Treat yourself to some sweet happiness from Casa Bakes by Kayla

Let’s admit it: we can all use a bit of happiness right now. If the past few months has taught us anything, it’s to grasp at every bit of simple happiness we can to help us keep our sanity during these crazy times.

Well, how about the kind of happiness that comes in this box?

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Twenty-eight-year-old bank employee Kayla Torres used to be too busy to do much at home prior to the lockdown. When the community quarantine was put in place all over the metro, she found her days a bit gloomy. To cheer herself up, she took up her old hobby of baking cookies.

“Baking and eating cookies brighten up my day,” she shares.

After trying out cookies from other internet shops (chewy ones are her fave), she decided to make her own version. When she started posting about her creations on social media, they drew the attention of friends and family who want to buy those sweet delights.

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

And so began Casa Bakes.

Kayla’s new passion project currently offers the giant chewy cookies she so loves – the kind that’s monster-sized and packed with all sorts of good stuff that will fill your mouth with sweetness and your heart with joy. These are:

Chocolate Chip (Php215/box of 3 | Php400/box of 6 | Php575/box of 9). There’s a reason this cookie variant is always top of mind among many cookie lovers. From its sweet buttery smell, the burst of rich chocolate sweetness from the chocolate chips to the feel of the moist and gooey center that contrasts with the slight crisp at the the bottom and sides, this cookie deserves its place among the classic faves.

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Reese‘s Chocolate Chip (Php230/box of 3 | Php415/box of 6 | Php590/box of 9). How can you possibly improve on a classic? Apparently, with a generous helping of Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips! The good ole’ chocolatey goodness of the chocolate chip cookie gets an upgrade with the decadent peanut butter flavor mixed in.

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Birthday Cake (Php230/box of 3 | Php415/box of 6 | Php590/box of 9). A whole party packed into a cookie so you can celebrate your birthday any day you want. What can be more festive than white chocolate chips and a dash of sprinkles? Get ready to put on your party hats with this cookie.

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Can’t make up your mind on which of these cookies to sate your sweet cravings on? Order a Surprise Surprise (Php225/box of 3 | Php410/box of 6 | Php580/box of 9) and get a taste of each yummy variant!

Casa Bakes by Kayla

So how can you get your hands on these monster-sized bits of bliss? Simply send a message to Casa Bakes on Instagram to reserve your slot for the next batch. Online payments via Union Bank and BPI are accepted.

Casa Bakes by Kayla

Disclosure: Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.

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

Have a box of good cheer with MDJ Cookies

It’s been three-and-a-half months since our seemingly well-ordered life has been upended by the community quarantine and I won’t be surprised if we don’t find ourselves a little out of sorts with the world every once in a while.

You know what comforts me when the doldrums come?

A little bit (or a lot!) of something sweet – like a cookie! – can get me right back into a cheerier mood. It’s not just about the rush of sugar in bloodstream. It’s more about the comfort and warmth that emanates from a piece of well-made cookie.

This morning, just as I was about to take a well-deserved break from working with multiple gadgets open and heated discussions scrolling up my screens, a box bearing my name (well, IG handle actually) arrived from MDJ Cookies.

MDJ Cookies

Talk about a welcome sight!

MDJ Cookies (from owner Martine De Jesus’ name) is a tribute to her mom’s baking prowess. Using her mom’s recipes, Martine gets to spread little packets of good cheer through her cookies. As she puts it: her cookies feel like a warm hug you can eat!

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

As soon as I opened the box, the smell of freshly baked cookies wafted to my nostrils and made me think of my own Sunday baking sessions with my mom when I was a little girl. Oh, such happy memories!

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

And guess what: the box’s cookie contents are no less cheery. Check them out!

Salted Brown Butter Chocolate Chip (Php30/pc | Php190/6pcs | Php370/12pcs). The good ‘ole chocolate chip cookie gets an upgrade with use of brown butter and a bit of salt.

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

Birthday Cake (Php35/pc | Php220/6pcs | Php430/12pcs). There’s something so festive about this cookie… Is it the colorful sprinkles? Or the sweet smell of toasted marshmallows? Whatever it is, it’s good for any day worth celebrating.

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia (Php40/pc | Php250/6pcs | Php490/12pcs). A creamy and milky cookie wonderfully complemented by buttery macadamia nut pieces.

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

Dark Chocolate Macadamia (Php40/pc | Php250/6pcs | Php490/12pcs). This time, the luscious macadamia nuts come with semi-sweet dark chocolate.

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

Double Chocolate Fudge (Php40/pc | Php250/6pcs | Php490/12pcs). Double the treat for chocolate lovers!

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

Red Velvet (Php40/pc | Php250/6pcs | Php490/12pcs). The cookie version of the rich deep-red colored chocolate cake with cream cheese icing.

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

Peanut Butter Bomb (Php40/pc | Php250/6pcs | Php490/12pcs). Any kid knows that peanut butter and cookies are a winning combination. Add in a piece of peanut butter candy for some real decadent sweetness.

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

Loaded Crinkles (Php50/pc | Php310/6pcs | Php610/12pcs). A fudgy chocolatey treat for the certified sweet-tooth.

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

While my faves among these yummy treats are the Peanut Butter Bomb and the White Chocolate Macadamia, all variants feature a moist buttery texture and just the right amount of sweetness to highlight the featured ingredients.

MDJ Cookies

MDJ Cookies

To get your hands on these sweet delights, send MDJ Cookies a message via Instagram or Facebook with your name, address, contact number, delivery date, flavors (with quantity of order) and mode of payment (GCash and BPI are accepted).

MDJ Cookies

Plus, personalize the box with the recipient’s name for just an additional Php20.

Sure, the situation in the metro, and in our own daily lives in The New Normal may seem stressful and daunting; but with a little bit of good cheer, I’m sure we’ll pull through.

Are you a cookie lover, too? Give yourself a box of good cheer and give these a try!

Product samples were provided to facilitate an honest review.

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

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: