Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Dear friends,

Here's wishing you all a blessed Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!  Let's take this opportunity to make new friends, forgive frenemies and spread love around.

 
Thanks to http://pbsp-christmascards.blogspot.com/2008/07/christmas-cards-artworks-006-010.html for the image

God bless us all.
Malou

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Corregidor, Bataan

Corregidor is a small rocky island in the Philippines about 48 kilometers west of Manila which is stragetically located at the entrance of Manila Bay. This island fortress stands as a memorial for the courage, valor, and heroism of its Filipino and American defenders who bravely held their ground against the overwhelming number of invading Japanese forces during World War II.
Also known as "the Rock," it was a key bastion of the Allies during the war. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines in December 1941, the military force under the command of Gen. Douglas MacArthur carried out a delaying action at Bataan. Corregidor became the headquarters of the Allied forces and also the seat of the Philippine Commonwealth government. It was from Corregidor that Philippine President Manuel Quezon and General MacArthur left for Australia in February 1942, leaving behind Lt. Gen. Jonathan M. Wainwright in command.
Although Bataan fell on April 9, 1942, the Philippine and American forces held out at Corregidor for 27 days against great odds. On May 6, 1942, their rations depleted, the Allied forces were forced to surrender Corregidor to Lt. Gen. Homma Masaharu of the Japanese Imperial Army after having successfully halted the Japanese advance on Australia. It was only two years and ten months later in March 1945 when the Allied forces under the command of General MacArthur recaptured Corregidor ... making good his promise to return to the Philippines.
The big guns of Corregidor are now silent and the ruins of buildings, structures, and tunnels in the island tell a very moving story of a war that has claimed so many lives. A visit to this former battleground is a memorable experience especially for those who cherish and value peace and freedom. In his speech delivered at the signing of the surrender of Japan aboard the U.S.S. Missouri at Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur said, "It is my earnest hope and indeed the hope of all mankind that a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past - a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice." 
(http://www.corregidorisland.com/) 



Middleside Barracks - a large military barracks made up of two three-story buildings which was referred to as the Middleside Barracks because it was constructed in the middleside sector of the island. Personnel of the 60th Coast Artillery Regiment and the 91st Philippine Scout Coast Artillery Regiment were billeted in this barracks. It was also briefly occupied by elements of the 4th Marine Regiment upon their arrival in Corregidor on December 1941.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Grilled Prawns and Squid

Nory invited us to a small 'picnic' and surprised us with the delicious grilled prawns and squid, among others:


A litttle info about prawns:
http://www.endeavourprawns.com.au/nutrition.html

According to nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton, prawns are an excellent source of protein, a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and a great way to get iron, zinc and vitamin E. They are also low in saturated fats.
Prawns are extremely low in fat and calories, yet packed with nutrition.
Prawns are even lower in calories and fat than chicken yet with much more protein. As well as being high in protein, prawns contain magnesium, which plays a role in bone development and nerve and muscle function; Zinc, which is good for growing bodies, and selenium, an important antioxidant.
Omega 3 oils found in prawns assist in blood circulation by lowering blood fats and preventing blood clot formation. This aids blood circulation and researchers believe it reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Research also indicates the omega 3 oil acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and so may reduce the risk of a wide range of health problems, including asthma, pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Nutrition Table (per 100 g):
Kilojoules
Protein (g)
Fat (g)
Omega 3 (mg)
Lean Beef
527
22.7
3.8
22.0
Lean Lamb
596
22.0
6.0
18.0
Prawns
420
24.0
0.9
120.0
Skinless Chicken
564
19.3
6.4
19.0
Lean Pork
504
21.3
3.9
0.0

HIGH IN VITAMINS & MINERALS

Prawns are an excellent source of vitamins including iodine which is essential for thyroid gland function, iron for red cell formation and zinc for wound healing. They are especially rich in niacin, essential for a healthy skin and for the release of energy in the body and vitamin B complex needed for metabolic processes.
Most seafoods also supply phosphorus (a mineral needed for strong bones and teeth and for so many of the B-group vitamins to be used effectively). Potassium (essential for muscles & nerves and for controlling blood pressure); and small quantities of many other minerals including magnesium. They are a natural source of sodium.

