Thursday, August 30, 2007

Singapore Adventure: Polar Curry Puff

Because of the monthly Village Hall at work, I left the office a bit later than usual. And so, I opted to just grab something ready to eat for dinner on the way home instead of getting stuff at the grocery to cook.

And by some weird occurrence, I have been craving for Polar's Curry Puff, so I went to get a few pieces for tonight's dinner treat. :) Polar has shop at the Basement 2 of Plaza Singapura, the mall just across our office building.

There was an ongoing promotion for the Curry Puff. If you get 4 pieces, you just have to pay 4.50 SGD, instead of the usual price of 1.40 SGD a piece. A good enough deal for me. I can have two pieces for dinner and the other two for breakfast the next day.

It is nice, these curry puff. It is only the second time I've had it, and it is really good. It has a crunchy outside, and the curry filling is just right for my taste.
I will buy some for my Cookie to bring home when he comes to visit me here in 8 days. :D
Two down, and two more curry puffs to go for breakfast tomorrow. Hehehe...

Singapore Adventure: Heater, Down!

Since I came back from my brief home visit in the Philippines, I have not had a decent hot bath. Why? Simply because the water heater in the common bathroom has bailed out. So, for almost a month, it's a lukewarm bath with (very Pinoy) timba and tabo, and though it causes less hairfall for me, I still long for the steam of a hot bath.
How did this all begin? Well, almost a month back, the circuit breaker tripped on morning as I was taking a bath with the water heater on. Surprisingly, I was already in the middle of my routine when this happened. The circuit breaker tripping caused the power in the entire flat to shut down.
And the story goes on. I stopped using it as I am afraid of getting electrocuted, or something to that effect that I don't want to imagine this early in the morning.
The bottomline is, it hasn't been fixed yet, though I have already gotten in touch with the flat's agent, and two handymans.
But last night, finally, handyman Warren, the second one I contacted came. It was quite late already, but since he's already here, then he is very much welcome to have a look. And so, we found out what was wrong.
The handyman said, the heating element of the water heater is already spoiled. He also said that though this is reparable, it will be much too expensive than simply getting a new water heater. For the housecall, he didn't charge us anything. But the new water heater and installation would ring up around 290 SGD. However, according to the handyman, this brand will be more durable over the cheaper ones.
Eric and myself are still deciding on what to do about this. But in the meantime, he will speak with the flat's agent first and let the owner decide. As what my teammates from work advised, any house repairs that will amount to 100 SGD should be covered by the house owner, and this was supposed to be stipulated on the contract.
And so, until then, still no hot bath for me.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Singapore Adventure: Sunday Shopping

By some unknown reason, my headset microphone just bailed on my last night while I and my Cookie were chatting over at Skype (or was it on Yahoo! ?). And so, I had to pull my flabby buns out of bed to find a replacement. It took me to Compass Point - the nearest decent shopping center I know of which only one LRT ride from our flat. Surprisingly, the Compass Point shopping populace was not at its most today which made my little shopping adventure a bit more leisurely.
I got a Genius clip-on earphones with microphone at the Cyber Active shop on the third level. I think it is the only Computer shop in that mall.
Damage: 13.90 SGD. The seller says there's a one year warranty clause from Genius. And so, I think it is just okay to pay this much for a headset.
Too bad, there's only the blue one on stock. Other option is red.

I should be heading home now since I already had what I came for. But then, since I am out already, I thought of going on a little stroll at the mall. I know this is "DANGEROUS", but I went anyway.
I came across the bookstore, Popular. I went it, had a look around, and came out with one carrier containing these.
Some cardstock and a cute little puncher of a balloon. I can't resist it. And I tried... hard. Promise! ^_^
Damage: 3.50 SGD. 1.50 SGD for 50 grams of paper, and 2.00 SGD for the cute little craft puncher.
Okay. That's it. But then, as I was going down the escalator. It came flashing straight to me. End of Season Sale at Charles & Keith.
Okay, we'll have a quick look-around. But I also ended up leaving the store with a bag. Sigh. EQ too low today.

And since I am already at the mall, and the grocery is just several footsteps away, I decided to also stop by for a while. I need to get something for my bathroom. Somehow the funny odor won't go away even after I have cleaned it. I guess some people's stench just won't easily come off no matter how hard you try to make it vanish.

I bought something for the toilet. It should do what it promised on the label or I will never buy any product of that brand again.
And a little fruity snack for me. Thailand Guava. It pretty much looks like the one we have back home. But this one is rounder.

