La Marquise de Pompadour

Chocolate Marquise de Pompadour
Her real name was Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson and her mother called her La Reinette – the Little Queen – because it was foretold that she would rise to power and prominence.  Today, the world knows her by her formal title: La Marquise de Pompadour, that legendary courtesan who made an indelible mark on French culture and international history.
Ilustrado, that restaurant now famed for excellent Continental cuisine and an ambiance that many romantic-souled women yearn for, has a magnificent dessert worthy of the Little Queen.  Indeed, it aptly bears her title: Marquise de Pompadour au chocolat.

A Filipino Christmas

The Manger @ PCJ 2007
Christmas in the Philippines has to be the merriest and longest in the world. The celebrations begin (at least in church) on the First Sunday of Advent with the setting up of the Advent Wreath and the customary Belen or Nativity Scene. The wondrous festivities go on straight through the rest of December and come to an end on the first Sunday of January when Epiphany, the Feast of the Three Kings, is celebrated.
(Some enthusiasts insist that preparations should begin at the onset of the “-ber” months, but these people are crass commercialists and should never – I repeat: never – be taken seriously; but I digress.)

Confessions of a Holiday Baker: Toffee Bars

Toffee bar, anyone?

You have to say this about toffee bars: they’re the sort of dessert that has something for everybody.  Chocoholics are bound to appreciate the bittersweet chocolate topping smoothed over the surface of the bars.  Cookie junkies will love the sugary-buttery shortbread base.  If you’re nuts about nuts, well there’s a good blizzard of them scattered over the top.  They’re portable and travel well, so you can take them to picnics or to work for coffee breaks.  Toffee bars also make lovely gifts and will definitely be the hit of any Christmas potluck you may take them to.

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