fbpx

Crisp on 28th at FasT4ward Christmas Brunch

Crisp on 28th Al Fresco Area
Source: Crisp Facebook Page

Every year, the JG Summit Management Trainees Batch 4 – we call ourselves FasT4ward or T4 – get together for brunch to catch up on each other’s lives.

I owe the jump start of my career to the MT program of the Gokongweis. I will be eternally grateful. While I haven’t graduated from the program because I joined the C2 Marketing Team immediately, I am lucky and thankful to have met 29 wonderful people (my fellow MTs) and all my mentors in this awesome program.

So this was us nine years ago — all skinny and young!

Our MT family has doubled after almost a decade with most of us having our own families. Every year, we need a bigger venue to accommodate cute kids and our spouses/partners. 
Our mandatory group shot

This time around, we gathered at Crisp on 28th. This establishment is partly owned by Erwan Heusaff.

Photo from Crisp’s Facebook Page

Bacon and Eggs!

Husband’s awesome breakfast plate.

The breakfast serving was huge (at least for me). I wasn’t a fan of the fluffy eggs though. I want to try one of their healthier dishes one day as I’ve heard that they were good.

Lastly, I loved the ambiance of the place and that the attendants were courteous. <3

Crisp is located on 28th St. in Bonifacio Global City. 
Tel: +639175846883
Facebook: Crisp On 28th
Instagram: @crispon28th
Any favorites from this place? Let me know and hit me up! 🙂 
xx,
Balot

Dough-It-All By Myself

 

I woke up at the wrong side of the bed this morning. I was supposed to fix some business requirements for my shop, transfer my BIR RDO, go to the City Hall and meet a friend but I just didn’t have the energy to do so. I am taking a medication which totally effs up my hormones (and probably my brain) – another immunosuppressant for my APAS condition and its side effects are driving me crazy.
I had a little emotional breakdown. This is not to be melodramatic or whatsoever. I think it just comes to a point when you second-guess yourself on a major decision you have made (read: corporate junkie turned housewife).

What have I done? I threw all of my career away. When is my baby going to come? What the hell am I supposed to do the whole day? 

I know all about positivity. I am an advocate for it but sometimes, it just gets you off-guard. Especially when you are all alone. It also does not help that Sachi cannot talk back to me *sigh*.
I try to keep myself busy but there is a limited variety of things to do at home. I do not like watching television the whole day. I couldn’t even concentrate on the book I was reading! Desperate situations needed desperate measures so, I went to my helpline and called a friend.
So Carla, who is back in Bacolod (this is the thing I hate most because I could not just see my closest friends or my family when I need them), told me to do something to pass the time. Do anything to divert my state of mind. She told me that maybe I should already start on my baking project, which I have been wanting to do for a while.
Of course, obedient as I always am *snicker*, and with nothing to do, I drove to this place which was introduced to me by my another friend, Sarah, who owns Pateacherie. Several months ago, I was looking for some supplies for my accessory shop and she brought me here.
So… the place which took away some of my woes today — introducing Dough-It-All (pretty punny, right?)
Dough-It-All is located at C. Palanca Street in BF Homes in Paranaque and it carries the whole thingamajig for baking – from pans to cutters to liners and ingredients. It is a one-stop shop for anyone who just wants to bake!
Photo from Dough-It-All Facebook Page.
Entrance to a baker’s heaven.

They have all kinds of these cute candy cups and cupcake liners. They are all equally nice and fun to collect.

Cupcake liners. In cute designs and colors.

They have pans and trays – plastic, aluminum, big, small, round, square – anything, you name it!

Pans and Trays.

And soon, if I am able to bake a cake — I should probably get this.

Cake bases. Or whatever that is called. Haha!

All the baking supplies you need at less the cost than the ones in malls!

 

 

Boxes for all types of pastries.

 

Lovely.

