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Showing posts from June, 2008

Getting bubbly with Bubble Tea!

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Being a 90s/early 2000 kid, I have been a witness to a dozen food fads that have came and went just as fast as a speeding race car. There's the mini donuts that even if it's swimming in oil, it tastes so good and so addicting that we can hardly resist buying a bag whenever we're out shopping in Glorietta. There's also Ice Monster that was the cause of my tonsilitis after I've had a month-long craving of Strawberry Ice alternating with Corn Ice. Lastly, who can ever forget Zagu that offered Fruity flavored shakes with that sweet, yummy black sago that at some point were said to be hazardous to our health? Snacking has always been a fun activity with these choices around. Thanks to the growing consciousness of healthy eating, restaurants and food companies have began to take notice in making sure that they offer dishes and drinks that are not only delicioso but are also, in fact, good for you. My sister and I grew up in a family who appreciates tea as much as the wo

A very disappointing return at Italianni's

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Barely two weeks ago, I, together with a handful of bloggers were invited to Italianni's to learn about their newest campaign called Extra Surprises. I was so excited and impressed by it that I immediately wrote about to it spread the good news to everyone . Today, I went out with my grandparents and have decided to treat them to dinner using the gift certificates that I have received from the event. My grandpa loves Italianni's and I figured out that it would be a perfect post-birthday treat for him. We ordered the Seafood Risotto , Chicken Marsala and the Pork Chop Au Poivre . I was so excited to see the look on their faces when our extra dish would be served. Knowing that we ordered three main course dishes, I was kinda hoping that we'd either be treated to an extra appetizer or perhaps a cold salad or probably a sweet dessert to end our meal. I have also tipped our friendly server that it's my Grandpa's birthday knowing that they normally prepare something spec

PoPpiN' iT with Nestle Pops! (last of 2 entries)

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Dear readers and friends, Forgive me for not immediately posting my follow up entry that I've promised two days ago. This is because, I was busy enjoying my Pops Cup that Nestle Ice Cream has surprised us with after the launch last Thursday that I totally lost track that it has been days since my last update. I can't believe how good this new innovative ice cream snack is. It's really fun to just pop this tiny chocolate-y wonder into my mouth without worrying about making a HUGE mess which I always end up having after enjoying my ice cream. No sticky drippings, no trails left for those pesky ants and best of all, it's so small it's almost guilt-free! Yahoooo! The taste is very similar to that of a Pinipig crunch minus the pinipig coating of couse. Indeed, I had a short Ratatouille moment when I had my first bite. My sister adores the cute little red container that is really handy and perfect to be brought anywhere. I wonder if I can bring this to work as my litt

PoPpiN' iT with Nestle Pops! (1st of 2 entries)

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Tonight was a COOL (or rather...a deliciously freezing) night! Together with my always-game mom, sister and boyfriend, we went to the Nestle Creamery to attend the first ever blogger's event sponsored by Nestle Ice Cream ! There was just so much excitement going on beginning from the friendly Nestle team, the servers and of course my fellow bloggers who were just as excited as I am as we were guessing what will happen in the next few hours. Luckily, we didn't have to wait and wonder too long as Gel, the jolly representative from Nestle, began the program by welcoming us and immediately announcing that dinner is finally ready. Yipee! I was starting to hear my stomach growl :P As we were lining up, I surveyed the buffet table and allowed my eyes to feast on the huge platters of cheezy lasagna, asian salad, grilled japanese beef, chicken lollies, and a lot more! It was a very colorful spread which is actually perfect for a fun kiddie party! Half way through dinner though, Gel rem

and the winner is.....ME! Ü

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I'm a sucker for contests especially those that raffle off big prizes in supermarkets or department stores. Sadly though, I never won anything yet and still I keep on trying. "Who knows?! I might get lucky this time." , I'd always tell myself. When Anton launched his Thank you blog site to celebrate the National Thank You Day last year, he also announced that he's holding a contest where the prize would be an autographed copy of his book on 2009 . I immediately got to work and submitted my entry while crossing my fingers that it would at least be good enough to be posted on the site. Luckily, all entries were automatically posted and it was really fun seeing my work displayed online. Time flies so fast that I totally forgot about the contest. After nine months, Anton finally announced the winners and guess what?! ...... I WON!!! Thank you Anton! Ü

