November 25, 2015

Cooking: Nabe (Japanese hot pot)

The weather is getting cooler where I live and this makes me think in cooking foods that are best for this season. I have been wanting to cook nabe, Japanese hot pot but since it is difficult for me to find ingredients, I have always set it aside. However, last weekend, I got the courage of cooking it using alternative ingredients but before giving up on the original ingredients, my two sister in-laws and I spent more than four hours at the supermarket looking for them. I was hoping the universe will suddenly drop all the ingredients I need! hahaha! Unfortunately, the universe was a little selfish that day! 

The ingredients I used are:

  • Beef - sukiyaki cut. I won't have the patience in cutting a regular cut beef into thin ones so I just closed my eyes and bought this even it was expensive. 
  •  Beef broth - Knorr beef cubes is the best and easiest one to find. Don't judge me but I tried my best to find dashi but I couldn't. 
  • Soy sauce - I also tried looking for a Japanese soy sauce but there's none so I used Kikkoman soy sauce (I so loved the smell and the taste!)

  • Tofu - I love tofu, whatever the recipe is. Of course, I picked the Japanese tofu. It's so soft, you don't have to chew it when eating. I think you know what I mean!
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Onion leeks 
  • Onions - When I cook, I want onions to be present in all my recipes! Many of my friends always say, they are confused weather I am a Filipino or Indian or Korean and so on...LOL! I wish I can bring my own onions when I eat out. 
  • Noodles - After mini mini mowing at the international section as to which noodles I will use, I decided to pick this one. 
As you can see, I just used a few ingredients. I was hoping to buy shitake mushroom but it is damn expensive!  Also, I wanted to have sake, a Japanese rice wine which I think is perfect for this recipe but as I said earlier, the universe was a little selfish that time. I then bought red wine!

Right after we came home from the supermarket, I asked the people at home to do the washing, peeling and chopping. They were all excited so it was done in no time.

November 19, 2015

Shoot,shoot and shoot!

After so many years of shutting myself off from the world of photography, I am now slowly embracing it again. However, coming from the film camera, it is a little difficult for me to deal with digital one. I am used to taking a shot and developing it,omitting the editing part. However, I can't do much but accept the fact that we are now in the digital world thus I have to use one. 

After so many months of thinking, assessing and analyzing all the factors that affects my willingness to buy a new camera, I finally had decided to get one two weeks ago. My husband was more excited than me when it was delivered. He knows from the first time we met until now how I was into it before. Once delivered,  I immediately studied and applied the things I have learned while waiting for it to arrive. 

Here are my first few shots:

Lovely dog: my very first shot 

Sister in-law: Second shot

Testing different camera modes
The first two were both taken at home. Then I decided to go out when I heard the kids in the neighborhood are planning to play volleyball near the farm. 


Volleyball or football?

Tallest palm tree in the neighborhood

November 18, 2015

Movie Review: Spectre

Poster at the movie theater

I can't deny the fact that Spectre made me hold on to my chair. 

It started with a long and intense opening fight scene which gives the viewers a slight idea as to where the movie is going or where the story started.  Daniel Craig as James Bond is trying to decrypt a story which will bring you back to the past. 

Watching such kind of film make viewers like me expect for fight scenes I can never imagine and yes Spectre has  given that. I am also well-aware that most viewers anticipate for awesome cars that will be used. Seeing Aston Martin in the movie wowed me but then it is expected it will be wrecked but not as wrecked as I was thinking before the movie. I was also waiting for the Bond girls and of which the movie didn't fail to do. Monica Belluci did a very good job portraying the wife of an infamous assassin despite shown very little in the film. Madeleine Swann played by Lea Seydoux gave color to the entire movie itself although not so well if compared to the other Bond girls in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. 

November 6, 2015

Movie Review: The Last Witch Hunter

Almost all people if I am not mistaken want to have long lifespan or immortality. Many are using science seeking the fountain of youth! But that's not how life is designed for in reality.

The last witch hunter is a movie about a man named Kaulder starred by Vin Diesel who in the ancient times used to hunt witches. He was then cursed of immortality by the Witch Queen acted by Julie Engelbrecht. This scene is shown on the very first part of the movie. Then it is shifted to the modern times where Kaulder is walking among the people like a modern man but still doing as in the past however not killing them. Michael Cane as Dolan 36th, Rose Leslie as Chloe (a dream walker) and Elijah Wood as Dolan 37th are with Kaulder in the modern times.

I had my eyes fixed on the screen not even touching my bucket of pop corn once the movie started.  In all honestly, I expected for more medieval type of scenes; seeing Vin Diesel with the long beard and the sword shown on the trailer but then it didn't. The scenes shifted from modern times to the ancient times which makes the viewers' eyes fixed on the movie or else you'll get lost if you miss something. 

November 2, 2015

Baking: Dark Chocolate cake

Everybody was at home last weekend because of the holiday. November 1st and 2nd should be holidays because of the commemoration of the dead in the Philippines. Sadly, the government didn't declare the 2nd as the holiday. 

November 1st is my mother in-laws birthday. We planned to buy her a cake but then I was already tired of the same taste of cake since we only have one bakeshop nearby. We then shopped for ingredients we don't have to make a dark chocolate cake. 

After mixing all the ingredients, I baked it for 50 minutes under 150 degree C using a halogen oven since we don't have the conventional one. While baking, we prepared for the white frosting. We don't have an electric mixer so it was done manually. 

We did it after almost 30 minutes of vigorous whisking! It was tough but we felt great after seeing the result.

Me coating the cake with dark chocolate ganache 
After coating, ready to freeze