Monday, January 31, 2011

Chocolat (sho-coh-LAH): Why do I Love Thee?

I love thee. .  .
    not only because of the DEEP DARK CHOCOLATES you serve, 
  but also for making me and hubby enjoy the "sweetness of the      chocolates and its effects. . ."

Tiramisu P 80 / slice,  Layers of cream cheese and home-made lady fingers soaked in coffee and rhum

Deep Dark Classic P60/slice, Super moist choco cake generously draped  with satin fudge frosting

   and also for giving my youngest daughter her sweet-toothed indulgence

Chocolate Hazelnut P 75/ slice, choco cake with hazelnut spread filling, topped with hazelnut choco cubes

   and more so for considering serving a confection for my daughter who could not afford to have sugar in her     kiddie diet 

Sugar-free Chocolate Mousse P75/slice
     Luxuraite with the  chocolatey coziness of their bakeshops and cafes.  De-stress with Chocolat's Signature Chocolate Cakes such as Kahlua, Bailey's Chocolate, Chocolate Caramel and Death by Tablea.   Other specialty cakes include Sugar-free Mousses in Chocolate and  Strawberry, just what we need to reward my diabetic Dana.   They also have cheesecakes, which I will be trying the next time I visit their Mall of Asia branch.   On our first visit we also tried their cakes with the house special cappuccino and a cup of very comforting Tablea Tsokolate.

Visit their website for more informations.

Friday, January 28, 2011

First Take on Angel's Pizza Station

Me, my hubby and two of my kids love pizza.
I have been an old fan of Pizza Hut and my family, Calipes Family, have wonderful memories with Shakey's.   We've tried to make our own for "meryenda."    We've tried to eat different variations of pizza at almost anywhere, were they would offer the pie on their menu.   From cheap take-outs to expensive diners, yet more and more restaurants are offering different kicks to enjoy the renowned Italian pie.
It was early January where we met a blogger at a certain event, he gave both me and Dan, a VIP card from Angel's Pizza and Pasta.   That's how we were introduced to this pizza.
I was pondering on how this pizza could survive a market who is accustomed to the BIG names in the pizza industry in our country.
How can this pizza be any different  from the usual...?
With their several branches nationwide we tried it out at Golf City, Pasig, just last night.
The store as can be viewed on the main entrance of a building, looks like a takeout center, were you see big ovens.   Not until we asked a staff, we wouldn't know that there is a place to dine in.   An alley leading to a white door will take you there.   Has about 10 to 15 seating capacities including the place outside, a veranda I've guessed.
Not only were we there for the taste of the pizza but also for the promos on the VIP card that was given to us.
On with the pizza, we ordered Angel's Extra Feast in Medium size and  Family Angel's Delight.   Since we have a promo or discount card we were able to get the medium pizza for free.    We decided to have the Family pizza to be taken out as "pasalubong" for our kids.   After about 12 minutes we got our Angel's Extra Feast.   It looked really yummy and indeed it was.   Unlike other famous pizza parlors their crust was tossed so finely that it is not that thick, easy on the teeth and crunchy at the bottom.   It is not greasy, what I sometimes hate eating pizza slices was when you bite it, part of the oil on the crust, gushes out an drips on your lips and you get oils on your fingers, that is if you eat pizzas with bare hands.
The sauce has the right spice to it, it is not sour nor sweet, nor too salty.  I like it.   The toppings are overwhelmingly luscious.   However, they put a little grated mozzarella cheese, hopefully they put more next time.

After enjoying our pizza, we left the place and headed home, pizza monsters are waiting for us.   To my disappointment the Family pizza we ordered does not look so inviting.   There are a few toppings.   The sides are sooo big, that we could not eat it, looks like an ordinary bread to us, wishing it has something hidden inside like sauce or cheese, heheh.   To be honest, we can count the toppings.   But my kids has nothing to say, all they know is that we have pizza and still tasted good.   But they said Pizza Hut was their choice.   I'll definitely bring them next time to Yellow Cab.
With this horrendous experience would I still buy pizza with them?   Maybe I would, I still have to try their thin crust pizzas and Calzones  or maybe other branch would not be as bad as this one.   Hopefully they would not serve this way to anyone, I do care about having free pizzas and all, but they have to remember that they will still be selling even after the promo ends.   People will consider the quality more than the quantity, I'm not speaking for everybody but I would rather enjoy what I am putting in my mouth rather than keeping my stomach full, but of course my eyes and nose will still have to be sufficed in the process.

