Christmas Wish List: Cookbooks

I’m no gifting guru, but maybe you have a friend like me, someone who doesn’t cook but loves cookbooks.  These are the top 2 on my wish list and I bet your friend will love them too:

Cravings: Recipes for Al the Food You Want to Eat by Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen shares recipes of her favorite things to eat in the most entertaining way possible — with stories of their everyday life and a lot of self-deprecating humour.  You can view sample recipes on Amazon, like this one:

 

 

It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super Busy Home Cook by Gwyneth Paltrow

My Ross passed on her copy of GP’s first cookbook, It’s All Good, and it turned out to be exactly my kind of cookbook filled with my kind of recipes.  This means that many of them are so simple they can hardly be called recipes at all.  It’s All Easy promises to be more of the same, and I know this because it’s got the word “easy” in the title.

 

All Screen Caps via Amazon.com

 

Green Bar is Lyf

Green Bar is currently my favorite all-vegan restaurants in Manila.  They make the best cruelty-free sandwiches, wraps, bowls, nachos, and doughnuts that aren’t necessarily healthy but always hit the spot.  So damn good.  Now if only parking wasn’t such a problem.

GREEN BAR, 2/F West of Ayala, 252 Gil Puyat Ave., Makati, Metro Manila, Telephone (632) 885.7537

Freeze by Pressed Juicery

This is my favorite discovery from our NYC trip last year.  Yes, last year pa, and I’ve never posted about it!

FREEZE by Pressed Juicery is an all-natural soft serve made with fruits, vegetables, and nuts (depending on the flavor).  All flavors are dairy-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free.  I only got to try the vanilla and chocolate, as they were having trouble with the green soft serve both times we dropped by.

  • Vanilla Almond Freeze is made with almonds, dates, vanilla bean, and sea salt
  • Chocolate Almond Freeze is made with cacao, almonds, dates, vanilla bean and sea salt

I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved this soft serve.  They’re ice cold and creamy and totally luxurious, and you get to choose your own toppings such as berries, nuts, or cacao drizzle.  Both flavors we tried were so damn good, we were back for more the very next day.  I had to ask them what kind of liquid they used to blend the freeze, as there has to be some liquid in it to achieve this consistency.  The woman at the counter seemed a bit taken aback at the question and said, “Uh… water, I guess?”

In any case, Pressed Juicery’s Freeze is THE dessert of my dreams, and I can’t wait to go back to the U.S. just so I can have more .

PressedJuicery.com

Addiction Aquatic Development

I’m a sucker for old places that have been converted into something new and exciting (think PMQ in Hong Kong or The Never Ending Summer in Bangkok), and this is just one of the reasons I loved Addiction Aquatic in Taipei.  Continue reading “Addiction Aquatic Development”

Eslite Spectrum

ESLITE stores can be found all over Taipei, but Eslite Spectrum feels special because of its unique location on the grounds of Songshan Cultural and Creative Park, which was converted from an abandoned tobacco factory.  My friends and I walked all the way from Taipei 101, crossing the park to get to Eslite, and the walk itself was enjoyable.  We passed Ecology Pond, which is an oasis right in the middle of the city.

The Eslite building includes a large bookstore, a department store filled with young artisans and creative brands, vinyl, DIY workshops, traditional Taiwanese tea shops, and lots more eye candy.  Everything is gorgeous as well as expensive!  We had dinner at a Thai restaurant called Kiki Thai Cafe (inside Eslite) and we enjoyed everything we ordered (except the stinky tofu which served only as dinnertime entertainment).  *Sorry to have zero photos to share, but please google “Eslite Spectrum Songshan Cultural and Creative Park to see more of what it looks like!

After eating, we walked around and just enjoyed the open grounds by some abandoned and rather creepy warehouses, pretending we were in a horror movie.  Elite Spectrum is so beautiful and one of my favorite new places in Taipei!

Mala Hotpot

My friends and I were in Taipei a few months ago, with no other agenda except to shop and eat.  We headed straight for Mala Hotpot right after checking in to our hotel.

If you’ve never been to a hotpot restaurant in Taiwan, you will be astonished by the wide selection of soups, meats, seafood, noodles, fresh and handball meat, fish, and veggie balls, fresh vegetables, sides, sauces, and condiments.  It’s hotpot heaven!  Dessert is usually included, and at Mala, we got to choose from four chest freezers filled with Haagen Dazs and Movenpick ice cream.

Tip: ask your hotel concierge to call the restaurant for reservations, so you won’t have to wait as long as we did (2 hours!!).

MALA HOTPOT XIMENDING, #62, 2/F Xining Road, Ximen, Taipei, Taiwan, Phone: +886-2-2314-6528

Taste by Grace Home Manila

I’ve been wanting to try Taste by Grace Home Manila, and lucky for me, my friend Ross generously shared her Arte Fino loot when we visited her house:)

First we tried baking these 70% Ecuadorian dark chocolate chip cookies in Ross’ toaster oven.  They turned out really good…

…but a bit too expensive for me at over P1.200++ if I remember correctly.  If you are sosyal like Ross, this shouldn’t stop you –  she’s re-ordered these cookies already!

