Monday, August 19, 2013

Rainy Day Coffee

Isn't this the perfect weather for coffee? If it weren't for the heavy rain and floods all around the metro, it would also be nice to go to these two coffee shops: Subspace Coffee House and Magnum Opus Fine Coffee Gallery. These coffee shops have so much similarities: (1) perfect COCOL place for couples, friends and new acquaintances, (2) brings together a group of people who love the same thing - K-Pop, for one, and art for the other, and (3) coffee art.

Subspace Coffee House, Ortigas
I discovered this coffee place through Tricia Gosingtian's IG account where she posted a photo of her coffee with some drawing on it. I'm a coffee (art) lover and someday, I wish to learn how to make coffee and be able to decorate it.

On the International Museum Day last May, after visiting Ayala Museum, I was able to go to Subspace with my friends. Located at the Grand Emerald Tower in Ortigas Center, Pasig, tucked in a little space near a Korean grocery shop, there you'll find this quaint coffee shop. To be honest, we had a hard time looking for it. We had to go around twice before realizing it was just there.


With just unpainted cement wall decorated with colorful items and photos, this coffee shop felt like heaven to me. I don't know how exactly to describe the place but it was beauty in disarray. The combination of different decorations, different furniture... made me feel ecstatic just by being there.

Actually, Subspace Coffee House is home to K-Pop aficionados where 2PM, SuJu, GG, Big Bang songs playing in the background and K-Pop merchandise sold on the side.



Paired up with Korean-inspired coffee, and a little on the food, your stay in Subspace will make you feel like you're in Korea.


The coffee art you can find here is more of the cute version (I know, I've said cute too many times, but that's the best way to describe it, for me haha). You can have your coffee personalized by asking the barista to draw up something for you, or you could just let their creative juices flow.


Purple Potato Latte, Php 125
It was a tad too sweet for my taste. But it was worth a try!

We didn't want to try just their coffee so we also ordered this:



Green Tea waffle? I forgot what it was called.
Loved it! It complemented the sweetness of the purple potato latte.



Subspace Coffee House
Like them on Facebook and check out their IG for coffee art.

Magnum Opus: Fine Coffee Gallery, BF Paranaque
Back at my hometown ('hometown' talaga? haha), I heard about this coffee shop in BF and immediately, had the urge to visit it. Another one of those hard-to-find-because-it's-quite-small coffee shop. Located at The Prime building, on the corner of J. Elizalde and Aguirre St. in BF Paranaque, Magnum Opus is home to artistic people down south. You know, art and coffee, 'nuf said haha


From the name of it, Magnum Opus it's a coffee shop and a gallery. Searched it on Google and found out:
Magnum OpusAn important work of art, music, or literature, esp. the most important achievement of an artist or writer. (Synonyms: masterpiece)
There are paintings on the walls. Actually when we were there, there was a girl who was fixing the labels on the said paintings and also had her painting materials piled up on one side of the bar area.


Like Subspace, this is a coffee shop where you'd easily make friends with the baristas and other loyal customers, especially if you frequent the place. It would be nice if this doesn't become too popular. I mean, I like the ambiance, the feel of the coffee shop while there's not too many people in it.

Doctor Who reference
The Smoking Area
On a cold December night, this would be such a nice hangout area especially if they put up Christmas lights.


The Menu

My friend's Piccolo Latte
Small yet strong

Belgian Heartbreaker
Hot chocolate with coffee


Magnum Opus
Like them on Facebook.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Sugar Rush: Smores Brownie Cake


So what do you do with a bag of marshmallows? USE 'EM TO MAKE SMORES! Yep, we ventured once again into the unknown, trying our luck with brownies ONESMORE. After a few successes with cookies, it's time we tried (almost) perfecting other pastries.

We got the recipe from Recipe Girl. Chose this recipe because of her photo of having lots of marshmallows hihi been craving and wanting to do something that had marshmallows on it.

It was a surprise that making Smores brownies wasn't that hard. Well, it required a lot of work. We can't remember what we did wrong when we first made brownies.

