Salcedo Saturday Market

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The weather yesterday was too perfect to be wasted indoors.  There’s some sun but it was mostly cloudy and chilly.  With nothing major planned that day, AJ and I decided to head to the Salcedo Saturday Market to finally check it out.

Yeah, we live in Makati but have never actually been to this side of the city.  I guess the address intimated me so much (hehe!) but it turned out to be a friendly place pala – with lots of cooked food, fresh produce and imported grocery items being sold at reasonable prices.  It’s part Mercato Centrale and part Rustan’s Supermarket, judging from the food stuff available there.

Here are some of the interesting ones I saw:

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There are non-food items being sold too (and which I almost bought – check out the bag below):

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Ang hirap lang pag ganitong maraming choices, ang hirap din pumili.  For our lunch, we bought the following after observing which stalls attracted the most number of shoppers: Stanford and Shaw’s old-fashioned ginger ale (that’s so refreshing), Monster Burger’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Bacon and Manvy’s Stir-Fried Seafood Noodles (the noodles are made from Chinese spinach).

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It’s a good thing we were allowed to bring our food inside the community park located just beside the market.  It was such a beautiful day to be in the park, and had I known that the weather will be this great, I would’ve brought my book with me hehe.

Before heading home, we stopped by Commune (which is a walking distance from the Salcedo park) for their Cafe Latte art coffee.  I don’t know how AJ did it, but he finished this coffee with the cat’s milk foam face still intact!

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Salcedo Saturday Market  |  Jaime C. Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati, Metro Manila

Commune Cafe  |  Liberty Plaza, 102 H.V. Dela Costa Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City  |  twitter:  @CommunePH

Easy Bangers and Mash Recipe

Here’s another easy peasy recipe that you can make at home, using only sausages, gravy mix, onions and mashed potatoes (bough from KFC):

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It’s called Bangers and Mash (or Sausages and Mash), a well-loved British dish usually served during dinner (and with beer).  I thought of recreating this for our dinner tonight because I have here sausages bought from Earle’s Delicatessen.  Ironically, they’re called English Bangers too.  I was supposed to use them for the Baked Spaghetti I had planned to make today, but I didn’t want to miss (on TV) Pope Francis’ mass at UST as well as his concluding mass at Quirino Grandstand so I thought of the easiest recipe I know for the sausages.

The secret to achieving a near-perfect British version for Bangers and Mash is the use of onion gravy, instead of a regular gravy.  You can choose to make this from scratch (try this recipe), or make everything simple with a gravy mix.  I always opt for the latter, hehe!

Here are what you will need:

  • Good quality sausages (I recommend English Bangers or Bratwurst for this)
  • Gravy Mix (I use Del Monte’s Gravy Mix which is available in all supermarkets)
  • 3 medium-sized onions, sliced
  • Mashed potatoes from KFC

The 3-steps to making your own Bangers and Mash:

1.  Cook the sausages in a skillet over medium-low heat until all sides have turned brown.  Transfer to a pre-heated oven to keep the sausages warm (and for the meat inside to cook completely).

2.  Prepare the onion gravy by mixing the gravy mix with 1 cup water.  Set aside.  Sauté the sliced onions over medium heat using left-over oil from the sausages, until translucent.  Add the gravy mix and stir over medium-low heat until it thickens.

3.  Take out sausages from the oven.  Serve the mashed potatoes on a plate and then put the warm sausages on the mash.  Pour the onion gravy on top.

Enjoy!

Pope Francis in Tacloban

No storm could stop Pope Francis from visiting Tacloban today, which is the main purpose of his 5-day visit to the Philippines.  Like most Catholics here in Manila, I was glued to the TV to catch his message to the people of Tacloban, the most devastated part of the country in the aftermath typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.

I anticipated his message to be very moving, but I was not prepared to shed bucket of tears.  The homily he delivered during the Holy Mass at Tacloban Airport was not just one of comfort, but of giving hope to the people.

If you were not able to catch Pope Francis’ homily, in part or in whole, you can read the full text HERE.

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God bless you, Pope Francis!

Stackable Perky Rings

I have long loved the idea of building up my finger bling and then interchange them to make it appear that I’m wearing a different kind of ring every day.  I shared this ‘idea’ to my partner jeweler and showed her my pegs (including Tiffany’s Celebration Rings) and together, we came up with these solid 14k white gold rings with colorful gemstones as a way to celebrate the coming of a new (and hopefully, bigger and better) year for the both of us!

