Saturday, February 28, 2009

things i won't do: mystery can

i've jumped off a perfectly good bridge but i won't do this.

first, read this: the plug issue #36 mystery can II

now, being that i grew up with a different palate than some that read this blog this is really funny to me. because I KNOW the strange things you can get in a can and i would NEVER take on this challenge. because i hate throwing up.

it's pretty funny though, i think jay walked into a filipino store as evidenced by the quail eggs (i gag just thinking about this), ginitaang munggo, ligo, and mangosteens that tracy had to eat. the challenge wouldn't have been that bad, but since they had no idea what they were eating (labels were taken off as part of the rules), it was more a mental thing.


would you do this?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

taking bread from stale to fresh. rum helps.

despite my neverending bout with the plague, i've been making time to make some pretty food (for other people - since i can't really enjoy food right now). last week, i was excited to buy some pan de sal (filipino bread rolls) just to have sandwiches, toast, etc for the week. it was not-so-exciting when i realized that it was close to stale.

this is what stale pan de sal looks like

what does one do with a dozen stale rolls? make bread pudding.

rum raisin bread pudding

i've never made bread pudding, so i used this recipe from the foodnetwork. obviously, instead of bread, i used 10 pan de sal rolls. and as far as dark rum goes, i only had tanduay, from the philippines, so it fit in nicely to my [unplanned] filipino version of this dessert. finally, to add a little kick, i let the raisins soak and plump up in a little more rum before i threw it in with the recipe.

a yummy way to save perfectly good stale bread!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

wanted: personal doc tor (preferably older than me).

my immune system is shot. for the last two months, i've been fighting no less than 982 colds. this one is by far the worst and if i haven't said it before, it sucks to be single and sick. need delivery of orange juice. now.

but instead of boring you about how my body keeps going from hot to cold in less than .02 seconds (is this what personal summers feel like? if so, i'll well prepared to the blanket and sweatshirt shuffle in about 30 years), i'll share a cute thing that someone sent me to make me feel better.

would it be losery to get this ringtone?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

way past barongs and soens.

so as i was perusing rafe totengco's page for some spring vacation clutch inspiration (those that know me know that the LAST type of purse i need is a clutch but i can't get enough - see post on obsession), i stumbled across his blog again.

sidenote: for those that don't know, rafe is an international accessories designer that happens to be from the philippines. his bags are well known over the world and are huge amongst celebrities. his shop is in manhattan.

as part of his philippine celebrity, he was asked to guest judge the project runway philippines season 1 finale.

my 1st thought: oooh! i love project runway!
my 2nd thought: there's a project runway philippines?!

i watched the finale episode start to finish and it's pretty impressive that they were able to make a pretty much exact replica of the US version of the show. and i was doubly impressed and pleasantly surprised at the talent of the designers there. not that i doubt that filipinos have haute couture style but my view of the philippines is limited to my mom's provincial town/island (not that i'm hating because it's my favorite place in the philippines!) or the herds of people walking through the SM in makati - lovely, but not exactly bryant park.

i loved certain parts of all three collections, however, the obvious winner (and crowd fav) for his risks and impeccable sewing skills was aries lagat.

to see some filipino orginality (like totally "ee-no-bay-tib"), check out minute 2:30 until about 3:15. (take that US project runway!). my other favorite part of this episode was 8:23-8:24 but for all the wrong reasons.

if you want to see the whole episode and even better - who won (and how he admittedly embarrassed himself by falling down and hurting his knee - albeit in a endearing i-just-realized-my-dream kinda way), check out sweet project's you tube channel. pictures of all three collections (and other philippine fashion events) can be seen at kael06's flickr.

have a lovely day!

last night, i went home to see my niece and bring her my last batch of valentine-y cupcakes. when i got there, she came running up the stairs and greeted me with "happy balentimes day ninang!"
[ninang means godmother in tagalog]

happy balentimes day, indeed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

to do in washington dc: torpedo factory

*edited for grammar. when i get excited i don't pay attention! go go go!

every second thursday, the torpedo factory opens it's doors to the public. now, i've been there before but it was always closed so i never understood how great this place is. the factory has 82 studios, 6 galleries and an art school. tonight, for the public viewing, the artists were there after hours and had special add-ons for the guests including: a singer with a guitar, wine, cheese, and flowers for valentine's day.

anyway, within 10 minutes of being there i fell in love and bought my first pieces of art. they were made by a lovely ceramic artist named diana chamberlain. she makes these gorgeous dress sculptures that sometimes double as vases. besides the fancy, fancy shapes, sometimes she embosses the ceramics with gorgeous, delicate, french lace and then reglazes the lace trim in blue or black.

needless to say, with my current love for all things french, i went a little nuts in the store. to my credit though, i bought pieces that i could use instead of just stare at and squeal. besides, we ended talking to some artists about the economy and i felt great buying from the creator and not the 'man'. i now own the 4 coasters and the trivet below. don't they look great against my dark dining room table?