Ingredients:

CRUST:
7 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (8 or 9 whole graham crackers)
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
pinch of salt
BROWNIE:
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
TOPPING:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
3 to 4 cups mini marshmallows
about 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs (1 whole cracker, crumbled)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 8x8-inch pan with foil so it hangs over the edges a bit. Spray with nonstick spray. (You can use 9x9-inch pan, but baking time might need slight decrease and your end result will be a thinner brownie).
2. Prepare crust: In a medium bowl, mix butter with crumbs, sugar and salt. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Prepare the brownie: Place butter and chocolate in microwave-safe bowl. Melt for 1 minute; stir. Melt another minute; stir. Keep microwaving at 1 minute intervals until mixture is completely melted. (Alternately, you can melt this mixture in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water on the stove). Add sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate and mix together. Add eggs and beat vigorously until you see a thick and glossy batter. Stir in flour and mix just until incorporated. Pour batter over the baked crust. Bake until top is set and toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, 35 to 40 minutes (you don't want to overbake the brownie- a little gooey inside is good).
4. Remove pan from oven. Turn up heat on the oven to broil. Sprinkle chocolate chunks over the baked brownie. Add a nice, thick layer of marshmallows next. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs on top.
5. Place your pan of brownies back into the oven (they should be 6 to 8 inches away from the heating element). Toast under the broiler until golden- KEEP AN EYE ON IT- it can go from golden to burned in a matter of seconds. 1 to 2 minutes under the broiler should be plenty.
6. Cool for a few minutes, then use foil to remove brownies from the pan and set on a cutting board. Carefully pull the sides of the foil away from the marshmallows and brownies. Cut brownies into 12 squares. Helpful tip: Use a large, WET & SHARP KNIFE to cut the brownies. Slice through the brownie, then clean the knife and slice through again with a clean, wet knife. Keep cleaning off the knife after each cut for the cleanest cuts.
Source: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from Food Network)
What we learned along the way:
  1. Use a grinder for the Graham crackers or better yet, buy the cookie crumbs instead. (Yeah, this is very basic.)
  2. No phones in the kitchen. (Too much distraction c/o my newly downloaded app -- Line haha)
  3. Always keep an eye on what you're baking. (Our crust got kinda burnt hihi)
  4. Use a beater/mixer for the brownie. (It makes life easier. Just don't overmix it.)
  5. Don't open the marshmallows before you actually have to put it. (You'll just end up munching over those for the next 30 minutes or so while waiting for the brownie. You're already making a very sinful pastry. You don't wanna gain MUCH MORE weight now, would you?)
  6. For leftover chocolates, keep it. ASAP. (See no. 5)
  7. Volunteer to put the marshmallows. (You can eat the marshmallows while you do so hehehe and it's just so much fun!)
  8. For any leftover brownie mix on the bowl, try mixing it with the marshmallows. (Para walang nasasayang.)
Joke time tips haha oh and one more thing: EXERCISE IMMEDIATELY AFTER.




Really yummyyy! Can't think of anything I wish we did other than not burn the crust.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Korean food: Jin's Kimbab

Annyeong! Comment allez-vous? ("Hello! How are you?") It's been a while. It's no surprise that something Korean has made me blog again (tbh, there's a lot I wish or I should have blogged).

*~*~*~*

BF Homes is the best place to discover new restaurants and places to hang out down South. It works both ways as well -- it's the place where aspiring businesses try to establish themselves. I've already tried Borgo Cafe, which was recently featured on Kris TV (finally, they're getting that well-deserved recognition!), and Mama Lou's Italian Kitchenette (unfortunately, I wasn't able to blog about that).

People are starting to recognize BF Homes on a broader scale. From blogs like 8list BF Homes Restaurant Guide Part 1, to celebrities and TV shows like Kris TV, where they went restaurant hopping in BF this past week. Oh, my friends and I were even featured in a news segment on TV5 once while dining in Tatsu No Ko/Bento Ya.

So anyway, today I was able to discover another one of BF's hidden gems.  My mom and I went to Ruins to buy something but decided to grab lunch first. Since it was raining a bit, we wanted to eat noodles. We were looking for Chowking or Hen Lin around the area but only found a Hen Lin store in Robinsons. Then we found this Korean restaurant in Pergola:

(Ugh, Blogger's rotating my photos huhu)

Actually it's nothing fancy. What's nice about the place is it's cheap yet... authentic, in my opinion, since it really is owned by Koreans. It's just a small place with around 6 tables for 4 people. They don't have much on their menu, but includes a lot of the well-known Korean cuisines. They also offer "pulutan" and Korean streetfood.

Traditional Korean Noodles


We ordered noodles (of course, that's what we were really after) and decided to get one of their combos which has kimbab -- something like the maki of Japanese, ...gyoza? and I don't know what the one in the middle is. I must say, their kimbab really deserves to be in the limelight!

If you eat there, you get a free serving of two side dishes - kimchi and I think it was pajeon.

