THINKING of what to serve guests when they come a-calling this Christmas season? You want something cold and refreshing to match the weather, which will be getting a little breezier as the month of December rolls in. You want something new and delightfully unique and not something predictably Christmas.
Why not take advantage of the tropical fruits that are bountiful all year through? The Maya Kitchen suggests this exciting natural drink called Cantaloupe Soda Float. It’s naturally fruity, and yet it has that fizz that you’re constantly looking for.
1 whole medium-sized cantaloupe
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup clear/sparkling soda
vanilla ice cream
1. Make 1-1/2 cups cantaloupe balls by using a melon baller. Freeze.
2. Make sugar syrup by dissolving sugar in water over medium heat. Let cool and set aside.
3. Scoop out remaining melon meat and put in a blender to make a puree. Add sugar syrup to sweeten.
4. Add soda to the puree to make melon soda.
5. Assemble by putting frozen melon balls in tall glasses. Pour in melon soda then top each glass with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serve cold with a straw.
CHRISTMAS is coming, and everyone’s in a celebratory mood. What better way to celebrate the holiday season than by sharing a special treat with family and friends after a fun day out shopping? McDonald’s, which has branches in almost all shopping malls in metro centers all over the country, is offering two new limited-time flavors of its popular McFlurry—the KitKat McFlurry and the KitKat Green Tea McFlurry.
The KitKat McFlurry consists of luscious vanilla soft-serve ice cream mixed with crushed KitKat Milk Chocolate bits, while the KitKat Green Tea McFlurry refers to the same luscious vanilla soft-serve ice cream but mixed with crushed bars of KitKat Green Tea.
KitKat GreenTea McFlurry
Both limited-time McFlurry flavors are available in all McDonald’s stores nationwide via Dine-In, Take-Out, Drive-Thru and McDelivery. They are also available in McDonald’s Dessert Centers and Take-Out Counters, which offer the new treats in mini cup sizes.
Share your sweet McFlurry moments on McDonald’s Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/McDo.ph, or tag @McDo_PH on Twitter or Instagram.
GOOD news for the sweet tooth: Sugar Factory, the American brasserie and retail store offering signature confections and merchandise, is now in the Philippines. It arrives on Philippine shores seven years after it made its debut on the Las Vegas Strip in 2009. Its first Philippine store soft-opened at Shangri-La The Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, just last month (September 2016).
Sugar Factory, which has stores in the most cosmopolitan cities in the world (New York City, Bahrain, Chicago and Miami), is best known for its celebrity-endorsed Couture Pops, which have turned sweets into the latest designer accessory. Celebrities who have endorsed or been spotted with the sparkly lollipops include Britney Spears, Nicole Scherzinger, Kim Kardashian, Drake, Carmen Electra, Eva Longoria and Rupert Grint.
The first Philippine store of Sugar Factory is at BGC
It’s a candy wonderland inside Sugar Factory!
More sweets for the sweet tooth…
The dining area at Sugar Factory
These Couture Pops can be found at Sugar Factory’s first Philippine store, which also offers a full menu of pancakes and waffles (which come with a choice of Dark, Milk or White Chocolate), French toasts and crepes (classic dessert variations also served with a choice of Dark, Milk or White Chocolate; or savory crepes for light meals), eggs and omelets, appetizers, soups and salads, sandwiches and burgers, monster burgers, entrées, steak frites, pastas, desserts, gourmet ice cream sandwiches, premium chocolate fondues, old-fashioned milkshakes, insane milkshakes, old-fashioned sundaes, and martinis, cocktails and chocolate martinis, all with alcohol. Sugar Factory also offers its signature 36-ounce alcohol-infused smoking candy goblets.
Some of the must-tries at Sugar Factory:
Red Velvet Pancakes
Red Velvet Pancakes (Php400) is a stack of three fluffy pancakes, with white chocolate chunks, orange zest, whipped cream and warm maple syrup.
Banana Split Waffles
Banana Split Waffles (Php420) consists of two warm waffles topped with fresh bananas, strawberries, melted chocolate sauce and chocolate crunchies, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
Bruschetta (Php280) is classic grilled baguette drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and topped with fresh tomato slices, basil and Parmesan cheese.
Sampler Platter (Php820) combines four types of appetizers available at Sugar Factory—Buttermik Onion Rings (served with Chipotle Ranch Dressing), Crispy Chicken Fingers (served with classic Ranch Sauce), Buffalo Wings (crispy fried chicken wings drenched in Buffalo Sauce), and Mac & Cheese Pops (homemade Macaroni and Cheese, battered and deep-fried then served with Creamy Tomato-Herb Sauce). With so many interesting appetizers on the menu, diners who want to taste a little of at least four appetizers opt for the Sampler Platter.
