Wednesday, December 22, 2010

White Hat Italian Yogurt

The White Hat yogurts
Yogurts are such a craze! A proof that people nowadays are getting more health-conscious. It's got good bacterias needed by the body and so much more as compared to the typical ice cream. It may cost you some more bucks, but what's that compared to the health benefits it could give? Even kids like Kyle loved yogurts. I used to think at yogurt the other way--knowing they're sour...I didn't know it could also taste sweet and creamy just like an ordinary ice cream, only better...What's more, you could choose healthy toppings too like cereals, fruits, cranberries and almonds...How's that? You really can't go wrong with yogurts like Italian brand The White Hat....

Kyle enjoys a cup of White Hat yogurt with Kiwi toppings.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Marty's Baconette Strips by Oishi

I suppose we all love bacon. Those thin strips of pork fat could easily make you salivate, right? But then, we need to take care of our health. Easier said than done? Seeing Marty's Baconette strips in its crunchy goodness was like heaven sent. Just like the first Marty's--the vegetarian pork rind (chicharon) version Oishi made with vegetarian and health-conscious in mind, Baconette is addicting. You'll keep coming back for more. What's more? It looks exactly like the real thing, only crispier.  However, I do hope Oishi will make a smaller pack of Baconette. Or perhaps a trial size, for those who would like to taste it and haven't tried it yet. But for Baconette-addicts like me, I'd like the huge package better so that i can share it with friends.

Oishi Marty's Baconette is available in all leading supermarkets nationwide.

No-Cook Bacon Mushroom Vegetable Fusilli Pasta

                                         Bacon Mushroom Vegetable Fusilli Pasta

Bacon bits
Julienne sliced carrots
Boiled broccoli florets
Fusilli (spiral) pasta (cooked according to package instructions)
Sliced button mushrooms
Sliced red and green bell peppers
Nestle All Purpose Cream
Maggi Magic Sarap
Salt and pepper
Grated cheddar cheese
1 can of Cream of Mushroom
Chopped parsley

Mix the Cream of Mushroom and Nestle All Purpose Cream. Pour the mixture into the pasta. Continue mixing while putting the rest of the ingredients together. For garnishing: Garnish it with parsley in the middle and put sliced red and green bell peppers around it. Dash a few bacon bits and grated cheese on top.

Try this easy-to-do recipe, enjoy!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yummy Magazine Cooking Demo

Food aficionados, rejoice! Summit Media's Yummy Magazine invites all foodie lovers out there to come and join them as they hold cooking demos in three different venues in the metro. Learn new Christmas recipes from Chef Katherine Jao as she dishes out new delicious recipes for your family's Noche Buena.

Here's the schedule:

December 11 (Saturday)--Market! Market!
December 12 (Sunday)--Shopwise Cubao
December 18 (Saturday)--Robinson's Metro East

All cooking demos will be at 3PM.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Latest Food Craze: Twistix 100 % Natural Potato

It's the newest craze to hit the market today...Yes, potato chips lovers, we have a reason to rejoice! I have recently stumbled upon one of the many Twistix Potato kiosks when I met with my sister at the Gateway Mall's Food Express last week. I saw the long lines for that particular booth and I got curious. Then, I saw the thinly sliced twisted potatoes in a stick. I decided I really had to try this new food craze. I was surprised to learn later that Twistix potatoes are available in different flavors: cheese, barbecue, sour cream, pizza, ketsup, and sweet and spicy.

I asked my sister if she wanted to try Twistix too, she told me she was already full, but later on decided to try a few bites of the chips. While  waiting for my turn to order, I had just one problem...I forgot to bring my digicam as I really didn't think I'd be staying at Food Express for so long. But seeing Twistix for the first time, I regret not bringing my digicam with me so that I could take photos of Twistix myself. The ones I posted here were simply taken from the Twistix Facebook account. Anyway, enough of my desire to blog the chips.

Even TV personality and Eat Bulaga Mainstay Brazillian model Daiana Meneses is a Twistix fan.

When it was my time to order, my order was twisted in front of me. I saw how things were done and I'd have to say it was amazing. It was like seeing a flower bud bloom. I don't know, I've never seen anything like it before. Then, they had my potatoes deep fried. When it was done, they asked what flavor do I want. i love cheese but my sister likes barbecue, we asked the staff if we could have both flavors on one stick, they said it was okay. It was crunchy and tasty. I've always loved potato chips and fries. This is one heavenly snack I'd love to bring to the movies. It felt like eating barbecue sticks, except that it's honest-to-goodness potato chips you're snacking on.

