Refreshing Water Melon

>> November 30, 2010

In a tropical country like ours, we get to enjoy summer drinks all year long :P. Here's a simple watermelon refreshment I prepared in 10 minutes.

Making this is super simple. You only need 3 things:
- crushed sweet watermelon
- sterilized milk
- 2 tbsp of honey

And then that's it, chill it in your freezer!


Pikachu needs foster home

>> November 26, 2010

     Our latest rescue, Pikachu, a 6 weeks old kitten, will need a foster home soon. We found her right at the monument in the intersection of Makati Ave. and Paseo de Roxas hiding and crying in the thick bushes that surrounds the monument. Mark's running buddy, Brando, passed by along this area during his regular training when he heard the loud cry of the kitty. It was a dangerous place for her. There's no access for food or water, in time she will be forced to cross the deadly intersection and endager her own life. Brando told Mark about it and he immediately went there to the rescue.

Mark wasn't lucky to get to her on his first attempt to extract her from the bushes. Pikachu was very scared so he just left food and water. The next evening, I came with him to help. At that time we found her right under the strobe that lights up the monument, which is enclosed in a concrete compartment and locked up with grills. It's impossible to fit our hands in the grills to get her so we had to lure her with food. It was extra difficult because aside from she's pretty smart that she didn't just take the bait, the light was also right up to our faces we couldn't see her. Thanks to the security guards of Ayala, they approached and helped us with our mission. They turned off the lights and opened the grill door. Mark was then able to grab her, put her in the cage. His big mistake was to quickly slip in the food container. Pikachu took the opportunity and jumped out of the cage, hid again in the thick bushes, and lost our chance once more. We stayed and tried for another hour until we gave up and called it a night. We just left some food for her to keep her stomach full for another 24 hours.

The next evening, we found her in the same spot, inside the strobe compartment. There were no guards to assist us this time. Luckily, she took our food bait and Mark was able to grab and put her in the cage.

We took her to the vet and had her first general check up. She got de-worming injection and vitamin B complex boost. Doc Eden said she's anemic. In 2 weeks she'll be ready and in good shape. In the next 6 weeks, she'll be ready for the anti-rabies shot. She's currently very playful and talkative.

We hope to find a home for her soon. If anyone is interested please leave me a comment here.


Thanks Giving Weekend = More Time for Food Photos

>> November 25, 2010

Happy Thanks Giving weekend to my friends and colleagues in the United States!!

We do not celebrate Thanks Giving in the Philippines, but since I work for a US Company, I get to enjoy the Thanks Giving break too! Yipeee! This means, I have Thursday til Sunday to concentrate on my current addiction - taking photos of my own cooking! I'm looking forward to take advantage of this break. But for now, I'm going to do cleaning. It's nicer to move around when everything is squeeky clean :).


Honey Melon Balls

>> November 23, 2010

Who wouldn't like fruits for dessert if it's as cute as this?

Well, feeding Mark fruits isn't a problem because he's already a big fan of fresh fruits.But I still love to put some twist on my fresh fruits so eating is more fun. This evening, I made chilled balls of cantaloupe and water melon drizzled with honey.

Its fairly easy to make this. All you need is a melon baller and 2 types of melon for color variation. In this recipe I used cantaloupe and water melon.

1. Using a melon baller, scoop out canteloupe and watermelon in a rolling motion so you can form a ball (i wish there's an easier way to explain this).
2. Put them in a separate bowl and chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Careful not to totally freeze it.

To serve:
Get a nice small bowl or a wide-mouth glass and arrange the balls according to your liking. It can be layered by color, or you can just mix it.

Drizzle honey if you like it sweet. You may top it with whipped cream to if you prefer. You can also pour condensed milk if you want it creamy sweet. Garnish it with mint leaves if you have some. Then serve while it's chilled.


Apple Flavored Fun Cakes

>> November 22, 2010

I love making pancakes for breakfast. But it gets boring sometimes. Same taste, same look, same syrup. So to make pancakes a little bit fun, I modeled it after dutch's poffertjes, mixed with grated apples.

- 1 pack (250g) Maya Pancake mix
- 2 medium sized grated green apples
- cinnamon powder
- confectioners sugar

1. Pour the pancake mix in a mixing bowl and follow the instructions in the box.
2. Mix in the grated apples.
3. Sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon powder.

To make small pancakes, you need a silicone egg mold.

