Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Layers of Dreyer's. (Great Mall, California, 2013)

Bucketlist check!

When I was a little girl, I had an obsession with the Little Kitchen series. They're this cute little toys, mini replicas of food, utensils, and kitchen appliances. I remember having 6 pieces of mini tubs of toy Dreyer's ice cream. And I said to myself, "One day, when I'm a big girl, I'm gonna taste a real Dreyer's ice cream". 

And now, it has finally come true!

There was a cute guy behind the counter, so I was pretty much motivated to make my first order of Dreyer's. HAHA. 

Finally, I decided on a waffle bowl with Chocolate Chip Dough Ice Cream on the bottom and Cookies and Cream Ice Cream on top. 

I really like the crispy sweetness of the waffle, and of course, I loved every bite of both ice cream flavors!

Dream come true!


Holy Guacamole! (California, 2013)

Warm welcomes were everywhere!

Our family friends and new-found friends went all the way to welcome the fam and I to California. Tita L even invited us over her huge European-inspired mansion for dinner. And out of all the dishes served last night, the appetizer came out the winner for me!

Organic nachos, multi-grain biscuits, thin slices of low-fat cheddar cheese, and the star of the night, a big bowl of . . . drumroll . . . GUACAMOLE. 

Authentic Mexican guacamole, handmade by Tita L's Mexican cook, Lilia. Mashed ripe avocados and sea salt, seasoned well, and mixed with red onions, garlic, and maybe a pinch of lime juice. 

I'd love to stay here! Everything is low-fat and organic without sacrificing the taste of good food! Ugh, I can totally live here. :))


Buff It Buffet! (South Korea, 2013)

Let me just say how EXCITED I am to be here in Korea!

No matter that this was only a stopover! Staying at the Hyatt Hotel for a few hours was really cool, and their buffet was just as awesome!

Lunch hour. Buffet. Dessert Table.

-Chocolate Gelato : Nothing beats homemade gelato, people! 
-Mango Bread : Cute little slices of mango-flavored bread, with actual mango bits.
-Madeleine : Traditional French sponge cake, usually shell-shaped and rich in flavor.
-Blueberry Shortcake : A light cream chiffon cake slathered with amazing blueberry cream frosting.

Delish European desserts in Korea! 


New MAGNUM Neighbors!

Welcome, one and all!

Our favorite Belgian-chocolate covered ice cream has now gotten even better with some new flavors!

-Chocolate Brownie : Crunchy Belgian chocolate coat with nuts, with the usual delicious vanilla ice cream.
-Choco Cappucino : Coffee-flavored chocolate ice cream!
-Chocolate & Strawberry : The perfect combo of chocolate and strawberry ever made! Cracking Belgian chocolate coat, and inside a rich vanilla ice cream with generous swirls of strawberry.

Oh, so goooood!


Chocongratulations!


I'm a cake girl. 

And I love getting my cakes at Red Ribbon. They have the finest cakes that would blow you off your socks. 

This time, I got Red Ribbon's Ultimate Chocolate Cake. A moist chocolate cake, with an awesome chocolate frosting on the outside, chocolate filling on the inside, and topped with an amount of chocolate chips. 

Every chocoholic and cake addict (like me, of course lol) would definitely find this cake delectable and oh so gooooood. 

But, this one's different. Waaaay different.

"We are proud of you. CONGRATS!" - Pa & Ma 

These were the eternal words engraved using cream icing on the side of one of the best cakes. I'm just . . . speechless. I'm so touched and so happy.

This may look simple and cliche, but this means everything to me! Thank you Pa & Ma!


Floating Mangoes n' Cream!

Graduation celebration, baby!

It's a time to indulge myself! I've been reducing the amount of food I eat, and I've been carefully watching how much calories a dish has before it goes in my mouth and into my digestive system.

A personal favorite of mine, Spice Fusion's Mango Float.

Layers and layers of thick cream, ripe and sweet mangoes, and crushed Grahams. Words cannot describe the satisfaction and elation that I feel after I finished one tall glass of this.

