Last few days to get a taste of Chef Park’s Truffle Honey Chicken

We’re down to the last few days of February, and if you haven’t gotten a taste of Chef Park’s Truffle Honey Chicken, I suggest you get down to it pronto! 😋

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

The Korean invasion is going strong in the country with K-pop acts dominating the airwaves, K-dramas dominating the playlists and K-barbecue not letting go of its hold of the dining public.

However, another Korean item has been steadily making its presence known: K-chicken!

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

This style of cooking and enjoying fried chicken is characterized by crisp boneless chicken pieces with tender and juicy meat smothered in flavorful glazes, giving rise to new chicken possibilities.

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

This month, for example, online fried chicken store Chef Park’s released its limited-edition flavor: Truffle Honey!

This new chicken variant adds the sweetness of honey and the earthiness of truffle oil to the Korean Fried Chicken.

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

Chef Park’s

It’s perfect as a meal with steaming-hot rice, or as something to munch on while binge-watching your favorite K-dramas.

Enjoy it as a Single Happy Rice Meal for Php325 or in a Chicken Sharing Box good for two to four people for Php545.

Chef Park’s

But like I said, you better hurry up and place your orders stat since this flavor is available only within February.

Chef Park’s

In case you missed this limited-time offer, you may still opt for Chef Park’s regular flavors: Yangnyum, Soy Garlic and Garlic Parmesan, each available for Php295 as a rice meal or for Php495 as a sharing box.

Chef Park’s is a cloud kitchen that operates from #23 9th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City (between Col. B Serrano Avenue and Liberty Avenue), accepting orders from 10am to 7pm daily.

To order, call +63 977 8030111, email chefparksph@gmail.com or visit its website.

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

Tell your tales with Stories and Blossoms’ preserved flower arrangements

Have you ever heard the phrase “say it with flowers?”

This saying is attributed to Boston adman Major Patrick O’Keefe who came up with the slogan during a discussion with former President of the Society of American Florists. While brainstorming on possible slogans for the organization, Penn was said to have remarked “There is nothing you can’t say with flowers – when you send flowers, it says everything,” to which O’Keefe exclaimed “That’s it!”

Stories & Blossoms

For ages, meaning have been attributed to flowers. From the Ottoman Empire’s obsession with tulips to the Victorian era’s interest in floriography, up to the present day’s penchant for using blossoms in home decor, flowers have been used to send messages to their recipients.

Stories & Blossoms

Imagine what you can say with preserved flowers instead. If you haven’t yet considered preserved flowers to beautify your home or to give as gifts, here are ways they trump fresh-cut flowers.

1. They last longer.

The thing with flowers is they tend not to last that long. While fresh-cut flowers can generally last for a week or two, preserved flowers can stay around for up to three years. You won’t have to worry about your home accent or present wilting away too soon.

Stories & Blossoms

2. They cost less.

Fresh cut flower arrangements for delivery usually start at Php700 but preserved flower arrangements can cost as low as half this amount.

Stories & Blossoms

3. They require little maintenance.

Since the preserved flowers are dried, they do not require water to maintain them. Given our climate, you would just need to keep them from dust and moisture so you can enjoy them for a long time.

Stories & Blossoms

4. They don’t trigger pollen-based allergies.

If you’ve always loved the beauty of floral arrangements but get a case of the sniffles every time you’re near them, preserved flowers is the solution to your problem. Preserved flowers no longer have pollen so those who suffer from allergies to this substance can enjoy them safely.

More and more, it seems that preserved flowers are well-suited to today’s minimalist trends in gift-giving and home decor.

Stories & Blossoms

Online flower shop Stories & Blossoms captures not just the needs of times but also the stories behind every emotion, celebration and milestone that call for its tasteful preserved flower arrangements.

Through the artful combinations of colors, textures and sizes of different blooms, it helps evoke feelings, memories and thoughts.

Take this Stories & Blossoms creation – called “Little Black Dress” – a 26-inch tall arrangement that incorporates the Pantone colors of 2021 – Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Grey – as well as my favorite color, Black. This imbued a combined sense of brightness, serenity and hope to my home. It also became an eye-catching and elegant centerpiece for my dining table.

