Monday, January 31, 2011

Classic Beetle [RT]

@ mirandablue
Kids in the neighborhood were checking out this classic VW beetle parked across the street.

This post is linked to Ruby Tuesday

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Standing [Photo Hunt]

Sta. Maria Church  @ mirandablue
16th century churches in Ilocandia remain standing after centuries of natural and man-made calamities.  On top is the bell tower of Santa Maria Church in Ilocos Sur, below is the beautiful Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte.  Both churches are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Paoay Church  @ mirandablue

Posted for Photo Hunt, hosted by TN Chick

Friday, January 28, 2011

Afternoon flight [SWF]

@ mirandablue
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.

@ mirandablue
When the people look like ants---Pull.
When the ants look like people---Pray.

@ mirandablue
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky. 
- Rabindranath Tagore

Posted for Sky-Watch Friday

Water chestnuts/Apulid/Tayok-tayok

Chicken with water chestnuts, vegetables and cashew nuts @ mirandablue

I love water chestnuts.  When we were kids, there was a swampy field near our house where neighborhood kids dug out something edible and sweet.  One summer afternoon, my best-friend and I got curious, joined the other kids hunting for "tayok-tayok" and got our first taste of the crunchy, mild flavored bulb.  We ate it peeled and raw, straight from the soil. It was not easy to find, and finding a bunch after minutes of digging got us all excited.

tayok-tayok, apulid or water chestnuts

It's been decades since I last heard of "tayok-tayok", an almost forgotten childhood memory.  And although I've been eating water chestnuts in Chinese dishes for a long time, I didn't realize until a few years ago that water chestnuts are the "tayok-tayok" of my childhood.

I googled it a few times and "apulid" came up.  However, nobody in the office or any of my friends ever heard of "apulid".  Anyway, I always buy a can of water chestnuts when I see at the supermarket.  I mix it with my favorite vegetables.  I guess water chestnut is like mushrooms in a sense that virtually any and all seasonings go well with it.

Above is chicken (marinated in oyster sauce, salt & pepper), sauteed in garlic and onion, veggies (broccoli, young corn, carrots, celery) were stir-fried, a dash of white wine, sweet bell pepper and cashew nuts.  Below is a dish of shrimps sauteed in garlic and onions, stir-fried vegetables (asparagus, young corn, celery, oyster mushrooms, cilantro, bell pepper), and oyster sauce.  Both dishes have corn starch to thicken the sauce.

Shrimps with water chestnuts and vegetables @ mirandablue
The other day, I even added water chestnuts to pork adobo (my mother shook her head in disbelief).:p  I just love the crunch!

Posted for Food Trip Friday and Food Friday

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Malambot [Soft]

@ mirandablue
Hindi ako mahilig sa stuffed toy pero noong nakaraang Pasko, dinayo ko ang tindahan na ito para bumili ng mga stuffed toy para sa aking mga inaanak at kaibigan [na isip bata].  Nasa wish list kasi nila ang malalambot na laruang ito.  Cute at nakakaaliw nga naman ang stuffed animals, pero kinikilabutan ako kapag naiisip ko ang alikabok na hihigupin ng mga ito kapag nasa bahay na.  Sabagay, uso naman sa ating mga Pinoy ang stuffed toy na nakabalot sa plastic bag para hindi maalikabukan, o nakalagay sa likuran ng kotse---isang palatandaan ng pagka-Pinoy daw ito.:p

Posted for Litratong Pinoy

@ mirandablue
I am not fond of stuffed toys but last Christmas, I went to a toy store to buy lots of stuffed animals for my god-children and friends [who are perpetually young-at-heart].  These soft toys are in their wish list and they were excited to receive their gifts.  Admittedly, stuffed toys are cute but I shudder at the thought of dust mites they would accumulate at home.  But then again, there's one funny Filipino idiosyncrasy of wrapping stuffed toys in clear plastic and display them at home, or having a menagerie of stuffed animals at the back of the car.

For Thursday Two Questions - you are invited to answer and join:

1)  What are your funny or peculiar idiosyncrasies?
2)  Do you mind other people's [friend, co-worker, neighbor] odd behavior or habit?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pasaleng Bay [Watery & Outdoor Wednesday]

@ mirandablue
A beautiful view of Pasaleng Bay from the Patapat Viaduct in Ilocos Norte.  Pasaleng Bay is a 100-kilometer bay that faces the Babuyan Islands, and a very lose path of the Kuroshio current---a warm ocean current that brings with it a number of migratory fish from the East China Sea, the Pacific Ocean and Japan Sea.  The bay is a rich source of  seaweed and various fish species like reef fish, tuna, grouper and lobsters.

This is linked to Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chinese room [RT]

@ mirandablue
A red-walled room and antique Chinese furniture.

Posted for Ruby Tuesday

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Guadalupe MRT Bridge [Sunday Bridges]

@ mirandablue
The Guadalupe MRT (or Metro Rail Transit) railroad bridge through my windshield.  I took these photos while crossing the Guadalupe Bridge at EDSA.  The steel-framed arch railway bridge is for MRT-3, or Blue Line that operates in EDSA.  MRT-3 has 13 stations along its 16.95-kilometer track.  The Guadalupe Bridge, on the other hand, is one of the 13 bridges that crosses the historic Pasig River.

This is going south to Makati City on Saturday afternoon.

