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My Sister's Birthday

>> Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Yesterday my sister turned 32. How time flies.

Happy Birthday dear sister..

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Kakanin- always my favorite!

>> Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I have always liked kakanin since I grow up toa family who loves to prepare them for snacks. But as things got busy in life, I appreciate the fact that there are actually many people selling kakanin nowadays. But then we can not be certain if they are made clean unless we know the people who make them. 

Kakanin is a term coined for Filipino delicacies made of sticky rice or cassava or anything sweet or that which sends good vibes to the snacking Filipinos. Aside from the usual treats that I have enjoyed for years, I have discovered new ones in Butuan City, during our visit.

 Above are the Cassava Balls rolled in Shredded Young Coconut. I loved how that tasted.. 

Above is deep fried sticky rice with sweet yam as filling. That is also good, but I feel too heavy with the combination of the sticky rice and yam.

Above is actually common to me, except that this Bukayo is not too sweet. I do not know how that can be when the young coconuts were caramelized. I guess it depends on the sugar used.

I am excited to know more as my aunt told me that there are actually new discoveries and new combinations.. Well, until our next visit... 

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Red Apple - Butuan City

>> Monday, February 20, 2012

I have always liked the food at Red Apple. But I have not been to their shop. My aunt always buys food from them, and she takes home food from Red Apple that we all surely would enjoy. From cakes, pastries and even savory meals.  So even if I have not gone there, I have loved Red Apple goodies for years.

Anyway, my sister and I visited their shop last February 3, 2012 as we were looking for a cake to give our cousin for her birthday on February 4, 2012. We went and inquired, but we were NOT treated nicely by the staff who attended to us. I so hate how she moved her eyebrows every time she answered, plus the smirk and the sarcasm. So ended up NOT wanting to buy the cake that they have on display... I sure do not want to make business with ill mannered sales staff..

But in the spirit of food loving, plus the fact that we were hungry already, my sister and I bought the Cassava Pie and the Sacher Torte for dine in along with the very pricey soft drink that costs only less that ten pesos anywhere else.
I sure like their food, but eating there, dine-in, was quite an unhappy experience for me. It's okay for food to be pricey if people get good food plus good ambiance. But the place actually resembles a food court only. Nothing fancy, but plain old tables and chairs with less decor and dull wall painting.

So yeah, we will still eat Red Apple foods. They are after all, very good in taste. But to dine there may not be a vision in the future. I especially do not like how their staff would crowd around each other and not act nicely upon their customers. I wish they will learn a thing or two from Baker's Joy and of course, from Margie's.. 

Not writing this post to destroy Red Apple. I love their food. But maybe if they will take this constructively and invest on better staffing--- give their staff proper training on how to deal with customers, better ambiance, and better pricing to fit their market, then I am sure they will be a hit too. Just my two cents..

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Lunch, Dessert and the tokens from Culinary Institute of Cagayan de Oro

>> Sunday, February 19, 2012

Photo borrowed from Vince Udasco
We were invited to attend a baking demo by Chef Hasset Go at the Culinary Institute of  Cagayan de Oro, and I was happy to be part of it for just quite a while as the chef actually allowed us to do some of the things he did like folding ingredients, setting or even decorating or arranging garnish. The invitation was at 9 am but since we had to wait for a few more attendees, we started an hour late. And so we were only able to finish two cakes. 

 The Caramel Custard Cake, which was heavenly.
 And of course, the awaited Chocolate Truffle Cake, which was divine.
A slice of the yummy Chocolate Truffle Cake wouldn't be enough to satiate my chocolate cravings which automatically occurred as soon as I saw the finished product...

Good that we were given a slice of each cake to share as the seven of us were done with the delicious lunch.
The Chicken was to die for. I wonder if their students prepared them too. I loved how juicy the chicken was, and how the taste develops every time you chew. Anyway, if it's CIC recipe, I wish to learn about it so I can prepare it for myself too.
 To cap the visit, we were each given the above cookie packets, and they were actually prepared by CIC students as tokens for today's open house... I didn't get to taste them, but Lili and River says they were good. So I take their word for them..