Friday Lunch Outs at Cafe Med

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One thing nice about working in Makati is being close to a wide array of food choices located at the two major malls in this city namely: Powerplant Mall and the Ayala Center. This gives more excitement when going out for lunch with colleagues. After two years worth of Friday lunch outs, it's innevitable that we have our set of favorites that we somehow manages to go back to every now and then. Happily sitting at the top of our list of favorite lunch out spots is Cafe Mediterranean at the Powerplant Mall. Our love affair with this cozy, dimly-lit, foreign looking restaurant began a year and a half ago when a colleague treated the entire lunch group out for his birthday. It was my first visit and to play it safe, I got the Kofta Kebab (Greek meatballs) with Buttered Rice. Surprise surprise! It was love at first bite. I love how flavorful the meatballs were and the buttered rice was just the perfect pair. The next visit followed shortly a week after that and we have been regular

Finding comfort in ice cream

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As a girl who loves appetizers and desserts over a mouth-watering serving of main course, it then applies naturally that I find comfort when indulging in any dish that falls under either of the two categories. More often than not, ice cream has never failed to be my "take a break, sit back, indulge" companion. It's a wonder how a scoop of this cold, creamy dessert acts like a magic potion in easing my stress away. Mind you though, I can be very picky when choosing my ice cream. For instance, I love Fruits and Ice Cream (FIC) because the creaminess is just right, not too watery and definitely not too thick to give me indigestion. The sweetness is subtle yet bursting in flavor that I do not feel guilty after treating myself to a two scoops in a waffle cone ice cream. I'm glad that they're really expanding and there's at least an FIC stand in most places that I frequently visit. This is definitely one brand we, Filipinos, should be proud of. Ü FIC's Pistac

All in a day's work

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It's amazing how a simple act of thoughfulness can make your day brighter. Who would have thought my hardwork actually matters to others? THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the sweet gesture. I will remember this forever . Ü

There's always something extra at Italianni's

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Dining at Italianni's is always fun! Starting from the complimentary slices of warm, soft foccaccia bread and a plate of olive oil and vinegar that is sure to solve all possible bingeing, we then move on to my family's all time favorite grilled pork chop that is already good for four and a huge platter of pasta. I love the huge servings making it a fun dining place for families celebrating special occassions or just in the mood to satisfy their Italian craving. Just recently, I have received an invitation that I just could not resist. Imagine, a chance to dine at Italianni's and learn more about their newest campaign called "Extra Surprises"? WOW! I sent in my confirmation right away to reserve myself a slot. Funny coz at the bottom of the invite it says "Please make sure you bring your EXTRA...whatever. :)" Very very intriguing... Arriving at Italianni's at Bonifacio High Street, I was greeted by the friendly servers as they ushered me to my seat.

Dialogues @ Starbucks : Taking a Closer Look and finally Speaking Up

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*I'd like to take a break from regular blogging for some shameless plugging* When was the last time you can actually say you are HAPPY ? Or perhaps, would you like to know the secret on how to discover how truly AWESOME is our planet? Yesterday afternoon, a handful of bloggers and online media friends were invited to an exclusive sneak preview on the newest in-store activity called Dialogues at Starbucks . What we promise is an hour of stimulating discussions on relevant topics, facilitated by interesting and (i must say) well-respected key speakers accompanied by cups of coffee. During the sneak preview, for instance, participants listened to Anton Diaz (of our Awesome Planet) and JP Tanchanco who both shared wonderful insights which I believe is relevant on our perspective on life, how we deal with our society and a lot more. Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet JP Tanchanco invited bloggers and media friends listening intently Be sure to catch the first-ever Dialogues at Starbuc

