These affordable, flavored chicken wings will definitely satisfy your food craving

NOTE: This is a personal review of the product and not a paid, branded post. This means the author does not receive any money from the publication and clicks made on this article. 

I don’t know about you but one food item that I often crave for is chicken wings. Whether it’s mixed in a sweet, soy garlic glaze or coated with a spicy buffalo flavor, it’s one dish that always seems to get my mouth watering when I see it.

So, when the Mandaluyong-based shop My Food Grabs PH let me sample their newest chicken wing variants, I was definitely excited to dive in and eat their newest creation. And here’s what I thought about it: 

The chicken wings were full of flavor

The chicken wings were carefully packed into two food containers and they came in three variants–namely, sweet soy, sweet chili, and buttered buffalo. 

The sweet soy variant and the buttered buffalo chicken wings were placed in the rectangular plastic container, while the sweet chili-flavored wings were placed inside the circular one. 

A photo of the My Food Grab PH’s food packaging.

The sweet chili wings were coated in a thick layer of sauce that dripped down when picked up. And it wasn’t necessarily spicy, but it did have a delicious sweet and tangy flavor that paired quite well with rice. 

A photo of the My Food Grabs PH’s sweet chili chicken wings.

The sweet soy variant, on the other hand, was not as “saucy” as the sweet chili one, but it was glazed evenly and topped with sesame seeds. It wasn’t too sweet either–which was good (since not everyone likes their food to be overly sweet)–and the soy flavoring gave it a nice, savory taste. 

A photo of My Food Grabs PH’s sweet soy chicken wings.

The last set of flavored wings–which is, perhaps, my favorite of the three–was the buttered buffalo wings. 

These chicken wings were such a delight to munch on as the butter gave it a sort of creamy texture that complemented the ‘buffalo wing’ flavor. And out of the three variants, this is definitely one I’d come back to order!

A photo of My Food Grabs PH’s buttered buffalo chicken wings.

Although these flavored wings don’t come with dip, I think they are flavorful enough and could stand on their own. Plus, they make for a scrumptious ulam (viand) come lunch or dinner time. 

The chicken wings come at an affordable price 

Personally, I think these chicken wings are well worth their price. Because for only 160 Philippine Pesos (PHP), you can enjoy six (6) pieces of these delectable, flavored wings. 

You can also expect more exciting things from the shop in the near future 

I caught up with store owner Sabrina Mata to get more insight on why she decided to add these flavored wings to My Food Grabs PH’s menu. To this, she said that she was inspired to create and offer new food items due to the dining restrictions brought about by the quarantine. 

“I think this is a perfect opportunity to innovate my products. So, I’ve decided to add flavored chicken [wings to the store’s existing menu] which is [made] accessible to anyone across Metro Manila through online [orders and food delivery],” she explained. 

Recently, the online store shared its newest variant, Korean spicy chicken wings. And this new addition is just the beginning of what the 25-year-old envisions for her food shop in the near future. 

“I’m planning to further innovate the products by adding more flavor options and dips to my chicken wings,” she shared. “Also, I’m planning to partner my chicken wings with french fries and bring back [customer] favorites on the menu–which are the dynamite and cheesy lumpia [dishes]. So, stay tuned!” 

You can now order and stay up-to-date with My Food Grabs PH by liking and following their Facebook and Instagram pages. Happy eating, everyone! 

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For media invites, partnerships, or writing collaborations, you can contact me at cmilitarwrites@gmail.com.

This online shop makes the most beautiful paper flowers–and they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day

NOTE: This is a human interest story and not a paid, branded post. This means the author DOES NOT receive any money from the publication and clicks made on this article.

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, a lot of people are rushing to malls and online stores to purchase their loved ones a present. Whether they would buy something simple like chocolates or something lavish like diamond encrusted jewelry, gift-giving on the day of love is a tradition that has been present since time immemorial. And one gift that will always be available during this holiday season is flowers. 

From roses to orchids, many have chosen to show their love and appreciation for their friend, family member, or significant other by buying bouquets of these colorful floras. Although these gifts are beautiful in themselves, one downside to them is that they don’t last forever. After a week or so, these flowers will wilt and you will only be reminded of their beauty through pictures. 

But what if there was a way to give a flower that will never wilt? Would you be open to that? 

Well, now there is. Local online store Alaya Paper Blooms offers shoppers the chance to give their loved ones flowers that are not only beautiful, but will also last far longer than a week. 

