Bloggers are the New Powers That Be! Behold, we are the new commercial endorsers to be reckoned with.  Companies and businesses should tremble, kiss our rings, and kneel before us for we have the power to make or break your product. Unlike Sharon and Aga, we ourselves buy your products and actually use them, don’t get paid for what we have to say about them, we’re more believable, and definitely way cuter.

With that out of my system, I present some of my favorite meriendas…

Chocolate cake… like what mom used to make:

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There are a lot of bakeries selling chocolate cakes in town.  The more established ones (oh, you know who you are!) sell ones wherein they obviously scrimp on the ingredients, resulting to dry, anemic-pathetic cakes that you are forced to buy for your kid’s birthday party for no one else is giving you anything better.  But along came Ms. Polly’s.  I had the privilege of being given these cakes as gifts, not just once but twice for the past two months. Theirs is as close to being home-baked–moist and rich.  It’s just like what your mom (well, at least mine did) used to make!  Great with black coffee on a lazy afternoon…

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Pancit Malabon… an all-time Pinoy favorite:

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Pancit Malabon is a Pinoy specialty dish of noodles with an orange-colored sauce and seafood garnishings on top as well as sliced hard-boiled eggs. This one is from Amber’s in Makati (near Cash and Carry), an old food establishment that is already considered an institution around these areas.  I bought pancit from them twice.  Preferring fine bihon or sotanghon, I’m seralulalu-002not much of a fan of thick noodles but I do enjoy a good pancit malabon (or palabok) once in a while.  Better to order ahead by phone and set a time for pick-up or delivery. If you don’t, you’ll have to wait a long time, just sitting at the counter, twiddling your thumbs and looking at Amber’s tired-looking, unsmiling attendants (at right) who seem to be comfortable with their “we don’t care if you wait, we’re already an institution!” style of service. Don’t forget their pichi-pichi and barbeque, too!  All great with ice-cold coke!

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And finally, Churros…a second time around:

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Ever since I saw Mario Batali make authentic Spanish churros on the food network, I’ve dreamed of doing the same thing.  It seemed to look so easy! But my ill-fated churros experiment last Christmas taught me never to trust on-line recipes anymore, to not follow their recommended measurements or quantities of ingredients and, according to Paw, to just trust your instincts. However, it did not dampen my hopes of getting it right so I tried it out again… this time with much success.  They came out perfectly crisp on the outside and soft and tasty in the inside.  And the leftover chocolate fondue from Noche Buena sent me to a buzzy, stuff-2741sugary-high mode.

One thing I can’t solve though is dealing with the inevitable gooey mess that it could make.  Just don’t wear your favorite shirt when attempting to eat churros, maybe use a jicara, or lay out your cheapest table cloth, and be ready with napkins– lotsa table napkins, and you’ll be fine.

And if you want to be sure your churros will be a success (and to save time as well)… just get a hold of a trusty pack of ready-mixed Antonio Pueo’s Churros con Chocolate (at left) from the supermarket like what I did.  Daya? Success naman! Hehe…

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