Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Creamery Catering now has Party Trays

If there's one thing that I probably took after my Kongkong aside for his love for food, it's being passionate about entertaining and planning parties. I'm not talking about the glitzy and glamorous parties but rather more of intimate house parties with the best food, non-stop laughter and great stories shared all night long. Since coming home to Manila and having my twins, I haven't had the chance to entertain guests at home. However, this doesn't stop me from keeping myself updated with the best food suppliers in the metro. "You'll never know when you'll need one" is one thing that I always keep in mind.

I always believe that the secret to having the best party is to have the yummiest food. We remember how great a party was because of the food that we got to enjoy coupled with the fun experience that we had. This was also why Paul and I agreed to prioritize our food during our wedding reception as we do not want our guests heading straight to McDonald's after because they had such an awful meal. That would totally break my heart. Luckily, our family sang high praises for the Chinese lauriat that we had during our BIG day and that made us really happy.

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Pork Sisig Soft Taco with my hand-painted ceramic pigs at the background ;)
Anyway, The Creamery Catering has been one of my go-to and favorite catering service for a couple of years now. More so now that we get to be invited to 1st birthdays, I really get excited when I find out that they have The Creamery as their caterer. One thing that I love about The Creamery is how every dish is so good. They're really creative too which is a plus but over-all, their taste beats most of the catering services out there. Furthermore, I love how pretty everything always look. As they say, you feast with your eyes first before you actually dig in and seeing the visual appearances of their dishes will truly get you more excited to take a bite.

The reality is, we can't always throw big parties anytime we want to. I'm glad that The Creamery now offers smaller party trays which is good for an average of 15 pax. That would be so good especially for smaller family gatherings. Imagine, my little family of 4 has now expanded to 10 already! Add in our trusted helpers and reliable yayas and we're around 16 already. That's good for one party tray.

One of my favorite dishes from The Creamery is their Pork Sisig Soft Tacos. I first tried this during the birthday party of little G and since Paul and I were luckily seated close to the buffet table, we just kept going back and back while the kids were busy with the program as we just love the crunchy pork sisig wrapped in soft and warm tortilla wrapper and drizzled with The Creamery's homemade sauce. So so so good! You can order this now and DIY your own Pork Sisig Soft Taco!

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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Xing Fu Tang in Manila : More than Milk Teas

Milk teas...Nai Chai... Bobba Tea...

Called in various ways all over the world but it's pretty much the same. A cold, refreshing drink made out of brewed tea with milk and with a generous amount of sago / pearls or whatever sinkers at the bottom of the cup. You all know how much I love my milk tea from the time I discovered this back in 2010. Such perfect (or I would say, bad) timing that I just had to get so addicted months before our BIG day that my dreams of walking down the aisle in a slimmer frame went kapoof! Anyway, I'm just glad that Paul loves me in all my chubbiness glory. Seriously though, I really have to get in shape. Gained so much after I've stopped breastfeeding the twins. *sigh* Any tips out there?

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Recently, I discovered a new milk tea brand in Greenhills called Xing Fu Tang. I guess, it's because this place targets a lot of Filipino-Chinese students, families and even senior citizens that we sure have an abundant amount of milk tea brands all over the Greenhills Shopping Center. In my last count, there are about 10 milk tea players that you can find all over the complex. This doesn't even include some of the restaurants that offers milk tea too. That's a lot for a 16 hectare shopping place, but hey, we're not complaining!

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Monday, October 14, 2019

#AngTwins Favorites : Nosh Baby Munchables Organic Snacks

My twins, just like their mom, are huge snackers! Meal time can sometimes be stressful especially for my little girl L who can get super picky but when it comes to giving them snacks, they'd grab this with a big big smile.

From yogurt to fruits, from bread to their favorite cocoa pops, they love munching and snacking at any given time of the day. One of their favorite thing to snack on is Nosh Baby Munchables which, I first introduced to them when they were 8 months old. I waited a few months after they got used to eating solids and from that moment that they had their first taste of Nosh, this has been their #1 snack choice till today.

