A delicious taste of home with Tia Carmen’s Apple Crumble

Home is where the heart is, so they say.

Well, given the restrictions on mobility due to the community quarantine, many of us found ourselves stuck at home, though our hearts may be somewhere else.

If you’re yearning to be back in the hustle and bustle of the metro, or to roam free amidst wide open spaces, I’m sorry to say it but you may have long to wait.

In the meantime, why not take comfort in the haven of home by relishing the sweet delights you can enjoy there, with the people closest to you?

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

That’s the idea that the folks behind the new online store Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries wants to push. The enterprise is named after Carmen Escriva (sister of Saint Josemaria Escriva de Baleguer) who supported her brother’s ministry and championed a love for home.

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Launched only last July 14, Tia Carmen produces homemade baked pies and crumbles that bring back happy memories of childhood and sharing good food with loved ones.

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Its Apple Crumble (Php550), for example, is a masterpiece flavors and textures. From its buttery, slightly crunchy and crumbly topping that gives way to soft and sweetly-spiced apple filling, it is the quintessential comfort food, that can satisfy the sweet cravings of four to six people.

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Did you know that the crumble originated in Great Britain during World War II? Because of the food rationing instituted by the government, the ingredients needed to make pie crusts were in short supply. Some enterprising bakers used what flour, fat and sugar they had into making a crumble topping and a new dish came to be.

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

The apple crumble is best enjoyed warm, with the aroma of apple, cinnamon and butter wafting to your nose. Add a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream to it and you’ve got an irresistible treat!

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

(Note: I’ve read in several sources that Americans sometimes enjoy apple pie with sharp cheddar. Curious if the same can be applied to apple crumble, but lacking authentic cheddar in my pantry at the moment, I substituted a few slices of processed cheese on a slice of apple crumble. The result? An interesting interplay between sweet and salty that I won’t mind exploring further.)

If your constitution – or refrigerator – can’t handle a whole pie, or you just want an intimate dessert for two – or just one! – get an Apple Crumble Cup (Php200) instead.

Go ahead and get yourself a taste of Tia Carmen’s Apple Crumble so you can also get a taste of the warm comfort of home.

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Tia Carmen Fresh Pastries

Tia Carmen’s Fresh Pastries also offers Banana Crumble (Php450 for whole | Php180 for cup) and Apple Pie (Php500).

Its ovens are baking every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with pies for delivery on the same day to ensure freshness.

To order, just fill out this online form. Payments via BPI, Metrobank and GCash are accepted.

Check out my blog posts on other small enterprises and startups in the food business:

Chef Jessie’s creations are now available for delivery and pickup!

Fans of Chef Jessie Sincioco will surely be glad that her well-lauded creations will be easily accessible to them as we all enter the New Normal.

From her memorable beginnings as the baking category grand prize winner in The Great Maya Cookfest in 1983, becoming the very first Filipina Pastry Chef in 1990, her hands-on management of upscale restaurants through own company JCS Gastronomie, Inc, to being hand-picked to cook for His Holiness Pope Francis during the Pontiff’s 2015 visit to the Philippines, Chef Jessie has shown time and again that she can adapt to the changing needs of her clientele while maintaining the quality and craftsmanship her food creations have become known for.

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

With the metro now under a general community quarantine, with some restrictions still being applied to people’s movement, especially when dining out, Chef Jessie has made many of her celebrated culinary ouvres available via pick up and delivery, some of which were sent to me to sample and enjoy with my family.

Ciabatta Bread (Php100/loaf). Italy’s response to the French baguettes, this long, flat and rustic-looking loaf of bread (named after the slippers it resembled, apparently) was only invented in 1989 by Arnaldo Cavallari, but has the look and taste of old-fashioned breads. It’s perfect as an accompaniment to pastas and other savory dishes or as an appetizer when slathered with butter or dipped in to oil and balsamic vinegar.

