Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

I ordered a chocolate chip cookie dough cake from a Niji Desserts, an online cake and pastry shop formerly known as Frupcakes, on my baby daughter's 11 month birthday. She is turning one next month and before I order the cake for her 1st birthday, I just have to buy something (for testing) prior to the big day. I know it sounds very OC but can't blame me. I experienced having no cake on my elder daughter's 1st birthday because the factory of my cake supplier got flooded during Ondoy. Going back to Niji Desserts, I was actually a fan long before I could taste their cake. They have adorable designs and their desserts have unique flavors. I just pray there will be no floods or thunderstorms on my baby daughter's birthday. Here is my test order from Niji Desserts, the so called chocolate chip cookie dough cake.

This cake is 6 inches in diameter and 4 inches in height.

It has chocolate chip cookie dough frosting & mini chocolate chip cookies as topping.

It has yummy layers of sponge cake with salted caramel filling.

Everybody loves chocolate chip cookies so this cake was a hit.

In case you're wondering what kind of cake I am getting for Suna's 1st birthday, it is going to be moist chocolate cake with chocolate ganache covered with fondant of flowers and fairies. Miss Clarissa already sent me a draft of the cake. It looks terrific. I can't wait for August. You'll see it in my IG account.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Askim and Her Tree Hole

When I was a kid, let say around 7 to 8 years old, I used to love sitting at the corner at the back of my grandparent's living room, doing a monologue of self-invented stories while playing with paper dolls at the same time. In the province, when it's rainy or too hot to go outside, I remember pretty well that I would stay at home and play all by myself just like that. Both of my brothers do not share the same interest as mine, reading stories, writing, scrapbooking, and all. Glad that my elder daughter is showing the same signs. She's been buggin' me for a Dora diary and those glitter glue and color pencil kept in the small drawer in her room. Now here she is, sharing a story, which I think, is inspired by Alice in Wonderland. It has an illustration to match.

Sorry for the quality of the video, though. I took this using my point and shoot camera.

She included her baby sister in the story as one of the major characters.

Her dog stuffed toy Doggy-doggy, too!

Look how cute is her drawing of Doggy-doggy here.

I am not sure if she's gonna like it when she's already grown up and reading this blog entry. I hope she'll thank me for documenting her cute antics here, as well as her sister's. My generation was not that high tech unlike theirs. I mean, my childhood days were the early 80's so I couldn't keep any of my work online. Mind you, we didn't even have a TV at home. All we had was a radio transistor.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hash Browns Bento

Potato is a staple in my kitchen. Next to french fries, another way of cooking potatoes that both my husband and elder daughter love so much is hash browns. I learned how to cook hash browns from scratch like 2 years ago. It is a hit since the first time I served it on the table. Today, I will gladly share to you my very easy hash browns recipe (written below) as bonus together with this bento entry.

3 medium potatoes
small onion, diced
1/4 cup bread crumbs
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
cooking oil

-Peel and grate the potatoes. Squeeze to remove the water.
-Combine all ingredients except oil.
-Form into elongated patties.
-Pan fry until both sides are brown.
-Serve and enjoy.

Yield: Makes 5 pieces of small hash browns.

This is one of the bento snack boxes I made for my daughter last month. As you can see, there's 3 pieces of hash browns and blueberry muffin, jelly babies, and cucumber slices on the side.

I have more simple bento creation for posting, but still need to resize my photos and process for better lighting and color.

Till then, bento lovers! :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Our Tribe Leather Tote Bag Review

Whenever I pass by an Our Tribe store, I would always remember Dr. Janet Emmanuel from 3 years ago and her lecture on global translation of Filipino products, mentioning Our Tribe as a perfect example. She noted that Our Tribe sells shoes, bags, and other small leather goods with superior quality, but because of limited design, lonely store window, etc. the brand doesn't seem to catch a lot of attention. Dr. Emmanuel used to be the Academic Director of Raffles Design Institute - Manila. It was year 2011 when I met her at RDI during a workshop titled "Conversations on Fashion and Design". After hearing her lecture, I promised myself I will pay Our Tribe a visit and purchase a bag for myself. Years 2012 and 2013 came and passed, I lusted on a couple of bags from their online site, I did dropped by to every Our Tribe store I saw yet couldn't decide whether to buy or not. Fast forward to 2014, I finally bought a shopping tote so I'm doing this short review as requested by a friend.

My first Our Tribe leather bag, ever.

Close up photos of the bag's material, logo, inner pockets, and zipper.

The brand logo tag and flower charm.

This bag was a little over P4,000 when I bought it at Our Tribe in SM Megamall. Sorry, I do not remember the exact price but will go back to this entry and write the price once I found the receipt. Also, I am not particular with the model name or code of this bag, still waiting for Our Tribe's answer to my query. Anyway, let's just call it a classic shopper in chocolate brown color and hard leather material.

This bag is called 676. That's how they name their bags in Our Tribe. They give numbers instead of a specific name like Neverfull or Selma or Nightangle. And, I remember now, I paid a little over P4000 for this bag because of the flower charm. The exact price of the bag alone was P3895. Thanks to Our Tribe in Facebook who kindly replied to my query.

Things that I like about this bag:
-It good as an everyday bag. I normally use it when I commute.
-It is perfect for my size being a petite woman.
-It can carry a lot of things from wallet, phone, and makeup kit to my daughter's nappies, breastfeeding cover, and wet wipes.
-Being a leather bag, it is affordable for its price.
-No metal hardware so it isn't heavy compared with my other leather bags.

