Monthly Archives: October 2007

Mr. Incredible

Mr. Pure energy!! defines the meaning of “compleat” in performing.

*sigh* still hung over from the incredible thrill of watching Gary V in Boston at the John Hancock Hall.

husband and i agreed long time ago, that we’d go to watch only two Filipino performers and make the trek to a venue within reasonable driving distance up to 250 miles. New York, New Jersey, Foxwoods, sure no problem!, if it means catching Gary Valenciano or Regine Velasquez.

how about a 6 mile drive into town?


it was a raucous, noisy event full of women of a certain age, some of whom were able to drag their husbands and partners, excluding me! husband went willingly because he’s a fan. i asked him ten times if he’d be willing to give up watching a Red Sox game, playoff, World Series! and he said yes without hesitation.

i think it’s true love.

Gary V poured his energy, gift, talent, and heart into the show. he sang both old and new hits, with a hefty dose of yahweh/messiah/praise the lord kind of music. it was a compact traveling troupe, no dancers, just gary and a 5-man band with two back-up singers, but it sure was a polished, well-oiled, professional presentation.

i loved his enthralling rendition of “sana maulit muli,” just him and his electric keyboard. kilabot (goosebumps!) and kilig (thrill) rendition. he acknowledged the influence of Al Jarreau, in his awesome cover of “Spain” but with choreography.  he also performed a multilingual version of “anak” by Freddie Aguilar, to highlight his work with Unicef.

he’s been at the business 24 years, he’s a type 1 diabetic (he revealed he wears an insulin pump 24 hours a day), and yet his agility and well, energy is really the best word, belie the 43 years he confessed to.

and i totally abandoned husband at the top balcony seats we had (which was really perfect for viewing–John Hancock Hall seats 1100 in an oddly cozy setting) when Gary went down close to the audience to shake hands. he sang “kailangan kita” like he was singing it especially for each and every one in the house (his wife was in the front row seat keeping watch).

i was so close…(“ang guwapooooooo!” shrieked every female around me) that i could see how lean and muscular he is.


he danced like he had no bones, just all sinewy rubbery limbs, and at times it was almost balletic dancing.garyvkitikiti

in a nod to his Puerto Rican side (his mom’s) he sang Spanish songs and performed with her sort of, singing along to a projection screen image with his baby pictures and 8-mm film footage of his childhood.

his daughter Kiana was also “there” on screen.

GO SEE GARY V! Sunday he’s performing in Missouri, and then later on in Pachanga and Cache Creek, California. more info from Gary V’s official site.

i don’t know why he is not known in Western showbiz when he’s THAT AWESOME.

*starstruck groupie* :grandma:

beef with mushrooms

the recipe is at EET SMAKELIJK!!. what can i say?
the bowl was emptied, my kids all loved it on top of hot steamed jasmine rice. #1son was home too, to watch the game with his pop, (go red sox! go Okajima!) and to play with his little bro’s new toys. hehehe, milagro!
i followed the recipe to the letter except i used fresh white mushrooms instead of straw…go on! lots of lovely Thai recipes from chef Thesserie…. (sharper clearer photograph there too!)

cupcake city

…i made 5 dozen!
chocolate chip orange cupcakes for his friends. i love the smiles of the kids in the classroom and even if some of them just licked the icing i supplied them with baggies to take home to their moms/dads/sibs.

#2 son, the official BIG BOY, insisted on bringing some to the principal’s office and the secretaries and his favorite lunch matron….
buttermilk cupcakes for home and neighbors
the “hurry hurry” cake (couldn’t wait to open his presents)

thank you daddy dearest!!! (mukhang kakagatin pero sa totoo halik na malagkit–looks like a bite but it was a loving sticky kiss)

recipes supplied upon request. busy babysitting eh. pict0028.JPG

lovely days

when October gifts you with warm balmy days and pleasant blue skies…you go apple picking!
apple orchard

where are they mom???

she’s holding a 20 pounder

we drove about 40 miles to rolling hills and past patchwork-quilts of blazing reds and yellows from the fall foliage. the apple orchard had a great variety but somewhat picked-upon. you need a ladder to get to the tops where the remaining fruits are (no climbing allowed! killjoy talaga)…i was just happy to discover they had my favorite cooking apples, Golden Delicious, so we loaded up on those.

then we picked up our college boy to spend the weekend at home and drove him back for Sunday brunch.