Heavenly. Foodgasmic. 


Graduating with a Spice!

Officially a GRADUATE and a Degree Holder. YEY!

After 4 years of non-stop academic enrichment, I was finally FINALLY a graduate of BS - Psychology. This calls for a celebratory lunch!

It was a nice family lunch out at Spice Fusion. Which in my opinion, is one of the best places to get authentic Asian cuisine. Singaporean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and every other kind of Asian food can be found here. 

-Singaporean Chicken : Roasted chicken with super crispy skin and tender meat.
-Seafood and Beancurd Hotpot : Squid, shrimp, and fish along with soft slices of beancurd in a whole Asian-style sauce.
-Yangchow Fried Rice : Chinese fried rice with peas, egg, carrots, and more! 
-Pink Lemonade : Sparkling and very refreshing indeed.
-Roti with Crab Sauce : A SouthAsian bread made from wholemeal flour, with the rich and thick flavor of crab fat.

Foodgasm! Perfect way to celebrate!


Everything Tastes Better When It's A Gift.

Thank you, thank you!

I just want to say how happy I am for this hand-delivered Mars bar I got from a good friend of mine, James!

I thought you were kidding when you said you'd give me a Mars bar, but your text message the next day proved me wrong. 

Mars has always been one of my fave chocolate bars. Yummy milk chocolate coating filled with sweet caramel and nougat. Heeeeaven in a bar. 


Griping For Grapes.

New Goal : Weight Loss.

Don't worry, I'm still eating right! HAHA. Just on a minimal level than what I'm used to. 

Sooo, when my stomach started grumbling, begging for some snacks, I chose to go all-natural with frozen grapes. 

I had stuck the grapes in the freezer 5-6 hours ago, and it became this awesome frozen fruit by the afternoon. Super love the sweetness of grapes especially when its icy cold and frozen.


Max Bakes a Lil Something.

Max's has been known for their great fried chicken.

But today, I'm putting the spotlight on one of their many bakeshop creations. 

My personal favorite, Max's Corner Bakery Caramel Bars. Since one bar wasn't enough, my mom brought home a whole box of it. Yey!

Now I have 24 pieces of delectable, soft, creamy Caramel Bars just 5 feet away from me. HAHA.


Mooning Over A Macaroon.

Taking a breather from the Thesis Proposal that happened earlier thins morning.

After a hearty Korean lunch, my thesismates and I drove off (thanks to JJ's awesome car and driving skills HAHAHA) to Fudge, to get a good dessert. 

I was already approaching a full stomach from my lunch, but I still wanted to have some sweets. Sometimes, my sweet tooth just nags me. HAHA. 

So, I had one piece of this GIGANTIC chocolate-flavored French Macaroon. It was really big, really good, and really filled with chocolate. 

Yummm. 


Gamsahabnida for Korean Food!

Whew. Thesis Proposal was done! And we survived!

For our post-defense celebration, my good friend and thesismate JJ, took us out to lunch at a nearby Korean resto, Topokkiman! Yey!

Since it is a Korean resto after all, I ordered an all-Korean specialty, Bibimbap. It's warm rice topped with sauteed and seasoned vegetables (in this case, beansprouts, carrots, and white onions), a chili pepper paste (which I really loved!), grilled Korean barbeque, and egg.

After thoroughly mixing everything on that plate, get ready to taste the best of Korea!

Gamsahabnida!


Twizz Twizz!

It's a sour candy kind of day.

And Hershey's Twizzlers is fast becoming one of my fave sour candies. 

A foot long of twisted sour candy with a surprise center. It also comes in two flavors, Cherry Kick and Citrus Punch. 

Sour in all the right places! Good stuff!


Almonds, Meet my Good Friend Chocolate.

Look what Canada brought in!

My other tita had just arrived to take her vacation from her work at Canada. She knew my insane love for chocolates, so she gave me these!

Brookside's Milk Chocolate-Covered Almonds. Roasted almonds covered with a thick milk chocolate coat. 

The absolute diet snack, without sacrificing too much! Yey!