Twistix caters to all ages, sizes and genders. It's for the entire family. A small order will only cost P45, for regular order P55 and a large order is only P70. That's value for money considering you can share a single stick with almost everyone.

Twistix in cheese and Barbecue flavors.

Before leaving the Gateway Food Express that night, I no longer wonder why Twistix had become a craze. Customers flock to its food kiosks because they want to grab a bite of the chips and be entertained by how potatoes are twisted right infront of them. With such unique way of presenting potatoes, Kebab-style--I bet it will soon have its cult following. I vow to try on other flavors soon...

Twistix has 25 branches in Metro Manila. You may visit them at SM Fairview, Alabang Town Center, Gateway Mall among other branches. Grab a bite of chips at a branch near you.

Special thanks to Twistix Facebook administrator for the photos. Like them on Facebook and be a fan.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Brothers Burger Happy Hours

Here's a deal you don't want to miss from Brothers Burgers! 

Every evening, from December 1-10, 2010 from 6PM up to 9PM, you can indulge your cravings for a Big Brothers Burgers after work. So go ahead and treat your friends out to the best burger in town, or bring some home to your family.

Participating stores: Megamall, Marquee, Convergys, Nuvali, Tomas Morato, Malate and Capitol Hills only.

This offer is valid for both dine-in and take out orders only.

Mouth-watering burger from Brothers Burgers.
Happy Holidays! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

OMG: I'm joining a cooking contest this week!

Yup, you're reading my title right. I am not prepared to join a cooking contest but I seem like I have no choice. My aunt and my Mom have both registered and they needed a third party, so they had asked me to join them. I honestly did not want to, I didn't like the pressure involved in it. I actually haven't given them my nod, but they had me listed already. Isn't that clear they had decided for me? What are the preparations?

Geez, I don't even know what to cook. I guess this is my karmic debts as I had previously enlisted my mom along with a friend to join a cook-off some months ago. So it's pay-back time for my Mom with the help of my aunt this time. We should be done in 15 minutes, we need a dish, something that's for the Christmas season. I had no idea what to do. A friend of mine suggested I do a vegetable pasta mixture because it's really very colorful and would surely enliven any Christmas banquet. It seemed like a nice idea except that we need to incorporate the sponsors to our list of ingredients. Hmmm, sounds pretty easy right? Nah! If you're on my shoes you'd know what I'm talking about.

With two oldies who aren't exactly kitchen experts, I had to do everything else from researching the recipe to actually training the two prior to the contest proper. And I had to think for its presentation as well. My Aunt never goes beyond the "frying and boiling" stage. At her age, (she's about early 50's), her expertise includes hotdogs, omelet (never sunny side up) and reheating of cooked foodies. My Mom knows a little, she's good in pinakbet and fried lumpiang shanghai. But more than that, I don't know...

Guys, please wish me luck. I do not intend to win this game, but I will try. What I had in mind is to get this  thing over and done with, because I just can't stand to join a contest if I knew little of it. I do hope that they have at least a consolation prize to look forward to. Wish me luck, and please pray for me...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Yummy Afternoon at Reyes Barbecue Bonifacio Stopover

I've always been a barbecue fan, it was something I had always enjoyed during family gatherings. You might say, because I'm a self-confessed "matakaw," every food served on my plate would taste delicious. Well, if that's what you think, then, you might be wrong this time. I'm such a food aficionado, but I had standards when it comes to food. I've learned that there are some food that looks good with the way they're presented but don't taste great. On the other hand, there are foods that aren't as mouth-watering in terms of presentation but when you try them, they're delicious. Before I could further discuss my passion for food, let me share with you my latest food finds.

The Reyes Barbecue branch in Bonifacio Stopover in 31st Street, Global City

I had been invited recently to a bloggers event at the Reyes Barbecue Bonifacio Stopover branch in Bonifacio Global City. I had made prior commitments that morning so I told Ms. Amity Young (a blogger herself who was then celebrating her birthday)that I would be coming late for the said event. It was really somewhat "dyahe" on my part to arrived late, especially since I'm not that type. Friends and relatives know that if I've been invited to an event, I'd surely be one of the first ones to show up. Anyway, it was a good thing that Amity and Ms. Peachy Reyes welcomed us and made us feel at home the minute we arrived. Ms. Reyes showed us the difference between their regular sized pork barbecue and their latest addition to their menu, the party-sized pork barbecue. The new pork barbecue party size is available at P250 per 10 sticks.
Mouth-watering Reyes Barbecue in new party sized with sauce on the side.