CHOLESTEROL AND PRAWNS: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

In the past prawns have been accused of being high in cholesterol, this reputation in part has come from older measuring methods producing artificially high results. But in order to understand the issue more clearly, we need to understand a little more about cholesterol.
A serving of 100 grams of flesh from prawns grown in Australian waters will provide approximately 130mg cholesterol (range 120-160 mg/100g) or about one-eighth your normal cholesterol production. The cholesterol in Australian prawns is about two-thirds the level usually quoted from American prawns.
In theory, when you eat prawns, your body should reduce the amount of cholesterol it makes. However, if your diet is high in saturated fat and you have the 'wrong' genes, your cholesterol-production mechanism may not work effectively and the cholesterol from prawns (or fish or any other animal food) can add to what your body is making which may be several grams a day.
To put this into perspective, even if your body does make too much cholesterol, the quantity of ready-made cholesterol you would get from prawns will be only a fraction of the total. It is much more important to reduce the saturated fat in your diet than to fuss about foods containing ready-made cholesterol.
There are some problem combinations which provide high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol for example, fried bacon and eggs, or seafood battered or crumbed and then fried in saturated fat.
Prawns themselves have virtually no saturated fat, so as long as you have them grilled, barbecued, steamed or cooked with a 'good' unsaturated fat like olive oil, they should not cause problems.
The Japanese are the world's greatest consumers of prawns. They also have the highest life expectancy. Is it is possible the two things could be connected? We can't answer that with authority, but at the very least, it is fair enough to say that the cholesterol in prawns and other seafood is unlikely to damage the arteries provided the seafood is not battered or crumbed and cooked in saturated fat.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jean

Here's beautiful Jean:


Agua Jean Bagguley :) or maybe Agua Jeandita?

For more of Jean and family's pics here's a link:
http://malou165.multiply.com/photos/album/121/Jean_and_Family
 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Enjoy Filipino Food

                      Enjoying Food at Sit-N-Bull Restobar

What do friends do during life's milestones?  Celebrate with  friends of course!  And what were the milestones?  We sold our car at lightning speed and we were sending off  Nory with good wishes. She will be vacationing in Hawaii with hubby, Allan. Honeymoon!

Wonder what the food above are called?  Sinigang na bangus (milkfish in  sour soup), Crispy pata and Kare-kare.   Hmmmn, Yummy!

How do you cook these food:  Here's how:

SINIGANG NA BANGUS (MILKFISH)

PROCEDURE :

1. In a casserole, bring water to a boil together with the ginger.
2. Add the bangus, tomatoes, and onion and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the tamarind powder and salt to taste.
4. Add the eggplant and string beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, add the kangkong leaves, and let stand covered for 5 minutes.

The Crispy Pata recipe, you could find that in my previous entry :)

 Kare Kare Recipe 

Estimated cooking time: 2 hours


Kare Kare Ingredients



  •    1 kilo of beef (round or sirloin cut) cut into cubes, beef tripe or oxtail (cut 2 inch long) or a combination of all three (beef, tripe and oxtail)

     3 cups of peanut butter
     1/4 cup grounded toasted rice
        1/2 cup cooked bagoong alamang (anchovies)
        2 pieces onions, diced
        2 heads of garlic, minced
        4 tablespoons atsuete oil
        4 pieces eggplant, sliced 1 inch thick
        1 bundle Pechay (Bok choy) cut into 2 pieces
        1 bundle of sitaw (string beans) cut to 2" long
        1 banana bud, cut similar to eggplant slices, blanch in boiling water
        1/2 cup oil
        8 cups of water
        Salt to taste

Kare Kare Cooking Instructions:

1.  In a stock pot, boil beef, tripe and oxtails in water for an hour or until cooked. Strain and keep the stock.
2.  In a big pan or wok, heat oil and atsuete oil.
3.  Sauté garlic, onions until golden brown, then add the stock, toasted rice, beef, oxtail and peanut butter. 
4.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Salt to taste.
5.  Add the eggplant, string beans, pechay and banana bud. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes - Do not overcook the vegetables. 

