Archive for June, 2012

A LATE APRIL FOOL’S JOKE? KFC EPIC FAIL!

What in the world were they thinking when they came up with this idea?

Last June 27, 2012 KFC (Philippines) launched their new product “Streetwise Cheese Top Burger”. A what now?! If the food chain aims at uniqueness of their burger products then this one might just win – JUST because the cheese is on top of the bun, and only because of that and nothing else. Okay, so I take that back – there’s really  nothing special with this burger!

Seriously folks, what else is new with this burger? It has the chicken burger patty – just like any other chicken burger, it has the garlic parmesan dressing – just like any other burger that’s supposed to have a dressing and cheese – just like any other burger – they just placed it on TOP; nothing really special about it. It’s just going to be one messy meal. It doesn’t even come with lettuce or pickles or tomatoes…well, what do you expect from a P50 meal (around $1.17)? It does come with a drink – I’m just not sure if it’s a 16oz or a 12oz drink, but knowing it’s in the Philippines, expect the smallest serving size you can get.

There is really nothing special with this new product from KFC. It’s nothing to get all excited about, really. Putting the cheese on top of the bun will not attract more customers >_< But is it early to say that this is an epic failure from KFC? We’ll see…

MY CHICKEN ADOBO RECIPE

Yummy chicken adobo

Adobo is a popular dish and cooking process in the Philippines. Although the name was originally given by the Spaniards when they conquered the Philippines, please do not be confused with the same Spanish word which means marinade, sauce or seasoning. The term adobo got stuck after they Spaniards encountered an indigenous cooking process in the Philippines which involved stewing with vinegar. Thus, the name ADOBO.

When you say adobo, it is a cooking process that always has the following ingredients: soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and pepper corns. I usually just cook with the first three ingredients, as those are the most basic when it comes to cooking adobo.

There are different types of adobo – it can either be chicken, pork, squid, vegetables such as string beans and water spinach. Some cook it in combination of chicken and pork. Squid adobo is cooked in vinegar with the ink. Some add other ingredients such as boiled eggs, potatoes and fried tofu. Also, the recipe tends to change according to geography. Different regions in the country have their own special recipe of adobo. But I’ll be posting the most common recipe. The one that my grandmother and mother make.

Chicken adobo recipe

1 kilo of chicken

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup vinegar

2 cups of water

4 tablespoons of cooking oil or olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

3 medium sized potatoes, cut into large cubes

4 pcs hard boiled eggs, shelled

(Potatoes and eggs are optional)

Cooking Instructions:

1. In a big sauce pan or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil then sauté the minced garlic.

2. Add the chicken to the pan and fry for a few minutes until surface is cooked. Add 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or when meat is tender.

3. Remove the chicken from the sauce pan and on another pan, heat cooking oil and brown the chicken for a few minutes. (What I usually do is I separate the oil from the broth and use this oil to brown the chicken. This step packs in more flavor to the meat.)

4. Mix the browned chicken back to the sauce and add potatoes and egg.

5. Add more soy sauce and vinegar and/or pepper and bay leaf if desired. (Adding the potatoes and eggs lessens the saltiness of the dish, I just add a few more tablespoons of soy sauce and vinegar after the broth has simmered with the eggs and potatoes.)

6. Bring to a boil then simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Some people usually just boil the chicken in soy sauce – vinegar – garlic – pepper corn – water mixture, this is adobo as well but for me, it does not taste as good as when you take the extra step of re-frying the meat in its own fat.

Cooking pork adobo takes a bit longer to cook compared to chicken. What my grandmother used to cook is pork belly – I know this has lots of fat in it so I would suggest using pork picnic/shoulder as this cooks easily and is not tough when cooked properly.

Adobo can last up to four days in room temperature and even longer when stored in the fridge. This is why this dish is a favorite when people are going on excursions or long trips because it does not spoil easily because of the vinegar and soy sauce which act as preservatives.

So, would you be willing to be adventurous and try cooking adobo? Happy cooking!

ST. ANDREWS CROSS SPIDER?

Yesterday, my mother pointed out a very peculiar spider in her garden. She called my attention repeatedly so I had no choice but to look at it for a mere second before I cringed and walked as fast as I can inside the house.  It was a spider I’ve never seen before; it was colorful, with a green body and yellow markings on its abdomen, as well as yellow bands on its legs.  It’s position on its web is just like a letter ‘X’ and looked like it only had four legs and it had a unique web too.

Today, my husband took a picture of it and we decided to identify what kind of spider it was with the help of the internet, we needed to make sure if it was poisonous or not.  If we’re correct, this is a specie of a St. Andrews cross spider, from the genus Argiope and has 76 species.

