Sunday, May 29, 2011

Singapore Adventure: Cravings Solved!

One of my favorite things in the world is Manggang Hilaw and Bagoong (Philippine Green Mangoes and Shrimp Paste).

Haven't been home in Manila for almost 6 months now, the craving is slowing creeping up to me.  I have no problems sourcing bagoong (shirmp paste) here as most shops at Lucky Plaza will have it for sale of the shelf.  The bottled ones are good enough, but of course nothing beats my grandma's home-cooked recipe.

Philippine green mangoes won't be as easy to find. But I am sure yesterday was my lucky day.  I found green mangoes at Lucky Plaza.  It costs like gold at SGD 2.50 for a medium-sized one, but I won't complain.  That costs way cheaper that an airfare to Manila. :P

Philippine Green Mangoes and Shrimp Paste
So, cravings solved!  I should be good for the next few weeks, I wish.  And hopefully, I'd chance upon a good green mangoes batch again during our next Lucky Plaza visit. :D

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Singapore Adventure: Boo, Spizza!

Lord and I are big pizza eaters and we'd pay good money for good pizza.  This past year, Lord came to know about a good pizza place from work.  And since then, for any pizza cravings, we'd call them for delivery.  That's Spizza.

We really liked their pizza flavour Olivia.  That's just a simple Pepperoni pizza, but it's quite tasty with lots of heat from fresh red chili.  I am also very fond their version of the Smoked Salmon salad which they call Adriano on their menu.

Yesterday, Lord and I went out on a movie date to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean installment - Pirates of the Caribbean: In Stranger Tides.  We had a big lunch and the usual popcorn snack during the movie so we were quite stuffed til about dinner time.  We decided to just have a snack instead of a full dinner, so we called in a pizza order with the usual Adriano salad.

I was happily excited to devour my salad but right at the onset, I already noticed there were a couple of elements amiss in my salad.  Can't find the capers, and the salmon fillets were kind of in a disarray, and not in the usual need spread on top of the salad.   But those we're no biggies, I munched away.  But just as I was about to take the last spoonful of greens and a smoked salmon fillet, there it was sitting on the veg...

A BUG!!! A good-sized green beetle of some sort.  I don't really know what kind of bug it was but still it's a bug that's not supposed to be sitting in my food!!!

I felt sick seeing the thing there.  It wasn't alive at the time I found it, and I wouldn't like to imagine it taking a stroll in my salad a few minutes while I am into eating it.  And I wonder if it brought a few friend along who might already be swimming in the gastric fluids in my belly.  Yuck!

Mind you, I have a tough belly, and I won't mind partaking of a few small ants or insects with my food in cases that they are just too minute to be cleared out, but this one is just too big a bug to be unnoticed during food preparation.  It's just such a clumsy work for whoever prepared the food, and a smear on the food place's reputation as it brings doubts to customers whereelse they could have screwed up during food preparation.  And that' just unacceptable.

We didn't really bother calling in a complaint last night as we were already tired to deal with it.  But I did post up the photo on my Facebook profile page, and on the Spizza fan page.  I hope it gets some attention.  It's sad to see a good pizza place go down by their own carelessness.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Singapore Adventure: Cool and Gloomy

A contrast to yesterday's warm and sunny day.  The sky brought in a good drizzle over our side of Singapore in the afternoon.

Taman Jurong, Singapore
18 May 2011 @ 5:30 pm

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Singapore Adventure: It's a Beautiful Day

Sharing the view from our living room window.

Taman Jurong, Singapore
17 May 2011 @ 12:00 nn

Believe it or not, I only used my iPhone 4 to take this snap, with the help of the Photosynth app.  It's free from the AppStore. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Kitchen Adventure: Going Nuts... Pinoy style!

