My Cherie Amour

29 03 2009

Just opened this afternoon my M&S Cherry Liqueurs – dark chocolates with a whole cherry and brandy center.  I finished two pieces and I would say that this is a great-tasting chocolate, with the right bitterness complementing the brandy-soaked cherry.  I would say also that this is the first time that I allowed my chocolate to stand at room temperature for a few minutes before finally consuming it and I’m telling you, I didn’t realize that it will be that good – a lot more pleasurable to enjoy the silky smooth confection melting in your mouth.  Superb indeed!

Marks & Spencer Cherry Liqueurs


What’s in Leonidas Chocolates?

28 03 2009

Ganache rum and Cerise emballee fondant

Leonidas is priced by the gram.  When the lady in the Glorietta 3 kiosk informed me that a kilo of this chocolate costs around Php4,000.00, I almost choked but, of course, I didn’t show it.  I had to shell out Php83 for a piece, approximately weighing 20 grams.  There must really be something in this chocolate that I got to taste.  Since I love dark chocolates and the liqueur-filled, I got myself the cerise emballee fondant (dark chocolate with a whole morello cherry) and ganache rum (dark chocolate with rum filling) on a Friday, the 13th of February.   The two variants didn’t quite satisfy the chocoholic in me.  For the price, I was hoping to experience a more heavenly taste that would stir up my senses.   Or maybe there wasn’t enough to really appreciate and enjoy co’z I shared the other half (of ganache rum) with my mother.  Yeah, I remember I liked cerise emballee fondant more than ganache co’z I consumed the whole piece of cerise.   So maybe next time, I’ll get myself at least 2 pieces of a variant though it would really hurt my wallet.

 Cerise emballe fondant - inside

But of course, since Leonidas is Belgian, it is expected to be costlier than the other brands.  As we all know, Belgian chocolates are considered to be the gourmet standard by which all other chocolate confections are measured.  Belgian chocolate boasts of a reputation for quality, in ingredients and adherence to the Old World manufacturing technique – made by hand.    So on the overall,  I would still consider Leonidas a special indulgence and gift… a real love treat.  

Leonidas is among the very few remaining Belgian chocolate praline companies operating at present.  The others are Godiva, Nirvana and Neuhaus.

Big! Big! Sale at the Mall of Asia

28 03 2009

Mall of Asia Sale

For all the shopaholics out there, there will be a mall-wide sale at the Mall of Asia from April 3 to 6, 2009.  If you are an SM Advantage or Prestige cardholder, you can avail of additional 10% discount when you shop from 10 a.m. to 12 nn on April 3.  Free parking slots are also available at the south open parking on a first-come-first-served basis.

Mastering the Application of MMU

22 03 2009

Mineral Makeup

I’m starting to learn the craft and I know sooner I would be able to perfect it.  All you need is just a little courage (hahaha).  Seriously, you can’t go wrong if you’ll start with just a little amount (literally, very little) in the lid and then you swirl the brush, tap off the excess then buff around the face.

For the step-by-step procedure, check on the following video links:

For an actual demo, you can drop by SM Makati at the ground floor every Friday till Sunday.   Mitchie of Ellana is there to share her skills in MMU application.

Mineral Make-up on Sale up to March 20 only

22 03 2009

MMU Sale

I got this text from Claude of Bare Beauty announcing big discounts for Bare Escentuals and LaurEss products up to 30%.  Unfortunately, I was able to visit the site only today after church.  So the sale ended last March 20.  This was in line with Bare Beauty’s 3rd Anniversary.

Raw Food Diet – A Great Discovery

14 03 2009

Raw Food

My first encounter with the raw food diet (not the regular vegetable/fresh fruit salad co’z I’ve been into it in a long time) was at The Farm’s Alive resto (a.k.a 85/15 Gourmet Cuisine) in 2004.  I never thought that I would give it a try myself right there in our own kitchen until 3 weeks ago. My memory was refreshed of my first experience with raw food when last December, I stumbled upon an article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.  It featured culinary artist Cherie Lou Ignacio, former owner of the Quickmelt Ensaymada business, who was a “walking drugstore for most of her life” and who is probably 50 years old as of this writing “but looks 20 years younger, having lost more than 20 pounds”.  Who doesn’t want that?   

Not that I want to lose more pounds (co’z I’m already slim) that I finally started with raw food, it’s more of trying to achieve a healthier glow at my age.  During my countless researches, I’ve learned that the benefits include increased energy, improved skin appearance, better digestion, better concentration, weight loss and reduced risk of heart disease.  Raw and living foods are believed to be rich in essential enzymes co’z the cooking process is said to destroy food enzymes.  I’m sure at one point in time, you got an email or maybe you read an article about the benefits of eating fruits before your meals co’z the enzymes are already absorbed by the body before they putrefied.  That is based on the concept that enzymes are essential in the digestion process thus, must be absorbed first before our meals.  

