Christmas in Pampanga & ToT's Kitchen

Before I go on another JuJu cleanse for 2011 to rid me of all the holiday cholesterol, let me greet everyone a very belated Merry Christmas and a happy happy 2011 from ToT's Kitchen & family!
Every year, we prepare a traditional Noche Buena meal for the family. This was our first ever Christmas in our new home with the kitchen I designed. Our meal consisted of:

This Sans Rival Can't Be Rivaled

Ladies and gentlemen, I have discovered the best Sans Rival, or Cashew Torte, I have ever tasted. Good thing I went on the JuJu Cleanse to make way for this buttery wonder in my system.
Since holidays are opportunities for friends and loved ones to express their generosity, a TON of food gifts have been arriving in our household. One of them, this large red box that I found in the refrigerator. Seemed nonchalant, so I decided to open it to figure out if I was to recycle it and re-gift it to someone else (oh come on, admit it).


My JuJu Cleanse Experience

Many of you who follow me know that my appetite is an ever-growing monster. After all the pre-Christmas holiday eating, and my weekly adulation for Mercato Centrale as a merchant and a diner, I was feeling extremely BLAH. Sluggish, bloated and overall feeling like a stuffed turkey,.I knew and felt tht I needed an overhaul before I could possibly continue on to the Christmas celebrations.
During a food-filled visit at Mercato Centrale, I chanced upon this guy touting the JuJu Cleanse. More captivated by the name than anything else, it promised a digestive overhaul that would give me more energy, reduce bloat, clear up skin, and weightloss as a  happy side-effect.  He didn't need to hard sell, since I've always wanted to try a cleanse but was to lazy to make them myself, so I mustered up the courage to Commit to the Cleanse.
 After calling the number from the flier, I settled for a 3-day cleanse on Level 2. JuJu Cleanse can be taken for a day or for 3 days for best results. The levels go up as the amount of Green Bomb juices increase. My second level cleanse meant 3 Green Bomb bottles in my  daily regimen of 6 juices. No Food for 3 days... Good God, help me survive!


The 'Qi' to Wellness in the City

Since I'm on a 3 day juice fast (TBB), I refuse to write about any of my recent food finds for fear that I might devour the entire refrigerator. So, in the spirit of wellness, I'll write about a different type of Treat that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside and out, and doesn't require ingestion of comfort food.
After an eventful weekend of Mercato Centrale, dining, and a string of Goodie Giveaways, I needed a break from the hustle of the city. Mr. S & I went to Makati to get some short-term bliss since we didn't want to leave Manila to go to a spa, but still wanted to get away from it all. No, we did not check in to Picasso Boutique Hotel.
 But if you're familiar with Picasso in Salcedo Village in Makati, on the left hand side of the impeccable white facade is Qi Wellness Massage + Reflexology Centre. Their sign very nondescript, which also resonates with the property's exteriors.


Holiday Happenings at Hotel Elizabeth Baguio

If you're in Baguio this Holiday season, drop by Hotel Elizabeth Baguio and celebrate the Merry Month with these fabulous Dining Specials!
 And if you're wondering what to do for the New Year, Why not come celebrate at Hotel Elizabeth!
 The Santorini ballroom will be the venue for the Big Bang New Year Dinner Celebration on the 31st!


Holiday Goodie Giveaway #10.2: A SET of Vosges Chocolates!


Guess it was just about unanimous. When I asked ToT readers which they would rather win as a Goodie Giveaway, you all screamed CHOCOLATES!!!
During my recent visit to California, I went to my favorite Whole Foods store to pickup some goodies for myself and for ToT-ers. I also stocked up on my ultimate opulent indulgence: Vosges Chocolates.

Jimmy Choo, Who/What are You!?

So this is my dog, Jimmy Choo, a few days before the shocker.
Jimmy Choo, Choobear, Jimmy Bear. He's my malte-poo mutt of a dog. Most people that have met him know he's a mutt with amazing disposition. He even converted my mother, who is known to "give away" our dogs because they smelled, into a canine loving lady. He knows how to project, too.
 He's so cute, he even steals Mr. S' attention from ToT! Oh yeah, he's gay, so he loves 'balls' as much as he loves balls (pun pun pun)


The BIG Holiday Outlet Sale 2010 + Goodie Giveaway #10.1: TICKETS!

Make your List! Check it Twice! Pay off your CC balance!
The much-awaited Holiday version of the successful original is near!
(click on picture to zoom in)
The BIG Holiday Outlet Sale 2010!!!
WHEN: December 17-20, 2010 Fri-Mon, 10a-9p
WHERE: SMX Convention Hall 4, Mall of Asia
WHO: Malibu Enterprise, BPI Express Credit Edge & SUN 
WHAT: Up to 80% off on your favorite brands
              Free Entrance to all BPI Cardholders
              Add'l discounts + Raffle items for BPI Edge Cardholders
             Triple Limit and/or Real Thrills 0%/3mos to pay*
                (*select merchants on select brands)


Another Yummy Mercato Centrale Weekend + Goodie Giveaway #10!

Congratulations CANDISHHH & LUCKYFINDS! You each win a Mercato Centrale Shopper Bag!

Will email you for DETAILS!
Here's your chance to win one of TWO Mercato Centrale reusable shopping bags I'm giving away!
This weekend, I tried my damnest to wake up earlier (9am is early for me) to revisit Mercato Centrale at Bonifacio Global City. I was pleasantly surprised to find 2 new tents put up for new merchants and food finds. I got soooo excited I wanted to scoop up goodies immediately!


