Went to bed with breakfast

29 06 2009

YOU’RE READING it right – I went to bed with breakfast.

Breakfast Dinner - Corned Beef

Filled up on this - Purefoods corned beef, garlic fried rice, and a sunny side up - before hitting the sack.

Inspired by this hole-in-the-wall all-day-breakfast-menu place that some friends brought me too, my brother and I whipped up “cornsilog” for ourselves – for dinner!  “Cornsilog” – that’s CORned beef, “SInangag” (garlic fried rice), and “itLOG” (egg, cooked usually sunny side up).

At home, when it comes to corned beef, it’s always a toss up between three choices.  It’s either Libby’s, Palm, or – drumrolls for Pinoy pride up aheadPurefoods!

I’m the only one at home who loves lots of chopped tomatoes in his corned beef.  So for this one, I had to blanch, peel, and seed about 5 plum tomatoes (a.k.a. roma tomatoes).  I cut each in half, then quarter each half.

I saute a little garlic, a lot of chopped onions, and lots of the chopped tomatoes.  Then I throw in the corned beef.  The one in the photo was my actual dinner.

Purefoods corned beef… best with rice!  Sarrrap!





Two sauces, five dishes, one fine lady

28 06 2009

NEVER BELIEVE a thin chef, Clinton Palanca once wrote in his regular column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer (if my memory serves me right).  While I admire his humor and biting sarcasm – apart from the fact that I don’t see anything wrong with that line – I still took his advice with much skepticism.  Especially because of Chef Margarita “Gaita” Fores.  (I actually consider her more along the lines of “fit”.)

Chef - Margarita Fores

Woman on top – Chef Margarita "Gaita" Fores

When Secrets of the Masters first aired their trailer for what they called as a “first in Philippine TV,” I sort of frowned upon the fact that among the many “prominent” culinary figures whose names were interspersing in the text, not one said “Gaita Fores”.  Not only does she dispel the gospel of the “not thin” chefs, she happens to be one of the real culinary masters we have today.  Her successful ventures as chef-restaurateur- entrepreneurCafé Bola, Cibo, Pepato – stand as testaments to her genius in the best of world cuisine – authentic, or fusion with a local twist – that she has been offering to the discriminating Filipino palate.

So it didn’t come as a surprise to me anymore when they eventually featured Ms. Fores on the second Sunday of May.  I meant to blog about the show then but I just got swamped at work.  But thankully enough, when I turned on the TV on Saturday morning (I woke up before lunch time – now that’s a feat!), there was her episode being replayed.  Now, I have to really get down to it and blog!

Of all the many chefs featured on this show so far, I have to say that Ms. Fores happens to be the most articulate.  She came across as really self-assured, speaking with authority while being very generous and forthcoming with sharing her culinary secrets.  Even on its second airing, her episode managed to hold me captive with every word as it escaped her mouth.  She has a personality that transcends the barrier and the limitation imposed by the TV screen.  I had seen her a number of times in Café Bola and Cibo before – either sharing a meal with her family or taking the lead in the busy kitchen – and one thing that really struck me was how much a commanding presence she was.  She is not your conventional, cookie-cutter beauty.  But she would enter a room and she would command everybody’s attention.

For her Secrets of the Masters stint, she made two sauces that served as a foundation for the night’s dishes – “Pomodoro Crudo” (Marinated Raw Tomatoes) and “Pesto Genovese” (the classic Basil Pesto).  She showed how the marinated raw tomatoes could be used three ways – as pasta sauce (“Spaghettini Al Pomodoro Crudo”); as topping for bruschetta; and as sauce for grilled chicken breasts (“Chicken Breasts with Arugula and Palm Heart with Marinated Raw Tomatoes and Balsamico Dressing”).

