Monday, March 29, 2010

Been a Couple of Days

I'm back.

After a long time away from my computer, I realize that in the blog world even a day can be costly. So four days is absolutely over the limit. I can't take it anymore, I have to blog.

Funny thing is, when you start keeping yourself busy, Busy comes more frequently to your door. As soon as I picked up blogging and sharing with the world an aspect of my life, my life started picking up more things to do. This blog is certainly of those things I long to continue doing no matter how hectic life gets.

I haven't been cooking much lately but will most likely resume my taste buds in a couple of days. My recent attempt at cooking with lentils had left me doubtful if I will attempt anything else in the lentil sphere. But we'll see. (lol) You should see the green goop I created in my kitchen. I was trying to make an Indian lentil curry dish, a favorite of my dad's. Instead, it turned out bland, goopy and *blehck*. And no, I refuse to post pics of this.

Anyway, my husband gave me this great idea to start posting (in place of failed recipe attempts...I said this, not him) my pictures of things I've found in my surroundings that resemble, say, look, become alive into something else. For instance this lonely bike we found on a Saturday walk.

It was a very bad day for this bike. A very bad day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Cinema Sentinel: How To Train Your Dragon

Hey, it's Thursday today...that means it's Friday--Movie Day--tomorrow! Sweetness! Yes, I purposefully have chosen to use exclamation marks to emphasize how excited I am. DreamWorks has done it again and this time it's called, "How To Train Your Dragon." My husband and I will definitely go see this movie this weekend or next. 3D Here We Come. Okay, no more talking...just see for yourself.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Family Recipe: Pork Adobo (Chicken is also invited to the party)

It's Monday and time to get back to cooking food that's great for dinner and filling for tomorrow's lunch.  I'm making a family favorite called Adobo (pork or chicken).  This is a Filipino dish that emphasizes in using vinegar, soy sauce, peppercorns and other spices that make this a truly unique dish.  I've heard that you can brown the meat after marinating it in the sauces and spices but my mother's recipe doesn't require you to.  Today, I will try and put the two techniques together.

What you will need:

1-2 lbs of Pork or Chicken
4 Jalapenos
1/4 Cup of White Vinegar
1/4 Cup of Kikkoman soy sauce
3 Tablespoons of Mushroom soy sauce
3 Tablespoons of Fish Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire
3 Bay Leaves
2 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
4-5 Cloves of crushed Garlic
1 1/2 Cup of Water

Tools and Things:

A nice large pot with a lid

  • Over medium heat, add oil. Then add garlic and meat.  Stirring frequently, brown the meat.
  • Add jalapenos, vinegar, soy sauces, fish sauce, worcestershire, bay leaves and black pepper.  Make sure the meat is completely coated with these ingredients.
  • Add water. Cover pot and bring adobo to boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and keep covered for about an 45 minutes- 1 hour.  Make sure you keep an eye on your pot. Checking it occasionally so you don't have burnt adobo. It should be ready when the meat is super tender.
  • Oh, and don't forget to remove the bay leaves.  Not really fun to eat.
Serve this dish with warm rice.  I prefer this recipe with medium grain rice or I like to call it, sushi rice. Such brands like Nishiki, Kokuho Rose or Calrose.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Brunch: Bourbon, DC

If you ever visit northwest DC, make sure you visit Bourbon. Established in 2002 in Glover Park, they provided a place where you could drink, dine and relax without getting hit on by sleazy, greasy lookin' men. They became so popular, they opened another place in Adams Morgan.

Why do I like Bourbon? Well, my husband and I enjoy this wonderful place because of the food. It's simple ingredients turned into comfort food away from home. My husband loves their grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup. Our friend Jeff enjoys their "Thaddeus' Chili Mac" and a cold glass of dark beer. I on the other hand, can never pass up their "Hot Dog", I believe Glover Park menu calls it "Big Hot Dog." This dog is a 1/4 lb all beef dog, grilled to perfection and cozily tucked in a warm pretzel bun. And it's only $5.  Mmmm...mmm...mmm

I enjoy contrasting tastes, so with the salty beef hot dog, I always ask for a side of their signature Bourbon BBQ baked beans. Now, I KNOW how to make baked beans and a mean one at that. However, these baked beans at Bourbon's has depths of flavor that make it a worthy side to any dish on the menu. First, you smell and taste the smoke flavor, then a touch of sweetness and finally...POW, the bourbon just tops the experience.

