July 2008

Cakes by Kat

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Pin It Kat is a Filipina mom of four boys, currently living in Bangkok, Thailand, who loves to bake, and boy, does she have the artistic talent and patience for it. She bakes cakes, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, cupcake cakes and cookie cakes (it's the first time I've heard of a cookie cake, cool idea, mess-free cake for kids! Smart mom!) for different family occasions and has turned her hobby into a home business, Cakes by Kat. She uses special premium ingredients for her cakes such as Belgium chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut butter mousse filling, vanilla orange, gummy bears, chocolate truffles, white chocolate, raspberry and a lot more. Here are some of my favorites among her creations.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Fish Cookies

Christmas Cookies
Brownies
Flower Cupcakes
Cartoon Cupcakes
Race Car Cupcake Cake
Groovy Chick
Make-up Pouch
Topsy Turvey
Flower Princess
Princess Castle
Easter Cake
Kevin's Basketball Cake
Classic Black Forest
Chocolate Truffle Cake
Cheesecake
She'll be transferring to Jakarta, Indonesia soon because her husband will be assigned there. For those in Jakarta, I'll be posting her contact details as soon as she's settled there so you know where to reach her for pastry orders. For now, you can view more of her delectable confections at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cakes_by_kat/
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Conti's Pastry Shop & Restaurant

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pin It Conti's boasts a very wide selection of mouth watering food. Almost everything in their menu is scrumptious and so far, everything I've tried is really good. Since I'm a southern girl, I've pretty much grown up with Conti's.

As I remember, I'm not sure if they have the same owners or if they were co-owners, it started with Dates & Nuts. It was a small restaurant in BF Homes, Paranaque, right across Tropical Hut Supermarket. They had the best iced tea, it was frosted and had a distinct taste exclusive to the restaurant. I also remember always ordering their lasagna as a kid. I loved the taste, not too sweet, it was just right. I also loved their roast beef. Their food was the best!

One of the owners that I see there usually, I don't know her name, but since we were regular customers, she would always walk over to our table and ask how we like our food. That same woman I saw when Conti's opened just a few meters away from Dates & Nuts, which is now Dates Cafe. I don't know the history of ownership and management of the two restaurants, but it seems that the menu of Dates & Nuts was carried over to Conti's plus they added a whole lot more.

Anyway, we also transferred to Conti's because the ambience is much more nicer and roomier, also they still have the same, great food. They had their own building, with an office, function room, stock room, and a room big enough to accomodate people ordering for the holidays, on the upper floors. The left side of the ground floor is the restaurant itself while the right side is the take out counter. They have shelves and refs which showcase pastries, cakes, spreads, and frozen viands.

Since I don't cook and don't have a cook, I regularly visit this place. I usually get the tuna sandwich spread for sandwiches, frozen lasagna and baked macaroni for my pasta items, and for my meat items, I get frozen roast beef and caldereta. Even if its frozen, the food still tastes good after just heating it up in the microwave, so that works very well for me. When I'm in a frying mood, I also get their beef tapa, it's really tender so my teeth doesn't hurt after eating.

I love reading menus even after I've said my order to the waiter. While waiting for my food, I get a kick out of reading the tasteful descriptions of each dish, and my appetite level really goes up. Conti's menu leaves me wanting to order more and more, if only the food themselves would fit my little stomach.

Some of my favorites include Arroz Ala Cubana which is sweeter than the average meaty version of other restaurants, Shrimp Supreme, their shrimp-filled bun sandwich with a small side macaroni salad, and the Mango Royale Salad. Even though I don't usually like fruits in my salad, this is an exception, for the mangoes really go well with the chicken and their greens topped with their yummy salad sauce.

I also love their Baked Prawns with Japanese fried rice and Baked Salmon with Paella rice, both were absolutely heavenly. You really can't help but feel the sensation of every bite, definitely divine. The Beef Teppanyaki is also delicious, at first I thought it would be like any other teppanyakis of Japanese restaurants, but when I put my first bite inside my mouth, it was so tasty that I finished the whole thing in minutes.

For dessert, I usually go for the Mango Bravo Cake whose reputation has reached even the non-Southerners, especially now that Conti's has branches in Greenhills, Serendra and Trinoma.
I also like their Choco Almond Sansrival Cake, the almonds giving right balance to this sweet treat.


Their Frothy Iced Tea is very similar to my old time Dates & Nuts favorite drink, although the serving is not enough for me as I'm an iced tea lover and I always avail the bottomless or refillable option.
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