Chinese Chicken Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad (Php440) is a top salad choice with its generous helping of mixed salad greens, shredded cabbage and crispy wontons, julienned carrots, water chestnuts, green onion, basil, toasted sesame seeds, roasted peanuts and fresh cilantro with Ginger Sesame Dressing. The combination of ingredients works like magic, as it puts together varying textures, flavors and colors.
The Big Cheesey Burger
The Big Cheesey Burger (Php695) is one of Sugar Factory’s best-selling Monster Burgers. It’s a huge Angus Beef Burger topped with melted white Cheddar cheese, creamy Mac & Cheese, plus bacon, served with BBQ Sauce on a toasted potato bun. This is sure to satisfy the biggest craving and the ‘growly-est’ tummy!
Chicken Parmesan (Php420) happens to be one of the top-selling entrées at Sugar Factory. It’s a big piece of chicken breast that’s seasoned, breaded and cooked, then served with the restaurant’s special tomato sauce, melted Mozzarella cheese and rigatoni pasta.
White Chocolate Cheesecake
White Chocolate Cheesecake (Php415) makes a good meal-ender. It’s a slice of heavenly cheesecake with white chocolate incorporated into the cream cheese, topped with fresh strawberries and garnished with cookie crumbs.
Dulce de Leche Milkshake
Dulce de Leche Milkshake (Php830) is probably one of the most ‘insane mikshakes’ the Sugar Factory can come up with. Vanilla ice cream is blended with Dulce de Leche and topped with whipped cream, waffle cone, Unicorn Pop, and sprinkles in a chocolate-covered mug dressed up with popcorn.
Nutella and Banana Milkshake
Nutella and Banana Milkshake (Php890) is another ‘insane milkshake’ diners are going crazy about. It’s also vanilla ice cream, but is blended with banana and Nutella hazelnut spread, and topped with whipped cream, banana dipped in chocolate, Unicorn Pop, Candy Necklace and sprinkles in a chocolate-covered mug dressed in sprinkles.
World Famous Sugar Factory King Kong Sundae
How far will you go with your sundae? Well, at Sugar Factory, there are regular sundaes for two, alright, but it would go as far as creating a huge sundae that even big groups can share. The World Famous Sugar Factory King Kong Sundae (Php2,900) consists of 24 scoops of ice cream covered with Hot Fudge, Caramel and Strawberry Sauce, sliced bananas, toasted marshmallows, Reeses’ Pieces, chocolate chip cookies, crushed waffle cones, Gummi Bears, white chocolate, strawberry shavings and toasted walnuts with whipped cream, giant lollipops and, yes, sparklers on top. Light it up and you’ve got one grand showcase of a dessert.
Lollipop Passion (Php1,600) proves that candies and alcoholic drink do mix. Sugar Factory’s Goblet (with Alcohol) offering, Lollipop Passion is a wonderful mix of melon, coconut and pineapple garnished with the sweetness of lollipops.
Ocean Blue (Php900) reminds diners that the world is one big ocean of living creatures. Sharks are swimming in this Hpnotiq cocktail.
Passion Punch (Php800) is another alcoholic cocktail drink in a goblet. It’s a unique mix of blood orange and passion fruit that diners can enjoy with passion.
Mai Tai (Php700) is another cocktail drink in a goblet that’s worth considering. It combines fresh orange and pineapple juices, which are blended to perfection with coconut and light rum, then topped with a float of Dark Myers rum.
Sour Apple Lolly and Hubba Bubba Gum
Martinis with alcohol, anyone? Enjoy Sugar Factory’s Sour Apple Lolly (Php475) and Hubba Bubba Gum (Php320). The former is a liquefied sour apple lollipop rimmed with Bubble Gum Pop Rocks in a martini, and the latter is a Bubble Gum cocktail garnished with bubble tape.
What about chocolate martinis? Yes, alcohol and chocolate can mix very well together in Sugar Factory’s S’mores (Php380), which is a perfect marriage between marshmallow and chocolate with a graham cracker rim.
Grape Crush (Php350) is a cocktail drink with alcohol that blends the goodness of grape with classic Grape Crush soda pop.
Created by a team of world-class chefs, the signature menu of Sugar Factory proves that candies appeal not just to children but also adults and that candies can be used to spike a number of menu items and not just desserts.
