Christmas Ain't Over! Goodie Giveaway #2

(Please scroll to the bottom for the Goodie Giveaway mechanics!)

Ho! Ho! Ho! Just as I was attempting to melt away the holiday lbs this weekend, a package arrived oh so timely.... I woke up on Sunday with this in my bed!!!
Well, not exactly. My second family in LA, aka. Bestie, Roomie + Guecky, sent my brother back to Manila with half of his baggage allowance in presents. Being the online shopper that I am, I ordered their holiday gifts ahead of time. Good thing that half my fam was in Los Angeles for a good portion of January, and my friends were able to drop off my loot into their luggages!
Hungry at Asia De Cuba, Sunset Blvd


Major Cupcake Competition

Since my post on my DIY Red Velvet cupcakes from Sprinkles, I've gotten a lot of queries (can I have some?), responses (why didn't I get one?), and challenges (my cupcake is better than yours!) regarding the frosted mini-cake. So much so that the competition ran too close to home.

I got home the other night at 1am, and get a possibly alcohol affected IM from my bro, almost force feeding me this so called superior cupcake:

Actual IM conversation:
Bro: go down. i sent driver cupcake from ny for u. red velvet cupcake. Killer
ToT: ha? where?
Bro: better than urs
ToT: i am fullll... whatever!
Bro: he should be there
ToT: like... NOW? or kanina (earlier)
Bro: call his cell he dropped me 10 mins ago. TOLD HIM TO PUT IN FRIDGE
ToT: can i eat tom? di ko na kaya (I can't take it anymore)
Bro: Mejo masarap sha (It's kinda pretty good)
Bro: just call him and ask him about it .
Bro: red velvet with creeam and white chocolate. one piece lang sha (It's just one piece)
ToT: magnolias?
Bro: better. call him nga (Can you call him?!)
ToT: Buttercup? eto kakauwi lang (here, he just got in). i said fridge. tomorrow. bfast
Bro: t&$(#na masarap ( expletive it's good!)
ToT: from?
Bro: ava's kitchen
ToT: ok ok ok

I'm not gonna lie, I was curious. Especially because he was so adamant I try it, and because he challenged my baking skills. The nerve!

Finding Comfort in Cheese and Cibo

I need to put my Hong Kong posting on hold. Just for a bit. After a string of busy days, crazy events, and being pulled here, there and literally almost everywhere, I really needed some comfort. Actually, I needed a lot of it. Something familiar and something that always hits a spot.

I ended up in Greenbelt 5 with a few hours to kill before another meeting. My destination? Cibo.

Cibo, is like the no-fail go-to place if you want some quick and tasty Italiano fare. It's not full-on Italiano like C's Italian , but it has its place in my heart. It's an enoteca (wine place), pasticceria (pastry shop), alimentari (food store) and... another thing, all rolled into one modern Italian resto. Every time I get hungry, but am unable to visualize where I'd like to eat or what exactly, I always find myself propped up on one of Cibo's usually colorful seats ordering "the usuals". Now I know some of you wonder why I would blog about Cibo when it's just a "normal" restaurant. But trust me, nothing beats consistently delicious food and great service, and even in LA or NY, you'll have trouble finding a chain that can rival that of Cibo.

First on my menu:
San Pellegrino Aranciata


HK Holiday, Part Due

After the first family day in HK town, and a night of debauchery, vodka and Tsui Wah, my bro and I woke up at the unreasonable hour of 2pm! Sheesh!
But come on, who wouldn't want to wake up to a view as beautiful as this one??
One of the perks of staying at the Parklane in Causeway Bay is the convenience to major shopping meccas and the MTR. This was a Sunday, so the park was filled with (it's completely true) Indo and Filipino house hold help on their day off. I love the camaraderie especially when they share their baon or packed meal. It's so sweet and completely Filipino.

After we washed down the leftover alcohol and took our respective baths, we headed off to meal #1:


HK Holiday, Part Uno

It's been about half a year since the inception of this blog... when it all started when I had a vacation with my entire family at a resort in beautiful Bohol. Since it was the holiday season we strategized, as stress-inducing and patience-trying planning a fam vacation was, we needed another family outing. We did it again, and we survived it!
The chaos that was the airport
Well, I did. Not so much my sister who has three kids and, unbeknown to her nor us during that time, was preggers with her (omg) fourth kiddo. Talk about genetically superior bloodline!

