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November 30, 2012

Loy Krathong Festival at NIVA International Kindergarten

Thailand celebrates Loy Krathong annually. It is celebrated on  the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in Thai Lunar Calendar. People make their krathongs (lotus-shaped lanterns) and float (loy) them in the river to pay respect to the Buddha and to ask for forgiveness from the water goddess Ganga for polluting the rivers.

On Wednesday, NIVA International Kindergarten celebrated Loy Krathong. I was invited by my sister mainly because she knew there would be a lot of different types of Thai dessert that I could blog about. Here are some of them.

Look choop is Thai sweet candy made from steamed green mung beans, coconut and sugar. When the mixture is cooked, it is then molded into the shape of vegetables and fruits and dyed with food color.

November 29, 2012

Ainsley Quinn's Minnie Mouse Themed Party

Last weekend I got invited to a relative's birthday party. I made  Minnie Mouse cake for the little girl. The venue was at a clubhouse outside Bangkok. My sister, my cousin, her daughter and I left home late due to heavy rain. The party was about to start when we got there. As soon as we entered the building, the aroma of Filipino food caught my attention. I walked straight to the table full of food and started clicking my camera.

Chicken sausage and marshmallow

November 28, 2012

Minnie Mouse Cake for Ainsley Quinn's 6th Birthday

Ainsley Quinn turned six. Her mother Joy requested me to make Ainsley's favorite Minnie Mouse cake as she was going to have a Minnie Mouse themed birthday party.

November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner at Mark's and AFF Suzuki Cup 2012

My weekend was full of food, fun and laughter. I had never been this busy on a weekend for ages. I attended two events on Saturday. One was the Thanksgiving dinner a friend hosted. The other one was the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup 2012 held at Rajamangala National Stadium.

On Saturday I went to a Thanksgiving celebration at a friend's house.  Mark's family has the tradition to throw a Thanksgiving potluck for all their friends, former Thai students and colleagues every year.  He invited me a few weeks back. It's been a while since my last Thanksgiving so I did not refuse the invitation.

It was a potluck dinner held at Mark's residence. Every one/group showed up with a dish or dessert. My two friends and I brought pumpkin pie. Mark roasted  turkey. He also prepared bean salsa and a cabbage dish. His former Thai students had never had roast turkey so they were all excited to try it. When the turkey was served , the irresistible aroma filled the air and his former students were the first to gather round the dining table to get their share.

November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving's Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving dinner is incomplete without pumpkin pie. This dessert is considered by many to be the most important dish on the table during Thanksgiving. I brought this to a Thanksgiving potluck a friend hosted this weekend. Although the traditional pumpkin pie is round, mine is rectangular. I was told a lot of people were attending so I doubled the recipe to make sure there's enough for everyone.

Because commuting is such a hassle in Bangkok, it's inconvenient to take two smaller pie pans. I combined the recipes and baked them in a bigger rectangular pan. The same flavor, same color, same taste in  a rectangular or square-shaped pie.

In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Add 1/8 cup (about 2 tablespoons) water and process just until the dough holds together when pinched. If necessary, add the remaining water.

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November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Just sending my love and best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to all my American readers!

Cooking Japanese Udon Noodles ala Chinese style

Yesterday I felt like having noodles for dinner. I checked the cabinet and  found a pack of udon stashed in the back of the cabinet. I'd never cooked udon at home so I  cooked it ala cu mian style. It turned out the way I expected.

So what is Udon? Udon is thick wheat-flour noodle of Japanese cuisine (Wikipedia). It is likely derived from similar Chinese noodles called cu mian. How? According to history of Asian noodles, Japanese Buddhist monks brought the udon noodles back from China in the 800s. In Japan, udon noodles are usually served hot as noodle soup. In China, as far as I know, cu mian noodles are either stir-fried or cooked in soup.

November 21, 2012

Street Food on Khao San Road

Traveling on a budget in Thailand? If you are looking for a  place to sleep, eat, drink and party,
 Khao San Road in Bangkok is a great option. It is popular among budget travelers for its cheap accommodations,  lively nightlife  and street stalls serving light bites and meals.

Here are some of affordable food Khao San road has to offer.

Pad Thai is a dish of stir-fried Thai noodles cooked with egg, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chilli pepper and bean sprout. Serve it with either chicken, tofu or shrimp to suit your taste.

November 18, 2012

Banana Spring Roll (Turon)

Bananas can be made into satisfying snacks. In the Philippines where bananas are readily available all year round, people have invented ingenious ways of turning these fruit into something delicious.Take this turon for example. Turon or banana spring roll is a popular Filipino snack. The bananas are cut lengthwise, sugar is sprinkled over a piece of banana, then wrapped in spring roll wrappers and  deep fried.

Turon is a favorite afternoon snack of my family. Last night as I was wrapping the bananas, I had the childhood flashbacks to when  my aunt cooked this so often while there  were abundance of bananas at my grandparents farm. I remember feasting on turon with my sister and cousins after siesta.  How I wish to turn back time when I could eat them without laboring over it :)

November 16, 2012

Red Kidney Beans with Tortilla Chips

Church potluck when I was young was a memorable one. It was a regular part of  Sabbath program in Philippines. The good fellowship during meal made Saturday a special day and the home made dishes  brought by each family were something I would look forward to.

One of my mom's favorite dishes to share at potluck was red kidney beans with tortilla chips and topped with shredded cabbage. The dish was a complete meal. Yesterday I made the exact same recipe  for dinner. I opted  to top it with shredded cheddar cheese and the result was even better.

