Wednesday, October 22, 2014

RiCo: A CORNucopia of Health and Yum.

I was drawn to the RiCo Corn Rice launch event by sheer intrigue. Turning corn into the new rice staple is by far a very ambitious drive. And there's this nagging question: Why would you wanna do that?

With that, the great minds behind RiCo shared one eye-opener after another. With bubbly Host Kara at the helm, President Jebe Gayanelo told us the Corn Story --how the country's corn supply is actually more adequate than rice. How RiCo is made from 100% Philippine-grown corn, thus, opening the country up to self-sufficiency. Nutritionist Lulu imparted info that makes corn more nutritious than rice. It has no cholesterol, it's naturally rich in Beta Carotene and Fiber, and fortified with B Vitamins, Calcium, and Iron. Its low Glycemic Index makes it ideal for diabetics. Brand Manager Kareesa Cristolbal, on the other hand, was quick to tell us the culinary possibilities that go with RiCo, giving you the surefire way to a Yummy, Healthy Life.

So how do you sell a better-than-rice concept to a rice-eating race? RiCo nailed it. The technologically savvy company gives us corn in the image and likeness of rice. It tastes like rice. It even cooks like rice.  There won't be a shock if you choose to transition to a corn rice staple --except that you will be a lot healthier, and that you will be greeted with a daily splash of sunshiny yellow from now on. And that's just fluffy lovely!

Now, to demonstrate the endless culinary possibilities RiCo Corn Rice has to offer, Chef Jessie Sincioco took the wheel. And I have NEVER been more floored with good food.

For starters, we had Mesclun Greens Salad in Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing with --wait for it-- prawn RiCo corn rice pops! Genius! This is crunchy goodness you wouldn't believe.

Minestrone was served next. The RiCo corn rice thrown into the mix gave us the thickness and the texture that enhanced the soup's flavour. I finished the whole bowl. I regret nothing.

For the main course, we had Pan-fried Codfish Fillet in Pommery Mustard Sauce.

And, Grilled Chicken Breast in Creamy Pepper Sauce.

Each served with RiCo Corn Rice Pilaf and Sauteed French Beans. Now, THIS is RiCo in its full-on glory! The flavours just exploded in my mouth like the Fourth of July. I kid you not.

To end our corn binge, this beauty came.
RiCo Corn Rice Crocant Roll aka Chef Jessie's Corn-of-the-crop Masterpiece. Crunchy making a comeback, YUM just isn't enough to describe this luscious dessert. The painted-on corn details are chocolate and mango syrup.

Take a bow, Chef Jessie! When you said you were going to make firm Corn Rice believers out of us, you weren't kidding. Thank you!

When all was said and done (and eaten… and burped…),  bags and bags of RiCo Corn Rice were given away along with great recipes that I am so pumped to try starting tonight. You can get yours here.

Corn Rice. A brilliant idea that's finally found its time through a first in the Philippines, RiCo. Now you can Make Healthy Yummy every way, everyday.

Like RiCo on Facebook, and follow on Instagram and Twitter.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Papier Macheniacs: The Detonator

We're back! And with guns a-blazing!

Just look at this handsome son of a gun!

It's Pyro's The Detonator from Team Fortress 2. Oh, we just had a total blast making this one.

In true Papier Macheniacs tradition, we started the magic with a whole lot of junk. An empty Pringles can, an old Lego RV box, and a tired tissue roll repurposed themselves for this project.

Then, the tissue and glue started the mummification process. We did 4 layers on this bad boy for extra toughness. It is… eherm… a deadly weapon after all.

Now, you're probably wondering why we didn't sculpt this thing whole like we always do all our projects. This time around, we shaped three separate pieces because we're using non-paper materials to hold them all together. Yup, that's a first for us.

We wanted a working ammo chute with a snap-lock mechanism. So we recruited my husband for the job. Cleverly, he used a cupboard hinge and an airsoft bullet to get things clicking. How resourceful is that??? Me and the boys were floored! We vowed to re-use his impeccable services for future projects. Hehe… you're in this now, honey.

Markered! And it looked so cool in black and white.

And then painted to absolute detonating perfection. With medical gauze tape to hold the pieces together, as seen on Steam.