For just Php 300, two people can already eat and be full just from those two orders. It truly is a satisfying experience! Plus you get to feel like you're eating in a restaurant in Korea hearing Korean customers from the other table chatting away.

It's a great place to try if you're craving for spicy Korean food but on a low budget.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday: The Passion of Christ

This is the first time that St. James the Greater parish presented The Passion of Christ, in cooperation with STAGE (Staging Theatrical Arts for Gospel Enhancement).

I just discovered the hi-speed burst function of my camera so I decided to make a video out of it. Unfortunately, I couldn't put a background music because of copyright. If you want, just play this song while watching the video:

At The Cross by Hillsong United

(I don't know why the title became "The Passion of Chris" hehe)

Everything was great! The background music, the costumes, and the set. The way they staged it was by using the entire venue -- they came from the middle doors of the Church, some actors were among the crowd and they even had the audience go outside for the last scene, the Crucifixion.


The portrayal of Jesus was a bit troubling for me. Although the actor was able to show the humanity of Jesus, I got used to knowing him as the calm one through the Gospel reading. I believe that despite the difficulties Jesus was faced with, His trust in God and God's plans for Him are what made Him just go with the flow, with what was happening in His life. He trusted God so much that He appeared as if He wasn't afraid.


Nevertheless, I can say that it was a very successful play! It elicited sadness in me, made me almost cry because I felt like I was there when it happened. It pains me to see Jesus's pain and suffering.

I hope they do this every year :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Flower Boy Next Door (이웃집 꽃미남)

(Drama Wiki)

STORY

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Go Dok Mi (Park Shin Hye) who lived her life cooped up in her apartment, hiding herself from the world because of a cruel past that traumatized her.  Lurking around, her neighbor, the webtoon artist, Oh Jin Rak (Kim Ji Hoon), has been secretly in love with Go Dok Mi for 3 years. In his own little ways, he takes care of her, respects her way of life but doesn't openly declare his affections for her.

One day, Go Dok Mi meets the genius game developer, Enrique Geum (Yoon Si Yoon), who catches her peeping into his cousin’s apartment. Heartbreak brings them closer together. Despite Dok Mi’s awkward behavior towards people, she finds herself comfortable around the jolly and playful Enrique, who drags her out into the world.

(Check out the plot on Wikipedia.)

CHARACTERS

(GeunShin Addict)
Park Shin Hye as Go Dok Mi
Apartment #402, Ocean Village
Copywriter

Dok Mi was bullied in school because of a rumor saying she had a relationship with their Literature teacher. Her best friend left her all alone when she needed her the most. Because of that, she stopped trusting people and chose to hide in her apartment to avoid getting hurt again. Like Rapunzel, imprisoned in a tower, hidden from the rest of the world. The thing is, Dok Mi is also the witch who locked her up in the tower.


Now I can really say that I'm a fan of Park Shin Hye! I've seen two of her other popular series -- You're Beautiful and Heartstrings. Since then, I have admired her singing and acting. Seeing her in FBND, showed more of her talent in acting. Her cuteness shows as she acts shy and awkward around people being Go Dok Mi.


PSH has such luck in leading men! -- from Jang Geun Suk to Jung Yong Hwa and now Yoon Si Yoon. I can’t wait to see what she will do next.


Her talent in dancing and singing makes me think what can she not do.


Park Shin Hye singing "Kailan" by MYMP

Melon Music Awards Opening



(FanPop)

Yoon Si Yoon as Enrique Geum
Apartment right beside Ocean Village
Game developer
Past: Discriminated Korean living in a foreign country. Also has a lot of haters.

His childish behavior was annoying at first but eventually, it became such an adorable characteristic of Enrique Geum. Despite acting that way, he is very sensitive to other people's feelings. He can easily connect with people and befriend anyone.

I was surprised to find out that Enrique Geum was Kim Tak Gu in The Baker King. Because of his new hairstyle and hair color, I didn’t know that it was him. He still has that killer smile, though. After finding that out, you’d think I would see Kim Tak Gu, but no! His character is so different in this series. Plus, you can’t help but love him as Enrique Geum because of his childish yet adorable antics.


Enrique has that positive outlook in life that eventually rub off on Dok Mi, giving her the courage to finally face the world again. The connection they have was so special; they can even read each other’s mind.


Enrique was the brave prince who climbed up the tower to kill the witch and save Rapunzel.





When he first sang during the karaoke scene, I was surprised na hindi siya pumiyok. Finding out that he could sing just adds to his pogi points.