“Paul Newman’s Own” coffee. deepdarkgood– just for kuya— bigbro; ate (big sis) is having hot chocolate.

the cookie monster birthday boy! who turned 8 yesterday. he’s not really a red sox  baseball fan but it’s contagious! besides his hair is sticking straight up and needs flatenning….oh alright you win we’re wishing the red sox good luck for the World Series!

Digital Photo Frames

One of the most captivating features of the magical world that J.K. Rowling conjured up for her readers is the moving picture frames. Remember the scene from the movie adaptation where Harry receives a photo album from Hagrid and sees his parents waving and dancing? (My personal favorite is the cat plate collection of Dolores Umbrage). When I first read about it and saw it in the movie, I thought, gee! wouldn’t that be neat? To see a loved one moving about on a picture frame instead of frozen in time?

Well it seems that life imitates art in truly magical ways, and the best example is the digital photo frames.

I think these would make wonderful Christmas presents! It is a company based in Australia that offers worldwide shipping (insurance highly recommended to protect your purchase, at extra minimal costs). The site offers step by step instructions on getting your favorite slide shows or movies recorded with your digital camera onto a keepsake LCD photo frame. Imagine the possibilities! You can also choose to have music piped in, with a 1/8″ headphone included to keep it private if you like.

Learn more about it from here.

banana chocolate chip bread

i don’t make banana bread often because i am not fond of the American type (isnabera no) finding it too rich and big and nakakasuya (tiresome?). i much prefer the saba bananas especially in candied or banana-que form, or in halo-halo, or plain fried and sprinkled with sugar.
but my kids love them! except this time, when i bought bananas for the kids somehow they just didn’t pay any attention to the bunch, and they got over-ripe in the fruit bowl.
banana bread now qualifies as a retro dish i think. “reminiscent of things past,” in this case i’d say the ’70’s. it used to be a staple of bake sales during high school and college fund-raisers, and something really easy and quick to bring to a pot luck coffee party.

i thought of adding chocolate chips (dark 70% cocoa solids), just like munchkinmommy weng did! the bittersweet chocolate cuts through the lush sweetness and what my #2 son calls the “smooshiness” of the bananas, and with the crunchy walnuts studded throughout it’s a taste sensation!
it reminded us of our summertime fruit fondue out in the patio.

banana chocolate chip bread (from Betty Crocker)

1/3 cup butter, at room temp.
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder (omit if using buttermilk)
1/2 tsp. salt
3-4 medium bananas, mashed just before mixing in, to total 1 & 1/2 cups of puree
1/3 cup water (i substituted buttermilk! turned out quite moist)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 coarsely chopped walnuts

preheat oven to 350F. grease an 8 or 9 inch loaf pan (i used my pyrex glass dish) lightly with butter.
cream butter and sugar until light, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. add the water and banana puree, mix well. stir in the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) just until incorporated. mix in the chocolate and the walnuts.
bake for 55-60 minutes or until cake tester/skewer pierced into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

let loaf cool completely before tipping out then set it right side up again to prevent cracking.
can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in foil, for about a week. (it won’t because you’ll want to eat it for breakfast, dessert, and tea-time!)

a couch (sweet)potato; and the raffle winner is…

while the kids are in school i’m like a dervish, whirling around and trying to finish all the errands and chores i have to get done before they come home, hungry and tired.

so everyday i look forward to this luxury:

