Friday, September 27, 2013

Abstaining from Cold Coffee...

I like my coffee iced, with skim milk and whipped on top. That's my version of morning coffee. I also drink lattes and brewed ones on days when I feel like having one or two cups. But, I have decided to take a pause on my cold caffeine addiction / splurge for 31 days starting October 1st.


My favorite cold coffee beverage among them all is The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's double chocolate ice-blended. This is my usual drink. But, I switch to mocha ice-blended no sugar added from time to time or to different cold coffee drinks from other coffee shops.

I'm not breaking up with my dearest double chocolate drink. This is just a small goal I have set for myself to remind me of the value of delaying gratification and to lessen my dependence on expensive caffeine. After October 31, I will try to just have a serving maybe once a week or less. This will also be benefical to me health-wise.

Wish me luck! I will keep everyone posted of my progress.

Happy Friday Folks!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Say Hello to iOS7

Sharing my new iPhone view... 

 
I have decided to pay no attention to the hype and skip updating my iPhone on launch day. I didn't like to endure long wait times so I updated my phone's OS before retreating to a deep slumber last night. Now, that's what I call effective time management.

Ain't it cute?

Image taken using iPhone5

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Sweet Spot Bakery and Cafe

Driving by the infamous "Eat" street named Maginhawa on a rainy Saturday night in search for a new cold coffee experience, I found myself in front of The Sweet Spot's doors.


As I walked inside the well-lit cafe, I immediately noticed the artsy interiors, the comfortable furnishings and the ambient feel of the playlist which contributed to the whole cozy atmosphere. I was taken by the beautiful wall art. I have a thing for chalkboard walls and drawings. They also have a mini library. Being a bookworm myself, I really liked the idea.







The cafe's owners/chefs are warm, accommodating and very hands-on. Their best seller for their coffee iced-blendeds is Banana Nutella, but my craving was leaning towards the more chocolaty side so I ordered their Mudslide instead. It was delicious. It wasn't too sweet. I have died and went to chocolate heaven! I have been loyally drinking ice-blended coffee since 1997 and my taste buds can truly recognize a good one.


By the way, if you're a coffee enthusiast like my husband, here's a fun fact about The Sweet Spot's coffee; some of their coffee beans came from the province of Benguet and they also have a special blend which is a fusion of Ethiopian and Brazilian coffee beans. 


My other observations:

-  It's a nice and clean cafe with a laid back vibe where I can hangout and just chill, study or write on my blog.

- Their prices are reasonable. For me, I don't mind spending money on drinks/food as long as the price meets/exceeds my taste expectations and the rest of my dining experience.

- Excellent service! (This is my non-negotiable)

On my next visit, I'd like to try the Kung Pao Chicken and Chocolate Salted Caramel for dessert. 


I like to support local businesses.This is such a deliciously sweet discovery. Maginhawa Street has recently sprouted good places to eat which is an advantage for me since I just live nearby. 

The Sweet Spot Bakery and Cafe
G/F 186 Maginhawa Street cor Makadios Street Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Open 10am - 11pm Daily

Images taken using iPhone5

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How was your weekend?

I was awakened by the pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof this morning. It's a soothing sound to wake up to. It's Monday and I have noticed that people around me are feeling a bit full-moonish. My husband and I have this theory. We've noticed that a few days before the full moon, people are unruly especially while driving in the streets of Metro Manila, moody, demanding, sarcastic, grumbly and more disorganized than usual. Now, I understand why Ashtanga Yogis do not practice when the moon is full.

Despite the chaos that surrounded me earlier today, I'm not complaining. I'm just grateful to have another day added in my existence. As I quietly re-read my favorite book while drinking the usual chocolate ice-blended  and listening to The Dive by Holosync, I can't help but appreciate the awareness I have for these little things. And I had a really good weekend that boosted my positive take on situations like this. I believe in the saying "A Sunday Well Spent Brings A Week of Content".

So more about my weekend... I got more loot from Human Nature. (Keep those orders coming!)