Of course, I was expecting the taste to be the same as what we have at home since this one looks very much like ours fromt he outside. But surprisingly, this one is sweeter by miles. The crunch is same though.
Munching on them now while writing this entry.
So, that's how my Sunday after noon was spent. Tomorrow's another work week. Sigh.
It's always a good thing to have something to look forward to. And so, in 12 days, it will be Cookie time once more. Yay! :D

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Singapore Adventure: Eureka 3!!!

I just can't have enough of mixed rice. It's easy to prepare and easy to consume. Hehehe...

And so this time, I tried something with bacon and cabbage. It turned out fine. Fine, indeed. ;)

My Singapore Adventure has really been beneficial in bringing out the best in me, specifically in honing my cooking skills. Imagie from zero to "Iron-Chef-Wannabe". Hehehe... That has really gone a long way. Can't wait to awe my Mama when she comes here to visit me. ^_^

Friday, August 24, 2007

Philippine Adventure: Post Script

Before I finally get over my quick visit to my home, I just need to have these posted here.

Thanks to Stan for the photos of the dinner at Gerry's Grill and coffee at Max Brenner's from Day Two. Fred, where are the photos from your camera??? ;P

Here are some photos of me with my family. I miss them terribly. Sniff.

And, of course, of me and my Prince Cookie. ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Philippine Adventure: Guess Who's Back (For 5 Days)?? - Part Two of Two

August 10, 11 and 12, 2007
Manila, Philippines

Days Three, Four and Five came by so fast. Mostly spent shopping and catching up with friends.

Day Three was spent trying on clothes. Clothes are expensive to buy here and most of what hangs on the display windows doesn't fit my taste. I got some items from Meg, Unica Hija, and other shops we only have at home.

The dinner of Day Three was shared with my Kumares. The original plan was to have it at Chili's in Greenbelt 1. But the place was packed since it's Friday. So, we had to move the party to Italianni's at Greenbelt 2. A lot of catching up, gave away pasalubongs and presents, good food, photo opps, and a hefty bill. Hehehe...

I, Ali, and Iris. Too bad Eileene left already before we took out the camera.

Day Four finally brought satisfaction to my longest craving for McDonald's Longganisa Meal. Yay!!! :D I had 2 servings in one sitting. Bwahahaha!!! >:)

Who are you calling matakaw??!

Afterwards, some more shopping. And since it is a special Cookie Day, a movie date. Sigh. I miss going on weekly movie dates with my Cookie. We went to see Mandy's latest chick flick, License to Wed.

Well, what do I think of the movie? It's a so-so movie. Something you'll go to see because there is nothing else more interesting to watch. But since, it has Mandy (We love Mandy!!!) in it, and well, Robin Williams, too, we went to see it anyways.

Too bad there wasn't enough time for another movie. And my Cookie knows how much I really want to see The Simpsons Movie. Sigh. Missed it. :'(

For dinner, we met up with my good college buddy, Khends. A lot of catching up over dinner at Chili's Greenbelt 1. Yeah, Chili's, finally. :D A picture to remember this reunion by.

Day Five, my last day, was spent just chilling with my family. I needed to start packing also, but still I had some time to format the desktop computer. And after all those early morning task, we prepared to pay my Papa a visit. Miss ko na Papa ko sobra. Hindi pa niya uli ako visit eh. Sigh. Dami ko pa naman isusumbong sa kanya. A little photo opp at the breezy temple.

May adlib pang hangin. :D

A quick but uberly filling Max's lunch before preparing for my flight back to Singapore. We had chicken, kare-kare, crispy pata, sweet and sour fish fillet, lumpia, all the good stuff at Max's. Hehe... And here we were smiling with full tummies.

And then the time was up. Sigh. My stay was too short, or maybe time just flew so fast. I will be home again this December and that would be for a longer visit. Can't wait for December. :D

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Philippine Adventure: Guess Who's Back (For 5 Days)?? - Part One of Two

August 8 and 9, 2007
Manila, Philippines
Touched down at NAIA Terminal 1 at 4:00 am of 08 August, 2007. And what a welcome, thanks to Tropical Depression Chedeng. I had a complete welcoming committee of disasters - a wet and dirty luggage, heavy rains, the perrenial Metro Manila flood, and a sore throat.

So, am I really the solution to the drought that Luzon is experiencing that the heavy rains had to come during my very short home visit? Sheesh.

Eric: Where's our maleta???