Can't Get Enough of Avenue Q

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It was just barely six months ago when I finally had my chance to watch the highly-acclaimed Avenue Q in RCBC Plaza. Thanks to a dear friend, I'm back once again with my little sister, this time to catch the final run and the 1st ever Avenue Q performance of Carla Guevarra as Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut. I can just imagine the pressure there is on Carla who now has the role which also garnered a lot of raves and that formerly belongs to Rachel Alejandro. However, she do not have to worry as everyone would probably agree with me in saying that Carla is truly a talented actress creating a clear connection between the audience and her two puppets. We're really amazed how we can flawlessly switch from nicey-nice Kate Monster to seductive Lucy and back again. I love her expressive facial reactions that perfectly brings out the right emotions from her character. "I know we'll never get tired of Avenue Q", whispered my sister who obviously was enjoying the show eve

Let's do Vietnamese at Pho Hoa

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It has been two weeks since I've officially started my No-Rice diet. Don't ask me if it's working, I guess it is but I'm not sure. All I know is that it truly feels great to to be able to keep this (diet) going for as long as I can. Ha! Talk about being hard on myself ;) Tonight was date night. As always, it takes us a while to finally decide on where to eat. Our normal conversation would go like this: P: Where do you want to eat? F: Anywhere, how about you? P: Anywhere also, go choose na F: You nalang P: (getting hungry and impatient) dear, please choose na F: ok fine, Pho Hoa (teehee) So it was Vietnamese for us tonight. Luckily, we have a branch located nearby making it pretty accessible for us to visit anytime. Pho Hoa Noodle Soup originated in the US of A and was brought here more than 10 years ago. Currently it has 15 branches located all around Metro Manila. Although, Pho Hoa is pretty much classified as a fast food-ish noodle house, I really enjoy dining here b

Hi! I'm Fran and I'm a Pepper Lunch fan

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After my first visit and after declaring to the world that i LOVE Pepper Lunch, I found myself back there again with two friends who are soooo exciting to get bitten by the PepperBug . Call it good coincidence that my favorite chicken and salmon plate was out of stock forcing me to order something else. I then chose to have Cut Steak and Burger (P280) and a glass of Coke Light instead. With very low expectations on my order as I am not really a steak person, I examined the thinly slices of beef and the meaty burger patty that were served in front of me. The aroma is just heavenly! Once again, I quickly spread the butter on the steak and the burger then flipping them over to make sure my meat gets evenly cooked. The Verdict The steak is really soft although I would have enjoyed it more without the visible fat strips on each cut. The burger, however, was a winner! I like how tender it is and it's so flavorful that I almost forgot to make use of the two sauces available on our table.

Time to get Musical: West Side Story

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Another great Broadway play is coming to town and boy, am I excited to watch it! I was told that this is one of the best musical productions of all time with songs like "Tonight", "Somewhere", "One Hand One heart" and a lot more! West Side Story in Manila will have Christian Bautista as Tony and Joanna Ampil as Maria. I'm sure it will be another great show as it will be directed by Audie Gemora. Buy a ticket, help a kid The show will be on September 5, 2008, 8PM at the Meralco Theater. Ticket rates are as follows: Balcony Side - P500 Balcony Center - P700 Orchestra / Loge Side - P1000 Orchestra / Loge Center - P1200 To make this more meaningful, a portion of the proceeds from this play will be donated to Kythe Foundation , which aims to help uplift the spirits of children with cancer. For more info, you may contact Minnie Fong at 0917-8676332 or minnie.fong@gmail.com Can't make it on the 5th? Don't fret, the show will run from September to Oct

Sweet romance with dessert

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When asked about my favorite part of a meal, I would quickly answer "definitely appetizers and desserts." This is because I find gastronomic satisfaction in trying out a wide variety served in tiny portions until I finally decide on my favorite. Therefore, how can I possibly ever say NO to an opportunity to try the newest dessert innovation made by the Diamond Hotel ? Just by reading the invite, I imagine rows and rows of sweet, creamy, to-die-for delicacies. Now that makes my mouth start to water... mmmm Life is Sweet Called the Dessert Buffet , this is the first and one of the most (if not THE MOST) extensive dessert catering service in the metro as Diamond Hotel puts together an array of treats concocted with the skills and expertise of the hotel's kitchen team. After a short briefing about this new concept, we were ushered towards the dessert buffet station where we first allowed our eyes to take a closer look at each unique creation before giving in our taste buds t

another angel spotted on Earth

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Received yet another pleasant surprise from a friend this morning... I can't wait for next saturday to come along!! THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH!!! Ü

