Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Burger Brewster Beefed-up the Brew Indeed!


I'm not really a burger junkie, though I know my burgers pretty well, so do my kids who are probably the burger and pizza monsters at home.  In this post, I'm going to segue first from being a busy homey mom and try to be in the shoes of my kids and be a burger meister for a day.  


Not minding the travel to Marikina, I head of at Burger Brewster, located at the neighborhood of Hacienda Heights.  Instead of wallowing from restlessness and anxiety over the tons and ever growing chores I have to finish at home, I pictured myself scarfing down a juicy, savory burger.  

For many, burgers are the ultimate comfort food and I guess it holds true to these three friends who started to storm the kitchen and whipped up their own take on the Jucy Lucy Burger that is famous in Minneapolis.  Actually, the story of how the idea of putting up a burger joint was conceived after they have watched an episode of Man vs. Food and Juicy Lucy, also Jucy Lucy was the highlight.

Get Wen Cleansing Conditioner 350ml at a Discount Everytime You Buy a Proactiv Kit


Don't let a slew of hot issues dampen your summer. We do know because its warmer our oil glands tend to work overtime thus expect to see more oil and grease. A surge in oil also means there’s a higher chance of breakouts — on the face and the body.  Can I also mention, a climb in temperature means an increase in humidity, which equals sweaty, frizzy hair.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Vignettes from The Madrid Fusion Manila 2015


Held annually in Madrid, Spain, attended by elite chefs and experts in the culinary field to discuss trends, the evolution of tastes, and new food habits, Madrid Fusion Manila marked its first ever event in the Philippines and now is making waves in the food industry evolution.  

Madrid Fusion Manila 2015 is now featuring the Gastronomy Congress along side the Trade Exhibition. A a nationwide month-long Flavors of the Philippines Festival have been also bringing foodies in the forefront of the food scene to complement Madrid Fusion-Manila. For the first edition, the event is envisioned to showcase an encounter between Spanish and Filipino chefs to celebrate more than 300 years of shared history. 

For the Gastronomy Congress, the target was to have 1,400 participants: 700 foreign delegates and 700 Philippine delegates and targeting more than 170 exhibitors from Spain and the Philippines for the Trade Exhibition.  Reported during the press briefing, all access were fully-booked making all the marketing and promotion effective.

I was one of the many who were given the privilege to see the trade exhibition on it's first day.  So allow me to indulge you with my photo report on what happened on the 24th of April at the trade fare of Madrid Fusion Manila 2015.






Friday, April 24, 2015

Reyna ng Aliwan 2015 Press Conference at Hotel Jen Manila


The search for festival queen heats up this summer’s celebration of the annual Aliwan Fiesta, with 21 young ladies representing various festivals all over the country  vying for the title of  Festival Queen, or Reyna ng Aliwan 2015  in glittering ceremonies that will be held on April 24 and 25.

Last April 23, these girls paraded at one of the cafe of Hotel Jen and was introduced to the media. Manila Broadcasting Company, which produces the annual cultural extravaganza in partnership with the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Cities of Manila and Pasay, has released the list of this year’s candidates.





















Jenny Aito will represent Pasay City.  Baguio is fielding Christine Joy Picardal, while the province of Isabela will be represented by Jaymie Lou Palermo.  Carrying the colors for Bulacan will be Genesis Jasmine Baul for Guiguinto  and Vianca Louise Marcelo for Malolos.  Quezon province is likewise sending two candidates:   Ma. Ahtisa Manalo of Candelaria and Ashanti Shane Ervas for Catanauan.

The Visayas are also pitching solidly for the crown.  Cebu will send Sinulog festival queen Julienne Hazel Penserga together with Gazini Christiana Ganados for the Palawod festival of Bantayan.  Iloilo will field Dinagyang festival queen Ariane Gabriela and the Paraw Regatta’s Angela Yagaya.  Camilla Mae Zanisi is representing Bacong,Negros Oriental, with Lalaine Iligan as the Sandurot festival muse of Dumaguete.  First-time Aliwan participant Samar is sending Cyril Valera.

