McDonald’s Unveils Holiday Desserts

Kit Kat McFlurry with Choco Bits

Kit Kat McFlurry with Choco Bits

CAN you believe it? We’re actually approaching the month of December, and the season of Christmas has officially started with all the holiday décor in the shopping malls and the Christmas promos and treats that restaurants are now offering.

To welcome the holidays, McDonald’s has come up with its own line of deliciously festive yuletide desserts to give everyone more reasons to love Christmastime. It’s a season of swirls in McDonald’s stores with the new McDonald’s Holiday Desserts.

Kit Kat McFlurry with Caramel Crispies

Kit Kat McFlurry with Caramel Crispies

For those who love the classic McFlurry, McDonald’s offers two new variants for the season for Php50 each. The choices are Kit Kat McFlurry with Choco Bits, which has chocolate vanilla bits drizzled all over creamy soft serve ice cream; and Kit Kat McFlurry with Caramel Crisps, which has rich caramel sauce showered all over creamy soft serve ice cream. Both are, of course, topped with a Kit Kat wafer stick.

Hazelnut Brownie Sundaes

Hazelnut Brownie Sundae

For fans of McDonald’s Sundae, the fast-food chain’s holiday offer is the new Hazelnut Brownie Sundae, a delightful sundae treat with a generous swirl of hazelnut-brownie sauce, available at Php32.

Peanut Butter McDip

Peanut Butter McDip

For an even more affordable sweet treat, there’s Peanut Butter McDip, a delicious vanilla soft serve ice cream glazed with peanut butter-flavored dip on a wafer cone, available at Php15.

McCafe Coffee Float

McCafe Coffee Float

Rounding off McDonald’s holiday treats is the McCafe Coffee Float, which is made of McDonald’s signature Premium Roast Coffee brewed from 100% Arabica Beans, topped with vanilla soft serve and drizzled with chocolate syrup.

These McDonald’s Holiday Desserts offerings are available at all McDonald’s stores nationwide for a limited time only. They are also available at McDonald’s Desserts Centers, which are present in over 300 locations to satisfy everyone’s sweet cravings.

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A Cocktail Drink Called ‘The Clover’

the clover-IMG_2883DON Papa Rum, a single island, small batch premium rum that people have been raving about since it was introduced three years ago, is good enough to drink neat or on the rocks. But you can also enjoy it in various ways in the form of cocktail drinks. One of them is The Clover, which is one of the cocktail drinks specially designed by master mixologists Kathryn Eckstein-Cornista and Matthias Cadeac D’Arbaud using Don Papa Rum.

The Clover was the featured cocktail drink during the launch of the Don Papa Rum Art Competition held at The BonBon Club in Makati City last Wednesday, November 11, 2015. I’d like to share with you the recipe, just in case you want to try mixing some cocktail drinks at home for family and friends to enjoy.

The Clover is a European-inspired sweet fruit cocktail reminiscent of the Roaring 1920s, says Matthias.

THE CLOVER

5 ml. Don Papa Rum
4 pcs. fresh strawberries
1 ml. Cacao Liqueur
1 drop vanilla extract
1 drop calamansi juice
1/2 egg white
1 pc. fresh strawberry for garnish

1. In a shaker, crush 4 pcs. strawberries.
2. Add Cacao Liqueur, vanilla extract and calamansi juice, then the egg white.
3. Add Don Papa Rum, then shake with ice until shaker sweats.
4. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with fresh strawberry. Serve.

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Don Papa Rum Launches
Packaging Design Competition

The multiawarded Don Papa Rum canister design

The multiawarded Don Papa Rum canister design

DON Papa Rum, a proudly Filipino rum brand launched by Bleeding Heart Rum Company in 2012, has been making waves since it became available in the market three years ago. The light amber colored rum never fails to delight with its rich-textured taste with flavors of vanilla, honey and candied fruits. A premium, molasses-based, single-island rum that uses sugar from the island of Negros, it is so good that it is now available not just in the Philippines but in 16 countries. French rum drinkers like it so much that it is—can you believe it?—now No. 1 in France and is making just as good in Germany. Its packaging alone has won a number of international design awards.

