Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

“rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.”immanuel kant

diy manicure/pedicure | massage | comfort foods | nail polish | books | dogs | traveling | quality time | love | my faith

more of this week’s photo challenge here

Confessions of a Wine Drinking Wannabe

last friday together with my colleagues, we went to ‘wine connection bar and bistro’ at somerset for our tgif session. we met with gina whom we haven’t seen for a long time after she left the company. as the name implies, the place offers a diverse selection of wines from all over the world which customers can enjoy. since it was a friday, the place was full by the time we arrived and we had to wait for 15-30 mins to be seated, one of surest signs that the place is good and cheap. hahaha.

drinks

ok. to be honest, i’m not an avid drinker of wine. i am more expose to beer and hard liquor type of drinks. my impression is that only the rich people can afford and appreciate (quality) wines and i’m not one of those people. hihihi.

so we ordered pizza, pasta, meat platter and of course bottles of wine. bottles because we were 5 then and a bottle is not enough. it was a good night shared with laughter, stories on work, rants about work and simply catching up on each other’s life.

friends

the place is good. one of those kinds that you want to go back again and again for laid back tambay nights without breaking the bank. you get your money’s worth for a delish food and wine combo. the ’3 bottles + 2 pizza + a pasta + platter’ is equal to 2 cocktail drinks outside sans the food. sulit!

foods

so going back. i like the wine, it tastes good and i know it’s a healthier option. but i find it too claaassszzz for my taste. hahaha. poser na poser! but it’s ok to do this once in a while, after all it’s not just about the wine. it’s the company of good friends and the stories that comes with it.

tama na poser. hahaha. beer ftw pa rin!

My 1st Chicken Arrozcaldo

i’m bacccckkk! sorry i was missing in action lately and i always forget to update my blog. well, nothing exciting happening to me lately since i am doing overtime work these past 2 weeks. if not at work, i just stay at home during weekends playing ps3 games with bf. walang ganap naninibago akoooo!

few days ago while at work *daydreaming*, i suddenly craved for arrozcaldo. you know sometimes when you’re bored and hate what you are doing, the mind tends to wander and in my case, i always daydream of two things: travel or food. i don’t know what struck me but i badly want a bowl of hot steaming congee (or baka dahil napasilip ako nuon sa bintana kasi umuulan). haha! and so thanks to the internet for saving me and my hungry tummy. :-)

now presenting, my 1st ever chicken arrozcaldo. i’m very happy on the outcome of this dish, masarap!!! am i biased on my cooking? or just hungry ? hihihi…

*chicken arrozcaldo*

ingredients:

1kg chicken

1 head garlic, crushed

1 head onion, sliced into small cubes

1 medium-sized ginger, sliced into strips

1 chicken cube

spring onions chopped

toasted garlic/onions for toppings

1 cup of uncooked rice

water

fish sauce

black ground pepper

cooking oil

magic sarap (that does all the magic – haha)

4 hard-boiled eggs

calamansi

steps:

1. pour cooking oil then sauté garlic, onion and ginger (in that order).

2. once garlic and onion starts to turn light brown, add the chicken cube. the chicken cube should melt together with the other ingredients so the taste will seep in.

3. add the chicken and cook until it turns to light brown. gisa-gisa with halo effect lang parang nag e-exercise. i cover the chicken while cooking para makulong yung lasa (mehganun!?!?)

4. add a dash of fish sauce (patis), ground black pepper and ‘magic sarap’ to taste.

5. once the chicken starts to cook and turn brown, add the cup of uncooked rice. ihalu-halo lang ang bigas with the other ingredients. gisa all the way!

6. then add water to the mixture. yung tipong kapantay ng chicken yung dami ng tubig. ok lang medyo matubig dahil maluluto pa ang bigas. cook this for 45 minutes or until you achieve the right texture of your arrozcaldo.

7. add the hard-boiled eggs.

8. once the arrozcaldo is all set, garnish with spring onions and toasted garlic on top. pero di ko alam san bibili ng toasted garlic, so i made use of toasted onions (yung parang sa mga hawker) as substitute. can be also serve with calamansi on the side.


voilà ooohh la la…chicken arrozcaldo now ready to serve. :) i love it. niluto from the heart ito noh!

