The Month of the Heart of Winter

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“ber” month

Counting to less than 50 days before Christmas by now and yet I haven’t done any post about the yuletide, the happenings bound to come, the shopping events, the wish list and so on and so forth, I’m too lousy and lazy because work life had been challenging this time, always in a hurry that’s why blogging took a setback. My sundate series almost stopped because I’m losing the oomph to go out on Sundays, above all the early Sundays for the breakfast series too. I’m getting older day by day. And Christmas seem to be sad at this blog… 😦

What the heck? I may be old and grumpy and hollow to some but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop believing about Christmas, I’ll be forever in love with the season no matter how grayish my hair would become, no matter how blurry my eyes will get and no matter how challenging it is for me to listen in Christmas carols in time. Excuse my thoughts but I’m really this, emotional as ever as the season of love and giving draw nearer and nearer. Sigh!

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Anyhow, this year I’m trying to be budget conscious, that’s rule number one, oh well, I think every year it’s basically the goal other than I always end up breaking the rule and spend lavishly during the occasion. Ang sarap kaya mag-shopping! 😀  But I had enough of the previous years, I’m hating the feeling and the aftermath of the holidays especially when there’s nothing left on my birthday. Poorita ang dating! 😦  So, I’ll be firmer this time and I’ll stop going to the mall by the second week of December, which means I have only three weeks to complete my Christmas shopping for family and friends. I hope the fund will be credited this soon so I can take advantage of the less crowded mall.

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*unique, multi-purpose designer papers featuring watercolor drawings from swathe manila 

No worries, I started gifting the family as early as October, the major gifts and my favorite people in tow. I also started buying for my grown-up godchildren and for Leoncio’s side of the family, now I’m down to hunting for unique items for my girls back at the office. If only I had enough fund to buy everything as early as tomorrow morning, hehehe, kidding aside, shopping always gives me that certain feeling of happiness and accomplishment and I bet you also had that same feeling –feeling mayaman! Hahaha…

And seriously, Christmas to some maybe like any ordinary day and to many including me, Christmas would always be the favorite time of the year to be merry, to be thankful, to be generous and to be charitable. It’s the time to get-together, I’m excited to bits only that it worries me a bit that I’ll have little rest and sleep despite the forthcoming long break, I’ll be busy with things left and right certainly, but despite that I’m jumpy to share bed with my big B the entire holidays. Momi can’t wait!

On the lighter side, it’s Friday tonight and I’m blogging somewhere after the ever-unfailing chicken dinner. Tomorrow would be my first rest day after a gruesome work week, this week is awfully argh! I’m trying not to complain but sometimes it really gets on me because it’s tiring, very tiring that it ends me up eating rice on dinner and the sinful barbeque last night, well, at least it makes sense –a good excuse per se to cheat on my meals because I need a pick-me upper! The second rest day for sure would be our date time, over an Italian lunch to conclude the very short weekend.

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Oh wait, my breakfast tomorrow would be a repeat of the last two Sundays. Monge bread with homemade ham and emental cheese! ♥

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For now, happy Friday folks and may all of you have the soundest sleep tonight! 😛

 

B’s day out at the dog café

I’ve been following the lady chef behind Whole Pet Kitchen way back her Food Styling Manila blog, I was a fan and a regular reader, and what really got me hooked was that post about feeding dogs at the animal shelter in Mandaluyong one morning. I admired the lady more for that. 🙂 It’s one of my reveries up until now to do the same because my heart cries everytime I see stray dogs rummaging garbage for food. And tho at present we have two semi-adopted Aspins whom we supply sawdust from the supermarket, I learned it’s a healthier option rather than the regular pellets, I still look for the day I can do the same kindness Giannina did.

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Giannina Gonzales now the lioness of Whole Pet Kitchen had come so far after the opening of the first dog café in the Philippines and Wishbone a.k.a Jack had been headlining newspapers and TV shows, the duo had been the prominent sight of my IG feeds and facebook and I can’t wait to meet them both. If you’ve been reading the blog (this nameless & shiftless blog) you’d know by now that my baby B turned 7th last July but because we’ve been into a busier schedule we skipped giving her a grand party, we just brought the big B to Army Navy Tagaytay few weeks after her birthday. We thought she loved the burgers there better than anything else, and just because they had al fresco seating it can’t get any way fur-pect to spend a leisurely sunny afternoon with my loves. ♥

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I’ve known to be someone who makes plans and trips and promises, and everytime I’m home to my big B I’d always give her something to look forward to. It’s like promising your kid a new gadget when she makes it good in school, for my big B it’s more like getting a McDonald’s trip or a new collar or a new toy as a reward for not peeing on the second floor. 😀 But because any 7th birthday is important and significant I want hers to be memorable, something she’d recount over because she was with Momi and Dadi and with the kids and Lola.