Curry in the Fifties.

I was sick. Literally, sick. 

I had a runny nose, extra warm temperature, and I was pretty sure I had the flu.

And the best remedy I could think of at the moment was to eat something spicy. And I mean REALLY SPICY.

What else can get spicier than a classic curry? Good thing, District 50 had a plate of Sizzling Chicken Curry. Complete with boneless chicken pieces, corn, carrots, onions, and green chili peppers all put together with a very savory and very spicy curry sauce, and served with a cup of rice.

Baby, it's spicy alright. And I love it. 


Lindor Grandeur.

Balls of chocolate, anyone?

Wait. That sounds a bit . . . awkward. HAHAHA. 

Anyway, what I'm saying is how amazing Lindt's Lindor 5-Assortment Chocolate Truffles. 
- Milk Chocolate
- Dark Chocolate
- Extra Dark Chocolate
- Peanut Butter
- White Chocolate

Each truffle has its own rich and creamy chocolaty flavor. 

Love love!


Gratitude Friendate Time!

Psychology 125 : Special Topics, POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY. 

This subject required us to do a gratitude date with anyone we wanted. Honestly, I wanted to have it with you. But since the Fates are always ALWAYS against us, I chose to have it with the next best person, Christie!

We wanted to do our date over something we mutually love to do, and that is EAT! There was a cute little cafe near the university and we decided to try it out. 

And here we have Cafe Caw's Cookie Sundae. A warm, giant chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream. I can't say this was the perfect dessert, since it had some flaws. One of which would be that the cookie could have been softer, and also a little extra toppings didn't hurt! HAHA.

But overall, it was a good snack, and a successful gratitude date!


Oh, You Know. . . Just Me and My Post-Valentine Date.

Nothing sucks like being alone on Valentines Day.

Surrounded by all those couples, proudly showing off how "happy" their relationship is. Psh. Seriously? Don't they know that 85% of teenage relationships don't make it til the end? Really people! There's more to life than flowers, chocolates, and Valentine cards. Sheesh. 

Well, it's not like I'm a bitter freak or anything. *cough 

Just being realistically practical here. 

EHEM. Anyway, I do have a date! And I am perfectly happy with it! Yes, I said "it". Because my post-Valentine date was Red Ribbon's heart-shaped Black Forest Cake. 

Believe me, I had NO IDEA it was gonna be heart-shaped. I just wanted some cake to talk to about my anti-Valentines beliefs. And a Black Forest Cake is known for having a little alcohol, so yeah. It sounded like the best idea of the day. But ironically, I got a heart-shaped cake. Very funny, Red Ribbon. Very funny. 

I'll let this mockery pass for now. Good thing their Black Forest Cake was uber delicious. Chocolate cake moistened with mild liquor filled to brim with sweet cherries, cream, and huge chunks of chocolate shavings.  

Perfect date. 


Overrrloaded.

The fullest plate of dessert I've ever seen.

I give you Cafe Maru's famous Ice Cream Waffle. It has a fluffy buttermilk waffle with one big scoop of vanilla ice cream, another big scoop of chocolate ice cream, a banana on each side, toppwed with four dollops of sweet whipped cream, chopped nuts, chocolate syrup, and finally finished off with two sticks of my all-time favorite (since I was 3 years old!) chocolate-flavored Stick-o and confectioner's sugar!

Overwhelming, isn't it? HAHAHA.

But trust me when I say that every element in this plate WORKS. In fact, they all work amazingly to give you the goodness of banana split, sundae, and waffles all in one serving. 

So, sit back and enjoy! And make you sure you eat every bit of this! I know I did. ;)


Shake It Up : The Cafe Coffee Chronicles Part 5

One of my fave coffee shops as a university student was Cafe Maru, a Korean cafe that offers sandwiches, cold and hot beverages, and desserts. 

Classes had ended earlier than expected so Christie and I stopped by Cafe Maru for some much needed snack time and bonding. 