(Yunanin Kore Gunlugu)
Kim Ji Hoon as Oh Jin Rak
Apartment #401, Ocean Village
Webtoon Artist
Past: Rejected by his own family.

In the beginning of this series, I was rooting for Jin Rak. There’s always something about bad boys who fall in love. He’s the cool and serious yet shy guy who, in his own little way, protects the woman he loves, respects and loves who she is, but doesn’t act on his feelings.

He does that because he knows what kind of person Dok Mi is. Jin Rak would rather keep his feelings to himself in fear of Dok Mi completely closing herself off, cutting whatever ties they have as neighbors. That’s his problem. Even though he was first to notice Dok Mi, he didn’t act on it; he respected her too much. Jin Rak was the cowardly prince who was satisfied just watching his Rapunzel from the foot of the tower.

But Jin Rak really loved Dok Mi because he chose to step aside and let her be happy with Enrique.

(Unnietha)
Park Su Jin as Cha Do Hwi

Office in the same building as Enrique Geum

Fashion designer
Dok Mi’s former best friend

Do Hwi always have ulterior motives. She pursued Jin Rak not because she loves him but because she knew that he was rich. Do Hwi tried to mend things with Dok Mi but at first she only acted so to become closer to Jin Rak.


Other Characters:
(Seoul Beats)
Ko Kyung Pyo as Yoo Dong Hoon
Jin Rak's webtoon partner and roommate. At first, you'd think he's the party and playboy kind of guy. Truthfully, he has been working his butt off at night as a designated driver to earn enough money so he could live his dream as a webtoon artist in the morning.

Kim Seul Gi as Webtoon Editor

Mizuta Kouki as Watanabe Ryu
Japanese chef who wants to learn about the different cuisines of different countries. His cooking lessons gave the characters a way to be closer to each other.

Kim Jung San as Han Tae Joon
Enrique's cousin. Dok Mi's crush. Seo Young's first love.

Kim Yoon Hye as Yoon Seo Young
Enrique's best friend and first love.

(Drama Wiki)

OST

The songs were really perfect for the series. Once you read the English translation of the songs, you'll see how it reflects the character's situation in the series and their feelings.


Then there's Park Shin Hye and her beautiful voice:


And also, Yoon Si Yoon with his pa-cute voice:



Surprise surprise! The editor who did nothing but shout at Jin Rak and Dong Hoon, also has a cute voice! Aw, the loan couple even has a duet!

Kim Seul Gi feat Ko Kyung Pyo - "You Wake Me Up"

Editor has a really nice voice! And her singing voice is so different from her speaking voice, especially with all the shouting she made in the series. Even Dong Hoon has a nice voice! (Video with English subs here)

Favorite Scenes

My ultimate favorite scene was in Episode 16, the confession scene. Enrique Geum sang "Like A Child" by Kim Dong Ryul and Dok Mi's heartfelt confession -- "You are my world" :')


And I just wanna say, the ending.. THAT is what you call a kiss.


There are, of course, a lot of funny scenes I loved!

Episode 13 (Beginning): Panda dance and Yoon Si Yoon speaking in Spanish


I swear, I couldn't stop laughing while watching Yoon Si Yoon!! HE IS JUST SO ADORABLE, okay!! And speaking in Spanish as Enrique, Yoon Si Yoon is the best!

Another LOL scene: Jin Rak, Dong Hoon and Enrique's plan to steal money from Jin Rak's brother.


OVERALL

A lot of aspects of the series really made me hooked on it: (1) the flower boys, (2) the story itself, and (3) the overall theme or execution of the series. But there’s one thing that really made me want to continue watching it (I don’t know how followers of this show were able to wait for a week before the next episode): the backstory.

I know that it’s part of the story but what makes it special is that, there’s a backstory, yeah, which they don’t divulge in just one episode. What they did was to show parts of that backstory in the first few episodes, making viewers more interested in finding out what the whole backstory is.

Every detail of the series shows creativity -- from the jobs of their characters, to the graphics of the show and the episode titles, even the songs, as I've mentioned above. (Check out Drama Wiki: Episode Ratings for the episode titles)

FBND is a rather short series but that doesn’t make it a shallow kind of show. There’s a lot of depth in it (kaya nga hindi shallow e haha). But seriously, it’s not just about love. It’s about life and the struggles people go through, how they handled these struggles and in the end, how these struggles shape them to become who they are now. With each of the characters having different pasts, you’d find yourself relating to at least one of them.