Papa Diddi’s celebrates ice cream day with Scoop-All-You-Can

Here’s a fun scoop (pun intended): National Ice Cream Day is coming up! To celebrate the occasion, Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream will be having a scoop-all-you-can promo on July 15 for only P250.

Papa Diddi’s Scoop-All-You-Can

With a wide selection of unique flavors such as their famed Tres Leches, you can now mix-and-match different flavors and scoop to your heart’s content at a Papa Diddi’s near you. And better yet, these artisanal ice creams are made from all-natural ingredients and have less sugar content, allowing you to have as many scoops as you want, guilt-free!

Papa Diddi’s Scoop-All-You-Can

Papa Diddi’s Scoop-All-You-Can

Papa Diddi’s Scoop-All-You-Can

Papa Diddi’s Scoop-All-You-Can

To avail of the Scoop All You Can Promo, visit Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream in the following:

  •  168 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village Quezon City
  • Pobstacion, L11 B4 Valdez Street, Poblacion Makati
  • The Community Kitchen, G/F The Community Bldg., Metropoli Drive, Metropoli Residenza, Bagumbayan, 1110 Quezon City, Philippines

Want more? Papa Diddi’s also offers a pint subscription service. Subscribers can get their ice cream fix for the summer with two handcrafted and hand-packed pints delivered fresh straight to their doorstep. Papa Diddi’s also offers an Ice Cream mobile bar for special events.

Papa Diddi’s Handcrafted Ice Cream is small batch, hand-mixed & hand packed all-natural premium ice cream, using produce sourced directly from farms, markets & gardens all over the Philippines.

Promo details provided by Papa Diddi’s in a recent press release.

Comfort food and whimsy at Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

If you venture into one of the more out-of-the-way streets near the foodie-friendly haven Tomas Morato, you might chance upon this colorful little cafe.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Called Pookaberry Cafe, its facade and interiors are marked by whimsical depictions of a baby alien named – you guessed it – Pookaberry, who just happens to be the imaginary friend of Ollie the Octopus.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Photo Credit: Jocen of BoodleBearPH

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

These drawings and characters are works by renowned New York-based pop artist Peter Marco, co-owner of the cafe along with his wife Jeanette.

While the cafe’s wall-to-wall artworks will stimulate you to flights of fancy, its menu, developed by Jeanette from the family’s own recipes and mirroring their cosmopolitan tastes and Pinoy roots, will comfort your tummy and spirit. Check them out:

Jams: Chili Mango and Chili Orange. Great to spread on buttered bread for that bit of extra sweetness that will put a smile on your face.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Paninis: Adobo (Php220), Bacon (Php240), Pork Loin (Php240) and Avocado (Php230). Grilled breads stuffed with flavorful filling, my fave was the savory avocado panini which veers away from my usual avocado fare which tend to be sweet.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Breakfast: Breakfast ni Juan (with beef tapa and scrambled egg – Php290), Uncle Sam’s Big Breakfast (with bacon, sausage and scrambled egg – Php310) and Vegetarian Option (with mushrooms – Php320). A hearty way to start the day is to have a bit of fried rice, a bit of vegetable salad and your preferred proteins to fuel you up. I was surprised to find that I actually love the Vegetarian Option: the sauteed mushrooms were flavorful, savory and went well with the rice.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Cakes: Very Pookaberry (Php130 slice | Php1,300 whole), Walnut Carrot (Php140 slice |Php1,400 whole), New York Cheesecake (Php140 slice | Php1,680 whole) and Matcha Green Tea (Php140 slice | Php1,400 whole). Delectable desserts to indulge the sweet tooth! My fave was the rich and creamy New York Cheesecake.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Cookie Shots (Php125). Cookie cups to hold your preferred shot among espresso, fresh milk or chocolate milk options.  Cheers!

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Photo Credit: Diane of Fried and Prejudice

Cosmic Cookie (Php80). Cookies baked in fun cosmic-shaped muffin cups.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Choco Walnut (Php120). A humongous piece of chocolate chip and walnut cookie to give you your sugar fix for the day.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Ice Blended Drinks: Very Pookaberry Ube, Jurassic Milo, Strawberry Cream Cheese Oreo and Matcha Oreo.  Refreshing icy drinks, perfect for a hot summer’s day!

