Subic and Back


This year has been very busy and draining for both Liv and myself. The demands and responsibilities of work, the scary serious (yet fulfilling) task of raising our rapidly growing baby Andrea, finishing and furnishing our own tiny house and more work again are among many other things that have conspired to give us a long shot at fulfilling our goal this year to have a nice, relaxing vacation as a couple.

Accepting this most likely fact, we had an idea one day to just go somewhere away from Manila to soak in a different atmosphere and of course, EAT. To make things "funner" we made it a family affair and took Andrea (with her yaya). Off to Subic we went!


The SCTEX makes going to subic more scenic and less tiring. Just take the exit in Dau and keep stepping on the gas till you get to Subic in no time (ok there's a speed limit for a good reason so don't step too hard).;p The scenery is unexpectedly pretty and offers views of quaint fields, mountains and hills. Just be careful not to fall asleep because it seems that not many people use this road yet and it can get pretty lonely and quiet specially during siesta time.

The toll fee is around P114.00 or close to that amount one way (Dau-Subic).

Arriving at around lunch time, we headed straight to Xtremely Xpresso. I've been raring to try their Big Ben Pizza ever since I read about the place in Dessert Comes First (it was a great review delivered with Lori's usual mouth watering eloquence) so of course, it was the first thing I asked for (gimme! gimme!). Taking a look at their menu, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had quite a wide selection of of other food as well.

What we had:

Smoked Salmon Capaccio (Php200.00)

It was great with the olive oil, capers and lemon. I thought it could have been smokier and better seasoned, but overall, I was really happy with the salmon. It was just fresh and simple.


The carbonara Liv ordered was really good. It wasn't overwhelmingly rich unlike some that fall into the trap of becoming an homage to seductive cream. It was seasoned well and the noodles were cooked perfectly. However, it was Liv's flash of brilliance that took the good carbonara dish to the realm of greatness. She topped it with the smoked salmon carpaccio!=0 It was just awesome...

And thanks to our nice window seat. We were able to watch our food get made like this

to become this

The Big Ben Pizza

Loaded with pepperoni and all other awesome meat a meat monster like me might possibly desire putting on a piece of dough, it was carnivore heaven. Olives, bell peppers and two kinds of cheese (I believe) were also thrown in to the party to complete the protein fest.

Although I have to say that the pizza was worth every peso, all the good things on top of the thick dough ended up quite heavy, and as much as I might have wanted more, the sheer volume of the whole thing had me tired after two slices. I guess there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing".
All in all it was a very good food experience and I would definitely go back to try the other interesting pizza flavors of theirs that I saw on the menu, among which are the Curry Chix Pizza and the Wasabi Mayo Seafood.

Later in the afternoon and after some duty free grocery shopping and after a failed attempt to get Andrea to have her first beach experience due to the rainy weather, merienda time found us still a bit full. Seeing Aresi (an old favorite resto of ours along Tomas Morato Q.C.) however, we decided a little reminiscing in Aresi's cozy ambience over some light snacks wouldn't hurt.=)

I forgot what this was called but it was some kind of crostini which we dipped in very yummy cream sauce. It was very good!

Old school four seasons... Yeah!

We were actually drooling over the leg of lamb course we spotted on the menu but after assessing our tummy storage situations, we reluctantly yielded to going back some other time for it (PROCASTINATION!! Ughh..)

I should also mention that the staff and waiters of Aresi were very helpful and friendly.

Soon after we were headed home. It was evening and evening meant dinner time. A late dinner in Pampanga it was and we had it at a place I first learned about from our friend Sakai's blog (which doesn't seem to be there anymore). This place is called a La Creme.

a La Creme is an unassuming restaurant right along Mac Arthur Highway with two stores that I know of (San Fernando and Angeles). The interiors are warm and homey and the atmosphere during dinner time is quite busy but happy.


The flavor of the gambas was just okay for me. What I liked about this dish though is that the shrimps were cooked perfectly and stayed away from dehydration. Each bite of shrimp was met by sensations of juicy, plump and sweet as if a bunch of little crustaceans just jumped into a bowl of sauce and spices straight from the sea.