As for the pesto, she combined it with a mushroom cream sauce and tossed it together with al dente farfalle (bow tie pasta) to come up with what she called as “Farfalle Genovese,” hands-down one of the bestsellers in Cibo.  As a nice, sweet, healthy ending to the sumptuous feast, she offered grilled fresh fruits with mascarpone cheese and dark brown sugar (“Frutti Grigliati Con Mascarpone & Zucchero Di Canna”).

The show’s host, Ms. Issa Litton, pointed out Ms. Fores’s simplicity of methods and techniques, as well as her going back to basics.  In her response, Ms. Fores declared that the nice thing about working with Italian food a lot is that the cuisine is really based on simplicity and just the produce itself that one works with.  Having Italian food as her first experience in working with food has really kept her really gounded and true to the first principles that she learned when she started (to work with food).

The presence of “kesong puti” (Filipino fresh cottage cheese) and “ubod” (heart of palm) in some of the night’s dishes further underscored Ms. Fores’s role as champion of the best Filipino ingredients and how she has been using them in her delectable creations.  Through her love affair with Italian food, she actually discovered – or re-discovered – so much about our cuisine and what makes it unique.

In my book, this episode is a keeper.  Not only did I see a true master at work but also, and more importantly, I felt her palpable passion – what she called as “a maternal instinct to feed and nurture”.  She hopes to continue on this path as she strives to make life and living a little bit more beautiful for others.  Not only for her clientele but for all the people she works with and all the people she meets along her way.  It was heartwarming for her to say that the whole experience on the show afforded her the chance to also learn from the audience and the crew.  Said Ms, Fores, “No matter how long you’ve been doing something, keep the point of view that everyday there is always something new to learn.”

Spoken like the true master that she is.

———–

This is the first time that I really paid close attention to the recipes featured. Here they are, the best way I was able to recall them. I didn’t capture the measurements (though none was explicitly stated) but anybody who’s ever cooked knows that most everything is “to taste”.
Segment One: Marinated Raw Tomato Sauce (“Pomodoro Crudo”) used three ways

Mix together chopped tomatoes (“roma” or “plum”), torn fresh basil leaves, minced fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  Ms. Fores made a huge batch because she intended to use this sauce three ways.

Spaghettini Al Pomodoro Crudo.  Cook the spaghetti or spaghettini according to package directions.  Use a lot of water in a huge pasta pot.  Season the water generously with salt.  Pasta water should taste like the ocean.  Toss freshly cooked al dente spaghetti or spaghettini with the marinated raw tomatoes, and top with crumbled “kesong puti” (Filipino fresh cottage cheese).

Bruschetta with Marinated Raw Tomatoes and Parmesan Cheese.  Ms. Fores showed how to make bruschetta the real way, with subtle garlic flavor.  Rub the cut side of a large clove of garlic on to sliced Tuscan round.  Then soak the cut sides of the bread in really good extra virgin olive oil.  Slap on the grill.  After grilling, season the bread with a little rock salt.  Top each slice with the marinated raw tomatoes.  The juices of the marinated raw tomatoes will soak up the bread a bit.  Grate fresh parmesan cheese on top.  Crack some fresh pepper on top.  Dress with a little bit more of good extra virgin olive oil.

Chicken Breasts with Arugula and Palm Heart with Marinated Raw Tomatoes and (just a tad of) Balsamico Dressing.  Marinate boneless, skinless chicken breasts in extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic.  Slap on the grill.  Once done – with grill marks to boot! – arrange the chicken breasts on a platter.  Dress generously with the marinated raw tomatoes.  Tear lots of fresh arugula leaves on top.  Toss in slivered fresh “ubod” (heart of palm).  Drizzle with a little “balsamico” (balsamic vinegar) and extra virgin olive oil.

Segment Two: “Pesto Genovese” (classic Basil Pesto), the old-fashioned way

The term “pesto genovese” means a sauce that originally came from the city of Genova (hence the “genovese”) and was originally made with a mortar & pestle (hence the “pesto”).

