Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Astounded by a Pot, I am.

Don't be weirded out... it's really just in my nature to be astounded by "domestic" discoveries.

I was introduced by a friend to "Thermal Cooking" and now I want one sooooo bad, I'm at a loss on how and where I can find a Thermal Cooker here in Dubai! I'll be starting to work soon and was considering buying a slow cooker so we can still have hearty meals at the end of the day, but I don't feel 100% secure leaving an appliance turned on the whole time we're out.

And so, my friend told me all about her Thermos Cooker. It works like a Crockpot or a Slow Cooker, WITHOUT ELECTRICITY! Amazing, isn't it? You just have to combine all ingredients and boil it for about 10-20 minutes, then transfer it to the Thermal Cooker, and it retains the heat and slow-cooks the food for you. One time, she said, out of curiosity, she opened hers after 4 hours and it was still simmering.

Here it is...  Kinda costly, but I think it's a good investment considering all the electricity and gas you'll save over time. It's nice as well to bring to picnics, camping, parties...

I told hubby about it last night, and I just said that I wanted it, and it was one of those non-negotiable deals (har har). Anyway, so I can order it through my sister maybe... then she can send it to the Philippines in my parents' balikbayan box... Ok, so it's gonna arrive in Manila.. BUT I need it here, in Dubai. Now what? =(

I want one. NOW! How? *think* *think*

Gone Loco over Choco!!!

My love affair with chocolates is spinning out of control. In a month, I use PMS as excuse for almost 2 weeks.. and when "the day" comes, I'm excused again for a while.. On other days, it's "migraine"... or "low blood sugar", or "that my lola trained me to always have dessert.." or as simple as "I have sweet tooth, I just can't resist".

I've so far mastered the puppy-dog-eye look and hubby can only laugh and shake his head as I walk out the chocolate store with a bag of goodies, and a "sparkle" in my eyes. Aaaahh.. *heaven*...

So I thought... why don't I try my hand at making home-made chocolates, give it as Christmas presents, or even sell it too!

My parents are in the US right now visiting my sisters, and now's my chance to order some stuff from Amazon through them.. Uhmm... I'm actually thinking of asking these for  "pasalubong"... They asked me what I wanted, anyway! I'm sure they're gonna buy me some stuff, so I might as well request for something I really need like. *teehee*
My cocoa-filled heart (and veins) is pumping with excitement.. I simply can't wait to get my hands on these chocolate paraphernalia :-)

Here are what I plan to order... I hope it's not too much... it just costs as much as a pair of shoes --even cheaper! ;-D (Thanks Mymy and Daddooooooo!!!)


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cheese of the Week: Emmental, Brie & Camembert

Swiss Emmental Cheese

You might have guessed it already... yessir, I'm a Cheese-lovah! 
My favorite has always been Camembert (but I'll talk about that later). Anyway, I thought of including a different kind of cheese in our grocery list every week... just a little each time cuz hubby and I can only consume so much (since I'm the cheese-lover, at least 80% goes to me.. oops, there goes my diet!)
Anyway.. for this week, I chose Swiss Emmental Cheese. I like it... Gentle flavor yet it has a little sharp taste.  Perfect for nibbling! =)

Here's some Emmental Cheese Trivia:
Emmentaler is a yellow, medium-hard cheese, with characteristic large holes. It has a piquant, but not very sharp, taste. As the cheese cures, the bacteria inside generate a great deal of carbon dioxide. The thick rind on the outside traps the gas inside, causing it to form distinctive large holes. Typically, the cheese is aged for at least four months, and often much longer. 
The cheese melts extraordinarily well, making it a popular choice for grilled sandwiches and baked dishes which include cheese. It can also be sliced and eaten plain, and is a popular inclusion on cheese plates. 

And now, let's talk about my first love... CAMEMBERT CHEESE: 
Ohhhh, Mama Mia, doesn't this look heavenly? *drool*

I developed this love affair with Camembert a few years back when we went to Rome for a trip. Every morning we had a breakfast buffet which included a wide selection of cheeses... ohhh I was in Cheese Heaven!!! So every morning I wolfed down this certain cheese, and a couple of years after, I still couldn't forget it.  On our trip to Finland, we stayed in a hotel and every morning I read the same magazine they had in the stand... a magazine about Cheeses and the perfect wine to go with it! On my last day, I snuck off with it... sorry, I just couldn't resist. ;-P  Anyway, so that's where I found out the name of this Cheese that has captured my heart, lol. It's called Camembert Cheese (which looks similar to Brie Cheese.)