Sipping my Choco Chip Shake, filled with chocolatey goodness, pieces of chocolate chips, and cookies, I was able to unwind and relax a little bit from all the school stress. 

Cheers!


Good Food Only in San Carlos.

I've always been a proud Carolinian. 

And this right here, is just one of the many reasons. 

After a loooooong Physics lecture class, my friends and I still had at least 30 minutes before our next class started to feed our growling stomachs and to restart our dead brain cells. HAHA.

Presenting, our very favorite Pork Sisig from Sisig Sarap!

Sisig is native Filipino dish made from little slices of pork liver, parts of pig head, and pork meat. Usually, this is served with a drizzle of calamansi and green chili peppers. 

Sisig Sarap did a modern take on this spicy dish, and topped the amazing pork sisig with sauteed onions and mayonnaise. Also served with my favorite kind of sunny-side-up egg (perfectly cooked egg whites, with a half-cooked egg yolk that spills when you break into it), and a cup of savory Java Rice. 

And let me just say, that the University of San Carlos - Talamban Campus is the only university where this yummy sisig is found! So proud!


Ghirardelli Has Just Landed.

Why? 

Why must you be so good? Ugh.

Ghirardelli is one of the best chocolates ever made. And I just got hold of one pack of Ghirardelli Squares in assorted flavors. 

-Milk Chocolate with Truffle
-Milk Chocolate with Caramel
-Dark Chocolate with Raspberry Filling
-Dark Chocolate with White Mint Filling

Each square held its own flavor. Held its on goodness. And will always hold my heart. 


Cupcakin' My Problems of the Heart.

These days have been emotionally-challenging.

I just need some good comfort food so my brain would stop working on overdrive, analyzing and overthinking the tiniest details of my . . . ehem . . . non-existent love life. 

GAAH. I need to stop! Good thing, Leona's Bakeshop had a pack of mini cupcakes! When I saw them on their counter top, I knew I had to but them. 

At a very reasonable price, I got 6 delicious cupcakes. 
-Choco Chiffon : Light chiffon cake with melted chocolate on top.
-Dulce de Leche : Creamy caramel and milky goodness in your mouth.
-Red Velvet : Moist red velvet cake topped with cream, and red velvet sprinkles. 
-Classic Chocolate : Chocolate cake, topped with melted chocolate and chocolate sprinkles.
-Lemon : Light cream-flavored cake topped with zesty lemon frosting.
-Cookies and Cream : Chocolate cake, topped with yummy cookies and cream frosting, and oreo bits.



Thank you, Leona. Thank you. 

Thesis the Right SNACK.

Twas another thesis meeting for my thesis group. 

The sun was shining too bright outside, and we just couldn't concentrate on making our paper when it was too hot. 

So, we rode a jeepney to Ayala Cebu, and sat at Auntie Anne's, munching on their soft, golden brown pretzels. It's a HUGE pretzel, with a soft, bread texture, offered in a variety of flavors. 

As for me, I had Auntie Anne's Dark Chocolate Velvet Pretzel. Their famous pretzel, covered in warm and smooth melted chocolate. Every piece I ate gave me a chocogasm. The chocolate was so rich, and it worked really well with their homemade pretzel. 

Yummmm. 


Juan's Sweet Tooth.



It was a dessert kind of day. 

I was feeling romantically depressed, yet again. And Christie decided that the best way to cheer me up was some good old-fashioned brownie dessert. 

She's right. And I thank her for dragging me inside Dong Juan to order their Warm Borniw Melt. A chewy slice of chocolate brownie, topped with a scoop of delicious vanilla ice cream, nuts, and chocolate sauce. 

Each bite was brownie heaven. And it did a lot to make me forget about how absolutely crappy my personal life was. Lol.

Thank you Christie, thank you Juan! 

The Day Juan Made Some Pasta : The Carbonara Chronicles Part 3



I was back at Dong Juan. Ready to try a new dish. 

After much deliberation, pasta won! And minutes later, Dong Juan's Linguini Carbonara was served in front of me. The homey smell coming from it was divine. I couldn't wait to try it!

