Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DIY Monster Party Decors

Doing the decors for Sabe's monster-themed birthday party was so easy and fun. And I totally love how cute and monsteriffic everything turned out. ;p

I used these monster eyes and mouth shapes from 7under1 Designs to decorate most of the stuff on the dessert table. But I added googly eyes to make it more 3-dimensional. I got the googly eyes from National Bookstore for about P25 per pack of 12 pcs.

For the first time, I'm not doing the usual round cupcake topper with "Happy Birthday" on it! I totally loved the idea of turning the cupcakes into monsters, so I used the eyes as the topper then stuck the mouth on the cupcake liner. Oh, and these were plain chocolate cupcakes so I also added sprinkles to make it more colorful. :)

You can also use the googly eyes as is - use different sizes and quantities and stick them all over containers, bowls, cups, bottles, utensils, etc!

Remember the party hats from Miley's Hello Kitty party? Well, I still had a few lying around so I decided to recycle them! I just covered them with colored cartolina, then cut out basic shapes for the eyes and mouths for cute monster party hats! ;p

There are so many creative details you can do for a little monster party and these are just some of them. What's so great about making monsters is that the sky is the limit. You can make so many versions and characters using basic shapes and colors. And there's no right or wrong way to design them because it doesn't matter how weird they look - they're monsters, so the kookier the better! ;p

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wine Buffet at Tito Chef

The last time we ate at Tito Chef in BF Paranaque, we noticed that they had a sign for a Wine Buffet. Fast forward a couple of weeks later, hubby and I decided to give it a try. We called ahead to make sure it was still ongoing and to make a reservation. We got there at around 4:30pm (para sulit hehe ;p) and we were led to the lounge/gallery area where the buffet was set up.

We were the only ones having the wine buffet that afternoon so we felt so special as if the whole thing was set up just for us. It was like we were at a private wine tasting event. ;p

When I asked one of the staff until when they were having the wine buffet, he said that there was no definite time period yet since they're still testing it out among the customers. They're also the first to offer this kind of promotion so if it does click, they can definitely make it a regular thing.

We were actually seated at the exact same table we were the last time. Yihee! ;p

They had a selection of 4 red wines (the ones on top) and 2 white wines. Wines from L-R:

White wine (Santa Carolina, Chile) 2011
Refreshingly sweet, similar to a young Rieslig

Cabarnet Sauvignon (Mendoza, Argentina)
Ripe black currant fruit with soft tannins

Italia, Dry Red Wine
Intense red color, ethereal bouquet, solid, velvety and harmonic taste

Red Wine (Product of Spain)
Aroma of blackberries and cherries with hint of vanilla

Cabernet Shiraz (San Juan, Argentina) 2011
Fruity and Rich taste

Chardonnay (San Juan, Argentina) 2012
Fresh and Fruity

They also served pica pica (on the top shelf), which was a small selection of bread, cheese, chorizo and garbanzo beans.

salmon tartare, cheese with pesto and olives
chorizo and garbanzo beans

Their service was superb and wait staff were very accommodating. I'm not sure if it was because it was just the 2 of us having the buffet so they were so attentive, refilling and changing our glasses and plates almost instantly (and taking great pics - the waiter even closed the window shades since we were against the light for a better photo. I love things like that! ;p). Maybe if more people were around, they would be more busy so you'd have to be the one to get your own wine and food from the display? But still, I have always been very impressed with their service every time I've eaten here.

I love how good they plate the food every time
the chorizo and garbanzo beans were sooo good! we even had to ask for a refill since we finished everything so fast ;p

I'm no wine expert so I honestly can't describe how the each of the wines tasted or are different from one another. But ever since before, I've been partial to white wine so I ended up just tasting the reds, then having white wine all throughout after. Hubby was the opposite, he loves red wine and ended up finishing the Santa Julia (Cabarnet Sauvignon) bottle! After 2 glasses, I was a little bit tipsy already and halfway through, hubby and I were super steady (which means trying not to be so noisy since we were in a nice and classy place). You can guess that by the end of the night, we were flat out drunk haha! ;p

Whether you're a wine enthusiast or would just like to have a steady afternoon with overflowing wine and good food, I highly recommend trying this out. Hubby and I had a wonderful experience and we're already planning when we're coming back with family and friends.

The Wine Buffet costs P600 per person and runs from Wednesday to Friday, 4:00 - 7:00 pm. Best to call in advance to make a reservation. Cheers!