Serve with bagoong on the side and hot plain rice.


We cheered each other with  Bailey's shake!

Useful sites:
http://www.filipinofoodrecipes.net/kare_kare.htm
http://recipe.philippinecentral.com/sinigang.html




Monday, May 3, 2010

Crispy Pata

Crispy Pata
Have you tried crispy pata or fried pig knuckles?  The above crispy pata is from our favorite restobar, Sit-n-Bull.  The first time I tasted crispy Pata was from a Barrio Fiesta, about 30 years ago. Even then, I knew it was sinful to eat it with its fat, ligaments and wow, crispy skin!  I learned how to cook it too, with turbo broiler, thinking it's not as sinful as deep frying it.  It still is, of course.

Sinful pleasure, but why not indulge once in a while?

Here's a recipe (http://www.filipinofoodrecipes.net/crispy_pata.htm)

Crispy Pata Ingredients:


  • 1 Pata (front or hind leg of a pig including the knuckles)

  • 1 bottle of soda (7Up or sprite)

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 2 tablespoons patis (fish sauce)

  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda

  • 1 tablespoon of monosodium glutamate (MSG)

  • 4 tablespoons of flour

  • Enough oil for deep frying

  • Enough water for boiling

Crispy Pata Cooking Instructions:


  • Clean the pork pata by removing all hairs and by scraping the skin with a knife. Wash thoroughly.

  • Make four to five inch cuts on the sides of the pata.

  • On a deep stock pot, place the pata in water with soda and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add the baking soda and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.

  • Remove the pata from the pot and hang and allow to drip dry for 24 hours. An alternative to this is to thoroughly drain the pork pata and refrigerate for a few hours.

  • After the above process, rub patis on the pata and sprinkle flour liberally.

  • In a deep frying pot, heat cooking oil and deep fry the pork pata until golden brown.

Crispy Pata Dip Sauce:


Mix 3/4 cup of vinegar, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 head of diced onion and 1 hot pepper. Salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Prepare Yourself for a Portrait Session!

Do you know the difference between a portrait and an ID picture?  First let's discuss the ID picture. You know you need ID pictures, right?  You need them for your school ID, passport, visa applications, bank account applications,  loan applications,  SSS records, etc., etc.

What is a portrait?  The web definitions says it is a  portrayal: a word picture of a person's appearance and character.  Wikipedia says "A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.

I would like to emphasize that a portrait picture is not a snapshot at all.   Both the photographer and you, the subject,  need to prepare for the photo shoot.  Many photographers, photo studios require that you set an appointment for a portraiture.

Why do you need an appointment for the studio or photographer?  Because they may have previous appointment, silly.  Also, the photographer needs to know what props, costumes,  backdrops, would be used for the photo session.  Having said that, whether you are a friend of the photographer or a walk-in customer, don't feel bad if you are refused a photo session when you so feel right to project that Angelina Jolie pose/pout that you have in mind. 

You, the subject, how do you prepare for a photo session?

1.  Book for a photo session at minimum of 48 hours ahead.  I said minimum because depending on the time of the year, many of photo studios and photographers are already fully booked during graduation time, Christmas, favorite wedding time - June or December to January.

2.  Plan your outfits for the photo session.  Plan your makeup, your hairdo.  Make an appointment with your hairdresser or make-up artist if necessary.  For a timeless portrait photo, opt for a classic look:  natural-looking make-up instead of a trendy green eyeshadow or blue eye mascara.  Your picture would look dated if your outfit, hair-do or make-up goes out of style, so it is better to have a natural look.

3.  Practice your poses in the mirror.  If I am the one taking your picture I will guide you with your poses and angles but you should know yourself more.  Like do you have a lopsided smile.  Would you like to emphasize the downward or upward turn of your smile? Do you have a hairy mole on your right cheek?   Is your right eye a bit smaller?  Know and choose your best angle.  Look at the magazines for nice poses that best suit your body type, your age, your clothes, etc. 