Pesto Genovese.  In the mortar & pestle, pound the fresh basil leaves into a pulp, then add some chopped garlic, salt and pine nuts.  Douse everything with good extra virgin olive oil and add freshly grated parmesan cheese too.  What’s good with pesto is that you should add it only in the end. When everything’s already cooked, that’s when you add it, especially when the pasta is already off the flame.

Mushroom Cream Sauce.  Use a medley of fresh wild mushrooms.  She used oyster, white button, and fresh shiitake.  Secret – Do not wash fresh mushrooms! We always are sort of mindless when we get to the kitchen and wash everything! Do not wash fresh mushrooms unless you want a disaster. Just wipe it with a damp cloth to remove whatever brown stuff you see.

In a heavy bottom skillet, saute lots of minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil.  Add in all the sliced wild mushrooms, except the oyster mushrooms.  When these are about half-cooked and the nice broth is starting to come out, that’s when you add the oyster mushrooms.  Season with rock salt.  Add some heavy cream.  Allow to reduce and thicken a bit. Add a little butter (just a little!).  And for a nice cream sauce, grate fresh nutmeg into it!  Ms. Fores said it smelled like Christmas!  She recommended nutmeg for cream dishes that have vegetables (eNTeNG – like spinach!) and those wherein cream is the more prominent component of the dish.

Farfalle Genovese.  While working on the sauce, cook farfalle (bowtie pasta) according to package directions.  Since this was “the second batch” of pasta (after the spaghettini above), she used the same water that remained in the pasta pot.  Invest in a nice enough pasta potThe pasta pot and pasta water could be your new best friends!  By the way, this pasta shape is perfect for cream sauces because it has little ridges that sort of scoop the sauce.

Toss the cooked farfalle into the mushroom cream sauce.  Drain the farfalle from the pasta pot but don’t be afraid to let a little (dripping) pasta water get added in to the sauce!  Freshly grate parmesan cheese on top.  Freshly crack black pepper on top.  Transfer everything on to a large serving platter.  Add the pesto sauce and mix well.  Scoop a spoonful of the pesto on to the center of the dish and put a sprig of fresh basil for a nice garnish.

Segment Three: Grilled fresh fruit with mascarpone cheese and dark brown sugar

Frutti Grigliati Con Mascarpone & Zucchero Di Canna.  This is a nice, sweet, healthy ending.  Slice pineapple into wedges, navel oranges into discs, and bananas into halves lengthwise.  Coat the fruits with a good drizzling of fresh lemon juice.  Slap on the grill.  Once done, transfer them on to a serving platter.  Top with a glaze of melted butter with dark brown sugar and lemon juice.  On the side, serve a tub of mascarpone cheese (carefully removed from the tub, with the shape of the mold preserved) topped with lots of the dark brown sugar.

———–

Café Bola, Cibo, Pepato… and now… Lusso!

“It’s my new baby actually.  It’s called Lusso.  And “lusso” means luxe in Italian.  It’s a little champagne bar in Greenbelt 5.  And the concept is more like a hotel lobby not in a hotel!  It’s a restaurant that serves slightly substantial dishes…  It is luxury with a conscience.  You can experience all the wonderful things that a luxury concept can give you.  (But) it’s not priced out of the market.  It’s priced by taking everything into consideration – especially the economic times, the way our country’s situation is.  It is a nice place to feel spoiled and enjoy yourself.”

– Chef Margarita “Gaita” Fores, talking about her newest venture on “Secrets of the Masters”




Kinda booked

27 06 2009

SUMMIT TAGGED me on facebookall the way from Adelaide! – on her note called “Booked”.  She said I have to list down 15 books that have stuck with me through these years.  And do so in 15 minutes.  Pressure!  And oh, tag 15 friends to do the same (including her since she would most likely want to know what her friends are into).  I thought about sharing this – what came to me in 15 minutes at way past 1:00 A.M. – here on my blog.  Here goes my list…

  1.  The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino – My fave quote: “True satisfaction lies not in the things one has… but in the things one can do without.”  This was a Christmas gift from a classmate in college who liked my “Book of the Dead” presentation in class.  Not exactly a fan (kapal ko naman!).  But she thought I was interesting.