College Days, Cupcakes & Chicken Wrap at Malibu Kitchen

Aside from attending my Bestfriend's wedding, I had other important points on my Cali Agenda... one of them being to revisit my old haunts, aka Santa Monica and Malibu, the two cities I lived and studied in during my formative college years.
 Everyday for a good year or four, I would drive up and down the Santa Monica incline to Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) to get to the beach, erm, I mean to class.
 Who else would be perfect to take this trip down memory lane than my lovable college roommate!


A Very ToT-ful Thanksgiving Dinner

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! (My sad attempt at Wall Art)
Dinners at home are a major deal for the family. We pull out all the good (Holiday China and make sure things are perfect for everyone. Which means, when my eldest brother announced that HE would prepare the holiday Turkey, everyone panicked. Because, ToT ALWAYS cooks the meals! We were wary, and had a feeling we would go hungry this Thursday.
Proud Chef
I go home from the office, and find my oven PREHEATED (for 30 mins) to 400 Degrees. Hello are we starting a fire here? NO NO NO!  And then my Brother arrives with the bird all dressed, then asks for olive oil n salt. I'm like FTW there's no butter inside and ON the skin? waaaah... I smelled disaster.


Haute & Healthy at Seasons 52

Key Lime Pie, Mocha Macchiato, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie with Double Gingersnap Crust, in a shot glass and less than 300 calories each? That's what I, and Seasons 52 Fresh Grill, call "Mini Indulgences".
 After my best friend's yacht wedding, I took a nap to kill the jetlag and woke up feeling hungry for some fresh flavors. Since I stayed at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, we decided to hit up Seasons 52 Fresh Grill & Wine Bar, a brand new branch in the Orange County from its homebase of Florida.
 Magic in the Menu
Seasons 52 is best known for its seasonal menu, which changes every season to highlight the produce and fresh catch from local farmers' markets. Alongside that, each one of its dishes is only 475 calories and below, which reflects their motto of "A fresh dining experience that celebrates living well."


ToT Out to Sea for a Ceremony

If you've wondered where I disappeared off to for a few weeks, I went out to sea for a bit. I hoped my October manic blog posting would help alleviate the separation anxiety, but it didn't really help me. I'm now agitated at the endless list of blogs I need to spit out. And to think I'm not even done with my Summer Cruise extravaganza
I flew out to good old California (via Hong Kong, with a stopover for some dimsum) to attend a special day for someone very dear to me.
My highschool bestfriend Kristine's marriage to her long time love.


Hello, I'm ToT and I'm a Lace Cookie-holic

Damn it. I've been cookiefied.
So last week I Tumbler'd that I had spent PhP15k (almost $350) on these cookies. The responses were borderline vulgar, but it was a big order, and I had to share it to the world!

Would You Rather Win...

I'm having a bit of a Goodie Giveaway Crisis...
 I'm thinking if I should give away delectably crunchy Tate's Cookies
 Or sensual sweets from Vosges Chocolates?

Commenters' Choice gets the vote! Let me know which shouts at your sweet tooth!


Sunday Brunch at Chelsea & Mercato Centrale

 I haven't been spending a lot of time with the Choobear, so I decided to have a little play date with the critter at Bonifacio Global City.
 First stop was the much awaited Mercato Centrale @ BGC, brainchild of good blog-buddy, and Our Awesome Planet's Anton Diaz,
 It's the newest Farmers' Market on 32nd St & 9th Ave at The Fort, offering everything from  fresh produce, organic products, cooked food and other yummy goodies. I came in a bit late due to a mega HANGOVER from a bachelorette's party, but there were still people and produce to try and buy.


Goodie Giveaway #8: Cebu Pasalubong Gift Hat!

 This weekend was Hotel Elizabeth Cebu's Grand Opening!
 Each guest was welcomed into their room by a delectable Pasalubong Gift Hat Basket filled with Cebu local delicacies! And ToT is kind enough to bring home a goodie bag for one lucky follower!
Contents are especially picked by discerning Cebuano locals:
Triple-E Banana Chips
Shamrock Otap
Titay's Rosquillos
Cebu Best Dried Mangoes
Orchard TaMango
Nunie's Chicharon
Philippine Brand Mango Juice Nectar!

Here's how you can win:


Hotel Elizabeth Has Arrived in Cebu

 Baguio's 3-time Hotel of the Year has finally Arrived in Cebu and is extending its Soft Opening Promo of 50% off til December 15, 2010.
Welcome to The Hotel Elizabeth


Guess the Celebrity Chef

So I have a new toy for the kitchen... a chopping board signed with amour by ze rockstar chef of the hour, whom I had the pleasure of chatting up with amidst a little bit of dining drama.
Guess Who??? Have you seen this mugshot before?
(Hint: Top Chef Masters AND Iron Chef Alumnus)


HK Stopover: Yum Cha at Luk Yu

I had a few hours to kill during my layover in Hong Kong Airport to LAX. After running an errand for my mom, I decided to do the the next best thing in HK aside from shop.
Traditional Yum Cha at one of Hong Kong's Top 10 Best Restaurants!
To "Yum Cha" is to go to a teahouse for some dim sum.


Tengu's Steak & Sushi Rolls

Excited for my mini-trip to Los Angeles tomorrow, and one on my ToT-Eats list is some very eclectic sushi rolls which LA sushi places are pretty inventive with.
Last time I was in LA, I was able to try a few rolls plus some really well executed Japanese steak at Tengu, named after the Japanese god of mischief.
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