4)  The night before the shoot, sleep well.  You don't like to look sleepy and droopy , don't you.  Photo session takes time and if you lack sleep, and therefore you lack energy, that would show in your picture.  Avoid alcohol and salty food as they cause puffiness.

5)  Confirm your appointment at least a day before the photo session.  If you forgot, call before you leave your house.  You don't like to lug your outfits, make-up, etc to find out later that your photo sessison is booked another day or canceled, etc. 

Recently, I had a client who conveniently forgot that an appointment is needed for a photo session.,  She came when I was packing for a vacation, and when I pack I plan for each day of our vacation!  I was annoyed by the lack of consideration, but since we have a mutual friend, I stopped my packing and obliged for a photo shoot very unprepared.  She did not bring extra outfits, I have not prepared the backdrop, props, accessories for her photo shoot,  etc.  In short, I was not in the mood for a photo shoot but did it anyway, for a friend.  Photoshop as always is a handy tool, so I used it liberally as you could see in these pictures.

Here's the picture before Photoshop:


Here's the 'Photoshopped' picture:



 Here's another unedited picture:


And here's the 'Photoshopped' one:


As she came without an appointment, I was not able to advise her to use a neutral color for her nails.  Of course I could change the color of her nails in Photoshop, but she likes the color. I would have opted for her to have a more classic look, especially with her nice curly hair.   In the first photo, I had her remove her blouse and chose an angle that does not emphasize her funky jewelry.  She was very cooperative , though.  It took time for her to relax and smile but she is a pleasant subject.  Aside from being pretty and perky, she also has clear skin and her hair looked awesome!  It's her first time to have a photo session by a professional.  She confessed that she thought a portrait session is when a photographer takes two shots and have her choose between the two.  I told her, that could work for an ID picture.  Now she knows the difference between  a portrait shoot and an ID shot or a snap shot.

As you could see, Photoshop saved my day. 

Would you like a photo session appointment? If you're in my area, call +639277629409.  If you are not in my area, I could restore old photos for you or do some digital magic on your digital or scanned photos.  Email me, marilousilverman@ymail.com.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Celebrity Lookalikes, Part 3 ( Ka Facemuks?)

As promised, here are more celebrity lookalikes:

My pretty friend, Maricel looks like my pretty Hollywood idol, Charlize Theron, don't you agree?  Both have pretty faces, sexy bods.  They gain and lose weight at will, grabe.


Wonder woman Lynda Carter is the lookalike of my sweet friend, May, o di ba?  Look at their sweet smiles and beautiful eyes.


I have several lookalike fantasies, like Gloria Diaz, Marilou Diaz Abaya (di ba say mo yan Maritz)  and Joyce Jimenez ( o di ba, Monissima and Rina, you told me so), but this actress turned director is my favorite lookalike.  I didn' t know her until my  Dutch photography client showed me a magazine with this actress on the cover.  My client asked  me if I have a twin in China.   Even our hairstyles jibe although I have not seen many of her pictures until recently,  She is Joan Chen, born Chinese, former Hollywood actress,  now  sought after Hollywood director.  Any violent reaction? 

And the last for now, look at Ed's lookalike - Richard Gere.  Tama ba,  Monissima?  If you noticed,  us girls in the above pics have Filipina noses and our celebrity lookalikes have Caucasian noses.  In Ed's case, his nose is more patrician than Richard Gere's.  Panalo!
 

And how about you? Tell me your celebrity lookalike! 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sagada Rocks

Have you been to Sagada?  Sagada is one of the towns in the Mountain Province, Philippines.  It is known for its caves, underground rivers, hanging coffins and rocks!  On the side of the roads, there are spectacular and curious rock formations.  It is believed that Sagada was once underwater thousands of years ago.  In fact some say that the whole Philippines was part of the lost Atlantis civilization. 

