Friday, August 31, 2012

Raintree Teaspresso Blends @ Katipunan Avenue

My all-time favorite milk-tea spot is in Raintree Katipunan (near Pan de Manila). My office was then located a few meters away from Raintree so my colleagues and I would sneak out during busy hours to get a cup of this yummy stress buster. Now that I work in Makati, I rarely pass thru the area and I really miss the cozy and homy, perfect tambay spot (with free fast wi-fi!!!!).

I don't have photos of the place or even their milk teas. Last night I was decided to do only one thing:

Taste their French Macarons.

And *gasps* sooooo yummyyyy!

It was soft and chewy, not so sweet, and relatively cheaper than French Baker (P40) and Bizu (P45). They sell each Macaron for P30 and they have lots of flavors to choose from like Irish Early Grey, Red Velvet, Mint Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Passion Fruit, Chocolate, Espresso, Nutella, Raintree, Pistachio, Cashew, etc.

I bought a box of 6 for P180. My two favorites are the Red Velvet and Salted Caramel. Perfect!

For the milk tea, I really love their Raintree Special Tea (it's color orange!) and Creme Brulee :) These two won't go wrong plus you get large just for P100.

Check out more photos of Raintree from Saab Magalona here.Apparently, her college best friend owns the place. :) Lucky her!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Russian Cookie House @ The Podium

Last, last week, my good friend Fei invited me to have dinner at The Podium (Ortigas Center). It was so nice of her to treat me. We ate at UCC (which was super expensive but really, really yummy) then had dessert at the Russian Cookie House which she was an Online Marketing Consultant of.

Fei said that the cookies are oh-so-perfect with tea so we bought cold teas for P95 each. There were a lot of flavors to choose from-- all unique and healthy. I got the "Diet Green Tea with Ginseng" and if Diet tasted that good always then it should never be a problem.

Then for the cookies, we just bought a whole box that already had varied flavors. Our box contained:
Linzer Schnitte or Torte (Austrian pastry flavored with cinnamon and clove, topped with sour cherry jam)

White and Black Almond Cookies (Coated with chocolate and topped with almonds)

Black Russians (Chocolate cookie covered with bittersweet chocolate with walnut center and choco sprinkles outside)

Pistachio Cookies (Butter cookies topped with bittersweet chocolate and chopped pistachios)

The whole box (with 12 pieces) cost around P220, which is worth the price because the presentation of the cookies and the packaging were already nice and sosyal. The following day I bought another box to give as a gift. Well for the taste, I didn't like them at first but it became really delightful when I ate it while sipping tea. Fei said that the cookies went also great with coffee. There's something about the cookie texture that makes it go well with both beverages. Plus, I love the fact that it doesn't make me guilty after munching them all. :)
Great tea + Cookies = Perfect tea party/ tea bonding :))

Check out their full list of cookies here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


During high school, we had a list of books to choose from every year that we could make a report on. Glad I chose "The Gift of Acabar" by Og Mandino because ever since then it has been my favorite.

Here is a chapter  that continues to inspire me until today:


Turn away from the crowd and its fruitful pursuit of fame and gold. Never look back as you close your door to the sorry tumult of greed and ambition.  Wipe away your tears of failure and misfortune.  Lay aside your heavy load and rest until your heart is still.  Be at peace.  Already, it is later than you think, for your earthly life, at best, is only the blink of an eye between two eternities.  Be unafraid.  Nothing here can harm you except yourself.  Do that which you dread and cherish those victories with pride.  Concentrate your energy.  To be everywhere is to be nowhere.  Be jealous of your time, since it is your greatest treasure.  Reconsider your goals.  Before you set your heart too much on anything, examine how happy they are who already possess what you desire.  Love your family and count your blessings.  Reflect on how eagerly they would be sought if you did not have them.  Put aside your impossible dreams and complete the task at hand no matter how distasteful.  All great achievements come from working and waiting.  Be patient.  God's delays are never God's denials.  Hold on.  Hold fast.  Know that your paymaster is always near.  What you sow, good or evil, that you will reap.  Never blame your condition on others.  You are what you are through your choice alone.  Learn to live with honest poverty, if you must, and turn to more important matters than transporting gold to your grave.  Never meet trouble halfway.  Anxiety is the rust of life; when you add tomorrow's burdens to today's their weight becomes unbearable.  Avoid the mourner's bench and give thanks, instead, for your defeats. You would not receive them if you did not need them.  Always learn from others.  He who teaches himself has a fool for a master.  Be careful.  Do not overload your conscience.  Conduct your life as if it were spent in an arena filled with tattlers.  Avoid boasting.  If you see anything in you that puffs you with pride look closer and you will find more than enough to make you humble.  Be wise.  Realize that all men are not created equal, for there is no equality in nature, yet no man was ever born whose work was not born with him.  Work everyday as if it were your first, yet tenderly treat the lives you touch as if they will all end at midnight.  Love everyone, even those who deny you, for hate is a luxury you cannot afford.  Seek out those in need.  Learn that he who delivers in one hand will always gather with two.  Be of good cheer.  Above all, remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.  Look up.  Reach out.  Cling simply to God and journey quietly on your pathway to forever with charity and smile.  When you depart it will be said by all that your legacy was a better world than the one you found.