So, this is what I got for my little baking project this afternoon and I spent around  PHP1000 for all these supplies. I think it wasn’t bad although I wouldn’t really know. Any tips for me, baker friends? 🙂 

This is the itemized list of what I purchased. I had at home the other dry ingredients like the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

Item Description  Qty  Unit Cost  Total
Grease Paper 1 pack or 10 sheets of 24×36 in 1                65.00          65.00
2 oz Cupcake Liners 200 pcs per tube 3                54.00       162.00
Aluminum Tray 18″ 2                35.00          70.00
Muffin Pan 12s 1              230.00       230.00
Bensdorp Cocoa per kilo 1              238.50       238.50
Icing Set With Spatula, measuring spoons and icing tube 1                65.00          65.00
Baking Pan 7x7x2.75 1                58.00          58.00
Baking Pan 9x10x2 1                80.00          80.00
Total       968.50

So for my first baking experiment, I came across this site, Bake Happy by Aikko. She said that her recipe for a Perfect Moist Chocolate Cupcake is foolproof. Magic word there! Unfortunately, I just had to skip that part when it said that I had to fill up the pan with 1/4 cup of the batter. I missed the “cup” so I poured the batter on the pan up to 1/4 of its level. Hahaha. Geez!

Quarter-full of batter. Haha. Fail!
After getting these babies out of the oven, I re-read the recipe and yes. That “cup” word. I missed that. So I made the adjustments on the second batch and this is the result!
 I did not want to do the frosting yet as it’s just too much sweetness for me for today. So there goes my first attempt at baking.
My first ever cupcake! Yey!
So there. I was able to take off my mind off my little low today. I am just following the advice of a friend to re-focus myself first on other things such as cooking (because God knows I still suck at it, hehe) and baking.
How about you, loves? How do you distract yourself from the things you worry about? Come on! Share something with me and let me feel I am, at the very least, still normal.
And to my baker friends who got this thing all figured out, what do you think? What else do I need? Any awesome recipes you can share with me? Hit me up!
xx,
Balot
PS. This is the shop information:
Dough-It-All (Baker’s Supply Center)
C. Palanca St., BF Homes, Paranaque
Monday to Sunday 5:00 am to 7:00 pm
PPS. I heard from the shop attendant that they have already opened branches in Baguio and in SM Aura. Awesome!

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery: More Than Just Cupcakes


So… I have been wanting to bake as of late to learn something “new” while staying at home. Me and Edzel have already bought some ingredients last Sunday and I already have an electric mixer (yey!) but unfortunately, I still lacked some ingredients (I thought baking powder and chocolate bars would suffice but apparently, I need baking soda and cocoa powder, tee-hee!). I should probably grab the rest of what I need for my mid-week rendezvous tomorrow.

In the meantime, indulge me with this ubbberrr late post in celebration of my newly-discovered sweet tooth!

So this lovely little cupcake shop named Vanilla Cupcake Bakery (drool!) is all over the metro now. They now have six branches but I have only visited the one in Global City. I passed by their branch in Alabang Town Center but haven’t really had the chance to eat there (we were always so full after a heavy lunch at Yabu). 

This place is soooo pretty! I brought my balikbayan friend here last October and she loved it! Of course, anyone who loves cupcakes should have no reason not to love this place but all the more because of the ambiance that this “bakery” offers. 


I am seriously jealous of the designer of this place. It is soo hard to mix and match these pieces together and make it look this fabulous. 


I also love these framed inspirational quotes at the counter. While you are waiting for your turn to order, you can just browse through the positive “walled” statements. 


Those giant cakes in Wonderland!




And the littlest details that complete the whole scene.



And of course… yes! How can I forget? The cupcakes… *sighs*
Cupcake prices would range from PHP80 to PHP120 (around USD2-3).


Salted caramel cheesecake, yum!


And when you think there’s nothing more for your eyes to feast on, just try going to the comfort room!


 It is a fun place to have a little get-together or catch-up session with friends because the place is conducive for conversations. This was taken earlier this year with my kids 🙂

This place is sooo dreamy. Go ahead and check it out! Be sure to get your cameras ready because you would not be able to resist taking pictures of this place. 


