Wednesday, July 29, 2009

MY LOVE OF THE COMPUTER

My love for the computer started when I got employed in a small Computer company, which gave me the challenges and the realization of the great usage of a computer, after working there for 6 years, I later moved on and worked with a multinational computer company, where I met my husband, stayed there for many years, and decided to leave the company for the hope of realizing our dream of having a baby. And true enough, 3-months after leaving the company, we got pregnant and received the biggest blessing, our daughter Sam, whom we waited for, for almost 5 years.

I made this collage 1998 and used Picture It! software. This software is so user friendly, so simple to use. I so love this software, in fact I still have a copy of it, sad thing tho’ it doesn’t support Microsoft Vista, but works well in other versions. I’ve searched the internet for the latest version that would run on Vista, but found nothing. This software comes free when you buy an HP Digital Camera. I was able to combine 4 pictures in this project, thus if you will notice the different shades of the pictures. Our grown up picture was taken in a photo booth.

I still hope to learn other software for photo editing, currently I’m studying a Tutorial on Adobe Photo Elements 7. This version is for non-professionals and amateur photographers. And also, I found a online training site for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, instructor lead workshops to self-paced, video-based courses and they give FREE online tutorials from time to time, the gracious lady who shares her talent is Jessica Sprague. They also offer other classes like Digital Scrapbooking, Photography, Photo editing and Photoshop Techniques.

Friday, July 24, 2009

CHICKEN AND PORK ADOBO (v.2)

This recipe is tastier, and has a thicker sauce, may take a bit longer to prepare because of the sautéing, and it has more ingredients in it. If you think this is a lot for one meal, you may choose to keep the other half in the freezer, like I do and reheat and/or fry it the next time. Adobo keeps well in the refrigerator for about 1 week, but longer than that, I think you need to freeze it to keep its freshness.

Ingredients:
¾ kilo Pork belly cut in 2 in. cubes
¾ kilo Chicken, cut into smaller serving sizes
2 Large onions, diced
1 small can Liver Spread (optional)
1 tbsp Corn oil for sautéing
2 Heads Cloves of garlic peeled & smashed (you can put more if you really like garlic, this will add more aroma to the Adobo)

Marinade:
1 Tbsp. Freshly Ground black pepper
1 cup Soy Sauce
½ cup Vinegar
3 pcs. Laurel leaves (optional, if you like the flavor of laurel)

Directions:
In a large bowl combine the pork and chicken, pour the marinade. Mix very well and let it stand for at least 30 minutes to 1-hour, or if you want, marinate it overnight.

In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp. of corn oil and sauté garlic until a bit golden brown then add the onions stir. Next, drain the pork belly and chicken of marinade then add it to the sautéing garlic and onion (set aside the marinade, we’ll use it later), and sauté it for 10 minutes on medium high heat, mixing it very well.. Then add the marinade, Stir well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. At this point you may add the liver spread, and if you like it to be more saucy, add about ½ cup of water, if not, just let it continue to simmer for another 10-20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Adjust taste by adding salt if needed and remove laurel leaves before serving! Serve hot rice topped with adobo. Enjoy!..

Note:
This is another version worth trying if you get tired of the simple version. And if you’re like my husband who likes his Adobo fried and a bit crispy, during the last stages of cooking process, when the pork is almost done, get a frying pan, put some of the adobo in it with a bit of the sauce and stir away till’ it turns to the crispiness you want.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

BLENZ COFFEE SHOP


Location : 2/F Atrium, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City

A very cozy place to hang-out, drink coffee and surf to your hearts delight, co’z this place has FREE wi-fi. Everytime we drop by the place, its almost always teeming with people, some just hanging out and quietly having coffee and delightful cakes and pastries, and others have their laptops, notebooks, or whatever gadgets they have, enjoying the coziness of the place. Their Cheesecake is to die for, it goes very well with their brewed coffee.

My daughter also loves this place, while we are having coffee, she could roller skate safely on the big space just outside the store, where we could see her.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

CHICKEN WITH COCONUT MILK

Another Chicken Dish. This is one of the first dishes that I learned to cook that has coconut milk in it. Hubby likes anything with “gata” (coconut milk). I’ve tasted it many times from friends and relatives, and I’ve come up with my own version of cooking it, and according to my husband, its delicious.

