir of my time in the Philippines. I didn’t have much room to take things home, but I wanted this book. Last week Tiernan bought it off Book Depository for me. Yesterday, it arrived in the post.

What I love about the book is its chapters on Filipino culture and wealth of gorgeous colour photos of everything from food to sunsets. I absolutely adore this book.

I am going to tell you right now that it was delicious. It was just as good as anything I had in the Philippines. I wish there was more so I could have some now. I want you to go and BUY THIS BOOK. Haha!

If you visit Yasmin’s personal website she shares a couple of recipes there. I have only tried the adobo one so far, but I am sure they are all brilliant. I can’t wait to try more!


Recipe on SheSaid:

Buy the book on Amazon!


The Last Friday in Manila

Tiernan is on tour this week so I was wondering what to do about the weekly video. I decided to put up something random that I filmed mostly for myself. Only watch this if you are really really bored and don’t mind 15 minutes of shaky cam. I’m serious. It’s very shaky!

This is my last Friday in my apartment in Manila!

Namnam on my Final Filipino Food!

After my final day at work one of my colleagues met me for dinner in Greenbelt. We went to Namnam restaurant in Greenbelt 2, which specialises in Filipino food. I figured my final meal in Manila should be Filipino food because it could be a while before I have it again. We considered the menu before ordering some staples!

namnam makati manila philippines

1. Ensalada. This is a fern salad with duck eggs. In New Zealand we don’t eat fern all that often – at least not at my house. This was a really crisp take on salad that I could definitely get used to.

ensalada makti manila philippines namnam

2. I got to choose the rice dish. So I went for university rice which is fried rice, beef and a fried egg. Fried egg makes everything look happy!

university rice namnam makati manila philippines

3. Our other side dish was these spring roll type yums. Except they are filled with goat cheese and chorizo! I don’t know what they are called, but if you google goat cheese and chorizo rolls you will find the recipe.

chorizo rolls namnam makati manila philippines

4. Karekare with Oxtail. Karekare is a Philippine stew, but more like a satay dream. Everything, beans, eggplant, cabbage, and even tripe, is doused in this delicious peanut sauce that just goes with everything!

karekare makati manila philippines namnam


Earlier in the day, Sam and I received a farewell cake since we were both finishing up work today. It was delicious. In fact, we had two farewell cakes! One was chocolate sponge and one was a meringue, custard ice-cream cake. So good!

goodbye we will miss you rachel cake chocolate sponge gelato cake

And if that wasn’t enough… Jovelle brought me Taho for breakfast. Taho is warm tofu with caramelized sugar syrup and tapioca (or sago) pearls. It’s a common street food in the Philippines – yum. When Tiernan and I visited Boracay there were taho vendors, magtataho, going up and down the beach yelling “Tahhhooooo.” That’s how you know how to find it.

taho beancurd tapioca pearls caremalised sugar syrup phiippines street food

Philippines Living Cost Wrap-up


Woke up on moving day to bright sunny skies. I really will miss this view from the bedroom window – even if it is of the top of the neighbouring mall.

makati legaspi village greenbelt

Looking back at renting in Makati, I’d like to give a recap of how things went. That way, if you’re even thinking of moving to Manila you will have an idea of how much it will cost to live in the CBD – as of 2014.

Cost of Living

Monthly spend: PHP 34,878.90 (€580.91)
Annual spend: PHP 418,478.74 (€6,969.79)

Want to see the breakdown? Visit Celt & Kiwi for the rest.

Beginning to Say ‘Goodbye’ to Makati

Today was the last Friday I would have to walk from my end of Legaspi Village, and my lovely white apartment, to work. I filmed the whole 20 or so minutes – for posterity. I had this plan to film my last day – and I did – but it turned out not to be interesting after 11 hours of work (yay for overtime!). The best part about staying late at work is that they often feed you. We had pancit (noodles) one night, lasagne the next, and Filipino spaghetti tonight. Oh my goodness it was just as good as it looks. I wish I had lunchboxed some to take home. Oh boy, oh boy!

DSC_0025\ DSC_0028

After work I decided to pop down to Landmark and grab some cheese and bread for tomorrow’s toasted sandwich breakfast – almost the last breakfast I will have in my own home. It’s all very bitter sweet. I took a few snaps of the walk down Makati Ave. Clouds are rolling in and I can tell that the rainy season is on its way again. Right now, May, is my favourite time of year, because the lightening storms thunder about the sky, but there is little or no rain. It is really spectacular to sit, at night, in the outside bars of Greenbelt and watch the sky light up ominously!


One thing I am not going to miss are these: the jeepney queues and the traffic – particularly on a Friday night. All these poor people. I bet they are still waiting there now. People everywhere!



So now I am going to go through the last of my cupboards, getting the cleaning supplies ready for the weekend and enjoy one of the last sleep in my cosy bed. Being both sad and happy at the same time. Sad to be leaving the Philippines. Happy to be heading back to my brother’s 21st birthday party, my Mum and Dad, and – eventually – Ireland and Tiernan. Oh sad happies!


This awesome thing…

Just picked up this awesome thing from a charcoal artist in the mall. PHP1000 for them to convert a photograph into a work of art. And in less than a week! Sure, I think my eyes are a little small, but it is pretty awesome to have myself and Tiernan in art-form. This will be going on the wall when we get our new home in Belfast.

You may remember Florence 2013…


Is now this…


Pretty darn pleased, I have to say. I’m trying to think of cool ways to preserve our travel memories. This blog is one thing, it really captures my thoughts at the time. I am also working on some photo albums, but they seem to be taking forever. I’m even putting together something interesting for all of you that should be out in time for Christmas!