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The Move, The Beach and Fresh Sea Food..

Yesterday we went as early as 4 in the morning to move things to my parents temporary abode in Opol, as well as to our new apartment here in Macasandig. I thought we'd all be staying at the apartment but my father said he is not comfortable there so the idea of moving in Opol before moving to their new home in Gran Europa. 

 After our first round of moving stuff, we decided, since my mom had been coughing and the two kids had been having runny nose, to go to the beach and take a dip. Eventually, since there were lots of peddlers selling fresh fish, we had breakfast at the beach too..

A lady peddler offered to have the fish broiled at a minimal fee, and another peddler sold boiled sweet potatoes. And that was a hearty, fresh breakfast for us. 

We also bought some fishes and crabs to take home for lunch. When we went to get stuff from the Balulang house, which was hit by TS Sendong flash flood, we saw the old couch and sofa. I wish we could find  discount upholstery fabric for the sofa, so we can have it changed. But my family decided not to take them anymore. 

The move continued on until we got tired of moving stuff to two different houses. My stuff at the apartment were mostly heavy as they are the books I have collected over the years. I guess if I didn't move out of my parent's place, they'd also be gone by now. 

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Simple Valentines Day at Home..

>> Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Instead of going on a date, our parents came home with sweets overload: 2 kinds of Selecta ice cream(Hersheys Kisses Ice cream and Pistachio and Cashew Nuts Ice Cream),  Goldilocks Brazo de Mercedes and Goldilocks Leche Flan and a box of Chocolate Crispies balls. We still do not have a dining table due to Sendong, so pardon the image you see below.

For dinner we had barbecue from BBQ Station, bihon which Sweetie cooked and grilled "panga"  (fish jaw) bought from Inilog Grill.
River was overjoyed as Goldilocks Leche Flan is his all time favorite--- he could actually finish it half in just one sitting..
The Chocolate Crispies Balls was actually bought from one of NCIP scholars selling them because my mother took pity on the child profit will go to the child's fare in going home.
And I was totally floored as Brazo de Mercedes is in fact my favorite.. But since I tasted that of Baker's Joy in Butuan City, or that rich Brazo from Tiny Kitchen or Lachi's in Davao City, which is quite similar to that from Vienna Kaffeehaus here in the city, I find that Goldilocks Brazo de Mercedes is not that yummy compared to them... But Brazo de Mercedes will always be Brazo de Mercedes to me, so I am happy this valentines day! Hehehe..

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Baker's Joy - Butuan City

>> Monday, February 13, 2012

During our trip to Butuan City, another cake shop that we went to is Baker's Joy. And for me, it's the second best shop to go to, next to Margie's. I guess even the group wearing Marcus scrubs, during our visit there, would agree.

It was yet very early, and the place has just opened for the day. As soon as we entered the establishment, we could already smell the delicious aromas as we were greeted by their very courteous staff. Then we went directly to the display of yummy cakes and pastries, for we were looking for a cake to give our cousin, the birthday celebrant.

We found Baker's Joy Double Chocolate Cake so tempting, so it was what we bought. But seeing that they have my favorites, we ordered them as well, but per slice.

I so love Baker's Joy Brazo de Mercedes. I do not know how to describe it though. It's just perfect. It's not too sweet to the point that one will reach a point of not wanting to eat it anymore. The middle part is rich and creamy, but not oily like some Brazo de Mercedes that I have tasted. The outer part is not at all airy, so you really know you are eating something, lol.

 And of course, Baker's Joy Nelusco Cake. I love the cake itself. It's rich. And the frosting is just divine. Those pretty caramels sprinkled all over are also  very nice.
We also tried Baker's Joy Brownie. Well, my sister likes brownies, she loves it. I wouldn't say I didn't like it, but it's just not "my brownie". But it tastes good, nevertheless. Overall, it was a very nice experience there, added to the fact that the staff are really nice.

