Upcoming: Healthy Cooking Demo Goes Asian!

Newbee Baking and Cooking International invites you to another healthy cooking demonstration by Celebrity Chef, Chef Redj Baron Saguin of Cook Eat Right! Newbees go Asian, as Chef Redj introduces how to prepare Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Steamed Fish Teriyaki, and Asian Flavored Rice. Also, you wouldn’t wanna miss the Mango-Banana Flambe that’s the perfect dessert to top off this menu!

Make your own Safari-themed Fondant Cake at home with Ms. Charlotte Bernabe’s fondant demo — the cake will be finished off with a cute topper that the kids will surely love!

Lastly, learn how to always have fresh herbs right in your own kitchens with an urban gardening demonstration by yours truly, Erina Tachibana!

Exciting prizes will be raffled off so register now!!!

batch 3 poster 2When: October 10, 2015
Time: 11:00am
Where: Berghoff Incorporated
109, Ground Floor The Frabella Building, Rada Street, Legaspi Village Makati City, 1200

How to register:
– PHP250.00 participation fee required to cover ingredients and utilities.
– First pay, first served basis.
– Interested attendees are given until Thursday, OCTOBER 8, 2015 at 5 PM (Manila time) to confirm attendance and payment. See below for payment details:

BDO Felicidad Laurel
BDO SM Fairview

BPI Erina Tachibana
0089 0437 86


Please send me (Erina Tachibana) a screenshot or picture of your proof of payment and participants’ full names.
For reservations/inquiries, do send a message to eri.tachi0523@gmail.com or SMS/call 09271282463.

See you there!!



Couchsurfing in Manila

Couchsurfing in a jiffy:
1. Couchsurfing is a website/app for travelers who are either willing to host other travellers, are looking to stay in a host’s place, or are looking to meet fellow travelers in the area.
2. Although the norm is to stay without having to pay for anything, a surfer is expected to follow the house rules of the host, and to at least be polite enough not to ransack his/her home.
3. Treat your host as a good friend, and don’t just leave your stuff in your host’s place and go elsewhere without saying anything beforehand — hosts aren’t lockers/hostels.
4. Be active in the Couchsurfing community in your area — aside from the regular meetups, events and even the discussion page in the website are some of the ways to be connected with this awesome community.
5. Don’t forget to leave a reference on the profiles of those you’ve hosted/those who’ve hosted you…. and other people you met through CS.

one of the couchsurfing meet ups I attended... :)
one of the couchsurfing meet ups I attended… 🙂

I’ve had my profile for a little less than a year now, but I’ve only been active in the community for about a month. It was when I curiously went through the website that I met a now-good friend, Andi. Helping her out through a small transportation trouble led me to know more about the wonderful world of Couchsurfing. Since then, I’ve met lots of wonderful people through the regular meet-ups and I’m looking forward to sharing more time with them. I haven’t joined any of the tours that are organized through Couchsurfing but I’m looking forward to joining when I have time. I’m thinking of organizing some tours as well… 🙂

To know more about Couchsurfing, click here.

A ‘No-Bake’ Day

No-bake desserts should be a no-brainer right? Well, that’s what I thought until I attended the No-Bake Desserts Class at the Joey Prats School of Baking and Pastry Arts last Saturday (June 27). Though excited about the class, I have to admit that a part of me thought I wouldn’t learn as much as I have from the past few lessons I took here since this particular class deals with no-bake desserts (Class #1 was “Cookies and Bars,” while Class #2 was “Macaron”). But then again, it’s Chef Joey… so with much anticipation, I went to the blue and green little house in Marcelo Green Village for my no-bake baking class.

There’s always something new to learn beyond the recipes in his classes – and I’m looking forward to learning more and more new things. Oh, and don’t forget the free food! I love being able to taste new flavors and Chef Joey Prats’ recipes are all to-die-for. By the way, if you’re going to take any class of his, try not to eat too much before the class. Trust me on this one.