In the spirit of celebrating the exceptional artistic creativity that has been poured into Don Papa Rum and in an effort to engage the Philippine artistic community in the success of the Filipino brand, Don Papa Rum has decided to launch the Don Papa Rum Art Competition to encourage Filipino artists to reimagine the Don Papa Rum canister design and come up with their own. The intention is to use the winning artwork in a limited edition canister gift pack for Don Papa Rum which will be available nationwide from October to December 2016.

Launched over intimate cocktails at The BonBon Club in Makati City in the company of some Filipino artists and gallery owners last November 11, 2015, the Don Papa Rum Art Competition enjoins interested artists to submit their intention to join by filling up an online entry form by November 13, 2015, although submission of actual artwork can be made until end of December 2015. Artists must be sponsored or registered by an art gallery.

The artwork can be in the form of painting/drawing, photography, print making, and typography and digital prints. It must be apolitical and fee of profane language and images, and design inspiration should come from Don Papa Rum’s product label, although the artists’ own styles should come through.

Calling all Filipino artists: Come up with a creative canister packaging design for Don Papa Rum and win a 4-Week Artistic Residence Sojourn to Paris, France

Calling all Filipino artists: Come up with a creative canister packaging design for Don Papa Rum and win a 4-Week Artistic Residence Sojourn to Paris, France

From all the entries received for the competition, 10 finalists will be chosen. This number will be further trimmed down to the Grand Prize, Second Prize and Third Prize winners.

The Grand Winner will receive a four-week Artistic Residence Sojourn in Paris, France, complete with round-trip airline tickets, accommodations for artistic residency, allowance for the duration of the artist’s stay in Paris, an artistic immersion via museum passes to top museums in Paris, plus two cases of Don Papa Rum, and artwork to be featured on social media and in newsletters as well as used as a limited edition canister for Don Papa Rum for the last quarter of 2016 with the artist’s name mentioned in all press communication.

The gallery represented by the Grand Winner will also receive two round-trip airline tickets to Paris, France, pocket money for the trip, and three pop-up bar set-ups to three major gallery launches for 2016.

The Second Prize Winner receives a cash prize of Php50,000 nett, one case of Don Papa Rum, and artwork to be featured on social media, in newsletters and possibly any other Don Papa Rum collaterals in the future.

The Third Prize Winner’s cash prize is Php25,000 nett. He (or she) also gets one case of Don Papa Rum, with the artwork to be featured on social media, in newsletters and possibly any other Don Papa Rum collaterals in the future.

For the seven other finalists, Don Papa Rum is working out details for a silent auction of their artworks during Art Fair Philippines 2016, where all the artworks of the 10 finalists will be featured in an exhibit at the Don Papa Rum booth.

For more information on the Don Papa Rum Art Competition, visit the Facebook page of Don Papa Rum, www.facebook.com/donpaparum.

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Earth Kitchen Offers
Fresh, Farm-to-Table Dining

Scallops and Aligue on Squid Ink Pasta

Scallops and Aligue on Squid Ink Pasta

SOMETIMES, living in this high-tech world can be scary—especially since fast-food and instant food have become the go-to convenience food of quite a number of people. Burgers and fried chicken with soda, and instant noodles, frozen meals and processed meats… Regular consumption of such takes its toll on your health in the long run, and you become yet another statistic added to the growing number of people suffering from lifestyle diseases.

Thankfully, there is also an emerging movement towards achieving a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and taking up an active lifestyle—and, thanks to conscientious restaurateurs and chefs, this is slowly but surely coming into fruition.

