Sunday, January 25, 2009

recipe: adobo

chicken adobo a la leah

inspired by mike's post, i got a craving for a good downhome filipino meal of adobo chicken tonight. and while he challenged his readers to an adobo throwdown, the reality is, there will be no winner because each family's adobo is slightly different, per the different regions of the philippines and quirks of each cook - in my case, my lola [grandmother].

my grandmother, mama, made the BEST adobo ever. however, there was no formal recipe passed down. all i remember is that it was heavy on the garlic, and i remember it was drier than most adobos -- most have a sauce -- an "au jus" if you will. after talking about it to my mom a long time ago, she mentioned that mama maybe used a cooking method of 'pinapasa' which literally means, 'to be squeezed'. i have yet to find a recipe to use this method but from what i understand, mama would take the chicken out after simmering and re-sear it with more garlic. needless to say, it was yummy.

i'm kinda 'a throw things in a pot and edit to taste' kinda cook. so here's my semi-just-now-made-up "recipe" for adobo (sans the extra pinapasa step). my recipe is for a smaller portion for 2-3 servings.
  • 1.5 lbs of chicken wings, drumsticks or thighs (you can use breast, but it will probably be drier)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic depending on size
  • 1/6 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/6 cup of distilled vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon-ish of whole peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon-ish of sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. salt and pepper the chicken - don't be too generous - you'll be adding soy and peppercorn later.
  2. sear chicken in a hot pan with just a drizzle of oil. once the fat from the chicken renders, you'll have more than enough fat to keep the chicken from sticking. in fact, you'll have to drain the pain later on.
  3. drain pan but leave about 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan.
  4. lower heat to medium and add garlic. saute garlic for 1 minute.
  5. splash a little of the soy sauce and vinegar in pan and scrape with a wooden spoon to de-glaze.
  6. add soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns, and bay leaf. simmer, add sugar, mix, then add chicken.
  7. simmer on low for 40 minutes, turning chicken periodically to ensure chicken cooks on all sides.
  8. taste the sauce. add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. serve over rice. if you're not down with eating whole peppercorns, make sure to pick them out!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

belated inauguration stuff

for the millionth time, inauguration was amazing. i'll spare you the details -- i know almost a week later people have been oversaturated but i don't want my pictures to fall into the black hole of memory cards. this blog is, afterall, for posterity.

here are my some of my favs from the weekend. the others are up on the flickr site (with details).


wesley was at the mall at 5am. what an amazing day for such a great kid!

after waiting 4+ hours for the concert, people started climbing trees...

and finding seats on the port o' pottys (yuck!)...

and just being fun.

mood of the weekend: hopeful for CHANGE


7:00am vs 10:00am

watching the sun rise with 1.9million of my best friends

a sea of people

"office of president of the united states..."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

just think: family circus

liveleah and kitas' adventures at inauguration 2009
getting there, getting out, and getting fed: a 13 hour journey.

click to see commentary, time estimations, and restaurant fails and wins along the way.

View Larger Map

photos coming soon!

inauguration pics - coming soon!

so many pictures (and emotions) to filter through! there are a few entries in the hopper but need some time to edit. will try to buckle down tonight.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

twit happens

in one word - what happened to my blog? twitter.

it's quick. and you avoid my needless ramblings since there's 140 character limit. genius!

i've been lagging on the posts and unfortunately have not updated on the many things that have been going on. not-so liveleah of me huh? so bear with me, i think there will be a blitz of stuff coming up soon - some kinda old; some new. with the inauguration coming up and a pretty aggressive plan to get into the city (i'm going to end up walking over the memorial bridge - bet!), the SLR will be getting some play. that, and i've got "the bug" so i'm hoping that i'll be taking a few trips in 2009. that is, if my uber practical "we're in a recession" conscience doesn't get me first.

anyway, who wants to teach me how to get my tweets up on this? preferably on the side bar -->

you will be paid in food. [UPDATE: blogger has a search function. sweet! tweets are below!]

speaking of, check out my dinner tonight (i love my SLR!):
pancetta, peas, pasta, pepper & parmesan (+garlic, but that wasn't pretty to write)

p.s. it was yum.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

happy new year!

my new year's day brunch of baked brie, apples and crackers

it's 2009! i started 2008 barely being able to move (nye. eighteenth street lounge. shots. enough said.) so in an effort to give my liver a small break and letting myself enjoy the daytime of new year's day, i decided to keep it simple this year.

i had a small nye's happy hour/open house. people came after work, had a few drinks, some funny/great conversation, and then went off their separate ways for other bashes or in the case of a few of us, bed (a lot of us were sick).

anyway, with such a small gathering of people (i sent out invitations less than 24 hours before), it was perfect to make some of my favorite (and easy!) appetizers.

on the menu:
  • endive spears with orange, toasted almonds, goat cheese and olive oil
  • meatballs in the usual party sauce
  • brie en croute with raspberry preserves and toasted almonds (picture below)
  • a flourless chocolate cake with hints of orange (picture below)

all, in all, it was a great night. and i fulfilled my goal of waking up without feeling like i'm going to die. YAY 2009! hope you had a great one.

brie en croute with raspberry

flourless chocolate cake in dome