If you want to visit, Vanilla Cupcake Bakery is located at the following areas:

Taguig City
 Two Parkade, 30th Street Corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City



Quezon City
Second Floor, Trinoma Mall, North Triangle, Quezon City
Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City

Makati City
Ground Floor, Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Glorietta Complex, Makati City
Third Floor, Glorietta 4, Ayala Avenue, Glorietta Complex, Makati City

Muntinlupa City
Second Floor, Alabang Town Centre, Alabang, Muntinlupa City



Coffee + Pups + Everything Nice

Staying at home most of the time is really unnerving. This is especially relevant to people who have always been “out” all their lives. Out for a meeting. Out for  a party. Just out. Transitioning from a phase when you were all over the place and to now when you are cocooned to take things slow and stay at home can be pretty  hard. However, there is one little trick to make it a little easier for you… for us, homemakers. Injecting a little extraordinary activities to our dreary routine.So I am sooo glad to be able to go out last weekend (Saturdays and Sunday are sacred to me and the husband now, to solely spend together and/or with family) and stumble upon this awesome new place in the north.

So….

Do you like coffee? How about dogs? Let’s say we throw in a little pup, I mean, cupcake? Would that be something of interest to you? If you said yes to the first three questions, then I would like to introduce to you some cuteness overload — Barkin’ Blends Dog Cafe!

Pet cafes first started in Japan with cats as the “residents”. The Japanese believes that it is therapeutic to be in the company of felines at the end of a stressful day. The idea for these places is for you to be able to “pet and play” with the kittens especially if you cannot own one. Dog cafes are now becoming popular in many places around the globe such as in Korea, Singapore and Thailand, among others.

I could not stop being giddy just writing about this post because I am still in dog haven. So, Edzel’s boss posted these cute lil pups last night. Curious as I am, I asked her what it was and she introduced me to this new coffee shop in Katipunan, Barkin’ Blends.

Barkin’ Blends just opened last September and is located just behind Shakey’s Pizza in Katipunan.

Source: Barkin’ Blends’ Facebook Page
It is located at 91 Rosa Alvaro Street.
Cute little paw prints will guide you to the cafe.
This is how it looks at the outside.

Barkin’ Blends has two areas: the Human Zone and the Dog Zone.

This is the human zone.
You can order some beverages. Here is the list of their menu.
And they have pupcakes, too! Yes, you heard that right! PUPCAKES!
You can enter the dog zone for PHP180 for two hours inclusive of a drink of your choice.
Here you can spend time with pooches while enjoying your drink. I think this cafe will be good for:
  1. Dog lovers who cannot own one because they live in a flat where pets are not allowed. 
  2. Those who would like to know what if feels to be around a pup. I have a friend who likes the idea of dogs but is scared to be around them. This could be a place to get rid of their phobia because the dogs are sooo cute and gentle. 
  3. Someone like me who just wants to spend time with dogs, dogs and more dogs. (And because I have two already and cannot afford to take care of another one.) 
Okay, so the Dog Zone — I lifted this cafe guide from Barkin’ Blends Facebook Page
 
 
 
All the “resident dogs” have been vaccinated and the area is well-maintained. 
 
 
 
 
 
Once you enter, you will be asked to change into slippers and sanitize your hands. The cafe “seals” the drinks to avoid spillage inside the Dog Zone. 
 
Most of them were there except Skye ad Psyche.
 
But before I show you the cuties, let me show you some nice touches of the cafe.
 
 
Punny!


And now, let the dog smooching begin!!!!

This is Ella. She is a cross between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund.
She reminds me of Chow, our Dachshund at home.


Cuddle cuddle cuddle!


Of course, I lingered with the one who looks like Sachi. 


And oh yes, his name is Piolo. Hahahahaha!


Hmm, I will just stay here. Zzzz..


Cuteness overload! What’s your name again, bud?


Meet Stitch, uhh. Noo, meet Fiona! This is my first time to cuddle a Shar-pei!


Edzel’s first time, too!


Isn’t she adorable??! Can you see that she has twin nails on her paw?


This is Stoic and Sleepy Marley. 


And the Prima Donna Martha.

