T'is The Season At Krispy Kremes

Friday, November 21, 2008

Krispy Kremes is up for the Holidays and it's not just because of their decor and cheery atmosphere....

Little Drummer Boy Drumroll please....
The Snowman Donuts are in town!
I just had one today @ Krispy Kremes Ayala along with my regular New York Cheesecake, which I always buy whenever I see a Krispy Kreme! Yum Yum Yum! And don't you think they look way better than fruitcake?

Empire Macarons

Thursday, November 20, 2008

@ Rockwell last Saturday on my way to Rustan's grocery for a bit of errand-shopping, I spotted a row of bake sales with free samples so naturally, thesugarbug eyed the foodies and sampled the samples. :-) Among them, a colorful display caught my eye and after much deliberation, I bought some macarons from the Empire booth

shown here: mocha (spackled), strawberry (red), and pistachio (green)

A macaron actually

"is a traditional French pastry, made of egg whites, almond powder, icing sugar, and sugar."
[Text credits]

We see them in familiar coffee shops and I'm just glad a lot are making macarons nowadays. The price can get pretty steep at Php30.00 for a piece due to the difficulty in making them. As traditional macarons were sweet, dry, and crunchy, like your regular biscotti, this macaron and all other macarons are crunch and crisp on the outside but chewy inside intermixing with the icing/cream filling in between the two cookies. It's actually spelled macaron instead of macaroon, which is a totally different pastry (a dense cookie made out of coconut), and these two should never be interchanged

Although Empire participated in Rockwell, they can also be seen at the Saturday Salcedo market. They also pack macarons per dozen or for 10 pieces, which could be given as gifts. Aside from the regular flavors of chocolate, white chocolate, cookies and cream, lemon, strawberry, pistachio, classic (probably a vanilla flavor), mocha, chocolate peanut butter, cherry, and blueberry, they make premium flavors of caramel-pecan, rose ganache, triple chocolate, blueberry cheesecake, Irish creme, and Hazelnut Ganache (Php 35.00 per piece or Php400.00 per dozen).

They also make cheesecake balls which can be a quick sugar treat or a pasalubong for kids or a gift for your boss or a special friend who loves cheesecake. I'm a fan of the strawberry chocolate cheesecake ball, which is not too rich but they've got that chocolate.

I recommend the lemon flavor, which doesn't taste very tart and this is a perfect meal-ender. Not to mention the yellow color looks cute. Other favorites are strawberry, mocha, pistachio, and blueberry, which together look pretty good in a gift box.

To order and for more information, contact Empire at (02)4671995 and (0917)8861190.

My Big Fat Ensaymada Love

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Remember when I attended the Diamond Club Dessert Buffet? I got introduced to the mini-version of their best-selling Ensaymada. Carlos Celdran highly recommends this pastry and since the mini-version was not enough and I haven't reviewed it yet, I craved for the Ensaymada and wanted to experience it in full.

Php100.00 (Ube Ensaymada) at the Cake Club at the Powerplant Mall

It got to my table heated with the cheese and butter-sugar frosting melting. It's actually served better warm. I like the ube filling and for someone who does not eat root crops or legumes... that's plus plus plus! I had to hover to all corners of the ensaymada with ube.

With the sweet and creaminess, it's best served with tea or just water. The frosting and cheese happens to be my favorite part (literally icing on the cake), I scraped through the plate to get through the cheese part.

Yum yum? Sure is! There's also an original variety but for the same price, I went for something with more flavor and this did not disappoint me. Remember, if you're gonna take this home, it's best served heated.

Tis The Season for The Starbucks Planner

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Coffee Lovers I bet are trooping to Starbucks right now and whenever I walk in the mall or at the Makati Central Business District, I spot a red cup in like 2 out of 5 people. At first I didn't want to get a planner for myself but when I saw that they issued a RED variant, well, thesugarbug is also in the planner race!

Anyway, this year, sticker collectors would be collecting 16 stickers - 8 holiday drinks, and 8 regular drinks (except for juices or bottled water or tetrapack drinks). It's easier this year than the previous year's yet a strict no-card, no sticker policy is implemented. Here, we could choose 3 planners - one black (classic), blue, or red. These are hardbound and they all come with a slim pen. :)

For this year's holiday drinks, Starbucks reprises last year's Toffee Nut Latte and Praline Mocha. Both give out the sweetness with that kick of caffeine to jumpstart the day. I prefer toffee nut latte's buttery sweet taste as I find praline mocha too sweet for my taste.

The sad news is last year's Peppermint Mocha, which had been Holiday drink staple for as long as I can remember has been replaced. This was sad for me as it's been a favorite drink of mine, hot, iced, or Frappucinno. For those who misses the mellow bitterness, the replacement is Dark Cherry Mocha, which has that bitterness with a little fruity flavor. My verdict when I tried it yesterday: Not bad. It actually reminded me of black forest cake. In my opinion, the bitterness would taste better hot with no cream so as not to mask the flavor, but that's just me.
Starbucks also aside from the traditional drinks adds the Gingerbread cookies and peppermint brownies in their roster of pastries. I was already able to spot the pretty gingerbread cookies, which makes excellent pasalubong or an in-between work muncher. The peppermint brownie looks like a hit as it's been fast-selling in almost every Starbucks I see. I haven't tried the peppermint brownie yet but maybe I will soon!
Anyone get their planners yet? How'd you find it?