The first recipe was the Strawberry Shortcake Tiramisu – a gorgeous twist to two classic desserts that’s sure to be the center of everyone’s attention at any party. The lady fingers used in this recipe is homemade, and is very similar to a sponge cake. The flavors are easily soaked in, giving us a ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ feel with enough character brought about by the different flavors of each layer of the tiramisu. Another ingredient that’s difficult to find is mascarpone, so he taught us a good alternative to this – American Heritage Cream Cheese. I think this treat would be great for people who are working late at night — you’ve got the sugar for energy, strawberries for nutrition, coffee for focus, and alcohol for creativity! Yay!

strawberry tiramisu
the final layer of strawberries

Next up is the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Minted Fruits. Before teaching us how to make this, we were given a sample made with minted mangoes. I love the idea of putting it in a jar as it saves the hassle of transferring the panna cotta or packing it up for transport. During the actual demo, he used peaches instead of mangoes to show the versatility of the dessert (I’ll try making this with strawberries).

panna cotta collage

The third one is a No-Bake Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake made with American Heritage Cream Cheese. Again, we were all able to have a slice each before the actual demo. Now, I’ve never actually tried American Heritage before, but it’s nice how there’s not much water when you open a package of it – meaning it has more of the good stuff that you need. This particular recipe has no eggs and flour which gives it a texture reminiscent of a very light mousse, yet it’s stable enough to hold its shape when plated.

blueberry swirl cheesecake

I would say that my favorite recipe for this class is the Espresso Almond Praline Ice Cream. The smooth ice cream was balanced off by the crunch that the pralines gave, and the flavor was just absolutely lovely. During this part of the lecture, it was also explained to us how ice creams differ in their texture, and how different ingredients play important roles in an ice cream. It was easily done with a KitchenAid stand mixer using the Ice Cream Attachment, and I just wish I can take one home and make ice cream immediately. I swear, this ice cream, by far, is the best I’ve ever tasted. No exaggerations, it is addicting.

warning: very addicting
warning: very addicting!

As absurd as a ‘no-bake baking class’ may sound, taking this class was absolutely worth every centavo. All of these four desserts were very easy and fun to make, and I’m 100% sure that family and friends will love them.

After the class, a classmate offered me a ride. We live very near each other so when she asked if I wanted to go with her for me to see her kitchen before I went home, I immediately said yes. When we arrived at her kitchen, this overwhelming joy filled my heart. (Thank you, Ate!) I felt like I walked right into dreamland. I know this might sound weird, but stepping foot in this kitchen made me so happy I was fighting back tears. (*^_^*) I’ve always wanted to be a pastry chef, and I’ve tried different jobs but I’m always strongly pulled back to my love for food. I’m still hoping it’s not too late. 🙂


Wandering Around

Lately I’ve been having that certain suffocating feeling and a craving for nature (and ramen). Yesterday, I searched for ways to go to Ippon Yari, but I couldn’t figure out how to get there and thought it’ll take me hours to get there by commute and I was too hungry to wait so I decided it’s best if I went there another time. Anyway, I wanted to go out so I got dressed up, got my pretty strawberry walking shoes, my bag (and the camera I borrowed, but ended up not using even once throughout the day), and a bottle of water.

I went to the gate where I usually go to ride a jeep. From there, I have two options: to go to the other side of the street (there’s an overpass) then ride a jeep going left, or just stay where I am, where I can ride a jeep going right. Of course I took the overpass. Then I stayed at the 7-eleven… and thought “where would I go?” Without a destination, I stayed a few more minutes in this convenience store, before deciding to go to Mall of Asia instead. Living in the city, the nearest natural scene accessible to me is at the back of Mall of Asia — that stretch of saltwater hitting against rocks below a ledge. I was thinking of a farther place like Tagaytay or Batangas but at 5pm, I’ll have to stay the night which I don’t have funds for. So, MOA it is.

I like the camera of my phone (a Samsung S4) — it takes nice photos even at night. I’m still really not used to lugging a DSLR around so I just took pictures with my phone.



I had a quick dinner before going to the bay area so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy any more food there… although I saw the shawarma stand and was thinking if I should get one. I didn’t. 😛

Funny how malls have mini-amusement parks in them. And these trains… they have one of those in Glorietta and in SM Sucat as well. Sigh… if you can, take your kids to ride the real thing instead of paying to ride these trains that doesn’t go far. Or go on a trip to the provinces so kids can enjoy some beautiful scenery. I think that’ll be much more worth your money. 🙂

This area is where BF and I usually go to hangout before. I love how it divides nature and the city — at one side is terribly busy with super bright lights, while at the other side is just a vast stretch of endless water meeting the sky at a point that’s almost invisible in the dark. This night was particularly windy so the waves were pretty strong. Along this long stretch of barrier are families, groups of friends, and couples hanging out — each having their own share of food, stories, etc.


