Monday, 27 October 2014

Quarter 1 Year 1 in Marriage

I decided that we won't be doing monthsaries for our first year of marriage. It's cheesy. And it's way too conventional don't you think?

So we both agreed that we will do it quarterly, pretty much like a financial report.  Nako, kung pwede lang i-align sa fiscal year chuchu, ginawa ko na.

For our Q1Y1, we decided to celebrate it at the Manila Peninsula over a very girly and a very  pink afternoon tea. 



Every October all the Peninsula Hotels around the world participate in BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH.  


This year, the Peninsula Manila  once again partnered with the Philippines Foundation for Breast Care. By ordering the pink-themed afternoon tea set, a diner is able to help the East Avenue Medical Center treat indigent patients with breast cancer. 



While enjoying our afternoon tea, I humbly asked S for my rating as a wife. I asked how else I can improve.


S gave me rating of 7/10. Considering that we are a newly married couple, I found this rating DISMAL.

I frowned when I heard my Q1 Y1 rating. I wanted to throw the eclair at his face. Ofcourse I didn't! QUE HORROR! But I entertained such thoughts while I was listening to my evaluation. (I'm pretty sure, my people felt the same way towards me during their PDP sessions. Hahaha)

S said, I have a temper and I get annoyed easily. YOWN! He added, he is very happy that I rarely act on my temper but he pointed out that "rolling my eyeballs" is louder than words. 

Honestly, I don't even notice that I do this! In my defense, I think eye rolling is classified as an involuntary muscle movement.

S also said that I need to improve on my listening skills. I agreed with him on this. Listening is really a skill, which is the very reason why shrinks make sh*tloads of money.  

Listening is just really hard when the idea is all over the place. A brain storming session is a different story.  In this case, I love raw ideas and I get a thrill in sharpening it into a more cohesive thought. 

But if it's over dinner, it really gets in my nerves. When S would start rambling about things (or as he loves to say, "HE'S THINKING OUT LOUD"), I'd get really frustrated that he would even entertain such thoughts to begin with. He pointed out that I either cut him off or I have  "WTF" written all over my face.

As a wife, it is my job to listen to my husband. It's not my job to facilitate a brain storming session. OUCH!

S made a lot of good points during the evaluation. I am very happy that we are at a stage where we can be honest with each other. 

I also gave him my rating. He got an 8/10. Pretty high, di ba? I told him that he is such good provider. He works very hard. He is very generous. 

However, I pointed out that gifts should not replace loving gestures and kind words.  He needs to verbally and physically assure me that he loves me. While, I appreciate the nice things, my love language is AFFIRMATIVE WORDS. 

Hay, S knows this naman. I don't know why he still opts to give me gifts when it has no effect on my happiness index. But okay, I'm thankful.

It turned out to be a very good evaluation session.  I am challenged with my Opportunities for Improvement or OFIs :)



Whoever said that being a housewife is easy...was doing it all wrong!   The JD requires the competencies of a psychiatrist, an accountant, a cheerleader,  a preschool teacher and god knows what else pa.


Much Loved,

L

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Day 247: Realization

I realized today that I could never be a food blogger.

I am always hungry so I eat quickly, not savouring each bite. 

It also doesn't help that I generally find all savoury food delicious. Balance of flavors and all that sh*t is something I don't really care about. The more flavorful, the spicier, the hotter- the better.

(Oh my looooord)


Dessert is a different story. I admit I can be quite snobbish when it comes to patisserie. 

(Dessert platter by Jean Georges, a 3 michelin chef)

(Macarons à l’ancienne by Jean Paul Hevin)

 And even more so with wines...



But anything that is served with rice....I automatically love. And I don't give a rat's ass where I eat it from.

(Chicken Rice Wars: Boon Tong Kee vs 5 Star, River Valley)

I won't even bother describing food in any of my posts. Just trust that when I say "I loooove it"  it means that the food is perfect if you're hungry, if you're eating it with rice and if you're enjoying it with coke.

So I will leave the food blogging to my favorite food critics: www.tsinoyfoodies.com and www.frannywanny.com.

But if I list it here and you're hungry I swear on my wine collection that the food items, I mention in my journal, will taste really amazing.




Hungry Again,

L


Monday, 20 October 2014

What to Eat for Breakfast in Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the busiest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The resident of this lovely city don't really spend so much time eating breakfast. Breakfast is either "Eat & Run"  or "To-Go"

I came across an article that said that the most common breakfast foods in Shanghai are called the Four Heavenly Kings or 四大金刚. So syempre try talaga si Dora the explorer. 

Do make it your mission as well  to try these when you find yourself in Shanghai for the holidays.