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Nosh is one of the yummiest and healthiest rice crackers in the market. In fact, I even had a yaya before who would also eat Nosh which was intended for the twins. She's long gone now (thank goodness) but it shows how good it was. We've tried pretty much all the flavors available -- Banana Mango, Strawberry Beet, Blueberry and Pomegranate, Apple Cinnamon and their favorite -- Sweet Potato and Pumpkin. I love how they carefully paired these flavors together making it so tasty and flavorful for our tiny tots to enjoy.

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Monday, October 7, 2019

The Grid Food Market (Part 1) : Beefier, Babu and Gochu-Gang

I still remember how the food scene was just two years ago. As soon as we landed in Manila, the first thing that I asked my sister-in-law Achi J and my brother-in-law Ahia J was... "so what are the must eats here in Manila?" This was when they told us about the rising trend of food parks -- small, hole in the wall, highly instagrammable food concepts normally found in small neighborhood garage and built using old container shells.

"Interesting", I thought to myself. Achi J told me about several must-try concepts such as one with nachos topped with melted cheese, another with Iced Tea served in fish bowls that's good for 3-4 people to share. Somehow, it reminded me of Timbre+ in Singapore which, I'm happy to report, is still doing so well up until today. I wasted no time and brought my preggy self to try one of those much-talked-about food parks. Let's just say that after one short visit, I came to the conclusion that outdoor, al fresco dining in container shells is just not for me. Perhaps my pregnancy hormones made me more sensitive to heat but I just felt awfully uncomfortable trying to enjoy my plate of nachos and a piece of giant butterfly squid which came with the most awful "java rice inspired" rice known to man while wiping the sweat that was quickly sliding down my face. I also did not enjoy the lingering smell of fried seafood or barbecued meat which stuck to my clothes like glue. Mommy didn't even had to ask me what I had for dinner as she could smell it as I entered the main door.

The concept was cute. It was indeed a novelty but as my foodie friend has boldly predicted, it won't last long. Indeed, not long after, a lot of food parks have bade us goodbye.

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I'd say that when The Grid opened it's doors in the newest wing of Powerplant Mall last year, they have steered the food scene to a more interesting direction. One that tells the public that you can get a variety of top quality food at a reasonable price without breaking a sweat. We have seen this set-up in food courts for decades and what sets The Grid apart is how each stall comes together as one. You enter and find yourself a nice table, a server approaches you and offers you complimentary water and sets your table with real utensils. You take your time to check out each stall and realize that it's like a trip around the world. Craving for Spanish paella? Check! Missing some Lobster Rolls? They got the best in there! Want some Filipino fare? Double check! Got kids in tow? No problemo!

I finally got to try most of the stalls after several visits so I will be sharing my The Grid experience with you in several parts. For my first installment, let us focus on the best comfort food that you can find at The Grid and these can be found at Babu, Beefier and Gochu-Gang.

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

BenCab Afternoon Tea : When Art Meets Tea at The Peninsula Manila

Here I am again, reliving my love for quiet afternoon tea breaks at one of my favorite hotels in Manila. If you've been reading my blog for sometime now, you'd be pretty much aware of how often I'd spend my Saturday afternoons in the Lion City with my girl friends as we would enjoy a good variety of savory and sweet finger treats. From tea sandwiches to canapes, from fruity tarts to sinful mini donuts, afternoon tea time was my favorite weekend activity and I'm so glad to be able to do it again at The Peninsula Manila, no less.