From Mindanao,16-year-old Catalina Oralde will herald the beauty of the Zamboanga Hermosa festival, while Jezza Mae Lim carries the colors of General Santos City’s Kalilangan festival.  Doll-like Stephanie Joy Abellanida is the Halad festival muse from Midsayap, North Cotabato, with Normina Tomas representing the Shariff Kabunsuan festival of Cotabato.

Cebu has brought home the Reyna ng Aliwan crown for the past six consecutive years and has earned greater accolades with the triumphs of Miss Earth Jamie Herrell (2013 Reyna), BB. Pilipinas Supranational Rogelie Catacutan  (2011 Reyna),  2014 Bb. Pilipinas Mary Jean Lastimosa (2008 Reyna), 2013 Miss Tourism International Angeli Dione Gomez (2012 Reyna), and 2012 Miss Tourism International Rizzini Alexis Gomez (2010 Reyna).

This year’s pageant night, to be hosted by former Miss Earth Karla Henry and MBC’s Val Victa, will be held on April 24 at the outdoor stage in front of the Aliw Theater, with the coronation night following the grand parade on April 25.

Aliwan Fiesta 2015 is a project of Manila Broadcasting Company, Star City and the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in cooperation with the Cities of Manila and Pasay, with support from Globe Telecom, Pride Detergent, Unique Toothpaste, Tanduay Rhum, Dazz Dishwashing Paste, Coca Cola, Dunkin Donuts, My Juiz, M. Lhuillier, Cherry Mobile, Fukuda, and the Atrium Hotel.



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Potts Point Cafe Opens Second Branch at SM Mall of Asia


Over the years, Bhogs (my husband and my worst enemy) had developed the defensive tactic of selective hearing.  So, okay, the benefits of this are obvious- much less time wasted in attending to every fleeting hysterical fit his wife indulges in.  I, however, have in response mastered a technique of incremental amplification that have proven most effective in breaking down his defenses.   Well, I've realized this over when I was telling Bhogs of the new restaurants that I've tried over this quarter. We never really quarrel when we are talking about cars, but when I would show him a review for a new restaurant, he would act differently, trying so hard to fake listening, that's when I get him.  

However, I've noticed (though I'm sure he's sick of me telling stories of how a lamb shank was perfectly drizzled with with rosemary-infused gravy or about a new cupcake flavor) when I told him about restaurants befriending local farmers, boom, I got his attention, this time I didn't get to throw a fit.  

This restaurant that I've been telling him really appealed to him and giving that spectral babble "we should try that restaurant soon," meant, though unadmittingly, he knows I'm doing him a favor of discovering good places to eat.

I was telling him about Potts Point Cafe.

I'm more happier telling him about Potts Point because it had its second branch opened at Mall of Asia, which is at Pasay City, where we live.  After all, he did promise me we will go and try all of the restos in MOA, hmmm, I guess I have to remind him that though.



I'm so honored to have been invited to the grand opening of the aforeknown cafe by Ace Azarraga, and the company who runs Potts Points, TOSH, Swenzen and Shrimp Shack.  

Can I simply say I love Potts Point.  For one, they are the only restaurant serving real organic and whole foods in MOA.  Also, the distinct not-so-Filipino familiar tastes yet comforting flavors, those dishes that look gorgeous and ready for an Instagram feed that's on the menu.

I had my first bite of their best-sellers at their Eastwood Mall branch, you can read my story by clicking the link below:


On the opening, with the ribbon-cutting and all, invited media were able to sample on a degustation menu curated-enough to delight both non-organic and organic food believers. 


Aside from being an organic food serving cafe, Potts Point is let me tell you, Australian in nature. This spanky cafe and its menu were inspired from the sophisticated and vibrant foodie side of Sydney, which happens to be its namesake.  So, expect your plate to go along with their Aussie inspiration.  

