Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Greatest Chocolate Show on Earth by Krispy Kreme

What could be more mesmerizing than a chocolate glazed doughnut? A Krispy Kreme chocolate glazed doughnut!

I've been seeing billboards of these beautiful looking sugar bombs all over EDSA and promo ads in the web. It was on the internet that I read about Krispy Kreme's Chocolate Karnival. Check it out here. The website greets you with "Welcome to the greatest chocolate show on earth!" and there, you will be hypnotized with images of Krispy Kreme doughnuts on a conveyor belt going through a chocolate waterfall, instead of their famous original glaze. It's a scene straight out of a Willy Wonka movie, or Homer Simpson's wildest imagination.

Those chocolate glazed doughnuts are glazed through and through, not just your usual chocolate-iced doughnut where the chocolate is spread only on the top part of the doughnut. They look so irresistible and I'm sure that they'd be perfect for my black coffee. So I swore to myself that I will grab a bunch of these somehow. It took a long time before I did though.

It's yesterday's Krispy Kreme Chocolate Karnival Party that gave me that final push. I can just imagine the feeding frenzy that took place that day at High Street. I was positively green with envy. If only I hadn't had prior engagements that day, I would've gate crashed. It's a good thing that this generous chocolatey offer does not end there so I was able to ask my brother to bring me home a box of these sinful goodies when he and my mom went to the SM Mall of Asia.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Cupcakes by Sonja

Not content with the chocolate frosted Vanilla Sunshine I had with my brewed coffee, I found myself buying a box of 4 cupcakes from Cupcakes by Sonja to carry home. Indulging in sugar should have been the last thing on my mind that day but I had convinced myself that I'd have only one for myself and I'd share the rest with my family back home. That was the plan- fair, benevolent, and healthy.

The flaw, however, was in the execution. When I got home, I ate one. My brother took one. Then I alone finished the rest over the next two days.

In my defense, those cupcakes behind the glass counter could make a grown man squeal like a delighted little girl. Just imagine rows and rows of pastel colored candy sprinkled frosting sitting atop personal-sized cakes. Definitely eye candy. So how can you resist having just one? I am sure many would complain about how overly sugary the frosting are on these little devils. I couldn't care less.

Chocolate Surprise (Php68)

The chocolate frosted Chocolate Surprise is the one my brother picked for himself. This had the same frosting as the one I had earlier at the bakery so losing this one out to my brother didn't bother me too much. The taste of chocolate in the frosting is distinct and exquisite. This heavenly frosting practically sold Vanilla Sunshine to me when I first sank my teeth into one. It has since become my favorite cupcake by far.

Vanilla Sunshine (Php55)

The vanilla frosted Vanilla Sunshine is the one I munched on as a midnight snack. The texture of the vanilla cupcake was similar to a butter cake or pound cake as opposed to a chiffon cake. Buttery and not too sweet, I loved how it paired with the sweet and velvety vanilla buttercream. The baby blue frosting and white candy sprinkles particularly appeals to me. Talk about a pretty cupcake!

Mocha Motion (Php60)

Mocha Motion is a coffee-lover's dream cupcake. It's a wonderful combination of chocolate cupcake and mocha frosting, with a sprinkling of chocolate confetti. Just the right hint of coffee gives this cupcake a delightful kick.

Chocolate Surprise (Php68)

I picked out this vanilla frosted Chocolate Surprise mostly because of the purple frosting and the sprinkles in deeper purple. More than just a pretty face, this chocolatey cupcake does not disappoint. The cupcake has the same texture as the vanilla cupcake, the only difference is the wallop of chocolate that it packs in every bite. The vanilla frosting gives it a light and creamy counterpoint. Dee-lish!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Citrus Green Tea by Lipton

Lipton Green Tea Citrus

I recently discovered Lipton Green Tea Citrus and it has since risen to the top of my list of all-time favorite drinks. I am particularly fond of its pomelo undertones and its citrus-y notes make for a great drink whether taken hot or cold.

I've always been skeptical about health benefits claims, so I can't say that I've been quickly taken in by Lipton's "Tea can do that" ad campaign. But after indulging in this tea, I can say this much about it- Lipton Green Tea Citrus does wonders in waking me up in the morning, energizing me in the afternoon, and relaxing me at night.

