Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quick & Easy Crepes

Crepes is truly my most beloved dessert of choice. I would dare not pass up the opportunity to eat in Cafe Breton. Did you know they have 9 outlets now? Podium, Mall of Asia, TriNoma, Greenbelt, Pasong Tamo, Westgate, Tomas Morato, Tagaytay and Sta. Rosa. I have eaten in all 8 branches except for the one in QC. I really am a hardcore follower because I even used to frequent their original branches in Malate and the old Greenbelt. I always order the La Pinay (mango with Nutella) or the Funtastyc (banana with almond flakes and chocolate). Sloth becomes me when I order both and place them on top of each other for that over the top INDULGENCE. And forget about the calories!!!

Truth be told, I could eat crepes everyday! I have been doing so since I started making them myself at home. So, I'm going to share with you my idiot-proof recipe. (which I stole from the back of the Maya hotcake mix!)

Ingredients:
1 cup hotcake mix
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter
1 cup water
mangoes (optional)
bananas (optional)
Nutella chocolate spread (a MUST!)

*Makes 10-13 servings

Beat the eggs slightly. Melt butter in the oven (never use the microwave! see why here) Add the butter, water and hotcake mix. You have to follow that order or else your crepes will turn out differently. Believe me, my sister and I have tried! Beat until all lumps are gone and cook on a non-stick pan like you would pancakes. Chop the mangoes, bananas or whatever fruit you'd like and toss it in with the yummy Nutella for your SUPER CREPE! Pretty darn easy, right?

Plus, making it yourself is a lot cheaper than buying from Cafe Breton. A big bottle of Nutella from Rustan's is P210 while the big box of hotcake mix is around P55. You add the eggs, butter and fruit....still way cheaper considering the fact that you can make 13 crepes per serving! There is a loooot to share for your whole family. Sancho and Benny love them crepes!

Oooh there are therapeutic benefits, too, to cooking or baking. It's instinctual for women, I think. No matter how bad a cook you are, food preparations may calm nerves. I like getting the lumps out of that mix and pouring it on the pan. There is an art to it and I think I've mastered it. ;)

Happy crepe making!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Indecisive Flowers & Calligraphic Abilities

No, the flowers aren't indecisive. It's me who is. I just thought the title would sound nice.

I am starting to get organized for the upcoming wedding and I can't seem to decide on what flower arrangements I want for my entourage! It's funny because it did NOT take me this long to choose my wedding gown.

I have accumulated some picks in theknot.com and bookmarked them in del.icio.us. And so, with simplicity and elegance in mind, here are my top four choices (for now):

1. Since I have changed my motif from aquamarine/torquise and yellow to plain and elegant CREAM (yes one color only!), I was thinking of sticking to white colored flowers as well. But then it might look too blah?

2. Hydrangeas are fabulous. I especially like this color combo below but I think they are not available locally. I've only seen photos from my aunt's multiply when she went to Sagada (Oh, darn, that's FAR!)
3. Lovely Peonies!!! So chic and sweet. Might be expensive. Must ask supplier.
4. Here is a unique take on the traditional bouquet of roses. Nice, yeah? I'm still deciding on the flower supplier - preferably someone based in Tagaytay already. (This would tremendously cut costs!) Honestly, if I had the talent...I would rather do-it-myself.

Yup, I'm on of 'em DIY brides. M laughed at my idea of using my own calligraphy for the invites. But to prove that I was not kidding, I bought calligraphy pens today and will start practicing tomorrow. Thanks to dafont.com, I have some classic fonts as guide. If things turn sour, I shall stick to my Assumptionista penmanship. That should do the trick.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Worried Sick

Dear Santi,

Tonight, you got me and Daddy worried sick. You threw up for more than an hour during dinner and we could not figure out the reason. Was it something you ate or drank? Should I have stayed home instead of my yoga practice? (Was I being a selfish mom?) I vow to watch you like a hawk (these days you put every little thing you find on the ground inside your mouth!)

You woke up from a nap crying non-stop in the afternoon. Never mind that your dad was there attempting to calm you, you were longing for my embrace and insisted that I carry you. I already knew then that my baby boy isn't feeling too well because you would not have me put you down. This is usually the case when you are sick. Extra extra clingy.

So, after dinner, I carried and sang to you until you slept in my arms. It did not matter to me how long I was standing and swaying there, all I wanted was for you to feel safe. I hope that there will be no more vomiting because it pains me to see you this way, my love. Each time you get sick, I always pray for your well being...even in exchange for mine. Please be well in time for Father's Day.