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

Chef Jessie’s Special Dip for Bread (Php450 for 220g bottle). Speaking of dips, I also received a bottle of finely chopped red and green bell peppers, pimiento and grated parmesan in herbed olive oil, which went so well with the ciabatta bread. I liked the dip as is but Hubby preferred adding more grated parmesan to the dipped bread. Aside from snacking on the bread and dip while binge-watching on Netflix, we also included this combo to our meal when I cooked up some Creamy Pesto Chicken for the fam’s dinner.

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

Chocolate Gateau ala Teddy Keng (Php1,000 for 6-in | Php1,500 for 8-in). Chef Jessie’s version of the decadent chocolate cake, this confection is made of alternating layers of light chocolate cake and rich chocolate cream filling all covered with a rich, shiny ganache and decorated with an unfurling flower fashioned from chocolate.

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

As you can see from the description, this gateau is a chocoholic’s delight! Named after one of Chef Jessie’s friends, The Landmark founder Teddy Keng, the cake is said to be a rich, generous and subtly sweet as he is. Well, high praise indeed!

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

Chef Jessie’s Place for delivery

These culinary delights and more are available at Chef Jessie’s Place, the newly-built building which houses Chef Jessie’s pattiserie, restaurant and corporate offices. You can read more about it here.

Chef Jessie’s Place is located at 1997 Pililla corner Obrero and Tanay Streets, Valenzuela, Makati City, open daily from 9am to 4pm for pick up and delivery. To order, text or call +63 917 8967880, +63 917 8330797 or +63 977 0976649 or email chefjessiesplace@chefjessie.com.

Missing the experience of fine dining? Well, here’s some good news: Chef Jessie Rockwell Club is now open everyday from 10am to 5pm for dine-in. Prior reservations are required at +63 2 88906543, +63 2 88907630, +63 2 77290122 or +63 917 8967880. Read about my fine dining experience at Chef Jessie Rockwell Club here.
Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.

Chef Jessie's Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Baked Donuts from Bake My Day, Libis

After a bout of food shopping at the nearest All Home Supermarket (the one in Libis), I espied upon its pastry shop near its exit.

I immediately thought of my kiddos keeping themselves quarantined at home. I know them to be great donut fanatics so I decided to treat them to a box of half-dozen donuts from Bake My Day, which costs only Php300.

Bake My Day, Libis

Bake My Day is one of the newer retail brands under the Villar Group of Companies, which serves pastries freshly baked everyday. Its presence in the All Home premises proved to be quite convenient for me as I didn’t have to drive off to a separate pastry shop for some pasalubongs for my kids.

Upon biting into my donut (of course I get to have a piece!), I noticed some differences versus the usual donut. My almond on white chocolate glazed donut does not have the slightly crispy exterior nor the chewy interior I was expecting. It has a fluffy mouthfeel, sort of like biting into a muffin.

I had a facepalm moment when my daughter #ExhibitA blurted out the reason for the differences in texture: “Ma! Kasi Bake My Day nga!

So apparently, the differences in texture I’ve been noting result from the donuts being baked as opposed to fried.

Well, everyday I learn something new!

That said, the almond donut I had was suitably sweet, perfect as a dessert after dinner with the kids.

Bake My Day, Libis

And since they wiped out the remaining five donuts before the day is through, I’d say they liked them too.

This Bake My Day branch is located at All Home Supermarket, Libis, Quezon City. For orders and inquiries, call +63 999 8611174.

Other branches are located at:

  • Vista Mall Taguig
  • Vista Mall Global South
  • Starmall Alabang
  • Evia Lifestyle Center

Bake My Day Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of other dessert shops in the metro:

#PampangaFoodCrawl: 7 Must-try Dishes

San Fernando, Pampanga is only about two hours ride from Manila.  It is usually a place my family and I pass by on the way to our hometown of Bataan.  While I may have visited the city once or twice over the past years (and usually on business), I have never thought of it as a foodie destination.  (I admit now that this notion is a bit odd, considering that Kapampangans are known for their culinary skills.)

