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26 June 2012

Red Velvet Cupcakes by Sophie's Mom

Red Velvet Cupcakes by Sophie's Mom
written by Nicole | photos by Therese

I'll keep this post short since words will leave your mouth and your mind once you get to eat these. These are the cupcakes that changed Thea's life (she said so herself) :D

Red velvet cupcakes by Sophie's Mom
Php 50.00 each
When Thea (that's what we call Therese) came last week for a short vacation here in the pearl of the Orient seas, Philippines, I bought her these because I know there are no red velvet cupcakes as delicious as these in Taiwan. She agreed and so I'm sure she's missing these right now, aren't you Thea? Only if I could email you these ha ha!

Next to cheesecakes, cupcakes are one of the very few desserts I can never, ever resist (unless of course they're too sweet for my throat and taste buds). I love these red velvets by Sophie's Mom myself because the cream cheese on top is the BOMB! It's really, really, really, really, really, G-O-O-D! The cream cheese is the very reason why I always crave for these cupcakes!

There's a small chunk of chocolate inside which Thea really liked.

I can't really describe in words how yummy these cupcakes are so why don't you just try them yourself? Who knows it might also change your life, just the way it did to Thea ha ha! As for me, these cupcakes sure make me happy. :)

Sophie's Mom in SM Megamall
This is their second shop. Their first shop is located at 
Sophie's Mom
SM Megamall Bldg. A, Ground Floor (Near National Bookstore)
Telephone: 856-4849 / 404-8165 / 0920 912 9952

21 June 2012

Corks and Forks

Most of you probably don't know this, but Nicole and I went to Spain (on a scholarship!) last year. While there, we had a wine appreciation class. At that time (and well, until now actually), I didn't know anything about wine, I wasn't used to drinking it, and I didn't know which would go best with which food. I also couldn't really tell the flavors apart. They all tasted quite the same for me.

Nicole, I hope you don't mind that I'm posting these pictures. Hee!

Fast forward to a couple of months ago, some of my international friends suggested we drink red wine. It was the first time I drank (and actually somehow enjoyed) wine. Maybe I'm growing up and... becoming more cultured? Haha! At least that's how I see it. I appreciate it more now.
The Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce is holding a food and wine event at Makati Shang this Saturday (June 23), from 10AM-6PM. They will be featuring a lot of premium wines from Australia and New Zealand, as well as dishes from said countries. Aside from these, there will also be prizes to be raffled off, contests and other activities throughout the day. If you're free, and you want to experience an event such as this, go on over to Makati Shang's Rizal Ballroom.

Here's the poster for further information:

... but wait! There's more! (infommercial at its finest)

There's a deal in CashCashPinoy wherein you can get discounted tickets for the event! It's expiring in 9 hours though so you better hurry if you want to get tickets!

17 June 2012

Fruitti Nutti: Your Healthy Food Choice

by Marielle

Living a healthy lifestyle is almost impossible nowadays, with processed foods abundant and easily available wherever you go. We may not have time to prepare full course meals everyday, but snacking on healthy food always helps. Protein and fiber-rich fruits and nuts are great snack options to keep your diet healthy even when on the go.

Fruitti Nutti is a newly-opened retail store specializing in the supply of U.S.-origin Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, macadamias, pistachios and pecans; Dried Fruits such as blueberries, cranberries, cherries, strawberries, dairy-free & cholesterol free cooking cream and coffee creamer; other food ingredients and specialty fruit and nut mixes. The woman behind this new healthy food stop is Elaine Gatchalian, giving Filipinos a taste of nutritious food options that won't break your budget.

Healthy Food Choices are available in a variety of pack sizes:
- Dried Fruits (Blueberries, Cherries, Cranberries, Dates, Prunes, Raisins, Golden Raisins, Strawberries, etc.)
- Nuts (Unsalted Almonds, Macadamia, Pistachios, Walnuts, Hazelnuts, etc.)
- Specialty Nut and Fruit Mixes
- Other healthy ingredients (Dairy-free, gluten-free coffee creamer, creamer & whipped cream made from Almonds & cashews)

Among a cornucopia of healthy snack foods offered in their store, I was able to try out several dried fruits and nuts that satisfied my taste buds without the unnecessary oils and artificial flavoring. Take a look at these healthy and utterly delicious treats:

Aren't they delightful to look at? All the more to snack on or to add to your meals! These fruits and nuts can be added to your dishes, used as ice cream or yogurt toppings, or eaten plainly. The possibilities are endless!

