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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cronuts at Wildflour Cafe + Bakery

Wildflour Café + Bakery pioneered the Pinoy version of cronuts which is the coined word for croissant and donuts rolled into one. The raves they've been getting were so enormous that some people are led to believe this is the greatest bakery invention of 2013.

Well, take a good look and repeat after me, "Overrated, exaggerated!"

The taste isn't bad. In fact, the croissant-donuts are quite good especially the chocolate varieties. But honestly they are NOT that good to be worth the hype (and the price). I can't believe we waited for over an hour to be seated just to dig our forks into these babies.

Each cronut is priced at Php120-Php150. Quite expensive for me.
Wildflour Café + Bakery is located at BGC (they also have a branch at Podium). Its café has a chic, upscale atmosphere that made me believe we paid more for the ambience more than our orders. If you want to try this café, prepare to wait outside (with no seats or waiting area) before you are seated (by their not so friendly staff) especially during weekends.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Okay Angie, You Can Have Him!

Acceptance speeches during awarding ceremonies normally make me cringe especially in the Philippines as most recipients would say, "Oh my God, I really didn't expect to win!" Oh yeah, tell me about it Ruffa Guitierrez and Viveka Babajee.

But then I saw Angelina Jolie's acceptance speech at the 2013 Governors Award and I was amazed and touched by the sincerity of every single word she said. In fact, I watched it three times, 4 hours (or so) apart, and still I cried each time.

She thanked Brad Pitt and called him "my love" which got me a little jealous. I wanted to say, "Excuse me, mas love ko sya!".  Anyway, since I think Angeline Jolie is an extra ordinary and genuinely beautiful woman inside and out, I can whole-heartedly let her have my former husband, Brad. Chos!

Watch her and you'll instantly become a fan (if you're not already one)

Friday, November 15, 2013

I Love You

I have heard the words 'I love you' thousands of times and I know I am truly loved by many. But today I feel so happy as if the whole world had just told me it loves me.
Indeed, I have never felt so loved (by God especially) until I watched and heard this...

This is my son, Enoe, who is over three and a half years old. At his age, he still stammers and his vocabulary is still quite limited. Honestly, I am a little worried already but as a mother I am hopeful he will improve immensely as he progress in school.

Today as he recited a poem in front of an audience of around 30 people, I feel not only happiness and pride for my son, but also my heart is filled with gratefulness to God.

"Most of all, I love you".
Yes, my dear boy, most of all, I love you. Very much.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Caption This: Eana & Daddy

Imagine she's asking her Dad :

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mang Larry's Isawan at UP Campus (natikman din sa wakas!)

I first heard of Mang Larry's Isawan in Balitang K. The highlight of the story was not actually Mang Larry's delicious barbeques but the success story of how he was able to send all his kids to college only by selling his grilled goodies.

Anyone can see even from afar how popular Mang Larry's Isawan has become. It was drizzling when we got to the open space in UP where his small stall is located but there were still many cars parked and a long queue of people waiting for their orders.

The selection is straightforward and simple that anyone who frequents his food stall could easily memorize his products and their respective prices.

Balunbalunan - Php6 each
Special Isaw Pork - Php6 each
Pork Barbeque - Php10 each
Atay/Liver - Php6 each
Bochi - Php6 each
Isaw Manok - Php3 each
Isaw Baboy - Php6 each
Goto - Php6 each

We ordered 4 of each kind except for Isaw Manok. We devoured 10 of them!
Honestly, there is nothing extra ordinary or special with the taste of their isaw or any of their grilled food except that for the cheap price compared to other ihawan in the area. But I think what set Mang Larry's Isawan ahead is that his stall looks clean and his vendors doesn't look gusgusin. I also like how he puts the barbeques behind a covered display glass (escaparate) to keep the bull flies and dust away.
His special sauces (variety of Regular and Spicy) are placed in huge plastic container jugs "self-service" style. His vendors will hand you the grilled isaw in a brown bag which helps absorb the oil and you can take care of your own sauce.
The Hubby and I would definitely go back to Mang Larry's next time we crave for isaw and anything grilled. We like the picnic ambience and how we can simply park and open the back our SUV for an instant shelter from either heat or rain.
Mang Larry's Isawan is located in Ma.Guerrero Street, near UP College of Law. If lost, just ask anyone in the campus and they will point you to the right direction. Everybody knows Mang Larry's Isawan, that's for sure.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Is it cool at Ramen Cool Kapitolyo?