1.  Chinese Pancake
It's like crepe but it has chives and chili. You can even add egg. I know it sounds weird but it actually tasted good. 




2. You Tiao 
This is a deep fried piece of dough. It's like bichu-bichu but the outer crust is crispy and it's slightly hallow inside.

Photo sourced from kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com


3. Ci Fan Tuan

This reminds me of Ma Tsang. It's glutinous rice with meat filling inside. I didn't eat this in Shanghai because I get my Ma Tsang fix from my mother-in-law.




4. Soy Milk

Ahhhh yes. Just this once, skip the coffee and enjoy your breakfast with a glass of soy milk. Try dipping your You Tiao into your soy milk, Oreo style. 



Other Popular Breakfast Items:

Xiao Long Bao

Apparently the dainty version with thin skin  is a modern innovation. The traditional ones  have thicker skins, hence are more filling or nakakabusog

We tried the one in Yu Yuan Garden. I believe it's called Nan Xiang Xiaolong Mantou (南翔小笼馒头). 



SKIP THE LINES. In our own humble opinion (and we are not food bloggers, just food eaters) it's not worth falling inline for. Apart from it's historic significance,  there is nothing special about it. 


Mini Wonton Soup

This is pretty much self explanatory and we are all familiar with the humble wonton soup. What I loved about this is the fact that's it's the cheapest breakfast I had in Shanghai...


...And the fact that we ate in a stall that made me feel like a local. 



 Sheng Jian Bao

One of the most common breakfast items in Shanghai.  It's pan fried baotzi or in short FRIED SIOPAO.  It is simply divine. It's more heavenly than the Four Heavenly Kings! 

YOU MUST NOT LEAVE SHANGHAI WITHOUT TRYING THIS.

Funny story:

I decided to eat breakfast in our room. So I went to the market and joined the long line of people. I didn't know then what the line was for. Basta join lang ako!

After 15 mins, I saw these mini paos. Phew! Buti nalang hindi naman fried ipis ang pinilahan ko. 
Worth the wait and uncertainty.



When I came back with my breakfast stash, S and sister-in-law loved  and devoured the "small fried siopaos with soup inside".  That's what they called it. 

They happily sipped the "soup" and raved that these precious fried gems are better than the xiao long bao we had in Nan Xiang.


I later found out that the "soup" we all slurped was fat. It was the juice of the meat filling. Ewww... And to think we drank it as if it's water. 

Incidentally. Sheng Jian Bao made it to the list of Shanghai's Fattiest Food.

So when you go to Shanghai, bring XENICAL! You need it!


Bringing you good vibes on this Monday morning,

L






Saturday, 18 October 2014

Fatootsie Fridays: Crackling Pork Belly paired with White Wine

Most brides get fat after getting married because they have settled in and became  lazy with their husbands. 

In my case, I will get fat because my brother decided to use us as his guinea pig.

Because my brother interned at the RITZ CARLTON and won culinary competitions, he cooks the most amazing dinners. SINFUL too because he never compromises on taste.

Last night we had Honey And Spiced Crispy Pork Belly served with Potato Wedges. S wanted rice. 




We had a bottle of Trebbiano d' Abruzzo to break the cloyingness of the dish. 


Abruzzo is not a wine. It's  a region in Italy that  also makes really good red wine, Montepulciano d' Abruzzo.

 Trebbiano is the grape varietal. Now you know!

I got this bottle of Trebbiano d' Abruzzo. ( Trebbiano grown in Abruzzo region)  by Talamonti from WINE DEPOT.  

It's perfect for light drinkers. It's crisp and fresh. This white wine has very fruity and zesty notes. I was getting lemon and apricot. Lovely lovely aroma. Perfect level of acidity.  I think this will go very well with calamari too.  The price is very reasonable.

For dessert, Louie made Creme Brûlée from scratch 



He served it with vanilla ice cream topped with mint leaves from our small urban garden.


Friday is practice day for Louie. So, we open our home to friends and other foodies. Drop me a message if you want to join us.

I love my life.  Good food. Good wine. Good company.


L

For your  Wines: 

Wine Depot, Nicanor Garcia St. Branch
217 Nicanor Garcia St., Bel-Air Village, Makati

(+63 2) 897-3220



For Your Culinary Inspiration:

Follow Chef Louie in Instagram: THEPHOTOGFOODIE




Friday, 17 October 2014

Day 243: On Writing and Taking a Break

When I started this blog, there was really no intent to go mainstream. Sure, I wanted to learn about SEO and stats but really, I didn't have much of a goal.

I wrote a bunch of emails, briefs, concepts during the 11 years I was working.  I just really needed to write to feel normal.

