The Fat Pig Homebaker’s Satchel: The Christmas Collection

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I’ve previously raved about The Fat Pig Homebaker’s mainstay sweet+savory meat cupcakes and the rest of his regular lineup. It looks like this guy has more surprises up his sleeve. As imaginative, and equally delicious, as his debut Piggies and Piglets are these in a trio for his Christmas collection.

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Rudolph’s Milky Way, a Red Velvet cupcake, is in the color of bright rose and when you do get to see it, you would even say it glows. This mini is filled with toffee and frosted with chocolate fudge, then dusted with cocoa powder for more chocolatey love.

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Santa’s Ham. Santa’s quite a ham and this one’s literally one. A vanilla mini is packed with sweet and slightly chewy Caramelized Canadian Bacon Belly. Vanilla frosting brings in the sweetness. We pull back to the savory with the smoky paprika and garlic from the Lyoner dancing well with the slight sharpness of the cheese.

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Nutty Christmas. Pinoy in a Pandan cake hugs toasted Walnut and topped with whipped cream. Chopped Hazelnut and sliced Almonds bring more nutty crunch to the uniquely Southeast Asian almost sweet, “green” flavor, that which marries well with the rich and slightly sweet flavor of the sprinkling of desiccated Coconut. Nutty and nice.

These, in Satchel: The Fat Pig Homebaker’s Christmas Collection, on top of their initial offerings make this cupcakery one to sample and watch out for new offerings in the coming year.

The Fat Pig Homebaker is currently operating out of a house of bricks. You can huff and puff for your orders on their Facebook page, on Instagram: @thefatpigph or contact the head hog, Alfred, at 09231467601.

holiday rushCatch them at the City Fair: Holiday Rush at The Persimmon Plus on December 19-21 from 3PM-10PM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything Yummy

It is quite bold to claim that your shop offers everything yummy by naming it just that. Starting out as a home-based, delivery only operation, mad demand for Everything Yummy‘s Ribs pushed the quick expansion of what was only intended to be a pick-up outlet to a full restaurant with two branches — Piazza Elesia in Talamban and at eBloc 2, Cebu IT Park in Lahug.

That day’s chow crawl began with a swing by a streetfood find, Go Go Tokyo!!‘s Pork and Chicken Tonkatsu Sandwiches and Onigiri. While I enjoyed what was a substantial snack, I did not consider the possible food deluge from what I had lined up for the day.

Everything Yummy’s owner Hans Congmon had me gather some friends over to their eBloc 2 branch for lunch in what later appeared to be an attempt to murder us with food so good one could die. The willing victims in attendance were Doyzkie, Marco, Tine, The PussyKat and myself.

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We opened with their Summer Salad. Romaine and Arugula provided a green base to the sweet-tartness of Mandarin Oranges and Sundried Tomatoes while Cucumber, Sunflower Seeds and Walnuts brought in the crunch all bound by a Mango Truffle Vinaigrette.

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Their Gambas came served hefty with plump, fleshy prawns, instead of piddling shrimps, sautéed in garlic and chili oil. Garlic toast was inclusive to mop up the golden drippings.

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A novelty as it is not one popped from the usual can, their Special Homemade Corned Beef had a comforting real meat texture and flavor. The meat’s “fibers” separating in stringy chunks come ready to mash into your choice of plain, garlic or salsa rice, even with mashed potatoes. An egg done sunny side up completed the set in this all-day breakfast dish.

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The selection decidedly became aggressive when Hans dropped his Adobomb. This Spicy Adobong Tagalog, a saucy prep versus the Visayan fry-dry, was of large chunks of juicy lean cuts with some layers of buttery love. The sauce was mildly spicy with a hint of tart pairing well with. . .extra rice, please!

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A distinct pleasantly spicy scent announced the Indian Chicken Curry. Resting on a bed of equally fragrant Basmati rice, chunks of all-meat chicken were swathed in a mellow yellow curry. Based on an authentic Indian recipe, the aromatics alone set the tone for the thorough enjoyment of this dish.

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So you like the Chicken Curry, eh? Their beef version came as a follow-up to the earlier sensory assault. This spicier preparation was held up by the heavier meat, also served on Basmati rice.