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Of course, it was also because we wanted to continue celebrating Paul's birthday as I just felt like a one day celebration is not enough for this amazing guy. I've also been planning to take my twins to The Peninsula Manila as I remember spending a lot of time with the family when I was a kid then. It was at The Pen where I had the best tasting Strawberry Sorbet and I was so thrilled to find out that they still have that. I have yet to try this and see if it's still the same. Aside from this, the Lobby Lounge is one of the most iconic establishments of the hotel. This is the best place to enjoy a cup of tea,  coffee (or perhaps a glass of bubbly) or perhaps a huge bowl of ice cream while enjoying the music being played by the hotel quartet. Christmas time is made even more magical as they would also have choirs performing on some nights.

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Beard Papa celebrates 20 years of Cream Puff Happiness!

The food and beverage business is a fast rising industry where brands and come and go. Yearly, we see new restaurants and food stores opening left and right and at the end of the year, we see a good percentage of them close shop as well. It's an exciting yet challenging industry that only the strong ones last for years. Here in the Philippines, we're lucky to have a couple of home brands that has survived the test of time for more than a decade. Some are still around for 20, 30 or even 40 years. What makes it also more amazing it when I would get to meet servers who have been loyal to the said restaurant since the beginning.

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Anyway, when it comes to cream puffs, only one brand comes to mind -- Beard Papa. I often wonder where Beard Papa originated. After all, not only is it available here in the Philippines but you can find it in Singapore, Japan and even as far as North America. A quick search on Google led me to their story. It began in Fukuoka, Japan in 1999 by a man named Yuji Hirota who's known in the community as "Beard Papa" because of his white beard. He has perfected in making his cream puff with delicious creamy filling inside and a pie crust-texture on the outside. Often times, I would shy away from cream puffs as I find this way too sweet for my liking. It's a European-originated dessert and some would even coat it with caramel sugar. However, Beard Papa's version has somehow mellowed down the sugar level and instead balance it out with a nice fluffy and chewy dough which is closely similar to an eclair or a donut.

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Franny Mommy Favorites : Buds Baby Organics

It was been said so many times before that being a mom is no easy feat. Put aside all the sleepless nights, the big and small sacrifices that you have to do, the pain, the anxiety... lately, I realized that no matter how hard you try to shield your babies from all the viruses in the world. That's just not possible.

My twins have been falling sick for the past month. They caught a bad cold three weeks ago and quickly recovered from it then Paul got sick and just as he was about to recover, my twins caught the bug AGAIN. It's one of those moments that I just want to pull my hair and raise my hand to surrender. I love the rainy season but I got to admit that together with it comes the rise of flu and even more scary diseases like Dengue. 

I still remember how awful I felt when I had dengue. I was 7 years old then and I remembered  drinking Slurpee one afternoon with my cousin and the next morning I woke up with really bad headache, high fever and a painful tummy. I initially thought the Slurpee was dirty. I couldn't keep anything in my stomach as I would throw up every so often and my fever just kept going up and up. Eventually, mommy said that she needed to take me to the doctor and since I was so scared of doctors, hospitals and needles, I even tried to jump up and down to prove to her that I was ok but that led to me collapsing with nausea and throwing up in the process which clearly confirmed my mom's suspicion that I wasn't okay. 

I was confined in the hospital for a week with nurses taking my blood twice a day. It was horrible for someone who was deathly scared of blood and needles. I remembered how terrified I was when a group of nurses had to hold me down in order to insert the IV needle in my hand and back then, the needle wasn't the flexible/bendable kind so I had to wear a cardboard splint. Since then, I told myself that I have to be more careful towards mosquito-breeding areas and I really hope my kids will never have to go through that same experience as I did. 

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This is why as soon as we started taking them out of the house, I would make it a point to put mosquito patches on their onesies and on their stroller. I even hoarded boxes of these mosquito patches from Singapore and while it worked so well on behave babies, I can't say the same for active toddlers who can remove their patches from one another (team work talaga!) and would stick them on the wall like stickers. Sadly, the commercially available mosquito sprays are still not suitable for kids 3 years and below so it was just great that I chanced upon Buds Baby Organics at Momzilla early this year. 

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