Writing also helped me process the changes in my life.  It was such a shift from making annual marketing plans to wedding plans, from being a boss to a  bride, from being a bride to a wife. So many changes. Writing helped me to make sense of all the chaos.

It has been 8 months since I retired. I've been married to S for 3 months now. Things are starting to feel normal again.

I'm starting to ask myself, if the title of this blog is still appropriate. Am I still on Pause? My life seems to be in full swing...

I am starting to accept and enjoy being a housewife. I do help out in S' business but not full time. It's such a blessing to have the opportunity to have the time to enjoy the simple joys in life.  Dinners at home are always very pleasant.

My husband works very hard. I have seen the effect on him when he comes home to a happy environment.

Because I have a type A and a very dominant personality, I tend to excite and inspire everyone when I am passionate but conversely, I stress everyone out when I am stressed.

I'm no longer on pause. Everything is normal. I love my new normal. I love making breakfasts, doing yoga, having coffee...sigh.


It's bliss.

And I'm allowing myself to bask in this bliss because I know it won't be forever...



L





Thursday, 16 October 2014

WINE DEPOT END OF SEASON SALE

Every Wednesday, there's a 50% chance that you will find me in WINE DEPOT in Nicanor Garcia doing this...




And this...



I love wines.  I love it so much that my wedding banquet had wine pairing. 

And I can't even imagine our Friday night dinners without a bottle of wine. QUE HORROR!  

If you decide to come over for dinner and you wish to bring a bottle of wine, and it's white, please keep it chilled  by using a wine tote. DO NOT BRING ROOM TEMP WHITE WINE TO A PARTY. 


And to get the best prices, you can't miss the END OF SEASON SALE of Wine Depot.


My personal favorite is the Gerard Bertrand, Sauvignon Blanc. Trust me. At 430 pesos, it's a steal.


Still on Pause,

L


WELCOME BACK DINNER: Kofte

I spent nearly 2 weeks in Iloilo. It was my first time to be away from my husband. So you can imagine how happy I am to be back.

The first meal I cooked for my boys, Louie and my S was KOFTE served with Butter Rice. 


Here's my very simple recipe

1/2 Kg of Ground Lamb or Beef
5 tbsp of minced garlic
5 tbsp of minced onion 
2 tbsp of parsley
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp of all spice
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1 tbsp of olive oil

Steps

1. Mix Ground Meat and bread crumbs
2. Mix in the egg
3. Add all the spices, salt. Make sure it is properly mixed in
4. All the garlic and onion
5. Shape into whatever you feel like it
6. Heat the olive oil in the pan
7. FRY


Sauce:

YOUGURT and Dill (Tip: try mixing YOUGURT with Kefir)










Friday, 10 October 2014

THE TALE OF 2 CHICKENS: Hen and Rooster Tradition

We will have a baby girl!!!

And no, I'm not yet expecting! But tradition told me a few days ago that my first born will be a girl.  And that baby girl will be petite or vertically challenged like me.

Okay! I think I'm confusing you! Let me back track and explain.

I came across a weird Chinese tradition that on my wedding night, we should bring a cage with 2 chickens inside it: a rooster and a hen. Before we have coitus on our matrimonial bed, we should open the cage and depending on what comes out first, that would determine the gender of our first born.

We never got to do this because we spent our first night in the hotel,where we mostly attended to our wasted bridesmaids. Even my brother who was tasked to do the WA HUE was assisting the girls. 

And, I'm sure you are aware that hotels have a NO PETS ALLOWED policy and that includes chickens.

The Chicken Tradition is very a old, provincial and backward ritual. SWA- KAW! Many opt not to do this, including my Mother-In-Law.  A friend of S did but their first born was a girl, so we know better than to believe this.

However because we are scheduled to complete our wedding traditions by visiting my parents in the province, I figured we may as well do the chicken ritual.  In Provance (this is the sosyal way of calling probinsya) we have easy access to chickens and we don't mind keeping them because they make good alarm clocks.

But Oh My Gulay, our trusted helper got a pair of mix breed  Bantam chickens. They are a small variety of poultry. Imagine...bonsai versions of chickens.



Haaaaay!!! I told them that I'm already small and them getting midget chickens will not help my future progeny.

The hen was the first one to come out. The rooster was pretty stupid and couldn't figure out how to get to the Cheetos.


See...he just looked at the hen...



So, there you go. I will be having POLLY POCKET as my daughter. 




Still on Pause,

L

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Fil-Chi Relationships: Believe in the Possibility

Ofcourse! Anu beh!!!!

Sorry my niece has been keeping me busy these past few days. I can't match her energy! I tried to teach her Kundalini but it didn't bring her zen.