Fruitti Nutti goodies!

Time to give the junkfood a break. Visit their store located at Unit 7, 8 Jade Bldg., Santolan Rd., Greenhills, San Juan City.

For more information, you can contact Ms. Elaine Gatchalian through these numbers: 975 9689 / 0917 537 2361 or send an email to

 Happy healthy munching!

15 June 2012

Therese in Taiwan: Witch House 女巫魔法書

Witch House is a small restaurant located somewhere near Gongguan 公館 that my classmates and I went to a couple of months ago. Aside from food, they also have board games (how-to-play instructions mostly in German and Chinese though) and sometimes, they have music nights.

See the bras hanging from the chairs? Yeah, the restaurant is a bit on the... mature side.

One of my classmates suggested we play board games so we did. It was fun playing not so complicated games such as trying to guess who the killer was (and bluffing so that others won't know that you're the killer), math games involving animals and the zoo, UNO cards, etc.

Now for one of the most important parts of the evening... the food!

As some of you might already know, Chinese is a tonal language meaning that there are words that sound exactly the same. This also means that if you change a tone of a character, it could totally change its meaning. Therefore, it's worth mentioning that a lot of the translations of food items on the menu are more on the... x-rated side. Haha!

Top: German bobbitto grilled sausage w/ rice 德國烤香腸飯 | 200 NTD (~290 PhP)
Bottom: La Poderosa drumstick dinner 老墨大根烤雞腿餐 | 200 NTD (~290 PhP)
I wasn't able to take a picture of all of my classmates' food but this is a picture I took of my Korean classmates' orders.

Tilapia baked in almonds & butter w/ rice 性人奶猶舉鯛魚飯 | 220 NTD (~319 PhP)

Soda float (came with the meal)
I ordered the Tilapia because it sounded yummy. It did not disappoint. It was indeed delicious. The fish was so tender (is that the word they use to describe fish?) that it almost melts in your mouth. Couple that with the almonds and butter and you have a dish full of win! It's also very filling, as you can see from the huge serving. Each dish also comes with a drink - you can choose from different types of coffee, tea, and soda. I went for this soda float because it was topped with ice cream. Drink + dessert = win!

Address: No. 7, Lane 56, Hsin-Sheng South Road, Sec.3 Taipei, Taiwan (Near Taiwan University)/
台北市新生南路三段56巷 7號 (台大新體育館對面/近新生南路與辛亥路口)

Operating hours: Sunday to Wednesday 11am - 12pm, Thursday to Saturday 11am - 1am

Telephone: +886 (02) 2362 5494
 You can also visit their website for more information.

11 June 2012

Buko Shake

Buko Shake
by: Nicole

All right folks, a new craze has come to town! Say hello to the buko shake!

Coco Fresco´s Buko Shake with Caramel
12 oz. (Php 35.00)

Before we go on talking about the buko shake, let's talk a little bit about buko juice a.k.a. coconut water. Buko (coconut) juice is the newest hit drink around the world (but our country filled with coconuts is not the pioneer rawr!). I'm sure you've seen news about it online (Rihanna is the new face of VitaCoco, one of the leading coconut water brands in the U.S.). Why is it a hit? Mainly because of these reasons - it's electrolyte-rich, has zero fat and zero cholesterol. I read somewhere before that during World War II, coconut water was used for blood transfusion because it has the same properties as the human blood plasma. Read more about it here. Now you might want to ditch the synthetic Gatorade. 

It was my sister who actually introduced me to this yummy shake. Buko shake is  the KING OF ALL SHAKES, at least in my opinion. It's creamy, a total thirst quencher, and the taste is really good - not too sweet or anything weird and extreme. It's the most refreshing frothy drink I've ever tried!

Next time you go to the mall, make you sure you buy the buko shake (I saw two stalls in SM Megamall selling. One was in front of Powerbooks and the other was near the Cinemas 7,8,9. . ., if my memory serves me right). Buko shake is a total must try! It comes in different flavours too - strawberry, ube, pandan, caramel, and chocolate. If you're on healthy mode or in other words avoiding the poisonous sugar (if too much), just drink the plain one. 

Go loco over coco!

Coco Fresco
SM Megamall (in front of Powerbooks)

08 June 2012

Marielle zeroes in on the meat of the matter: Brickfire Oven-Roasted Steaks and Chops

Where else can you find brick oven - cooked steak served with delectable sidings, all for an affordable price?  You don't need to travel far, because there's a new place in town that offers diners a casual, cozy environment to indulge in your favorite comfort food. 