Joining the ramen bandwagon is Ramen Cool, one of many promising restaurants and cafes in Kapitolyo, Pasig where food establishments are mushrooming. This neighborhood food hub is strategically located along East Capitol Drive corner West Capitol Drive and with a few parking slots in front.

I came specially to try their Ramen as I want to find one that could compare to Ramen Bar. Hence, I ordered the same one I always order at Ramen Bar which is the Pork Shio Ramen.

Pork Shio Ramen  Php160
The ramen was okay but definitely not better than that of Ramen Bar. I was expecting the pork to have the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness but I found it tough as if I can eat it as ulam. The portioning is just right for sharing (by two kids).

I love their stainless soup spoon!
I was also craving for some rice and sashimi so I decided to have the Salmondon. It's salmon sashimi on top of gohan (plain rice). There's really nothing to rave about this dish as there was absolutely no cooking involved but I must point out how the salmon have a smooth texture, natural tenderness and generously sliced.
Salmondon Php195
My daughter ordered Ebi Tempura which I was able to 'inspect' closely because she eats very slow and removes the crumbs to eat it separately. In fairness, the shrimps are  fairly-sized (meaning not small and cut into half lengthwise so there's 2 pieces of tempura out of 1 shrimp) and was cooked to crisp tempura perfection.

As expected, The Hubby ordered his favorite gyoza and being the gyoza expert I asked him how it fared to his taste buds. He said just OK. Don't you hate that? When you ask someone for his opinion and he simply says, 'Just OK'? It doesn't really tell me anything so I would say maybe it taste just like any gyoza and there's really nothing outstanding about it.

Gyoza 5pcs @ Php115 and Salmon Sashimi Php195

We also ordered salmon sashimi which I liked because they were sliced just right (not too thin) that you don't feel you are being robbed for the price that you pay. I also appreciate the way the sashimi was served on top of carrot strips instead of just plain banana leaf like what most Japanese restaurants do.

Overall, we think Ramen Cool is not that cool but for sure they have dishes that would be worth coming back for. In the meantime, Ramen Cool should be okay for quick meals or if you are craving for Japanese food but doesn't want to explore other restos.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Malunggay Pandesal

The active campaign on the use of plants, vegetables and herbs for medicinal and health purposes must be working really nicely as even small enterprises have started incorporating healthy ingredients into their products.

The most explored vegetable these days is Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera) so I am not surprised to learn they have now started using it as nutritional enhancer to Pinoy's most popular bread - the pan de sal.

I saw them being sold at Kambal Pandesal and the ever so curious me bought a few pieces to try how it taste as my kids love pan de sal and if the taste of Malunggay Pan de Sal gets their approval, I will buy this instead of the regular one.
I am happy to prove after a few bites that the vegetable ingredient didn't alter the overall taste of the bread. My three year old son munched away one piece in a  jiffy! It even taste better with butter.
Malunggay is very popular among mothers as it aids in lactation and had I known this before I gave birth to Eana, I would have consumed a hundred of this.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dance With My Father

Whenever I hear the song, Dance with my Father, I can't stop my tears from falling. The Hubby, instead of consoling me, often ends up laughing because he thinks it's a drama he's seen over two dozen times.

But the truth is I've never danced with my father. Not on my 18th birthday, not even on my wedding day. Perhaps the only times when he danced with me were those nights he put me to sleep when I was a baby.

My Dad was a very simple and reserved man. Call him shy if you may. He's not the type who likes to be the center of attention, was not fond of dressing up and more than anything, hates formal types of parties. He prefers simple gatherings with only close family and friends, wear his favorite shirt and eat his comfort food of canned mackerel sautéed in garlic, onion and tomatoes, sarciadong itlog, friend rice and steaming hot coffee. Even when I worked in a hotel for over 3 years, my Dad went to dine at our outlet only once and that was after so much prodding from my Mom.