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Aside from its fun and whimsical ambiance and the yummy treats on its menu, Pookaberry Cafe also has its own advocacy project. Proceeds of the cafe go to the Basilia Women’s Foundation which helps women and children who are victims of domestic abuse.

Check out its gift shop for fun merchandise and bags of its locally sourced coffee beans.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

So the next time you’re in the Tomas Morato area, drop by Pookaberry Cafe, for fun times and yummy treats.

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Pookaberry Cafe, Tomas Morato

Thanks to Aileen of AileenLFoodAdventures for extending the invite!

Pookaberry Cafe is located at 36-B Scout Ybardolaza corner Scout Rallos Streets, Bgy. Sacred Heart, Quezon City, open daily from 7am to 9pm. For reservations and inquiries, call +63 917 9685414.

Pookaberry Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies from #AileenLFoodieEventBuddies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Check out my blog posts on breakfast joints around the metro:

 

 

San Fernando, Pampanga keeps the tradition of handcrafting Christmas lanterns alive

San Fernando, the provincial capitol of Pampanga, is a bustling city that houses the provincial presence of some of the country’s largest retail outlets, financial firms, restaurant chains, manufacturing companies and more. The city also plans to further expand the modernization of its infrastructure and services.

Despite its drive towards modernization, the city also stays true to its roots as the home of Christmas Lanterns, as manifested by its support to its handcrafted parol industry. San Fernando Pampanga’s parol makers are known for their grandiose creations: colorful and ornately patterned lanterns which light up and blink in cheery rhythms. Largely because of this, San Fernando, Pampanga has been hailed by CNN as “Asia’s Christmas capital.”

The Kapampangan tradition of handcrafting lanterns can be dated back to the 16th century when the Augustinian friars started the practice of holding processions honoring the town’s patron saints leading to the cathedral. This practice coincides with the Misa de Gallo, or dawn masses held for nine days leading to Christmas. The processions would later evolve and become locally known as Lubenas.

During these processions, the candles held by the devout would sometimes get blown out by the hanging amihan (cool northeast wind). The enterprising Kapampangans took to covering their candles to protect the flames from the breeze, thus making them lanterns. And since Kapampangans are also characterized by their appreciation for beauty, joy, grandiosity and pomp, the lanterns grew in size and complexity of design as the years went by. They evolved from being made of simple bamboo and other indigenous materials to incorporating dancing lights as well as the use of colored plastics and fiberglass in the design.

This interesting origin story of the parol was retold by Rolando Quiambao, the lantern maker/designer behind RolRen’s Lanterns and General Merchandise. The parols of this home-grown business have enjoyed not only national, but also worldwide acclaim. If you chanced upon the bombastic parols used during the Metro Manila Filmfest or those gracing the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), chances are, these were supplied by RolRen’s.

RonRel’s also produces lanterns for Saipan, Korea, Guam, Taiwan, Palau and more. While its products geared towards the international market retain the Kapampangan parol at their core, the execution of these lanterns reflect the culture of the country they are going to. Palau-bound lanterns, for instance, depict the nipa huts and boats used in local culture.

Recently, RolRen’s supplied San Fernando’s Heroes Hall with colorful life-size depictions of the Paskong Kapampangan (Christmas in Pampanga).

RonRel’s has also incorporated innovations in parol into its parol design. Its designers worked with computer programmers to facilitate choreographed blinking of the parol’s various lights via rotors, for example. Previously, these lights were manipulated using on/off switches.

Mr. Quiambao shares other interesting snippets of trivia as well. Did you know that what sets the Kapampangan parol apart from other Christmas lanterns are its component parts which are steeped in tradition? These are:

  • The middle portion called the tambol (base drum) so named because its round shape resembles that of the drum
  • The star-shaped portion after the tambol is the pito-siko, named after the way the star’s corners resemble bent elbows
  • Surrounding the star is the palimbon from the Kapampangan word for procession that circles the town on the way to the cathedral
  • The outer layer is called the ponteta, from the Kapampangan word punta, which refers to it being the final component of the parol.