See the difference between the regular sized BBQ and the new party size?

I'm not a food expert, but I knew Reyes Barbecue rocks because it can do away with its sauce. Reyes Barbecue was tender and juicy and had that hickory barbecue flavor even without the peanut sauce. I think that's what makes it different from the rest. Other barbecue needs to have their sauces in order to be delicious while Reyes Barbecue is delicious on its own. Perhaps the secret lies in the way they have marinated the barbecue before they have them grilled. I'd have to say the same thing for their grilled squid which I had taken out for dinner. Unlike other grilled squid, theirs wasn't like eating a rubber band. My culinary professor once told us that if you're cooking squid, it's either you cook it in a low fire for a long time or cook it in a high fire but it had to be fast. Reyes' grilled squid was tender and juicy too. It was an honest-to-goodness meal and paired with their ensaladang talong, it was a perfect combination. My Mom and nephew also enjoyed their Bangus belly with achara and java rice. The bangus almost melts in their mouth.

Bloggers group: (Left to right:) Bedalyn Aguas, Jenny Roxas, Janese Halaboso and Marlyn Borje.

Bloggers Mr. Jayson Biadog and Ms. Amity Young both enjoyed their iced teas.

Bloggers group: (L-to-R:) Moi, Jenny Roxas, Janese Halaboso, and Marlyn Borje.

Reyes Barbecue's newest offering, Creamy Chicken Fettuccine.

As for their Creamy Chicken Fettuccine, I'd say it may look simple but I'd definitely give it a two thumbs up. These are the type of foods I've been talking about a while ago, that they may look simple on the way they're presented but once you get a spoonful, you're instantly hooked. As the name implies, it was indeed creamy, and it tasted good. But I'd suggest if they could serve this creamy chicken fettuccine with a garlic bread or any crunchy bread, then an order of this menu is even better. Creamy Chicken Fettuccine costs only P85 per serving. Not bad, considering you can even share this with friends. Mommy, Kyle and I shared one order because of its large serving.

Blogger FPJ with his super cute bag that holds his digicam.

Take it from the blogging expert and pioneer, Mr. Nomnom himself, Sir Jonel Uy.

Capping off the event was a brief talk by blogging expert, Mr. Jonel Uy, named as one of the most influential bloggers and founder of Nomnom Club and among the many others he created. He discussed blogging how to's and blogging ethics.He also answered questions thrown in by neophyte bloggers. Reyes Barbecue 's Ms. Peachy Reyes even held a blogging contest, they'll be giving a special prize to the first blogger who will post this event to his or her blog. And since, I am not after the prize, I am doing this blog just now.

Reyes Barbecue delivers 2any1, for orders, dial 212-12-12

Special thanks to Ms. Amity Young, Ms. Peachy Reyes and Bedalyn Aguas (for taking my pic with the group)

Pork Bbq on FoodistaPork Bbq

Mister Donuts' Christmas-inspired Donuts

Puto Bumbong flavored donuts and Bibingka flavored donut.
It's almost 24 days before Christmas. And people have been going ga-ga with all the Christmas fuzz that they had to do and the decorations that surrounds them. Mister Donuts thought of creating new donut flavors. Thier latest offering? Puto Bumbong, Bibingka and Buko Pandan flavored donuts! I tasted both the bibingka and puto bumbong flavors, sorry I'm not fond of Buko Pandan. And I'd say that the closest to original in terms of taste would have to be the puto bumbong. As for the bibingka, it only had the dessicated grated coconut flavor, but very far from the original taste of bibingka. If I were them, I would've put salted eggs and perhaps a few grated cheese on them, then it might have had the taste of the real thing. These yummy goodies are available for P10 each. Bring home a box now and see if you'll agree with my opinion regarding their taste...who knows, their buko pandan would've to be the winner?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pizza Hut's New Pizza Variant: Lechon Pizza

Pizza Lechon for Christmas Season.

Realizing that Filipinos love Lechon (roasted pigs), Pizza Hut has a new pizza for this season, introducing Pizza Hut Lechon Pizza! Mouth-watering goodness of crispy lechon skins on top of those cheesy pizzas with some different herbs and spices. It's definitely a must-have for each table on Christmas eve, yes--perfect for noche buena. Celebrate the season with the family and enjoy the Fiesta favorite lechon on a different way--in a pizza.