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Many islands in the area claim to specialize in roast chicken preparation that it has become quite regional. Enter Everything Yummy’s Lemongrass Chicken Inasal. Brined in a lemongrass infusion, the skin is roasted to a crisp with the meat remaining fall off the bome tender and tasty. Accompanying dips of spiced canola oil and vinegar help add additional flavor and bring out the vegetal lemongrass taste.

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The flagship ribs came next. A mid rib cut houses tender, delicate meat marinated to a pleasant mellow with a hint of spice. A slightly sweet finish comes from a caramelization that can only result from a long, slow bake. These are available in half and whole slab portions to match the size of the dining party or the appetite.

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All pork chop availabilities looking miniscule in comparison to their offering of at least an inch-thick cooked, this “Frenched” behemoth self-seals its juices in with an excellent searing. Cutting into the Champion Chops reveals the meat done to a soft, succulent medium well with restrained seasoning allowing one to savor the clean “sweetness” of the pork. A buttery strip of fat adds a flavor and texture dimension to the generous lean with a bed of vegetables making up for the guilty pleasure.

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Moving in for the kill, Hans slapped a Harris Ranch US Black Angus Steak on the table. Done medium well, you could taste the slightly pinkish sweet meat contrasting with the exterior gritty char playing well with the spice rub. Meat, meat, meat. If this is what it means to be Paleo then I’m all aboard. A refreshing shredded salad in guava cream and a choice of Rice, Mashed Potatoes, French Beans & Carrots, or French Fries helped remind us of our omnivorous make.

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Knowing that I’d ask for a burger on my death bed, they served up their Spanish Chorizo Burger. What seemed like half a dozen regular individual chorizos made their way into a huge chorizo patty. This homemade preparation is the sweet and spicy chorizo style with the pan grilling lacquering on a glaze with a good char. A rough slaw and  final topping of a fried egg malasado figured in what were gloriously juicy and pleasantly messy bites.

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Seeing everyone down, Everything Yummy couldn’t have made death any sweeter than with Carmen’s Best Salted Caramel Ice Cream. Extra rich, extra creamy caramel ice cream with a saline pop had the table sighing and moaning into rigor mortis.

The well-curated, expanding menu by Han’s uncompromising stand on quality and consistency has the plus of considerations for the price-conscious Cebuano. Clearly a crowd favorite, now boasting the titles of Sun Star Cebu’s Best of Cebu 2014-Best Ribs and Best Pork Chops, it isn’t such a stretch to call themselves, as they are truly, Everything Yummy.

Everything Yummy is located at eBloc2, Cebu IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City, (032) 410 6511 and at Piazza Elesia, Talamban, (032) 418 0081.

Best Food Blogger 2014 – 7th Best Cebu Blogs Awards

The week leading up to the 7th Best Cebu Blogs Awards Night was rife with anticipation if not anxiety. Yolanda was so much bad news that buzz about the coming of a little sister got everyone on the verge of panic. Canned goods, instant noodles and emergency items started getting cleaned off supermarket shelves. I milled about the deli section of Rustan’s hoping there would be a flash sale of sorts, to my later disappointment. I noted a selection of cheeses and some charcuterie sets should things go apocalyptic and survival instincts push us to explore looting. Yeah, maybe some cheap, reconstituted reds that come in handy liter tetrapaks, too. Anticipation. Anxiety.

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Ruby announced her coming — shortly after Queenie — and proceeded to dilly dally. Local government answered schoolchildren’s prayers by cancelling classes as early as Thursday. A circular encouraged businesses to close shop clearing most offices by Friday afternoon. Some events and dinners had to be moved around to accommodate logistical delays. Kitchen Matador as he is, Chef Ipar Miranda pushed through with his intimate invitational at his eponymous Spanish restaurant for the seven souls who braved the eerie calm before the storm. More on that in a separate post. Anticipation. Anxiety.