Lipton Green Tea Citrus is also my brother's favorite tea when making his delicious, refreshing, and unique tasting ice tea. (My brother is an ice tea snob and nothing less than the brewed kind is acceptable to him. Don't even get him started on the powdered kind...) This particular tea, I swear, makes amazing sweet tea.

Sweet Tea
(Recipe from

3 Quarts water (give or take) not that important.
2 cups Sugar
4 Quart size tea bags.

1. Bring water to a rolling boil, add sugar. (Stir to dissolve)
2. Add 4 tea bags. Stir. Let sit 20 minutes or so.
3. Pour up into gallon jug or container. Fill the rest with cool water.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's here! (the big bad spanking new ref)

This is what happens when your mother decides to replace a decade old ref.

After years of experience, you kind of learn what you want in a refrigerator. So you talk about this as a family. You want a really wide one, in case you need to refrigerate a cochinillo. You want one with a gigantic freezer, because the old one wouldn't allow you to buy a box of corn dogs, a package of french fries, and a box of White Castle hamburgers all at the same time. You want nothing to do with plastic shelving anymore, because, let's face it- it cracks. You want a freezer that can actually freeze ice cream, not keep it in a precariously half-melted state. Maybe you want a cold water dispenser built in, so you wouldn't have to open the fridge too much and waste electricity (Save the penguins!). Throw in perhaps a built-in ice maker, and you're good to go.

The old one survived hell and high water in our crazy kitchen. And in deference, I think, we've put off replacing the old girl for quite a while. But after a few more repairs that did nothing but allow her to give off a few whiffs of cold air, we've decided it was time to go.

So you go with your mom to an appliance madness event at the mall. She gives a budget. She oohs and ahhs at some pretty snazzy but ridiculously expensive options. Then she makes a beeline to a ref that seems to fit the bill and is well within the budget. After over half an hour that she has not decided to pull out her credit card, you leave her with your siblings there while she quizzes the salesman about the unit.

You go on over to the really nice refrigerators, the ones well beyond the budget, and you try to haggle for a good deal, just for kicks. You are pulled away later only to grab dinner and over dinner ponder on whether getting The One Within the Budget. After dinner, mother goes back to quizzing the salesman who is by now probably simply dying to make the sale. Oh maybe another fifteen minutes, give or take. And you go back to haggling on the other side just for kicks. Php111,000, twelve months zero interest. Or Php99,000 cash. You get a free stand fan and an adaptor, too! No? He says he can give it at Php105,000. No? Salesman goes to his manager. He tells you: Php103,000. All that time with one eye on my mother who had been quizzing his all too eager competitor.

You say, no, maybe for the last time, before you rejoin your mother and help her finally decide on getting that One Within the Budget.

Salesman goes back to his manager, determined to meet his quota or maybe even surpass it, also maybe for the last time. He comes back with Php100,000, on zero interest, and with the free stand fan and adaptor. You think, finally, now we're talkin'.

So you call your mother over and share with her that really great deal that you got on this awesome ref. You won't believe how much it originally cost. It's still over budget. But it's close...

That, my friends, is how my mother decided to get her Fisher and Paykel three-door refrigerator after talking to the salesman for The One Within the Budget for a little over an hour and Fisher&Paykel's salesman in under five minutes.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations: Philippines

Find out how our Lechon got dubbed as "The best pig ever" in No Reservations (by the Travel Channel) where Anthony Bourdain, at the prodding of a Fil-Am fan, chose to feature Philippine food-dom. Mr. Bourdain did an excellent job showcasing the delicious, sometimes quirky, cuisine of the islands.

In the show, he posits a question that has been niggling at the back of my mind for quite some time now: Why hasn't Philippine cuisine made its mark in the world food scene? There were a lot of interesting theories on this matter thrown about throughout the show, and this reminded me of the theory of a professor of mine from graduate school: Kulang kasi sa presentation. He said Filipino food rarely if at all looks appetizing. Everything is thrown together in a platter or bowl in a big mess of food. Aesthetics. You, what do you think?

Going back to the show, which segment I enjoyed the most, you ask? The one about the Lechon, of course. Are you kidding me?!

And if that is not enough insight from the man regarding our cuisine, check out his blog and read, Hierarchy of Pork. In the Hierarchy of Pork, the Philippines lords it over Bali and Puerto Rico as the best in the world among pigs of the roasted kind.

Amen to that.
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