Get it at the nearest Pizza Hut branch near you.

Ma Mon Luk's Original Beef Mami and Special Siopao

A portrait of the Man who started it all. Mr. Ma Mon Luk himself.

In high school, my good friend Jamie and I had something in common--we both loved food. Unfortunately, she must have been lucky and blessed because what she put in her stomach can't be visible with her waif like figure unlike me who looks exactly like a drum or a 1.5 soda bottle.

Several years after we finished high school, we would still meet up for the very same reasons, to go on a food trip eventhough we went in different schools and colleges. And who would've thought, that even now as professionals, we'd still have time to satisfy our cravings? It wasn't really a planned one, it just simply happened. This morning we were both online using Facebook, she was supposed to go to Baguio and she had already taken her leave from the office. But something came up, so she did not made it to Baguio and chose to rest at home instead surfing the net.
Jamie and I taking a break from eating our meal.
 We were both online during lunch and she asked the old question if I wanted to eat? I said, why would that be asked for someone like me? I mean, I've also been wanting to go back there and eat at Ma Mon Luk but I never had the time and the right company. So off we went, wanting to indulge in the goodness of a steaming hot bowl of beef mami.
The counter lady with their anitique cash register.

Up to this day, customers still flock the Ma Mon Luk branch in Quezon Avenue.

My friend showing us the menu.
 When we got there, we asked for the Menu, but we both knew right away what we had wanted to order even before we even got there. It was something we grew up with. It was the same food we eat each time we go to ma Mon Luk. The beef mami is best paired with their signature special siopao. What has surprised me with the menu was the beverages...I saw something under it that says "Suicide"--and when I looked what that means, it meant that almost all the sodas have been combined when you order the suicide drink--a mixture of coke, sprite, orange soda, and rootbeer. I had to think hard why it's called as such. Perhaps because your stomach may not accept all those sodas and you might end up feeling kinda dizzy or acidic? I don't know. I wouldn't wanna try it, unless I do want to suicide. Joke!
My good friend Jamie, taking a bite of the huge siopao.

Ma Mon Luk's signature dish--hot bowl of Beef Mami Noodles.
Thier special siopao is probably one of the meatiest you'll ever find this side of town. Its dough has a unique texture--not spongy, but a little rubbery. For some reason, it's perfect match to the big ball of meat and salted egg.  And yes, it goes well with any of Ma Mon Luk's mami, but jamie and I are partial to Beef Mami.
The best pair: Beef Mami and large special siopao.
The sad part is we had to go and travel all the way to traffic-prone Quezon Avenue just to satisfy our cravings. A bowl of Beef mami goes for P100 while the special siopao costs P55. Not bad considering that the bowl was huge and the siopao as well. Your stomach will thank you for going out of your way to get here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Flavors of KFC Krushers

Two new flavors available only this Christmas.

I've always been a fan of choclate mints. Each year, I look forward to Starbucks' signature Christmas offer Peppermint Mocha and Dairy Queen's Strawberry Ice Cream with Peppermint candies. But now, for a change, I tried KFC's newest Ice Krushers Flavors; Choco Peppermint and Black Forest. I got so excited...

First sip, and I'm in heaven. I looove Choco Peppermint to the max! It tasted soooo good. The pepperminty flavor slowly entered my mouth, and I love the chewy choco bits on top of it. With the Black Forest flavor, I'm not really a fan of the cake version so I thought I'm not going to be a fan of this drink as well. But I was wrong. The minute my tastebuds felt the goodness of chocolates and cherries, I knew right away I had made a mistake. This one, tasted even better than Zagu's take on Black Forest drink.

Try it while you can. It's limited, only available this Christmas Season. So before you complain why I had not written about the Double Down yet, that's because I have not been fortunate enough to find one. It's so hard to find a KFc store that has it. It's sold out around the metro. Good thing, I was able to try KFC Krushers because it had made my hot tempered mind to cool down upon knowing I couldn't try the Double Down.