On my 18th birthday ball, he chose to stay in one corner and cry (for whatever reason, my Dad was very emotional when I turned 18) instead of doing The Waltz with me. Then weeks before my wedding day and before I could protest, he told me rather seriously to tell the program host to not ask him to dance or to deliver any speech.

Honestly, those were the very few times when I felt really hurt by my father. Up to this day, I still could not understand why he chose to be stubborn on those two important occasions of my life than make me happy.

So when I hear the song Dance With My Father, my heart breaks and I cry. No matter how many times I've heard it in the past, the same amount of pain floods in not only because I miss my Dad and this song reminds me of him but more because I am reminded of the chances that my Dad missed when he refused to dance with me. I weep for the 'would-have-been-great' moments I lost, to have my Dad sway with me in the middle of the dance floor and be nothing but the father I idolized.

Ironic as it seems that even as I claim that I was a 'Daddy's Girl', I never got to dance with my father. 

Sadly, I never will.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Breakfast at Mom & Tina's Bakery Cafe

With The Hubby and I's schedule at work (painfully opposite as I work during the day and he takes the night), breakfast together has become a welcome leisure for both of us. It's a time when we can quietly discuss (because the kids are either asleep or in school) our daily activities and just catch up.
And so one early morning after driving an aunt to the airport, we decided to try this quaint café along C5 road in Pasig. We've often passed by this café and I've always wondered what sort of food they serve but never got the chance to dine there. Anyway, I am glad we finally did on this lovely Sunday morning.
The café-restaurant had just opened when we arrived at 7:05 in the morning. The place was still empty and we were the first customers.
I love it when we get to place and it's just us there! I had the place to myself to admire the beautiful, well-chosen interiors. It's so elegant yet homey. The couches look gorgeous and inviting and they smell great too (not like other restaurants where the it smells like food everywhere).
I love the chandeliers and the country look and feel of the restaurant.

And the table centerpiece that I want to take home :) Simple yet lovely.
Going to a restaurant for the first time means taking a risk on what to order. Normally before heading to dining place, I would check food blogs for reviews and recommendations. I didn't have the chance to do that this time so instead of ordering from the breakfast menu, I decided to try their Meat Lasagna and I am glad I did. The lasagna sauce is bursting with a flavor of melted cheese and cream that I almost forgot it's a pasta dish.
The garlic bread that comes with the dish perfectly complements the lasagna that I actually ordered additional breads. I used the lasagna sauce as bread butter. Super sarap, without exaggeration!
Meat Lasagna - Php210 (with 2 pieces Garlic Rolls)
The Hubby decided to stick with a breakfast fare and ordered Waffles Pancakes with Vienna Sausage. The waffles are soft like fluffy pancakes just the way they promised.

Waffles Pancake with Vienna Sausage - Php215
 No matter how early in the morning, my coffee must always be iced just the way I like it. Thankfully, Mom & Tina's have Iced Coffee on their beverage list and you can even go for decaf!
Iced Coffee - Php85
We didn't get to try any of their cakes and cupcakes but they all look gorgeous from display. At a price range of Php45 to Php55 per cupcake, I am definitely going to give it a try on my next visit. (Me thinking of future parties where cupcakes are a staple!)
The only downside comment I would share at this post is that the serving is quite small for the price of the dish. Good thing the food taste good otherwise I would even call it expensive.

Well, we all have to pay for quality and the food here at Mom & Tina's is nothing but that. I am raring to go back!

Mom & Tina's Bakery Café
FRDC Building
106 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave.
(C-5), Pasig City
Tel: 914-0833 or 571-1541

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice

Anyone going to Taiwan should NEVER miss getting this treats. They are absolutely the best nougat ever!

It was so good I almost finished the whole pack all by myself, totally forgetting about sharing it with my kids, and shutting down thoughts of toothache, waistline (I never cared about diet anyway) and blood sugar.
It's so sweet, milky and oh sooo chewy that I had sore jaws after. Haha.
Life is good!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

MoMo Cafe Eastwood City - Finally!