I have always been fond of peanuts.  I remember when I was still in school, my Mama will buy a packet of groundnuts and boil them for snacks especially during exam weeks.   She would say it's supposed to boost brain power. Fact or myth, I don't really bother anymore, but I did graduate each level with honors. I'd rather think it's the genes and not the peanuts. :))

Here in Singapore, I do chance upon raw groundnuts at the local grocery every now and then.  And there are also roasted peanuts sold in packets on the the grocery racks.  But still how can a Pinoy not miss Adobong Mani

Sometimes the cravings come too strong that you feel homesick at the same time.  I can't let this happen!  So I did something about it.  I learned how to cook Adobong Mani! :D

It took quite a while (and a few inedible bags of peanuts) before I learned the proper technique.  Now, I am proud to say, I produce great results and here's proof!

The key is plenty of hot oil and a good arm.

You should use enough oil to cover/submerge the nuts during cooking.  You have to keep on stirring the nuts and garlic mixture in the hot oil.  If you don't stir, you'll get burnt nuts and garlic.  For me, it takes around 15 - 20 minutes of non-stop stirring when cooking 100 grams of peanuts.

This batch of Adobong Mani will be tonight's Cookie movie date snack. <3

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kitchen Adventure: License To Grill

On Monday, after a short excursion to Lucky Plaza, Lord and I passed by the Tang's department store on the way back to the Orchard MRT station.  And so since we're already there, we went to the kitchenware section which I have been meaning to do after having a "cooking show" overload.

I want my very own grill pan! :)

There was one on display, which I thought I want.  It's a cast iron grill pan with a German brand I can't recall.  There's a model with a removable handle so you can pop it into the oven.  The sales person is willing to give me a deal for it, 200 SGD for the display unit, since it's the last piece.  It was enticing, but 200 SGD for a grill pan??!  Quite a lot for an amateur cook like myself.  I think I'll pass and go for a less expensive one which won't break my heart (and pocket) if I accidentally destroy it. :))

A few more minutes of walking around and my feet led me to this item -

It's a 26x26 cm Tefal Grill Pan and it's only under 50 SGD.  And there's no question about it, I taking this baby home! :)
I have grown fond of Tefal cookware after I fell in love with my electric grill, also a Tefal.  Our bread toaster and steamer also bear the Tefal brand.

The rice cooker and immersion blender though are Philips but that's just a force of habit, since my very first rice cooker was also a Philips.  And the Philips immersion blender is the first one I saw at the shop when I went looking for one after seeing it on Chef Michael Smith's show Chef at Home on AFC.

And I threw this into the shopping cart as well, just because it's soooo cute, and it's on a discount. :P

A 12 cm frying pan, also a Tefal.

I should be great for frying eggs, or pancakes, or just for cooking small portions.

According to the salesperson, it used to sell for 16 SGD, but now it's just selling for under 10 SGD.

I did purchase something similar from Daiso at 2 SGD, but it's just so cheap.  In saying cheap, I mean having crappy quality.  But what should I expect for 2 SGD, right?   I still have it sitting in the cupboards but I shall drop it in the chute sooner or later.

Tonight, I will give my new grill pan a trial run.  Tonight's special is Grilled Milkfish with Tomato and Onion Stuffing.  Hope it works out.  I can actually do it on my electric grill, but I am too lazy to take it out.  My kitchen space was significantly reduced after moving to our new flat and I can't really bring out all of my kitchen knick knacks.  I can only fit the essentials on the makeshift counter top at the moment - and that's the rice cooker, the bread toaster, and an electric kettle.  My steamer, juicer, and electric grill will need to stay in the boxes until I require them. Sigh.  How frustrating.  But that's how it goes at the moment.  And so far, it works for me. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Singapore Adventure: Relieved

I got my medical exam results from the clinic today.  And after a week of agonising anticipation of what they might have found in my blood test, I am finally relieved.  It seems that my blood sample did react with the test kit the lab is using and had to be sent to the Singapore General Hospital for a confirmatory test. 

Our friend nurse at the clinic reminded me that I did have this same case the last time I did a blood test, but I just couldn't recall when it was. I remember I did a few CBC tests to check on my cholesterol levels, and as far as I remember I have not done any HIV testing before this one.  But since the clinic should have all my medical records and accounts of all the laboratory tests I have done here, then I am in no position to contest her statement. :)

I am clean, as I am very sure I am. :P  And I can finally proceed with finalising my immigration pass.

All is good and tonight I shall sleep like a baby. :)