Oh Thai!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

While blog-surfing I managed to chance upon a review on Wild Ginger @ the Powerplant mall and being a Thai/Asian food fanatic I chose Wild Ginger to serve the Saturday Night dinner.

Since I came from a shoot being hungry, I wanted a "buffer" so my stomach won't be shocked so I ordered Asian Tomato Soup (Php 80.00). At first I was intrigued by how it could be "Asian" when I always associate tomato soup with Italian dishes and Minestrone but when I tasted it, it tasted like Tom Yum Soup without the shrimp and mushrooms and this was a bit thicker and spicier with a bit of cilantro in it.

Chicken Satay is always a staple and I really liked how the meat was cooked just right and the satay sauce having that distinct peanut-y taste. I just found the sauce too bitin. The chicken satay is already good for 2 so you could split the order as well. For some weird reason, rice was not in the menu but our server mentioned the variety of rice flavors available. We chose Jasmine Rice, a yellow rice with a distinct herbal taste (plain rice we could have anywhere, but jasmine yellow rice, only here). It was a huge cup and yummy on its own. But really, you eat it with the satay.

Prices are reasonable as well. Since the servings are big, you could split a meal into two so it won't be too heavy on the stomach.

Bambi's tip: Order just house water. It's bottomless, it's free, and it's a great way to make tipid. :)

Little Piece of Italy

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I was having lunch with makeup artist Nina Dumpa after her makeup demo when we decided to just hang out at High Street and check out the goodies from Face Shop and Make Up For Ever and then she went, "O, let's have lunch here at Starbucks!" She recommended I get the Tomato Basil Mozzarella Sandwich they had it. Being a fan of Italian food, I tried it, fell in love with it, and vowed to order it in every Starbucks branch I see. Alas, at Php90 a pop, it was draining in the wallet so I figured I make a little something of my own...

A mini-version but if I make enough, it could be a easy guest pleaser for the non-cookers. I already shared the recipe to my friends and now, I'm sharing it to you:

Bambi's Tomato-Basil Open-faced Mini-sandwiches

  • Pan de sal halves or Gardenia wheat bread, cut in half lengthwise with the crusts removed
  • Grated Mozzarella or Sliced Mozzarella
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil (make sure they're washed and dried)
  • Olive Oil
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Kesong Puti (optional)

  1. Lay out the pan de sal halves/bread slices and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Arrange about 2 tomato slices per bread slice
  3. Lay out the fresh basil and top with mozzarella slices and kesong puti
  4. Drizzle again with a bit of olive oil. Don't put too much
  5. Tap some Italian seasoning
  6. Chuck the slices on the toaster oven and toast for approximately 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted but the basil not wilted or burned.
  7. Serve warm.

Personally, I like my appetizers warming a bit rather than piping hot so I get to enjoy all flavors. It's a bit mild taste-wise and it's best served with pasta. You can arrange these babies ahead then just heat them in the oven when the guests arrive. This is also great for non-culinary food lovers, if you want a good snack that's easy to do. Try also substituting or adding ingredients like capers, mushrooms, flaked kani or what not. Add a glass of wine too! Cheers!

Recipe By Accident

Monday, June 16, 2008

Some good recipes come by accident. During my birthday dinner, this was supposed to be the pasta: Pesto with Penne and Bolognese spaghetti but I decided to do a switcharoo to make the Bolognese the penne and spaghetti the pesto. But big mistake again when I saw that the bolognese did not look magazine-styling worthy so here's what I did:

I decided... why not bake the baby up? So I baked it and added parmesan, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese and seasoned with Italian seasoning, fresh basil, and pizza seasoning and baked on the oven. Instant hit! The sauce? I just sauteed ground beef in butter, onions, and mushrooms, poured in tomate sauce, and spaghetti sauce, and seasoned with i think salt, sugar, herbs, a knorr beef cube, and water to slightly thin until I get the taste I liked. Very easy!

Turns out it became the hit... and this is not my tried-and-tested recipe. Yeah dahlings, accidents can happen for a good reason.

Uy! Original Recipe ito ah!

My Japanese Fix By The Bay

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Being a fan of Japanese food and not having any adverse reaction to seafood unless you say it's sea urchin, which I hardly do eat since it's quite hard to find, whenever I'm in a Japanese restaurant, you guess what I order and it does not come in a big bowl of steaming rice....

I order the sushi/maki/sashimi name it...