Ingredients:
½ kilo Chicken. Cut into serving pieces
2 tbsp. Cooking Oil
1 tbsp. Crushed Garlic
2 Medium onions, diced
Few Slices of Ginger
3 tbsp. Fish Sauce
1 cup Coconut milk or Cream
2 pcs. Finger Chili (siling haba)
1 cup Green Papaya, cut into smaller wedges
1 Bunch of Chili leaves, pick the leaves only
Salt and pepper

Procedure:
Heat cooking oil in a pan, sauté garlic, then onion, when transparent, add the ginger, then the chicken, when the chicken start to brown around the edges, add the patis, mix well and cover the pan and let it simmer on low fire for 10-15 minutes (if it seems too dry, add about 2 tbsp of water), then add the coconut milk, let it simmer for 10 minutes, then add the green papaya wedges. Simmer gently, covered, until fork tender and the coconut milk is slightly reduced and thickened, then add the finger chili, cook for another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed. Turn off the heat and add the chili leaves, cover the pan again and leave for 5 to 10 minutes till the leaves are wilted. Serve with hot rice and have a great meal!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chicken with Guisantes (Canned Green Peas)

We love this dish so much, sometimes I cook this once or twice a month. Very easy to prepare and the kids just love this. If you don't like greenpeas that much, you can just add 2 cans.

Ingredients:
2 tbsps. Cooking Oil
2 tbsps. Garlic, chopped
1 medium White Onion, chopped coarsely
2 pcs. Tomato, chopped coarsely
3 tbsps. Patis (Fish Sauce)
½ Kilo Chicken, cut into serving pieces
4 cans Canned Green Peas (155 gms. each)
½ cup Water
4 medium Potatoes, cubed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Procedure:
1. Saute garlic in cooking oil until fragrant. Add onions and cook until translucent, then add tomato, saute for another 3-5 minutes.

2. Then add the chicken, stir well for a few minutes, till there are no blood visible in the chicken. Then add the fish sauce, mix well with the chicken and cover the pan and let simmer for 10 minutes, then add ½ cup water stir well, then add the cubed potatoes, then add the canned greenpeas including the liquid, let it simmer in low fire for 10-15 minutes or until tender.

3. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with steamed white rice.


Note : For this dish, you have to use the canned greenpeas, not the frozen peas, the taste will not be the same, and the sauce will not be that great.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

JOIN M. O. B. DAY!

That’s what you’ll see in big banners in front of SM Megamall Supermarket in Mandaluyong, which means JOIN My Own Bag Day! (shoppers are supposed to use the Green Bag they sell, every Wednesday), this is to help the environment according to the saleslady.

Upon entering the supermarket yah, we saw the banners, but didn’t pay much attention to it co’z we thought it’s just another one of their promos or something. We got the shock of our lives when its our turn in the cash register, the lady manning the register asked me if I have the green bag with me, and I said no, then she said that they will just put the groceries we bought in brown paper bags (which by the way are just ordinary brown bags, not even the durable type). I asked her how about the wet stuffs we bought and the big softdrink bottles, the 5 kilo rice and so forth. She said sorry mam, we have to use the brown bags, if needed we’ll just double the brown bags for the heavy stuffs. Ok, fine, we support their cause 100%, but not at the customer’s expense. By the way, the lady suggested that if we really need plastic bags, we could buy it at P3.00 a piece or buy the green bag at P35.00, buy one-take one.

SM has a responsibility to their valued customers to at least inform them properly of MAJOR CHANGES in the store. We support the drive for less plastic bags, but PLEASE, have the courtesy to inform us your valued customers to bring plastic bags or whatever bags we can bring when we go to SM Supermarkets on a Wednesday.

And true enough, upon reaching our house, upon entering the door, two or three of the brown bags bottom part gave in, and all the groceries fell on the floor.

Monday, July 6, 2009

AMICI Italian Restaurant at SM Megamall


Location : 3/F Atrium, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City



Amici, one of our favorite places in Mega Mall. Their gelato is very creamy and tastier than the others we’ve tried. Their gelato is much much creamier! My favorite is their Ciocolato (plain Chocolate) and you will really taste the good chocolate they’ve used in it. My daughter’s favorite is their Strawberry Supreme, Macapuno and also the Ciocolato.

Hubby’s favorite is their brewed coffee (P45.00 only!) that goes very well with their dark mouse slice (which is also very affordable, P80.00 per slice).



How does gelato differ from ice cream?

* Gelato contains more milk while ice cream more cream. Thus gelato is oozing with richer flavor.

* Gelato contains less overrun, or air inside, compared to icecream. This is why gelato has more volume and a denser and creamier texture.

* Gelato is kept at a warmer temperature at -14 degrees centigrade, while icecream is down to -23 degrees centigrade. This makes gelato perfectly soft but firm and indulgently mouthwatering.

Friday, July 3, 2009

CHICKEN SALAD SPREAD

This is a healthy filling for a sandwich. You can also have this for breakfast or even for lunch prepare it the night before so you'll have a tasty and delicious sandwich in the morning. You may boil chicken in water with salt and pepper till fork tender. Don't throw the stock, keep it in the freezer, and you'll have chicken broth whenever you need one.

