New Year discoveries: Vanilla tea cake and ‘no-lansa’ smoked salmon | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Two of my biggest Christmas discoveries are Chipi Davila’s Vanilla Tea Cake and Mida Food’s Smoked Salmon.

Davila has always loved baking. A two-year stint in New York prodded her to take up baking at the Institute of Culinary Education, formerly Peter Kump’s.

“I like rustic, Old World tastes,” said Davila. “I like baking bread and desserts. I don’t decorate. My style is more neighborhood bakery or baked by the person who lives upstairs.”

Her Vanilla Tea Cake is excellent. It’s a cake of contradictions—it melts and crumbles in the mouth. An Old Spanish provincial recipe, it is a pound cake that is somewhat a cross between a cookie and a crust, moist yet dry and dense; it is topped with caramel tinged-whipped cream.

Her Butterscotch Sauce is sublime. So Upper East Side! If it were up to me, I would easily empty her four-ounce jar and pour it on a scoop of vanilla ice cream. My brother Boy does not need ice cream. He spoons the butterscotch off the jar.

Davila has mastered the art of making her patrons look forward to what she’ll do next. Everything she makes is done just right, she makes you crave for more.

I am not a fudge person but her chocolate fudge topping is also very good. So is her New York Cheesecake: so velvety and smooth, rich and creamy. Very sinful.

Another of her creations is for tea lovers—Rosemary Herb Butter Cookies. It’s a buttery and aromatic bouquet in one bite!

Call Chipi Davila at 0917-8817049.


I finally had the chance to try the smoked salmon of Mida Foods and it is fantastic.

No lansa! No sharp fishy aftertaste! Texture-wise, it’s nice and meaty, not crumbly, watery not durog, so unlike those that have been stored in wrong temperature or that have been kept frozen forever.

I served it as appetizer for Christmas lunch and my clan wiped it out.

It will even deliver just a pack of salmon to your doorstep for a P300 delivery charge. Delivery charges are waived for orders P5,000 up.

Call Mida Food Corp. at 0917-7916432.

Here’s what to do:

Arrange the salmon on a platter and serve with these condiments, individually arranged on ramekins: chopped chives, minced red onions, sour cream, lemon wedges, and, if you really like your guests, caviar. I also serve mine with a pear compote and a dill sauce.

Dill sauce:

¼ c Dijon mustard

1 tbsp sugar, adjust according to taste

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

3 tbsp chopped fresh dill

½ c sour cream

¼ c cream

1 tbsp finely chopped capers

1 tbsp gherkins, finely chopped (optional, but I like the kick of it)

Salt, to taste

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Serve cold

Pear compote:

2 pears, US pears preferably (the Asian varieties are too watery), small dice

½ c sugar

1 tsp fresh thyme

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp mustard powder

Pepper flakes, pinch

1 tsp vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine in saucepan. Cook until water has evaporated and the pears are soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Aloe Cure

There are many facets to Bettina Osmeña.

A cancer survivor, she is the force behind Pink Kitchen. Her hubby is Sen. Serge Osmeña. With Bing Bing Quiros, she trades in Aloe Vera-based natural and organic products.

She sent me Aloe Cure and asked me to try it. According to her, it’s perfect for the holidays, after our so many days of over-indulging.

“Like you, I am a lover of rich food and fine wine which causes acid reflux,” she told me.

According to Bettina, she came across the product in a trade fair. What caught her attention was a tarp that read: “Aloe Cure—Like a fire hydrant for your acid reflux.”

“I have been taking anti-acids and knew that it was not good for the long term,” she said. “I tried Aloe Cure, it worked and I was hooked.”

I had a chance to check how effective it was recently when my manang Cristy all of a sudden suffered from acid stomach. She turned pale, was cold sweating and was in great discomfort.

I asked her to take two ounces of grape-flavored Aloe Cure, straight up from the measuring cup that came with the bottle.

We checked the time she actually drank it; an experiment to prove if the product worked.

In less than 10 minutes, she said she felt a whole lot better.

She finally left our house and sent me a text 15 minutes after. She said she was feeling much better.

Another must-try are the aloe chunks. “It contains 200 vitamins minerals and amino acids that help rebuild your cells,” said Bettina. “It should be taken with fresh fruit juice like mango juice.

“I have it every morning with iced tanglad tea. You can also mix it with yoghurt. It’s rich in fiber which aids in constipation and a great detoxifier.”

After knowing the benefits of Aloe Cure, we now have the license to eat, drink and be merry! Call 888-ALOE.

Happy New Year!