I took a cab going home. While on the road though, the cab driver kept blaming me for choosing a route that’s more familiar to me, but wasn’t moving as fast as he wanted to I guess. Despite me telling him that it’s fine ’cause I’ll be paying anyway, he kept insisting that it was traffic and I shouldn’t have chosen this way and that I should’ve let him take the short cut (which by the way a lot of cars are already taking and by the looks of it was also starting to get too cramped)… Anyway, I ended up going down. Traffic wasn’t moving that time so I just got off the cab and slammed the door shut. I paid, of course, though I feel he didn’t deserve the payment for ranting the WHOLE time. I don’t take sides, but between drivers like these and Uber, grabtaxi, etc.?? I would gladly pay extra for a waaaay better service. Anyway, I just got a jeep, paid Php8 and was able to get home faster — with no ranting from anyone. 🙂

By the way, the picture of that beautiful tree was taken from the area where I went off the cab. I was walking towards the area where jeeps where loading/unloading passengers when I saw this and took a picture of it. I usually get bad shots when it’s dark, but luckily, this picture turned out pretty nice.


When was the last time you had a strong urge to go out even without a clear destination in mind, like you really just have to go? Have you encountered cab drivers who seem to have an endless things to rant about? Or even blamed you for the traffic? I’d love to hear from you guys!

Note: all photos were taken with a Samsung S4; all of the pictures in this post are unedited. 🙂

Heavenly Cheesecakes by Joey Prats

If, for others, an event is incomplete without alcohol, then an event isn’t complete without cake for me! I’ve even baked some cakes before, although the last time I did was last year — it was a red velvet birthday cake with cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries for BF. Seeing loved ones enjoy the baked goodies bring me a certain joy that totally beats store-bought cakes. It’s the appreciation for the cake that says, “I appreciate you.”

cake collage
Though I may not have baked for a while, I’ve joined Facebook baking groups and I’m also taking as much lessons as I could so that when I start baking again, I would be better equipped with skills and knowledge that I’ve learned so far.

Last week, I received my own copy of the Heavenly Cheesecakes DVD by Joey Prats. Included in the DVD are three recipes of cheesecakes — Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake, and Black Forest Cheesecake. I actually can’t wait to try them all! I think the one that’s gonna be easiest to do right away is the Dulce de Leche one because all the ingredients are readily available in my kitchen… plus I love dulce de leche! 🙂 Anyway, I might not be able to do it asap but I’ll be posting it up as soon as I make it. 🙂

I’ve taken 2 classes so far (the Cookies & Bars Class and the Macaron 101 Class) and I highly recommend the Joey Prats School of Baking & Pastry Arts. Though the classes I’ve taken were demo classes, I’ve learned a lot in those classes. They do have an upcoming 3-month certificate course so for those who are interested in baking, I’d suggest this course. I would enroll right away if I have the funds right now, but I don’t yet so I guess there’s gonna be a next time for me… but if you, my dear reader, is interested and you can, then please do so and enjoy learning how to bake at this school. 🙂

For those who want their own copy of the Heavenly Cheesecakes DVD, you can click here to contact them through their Facebook page. They also have other DVDs as well (Joy of Pastry and Best 100 Recipes) so there are a lot to choose from. BTW, those who aren’t in the Philippines can still purchase the videos — I think they’ll send the digital copy instead of the CD, so don’t hesitate to contact them. 🙂

Joey Ayala at Sev’s (Feb. 27, 2014)

(I found this buried in my drafts folder and thought I should edit and finally upload it.) 🙂

February 27, 2014
Browsing through Facebook for some ideas to do for the day, BF and I stumbled upon the page of Sev’s Cafe and saw that Joey Ayala would be performing that night. We were really impressed with his TED video which included his version of the Lupang Hinirang, so we decided to go (click here to watch the TEDx video). Since we both still didn’t have our salaries yet, we were on a budget — it’s a good thing that the P200 ticket has a P100 consumable per person included. Reservations were made with Ms. Ipat, and we were on our way to the place.