Here's one of those rock formations my hubby is fond of. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Celebrity Lookalikes, Part 2

This is getting to be fun.  Friends whispered another friend's lookalike, the husband's lookalike, the boyfriend's lookalike.

Let's start first with Ann, the one who started this discussion (see Celebrity Lookalike, Part 1)  Here's Ann's celebrity lookalike:


Do you agree that Andrea Del Rosario is Ann's lookalike?

Here's Olive,  the original topic of  lookalike discussion :)


Do you agree with Ann that Olive looks like Alicia Mayer?

Here's another friend, Shiela Marie:


Some say that she looks like Christine Reyes.  I say that Iza Calzado is closer.  Don't you agree?

Lastly for now, here's another friend, Marie.  I can't find a local movie star for Marie's lookalike, I find Natalie Portman close, though. :

How about you, who's your celebrity lookalike?  I wonder who's mine.....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Celebrity Lookalikes, Part 1

We were in our favorite bar one night when I heard Anne telling Olive that she looks like a movie star,whose  name  escaped her at the time.  I looked at Olive and mentally looked for the images in the folders inside my head.  Hmmmmmnnnn, esep esep.......

Later, Anne remembered,  "the name is Alicia Mayer!". 

I looked at Olive in a different light (hindi na flourescent, spotlight na in my mind).  Oh yeah, "you're right", I agreed with Anne. 

I would have liked to post here the pictures comparing them but I have to look for for more pictures of Alicia Mayer.  So, expect Celebrity Lookalikes 2 in this blog, alright?

For now, let's compare some celebrities and their lookalikes:

Here's our local Pokwang and Lucy Liu.  In ferness, those who have seen Pokwang swear she's prettier in person and isn't she sexy too? 

Later that night at the bar, I told Anne, she has a movie star lookalike too,  Andrea del Rosario.  I thought of posting their pictures here too, but I still have to comple the their pictures, so expect Celebrities Lookalikes no. 3, alright?

Here's another friend with a celebrity lookalike, Emy and Carlene Aguilar -  do you agree? 

How about you, who is your celebrity lookalike, or do you have a friend who has a celebrity lookalike?  Email me, marilousilverman@ymail.com or send me a message in FB.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thailand's Celebration of Chinese New Year

We were in Thailand during  the celebration of the commencement of  Chinese New Year( Year of the Metal tiger)  last Feb. 14.  Of course we also celebrated the V day :)  The hubby bought me the beautiful red necklace I am wearing (below) and fancy rings - not one but four :))

We went to Chinatown in Bangkok, across the river where we stayed.   We rode in a tuktuk, then on a boat to Chinatown.  As expected the place was jammed - tourists and locals equal in number.  Music was blasting from the Cotton Club Bar with Thailand's version of Jazz.  The songs played were mostly in  English but the Besa Me Mucho was played over and over.  I am not complaining, I like the song, but after a while, for those who are not into jazzed up songs, it gets into your nerves.  Look at the boy below, lol.  Okay, I think he's actually afraid of going deaf from the firecrackers. 
We wanted the see the dragon dance. We have seen some, at the side of the Cotton Club bar, but we thought we'd be able to see more dancers.  I think most of the people do too. Everyone anticipated  to see moreactivities other than the vendors' wares sold at the side of the streets.  I guess we came to early or too late.  Everyone was having feasts from eating street food, out of boredom I guess (speaking for myself, hahaha), and the food looked colorful and delicious too.  And yes, like Paris, there are tables on the side of the streets.  We ordered a pitcher of beer and we got adventurous too - we ordered spicy Thai Salad.  The waitress was a little incredulous when we ordered it. "Are you sure, it's spicy", she asked.   We laughed, "we'll try it".  Here it is:
It came with this 'side dish':
 