Food: Vintage India

Looking forward so much to weekends. It’s the only time me and the boyfriend see each other after a busy work week.

For a change, we decided to go to Dempsey Hill for dinner. We’re not used to this part of Singapore since it’s far from our place. Plus, it’s an upscale neighborhood and alam niyo naman na the boyfriend and I are both 100% masa so any thought of ka-socialan is a culture shock for us. Hahaha!

So we explored. After scanning the list of restaurants, we decided to eat at Vintage India, an Indian Restaurant. (According to the boyfriend, he doesn’t want it super shala with pricey food but very small serving. Dapat daw ay mura at makakarami kami…at dapat may kanin. Hahaha! Hawker!?) Since we normally eat Indian cuisine and we knew they offer rice and naan, dun na kami sa safe.

So pasok kami sa restaurant. Shit pansit ang posh! Hahaha! Tipong kinakainan ng first family ang aura. They asked us if we want it indoor or outdoor, we chose to stay outdoor. Mas relax at nakaka-intimidate talaga sa indoor – swear!

They gave me this nice sampaguita accessory for my hair. Feeling prinsesa lang – bonggels! (Prinsesa ng kadiliman with the sapi look kase gutom na). The boyfriend, naka semi-smile na lang – gutom!?

Prinsesa Takaw

Prinsipe Gutom (-_-)

First, they served us some appetizer – this crisp chip with green chutney (di ko lam yung tawag dun sa chips na yun). Then we ordered the usual common ‘safe’ foods that we know like Cheese Naan (they call it Cheese Kulcha), Jeera Aloo (patatas) and Buttered Chicken (they call it Murg Makhani).  Mahirap mag explore sa taong gutomWalang posh sa taong gutom! Subo kung subo ng malaki – attack!

Appetizer

Kikiam Like Chorva

Orange and Watermelon Juice

Jeera Aloo (Patatas)

Murg Makhani (Buttered Chicken)

Busog na busog ang bigat sa tiyan!  Pero ang bigat din sa bulsa (-_-’), ayoko na bumalik.

Our last nice picture was 5 mos ago pa at Gardenasia (“,)

**Vintage India located at Blk 10 Dempsey Road, Dempsey Hill

Food: Full House

No. I’m not talking about the Rain/Song Hye Kyo drama series.

Full House

Though it’s definitely Korean in nature too. :) Full House is the small Korean restaurant along Tanjong Katong Road where the boyfriend and I usually spend our dinner nights every Sunday.

Full House Korean Restaurant

The place is small yet very cozy. Walls are decorated with posters and pictures of different Korean stars and artists, some of which are even hang using clothespins. Cute! They even play Korean music at the background (the upbeat KPop ones) or sometimes Korean shows/movie/mtvs.

Small and Cozy

Korean Artists

Food is great. I like their beef bibimbap (addicted to it and even gained a few ‘kgs’) but also tried the cheese ramen once (the non-spicy version).

Cheese Ramen (Non-spicy version)

They also have a buffet of side dishes — the anchovies, fish cake, chicken sausage and spinach are among my favorites.

Side Dish Buffet

Full Platter

It’s authentic by the way. Not like the usual Korean foods they sell at Hawker stalls which are all rip-off. The restaurant is managed and owned by this Korean guy who’s a dead ringer for Bae Yong Joon (saranghae ❤❤❤ — naisingit ko pa daw yun!?)

Bae Yong Joon (❤)

This place is one of our great finds. Highly recommended for those who love Korean food. :)

*Full House is located at 336 Tanjong Katong Road

Food: New York Dessert Cafe

Was supposed to go out on a date with Darwin today but had to cut it short because he’s feeling a bit sick. Out of the blue, I texted Nelda and invited her for some merienda. After that, everything else is history. :)

Nelda is heaven sent. She saved my weekend and my melancholy heart, tbh. (I think I spoiled their Saturdate, so would like to apologize and many thanks to Bert for allowing her to go with me). :)

Enjoying our afternoon snack 

We met up at McDonald’s Tampines Interchange and decided to eat at New York Dessert Cafe. We ordered 2 pasta dishes — Carbonara and Prawn in Cream + 2 desserts — Goldmine Cheesecake and Grandma Goes Nuts Cake. The food is great especially when it goes with some nice friendly chat in between. I haven’t done this for a long time, having lengthy ‘meaningful’ conversation with someone (well yes aside from Darwin).