Seriously, if you can't make it for their Happy Hour, do stop by on a weekend for their brunch hour. 

Here are the hours:

Glover Park
Monday to Thursday 5pm-2am
Friday 5pm-3am
Saturday 11:30am-3am
Sunday 11:30am-2am

Adams Morgan
Monday to Thursday 6pm-2am
Friday 5pm-3am
Saturday 11:30am-3am
Sunday 11:30am-2am

When you do visit Bourbon, send me some pics of your orders! Have a great Sunday evening.

Done Deal!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Calming Down After a Long Day

After a long day and a clean hot shower, one of my favorite ways to relax is to read a good book and sip hot tea. Yes, I'm that comfortable with not having to go out every weekend. I remember when I was in my early twenties and I told myself that I could party forever. Haha, tell that to my sleep cycle now. (LOL)

Well, for nights like these tea, tv or a good book is just fine with me. One really stress-relieving cup of tea that I often enjoy is Celestial Seasoning's Sleepytime tea. According to the package, each tea bag consists of chamomile, spearmint (my fav of the mint family), lemongrass, tilia flowers, blackberry leaves, orange blossoms, hawthorn and rosebuds. Enticing enough for you?

What brings all this together would definitely have to be a sweet teaspoon or more of pure honey. Ahhhhh, time to kick back and indulge in the comfort of a story or the demise of a chef on Food Network's Chopped show.

Anyway, this is just one of many teas I enjoy. What's your favorite tea when you want to relax?

Have a great weekend. Unless, you live in Indiana where I heard it will be snowing tomorrow. Yoiks!

Monday, March 15, 2010

How I Store Thai Chilies

I rarely get to my local Thai market without having to take a 45 minute public transportation ride. So when I do get the chance to stop by my favorite Thai markets, I buy their chilies. Thai Chilies. You really can't substitute this babies without losing authentic flavors.

When I did get them, I never really knew how to keep them fresh long enough. But by observing my Aunt Sumalee, I found out how she did it.  If you store them right, you will get about 2-3 weeks out of it.  But like any good cook, always check your produce before you prep them.

Here's how to store them:
  • Wash the chilies in cold water.

  • Remove the stems.

  • Pat dry on paper towel or cloth.

  • Store them all in a plastic container. Place the container closer to the bottom of the fridge away from the light.

To tell if you have a good chili, the seeds inside should be a white/yellow pale fresh color (Right side). If it's brown to dark brown, just toss them (Left side).

You can cut a chili to or most of the times, you can tell from the outside of the chili's skin. The skin should be plump and tight. (Wish my face could remain plump and tight but that's what plastic surgery's for, yeah?)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bears, Beets, Brown...Alton Brown

One of my favorite TV personalities on Food Network would have to be Alton Brown. He makes food interesting in a scientific way. He explains why fruits, veggies, recipes or anything edible is the way it is and what you can do with it.

According to his bio on Food Network, he used to work as a cinematographer and video director. I guess in way, I feel like I can relate to him. We both have and are still working in media production but there is an undeniable passion for food and doing what we think would be better. Of course, he has a show and I have but a humble blog. Nonetheless, I am glad I can write about him on this blog...I feel a little closer to his aisle now.

Anyway, I wanted to post two videos of one of his episodes on Good Eats. He talks and shows you how beets can be a nutritious and delicious addition to your diet. I've yet to try some of his recipes but I will sooner or later. Enjoy and let me know how you prepare your beets.

For more info on his whereabouts go to his official website,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spicy Oven Fried Chicken

Hello again, it has been two days since my last post and thanks to sleep and paracetamols, I'm back on the blog.

