Saturday, January 27, 2007

An Evening of Minkus

My good friend Gwen invited me for An Evening of Minkus at Le Pavillon. I was more than delighted to go with her, since I just love cultural entertainment. If had I the chance, I'd love to watch more plays, concerts and, in this case, ballet as a refreshing change from malling and goin to movies for recreation and relaxation. Above all of this, its always nice to have a nice evening with a good friend =)

I got out of the office a bit earlier than usual. I planned to go to Mall of Asia and have a look around, before the play, but I decided to have coffee with my friend Oli at Dorset Cafe instead. After our little coffe tryst, I headed on to Le Pavillon to meet up with Gwen.

We almost got there around the same time and quite early for dinner. Nevertheless, we were served wine at the cocktail area as we read the evening programme. We were ushered in shortly and chatted along as we waited for dinner to start. The event was catered by The French Corner. I read some nice reviews about this restaurant, but never got the chance to dine there because its located at my rarely frequented West Gate, Alabang.

We were served rolls and ciabatta with some tapenade along with red wine and iced tea. For starters, we had the roasted prawn salad. I really liked it for the fresh and tenderly cooked prawns with lettuce and slivers of parmesan. I appreciated that the dressing was drizzled along side the bed of greens and not tossed-in all togther. I really don't like my food drowned with dressings or sauces and I kinda like controlling the amount I incorporate as I eat (pretty finicky of me ei?) Gwen, enjoyed this salad as well. Next, was the essence of mushroom soup. It was very flavorful and the purred muchrooms gave the soup a nice texture and mouth-feel. For our main course, chateaubriand with gratinated potatoes. Gwen kinda found the serving a tad bit too small---too big for out plate, hence minus points for presentation. Nevertheless, the beef was tender despite being cooked to the well done end. The potato gratin was delicious and I liked the bordelaise sauce that accompanied the meat.

Finally for dessert, strawberries marinated in gran marnier sauce with peppered ice cream and french creme. I love starberries, but I simply hate cream or creme....white whipped cream anything just turns me off. I would have loved it with dark chocolate ice cream!!! Frozen strawberries with chocolate hagen daaz---heaven for me =) Good thing coffee was served--I took it as MY dessert!

We were serenaded by excellent singers, who happened to be impaired of sight but definitely NOT of talent. They sang several love songs and even their personally composed repertoire.Then we moved on to the main event. Carlos Garcia of Les Ballets Granvia, New York lead the evening of art in motion accompanying the music of Lugwig Minkus! Carlos, together with a group of young and talented ballet dancers. They pranced, swayed and even seem to fly along with the music, with grace and power.The evening ended which much admiration from the patrons. It was a great evening of lovely song, dance, food and the great company of my friend--thanks Gwen =)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Pretzels and Cream Cheese Cookies

Last Sunday my sis Che and I got up really early for our confirmation at Manila Cathedral. The mass was at 7am and we were to meet up with my Ninang Kat and Sal at Philam Homes and go to church together. We got there 6am and headed to intramuros. We had time for a little breakfast, so we stopped over at McDonald’s for some pancakes and coffee.

We got to the church on time, and met up with Shawie there. It was a nice mass and a solemn moment for us three. Thank you Kat for being our ninang and thank you Sal for being there for us =)

After our Confirmation, we parted ways with Shawie and the rest of us went to Greenhills Sunday market to get some fruits. We were able to buy some fresh and fragrant Guimaras mangoes and a bunch of bananas plus a dalanghita (given for free!). We headed back home before lunch because we all had our own lunch plans with our families.

It was a laid back Sunday afternoon. I had the urge to do some baking. I made Soft Pretzels, and Cream Cheese cookies. The recipe for the Cream Cheese cookies I made was from bakingsheet. It was actually called Cheesecake cookies. They were the soft chewy kind. I kinda browned them a bitwhile baking because I liked slightly toasty cookies, although it was supposed to be whitey and soft when done. My pretzels turned out pretty good. I just put salt and melted butter on it. It was crisp on the outside and soft in the inside. Its great with cheese whiz or as my sis Nikki preferred, with loads and loads of President butter! Nothing beats pretzels out from the oven!!! I wana make these babies again but I want to try to make sweet pretzels…coat them with cinnamon sugar or brown sugar and almonds or chocolate.

