Today in jeans and shirts

19 01 2011

WHEN MY penny-pinching started, my blog post “Life in the time of bailouts” came to be.  Nothing much has changed a couple of years since I wrote that.  If there’s anything that three consecutive days and nights at the Mall of Asia (MOA), and a serendipitous find at the “Shell of Asia” along NLEX further affirmed to me, it is that I will shop only where it says SALE.  Preferably in big, bold, red letters.

Last Friday, while doing the rounds of stores at MOA – for shirts and toys for my nephews – I chanced upon this window display at Lacoste.  I was drawn to how well-put-together the whole ensemble was.  I loved the shirt and the shoes, but it was the pair of pants in royal blue that pulled me in to the store.  Now I could say that the green scarf speaking to Rebecca Bloomwood, luring her to yet another unnecessary purchase, wasn’t so preposterous.

Lovin' the pants in my fade shade of blue!... Lacoste ensemble at their window display in MOA.

I actually hesitated to inquire because I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford it.  Besides, I didn’t want to risk having to call the pants “that blue stuff on display” – because I’d always articulate my inquiry to sales people rather than point with my fingers – lest I earn the ire of Miranda Priestly and get a dressing down on how this shade of blue trickled down to the masses.  Sensing my indecisiveness, my sister-in-law did all the asking on my behalf.  Php 4950.00 for the pair of pants.  Quite steep for my standards for things I buy for myself.

I told myself that I could save up for it.  Then another voice in my head told me that if I will have to do that, I don’t have a business wanting it in the first place.  So, goodbye Lacoste pants in my favorite shade of blue.

Then came the weekend.  On the drive back from Fontana in Clark we decided to stop for Starbucks, which we found at this gas station that purports itself to be the “Shell of Asia”.  Do you know how it feels like when you know what your goal or intention is and yet so many other things seem more attractive, piquing your curiosity and pulling you to directions other than your original goal?  That’s exactly what happened to me on the way to Starbucks.  And it was because one store screamed: “OUTLET”.  Giordano Outlet, to be exact.

Giordano Outlet at the Shell of Asia along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)

Walking past the Php 299.00 shirt pile, I ran my fingers through the jeans rack and that was where my eye caught a certain shade of blue peeking from what appeared to me as a slice of vanilla gateau de crêpe turned to its side.  Eureka!  And when I checked the tag – reduced three times! – it was just for the very affordable price of Php 750.00.  Sold!  Hahaha!

So here it is, my new pair of jeans.  In the shade of blue that I love.  For a price I was willing to pay.

Giordano jeans in my favorite shade of (royal) blue!

 

(At MOA, I also found a statement shirt that appealed to me in all its cheesiness.  Yes, cheesy but undeniably…  hopeful too.  Hahaha!)

"God is writing my love story"

 

Today in jeans and shirt

 

This is just so cute.

 

Starbucks at the "Shell of Asia"

 

My usual "goodness" is chai tea latte over ice. Sometimes, it's green tea latte, which I discovered through Green Lantern.

 

Starbucks Flourless Chocolate Brownie

 

Dessert and tea

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





I now know what Laura Esquivel probably meant

21 08 2010

Starbucks' Classic Chocolate Cake

I OFTEN wonder why, whenever I’m actually in the store at Starbucks, I never ask for this pastry.  But whenever I get things to go, it is the first thing I ask for, around which I build the rest of the takeout food I get.

I finally got the answer earlier in the afternoon today, while enjoying one – fresh from the refrigerator – in joyous solitary confinement at home.  I let out copious, unapologetic moans with each bite!

It sounds quite scandalous, I know.  And it is.  I couldn’t help but imagine the stares I would get from other diners who probably would have gone to the place for a leisurely, and surely wholesome tête-à-tête.

This surprising, amazing moment of clarity necessitated the sending of text messages to close friends, declaring that “Starbucks’ Classic Chocolate Cake is THE love.”  It’s sinfully luscious, with all three layers bathed in glossily smooth frosting, crowned with shards of chocolate for a subtle yet dramatic touch.  Quite the classic.  Quite old-fashioned.  Undeniably good.

TheCorporateTeener texted back to clue me in on who Starbucks’ supplier is!  Wow, pleasurable moans, and now, an ultimate “know-who” (as opposed to “know-how”).

Three layers of heaven

 

Shards of chocolate on top and on the sides

 

Classic. Old-fashioned. Simple. Straightforward.

 

 

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Sin – but with good chocolate cakes

3 02 2010

Halfway through the tempting Conti’s® Chocolate Cake

LOOKING BACK, I think I developed my good-natured tolerance of delays or having to wait, by way of pastry.

A slice of Conti’s® Chocolate Cake

I remember that as a kid, I would stand patiently by one of the display counters at our neighborhood’s bakeshop.  Patiently, as I had to keep watch over the chocolate cake roll.  I would steal glances at it until all that was left would be the last slice – the one at the end.  The one smothered with real good icing.  At the right moment, I would turn around and pounce – literally snatching the coveted slice off of the next would-be customer’s hands.  Then I’d be walking back home a really happy boy.

I guess that defines for me one of the things I love about really good chocolate cake – the icing.  No, enough good icing.  The icing around the circumferential edges of a slice wasn’t enough for me.  I wanted at least one side of it to be smothered too.  And for me, that requirement of a good chocolate cake hasn’t changed till now.

However clichéd it may sound, a chocolate cake has to be moist too.  I have to warn with the “clichéd” disclaimer as someone who reads my blog blurted out over lunch one time, “You always just say it’s moist and you like it already.”

Oh well, how else should I say it?  When I look for a consistent, dense crumb while at the same time expecting not to chew on something that feels like cardboard or anything days-old, all I’m looking for is enough moisture.  Besides, I’ve eaten enough chocolate cake in my life to know if one’s good.  In one of our Christmases, a first cousin brought a chocolate cake that was the faithful reproduction of the recipe at the back of a Hershey’s cocoa powder tin can.  It had collapsed on the drive over – but the appearance didn’t take away from the fact that it was so damn good.

Recently, I’ve become a fan of two chocolate cakes that embody the best qualities I seek.  One is from Conti’s® and the other is from Starbucks®.  They are moist and are generously slathered with good boiled icing.  The fillings in between the cake layers are a plus too.  They’re so good that on New Year’s Day, when offered a whole cake instead of just the slice I asked the barista for, I snapped it up.

A slice of Starbucks® Chocolate Cake

A tight shot of the consistent, dense, moist crumb.

But if there’s one thing that can be said about these two, it is that they can be easily had.  And unless what you’re looking for is a lifelong partner, settling for something that can be found easily – even in the dead of the night – doesn’t mean compromising on your standards.

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.





Cocoa in numbers

21 05 2009

 

THIS HAPPENED last Monday.

Cocoa in Numbers - Lindt 00 

I don’t normally snack before lunch time.  But I could already hear my stomach grumbling furiously.  So grabbing something to bite was in order.  But unfortunately, my meetings then were running a bit late.

 

So I turned to my seat mate, our company’s Quality & Reliability Manager, and asked if she had something I could munch on.  She stepped out of the room and in an instant came back with a box of chocolates she said she didn’t really want.

 

It was a Lindt EXCELLENCE 85% COCOA DARK SWISS THINS.  I took one bite of one of the 2” x 2” thin squares and instantly fell in love.

Cocoa in Numbers - Lindt 01 

Cocoa in Numbers - Lindt 02 

I felt like I literally melted in my seat.  The “thins” – each “engraved” with the signature Lindt cursive brand logo – have a deeply intense, dark and bitter chocolate taste that smelled robust and full-bodied.  The “crunch” that came with each bite would later give way to a velvety smooth texture as the chocolate melted on my tongue.  I guess this kind of dark chocolate doesn’t really appeal to everybody’s palate.  But it does to me.  Some who tried it said they’re just fit to be used for baking or probably thrown in to a pot of boiling water to make “Tsokolate eh!

Cocoa in Numbers - Starbucks 00 

Cocoa in Numbers - Starbucks 01 

Having tremendously enjoyed this box of chocolate brought back to mind the beautiful box of STARBUCKS COFFEE COMPANY® *STARBUCKS® ORIGIN SELECT CHOCOLATES* that I bought at their store right across our company’s corporate offices on Prairie City Road somewhere in the Golden State, right around one Christmas time.

Cocoa in Numbers - Starbucks 02 

As you can see from the pictures, the box could actually pass off as a “Celestina minaudiere,” complete with metallic chrome hardware – the snap lock.  Inside this box came individually wrapped miniature chocolate blocks of Starbucks’ special “Origin Select Chocolates” – Venezuelan 45% cacao, Ecuadorian Arriba 66% cacao, Mexican 50% cacao, African 34% cacao, African 54% cacao, and Venezuelan 73.5% cacao.

 

I won’t go to great lengths as to how I recollect these chocolate pieces tasted.  They’re all in the pictures.  Hahaha!

Cocoa in Numbers - Starbucks 03