Well, after a long rest you would be hungry too.  And that I was, for chicken.  I'm deathly afraid of cooking raw chicken so instead I always overcook my chicken.  Sad but true.  However, after perusing many recipes on how to bake chicken, I came up with my own take on oven fried chicken.  I did not have enough eggs to support the egg-flour batter thing nor did I have sour cream as suggested by a couple cooks.  Instead, I have a vat of mayonnaise in my fridge that will probably be expired before I even finish half of the jar this year.

Mayo?! You ask.  Yes, mayo does wonders for chicken like this.  Follow these instructions and you're sure to want to show off your mad chicken baking skillz.

What's in your pantry:

2-3 lbs of chicken legs, breasts, whole legs (I just bought a set of whole legs)
1 C of bread crumbs
1/2 C of mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon of Thyme leaves
1 Teaspoon of Paprika
1 Teaspoon of Cayenne
1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon of Chicken flavored powder bouillon (Optional, found in Asian market)


A large 9x13 pan for baking
A large pan/area for coating chicken with mayo
A large bowl or gallon sized plastic bag for bread coating
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  • In the large bowl mix thoroughly the Bread Crumbs, Salt, Garlic Powder, Thyme Leaves, Paprika, Cayenne, Black Pepper and Chicken bouillon.
  • Coat thawed chicken with mayonnaise.  Don't be shy.
  • After the mayo coating, take the chicken for some bread crumb coating.  Make sure the chicken is completely covered in the spicy bread crumbs.
  • Place chicken in the lightly greased pan.  Bake chicken for an hour.  
For those of you who don't like chicken skin, this recipe works just as well with skinless meat.

Now for some sides like homemade biscuits, Amish potato salad, green beans, a cool cucumber salad and some sweet iced tea.  Hmmm Sunday afternoon at Grandma's.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bedroom Tip...The Sweet Kind

Ladies and Gentlemen, I don't usually post this kind of info out there but now that I'm married and have always been open to food in the bedroom, might I entice you to a delectable delight?

One thing I get annoyed with when getting "fun" things for the bedroom is no customer reviews on what edibles for adults taste like. Well, this is one review from a satisfied food lover.

Victoria's Secret sells Edible Body Icing called Midnight Chocolate. If you like dark chocolate and brownie/cake batter...this might be a treat for you and your loved one. Its rich, it is not as sticky on your skin and its easy (and delicious) to clean up. Seriously, if we ever ran out of Hershey's Chocolate Syrup in our home, I wouldn't mind whipping this sucker out and spooning myself a dab on my french vanilla ice cream, or mint now that I think of it.

You can purchase this online or in some Victoria's Secret stores for $15. We got ours a couple days after Valentine's so it might have been on sale.

Anyway, this edible icing is something fun and tasty for couples wanting to add a little more sweetness in the bedroom. For extra fun, why don't you sprinkle some small marshmallows...and some graham crackers and make yourselves a sexy S'mores. I think I just went overboard.

Friday, March 5, 2010

How To Fold Tee Shirts

My husband watched my video of "How To Fold a Fitted Sheet" by Erin Bried. This led to him telling me about folding tee shirts in Japan. He's told me about this video but I never got to it. Today I did and I've got to try this tonight. Wish me skills!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

For Rice Lovers: Meat Sauce That's Great With Rice or Spaghetti

This recipe is pure comfort food for my family. I remember coming home from school and smelling such a wonderful aroma that filled the living room and trailed into the kitchen. And who could be creating such a mouth-watering concoction? Ah yes, there she stood in the kitchen welcoming me back from school...the lovely and talented Chef Mom. My mom is a great cook. In fact, she's so good I have no doubt she would impress some of the world's best chefs with her take on fusing eastern and western cuisine. But the reason why she's the best according to my taste buds is the fact that she can whip up a tasty going-for-seconds meal in no time with little amount of money. My dad calls her "thrifty" and until this day her recipes keep my family budget under control but without sacrificing flavor.

This is our family's take on Meat Sauce for spaghetti and rice. This recipe is seriously savory the next day with a warm bowl of rice. I've added some veggies for this recipe because I like chunky sauce with a colorful presentation.