Of course, I can't just end the blogpost there. My boy insisted that a demo of the first-ever Papier Macheniacs fully operational snap-lock mechanism was in order. So…
And there you have it. TF2's The Detonator. I bet we just made Pyro so, so proud. *sniff*

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Chunky Soft Batch's Guide to Comfort Food

Ah, comfort food. It's that thing you crave for on a gloomy day. That single sinful decadence that will make everything okay.
But not all gloomy days are created equal. Some days are more harrowing. More complicated. And no amount of luscious chocolate cookie is enough to make things better.
Good thing not all comfort foods are created equal either.
Presenting… drum rollMidnight Snacks Chunky Soft Batch Cookies!
Cookies that are made with extreme comfort in mind.

Having had one of the most insane weeks of my life, I just had to get the assorted box. Because I felt I deserved the overflow of goodness. Midnight Snacks seemed to agree. They even threw in an extra cookie.
Now, for my drool-worthy review.

The cupcake flavour favourite not only made it into a cookie, but it has gone off and married the pristine perfection of white chocolate. A lavish combination that takes you to heaven, sinner or saint.

Eating this was nostalgic. It's a camping weekend with a campfire and charred mallows. It's a delightful trip. After all, the key to a comfort food's strength is its ability to take you away, even as you stand still.

Sweet and salty has come out to play. The pretzel takes you back to a crunchy snack time after school. But this time, made more desirable with its brilliant medley with the bittersweet gift of dark chocolate.

This is closest thing to a basic cookie. And yet, it's still not as simple. Luscious chunks of chocolate encrust this temptation. It's a concoction that pushes the regular chocolate chip cookie to greater heights.

Butter and Cheese together? Can you even imagine the overload of luscious positivity coming out of this? It's like a never-ending breakfast at a gazebo of an Italian cafe. Taking it creamy. Taking it slow.

Was I too poetic just now? Good food and feeling good does that to me.

If you must find comfort in something you can taste and enjoy, don't hold back. Midnight Snacks Chunky Soft Batch gives you a whole new level of 'feel good' beyond what you expect, above what you believe, and exactly as rich you deserve.
Order now.

*Cookie photos from Midnight Snacks

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Big and Buffed TMNT 2014!


They're green. They look human. They're ridiculously ripped. In ripped clothing.

Oh, wait… were you expecting something like this?
To avoid further shell shock, let's do a rundown of the changes Paramount's 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has to offer, shall we?

The new character design is about the most glaring a change this reboot did. The Turtles' faces were very human. Make them flesh-colored and deprived of shell and they can easily blend in with mankind. The WWF-intense work out-celluloid-pumped mankind.The muscles on these teenagers were insane! Specially Raphael who jumped from the hot-headed member to the group's ultimate bruiser… in a frakkin' do-rag, yeah!

I LOVE the origin change! April O'Neil plays a bigger role in the lives of Splinter and the Turtles as their original pet owner and saviour during the lab fire, Not just a random over-eager reporter. Crossing the Turtles' paths and past with Shredder and Saks was awesome! How Ninjutsu got introduced to the Teenagers was cool, too. And showing them in their preteens… was insane.

The sewer rat sensei had an upgrade in his fighting skills and drama skills. Thank you for making full use of his tail in the battlefield. Shredder had an upgrade, too. He was a samurai robot. With flying knives that boomerang right back at will. I guess it's okay. It reminded me of The Transformers. Then again, Megan Fox did, too.
Both martial arts masters engaged in hand-to-hand combat --which to me was the best, heart-wrenching fight sequence in the film.

Ok, this change completely infuriated me. The Foot is a formidable force of Japanese Warriors! They are NOT a gang of ski-masked, gun-toting hooligans! UGH! I felt so deprived of my youth just then. It made me want to break stuff. I overate popcorn instead.

There were some pretty cool nostalgic bits made specifically for the oldies in the audience. So you know the flick still gave the original cartoon due respect despite the massive alterations made.

Still there. So happy. Just like pizza.

Yes, please! If they had thrown in Casey again, I would've retched. Hockey stick vigilante Jones never really did it for me. I mean, the grit belongs to the Turtles. So he can just step back and wait for his own movie.
Whoa… harsh.

Of course!

HOLY SHITAKE! I was NOT expecting that! So you can just imagine how much I utterly geeked out when the ammo-loaded party van from the '80s cartoon rolled in! *still hyperventilating*

Of course, the movie had its ups and downs. Here's our grocery list:

Spreading a deadly chemical from atop the highest building has been done in Spiderman. Making the antidote a business venture has been done in Mission Impossible.

I don't even know what to make of that. So I'll just pretend it didn't happen.