And sure enough, it didn't disappoint. Dong Juan's Linguini Carbonara was made with perfectly cooked linguini pasta, drenched in the most sinful carbonara sauce I've ever tasted. Rich, creamy carbonara sauce with pieces of ham and meat, mushrooms, topped with a lot of shredded parmesan cheese, and parsley. 

However, it doesn't stop there. To my great surprise and definitely pleasure, I found slices of red chili pepper mixed in with the pasta. This, to me, made Dong Juan's Linguini Carbonara the most uniquely flavored carbonara pasta. 

It was rich, thick, and creamy, with a SPICY kick. 

Very savory, indeed. Good job!

What the Fudge?!

Here I refer to Fudge in two ways. 

a) Fudge as the amazing resto with stellar desserts and dishes.
b) Fudge as the soft dessert made from the mixture of butter, milk, sugar, and cream.

There are no words to explain how elated I am to have tried a plate of Fudge's Double Chocolate Fudge. Sounds like a tongue twister, right? Well, to me, it sounds and tastes like the chocolate heaven brought down to earth and straight to your mouth. 

I'm not kidding. Soft chocolate fudge topped with smooth chocolate icing. Double the chocolate, double the fun. 


Sammich Drowns of Over-Cheesing.

Feast your eyes and your taste buds on the cheesiest gourmet sandwich I've ever laid my eyes on. 

Fudge's Army Navy is the ultimate sandwich. Two layers of bread, filled with bacon strips, fresh tomatoes, eggs, and lettuce, then DROWNED in melted cheese. 



Here's a little secret. I have a weakness for melted cheese. A really big weakness. Almost as big as my chocolate weakness. 

I just could only utter the words, "This is freaking awesome." after I took a bite. 

So good, it's making me drool right now. Damn. 

A Taste of La Marea.

This dialogue comes to mind whenever I remember the first time I ate La Marea's Warm Brownie Cup. 

Him: You should eat at La Marea. They have this warm brownie with ice cream. It's really good. You'll love it. 
Me: La Marea? I don't think we have that here in Cebu. 
Him: Of course you do! I ate it there when I went to Cebu last year for Sinulog. 
Me: Are you sure? Maybe you've mistaken it for some other place.
Him: I'm sure of it! It's definitely there.

And this argument went on for a good 10 minutes. 

Imagine how surprised I was when I saw a La Marea stall at SM. Ugh, kill me now. He was right after all. So, I lined up and got myself their famous Warm Brownie Cup which was composed of a base of warm, soft brownies, topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sprinkles, and chocolate syrup.

This was literally love on a cup. Try it to believe it folks! 


Whacko Taco.

Si! Another Mexican dish is served.

Mooon Cafe's Beef Taco was a classic taco filled inside with beef bits, cheese, lettuce strips, salsa rojo, chopped tomatoes, and sour cream. Giving you a taste of local Mexico. 

The flavors are really strong, and the sauces complement each ingredient stuffed into the taco. 

I'm honestly enjoying this whole Mexican food trip! 


Voy a Tratar de que Burrito de Carne!

In English, simply : Let me try that BEEF BURRITO!

Nothing says Mexican food like a beef burrito. So, I ordered Mooon Cafe's Beef Burrito and bit into its flavorful rolled tortilla, stuffed with beef, lettuce, beans, cheese, and salsa rojo; and topped with sour cream. 

Now I know what a burrito tastes like! HAHAHA. 

Looking forward to trying more Mexican dishes here! 




As Kick Buttowski would say, Chimichanga!

New day. New craving. New resto. 

Trying out Mooon Cafe, a quaint Mexican restaurant filled with the festive colors and aroma of Mexico. As usual, since this was a first time for me, I went with their number 1 dish, Chimichanga. 

Chimichanga or deep fried burrito, uses a crispy tortilla wrapper to hold in spiced beef, cheese, salsa rojo, and sour cream. It finishes off with lettuce strips and more sour cream on top. 

Bite into cheesy Mexican goodness! 



Monday, April 29, 2013

Splitting At 50.