Things that I don't like:
-It is too plain so I had to buy a flower charm to add some "joy" to it.
-The leather material is very hard. There is no way you can fold it.
-The zipper makes the bag look cheap.
-Inner lining is boring. I hope they consider using a printed material for it.
-No hardware.

Will I buy a bag from the same brand again?
Yes! I am actually planning to get something in fun color. Maybe red?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

That Day I Ate Like a Viking

It was my first time to visit Vikings Megamall after they opened last summer. Hubby, the kids, a couple of cousins, and I went there for a birthday celebration. As the title of this entry goes, I ate like a real Viking that day. I think I learned the basic tricks on how to maximize my buffet experience, considering my number of visits to Vikings in MOA and SM Marikina in the past.

When the buffet started at 6 o'clock in the evening and as people swarmed the tables, I told my cousins not to be shy and try anything they like. They haven't been to any Viking restaurant before so I knew they'll get overwhelmed by the spread of different cuisines. End of the story, I was the one who gobbled the most amount of food that night. Here's the story.

Plate #1. Hors d'oeuvre. I got cold cuts, different cheeses and grapes. I ate everything in this plate except for the blue cheese which I gave to my husband.

Plate #2. Another appetizer for me is this salad I made from the DIY salad bar. I love it that Vikings have the freshest ingredients. My salad was so crisp and healthy.

Plate #3. I skipped the soup and went straight for binagoongan, salmon tempura, and steamed rice. I also tried safe (read: no raw meat) sushi after over 3 years. The taste? Not bad. I actually liked it! :)

Plate #4. This is my mix of cuisines plate composed of pork siomai, Greek moussaka, steamed shrimp, and chicken lollipop. As usual, the winner in this batch is the yummy siomai.

Plate #5. Say hello to my plate of delicious grilled squid, tuna, tanigue, and salmon came. This made me wish I queued at seafood section before having the appetizers. Oh well, next time.

Plate #6. Okay, it's a "bowl" of ginataang halo-halo, but aside from this, I had another bowl which I forgot to photograph-- my ice cream bowl. Hehe.

Plate #7. This is the last plate. As you can see, it's all for dessert. I got my favorite creme brulee, some fresh fruits, maja, cassava cake, and chocolate ball.

I still can't believe that I just engaged into gluttony and emptied all 7 plates. How was that possible? I don't know. Shameless as may sound yet I am very proud of myself right now. I was able to beat my husband and my two cousins. I think I could enter an eating contest and win a prize. Hahaha.

Kidding aside, I almost starved myself that day, preparing my tummy for the birthday dinner of my dear hubby. Plus, I am breastfeeding momma, and like they say, you have to double your calorie-intake when breastfeeding so I guess that's why I was able to eat like a Viking. Burp.. burp.. burp! Oppss.. excuse me!! :P

Monday, July 07, 2014

Sausage and Fried Dumpling Bento

Hello there, mommies! How was your weekend? Hope you had a blast 'cos mine was great. We went to the Greenfield District's weekend market and had an awesome afternoon there, watching the kids running, playing, and blowing bubbles, while hubby and I were having boiled peanuts, rice cakes, and mango juice for snack. Well, it's Monday again so I'm back to the normal routine of cooking for the family, taking care of the kids, breastfeeding and stuff, and of course, preparing bento for my gradeschooler. Oh, this bento which I am about to share to you right now is the same bento you see in my current blog header.

What I prepared: star-shaped rice, 2 small sausages (cut into halves) and tomato slices on matryoshka food picks, and fried dumpling.

She has a couple of choices for dessert, some jelly babies (a kind of imported candy) and mango balls.

Fried dumplings has egg and sausage is made of chicken meat. I put them in my elder daughter's bento even she's allergic to them, hoping she'll develop immunity by giving her egg and chicken every once in a while. Honestly speaking, she is not a big fan of Chinese food but she likes my homecooked fried dumplings a lot. One of the main ingredients of this dumpling is Chinese cabbage. It has green onions, carrots, ginger, garlic, and white onion, too. I'm happy if she's able to finish a minimum of four dumplings in a meal, you know, the picky-eater that she is. As for this bento, I inserted the leftover dumpling from her lunch.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Cake and Spaghetti Bento

I am little overwhelmed with the amount of feedback from my friends and followers regarding my bento photos in Instagram. As you know, my account is connected to Twitter and Facebook. Anything I post in IG is also shared in my other two social media accounts. As a result, I decided that I'll blog about my simple bento creations from now on. Actually, this is something that I wanted to do when my elder daughter was still a toddler, but then, her school was for 3 hours only and all that I prepared for her snacks were mostly a choice of fruit and a choice of biscuit, cookie or bread. Fast forward to present, she's already in grade one now so I think it's the perfect time to make cute bento for my picky eater's school baon.

Bento box #1 contains butter cake with heart design, mango balls, and grapes.

Bento box #2 is where I put the spaghetti. Oppss.. I forgot to top it with cheese.

This bento creation is pretty similar with the one I made on her first day of school. My goal in following this food craze is for my daughter to be excited with every meal I prepare, making sure she'll like it and she'll be able to go home with an empty snack bag. I avoid putting something that she doesn't like in her bento, though. I tried charaben one time, you know, rice with animal shape and nori face, but she didn't touch it. After that, no more nori experiments from me. Besides, I don't like the idea of putting artificial colors in my daughter's food in order to achieve Pooh or whatever character she likes. I do not use lots of raw veggies as divider or garnish, too. As of these days, the only edible divider I use that my child doesn't eat is lettuce. As soon as I find silicon or plastic divider at Daiso, I will stop using it.