  2.  The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo – Birthday gift from Friendship.  My fave quote: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”  Can the universe please conspire now?!?!  Hahaha!

  3.  Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – This was also a gift (but couldn’t remember who gave it.  Friendship?).  I’ve read this many times.  Eventually, Tuesdays have meant something to me too.

  4.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling – This was the ONLY Harry Potter book I finished!  But proudly, I have to say I did so in just one sitting.  Haha!  I have two – one was a gift, the other I got in a mall in Malaysia.  Their cover art work were so different!

  5.  The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown – I got this at Borders in Folsom.  I finished this in one sitting.  Though I never felt I had to read all his other books… Hmmm…

  6.  The Elements of Style by Strunk & White – This was a hand-me-down from my eldest brother after I topped the qualifying examinations for new staff writers for our school paper (“The New Builder”, Mapua Institute of Technology).

  7.  Speaking of Journalism: Twelve Writers and Editors Talk About Their Work by William Zinsser – This was one of the first books I bought when I was already working.  I would always carry this book with me wherever I went… hardbound at that!

  8.  Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten – I love love love cook books.  But somehow, this one sticks out from the rest.  I like Ina’s unpretentious style.  And I love the story of how she decided to buy the Barefoot Contessa deli.  (With all due respect to Giada, Tyler, Rocco, and – of course! – Rachael Ray, I reach out for their books as well whenever I’m in Powerbooks.)

  9.  For One More Day by Mitch Albom – This was a Christmas gift from Partner.  I love its story of how powerful a relationship is or can be.  A relationship lasts for a lifetime and even beyond.  As Partner’s favorite line from the book says: “Lost love is still love.  It takes a different form, that’s all.  You can’t see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move them around a dance floor.  But when those senses weaken another heightens.  Memory.  Memory becomes your partner.  You nurture it.  You hold it.  You dance with it.”

10.  Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory by Boylestad & Nashelsky – I am an engineer!  And this was my favorite book back in the day.  I practically memorized every single page.  Hahaha!

11.  When Chic Hits the Fan by Kitty Go – I first read this as an essay in the Philippine Daily Inquirer before it eventually became a book.  I got reminded when Friendship bought one for herself.  I got mine at Powerbooks in Megamall while waiting for Batman.  By the time he arrived, I was done with the book.  Hahaha!

12.  I don’t know the title… but there was this one coffee table book on vintage Omega timepieces that I would keep coming back for at the Powerbooks branch in Alabang Town Center.  I’d just read it there, I never thought about buying it.  Probably when I finally get to strap a Speedmaster on my wrist, I’d buy the book!

13.  El Filibusterismo by Jose Rizal – I liked this so much more than Noli Me Tangere.  I find the book to be the ultimate teleserye!  Hahaha!  And I read it many times… the very deep Tagalog version.  I’d ace El Fili quizzes in high school.

14.  The Washington Post Deskbook on Style compiled and edited by Robert A. Webb – Really old book but dependable just the same.  I love “writer’s books” or “manuals”.

15.  The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger – I never bought this, but I got to read it.  Started it at Borders in Folsom.  And finished it at Powerbooks in Megamall… again, while waiting for The Dark Knight to arrive.

Booked Facebook Tag





Chicken fajitas wrapped in thoughtfulness

26 06 2009

A SUPERHERO once told me that sometimes, we need to focus on the constant love of family and friends.  And just when I least expect it, I get reminded of this constant love.  Today – at lunchtime – it came by way of a note posted on my laptop station.

