Sunday, August 16, 2009

Follow Your Nose

Hmmmm! The highly addictive chocolate aroma that comes out from the oven as you wait for the brownies to finish baking is an indication that the powerful gustatory experience with this simple dessert starts even before you taste it.

This pleasurable and rewarding olfactory experience alone should be reason not to settle for store-bought. Turn yourself into a home baker, dash to the kitchen and make yourself a batch!

Brownies are easy to make from scratch and are perhaps the most forgiving of all recipes. You only need one bowl to mix all the ingredients and a spatula. Brownie ingredients, chocolate and/or cocoa, flour, butter, sugar and eggs, always seem to be readily available in all pantries. The brownie batter is simply mixed by hand, and when done is scraped into the baking pan. Brownies can be served as is or eaten warm with ice cream (ala mode). I prefer to eat my brownies off my hand with a tall glass of low-fat milk.

The more experienced baker can try to experiment with it; making its density fudgy, chewy or cake-like. If you are feeling adventurous, you can embellish it with a variety of toppings such as walnuts, marshmallows, choco chips, and even cream cheese.

I was feeling adventurous, so my brownies did not only see the addition of cream cheese and choco chips, I added a huge scoop of Nutella, as well. The resulting brownies are similar in texture to a fudge candy - dense, moist, chocolatey. As I lick my fingers to clean off the remnants, I find myself reaching out to get one more. And another. And still another more. It was that good!

A Great Beginning

If you have a scrumptious breakfast to start your day, then everything else that follows can only be wonderful!

Getting my gustatory inspiration from the successive food postings of Michelle over at Mom-Friday, I have decided to make my own version of her kesong puti and sardine bruschetta.

My version used milkfish marinated in olive oil, a couple leaves of arugula, a slice of tomato, kesong puti, a dash of salt and pepper on a slice of grilled baguette.

Everyone in my family agreed it is a great start to a Sunday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What I Would Do for A Handbag

Where have I been? Even I couldn’t believe I’ve not written anything for two months!
Since school started, life has been crazy bringing the kids to school and to their various after-school activities. With three kids growing up very fast and starting to find their own interest, I find myself like the proverbial headless chicken as I scurry back and forth to bring them to different locations all over the metro. There’s swimming, soccer, gymnastics… and still they want to add piano, painting. To add, since R started big school, homeworks are being given everyday. Can you believe that? I don’t remember doing any homework when I was in nursery.
Having been driven near the point of exhaustion by all these activities, to which I am just a passive participant, mind you. I found it particularly important to reward myself for my - ehem, "hard work." So I went bag hunting! :)
I searched online for about two weeks, looking for that perfect everyday bag to keep me in sartorial company as I go about my daily routine. The LV’s and Prada's are perfect for lunch with friends but totally out of place in the pool’s waiting area. I always do a double take everytime I set them down, lest they unintentionally sit on a dollop of water, which could damage the sensitive material. The Nine West bags are perfect for running errands and picking up kids from school but the synthetic leather have a limited life span in my perpetually sweaty palms.
I wanted something durable to last me forever (is that too much to ask? :) ) and yet something mid-priced that will take the beatings of the everyday routine of a mom with three active kids.
A bag can go as far as to tell the kind of person we are; telling others of our interests and creating a strong statement of our personality. No matter what bag you carry, shabby or chic, your handbag definitely says a lot about you. Choosing the right piece will keep us looking effortlessly well put-together, while we savor the appreciation from others.
Longchamp tote is a fave among Manila’s fashionable set, but it doesn’t do wonders for me. I find the bag’s flimsy material insufferable, considering the price-point set for it. A recent incident wherein my sis’ bag was slashed at Powerplant did not do anything to improve my impression of it.

I have always admired the colorful arm-candies at Kate Spade. They can brighten any outfit easily and even if it’s made of nylon, the fabric seems thick enough not to give way easily to any mugger. However, I quickly did a turn-around when C pointedly opined that they looked much like the freebies that cosmetic companies give out.

And so I tried searching under the “fine leather” category. And I loved what I found:
Kate Spade Park Slope in Black
Kate Spade Park Slope in Saddle

Coach Madison Julianne in Black

Finally, here is what I decided on. I just fell in love with the bag’s timeless design and its rich full grain leather, accented with gold tone hardware. Do you agree with my choice?