(click on each pic to see His Royal Fluffiness)

…vegging out on the sofa and watching the news/BBCAmerica while cuddling with the cat (this is a rare photo op, the cat is usually uncooperative, neurotically skittish, snooty…but this time he was compliant and letting me scratch his chin and belly).
and so i pat myself on the back, because i’ve managed to keep on walking. (palakpakan niyo naman ako plis.) almost everyday so far this week! how long will this last?, i ask myself…i hope it really becomes a part of my daily routine. it seems to be getting easier and easier (though i am still on a search for supportive shoes. these fat feet have such high arches, grrrrr!).

the downside, it’s getting COLD! my ears feel a bit numb now.

announcement: the winner of the street food raffle is…KnittyMommy! yipeeee! congratulations! it’s flying over to you soon… helps feather your nest…

The temperatures have plunged. Last weekend we were enjoying cook-out/barbecue weather; this week we are weather-proofing, and husband is putting up the storm windows.

I’ve changed the cool cotton beddings into flannel, and these past few mornings when we had to get up early, we all had to struggle and groan to get out of our down comforters and body-warmed beds.

So the need to just snuggle down and stay in bed is strong. Seeing the beautiful products from would make it even harder to get out of bed. What blissful luxury that would be!

The linens and comforter covers are fully customizable; your personal photos can be printed onto their products, using the latest technology. Imagine your favorite baby or pet or family photograph on your pillowcases or duvet covers!

I wish I had found this site before I furnished the dorm room of my college freshman. That would have upped the wow factor of his “crib” so much!

I particularly like the Asian themes…

With these beddings you may just want to hurry up and finish all your chores and wrap up your day and climb right back to bed.

chicken curry and roti

i had this sudden craving for chicken curry. what a difference a week makes! what was once so sunny and balmy, has now turned into cold and chilly.

so naturally stew-y dishes with rich creamy sauces come to mind. and belly.
chicken curry, roti, rice

this roti recipe i downloaded from recipezaar a while back. i’d been looking for a right proper roti (unleavened flat bread) recipe to go with the Malaysian style curry and though it’s not quite buss up shirt style (flakey, light, and crispy at the same time–Trinidad and Tobago cuisine–i will try next time!), it is reminiscent of what we had from a favorite Malaysian restaurant in Boston’s Chinatown.


4 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

approximately 1 & 1/2 cups hot water

a little less than one half stick of butter, at room temperature

sift flour and salt (or whisk) then add hot water in a steady stream, mixing only until dough is moist but not sticky. (watch out for the hot water). incorporated softened butter into the dough and mix well. roll out into flat rounds. heat up the griddle (i used a crepe pan) and rub oil into pan with a paper towel. the flat breads turn somewhat translucent with brown spots. keep warm until ready to serve by tenting a piece of foil loosely over them. (mine turned out very oddly shaped! amateurish…)

chicken curry: (adapted from Gourmet Cook Book edited by Ruth Reichl)

5 chicken thighs

4 large cloves of garlic, chopped

6 large shallots, chopped

1 inch piece of ginger, chopped

2-3 tbsps. water

2 tbsps. curry powder

1 cup coconut milk

1 & 1/2 cups water or chicken broth

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

1 clove

salt and pepper to taste

cubed potatoes and sweet potatoes

pound the garlic, ginger and shallots in a wide mouthed mortar and with a pestle; alternatively, puree in a food processor or blender; until mixture reaches paste-like consistency. add up to 3 tbsps. water.

brown seasoned chicken (salt and pepper) in hot oil until meat is no longer pink. do this in batches so the meat will brown. remove from oil and set aside in a platter.

remove excess oil and add the shallot-ginger-garlic paste. stir fry for one minute. add curry powder and stir fry one minute more. add the chicken and the rest of the ingredients except potatoes and sweet potatoes and stir well. let simmer until chicken is almost tender then add the potatoes and sweet potatoes. cook until done.