Pasta

Cakes for Dessert

After the merienda/early dinner, we went to City Hall to buy a Fuji Instamax toy camera for her. It’s similar to a Polaroid Camera and very handy especially when you want to take pictures of anything and have it for keepsake. We’re both excited and use it immediately.

Test Shot of Fuji Instamax Mini

Thanks Nelda for this special girl date adventure. Let’s do this more often (w/ Jho next time). :)

Random: Adobong Atay

I cooked Adobong Atay today. Best food para sa mga bampira, nag na night shift at kinukulang sa tulog at regular donor ng dugo gaya ko. Hehe! Not sure though if this is fit for public consumption, pero isa lang ang masasabi ko – pwedeng pwede siya sa gutom. Pantawid gutom oh yeah! Hahaha!

I took time para i-document ang aking once in a blue moon cooking activity, dahil minsanan lang to!!! Hahaha!

Ingredients:

Toyo (Soy Sauce), Suka (Vinegar), Bawang (Garlic), Sibuyas (Onion), Red Bell Pepper, Asin (Salt), Paminta (Pepper), Asukal (Sugar – optional), Tubig (Water), Atay (Liver), Mantika (Cooking Oil), Aji Ginisa Flavor Mix (optional)

Pepper, Garlic, Onion, Bell Pepper, Cooking Oil

Soy Sauce, Vinegar, Water and Liver

Steps:

1. Pour cooking oil. Then saute the garlic, onion and red bell pepper. Mahina ang apoy para di masunog and lumabas ang juices ng mga sahog. Optional din ang mga seasoning gaya ng Aji Ginisa Flavor Mix (libreng endorsement!?)

Garlic

Garlic + Onion

Garlic + Onion + Bell Pepper

2. Put the liver together with the garlic, onion and red bell pepper. Halu haluin, ramdamin lang ang pag hahalo and pag gigisa. Perfect!

Liver Lover

3. After the saute-ing part, pour the vinegar, soy sauce and water. Let it simmer until liver is cooked.

Simmer to cook

4. Put additional seasoning like salt, pepper and sugar, depending on preferred taste.

Voila! Here’s the finished product. =)

Adobong Atay for the Liver Lovers

Food: Kashmir

One of the best things when on a night shift is that I have extra time during the day to go anywhere. Either I go to the mall and stroll around or go to some nice place to eat. I don’t cook now at home because 1) I’m lazy to prepare food only for myself and 2) I don’t like washing pans and plates either. So when there are times that I’m craving for Pinoy food, I go to this place near my house where they serve Filipino dishes. It’s a walking distance if I want some exercise but I can also ride the bus if I want to.

Two days ago, I was craving for Sinigang na Baboy. So I’ve decided to go out and walk around. Then even before I reach the place, I saw this red big banner in front of me, in ALL CAPS saying “Lunch Buffet”.

Lunch Buffet

I easily get attracted to this promotional ads. The red big banner with “Lunch Buffet” on it is just like looking at the “We’re on Sale” posters you see in the mall during nationwide weekend sale. I’m a big fan of buffets, it brings out the patay gutom-ness in me. (“,)

So this is another edition of my Eat-Pray-Love adventure. Or should I say, Eat-Eat-Eat adventure. I walk inside Kashmir, an Indian restaurant and grabbed a seat. The place isn’t crowded because this happened around 2PM in the afternoon and there were only 3 customers during that time – me and a couple seated at the far side of the restaurant. What a perfect way to spend some “me time”. I’ve been here once with Darwin during one of our food dates.