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

Created with quality colored paper, these flowers are the ideal presents to give come Valentine’s Day. And to help you better understand more about the shop and its products, I got to chat with its owner and designer Kevyn Tapnio. Here’s what I learned during my interview with her: 

There is an ‘everlasting’ beauty in paper flowers 

Typically, when people think of flowers, they don’t relate it to paper. But there is a sweet and genuine kind of beauty to receiving paper flowers–a sentiment that Tapnio realized when she decided to make these floral creations.

“Some people think flowers are overrated, myself being one of them up until recently,” she explained. “As I started to learn more about them, flowers started to become dear to me. Paper flowers take the fleeting nature of flowers out of the equation, so you wouldn’t have to throw them away.” 

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

Tapnio first started making paper flowers in 2017 when she helped create a bouquet for her aunt’s wedding. Then fast forward to 2020, she decided to return to paper flower-making while waiting to start her new job. 

“My start date was moved back due to the community quarantine that was put in place. With nothing much to do at home, I ended up making paper flowers, learning more about the craft, and falling for a different flower every day,” she shared. “I didn’t intend to make a business out of it at first, but then I thought, why not?” 

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

Today, the shop has over 300 followers on its Facebook page and continues to produce intricate paper flowers. 

The flowers are each a tedious yet rewarding work of art 

Much like any masterpiece ever made, a lot of time and effort go into creating them. The same principle applies to each of Tapnio’s flower creations, which take multiple hours to make. 

According to her, a “single, long-stemmed Ecuadorian rose can take 2 to 3 hours to make” and a  “sunflower can take around 3 to 4 hours.” Boxed flowers and bouquets–on the other hand– take even longer to create because there are many elements that go into them.

“One full arrangement of our heart-shaped boxed blooms takes me a whole day of non-stop work. [And] Bouquets with stems take longer, since I have to add the leaves and several fillers as well.”

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

Also, crafting these floral arrangements isn’t always easy. Tapnio admits that there are times she has faced difficulty in making them. 

“It can be frustrating when you’re unable to get the look that you’re going for. Paper does have its limitations, and it could take hours and hours of experimenting to really achieve the likeness of certain flowers. Even the tiniest of details can affect the look of the whole flower–the curl of a petal, the length of the stamens, the ridges in the leaves.”

Despite the complications she has faced, she still finds the end result worth it and she is always elated when her customers find delight in her products.

“Made to last forever, our paper flowers are created with utmost love and care, and with only one goal in mind: To make you smile,” she added. 

Shoppers have variety of flowers to choose from  

The online shop offers a variety of products to choose from and the prices differ depending on the item ordered. 

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

Though for Valentine’s Day, Tapnio highly recommends their boxed creations. 

“Our heart-shaped boxed blooms are a crowd favorite, though all slots for those have already been reserved as of writing,” she said. “I do recommend our Mini Gift Boxes though. Many people go for roses and hydrangeas, but we also make them with different flowers by request.” 

Photo Credit: Kevyn Tapnio via Facebook.com/alayapaperblooms

If you’re interested in ordering any one of her paper flower sets, visit their Facebook page and send a message. You and your loved ones will definitely not regret purchasing any of these gorgeous paper flowers! 

Via Giphy

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If you want to stay updated on my latest articles and stories, you can follow me on social media at Facebook.com/CMilitarWrites

For media invites, partnerships, or writing collaborations, you can contact me at cmilitarwrites@gmail.com.

‘Subtle Asian Baking’–the online haven for bakers obsessed with Asian-inspired treats

As many of us already know, Asia is home to many amazing baked creations. From Vietnam’s Bánh Chuối Nướng (baked banana bread) to Japan’s Daifuku (mochi) treats, we have seen and may have even tasted some of these delectable desserts during our trips there. 

However, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, traveling is highly discouraged as it could lead to the further spread of the virus. 

Given this, a lot of people have taken to baking their own versions of these desserts at home. Some have even mastered its baking techniques, while others still have a long way to go before mastering their craft. And whether you’re the former or the latter, there’s one place online that you can connect with and converse with other bakers about your love for Asian-inspired treats–and that’s through Subtle Asian Baking

Photo Credit: Facebook.com/subtleasianbaking

Subtle Asian Baking is an online community on Facebook that allows bakers from all over the world to share, discuss, and even recommend their favorite Asian-inspired creations and recipes.  

