Monday, February 21, 2011

Tutti Frutti: Yummy Yogurt!


I love yogurt. I have loved it for over 20 years. So when frozen yogurt became popular in the Metro, it also became a favorite with me. When a small group of my mommy blogger friends and I were invited last Feb. 17, 2011 to try Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt at SM Hypermart Pasig, I readily said YES. 

We had time to meet the franchisee, Allan Sio, who readily sat down with us to introduce us to Tutti Frutti. 

L-R: Michelle, Rone, Rowena, me, Noemi)

Allan Sio (center) holds the SM Hypermart Pasig franchise

Tutti Frutti has over 150 stores worldwide (California, Virginia, Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Tahiti, Mexico, Hong Kong, Malaysia, etc).

It has over 50 different flavors but of course, you won't find all those in one visit. They have 4  yogurt dispensing machines, each of which can dispense 2 separate flavors using different levers or, choose the middle lever of each machine to dispense a combination of the 2 flavors in it.

Asian Fusion at Coco Asian Kitchen

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 (UPDATE as of July 2011: This restaurant has closed down and has been replaced by another one)

Thanks to Chris, The Foodie Club had a chance to sample the menu of Coco Asian Kitchen. I thought the restaurant was a new one at Greenhills Promenade.

When my daughter and I got there, we realized that during the last 1 or 2 movies that we caught at Promenade, the kids and I did eat at the Promenade food court and already chanced upon Coco Asian Kitchen. But we never got a chance to sample the menu offerings as we usually got to Promenade just a few minutes before show time and usually went for the stalls that offered fastfood items.

The nice thing that I noticed about Coco Asian Kitchen was its very colorful facade. It was the most eye-catching of all the other restaurants in the Promenade lobby. Secondly, I personally love Asian fusion food because my taste buds can try the spices and cooking styles from different countries without having to go to different specialty restaurants featuring just one country's cuisine. There's one other Asian fusion resto at the Promenade but they cater more to diners who are ready for a sit-down dinner. Coco Asian is able to serve up fusion food more quickly -- great if you're in a hurry and not ready for a sit-down meal.

I did not get to try all the food served that night but let me give you some idea of their offerings.

First up is my favorite of the night - Ube Ubod (P120, solo). Truth be told, I had already seen Ube Ubod featured on the resto's wall but not being adventurous, I found it strange at first to see what looked like purple dumplings. The purple wrapper apparently was made of ube (yam) and tied with a string. I removed the string to expose the lumpia ubod inside. I dribbled (nah, I soaked) the lumpia in yummy peanut sauce. I'm glad that this was served up because it tasted just like Filipino lumpia ubod, a favorite of mine since ubod is the main ingredient of the Ilonggo (my province) style of lumpia. The peanut sauce, to me, clinched it. Now I know what I will be ordering often when I'm at Promenade.

Ube Ubod
My second favorite of the night is Dory ala Coco (P170, solo; P290, sharing). I'm a lover of dory fillet so it was a natural for me to go for this dish. It was breaded and deep-fried, then topped with sweet coconut-based sauce. I found the dory taste just right and soft inside despite it being breaded and fried. This was a new way of cooking dory because usually breaded items are dry, unlike this one which comes with a sauce. Crispy fried noodles came with this dish and I believe is best eaten when you crush the noodles into smaller bits, scoop up the coconut sauce and drizzle it over the noodles for flavoring. In my case though, I chose to take the dory with the rice served up.

Dory ala Coco

Friday, February 11, 2011

Share Krispy Kreme Hearts this Valentine's Day

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Valentine's Day will be extra special for me and the family.

We received a box of Krispy Kreme and for once, they are NOT round but heart-shaped Valentine's Treats. My box has the zigzag-shaped hearts but they have two more designs -- scallops and a heart within a heart design. The doughnuts (topped with milk or white chocolate) may look different on the outside but inside, it's the same favorite doughnut with its trademark melt-in-your-mouth dough.

These heart treats are only available for a limited time - only until February 14, 2011. So this weekend, head out to the nearest Krispy Kreme branch near you and get a box - make that two - and share Krispy Kreme hearts with your special someone or with the family.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This Yogini is LOUD!

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LOUD to me doesn't mean that your voice is necessarily loud because that only reflects the physical aspect. I believe being LOUD also means that you are able to influence someone in some way -- hopefully for the better.