Kashmir

There aren’t as many options to choose from because the buffet only consists of 1 fish, chicken, vegetable, soup and appetizer dish. But it’s “eat-all-you-can” so that’s fine. Indians do not eat much pork nor beef thus this is not served. Among the choices are Fish Curry (fish), Chicken Wings (chicken), Dal and Sweet Corn Vegetable (soup), Baingan Bharta (vegetarian dish made from eggplant), Peas Pulao (rice) and Samosa. I like the Fish Curry and Chicken Wings, they’re the safest to eat. I did not try the Dal and Bharta dishes though because I just don’t feel like eating them. Samosa is similar to our empanada but with an Indian twist. And the Peas Pulao, well it’s just a rice, nothing special on it except for the long strands. They also served me buttered Naan which I also like.

Fish Curry and Chicken Wings

Mix Dal and Baingan Bharta

Peas Pulao and Samosa

Sweet Corn Soup and Sauces

Buttered Naan

I had 3 rounds and I’m so full that I can’t hardly breathe. :) I’m going to try their other food next time. 


 

Food: Out Of The Pan

After attending mass last Sunday, Darwin and I went to Raffles City mall to have dinner. He brought me to this nice place, Out Of the Pan, a restaurant located at the basement of the mall. He had been there before once during one of his lunch breaks with his colleagues. This is one of the best things about Darwin, he always bring me to nice places to eat. No wonder he’s Winnie D’ Pooh in the making for his large stomach and also not to mention that I myself can no longer hide my seemingly obvious bilbil. Onti na lang, pantay na ang <(.)(.)> ko sa bilbil ko…ganung level!

Anyway back to the story, the place is an open area and you could hear the sound of the water fountain just beside it. Since it’s located at the basement, you can see the upper section of the mall as well. So if you’re one pervert and want to have a nice “view”, well this might be a good place for you.

Biggest Gainer Challenge

Good: Nice place for a date – casual, not too crowded nor formal. Good food! Actually, I wasn’t expecting to eat crepe for dinner. The usual crepe that I know has ice cream, Hershey’s syrup and whipped cream in it. And I even ate one prior to this dinner date at Bugis, so eating crepe for merienda and crepe again for dinner seems to be redundant.

Darwin ordered “Black Pepper Beef ” crepe (as far as I can remember) and mine is “Baked Norwegian Salmon” (“diet-dietan”). And once my order was served, I immediately forgot the concept of “dieting”. It looks good and definitely tastes better too! Aaaaah ang sarap ng salmon di ako maka get over…

Black Pepper Beef

Baked Norwegian Salmon

(Not so)Bad: Little glitch is the price. Each crepe costs around $SGD15-20. For chrissake, that’s already 5 lunch meals for me at Lau Pa Sat! But come to think of it, the food is worth the price, and quantity too. So it’s not ‘that’ bad after all. It’s not like we do this everyday anyway.

Out Of The Pan is located at the basement of Raffles City Shopping Center, nearest is City Hall MRT station. They serve not only crepes but also salads, waffles and sweets. Comfort food at its finest. :)

Food: Bak Kut Teh

Bak Kut Teh or “meat bone tea”, is one of my favorite dishes here in Singapore. I can’t compare it to our any local dish. Or maybe, the closest one I can think of is “nilagang baboy” or “bulalo” but with more spices and cooked with lots of garlic and pepper. Parang may onteng trace ng anghang kumbaga.

At first, I didn’t know I was going to like it. I saw Darwin ate one before but it looks nothing special to me. Then one day, I went to Riverwalk at Clark Quay to apply for a replacement for my lost e-Pass. Just across the Riverwalk building, there is this eatery, Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, with lots of people dining. Intrigued on what the fuss is all about, I went there to try their best seller food. And voila! I found a new discovery. The delicious tasting Bak Kut Teh is found right there.:)

Song Fa Bak Kut Teh at Clark Quay

The pork is cooked to perfection. The meat is very soft and tender, easy for it to chew. And the best thing about eating there – soup is refillable! You can eat it together with dark soy sauce and red chili as condiments.

My Bak Kut Teh meal

This is one dish I don’t mind eating everyday. It satisfies me the way “sinigang baboy” does to me. To those who want to try this delicious dish, you can go to their place at New Bridge Road near Clark Quay MRT station.

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