Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The One About the Chicken in Pandan Leaves

When life blasts its dynamism on you, it feels humbling when things begin to normalize and life operates on a smooth pace.  I am sometimes known to take on extreme challenges - taking nine units of summer classes then thinking "Where did my summer go?", starting a relationship a month before leaving for Cebu (but look!  I married the guy!), writing my thesis drafts with such discipline every weekend in those two years when I was in Cebu - and had always thought that good fortune is with me and that the pressure of it all is simply good.  The most recent "extreme challenge" I took on was getting married AND THEN taking on a new job two weeks later.  I love being married but I sometimes wish I hadn't taken on an entirely new job just yet.  The two just don't mesh well and the new job just took away my "honeymoon aura" to be replaced by corporate stress.

Thankfully, things at work are beginning to normalize.  It feels great to be blogging again although I realize I haven't been doing much crafting lately.  And that sucks.  Big time.

I still have a long list of craft projects that I want to pursue but I just can't yet because my thesis defense is coming up in a month and I'll be needing the entire month to prepare for it and to calm my nerves before I face my panel (shudder!).  Until then, for those who are beginning to wonder where the crafts are, soon they will take place.

Cooking has been thankfully very fun for me.  My co-workers are all like, "How can you still cook given the time you get home?" or "Isn't it expensive to cook for just two?"  My answer to the first is that I look forward to cooking for a hungry husband every evening and cooking just takes all the stress from work away.  My answer to the second is no, no way is it expensive especially if you know HOW to cook.

This brings to the recent dish I cooked.  I just bought the chicken and pandan leaves.  Everything else was in the pantry and the entire dish didn't even ring up to P130.

I made chicken in pandan leaves.

I got the recipe from Yummy magazine.  It's super simple to prepare:

For the marinade:
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

For the sesame sauce:
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup tamarind paste (I used a tamarind cube which worked out just fine)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients for the marinade.  Add chicken cubes and marinate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
2.  Wrap the marinated chicken in pandan leaves.  Deep-fry in medium hot oil until golden brown.
3.  To make sesame sauce:  Pour warm water over tamarind paste and let it sit.  After 5 minutes, strain the juice and place in a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve with chicken.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The One About Hong Kong (Part 3)

Okay, so on our last day in Hong Kong, we began the beautiful summer day with a trip to the Sam Tung Uk Museum.  It was nothing spectacular but then again, I like museums.  Museums tug at the geek in me. :)


At the museum garden

 Kung Fu Panda!!!

This one cracked me up.

Marriage documents

This was my favorite!  Early times textile industry!

A wall full of fabrics!


Porcelain flasks

Lomo-radio.  Haha!

Early times caller ID

After the trip to the museum, we did some last-minute shopping...

After checking in at the airport, Hon-some and I had roast goose for dinner.  It was sinfully delish!

Chatime while waiting for our flight.
It has been barely a month since we have been back and we have been wanting to go again to HK.  Thankfully, just last Sunday, we were able to score super, super, super cheap tickets from Cebu Pacific!  P2000/pax for a roundtrip ticket!!!  This time around, we'll be back in Hong Kong when the weather is cooler and people dress better.  Can't wait!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Picture-Perfect Thursday: Bookfessions

I love burying my nose in a good book.  My new job has me surrounded by so many books it almost appears to be an answered prayer.  Upon a blessing that is serendipity, I stumbled upon Bookfessions, a charming blog that catalogues confessions and thoughts of a certified bibliophile.  If you are one too, you may find yourself relating to a confession or two...

This is so true...

Well, my new job gives free books so how's that for a work benefit? :)

You should hear my husband complain about the number of books I buy.

Right now, it's Dex (from One Day).

You don't have to have any.


 This is funny!  I don't do it, though.

Guilty as charged.

Oh dude, so true.


Again, the husband complains. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

The One About Hong Kong (Part 2)

On our second day in Hong Kong, we kicked it off with a half-day city tour.  It was my first time in Hong Kong so a city tour was imperative.  We were entertained by an animated tour guide named Jacky Leung, and along with other Filipinos, took us to our first stop - the Avenue of Stars.

With Bruce Lee behind me

We also went to Jacky Chan's jewelry factory, food outlets, Victoria Peak, and Aberdeen Fishing Village but I got too lazy to take pictures.  When the city tour was finished, we asked to dropped off in Tsim Sha Tsui to burn our pocketbooks.  Hahaha!  But first, we had to satisfy our grumbling tummies...

Hon-some had the barbecued pork/duck again (I forget which) while I had the roasted Hainanese chicken.

I loved the glistening rice which was cooked in chicken broth.

Deciding which sauce went with the chicken best was too hard to make. :)

Energized, we then hit the shops!

Before going back to the hotel, we stopped by a street food stall and ordered all of these for a song!  Hofan noodles, real Hong Kong fried noodles, siopao, egg tarts, and lobster balls!

I wanted to take a closer shot of the Hofan noodle.  Whereas in Manila, Hofan noodles are flat and cut up, in Hong Kong, the flat noodles are rolled.

And that was how we spent our second day in Hong Kong - our tummies were at their happiest and our wallets were at their saddest.  Haha!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The One About Hong Kong (Part 1)

Hon-some and I recently jetted off to Hong Kong for our honeymoon.  It was my first time to go there and I enjoyed every bit of our stay there.  Here are some highlights of our first day in HK:

The Hunger Games was my literary companion while waiting for our eight o'clock morning flight.  I'm hooked to it!

Upon arrival in Hong Kong, we were famished so we grabbed a bite at the nearest McDonald's.  I have this thing about trying out McDonald's in every new country I visit (not that I've visited lots).  Every outlet is like a treasure trove of new greasy goodness!

Like this grilled chicken burger that had a nice spicy kick to it...

Hon-some had been raving about the Big N' Tasty even before we arrived.

 After lunch, we checked in our hotel and then right after dumping our luggage in our room, began to explore the city ("Explore," at least for me, since Hon-some has been to HK for countless times already).

First stop was the Hong Kong Stock Exchange building in Central as Hon-some was eager to see it.

Just a stone's throw away is IFC Mall

View from the Star Ferry on our way to Tsim Sha Tsui

We went to this mall at the recommendation of Hon-some's friend and had this heavenly meal: barbecued roast duck for Hon-some and shredded pork and century egg congee for me.  The congee was literally SMOKING hot.  It was still steaming even until the last spoonful!
Then we walked around 1881 Heritage until our feet hurt that when we got back to our hotel, we were dead tired we decided to forgo dinner and just get some shut-eye.

More on this vibrant city on my next post!  I loved every bit of HK on our first day there!