Saturday, March 26, 2011

In Affirmation of Earth Hour 2011

Earth Hour is organized by WWF. With almost 5 million supporters and a global network in over 100 countries/territories, it’s one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony with nature.

According to them there are 1600 towns and cities participating here in the Philippines and in the Facebook alone, more than a thousand of its Filipino fans have confirmed.   Our family joined in advocating the means of WWF to let people all over the world know  that our planet needs us.  
 Beforehand, we informed our children and our employees what we will be doing  for Saturday night.   Yesterday, at 8:30 in the evening after we  had our supper, we switched off every light that we use at night, including appliances until 10:00, going beyond the hour.   
In lieu of this I made sure my husband will be getting a sweet and healthy treat from our kitchen, while my two kids have fun playing with their toys that lit up and flashlights.

This is our dessert in darkness,  Minty Melon Balls topped with Whipped Cream

I just shaped melon meat into balls, put in a bowl put slices of fresh mint leaves and topped with chilled cream from from the fridge. 

A Floral Feast: A Chocolate Appreciation 101 Class

     Have you ever wondered how flowers would taste?  When I was a kid we would always play with santan, no we never ate the flower or the petals (or not that I could remember), just the sap that you get when you pull out the filament inside the tiny stem.  I have heard and read in an article that a famous garden restaurant in Tagaytay serves salad with flowers.  Another resto famous among the elites is Ilustrado that makes their own Sampaguita-flavored ice cream.  How about a cup of steamy hot tea, infused with lavander, camomile or echinacea.    If you haven't tried everything I just mentioned, how can you even fathom this,  a flowery flavor on your chocolate or  the flower itself on your chocolates and pastries...
Oh no, I haven't tried all that I mentioned, only about three of those.   Of course, the last one was the most exciting.   Can anybody tell me, who does not like chocolate?  Honestly? If you could, then I'll treat you at Heavenly Chocolates and I will try to have him or her try chocolate after attending the talk we had with "The Chocoevangelist" Marga Manlapig.
     At the second floor of Heavenly Chocolates in Roces Avenue, was an awe-inspiring, mind-boggling and tongue-delighting seminar was held.  It was all about chocolates, its origin, health benefits, all the irony in its history and the different kinds of chocolate.   Marga also tackled a bit about the process involved in developing the finest quality down to the choco-mani.   Marga (the one standing in the picture) going about and around the room showing us bits and nips of choco infos, gave us a very relevant yet lively and very interesting talk.  

    The four pictures above are some of the samples of the different chocolates high-lighted and  we had tasted them.   First on the list was the Single-origin Ecuador hot chocolate.  A bit strong choco-bittery taste but smooth and can aid smokers who wants to quit smoking.  Coming from Ecuador, knowing that they produce the largest quantity of tobacco, the cocoa trees have been interplanted with it, thus the cocoa has a hint of nicotine in it.
   The second was the single origin Madagascar Hot Choco.   Oh this one is majestic!   With its fruity, velvety smooth and floral smell, the exotic cocoa made into a drink has a raisin taste with a bit of hazelnut and fig.   Exotic because this is one of the rarest chocolate in the world.
   Then Japanese chocolates.   The SACHI NAMA were then passed on, two kinds, the milk nama and the flower-infused  cream filled nama. Thank God we will never run out of  Nama from Japan, though the country now is suffering tremendously due to the outcome of the earthquake and tsunami, the production comes from far were the hit was grave.  
   Last but not the least, the Summer shortbread.   The pastry bar topped with dark chocolate ganache in which a French lavander sugar was laced on it.  
By the way all that was served to us, scrumptious as they truly are , can be bought at their cafe.
Visual Aids
    A charming acquaintance after the seminar.   Heavenly Chocolates conducts seminars about chocolates for FREE!  You never know what you will learn next after this seminar.   There is actually a lot of things we are to know about it.   I would even suggest we plant our own "Kakaw trees," why?  You have to come then to the next Chocolate Appreciation Talk.  They will have another soon.  Check the bottom for infos on how to reach them. 
    Capturing fun-time moments with my hubby at the cafe while waiting for our Chocolate pizza, cookies and cream coffee shake and choco espresso shake.  This is also the first time I attended with my daughter Danielle, who is now 13 years old and she had a great time with her cousin, Yngwie.
Just some of the glorious and heavenly chocolate samples.
     THE CHOCOLATE PIZZA!!!!   Too bad my daughter took the micron shot, it would have been so tempting to see the whole pizza.   Observe the brown liquid at the corner?  Yes it is pure chocolate.   A chocolate pizza as what have explained to us, is their own crust, topped with dark chocolate ganache, then sprinkled with fried bacon chips and slivered almonds.  Oh, when we were eating the slices inside the car while on the road, it was like "chocolate ecstacy,"  Summing up the afternoon, words about chocolates, samples of the worlds finest quality chocolates, the ambiance in  Heavenly Chocolates and our shakes and the dark choco pizza.   Heaven on earth!