We've been to Eastwood City over a thousand times (especially since The Hubby worked in Eastwood for nearly 10 years) and have passed by MoMo Café in countless occasions. It's always one of the restos we list down when trying to decide where to dine on certain celebrations and gatherings, yet we've never picked it for some reasons.
Anyway, this one fine night when The Hubby and I managed to sneak from our kids and go out on a date (just the two of us, yehey!!!), we decided we'd try MoMo Cafe.
We were offered complimentary bread with cheese pimiento spread while waiting for our orders to be served. The very tasty spread is made from kesong puti (fresh white cheese) and pimiento (cherry pepper).
Our meal started with Herbed Pumpkin Cream and Bacon Bits soup. The serving is just for one but since I am not fond of soups, I just shared a few spoons as we didn't want to order another serving. The soup is thick and the taste of pumpkin is really prominent. For the price of Php150, I find the serving too small.
Herbed Pumpkin Cream and Bacon Bits soup, Php150
The Hubby ordered the MoMo Gourmet Salad which was recommended by the waiter. It's a combination of lettuce, tomatoes, sliced boiled egg, orange slices, grapes, candied walnut (I only saw one piece) and croutons topped with raspberry balsamic vinegar dressing. Allowing the waiter to pour the dressing for us was a big mistake as the dressing was too sweet (fruity) for my palate. The Hubby and I shared the salad but I couldn't even finish my portion as I already felt nauseous before I could eat half of what's on my plate. Nakakaumay to the max! Next time, I'll have the dressing served on the side instead. 
MoMo Gourmet, Php295
For the main course, the waiter suggested dishes from their House Specialties list which are all good for sharing. Nevertheless, I suggested we ordered 2 different dishes to try. The Hubby is a huge eater and maybe the 'to share dish' may just be enough for him. 
The Hubby had Baked Fish Enchilada which is 4 pieces of  Cajun-spiced fish, rice and red beans wrapped in tortilla and topped with Mornay sauce. This dish looks plain and light from the plate but it's actually very filling. I find the fish inside the tortilla a tad small though; I was already halfway through the enchilada before I finally found fish.
Baked Fish Enchilada, Php325

My order was Smokey Burnt BBQ "Beans & Franks" which is according to their menu description is a frankfurter, 2 kinds of beans, double smoked bacon party rice and coleslaw. I really liked the cup of beans which were also topped with melted cheese. The franks was grilled to juicy perfection and went perfectly with the party rice. However, I have to ask, "where is the double smoked bacon?". Really, I didn't find bacon in the dish, not even the taste of it. Did they forget? And by the way, this is NOT for sharing unless toddlers are eating.

Smokey Burnt BBQ "Beans & Franks", Php295
We didn't have room for dessert (and I also want to eat dessert somewhere else) so we just finished the drinks we ordered. Dalandan Iced Tea shake and Iced Coffee for me (because no one can make me drink hot coffee).
When we received our change upon paying the bill, I was pleasantly surprised to get 2 pieces of ChocNut (my favorite so The Hubby didn't get his). Although I find the gesture cute, I wonder would it be better to give imported mints? ChocNut  and the restaurant theme of MoMo just doesn't seem to match. ChocNut is so Pinoy while there's nothing Pinoy in MoMo's dishes or it's restaurant interiors.

Anyway it's a good dining experience especially since it's my first time to try the restaurant and it's been a long time since The Hubby and I had a quiet dinner together. Next time we dine we'll try the pizza and pasta dishes.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

An Unplanned Pit Stop at Lake Caliraya

An unexpected hiccup in our road trip to Lucban, Quezon brought us to the beautiful Caliraya Lake where we got to experience the cool breeze of the mountain, lunch ala picnic style in a nipa hut by the lake and explore the beautiful Caliraya Lake by boat.

We were really annoyed to have come as far as Pagsanjan, Laguna only to learn that the bridge that would connect us to Lucban is under major repair and is closed to all types of vehicle. We were forced to go back and take the alternate and longer route to Quezon which is via Lumban, Laguna.