Fortunately, I recently took part in the Giant Lantern Festival Bloggers Tour organized by the city’s Tourism Promotion and Caravan Sub-Committee, YALLA Book of Coupons and the Giant Lantern Festival Foundation, Inc.  Together with fellow bloggers, I toured San Fernando’s heritage sites and learned about the city’s thriving Christmas lantern industry and annual competition.  Plus, our group was treated to an EPIC seven-stop food crawl of the city’s top restaurants.

I can hardly keep myself from talking about all the great foodie finds discovered during the tour, so I wrote a curated list of the “absolute must-trys” that represent the various cuisines available in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Check them out and try to include these restos in your itinerary on your next visit to the area.

Baked Goods: The Original Cheesebread at L.A. Bake Shop

L.A. Bakeshop prides itself on being the “Home of the Original Cheesebread.” And, oh, its artisan cheesebread is really worth boasting about!  When served while still warm from the oven, it emits a sweet cheese-y smell that has you salivating.  Bite into it and the soft fluffy sweet bread gives in to the explosion of cheese flavor in your mouth. Enjoy it for breakfast together with L.A. Bakeshop’s Spanish Bread and Tsokolateng Batirol for a truly indulgent start to your day.

LA Bakeshop

Cheesebread: Php180 (box of 30 pcs)
Spanish Bread: Php210 (box of 30 pcs)
Mixed: Php195 (15 pcs cheesebread, 15 pcs Spanish bread)

L.A. Bakeshop is located along MacArthur Hi-way, Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, open daily from 7am to 9pm.  For inquiries, call +63 045 4360153 or +63 916 2623098.

Italian: Shrimp Bisque Fusili at Parmisano’s

An exciting take on the Pancit Luglog, this dish features al dente fusilli pasta tossed in a creamy shrimp sauce, topped with onion leeks, plump shrimp, soft-boiled egg and bits of savory chicharon.  What a fun way to enjoy a local classic!


Price: Php286

Parmisano’s is located at KM 78, San Agustin, City of San Fernando, Pampanga (across Vista Mall), open Tuesdays to Sundays from 12nn to 9pm.  For inquiries, call +63 045 4027639.

American: Grilled Beef Steak at Meats and Match

For the true-blue carnevore like me, there is nothing like the taste of freshly grilled steak. Sourced from local farms, cooked to medium doneness and served on a sizzling plate together with mashed potatoes and buttered corn and carrots, the meat is tender, juicy and oozing with flavor.  I love it when its accompanying gravy has caramelized a bit below the steak, adding a more intense flavor to every bite.

Meats & Match

Price: Php194

Meats and Match is located along McArthur Highway, Dolores, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.  For inquiries, call +63  998 9888917.

American: Double Smoky Mushroom & Cheese Burger at Roberto’s

Two juicy flame-grilled meat patties topped with a flavorful mushroom sauce and accompanied by crisp greens inside a warm burger bun. Crispy battered onion rings and tartar dip are served on the side.

Price: Php450

Roberto’s is located in Dolores (beside the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital), City of San Fernando, Pampanga, open daily from 10am to 9pm. For inquiries, call +63 998 9888914.

Seafood: Bag of Fresh Catch at Orange Bucket

Steamed or boiled crabs, shrimps and mussels in a savory-spicy Cajun-style sauce. It’s best eaten by hand and you can expect to be messy so take advantage of the disposable gloves and bib provided by the resto (it’s a lot more fun that way anyway).

Price: minimum order of 300g
Crab: Php540
Shrimp: Php450
Mussel: Php270
Clam: Php60

The Orange Bucket is located at the Erazone Square, Kalahi Business Road, Bgy San Isidro, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, open daily from 11am to 11pm. For inquiries, call +63 045 4022611, +63 906 2468000 or +63 998 8597750.

Filipino: Sizzling Sisig at 4MD’s Manukan at Ihaw Ihaw

Since Pampanga is the birthplace of the sisig, a Pampanga food crawl would hardly be complete without it. This dish is made in the traditional way: boiled and chopped pig ears and cheeks, seasoned with vinegar, and served on a hot plate with roughly chopped onions. I found this version dryer than other sisig I’ve tasted (which usually incorporate mayonnaise), but it did not detract from the taste.