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Most of the weekend was spent finishing my writing assignments for the upcoming Sun Star’s Best Of Cebu 2014 issue. I had swung by the office for last minute checks and squeezed in a short write-up before heading out to the 7th Best Cebu Blogs Awards Night program. Yes, I have had enough practice in reeling it all in to a hundred words or less. The unexpected inclusion as a finalist in two categories was validation in itself though still needing a win to cement that. On the polar end, not bagging either one would somewhat be humiliating. The weird, immapouranytimenow skies loomed the whole day and gave way to a dark and starless night. Anticipation. Anxiety.

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We pulled up to Avalon to a light drizzle our matchy trenches could very well handle. That’s probably as far as we would go into the couples-clothing thing. I rocked my burger-print sweater in homage and for good luck. We walked into a room full of wide eyes. Am I ever thankful I put some elbow into learning the squinch. The program began rather perfunctorily and dinner commenced. A spread by an unnamed caterer welcomed the attendees but we were such tight strings we didn’t even get to take pictures of the food. Of note were those sizable round-cuts of beef caldereta, a little dried-out but otherwise excellently yielding to a fork alone. Anticipation. Anxiety.

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The Best Cebu Blogs Awards (BCBA) is a yearly Awarding Ceremony of Cebu-based Bloggers. BCBA is the only and pioneering award giving body that recognizes the existence of blogs and bloggers in Cebu’s blogosphere. It acknowledges the existence and importance of Cebu Bloggers in the Visayas and in the Philippines. BCBA aims to recognize the finest blogs by Cebuanos and Cebu-based bloggers which are at par even with their foreign counterparts. Best Cebu Blogs Awards is organized and handled by Blogger Volunteers headed by Cebu Bloggers Society Inc. Founder Mark M. Monta. Judges for the Best Cebu Blogs Awards By Niches are changing every year. Most of them came from Manila, Cagayan De Oro, Ilo-ilo, General Santos, Davao and of course, a home-based judge here in Cebu. BCBA was founded by Mark Monta on December of 2008 and later joined by fellow organizers Agnes Jimenez, Bjorn Bernales, Gezelle Tapangan, Chanel Marie Imperial and Jaysee Pingkian. (info from BCBA website)

Best Cebu Blogs Lineup

Items were raffled off and awards for the different niche categories were given out. Each winner was allotted two minutes for their acceptance speeches but each barely hit a minute. I missed out on Best Personal Blog Award but found it easy to let slide. I think I broke into a little sweat trying not to pull a Leonardo Di Caprio. Then my name was called. Oh, the agony of ecstasy. I totally forgot to play out the pageant humblebrag winface I rehearsed earlier and just had a kooky grin from ear to ear. This year’s beautifully-designed trophy by Cebu Best Blogs Awards Founder, Mark Monta, was inspired by the Cebu Provincial Capitol building and probably weighed just as much. There was to be no way I could attach a chain to it to wear around my neck. Quickly over that just as it crossed my mind, thanks and credits were given, we posed for a million photos and adjourned into the night.

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Thanks to all my readers and supporters. Thanks to the judges and the Best Cebu Blogs Awards group. Special thanks to my official blog mascot, proofreader, shock prod, leash, muse and everything in between, The PussyKat, without whom none of this would be possible.

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The 7th Annual Best Cebu Blogs Awards Night was made possible through the generous support of The Best Cebu Blogs Awards (BCBA)’ partners, namely, Gold Sponsors, Globe Telecommunications Inc. and Primary Homes Incorporated; Silver Sponsors, Greenwich Philippines and Krispy Kreme Philippines; Donors, Starbucks Philippines, Payag Payag, Island Grill Express and Javders Projector Rentals; Media Partners, Cebu Bloggers Society Incorporated and tenmimutes.ph; Official Photographer, Alvin Asayas of Alvin Asayas Photography; and Blogger Volunteers, Cebu Fitness Blog, FaceCebu.net, EmpressofDrac.com, Geemiz:Accounting Blog, ChannelImperial.com, The Gum Shoes Blog and One Frozen Mind.

Follow the Best Cebu Blogs Awards (BCBA) and get more info about 7th Annual Best Cebu Blogs Awards Night on their official website, www.bestcebublogsawards.com, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bestcebublogs and Twitter: @bcbawards. Hashtag your posts, tweets and shares: #bcbawards2014 and #cebutopblogs.