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The trip to Whole Pet Kitchen happened almost three weeks ago by now, so pardon me if there would be lapses here because my memory isn’t sharp as before anymore. I remember us arriving at past 2pm, and that Sunday afternoon we were the first to arrive. We got the best seat by far and for a while we had the entire store by ourselves. I was looking for Jack when one of the store assistant told that he would be arriving later that day. I scanned the menu and asked my party to choose their pick, not too heavy I reminded them because we’re eating decently after at BHS. I asked recommendations from the store assistant while ordering B’s food, finally I settled for an order of Jack’s Lasagna and Banana Oat Muffins for her to munch later on. I got her Yogurt Cooler too, which she didn’t enjoy really. I forgot my baby B doesn’t loves much the cold drinks and prefers to drink water only.

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And what do you know, even before our orders were served Jack and Giannina made an entrance already. B was fuming like a mad dog after seeing Jack behind the glass doors, and for a while the duo stepped back from entering their own store. I had to calm down B and told Dadi to let her, she’d eventually love Jack and I was right. I don’t want to it label it aggression but B at times had this mood to dislike other dogs maybe because of the dominance she always had back at home. But she is now way dangerous okay; she’s never been into fight and never attacked any dogs to date. She was the one being attacked in the past, by a black lab, and we assumed it’s one of the reasons why she hated the black ones.

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Anyhow, back at the café, this was how B and Jack greeted each other, Jack was so handsome, a real furball!

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Mr. Jack, can I take you home na? 🙂

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Not long, a German shepherd arrived with her humans, B made loud woofs once again but was intimidated by the size of the new guest. To pacify her I went on spooning her lasagna, she loves restaurant meals by all means and she’d  ate it with gusto if you’d feed her like a kid. Ambisyosang frog!

By mid-afternoon more visitors began to arrive until the place was packed, the rest were even advised to wait at the dog park near Café Ysabel. Since the dog café is limited at the moment because of the little space, I suggest you come earlier with your pack or schedule your visit on weekdays. I’m doing the latter on our next visit or rather block the whole café so my baby B can freely strut and wiggle. Tita Elaine is sponsoring anyway. Hahaha.

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And if you’d care to know what we had from the Pet Love’s Menu, take a peek.

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Triple Chocolate Milkshake for the kiddos P148. This is quite big and I was telling the kids that they should have shared the drink because Kuya P finished only 1/3 of his.

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The kids got Woofles each, the Double Choclit ala Mode P208. Chocolate and warm waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, a bit expensive for its size.

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We also had two orders of Lalalasagna P258. Layers of Bolognese meat sauce, spinach, cheese and pawsta.

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I only wished it wasn’t swimming on that meat sauce, thank you.

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And an order of Sammie, Piggy in the garden Sammie P228. A unique BLT with sautéed onions on a waffled baguette, amongst our orders this was the one I enjoyed, big portion as well.

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And this was the princess’ Doggie Meal,

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Jack’s Lasagna P88. Semolina lasagna sheets, organic VCO, pork liver, beef, carrots, homemade yogurt, swamp cabbage, tomatoes, basil, cheese. Now, that sounds too healthy and organic! There’s no doubt that my own furball loved this to bits, next time will have to double the order. Beside was the Yogurt Cooler P48. I forgot to capture the muffins but it looked good and B loved its flavors as well.

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A closer shot.

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Our bill almost hit 2k with just that, quite steep I know, but it’s not happening everyday or like every weekend, birthdays are always special and anything for B is endless. ♥ Oh, we totally forgot to buy her a small Paw Cake because the crowd was already overwhelming then and the mini-dogs beside us were making noises by now. It was a bit uncomfortable already that I missed to even have a decent photo with Giannina and Jack, or even a small chat. We’ll be back but not sooner than I can only hope for, because the big B lives south with the parental as you all know.

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Whole Pet Kitchen: Pet Deli & Bark-ery
349-D C.M. Recto St., corner P. Guevarra Street
San Juan, Metro Manila
www.facebook.com/wholepetkitchen
www.wholepetkichen.com
 

sundate no.33

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When the fambam celebrated Tatay’s 63rd last June in Josephine’s Tagaytay, we listed the neighboring Summit Ridge Hotel next. Tho that “next” took a month to happen, it was well-worth the wait especially that July wasn’t a good month because of the rammasun, and Tagaytay was severely hit.