What are you waiting for? Head on to the nearest KFC branch near you....before they're gone.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's such a Scramble World

If there was one food that reminds me of my childhood the most, then it has to be scramble. For those not familiar with it, scramble is a pinkish colored crushed ice topped with milk powder and chocolatey syrup. I’m glad that the scramble trend is back, thereby giving others especially the younger batch of this generation a chance to enjoy our good ‘ol scramble of the past but with some distinct variations. For one, you can now choose toppings on your scramble: mini marshmallows, candy sprinkles, corn flake cereals, mini choco kisses and chips, fruit loops and even your good 'ol sago. And yes, you can now opt for a strawberry syrup instead of chocolate.

The smalles size of ice scramble
Nowadays, scramble stalls are seen everywhere. I suppose this is a fad, a food trend just as shawarma, pearl shake, takoyaki and squid ball, isaw/barbecue, french fries stalls which have sprouted almost anywhere in the metro. When you look around the malls and streets, you'll see scramble stalls sprouting like mushrooms. So far, so good. People have been patiently waiting in line to get a dose of our fave ice crazed scramble. And it's really affordable, for P7 (small), P10 (medium) and P15 (biggest), then for  a choice of topping, you'll need to add P3-P4 per topping. You may also add for an extra scoop of milk powder for P3.00.

For a very affordable price, your ice craving was solved. But be careful for the brain freeze.

Taguig's famous Pancit Palabok

I had to prod my sister to get this for me. You see, she lives in Taguig, and for someone who lives in far off Quezon City—I’d never brave the hellish traffic along the South. I don’t want to go somewhere else where there’s no available MRT to ride on. It was such a good thing my sister was kind enough when she finally agreed she’d buy me after much “kulit.”

The first thing I've noticed were the was indeed loaded with toppings galore. This palabok was also oozing with sauce and lots of it. But what surprised me the most was the crunchiness of the chicharon (crunchy pork flakes) after it had to be traveled from Taguig to Cubao in Quezon City.

The styrofoam take out package that my sister had to carry.

See the oozing sauce and the toppings overload of this Palabok?

The noodles used were the pancit luglog kind and not the vermicelli noodles some pancit palabok makers use.  My verdict? It didn't had the original taste of Malabon's Pancit palabok, but its got its unique taste on its own. It tasted just right, not too salty, not too bland—just right. It had the Pancit palabok taste without going overboard. Some tasted with too much tinapa flavor, but not this palabok. The juicy flavors of pork, chicharon flakes, calamansi and the secret orange sauce made all the difference. I'm not even sure if it had tinapa flakes at all. It's so easy to know if there's fishy tinapa on any food, right?

I'd say I'd give this pancit palabok three and a half thumbs up in a scale of 1 to 5, and making 5 as the highest. Why three and a half? It would've probably been a four if I did not had it in take-out styrofoams. Perhaps if I had this pancit palabok as dine-in, eating it when it's served piping hot and fresh, things would've been a little different. So I guess, I would not want to suggest this foodie to be taken out especially if you live as far as Quezon City. It's still best to travel to Taguig or to its other branch in Lower Bicutan (Arrgh, it's still far down South!).

As for Lakay, I would suggest you should make a branch for people living in the north, say Makati or Quezon City. This way, we don't have to travel far and wide just to get your oozing pancit palabok each time we crave for such. And thanks for presenting our  Filipino favorite pancit palabok in a different way and for making it overload with toppings.

For orders and inquiries,
Lakay's Pancit Palabok
8375803, 8397838

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm craving for Camiguin's Pastel and Bacolod's Chicken Inasal

Nothing can stop me from craving Bacolod's chicken inasal.  It's something that makes me want to travel to Bacolod because the ones available in Manila can't be compared to the original inasal in Bacolod. I may try to get used to its Manila-taste, but in Bacolod, you can have as many sinamak as you want. Here in Manila, you just either dip them in vinegar or calamansi and soy sauce or atsuete colored oils. I wonder which would you prefer?
And  I also have cravings of Vjandep's Camiguin pastel in original flavor. For those of you who have not had the chance to try it, it actually tastes heavenly. Imagine a small bun served hot with gooey, chewy, yummy sweet filling of yema inside each bun. Wow, makes me want to salivate....Too bad, they're really expensive here in Manila. But I'd be willing to spend moolah just to give in to my Pastel cravings because I assure you, it's all worth it. Pastel is available at Shopwise and Rustan's Supermarket for a box of six buns.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Recipes

Christmas is fast approaching. What a better way to spend the season than to make sure your family wakes up to a yummy smell of baking goodies wafting through the air from your kitchen. Why am I saying this? Among all our senses, smell is the most evocative of our emotions. This is because the olfactory nest sits on the parts of our brain that also cradle our emotional memories. This means that the familiar scent of a loved one who has long gone can make you cry faster and deeper than seeing his or her photograph can. Smelling goes deep, and in this case, faster than light. This is why some could not rearrange his or her closet even years after they died. But let’s not talk about dying here, I don’t want my food blog entry to sound so morbid. My point is that when your family starts smelling baked goodies anywhere, they will always remember you and how delicious it tasted.