Price: Php175

4MD’s Manukan at Ihaw Ihaw is located along MacArthur Hi-way, Dolores, City of Pampanga, open daily from 11am to 11pm. For inquries, call +63 045 9633283.

Dessert: Chiffonelle at Cafe Noelle 

Made from the recipe crafted by the chef’s family matriarch, this dessert treat is composed of classic chiffon cake with a decadent yema custard filling and butter icing. It’s simple and light on the tastebuds but absolutely wonderful.

Price: Php140/slice; Php 980/whole cake

Cafe Noelle is located at the Greenfields Square along MacArthur Hi-way, Sindalan, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, open daily from 10am to 10pm.

The #PampangaFoodCrawl helped to open my eyes to the many gustatory delights available in the city of San Fernando and I look forward to my future trips up north so I can explore more of the city’s dining possibilities.

Planning a trip up north? Check out these restos and be sure to head out and experience more of what makes the city of San Fernando, Pampanga unique.  Check out my previous blog posts on the city:

Disclosure: Together with other bloggers, I participated in a tour and food crawl sponsored by the city government of San Fernando, Pampanga. The experiences provided and food served were not paid for by the attendees including myself.

Homey Comfort Food at Mom & Tina’s, Greenhills

One of the mantras I always try to follow is to never shop hungry. For one thing, experiencing hunger pangs might distract me from getting the best deal and I might end up just settling. On the other hand, hunger makes me a bit grumpy and I might snap at a hapless salesperson.

In a recent foray with Hubby at Greenhills Shopping Center (where I did not snap at anyone, hapless or otherwise), I chanced upon this Mom & Tina’s branch near the newly renovated Unimart.

I’ve enjoyed dining at this chain’s branches in Tomas Morato and Ugong (even took out cakes for celebrations at home) so I had no qualms suggesting to Hubby that we take our lunch here.

Similar to other Mom & Tina’s outlets, this branch has a bright, cheery yet cozy atmosphere, accented by rustic and homey bric-a-bracs and light-colored furniture.

We ordered a substantial amount of food (proof of how hungry we were):

  • US Roast Beef (Php435) – slices of roast beef served with rich gravy served with mixed vegetables, mashed potatoes and rice.
  • Beef Stroganoff (Php270) – al dente fettuccini pasta tossed in cream sauce with thin beef slices.
  • Barbecued Pork Steak (Php335) – marinated and grilled pork belly served with Java rice and achara

The roast beef slices are a bit too well-done for my taste (they tend to seem dry) but the meats are tender and well-complemented by the mashed potato and veggies. The pork steak is also tender and well-seasoned; its blend of sweet and savory flavors blend well with the Java Rice (I prefer not to include the achara, it’s quite overpowering). The beef stroganoff is also hearty and filling. The portions of these dishes are quite large and we ended up getting part of our orders wrapped for take home (which was greatly appreciated by my son who ate it for merienda).

And simply because there should always be room for dessert, and because I truly deserve it, I got myself a Carrot Cupcake (Php70) to cap the meal. (No, Hubby is not into cupcakes; so… more for me!)

This lunch experience reminded me of the appeal of Mom & Tina’s and I look forward to trying more of its offerings.

This Mom & Tina’s branch is located at 2/F O-Square Building, Greenhills Shopping Center, Ortigas Ave., San Juan City.   For reservations, call + 63 921 5737710.

Other branches are located at:

  • Ugong: FRDC Building, 106 E. Rodriguez Jr. Ave., (C-5), Pasig City (Tel: + 63 2 9140833 or +63 2 5711541)
  • Makati: G/F Unit 14 Tropical Palms Condominium, Dela Rosa St. cor. Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati City (Tel: +63 2 8404299 or + 63 2 8943598)
  • Tomas Morato: 58 Sgt. Esguerra Ave., South Triangle, Quezon City (Tel: + 63 2 3323080 or +63 2 3323579)

Mom & Tina's Bakery Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato