Archive for Food

Christmas is in the Air and so is Starbucks

It’s nearing mid November.  In the Philippine culture Christmas celebration starts when the month ends in -ber, so Christmas spirit is here as early as September.  These past days, nights are getting longer and mornings are getting colder… these are signs of Christmas.  Too bad economies world wide are in not so good state and people can feel how challenging it is for their day to day.

take a sip of coffee goodness...

take a sip of coffee goodness...

But despite all the gloomy outlook for the coming 2009, Filipinos are naturally happy people (they smile a lot) and they can be crazy over so many things…just like having a Starbucks coffee everyday.  The coffee card is back and people are likewise back patronizing holiday beverages from Starbucks.  Despite the financial crisis… a Php 150 (around 3USD) for a cup of coffee is not a problem to shell out, and this is all for the planner craze.  Believe it or not I won’t be part of it without the planner 😛

I love dosing my self with caffeine but it’s never good to get it from Starbucks if not this time of the year.  Go get your self a cup now! …and don’t forget the sticker.

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TGIF the 13th

If there is any scariest date of the year nothing beats the 13th of the month that falls on a Friday.  This year, June is again the host to this special day.  I heard a lot of creepy stories that happened Friday the 13th, but come to think of it this day is not that bad at all.

Today few of my closest collegues (the k-chenes) in the office decided to have a launch out in our favorite restaurant, TGIF or better known as Friday’s.  We simply love the food serving in this restaurant.  We never missed a single visit without ordering caesar salad but today it’s even extra special with grilled chicken topping our signature caesar salad order.  But this one is not the original order…it’s courtesy of some memory test from the server who did not bother getting our orders written in paper.  I guess the RAM of his brain is a little short, probably running on just 64mb.  The end result a whopping grilled chicken on what is supposedly plain ceasar salad. Oh this must be because its Friday the 13th…sloppy creepy(?)

We had extra fun this day, laughing so hard with our countless punchlines and walk back the memory lane.  We are missing 2 of our members, the other one who had to leave the country for ‘greener pasteur’ and the other one eyeing for some martyrdom award by staying at the office — our good old buddy with a playful smile, we fondly call senor.  Since senor was absent we had no choice but to talk about him along with the BIG R.  We had a good laugh at the cheese stealing incident and how the rat has been laughing even in a moment that should have scared it away (oh my do i really have to use the word it… and you think that is human).

So we spent our Friday the 13th at Friday’s…nothing creepy happened except that walk-a-TON from Glorietta to Valero.  Thanks to the taxi queues that never fail to make every Friday creepy.

Filled with Seoul

It’s been a day since I arrived from my 5-day vacation from Seoul, South Korea.  My mind is still filled with good things about Seoul.  My curiousity has been answered but I still want to go back…I am going back. 

Somethings that I was able to personally validate are:

  • The 아주마 (ajumas – old women/aunties fondly translated in English)  do have the same distinct look.  The permed hair, color coordinated tops (usually long sleeves) and pants, the seemingly tatooed eye brows and the golf cap.  They are everywhere. Spot the ajuma in this pic:

  • It’s okay to have couple’s outfit and stuff (exactly the same outfit and paired stuff like cellphone accessories, bag etc).  While we were in Seoul Tower, I have noticed a couple wearing the same pants, rubber shoes and shirt — and then I started noticing the other pairs who are coordinated.  When we are waiting for our flight back to Manila, there were at least 12 couples whom I suppose are going on honeymoon in the Philippines wearing couple’s outfit.  They will surely not miss their partner in a big crowd.
  • They are generous with their side dishes, they have a minimum of four and will replenish when requested or if they notice a dish is depleting.  Check this out.

  • They stroll in fashion.  It doesn’t matter if it’s uphill or just a market place.  I have not seen people from my country wearing coat and tie while strolling in a park.  I guess people in Seoul are just too fashionable. 

  • There are indeed very few who can speak English straight, they are eager to help but will end up leaving you, helpless when explaining.

I can still imagine the morning air and bright nights in Seoul. 

Visiting Singapore

After almost two years I am back to Singapore thanks to the 2nd Annual OSS BSS Summit and SMART, I am able to see this small but wonderful country once more.  I arrived in Singapore March 26 for a 2-day seminar to be held at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.  Changi Airport still looks familiar to me.  The same cleanliness and 1st class airport service.

