7 Ways to Reinvent Hot Chocolate

Johnny Depp's character in Chocolat, Roux had good reason to make Hot Chocolate his favorite. For one thing, it cures all ailments, curses, and maladies-plus it helps me replenish my supply of crazy ideas on gray days.

photocredit fanpop.com

How do you say no to that?

Today I was feeling a bit down and anti-human for no reason. I'm not contemplating wiping out the entire human race, it's just that today, I like them less than usual.

So I went loco and made some choco. Not just one mug, but 7. Different ways I like my hot chocolate. No, there was no gluttony involved.

First the type of chocolate:
You can use either powdered cocoa,  semi-sweet dark chocolate, or tablea.

Milk (don't tell my doc I'm indulging in dairy)

Sugar or not.

Whipping cream. Because the world is a better place with whipping cream.

How to make it?
Heat 1 cup milk, add 1tbsp cocoa powder or about 2tbsp of dark semi sweet chocolate chips (or more, if you want it thicker) , sugar, stir/melt.

Old school plain and creamy.

Rich thick cocoa, milk, a dash of sugar and a helping of whipped cream. Might help resurrect the child in you.

With vanilla and cinnamon.

Classic flavors that I also like with my coffee. The vanilla complements the richness of the cocoa while cinnamon gives it a pleasant kick. I'm thinking pumpkin spice will work as Halloween treat.

Sexy Chili.

You know how they often say chocolate is an aphrodisiac? Hot cocoa and chili is a stronger version of it. One that makes you instinctively bite your lip, feel your curves and electrifying your skin when it comes into contact with your hand. One that helps you realize how attractive you are.

Okay, this one really is cinnamon. The chili one is the first photo :p

With coffee.

Two beautiful things come together to make a cup of world peace.A former officemate liked to call his version "chofee" instead of mocha. He's rebellious that way.


Who doesn't love Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha? It was one of the reasons I got the yearly planner. A dash of peppermint syrup can be very refreshing to the palate as it counters the thick cocoa.

You can add some coffee in the mix to make your version of PM.

The Ultimate Mug of Happiness.

More chocolate. And not just chocolate but a big helping of Nutella. +14 INT, +8 STR , and +10 Resistance to Idiots.

The Ultimate Mug of Happiness is excellent, but isn't my favorite.

This is

The Greater Mug of Happines. It's your usual TUMG but with a dash of peppermint syrup.

Clearly playing too much Diablo while making hot chocolate isn't a very good idea.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

CK Cravings: Mei Heong Yuen Flavored Ice

Cravings are exempt from reason.

Today, I'm dreaming of Flavored Ice / Shaved Ice / Snow Ice (an Ice by any other name) from Mei Heong Yuen.

[water]Melon Lychee Ice
A few years back, a then new friend showed us around Chinatown in Singapore. We were greeted with stalls of souvenirs, trinkets and thingamabobs. While it was tempting to splurge the remainder of our budget over small items that our friends back home will probably never use, we were here for something more important: cold dessert on a hot day.

It was around $6SGD about two years ago
It was a good idea to take a picture of the receipt after all. I could never have remembered the name of the place. A short walk from Chinatown MRT, Mei Heong Yuen serves as an oasis for exhausted shoppers and dessert lovers.

Mango Strawberry Ice
Sheets of thinly shaved flavored ice drizzled with syrup and topped with fresh mangoes and sago filled with flavored syrup-I have no idea what they called it. I found a local store who sold something similar called it "poppers". It was a pleasant experience compared to when I first tasted seaweed that was bursting with fishy seawater. eck.

While the Mango-Strawberry Ice was more on the rich, creamy side, the Watermelon Lychee was more light and refreshing. It was really good to have someone who knew what to pick, otherwise we'd be lost in the long list of flavors.

Our friend said an order was good for sharing. Looks like they didn't consider sweet-toothed gluttons like us. In any case it melts QUICKLY so eating it fast is a good idea. Thanks for the awesome time, Erik and Vermon :D

Mei Heong Yuen
67 Temple St, Singapore 058611
2 Orchard Turn
#B4-34 ION ORchard

Saturday, September 13, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

Someone Else's Loss

I wasn't sure if this was something I should share.

I felt sad when I learned that you passed on.
Hook Screencap

You were a part of my life that I wasn't always ready to face, you reminded me too much of him.
I spent too much time with him admiring your work, your brilliance, dreaming that we'd be able to ask you to do our eulogies.
So much that it feels you're like his horcrux minus the murder and black magic.

You who showed how it was okay to be a little more crazy than society would suggest.

I always thought you'd be the kind of dad who'd drive beside a grass fire just so we could burst out the other end, pretending this was an action movie. Then you'd say "That was a very stupid and dangerous thing to do!" while laughing until we had runner's stitch.