I started the feasting with a cold glass of fresh juices from pineapple, spinach, cucumber and orange. I sometimes connote organic with healthy, and this I might say is just one of the reasons why- beautifully curated fresh juice concoctions.


The first dish served to our table was rather thought-provoking. 

Shakshuka.

Wait, don't be scared, I'm not using any voodoo or attempting to curse you with some weird language.  Shakshuka, is the name of this dish served on a hot pot with toasts.  Wierd enough, I thought the menu calls for Australian type of cuisine, so why a Mediterranean staple? 

The word though is Arabic, meaning a mixture. This delish tomato-based sauce crowned with poached eggs and amplified with cumin.  Often eaten at breakfast, this dish prepares your palate for more rich, sauce-laden dishes, since it's slightly spiced and a wee tangy.  


I thought I was a bit okay with the first dish till this soup came along, and I was smitten with it's look. Well, it kinda have that fancy flare with the truffle foam afloat.  I'm always amazed with dishes using molecular gastronomy where simple soups are turned to, well, this...Cream of Organic Cauliflower Soup with Truffle Foam.

Every spoonful were comforting brought right at home, though, to be honest, it's my first time to have a soup out of a flower, cauliflower that is, oh yeah, it's organic cauliflower.


The feast kept on getting better...

Thai Chopped Salad With Grilled Chicken, Crispy Wonton and Pomelo then graced our table, and as always when there's salad, I'm one happy camper.  Underneath those grilled juicy chicken strips and fried wontons are freshly sliced salad greens and pomelo bits relished with Asian vinaigrette.  

My companions on the table might probably be talking about me and how I devoured what was left of the salad.


Next on our degustation list -Australian Grass-fed All Beef Burger with Australian Cheddar, Pickled Beets, Olive Oil Aioli and House-made Brioche Bun with Baked Sweet Potato Wedges (with Egg) 

Do I still have to describe the next plate "este" wooden tray?
Okay!  One word!?!
Mouthful...
It's a complete meal in itself, you know, and quite heavy for a petite one like me.


Before I muttered being full (burped!, "scusa") the Roast Australian Lamb with Bone Marrow Rice and Demiglace was placed beside my plate, as our table gets full by the minute.
I don't know about you, but the sound of Australian lamb, bone marrow and, ah, demiglace, excite me, or maybe it's just me.

Let me deconstruct this lovely organic plate for you...the perfectly roasted Australian lamb is set on a bed of organic brown rice seasoned with bone marrow sauce and all were drizzled with demi-glace.  

French-cooking 101 for you my dear readers, a demi-glace (pronounced as "demi-GLASS") also known as demiglaze, is satiny, flavorful sauce used to glaze or as a sauce to red meats.  It's a reduction of basic brown sauce co-mixed with a half of brown stock.

 

My seat-mate's watermelon, kiwi and mint juice.


Before you judge this plate by how it looks, let me first say the linguine is consummately coated with Dill Cream Sauce, which is surprisingly subtly sweet.  
The Salmon Linguine with Capers in Dill Cream Sauce is a new fish-pasta that you have to try as a barter from your regular tomato-based or white sauced pasta dishes.  Who doesn't want salmon, especially the pink Norwegian ones, it was a surprise to me that it complemented well enough to the whole dish, however, I would prefer seeing olives than capers.


We ended the sumptuous lunch with two sampling of their desserts.  We had English Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice cream and Strawberry, Kiwi and Mango Trifle with Light Vanilla Custard and Cookie Crumble.

When it comes to sweets, I thought myself to be a bit peevish.  I used to love them all sweets, but at my age, health comes first, thus it was easy for me to stay away from the pudding for as the name suggests it's definitely caramel-ly sweet.  I had my friends had the first taste, and when they said "too sweet", it was time to lower the flag.  If however you still want to try this, make sure to have bitesof the pudding and the vanilla ice cream all-together to lighten up the cloying taste from the toffee sauce.