If anyone knows what particular specie of St. Andrews cross spider this is, please do comment and share your knowledge, it will really be appreciated.

St. Andrews cross spider

 

Another shot – notice the zigzag lines made on the web? A very unique webbing for this spider…

 

No, I did NOT take these pictures – my husband did

Yes, I am scared – terrified of spiders. It took a lot for me to look at these pictures and write about it.  I had to keep telling myself that this is just a picture and not the real thing…

IF DOGS COULD TALK…

I say there would have been many things they’d tell us.

We’ve had so many dogs of different breeds since I was a kid, and I always imagined what their voice would sound like if they can talk. I’m now suddenly reminded of Disney’s movie UP, where the dogs had this device attached to their collar that can let them talk. How I wish someone can invent that in real life 😀

Then I saw this photo…it just gets me every time I read this, especially number ten.

BEEF AND PORK JERKY AND PORTUGUESE ALMOND COOKIES, GOOD COMBINATION?

At Senado Square, Macau

As for the second day of our overseas trip, we headed to Macau – a country located southwest of Hong Kong, about an hour by ferry. Macau’s main attraction is the casinos and it is now considered as the world’s top casino market, surpassing Las Vegas. But we didn’t go there for the casinos, we were there for the sights and food, what else?

Beef gyudon with miso soup for lunch – really BIG serving!

Still at Senado Square, Macau

First off, there’s the language barrier. It was quite difficult to communicate with the locals here because unlike in HK, a lot of them do not know how to speak English. Oh, well…we’re the tourists, it’s all part of the adventure to get to that one particular street where those meat products and pastries were sold. And yes, my left thigh still hurt but it was tolerable at that moment.

Senado Square, a mix of the old and new…

We finally made it to Senado Square – and yes, we walked to get there from one very luxurious mall (I forgot the name, sorry), making BNU building as our landmark. Senado square is an area in the center of the former Portuguese colony in Macau. It is in one of the streets here where we managed to get to Rua do Cunha, a very long stretch of street where stalls and stalls of beef and pork jerky as well as Portuguese almond cookies are being sold. You know you’re in the right place when you smell the sweet, mouth watering aroma of the freshly cooked cookies.

This is the perfect place to go to when you’re hungry and want a free snack. Why? The moment you start walking, every vendor will offer you their products, literally forcing you to take a piece of jerky or a cookie. From the beginning of the street to the end, where you can find the Ruins of St. Paul’s, there are stalls that are filled with different flavors of pork and beef jerky, boxes of those yummy, but not too sweet Portuguese almond cookies. Oh, and these cookies are sometimes handed to you still warm – newly cooked!

This is where we bought our beef and pork jerky, as well as boxes and boxes of Portuguese almond cookies

The pork and beef jerky are sold by pound, with different prices for each kind. There is only one shop here which have English labels on their meat products and it was one of the largest shops there – it’s name is Koi Kei and it is the second shop I saw. The first Koi Kei shop I saw was near Senado Square, and it is also filled with tourists buying boxes of meat products and different pastries.

One of the shops at Rua do Cunha that sells those delicious beef and pork jerky and Portuguese almond cookies. Really mouth watering!

When you buy beef or pork jerky, they place it inside a resealable plastic bag and then they seal it with a heat press. These jerky can be eaten as it is, but we like to fry it for less than a minute, the flavors really come out when you do this. They also give discounts if you buy more than one box of almond cookies. Make sure you have a bottle of water with you, all that walking and eating at the same time will make you thirsty.

One of the two Koi Kei shops in Macau. It’s the only shop where they have english labels for the beef and pork jerky.

The other big Koi Kei shop at Senado Square

These are not the only stores found here, there are also souvenir and trinkets shops, jewelry shops, clothes and shoes boutique, ice cream shops like Dairy Queen and Haagen Dazs and other shops that appeal to tourists.

The gondola ride inside Venetian Macau – the gondolier sings Italian songs too!

Next destination in Macau, the Venetian hotel. Yes, there are a lot of hotels here but we chose this one. Inside the hotel, there is an area here where you can ride a gondola, just like in Venice! And just like in Venice, the gondoliers sing an Italian song too! You wouldn’t really think you’re inside a hotel when you’re in this particular area, as well as the food court area, where the ceiling is painted like the blue sky and the stalls are designed like buildings in Italy.

A female gondolier

Inside Venetian Macau food court – that’s just the ceiling, makes you think you’re dining outside

another shot

a shot inside the bus while we were on our way back to the ferry dock – the Sands Hotel

Going back to the ferry dock is no problem, since hotels provide free bus transfers, even if you’re not actually staying in a particular hotel! Rather than get a taxi, just use the free rides provided by these luxurious hotels!

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