Earth Kitchen, which recently opened its second branch at Bonifacio High Street Central, serves light, healthy and organic food

Earth Kitchen, which recently opened its second branch at Bonifacio High Street Central, serves light, healthy and organic food, says one of its owners, Joseph Hizon

One of those in the forefront of this healthy revolution is Earth Kitchen, a restaurant that espouses fresh, farm-to-table dining. It serves light and healthy dishes using locally sourced organic and sustainable ingredients. Since Earth Kitchen forms part of the Got Heart Foundation, an outreach program whose major advocacy is natural or organic farming, Earth Kitchen sources its ingredients from the Got Heart Farms in Tarlac and from its partner communities from Luzon to Mindanao, thus assuring its diners that the food is truly fresh, organic and healthy. It is owned by four young and idealistic Filipinos—Melissa Yeung-Yap, Joseph Hizon, Chef David Hizon and Chef J.R. Trani—and since two of its owners are chefs, the dishes on the menu are not light and healthy but delicious and flavorful as well.

The food at Earth Kitchen is not cuisine-specific. The menu carries a wide selection of appetizers, soups, salads, pasta dishes, risotto, soft tacos, main dishes, desserts and fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Almost everything is made from scratch, from the pasta to the tortilla, risotto, soup and ice cream. Chefs David and J.R., who collaborated on the menu, have come up with specifically crafted dishes that highlight the freshness of the ingredients used.

Fish and Mango

Fish and Mango

Tempura Salad

Tempura Salad

Milanese Risotto

Milanese Risotto

Must-tries include Fish and Mango (Php230), loro fish fillet with ripe mango, cilantro and chili plum sauce; Shrimp Spring Rolls (Php220 for a regular serving andPhp325 for a large serving), which have shrimps, organic herbs and greens, and peanuts wrapped in spring rolls and served with lime hoisin sauce; Tempura Salad (Php330), which has ebi and fish tempura on top of organic vegetables drizzled with roasted sesame dressing; Watermelon and Rocket Salad (Php300), arugula, edible flowers, pili nuts, homemade kesong puti and balsamic vinaigrette; and Milanese Risotto (Php640), which has saffron, Parmesan cheese, butter, organic braised beef short ribs and gremolata.

Spaghetti Pomodoro

Spaghetti Pomodoro

Since the restaurant makes its own pasta, Earth Kitchen is able to offer nine varieties of pasta dishes that range from classic selections, such as Ragu ala Bolognese (Php320), handmade fettuccine, organic beef, organic tomato sauce, and mixed herbs; Spaghetti Pomodoro (Php220), organic tomato sauce, spaghettini, basil and Parmesan cheese; and Spaghetti Meatballs (Php330), organic beef and bacon, organic tomato sauce on spaghettini; to contemporary concoctions like Scallops and Aligue (Php480), local scallops, crabfat, anise liquor and mild chilies on squid ink pasta; and Sweet Potato Tops Ravioli (Php400), camote tops, white cheese, pili nuts, Pomodoro sauce, basil and Parmesan cheese.

Fish and Roasted Sesame Soft Taco

Fish and Roasted Sesame Soft Taco

Soft tacos are also a must-try at Earth Kitchen, with five variants to choose from—Beef Bulgogi (Php210 for 2 pcs./Php310 for 3 pcs.), boneless beef ribs, kimchi rice, salad greens and seaweed; Braised Pork Shoulder (Php205/Php300), which comes with cucumber, peanuts, cilantro and lime hoisin sauce; Pumpkin and Kesong Puti (Php170/P240), with salad greens, aioli, radish, edible flowers and peanuts; Mushroom (Php190/Php270), shiitake, button and milky mushrooms, salad greens, radish, seaweed and lime hoisin sauce; and Fish and Roasted Sesame (Php190/Php270), battered and deep-fried loro fish fillets, salad greens, cucumber, seaweed and roasted sesame dressing.

Dessert is basically ice cream, which diners can order in scoops at Php110 per scoop, but there are three ice cream creations to choose from: Vanilla Peanut Butter Crunch (Php200), homemade carabao vanilla ice cream with peanut butter and turon; Tablea (Php200), homemade carabao tablea ice cream and chocolate chip cookie crumble; and Goat’s Cheese (Php270), goat’s cheese ice cream, wild honey, dried figs and cashew nuts.