Yes, this is raw cabbage and string beans.  Raw cabbage, I have eaten,  but raw string beans?  It was actually not that bad, especially after a spoonful of spicy Thai salad. But you  have to drink beer too or your tongue and esophagus and stomach would burn from the HOT spices!  Here's a recipe for the Spicy Thai Squid Salad:
Thailand recipe: Thai Squid salad – Yum pla myk
Ingredients:
200 g squid
1 tomato
1/2 onion
one hand full of celery leaves
1-2 spring onion
4-5 Thai chilies prik kee noo
juice from 3 limes
1 teaspoon golden syrup (sugar syrup)
1 1/2 tablespoons fishsauce
1/2 teaspon Umami MSG Monosodiumglutamat

Preparation:
Cut the tomato into small pieces,
cut Thai chilies, spring onion and onion in fine rings
and add together with celery leaves to a bowl.
Clean, wash and cut the squid into small pieces
and cook the squid pieces in boiling water for about 2 min,
then put them into the bowl.
Add lime juice, fishsauce, golden syrup and Umami MSG
and mix well. Garnish on a plate and serve the Thai salad while still warm.


Here are also some general forecasts in this year of the Metal tiger (http://www.onlinechineseastrology.com/horoscope-2010-Year-Of-The-Tiger.aspx):

Hot passion meets cold steel with the arrival of the year of the Metal Tiger. This combined sign signifies both the energy to begin activity and the determination to follow it through to the end. Forget about last year’s slow plodding. Events set in motion now will pick up speed and continue until either the objective is attained or the whole endeavor crashes and burns.

Bold, cold Metal rules in contrast to last year’s pragmatic, calculating Earth. This difference will be all the more dramatic as 2010 is a dynamic, Yang year. Metal’s Yang aspect is extremely aggressive and does not tolerate opposition.

Unfortunately Metal has a destructive relationship with the Tiger’s fixed element, Wood. In fact this is the fifth in a run of six years governed by an unlucky conflict of elements. This should come as no surprise given the recent history of US and world financial markets, massive numbers of foreclosures in the housing sector, and the terrible tragedy that is Iraq today.

The combination of Metal and Tiger is not, however, a totally negative one. Together they represent the kind of force necessary to accomplish the most difficult tasks. The impossible just might be possible during this exciting time.

Things that have needed to get done but were not due to some blockage will be done or at least see significant progress being made. On the other hand, some that probably should never even have been attempted will also go to completion. This is because the Metal Tiger is associated with a lemming mentality. The Norwegian story goes that, once a group of them starts moving across the fields, they will charge ahead and unthinkingly run straight off a cliff to their doom.

The point is now is the time to attack the most difficult issues you face. You have one of your best chances of achieving a breakthrough. On the other hand, if you still run into stiff opposition, you would do well to consider postponing your attempt to another time. You see, the same force that propels you forward is also with those opposing your efforts. Thinkers can prosper, but lemmings could experience serious setbacks.

Since this is a Metal year, those people born in an Earth one will generally fare better than others of their animal sign, while those born in a Wood one are likely to do worse. It’s also slightly negative for those born in a Fire year and mildly positive for Water sign people. Finally, those born in a Metal year will be in their element and do well if their animal sign is compatible with the Tiger but could run into lots of confrontations if not.

The only thing we can say for sure is the year 2010 will be a tumultuous one. This is true for individuals, societies and the human race in general. It’s perhaps a better time for knocking down walls than building them. People who thirst for adventure and can reign in their emotions could experience a thrilling and rewarding year. Those who seek peace and harmony might find themselves running for cover more than a few times.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fish and Chips

An order of fish and chips in one of our favorite places at Barrio Barretto, Olongapo City.  It's a Dory fish or Pangasius.  Just recently this fish had a bad review from internet, stating that this fish comes from Vietnam, and is a dirty one.  



But aren't shrimps the same?


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Burritos

Delicious Burritos at Flannagans, Angeles city, Pampanga, Philippines. 
How do you cook burritos?  Here's a recipe from http://www.thatsmyhome.com/texmex/main/burrsup.htm:

Burrito Supreme
1 pound lean ground beef

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried minced onion

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Dash garlic powder

1/2 cup water

1 16-ounce can refried beans

8 10-inch flour tortillas

1/2 cup enchilada sauce

3/4 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded lettuce

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 medium tomato, diced

1/2 cup diced yellow onion

In medium bowl, combine ground beef with flour, chili powder, salt, minced onion, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder. Use your hands to thoroughly mix ingredients into ground beef. Add seasoned beef mixture to water in a skillet over medium heat. Mix well, and break up meat as it cooks.

Heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until browned. The finished product should be very smooth, somewhat pasty, with no large chunks of beef remaining. Heat up refried beans in covered container in microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Place flour tortillas on microwave-safe plate and heat for 30 to 45 seconds. Build each burrito by first spreading about ¼ cup of refried beans on center of heated tortilla. Spread 1/8 of the meat mixture over beans, then pour about a tablespoon of the enchilada sauce over meat. Stir sour cream well, then spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons onto burrito. Arrange some of the lettuce, cheese, tomato and onion onto the tortilla. Fold end of tortilla closest to you over the filling.

Fold either the left or right end over next. Then fold the top edge over the filling. Serve immediately.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thailand's Silom Village and Rose Garden

Coming back from Bangkok, we gave our friends, Bob and Olive, some souvenir photos from Thailand.

The picture below are Thai dancers.  On weekdays they are working girls but on weekends, they perform their exotic Thai classical dances at Silom Village.


The picture below is from The Rose Garden Village.  The place is fantastic, almost mythical.  (http://www.discoverythailand.com/bangkok_the_rose_garden.asp).

The pond that is the central point of the place  makes it very picturesque.  The hubby kept saying, this is a place to relax, to rest. 
Thailand's Rose Garden Riverside is a place you'd like to go back to again and again and again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Favorite Couple's Pictures

They are Chris and Marie, who just celebrated their first wedding anniversary.  They are also our models for the ebook, Intercultural Relationship.    Aside fromthe above picture, I am also giving them this picture below.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Last Breakfast in Bangkok

On our last day in Bangkok, the hubby ate this for breakfast - Club sandwich, topped with French fries.  We were lucky that in the hotel where we stayed, Aiya Residence and Sports Club,  they also  have a very good restaurant, A1 Smile Restaurant.  Their food is always excellent, whether it's Thai food or American food.  We had our fill of delicious Thai food for more than a week and in our last meal in Bangkok, the hubby opted for the familiar - club sandwich.  It was very good too. 
To me, Phad Thai is my comfort food.  I know how to cook it.  Phad Thai has many versions as there are many restaurants.  Whatever the Phad Thai version of cooking is, some ingredients can't be changed like flat noodles, bean sprouts (in this version, the bean sprouts is fresh), ground peanuts.  Some would use ketchup, this version did not. Eggs are always present too.  Just like Spaghetti Carbonara, some use eggs, some don''t....but's that's another blog entry :))
The day before, I bought from a street vendor  sour fruit in skewer.  I was feeling adventurous and I bought that small fruit above.  It's about 1 inch in diameter, with seed taken out, sliced in two, sour like batwan if you know that fruit,A which  is also sour, found in south of the Philippines.  Anyway, in Bangkok, this sour fruit in skewer  is eaten with chopped small chili peppers and sugar and salt.    Yummy.  The hubby likes it for an aperitif for something.  I ate it while drinking draft beer :)

One of the  things  I like in Thailand is  - food.  they know how to use spices there, they know how to make the food hot and spicy :))  Very flavorful, herby and spicy.  I love the food! 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Afternoon Nap

We were with the Hash Group, but since my heel spur was acting up, I decided not to do the hash run.. I stayed behind, read a book.  One of our friends had a different idea - an afternoon nap!  