This was the airport situation. My family hates flying together, so la famiglia had to be divided into three flights. This was my team: Sis, 3 kiddos + brother (appearance in next picture). Clearly from the beginning, Sis already sensed she had a lot on her plate...
My Bro also carried his weight... but then we also caught him snoozing on the side while waiting for the airplane. hee hee cruel girls.

We were headed to the closest place possible with the easiest recall factor:


My Christmas Treats and Trip

This Christmas, oddly enough, felt like it came too late. I wasn't really feeling the Christmas spirit til I entered the malls in search of last minute gifts. Maybe it's about growing up and instead of being the excited kid awaiting presents, I am now the unexcited godmother and gift giver extraordinaire.

But on the eve of Christmas, I was inspired by this sight while driving from a grocery trip.
This is a yearly tradition for this house in J.P Rizal, better known as Guadalupe. On regular days, this house is just plain jane, nothing worth taking a second look at. But whenever Christmas nears, the family members and then some literally deck the halls and the roof and the balcony and even the gutter with lights, and Santa, and so much Christmas decor it would conjure up memories of C.O.D. in Cubao back in the 80s when their balcony would unfold the Christmas Dolls Special. Does anybody remember that?


DIY Sprinkles Cupcakes!!!!

I'm having a bit of trouble lately... Call it hormones or the color blue... I am in dire need of comfort. And what do I do when in such desperation? You already know I like to eat so that was a giveaway. But another form of therapy that feels sooo much better than the retail variety is to cook something.... Especially when cooking means baking.

I'm going back to when I saw the movie Julie & Julia, when the modern epicurean Julie self reflects on the wonders of baking: 'You know what I love about cooking? I love that after a day when nothing is sure and when I say nothing, I mean nothing. You can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. That's such a comfort.'
I couldn't have said it better. My first stab at anything culinary was as the tender age of 6, when I intelligently mixed water, flour and salt, stuck it in the toaster oven til it turned a different shade of beige, then force-fed them to the maids. Clearly, the latter party was not appreciative of me trading roles for a meal.


Mr. Jones aaaaand Me...

I literally woke up from deep slumber right now, even after taking copious amounts of sleeping pills. I guess once I must write, its come hell or high water.
It's OK though, as I'm writing about one of my ultra-fave restos so far: Mr. Jones.

Do you remember that Counting Crows song with the same moniker? Shalalalalalalaaaah.... uhuhhh. Anyway, it was really catchy in the 90's. They even had a movie with Richard Gere in it! Mr. Jones, the restaurant, is like the song, catchy with that ever present panache that draws your eyes to its exteriors.
Like a 50s diner turned al fresco dining spot, the outdoor setting is made even more adorable with the smattering of palm trees and its little bar which houses the yummy desserts they carry. PIES! Who does pies anymore? Anyway the outdoor section is so cute, I usually prefer to stay there whenever possible. During lunchtime though, FAIL! It's a bit hot, and even their misters can't keep up with my cold hearted blood.

Read the entire post on the NEW ToT http://www.triportreats.com/2010/01/10/mr-jones-aaaaand-me/


The Curious Case of the Custaroon Craze

Mention TRIP OR TREATS when you order and you get 10% off on your total bill :) Thanks Gigi. 
Back on hiatus! Sorry it was a long one... i couldn't help but indulge in all the goodness the holiday season had to offer (that in itself will earn its own post).

The best things about the holidays are definitely the gifts for me. I wont lie. I love receiving goodies and surprises and kind gestures. This one gesture was the motherload of it all. It's like the gift that keeps on giving, personally as well as uncontrollably.

I'm talking about the Custaroons...
So I receive a box of Custaroon Poppers from a cousin during one of our christmas parties (those parties, shall again receive their own post). The box was a delight to receive on its own, Robin's egg blue with a nice little hind of Gold binder to make it more delectable to the palate
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