Tito Chef Restaurant and All Things Culinary
#2 Presidents Avenue, Sucat, ParaƱaque

Tito Chef Restaurant and All Things Culinary

Tito Chef is a fairly new restaurant in BF Paranaque that opened last year. Whenever we would pass by President's Ave. we'd notice that the parking lot would always be full and lots of people would be eating inside, so naturally we were excited to try it out.

According to their Facebook page, Tito Chef Restaurant and All Things Culinary is a quaint neighborhood restaurant offering a progressive bistro menu run by Chef Menoy Gimenez and his culinary team. Fondly called "Tito Chef" by his nephew, Chef Menoy decided to name his neighborhood restaurant after that, set it downsouth Manila, complete with a culinary store, wine repository and an alternative art gallery.

I totally love the interiors and all the art on the walls (which I believe are for sale). The place has a cool, clean and modern vibe. They have the main dining area, then an elevated section, plus an al fresco area and private rooms.

Here's the stuff we've tried:

Salmon Tartare
Fresh cut chilled salmon in a Dijon mustard dressing with creme fraiche, caviar, & herbs
Chorizos and Mushrooms
Sauteed Spanish chorizo & fresh mushrooms served with warmed rolls
Bleu Cheese Alfredo
Cream and butter sauced fettuccine noodles with bleu cheese, mushrooms and truffle oil
Pesto Prawn Spaghetti
Pesto sauced spaghetti topped with grilled prawns and sour cream
Barbecued Pork Spareribs
Barbecued pork spareribs served with coleslaw, cucumber raita, and rice pilaf
Grilled Chicken Marsala
Smokey grilled chicken supreme over creamy potato puree, caramelized onion confit, and sauce Marsala
Nutella Sansrival
Toasted almond sansrival cake with Nutella buttercream

I love how all the dishes were plated. However, the portions are not ideal for sharing since it's really enough for just one person. Service was also great so definitely a thumbs up for the whole dining experience. They also offer catering (minimum of 50 pax) and you can get their full service or just have the food delivered to your event.

Btw, we noticed this sign about a Wine Buffet when we were there, which we got so interested in. We actually tried it a few weeks after we had this dinner which I'll be blogging about next! ;p

Check out Tito Chef's Facebook page for more pictures of the restaurant as well as their full menu.

Tito Chef Restaurant and All Things Culinary
#2 Presidents Avenue, Sucat, ParaƱaque
Mon - Thu: 7:15am - 10:00pm
Fri - Sat: 7:15am - 11:00pm
Sun: 7:15am - 10:00pm

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A Happy Monster Birthday Bash

My son Sabe loves Hi-5 and his ultimate favorite song is Happy Monster Dance. He keeps watching the video non-stop, so it was no surprise when one of the first things he learned to say was "Monster Dance" (even before "Mommy" and "Daddy" can you believe!). Now, he says "Happy Monster" all the time so naturally, this was the perfect theme for his 2nd birthday party! ;p

My first attempt to make a dessert table was for Miley's Hello Kitty Valentine party. I was really stressed out about that one since I wasn't sure how everything would turn out at first. But now, I was more confident and relaxed, which made the whole party planning so much more enjoyable. :) As usual, I got a lot of inspiration online (check out these cute little monster ideas from Kids Party Hub) and did a lot of DIY (you can check out some of my dessert table tips and tricks here which I also incorporated in this set-up).

Our little monster!
His shirt is actually a Monsters Inc. swimsuit which I found in a department store.

You can find so many cute party printables on Etsy and I was immediately drawn to those from Shelley's Paper Studio and 7under1 Designs. But really, making monsters are so easy since you can create them any way you want out of basic shapes and colors!

My kids love Oreo cookies so this cake was just perfect! I just added the monster eyes and mouth by cutting up white and black paper, then sticking them on the cake using BBQ sticks. Instant monster cake! Actually, just add eyes and mouths to anything on your dessert table, like your cupcakes, containers, cups, etc. and you have an instant monster party! ;p

Oreo Cheesecake from Cielin's
custom-made cookie lollipops from Shortcrust Cake Shop
cake stand from Divisoria
chocolate cupcakes from Cielin's
S is for Sabre!
made juice monsters by adding googly eyes and mouths to regular juice containers
colorful backdrop made from strips of crepe paper; bunting banner made from cut-out letters glued to circles
cut out basic shapes to make monster faces for the party hats
these monster eyes and mouth cut-outs were great props for picture taking
bought plastic containers from the grocery and filled them up with gummy bears and worms for give-aways; of course, I had to add monster faces too!

This was definitely such a fun party and what made it even better was the fact that Sabe loved the theme so much. He kept saying "Happy Monsters!" and that definitely made me a happy Mommy! :)


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