November 14, 2012

Carrot-Wheat Germ Muffins

A great way to start a day is to have a delicious and healthy breakfast. And nothing beats eating freshly baked muffins in the morning. I made these for my sister to take to work and none of her colleagues rejected them. Who would say no to such a delicious treat?

The recipe was adapted from but I made a slight tweak here and there.

November 11, 2012

Stir-fried Cabbage

I took a 2-month long hiatus from hosting Friday night dinner.  The complaints from girlfriends were never-ending so last week, I made a last minute decision to resume my Friday task. I texted the girls to come over for dinner and they were ecstatic.

Although I was low on supplies, I managed to cook a tasty  fish sarciado and served it with this veggie dish. The recipe is derived from the classic Chinese stir-fried cabbage.

November 10, 2012

Sarciado Red Tilapia

I was born and raised on the island. I grew up on a diet which consisted mostly of rice and fish, loads and loads of fish.  One of my family's homemade favorites is fish sarciado, a delicious recipe that has tomato-based sauce.

Fish sarciado is uniquely Filipino. The dish was invented as a way to give leftover fish a new twist.  The thick, rich tomato sauce and the eggs when added rehydrate the leftover fish and give this dish a boost of flavor.

I served this during our Friday night dinner.  I didn't have leftover fish. I used a freshly fried red tilapia instead. The sauce works  great with both.

November 7, 2012

Eggless Banana Pancake

One of the best, safest and cheapest places to stay when traveling in China is hostels. I did quite a lot of winter backpacking and all those times I stayed in hostels. What I loved the most about hostels was the home-styled food they offer their customers. Here's one that I looked forward to eating when I'd gone back to my hostel after a long day outside - banana pancake.  Simple yet very satisfying.

When I woke up the other day and saw the banana on the table, a thought came to me. Make a banana pancake similar to the ones I used to order in hostels in China.

November 6, 2012

Eggplant Pizza with Cheddar Cheese

Remember the tuna sauce I made last weekend. Because I was in a rush to whip up something for dinner, I really didn't notice the sauce I made was more than what we needed for our pasta. I had pizza craving and it came out in a timely manner. I made pizza using the leftover tuna sauce. It felt good that the sauce had not gone to waste.

I only had a little all-purpose flour left, not enough to make pizza crust so I added cake flour . I did some research about using cake flour in pizza dough and made an important discovery. It said that cake flour is the secret to a crust. There's only one way to find out.

November 5, 2012

Tortiglioni With Tuna Sauce and Fried Garlic

Pasta with tuna sauce -  a delicious comfort food. Sprinkle fried garlic on top and you get an amazing flavorful dish. Last weekend my sister and I were both busy doing our thing that we lost track of time. She and I just noticed that the sun had gone down when our stomach growled.

The hunger growls made us take a quick break. I went to the kitchen. I checked the cabinet. I found a can of tuna, tomato sauce, tomato paste and pasta. I have 2 big packs of  tortiglioni so I have been thinking how to use them up. I came up with this simple dish and it turned out to be tasty meal.

November 4, 2012

Hello Kitty Cake For Parsley's 4th Birthday

A few weeks ago, my niece Parsley paid me and my sister a visit. It was three weeks before her birthday so  it was just the right time to ask her what cake she wanted on her birthday. Her mom and three aunties -
big sis, my cousin Joy and I  - let her choose her design and she picked Hello Kitty. She  specifically said she wanted a brown cake. She loves chocolate so I knew what she meant by it.

Her mom decided to have an early birthday celebration after church on Saturday.  I planned the baking and decorating in advance because I had limited time to do it as I had a lot of orders to make at the bakery. Four days before the planned celebration, some friends I hadn't seen for a long time came to Bangkok for a conference. I went to meet them at the hotel. To make the story short, I volunteered to show them around Bangkok and take them shopping on my day off. When I got home I felt so drained of energy. I knew I wouldn't have the strength to make Parsley's cake. I asked my cousin if we could cancel her daughter's  get together. Since Parsley's birthday was not til October 30, she agreed. I was relieved!

November 3, 2012

Kath's Nutritious Homemade Almond Milk

I slept over at a friend's house after my Halloween adventure on Khao San Road.  When I was having my breakfast the next day, I  noticed Kath getting busy in the kitchen. I was almost done eating when she informed me she's making almond milk. She asked if I wanted to see how she does it.. I did not want to miss the action. I grabbed my camera and sprinted to the kitchen.

November 2, 2012

Halloween on Khao San Road

It's Halloween. I was with my friends on Khao San Road to dine. The place was crazy packed for whole night's drinking and partying to celebrate the festival. My friends and I walked elbow-to-elbow with strangers. We managed to escape from the feasting crowds, went to an adjacent street where the celebration was less crazy and rested at an open air resto-bar.

November 1, 2012

My Farewell Dinner at Ethos, Khao San Road

Another chapter of my life is over. Yesterday was my last day at the bakery. As I look back over the past 22 months, I can truly say that I focused my time to advancing  my new career. Though I met a lot of struggles and hardships in my first few months, my big boss and the supervisor at Mission Bakery have my undying gratitude for their continued support during those trying times. I will surely miss working at the bakery but it is time for me to move on, to soar higher. In the meantime, I will take a  break from my monotonous daily routine,  catch up on a lot of things and concentrate on this blog. 

And to celebrate my leaving, a family friend took me out for dinner at Ethos Vegetarian Restaurant on Khao San Road.