Love always,
Mommy

*This is a pilot post of many many love letters I am dedicating to my son. Much-inspired by the review I read on "Love, Mommy:Writing Love Letters to Your Baby". One day, I hope Santi will be able to read all of them :)

Royce is HERE!

HALLELUJAH! What great joy it is to find out the Royce is finally available here in Manila! Chuvaness blogged about it and my mom ,who is one of her 'followers', reported to me --- You can buy Royce chocolates from Konbini Japanese store at Connecticut St. Greenhills.

What a coincidence! I'm there everyday now because of my classes at Pulse Yoga. Today, after Hatha class, I went to buy M a box of Royce potato chips dipped in chocolate (sinful!) for Father's Day :) I have tried this before and it is very addicting. Seriously, I could finish this in one sitting!
And for myself, I bought their Nama chocolate in Au Lait flavor. This, I haven't tried so my taste buds are looking forward to the elite chocolate experience!

Thank heavens I have some form of exercise..or else this will all go to my bums and thighs :O

Monday, June 02, 2008

Survival Tips: DFA Passport Day

1. Get an appointment through the DFA website. By doing this, you skip step 1 which is to wait in (a looooooooooooooong) line in a very humid basketball court to have your documents assessed. I'm so glad I did this! And I encourage everyone to do too...or else you might lose 2 hours in hell. (not kidding)

2. Complete all documents before coming. You need a completed application form which you can download and print from here, 3 I.D. photos in royal blue background (They are stricter now. You can't wear jewelry, headbands or even smile in the shot!), old passport, and what not. Make sure you have extra copies of your passport, ACR (alien certificate of recognition)- if you weren't born in the Phils., birth certificate and driver's license. Don't forget your ballpen!

3. Always ask questions. In the Philippine government offices, signages are either too small to be read or not there at all...resulting in confusion. I felt like a headless chicken in their flawed system. I even got lost and lined up in step no 1 (that humid basketball court) when I should've gone straight to the last step (the air-conditioned but still warm auditorium). It will save you time to ask the guard where to go.

4. Look your best. Why should you? Well, decent clothing, make-up and charm can really take you places. I noticed that because I looked more err...professional than the people next to me, the officers respected and responded to me. In 2 occasions, I did not have to go back in line (when I had to have some documents copied so tip#2 is very important!!!)

5. An extra person helps. They usually do not allow any other person to go with the applicant but since I argued that I was a breastfeeding mom and I needed a helper to carry my son while I do my business, the guard let her in. I didn't know my help would come in handy when she would line up for me in the next line while I was still paying or keeping Santi sane.

6. Bring baon in the bag. Expect to be there the whole day if you didn't get an appointment or half a day if you did. It was so smart of me to bring my brand spankin' new and beautiful SIGG bottle filled with agua from mi casa. This kept me hydrated. (I bought this from the Pulse Yoga Discovery Weekend at 10% off the retail price. It was on promo that day so it was good enough reason for another impulse purchase!) My help always brings crackers with her so, that helped too, when Santi got hungry.


7. That's entertainment! The long lines are a b!tch. A book or magazine may also help make time fly. If you are with child, please do not forget to bring his/her toy. He/she might die or boredom or kill you with kulitness. I got my share of Santi freak outs today in the auditorium. I saw people giving us the 'pity look' and even heard some whispers 'dapat paunahin na sila...kawawa naman'. But no, that didn't work. hehe.

See that?! This is only 1/4 of people in line for that final step (encoding after payment) in the auditorium. There in the middle is my all-around help, (my life saver!), Creslyn.

8. Passport delivery rocks. Yup, at the very end you have the option to have your passport delivered to your house for P100 through Air21 or LBC. My gosh take that option, it's worth the money! You wouldn't want to go back on the release date to line up AGAIN just to pick up your passport.

Haaaaaaaaay. Thank heavens it's over! I won't be going back in 5 years! (that is when our passport expires).

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Stork Studio

Ia Genato and Stan Ong of The Stork Studio took these wonderful shots yesterday afternoon. M and I agreed that each year, Sanch should have his photos taken by a professional to mark and celebrate his wonderful existence into our lives!
Look at this boy! He definitely knows where the camera is! My star in the making!

This is by far, my most favorite photo of the two of us. So much love going on here ;)

A fun shot! Jumping in attempt to defy gravity. What a work out for me!

This shot shows Santi's curious big eyes which I love. Everything about him I love!

For those interested in having their portraits done by Stork Studio, you may contact Ia Genato at 0920-9017131 or email thestorkstudio@gmail.com. They do amazing work! And word just got in that Ia prints all shots on fine art paper with every copy signed by her. Each print a masterpiece, indeed!

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