Love the wall paintings of their angel logo.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Just Sharing a Bit of Love for Nutella

World Nutella Day Celebrates 5th Anniversary!

Thousands of bloggers and fans worldwide celebrate Italy's edible treasure with online and offline tributes for the 5th anniversary of World Nutella Day on February 5, 2011.  Milan, Italy January 25, 2011 - On February 5, 2011, thousands of fans around the world will once again celebrate their love for one of Italy's national, edible treasures: Nutella. 

This year's event will be the 5th annual World Nutella Day honoring the chocolate-hazelnut spread; American writers in Italy Sara Rosso and Michelle Fabio began the holiday in 2007 to encourage Nutella enthusiasts worldwide to enjoy and get creative with Nutella.  Although many Italian and other European children fall in love with Nutella from an early
age, the spread is just really hitting English-speaking markets and around the world; no
matter how old you are the first time you try Nutella, though, the excitement is palpable
and memorable. World Nutella Day is the perfect day for adults everywhere to experience a second childhood and discover Nutella.

Online tributes to the sweet treat in previous years have included homemade recipes,
picture collages, and even haikus. Also at, the online home of the event,
fans can find the top collection of Nutella recipes -- over 500 ways to enjoy Nutella in
everything from cookies and cupcakes to drinks and pizza as well as Nutella substitute
recipes for those who would like to make their own homemade version.

"Thanks to World Nutella Day, we've seen a sharp increase in Nutella's buzz online, and it's
all fan-driven! Google's search volume for Nutella has more than doubled in the past 5
years, and there was no Nutella recipe search traffic before World Nutella Day. Now we're
the #1 source of Nutella recipes on the web," said co-host Sara Rosso.

This year, hosts Sara and Michelle have several messages about real live World Nutella Day
parties being organized by Nutella Day fans all over the world; more suggestions on how
you can celebrate wherever you are can be found at

"Although Nutella execs have long positioned the spread as a breakfast food, World Nutella
Day fans have made clear that one of life's sweetest pleasures is discovering new ways to
incorporate Nutella into old recipes -- and we're here to encourage that," adds co-host
Michelle Fabio.

About World Nutella Day:
World Nutella Day, was created in 2007 by Sara Rosso, an American
writer living in Italy, and is currently co-hosted by Sara and Michelle Fabio, another American writer living in Italy. Lovers of Nutella get creative with the chocolaty-hazelnut
spread and blog about their creations or send in recipes and photos. 

Aside from the website, which boasts a list of more than 500 Nutella recipes from all over the globe, World Nutella Day can also be found @nutelladay on Twitter and on Facebook at World Nutella Day's Facebook fan page has over 14,000 fans and growing quickly, with fans from all over the world: from Kuwait to France to the Philippines; 75% of fans are women and 68% of all fans are between 18-44.

About Sara Rosso:
Sara Rosso is an American digital strategist, writer and photographer living in Milan, Italy.
She writes about food at Ms. Adventures in Italy, and about tech talk and growing your
business at When I Have Her photography has been published in The Wall Street Journal and La Cucina Italiana, and links to her other online projects can be found at
She tried Nutella on her first trip to Italy in 1994 and tried not to gain the “Nutella 15″ when studying abroad years later. She’s been living in Italy since 2003. Sara can be reached via @rosso on Twitter and

About Michelle Fabio:
Michelle Fabio is an American freelance writer and attorney who has lived in her family’s
ancestral village in Calabria, Italy since 2003; she blogs at Bleeding Espresso and at Goat
Berries. Michelle is also The New York Times Company's Guide to Law School
and official blogger for LegalZoom. 

