Friday, March 30, 2007

Photos of my Favorite Ingredients

Thanks to my sister-in-law Lalaine Feredo-Zialcita for the following photos of just some of my favorite ingredients. Hope you readers like them as much as I do. :)


Whipped Cream


Melted Butter






Macadamia Nuts

Tender Trap Coffee Shop Menu

I haven't posted in a long time, I know. That's because I've been so busy with TV appearances and magazine interviews (naks!). I was already featured on ABS-CBN twice and writer Yugel Losorata did an article on me in Manila Bulletin's Sunday magazine.

And of course, I've been busy baking and checking on the store and finalizing the menu.

Speaking of the menu, here's the latest line-up of my Tender Trap coffee shop in Virramall. I do hope you drop by for lunch or dinner. Modesty aside, our offerings are very good and I'm fortunate to have found very good staff with extensive experience in the restaurant business. I appreciated their input on which items to put in the menu. And man, they cook well! :)

Check out the photos of the menu (courtesy of my sister-in-law Lalaine who used her newest digital camera).

Tender Trap Coffee Shop, Virramall Greenhills
(behind Haagen-Dazs)

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Original Tender Trap

For this post, I would like to share photos of the original Tender Trap Bakeshop which sprung within the confines of my family compound at Lee Street, Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City. In my first post, there are photos of my first "industrial-strength" kitchen, which actually used to be a two-car garage. As the business grew, I saw the need to build a second kitchen. With the blessing of my parents, I converted the old formal dining room into a space that now houses monster-size, heavy-duty baking equipment. Check out the pictures below.

One of the ovens I use and abuse daily.

I have major equipment, I know.

Mixers out of Monsters, Inc. :)

All I did yesterday was bake ensaymadas.

That's me pulling out those babies from the oven.

The entrance to the "pick-up point". Just press the buzzer on the right and Becky, our storekeeper, will let you in.


Not bad, eh? :)

Anyway, I'll do another post again but right now I have a cheesecake to bake. Oh, lest I forget, here is the the answer to the mystery pictionary question in the previous post....

It is...

...not petrified cheese curls as my sister-in-law had guessed. :D

The odd little things that make up the lamp fixtures are actually....


Okay, gotta run.



Tuesday, February 6, 2007

I'm Baaaack

My last post was ages ago, I know. Sigh. I've been busy, sick, busy, sick again, yadda-yadda-yadda. Must be the changes in the weather. It's been chilly, don't you agree? Well, at least in the morning and evening.

Anyway, for this post I'd like to share some photos I took recently when I checked out my little coffee shop in Virramall, Greenhills. Keep in mind that I am no ace photographer and tech geek. But I hope the pics are enough to make you salivate and visit my little restaurant. :)

That's the facade. I took the pic right after the staff opened the shop for the day's business. The little girl in the yellow shirt is my 10-year old niece Claudia Faustine ("Clio"). The woman in white with her back turned to the camera is Yaya Norma, who was my brother Michael's nanny and now is taking care of his little girls. Norma's been with the Zialcita family for nearly 40 years! Loyal and dependable help is so hard to find nowadays. Sigh.

Another shot of the facade. Tender Trap coffee shop is located between the Fruit Store and Dimsum & Dumplings and sorta behind Haagen-Dazs (sorry, peeps but I'm totally artless when it comes to describing locations).

Karen heads the crew and you may call her at 721-0104 for enquiries/orders.

Now let's step inside and check out the goodies. :)

Just some of the babies on display.

My Turtle Pie. As you can see, I don't scrimp on ingredients. :)

Looks like a couple of pieces were already purchased. Hooray.

Oreo Cheesecake. My sis-in-law Lalaine calls it a calorie grenade. Call me a Calorie Terrorist, then. :)

Mango Pavlova. I love mangoes. I know it doesn't look appetizing in this photo (blame the photographer, hehe) but in real life this is yummy-looking...and yummy. (I'm so modest)

Two slices short of a whole cake. This Blueberry Cheesecake is one of my bestsellers. I don't use any gelatine in this one (like what a lot of bakers do). I use lots of Philly cream cheese, sour cream and everything else rich and pure. And I don't believe in scrimping on the blueberry topping. Heck, bring it on and dump all that gooey goodness for that ultimate gastronomic pleasure.

Macadamia Rum Cake. I consider the recipe my invention...and every dieter's downfall. But I think every calorie is worth the guilt.

Another angle.