The artisans of RolRen’s don’t have a monopoly of Kapampangan parol-enthusiasm either.

With the approach of the holiday season, amateur lantern makers from various barangays in the city are gearing up for this year’s Giant Lantern Festival. Already on its 110th year, the festival displays the artistry and passion the Kapampangans have for their parols as representatives from participating barangays contruct lanterns up to 20 feet tall to compete with those from other barangays.

Barangay San Jose, in particular, is represented by the Ambrosio family, the only team that has a female lantern-maker, Mary Anne Torres. (The lantern makers of the other contest entries this year are all male.)

This year’s entry from San Jose will reach up to 19.8 feet and will requires 10,000 lightbulbs.

Barangay San Jose’s last win in the Giant Lantern Festival was in 1991. Their winning piece was later displayed during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

The Giant Lantern Festival Competition will be held at the Robinsons Starmills on December 15, 6pm at the Robinsons Starmills. Participating barangays include Calulut, Del Carmen, Del Pilar, San Jose, San Juan, San Nicolas, San Pedro, Sindalan, Sta. Lucia, Sto. Nino and Telabastagan.

Want to take part in this fun and light-filled event as well as check out the local delights that San Fernando, Pampanga has to offer? Check out these packages centered around the competition night from tour operators accredited by the city government:

M.A.G. Travel & Tours

  • Tour Highlights: Giant Lantern Grand Competition Night, visit and learn how to make giant lanterns, Kapampangan cookery and food crawl, learning indigenous ways of preparing and cooking meals, a visit to the Sunken Church of San Guillermo Parish, a visit to the San Fernando Train Station
  • Rate (with overnight stay ay Imerex Hotel): Php5,650 (single)/Php4,280 (twin)
  • Contact Details: +63 2 3598699; +63 045 4995139; +63 917 6311459; +63 920 1172333; and +63 923 4258888

Don’t Skip Manila

  • Tour Highlights: Early Buffet Dinner of heirloom Kapampangan recipes; lantern-making workshop and factory tour; Giant Lantern Festival Show
  • Rate: Php2,000 pax
  • Contact Details: dontskipmanila@gmail.com

CultureShockPH

  • Tour Highlights: Early Buffet Dinner of heirloom Kapampangan recipes; lantern-making workshop and factory tour; Giant Lantern Festival Show
  • Rates: Php3,000 (discounts will apply for multi-person booking, students and children age 12 and below)
  • Contact Details: +63 917 7146737 (Osep Reyes)
  • LQM Travel
    • Package Inclusions: round trip transportation (pick up from Clark or Angeles); entrance to Clark Museum and VIP Seat at the Giant Lantern Exhibition; Lunch and Dinner; Souvenir T-Shirt and Licensed Tour Guide
      Rate: Php3,000 (discounts will apply for multi-person booking)
      Contact Details: +63 045 3311036; +63 045 3311356; +63 906 0660521; or +63 919 8744984
  • Disclosure: Together with other bloggers, I participated in a tout and food crawl sponsored by the city government of San Fernando, Pampanga. The experiences and food served were not paid for by the attendees including myself.
  • Coco Dolce supports organic farming with its coconut-rich chocolate bars

    Coconut and its various derivatives have long been touted for their contributions to the flavors and health benefits of food prepared with them.

    My foray into Kultura Filipino’s “Crafts for a Cause” exhibit where I chanced upon the Coco Dolce stall, however, was the first time I heard about using coconut products in chocolate production.

    This unusual feature is in line with the tenets that Coco Dolce producer, The Freefood Co., operate by. Its guiding principles include: better health, helping rural areas develop into sustainable communities, and respect for the planet and its resouces.

    Its chocolate bars, therefore, are made from a rich blend of fine cacao beans, low-glycemic coconut sap sugar, virgin coconut oil and vanilla. These ingredients were sourced from Mindanao’s organic coconut farming communities and from local growers of indigenous cacao and nuts across the country. The resulting chocolate products are free from GMOs, harmful processing agents and preservatives and other chemicals that may adversely affect one’s health.