Friends, let me introduce to you The Bright Spot’s newest jewelry offering, which I’d like to call the Stackable Perky Rings because, like the adjective in which it is named after (“perky”), the ring’s prettiness can be contagious, and the confidence it will you is addicting that you will want to wear 2 or 3 or 4 of them together at the same time!

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I have also realized that rings don’t have to be in diamonds to make a statement. Emeralds, rubies, blue sapphires, signity stones, yellow topazes and brown tanzanites are equally beautiful and elegant, and yet cost cheaper than diamonds. They also add a personal touch to your rings if they are your (and your family’s) birthstones.

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Our bespoke rings can be customized according to your choice of gemstones. All rings are lovingly made by hand.

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My jeweler doesn’t work with gold-dipped and gold-coated pieces.  You are assured that all gold pieces you buy from us are made of solid 14k gold.

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Here are the many ways in which our stackable perky rings can be worn:

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The Stackable Perky Rings are sold individually at Php 15,000.00 each.

Check out also The Bright Spot’s Foreveryday Ring which can be worn together with your Stackable Perky Rings.

For orders and other inquiries, please email me at dbrightspot@gmail.com.

The Good Stuff #7

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I’m still hung up for the holidays, and who isn’t?  The chilly January weather makes me crave for coffee and sweet dessert (aside from sleep) any time of the day!

Let me share with you some of the good stuff I discovered while on a 2-week Christmas break last year.  I can’t believe I had so much sweets(!), but all were in eaten in moderation naman  =)

Clockwise from top left:

Crafted Cookie at Scout’s Honor.  Now we know that the raves for Scout’s Honor are all true!  We super love the idea of crafting our own cookie without the kitchen mess hehe!  We mixed together Scout Honor’s basic chewy + double choco fudge cookie dough, then requested that it be topped with a layer of Nutella, followed by Macadamia nuts and pretzels!  It’s just so good!  Visit Scout’s Hono soon r at Century City Mall, Makati.

Anna’s Cappucino Thins.  These are capuccino-flavored ginger thins (pepparkaka) that I saw at the Landmark Supermarket. So good when dipped in bold, black coffee.

Chocolate Ganache Tart + Caramelized Apples.   The hubby made both desserts for our New Year’s Eve dinner.  What a sweet ending to our amazing 2014!  We’ll share the recipe soon here in the blog.

Coffee Sundae at Farmacy.  A lot has been said about this ice cream place which is located just beside Wildflour at BGC.  Mahal nga lang pero sige pa rin k’me hehe!  We ordered the “Pick Me Up” sundae (P280.00) which has hazelnut, vanilla, coffee ice cream, almond toffee, chocolate sauce and a shot of espresso.  It’s like affogato but this is a much, much better version of it.

Le Miel Cafe’s Le Pavilion.  Oh, this ones’ so good I almost didn’t want to share it with AJ!  Le Miel Cafe really makes awesome French dessert at reasonable prices.  This particular one, called Le Pavilion, is a medley of 3 desserts: vanilla mousse, chocolate mouse and crispy praline.  So heavenly! Will order a bigger slice next time.

Slice’s Yema Cheesecake.  AJ has asked me a number of times to try this yema cheesecake at Slice Bakery (they have a stand-alone store at Central Square, BGC and a kiosk at the Foodcourt of SM Aura) but I’ve always hesitated because I associate yema with lots of eggs and sugar (read: nakakaumay).  I finally relented last December (when we were out with my friends) and gosh, I can’t believe what I’ve been missing all this time!  It’s surprisingly good and doesn’t taste like nakakaumay na yema at all.  It’s the double goodness of rich cream cheese + sweet yema that made this a winning dessert!

Cookie Bar Manila’s Cookie Cups.  We braved the December traffic going to Pasig just to get our hands on these cookie cups!  And super worth it naman.  The cookie cups are chewy soft, and the different chocolates on top gave each a distinct flavor.  My favorite is the one with M&M mints, perfect for Christmas talaga.

Le Miel Cafe’s Red Velvet Cake.  Another winning dessert at Le Miel Cafe.  The red velvet cake is moist and soft, and there’s nothing else I could add to their perfectly creamy (and authentic) cream cheese frosting.  Lasang cream cheese talaga, at hindi all-purpose cream!

(Mini) Aurore at Cinq.  I discovered this during a food fair at Rockwell Powerplant, and I got to try it again during the Christmas break.  It’s one of the finest desserts I’ve tasted.  This is what actually inspired AJ to make Chocolate Tart during New Year’s Eve.  This is one dessert that you shouldn’t miss when in Manila.

That’s all, folks.  I hope I didn’t make you all “hyper” after seeing so much sweets in one blog post hehe!