She tried Nutella for the first time in Italy in 2002 and wonders how she ever ate fresh
bread without it. Michelle can be reached via @michellefabio on Twitter and

Press Contact for World Nutella Day:
Sara Rosso, founder World Nutella Day

Ferrero S.p.A. is not officially involved with World Nutella Day, nor are the organizers
compensated in any way for organizing it; World Nutella Day is truly a labor of love for the
tasty treat.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nutella by Dana Banana

One time my son chatted with my brother who was in Italy, he was asked by my brother what he might want , coz' a friend of them will be visiting Manila.   And guess what my son asked, a big bottle of Nutella. 
Don't get me wrong, we do have Nutella here, which can be bought at some groceries or supermarkets.    It just surprised me that my brother did sent us a medium sized bottle of it.
Like good peanut butters it is really best eaten on a spoon, well my kids find it fun tasting with their fingers as in fingers.   We usually spread it on breads.   But my daughter Dana, discovered it is eaten best with bananas, just dipping it in, oh no in the bottle.   I think it works well with some other fruits like hmmm, my favorite strawberries.   I still have to find out myself what other fruits would really compliment the hazel-nutty flavor of the chocolate treat.

I did use it in some of my baked goodies.

Here I used it to top my brownies instead of the usual chocolate frosting.

Before, I mixed it in a muffin batter and make Hazelnut Chocolate Marble Muffin.

I will  come up with more recipes involving my kids love with this spread and will post it this link: so do follow me also here.
I have posted a few easy to do recipes for you to enjoy,  questions will be gladly entertained, so feel free to leave a comment in both my blog sites.  : )

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Non-chain Coffee House Try Out: First Challenge at Sugar Bites

A long, tiring and a bit boring  day at home business needs an upper before surrendering for a night.   My husband invited me to go out for a breather, a short coffee break or a quick whole body massage at a near spa.   I was supposed to steal a moment  to get a buzz on the "Weddings and Beyond Expo at PICC Grounds, however, the weather today was a bit challenging and late meetings occurred.   My plan for the day was ruined.   Here came to rescue was an invite that's hard to resist.

So we left the kids and drove to SM Sucat.   I opted to have coffee and pastry though since I was trying to gain weight and maybe do a little net surfing, a reason I need to have some caffeine.   Every time we go to SM Sucat, I'd see a Coffee shop at the other side of the road, just outside AVIDA condo, and have been wanting to try whatever they could offer.
We would usually go to Starbucks for coffee sessions late at night, but this time we wanted to try out something that has not been branded.   First stop for this year: Sugar Bites.   Let me correct my self, I thought the place was a mere coffee shop, it was a restaurant after all.   Could I have known, we might have had a dinner here.   But the whole adventure was pleasing and satisfying.   If I were to recommend it, I'd definitely would.    So we were there for the coffee, but when we've sat, one of the staff gave as a menu, they have all, from appetizers, local dishes, pasta, drinks, desserts and of course cold, mixed and hot coffees. 

I got myself a white choco mocha, a hot coffee mixed with white choco.   Love, love the presentation.
Starbucks don't have this... A slice of strawberry cake to go with it, funny though it was topped with a cherry.   The cake was pink and moist, the topping was jelly-like and really tasted like strawberry flavor, like what i use for my strawberry cupcakes and pies.  It has sidings of marbled chocolate.  It was not too sweet for me and my hubby.

I couldn't resist the mousse cakes arrayed on their display glass, they only have three, since it was about to be 10 in the evening.   So we got to try the "pandan mousse cake. "   It was big enough for two to three people to share with, however it is not a good accompaniment for their coffee mixes like the ones we had.   Brewed coffee and tea may be good for it.   The cake was light-green in color resembling pandan flavor, cake and mousse layered topped with a sort of pandan jelly and white chocolate served on a chocolate cup-like.   This is an one of a kind mousse, very native, colorful yet flavorful.  I've always loved pandan not only for it's unusual flavour and essence but for medicinal benefits as well.

Not to mention, what my hubby got for his cup,  the usual cappuccino.   To make it more playful and unique, they used transparent beer mugs to make it even livelier, the cappuccino was sprinkled with cinnamon.

 Another thing,  the whole site was inviting yet relaxing,  clean and spacious, the interior was chic and modern.  Parking spaces are available.  It opens  early and closes at 11 pm.   They also have a bread rack so you can take home, their pan de sal, specialty breads and tikoy, I even brought home a box of white tikoy for my kids.

Wishing we could visit the place again for bounty dishes and maybe try out their breads and other cakes.   And hoping we could visit another place like this!   More coffee please...