In 2006, I got into yoga. At first, it was just all about me and my practice. But as I fell in love with it, I realized that yoga is not just for one's self but is something to be shared with others. At first, I did not know where to begin. But I had the chance to organize a free yoga class for bloggers in 2007 for a group of blogger friends. Here's our class pic below.

Bloggers pose after a yoga class with Teacher Pio

At around that time, I also decided to open my yoga blog, The Yogini from Manila, where I tried to be a resource point for those wanting to explore yoga by providing a list of studios in the Philippines. Through this yoga blog, I am able to shout out LOUD the benefits of yoga. Through it, I became friends with yoga teachers here and abroad. I've heard from readers looking for studios, asking how they can start yoga, seeking advice on anything from yoga styles to yoga wear, and many more.

Now, I have extended my being LOUD to Facebook by opening The Yogini from Manila Facebook page. Here, I can interact more with my contacts since I check Facebook often. It allows me to share LOUDly my love for yoga, even if I do not teach.

Several of my blogger friends now do yoga and continue to try it. This makes me so happy because I know yoga can make them healthier, maybe even slimmer. One thing's for sure, they become more active since bloggers oftentimes lead sedentary lives in front of the computer. Isn't that LOUD enough?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Contest: Havaianas All Summer: Race to Hawaii

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Just a few more months to go and it will be summer and you know what that means.

Well, as a mother, it means I don't need to stress out over car schedules bringing kids to/from school or buying school supplies or even just making sure they do homework before chatting with friends online.

But for a lot of us that also means lots of sun, the beach, beach games, Boracay, and your favorite flipflops.

Havaianas is helping make summer a year-round celebration of happiness and kindness among us Pinoys by launching a nationwide contest, "All Summer: Race to Hawaii".

100 two-member teams (65 from Metro Manila, 35 from the provinces)  will compete in a fun, elimination round at the NBC Tent, Global City. The provincial teams get all-expense paid trips to Manila for the competition.

20 teams who pass the elimination rounds will be flown to Boracay for the final round. Again, airfare and accommodations will be taken care of by Havaianas. The team with the best time in all the summer tasks win an all-expense paid trip for two to sunny Hawaii.

Who Can Join?

You need to be a Philippine resident, 18 years old and above, fit to travel and engage in physical activities and must hold a valid passport to qualify for this contest.

Any single-receipt purchase of two (2) Havaianas pairs from any participating Havaianas retailers from February 4, 2011 to March 27, 2011 will merit one (1) Race to Hawaii scratch card, which contains a unique code that the participant can use to register in the website. Participants have until March 28, 2011, 11:59PM to register or add codes.

Get ready for a Hawaiian summer getaway with a friend or special someone. This will be one summer you won't ever forget. Let Havaianas treat you to a well-deserved vacation.

For additional contest details and mechanics, visit the Havaianas Always Summer website.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I have radio and TV on my iPad!

(Update: In a disappointing move, the latest update of Radio & TV Philippines deleted ANC from its list of TV streams without any explanations. I hope they bring this back because many of my friends bought the app precisely due to ANC content.)

I've had this app for some time now on my iPad and let me just say that this is one of the best $0.99 app purchases you can ever make if you're in the Philippines or just want to have access to Philippine radio/TV.

It was initially launched as Radyo Natin, developed by Rowel Atienza, but it's been recently changed to Radio and TV Philippines. It's a universal app so it will work on your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

The app streams AM/FM radio stations (wifi and 3G) and select TV channels (wifi only) to your iPad. You can also get online Pinoy music stations, world news stations (like Voice of America) and over 100 Christmas stations on it as well. In case of an emergency I know I can always tune in to radio or TV even when out of the house, as long as I have internet connection.

This app works in multitasking or background mode so even if you switch to another app, it does not disrupt the streaming. It even plays the audio stream in sleep mode or when your screen locks. And when internet connection is interrupted, the app reconnects automatically when internet is restored.

What made this app have even more value for my money was when a recent version upgrade included the ABS-CBN news channel, ANC. I tune in often to ANC for news and to follow live Congress/Senate hearings. What is better than having this channel on the go?

You can download the app for $0.99 from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad by going to the App Store.