Thesugarbug recommends: Razon's Halo-Halo

Me like Razon's Halo-halo not only because it's their bestseller but because of the following reasons:

1. The milk - creamy yet it didn't hurt my tummy. I love the sweetness and creaminess. It's rich but not too much
2. The ice - crushed finely. I don't get 1-cm diameter chunks that i have to chew on
3. Value for money - One Php 60.00 serving is good enough for two. I can't finish one, so we have it split. :)
4. The leche flan is to-die-for... creamy but not too sweet. It practically melts in the mouth. I could eat it just that.
5. It does not contain beans, monggo, garbanzos, or any legume. Yet, despite that it contains just saba, macapuno, nata de coco, and their leche flan, the overall taste is never, ever sacrificed.

Tip: Best shared and not taken everyday. My favorite Razon's is the one in Greenbelt here in the Metro. Also, try Razon's sisig with rice! Yummy! It's best served hot as it can get too greasy if it's too cold. I prefer eating the sisig with plain rice.

Weekender Italian Buffet At Fromaggio

Monday, November 10, 2008

Php145 pesos for an all-you can eat pizza-pasta buffet! Everytime I go home, I pass by a quaint little Italian Restaurant tucked here in Las Pinas.
Fromaggio (located near Chinabank Las Pinas Manuela Branch) has been around but it was only lately that I was able to try it. I love its affordability and how their pizzas are not bloatingly oily and the at-home atmosphere. When I saw them advertise their all-you-can-eat Sunday buffet for Php145.00 --> of course I'd try it.
So this Sunday, I hurried from Makati to Las Pinas. The place was stuffed we were lucky to squeeze in a small area. Nevertheless, we were attended well and the attendants even answered our questions about the food and the ingredients (perfect if you're allergic to seafood).

The buffet table had 3 kinds of pasta, 3 kinds of sauces, and 3 kinds of pizza, but we could go back as many times as we wanted provided we don't have any leftovers.
Oh... the food...

Angel hair, fetucinne, and spaghetti for the sauces. Pomodoro, Carbonara, and Bolognese for the sauce. Pizza had tomato-garlic (which i love), pepperoni, and margherita. The buffet table didn't have much choices as you would expect, but at least they picked it right, as these are familiar ones, rather than the foreign-sounding ones that could intimidate others who are not used to adventure

I've decided to venture on pasta-fest, and just take a slice of cheese and garlic pizza.
The sauces didn't dissapoint me although I was hoping they'd heat it up a bit as it was a bit colder. I like the fact that carbonara wasn't too heavy on my stomach and the cheese and garlic pizza wasn't too bloating.

Authenticity-wise, I like the taste since it wasn't the sweet-style spaghetti (even the bolognese). The cheese-and-garlic pizza even had a surprise of basil in it, which I found interesting and it masked the richness a bit. The taste of pomodoro won me though, enough to buy me two rounds of pasta.
Will I have this? Well not every Sunday since I don't want to pack on more pounds... maybe on occasion. :) Price-wise, I love it, the bill did not reach 500 pesos and that's buffet+bottomless iced tea for two. :)

How Thesugarbug Spent Her Halloween

Monday, November 3, 2008

Met up with my good friends Jovy and Yeoh and after walking from Makati Med to Paseo Center to Insular Life for a good lunch at Jollibee guess where we went to for dessert?

which, we walked!

Just in time for Halloween, the place was decorated with orange and black balloons plus their Halloween donuts were there. Also, since most of Makati's population were crunched back at their cubicles, we had the place very much to ourselves!

That's us with our donuts! Yep... it's fun being a kid once again, paper hats and all.

Since it was Halloween, kids were there in costumes and all to go trick-0r-treating. It was cute seeing these kids in their costumes go around getting badges, loot bags, and a free donut. I spotted fairies, little gouhls, angels, animals, disney princesses, and a little Mickey Mouse caught our eye with his big brother dressing up as Green Arrow and Big Sister as Cleopatra, with cat's eyes.

The kids even went to our table to introduce themselves and describe their costumes.

After which, we went to Glorietta to check out stuff and saw more children in costumes, even babies in carriages were not spared... they were dolled up one way or the other, which I found amusing.
I'm glad Halloween is picking up here in Manila. A few decades ago, trick or treating wasn't just the thing and I found out about trick or treating only when I was in third grade and only one village had trick-or-treating. Now it's in malls, whether SM or Ayala Mall, and restos give halloween promos.
Now if only grownups can still be in costume... :) Prolly next year? :)