Sweets from my sweets!

So I chose a baduy title. ūüėõ

But hey! I think it’s sweet when people give me food. Except when they obviously can’t finish it anymore and they think I’m a trashbin. :\

These are some of the desserts given to me by family and friends this 2012 captured via Instagram.

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1 First Baker Silvanas from birthdaymate Ava. These came from Nueva Ecija. It’s not so sweet and the creaminess is just right. Hindi nakaka-uta. Ang sarap. sana available rin ito sa Manila. Bibili ako ng isang truck.

2 Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans from bespren #2¬†Alex. If you are familiar with the Harry Potter series, you would know that there are beans that are delightful like those flavoured marshmallow or licorice, and there are those that will make you turn green like snot or earwax. Sa Sg yata nabili ito.

3 J.Co Donuts from Ate D. Though my donut of choice will always be Krispy Kreme’s Original Glazed, I cannot binge on it when “needed” (depressd, pms-ing, or with takaw friends) because it’s just too sweet. J.Co donuts is better for those like me who likes dessert but do not like super sweet stuff. My binge-donut of choice is AlCapone. It has white Belgian chocolate and almonds. I also like Berry Spears and Avocado Dicaprio. Not only because of the names but because masarap. Anobeh.

4 Royce’ Fromage Blanc from Pastora Jan. Nakaka-adik itong white chocolate potato chips na ito.¬†I love the sweet-salty combo.¬†I wish someone would come up with a cheaper version of this. Magandang ipang-regalo ito.

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5 Bibingkang Kanin and Suman sa Lihiya from my Mama and Tita Nida. My mom and her besty always make these native cakes when there are special occassions. These are also the usual pasalubong I give my friends. I am not fond of kakanin, but these two have made it to my nomnom-list.

6 Espasol from Atty. Argel. He calls this world class espasol from the Guimba Espasol Dream Team. It’s less sweet and it’s chewier than the ones from Laguna.¬†Masarap ito¬†i-pares sa matapang na¬†kape.

7 Cibo Tiramisu from my archenemy Dave. Hands down, my most favorite dessert (after leche flan)¬†is tiramisu. Cibo’s is one of my most faves even if its texture is… flaky. Their Mango Panna Cotta (yep, that yellow orange stuff over there was just so-so.

8 Mary Grace Cafe’s Grilled Ensaimada from my fellow-triad member Carlo. I’m including it here even if it tastes savory because it also tastes sweet (duh). Eat this with their Tsokolate Eh. Or is it Ah? Basta, the hot tablea hot beverage. Perfect for rainy evenings.

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9 Ferrero Kusschen from kapatid na Joel. Chocolate covered hazelnuts from Germany that my bro bought in Singapore. Hehe, labo. My friend Katharina told me that kusschen means kisses. Mwaaaah to bro for giving me these. Peyborit ko ang hazelnuts!

10 Turones (mini turon) from Jolly Jeep na nilibre ng hindi ko na maalala kung sinong teammate ko. This is my favorite merienda. I like to pair this with lomi. Cheap thrill. Ten pesos lang itong turones, 5 pieces.

11 Abe’s Sikreto ni Maria from Babe Homer. This is very easy to make. It’s just suman topped with vanila ice cream and bucayo and served with ripe mangoes. I am thinking of making this for media noche (kung sipagin, probably not, nyahaha). I will add buco strips and sago.

12 Starbucks Truffle Cheesecake from Shani Black. Hah. This is probably the best cake in Starbucks. Hello, truffle na, cheesecake pa. Self explanatory na dapat, di’ba? :p ¬†Shani and I call this “non-metaphorical celebratory cake”. Please don’t ask why.

I’m positive that 2013 will bring more¬†desserts. Friends, don’t fail me. Hehe!

Thanks for feeding me and making me fat! ūüôā We’re all in this together. :p

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listening to: Tonyo harrassing Rals

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A Happy 1st Weekend of My Favorite Month

Yaaaay for the first weekend of December!

