Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cruising Tagaytay

My friends and I spent an afternoon in Tagaytay yesterday.  It is more possible for us to have spur-of-the-moment activities or trips rather than planning them in advance.  Usually, reality creeps in and prevents us from doing so.

We had a late lunch at a Bulalo restaurant along the highway.   I took  pictures but not worth uploading.  The broth was flavorful and had lots of soft "litid" but not enough marrow, which is the only thing I like.  After eating the "Pochero" at Abuhan in Cebu, nothing can compare with it.  I really loved the deadly butter like marrow!

Our next itinerary was Marcia Adams' place.  I called earlier in the day to ask for directions, talked to Marcia herself.  She said the restaurant was closed for the day!  I begged and asked if we could still  go and look around. She answered, Yes!

Marcia's place is easy to find.  It is just on the border of Tagaytay and Alfonso.  When you get to the arch, turn right when you see a sign which says Ville Sommet.  Just a few hundred meters away, on your left, you will see this door .....

You have reached Marcia Adams'!  From what I have read in the blogosphere, they refer to the place as the Tuscany in Tagaytay.  For me, I would say, the place has a rustic Italian countryside setting.

When the little gate opened, we were ushered into the most delightful garden.  A narrow path led us down to the restaurant.

We saw several dining tables in private spots all over the garden.

An arched doorway

... led us to the main dining room which can accommodate several groups of people.

The place was airy and spacious.


Too bad we did not get to try Marcia's food.  I've read that the pork dishes were really delicious, according to a blogger.  There were mixed food reviews though.  We all have different tastes and palates, so to each his own.

The best area was the Lounging Area.

It is a little private room and with the most amazing view of the sunset, again, according to some bloggers.

We did not stay  long, just for a couple of the Ginger Beer

but perhaps next time we could wait for the sun to set.

I  really felt that the whole concept of Marcia Adams' place was done with much passion and love.  With a certain eye for the aesthetics but at the same time shows the unaffected grace of the woman behind it.

Thank you Marcia for letting us in to your wonderful little piece of heaven on earth!

My friend, Tricia, suggested we look for a place called, Memory Lane. 

She was the one who also gave me the idea of using Cruising Tagaytay for the tittle of my post.

I was surprised to find a nice little country place!


It is owned by Jolina Magdangal and her parents are running it.  We got a chance to talk to the nice couple.  They said next time, we should try their Sinigang na Lechon and Bulalo Steak!

The place is really so cute, cozy and pretty,

... lots of whimsical stuff for sale and well put together.

They even have a small function hall at the back.

It was late so we only had tea, coffee and french toast! Hahaha ... breakfast food!

From the corner of LZM in Magallanes Square, coming from the rotunda, turn right until you see the blue cottage.

We heard mass at the chapel of The Little Souls Sisters Convent.

The sisters were wearing a peach colored habit, the pews and kneeler were upholstered in peach.  Their curtains were peach.  And they had the most fascinating "image" of Christ.  During the consecration, they switched on a hologram machine and Jesus was seen in 3D!  Amazing, it was my first time to lay eyes on something like that.

A trip to Tagaytay for me is not complete without passing by Mushroom Burger.  I   was the only one who ordered the sandwich, though.  I have fond memories of it with my friends.  Jing's family used to have several houses and we were always invited.  Those were the good ole days when we were still young and could climb a hill without feeling pain in our joints! Hahahaha.  Lia! Too much Lechon and Bulalo!

Thanks Celine for driving for us.  It was a good and positive day which started with a text message from her:  Be happy my friend! Let's go to Tagaytay!

Cruising Tagaytay indeed!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

9 Plate Buffet

My Ate and brother in law, Butch, invited my Tita Portia and I for lunch at Basix in Dusit last Monday.  My Tita has been teasing Butch that he should treat us because he was promoted as the SVP for the bank he is working for. 

When we got to Basix, we checked out first where my Ate and her family were sitting before going around and perusing the food offering.  It was a Filipino Street Food theme.  No Lechon though :(.

I did not realize Butch was counting the plates I used! He said the number was 9!  Let me check if it was accurate. 

My main plate had white rice,  steamed fish with mayo, pastel de lengua and buttered vegetables.

The carving for that day was the prime rib.  I only asked for 2 thin slices.

I am not much of a beef eater but the fat attached to it was like butter!  LOL   Tita Portia only ate the fat and swapped her meat with my sister's  fat.

I got a plateful  of Baked New Zealand mussels.

My favorite Sinigang Salmon Belly in Miso.

Fresh Lumpiang Ubod


I forgot to take pictures of the rest but I still got Caesar's Salad, Cream of Mushroom soup, prawns in butter and garlic, taho, Puto Bungbong and bibingka.  I did not get dessert from the pastry bar anymore because I was watching my sugar intake.

Even if I wanted to eat some more, I could not.  The waistline of my shorts was tight!  I think I am about to develop gangrene!  Hahaha  I do not know what is happening but my shorts and pants are getting tighter and tighter each day!!!  I have to check with Hermie if they are shrinking from being washed.  I have to investigate the cause.

Hahahaha  I think if I list down  all the food I have eaten .. then I will be able to find the culprit.  I was so surprised even if I had a 9 plate buffet lunch, my blood sugar level the next day was lower than my usual.  Should I tell my doctor I have found the cure for lowering blood sugar???? Hehehe.  I do not think so.

