Sunday, February 22

Guiltless Gourmand: Baby Back Ribs

I know I promised this post 2 Sundays ago, I am deeply sorry for the delay. Life happened so I had to postpone this blog entry. Now feeling and breathing better, I finally had the time to create this much awaited post from the Guiltless Gourmand Series

FTW! Blog, Guiltless Gourmand, Baby Back Ribs recipe, #howto, #independentliving

Ingredients:
  • Baby Back Ribs
  • Barbecue Sauce:
    • 1/2 cup A1 Steak Sauce (or any other brand)
    • 200 ml Tomato Sauce
    • 2 tbsp distilled vinegar
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp grated onion
    • 1 tbsp Spice Rub (ingredients below)
    • 1 tbsp mustard sauce (the kind you place on a hotdog)
    • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Spice Rub:
    • 2 tbsp salt
    • 2 tbsp chili powder
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp paprika
    • 2 tbsp ground mustard
    • 1 tbsp garlic powder
    • 1 tbsp accord
    • 1 tsp ground black pepper
Steps:

1. Buy your choice of baby back ribs from the market. The one we have here is from Rustans Ayala Cebu. This is the imported kind and costs Php600 for two full racks which is a very good steal. You can also try from the local meat market as well which would be cost-effective.

2. Prepare your Spice Rub and Barbecue Sauce steps and ingredients provided above.

3. Clean your ribs and cut it according to portions. Pat dry using paper towels. 
FTW! Blog, Guiltless Gourmand, Baby Back Ribs recipe, #howto, #independentliving

4. Remove the thin membrane on the rib side portion of the meat. Why though? The membrane can also get very tough and chewy, especially if you cook hot, and if you cook low and slow, it can get rubbery. In addition there is a layer of fat under the membrane, and removing it lets it melt and drain. You can however just skip this step if you prefer to have it on.
FTW! Blog, Guiltless Gourmand, Baby Back Ribs recipe, #howto, #independentliving
5. Once skinned, you can now prepare the Spice Rub. What I do is make a whole batch and then keep it on a ziplock bag and store in the pantry. Apply rub generously on the meaty side and apply the other slabs of meat.

6. Marinade for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. Wrap in aluminum foil and keep chilled in the fridge. Remove them from the refrigerator and set aside at room temperature while the oven is heating, at least 20 minutes.
FTW! Blog, Guiltless Gourmand, Baby Back Ribs recipe, #howto, #independentliving
7. Cook in the oven for an hour or so until meat starts to separate from the bones.

8. Remove from foil and start grilling over hot coal for 5-8 minutes on each side. Slather some of that barbecue sauce on each side and remove from heat once you see grill marks on the meat.
FTW! Blog, Guiltless Gourmand, Baby Back Ribs recipe, #howto, #independentlivingFTW! Blog, Guiltless Gourmand, Baby Back Ribs recipe, #howto, #independentliving
 9. Serve and enjoy with your choice of sides. On the photo: mashed potatoes and buttered veggies. Posting them next week. :)
FTW! Blog, Guiltless Gourmand, Baby Back Ribs recipe, #howto, #independentliving




Wednesday, February 18

How To: Online Booking for Cebu Pacific

FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific

One of my most popular blog posts of all time is How to Reserve Cebu Pacific Tickets Online posted last 2012. Due to some site changes and more payment options, I decided to create an updated version of securing your tickets online.

1. Head out to the main site at: https://www.cebupacificair.com/ and use their booking calendar on the left hand side. There is an option for Round Trip or One-Way. Select which one suits you best.

FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu PacificTip: Use the incognito option on your browser to ensure that all information will not be saved. Also, this will be a good practice if you just opt to view the latest flight fares. The site remembers visitors using your cookies and cache. Tendency is that, if you visit the site more often, you already have a trail of logs on the site this will trigger the prices to get higher each time you visit the site.

2. Select your flight.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu PacificTip: Early flights are the most cost effective. It also will give you enough time for possible traffic on the way and in cases when flights are cancelled, there are more options for the next flight to your destination.

3. Once flight has been selected, click Continue to proceed to the Guest Details page. This is where you will input details or login to your online account. The Admin Fee does not change if you are a current online member or you visit the page as a guest. 

Tip: Sign up as a member of the site. It will save you time in typing your details on the fields especially during fare rates where tickets are selling at a fast pace. Also, you can save family members aside from your details.

FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific
Input details as a Guest (Non-member of the site)

FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific
Login to your account and hit on I'm traveling and this will populate all fields.




4. Select baggage allowance from the drop down menu. If you only have a small bag, you can select the I have no bags to check-on, only carry-on luggage. Please also ensure that your hand carry baggage is below 7 kilograms.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific
 5. You will now then select your seats. What I love about the online booking is that you can remove the pre-selected seat. You can just arrive early at the airport and check-in using their self-help check in machines. This will save you Php145! Yes, I am frugal and every peso saved makes me very happy! 
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu PacificHow to remove? Click on the pre-selected seat (this is the one in blue) and double click to remove it.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific
6. Travel Insurance - don't get me wrong but I always remove this option. I know this ensures you that you get priority once your flight has been cancelled but the Php250 per person is rather steep.  

To remove: Click on the Manage All Guests and you will see that the small box has been pre-checked. To remove, just uncheck the box.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific
With Travel Insurance

FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific
Without Travel Insurance
Step 7. Click on the Terms and Conditions below. We never read it anyway, but if you are one of those who have enough time to read everything, you can go ahead. Click on Continue to be directed to the Payment Page.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific

Step 8. Select which Payment Method is most convenient for you. On my previous post, they only had 3 options for payment - Credit Card/Debit Card, Bancnet and Payment Centers

It's great that they have 7 Payment Options, to cover everyone's needs. No Credit Card? No worries, they have direct payment using Bancnet Online or if you have Paypal. Even without these, there is still the tried and tested Payment Centers.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific
Credit Card Payment, they also accept Debit Cards.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific
E-voucher, I have no idea what this is though. I reckon this is like a GC.

These are the most popular mode of payment based on friends and colleagues. Please note that if you select to pay via LBC or any bank branch listed, there is a certain cut-off for Cebu Pacific booking. These vary from one bank to another.

Based on experience, LBC's cut-off is at 3PM. So secure to pay your tickets before the time. For banks, these are usually processed within banking hours.  

Payment Center - Pay before 11:59PM of the same date you secured your booking. Beyond the said time, your booking is considered cancelled.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific

Payment Center - Pay within 24 hours from time of booking.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific

Step 8. Payment using Paypal, click on Continue to be directed to the Paypal Login page.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific  
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific
Once you have logged in, you can then pay for your ticket from here on out. Please note that if you have a current Paypal balance, this will be used up like what you can see on the screenshot below. The remaining balance will then be deducted from your card connected to your Paypal account.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu PacificReview the details and once cleared, you can go ahead and hit on Pay Now.



FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific

Step. 9. Booking Confirmation. Once processed, you will then receive your Itinerary Receipt with the complete flight details as well as your Status - Confirmed. At this point, you can print out the itinerary.
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific
FTW! Blog, How to, Book Cebu Pacific Tickets online, Cebu Pacific 
It only takes like about 5-8 minutes of your time.  Not that bad huh?