Surf and Turf

Still feeling the effects of the pizza, I decided to stay away from bread for the evening so I had to skip the cheeseburger sandwich that we love in a La Creme. Thankfully, I didn't feel too bad with my decision as the steak was seasoned and spiced perfectly for me while the deliciously subtle lemon butter dip and the rough smokiness of the grilled shrimp went so well with each other.

Cheese stuffed burger from a La Creme

This is what I was talking about.

A mound of beef which erupts and spills oozes of mozzarella cheese when broken. The veggies are served on the plate and not in the sandwich accompanied by a spot of breaded fries that have some kind of yummy garlic mayo dip. Liv just had to have it as it's definitely one of our favorite burgers.

La Creme provided the perfect food and setting to cap off a day of eating and travelling to Subic and back.

What Love Song Am I


I saw this in Dreamwalker's blog and got curious.

Your Love Song Is

Thankyou by Dido

"And I want to thank you for giving me

The best day of my life

Oh, just to be with you is having

The best day of my life."

It's all good, as long as you're in love.


Vicki's Cupcakes


Hey world! I know, I know, when your birthday post is composed of a blurred picture a a good natured rib from your wife about being behind on posts then it's most probably a sign that you've been a bad boy. Tsk, tsk...

Oh well, thats all the past now and I have to admit that I've been a delinquent blogger and I probably deserve to be put in blogger jail and under solitary confinement for months feeding on cold, mass produced instant food (nooooooo!!). However, life has to move on right? So here I am again saying thank you to all the people and friends who continue to visit our blog (specially those who constantly hound me to get back to posting).

My re-entry will be about something good. Something which is the opposite of me as a blogger. Lol.

Vicki's cupcakes.

Vicki is Liv's officemate. A good friend (to Liv), a super mom, a blogger, and one mean baker.

I've been a fan since the first time Liv brought home some of her brownies and I downed half a box in one go. How a working mom like her who probably keeps the same superhuman hours at work as my wife still manages to deliver the "goodies" is just beyond me. I'm just glad she takes the time to make a lot and sell some for other people to enjoy her creations.

My current favorite is her latest creation:

Orange Cupcake With Killer Cream Cheese.

The cream cheese just leaves you crazy for more while the flavor of the cupcake itself is just perfect (and that's coming from me who has never really enjoyed citrus in cakes except for this and Bellini's orange cakes). Put together, it's just a killer combo of sweet, salty and smooth on top and citrusy dense cake at the bottom. I love the fact that the cake is heavy and definitely hits the spot (for a takaw person like me, density and weight are very much appreciated). These cupcakes are a bit rustic and less refined than the more popular brands right now but they're every bit as tasty.

All in all, it's one heck of a cupcake for the price and Liv if you're reading this you know what to do. ;p


Too Easy


Inspired by this post from 80s Breakfast I decided that I should get a *ahem* healthy dish in our diet somehow (between the chicharon's and the sisigs and whatnots). The original recipe called for almond slices but I wasn't able to find any in the store so I had to be contented with using cashews instead of almonds.

It was awesome. I can't believe something this easy to make is this

I'm sorry we haven't been updating this site too often, a little boy somewhere is being lazy. =) This site is updated more often so you can visit me there too. Ciao




Happy Birthday RUY!!! You're virtual image is becoming hazy...I think it's time to start blogging again. =)


Olivia's Recipes


I am no cook. I think we've established this fact in this blog already. I have been forced to cook more and more lately. The fact that Andrea is not allowed to eat junk food and food with MSG makes it essential for me to learn how to cook.

I usually look at Key Ingredients from recipes and then adding my own ingredients or technique. Yes, I am indeed overly ambitious when it comes to these things. I barely know how to cook and yet here I am already disobeying the recipe.

This makes it extremely hard for me to duplicate any of the few successes I've had in the kitchen.

Vicki, a friend of mine who makes the best cupcakes, once asked me "Do you have any of these recipes written down somewhere?"...I of course did not. I told her "If I just write it down and follow the same recipe again and again...that's so boring. It's not exciting...where's the fun in that?"

Truth be told, I'm just too lazy to write anything down. Luckily there are websites now which will allow you to store your recipes and share them with your friends. I think I might just give this a try...if I'm not too lazy to type.



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