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Below is a sweet delicacy from Iloilo as given by my sweet sister, Jo. It is called baye-baye, it is sweet, it is sticky - just right for the start of Metal tiger New Year. May we stick together, may we find sweetness in our life, may we have delicious moments with our loved ones always :)) Kung Hei Fat Choi, and Happy Velentines too! ">

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chris and Marie

Here's another picture of my new favorite subject:s, the newly weds Chris and Marie.  marie was clowning around after a 'serious' photosession for a book cover. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The World's Smallest Banana

Above is the world's smallest banana found in Kota Kinabalu Biological Gardens.  For more about Kota Kinabalu, visit my other blog, Silver Litehttp://msilverman.blogspot.com/2009/11/kota-kinabalu-in-tropical-island-of.html

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Grande Island

Grande Island, Subic Base, Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Red Rock Canyon

When we were in Las Vegas, we went around visiting friends.  My husband who is a hike enthusiast did  not miss the opportunity to see an 'old friend', the Red Rock Canyon.  I have blogged about our unforgettable experience there: http://swimmingandfloating.blogspot.com/search/label/Red%20Rock%20Canyon

According to Redrock.org., the Red Rock Canyon area is, arguably, the most beautiful area in Nevada—perhaps the southwest. Whether you are a rock climber, a hiker, a rock hound, or just appreciate the beauty of wild horses, bighorn sheep, and wild burros roaming free, this part of Nevada is just for you. 




 

 
Red Rock Canyon from afar

 
The Colorful Rocks of Red Rock Canyon

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dried Squid at a Kota Kinabalu Market


Do you like dried squid? It's one of my favorites.  It's like eating an exotic bubble gum, but you could actually swallow or eat it!  My husband hates the smell of dried squid.  I guess eating dried squid is an Asian thing?  In other western countries, in Mid East contries, they hate the smell of dried squid when you're cooking it.  Neighbors could actually call and complain to  the police when you fry dried squid, dried fish.  I am not into dried fish (I have allergies when I eat dried fish) but dried squid is - yeah baby!

Some like it dried and shredded, calling it dried shredded squid.  Some call it cuttle fish instead of squid. 
do you know that dried squid is so rich in zinc?  Here's the nutritional information of dried squid:  How do you process dried squid?  Below is from Wikipedia:

Preparation


Thumb sized single strand

Ojingeochae bokkeum, a Korean dish stir-fried in a sauce based on gochujang (chili pepper paste).

Northern Pacific Squid is separated into different parts and skinned, cooked at 65-80C for 3-5 minutes, cooled, grated and seasoned at a temperature below 20C for more than 4 hours. Sugar, salt, sorbitol, sweetener, and organic acid is added.[2] They are then dried at 40-45C for 12-20 hours until it reaches a moisture level of 40%. It is then aged in a cold room for 2 weeks or longer, then dried at a higher temperature of 110-120C for 3-5 minutes.[2] It is then machine-shredded and seasoned for a second time, dried again to a reduced moisture level of 25-27%. At this phase the color is yellow or brownish. The amino acids on the squid are revealed by the increase in brown color over prolonged storage time. Vacuum packaging or nitrogen-filled packaging also increase browning. Consumers generally do not want excessive browning.[2]

Some claim that dried squid is not healthy, as some would put arsenic on it.  In the Philippines, fresh squid are simply dried in hot sun and packaged - no chemicals at all.  




Nutrition Facts
 
Amount Per 1 oz, boneless
Calories 98.87
Calories from Fat 13.35
 
% Daily Value *

Total Fat 1.48g 2%

    Saturated Fat 0.385g 2%

    Polyunsaturated Fat 0.563g  

    Monounsaturated Fat 0.115g  

Cholesterol 250.41mg 83%

Sodium 172.25mg 7%

Potassium 264.41mg 8%

Total Carbohydrate 3.31g 1%

    Dietary Fiber 0g 0%

Protein 16.74g 33%

Alcohol 0g  
 
Vitamin A 1 %     Vitamin C 8 %

Calcium 3 %     Iron 4 %

Vitamin D 0 %     Vitamin E 3 %

Thiamin 1 %     Riboflavin 18 %

Niacin 11 %     Folate 1 %

Vitamin B-6 3 %     Vitamin B-12 22 %

Phosphorus 24 %     Magnesium 9 %

Zinc 11 %     Copper 102 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.