(Sugar Factory American Brasserie can be found at CFS Ground Floor, Shangri-La The Fort, 3rd Ave. corner 30th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.)
STREET FOOD. Every country has its own set of street food, and the Philippines is no exception. We Filipinos love street food because it’s both delicious and affordable. Add to that the fact that it’s freshly cooked and served hot (except for dishes and concoctions that are traditionally served hot). It’s a way of life. It’s what people look for and oftentimes even crave for. So you can find it in almost every street corner frequented where there’s heavy foot traffic.
Fish balls, squid balls, barbecues, day-old chicks, even goto (congee with ox tripes), tapsilog (tapa-sinangag-itlog) breakfasts, banana cue and camote cue (sweet potato), pancit (stir-fried noodles) and ice cream on cones… Today, Filipino street food has evolved from being simply barbecues of different types but also home-cooked meals served like street food.
To showcase the vast possibilities and options that people now have when it comes to street food, SM Hypermarket recently staged its annual Streetfood Festival in its different branches. Launched at SM Hypermarket Fairview, the Streetfood Festival was held in partnership with Unilever, Nestle, San Miguel, Alaska, Del Monte, P&G, CDO, Frabelle, Farm Fresh and Bounty Fresh. It focused on the rich food culture of everyday Filipino food and highlighted the talents of the people who make them, if not those who actually invented them.
The Streetfood Festival made a run of four roadshows in SM Hypermarket Fairview, Valenzuela, Bicutan and Molino, where it featured all types of street food—from finger food and skewered items to cooked meals, including stir-fried noodles and noodle soups.
Some of the street food featured included…
Tokneneng. Boiled eggs coated with an orange-colored batter and deep-fried go by this name. The egg with a crispy outer covering is best enjoyed with a spiced vinegar dip.
Takoyaki. This street food reminds me of my college days at De La Salle University, where my Communication Arts thesis mate Charlotte and I loved to cross over to SM Harrison Plaza and enjoy takoyaki balls together. A Japanese delicacy, it’s octopus-filled balls cooked on the spot and served with a thick sauce ladled over the balls, drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise and sprinkled with bonito flakes.
Cebu Lechon. Yes, Cebu lechon is getting more and more popular these days. With crispy skin and tender and juicy meat, it is sold by weight and also offered in meals for those who want to enjoy it on the spot. It goes best with pusô, which is rice wrapped and cooked in a heart-shaped pouch made of woven buri leaves.
Cebu Lechon Belly. While lechon is traditionally cut up and eaten with liver sauce as a viand for rice, there are now stylized versions such as Cebu Lechon Belly Roll. It’s a big strip of lechon with skin intact, deboned and rolled tightly around a vegetable and meat filling, cut into thick slices and enjoyed with rice.
Balut. The classic street food that’s sold warm in a basket when night falls! It’s also the best known ‘fear factor’ food in the Philippines. The duck embryo is traditionally eaten by cracking the top of the egg, peeling to open up a small hole, sprinkling a little salt in it and then slurping the ‘soup’ inside before removing the shell altogether and either biting into the ‘meat’ or putting the entire thing inside one’s mouth.
Chicharon Bulaklak. It’s pork crackling made from the floral-shaped part of a pig’s intestines. The intestines are cleaned thoroughly, cut into bite sizes, and fried in hot oil to a golden crisp. More than chicharon bituka, which is made from the tube-like part of a pig’s intestines and is all crispy, people like chicharon bulaklak because it’s part crispy and part tender. Dip it in spiced vinegar, and it bursts with flavor in the mouth. Those with cholesterol problems have to go easy on it, though.
Pancit. A one-dish meal and a favorite merienda fare and celebration dish because noodles connote long life, pancit as a street food comes in different forms—bihon, miki-bihon, lomi, sotanghon, mami. It can be eaten as is, just like pasta or stir-fried noodles, or it can serve as a filling in burger buns or soft rolls.
Batchoy. Another noodle variation, this time it’s noodle soup that originates from Iloilo. The steaming bowl of noodle soup comes loaded with meat, intestines, crispy garlic and chopped spring onion.
Goto. Another Pinoy classic merienda favorite, goto is lugaw or congee cooked with goto (ox tripes) and served with boiled egg, ginger strips, chopped spring onion and crispy garlic.
Turon. For Pinoys who like sweet or fruity merienda, turon is the go-to choice. Sliced saba bananas and strips of jackfruit coated with sugar, rolled in lumpia wrapper and deep-fried in hot oil… Who can resist?