    Organic coconut sap sugar, in particular, has a low glycemic index level of 35, making Coco Dolce bars suitable for people who need to manage their sugar intake.

    The bars are manufactured by chocolate artisans using the traditional conching method. This involves the heating and mixing of the chocolate’s ingredients over long periods of time. The process helps in developing the chocolate’s flavor through frictional heat, release of volatiles and acids, and oxydation.

    I bought two of Coco Dolce’s 45g chocolate bar variants: the Milk Chocolate (whole milk powder added to the other ingredients) and the 65% Dark Chocolate.

    The bars hold well without refrigeration yet has a smooth texture upon biting. The chocolate flavor is rich, helped by the non-cloying and milder sweetness of the coco sugar.

    Over the holidays, I plan to gift some bars to my titos and titas who are trying to control their sugar intake. Because the holiday season is a time to enjoy good food, right?

    Aside from SM’s Kultura Filipino outlets, Coco Dolce chocolates may also be purchased online in The Good Store.

    Check out my review of another artisanal chocolate –Malagos single origin premium chocolate.

    Malagos brings award-winning single origin premium chocolate from Davao

    As with most plants, cacao beans, from which chocolate is manufactured, take on the characteristics particular to the region where they were grown and harvested. This is called their terroir.

    Cacao beans that have been blended lose their terroir, hence the preference of some chocolatiers for single-origin chocolate products.

    Davao-based Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation, for example, produces the award-winning single origin premium Malagos Chocolate. This product line grew out of the resolve of the Malagos company matriarch, Mama Charita Puentespina, to reinvigorate the Davao’s cacao industry which crashed in the 1980s.

    Instead of just exporting cacao beans to serve as raw materials for foreign chocolate manufacturers, Mama Charita drove the company’s cacao growing and post-harvest practices, as well as campaigned to make cacao a priority crop in the region.

    Today, Malagos Chocolates is an internationally recognized and awarded brand. It is made from high quality cacao beans, grown in the Malagos farm in the foothills of Davao’s Mount Talomo.

    The beans are carefully fermented, sun-dried and roasted in temperature controlled roasters, then ground to a fine texture at par with international chocolate standards. These processes are all done without the product ever leaving Davao, making Malagos Chocolates all natural, single origin and tree-to-bar.

    I chanced upon Kultura Filipino’s “Crafts for a Cause” exhibit over the weekend and replenished my chocolate stash from the local brands featured there.

    I picked the 65% dark chocolate; being the lowest percentage cacao content among the brand’s offerings, I think this variant offers the best balance between sweet and bitter chocolate flavors.

    And apparently, I’m not the only one that thinks so. Malagos Chocolate’s 65% Dark Chocolate has won international awards, particularly in Academy of Chocolate’s Tree-to-Bar category in 2017, and in the World Drinking Chocolate Competition organized by the International Chocolate Awards in 2015.

    Fancy a bite of this award-winning, single origin dark chocolate treat? Malagos Chocolates are available at SM Kultura Filipino branches in SM Mall of Asia, SM Makati, SM Megamall, SM AURA, SM North EDSA, Taal Vista and Pico Loro.

    For more details, visit malagoschocolate.com.

    Yummy ice cream break at Cold Stone Creamery, BGC

    Rain or shine, weekend lunches while out with my kiddies are some of the most fun experiences ever. Oftentimes, after feasting in our favorite haunts in Bonifacio Global City – Saboten being one of them – we want to prolong the family bonding time by enjoying some yummy dessert.

    Good thing there’s a Cold Stone Creamery Parlor nearby. The store is known for its ice cream, freshly made right in the store and churned on frozen granite stone (hence the name) together your choice of add-ons like nuts, fruits, candy and cake bits.

    Being chocoholics, my son and I split a cup of Chocolate Ice Cream topped with chocolate chips.  My daughter, on the other hand, chose a cup of French Vanilla Ice Cream topped with crushed graham crackers.

    Cold Stone Creamery BGC

    Cold Stone Creamery BGC

    The ice cream had a rich and premium texture and taste which made the hefty price tag of Php158 per cup seem kinda worth it.