It started out as an idea that came out of the blue while owners Aaron Macalinao and Tadi Diaz were biking in Sierra Madre. They both shared a love for steaks, and given that Aaron already owns a meat shop (yes, he proudly calls himself a butcher!), and Tadi, an experienced chef, the partnership was a match made in meaty heaven. They opened their steakhouse last April 21, 2012, and has been making quite a buzz with students and families frequenting the restaurant. Located just behind the dynamic Katipunan food strip, Brickfire is the place to go for satisfying your carnivorous cravings! I was lucky enough to try out their best-sellers, and I went all gangsta on the meat!

This is the scene right after a packed lunch hour. There are still some customers taking their time to savor the goodness!
The house specialties are fork-tender steaks and chops, but there's something for everyone here. You can order their Baked Fish, Pasta, Tofu Tempura, and Los Indios, a different take on the adobo. Take a look at their wide range of choices:
The menu
If reading the menu isn't mouth-watering enough, check these out. My photos aren't doing these dishes justice! You must try them out for yourself.  

Cowgirl Annie
This T-bone steak is marinated in a special sauce (you can choose from original or honey-mustard) and is tender as can be. Some of the T-bone steaks I've tried are so easy to finish because they've been cut so thinly. I couldn't get enough of this one, but I had to make room for the rest!

The Duke
This premium tenderloin is a juicy slice of heaven, bathed in Brickfire's homemade gravy and eaten alongside the mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes may seem innocent enough, but once you bite into the delightful chunks inside, you'll realize you might need extra rice with this one. 

Los Indios
Los Indios is an adobo experience I haven't had in a long time. Remember going out on family picnics and unraveling delicious Filipino delicacies wrapped in banana leaves? This take on the adobo is special because the meat so gracefully shared its juices with the rice, making it all the more flavorful. You can choose from pork, chicken, spicy, or sisig.

Tofu Tempura
Not in the mood for meat? You can try their Tofu Tempura. Not too dry, and not too soft as well. The crunch is balanced out by the creamy sauce. Great for sharing!

Brickfire's Marketing Officer Ms. Jowie Maulawin, Me, and founders Mr. Aaron Macalinao, and Mr. Tadi Diaz
It was really a great experience for my taste buds. Chatting with Aaron, Tadi, and Jowie made my experience all the more special. I can't wait to go back! :)

Brickfire is located at:
2/F Xavier Residence Building, E. Abada corner R. Alvero St., Loyola Heights, QC
Contact numbers:
(02) 4262254
Operating Hours: 6AM - 10:45PM

Visit their facebook page for more details and get updated with their promotions. 

07 June 2012

Therese in Taiwan: Cold Stone Creamery 酷聖石冰淇淋

The first time I had Cold Stone ice cream was with my cousin Richelle. We were walking around the mall that time, and the sweet scent of ice cream tempted us to pass by and order. At that time, I had also been wanting to try it for quite some time, so that was an opportune moment.

Different sizes

Left: Cookie Doughn't You Want Some 停不了口的餅乾, Right: Our Strawberry Blonde 草莓美莓

Cookie Doughn't You Want Some 停不了口的餅乾 is made of French Vanilla Ice Cream 香草冰淇淋, Chocolate Chips 黑巧克力葉, Cookie Dough 巧奇餅, Fudge 巧克力醬, and Caramel 焦糖醬.

Our Strawberry Blonde 草莓美莓 is made of Strawberry Ice Cream 草莓冰淇淋, Graham Cracker Pie Crust 派皮餅乾, Strawberries 草莓, Caramel 焦糖醬, and Whipped Topping 鮮奶油.

The second time was after dinner at Saizeriya with my classmates. We saw a Cold Stone Creamery stall nearby and although we were already full by then, we lived by the phrase, "there's always room for dessert," or as the Japanese would say, "betsubara!" The 6 of us shared a cup! Haha.

I can't really remember how much it costs, but a Gotta Have It cup is maybe around 140 NT, or depending on what you order.

Cookie Doughn't You Want Some 停不了口的餅乾

I don't know if this has been franchised in the Philippines (I remember there being a store before, but maybe it closed down) because according to their official website, they are still aggressively seeking Master Franchisees in the Philippines.

For the list of stores (and directions) in Taiwan, you can go to:
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