A cozy booth for sweethearts...or girlfriends who would like to gossip in private over cake and coffee.

I'm still finalizing the menu. Our current list includes soups, salads, pastas and a few light meals but my business partner and I would like to add a few rice topping selections. More on that in the next post.

Tables and chairs ready to welcome the first batch of customers for the day. I like spending some time here before the brunch/lunch time madness, while it's still quiet.

Okay, let's play pictionary, folks. Look at that lamp fixture. Try to guess what it's made of.

Lalaine my sis-in-law, the second she first clapped eyes on it, exclaimed: "What the ---" and then paused before saying, "Um, petrified cheese curls?"

I laughed and said no. I told her what those funky yellow things were and she was amazed.

Can you guess what they are? :) Take another look.

I'll reveal the answer in my next post. Now it's time to hit the sack. I'm getting fuzzy-headed as I zipped through the day on less than six hours of sleep.

Good night, folks. Zzzzzz....

Monday, January 22, 2007


I finally did it!

I finally created a blog account and truth be told I am nervous. Anything to do with computers and the Internet makes me nervous. See, I am not the most technical person on the face of the earth. Heck, I can't even remember my passwords (haha). Someone gave me an iPod shuffle for Christmas and I was afraid it might electrocute me. That's how hopeless I am. I am definitely no Nobel Laureate where computers and other gadgets and gizmos are concerned.
Now you may be wondering: so why on earth did a non-Nobel Laureate like you create a blog account?

Here are a few reasons:

1. People have been asking for my business web address (huh?) so they can view my products online;

2. I need a new form of mental exercise;

3. I think it's high time I use the power of the Internet to reach out to the people who have grown to love my edible creations.

And yeah, you may have guessed from the name of my journal alone that I bake or own a bakeshop. I say "BINGO" to both. Yes I bake and I own a bakeshop called "The Tender Trap" in honor of the 1955 film, um, "The Tender Trap" (yes of course! *rolls eyes*) starring Frank Sinatra and Debbie Reynolds, which by the way happens to be my parents' favorite film. I've always thought it was a catchy name and it took me a mere second to decide on that name for my business.

I've been baking since my youth and the first several attempts were laughable and inedible. I remember when my brother Michael asked me to make him his fave -- Black Forest Cake -- I ended up giving him what looked like a plate of black mush with cherries. Suffice to say he went elsewhere for his Black Forest Cake fix.

Fast-forward to my twenties when, out of the blue, I had a hankering for blueberry cheesecake. But back then, there weren't too many places serving decent cheesecake and I disliked the fact that they used gelatine in their cheesecake recipes. I wanted pure cream cheese, a generous graham crust, and lots of blueberry topping. I went to the supermarket, picked up the best ingredients, went home, experimented well into the night, and by dawn I discovered a combination that hit that sweet spot.

My blueberry cheesecake is now one of my best sellers, thanks to word-of-mouth marketing over the years by relatives, friends, acquaintances, and every person who has tasted my creations ranging from cheesecakes to brownies to cookies to fruit bars. I started giving them away at first, then upon the jocular coaxing of my grandfather Benigno Zialcita Jr., began charging for them. And as the orders continued to pour in and my little kitchen oven could no longer bear the brunt, I figured it was high time to take what was a little money-making hobby a step further.

I won't bore you with a Biblical account of my passage into this business. Let me just tell you how happy I am that my business has grown and continues to grow. I owe it all to God, my family and friends, and my customers for making me thrive in what I think is a competitive arena. Creating this journal is one way of expressing my thanks. My hectic schedule does not allow me the luxury of composing and delivering individual thank-you notes, nor does it let me personally answer customers' queries on the phone at all times. I would like this blog to be an avenue for acknowledgement and exchange as well as product information and updates...all with a personal touch.

But to those who are curious as to what my first kitchen looked like, here are a few pics. :)

I'll end this post on a sweet note by sharing photos of my perennial bestseller -- Parmesan Ensaymada. Three pieces of ensaymadas arranged on a simple white plate. I made a few extra ones for my niece Charina who likes to make them baon. Sorry if the pic's not of the best quality. Hey, non-techie, non-Nobel Laureate, remember? :) I'll do better next time, I promise. :D

Oh, if you sweet-toothed peeps would like to order, just pick up the phone and dial 722.9844 or 0917.530.1936. Email me at Visit my store in Virramall (more details in next post). Or you can always leave a comment. Be kind. :)

Have a sweet night!

Beth Zialcita
10:23 PM