Oh, and that's Baker's Joy Double Chocolate cake's look when sliced. It's truly worth noting that after thirty minutes that it was served, one slice was left for everyone loved the cake.. The next visit to Butuan City, we will surely get some more cake adventures at Baker's Joy..

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Say Goodbye to Food Stains

>> Friday, February 10, 2012

Whether you’re a budding chef or you just like good food, there’s nothing like a hearty homemade meal to beat the winter blues. A nice glass of wine by the side is always good too. But sometimes, no matter how careful you are, you can end up with the odd splash or two of your favorite sauce or red wine over your clothes. And let’s face it, few things are more annoying than pesky stains, especially when you find one on your new glad rags. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry – there’s a washing machine out there with the answer.
If scrubbing away doesn't work and there’s no stain remover to hand, you’ll need a washing machine with anti-stain programmes to shift those food and drink splashes. Siemens’ IQ-700 series are one of the best examples of stain-busting washing machines. Equipped with the autoStain system, they’re some of the most intelligent washers on the market.
The innovative autoStain system can remove food stains without the need for pre-wash treatments, stain removers or harsh chemicals. It’s really quick and easy to use too. All you need to do is choose one of the 16 stain treatments and let the washer do the rest. By changing the drum action, water level, temperature and wash duration, autoStain can tailor each cycle to that specific stain. Whether it’s red wine, coffee, chocolate, tomato, butter or oil, this clever stain removing system has you covered.
And don’t worry about your clothes suffering during a wash. As Siemens say, these washing machines might be tough on stains, but they’re extra gentle on your fabrics. You can find autoStain on the top of the range 8kg WM14S890GB model. Rated A+++ for energy efficiency, this highly intelligent washing machine can save you up to 30% in energy costs compared to A-rated models. Not only can take care of any stain, it’ll save you money in the process. Can’t argue with that.

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Margie's Kitchen in Butuan City

>> Friday, February 3, 2012

Finally, my sister and I were able to visit Margie's Kitchen to sample some of their delectable cakes and pastries. Every time we come here in Butuan City, we plan to drop by Margie's Kitchen, but always fail to do so. Our attempts always fail because we usually lack the time to do so. So today, after looking for liquid image summit series, we decided to go and drop by together with our cousin Grace.

We were not hungry really, we just wanted to sample some of their food. I have always wanted to try the Nelusko Cake, their house specialty. Unfortunately, it was not there today. Or maybe we were late? Anyway, I read that people love their Margie's Cookie Monster Cake as well as their Sans Rival.

That is truly yummy Margie's Cookie Monster Cake there.. Not too sweet, yet really rich chocolate.. At P 90 per slice, it truly is comforting to know that you wont feel guilty after eating a slice.. It was heavenly, I swear! Now, I find Margie's Sans Rival Cake (below) really tempting that I heard it calling our for me the moment we stepped inside the cafe.. And truth be told, it was really worth its price.  At P 95, I find it huge a portion. But well worth its price as I find myself really in cake bliss when I started taking it bit by bit..
My cousin Grace, on the other hand wanted something for early dinner, so she ordered a Thai dish which I do not exactly know the name because I forgot to ask earlier, lol.
So there-- my first time at Margie's Kitchen. And guess what? We are going back to taste other goodies, as well as linger in that cozy little cafe. I love how the decor comes overflowing with memorabilia and all that artistic touch. Reminds me of my room back in high school where graffiti and art have blended well with books and stuff. I hope to try the Margie's Kitchen Nelusko Cake on our next visit. I couldn't get over the fact that I was there.. so close to tasting it.. Hmm.. maybe tomorrow? hehehe, we'll see...
I like Margie's Kitchen in the sense that conversations there are intimate and the staff are actually really nice.. Best of all, Margie's Kitchen is a great place when you are with good company-- had a blast at Margie's Kitchen this afternoon with the two ladies above..  

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