 

Q Bay Restaurant

Date A Girl Who R̶e̶a̶d̶s̶   ̶W̶r̶i̶t̶e̶s̶   T̶r̶a̶v̶e̶l̶s̶   EATS or alternatively, Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire

Work. What I thought would be a quick two hour shoot extended into the evening. I broke fast earlier than my usual noontime first meal to make it to my call time at twelve. I had a good three hours of standby time put to good use in writing my delayed deliverables while putting my Ryan Gosling smolder through its paces on the dresser mirror. A good two hours total of posing, primping and squinching with atrociously expensive jewelry between more standby time for setup and we pushed past seven to wrap up.

I flew down from the mountain set to join The PussyKat and the Binondo Girls at IT Park. They had split a full serving of Tinolang Manok earlier for a light dinner. “You need to eat, Love. I’ve had dinner.”, she purred. I was already beyond my feeding window but needed to fuel the furnace. Considering restos I haven’t been to in the area, she suggested Q Bay. 20141202_211203We walked into an open, modern Japanese space with a glassed-in, non-smoking loft. As with all Japanese restos, we were welcomed with a raucous “Irasshaimase!” A dressed, fresh cabbage rough chop was served with the menus. “What do you want to have, Love?” “You choose for yourself, Love. I’ve had dinner.” I went with our servers recommendations of the Nokuo Tonkotsu Ramen and the Torikatu Bento. 20141202_203711 The cabbage paired well with what the server could only say was a cabbage salad dressing. It had the salty and sour taste of a soy vinaigrette with semisolid chunks in the texture of a gel aspic. “This stuff’s really good, Love.” “It’s okay, Love. I’ve had dinner.” “It’s really good, Love.” “Okay, I’ll have a taste.” 20141202_204521 The Nokuo Tonkotsu Ramen came in an intimidatingly large bowl the size of my head. This pork bone-based ramen is reminiscent of the Pinoy Nilagang Baboy or Buto-buto with the Japanese-y element of miso. Extremely savory but not at all heavy on salt. The noodles were a perfectly firm toothsome and held up well with the flavor of the soup. “Good stuff, Love!” “It’s okay. I’ve had it before.” “Really good!” “Okay, leave me some.” 20141202_204642   Torikatu Bento was a Chicken Cutlet Bento with a Yasai Itame, a Potato Salad, rice and, strangely, Kimchi. Seasoned very lightly, tender cutlets of chicken encased in very light and crisp panko breading came with a soy dip and mayonnaise. A Yasai Itame of cabbage, carrots, spring onions and onions served as the primary veggie side. A Japanese Potato Salad of carrots, cucumbers, onions and egg mixed into the potatoes with mayo added a creamy sweet and savory touch to the entire set. Although culturally out of place, the kimchi’s spicy-sour ferment somehow worked. Just as well as how a Korean girl worked a Japanese boy at the table next to ours: “Oh, sorry. I forget bring money.” “It oke.” “I pay tomorrow.” “No, it oke.” “Maybe next day” “It oke.” “I kno boys are always pay but me I don’ like.” “It oke.” “I pay tomorrow.” “No, it oke.” “Maybe next day” “It oke.” “OKE!” 10806479_10152507113428017_9057009309100766321_n   The PussyKat started poking at the dishes and after oohing and ahhing about everything, started tucking into the bento with gusto. “I thought you already ate?” “Don’t start with me. I’ve had a really rough day.” I quickly put my palms out in a gesture of surrender. 20141202_210911 Midway through the meal, some smoke started wafting up and the crew rushed up to turn on the ventilation fans. The air progressively getting hazy, they started requesting the guests to move to the seats downstairs. Just as we settled, smoke started billowing from the loft. In a scene straight out of Rescue 911, I quickly slurped up the remaining soup and The PussyKat had the last chicken cutlet as building maintenance personnel rushed in with fire extinguishers. Having called for the bill, we waited outside for our change with the rest of the diners. That was some good, authentic Japanese and it would take much to beat that kind of house entertainment. 20141202_211353   Q Bay Restaurant is located at the ground floor of Skyrise 4, Cebu IT Park, Apas, Lahug, Cebu City.