So, my first raw food was a smoothie made from grapes, celery, parsley and flaxseed oil.  The taste was quite odd but you see, because I know the benefits of taking it, I thought I should learn to like it and would really like it in the long run.  Remember… we didn’t like some of our “first times”, am I right?

Food Tripping in Davao

7 03 2009

Upon reading the inflight magazine of Cebu Pacific, I made mental notes of a few places to see and some foods to try.   We reached Davao at around 10 a.m. and after checking in at Apo View Hotel, left right away for our business meeting. 

With less than a day to get around the city, we tried to squeeze our activities to get the most out of Davao.   We started with our late lunch (the meeting ended at around 1:15 p.m.) at the Marina Tuna Seafoods Market and Restaurant in Sasa, which is about 20-minute drive from downtown.  As the name implies, this dining place boasts of Davao’s authentic tuna and also swordfish dishes like the kinilaw (raw cubed fish marinated in vinegar and spices) or seviche, sizzling or grilled belly,  grilled panga (jaw), bagaybay (male egg) sizzling or adobo (in soy sauce and vinegar), bihod (female egg) sizzling, sashimi, among others.   It also offers other fish and seafood dishes made of Alaska salmon, stingray, prawns, etc.

The clams in our soup were the biggest I had ever seen with round eye-like meat, not the regular flat-type.  For our appetizer, we had kinilaw.  I’m not that much into this dish but Marina Tuna’s version was perfect for me, not too sour,  with the freshest tuna I had ever tasted, still reddish unlike in the typical kinilaw.   I was introduced to several dishes like the bagaybay sizzling and adobo.  Bagaybay was described by our client as some kind of fish internal organ but upon dining in another resto come dinner time, the menu says that it’s the egg of a male tuna.  I wasn’t expecting it to be that delectable.  It is something worth ordering over again in my future visits to Davao but I wouldn’t dare try it in another resto but Marina Tuna.   Another new outstanding dish for me was the grilled swordfish  which has a tenderer meat compared with tuna.  We were told that swordfish is rarely found in Manila restos and markets, so this one is really a must-try.   

Marina Tuna Dishes

We also had the all-time favorite grilled tuna belly but I’m telling you, it was equally buonissimo.  It was interesting to note that Davao’s grilled dishes are not dry.   We had been to two more famous dining places there and tried  their own versions of grilled fish, both still had the juiciness of the fish meat.

And of course, you can’t find the most delicious durian shake anywhere but in Davao.   Even though I was suffering from severe cough that time, I didn’t pass up the chance to have a taste of the fruit shake.  And it didn’t fail my expectation… with so much creaminess due to the generous amount of the fresh fruit, it seemed that I had a whole durian in my glass.  Another must-try in Marina Tuna.  The pomelo juice, which my colleague ordered, was also a lot better than the pomelo juice here in Manila.

Durian and Melon Shakes

At the hotel, while resting and waiting for our former colleague who decided to return to his native city more than 10 years ago, I and my co-worker each finished  a half kilo of mangosteen, another native fruit in the city.  

It was alternately drizzling and raining since 2 p.m. but that didn’t stop us to go to Jack’s Ridge at Matina Hills where a chain of restos and bars sit.   This place, which is the equivalent of  Antipolo,  offers a spectacular view of the Davao Gulf and the nearby Samal Island.   But on that rainy night, we didn’t get the chance to enjoy the view.  We went straight to the first restaurant facing the marker, the Taklobo Restaurant, and had mixed seafood sinigang, for our soup, which was lacking of the regular veggies.   Our former colleague shared that Davao does not abound in vegetables unlike Manila.   No wonder the chopsuey (stir-fried vegetables) in the menu costs more than the grilled dishes.   In my little research,  it says that there’s an alarming situation in the city co’z some vegetable farms were converted to banana and pineapple plantations. 

So we tried the restaurant’s version of  tuna kinilaw,  which was not equally as good as Marina Tuna’s and ordered grilled malasugue (blue marlin) and shrimp camarones to complete our light dinner.   To compare, I and my co-worker still prefers Marina Tuna.

Malasugue Kinilaw

The next day, we feasted on local and western fare for our breakfast at the hotel.  There we met some acquaintances who happened to be in the same hotel, also on official travel.   One suggested that we try this resto offering buffet at Php99  for our lunch.   It started to drizzle at around 11 a.m. and then there was a downpour before 12 noon.  When we reached Ah Fat resto at the Victoria Plaza, we were disappointed to see that the entrance was flooded.    No choice and we were running out of time (we got to leave the hotel at 3 p.m. to catch our return flight) so we asked the cab driver to bring us to Penong’s, a famous barbeque and seafood grill place, just a few meters away from our hotel.    

We had Inato  (Combo Meal) No. 2 or chicken barbeque and again grilled tuna (for the nth time).   But, still nothing can replace Marina Tuna’s version.   The chicken barbeque – juicy and delicious – I must say, was inarguably cheap (combo costs Php55).

Penongs Chicken Bbq & Grilled Tuna

Our total food experience in Davao was really a cheap indulgence.  I really wish we had more time…. Till next time!