I've come across a number of comments. Thank You for taking the time to write me back!

To be honest,  I gravitate towards stories. Those that do catch my attention, I share with my friends first before I post. My friends are both Chinay and Pinay because I don't want to have any bias. The 3 of us want to end prejudice and not fuel it.

I'm currently out of town. We flew to the province to visit my parents as part of a Chinese tradition. Ideally, the bride is not allowed to see her parents 3 days after the wedding. After 3 days, the couple should visit the bride's house. Unfortunately, after our wedding, the ghost month started. Then I had classes in September. 

After nearly 3 months (not 3 days), we did manage to execute this tradition.

When I arrived home, I hurried to my parent's bathroom to wash my face. I saw a picture of my brother with HIS Filipina girlfriend on my mom's dresser mirror.

See the sepia pic...that's my mom looking like a Somalian refugee.


When I rejoined my husband and my parents, who were having Chinese Tea and Turon in the living room, I  saw a picture of my mom and my brother's girlfriend mounted on the wall...



This is is the same mom who  was very vocal about her preference... If this is not acceptance and openness then I don't know what is.

The fact that my parents served Chinese Pu'er Tea with Turon  reflects their openness na. Di ba! Bagay naman. Hahaha.

And if you think that we are not traditional, well, I did have a kiu hun, tinghun and  ke tseng complete with arenola. My dad was a former association president and was also a member of the fire brigade.  You can also find us in the temple during festivals and whathaveyous. 

Naka blur ako kasi medyo pangit ako. I don't want to ruin your breakfast. Sorry.


Lastly, here's a picture of my brother and his girlfriend with the rest of our relatives in Hong Kong.




So YES it is possible.  Why not coconut? Have Faith



Still On Pause,

L





Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Little Mermaid Costume

I've been pretty quiet this weekend. My niece has been keeping me busy...

I got her this  mermaid tail. Although I secretly wish it's mine...

I was a big fan on The Little Mermaid. Infact, I can still memorize all the songs!



First I made her wear it while we were having dinner...

Friday, 3 October 2014

Flash Back Friday: Greek Breakfast

I saw this on my old album and I want to have a Greek-inspired Sunday brunch soon.

This was my breakfast I had when I visited Santorini. 


Now, I need to prepare the following:

1. Greek Yougurt
2. Honey
3. Toast
4. Butter, Jam
5. Coffee
6. Orange juice
7. View. --- parang ang hirap to buy a view of SKAROS, the mountain in Imerovigli.

Still on Pause,

L


Thursday, 2 October 2014

My First Afternoon Tea Party

A very quick post because I need to wash the dishes!

I invited my good friends Ana and Joan to join me for afternoon tea in my new home. These ladies helped me so much not only in my career but also in my wedding preps. They're like my extended family here in Manila.

I took out my Lenox Marchesa Tidbit plates for my special guests! 


I used the  tea cups that Hedda gave me for my wedding. It's a set of Ashdene Fine Bone China. 


More..l



Tea Pot is a Wedgwood. Tony gave this to me when he was still alive...


And my 2 tier tray is a Royal Albert. You can't see it but the china pattern is gorgeous! 


Look at all the sweets!!!


And behold, my very casual afternoon tea spread. No placemat kasi the silver set I have is not bagay.




I need a new set of dainty placemats....hmmm


Still on Pause,

L

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

SHARE YOUR STORIES

I woke up to see that my blog entry recorded over 6,000 hits overnight. I also managed to read some of your comments. 

I didn't expect that my entry would generate so much interest. It wasn't a formal or researched article. I only wrote it while I was cooking TWICE COOKED PORK.

Oh that dish took soooo long to make! soooo many steps. 

First I had to boil the strip of pork belly for 45 mins. Then, I had to freeze it. Lastly, I had to deal with all the oil splatter when I put the bean paste on the pan. Fireworks Talaga! I had to use an elbow length oven mitt because the splatters were hot.


I got this beautiful builtNY red mitt from RUSTANS.  I like that it's red and neoprene. It's easy to clean. I just throw it into the washing machine.

Here's a picture of my modified twice cooked pork. It's important to use LEE KUM KEE soy sauce when you season the dish. Don't use toyo. Baka mag-lasang adobo.



Anyway, thanks for taking the time to write your comments. What will be even better though, is if you share your stories: HAPPY ENDING or TRAGEDY. Doesn't matter. 

SHARE! Send to meonpause@gmail.com

 I will post the best ones.

Matagal pa akong magluluto ng twice cooked pork ulit. So until then, your stories will be up on this house wife's blog.



Still On Pause, 

L