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Like the usual Sundays when we’re home at the parental house, we would drove to The Little Souls to hear the 10am mass. We loved it there because it’s serene and away from the bustling city sound effects. After the mass, the family would normally troop at the ridge to have lunch. We’re the usual family, who loves to enjoy good food and good vibes, and admit it or not a well put together place is vital, and hotel setting is always impressive and seamless.

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When we spotted this tarp the last time, we thought it was cheaper and probably a nice change from our usual grind. So without further ado, we visited C2 Classic Cuisine last August 3. Tho we came a little unsure of this dining adventure just because the tarp was removed from the hotel’s façade already, we pushed it anyway.

Guess what? It was my first time to step in at Summit Ridge Hotel. Yes, even if we’ve been frequenting Tagaytay for the longest time I could only name a few hotels I’ve been there to. It’s because we find it impracticable to pay thousands for a night sleep when a comfy retreat –the parental house, awaits our homecoming now and then. Other than, we would obviously enjoy a signature hotel scent in the morning of crisp linen and lavenders, and a breakfast buffet to complement the morning vibe. It’s too ideal you know. I love. ♥  This time around we’re just visiting the hotel to have lunch.

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Arriving at past 11am, we’re the first customer by far so we had time to scan the spread and pick a comfy seat of our choice –where lighting and ventilation was mostly considered. Anyhow, the spread wasn’t too many, I expected that already but I think it’s just fair for its P499 price so if you’d complain about it’s being limited get ready to pay double and go off to Taal’s Café Veranda instead.

But what came up a surprise to me and to my family was, C2’s spread were wholly the food we were just craving about. It was like we phoned in the chef and asked him to cook our favorites. We can’t be any happier this time.

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The fambam started to lunch literally while I remained in awed and left me eating my greens again. I always thought it’s a nice starter and Kansi (Ilonggo’s version of sinigang and bulalo) was just right to warm my belly. I had a piece of bread, and jam and butter to pair with. Well, it would be a more welcome treat if there would at least two kinds of cheese around –sharp and strong, I suggest.

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Bread station

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The famed Adobong Balut

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Dessert Corner

I wasn’t able to capture the complete spread but I assure you everything is delicious and filling and would make you come back for more. They serve plain rice and bagoong rice, which was more like Thai rice because it had green mango. We all loved this bagoong rice to bits, perfect to pair with anything grilled. They had Gising-Gising (winged bean cooked in coconut milk with shrimp and grilled pork) and Pakbet (topped with daing na bangus). Other hot dishes include Adobong Balut, which the sisteret craved a day before this dining event, Tid-Tad (dinuguan in Pampanga), Grilled Liempo and Morcon. I don’t know with you but I enjoyed my lunch because everything tasted freshly cooked.

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From Upper Left Clockwise: My happy plate with everything on it –bagoong rice, gising-gising, pakbet, grilled liempo, morcon and adobong balut, Tid-Tad at puto, my dessert plate  –watermelon, black forest cake and turon de leche + brewed coffee and Kansi

Tho on a second note I hope there’s a fish dish for my old folks who cannot pander too much on meat and cholesterol pounding recipes. Hehehe. For dessert they had fresh fruits –watermelon and pineapple, turon the leche (which was another hit), black forest cake (which the fambam almost cleared up) and halo-halo station. Unlimited refill of drinks was included –four seasons, calamansi, I forgot the other one. And mind you, coffee was available –limitless as well. On top of everything, service was impeccable. All wait staffs were well-mannered and welcoming, most especially our dedicated wait staff, Mr. Warren Cueno. He ensured our experience was pleasant and extra exceptional. My old folks appreciated much the little chat. Thank you for the warm treatment, we left very happy and we look forward in visiting back. 🙂

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So the next time you’ll visit Tagaytay, try C2’s Weekend Buffet, you’ll never go wrong anyway with Pinoy comfort food. ♥

 

 

C2 Classic Cuisine
G/F Summit Ridge Hotel
Km 58 Maharlika West, General Emilio. Aguinaldo Highway,
Tagaytay City, Philippines 4120
 
 
 

P.S. Yes, the niece can play the piano so she’d better memorize a piece in prep to our come back 😀

 

sundate no.31

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Jun 8. Now, this post is about to break the routine. Because I’m not really fond of jotting down my past activities I had this tendency to forget what I’m actually doing that very day, thanks for the photos at least I have something to write about. 🙂

This dining event happened few days ahead before my latest post, sorry if the dates aren’t in order here as I could no longer even recall what made us drove to the mall that day. As I told before, Italianni’s isn’t a regular restaurant for us. We can’t afford to shell out more than a thousand bucks every meal but once in a while we feel like we need to splurge a little 😀 and think that we’re moneyed. It’s just money and we’ll make it again and again.