This led to Day One spent just catching up on sleep. The highlight of the day should have been an Outback dinner with my Kumares. This we had to postpone because of the heavy rains. But no regrets, because the KFC Bucket Meal take out dinner surely brushed away the rainy cloud over my head. I missed (as in MISSED) KFC gravy. Hehehe... Walang ganyan sa Singapore!!! Hahaha... And now I am sure something tastes weird in Singapore KFC's coleslaw.

Day Two after the DepEd and CHED called off school on account of the day before's tropical depression was a little sunnier. DepEd and CHED's early cancellation of classes never fails to drive the tropical depressions in the Metro away. Hah! And so, Day Two was spent outside of the house.

I visited my Granma and saw my cousins. My Granma was surprised to see me, probably didn't expect I would make it home because of the grouchy weather. She even looked for "si ano... si ano...", which I interpreted as, "sino po... iyong boypren ko?" Hehehe... I love my Granma very, very much. I miss her cooking terribly, especially her famous bagoong. Just the thought of it makes me drool... *slurp*

My little cousin J.R. has grown so big already. Isn't she the cutest? Yes, J.R.'s a she. :D

For lunch, I took my Mama, bro, and Prince Cookie out to Outback Steakhouse in Glorietta 4. We ordered tons of food. Outback Steakhouse Kookabura Wings is still the best!!! Then it was time to shop - for myself and for my family. My sister joined us later in the afternoon as she had something important to do at school inspite of the classes being suspended. Good student, yes? Mana sa 大姐. Hihihi... Here's my sister's "snip snip" shot at Rustan's kitchen section. I got her a Zwilling J.A. Henckels 8" Chef's Knife. Expensive stuff.

Snip! Snip!

After several hours of "ransacking" the mall, I had to meet up with some colleagues from the ex-job for dinner. So, the mom and sibs had to go on their way home without me.

The dinner was set at 7:00 pm at Gerry's Grill in Glorietta. I was there on time, and no one was there to welcome me. Sniff. See, empty seats for 15 people.

To ease my lonesome circumstance, I asked for some green mango shake to share my terrible position. I am so excited for dinner. I can hardly imagine I survived 3 months without Crispy Pata, or Sizzling Sisig, or Green Mangoes and Bagoong.

Several minutes later, the guests came. Still, the 15 seats were not filled up. But I am happy to see everybody who came. I sure missed their company. And then it was dinner time. Burp busog!!! Thanks, Fred for the filling dinner. And also thanks go out to Stan for the nice bonding time at Max Brenner's Greenbelt.

Max Brenner's Alice Cup and Hug Mug

That wraps up Days One and Two of my homecoming. The rest of my homevisit escapades in the following posts. And more pictures, too. ;)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Singapore Adventure: Transmitting from Budget Terminal

Just checking what's happening here through the free internet service here at the Budget Terminal.

I'll be home in a couple of hours, so you won't be seeing any new post for the remainder of the week. ;)

Can't wait to see my Cookie. :)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Singapore Adventure: Eureka 2!!!

The fried mixed rice gets a comeback. Remember "Eureka!!!" ?Hehehe...

This time, it's sausage and leftover maling (luncheon meat). And the fun part, I was not the only one to enjoy the fantastic and wonderful Eureka 2!!! Eric, my housemate, had a taste of it, as well. And so far, no upset tummies. Hahaha...

So, do not underestimate the power of a hungry tummy. Because, I, too, am often surprises with the stuff I can cook up. Hehe...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

6 Weird Things About Princess Cookie aka The Obnoxious Levin aka JJ

Just when I thought I am stuck in another Sunday afternoon nightmare, I found myself tagged by Takejiro to write this blog. And boy am I thankful! Savior!!! Hehehe.. :D

1. I can eat (Philippine) green mango anytime of day. I remember this one occasion when I was still in college and in the process of completing the thesis. I stayed at my teammates home for a couple of months since I still was computer-less then. One night, I got hunger pangs and had only found green mangos on the dinner table. I downed it without blinking at 2 in the morning.

2. I can hardly stand the sight of lizards (all shapes and sizes), frogs, and snakes, for the plain and simple reason that I hate looking at their tongues sticking out. So gross. Really. Now you don't have to wonder why we don't have photos of the Reptile exhibits from the Singapore Zoo. And the pictures the Cookies took at the Crocodile farm had Princess Cookie faking a grin.

3. I don't eat canned corned beef. However, if it is the only edible food left on the planet, I think I would still eat it. But as long as I get a choice, no to corned beef. Why don't I eat corned beef...? Just because.