And in this article, I got the chance to talk to the founder Kat Lieu and the rest of the Subtle Asian Baking team on what makes the Facebook group special, the inspiration behind its creation, and what message can they share to aspiring bakers about their online community. 

Here’s what I learned from the interview: 

It’s a community of like-minded bakers who support and encourage each other  

In the Subtle Asian Baking Facebook group, members are encouraged to share their latest Asian-inspired creations without fear or judgment.

“What makes the group special is when people can show off their amazing desserts and bakes, and feel appreciated. [And] when people ask a question, they receive a flood of helpful answers [from other members],” Subtle Asian Baking founder Kat Lieu explained. 

Via Giphy

It is an avenue where bakers can freely express themselves and even help inspire a sense of creativity in other members who see the posts.

Lieu herself admits to exploring other baking ideas after seeing other people’s creations in the group–“[In terms of] creativity, I find myself becoming more and more creative and innovative with my own baking.” 

More than just a platform for sharing one’s creations, it is also a community that engages with its members through virtual bake-offs and online contests. In fact, just last month, they held a charity mukbang for the benefit of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. And as of December 2, 2020, they were able to raise 4,002.50 CAD (approximately 150,611.93 PHP) for the non-profit organization. They were also able to surprise members of the group and participants with a number of special guest appearances.  

“Our mukbang fundraiser was very special. Three CEOs from the Alzheimer Society of Canada, the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, and the Alzheimer Society of Ontario joined us in [the] eating [contest]. We [also] had a special guest eating with us, Fred Chang, a contestant from MasterChef US Season 10. A rising mukbang duo made a special appearance during the Zoom livestream [as well],” Lieu shared.  

These online events were created to both give back to the community and entertain its members.  

“We want to be different. We also want to give back to the community. [Since] many people are stuck at home now, the Internet has become our world. [There,] we can build a community with virtual bake-offs and we can give back through fun fundraising activities.”  

At the moment, the team has prepared two bake-offs for December. The first of which is in partnership with Suncore Foods and is a competition for junior bakers between the ages of 4 to 15 years old. While the second one is a holiday bake-off that features guest judges Catherine Zhang, the Zumbo’s Just Desserts season 2 champion, and Fred Chang, season 10 finalist of the hit show MasterChef US.

Members can stay tuned for more announcements on this through their Facebook page and group, or through their Instagram account.

A recent trip to Japan inspired Kat Lieu to create the group 

The group was created back in May of this year by Kat Lieu. She was inspired to form Subtle Asian Baking after reminiscing about the baked creations she got to try during her recent trip to Japan. 

“COVID-19 was spreading fast and things were closing down. I was thinking about my trip to Japan back in February 2020, and I couldn’t find a group I liked dedicated to Asian sweets, particularly subtle Asian sweets. So, I created the group in [the] hopes [that] I can bring together a large baking community and curate recipes and beautiful pictures of Asian-inspired desserts,”  Lieu expounded.  

“Many of us can’t travel [now], but we can reflect fondly about desserts we love, desserts from our culture, and the baked goodies we had while traveling across Asia and so forth.”

To her surprise though, the group quickly grew since its creation, now amassing over 66,000 members from all over the world. 

Screengrab from Facebook.com/groups/subtleasianbaking

Today, the group is handled by Lieu and the Subtle Asian Baking team, which comprises the following: Owen Li, an IT professional and the team’s very own “air-frying ninja”; Will Leung, a bakery owner in New Zealand; George Lee, a Le Cordon Bleu-trained cook and rising star in the vegan culinary world; and Nichole Tan, a Singapore-based sweets expert.

A message to aspiring bakers: ‘Just start baking!’  

Starting a new hobby can be hard but the Subtle Asian Baking team believes that practice makes perfect. And they continue to encourage aspiring bakers to express themselves and try new things, with a little help and inspiration from their Facebook group.  

“Just start baking! It doesn’t matter if you use cake mix or bake from scratch, just make it and bake it! And please join our group! We are inclusive and [we] welcome all bakers, dessert makers, or dessert enthusiasts of all skill levels. We also welcome savory baking recipes and pictures!” the team said.

To join Subtle Asian Baking, click their Facebook group here and request to be a member. Once approved, you can start posting your creations, joining their online contests, and start conversing with like-minded bakers.

You can also follow them on their Facebook page or on Instagram to stay up-to-date with their latest posts and announcements. 

Happy baking, everyone! 

Via Giphy