Welcomed my all-time favorite month in Mango Tree Bistro with great friends (plus an nff) and wine. It was the perfect mix of witty conversations and senti hits. We should have more nights like this, hopefully also with more wine.

Here’s chuma-chubby me, balingkinitan na Cindy, ang nff na si Joseph, and direct-to-the-point Jap.

I lovelovelove my highschool bff and my college bff. ūüôā They are two of the most beautiful people I know.

(Joseph, saka na kita tatawagin na beautiful ‘pag close na tayo.)

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Without a doubt, I will not be able to follow a proper diet during the holidays.¬†I have been trying to eat less so¬†I wouldn’t feel guilty for indulging in the coming days, and so I wouldn’t look like Miss Piggy come 2013. I try to avoid rice (because it’s eeevil) but I wasn’t able to resist when I craved for Aida’s Chicken Inasal. Waaah! I also wasn’t able to to resist pouring some chicken oil on the rice!¬†Napakain kasi I got tired from looking for materials for my costume in¬†every ukay-ukay in MCS. (I can hear you saying “Excuses, excuses!” Hehe!) Costume for what, you ask. For our team’s Christmas party! I spent Saturday figuring out if I’ll go as Katniss Everdeen, Cleopatra, Arwen, or the Energizer Bunny.

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Katniss wins. Because of her boots.

Speaking of fictional¬†characters, I absolutely liked Rise of The Guardians! Ang astig ni Santa at ang sexy ng boses ni Jack Frost! Si Chris Pine naman pala kasi ‘yon! Aaaaaand the Easter Bunny is Wolverine Hugh Jackman! ¬†It’s a movie with a simple plot that revolves around the fears and fantasies of kids. It’s not as funny as Shrek, not as epic as Mulan,¬†but it’s definitely fun and heartwarming.

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Here’s what made me tear up:

“You’re the one who put me here. The least you can do is tell me why.” – Jack Frost to Man in the Moon

What made me go nyahaha? Finding out who really makes all the Christmas gifts in Santa’s factory. :p

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After the movie, I ate one of my favorite combos from Cash & Carry- gyoza and Ferino’s bibingka. Weird, noh? Pero promise, masarap! Trust me!¬†May talent ako sa pag-partner ng¬†savory-spicy and sweet-salty nomnoms!

I also have a talent (skill, if you wanna be technical about it, pfftttt) for cooking quick and easy dishes! Hello, laking Del Monte Kitchenomics, Wok with Yan, at Cooking with The Dazas yata ito! :p I made two veggie dishes last Sunday. If I can’t eat less, I’ll just eat something non-fattening. I’ll share the recipes for my special no-saute monggo and tarantang chopseuy in a separate entry. Wait for it. ūüėČ

My yaaay-worthy weekend was capped off by this lesson:

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Last Sunday’s service was about God being able to turn a situation of limitation to a situation of multiplication. He is the ultimate provider and that is something I (or we) should always remember. When we have troubles, we always depend on our own understanding and this always results into fear– which is always an exaggeration of reality. Trusting Him is always the best choice, may it be in a desperate situation involving finances or¬†career or relationships… anything! The Grace that God uses in one is the exact same Grace that He uses in another!

The weekend was His reminder to me that I am abundantly blessed and I can be blessed some more. More importantly, it was to instill in my mind that I am very blessed so that I will be a channel of blessing.

Thank You God for allowing me to share my time, ideas, love, and all the other gifts You have generously given me. And cheers to more blessings that I know I will receive this month!!! ūüėÄ

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listening to: nothing

Red Engine Diner

Kat announced in Fb that she’s bored and being the nice and kaladkarin friend that I am, I replied, “Tara! Columns!” :p

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There were no available tables in Starbucks and¬†I wasn’t in the mood to eat healthy (Faburrito), so we went to Red Engine Diner. It’s my first time to eat there. It occupies the spot where Joey Pepperoni used to be.

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We had Fish and Fries (225php) and Mango Shrimp Salad (269php). I liked the former because the fish was thick, the coating was crispy, and the sauces were flavorful. The latter was so-so. The honey mustard dressing was too sweet.