4. I only get a haircut once a year, usually at the start of the year. I enjoy watching my hair grow. That's why. I cut shoulder length around January or February, and let it grow. By the time I get another haircut the following year, my hair has almost reached waist length. My hair grows fast so I have no qualms cutting it short drastically. Photos taken in 2004-2005. Published in my ex-blog.

5. I always use bookmarks for my books. I hate seeing books getting "dog ears". I take pity on the book if I see people doing this. That's why the bookmark came into being to be used for this purpose, right? No to "dog-ears"!!!

6. I love taking photos that are senseless just for the heck of taking pictures. Hehehe... These are some snapshots I took of "normal day" Singapore with my Motorola L7.

Singapore Adventure: Leaving on a Jetplane

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go... Hehehe...

Yes, I am all set. Just waiting for Tuesday, and I will be back home. At least for a couple of days. I really needed the break, because though I have lots of friends here and enjoying my work, home sickness is too potent to fight off.

Yesterday, in preparation for my homecoming, I with my housemate Eric did some pasalubong shopping at Vivo City in Harbourfront. I got "tons" of stuff. Not only for pasalubong but I little something for me as well. Siyempre kahit papaano, I want my Mama to see that I am enjoying myself here and I can well take care of myself. Sniff.

But before the shopping began, a quick Happy Veg snack. You know I love prawns, right. And Happy Veg's Happy Veg Prawn is very close to our local okoy. So, I helped myself to one piece (1.50 SGD) and a cup of cold lemonade with bits of honey jelly with ice (1.50 SGD). Yum! :D

Let the shopping begin! Yay! :D We stopped by Toys 'R Us just to have a look around. And look at the nice overhead display at the Educational Toys section. My Cookie will love it had he been there. Hehehehe... Space fan. :D

We did I buy in this shopping spree? Well, a portable 160 GB hard disk at Challenger, a jacket from Esprit, a travel wallet from Samsonite, lots of chocolates from Candy Empire, and some cutie stuff from Mini Toons.

At around 4:30 pm, we headed for home. A quick stop at Compass Point to get the Chinese Deli my Mama and sis requested for. And all have been crossed out off my pasalubong list. Yay!

I can't wait to be home. :D

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Singapore Adventure: Me, Crazy??

Who are you calling crazy? Me...? Are you sure? Bwahahaha... >:)

These are the weird things I can come up with when no one is looking. Good thing my Cookie is quick to capture my "moments". Thanks to handy-dandy SnagIt. :D

Singapore Adventure: Hot Bowl of Chicken Sopas

The "iron-chef" in me strikes again. After a week long craving for a hot bowl of Chicken Sopas, I finally made it happen. Yay!!! :D

With a little coaching from Fred, some recipe sites on the internet, and a good memory of my Grandma's and Mama's "fantastic and wonderful" (thanks Eric S. for coining this fantastic and wonderful adjective) Chicken Sopas, I am now enjoying my long overdue Chicken Sopas.

It took me around 30 minutes for the entire process - chopping the garlic and onion (mmm... good stuff), cutting the carrots into strips (yes to a balanced diet... hehehe...), boiling and shredding the chicken breast in broth cubes (need to smuggle in some more when I visit home... bwahaha...), cooking the pasta (left over cornetti from my Quick and Easy Spaghetti recipe).

So, it's just a matter of putting all the small good stuff together, to make one big good stuff. :D Add some patis and ground pepper to taste. The fun part is pouring the evaporated milk in. Just as the milk hits the surface of the boiling broth... ahhh... you can almost taste it.

And so, I am with no further ado... I proudly present to you, my hot bowl of Chicken Sopas. *bow*bow* (Wala ba kayong mga kamay...? Hehe..)

Looks yummy, right. And it is yummy. Imagine my surprise! Bwahaha... >:)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Singapore Adventure: The Last Piece

There goes the last Goldilocks Pinipig Polvoron I have salvaged from Hazel when she got here. Sigh. Sniff.

I have stared at it, long and hard. Pondering if it is the right time to let it fulfill its purpose for being. It was a gruelling minute, take it now and be done with it, or prolong the agony of craving for the taste of pinipig polvoron. Aarrggh...

I couldn't take it anymore... I snatched it from my night stand, ripped the wrapper and downed it in 30 seconds. Relief. Hehehe...

Sad. I became attached to that last piece of Goldilocks Pinipig Polvoron. Often dreaming of how it has that "just enough" sweetness, and the crunchy pinipig bits. *drool*

But on the bright side, I will soon come to possess a hefty stock of that good stuff. Hehe..

Only 6 days left to Cookie time! Yay!!!