We were at Italianni’s for late lunch once again, we had brunch earlier that day that’s why we weren’t too hungry when we arrived. We we’re thinking of getting an order of fresh insalata and a big pasta plate but we find it too hard to pass on getting an order of pizza ovale. We’re both partial to Italianni’s dough and its topping, and because of that our standard of pizza has become upscale and sosyal. 🙂

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Seafood Cioppino’s. Mussels, shrimps, clams, calamari and spaghetti in cioppino, enchanted with chilli flakes. We love this to bits because it had all our favorite seafood.

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Pizza Abbondaza. Sicilian style pizza with three flavors: calssico pizza, pesto meditteraneo and quattro formaggio topped with feta cheese.

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The word “formaggio” got me, no-brainer at all it’s one of the best. ♥

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I love it that we’re not in a rush, we had our time that afternoon and I love to think that work isn’t due the following day, oh Monday I think I’m allergic to you.

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P.S. I remember now, we were at the mall that day because I needed to buy belated gifts for my two goddaughter

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…and because it’s Sunday we had to stock up food for the week, how about some bargain Biscoff from Rustan’s? I got so lucky! 😛

 

 

Italianni’s Restaurant, Glorietta
Level 2, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City
T. +632 757-1323 / 757-1324
 

the coffee bean & tea leaf

Jun 7.  Because we’ve been partial to Starbucks coffee and dessert we had this tendency to revisit and revisit thus the idea of dining at a different coffee shop was always somewhere off the topic. But since our current fixations are pasta and salads we keep our options open this time. 🙂

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We keep on passing by Coffee Bea and Tea Leaf in Salcedo Village for the longest time, and everytime we do I can’t help but adore its peaceful ambiance, well on weekends perhaps and I can’t attest if it’s the same scenery during the week days. I love it even from afar because the place doesn’t get too overly crowded, there’s always an empty seat for diners.

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Well, I’m slowly morphing back to becoming a coffee addict despite the acid attacks and palpitation but there’s no need to worry, I know my limits and there’s always this alternative to coffee and tea –the fruity flavored drink? But once at the coffee shop I can’t hold back myself not to order a coffee blended drink, I think it’s a bit odd not to order coffee at all. During our visit at CBTL, we had dinner first, a lighter one (I guess), we had our usual favorite combination –a classic Caesar salad and sardine pasta. Yep, we can survive eating that combi everyday –fresh and tasty and warm?

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Coffee Bean’s Classic Caesar Salad® Everybody’s favorite! You can also opt to enjoy this traditional salad made of romaine lettuce, croutons, eggs & Caesar dressing with chicken. We got ours less the chicken.

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Sardine & Garlic Linguine. An olive oil-based pasta with Spanish-style sardines and roasted garlic. Garnished with parmesan cheese and parsley. I super, super love this because the garlic is crunchy and the sardine is super tasty. And because the serving is big it’s good for sharing, value for your money here. I’d probably go back for this pasta dish!

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CBTL cakes and pastries are very hard to resist, I can’t passed over to that Chicago Cheesecake. It’s not the usual cheesecakes you’d find around, that’s too foamy and soft or sweet, CBTL’s cheesecake had that perfect texture.  From now on, I’m declaring it as one of my must-try cheesecakes in town. ♥

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Chicago Cheesecake. Velvety cream cheese with a hint of lemony tartness, on a subtle almond cookie crust – best with Espresso.

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The cookie monster husband would always get a small or big piece of cookie to pair his coffee. He had the Café Americano –one of his usual requests. While I had the ice blended one, Mocha if I remember it right. Hehehe. I love my drink only that it’s too filling, probably because of its heavy cream.

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Ice Blended Mocha. Mocha lovers, you’ll be in heaven… Our delectable Special Dutch™ Chocolate and Coffee Extract blended with ice and non-fat milk.

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The next time we’ll visit I’ll try the All Day Breakfast –Eggs Ben, Bagel, Salmon Scramble, I can’t wait! 😀

 

 

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Ground Floor, Four Seasons Salcedo (at Tordesillas St & Toledo St) 
Makati City     
T. +63 2 8172873