Sugar Bites Restaurant
Dr. A Santos Ave. Sucat, Paranaque City
Telephone Nos: 782-4577 or 8288332

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An Ode to Desserts

Panettone and Pandoro: Confectionery Adventure

Milano's Classic Christmas Cake!

 Panettone is a tall, cylindrical, fruit-filled sweet bread from Milan which has become an essential part of their  Christmas season, and has been mine as well for years now.    Just like how we treat Fruit Cake here in the Philippines, it has been Italian's custom to gift it.   In these case, my parents had their share or shares, yip. Good-natured Filipinos liked by Italians as workers and neighbor, often receive abundance, it doesn't benefit them though because both my parents are diabetics.   So I am the one benefiting, they send them all to me...I'm so blessed!
 In olden Italian times, they make it  two months in advance, wrap it tightly in heavy-duty foil and freeze it.  Since the bread-making begins with a starter dough,  or sponge, and requires a long rising time, it was best done beginning  the process in the evening before baking or early in the day.

There are many variations of a romantic legend
about the origins of panettone.  Supposedly, there
was a Milanese baker named  Toni who had a beautiful daughter.  A youngman   who worked for Toni wanted to marry this daughter.  In an attempt to win the father's approval, the young man created a special sweet bread filled with fruits and other rich ingredients.  The bread made Toni's bakery famous.  People began to call the bread "pan ad Toni" or Toni's bread.    Toni became wealthy and, needless to    say,  allowed the  young man to marry his daughter.

Let me tell you why I love this bread or cake,  first, it's always wrapped or boxed elegantly.  Second, when you open the box, you right away would smell the extract of the vanilla and the beautiful, citrusy scent and the mix of a very good wine.   MMM...magical.   Third,   the round loaf sits on a decorative paper mold.   Fourth, slicing it is dreamy, you can see the candied citrus peels,  dried fruit medley and others would have nuts.   And lastly, EATING it!  

I'm actually eating a slice while I'm typing these words.   The bread is more like the texture of a special ensaimada, soft and fresh, considering that it was preserved, though the liquor is not strong, sweet yes but not too much like a cake.   I don't actually like fruit cakes, but I like the one a friend of us makes and sells a bit expensive, well, it is home-made and quality is satisfactory.  Compared to fruit cakes, this one wins.

During the Christmas season, Italians eat panettone  at breakfast with coffee, between
meals with Marsala wine, and after dinner with Spumante.
Panettone can be toasted and spread with butter or mascarpone cheese for breakfast or used to make a  wonderful French toast.

Last year we saw "baby" panettone or the mini/cupcake version at Rustans Grocery, Rockwell.  Costing about P150.

I was able to find an online store where they actually can order  for you and have it delivered at your home.
Here is the link:

This cake is again a Christmas specialty but from Verona and is as famous as panettone.   It is 
shaped like a frustum with an 8 pointed-star section.  When you slice it across you'll have a star cake.  It normally comes with a packet of  powdered sugar, lemon or vanilla flavor, I think they also come in other flavors, I'm not sure.  The sugar is dusted either on the top of the cake or on the sliced cake.

Pan d'oro, historically, means "golden bread."   In the middle ages sweet breads such as these were only served to noble or royal people.  However, it was in Venice were it gained the name Pandoro and where it had developed and had been in the cuisine of the Venetian aristocracy as a dessert.


The process in making Pandoro is the same as that of the Panettone, except, it doesn't have the fix in.    It is a plain sweet bread/cake, very light and a bit airy, smells very buttery and a slight vanilla essence.  Italians serve it with cream or gelato on top or on the side.                                                                                                                                

It was in Verona  when this dessert bread began  when Domenico Melegatti obtained a patent for a procedure to be applied in producing Pandoro commercially.

In the picture is a new product from Melegatti. Could you imagine that, I have an original Melegatti Pandoro on our dining table.

" Un nuovo Pandoro ricoperto di cioccolato extra  
fondente e farcito con delicata crema chantilly."
A new Pandoro covered with chocolate extra
melting and stuffed with delicate chantilly cream.

 I will soon post several recipes with pictures, of course, highlighting these faves of mine.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Green Hornet in 3D : The Premiere

 SM Cinema once again hosted an awesome premiere at SM Megamall Cinema 1.