Now if you haven’t tried baking yet, don’t be afraid. Just like Remy (the rat who had always dreamt on becoming a chef), in Disney-Pixar’s animated film Ratatouille, I also believe anybody can cook and bake—only if they put their hearts on it. You prepare food for people that you love because you want to make them happy. What’s more, you could bake these yummy goodies and give them as presents to your friends. I have made things easier for you, with my step-by-step Christmas recipes. Enjoy!

Yield: 1 loaf
140 g Unsalted Butter
210 g Sugar
150 g Eggs
350 g Cake Flour
15 ml Baking Powder
2.5 ml Baking Soda
2.5. Ml Salt
85 g Chopped Walnut (You may also use Pecan or Cashew)
350 g Mashed Banana (Overripe Lakatan is best)
60g Chocolate Chips


1.      Sift together all dry ingredients.
2.      Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time.
3.      Add in dry ingredients, walnuts, mashed banana and chocolate chips.
4.      Pour over lightly greased and floured pan.
5.      Bake at 375F for 50-60 mins.

Espresso Biscotti

Servings: 20 pcs.

15ml Hot Water
6g Instant Espresso Coffee (regular instant coffee will do)
120g Unsalted Butter
180g refined sugar
100g eggs
5ml salt
300g All Purpose Flour
7.5g Baking Powder
105g Almond (optional)

1.      Sift together all dry ingredients.
2.      Dissolve the instant coffee in hot water, set aside.
3.      Cream the butter and sugar. Add in eggs one at a time. Blend in coffee.
4.      Add sifted dry ingredients. Fold in almonds. Divide the cookie dough into two.
5.      Place it on a well-greased and floured sheet tray. Shape into logs.
6.      Bake at 350F for 30-40 mins. Or until golden brown. Allow to cool.
7.      Slice diagonally, about ½” thick.
8.      Place the cut side down on a sheet tray and bake at 275F until toasted dry.
9.      Transfer cookie on a cooling rack.

P.S. One medium sized egg is equivalent to 50g.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

National Geographic Channel (NGC): Cooking the World

National Geographic Channel (NGC) takes viewers on a gastronomic road trip with famous chef Fred Chesneau in the new series “Cooking the World” Mondays at 2PM. Chef Fred travels to India, Morocco, and Japan in search of new flavors and authentic recipes.

He exchanges secrets and techniques with chefs and cooks who share his passion for street food and gourmet cuisine and cooks with as many different people as he can meet on the way.

The episodes: “Cooking the World: India—Spicy Food and Festivities,” will be on November 15 at 2PM; “Cooking the World: Morocco—The Culinary Colors of Morocco,” Nov. 22, 2PM; “Cooking the World: Japan—There’s more to Japan than just Sushi and Sumo,” Nov. 29, 2PM.

Food Review: KFC Chili Lime Rocks!

I had to admit, I was a bit hesitant to try it. I’m not the type who’d sprinkle a dash of food enhancers or flavored powders on my fried chicken just so it would taste differently. I figured all fried chickens are the same. It would’ve been a different story for rotisserie or roasted chickens where you could actually marinate and rub with herbs and spices before putting on the hot oven. But with fried chicken, it will only differ in the batter they used for that “crunchy” chicken we all love. However, I decided to give it a try, just for a change.

The minute it was served on a plate, I didn’t really liked what I saw. I even came to regret I had not ordered my usual favorite—the Original KFC chicken. Imagine your KFC fried chicken served with a few dash of orange-colored flavored powder on top of it. That’s exactly how my Chili Lime chicken looked like. It seemed as if I had ordered a Fun Shots or flavored fries instead. But as they say, you can’t just judge a food by its appearance.