I’m going back to try their other dishes, like Hot Prawn Salad and Baby Back Ribs with Hickory Sauce.

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listening to: Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire

Dug-Out Kitchen and Tap

When I think of Guijo St. in San Antonio Village, the first thing that pops into my head is a
rock joint. It was only a couple of weeks ago when I found out that there is another place in that street where I can go to when I want to drink.

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Dug-Out Kitchen and Tap is a small restobar that serves beer, hard liquor, grilled food, pasta and some other dishes. The menu isn’t extensive maybe because it’s a fairly new place. I had the Grilled Pork Belly (180php)¬†and a glass of Jack and Coke (90php). Enzo had a Double¬†¬†Jack and Coke so that’s 180? Hehe, you do the math.

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The pork was perfectly grilled and delicious and big! The veggie side dish was sorta weird. I don’t know if it’s sauteed or slightly pickled.¬† The drink, well… it tasted like what it’s supposed to taste like, although I would have liked it stronger.

I’m happy I have another walking-distance-tambay-place apart from TJ Grill and Wingman! =)

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Dug-Out Kitchen and Tap
Guijo cor Sacred Heart St
San Antonio, Makati
(02) 899-5997

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listening to: Eraserheads – Pare Ko

That Coffee Shop at the Corner of Pasong Tamo and Kamagong

Another coffee place that I go to is K.S. Coffee Stop. It’s right at the corner of Kamagong St and Pasong Tamo in San Antonio Village, Makati.

image{dinner and dessert with my friend Jeeves}

The last time I was there, I had their Taro Shake (55php) and Potato Almond Cake (85php). Jeeves had the Kazatziki Rice Meal (120php).

Jeeves liked his food. He said, “It’s good!” maybe 4 times. Hahaha! So shempre, naniwala naman ako. I liked the taro drink. It’s a less sweet and less purple version of Quickly’s Taro Ice. The cake was delicious and had lots of nuts. It would have made me happier if it were moist.

image{KS menu}

Other items of theirs that I like: Arrabiatta Pasta, Cappuccino Viennese, and Salpicao.

KS Coffee Stop has free wi-fi which is relatively fast. The waitstaff is quick and friendly. The only thing I don’t like about this place is the smoking area because it’s noisy there. The Chino Roces traffic will surely distract you. Good thing I don’t smoke anymore. Bwahahahah!

If you want to grab a couple of beers or listen to an acoustic set, you can hop to Clump, the newly-opened restobar beside it.

image{mandatory vanity shot}

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listening to: Pink Floyd – Time

Starbucks Holiday Drinks

image{my muni-muni drink}

Been hanging at Starbucks because of 2 reasons:

1. Starbucks Columns is the nearest coffee shop to my place. My “muni-muni afternoons” are back so yes, it’s me with my journal and a caffeinated drink again. :p

2. For the first time, I want a Starbucks planner. Coz what the heck, I’m gonna frequent Starbucks so might as well!

image{Peppermint Mocha, Toffee Nut Latte, Dark Cherry Mocha and my Starbucks Christmas Traditions card}

Among these 3 holiday beverages, Toffee Nut Latte is my favorite, followed by Peppermint Mocha. I don’t care at all for the Dark Cherry Mocha. I have yet to try the hot versions of these drinks.

I need 9 stickers from the Holiday Featured Beverages, so yeah, I definitely will try the hot or iced versions.

A venti drink costs 180php, btw.

image{special smileys}

And let me just say that I love the baristas in Starbucks Columns! They’re all so friendly and nice and they let me draw smileys and whatnots on my cup without casting¬† judgmental looks!

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listening to: Ella Fitzgerald – Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Hot Pot Night at Lau Chan

SMS conversation with the frenemy

Dave: Hot pot tayo. Sa Lao Tian.
Me: Lao Tian? Saan ‘yon?
Dave: Pampanga
*after 5 mins*
Me: Hayop. Sa Malate kaya ‘yon! I googled it!
Dave: Eh alam mo naman pala eh.
Me: Mali kasi ang spelling mo. Ang tagal ko tuloy nag-google! It’s LAU CHAN. Not Lao Tian.
Dave: That’s in Fukien.