Banana Cue and Camote Cue. When there’s turon around, can banana cue and camote cue be far behind? Fresh saba bananas and sweet potato slices coated with brown sugar, fried to a golden crisp and skewered in barbecue sticks, they’re a great power booster.
Fruit Crepes. They’re French in origin and often served in coffee shops and higher-end restaurants, crepes have now become a favorite Pinoy handheld snack fare.
Gelato. Gelato by Southern Dairy. Gelato is just like ice cream, which is popular among kids and adults alike. Now it’s gelato’s turn to become just as popular.
SM Hypermarket’s Streetfood Festival draws to a close with a Grand Finale at SM Mall of Asia on Thursday (October 20, 2016), at 11:00 a.m., where it will treat festival goers with tons of discounts and freebies from event sponsors Nestle, Unilever, Purefoods, CDO, Del Monte, Alaska, Farm Fresh, Frabelle, P&G, Bounty Fresh, RFM Selecta, Delimondo, Tulip, Mama Sita’s, Kopiko and Minute Maid. The name of the lucky winner of a Php100,000 shopping spree at SM Hypermarket will also be drawn on this occasion.
And since it is the Streetfood Festival, delicious street food from SM Eats, Cebu Lechon Belly, Southern Dairy and Baga Manila will be flooding the event with grilled Pinoy delights, American burgers, Japanese sushi and tempura, Vietnamese spring rolls, Korean bibimbap, Mexican nachos and tacos, Mediterranean steaks, Middle Eastern shawarma, U.S. pancakes and desserts.
Celebrity chefs will also be there to conduct cooking demos.
Speaking of celebrities, there will definitely be personal appearances by such celebrities as Marian Rivera, Ian Veneracion, Love Añover, Marlo Mortel, Chef Boy Logro, Chef Rob Pengson, and Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) players James Yap, PJ Simon, Mark Barroca, Mark Pingris, Tony Dela Cruz, Vic Manuel, Sonny Thoss and Chris Banchero.
Light, fluffy and oh-so-delicious doughnuts are available at Cupcakes by Sonja Serendra from October 14 to 16, 2016
CHEF Sonja Ocampo has always been known as the Cupcake Queen because her business, Cupcakes by Sonja, makes the most scrumptious cupcakes in the metro. It was Cupcakes by Sonja’s flagship store at Serendra that introduced Filipino dessert lovers to Red Velvet Cupcake, which has now been replicated by various bakeshops through the years. Her cupcakes are exquisite because they make use of the best ingredients—no compromises—and are always freshly baked. Chef Sonja’s cupcakes revolutionized people’s concept of cupcakes in the country because she also made cakes, pies and, yes, even savory treats in cupcake form. She drew inspiration from her baking stint abroad, specifically at Magnolia Bakery.
Now, Cupcakes by Sonja is not just about cupcakes anymore. It’s more than just cupcakes as it is now introducing an exciting new product—doughnuts!
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Cupcakes by Sonja launches its light, pillowy doughnuts. Having perfected the art of making cupcakes, Chef Sonja began to look for the best doughnut around the world even as she continued to seek the other best desserts. She traveled to different places to taste desserts that they had to offer, with doughnuts getting special attention from her. She tried the best doughnuts in San Francisco all the way to New York, and her search led her to the kitchens of local Italian pastry chefs in Milan, Florence and Tuscan towns to learn how to make bombolini, the Italian doughnut, and finally her quest brought her to the kitchen of Justin Gellatly, the pastry chef and owner of Bread Ahead Bakery in London, where Chef Sonja found the lightest, fluffiest and most scrumptious doughnuts she had ever tasted. After all, Gellatly’s doughnuts have consistently been voted as the best in London. So she trained directly with him and, under his tutelage, patiently mastered the art of making real good doughnuts.
Armed with such knowledge, Chef Sonja came home to Manila to start serving up batches upon batches of her new sweet treat—the doughnut—in twelve delicious flavors. These are Vanilla Bean, Crème Caramel, Chai, Café au Lait, Truffle, Olive Oil and Basil, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate, Mixed Berries and Cream, Toasted Rice, Gianduja, and Cacio e Pepe. The first four flavors are priced at Php60 per piece, while the rest are premium flavors that go for Php75 per piece. Each order is served in a rectangular-shaped paper cup.
Chef Sonja Ocampo’s light, fluffy and oh-so-delicious doughnuts are available at Cupcakes by Sonja Serendra tomorrow, October 14, up to October 16, 2016. So, hurry and be one of the first to taste this delicious new treat from the Cupcake Queen.