Stories & Blossoms

You too can capture and tell your tales with preserved flowers. Just shop online at Stories & Blossoms’ website. Arrangements are priced starting at Php299. To know more about its newest arrangement creations and offers, like and follow Stories & Blossoms on Facebook or call +63 967 5099050.

Disclosure: A product sample was provided to facilitate this feature article.

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:

Step into fairyland with this treat from Graffiti Desserts

It was originally thought that the Black Forest Cake (or Gateau, if we are to judge by the complexity of this confection) got its name from the Schwarzwald (“Black Forest” in German). It is a densely forested mountain range in Southwest Germany which was said to have inspired the Grimm brothers to write the tale Hansel and Gretel.

The Schwarzwald is known for its rain-blessed, lush and verdant forests, attracting tourists from all over the world who want to experience that fairytale setting.

Well, imagine ending a meal with that fantasy tableau right on your dessert plate.

Graffiti Desserts

New online store Graffiti Desserts recently introduced its signature offering: the Black Forest Floor. This unique creation deconstructs and reimagines the classic Black Forest Gateau as the Shwarzwald’s lush forest floor.

Graffiti Desserts

In each cup of this ingeniously crafted dessert are elements of the Black Forest we know and love, but with a few tweaks.

Graffiti Desserts

Moist chocolate cake, cherries marinated in amaretto and a layer of cocoa and crushed peanuts make up the “soil” which surrounds a “mud pool” of salted milk chocolate ganache. Nestled amidst candy twigs and pebbles, dried rose petals and a green tea butter crumble which serves as a “moss” covering is a gold tinted dark chocolate cream dome “egg.”

Graffiti Desserts

You could say this dessert might just be too pretty to eat but what a loss that would be to your other senses.

Graffiti Desserts Black Forest Floor

From the exotic blend of fruity and rich chocolate scents to the interesting variations in texture inside your mouth, to the explosions of salty-sweet, chocolatey, fruity and candy flavors on your tongue, every spoonful is like digging into the forest floor for buried treasure.

Graffiti Desserts

Graffiti Desserts is the brainchild of Rain, a twenty-six-year-old entrepreneur who partnered with classically trained baker to bring about unusual desserts. This new entrant into the busy metro food scene seeks to differentiate itself from other dessert shops by “taking inspiration from every direction, rethinking sweets and changing the dessert landscape in the process.”

Well, I’m already a fan.

Graffiti Desserts

I’m also excited about the next product it will launch. I heard it will be similar to the Black Forest Floor – introducing a new spin to an old classic and inspired by nature.

In the meantime, dessert lovers out there can get your hands on your own little pots of Black Forest Floor by sending Graffiti Desserts a message through Facebook or Instagram, indicating your number of orders, name, contact number and delivery address. Online banking payments via BPI, BDO and Metrobank are accepted.

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:

Three reasons to take up coloring books as your quarantine hobby

Stuck at home because of the quarantine and you’re itching for a way to break the monotony of the days passing by?

Why not do something creative? Drawing or painting from scratch or learning to play an instrument may seem daunting but you can always start with something relatively easy. Coloring books, for example.

Coloring Books - Shopping on the Side (https://shopee.ph/shoppingontheside?v=5ef&smtt=0.0.5)

For quite some time now, this erstwhile niche pastime has evolved into a trendy pursuit for many, who swear by its contributions to their mental well-being. In a 2016 CNN Report, certified art therapist and Clinical Assistant Professor and NYU’s Program Coordinator for its Graduate Art Therapy Program Marygrace Berberian posited that while coloring books is not the same as completing an art therapy session, it “definitely has therapeutic potential to reduce anxiety, create focus or bring about more mindfulness.”

Coloring Books - Shopping on the Side (https://shopee.ph/shoppingontheside?v=5ef&smtt=0.0.5)

Wondering how coloring books can bring about a more peaceful and productive state of being? Read on.

1) It can calm a busy mind.

The basic and repetitive motions you use to fill in the intricate designs with shades and hues can engage your mind but also quiet down your anxiety.

2) It can help you catch some zzzs.

With the increase in people’s anxiety levels over the COVID-19 pandemic, the forced isolation to maintain social distancing as well as the abrupt changes in daily routines have led to many reported cases of sleeplessness.

Engaging in an relaxing spate of coloring activity instead of staring at gadget screens, or worse, news reports (!) before bedtime may facilitate a more restful slumber.