Address:  Heavenly Chocolates
127 Alejandro Roces Avenue. , Quezon City
It is perpendicular to Tomas Morato Ave.

Eurotel Caters

Finally, after  much debate and countless trips to "where to places", we had finally decided.  My daughter's 7th Princess Themed Birthday Party is said to be held here at Eurotel, Chino Roces corner  Arnaiz Ave.
We finally were able to check out what's on the birthday package that was offered to us.   We were also able to savor some of the items on the menu.   The buffet is really something to look forward to!

 The pictures of the food we were able to munch on are the ones included for the adult buffet table.   Every food was delightful, the one that really caught my interest was the veggie dish that has a creamy white  sauce.

 Chicken Alexander
 Pork Pot Roast
  Crunchy Pork Chops
The hall were fun begins!

Friday, March 25, 2011

FRUI-QUET Healthy and Heavenly Delights

     Still celebrating my birth-month and  having to celebrate it with my friends, my sis-in-law and my daughter, Danielle, who also have birthdays on March, has been an exciting and exhilarating process.  Ideas on what to give them, where to bring them or how I'll make their day truly special, as what I would want my birthday to be, has been thought-provoking.  
    A bouquet of flowers or chocolates are quintessential gifts since time immemorial.   Today is an era of novel  ideas that would bring more "wows" to any occasion or happenings.    Don't get me wrong a dreamy occasion  needs to be dressed up with flowers, bunch of them would even pump up the feeling it brings.   However, as the song says, flowers fade.   Another trend is to give home-made baked goodies in sassy boxes, such as brownies and cupcakes or even expensive cakes and chocolates.   But don't you get tired of them.   I used to bake and I do love to give them as gifts but then I don't have the time and the strength to do them anymore plus my eating lifestyle has changed since we discovered about my daughter's diabetic condition.    So when I give something for someone that is dear to me,  I put in mind what would be best for their health.
Well "orange" you glad fruits are in and have proved to be objects of endearment!
Let me introduce,  considered to be the first in the Philippines, "fresh and fruity creations for every occasion,"
    I had the honor to talk to the owners of the shop.  Being experts in the field of corporate industry, the couple,  Alan and Noeme Supnet shared how they begun.  Started out in July, so far they have gathered enough customers and have been invited to some TV appearances and interviews from news prints.  They are actually thinking of branching out to reach more clients and now making turns on closing bids with some corporate accounts.  The idea was from Noeme's trip to the US.  Fruit Bouquet (that's were they got their name), is so popular in the States and brought home samples to study.   Eventually, she drew the idea and took classes in Virginia, on fruit and vegetable carving.  With skills, an eye for art and style, love for healthy foods, Noeme works the magic and creates fantastic designs that would totally fit any occasion.   From the box, the plastic wrapper and the gift card, all have been carefully thought of.  I do believe, they make sure also, the freshness of the fruits they use.  What is more appealing is that they can customize the fruiquet for you.  For a more fanciful design you can choose from different mugs to carry the bouquet.  One can also add balloons, teddy bears,  pictures and own messages.   For a more befitting present, you can also put a bottle of wine and their own Chocolate Fondue dip on a jar. 
 To seal in the freshness of their creations, this is how it is going to be delivered to the recipient.
 In the picture are me, my husband and our cuties, enjoying Picole inside Frui-Quet shop.
 Parking space is available for drop-bys and walk ins.  And you wont miss it cause it is easy to find, just ahead of Banapple Cafe.
    My sister-in-law, Lhen Felizardo (Senior Executive Officer of UCPB), enjoying her gift.  And it was well appreciated.   To let you know, this is my second order, the first one was for my best-friend's birthday, owner of TRISHCA Store and SSA Head of Administration, Tricia Montinola.    She told me that it was a wonderful surprise and have called me, to tell me, she ate it already with much delight!   This will definitely not my last!

Address:   221-D Katipunan Ave., Project 4,
Quezon City
Call them at:   794-5999 or 09178183008

What's Brewing, Sam Brew?