I have learned to be more discerning when I eat in hotel buffets.  I just get what I like and I do not have to try everything!  What is more important is to be in the company of people you like and enjoy,  then the pleasure is magnified!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back to Back Tea Parties hosted by Tita Portia Leuterio

My whole weekend was very busy helping my Tita prepare for her back to back tea parties. An invitation to her Afternoon Tea is a coveted one because she only entertains in this fashion occasionally.

It is not easy preparing for a tea party.  It is exhausting not to mention time consuming but all worth it when you see the eyes of your guests light up in delight.  It is an experience one should not miss.

The first Tea Party was last Saturday.   The guest of honor was a little girl named, Julianna, so her setting was a "kid" setting.

There were seven colors of bread in different shapes: pink, green, yellow, white, chocolate, beige and brown.  The 2 little girls had Hot Chocolate and the adults had Angel's tea.

Tita Portia asked me to make miniature Raisin Scones which she served with clotted cream and strawberry jam.  I never realized it was so easy to bake them!  Easier than making pancakes.  I got the recipe from the Internet and just added raisins.  The first time I baked scones, it turned out into giant monster looking clumps!   Tita Portia suggested I use the smallest muffin pan and it turned out into cute little scones.

Raisin Scones

3 C. flour
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 t. salt
5 t. baking powder
3/4 C. butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1/2 C. raisins
1 egg, beaten
1 C. milk
1 egg, beaten for the glaze.

Pre-heat oven to 200C.  Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Cut in butter using 2 knives or a pastry cutter.  When it resembles cornmeal or peas, add the raisins.  Mix the egg and the milk, stir it into the flour mixture using a fork until moistened.

Use a non stick muffin pan or greased muffin pan.  Drop one teaspoon of the mixture.  Glaze with beaten egg.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

I also cooked Galantina Rolls.  It is the filling of Chicken Galantina (Philippine Fiesta Recipes, Belmonte and Del Mundo) but rolled into little logs.  To make Chicken Galantina, just marinate 1.5 K. of deboned chicken overnight in 1 t. salt and 1 t. calamansi.  Fill with stuffing, wrap in tin foil and steam for one hour. Cool before slicing. Best served chilled.

Galantina Roll

1/4 K.  ground chicken
1/4 K.  ground pork
1 C. Purefoods Vienna Sausage, chopped
1 C. Purefods Sweet Ham, chopped
3 pcs. Purefoods Chorizo Bilbao, chopped
1 C. white onions, chopped
1 can Underwood Liverwurst
1/4 C. Heinz tomato ketchup
1 t. salt
1 t. msg
1 t. sugar
4 egg yolks
1/2 C. raisins.

Combine all the ingredients. Measure 1 cup of the mixture into an 8 x 8 sheet of tin foil.  Roll like a log and steam for one hour.  Chill before slicing.

Tita Portia invited my friends for her second tea party.

We had to do a quick run to Rustan's Rockwell to get fresh ingredients yesterday morning.  She had to do all the preparations again!  I helped her plate the salad and to put all the desserts on the serving dishes.

Celina and Mariger a.k.a "Girlie" (hahaha) helped me bake a fresh batch of raisin scones.

My friends had an impromptu baking lessons.  I just supervised and both of them did all the work.

The party started with  the opening of the jewel box ...

with a little surprise inside.

Hahahaha  It was the most desired "fortune" and everybody wished it was theirs.

The strawberry salad was so ambrosial!

We used  Driscolls strawberries, really sweet.  Just a simple salad you can prepare everyday.  Lettuce leaves, strawberry, cucumber, goat's cheese and finely chopped pistachios drizzled with Dizon's Strawberry Vinaigrette.

Each guest had her own: carafe of sparkling juice,

flute of champagne, scones with clotted cream and jam,

Angel's Tea and Green Apple Sorbet  in frozen fresh lime.

We even had tea etiquette lessons.  Split the scones into two, spread the jam first then top with the cream.  That is the proper way of eating scones!

The little sandwiches were delish!  Hehehe The parsley leaves were demarcation line.  Meaning = Do NOT crossover and get the sandwiches of your seatmate across!

Egg Salad on yellow oval bread
Jamon Serrano on square wheat bread
Cream cheese with blueberry jam on pink heart bread
Picante Sardines with Wasabi Mayo on green leaf shaped bread
Smoked Salmon formed into rose on pink flower shaped bread with cream cheese
Cheese pimiento on white round bread
Shrimp salad on pink heart shaped bread
Peanut butter with figs on square chocolate bread
Galantina in miniature white bun.

On the side table were the assorted desserts and extra sandwiches.  My niece, Gillian, baked the pastel colored cupcakes and my other niece Sophie helped her with the decorations.

The favorite sandwich was the Picante Sardines with Wasabi mayo. We finished the extra plus the helpers made more for us.  I also liked the Galantina sandwich.

My favorite dessert was the Chocolate Hazelnut from Dianond Hotel, Rockwell.  It had a sans rival kind of wafer with chocolate truffle and  chocolate mouse, dusted with cocoa and decorated with hazelnuts.

The party would not be complete with out give aways!

Tita Portia told us to choose any pair of earrings we liked, she designed all of them.  It was like choosing a candy from a candy bar!

The Afternoon Tea was a success!  All of us enjoyed the experience.  It was something we will remember and cherish... something we would talk about for quite a while.

Thank you, Tita Portia for the great happiness you have given us!  Nobody can measure up to my Tita's love and flair for entertaining.