So when we got in Rai Rai Ken at Harbor View, I wanted my fix of raw fish but unfortunately their sushi platters are just bank-breaking

I however, found a nice meal for less than 200 bucks

Unless I'm in any mood to splurge with the humongous sushi platter or have someone to split the bill with, this would do. Presenting my new Rai Rai Ken staple - the Salmon-Maki Bento which contains the usual vegetable sidings, rice, 3 pieces of California maki (I already ate one) And salmon teriyaki oh, and iced tea for Php180. Niiiice one since I get my seafood fix, my sushi fix, and it's not too heavy on the stomach or the pocket.

In fact, I still got room for FIC green tea ice cream right after. :)

Did someone say Dessert?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Who does not love dessert? Dessert the course that "seals the deal" in a meal. It's a meal's own way of bowing out. Every country has its own dessert. Here in the Philippines, we have our halo-halo and buko pie. Go to any Chinese restaurant and you'd order Almond Jelly after a smorgasboard of dumplings and lemon chicken. Certainly dessert is there to complete a meal. Sometimes, it's what some people look forward to.
At the Diamond Hotel, they took dessert to a new level by creating their version of Dessert Nirvana - a scrumptious dessert buffet offering

"one of the most extensive, if not the most extensive, stand-alone dessert catering service in the metro by putting together an array of treats concocted with skill and expertise borne out of its five-star heritage."

The event was held at the Cake Club at the Powerplant Mall where food bloggers and bloggers met, dined, and enjoyed a night of good food and good fun. When I got the invitation to join this event, I couldn't say "no." I'm a sweet tooth myself (hence my blog's name) and what better way to start my new baby food blog but an event such as this? Despite that I had a marathon photoshoot the day before I made it a point to attend this event.
I got to Rockwell a little past 6 (the event was at 7 pm) bearing Makati Friday traffic so the cab had to take a detour to Kalayaan just to get me to Rockwell on time. When I got there, the event was just being set up so I did some window shopping first. When I got back, I spotted Sophie of Beautynomics.com, looking radiant with her newfound makeup skills. I also chatted with the event host, Val.

While I was chatting with her, the makeup artist in me was tempted to ask her if I could be her makeup artist some time. I wanted to put makeup on her! Her skin is flawless!
Okay... Back to our event. Diamond Hotel also provided us with a light dinner of salad, cold cuts, fruit slices, and a croissant.

There were also games, where a mystery cake was presented to the bloggers and a bloggers' team was asked to guess 5 ingredients on the cake

It's a cheesecake actually, and we were asked to guess the 5 nuts in the cake. Our expert food decoder, Phoebe was able to distinguish walnuts, pecans, almonds, and confirmed my theory that the dessert had pine nuts. Fran also confirmed walnuts. When we submitted our answers, guess what? We won the game! The prize was a gift check for one whole cake for each winner!

If the happiness was not enough, they also raffled out GCs and I also won another GC for knowing what a Mont Blanc dessert was. I managed to sample out a Mont Blanc, which was a
"French chestnut paste with dark rhum on almond tart"
So that's what the familiar taste was! And it really looks like a white mountain, hence the name.

Speaking of trivia, I also found out trivia that a famous Christmas icon actually originated from Egypt and was believed to be food for the afterlife. Guess what it was? Fruitcake!

Also, if you want this Dessert Buffet at your next event be it a corporate event or wedding or debut, Diamond Hotel also offers specially-created dessert buffet packages. All you have to do is to call Diamon Hotel or go at The Cake Club to place your order. You don't have to pick all the desserts up yourself- they'll be delivered right to your door by Diamond Hotel's temperature-controlled vans. Yeah!
Okay, so after which, the dessert buffet was open and we got to take pictures and sample out all the lovely desserts Diamond Hotel has to offer...

The macarons are classics! I got a rose macaron, which I've tried before. The rose actually has this interestingly exotic flavor associated with it. Sort of like a florally sweet type. You just gotta try it!

I was also able to sample their sugar-free desserts - green tea pannacotta and aloe vera jelly. The aloe vera jelly is another interesting delight. It was light on the stomach with an exotic sweet fruity taste. It was amazing how they put something I usually associate with skin care and makeup into a dessert.