What's in your pantry and fridge:

1 Lb of Ground Beef
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Lg Yellow/White Onion
2-3 Carrots
1 Small can of mushrooms or get them fresh
1 Can of Diced Tomatoes or get them fresh
4-5 bulbs of Garlic
1 Jar of Spaghetti Sauce like Prego/ know the deal
1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasoning
1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
2 small Beef Bouillon cubes
1-2 Bay Leaves
1 Tsp of Salt (I used Kosher)
1/2 Tsp of Pepper

Pots, Pans and Misc:

1 Large Pot with lid
1 Strainer to drain excess fat
  • First let's prep the food. I diced all my bell peppers, carrots and onions and set them aside. If you have fresh mushrooms, go ahead and slice them according to your preference.
  • When it comes to garlic my family uses a mortar and pestle to peel garlic and pound garlic. We get the most of it's juices and flavors this way. It's an asian take on how we press garlic. Once your garlic is pounded, pressed, chopped or processed...set aside.
  • In the large pot start browning your beef. Once the beef is browned, strain and take out the beef and set aside.
  • In the same large pot, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and after a couple seconds, add the onions. You don't want the garlic to brown and get bitter. Stir garlic and onions till the onions get a little tender.
  • Add the diced bell pepper and carrots. Stir fry this combo till the carrot gets tender.
  • Add the beef to the pot. Then add the spices: salt, pepper, italian seasoning, chili powder, beef bouillons and bay leaves. Mix the seasonings until it's all around the beef/veggie mixture.
  • Add diced tomatoes, mushroom and jar of spaghetti sauce. Give the pot a good stir until everything is covered in goodness. Cover the pot with and let simmer over medium-low heat. While it's simmering, occasionally stir the sauce. I usually give my pot a good simmer for about 30-45 minutes.
  • Towards the end if you like your sauce a little sweet, add about a tablespoon of sugar. Stir the sugar into the sauce and let simmer some more for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve meat sauce on your favorite carb...pasta or rice. Enjoy!
As a kid living in Thailand, I grew up eating this spaghetti meat sauce with a little ketchup in it. While I was dating my husband I was a bit worried about what he would think of me if I added ketchup to my sauce. I found out real quick that we were a match made in Condiment Heaven. He too liked ketchup in his spaghetti. What a relief. But mind you, we know we only do this at home. I'm most certain we'd be kicked out of most Italian restaurants where we are currently living.

The moral of the story is: Don't be afraid of how you really like to eat your food...there is always someone out there who shares the same quirkiness you do.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Cinema Sentinel: Incarceron

Welcome to this section of my blog that I call The Cinema Sentinel. In this segment I will always try to post film industry news because that's what I enjoy reading. And in my past life you could find me working in the wee hours of the morning as a make up artist, script supervisor, production gopher and if I'm unlucky, the talent/extra.  My husband and I both believe media is such an influential outlet in our society today and will always be.  So that's why we keep ourselves active in our community through full-time and freelance work.  So welcome to The Cinema Sentinel on FTW!

Just when I thought the Harry Potter book/movie series would be the last of fun fantasy stories on film, there is a new author in movie town according to /Film's blog.  Fox has won film rights for British author Catherine Fisher's book "Incarceron," currently in the New York Times children's bestseller list.
Here's a brief synopsis found on Fisher's official website:
Imagine a living prison so vast that it contains corridors and forests, cities and seas. Imagine a prisoner with no memory, who is sure he came from Outside, even though the prison has been sealed for centuries and only one man, half real, half legend, has ever escaped. 
Imagine a girl in a manor house in a society where time has been forbidden, where everyone is held in a seventeenth century world run by computers, doomed to an arranged marriage that appals her, tangled in an assassination plot she both dreads and desires. 
One inside, one outside
But both imprisoned.
Imagine a war that has hollowed the moon, seven skullrings that contain souls, a flying ship and a wall at the world's end.
Imagine the unimaginable.
Imagine Incarceron.
This story could be great film potential if they get the screenplay right.  I can see Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) directing this film or even current Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows director, David Yates. I guess I'll just stew on that for now.  As far as character casting goes I'll definitely have to read this book and the sequel, "Sapphique."

If you like movies and want to know what's going on behind the scenes, definitely subscribe to /Film's blog.  I've been a fan for almost two years now.