Note 002

Portent of a yummy lunch to come

 

I’ve been missing out on the Tuesday night dinners hosted by the lovely people from our Finance group here in the office.  Hazel Marie has been patiently adding me on the weekly invitation list.  And she has been more patient in reminding me in person.  Quite unfortunately, I’ve been – as I had said – missing out.  Too bad since this latest one sounded really tempting from the teaser alone – ¿qué hay de cena?

But since the featured chef last night was the Brenda Aragon-Gallo, I’m being blessed with leftovers – probably not even – brought to work especially for me!  Oh well, I don’t want to think of myself more loftily than I really am.  I guess I kinda hinted through text that I’d want to have a taste of Brenda’s featured recipe for the night.  Hahaha!!! (The no-show sherpa was shameless).  I was actually meaning to join them.  Unfortunately, I called in sick yesterday.

Once at the cafeteria, Brenda handed me a microwaveable tub of her chicken fajitas.  Sans the requisite warmed soft flour tortilla (wrap?) and grated cheese, I actually wondered if I should call it “fajita” or “fajitas.”  But with or without the “s,” one thing was for sure – Brenda’s Chicken Fajitas more than lived up to what we usually know as cooked meat and vegetables in choice spices, served with soft tortilla, sour cream, avocado, and grated cheese on the side.

After 45 seconds on high in the microwave, I removed the half-opened lid and instantly caught a whiff redolent of chili powder, paprika, and cumin – lots of smoky cumin!  I didn’t fret over the fact that there weren’t any soft tortilla – or baguette like the ones they had the night before – because there still was rice!  Brenda’s version of this beloved Mexican dish was chockful with the most succulent and tender fillets of chicken breast and / or thigh meat.  Spider-man, who shared lunch with me, was very astute in pointing out that the meat was oozing with its natural juices that had married perfectly with Brenda’s special concoction of spices and seasonings.  I loved loved loved the generous amount of julienned red and green bell peppers and sliced white onions.  They had remained crisp and bright colored (especially the peppers) with a resounding crunch to them.  And something has to be said about the onions – they were so sweet and reminded me of the “almost caramelized” onions that I would have with a Philly cheesesteak sandwich!

I thoroughly enjoyed this dish that I had to text message Brenda halfway through my lunch.  It was that good.  And as always, I asked for the recipe.  I now actually call her my Mexican cuisine queen.  Her Orange Roast Chicken and now her Chicken Fajitas rightfully earned for her that title.

Soon enough, I will share here recipes from Brenda’s kitchen.  You can recreate the dishes yourselves and fall in love (with the food, of course!).  I have to say too that her dishes are perfect for “cooking for someone”… those you serve them to will adore you.

But be careful who you cook for.  They just might not want to let go of you after.  Hahaha!

Note 001

Thanks, Brendz!... and Hazel too!





eNTeNG c”,)™©’s MunchTime™©

25 06 2009
After seven months and 10 days, and 115 posts, I finally decided to change the title of my blog.
 
From “eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s Blog”…
to “eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©“.
 
Munch” for my passion for food – the usual subject of my posts.  “Time” for my other passion – wristwatches.
 
MunchTime™©” because I believe that sometimes, nothing beats spending time with the people who matter the most in your life over – whatelse?! – but great food.
 
Welcome to eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©!!!




Super spidey bat

24 06 2009

I HATE it when TV shows try their darndest best to make you cry.  I hate it when they relentlessly wring your lachrymal glands dry just to get that solitary tear to fall.  That’s why I had never had the patience for teleseryes (with all due respect to thecorporateteener whose written works I adore!).  I’ve never really successfully sat through even just an episode.  If anybody would force me, I would demand strong drip coffee – on an IV – and quick!

Fortunately enough for me, I’ve found a few shows that do manage to sustain my interest.  On my friendster account – waaay back in the day! – I shamelessly sang peans for these TV series I claimed as my favorites.