     These have been kept in my hubby's cellphone for weeks already.  While I was discussing with a friend, my kids had fun time posing for the camera.  This one was taken outside the coffee shop, with the molded endearing teardrop-eye children of Precious Moments.   Can my kiddos pass as one of them? Hmm..
     The Precious Moments collection of  Sam Butcher has touched many hearts in Sam's heartfelt and moving creations  through cards, posters and figurines and never failed to share his faith.   It was when I was still so engrossed with cross-stitching when I first saw his artworks and since then I came to love it, and my sister, Wilma and me have had a lot of our own artworks out of his designs.   
      SAMUEL J. BUTCHER's life is such an inspiration.  Some of Sam's fondest memories are of his grand-mother telling him Bible stories and with that he grew up having so much interest on spiritual things and was able to draw scenes from the Bible at a very early age.  He even have won awards, however like any other child, he still felt empty.   One night he attended a church and was invited through a prayer to let Jesus in his heart and accept Him as his Savior.   Until then he had devoted his life and talents to the Lord.   As he grew in grace and knowledge of the Lord, he had desires to share God's love.   He used his drawings to convey the Good News of God's words and began illustrating the lovable " teardrop-eye children" which he called "Precious Moments."    It was first given to family and friends until everyone knew about it.   
As a Christian mom and teacher, sharing the Word of God is incomparable to sharing your riches, specially to little children.  As the Bible said, "train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 6:1)."    Seeing how God worked in Sam B.'s life since he was a child, how he became popular and successful made me think I'm privileged of serving Hiin my littlest ways.

 Sam B.'s artworks are very much reflected here at Sam Brew Cafe and at the mother restaurant  Precious Moments  Showroom, Gift shop and Teahouse.  Inside the atmosphere is very relaxing.  You can either have your coffee at the couch area or the dining spot in front of the cake display case.  The nook is just small, however comfy enough to have a small group get entertained.  

More so, a plethora of both hot and cold coffee concoctions are being served which are cheaper than any other coffee houses, from P 35.00 to P 115.00.  With it are baked goodies which goes so well with their coffee to celebrate a well deserved coffee break or to just unwind.

They are brewing at
Gr. Flr. Dona Carmen Bldg.
Arellano St., Brgy, Palanan, Makati City
Call them at: 846-4294

Chef Laudico Joins Earth Hour

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Papa John's Pizza To Celebrate My Day

It was a long time ago since I last stopped by at University Mall,  a small building niche of La Sallians, Benildans and Scholasticans, if that's what they're called, sorry for the terms.   Probably the last time was when I was studying in De La Salle UniversityPapa John's used to be Pizza Hut then.  Now, UM is much more appealing, saucy and has more dining options.
I never saw any blogs yet from this Pizza chain, though I've heard about them so I made some search on the net about them.   Accordingly, I found out that Papa John's was voted “Best Pizza” in more than 50 U.S. markets over the last several years, including in Los Angeles, Washington D.C. etc.   They are so passionate about their Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. ” brand promise and seeing this theme inside the resto made me expect more.  So what's my say?   Observe the pictures below and you tell me.

 Grilled Chicken Deluxe (14-inces, Large, P 550).   It has grilled chicken, ham and bacon, mushrooms with Carbonara Sauce.  See that's new.   I never knew Carbonara sauce can be used to top pizza.   What my husband and I liked about their pizza is that their dough is not greasy.  It is soft and crunchy and goes perfectly well with the butter garlic dip.

 We had two servings of the side dish Chicken Platter, and my Dana gobbled up with much delight on the chicken wings and chicken fillet and played with the three sauces.
We sooo love (no exaggeration!) Italian dishes, you may notice on my other blog site that I have a lot of pasta dishes featured and my kids and I are "pizza monsters."  We actually didn't know what to expect going there, my husband even thought that UM was closed for Sunday.  And just knowing that the resto was new, made him even wonder.   But everything was perfect!  My kids ate to their hearts content.   There are a few guests so the staff didn't mind us being noisy and wacky.   We were all comfortable of the place and we're even offered promos, so we didn't pay for our drinks, except for my Passionfruit Soda.   
Here are more pictures of  some  of the foods we had...
 Chicken and Mushroom Calzone (P160), the serving of this was huge, everyone got a share and was really satisfied with it.  Mozzarella cheese really oozes and filled with a mix of grilled chicken, mushrooms and I think a garlic sauce, and has pizza sauce on the side.
 The Chicken Platter. I like the buffalo wings, perfectly marinated and you can choose from these three different dips, I tried every sauces and I loved them all.
A tall glass  Italian Soda in Passionfruit, only P 69.   Only for me, they have two more variations.   I've got to try on our next visit.
 It was a good decision though to come here and celebrate my birthday with my loved ones!   We would want to go to Cafe Noriter after, however with the foods that filled our tummies, we could not afford to put more in it!  My son said that his stomach is very happy!  If my family would vote among all the pizza chains here in the Philippines, this is the best choice we will have!  Thanks Papa John Schnatter!