On the other hand, the Strawberry, Kiwi and Mango Trifle with Light Vanilla Custard and Cookie Crumble is a treat, though I'd still prefer a home-made uniquely flavored frozen yogurt or fresh fruit salad over this.

All in all, it was a great lunch and I'm coming back for their coffees, the menu states they are serving only Delano Specialty Roasted coffee, famous in Australia.

Lastly, a final note, hope my photos did not disappoint, I'm experimenting with my new Samsung K Zoom smartphone.





Potts Point Café 
2/F South Veranda, Entertainment Mall
SM Mall of Asia

Monday, April 20, 2015

Easter Moments Made More Precious at Century Park Hotel


The last time I thought of Easter, this song just popped into my stream.  Entitled Forever Reign sung by the peeps from Hillsong United.

You are good, You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost its sting

Oh, I'm running to Your arms,
I'm running to Your arms.
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

For me this summarizes how I see the Lord Jesus, encompassing all glory, who else have given himself up just for the love of a Father, the love for sinners, the love especial for you and me.  You see, Easter for me is God proving that He is the answer, not even suffering and death on the calvary can show that.  He has risen from death, from the death which was brought upon by our short-comings, faults and failures and missing the mark.  Out of this most precious event sprung forth life that comes from the Eternal giver, rich in love rich in all that we ever need.  


However, Easter is made joyous for kids with activities devised to give, to share joy and embrace hope symbolic in finding eggs during Easter.


Every year have been exciting for my girls as they get to scram across a room-full of eggs glamoured-up making the event just precious to them.  And we have Century Park Hotel to thank for this wonderful mommy-daughter time at Easter.  


Easter moments were made even more precious at Century Park Hotel as children together with their companions enjoyed the Easter event at the Grand Ballroom last Sunday, April 5, 2015 entitled “Precious Moments @ Century Park Hotel Easterland”. 


The celebration was supported by Trolli, Galinco (Egg Bites, Smiley’s Cookies, Chips Delight Chocolate Chip Cookies, & Chips Delight Chocolate Chip Brittle Brownie), Fun Ranch, Asia Brewery (Pascual Creamy Delight Yogurt, Vitamilk, Sunkist & Summit Mineral Water), Oishi (Choco Chug, Wafu sticks and Shoops), Leslie’s Cheezy Corn Crunch, Happee Toothpaste, Lemon Square Whatta Tops, Lotte Koala’s March, Toy Kingdom, Mentos, Yakult, J.Co Donuts and Coffee, Foremost Farms, Aficionado Perfumes, Enchanted Kingdom, Manila Ocean Park, Miramar Confectionary, URC (Mini Chocolate Pretzel, Choco Knots, Magic Jr., Fun-O Sandwich), Rebisco (Choco Mucho Minis, Chubby, Chunkie Cookie Cream Pie, Jiggels Jelly Juice, Lipps Pop Stix & Vita Cubes), HBW School Supplies, Ricoa (Big Top Chocolate candies and Fibisco Chocolate Chip Cookies), SM Store Harrison Plaza, our media partner, the Manila and our major partner, “Precious Moments”.


Among the highlights of the day were the favorite Easter activities such as the enchanting magic show, face painting, interactive kiddie games, coloring contest, mascot dance, bubble show and puppet show.  The most anticipated egg hunting activity was held in a separate venue to accommodate droves of attendees. Winners in each game were awarded stubs which they used to claim their surprise prizes from our participating sponsors.






All the children who attended the Easter event went home with smiles of contentment in their innocent faces because no one went home empty-handed since all the attendees received loots bags courtesy of our generous sponsors.











Look how happy these girls are with their eggs.

My niece Jaeda and my daughter, Danica
Blogger moms and kids with Erik, Assist. PR Manager and his assistant.
For more of the hotel promotions, you may call us at 528-8888 or log on to www.centurypark.com.ph.
The Century Park Hotel is owned and operated by Maranaw Hotels and Resort Corporation.