At a very young age I was able to understand that some people are better parents on their own. That I was going to be okay. All that while your fake boobs burned and and ongoing crash course about dinosaurs.

Lastly, you gave me a reason to write. I don't do it regularly and my grammar sucks in many occasions, but that part is my fault. To woo. To go about to see a girl--or boy in my case--that was all you.

It must have been very hard. I hope the pain has stopped now.

Maybe if we all have someone to give us a spark to hold on to. Someone to say "Stay. I'd like you to keep trying for me"
Because we can only give that to others, never to ourselves. Maybe, just maybe if we keep on doing that, we'd have enough for everyone to keep a fire going.

I have no idea what it's like to go, to leave everything and find what's really out there---or the lack there of.  But I know what it's like to be left behind.. There is not one second of it that I didn't like. So if it's not too much to ask, it'd be nice if you didn't have to go.

It doesn't help that you left the same day someone special in my life did. Wherever you are sir, thank you, for sharing your spark.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

What's in Your Disaster-Preparedness Bag?

The sky outside hid behind a white veil that concealed everything.

That was yesterday.

Today, the metro is surrounded by growling nimbus-es waiting for their cue to unleash their load.

I have been mulling over this post for more than a month, never convinced that it is good enough.
This time, I will heed Seth Godin's advice and just fucking ship.

Yes, by this time, we are all aware that the rainy season is upon us. One of the things I was taught to do during this season, was to replenish our disaster bag or as my dad fondly called it; D-Bag  (Now you know where I get my irreverence).

We were supposed to have two, one for home and one that we carry everywhere.

The biggest challenge for me was the dent it put in my grocery budget--the perils of living alone. This is why it's best to start small and build it with every passing salary.

I'm sharing this in the hopes that it could help you the same way it came handy for us.


Clean Drinking Water

Small separate bottles are ideal for mobility and prevention of contamination. I started with 500 and 350ml bottles. While big containers allow you to stock more drinking water for the fam, these are mobile-friendly.

Non-Perishable Food
Canned goods

While I can never be as good as that dude in Resident Evil (dammit, I hate that movie adaptation) who had an uncanny ability to tell what's inside your unlabeled can of goodies, it is wise to stack up on cans that do not require can openers. Unless you can open it with your teeth, then by all means, go ahead, and make sure to join my party when the Z-invasion happens.


These babies do not need to be cooked and will provide the salt your body needs to prevent cramping. It is not healthy to consume these regularly, but on rainy days Ready-to-Eat is your best bet.

Instant Noodles

Nothing helps beat the cold better than a hot steaming soup. And since one is expected to have limited resources at this point, instant is ideal.

Portable Cooking Device

How else are you going to cook a pack of hot noodles without electricity? The idea is to stay warm, just in case you weren't too sure.

Plastic bags/ziplock bags

The problem with placing things in an elevated surface is that you have to keep putting them in a higher place as the flood gets higher. I learned that the hard way during Ondoy, after all my clothes have been dyed a muddy chocolate brown.
Just put them in a plastic bag, seal, and keep away from any sharp objects.

The same goes for your devices. Zip, secure in your pocket, and fearlessly face the rain.
No? Sorry. Bad humor.

Tool Kit/ Swiss Knife

Can opener-busted door opener-loom band cutter. A Swiss Knife is portable and will help you in many sticky situations.


The D-bag I usually bring with me consist of folded ziplock or plastic bags, a Swiss Knife, some crackers, and coffee. Because coffee is of paramount importance. 
If you've ever been stranded, you'll be thankful you had these on hand. 

There is a fine line between being disaster ready and hoarding. If it's just the essentials, you're still good.

I didn't add umbrellas because I have a history of accidentally hitting random strangers with my umbrella

The red cross suggests this survival kit.for home use.

Stay dry everyone!
Now for that soup :3

Friday, August 1, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

Global Taste of Korea 2014: Cook Your Way To Korea

Sharpen your knives, and get ready for Global Taste of Korea 2014!

On June 24, 2014, The Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines will be holding a cook fest showcasing the best traditional and contemporary Korean dishes our Filipino chefs can come up with.

I think I wouldn't last 5 minutes before horribly embarrassing myself, then finally fainting in front of everybody.

Interested? You have until June 15 to join. 
Head on over to http://phil.korean-culture.org/navigator.do?menuCode=201002010014&action=VIEW&seq=54222 and register! 
I'd love to root for someone :3

See you there!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

Chicken and Egg Sandwich Before Dinner

I was having one of those chicken-and-egg conundrums when I decided just to eat them both. Then its now both dead and not dead--wait, wrong reference.

This'll be quick.Hopefully.

You'll need
Chicken Breast Fillets
Whole Wheat Bread
Chili Powder


Coat chicken breast fillets in salt, pepper, chopped rosemary and squeeze half a lemon. Pan fry until well done.