Papa John's Pizza - University Mall Taft Avenue
Unit 01 Ground Floor, #2507 Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila City
(632) 536-4612 or (632) 536-5434
 Yes, they deliver!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cubao Expo

Bellini's, an Italian Restaurant.  Too bad we wasn't able to visit inside, that is why I made a promise to myself, my niece and my daughter that I will definitely bring them here.  I've have heard a lot of reviews about them so I'm sure it would be another good experience.

One of the galleries here.  New paintings in an old setup. This was the second floor, although the place was hot, we still were happy seeing the art-works.  I remembered my Lola's house in Antiquera, Bohol.

The Beadlady of Clay house , Angelie Sobrepena, famous for her yummy cupcake designs.   I was one of her customers, who bought numbers of cupcake-designed clay accessories.   She was not there though, but we were able to see new designs and very artsy items, such as hand-painted shoes, bags and bangles.
Just in front of the Reading Room, were we bought several Kikay items.
My friend, Ms. Carmen Ramos posing outside one of the vintage shoppe.
My favorite shot of my friend.  See how she stands-out in the picture.  Yes, no "photoshop" or alters.  The whole place was painted black, white and gray, with crazy wall-paintings.
This was taken at KEBAB X. 
  Were we stayed for a while to talk about our love-lives and of course, had some resfreshment.
We had their best selling Beef Pitas and a very refreshing Mango Shake!

I invite everyone to come here, such a very nice experience we had.   You won't even notice how time will fly as you enjoy strolling and peeping through window panes of cute stores.   You might also might take home a pair of shoes,  yip, it still have shadows of it being previously known as Marikina Shoe Expo.   All it takes is a brisk walk from Gateway Mall, the way which is parallel to Aurora Blvd.   Along the way you should be able to see Singapore's Chicken Rice, Cibo Main office and ACS building.

Oh my March!

     March 23, eight more days and March is ending, but my organizer tells me I still have a lot to do this month.   My daughter, Danielle will still be celebrating her birthday on the 24th, oh, it is already tomorrow.  My sister-in-law will be on the next day also.
     I just had my birthday celebrated last Saturday with my college friends and on Sunday with my family at Papa John's Pizza.   Since this month came, I've been receiving numerous greetings from my two sweethearts, Dana and Danica.   Their self-designed and made cards always mark each day.  Not a day did I not hear their "Happy Birthday Mommy, I love you," with wet kisses and warm hugs.   Just one o the top reasons why I love being a mom!
    Another interesting part is having lunar perigee.  I was able to moongaze, waked up at 12 midnight, went up to our roof-top  and noticed that the moon has a magnificent brightness and is said to be bigger than usual.   According to Steve Irvine, although the Moon may look the same each time it is full, there is actually quite a difference in its size throughout the year. The Moon's orbit around the Earth is an elipse, so at some times it is full when it's close to us, and other times it's full when far away in its orbit. The closest part of its orbit is called perigee, and the distant part of the orbit is called apogee.   And the closest perigee this 2011, March 19, at 356,577 kilometers.
     Never to be put aside the fact that I had a lot of entries this month.   Since the start of March I have been to places and restaurants and have tried a lot of new things, either on menus and activities.  So here are just some of the coffee shops and restaurants I've been to...
 ==StarbucksCoffee at Paseo de Magallanes    
==Mushroom Burger of Tagaytay
 ==Thousand Teas at Mezza, Sta. Mesa, Manila 

==Fastfood Area of Cartimar, Libertad, where we tried Thai Noodles which I loved

==Leslie’s Restaurant, Calamba Laguna
==Bag ofBeans, Tagaytay
==Sam Brew at Arellano St., Makati City
==Burgoo, Gateway Mall, Cubao
==Figaro, Gateway Mall, Cubao  
==Kebab X at Cubao Expo
==Papa John’s Pizza at University Mall, beside La Salle Taft
==Flavors of China, SM Sucat 
    Hewwhh!   So much to do, so little time!   I've written reviews of some of  them, just try to click on them.   The highlighted ones are the ones that has links to the blogs related.  Some have been saved only and will still be posted, so do check out my future entries for more exciting adventures...
     The best however was on the day of my birthday after our church service, when we went to Papa John's.  You'll have to check-out my write-up on that.