Nyahahaha! And so we went to this hot pot place in Malate. I was excited to find out if the good reviews will match my judgment. :p

image{Dave choosing the ingredients * sauce essentials – minced garlic, chopped chili, soy sauce and sate sauce * Saturday night Chinese and Filipino customers}

This Chinese hole-in-the-wall has a checklist of what you would like to put in your pot. We got sliced fat beef, leeks, watercress, spinach, dumplings, fishballs (with cheese inside), squid paste, golden mushrooms, and¬†tofu. All were cooked in spicy sambal-sate broth. A word of caution from Dave: don’t have more than 5 bowls unless you would like to suffer the consequences of MSG.

image{the magic of shabu shabu}

I listened to his advice because apart from MSG will most def give me an instant headache, I had to make space for the free tea, Coke (a must have when the food is salty/spicy), and the yang chow fried rice.

Ended up having 3 bowls + 2 cups of rice. Sarap! Loved that the meat and veggies were all fresh. My favorite were the beef, tofu, and fishballs with cheese.¬†If you’re gonna get the fishballs, make sure that you slice¬†it first to let it cool a bit. ¬†But hey, if you wanna burn your tongue, go ahead. :p Think xiao long bao.¬†¬†It’s a good idea that we did not put corn and noodles anymore. The food was for good for 4 people. Ahem. Hindi kami matakaw (si Dave lang pala), we had 1/3 wrapped as pasalubong for our friend Kat who we met for coffee after.

image{hole in the wall decor*roast chicken*gentleman’s club}

I recommend Lau Chan to those who don’t want to spend a fotrtune on pigging out and have no qualms eating in places with linoleum floors. Bring your whole barkada so :p

Lau Chan Shabu-Shabu & Fast Foods is located at 1664-1666 A. Mabini St, Malate, Manila. It’s right beside Yue Lai Seafood Shabu-Shabu and across a gentlemen’s club, at least according to Dave.¬†

Parking may be a problem, so try to be there an earlier than the usual eating hours.

image{See you again soon!}

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listening to: Black Sabbath – Iron Man

I <3 Zubuchon

I like lechon Cebu. I like it because I can enjoy it even without the hideous looking liver sauce that I really find blech.

CnT was probably the most popular roast pig from Cebu until acclaimed author and chef Anthony Bourdain called Zubuchon “the best pig in the world”.

Haters Friends told me Zubuchon is¬† saltier, more expensive (+50-70php… so it’s around 480-520 a kilo?), and less fatty (an atrocity to my cholesterol-loving bud na itatago ko na lang sa pangalang Dave Abelarde).

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Thanks Zo for the pasalubong!

When my friend Enzo went to Mactan and asked if I wanted otap or lechon for pasalubong, of course I answered lechon!!! Kasi hello, bakit naman otap ang pipiliin ko? Haha, it was the opportune time to try Zubuchon and see if my friends were right.

Zo gave me a kilo of frozen lechon. I fried it. Three words- FRIED.LECHON.SKIN. Thanks to my Cebu-based friend Carla for introducing me to this gastronomic delight! Bless all piggies for making me a happy little foodie.

I served the fried Zubuchon with white rice topped with garlic chips, sliced cucumbers with a dipping sauce of cane vinegar, red onions, cracked black pepper, and brown sugar.

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fried Zubuchon for lunch (the first of many hahaha)

Did I like Bourdain’s favorite pig? Yes! I didn’t find it too salty. I was able to enjoy it without rice. Ewan ko lang ha pero sa CnT ako naaalatan. I like CnT lechon pero hindi ko kayang papakin kasi feeling ko magkakasakit ako sa bato on the spot. Zubuchon’s less fatty. Yay for me, boo for Dave. My bad cholesterol’s slightly elevated so I’d like to believe that this lechon is diet-friendly. I also liked that the lemongrass taste was more pronounced. But hey, I got it frozen so I have yet to eat and judge when it’s freshly roasted.