'Got Heart Mix' drink and a Pitcher of Fresh Guyabano Juice

‘Got Heart Mix’ drink and a Pitcher of Fresh Guyabano Juice

As for beverages, Earth Kitchen serves a variety of teas by the cup or teapot, hot coffee and chocolate drinks, red and white wine, and fresh juices. Health-conscious diners order either the Got Heart Mix (Php200), which is a combination of beets, carrots, cucumber, apple and honey; Mango Yoghurt Shake (Php130), Organic Calamansi Juice (Php110), Organic Sugarcane Juice (Php120), or a Pitcher of Fresh Dalandan Juice (Php260) or of Fresh Guyabano Juice (Php280).

With restaurants such as Earth Kitchen emerging from among the fast-foods and restaurants that serve sinfully unhealthy food, we can hopefully still reverse the alarming trend or state of health among Filipinos.

 

(Earth Kitchen opened its first branch along Katipunan, White Plains, Quezon City, in July 2003; and recently opened its second branch at Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, in July 2015. For inquiries or reservations, call 577-9138 or 0917-5843278 for the Katipunan store and 0925-6888951 for the BGC store.)

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Arrozeria Serves Awesome Paellas

Arrozeria's Paella Abanda

Arrozeria’s Paella Abanda

HOW do you like your paella—nice, soft and wet; al dente, thin and dry; soupy like risotto; saucy like a stew?

However you like your paella, you’ll find your heart’s desire at Arrozeria, the newly launched Spanish restaurant on the Fourth Level of Century City Mall. The chefs behind Arrozeria—Vask’s famous Chef Jose Luis ‘Chele’ Gonzalez, along with Chefs Keith Fresnido and Ivan Saiz—respect the way Filipinos have become accustomed to soft and wet paella with chunky meat or seafood and vegetables, although the original Spanish paella is more dry and al dente, with a bite, as you get to feel each and every grain of rice in your mouth. So you can choose whether you want your paella al dente and thin or soft and wet, and you also get to choose the size—12 inches (good for 2 to 3 persons), 15 inches (good for 4 to 5 persons), or 18 inches (good for 6 to 8 persons).

Chefs Ian Saiz, Jose Luis 'Chele' Gonzalez and Keith Fresnido run the kitchen at Arrozeria

Chefs Ian Saiz, Jose Luis ‘Chele’ Gonzalez and Keith Fresnido run the kitchen at Arrozeria

Chefs at work during dinner service

Chefs at work during dinner service

Cooking a huge serving of paella for guests who graced Arrozeria's formal opening

Cooking a huge serving of paella for guests who graced Arrozeria’s formal opening

Choices include Abanda (boneless fish and seafood), Del Señorito (boneless chicken and peeled seafood), De Verduras (seasonal vegetables), Valenciana (chicken, rosemary, green and white beans), Pato y Setas (duck and mushrooms), and Rossejat (beef shank, pork knuckle, chorizo and chickpeas), with prices ranging from Php550 to Php790 for the 12-inch paella, from Php1,050 to Php1,530 for the 15-inch paella, and from Php1,600 to Php2,320 for the 18-inch paella, depending on what variant you order. Can you imagine duck in your paella, or beef shank and pork knuckle? Indulgence, indeed, that diners appreciate!

Cerdo Adobado y Boletus

Cerdo Adobado y Boletus

Remolacha y Trigueros Risotto

Remolacha y Trigueros Risotto

Arroz con Costra Chorizo y Gambas

Arroz con Costra Chorizo y Gambas

There are, however, certain paella and rice dishes that Arrozeria has set as a standard Caldoso (soupy), Meloso (saucy), Risotto (creamy), Arroz con Costra (with an egg crust) and Arroz Gratinado (gratinated). There’s De Cangrejo (crab and snow peas) for the Caldoso; Cerdo Adobado y Boletus (marinated pork with Porcini mushrooms) and Marinero (fish and squid) for the Meloso; Remolacha y Trigueros (beetroot and green asparagus with local cheese) and Foie Gras y Boletus (foie gras and Porcini mushrooms) for the Risottos; Chorizo y Gambas for the Arroz con Costra; and Longaniza (longganisa with broccoli and aioli gratin) for the Arroz Gratinado.