We also tried these dips.

The Quattro Formaggio spread was my absolute favorite.  So good and so worth it!  Please get me this if you don’t know what to give me for Christmas.  I think this is around P600+.

Check out Grace Home Manila and The Spoiled Mummy on Instagram or text/viber 0906-3618374 for orders and inquiries.

Chef Margarita Fores for L’Innovation de Nespresso

Nespresso is now in the Philippines!  John and I were invited to one of their launch dinners at Hey Handsome, where we were surprised to be greeted not by Chef Nicco Santos, but by Margarita Fores (she hid behind the TV monitor as guests started coming in so as not to spoil her surprise — just one clue as to how down to earth she is despite being Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016.). Continue reading “Chef Margarita Fores for L’Innovation de Nespresso”

VIEN NYC

There are a gazillion posts burning a hole in my Drafts folder and I promised myself I’d start publishing them one by one.  I wanted to start with Vien, my cousin Mark’s restaurant in NYC.  Named after Mark’s mom, my beloved Aunty Vivian, Vien serves fast, healthy, Asian fare.

Photo credit: VienNYC.com

Vien lets you build your own bowl (or takeout box) by choosing your base (rice, noodles, quinoa, or salad) and your main (grilled beef, pulled pork, lemongrass chicken, turmeric tofu, or roasted vegetables) + your garnishes, sauces, and sides.  It’s basically the kind of food I would love to have for lunch everyday, if I lived in New York!  So good!

Photo credit: VienNYC.com

Learn more about Vien here, or visit them at 220 Varick Street.

VienNYC.com

 

Yogi Brunch

I discovered Yogi Brunch through my cousin Michele, who shared discovered it at one of the Rockwell bazaars.  They make all sorts of dips and sauces, as well as bottled tinapa and other goodies.  My favorite is their Chana Hummus made with Indian black bean garbanzos — fantastic with everything from sandwiches, crisps, crudités, quinoa, wraps, rainbow bowls, and almost anything you can think of.  It can be hard to place an order as I think the owner does this more as a hobby than real livelihood, but try and try and you shall be rewarded.  I usually order a few jars at a time as there is a P100 delivery fee.

For orders and inquiries, check out @Yogibrunch on Instagram.

Falafel Yo!

Falafel Yo! is a small shop at the Greenbelt 3 cinemas, and John and I recently got to try it before catching a movie.  I had the Falafel with salads and sumac (P149), while John tried the Falafel Beast with beef (P179).  Both were really good, and affordable too!  I wouldn’t recommend them as movie food as the handhelds are a little too messy to eat in the dark.  Best to sit at one of the tables or benches outside and eat them before going in the cinema.

FALAFEL YO! 3/F Greenbelt 3 Cinema, Ayala Center, Makati

Rang’s Potluck Platters

I’m always on the lookout for good food platters I can order for potlucks or whenever we want to have something slightly fancier for dinner at home. One new purveyor I can confidently recommend would be one of my bestest friends, Rachelle Tan, who is such an amazing cook that I always prefer meeting up at her place for lunch instead of going out to eat.

Her new food business is called Rang’s (her nickname) and I recently ordered their Crab Fat Spaghettini with Garlic Prawns for John’s birthday. This pasta is so, so good, without the umay factor that I was half expecting! Check out @rangs_ph on Instagram, and here’s her full menu:

Callos 1 kg, P980
Binagoongang Pork Belly with Eggplant Chimichurri, good for 8-10 pax, P1,800
Crab Fat Spaghettini with Garlic Prawns, good for 8-10 pax, PHP 2,200
Lengua with mushroom sauce, good for 8-10, Php 2,400
Roasted Garlic Herb Chicken, good for 6-8 pax, PHP 1,900
Kare Kare, good for 8-10 pax, PHP 2,400
Vongole, good for 8-10 pax, Php 2,200
Pesto salmon with buttered corn, good for 6-8 pax, Php 1,600
Baked salmon with buttered corn, good for 6-8, Php 1,600

Bliss Bowls: Eat Like You Love Yourself

Last January, my partners and I launched our passion project — Bliss Bowls,  Manila’s first smoothie bowl bar. Continue reading “Bliss Bowls: Eat Like You Love Yourself”

BYOB with Lock & Lock Lunch Bags

 

Some people geek out over cars or gadgets, but for me, it’s food containers!  I use Lock & Lock airtight containers to organize our pantry staples, and also for keeping our leftovers in the fridge.  I can never really have enough!  So when Lock & Lock asked if I’d like to try one of their lunch bags Continue reading “BYOB with Lock & Lock Lunch Bags”