Now, this is BRIE CHEESE:

Since they look very similar, here's some Camembert vs. Brie Cheese Trivia:

Brie /ˈbriː/ is a soft cows' cheese named after Brie, the French province in which it originated (roughly corresponding to the modern département of Seine-et-Marne). (an area south-east of Paris where the cattle grazed on stony river beds)

Camembert is a soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow's milk cheese. It was first made in the late 18th century in Normandy in northern France. (where a different breed of cattle grazed on lush green pastures.)

Brie and Camembert are both types of soft white cheese. 

The process used to make Brie is very similar to that used for Camembert, but Brie is made in larger wheels, ranging from about 1 to 6 pounds (500g to 3kg) in weight, 9 to 15 inches in diameter and 1 to 1.5 inches in thickness, although it also can be found in 8-ounce disks.
Camembert’s smaller size will affect it in several ways. It tends to age slightly more quickly, and the flavor of a true Camembert will be a little stronger than that of a true Brie. Gilles, a fromagier at Artisanal Premium Cheese in New York City, explains that, because of its smaller size, Camembert will lose moisture more quickly, which concentrates its flavor.

Brie and Camembert are not for dieters (hence, the heavenly taste, haha!) ; both are high fat cheeses, which is part of what makes them taste good. Steven Jenkins describes the taste of a true, raw milk Brie or Camembert as “simultaneously fried-eggy, garlicky, nutty, truffle-like, and mushroomy” and adds that both will “melt on your tongue with a sensuous feel” that factory-made cheeses cannot hope to replicate.

Removing the more desirable tip from a wedge of brie is known as "pointing the Brie" and is widely regarded as a serious social faux pas.

(info from Wikipedia)

Pinoy na Pinoy Dinner!

I was craving for some Pinoy Barbecue so I made some as soon as I was able to buy some calamansi and Jufran Banana Ketchup. 
I just googled some recipes and came up with this combination for the marinade:

minced garlic
minced onion
toyo (soy sauce)
banana ketchup

The only thing is, I "barbecued" it in a Turbo Broiler. :P Good enough, it has that Pinoy barbecue marinade taste but without the smoky taste though huhu. (We're trying to avoid grilling on coals for health purposes).

BUT... with some atchara, and kamatis at itlog na maalat salad, and a Sosing's-inspired bulalo soup (beef broth with petchay, onion, potato and LOTS  of pepper!), and of course, sukang maanghang na sawsawan, it was Purrr-fect! =)
Purrr-fect enough, that 15 minutes after hubby finished, I was still chowing down the food... And as we say after a wonderful meal -- Tumba lahat! ;-)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Race against Grey Hair :-P

I'm so due for a visit to the parlor.
I hate it when I look at the mirror and I see 3 grey hairs which spurted on my head on a very visible spot!
What bothers me more is feeling that these 3 grey hairs just grew without standing for anything in my life's experiences or growth. It just grew while I lived my life on "Pause" for the past 2 years. Long explanation, but that's just the case. 

I dare not ask hubby to check if there's more in the back. It will just make me more upset. waaah...
I got grey hairs and hubby has none. Hmmmp.

I better do something good with my life before a fourth one grows! (knock on wood)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Egg-citing Tip!

The best SCRAMBLED EGGS I've ever eaten was in Sokos Hotel Torni in Finland. I was there with hubby for almost 2 weeks a couple of years back, and every day we had buffet breakfast with the most wonderful scrambled eggs... Perfectly fluffy, creamy/milky yet very light, almost bland yet it tastes perfectly yummm! Just pure dreamy, creamy goodness in every bite! Ahhh, that was the best "eggs-perience" I've ever had so far and I was never successful in my attempts to replicate it. 

Anyway, I just found an egg-citing tip in Hello! Magazine which I think is worth a try...

The slower you scramble them, the creamier eggs become. Remember that they'll continue to cook after you've removed them from heat. 

Those Hotel Torni scrambled eggs must have been cooked  real slow. hahaha just kidding. I'll definitely try this tip and will let you know what happens. =)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Put some Put-o on my plate!

Look Ma, it's my very own PUTO PAO! :-)

This is my 2nd time to make puto. My first in making puto pao. :-)
I just got the recipe online. I substituted the minced pork asado filling with minced chicken and it worked perfectly well. :-)
I tried experimenting with Green Tea flavor. Put some matcha powder for a change. Tastes like a dense green tea cupcake.. If you don't know that it's puto you'd probably say it's yum-o. But for puto, I admit it's kinda weird something "new".  :-)

As for the White Puto... Yessir, it's really P-U-T-O! But still not like the Puto Pao from Batangas that I like.. (the super-white kind -light, fluffy, a bit crumbly.. almost looks like siopao but a little sweeter) Can anybody please send me the recipe? Thanks!

This is my "breakfast baon project" for hubby this week. Quite a good choice.. just eggwhites, flour, sugar, and no fat! not bad for a healthier option!

Word of the day: "Sure did!"