Green Tea Pannacotta fuses both East and West with the creaminess of Italian Pannacotta with Japanese Green Tea. I just could not believe it was healthy! I also fell in love with the Green Tea Creme Brule and the Baked Cheesecake, a classic Diamond Hotel favorite. In fact, I had the Baked Cheesecake for breakfast this morning!
More dessert pictures that let them speak for themselves....

I also took the time to chat with other bloggers. Jane of The Yogini from Manila was with her son and her son said that the event was worth missing all his favorite shows. I also met Arpee Lazaro, a food blogger who shared with us his insights on food, good eats, and all. I also managed to share a few of my own makeup tips and reviews. It was really cool meeting different bloggers from different genres.
After all the dessert has gone, it was time to call it a night. Definitely, I'm sure to catch some more desserts at the Diamond Hotel or its extension coffee shop at The Cake Club at Rockwell.
(Diamond Hotel Philippines is located at Dr. J. Quintos St., Manila 1000 Philippines. Tel. No. (632) 305-3000)

Apple Pie: A Tried-and-Tested Favorite

Friday, June 6, 2008

In cooking/baking, I always believe that I don't find the perfect recipe... it finds me. I'm always finnicky about apple pie and I've never grown to like it until my second-year high school Home Economics teacher shared with us her recipe that I've grown to love as well when I baked it in class, at home for evaluation, as annual Christmas gifts, ad wala-lang moments when I feel like it.

Apple pie for me is indeed comfort food. The warm filling, the flaky crust, that tangy taste intermixed with cinnamon and sugar. It can be a pain to do but the outcome is just incredible.

I'll be sharing my apple pie recipe (now on its tenth year in my hands) here in this blog but first, let me give you a sneak peek and some tips:

Bet ya didn't know I could peel an apple in one curly strip?
The trick I found out is that to use margarine to get that nice golden hue on the crust and to make the water to mix into the pastry really cold. I even put the dough in the refrigerator for 30 mins or so to stiffen it up. The best apples to use are Granny Smith Apples - those tangy green ones. Washington apples tend to crumble easily for this. So go for Granny Smith. And slice thinly! If you don't have Granny Smith, Korean apples or Fuji Apples are a good alterntive.
How can apple pie be served? Serve it warm. It's best freshly baked or you can heat up a slice in the microwave for a few seconds
And then for extra ooh lala...

Top it off with ice cream

and add some chocolate syrup! Yumm!!!!!

The crust is so flaky and the apples so yummy! The contrast of warm-cold, sweet-tangy is absolutely divine!


2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp iodized salt
2/3 cup lard or shortening (margarine was used here. go for Baker's Best, darling!)
5-7 tsp very very cold water with lots of ice

4 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
sprinkle of nutmeg and salt
half of a small stick of butter, sliced

1 egg yolk
half of a small stick of butter

Preheat oven to 375 F

To prepare the crust: sift flour and salt 3x. Cut in lard or shortening using 2 knives or pastry cutter till mixture resembles cornmeal. Add water gradually till mixture forms a dough. Do not overmix or handle or the crust might become tough and breadlike instead of flaky. Divide dough into 2 and roll each into 2 flat circles about ¼ inch thick. Fit one of the circles in a 9-inch pie pan and prick with tines of a fork.

To prepare the filling: combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix well. Spinkle a spoonful of this mixture at a bottom of the crust-lined pan. Cover with some of the apples arranged well, and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture again. Continue layering till all of the apples and cinnamon-sugar filling are used. Arrange butter slices on top. Cover with other half of pastry circle and flute crust edges together (this makes a double-crust pie)

To prepare topping: Prick top crust with tines of a fork. Combine egg yolk and remaining butter and brush over top crust.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until pie crust is flaky.
Don't worry about the calories, sweeties! You can always substitute the ice cream and syrup for the nonfat variants. Or try strawberry ice cream instead of vanilla and top with some strawberry slices.

Pancake House: Coming Home To An Old Favorite

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Of course food blogs are meant to write about new finds and all but I'd like to write this time about an old favorite. I'm actually cool that my house is just 2 minutes away from a mini-mall with little stalls and some retail shops abound.

Tucked at the sides is an old favorite eating place of mine: Pancake House! I've been eating here since I was a kid and I always have fond memories of the extra-thick strawberry milk shake, spaghetti, and of course, their breakfast! So when I was asked to choose where again to eat, I was like, PANCAKE HOUSE!

And what do I eat? SPAGHETTI!!!!!