It turns out to be a blessing in disguise as that alternate route led us to an unscheduled stopover. The road to Caliraya was an uphill climb, and from our GPS map, we were going through the mountains. We didn't know we were heading to Caliraya Lake as who would have thought it's there 1200 feet above sea level.

Upon reaching what seems to be the highest point of the winding road, we saw a makeshift sign "Picnic Huts Here, Boat Ride Here" written by hand using black paint on a huge plywood. There were other cars stopping by and entering a sort of huge parking area covered in grass and surrounded by coconut trees.

We went it and we were welcomed by the inviting serenity of tables in nipa huts, tall coconut trees and the inviting view of the lake.

There are I think about 8 nipa huts all over the huge (we later learned the whole lot is about 2 hectares) property. The caretakers, a family entrusted by the owner to manage the area, offered us the table at the farthest side of the land, facing Caliraya Lake. The tables can be rented for Php300 per day each and parking is free. We were allowed to park in front of the hut too, which made it very convenient for us to unload our packed lunch.
It's the start of summer but it's cool and breezy at Caliraya. We were very comfortable even without any fans installed in the hut and enormously enjoyed our lunch of pork adobo, longganisa, tinapang bangus, pinakbet and fresh buko juice.

For a cheap price of Php15, the caretakers will pick coconut from one of the hundreds of trees in the property and serve it fresh with a straw. We ordered 10 fresh coconut and set aside the softdrinks we brought from Manila. After we finished the juice, we asked for the coconuts to be split open so we can enjoy the meat too. A drink and dessert for Php15!

After our sumptuous lunch, we were offered to take a tour of the lake by motor boat for Php1500 an hour. The boat's capacity is up to 20 people but since it's just 8 of us adults and 3 kids, I managed to haggle the price to Php1200.

The boat ride took us around Caliraya Lake bordering the towns of Lumban, Cavinti and Kalayaan Laguna. We were amazed by the number of resort-like private properties we saw around the lake. My google search later revealed Caliraya Lake is a man-made lake and most properties around the neighbourhood are owned by the rich and the famous of Manila.

this property is apparently owned by a General
(hmm, I smell something fishy)
We had a great time at this extra, unexpected stop and next time we come, we'll be more prepared. Perhaps we can go fishing or bring a tent as the caretakers said we can put up a tent for overnight stay. Tempting but not kid-friendly.
The only thing I didn't like here are the toilets. They only have 'dry toilet' which is the one with no water tank for flushing. They use the lake water to flush it.
I wish I could promote this "property" but it's unnamed so I can't recommend it.  I guess the easiest way to identify the location is it's the first lot you will see (to your left) upon reaching the peak of the road. I think the make shift sign can easily be missed but once you see the prominent signs of Caliraya Country Club then you have passed the "property".

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Green Tea Kit Kat!

A few years ago, The Hubby brought home a small pack of Kit Kat in green wrapper. It was from a colleague who just came from a trip to Japan. I asked Little Sister (who can read Japanese) to translate the label and found it to be a Wasabi Kit Kat! From then on I've been on a constant hunt for a unique Kit Kat flavor.

So it was a delight when my good friend Edwin brought home for me this Green Tea Kit Kat when he went to Tokyo a month ago.

The sweetness of the chocolate overshadows the slight bitterness of the green tea. For me it's great to go with coffee. I like this better than Wasabi.
My intensive Google search revealed that there are already over 200 hundred flavors! Wow! I want to find all of them. I want to try Kit Kat Soy Sauce and the slightly bizarre Kit Kat Grilled Corn flavor. Seriously? Yes!
Anyone going to The Land of the Rising Sun soon? Please let me know :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

MomGyver and the Leafy Headdress

I got the notice from Eone's school about their costume for their culminating program only a week before the event. I was busy preparing for my son Enoe's birthday party that I had to put aside Eone's costume.

Three days before the event she reminded me that she didnt have any headdress yet while pressing into my hands a sample photo of a girl wearing a headdress made of leaves. So taranta moment na naman. I quickly asked my mom to buy me the materials from Divi or even from our nearby market with specific instructions to get me floral wires and a leafy plastic plant. I was planning something like a leaf crown in Greek mythologies.

