CHRISTMAS brings both joy and difficulty: Joy because of the Christian message of hope and salvation; and difficulty because it is also that time of the year when you go crazy trying to figure out what to give your loved ones.
But take heart—using your cell phone, iPad or laptop, the difficulty can be hurdled.
Here are 19 Christmas gift suggestions:
1) Bob and Ninay’s Turkey—crispy skin, moist, fantastic gravy, mashed potato and cranberry. Very reasonably priced. Tel. 0918-9098850, 9840065
2) Best crunchy and chewy macadamia or pistachio sans rival from chef Jill Sandique. Tel. 4978811, 0922-8262673.
3) H Cuisine’s most awesome, melt-in-your mouth Angus beef belly with delicious gravy. Tel. 0917-7771411, 4130347
5) Out-of-this-world truffle cake from Ginny de Guzman’s Gustare. Tel. 4030345, 0917-8350820
6) Bateau crepe, chocolate panna cotta, flourless truffle cake from Mara de La Rama, one of the most talented bakers in Manila today. Tel. 0917-8036272, 0917-8116272, 4052580
7) Apple pie over cheesecake, fantastic chocolate cake and sticky toffee pudding from chef Mai Ote. You will faint when you try these. Tel. 0917-5330443
8) Baby Phat ensaymada—heavy, moist and delicious. I personally love the ube. Now exported abroad. Tel. 0917-7901127
9) Felicia’s Ensaymada from Bacolod—one of the best I’ve tried. With delivery service. Tel. (034) 443-443-6586, 0918-5514638
10) Valrhona chocolate cake by Dolchelatte—moist, not too sweet, a masterpiece. Tel. 0917-5563374
11) Chicken empanada, moist ham and cheese bread, and lasagna from Cris Ompaoco. I dream about them. A class on their own. Tel. 9200927, 2341990
12) Crème brûlée cake that is moist but crunchy on top, one that never ceases to get compliments, and very reasonably priced, too. Made by Camille Ocampo. Tel. 0916-7457729
13) Best upside-down cakes: Amaretto and Prune by chef and badminton star Tani Bautista. Tel. 5346359, 5322495
14) Chef Jyn’s super Mediterranean chicken—moist and very flavorful, perfect with her flavored basmati yellow rice and chili oil. This year, she came out with Hainanese Chicken rice, also extremely delicious and well-packaged. Tel. 0917-5280563
15) Delicious chocolate cake and colored eclairs with a variety of flavors made by chef Sunshine Pengson, one of the most talented pastry chefs in Manila today. Tel. 5680917, 0917-7047118
16) Czar’s Apple Pie, winner in a cookfest. Perfect with sliced queso de bola. Tel. 0917-5411167, 6220830
17) La Tasca Bibingka—something that sounds so simple but never fails to get compliments in any potluck. I’ve been bringing this since the early 1990s. Tel. 8979749, 8965543
18) Kitchen’s Best chocolate cakes such as Plaisir cake and turtle pie. It also makes a mean mango sans rival and chocolate sans rival. Tel. 0917-8966248
19) General Lechon—the best I have ever tried. Done Negros Occidental-style, it comes in four flavors: regular, garlic, curry, and chili garlic. I personally love the chili garlic—sudden burst of spice that immediately disappears. Recently it has also started making cochinillo in the same four flavors, plus curry rice stuffing. Tel. 0917-8975966
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