It was love at first bite. The moment my taste buds had that fiery flavor of KFC’s Chili Lime chicken, I knew instantly I was hooked. True to its tagline, KFC Chili Lime chicken is a burst of chili and lime in every refreshing bite! I’m a big fan of roasted chicken, especially the ones that are sold with lemongrass inside it. And I’d have to say that KFC’s take on Chili Lime is like a mixture of taste between roasted and fried chicken. Yes, it’s got that lemony goodness of your rotisserie and at the same time crispiness of KFC’s Hot and Crispy fried chicken. It’s got its tangy taste of lime and mildly hot as chili. KFC’s Chili Lime chicken is sold at P87 for a one-piece chicken with rice and drinks meal, and P135 for two pieces chicken with rice and drink value meal, available in all Kentucky Fried Chicken branches.

Oh, by the way, the newest baby in the KFC menu is the KFC Double Down—No bun, it’s all meat. It’s got pork bacon and cheese in mayo sandwiched between two KFC chicken fillets. I hope to try it out soon, but for now, allow me to enjoy my KFC chili lime chicken first.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tasty Cups by Rio Azul: Sweet Dreams are made of These

There is probably some novelty in eating a cupcake that looked so good to eat. The first time I saw her creations, I thought they're not edible because they looked so lovely, especially the customized ones. Try to remember simple childhood comforts like the smell of freshly baked cakes and cookies wafting through the air from your Mom's kitchen, this is exactly where Tasty Cups by Rio Azul will take you.

Home baker Rosa Rio F. Azul creates yummy cupcakes for her custom baked line, Tasty Cups. The delectable table toppers run in an assortment of shapes and are highly personalized for special occasions and party themes. Tasty Cups offers a whole line of treats that caters to the little tikes and to the kids at heart.

Tasty cups are more than just desserts and pastries, they're definitely works of arts lovingly crafted by cupcake architect Rio Azul's creative hands. I know pretty much how difficult it was to bake, having studied baking and pastry arts myself at La Salle last year. Unlike tradtional cooking, where if a dish turned out salty, you'll just add in some broth or water to adjust its taste, with baking--if you made a mistake or miscalculation of ingredients, you'll have to start all over again. Baking entails hard work, patience and perseverance. I am really hats-off to bakers and pastry makers such as Rio Azul.

The most difficult part in making cupcakes and pastries are those that involve sculpting and fondant molding. If your hands are somewhat shaky or what we call "pasmado", then doing this may be extra difficult for you. But with patience and creativity, eventually it will turn out to be the most interesting cakes. Rio also makes sure that her cupcakes--replete with all the little details that make them so life-like. Her designs are definitely unconventional and end up being conversation pieces.

I always think that there is something about Rio not being a "schooled" baker/cake artist that makes her a bit more adventurous about her designs. Rio graduated with a degree in BS Food Technology at the University of Sto. Tomas, but she had never studied baking; it was simpy something that came out naturally. I'd like to believe it was her exposure to baking that got her into this whole thing. She had started making cupcakes for her family and friends' special occasions. But then, as they say, the rest is history. Her cupcakes had been known to spread by words of friends and referrals.

Truffles in a bowl

There are three things that make a good cake: taste, design and color. And Tasty Cups had all these and more. It's got its uniqueness. For one, you can choose your own embellishments such as chocolate pebbles, sugar pearls, sprinkles, and colored sugars. If you happen to have theme parties, and you have made a design on your own, Rio can also do that for you.

The Ben 10 Cupcakes Rio made for McDonalds

Personally speaking, I have three top baking rules: Know your lead times. With personalized cakes, there is no way to determine how long a new design will take. Make everything you can ahead of time. Second, pay attention to details. Small details spell the difference between mediocrity and something that is totally awesome! Third, be open, be adventuruous and don't set limits on a cake design that you've never even tried. At the same time, I think you should be open enough to accept that there are some designs that are just not doable.

Rio also never scrimp on ingredients because she maintains excellent quality among her clients.

Christmas Cupcakes in Pastel colors and designs

The best part in baking pastries and cute cupcakes? I'ts probably when you see the happy smiles painted on each little kids' faces. It compensates all the effort spent in making intricate designs in cupcakes.

Halloween cupcakes and rectangular cake

Each Tasty Cups Cupcake is truly a masterpiece--entice your sweet buds with these sweets from heaven. Go ahead, indulge because no matter how simple a cupcake may appear, it will never be an ordinary cupcake when it is made by Rio Azul. Try and see for yourself.

Tasty Cups by Rio Azul

For orders, please call 9279378

P.S. They deliver for FREE within the QUEZON CITY area. With minimum transaction of P3000. For other areas, please see their fan page on Facebook.