Failed my attempt to "Master the art of 1-hour dinner meal".  Sure did. :-(
Passed the "puto-making" test.  Sure did! :-)
Loved my Pinoy Spagetchup. Sure did! :-)
Burned most of my croutons. Sure did! :-(  BUT...
Hubby loved my home-made Ceasar Salad Dressing. Sure did!!!!!!!!!! :-) 
Ruined my Pork Sinigang last night. Sure did!!!!!!! :-(

1-hour Dinner Meal Story:
Are you kidding me? I finished in what.. 2,3 hours? Well that's with shower and facebooking and other distractions in between.. 

-I easily get distracted with other stuff. 
-I do everything manually, no special choppers etc. 
-My knife is not as sharp as Rachel Ray's. 
-I prefer home-made stuff as much as possible. No instant dressings/marinades - it makes me feel more productive. 
-I like taking off chicken skins and visible fat cuz it makes "Dubai" chicken taste bleccchh... 
-I like making/baking desserts.

Ok, am I excused now? ;-P

Sinigang Story:
First, we live in a Muslim country where pork is not readily available and has to be bought from special stores with pork-selling license. Being some sort of pork-deprived for some time, we were looking forward to some hearty Pork Sinigang last night, and I prepared it hours ahead. As a final touch, I added some "gabi".  But this "gabi" turned out to be wild or something and it caused my entire hand to itch soooo bad.. soap didn't work.. and i even tried rubbing coarse salt on my hand hoping it would scrub the itch away.. Well it didn't. And hubby and I didn't wanna risk getting an allergic reaction from it. Sad to say, we had to throw the entire sinigang and make do with leftovers. *sob*

Kitchen Reminder:
Be careful with unfamiliar rootcrops specially when abroad. You never know if it's an evil variety. (And you have no one to ask!) Grr.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mastering the Art of 1-hour Dinner Meals

I am the perfect example of the un-busy wife with not enough time. I should have all the time in the world but I always manage to serve dinner late. (That's cuz I waste most of my time facebooking or cooking online on Cafe World.. and now - this blogging bug. And when CSI's showing, consider me unproductive for another hour. har har.)

Anyway,  I have been cooking for the past 1 1/2 years.. and I still have yet to master the art of 1 hour dinner meals. 30-minute meals are so unrealistic for me, so I'm aiming for 1 hour.. haha... And whoahh - the mess I make! Thank goodness hubby's the dishwasher... and every night, he makes this "Oh no..." expression when he sees the mess. hahaha.. I don't know how other people do it... teach me. PLEASE.

Dinner menu for tonight:
Pinoy Style Spaghetchup (that's Spaghetti with Banana Ketchup and hotdogs for those who haven't heard of this)
Home-made Caesar Salad (i'll try making home made dressing and croutons)

...i know.. not a perfect match, but I need more eggwhites for the puto (got some left from last night) and Caesar Salad would make good use of the yolks and leftover bread...

Let's see how long it will take me!
I hope I finish earlier than planned.. then maybe I'll really have time to make the home-made puto and go to the gym too.

Welcome to my humble cyber-home!

Woohoo!!! My first post.. I already lost count of the blogs I've started..
But this is it. I'm ready to share with you my Pursuit of Wifey-ness.
Wish me luck as I grope my way into the world of HTML, ugh.. uhmm.. yada, yada, yada... ;-)
Forgive me, I'm so not into those things.. (I'm Type B/2 Wife) but hey give me a few days.. ;-)
So.. in the course of my boredom, I came up with one of my crazy ideas.
I came up with my own Category of Wives.
I'd love to hear from Type A/1's and E/1's  YOU.


A - Ultra-Domesticated - spends her time doing Martha Stewart things.. sewing, knitting, cooking, baking, loooves doing household chores.

B - Semi-Domesticated - a housewife like me who spends her time Facebooking, Watching TV, googling about recipes, and takes pleasure in cooking a sumptuous meal, baking a lip-smackin' cake, but sometimes groans over other household chores. Could be more inclined to have own business.

C1 - Undomesticated, not working - A lucky wife who perhaps has maids (or husband) at her beck and call. Spends her time in the parlor, spa, gym, and in shopping malls. 

C2- Undomesticated,  Career Woman - A wife who probably has a not-so-tidy house.. feeds her family mostly instant meals and take-aways... Lucky is she who has a domesticated husband who does the usual wifely duties.

E - Domesticated, Career Woman - A well-rounded wife who earns  her own shopping money, keeps a clean and organized house, feeds her family delicious healthy meals, and knows how to make them happy. WOW. 


1. Knows more complicated stuff than other wives (Car repair and maintenance, carpentry, manly stuff... HTML, CSS and other geeky stuff)
2. Wives who don't know the extra stuff that #1 knows.