Easy Brazo de Mercedes

We have this family friend who makes the best Brazo de Mercedes. I only tasted it once as a kid and I never forgot it. During the recent monsoon rains, we evacuated at their house and so we made one for fun. :) I never thought that it would be so easy!

8 small eggs or 7 medium eggs
1 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar
1 can of Condensed Milk
1/4 of the biggest butter (we used Dari Creme Classic)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of Vanilla (optional) -- we didn't add vanilla but I bet it'll be yummier with this
2 Parchment Paper/Wax Paper

-Separate egg white from yolk

-Mix the egg yolks, condensed milk, and butter using a double boiler (i.e., there's boiling water beneath the pot since you can't cook the mixture directly on fire)
-Don't stop stirring until the mixture becomes thick (you'll know it's ready when you scoop the mixture and it slowly falls from the spoon)

-After cooking the yellow filling, whip your egg whites and cream of tartar
-Add sugar gradually
-Add vanilla

-Prepare the cookie sheet by spreading small amounts of butter and then lining it with wax or parchment paper
-Spread the white mixture (meringue) on your cookie sheet
-Use oven or toaster to heat the top until it becomes golden brown (it's better to just hold it because if you leave the meringue inside the oven, the whole thing might get burned)
-When you get the desired "cook" of the meringue, flip it over so that you can spread the yellow filling next
-Spread the yellow filling (don't put it on the middle or too much on the side)
-Roll the meringue carefully
-Sprinkle sugar (granulated or confectioners sugar) on top
-Place inside ref first to cool before eating
P.S. We didn't use all the eggs so this little one right here got all angry at us :)) (Egg drawing by Angela)

Thanks again to the Robles family! :) This is such an easy dessert to make!

Monday, August 13, 2012

... is where my heart is

Last week, Metro Manila was struck by super rains that caused floods everywhere even in places that were never hit before. But being one of the most hard hit areas during Typhoon Ondoy last 2009 (we live in Provident Village!) eyes were on us if we would be AGAIN submerged in roof-high floods.

After the storm, people kept asking me if whether we would transfer to another house. Truth is, it never crossed my mind because our home is where my heart is. During summers, our house would serve as a resting place for me after a tiring day. It's accessible, it's quiet, peaceful, with small parks and convenient stores here and there, also with wide roads where my younger siblings can play. I've lived there all my life and I can't make myself hate it if once in a while our place gets flooded.

Then of course more than the house, God is where my heart is. <3 I say that I love God, but I have to say that I can also trust in Him. At the end of the day, worrying gets me nowhere. Then I realize that I can't do anything about future floods or other calamities and disasters. Well sure I can transfer, but wherever God wants to strike, He will strike, and whatever He wants to spare, He will spare. During the storm, I kept praying that God spare our house from another tragic Ondoy. When we learned that the water level inside our house only reached chest-high, we were sooo happy :)))) At least this time, the floods subsided faster, we had electricity the next day, there was not much mud inside, and we were able to save a lot of our things.

Five days after the flood, our house looks a bit gloomy, we're all tired from cleaning the never-ending mess the flood left, we have to sleep on the floor using thin mattresses because our beds are still wet, then if we needed something we had to look for them in piles and piles of other things.

But soon it will past, things will get back to normal. Now I can only pray that God gives us strength and extra patience (Yes, I am crankier than usual which I am trying to avoid) so that soon, soon, soon, we could fully move-on....

...And get ready for the next storms coming! :)))

My younger sister

Wash, wash, wash
Santa didn't reach Christmas :(

Everything's rusted

Even this robot's all muddy and gloomy

Spot me spotting these antiques

Trash at the Marikina Riverbanks