And this past week, a couple of these shows – Ugly Betty and The Big Bang Theory – managed to bring to mind three very special people in my life.  My own superheroes.

Ugly Betty”, being the multi-awarded comedy series that it is, surprisingly tugged at my heartstrings as the re-interpreted Cyndi Lauper original “Time After Time” cued the closing scene of part two of the show’s season three finale.

“Sometimes we’re fated to meet certain people who can change our lives.  People who really make a difference.  They make you a better person.  They push you to grow.” – Daniel Meade, Season Three, Episode 24

It was after hearing that – and feeling a solitary tear finally falling – that I got reminded of my three superhero best friends.  And I was so surprised how a quote from Ugly Betty would bring back flashing scenes from season one of “The Big Bang Theory”… scenes rife with superhero references.

And whether in the protagonists’ superhero fashion statement t-shirts, or in their actual lines, I would always get reminded that out there are at least three people who I was fated to meet.  They have changed and are changing my life.  They make a difference.  They make me a better person.  They allow me to grow.  And the best of all, they make me feel that I matter.

So here’s a shoutout to you.  To Batman.  To Spider-man.  To Superman.

 

Superheroes - Bat IMG_1917

The Dark Knight

The Big Bang Theory, Season One Episode 13, “The Bat Jar Conjecture”

“Hey, check it out.  I got you a Batman cookie jar.” – Leonard

“Oh, neat.  What’s the occasion?” – Sheldon

“Well, you’re a friend and you like Batman and cookies…” – Leonard

 

The Big Bang Thoery, Season One Episode 11, “The Pancake Batter Anomaly”

“My spare glasses are in my bedroom, on my dresser, next to my bat signal.” – Leonard

Superheroes - Spidey IMG_3385

Spidey!

The Big Bang Theory, Season One Episode 14, “The Nerdvana Annihilation”

“My spidey sense tells me this has something to do with Penny.” – Sheldon

 

Superheroes - Super IMG_0789

Man of steel

The Big Bang Theory, Season One Episode Nine, “The Cooper-Hofstadter Polarization”

“What’s this?” – Penny

“That’s the bottled city of Kandor.” – Leonard

“Uh huh…” – Penny

“You see, Kandor was the capital city of the planet Krypton.  It was miniturized by Braniac before Krypton exploded and then rescued by Superman.” – Leonard

    





A masterpiece confection of edible art

24 06 2009

[This post has been a long time coming. Finally, I got a picture to accompany my short prose!  Thanks to my good good friend Rizzie Ocampo Lontoc for allowing me to write about this.]

 

Bom-Rizzie DSCF6386

Bom & Rizzie's three-tiered wedding cake by Ms. Judy Uson

WAY NEXT to the radiant bride, it is the cake that takes the center stage in any wedding celebration.  Center stage or whichever side of the stage the coordinators decide to perch what has long been touted as a symbol of a newly wedded couple’s willingness to share with each other (they feed forkfuls to each other, don’t they?!).  But regardless of the position, the wedding cake takes its rightful place of unquestionable prominence and importance.

That’s the reason why I always – always – take a good look at the wedding cake.  I don’t really remember relishing a piece of these cakes as there would almost always be no opportune time to get a slice (Note to self: eNTeNG, you’re not part of the happy couple! Quit stalking the cake! Hahaha!).  But good thing that the sight of these cakes was always enough to satiate the craving of the eyes and the grumbling of the stomach.  It is safe – and fair – to say that I’ve never seen any “unpretty” wedding cakes.

But there is one wedding cake that has stood out in my mind up to now – over six months since I saw it.  It was my good good friends’ Bom & Rizzie’s wedding cake – a Judy Uson original!  It was a three-tiered, three-flavor white fondant-covered cake of mocha, chocolate, and carrot, beautifully festooned with sugar blooms of peonies, calla lilies, and roses, among many others.  More than anything else, I look back and see a wedding cake that successfully reflected my friend Rizzie as a bride on her most special day – stylishly simple and understatedly elegant.  The edible sugar flowers – not your typical commercially available dull sugar roses – exploded in shades of purple, Rizzie’s color motif, while managing to not really scream “color motif”!  That’s quite a feat for Ms. Uson who clearly is more than a pastry chef, she is a cake artistto the truest sense of the words!