The Hotel is just at the corner of Havelock Road and Zion.  Copthorne Waterfront was fantastic, the security is awesome.  Visitors could not easily enter the premise as the elevator requires an access card (the room key) to be able to select the desired floor.  The room was so cozy and I specifically like the bathroom.  Its everything that I want in a bathroom, the glass shower makes it so classy not to mention the bath tub.

This is my first time to attend an international conference and its worth it.  Listening to those experienced leaders in their respective companies and countries are once in a lifetime opportunity.  Overall the seminar is good there were some boring parts where you could say 100% that the speaker is almost like selling their product but nevertheless their presentations give you an idea on how systems should be designed.

I met some old collegues who are happily working in Singapore.  Who will not love this country, its highly advance, clean and organized.  The transportation system in fantastic minus the ‘smell’ from the MRT trains but overall its really a pleasure staying in this country.  I will surely miss eating noodles from hawkers.

marches’ restaurant

my first pro shot

This time I did not missed checking Sentosa, the first time I visited Singapore I failed to see this main attraction.  It was way to convenient to visit this tourist spot and having a cable car ride to reach the place is a good start.  Now there is the Singapore Flyer.  I actually rejected the vendor’s offer to see this new attraction which is like a giant ferris wheel slowly moving around in circle while serving you some snacks.  I got to practice using my first DSLR camera which I bought from Funan.  It was a good buy and the images produced are rich and vibrant. 

merlion

images of singapore

Tomorrow I will be going back to my dear country.  I will surely miss this place but I know its easy to be back anyway 🙂

No Packed Food – Day 4

Today I did not packed food.  Its my no car day so I had to rush early in the morning.  It is a little hard to buy food specially if that there are seldom who uses olive or canola oil here when cooking food. 

Breakfast – I had ham and cheese omellet from Country Style, I did not ate the bread.  I had brewed coffe as usual.  Few hours from breakfast, I had 3 packs of sugo peanuts (21 grams)

Lunch – I bought 2 sticks of barbeque from our canteen, I did not ate the fatty portion of the pork, i bought along with it beans sprout which was sauteed but I just had 2 spoons.  It was terrible.  I can cook bean sprout better than the canteen huh! Good thing I bought Pepsi Max (no sugar).  This afternoon I had 3 packs again of sugo peanuts

Dinner – I had some bean sprout stir fried in olive oil and a little sesame oil and a chicken breast fillet patty. I also had a handful of unshelled roasted peanuts and a cup of Pepsi max. 

Temptations in Day 3

I forgot to update for yesterday which is Day 3.  My meals are already packed which I prepared the night before.  Day 3 was full of temptation we had a lunch meeting and there was a lunch sponsor but what was served were Yello Cab Pizza.  I was like so sad… I won’t be able to eat lunch but I am hungry and we will be sitting together for the next 3 hours.  What made it more worst is the Coke it not even lite 😦 So i just scooped for ice and waited it to melt.

Breakfast – I had the usual egg omellet and 4 pcs hotdog balls.  I had brewed coffee with Equal of course.  I had 2 packs of Sugo Peanuts as am snacks.

Lunch – I had no choice but to eat half slice of the pizza (sin! sin! sin!)  so for that i just had caesar salad later in the afternoon and iced tea lite.

Dinner – I finally ate my packed lunch which is string beans adobo.  I also munched some dry roasted peanuts.

Battling the Urge for Carbs – Day 2

It’s my Day 2 for Phase 1 of my ongoing South Beach diet.  I nearly changed my mind specially after smelling freshly baked pandesal from pan de manila.  It’s useless to withraw now — I successfully did it yesterday so I will be able to do it again today.

Breakfast – I am late today to while driving I ate a pack of peanuts (less greased one) about 7 grams.  Then I had omellet with nearly 2 tablespoon of corned beef.  As usual I cooked it using olive oil.  I finished eating this by nearly 11pm while doing my work at the office.  My morning will not be complete without brewed coffee with artificial sweetners.