The nice thing about Arrozeria’s paellas, besides being delicious and flavorful, is that they make use of local Tinawon rice, an heirloom variety of the Ifugaos. It is strikingly similar in characteristics to the Bomba rice traditionally used in making Spanish paella, so the chefs of Arrozeria searched for a steady source of Tinawon rice and, finding one, decided to use it for their paellas. This practically supports the local heirloom rice industry and, in encouraging Ifugao farmers to continue to produce Tinawon rice, they are helping preserve the tradition and keep it alive.

Fideua Callos

Fideua Callos

Fideua Negra

Fideua Negra

Besides paella, though, one other important item on Arrozeria’s menu is Fideua, a traditional Spanish dish similar to paella that makes use of short, thin noodles instead of rice, although the method of cooking is basically the same. There are two variants—Callos (pork, tripe and garbanzos), and Negra (black squid ink and octopus)—to choose from, with prices ranging from Php500 to Php590 for the 12-inch size, from Php950 to Php1,130 for the 15-inch size, and from Php1,450 to Php1,720 for the 18-inch size.

With a full Spanish menu to boot, Arrozeria carries several selections of Bocatas (Spanish sandwiches), Verdes (light and healthy plates), Tapas (savory bites to enjoy with a drink), Carnes y Pescados (hearty meat and fish dishes), and Dulces (desserts).

Manchega

Manchega

Tabla de Pates

Tabla de Pates

Croquetas Trio

Croquetas Trio

Lengua Frita

Lengua Frita

Albondigas con Champinones

Albondigas con Champinones

Pimiento Rellenos

Pimiento Rellenos

Gambas con Gabardina Negra

Gambas con Gabardina Negra

Must-tries include Manchega (Php295), salad of lettuce, Manchego cheese, apple and dried fruits); Tabla de Pates (Php395), which consists of Campagne, cochinillo and mushrooms, chicken pistachio and seafood terrine, with black olive, parsley and Porcini mushroom mayonnaise; Croquetas Trio (Php275), fish and seafood, Porcini mushrooms and stewed Bechamel croquettes; Lengua Frita (Php380), which are generous slices of deep-fried Angus ox tongue coated in Bechamel with tartar sauce; Albondigas con Champiñones (Php375), beef and pork meatballs with a button mushroom sauce and rustic potatoes; Pimiento Rellenos (Php295), which are Piquillo peppers stuffed with braised ox tail; and Gambas con Gabardina Negra (Php395), which are squid ink battered shrimps with mojo picon.

Arrozeria served some of these must-tries along with their highly recommended paella and fideua variants during the restaurant’s formal opening last August (2015).

Tocinillo Del Cielo

Tocinillo Del Cielo

Tarta de Chocolate

Tarta de Chocolate

Calamansi Semifrio

Calamansi Semifrio

For the desserts, there are three must-tries: Tocinillo del Cielo (Php250), which is an egg yolk flan with raspberry foam, yogurt, lime and Modena vinegar reduction; Tarta de Chocolate (Php195), chocolate tart with whipped cream and chocolate crumbs; and Calamansi Semifrio (Php225), which is a calamansi semifreddo with mango sauce and mint jelly.

La Guapa

La Guapa

La De Siempre

La De Siempre

Arrozeria's De Fiesta signature refreshers La Blanca, La De Siempre, Calimocho and La Guapa were free flowing during the formal opening night

Arrozeria’s De Fiesta signature refreshers La Blanca, La De Siempre, Calimocho and La Guapa were free flowing at the bar during the formal opening night

To wash down a really good Spanish meal, Arrozeria suggests its De Fiesta signature refreshers in mugs and jars. On opening day, the restaurant had free flowing La Blanca (white Sangria), La De Siempre (wine and fruits), Calimocho (wine and Coke), and La Guapa (rose Sangria) for guests to enjoy.

For a really authentic and enjoyable Spanish meal, the newly opened Arrozeria is proving to be one of the best places to visit.

 

(Arrozeria is located on the Fourth Floor of Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Makati City; with telephone number 894-1796.)

 

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