Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen

Hubby and I have been meaning to try this Italian restaurant for the longest time ever since his mom gave rave reviews about it. And we finally did by having our date there last Valentine's Day! ;p

Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen is a casual dining restaurant that serves authentic Italian dishes. The place itself is actually the old family home of the owners, so it really has that cozy, intimate, relaxed vibe. 

It was really hard to order with so many appetizing choices, but this is what we finally ended up getting (you can check out their full menu HERE):

their free bread with two types of sauces, tomato & pesto
Pizza Bianca
cream, mozzarella, mushroom, bacon
P275 (12") / P375 (14")
the pizza came with a side of alfalfa sprouts
Marbled Rib Eye Steak
exceptional tenderness imported from Australia
Risotto Tartufo Funghi
wild mushroom and truffle cream

Everything was delicious! The pizza was thin, crispy and very flavorful. The steak was cooked just right and went really well with the risotto, which I absolutely loved!

My only complain if any would be that the dishes were served one at a time with quite a bit of waiting in between. We had already finished the pizza before the steak came, and then it was another couple of minutes before the risotto finally arrived (probably because it really takes a long time to prepare). But other than that, it was a great dining experience. The owner even personally came to our table to ask us how the meal was and to greet us a Happy Valentine's Day. :)

I'm still dreaming about that risotto and can't wait to be back to try the other dishes. This is definitely a new favorite date place of ours. :)

B1 L36 Tropical Ave. corner Tropical Palace BF International, 1721 Las PiƱas
BF HOMES: +632-519-1977, +63917-515-6262
NUVALI: (049) 302-0752 , +63915-789-6262
Twitter: @mama_lous
Instagram: #mamalous

Store Hours:
Sun - Thur: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 12:00 am

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Homemade Playdough from Beads&Balls Giveaways

One of my kids' favorite things to play with is playdough, so I was really excited when Beads & Balls giveaways asked me to try their new product.

Their homemade playdough is 100% non-toxic and made of food grade materials. It comes in different colors (light or bright) and scents (strawberry, lemon, banana, ube, vanilla, orange, pineapple, pandan, chocolate). 

I've bought clay before for the kids that was cheaper than the original Play-Doh brand, and it was a sticky mess! So I'm happy that this homemade playdough is really soft and doesn't leave residue on your hands. It also doesn't dry easily. The kids accidentally left one container open and it still retained most of its softness a few days after.

You can also add shimmer to the playdough, which my little girl loved!

The different scents smelled really good too...

And it's very affordable for as low as P20/container.

As you can see, my kids had a blast playing with the playdough!

These are also great to give as giveaways for kids. Here's a sample packaging from their Instagram page: @stuffshop0

So check out Beads & Balls giveaways if you want to order. They also make rosary & hand sanitizer giveaways too, perfect for baptismals, birthdays, weddings or whatever occasion. :)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Black Pig charcuterie, bar & restaurant

For our anniversary a few weeks ago, hubby and I decided to have lunch at The Black Pig, a restaurant we've been hearing about from friends.

The Black Pig is inspired by a shared appreciation for two noble creatures: Spain's black Iberico pig, known to be the finest ham in the world, and our own native lechon, widely regarded as the Philippines' national dish. Each one has interesting origins and distinct benefits; both are delicious beyond compare.

al fresco area

Don't be fooled by the restaurant's name though, they don't serve only pork. They also serve an interesting mix of European-inspired recipes using fresh local ingredients. They were still on soft opening during our visit, so not sure how much of their menu/prices will still change.

Hubby was most excited to order the Craft Beers. The Black Pig Beer Flight (P350) is a must try consisting of the ff: MMA (Mt. Macedon Pale Ale), ESB (Extra Special Bitter), Road Trip (American IPA), & Local Craft Beer Hefe Weizen.

Here's what we ended up getting:

Crispy Onion Rings (P120) - this was soooo good and super flavorful, I could eat this all day!
Mushroom Risotto (P280) - this was delicious but serving is quite small for me. MORE please! ;p
Pan-Fried Chicken Breast (P480) - braised chicken leg, polenta, black olives, tomato concasse
Oven-Baked local Pork Belly & Bone Marrow (P480) - baby carrot, mashed potato, thyme & garlic-infused pork jus

I really didn't have any expectations of the place, but I have to say that I enjoyed every single bite of our meal. Everything we had was delicious and had me craving for more. I'm so happy we decided to eat here since it made our anniversary all the more memorable. :)


We came back a month after we first ate here, since hubby was craving their Pork Belly dish hehe. This time, there was free bread given which was missing from our first trip here...

We also decided to try their Charcuterie Board which was the Chef's selection of their best charcuterie. I don't really know the exact meats, but I liked the 2nd one from the left the best, whatever that was. ;p

The Black Pig Charcuterie Board (P850)

Hubby ordered the Oven-Baked local Pork Belly & Bone Marrow again, while I decided to try something new and went for the Open Ravioli. Big mistake on my part. I honestly thought it was going to look like normal ravioli but I guess I totally missed out on the "open" part. If you see from the picture below, it's basically a salad which I didn't even know how to eat hehe. Reminds me of dishes I see in food shows which are beautifully plated but will not fill you up (so yes, I was still hungry after grrr!). In fairness, it tasted good but not something I would pay almost P400 for. I think vegetarians would love this though.

Open Ravioli of Local Vegetable with Quail Eggs (P380) - ricotta gnocchi & herb sauce

THE BLACK PIG Charcuterie, Bar & Restaurant
2F The Commercenter Alabang, Commerce Ave. corner East Asia Dr., Filinvest, Muntinlupa City 
Telephone: +632 808-1406
Mobile: +63 917 846-2674

Facebook: The Black Pig
InstagramThe Black Pig Manila


Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays)
Lunch - 12 noon to 3:00 PM
Dinner - 6:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Bar - 3:00 PM onwards

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Princess Barbie birthday party

Our little girl Miley turned 4 last week and she celebrated by having a small party in school with her classmates. I've been asking her what theme she wanted and the obvious reply was Barbie. She also loves dressing up as a princess (she wears a gown and a tiara almost everyday) so of course I had to add that in. :)

I would have wanted to use the colors all pink since that's her favorite, but would you believe all her classmates are boys?! So as much as I wanted to make her party as girly as possible, I decided to also use the color blue, which turned out quite nicely.

DIY party printables
used washi tape from Crafty Hattie to seal the envelopes
birthday banner

These loot bags are from Crafty Hattie and were the perfect size to hold the treats for the giveaways.

I tied the bags up with baker's twine and added personalized tags for each one

We just ordered food from McDonald's for the party, but I bought juice separately since I didn't want to serve the kids softdrinks. These Angry Bird tetra packs clashed with our theme, so I just made Barbie juice box covers. :)

The cake is from our favorite bakeshop Cielin's, and I just personalized it to fit our theme by placing one of Miley's tiaras on top. Instant princess cake!

The strawberry cupcakes are also from Cielin's and I just added the usual DIY toppers. The cupcake holders are also from Crafty Hattie.

We brought everything to school but I just had to set it up at home for a nice photo-op with the birthday girl. Here are more pics from her party. :)

So again, happy happy 4th birthday to our little princess! We love you so much! :)


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