 You can have it open-faced

Beside a bread if you decide you want more

Or the usual way

 Why am I hurrying?
 I want one more serving, or maybe another cup o' coffee.

Thursday, May 8, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

Kyochon Chicken is Finally in the Philippines!

There's a new chick in town, and it's going to change your fried chicken experience!

Last April 30, 2014, I had the chance to join the VIP lunch hosted by Kyochon in Megamall.

We were treated to an afternoon of good food. I don't get many cheat days, so I have to really choose where I spend them. It looks like I made a good choice :D

Rice Cake Soup

Soup will always have a special place in my heart.
The chicken based broth had a deep, savory taste that can only be acquired by hours of boiling. I was told the chicken was boiled whole to ensure all the flavors of the chicken is infused in the broth. 

Chicken Salad with Blueberry Dressing

I was overjoyed to find something in the menu that my diet program agrees with. Crisp greens, red cabbage, cherry tomatoes and a piece of perfectly grilled chicken fillet that is seasoned very lightly to give way to the blueberry dressing. Tart and fruity with a hint of sweetness, their blueberry vinaigrette was light and refreshing. The serving was good enough for 4 as we had other dishes to sample.

Happiness is finding good healthy food within your budget.

The Chicken Series

The cardinal rule in making good ol' fried chicken is making sure you get the oil temperature right. But what happens when you add a twenty year old , double deep frying technique  glazed in either soy, honey or chili? You get Kyochon Chicken's  Korean-style fried chicken: delicate and crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. 


Soy Series

Light and flavorful. The rich flavors of garlic and soy make this a classic must try.

Honey Series

Coated in a sweet honey sauce, the Honey series makes for a succulent treat.

Soonsal Series

Boneless chicken fillet lightly coated in a rice crispy batter, the Soonsal series demands a limelight of its own. Its delicate flavor is contrasted by a thick, sweet, barbecue sauce that will surely tickle your taste buds.


Red Series

3/4 of the people in our table fell head over heels over this spicy treat (yes, including me <3). I love how the spice lingered around my mouth and slowly burned without being too overpowering. This is the perfect beer mate.

The only sad part? I wasn't able to pair it with beer! If you haven't heard, Korean Style fried chicken goes best with mekju (beer) thus the term, ChiMek. *Insert My Lover From the Stars fantasy dinners*

Good chicken is best shared with great people

I wouldn't mind sharing it with their gorgeous new endorser Lee Min Ho. hahah, I know, I know -dream on, Ice.

Kyochon Chicken
SM Megamall Building B
Mandaluyong City

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

6 Tips in Getting Through Phase 1: Eliminating the Unnecessary

So, have you started the program yet?

Here are a compilation of tips and hacks that I learned when I was going through phase 1 of  the Jun Danganan diet --well, tbh, they were things I remembered AFTER posting. :p

  • Eat whenever you are hungry. 
Bananas are allowed in this phase

Comforting, yes? You can eat even in between the two-hour meal intervals as long as it is in the allowed list of food items.

  • Plain, unsalted, grease-less peanuts and cashews are great in-between snacks

They have been my lifesavers during long commutes or when I go out with friends who are not on the program. The best place to find the plain ones? Baking supply stores.

  • It can be NOT expensive. 

Steamed Kangkong for extra fiber 

What does your 50php budget meal has to say to this? 10php + boiled water + some boiling skill = 1 1/2 meals. Or if you are feeling a little luxurious, this cauliflower and green bean meal cost around 60php. If you eat outside all the time, then yes, it will be expensive.

  • NO MSG. Sorry, non-negotiable.

That includes your all-in-one and sorcery mixes 
Did you know that adding a bit of fish sauce (patis) gives your dishes that same umami (malinamnam) kick? But fish sauce wouldn't be part of your "can-eat" list until phase 4

Is your sweet tooth screaming profanities at you? Shut it up with a bit of lemon water. It worked when the chocoholic in me was begging me to end it's misery.

  • Pack Up a Lot of Will Power

You will be bombarded by different variations of "Just This One Time" or "Minsan Lang Naman eh!". The thing is, you had a lot of 'just this one time's in the past and you will be able to have it on your designated cheat day. That "one-time" during this phase will put to waste your efforts in "eating right this time". I'm a guilty friend in trying to sway friends on a diet. The best answer I received? "Sino pa bang niloko ko pag nag cheat ako? Ako din naman"   (Who am I kidding if I cheat? It'll be me) Okay. sorry :( That answer inspired me to soldier on on days where I wanted to hit somebody with an electric fan. 

I hope that helps. By the way, thank you. I was surprised by the amount of views on the previous post. I'm not sure if it's because of the muscular coach in the cover photo or you really want to lose weight. Meh, who cares? Enjoy!

And as promised, here is one of my cheat snacks whenever I'm feeling a little low on sugar

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

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