    This Cold Stone Creamery outlet is located at Ground Floor, Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.  Other outlets can be found at:

    • Second Floor, Main Building, SM City North EDSA, Bago Bantay, Quezon City
    • Ground Floor, Main Mall, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
    • SM By The Bay, Seaside Boulevard, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
    • Ground Floor, UP Town Center, Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
    • Corte de Las Palmas, AlabangTown Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
    • Level 4, Robinsons Galleria, Ortigas, Quezon City
    • Upper Ground Floor, Building A, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
    • Ground Floor, Trinoma Mall, Bagong Pag-Asa, Quezon City
    • Level 2 , Greenbelt 3, Greenbelt, Makati City
    • Evia Lifestyle Center, Daang Hari Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
    • Second Floor, Ayala Malls Serin, Tagaytay-Nasugbu Road, Tagaytay City

    Cold Stone Creamery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Want to make ice cream at home? Check out these ice cream makers available on Amazon.com!

    Nostalgia ICMP400WD 4-Quart Electric Wood Bucket Ice Cream Maker. I like its combination of old-fashioned look and modern convenience.

    Cuisinart ICE-21 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt-Ice Cream Maker (White). This one has clean lines that will look good in most modern kitchens.

    Want to try making some homemade ice cream and other desserts today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

    If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.

    Elait’s Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at the Ayala Museum

    My daughter #ExhibitA and I took advantage of the Ayala Museum’s #InspireEveryday campaign and were able to score free admission to the museum and the Filipinas Heritage Library.

    After roaming the museum’s various exhibits across three floors and the library at the sixth floor, we rewarded our art and culture-driven physical exertions with some happiness in a cup – artisanal rolled ice cream – at the pop-up store of Elait at the museum’s ground floor.

    Rolled ice cream or stir-fried ice cream is also known as “I-Tim-Pad” in Thailand where it was first popularized as a street food.  It is made by pouring the ice cream base onto a steel plate chilled to below freezing, mixed with fruit, coffee, chocolate or other flavorings.  The mixture is chopped and stirred using a metal spatula as it crystallizes, spread flat across the metal plate, then carefully scraped off to form stiff rolls.  The rolls are then arranged on cups then topped with fresh fruit, candy, nuts and other garnishes.

    Available variants in the pop up store consist of classic favorites like Chocolate Overload and Blueberry Cheesecake, and exciting new combinations such Mango Kiwi Pavlova and Chocnut Dinosaur.

    ExhibitA opted for Blueberry Cheesecake, which evolved from a splat of ingredients on the metal plate to a grand masterpiece.

    Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

    Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

    Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

    Being a chocoholic, I opted for Chocolate Overload which took shape right before my eyes.

    Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

    Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

    Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

    These frozen treats were prepared and served by Elait’s deaf-mute partners who received our order using their very efficient order form and whom we thanked using basic sign language.

    And by following Elait on Instagram, we were able to score additional toppings for our rolled ice cream!

    Artisanal Rolled Ice Cream at Elait

    Elait’s rolled ice cream are simply decadent and a break from the usual dessert offerings which made our mother-daughter bonding time even more enjoyable!

    The nearest Elait store can be found at Second Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City.  Other branches are located at:

    • Third Floor, Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City
    • Second Floor, North Wing, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
    • Third Floor, Santolan Town Plaza, Col Bonny Serrano Avenue, Little Baguio, San Juan City

    Elait Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    This post contains affiliate links.

    Want to make rolled ice cream at home?  Check out these nifty kitchen gadgets on Amazon.com.


    Ice roll pan Ice cream, Instant Ice Cream Maker 


    Chef’n Sweet Spot Instant Ice Cream Maker, Lagoon Color

    Want to try making some homemade ice cream and other desserts today? There’s no need to leave home to shop for ingredients.  With Honestbee, just order your groceries online and you’ll get them delivered right at your doorstep at your preferred time. Use this referral link and get Php500 off for a minimum spend of Php2,500.  You can download the Honestbee app on iTunes or Google Play.

    If you’re in the US and an Amazon Prime member, sign up for a free trial of Amazon Fresh to get your groceries delivered to you.