Something like this:

When my mom came back from her Divi trip, she delivered to my office the materials and I almost fell off my seat when I saw them, especially the leaves.
It was not what I want! It turned out Mommy's idea was to use the string 'leaves' but I inspected the material and they are actually flowers. Anyway, a desperate mom can improvise.
Also instead of floral wires, Mommy got green twist ties. Hahaha! OMG. What to do, right? So to be able to work with them, I braided the wires and put 2 braids together to make a thick headband.

After that, I dismantled the green flowers and tied them around the braided wires to make it look like leaves. I didnt have enough green flowers to complete the whole headdress so I put the long thin leaves around the to give it a fuller look.

When I finished the headdress, Eone was very excited and happy. She exclaimed, "It looks great, Mom! You're the best!". It made me want to make a dozen more!

On the day of their culminating program at school, I was very happy to see my daughter proudly wearing her leafy headdress. She knew hers was unique and pretty and a product of her mom's love and patience...
Another creation of her one and only MomGyver.

Friday, March 15, 2013

MomGyver and her Garlic Kangkong

I summoned The Hubby to the dining table to eat and he saw our fried pork chop staring sadly back at him. He murmurs, 'Eto lang?'. I rolled my eyes and quickly scanned our vegetable drawer in the fridge. The only thing I saw that is quick to cook is a bundle of Kangkong. Ah, another MomGyver moment!
I decided to stir-fry the Kangkong with lots of garlic for a quick veggie fix.

Here's how I did it:
1. Remove the leaves from the stem and rinse thoroughly. (Some prefer to include the upper stem. If you've tried the kangkong in Chowking, you'd notice they include the stems too).
2. Peel and mince about 6 cloves of garlic.
3. Pour cooking oil into a frying pan and saute the garlic. Stir in the kangkong leaves before the garlic turns brown or toasted (bec they might turn bitter).
4. Stir-fry continuously. Add about 5 teaspoons of water, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper to taste.
If you have a Garlic Magic Savor in your kitchen, add a teaspoon.
5. Remove from fire and serve immediately.

1 bundle of kangkong - Php5
Garlic, oil, pepper, salt, lpg - about Php10-15

Serves 2 persons.
An order of this in a restaurant costs about Php100 but you can cook this for a low cost of Php20!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wash and Drive Automated Car Wash

When I was a kid, I was very amused to see in the movies cars going through a passage way and emerging clean and shiny. As a child, anything automatic or robotic is something we associate high-tech, magic, and the rich and famous . Needless to say that I've always wanted to go through an automated car wash and enjoy the process while inside my car. Yeah, you can call me silly.

So imagine my delight when I saw a sign 'Wash N Drive' at the entrance of Village East Executive Homes along Felix Avenue in Cainta. I thought it's just an ordinary car wash establishment but when I saw the drive through set up, I knew it was an automated car wash.
I didn't tell The Hubby my discovery until yesterday when we had to have the SUV cleaned in a jiffy. Of course, we are suckers for anything new, fad or novelty.
Okay, so the assistant asked The Hubby to position the vehicle to their designated mark on the floor. After which, they immediately taped all the wipers, folded the side mirrors and asked us to lock the windows.
I reminded The Hubby twice about the window locks as we were with Eone and Enoe who both might get too excited (or scared) and open the windows accidentally.
We chose the AI Coating Wash as according to the technician, it can remove light scratches and the coat will make the rain water glide/slide smoothly off the paint. For a fee of Php180, it's quite expensive but it comes with free vacuum and tire black.
The entire process takes about 4 minutes, add another 15 minutes for drying and vacuum cleaning. Here's our video which I find funny because our daughter can't hide her amusement.
For the quality of the cleaning, I'd say manual cleaning is still better. After all, they also had to wipe the car dry so it shines like how they say it would.
It's hard to say if we're happy with whole experience. For one, the kids LOVED it. Were you able to count how many times my daughter exclaimed, "This is the coolest thing ever!!"? They enjoyed it like it was a ride at a carnival.
I'd say this might be worth a try just for the experience. If you have kids, they'd definitely love it.
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