Located in Roxas boulevard cor. Vito Cruz, it’s very easy to go to and very accessible to commuters. It’s in the Vito Cruz side though, and you’ll have to walk a little from the corner till you see an entrance to a parking lot at the right side — it’s at the end of that parking lot. There’s a guard there you can ask as well. (click here for the map)

As we entered the restaurant, I immediately felt at home with the place. The welcoming atmosphere is just comfortable enough to make you want to come back again and again. It actually reminds me of living/dining rooms were friends and family would gather around and enjoy a great home cooked meal while sharing lots of stories over coffee and/or dessert afterwards (definitely dessert for me!!).

I ordered the Pork Afritada and a banana smoothie, but I highly recommend the Tapsilog and the mango smoothie which BF ordered. The dynamite is awesome with the extra crunch and creamy cheese while the squid rings are cooked just right (and would be great with beer). I’m not sure if I was able to take pictures of what we had  — It’s either buried in my dropbox or I think we were just both hungry that time that we didn’t even thought of taking pictures. Everything on the menu is priced more reasonably than most restaurants, and I was pleasantly surprised at the healthier options (i.e. brown rice instead of white rice; vinegar instead of ketchup-mayo dip, etc.). Oh and did I mention the mango smoothie? You need to try it. 🙂

joey ayala
Joey Ayala

The show started and all eyes were on Joey Ayala. He performed different songs of his — love songs, nationalistic ones, even funny ones among all others in his lineup. With every note and word was his love and passion for music, for his arts, and for the country. It’s amazing how in simplicity, the most heartfelt and striking songs were formed. Watching his own rendition of the national anthem on youtube already gave me goosebumps — this is one Filipino who really loves his country. Yet seeing him performing live onstage was a different experience. Simple words are those that actually pierce through one’s soul, encouraging one to think and reflect on the realities of the present and the current situation of the country.


The restaurant, just as Joey Ayala is, is proudly Filipino — from the flag just above the door, to a portrait of Andres Bonifacio at the back of the counter, to the tables, chairs, and other decors of the place, down to the menu (they serve Basi and Tapuy shots!) and ingredients. This place is perfect for schoolmates or barkadas who are looking for a chill hangout.

Baking with Joey Prats: Cookies and Bars

Last May 16, I went to the Joey Prats School of Baking and Pastry Arts to try out one of their classes. I originally planned to attend the French Macarons class but I wasn’t able to attend that one so I opted for the Cookies and Bars class instead.

Chef Joey was very friendly and I learned a lot of tips not limited to the topic/recipes alone. He willingly shared tips on different things such as how to improve baking, how to choose the best ingredients (and the best substitutes for those who are looking for more affordable alternatives to expensive ingredients), and different baking equipment/tools. I admire his philosophy on food being more than just something to make you full — he says it should be an experience that would make you feel as if you’ve gone to heaven and back. I can’t agree more because personally, I’d rather spend on something that can make me happy rather than just have something mediocre — that way I’m sure cravings are satisfied. He doesn’t scrimp on ingredients either, only using the best ingredients in the market in order to produce his luxurious treats (remember though, good quality doesn’t always have to mean sky-high prices).


For p3000 per class, I think this is super worth it. Cookies and bars are what may seem to be the easiest to make for beginner bakers; however, this class proved that making cookies and bars can be done in many different ways. Each participant is given a folder which includes recipes from the class and a certificate of attendance. At the end of the class, we all got to take home a box of goodies to enjoy and share with our family (or to keep to ourselves, whichever one pleases).

raspberry square

The school is located in a quiet village in Paranaque. To get there, you’ll have to get to Marcelo avenue via the West Service Road. You’ll see a 7-11 and a huge “Marcelo Green” sign so it’ll be easy to spot. Go through the village gate and turn left, then turn right when you see the Mango Corner Diner & Living Room Bar. It shouldn’t be hard to find (although silly me got lost the first time i tried to go there, haha!).  You can also refer to the map below.


Joey Prats Baking School offers different classes every weekend such as Macarons, Cheesecakes Cookies and Bars, and Artisanal Ice Cream. They also have a certificate program for those who want to take their skills further. For those who want to inquire about their classes, you can click here to check out their Facebook page or contact them through their numbers (refer to the picture below).

social media