Our afternoon snack was quiet filling so we had a light dinner and for desser, I prepared a chocolate fondue =) . I cubed some Guimaras mangoes and bananas we bought at the Sunday market, put some grapes and arranged them all in a little plate and shoved them in the freezer before we ate our dinner. I prepared the chocolate ganache by melting dark chocolate chips with some evaporated milk. I find using evap better than using heavy cream because it gives a smooth and lighter ganache.

I so love preparing special treats for my two younger sisters…=)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My Confirmation =)

My good friend Shawie is getting married on July 01! I never knew that you needed so many things in order to get married in the Catholic church. One of them is that you have to be confirmed already (given that you're baptized in the holy Catholic church). She asked me to be her "ninang" for her confirmation and I was more than delighted to oblige. I told my sister Che about it and she reminded me that I myself haven't had this sacrament as well as she hasn't. I told Shawie about it and she told me that my sis and I should all go together and get Confirmed with her. It was indeed a great chance since I was to be there as her ninang.Saturday was the scheduled confirmation seminar, held at the Manila Cathdral. My sister and I went there a bit early toavoid the traffic. We decided to have lunch at Starbucks. As we were enjoying our coffee and sandwiches, a familiar face walked into the was Jake Roxas. He was very good looking in person, I must say. My sister, who is always starstruck, had this crazy idea to get a picture taken with him. I told her "and jologs mo ah" but what the heck...its seem like a fun idea. My sis gave him the "look" and he smiled and we approached him for out mini photo shoot. Oh, he was a really friendly person. He asked if we were all by ourselves and that if he could join us for coffee. Ofcourse we said it was ok! He pulled up a chair and we chatted along like old friends. Nice, nice guy =)

We headed on to Intramuros and met up with Shawie for our seminar. I didn't know that a confession was to be done that same afternoon as well. It was a very spiritual and enlightening aftrnoon.Later that evening I had dinner with my good friend Pin at Peri-peri chicken in Promenade. I know I swore-off this place a long time ago, but I just had this sudden urge to go eat there that night. It turned out alright. After that I met up with my friend Harry and the rest of our old bora gang for some drinks at Grilla.

A nice wholesome day it was =)

Monday, January 08, 2007

My Sunday Cheeserolls =)


Last Sunday, I woke up with a great inspiration to bake bread. I rushed down to the kitchen and gathered up my ingredients and tools to go about making lovely dough. Cheeserolls it was to be! I had a vision of warm swrils of buttery-cheesy goodness coming out of my oven. My sisters were all asleep so it made me more excited to make them. How good it is to wake up with freshly baked bread for breakfast?---REALLY GREAT, I tell you.

I used my recipe for the dough I use to make chocolate cinnamon rolls, but I altered the recipe to make them into cheeserolls. I ommitted the chocolate and replaced the cinnamon and chocolate chips with butter and cheese. I used whipped butter which I lightly sweetend with powdered sugar and grated quick melt cheese.

Well, they turned out pretty good =). I'm so happy to be making bread again. I plan to make dinner rolls, ham and cheese rolls, wheat pan de sal and raisin bread! So many breads to little time!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lovin' Wine and Cheeses

I would like you all to meet Madame Therese.....

While strolling through Power Plant Christmas day, I came acrosss Titania Wines, which is coincidentally owned and run by my favorite La Vigne Wine and Bistro, and what great surprise that they were on sale! I really don't take alcohol well but I am not really fond of drinking. It was only when I attended a wine tasting dinner get together at La Vigne, hosted by no less than Madame Tita Trillo, did I learn to appreciate the aged beverage. As a novice, I was recommended to have sparkling white wine to go with antipasto or starters. I was offered Madame Therese and fell in love with its crisp sweetish flavor that went well with antipasto.

Without hesitation, I got myself a bottle of the Madame (only for Php 609.00!!! --what a bargain) I thought of having it for New Year's celebration....and serve it with christmas ham and......CHEESE!!!!

Ohhhh... I am sooo loving the wine and cheese combination. For our family New year's day celebration, I prepared a plate of ham, Pato quezo de bola, macadamia nuts, chocolate covered raisins and served it with the Madame. It was lovely on the palate...I wish I had some Roquefort, Cashews and grapes =)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I've been really blog lazy since before Christmas. I have been busy with a lot of party's and get was great =)
I shall back track on them very soon because I don't want to forget all the good moments that has happend over the holidays and more importantly share them with whoever cares to read this blog =)
For now, I thank God for all the good times shared over the holidays with family and friends. What a year it was, and may this coming year be another great one for all and maybe even better!