Bon Appetit à Cuillere

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"Welcome to Cuillere" , the cheerful server greeted us as we entered the cozy yet formal looking restaurant on lazy sunday afternoon. I had to ask her to slowly repeat the name of the restaurant in order to get the right pronounciation. "It's kwee-yer , Maam, with the silent Ls" , she explained. " Kwee-yer " repeating after her...sounds great! As we sat down, I glanced at the paper place mat in front of me and there it was. The pronounciation guide and the definition of the restaurant's name: Cuillere [kwee-yer] n. b. 2007 1. French word for spoon. 2. Choice utensil for Filipinos 3. A perfect bite: a spoonful One thing I love about dining out is being able to know more about the different cultures and appreciate the beauty of it. I've been receiving a number of raves about Cuillere and most of it were about its famous carabao milkshake. Sadly, I'm lactose intolerant thus I have to skip this one but nonetheless enjoyed my visit by trying

Let's Prettify and learn with the PROs

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I honestly think I need THIS . I'm so clueless when it comes to make up and beauty products! In fact, I've been sporting an Au Naturelle look even at work for 3 years! Modesty aside, thank God for good genes and clear skin that I somehow manage to always get away with it. My definition of putting on make up involves swiping some blush on my cheeks and glossing my lips up with my ever reliable strawberry lip gloss from Body Shop that is only when I remember to do so or if I have to go to an event that needs me to be a little more dressed up . Thanks to YSL and Guerlain who'll be hosting a couple of Trial Make Up sessions with top local make up artists :) It's never to late to learn! See you there! click to enlarge

[Cooking with Fran] Mixed Greens with Garlic Wasabi Mayo

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I love cooking and one reason why I always look forward to hosting a simple lunch or dinner party here at home is for me to be able to experiment on a couple of dishes for my family to enjoy. Keeping up with the healthy eating trend that is currently being practiced by my clan lately, I whipped up a refreshing Japanese-inspired salad that turned out to be a hit with my dear guests. Here's sharing with you my little masterpiece. Mixed Greens with Garlic Wasabi Mayo Dressing What you'll need: Mixed Greens (different types of lettuce, arugula, etc) Sliced cucumber Fresh or canned Mandarin Oranges (may also be substituted with Mangoes) Kani sticks - thawed, steamed for 1 minute and separate into strips Garlic Wasabi Mayo dressing 1 tbsp wasabi powder 2 tsp water 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp mayonnaise 1/2 tbsp chopped garlic 1) Mix water into the wasabi powder to make a think paste 2) Let it stand for 1 minute 3) Slowly add the wasabi mixture into the mayonnaise 4) Add in the chopped garlic 5

Sex and the City: The Movie =-=spoiler alert!=-=

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This is a story about love, life in fast-paced New York and most of all, a story about friendship . It began with a short recap on how the girls are -- Carrie , the ever fashionable New Yorker, has left Aleksandr Petrovsky and is now, once again, back in the arms of Mr. Big; Miranda , the intellectual lawyer has married her long time boyfriend, Steve and both are doting parents to Brady; pink-loving Charlotte has married Harry, her divorce lawyer, and after years of trying to have a baby has now adopted a cute chinese girl named Lily; finally, Samantha who has won the battle against cancer, moved to LA to be with her boyfriend Smith Jerrod who's an up-and-coming actor in Hollywood but flies back and forth to New York to meet up with the girls. The movie later moved on to the newest developments in the lives of the girls. There's a wedding being planned, a baby on the way, a re-evaluation of a current relationship and an obstacle that will put trust and yes, love , to the test