Going for some good ol' banana split today. 

The first time I ever tasted a banana split was back when I was about 5-6 years old. The fam and I used to go to Ice Castle at SM once a month, and if my memory serves me well, I ordered nothing but a banana split during those visits. 

So, I felt like a little kid again when I was feasting on District 50's Jillbert's Banana Split. A scoop of mango ice cream, strawberry ice cream, and chocolate ice cream as the foundation; a split banana at the sides, topped with whipped cream, chopped nuts, and cherries; and lastly, drizzled with caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, and chocolate sauce. 



This is the classic ice cream dessert! :)

Dressed Up Chops.



Friendate with Christie. 

This time, I ordered District 50's Herbed Pork Chops. 

To say that I was surprised was an understatement. When the dish was served right in front of us, I was taken aback by how LARGE the serving was. 

Two slices of tender porkchops, topped with melted butter and seasoned with ground black pepper. It came with a side of fresh cucumber slaw. 

My first thought was, "Wow. This might taste too oily. With the fat from the porkchop and the melted butter, this might just be a ruined dish." 

But to my astonishment, it was actually pretty GOOD. The melted butter provided the salty kick without turning the dish into a greasy mess. The cucumber slaw went amazingly well with the porkchops and neutralized the explosion of flavors and made you want some more. 

Good job!

New Series for Hershey's! Cheers!

Now this is what I'm talking about. 

Hershey's had just upgraded their usual milk chocolate products. Now, everything . . . and I mean EVERY single milk chocolate, is now made with more cream. Their Creamy Milk Chocolate bar took milk chocolate to a whole new level. 

*Appaluse. 

This picture was taken after I gloriously found a bar of Hershey's at the supermarket before I went to school that day. And due to my intense chocolate happiness, I decided to walk that steep 3-km walk towards our building. 

Chocolate makes everything bearable. Especially CREAMIER chocolate. ;)


What Every MILKSHAKE Should Be.



This deserves an award. 

An award for being a richest, most delectable, most satisfying milkshake ever created. 

French Baker's Chocolate Ice Cream Milkshake has just completely won me over. As if the milkshake itself was not enough, the beverage became even creamier and thicker with the addition of a scoop of chocolate ice cream with some chocolate sauce. 

Words fail me at this point. Foodgasm. 

Simplicity is Key to a Happy Tummy.

Who says you need to dine at a fancy restaurant and order a gourmet dish to have good food?

Sometimes, it's better to stay at home, and use simple, everyday ingredients and food to create a snack that everybody in the house would love. 

That is what tita did when I started bugging her for some afternoon snacks. In our pantry, all we had was a half of a loaf of bread and some butter. Then . . . PING! Lightbulb! 

She made us some Pan-Fried Buttered Bread. We took each slice of bread, spread a generous amount of butter on both sides, and stuck it to the pan to fry. After only a few short minutes, a crispy, buttery delight was born. 

So, you see? There's a lot you can do with that bread and butter! Just be creative. ;)


New Year, Old Flames : The Cafe Coffee Chronicles Part 4

New Years Eve. 

What better way to celebrate it with some Starbucks? 

Here I have Starbucks' Chocolate Chip Creme Frappuccino. One of few non-coffee blends of Starbucks. It's a mix of bittersweet mocha-flavored sauce, chocolate chips, and milk. And as always, topped with their famous sweetened whipped cream and chocolate sauce. 

I remember feeling a bit on the low side that night. You haven't picked any of my calls, and I just wanted to give you some holiday greetings. 

Oh, who am I kidding? I wanted to spend New Years with you. Even if its just through the phone signals. Ugh. 

At least Starbucks was there to be my New Years date. 


Are You All Caked Up?

Well, well, well. 

Sitting at Starbucks, sipping my tall hot Cappuccino, made me wonder how their cakes taste like. To feed my curiosity and my sweet tooth, I bought myself a slice of Starbucks' Classic Chocolate Cake. 

Rich chocolate cake topped with smooth chocolate shaving. 

No other words. Delish.