Despite that I've had spaghetti for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I chose nothing but spaghetti for this dinner! For 128 bucks, I get 2 slices of garlic bread, and a plateful of a childhood favorite. MMMMM! I was supposed to take a picture of it but unfortunately, I wolfed it down before realizing that I actually forgot to take a picture of it! Oopsie... So dessert was not missed:

I couldnt decide between the waffle with the M&Ms or the banana split but figuring that I might be overstuffed with the waffle and it is dinner opted for the latter. Strawberry, Vanilla, and Chocolate ice cream. A banana sliced lengthwise and garnished with whipped cream, cherries, nuts, and chocolate syrup!!!!!!!!!!!
The camera phone does not give the picture justice but trust me... it's good.
I think one banana split isn't good enough to share because we both wolfed it in a span of less than 10 minutes.
This food blog has got me thinking that I should post workout posts as well in Baklitaan, but hey! Food = Love!
Oh you want recipes? Will share some soon!

BoNa Coffee Company Opens at Westgate

Monday, June 2, 2008

For the BoNa Coffee Company converts who love the quaint little coffee shop at BF but do not want to dread Sucat Road traffic or arguing with the BF Paranaque guards, you'd be happy to know that BoNa has opened its second branch at Westgate! This time with more chair spaces (more of those couches so no more fighting for a cushy seat), two internet stations, and still with their free, unlimited Wi-Fi, friendly staff, freshly-baked goodies, and that great healthy and Philippine-grown coffee that made us keep coming back for more.

At The Serenity Place near Fitness First at Westgate, Alabang, friends can relax, chat, and have their favorite BoNa coffee after dinner at their favorite WestGate hangout (probably bring in some Gonuts Donuts?). Since Westgate is pretty near the office buildings and call center buidings at the Alabang area, yuppies and workers can chill out before or after work. Business meetings can also be conducted here, and with ease with the quiet atmosphere, free Wi-Fi (no more having to buy those internet Wi-Fi cards good for an hour), and its wide array of pastries, sandwiches, and drinks. Oh have I mentioned these drinks are low-fat? So go ahead and indulge on that coffee!

They serve hot drinks too! All nonfat and freshly brewed. For those who are sensitive to full-cream milk, the milk is gentle on the tummy. I can attest to this because I'm also sensitive to full cream milk. By the way, you got to try the mocha caramel (Above) It's just love! The coffee is not too strong as well. So call center agents can have their after-work java and still have some shuteye for their shift that night. Since WestGate is near two of the South's shopping malls, a relaxing cup of Kona Mocha after shopping is just as possible with just like a 5-minute drive.
So here are my BoNa favorites:
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Belgian Chocolate (tastes like Ice Cream)
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • White Chocolate
  • Mocha Caramel
  • Sour Cream Coffee Muffin (available on Mondays)
  • Lemon Poppyseed Muffin
  • Blueberry Lemon Muffin
  • Robust Roast Beef Sandwiches
Just writing about it makes me want to go back there again! By the way, this blog was created while I was at BoNa Coffee! :)

Not Just Makeup!

Hey all! Notice the title, since I didn't use the usual "welcome" as title. Most of you know me since I blog here, and if you read that regularly, it consists of lipsticks, shopping, and all things girly. Anyway, this is a pretty new blog that I created for people who might want to know more about a very basic necessity, which is food. I figured the topic on food and restaurants might be a little out of place in a makeup/beauty blog so why not create one of my own? After all, we all need food, whatever might happen.

Aside from makeup, I'm a food addict, and that picture is proof that I am.

So why start a food blog aside from my other vast websites- makeup blog, online makeup portfolio, Multiply account, Friendster, MySpace, LiveJournal, etc. (what I do lack is a FaceBook account, and I don't plan on starting one soon) which practically made my mark in cyberspace? Well, here's why:

To finally get myself into the kitchen and start cooking. I used to have this spurt to get my hands onto the kitchen with pots and pans but somehow I always get lazy to.
To review restos and food that I might find nice during my food trips, whether it be a chi-chi resto or a little snackbar or the best taho in the world or what-not
To share recipes I discovered - something quick and simple.

Take note that all my recipes that I'll share here are easy. I still have to get my hands on how to make good kare-kare or sinigang. But yeah... I think this will do.

So you see, everyone, there's more to me than just makeup. Oh yeah, in case that this blog may find you getting a tad heavier, click here or here on how to beat that bulge or at least camouflage it. :P

Oh yes... I still love makeup. :)