And so, for that… Cebu, see you next year! ūüėČ

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listening to: Don’t Go BACON My Heart

Halloween 2012

I will share bits and pieces of my October 31 to November 4. It’s Halloween and All Saints and All Souls and regular days but I don’t want to¬†name this entry¬†Undas Weekend! :p

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As mentioned in my last post, I have not experienced trick-or-treating yet. In fact, the most Halloweeney thing that happened to me last October 31 was when I ate (beef) papaitan for the first time. Thanks¬†(?) to Enzo!¬†To those who do not know what it is, it’s INNARDS STEW. It’s a bitter soup with¬†tripe, heart, liver, intestine and others. What makes it bitter? BILE. I quickly drowned the icky taste with beer. Much as I did not enjoy this first time,¬†I can’t say it’s also¬†the last time because I promised myself that someday (hopefully not soon) that I will eat papaitang kambing. Yes, goat. Meh!!!

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Mang Rudy’s Grill Beef Papaitan. Charming, isn’t it?

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I spent November 1 mostly at home. Only went to Cash & Carry to get some toiletries andsatisfy my craving for gyoza and bibingka. Weird combo eh? Try mo. Masarap.¬†Thought of watching a movie alone but¬†they weren’t screening Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay, so I went home instead and read a Gaiman book.

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November 2, I was in the office. Yeah, you read that right. I worked during the holiday. Nothing new. And in observance of All Souls’ Day, I watched Casper. Devon Sawa was a cutie! Also saw some baduy Tagalog horror movies in Cinema 1.

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November 3, I was comfortably lying on the sofa watching a dessert challenge in Masterchef when my friend Jero invited me out to eat. Busog pa ako so I said yes but suggested we see the latest Bond movie tooРSkyfall. So we went to Resorts World. Dinner at Kenny Rogers first before the movie.

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Kenny Rogers Healthy Plate + muffin

I had this embarrassing convo with the waitstaff:

Me: Miss, isang Healthy Plate sa akin.
Waitstaff: Okay, ma’am.
Me: Miss, pwedeng pa-change ‘yung kasamang iced tea to soda?
Waitstaff: Ma’am, hindi po.
Me: Ay, bakit?
Waitstaff: Hindi na po healthy ‘yon.

The customer is always right? Wrong. ay point nga naman si ate. Oo nga naman. Ako na ang hindi tumutupad sa rules ng isang healthy plate! :p

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the 23rd spy film in the James Bond series

Skyfall. Mmmm hmmm mmmm, Skyfall. It was okay. Sorry, Bond fans. It was JUST okay. The first half was interesting and promising. The 2nd half was dragging and I had to fight to stay awake. It’s not as sexy and action-packed as I expected it to be. And sorry, I do agree that Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva is one of the creepiest Bond villains ever but I wish he was made more sinister.

Too bad Bond girl Berenice Marlohe’s character did not live long. Sayang. Ang sexy pa naman niya! And sorry friends, Adele’s song is also just okay for me. I don’t regret watching it though.¬†¬†Loved the chase in Turkey and the word association. While the serious¬†dialogue was blah, the humour was good. I’ve always been a sucker for dry, British humour.

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And lastly, November 4. The highlight of this day was the service at Victory Pioneer. The last leg of the The End Series was about heaven,¬†aptly called The Never-Ending Story. I don’t know about you but I believe in heaven and hell. I would like to go to the former and one of the¬†best things I heard about what kind of place heaven is is this:

“Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people.”

Sabi nga ni Pastor Robert,¬†Creation happened in only 6 days, and it’s magnificent! What more ang heaven, eh¬†more than 2,000 years¬†nang pine-prepare ni¬†Jesus ang heaven para¬†sa atin. To listen to The End series, please visit http://victorypioneer.org/podcasts/the-end. ūüôā

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Belated Happy Halloween! ūüėČ

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listening to: Backstreet Boys – Everybody

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