Ingredients:
1 pc. Big Chicken Breast, boiled and flaked
4 tbsps. Mayonnaise (lite or regular)
2-3 tsps. Pickle Relish
Stalk of Celery, chopped (optional)
Salt, Pepper and Sugar to taste
Few pieces of Lettuce
Slices of wheat bread

Mix everything in a bowl except the lettuce, season to taste and chill before spreading on your favorite bread or cracker. Enjoy!

Note: This salad will keep well in the fridge for days, just follow the rule I've mentioned in my other salad recipe, to always keep your hands clean and dry in preparing salad and also use dry utensils and containers.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

CLEANING SHORTCUTS

I love to clip articles that are simple and easy to follow. Tips that can help make keeping the house clean easier. Here's one article that I find useful and handy.

Got a few minutes? Here are some tricks to make things spic ‘n span at home.
1. Stop your sink from clogging. Twice a month pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by one cup of white vinegar. After ten minutes or so of fizzing, flush zink with six cups of boiling water.

2. Cut down on fridge odors, by lining the vegetable drawer with a sheet of newspaper.

3. Clean windows and other glass with unused coffee filters when you’re out of paper towels. As an added bonus, the filter paper leaves no residue.

4. Get rid of stubborn price tags of stickers. Apply vinegar, allow it to soak into the glued-on- paper for a few minutes, then peel.

5. Remove grass stains on sneakers. Sponge spot with water, then pour a bit of molasses believe it or not!) on stains and let sit overnight. The sulfur in the molasses gently eats away the stain. In the morning, rinse shoes in water to remove syrup.

6. De-stink sneakers. Sprinkle baking soda inside shoes, place in a sealed plastic bag and put in the freezer overnight.

7. Expertly dust silk flowers. Put them in a zip-top bag with ½ cup salt. Shake vigorously. Salt will absorb dust and dirt, and flowers will look like new again.

8. Easily get rid of stains in your coffee thermos. Fill with water and drop in a few denture cleaning solution, Let fizz and rinse.

9. Prevent a laundered comforter from clumping. Toss a couple of old tennis balls into the machine with it. The pounding movement will fluff the stuffing, ensuring even distribution. This also revives flattened pillows.

10. Remove mold spots on walls with a solution of one cup bleach to one gallon of warm water. Use a sponge and rubber gloves. Don’t drip on carpeting! When dry, paint with a mildew-resistant latex paint.

Source : GoodHousekeeping Magazine, October 2008

PANCIT BIHON (Rice Sticks)

Bihon Guisado is how we call this dish. You can either add chicken or pork into it, or do a combination of both if you want. I like to cook the vegetables separately to avoid it from being overcooked, its nice when the vegetables are still crunchy. I dont soak the bihon noodles in water as it tends to be soggy and wet when cooked. I just add a little bit more of cooking liquid into it.

Ingredients:
2 tbsps. Cooking Oil
1 head Garlic, chopped finely
3 medium size Onion, sliced
½ cup Soy Sauce
¼ tsp Black Pepper
1/4 kilo Pork Liempo, cut up into small cubes
¼ cup water
¼ kilo Pork Liver, cut into small cubes
2 pcs. Langgonisang Macao (Chinese Sausage), cut diagonally
3-4 cups water or broth
½ kilo Cabbage, cut julienne
3 pcs. Medium size Carrots. julienne
1/2 c. Kinstay, chopped coarsely
¼ kilo Squid Balls, cut into half, slightly fried
1 pack Bihon noodles (400 gms.)
Salt and Pepper
Few pieces of calamansi

Procedure:
In a big pan or wok , sauté half of the garlic in 1 tbsp. oil, when slightly brown, put onion, continue sautéing, then put the carrots, let it cook for a few minutes then add the kinstay, then the cabbage. Set aside, in a separate container.

In the same pan, put the pork with about ¼ cup water,cook in medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let it cook until the water is dry and fat starts to come out from the pork, let it cook for another 3-5 minutes, then take out the pork from the pan, then put 1 tbsp cooking oil and start sautéing the garlic till a bit brown, then the onion, stir well, then put back the pork and continue stirring for about 2 minutes, then put ½ c soy sauce, then the pepper. Let it sauté in the soysauce, then put about 4 cups water, let it boil in medium heat for another 10 minutes. When it starts to boil add the bihon noodles, continue cooking, stirring often, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Test a noodle by pressing it between your fingers. If there is still a lot of resistance, add some more broth and seasoning, and continue cooking until dry. When the noodles are done, add the sauteed vegetables and squid balls to the pan and toss until everything is evenly heated. Serve with kalamansi halves on the side.