@ mirandablue

This is linked to Sunday Bridges hosted by Louis la Vache

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hands [Photo Hunt]

@ mirandablue
A Cordillerano wood carver demonstrating his skill through his hands.  Indigenous wood carvers from the Cordillera region are famous for their creations---from key chains to life-size statues, furniture and home decor.  Traditional motifs of the carvings are closely associated to their culture, such as bul'ul, indigenous people and animals.  Bul'ul  or anito figures are representations of an Ifugao God that guards the spirits of rice granaries and forests.  Ifugaos also believe that the spirit of their ancestors reside in the Bul'ul sculpture.  More about bul'ul here.  

Even in a region rich in cultural heritage as the Cordillera, there are fears that traditional motifs would disappear from their tribal art especially as the rituals and way of life for which they were originally created are beginning to become extinct.


Posted for Photo Hunt

Friday, January 21, 2011

After the rain [SWF]

@ mirandablue
It was a rainy Sunday morning and a damp afternoon of drizzle.  But when the sky cleared late in the afternoon, the sky turned orange as the setting sun was breaking through.

@ mirandablue
May I never miss a sunset or a rainbow because I am looking down. 
~ Sara June Parker

@ mirandablue
Jan. 9th, 2011

Posted for Sky-Watch Friday

Entrée at Cyma

@ mirandablue
Hungry stomachs brought us to Cyma, a Greek-inspired taverna, in Eastwood one Wednesday night when we couldn't find a certain restaurant.   It's been a while since I last dined at Cyma, and was looking forward to the waiters shouting "Opa!" when flaming saganaki was served.  U and I wanted a Greek salad but we were famished and wanted something quick [or I would faint!].  The waiter brought us Htipiti---a plate of warm pita bread with dip of creamed feta cheese, hint of roasted spicy peppers and extra-virgin olive oil.  This meze relieved our hunger until the salad was served.

My salad was Tonnos Salata, a dish of mixed greens with seared Ahi tuna, roasted bell pepper, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted walnuts, feta cheese and summer herb vinaigrette dressing.

@ mirandablue

I always enjoy the distinctive taste of Greek food, and Cyma is worth coming back to.  Will post the main course next week (if I don't forget :p).

Oh, and spotted a celeb at Cyma---Aiza Seguerra and party were in the next table.:p

Posted for Food Friday and Food Trip Friday

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Swimming with piranhas [Watery Wednesday]

@ mirandablue
These were taken at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta in August 2009.  I wasn't able to post most of my aquarium shots because I lost misplaced the USB where I saved my photos and found it around Christmas while rummaging through a box of gift tags and ribbons.  

Visiting the Georgia Aquarium was the most interesting day I spent in Atlanta.  It's the world's largest aquarium and I have never seen anything like it.  I believe these were at the River Scout gallery where a wide variety of animals found in the rivers of Africa, South America and Asia were assembled.  The themed environment  was beautifully designed, and I got the appreciation of fresh water creatures, even the deadly and venomous. 

@ mirandablue

This post is linked to Watery Wednesday

Ruby Chair [RT]

@ mirandablue
In a room full of antique furniture in an old mansion in San Juan, this silver and ruby Chippendale chair caught my attention.  I love the rich red velvet upholstery.

Posted for Ruby Tuesday

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rockwell flyover [Sunday Bridges]

@ mirandablue
It's not your computer screen, it's my dirty windshield.  The frequent drizzles combined with dust and fumes make for a grimy windshield.  I took these photos through my windshield in a slow-moving traffic at EDSA on Saturday afternoon.  This is going south to Makati City at the approach of the Rockwell flyover.  The Rockwell Center is a former thermal plant site that was converted into an upscale high-rise residential apartments, offices and a shopping mall.

@ mirandablue

Posted for Sunday Bridges

Friday, January 14, 2011

Glint of light [SWF]

@ mirandablue
Don't tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass. 
~ Anton Chekhov

Showing the glint of light on broken glass is a challenge.  This photo doesn't even come close to the beauty of Anton Chekhov, but this brings back warm, tranquil afternoons at my roof deck...sitting under the soothing sky of blues and oranges, sipping coffee with my feet up, waiting for a crimson sunset.

Posted for Sky-Watch Friday

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Arroz a la Valenciana

@ mirandablue
I know I have to post this sooner or later--so here it is...*drum roll*... Arroz a la Valenciana, a mainstay in our noche buena and media noche spread.  I guess it's an Ilonggo thing.  My mom cooked this for Christmas, then another round of slicing and dicing for the New Year.  My brother took care of the cooking on New Year's eve---I was the official taster and eater only.  Everybody was anticipating this dish, even the neighbors.  Don't get me wrong, I love Valenciana--I just don't get cravings for it.   

I am willing to experiment when it comes to cooking and suggested to use saffron instead of turmeric for a change.  But this is my grandmother's recipe and my mom is a stickler to the "old ways", she didn't want to tweak anything.  She gave in to my tiny suggestion of adding cashew nuts. 

Arroz a la Valenciana is a typical Latin American dish, referred to as a Latin American version of Valencian paella.  Valencian paella has saffron, while the Latin American version has tomato sauce and beer or wine.  The Filipino version has turmeric.  

Valencia is a city in the Iberian Peninsula.

This is linked to Food Friday and Food Trip Friday