     On the said event, a red-carpet premier,  are sponsors who all helped which made  it possible and exciting!  Never left my tummy neglected with all those food being given to guests.   There is one of my favorite pizza station, Yellow Cab Pizza Co., giving away NY Classic pizza.   Nearby is Fruit Magic, with their table armed with blenders and fruits, and sampled Strawberry Banana Shake.   I've been actually awaiting to make a dessert from strawberry and yes finally strawberries!   Then there's Yoshinoya, giving out choices of beef gyudon, chicken katsudon and  chicken teriyaki in take-out bowls.  I've always loved Japanese rice bowls before going to movies and have visited a lot of Yoshinoya branches, and my husband and I loved their recipes.  Also, ANGEL Kremedensada, took part in the event.   I was actually unaware that the fruit salad the Yoshinoya staffs were giving away was from Angel Kremedensada , I thought they have added the dessert in their menu.   I haven't actually used that product yet in my cooking, nevertheless the taste and texture of having a condensed milk and cream in one can , can be that glorious.   The last but not the least was Krispy Creme's booth.  Had to have someone take a picture of me with their limited doughnut creation and a green mask, hehehe.


 The Original Glazed doughnut hand dipped in smooth bubble gum flavored green and white icing .

Jay Chou, as Kato, now my favorite Asian, martial arts hero, who happened to be the Green Hornet's (Britt Reid) side-kick.  Kato, also known as the chauffeur, the nameless "super-hero" who makes the best cup of joe who had been the brain in the "xiong di" relationship.  "Xiong di" according to him is brother, as what he considers Britt.  I  like what Britt calls him,   "human Swiss Army knife."   Well he is so adorable, especially when he sang on their first night roll.
I'm not sure if this is true, but I've heard he is also a singer.

About the Green Hornet himself though, he is a prick , an overly childish, rich and repressed guy.  Torn by his father's view of a failure in him and had eventually came out of his shell, discovering the shadows behind the crime in the city as what had been perplexed in their newspaper company, The Daily Sentinel, and the death of his father.

The movie somehow had been over headed with jam-packed technology, action and comic pulp.  But this too, shows heart, we really can not mislead ourselves knowing we are always on top, like being rich or famous, at the end of the movie, the tie that had bonded Britt and Kato, saved both their lives and the city.  

All in all, I spelled the movie in three letters.
  F - U - N.
Michel Gondry, had put fun in action!

Guess what glasses I'm donning, 3D glasses.  Yip, sure is ready to enjoy the 3D movie of 2011, starting off with THE GREEN HORNET. 

Here I am enjoying my share of the green iced sting Krispy Creme doghnuts!

So do enjoy the movie at SM 3D Cinemas Nationwide.   
Click here to get movie and ticketing details.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ocean's Surf at Marriott Cafe Equals "Zuverlässig" Dining

Dive into an entire buffet spread of ocean treasures prepared just the way you like it as Marriott Café brings Ocean’s Surf. Combining the finest of seafood and meat choices, it will surely stimulate another exciting weekend of gastronomic dinner with the whole family for only Php 1750  nett.

Available every Friday and Saturday dinner.  " Let's not forget about the kids, Hon."   For PHP 875 nett ,children can enjoy the buffet too.   Here is a deal you won't overleap, children below 12  get in for half the price while children below 6 get in for free!

Here is a way to indulge your eyes with what Marriot Cafe is cooking up, where Chef   Meik Krammer  of Germany,   leads the kitchen.

But what could be even gratifying is to come here at Marriott Cafe experience the Ocean's Surf
and let your senses be the judge!
NTBN:   Zuverlässig is a German word meaning good!

Ocean's Surf as Marriott hotel boasts . . .

Loaded with irresistible line up of fresh starters on ice such as rock lobster, oysters, clams, shrimps, and seafood salad, it is bound to be a thrilling weekend feast. Gorge everything fresh or with exciting twist from the chefs to kick off the experience.  Move on to the hot section and explore the finest seafood selections in all forms and sizes, blanched in sumptuous shell fish broth complemented with delectable dips and sauces. For pasta lovers, let the expert chefs whip up a tasty seafood pasta dish or satiate the palate with certified pasta recipes such as the stuffed ravioli with shrimps or homemade tortellini with tuna mousse.