Bom & Rizzie’s wedding still comes back to me as one of the best I’ve ever been to.  And from the many spots where I stood as their reception emcee, I would always see just how perfect the Blue Leaf Pavilion set-up was.  But I would always vividly recall just how their wedding cake managed to help put focus to such a joyous – breathtaking for the most part – occasion, as it mirrored the lovely bride, my good friend.

Bom-Rizzie DSC-0025-2

That's me with my good good friends Rizzie & Bom.





The postwoman rang twice

19 06 2009

IT’S FINALLY here!  The invitation to my friend Marie’s wedding in August, that is.  Thanks to the kindness of a network of friends – from Marie herself, to Agnes, to “postwoman” Ems (she did “ring” me twice!) – this very lovely chocolate-brown-and-some-shade-of-blue invitation finally found its way to my hands.  If you sense that my excitement is quite palpable, it is simply because this is one of the very few event invitations that have managed to excite me so far.

Invitation - Subido-Aguilar 01

Hues of chocolate brown and blue - the elegant invitation to the Subido-Aguilar nuptials!

 With all due respect to all the people who have given me the time of day – not to mention precious thoughts – through inviting me to their life’s milestones, I have to say that I’m going to do my best to make it to Marie and Ian’s wedding.  I’ve missed quite a number already, and I have to say that I remain to be very sad over them.

The last wedding I was in was my good friends Bom & Rizzie’s.  They afforded me the pleasure and honor to emcee their wedding reception and to date, it has remained to be one of the more memorable weddings I’ve been to.  There was also this one wedding reception at the Diamond Hotel Manila that Partner and I co-emceed to rousing appreciation by the couple (Partner’s friends) and the guests that included Senator Edgardo Angara, and then Solicitor General, now Secretary of Justice, Agnes Devanadera.  She liked me a lot that we had our picture taken. Hahaha! (The sherpa keeps on climbing that mountain!)

Marie also asked me to co-emcee their wedding.  I really thought she was just kidding at first.  But through a network of friends – yet again! – I eventually realized that she was serious to give me the job.

And as I had told her when I accepted, I’d do it in a heartbeat, WITHOUT any form of talent fee involved.  I don’t have serious talent anyways.  And I’d be glad to do things for people I really consider my friends.

 

A quick note on the invitation – It is really lovely!  And very stylishly so.  The fonts they used are very understatedly elegant and easy on the eyes.  Having their (Ian’s & Marie’s) names emblazoned in gold just seemed very auspicious to me.  Friendship was quick to point out that the invitation shares the same colors as Cupcakes by Sonja’s logo and sticker.  I didn’t figure that out at first! It just made it (the invitation) all the lovelier.

Invitation - Subido-Aguilar 03

The body of a most lovely invitation

 

Invitation - Subido-Aguilar 00

Subido-Aguilar Nuptials, 15 August 2009





Chillin’ with chocolate and the rain

19 06 2009

BEAR WITH me while I forge ahead with my many many trips down memory lane (imagine me cringing at having to use that term!).  There are just some things that I’ve been missing lately.  And still, there are more “other” things that have been confined in my mind.  Sometimes I wonder if my head will just explode to get me out of my misery – fast.

One thing I’ve been missing terribly has been my Monday nights in the Makati area.  For sure, the very gracious, very warm and comfortably attentive staff of Cupcakes By Sonja in Serendra, Royce’ in Greenbelt 5, Krispy Kreme in Glorietta 4; the produce guys and gals in Rustan’s and SM; and the attendants at the deli section of Le Gourmet may have been wondering where the hell in the world I am.  Hahaha!  Pardon my sudden bursts of feeling important and – this is a stretch – unforgettable.  Hahaha!