Oh and just before I end this, let me say my kudos to the three caretakers of these puppies. They help the dogs warm up to the visitors and made my photo-taking with the dogs possible! Yay!




That was one of the best two hours of my life. And you can see that there is really a community of dog-loving hooomaaannss!

 
 
What are you waiting for, dog-lovers? Cuddle a dog and get yourself some two hours of canine fun! Go and check out the place now! <3
 
xx,
Balot

Day 91: Because Amici is Love

Amici is a restaurant close to my heart. We used to traverse the roads of Pasong Tamo from our old office to the canteen of Don Bosco to experience their awesome pizza, pasta and of course, the gelato.

Even now, when we want comfort food, we go to Amici at the Venice Piazza. It seems like most of the critical conversations that I have with my friends from work happen in Amici. It has become our stress-busting place which offers really good Italian food. The restaurant has two floors, an ambiance which is really homey (imagine picture frames of old photos hanging on its walls) and ample seating area.

I already have my staple here. Parmigiano Pizza (PHP248) al Pesto which is parmesan-coated pizza crust served with a side of pesto sauce. Equally good is their spinach artichoke. Same coated pizza crust with spinach artichoke dip. This can be good for 2-3 persons.

This one is my ultimate favorite — Chorizo E Spinaci (PHP432). It is gourmet Spanish chorizo and spinach in white sauce. Good for 3-4.


For their pasta, I always order the Linguine Al Prosciutto E Tartufo (not in photo, PHP298) which is a flavorful combination of prosciutto (as the name suggests), truffle oil, porcini and shiitake mushrooms. Good for 2-3. 

Here is a photo of their Linguine Al Salmone Cremoso (PHP318) which is basically linguine pasta in a creamy mix of salmon, white sauce and lemon. 


To know more of Amici’s menu, click here.

The Amici Story (from their website)


In June of 1994, Fr Gianluigi Colombo, a Salesian Italian priest in charge of overseeing the operations of the Don Bosco Printing Press, was given permission by Don Bosco management to set up a “canteen” to support its employees. Fr Colombo made the request to address the concern of its employees not having access to good food during lunch break.

 The employees not only got good food to satisfy their hunger but authentic, freshly-made Italian dishes in a “turo-turo” setting. The friendly, familiar atmosphere made the foreign dishes that were new to their palette, less intimidating and phenomenal beyond anything they had ever tasted before.


Starting with Italian coffee and gelato, the canteen eventually introduced wood-fire oven baked pizzas and homemade pasta. Fr Colombo’s kitchen eventually became a taste of heaven where tired and weary “souls” found comfort.

By June 2001, Amici di Don Bosco (Friends of Don Bosco) was legally established as a business entity to also serve the needs of students studying in Don Bosco. The “turo-turo” was now known to many as a self-service canteen and eventually opened its doors to a broader market. However, it wasn’t the requirements of the printing press nor of the students of Don Bosco alone that kept Amici di Don Bosco’s stove burning.
News of great Italian cuisine prepared and served by priests and “ordinary people” inside a canteen spread like wildfire, attracting patrons from all over Metro Manila. From humble beginnings, the printing press cafe became known for authentic Italian pizza, pasta, and gelato.

Initially believing that it was the good Italian food that drew in the crowds, the employees eventually realized that they offered something much more. Customers experienced a certain warmth and charm whenever they came; where the staff treated each and every customer with special attention. People from all walks of life: expatriates and celebrities, white and blue-collar workers, housewives and socialites, flocked to Makati to experience Amici di Don Bosco. Every day, from 11am to 2pm, this inconveniently located “hole-in-the-wall” along Pasay Road would be packed with lines of patrons waiting to be seated!

Perhaps the novelty of the paradoxical situation became an attraction; Italian cuisine in a canteen setting, warm and excellent service by people who had no formal training: former carpenters, printing press laborers, and priests. Everyone was willing to share tables, eat using mismatched utensils, appreciate the same good food, and enjoy the same ambience of chaos brought about by good friends and family at the table!

This is the “magic” of Amici di Don Bosco!


Buon appetito!

xx, 
Corporate Junkie

1 2 3 4