4. Heat pan. Place the mold on top of the pan.
5. Pour a little bit of the pancake mix. DO NOT FILL UP the mold as the pancake will still a little bit rise up. Then use spoon to evenly distribute the apple and mix in the circle while it's not cooked yet.
6. When the bottom is cooked, remove the silicone mold. I used a piece of chopstick to push out pancake from the sides of the silicone as sometimes it tends to be sticky. Then flip the pancake to cook the other side.

To serve:

Pile up your cute fun cakes and sprinkle with confectioners sugar and little bit of cinnamon powder for garnishing.


Carrot Balls Rewind

>> November 14, 2010

The much awaited food shoot has finally come! I invited my friend to join me in my food photo experiment who's a newbie in photography hobby. It was fun to teach him basic stuff, and at the same time, to have another person, aside from my fiance, to showcase my home cooking haha!

I did 4 dishes, but not everything turned out grand in the photos. It wasn't that bad though. The food designing, angle experimenting, those are kinda new to me so learning was fun. I chose to cook my most wanted carrot balls (Mark loves it so much!) because I didn't get a nice picture of it the first time I made it.

This is the first time in many months that I cooked in the morning. But once again, I had to depend on my flash to give my food nice lighting because the sky won't just cooperate with me yesterday. It can't decide whether it wants to rain or it wants to shine - so it just stayed gray the entire time I was shooting. I want natural light!


Basil blossoms

>> November 11, 2010

I never thought basil can bear flowers! Seriously, I thought the plant is just all about leaves - not until my basil plant grew a bunch.

My basil plant at the balcony, over looking the busy intersection of Tordesillas and Gil Puyat.

Cute basil blossoms.

I love fresh basil leaves so much that at one point I felt like I was addicted to it. But I don't like buying them from the supermarket because you can't get a small portion. I prefer to not refrigerate them if possible because I want to keep it crunchy. But with the constant warm weather, it won't last long. And even when I refrigerate, it withers. So they always end up in the biodegradable trash bag :(. So we decided to grow one instead, this way we can get only what we need - no more waste! Plus, we are sure that it is pesticide free.

I always dream of growing my own herbs since I love herbs so much. But unfortunately, aside from a small space in the balcony I could spare for a garden, most herbs that I like don't grow on warm weather. For now, I only have basil and parsley. The parsley shares the same pot as the basil.

The parsley, on the other hand, doesn't grow. It doesn't die either. It's just as is! I'm guessing it's because the basil is taking all the nutrition from it. Next time I go to the mall, I'll get a separate pot for it, and maybe get my next herb so I can start realizing my mini-garden plans in that small space we have left in the balcony. I love plants. And I don't understand why I am living in a building where I couldn't grow them comfortably :S.


What's in the fridge?

>> November 3, 2010

I was obsessing with my plans for my first, official, full production food photography that's happening in 2 weeks (hahaha I made it sound super big deal)that I totally have taken for granted my dinner menus. For 3 evenings, I was just taking out whatever I can find in the fridge and toss together what seems to me would work together. You'd be surprised to see what you'll come up with. And of course, Mark, being my fiance, has to be the guinea pig >:).

So these are what I came up with. And as far as Mark's taste buds are concerned, it worked.

Something Fresh : Shredded romaine lettuce, tossed with sliced ripe tomatoes, diced cucumber and finely chopped red onion; tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice; a dash of salt and pepper; topped with hard boiled egg.

Baked Veggies : sliced eggplant, zucchini, and red bell peppers tossed in an oven proof dish; sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper and baked for about 15-20 mins. Let it cool down and top it with feta cheese.

NE for No Effort : Instant marinated and ready to cook meat from your favorite korean store :). Also, take a look at what I caught in the act! meowww!


Changes in this blog

>> November 2, 2010

Wow, it's been a long break. I've been conceptualizing changes in this blog - not the content, but just the look and the photos I have been taking. I'm recently hooked on food photography and would love to make pro-like photos of my own cooking. However, Mark and I always end up super hungry after my cooking, thus I always end up taking for granted the art side of food photography :P. So this time around, I will not just document but at least exert an extra effort on the photography side.

The look of the blog will also change... just can't decide what template to use (again).


Bubble Blahs

I work and live at night time. I am a person deprived of natural light. I rarely cook in the morning as I'm almost always asleep, else busy with house chores. As much as I love natural light in my photography, I'm afraid I don't usually have that luxury, unless I sacrifice my sleep, or make an effort to stay up longer during the day to do a cooking + photo session. So I depend on my flash, and sometimes, available light from my fluorescent bulbs. Although, in my opinion, nothing beats the natural light, I am, so far, satisfied with my shots using my flash that I learned to love.

I always look forward to the weekends for some sunlight.

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