3) It can unleash your creativity.

Filling in the blank shapes in coloring books is akin to collaborating with their artists in bringing their work to life. Choosing the colors and applying various strokes are also decisions driven by your own creative vision and executed within your control.

Keep this up and maybe soon, you’ll find yourself more confident in applying your re-developing creativity and decisiveness in other aspects of your life such as your home or career.

Ready to pick up your pencils, markers and crayons but have limited access to coloring books that catch your fancy? Worry no more.

E-commerce platform Shopee hosts Shopping on the Side’s online store filled with adult coloring books sourced from all over the world. Here, you can take your pick among a wide variety of books from meditative mandala patterns, whimsical drawings of fairies, intricate illustrations of travel destinations to humorous comic strips. Shopping on the Side is well-rated by Shopee users who praise the shop’s premium and high quality inventory, immediate shipping of ordered items and secure packaging.

Coloring Books - Shopping on the Side (https://shopee.ph/shoppingontheside?v=5ef&smtt=0.0.5)

Coloring Books - Shopping on the Side (https://shopee.ph/shoppingontheside?v=5ef&smtt=0.0.5)

Ready to start on your coloring journey while on quarantine? Let me know how it goes!

Header photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Other photos provided by Shopping on the Side.

Craving for a cheesecake? Go for a Chi’s Cake!

We all need some sweetness in our lives: that burst of sugary flavor on your tongue that signals the happiness that is sure to follow.

Sure, eating sweets may not be so healthy, may be even be self-indulgent, but, really, it’s more than just a capping a meal with dessert or satisfying a craving during your coffee break. In times of stress or sadness, it envelopes you in that feeling of comfort and happiness. In times of elation and success, it underscores the joy.

For me, cheesecakes bring on that feeling of happiness more than any other dessert: the buttery and sugary graham cracker crust, the richness of the cream filling and the lovely surprise of whatever topping is put on it.

Well, what if you can enjoy this little piece of heaven while not going overboard with the sugar?

Chi’s Cake, an online dessert shop operated by Siri Andres, specializes in no-bake cheesecakes. Compared to their baked counterparts, no-bake cheesecakes are lighter and airier, due to the folding in of stiff whipped cream into the other combined ingredients, resulting into the mousse-like texture of the dessert. And the cheesecakes from Chi’s Cake are known for not being to sweet.

Chi’s Cake

Chi’s Cake

Chi’s Cake

Chi’s Cake

Siri formerly worked as an IT business analyst but has transitioned into a full-time stay-at-home mom. Leveraging her love for whipping up sweet treats to give to friends and family into a potential business, she started by creating her own brand of no-bake cheesecake flavors which soon generated multiple orders.

Chi’s Cake

Last week, I was able to sample some of her no-bake cheesecake creations such as:

Carrot Cinnamon Cheescake (Php650 for 7-inch cake | Php900 for 9-inch cake | Php450 for a box of 12 cheesecake cups). Are you a fan of carrot cakes? The hearty and tangy taste of shredded carrots underscored by the warm spicy sweetness of cinnamon? Well, imagine those in a smooth and creamy cheesecake that is not too sweet. The sweetness comes from its generous topping of caramelized chopped walnuts! This cheesecake is her first and signature creation.

Chi’s Cake

Chi’s Cake

Oreo Strawberry Creme (Php1,150 for 7-inch cake | Php1,400 for 9-inch cake | Php700 for a box of 12 cheesecake cups). This cheesecake variant features the unbeatable combo of chocolate and strawberries, perfect for lovers during Valentine season and beyond. Bits of fresh strawberries incorporated into the cheesecake filling on top of a crust of crushed Oreo cookies and topped with a slice of strawberry smothered in syrup. I would imagine hearts fluttered over this dessert!

Chi’s Cake

So go ahead and indulge with no worry of being overcome with sweetness, just the joy that comes from these treats.

Chi’s Cake

To get your hands on these lovely cheesecake creations, call +63 945 4968265 or email siriangeline.amurao@gmail.com at least two days before delivery date. For more details on other cheesecake variants available, check out Chi’s Cake’s Facebook page or Instagram account.

Payments are accepted via BDO, Unionbank, PalEx, GCash and LBC.

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

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