I have spent Saturday with Mike window shopping for the perfect Nike Stefano Janoskis. We went to Ronac Art Center where there is a famous sneaker shop called We Legendary. Then we had dinner of Wagyu Cheeseburgers at Charlie's Grind and Grill. This place has the best burgers I have ever tasted. We shared a glass of vanilla milkshake for dessert afterwards.





Sunday was spent with my side of the family. We had lunch at Cafe Mary Grace.  I ordered mushroom soup and Vigan Longganisa with Kesong Puti sandwich while Mike had their Vigan Longganisa with rice.




I had an afternoon Swedish massage at The Palm Garden Health Spa. They are now located in the 5th floor of the Laguna Tower at The Residences at Greenbelt. They used to be in Ortigas and their sister company named My Cool Mint Spa used to be in Katipunan Avenue.

                  

Mike and I shared a bowl of Butter Corn Miso Ramen at Kenji Tei Ramen House later that night. The hot soup warmed our tummies. It was perfect for the stormy weather.


So far, It was a weekend well spent.

How about you? How was your weekend? 

Photos taken using iPhone5

Friday, September 13, 2013

Penne in Arrabiata Sauce

I made Penne in Arrabiata sauce for yesterday's lunch. It's actually one of the husband's favorites. There are many variations of this recipe. This is my take on the classic, Italian pasta dish.


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of Penne
  • 2 Tbsps of extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 -5 strips of double smoked bacon ( I purchase my stash from Earle's)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 whole small onion
  • 1 - 2 Tsps dried chili flakes
  • 1 Tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (my brand is Hunt's)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 Knorr chicken cube
  • 3-4 Tbsps of tomato paste ( I use the one from Trader Joes')
  • 3/4 Tbsps of all purpose cream
  • 1 - 2 Tsp brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil the penne for about 10 - 15 minutes and then set aside. Heat the EVOO oil in the sauce pan then saute the garlic, onion, chili flakes and bacon. When the bacon is a bit toasted add the diced tomatoes, chili powder, Knorr chicken cube, salt, pepper and water. Let it simmer for about 2 - 3 minutes. then add tomato paste, all purpose cream, brown sugar and basil leaves. Let it simmer for about 5 - 7 minutes. Now add the penne to the sauce gradually depending on the pasta/sauce ratio of your preference. Then add the mozzarella cheese. Toss everything well in the pan until the mozzarella melts. This makes 2 - 3 servings.

Most arrabiata recipes use pecorino romano cheese or parmesan. I opted to use mozzarella. This recipe is quick and easy to prepare. It's spicy and tasty too!

Image taken using iPhone5

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mulberry's Alexa

I am a bag lover. People who know me well can attest to that. But, I don't hoard and I make sure to put them to good use on a rotational basis. 

Whenever my heart is set on a really nice bag, I prefer to purchase it in the actual store. For me it completes the whole brand experience. Being assisted by the sales clerk, placing the item inside a dust bag, the dust bag inside the box and the box inside a giant paper bag. Bliss! It's another story if a bag is being given to me as a pasalubong.

I have been crushing on this satchel by Mulberry for a long time. I like satchels because I'm always on the go and I like carrying my bags diagonally so my hands are free to hold a latte. I think my fascination with this started two years ago.I like simple and classic designs. For me simplicity is elegance.

It's called the Alexa. It comes in different colors but my personal favorite is this Oak Soft Buffalo one. I'm considering the gray one too. Hopefully, this will be in my hands by the end of the year. I'm claiming it already dear universe. *wink*

How about you, what bag are you crushing on? Share!

Image from NetAPorter

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Homemade Garlic Sauce

This is my first attempt to make garlic sauce. As a garlic lover, I must learn to perfect this craft. This sauce is versatile it can go well with different kinds of dishes or it can be used as a dip, dressing or even as a spread. My favorite garlic sauce versions are the ones from The Halal Guys (overseas) and Behrouz Persian Cuisine (local).


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt for a healthier option
  • 1/2 cup all purpose cream
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of pepper and salt
  • 1 tsp calamansi or lemon juice
  • chives (optional) 

Just mix everything together until all the ingredients are well-blended.


Voila! Our finished product. 


I used this batch for a minced meat dish I prepared for the husband. It was perfect!

Photos taken using iPhone5
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