coasters & trivet by diana chamberlain

ps. i also fell in love with the book ends show located in the target gallery. the things that the artists made with books is AMAZING. i highly suggest that you visit it if you can; they are only there until the 22nd. and if you go, check out the rolodex. i'm still reeling and really, really want to buy it. sigh. santa, please? (this picture does it no justice. no justice.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

obsession: blood oranges

when i went to poland and few years ago, i had a layover in milan and flew alitalia to vienna (and eventually, to krakow - that's another story). it was a morning flight and we were treated to italian pastries, coffee and breakfast juices. i was surprised when the attendant handed me a glass of red liquid after i had asked for orange juice. it was then that i fell in love with blood oranges. and while that sounds really dramatic, i really have a tendency to get obsessed with things that i like. basically, i keep at it until i'm tired of it, and them move on to the next obsession (it being meals, juices, hobbies, recipes, and especially music - you get the picture). after my trip, still reeling after my discovery, my love for blood oranges was cut short when i couldn't find them anywhere here in dc. i tried specialty groceries, organic groceries, the internet. no go.

so yesterday, i was delighted (as in, i almost squealed out loud) to find blood oranges at the local grocery store. i thought of all the recipes that i had looked up after my trip that required blood oranges. i couldn't remember too many, and really, i'm happy just having the fruit/juice by itself. but i did remember a fennel salad that i tasted during restaurant week a few years ago at sette bello in arlington.

since the weather has been pretty mild lately, this was a perfect dinner idea for tonight. i paired it with a honey garlic salmon recipe that was adapted from a vietnamese recipe that my mom received from her co-worker.

salad of fennel, endive, blood oranges, and almonds
with a homemade champagne vinaigrette
shown with honey garlic roasted salmon topped with caramelized onions

now, off to make another batch of cupcakes for some friends (see? obsessed).

Sunday, February 08, 2009

ready for delivery

(can you tell i'm so excited about this?)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

i heart cupcakes (literally!)

chocolate cupcakes with [raspberry] buttercream

i've been craving cupcakes lately. but instead of having to chose one of the many cupcakeries in dc or alexandria, and then having to make a decision on what flavor i want (too many choices!), i just decided to make my own. and since i had a limited amount of ingredients in house and only mini muffin tins, i ended up with mini chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream. very v-day, don't you think?

mini cupcakes + mini hearts = big cute!

now, i just have to figure out what to do with all these! do you want a cupcake?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

to do: eat in san diego

some of the offerings at chocolat on fifth ave (taken by camera phone) | san diego

i arrived in san diego yesterday to 80 degree weather (sorry dc'ers). during the superbowl, i had seen the forecast, but felt a little weird digging into my summer clothing storage for tank tops in february and decided against it. fail. people here are in shorts, tanks and flip flops. i'm poorly prepared in my short sleeved light sweaters and slacks - i am here for work after all. luckily the warmer weather only lasts until sunset, then it's a nice 65-70 degree evening. i LOVE it here.

miss danidee and i decided to have a catch up over sushi and sake in the gaslamp quarter last night. and instead of going to uber-chic [read: overpriced] nobu, we went to not-trying-as-hard, not-considered-as-chic, but uber tasty taka, known for it's "gourmet sushi" and authentic taste. needless to say, it was wonderful. we sat outside and enjoyed the weather while people watching and listening to a street performer in a full on double breasted suit (plus hat!) sing classic songs on the corner.

we tried to be adventurous and order a sushi style shrimp that apparently had a garnish of a shrimp's head with still moving antennae but since they were out of season, we opted to try a fresh quatro of seaweed salad. the seaweed was not like the usual marinated salad but instead fresh "kelp" (as dj called it when she saw it) with a sesame ginger dressing. the server warned us that some were adverse to the taste since it was pretty much tasted like sea. it was great! the textures of the different types seaweed were interesting and the sauce was a great compliment.

after ordering the usual favorites of unagi and salmon avocado, we opted to try special of bluetail tuna sashimi (it was so dark red that it was like magenta/purple ish). also, dj introduced me to a new taste of scallop sushi. raw scallops! who knew?! it was so fresh that it wasn't fishy, but so soft that it kinda just melted in your mouth. yum! this is the way sushi should be, everything was so fresh!

our meal was completed with a concoction that i learned from logorrheic - plum wine mixed with sake. since plum wine is so sweet, the sake mixes perfectly to make a tasty cocktail, with a great punch. surprise, you're tipsy!

finally, to top off the night, we had to check out the gelato place, chocolat (we had eyed it on our way up 5th ave). they sold all kinds of crepes and gelato, made from cocao from south america and africa. it was so pretty. and yummy. they had some more adventurous flavors but i opted for my favorite combination of chocolate hazelnut. dj ended up with two: a spicy chocolate and strawberry. this is a definite place to check out while walking around the gaslamp.

ok, time to work. more san diego to come later!