iLoveToBake #8: Banana Muffins and Muffinettes

I’m bored and I don’t know what to do. Most of the time, I just sit in front of my laptop and stare at it. So after logging out from work and to make the most out of my free time, I decided to bake muffins but not the usual big muffins. 
If cupcakes are the smaller version of cakes, now I have MUFFINETTES as smaller version of muffins.
To make it a healthier treat, I used Muscovado sugar, honey and a little of white sugar as sweeteners. Using the same cashew banana batter, I added some choco chips to make it extra sweet.

Want to try it? Just visit my facebook page and leave a message or just simply comment on this blog.  :)

Ilocos Itinerary: Day 1: Vigan City Tour - Baluarte + Hidden Garden
Just after having breakfast at our hotel, we immediately went out to meet Kuya Lenzer, our super nice tour guide, for the official start of our City Tour. Our first stop was the famous Baluarte – a park / zoo owned by Mr. Chavit Singson. There is no entrance fee here but donations are very much appreciated. Guests also need to register before entering the premises. The first animal that welcomed us were cute and lovely birds and one of them is this. (yung iba kasi nakapatong sa balikat ng mga guest para sa picture taking.)
Photo op is allowed and free. Again, donations / tips are very much welcome. We all had our pictures taken with the birds before proceeding to the next attraction. Just in front of the birds were the Ostriches. 
Actually for me, Baluarte looks like a super huge ranch. Haha. There were lots of greens because of the grasses and trees and animals like goats were free to walk around. Hihi. 
Anyways, next to the ostrich, we had a stop-over at the gigantic dinosaur figure for some picture taking. 
Next was the loner deer. We also passed by the reptile section but I didn’t bother entering because I don’t like seeing snakes. Arte lang. :p And of course, the animal that I wanted to see the most – Tigers! Cute and Fierce (tapang ko mag picture kasi tulog siya bwaha :p)
I really want to have a tiger cub pet pero baka pag lumaki na siya, di ko na kayanin. :p 
Anyways, it was such a short walk but we got tired immediately because of too much heat. The weather was so cooperative during our tour. 
If I’m not mistaken, there were some cute Calesas available (for rent or free?) that will roam you around the place but we preferred to walk so malamang may bayad yun. :p

Click here to know more about Baluarte.

After Baluarte, our next stop was the Hidden Garden
I find it weird to have a tourist attraction located within a residential area. It was like a house with huge garden keeping and taking good care of lots of plants and flowers. Near the entrance is the celebrity corner - pictures of celebrities who were able to visit the place. 

There’s also an altar,
and Lover's corner. 
Souvenir items, pots, plants and flowers on display are for sale too. 

There’s nothing much to see in this place but if you’re a plant lover, then go visit the place. J

Click here to know more about Hidden Garden.

Check out my friend's blog too. 

iLoveToBake #7: Project #4: Cars-themed Cupcakes

A week after my Hello Kitty project, here comes my Car-themed cupcakes. God is so good! It was the same neighbor who ordered the blue + yellow boxes of brownies for her son’s christening. Before ordering, she requested me to bake some carrot cupcakes for a taste test. Luckily, she liked my creations and finally asked me to bake120 pieces of cupcakes for her son's 1st birthday party. I told her that I added apples in it so I guess we can call it Apple – Carrot cupcakes.
So presenting to you guys my cars-themed cupcakes.
Cars - just take it literally :p
Racing Flags, Traffic cones, Stop sign and Stop lights
I saw this packaging material in one of the weddings I've attended
Downside: there's a tendency that cupcakes may fall especially when they're heavy. Better put some tapes to stick the base with the cover.
Cucpakes with birthday gifts
Up close with the cupcakes
It’s so nice to hear people say that my cakes taste good especially kids! The neighbor also told me that her relatives enjoyed it too. It’s not too sweet and the flavor of apple and bits of carrots were evident.
Want to try it? Order now at my Sweets’ Haven! :)

Do you still remember the first carrot cupcake I made? I replaced the chocolate ganache with cream cheese frosting and the carrot candy with cars made of fondant.

Please visit my facebook page for more products. Satisfy your sweet cravings for a sweeter life.

Ilocos Itinerary: Day 0: Vigan Café Uno and Calle Crisologo

Right after checking-in at Vigan Plaza Hotel, we immediately went out to stroll along Calle Crisilogo and at the same time, to eat dinner at Café Uno.
It was past 8 in the evening when we arrived in Vigan so most; actually, all shops along the street were already closed. Our first agenda was to look for Café Uno. We’ve read a lot of good reviews about the place so why not give it a try.
We thought that the restaurant was closed already so we went to the open food area just in front of it without knowing that it was affiliated with Café Uno. I forgot the name of the place but I think it's Uno Grill. Hihi. The place was not packed with guests when we arrive and the interior of the place was dimmed and quiet.
Note: Guests can order dishes from menu list of Cafe Uno, Uno Grill and Kafe Felicitas.
Anyways and as always, I can no longer give you exact details of how each food tastes. The only thing I remembered is that the Chicken dish I ordered was a hit for all of us. We had fun dining  here – good food for a very cheap price. The staffs were friendly and accommodating. I can say that we had a success for our first food trip in Vigan, Ilocos.
**updates: I've seen my draft of my Ilocos post!So I will be updating the food reviews. :)

Fiesta Fried Rice (Php110) - fried rice with scrambled egg, chorizo, green peas and bell pepper. I liked this. It can actually be eaten even without viand. Though it’s tasty, it doesn’t steal away the flavour of other dishes we have.

Bagnet Sisig (Php 190) - a must try! Who wouldn’t want to try bagnet when in Ilocos? This is one of the reason why we were there.:p Bagnet is just like a lechon kawali here in Manila. My friend told me that Bagnet was just cooked differently. It was fried 3 times.(Je tama ba?) Anyways, the dish was good, quite sinful because of the fats and oil. But you would all agree that just made it extra special and delicious.

Pinakbet (Php 100) - Since we knew that bagnet is not good for our health, we opted to get a vegetable dish to lessen the guilt. I’m not a fan of pinakbet since I only eat the ampalaya and string beans. But I liked the sauce, super daming bagoong.

Chicken Karimbuaya (Php 175) - super hit! It was me who suggested this. Yes I’m super proud because everyone liked this. Hihi. It really has a unique flavour but I don’t know what it is. Hihi. It looks like an Inasal Chicken but taste differently.

After dinner, we continue wandering along Calle Crisologo. We take pictures from everywhere. I may be weird but I was fascinated with what we saw. It’s like a blast from the past.  Luma na kung luma pero ang galing that they were able to keep its beauty behind its simplicity. I believe that some buildings there were residential, others were commercial and a Police / Barangay office. 
 There's a group of teens chatting and playing along this so serene street even if it's already late at night.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to explore Calle Crisologo during day time due to a very limited time. We didn’t even had the chance to try Vigan Empanada and buy some souvenir items.

**Please read my friend's blog for more information about our Ilocos Trip. :)

Café Uno
#1 Bonifacio St.
Corner Quirino
Vigan, Ilocos Sur