Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Treats for a sweet tooth, time-kissed pretty clothes, and happy feet
LOVE LUCY By Lucy GomezThe Philippine STAR 08/01/2004

You know how it is when you chance upon wonderful stuff just when you least expect to? Call them luck-kissed finds, karmic doodads, happy destinies – whatever title you blanket them under they are all the same in that they make for very happy smiles. This past week has been an overflow of such "good things", to quote Martha Stewart my favorite (in)famous celebrity, and I cannot wait for you to check them out yourselves. Here’s hoping you will enjoy (and yes, love) them as much as I have.

Cassava Bibingka – from a lady named Ping. Aside from having a sweet tooth I am also especially drawn to native kakanin. In Ormoc, there are a number of good cassava cakes, budbud, balanghoy – available at little cottage industries that have stood the test of time and change. Whenever my family visits, most especially my sister, they always hand-carry for me my hometown edible favorites. And now with this cassava bibingka that is easily just a text message away, I could not be happier. From today onwards, I will have no room for longing. Her cassava bibingka is delicious beyond words. The lady who makes it has had the recipe for a total of 20 years and despite the demand and the urgings of friends for her to sell it commercially she did not. But time has a way of pushing one in the right direction and she has finally given in to what she has deprived us of for so long and will now take orders (thank God!). Her goodies are a steal at only P250 for the small size and P450 for the larger one. And should you need to give them as gifts, they come very prettily packaged, too. Best eaten warm, although others may prefer it cold – either way, you are sure to love it. For orders, text or call Ping at 0917-6255123.

Brownies – from Roshan. And I thought I had already tasted all the good ones out there. This one, a definite must-try, will easily become a favorite. Guaranteed. Truth be told, Roshan is not a recent find (I have enjoyed her treats for over a year now) – but I discovered her by chance after Chechel, a friend of mine sent me some. She came to mind again earlier this week because a friend of mine and I were talking about the best places to order brownies from. Her brownies are consistently moist, with just the right amount of chocolatey sweetness and a taste that brings you back to some faintly-remembered home. I often enjoy it guiltlessly by dunking a whole brownie in a glass of full cream milk. As they absorb the milk, so too do they break down in huge chunks; only then do I spoon them out of the goop. Talk about melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Try it, this treat is perfect for a rainy day. Although the brownies can be eaten warm or cold, I prefer the former. For orders, call or text Roshan at 0917-8336286. By the way, she also makes to-die-for chocolate chip cookies and sylvannas. Her chocolate cake, no-fuss in its traditional goodness, comes with a generous amount of icing all over and in between.

Be sure to taste these three items, too. 27 ans – a clothing line available at Souk in Crecsent Building, San Miguel Avenue, Ortigas. I went there looking for something else and Heidi, who takes wonderful care of all Souk clients, led me to this rack of one-of-a-kind vintage pieces hand-picked and reworked by Tracie Anglo-Dizon. I met and worked with Tracie once for a Preview shoot but I haven’t seen her since. The beautiful pieces, maybe because of the patina of time, have a distinct, appealing old-world charm about them. They are just lovely and being draped in them almost transports you back to a time when being prettily dressed was as normal for a dinner out with your man as it was for a walk in the park. I especially fell in love with a pretty embroidered pink top, beribboned at the waist with a bright blue velvet ribbon (it was on reserve for someone else, boohoohoo), a white eyelet vest, also beribboned at the waist (it was way too big for me) and a blue knit sleeveless blouson reworked with paisley-print patches. Aside from being in very good condition, they are also one-of-a-kind so you can truly create a look that is all your own. I asked Heidi why the line is called 27 ans and she explained that apparently, anything over 27 years old (ans is French for years) is considered vintage. Don’t you just like the sound of that? It is enough reason for me to not only invest in good clothes but at the same time take care of and safe-keep them for Juliana (and her future sisters) to enjoy. On my next trip to Cebu, I cannot wait to raid the bauls in my maternal grandmother’s home. I’m sure there will be a treasure trove of vintage items waiting to be resurrected. Having 27 ans around easily beats having to go through piles and piles of dusty, vintage pieces that often abound in thrift stores. Another plus, they come tagged with very reasonable pricing, too.

Pretty Fit – Many thanks to Tim Yap, who invited me over to the store opening that he organized, I got wind of this pretty, pretty shoe store that is a franchise from Singapore. They carry a myriad of fashionable footwear, the styles and color of which remind me of eye candy. There is nothing boring about them; there available are glittery and bejeweled evening sandals, chic ballet flats with interesting details, patterned slip-ons for everyday wear that look anything but ordinary – and they carry up to a size 11! Even better is the fact that they are all very reasonably priced (starting at P1,000+ onwards). No wonder there was a mad clamor the day that they opened. Although I did not get a chance to really check out their men’s line, they do have a rack devoted to male footwear. With Pretty Fit now available locally, there is one more good reason to display a neat pedicure. Their shoes will surely make feet, well, nothing less than pretty. Pretty Fit is available at Glorietta 3, beside the Dockers store. Take the entrance by Tower Records for a faster way to get there.

Finally, have you tried the new Strawberries and Cream drink from Starbucks? It is just delightful. That and their Green Tea Frapuccino and I will love them forever. I am especially addicted to the latter, there was a time when I was enjoying it on a daily basis until I realized that I was enjoying it too much and not working it off enough. Now I limit my intake to times when I truly "deserve" to indulge in a glass – after a good dance workout or when it is raining really hard (which thankfully happens often enough nowadays). Talk about a sweet reward that I do not seem to tire of. You will understand why when you try it yourself. There you have it, you may be a tad thicker around the waist area after all the sweet treats, your money purse a bit less robust after a pair or two of shoes from Pretty Fit and a top from 27 ans but who can accuse you of not enjoying what is readily available and in the process grinning from ear to ear like a little girl at least once? Till next time, have a great Sunday!

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