29 July 2011

Losing Sleep over Game of Thrones

I havent' been able to get my hands on the Kindle ever since Nards and I finished watching the first season of Game of Thrones.   (By the way, if you're planning to watch it, make sure you have all episodes on hand.  And that you have at least two days straight to watch.  We learned that once we started, we simply CANNOT stop watching until we finished the whole season.)

I downloaded the six books of A Song of Ice & Fire on the Kindle, because the next season will be aired April 2012.  Between now and then, I was hoping the novels would fill the gap.  Except that Nards beat me to it.  I don't mind, because I am still on the Otori series by Lian Hearn.  (Yes, I have the physical book, thanks to Leslie, who kindly lent us the whole series.)  But he has gotten really rabid with the novels (which really is brilliant).

So rabid in fact, that for two days since he started reading the first book, he would go to sleep at 4AM and only because he's too tired to read any further.  I put my foot down on the third day, and told him that he confine his reading during the day, and that he rest and sleep like the rest of us commoners at night.  I told him that since we're sharing the Kindle, during the day, he can take his turn reading, and at night, it's my turn.  Unfortunately, I always fall asleep ahead of him, so he just resumes reading when I start to snore.

A couple of nights ago, at 11PM, I found him in bed, bent over the Kindle.   I just finished emailing a client, and I went in our bedroom, carrying my phone, my iPod and his iPod (because I was charging it on the desktop).  I forgot to bring a glass of water, and he volunteered to get it.

Before he leapt off the bed, I said, "hand over the Kindle, Nards.  It's my turn."  I fully meant to hide that thing so he'd sleep early.  He knew that's what I was planning to do.   He eyed my hands that still held a phone and two iPods.

"How many gadgets do you need woman?" he asked and fled down the stairs.  I laughed and laughed over his rebuttal but stayed put.  I was too tired to chase him around to get the Kindle.

Today, thankfully, he might actually go to bed early.  We had an early photobooth gig, and he was forced to dispatch our staff at 7AM.  And I made sure he didn't take any naps in the afternoon before he had to go to the gig himself.


Maybe not.  I'm about to fall asleep here.  While he's still bent over the Kindle.

19 July 2011


My sister and I had a bakefest last Friday to test out recipes.  Now that she has a bit more time, we're putting together an online store of baked goods.  It was fun!

We were pretty organized.  Beng prepared little post its to label our bowls of dry ingredients.  She even scheduled our baking time in the oven based on temperature.

She tried out three different kinds of muffins: cappuccino, banana and orange.   She used a lot oranges so I decided to make orangettes.  I also made my usual chewy chocolate chip cookies and fudgy brownies.

I saw this recipe of orangettes from Smitten Kitten.  It was fairly simple and straightforward, I wanted to try it out.  I peeled off the oranges and cut them into strips.  I blanched them three times to make sure the bitterness is gone.  But my family said there was still a lot of bitter left.  My Mom said that next time, I should scrape off the white as much as possible.

I boiled it in a simple sugar syrup for an hour.

I couldn't cool them and drain them on a cooling rack because it was full of cookies and muffins.  So I carefully laid them out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  I dipped some in chocolate but my Dad prefers them as it is.

These muffins are just divine.  They're light and fluffy and so so so delicious. :)

18 July 2011

Kitchen Confession

I'm going to tell you a secret.  Before I moved out of my parents' home, I gave the kitchen a wide berth because I didn't want to cook.  I was a bit interested in baking because I loved cakes, cookies and sweets in general.  Only enough though, that I would copy recipes on Mom's notebook and badger her to bake them for me.  I did go to the kitchen despite my aversion to cooking, mostly to raid the fridge and to wash the dishes.  (I love washing dishes, not only was it the only substantial contribution I can do in the kitchen, but I also find it very therapeutic.)

Both my parents are such good cooks.  My friends remember visits at our home by what they ate at our dinner table.   A bunch of old co-workers would remember my 23rd birthday by the Kare-Kare my Mom cooked, so good that they remember the creamy peanut sauce and the pieces of meat that melted in their mouths.  Deepa loves telling our friends that if you happen to be at our house, and my Dad asks you what you want for dinner, he can and will cook it for you.  I have classmates from college who clamor for the Lengua con Champignion that they shared with us one Sunday when we worked on a group report for STS.

My parents spoiled me with food.  Which is just another way of saying that I'm very picky about the food I eat outside the house.  I remember skipping meals at work because I just found the food available in cafeterias inedible.  (I think my Dad knew this because he started packing lunches for me.  Imagine me bringing my lime green see-thru kerokerokeroppi lunch box in the office.)    How I was going to feed myself when I moved out was a grave concern for me.  My Mom and sister were seriously worried about my lack of cooking skills and was pretty sure I'll be eating fast food and canned goods all the time.

Moving out was a good thing, because I was forced to learn to cook.  And when I discovered that the apartment had a working oven, I started baking as well.  I started with simple things like frying eggs and instant soups.  A few weeks after that I asked my Dad for recipes of my favorite dishes.  The first one I tried was his recipe for Chicken Curry.  Boy, was that a disaster.  His recipe called for 3 tablespoons of curry powder.  So I obediently fished out my measuring spoons and portioned out the curry powder.  Turned out, he meant tablespoon that we used for eating.  So my first Chicken Curry, though it smelled delicious, I couldn't eat because it was way too spicy.  Good thing my roommates then enjoyed spicy food and polished off the whole pot.  I took that as a sign that what I cooked was at least edible for other people.   From that point on, I started to enjoy cooking.  I kept asking for my parents recipe and trying my best to make it as good as the dishes they cooked.

One of my favorite moments was when our friends came over for dinner.  They requested bulalo, and I did it just the way my Dad taught me.  They tucked in to that meal enthusiastically.  I felt like I won first prize.

I definitely like baking more than I like cooking.  But it still surprises me that cooking comes easy for me.  I have learned to become more flexible with measurements.  (Saying that I'm a stickler for measurement is an understatement.)  I have also learned to experiment a bit with taste.

It's definitely still a work in progress.  Until I can replicate my Dad's Pata Tim or my Mom's Kare-kare or Lengua, I'm still a long way off from the kind of cook I want to be.

09 July 2011

Rainy Saturday

It's another rainy Saturday.  Nards and I are staying in.  I can usually see the buildings in Ortigas, San Juan and even Makati, but today everything is enveloped in white mist.

04 July 2011

Quesadilla Night

A couple of weeks ago, Nards and I were hankering for quesadilla.  Good thing we had all the ingredients so I made some from scratch.

We had some chicken breast in the freezer.  I cubed it and sautéed it with onions, bell pepper and taco seasoning.  After it cooled down a bit, I spooned it on store bought tortillas.

Nards had a pack of mozzarella slices in the fridge so I took some and layered it on top of the chicken, and grated cheddar on it.  (We really wanted it to be cheesy!)

On a non-stick skillet I toasted the quesadillas until the tortillas were a little brown and the cheese were all gooey and drippy.  

Done!   Served it with sour cream and tomato salsa.    Not bad for my first quesadilla. :)  


Related Posts with Thumbnails