But seriously, I’m in such an emotional rut so deep I couldn’t see myself escaping to see the sunshine anytime soon.  I’ve been missing… a lot of things and a few people who really matter.  And the only consolation I have is the fact that my memory gap hasn’t caught on just yet.  Hahaha!  I do relish all the memories.  It is true that at certain points in one’s life, the things left to hold on to are just the memories.  And I give myself a pat on the back for building and making memories with people I really care about.  But for the person that I am, the photographs and the memories can only do so much.  Nothing will come close to taking the place of seeing things right in front of you; and of hearing someone’s voice.  But then again, the sad flipside to that was the one time when I had never really realized just how very far away I was from my dream than when I was standing right next to it.

The last time I was in the Makati area – just a few weeks back – I sort of made my own “stations” of the “whatever” as I dropped by each gastronomic place that has come to mean something to me.  It was cathartic – not to mention expensive.  Hahaha!  I bought stuff like there was no tomorrow.  And I finished each one off with a good understanding that they meant more than just food.  They reminded me of people.  Of places.  Of the good times.  Of conversations that articulated emotions from both the farthest ends of the human spectrum – the highest of joys and the most hurtful of sorrows.  And now, sadly, they also do remind me what being a pudgy eNTeNG means.  Hahaha!

With a large Krispy Kreme Chocolate Chocolate Chiller in my right hand, and bags of doughnuts and Royce’ chocolates on the other, I stepped out of Greenbelt 5 and faced a starless sky, allowing the drizzle to kiss my face.  Yes, global warming and climate change do suck big time.  But that night, I was thankful for the light rain.  It may have messed up and washed away the “extreme style” reworkable putty that had kept my “Prada model” bangs in place.  But it did a great job to even out the tracks of tears that have been running down my face for nights.

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Krispy Kreme Chocolate Chocolate Chiller!

 

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Krispy Kreme canvas tote





Little sweet indulgence that brings a Superhero to mind

15 06 2009
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Bizu Patisserie Macaron De Paris - from their official website at http://www.bizupatisserie.com

LAST NIGHT’S episode of “Secrets of the Masters” featured a master pastry chef – Chef Yusuf Yaran of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel (I surmise from the plugging of “Circles” and “Red”).   If my memory serves me right, I think he used to be with another hotel. I did take a mental note to pay that hotel a visit just so I could get a bite of these little, delicately pastel-colored sweet confections – thousands of which he makes daily!

Actually, that has just been a thought I’ve been fancying.  Because I’ve never been deprived of these “little indulgences,” as Bizu Patisserie calls them.  And that’s exactly where I’ve been getting my regular fix from.  It all started with one pretty Christmas present from Friendship.  I think it was their canister of 14 of these that she gave me… and got me started into an addiction that from time to time, needs to be satiated.

Bizu’s website perfectly describes these sweet delights that go by such a lofty name as “Macaron de Paris.”  I assume that it is steeped in tradition, being touted as a very popular pastry in many patisseries in France.  “These round pastel-colored pastries are sinfully sweet with crushed almonds and luxurious creme ganache flavors that burst in the mouth.  The texture is quite unique – as each macaron has a light thin crust that gives way to a soft and chewy cookie that is also light and airy.”

Now my mouth is surely watering.

There was a point in the recent past when I would almost always drop by Bizu Patisserie at their Alabang Town Center Branch to get – whatelse?! – canisters and boxes of these luscious macarons de paris.

Eventually, it has become a favorite of Superman’s too.  He particularly likes pistachio, coffee, and caramel.

I have to go back to Bizu!  It has been one of my own favorites, finding it’s rightful spot in my “eNTeNG’s 25.”

eNTeNG's 25 Bizu

From my "eNTeNG's 25" post!