Semi-downside. There was an attempt to de-sexify Megan Fox a tad to make her fit better into the April O'Neil mold. Uh, no. The cinema-going, hormonal teens still saw The Transformers' Megan Fox. You can't just shake that sultry off.

This flick was loaded with it! It oozed Michael Bay! But the best to note was the car chase/shell toboggan scene on a snow-capped mountain. The fight scene choreography was, likewise, a sight to behold. It wasn't Rurouni Kenshin, but hey, I'm not complaining

The Turtles were made to look dirty and scaly and moist *cringe* --which is actually very realistic when living in a sewer. The tattered Indian-esque manner of clothing and accessory was cool, too. It gives you that 'living underground hippie-style' vibe.

Donnie's toys were severely amped! Glad the movie kept the reptilian genius up with the times.

The. Best. Part. Ever.

Now, some movie reviewers will tell you that TMNT 2014 was way too kiddie and too fantastic to create enough depth and substance. Dude, they're teenagers. They're mutants. They're ninjas. And to top it off, they're turtles. Drop the depth and have fun!

Cowabunga yourselves to cinemas now!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Groot and the Guardians of the Galaxy

Let me begin by admitting that Guardians of the Galaxy was never really in our masterlist of movies to watch this year. Hence, the late movie review. When we saw the trailer back then, we were just "Oh ok. That looks fun.", and that was it. But then, as soon as the movie came out-- and days after that, I might add-- my Facebook page was flooded with status updates bearing the intriguing words, "I am Groot." It was freaky. Later on, peer pressure settled in when my boys got "I am Groot.' fever from their classmates. So, moving forward, we found ourselves in the movie house lining up for Guardians of the Galaxy.
And here is what we think.

First off, two words: Zoe. Saldana.
Woman, you fight so fine! And your boots will invade my dreams forever.

Moving on, the characterisation of the film's heroic misfits was spot-on. I love how bad they all were. But bad in a hilarious way. I also dig how all of them have family issues, and eventually finding family in one another. It was done subtly so as to avoid the danger of cheesiness, and I thought that was cool.

The 'super weapon in the hands of a power-hungry maniac' plot isn't new. It's been the formula for Marvel since like forever. But it's the fact that this time, criminals are the ones out to save the day that made this movie worthwhile. It's a good twist. Although on the overall, the story wasn't something entirely out of the box.

The action was the bomb though! My kids loved the fight scenes, aerial battles, explosions, fighter ships, and the weaonry (they want me to buy them a Ravager's Whistle Dart… le sigh).  They enjoyed Rocket Racoon's genius and cunning. They liked Starlord's helmet, Gamora's hand-to-hand combat skills, Drax's tattoos and deadpan humour, and Groot… for having a heart, fireflies in his branches, and for being reborn as a dancing sunflower.

My husband and I, on the other hand, geeked out on the make-up and costumes. Drax's tattoos sincerely rock!

The downsides are few. For one, the number of characters thrown into this film was just insane! Geez. I got dizzy with all the enemy hierarchy there. It was hard to keep up with the planet jumps and character names, unless you've read the comics… which we didn't.

Another mind-boggling thing thrown in was the big news that Peter Quill's father wasn't at all human. It wasn't even explained. It felt like an afterthought the writers cooked up upon realising that Peter Quill should've died after touching the weapon, but didn't. But, like I said, we didn't read the comics. So there.

I did like it that the flick employed big-named stars in its line up. Although I'm still wondering why Vin Diesel had to be casted as Groot. He wasn't really there, and I doubt if he's the only one who can say the line, "I am Groot" so perfectly. Ah, one of life's mysteries.

Guardians of the Galaxy is still showing in cinemas. If you're coming in late to the "I am Groot." bandwagon (like we are), then I suggest you get with the program and watch the movie, ASAP.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Papier Macheniacs Goes To War!

World War 1 has exploded on our work table!
A gas mask, a portable oxygen tank, complete with air hoses. FUN!

And it all began with (you guessed it) a paper plate. And, paper cups. And a mad amount of tape.

The straps are made out of folded newspaper.

And then, paper mache'd to authentic image and likeness. If I do say so myself. :P

Painting! We used the Multipurpose Black paint for this one and the coverage was fantastic. It stunk for a while but nothing a little airing out can't fix.

The green lens is standard Yema cellophane wrapper.

The oxygen tank is any kind of can we had our hands on.

Standard black washing machine hose for the breathing tubes.

Just a little finishing touches after that and we're done!

And THAT'S how you go to war! Just make sure the enemy isn't using water guns. Lol! Have fun making your own with paper mache.