Lunch – We had a meeting and there was a lunch sponsor good thing salad is available in the restaurant of their choice.  I had Caesar salad from Wendy’s but i did not eat the crutons.  I also had my stir fried veggie in olive oil (sayote) and for my drinks I had Iced tea lite from Wendy’s too.

After the long meeting I had 3 packs of my roasted peanuts and Low Fat milk from Magnolia ( I never thought it’s delicious — I am really not a milk drinker)

Dinner – I am just on my way home i’ll update this later.

South Beach Again…

I have stopped going to the gym for about 3 months now and I am gaining back the weight i have lost.  I have really no time now specially that its only during lunch breaks that I am able to go to the gym.  I don’t want to make an alibi for not going to the gym so I thought of doing South Beach again to keep off the pounds.

This is my day one.  I am ot going to disclose my weight here 🙂  but will spell it in hangul neverthe less 완-나인-트리. I just wanted to keep track of what I am eating.

Breakfast – I had brewed coffee with artificial sweetner, 3 hotdog balls and 2 medium eggs scrammbled with tomatoes (fried in olive oil)

Lunch – I had mongo beans sprout in tofu (cooked in olive oil too!) and water

PM Snack – I just had roasted peanuts about 30 grams (the package says its 50 grams but i did not finish the whole serving)

Dinner – I had caesar sald (petite from Country Style) with Pepsi Max (no sugar).

P.S.

I had roasted peanuts again as midnight snack.

Gyudon ala Yoshinoya

I am really not a fan of Japanese cuisine but when we were in Hongkong in 2004, Yoshinoya seems to be everywhere.  So I ended up trying their famous beef bowl.  To my surprise, it’s not as heavy as how a terriyaki tastes.  (Terriyaki is something that I eat ocassionally — the taste is to heavy for me. I couldn’t find the words to better describe it).   This is how I feel in love with Gyudon.  I have tried it in every Japanese restaurant I have been to and nothing compares to that of Yoshinoya.  Gyudon has a delicate flavor, it has a light sweet and salty taste which is tempered by some sort of a very light sour taste.

Few weeks ago, I downloaded this beef bowl recipe from the internet.  I immediately tried it.  I bought the ingredients which are not hard to find anyway.  Amazingly, the taste is so close to Yoshinoya’s Gyudon.   I am so lucky to get this recipe, other food recipes that I downloaded were like ‘better luck next time’.  Thanks to www.about.com this is where I got it.

Preparing Gyudon was so easy.  You just need the following:

  • 1/2 kl. thinly sliced beef
  • 1 white onion thinly sliced
  • 1 1/3 cup of dashi (Japanese soup stock)
  • 5 tbsps soy souce (Japanese brand — kikkoman is the best)
  • 3 tbsps mirin
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1 tsp sake (Japanese white wine)

Add all the ingredients in a pan except for the beef and onions. Simmer ingredients then add beef.  Simmer again until beef is tender.  Add onions before putting off the fire. Of course this is best served on top of steamed japanese rice.

This is really a must try at home.  Now I feel like eating Gyudon again after making this post.

Gyoza this Time

My kitchen theme this weekend was Japanese.  Yesterday I made some gyudon, stir fried veggies and siomai.  I got the recipe of siomai from about.com it was so delicious.  I used shitake mushrooms, pork and shrimps. 

Gyoza in line

This Sunday, i tried cooking one of my favorite Japanese dish.  A dumpling called ‘gyoza’.  My dad loved it and I don’t want to be proud of it but it did taste great.  Preparing Gyoza was easy you just mix all the ingredients.  The more challenging part is the wrapping. You have to be careful not to break the dumpling wrapper.  I think the ginger makes a lot of difference in the taste.  This makes Gyoza very Asian in taste.  The sesame oil added yumminess to it too.   This recipe is tried and tested.  It goes well with tempura sauce:

Gyoza (Japanese Dumpling)

  • 1/3 cup boiled cabbage
  • 1/4 kilo ground pork
  • chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • dumpling wrapper (circle)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl except vegetable oil. Put a teaspoonful in the center of wrapper.  Make a semi circle gathering the front side of wrapper and sealing the top.

Heat pan, pour the vegetable oil. Fry gyoza until light brown then steam it for about 3 to 5 minutes.