Archive for August, 2012

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN GETTING A PUPPY

When Pom-pom was still a puppy, taken 2 years ago. He’s my Pomeranian spitz.

Sure, you saw that cute, little furry thing on TV, or one of your friends has a big, friendly, giant dog breed and you imagine yourself buying one. That’s the easiest part; but have you thought of other more important things to consider when getting a dog / puppy?

 If you want a dog, ask yourself this question: are you ready, really ready to take care of a puppy? Puppies are like babies. They need attention – lots of it. They can have accidents around the house and will chew anything they can get their sharp canines on. You need to have the commitment to be able to train them (housebreaking) and yelling doesn’t help much.

 Cost of dog ownership – spending money in buying a puppy doesn’t end there. You also have to think of vet care; puppy vaccines, booster shots, anti rabies shots, neutering or spaying, etc. The dog food – puppy food cost more than adult dog foods. Planning to get a big breed? They have BIG appetites too. What about chew toys? What about grooming? If you plan to have a dog breed with fur that continuously grows, be prepared to have funds for the pet groomers!

 Consider other people / pets in the household – Do you have children in the house? Do you have other people with fur allergies living with you? Do you have other pets, let’s say a cat? There are certain dog breeds that do not tolerate children, some are good with them. Some dog breeds have hypoallergenic fur, which is fairly safe for people with fur allergies. I had a cat before my dad brought home a four month old Dalmatian – they hated each other at first, then they learned to ignore each other after a few years. They have learned to mind their own business. I’m not saying that this will eventually happen if you have a cat and suddenly brought home a puppy, but be sure to consider everyone else living in your house before buying a puppy.

 Research about the breed – not researching about the breed firsthand often results in regret in the end. I know someone who bought a Chow-chow, Japanese spitz cross breed and later spilled all the things she didn’t like about her dog. She said she didn’t expect the dog to grow big like that (yes, her dog grew up almost as big as a Chow-chow) and that she didn’t think it would be ‘that’ aggressive. Hello! With a Chow’s temperament and a Spitz’s character, what were you expecting?! That’s two personalities in one dog!

 Size of dog – if you’ve got a small space, let’s say you’re renting an apartment then don’t get a Great Dane or an Irish wolfhound! These dogs need all the space they can get to run around. Also, the bigger the dog, the more it will eat – another thing to consider.

 Activity / energy level – Some dogs have high energy levels and they need to use / release that energy or else you might end up with dog problems such as excessive barking. If you’re the type who loves outdoors then it’s okay for you to get a an active breed of dog that you can take running, jogging and hiking.

 Temperament – dogs are like humans, some have short fuse, aggressive and some just really, really have long patience with anything and everything. If you plan to take care of a dog for the first time, it’s better to get a dog that’s on the ‘mellow’ side – ones that have agreeable temperament and not the ones who assert their way and take over as the leader of the pack. Remember, if you plan to get a dog, you will be the pack leader, not the other way around.

 Physical maintenance / grooming – Are you ready for the cost of taking your dog to the groomers? Or if you are feeling adventurous, are you brave enough to do the styling on your pet? Trim its nails? Clean its ears? All those will definitely take a lot of energy, time, effort and commitment.

 Pure breed or cross bred dogs – Pure breds are more famous than cross bred dogs, but they say a pure bred has more health problems than cross bred ones. I have two Pomeranian spitz’s and they turned out fine – intelligent like a Pom and loyal like a Spitz.

 Where to get your dog? – Personally, I prefer my vet’s referrals when I want to buy a puppy or close friends whose dogs are healthy. I don’t buy from pet shops or online ads, because honestly, I don’t have any idea if the parents of the puppy they’re selling are top of the line and without genetic problems. How can I be sure that they are not doing ‘inbreeding’ with their dogs?

 I always think that dogs are like humans too. They need the same amount of care we do, the only difference is that dogs live shorter and well, obviously, they can’t talk. So again, consider some of the pointers I wrote before getting a dog. If you have other things to add, please don’t hesitate to leave your comments. I will gladly appreciate it.

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THERE ARE NO FASHION POLICE IN CHINA

I’ve found many people dressing up weirdly in malls, walking on the streets in broad daylight, walking in heels while wearing long sleeves at the beach – I just give them a quick glance and then look at the other direction. But this one, this is one oddity that I can’t help but write about.

Aside from fake food products, ranging from fake chicken eggs, pork, lettuce, dried seaweed, etc…(who knows what else these people might be faking using chemicals?) and melamine tainted formula milks, the Chinese people have created a new ‘fashion trend’ – drum roll please! The FACEKINI!

What the…I don’t know how else to describe this.

And here I thought walking in heels at the beach was weird, here is another weird scary fashion trend that’s a latest beach craze in China. Obviously, there are no fashion police there. This is one thing that I can’t just shut up about. I mean, the facekini is for those people who don’t want a tan on their faces, but what about the other parts of their body that are exposed to the sun? Hmm…perfectly porcelain white face but tanned arms? There is laughing inside my head now.

at the beach, all covered up and scared to get a tan? I’ve got 2 words for you: night swimming

Anyway, there would always be bizarre things people in every part of the world. I just couldn’t imagine myself swimming at the beach and someone wearing a facekini emerges from the water beside me – I might just scream.

definitely no fashion police

Where are the fashion police when you need them?!

A LECHE FLAN RECIPE

Leche is a Spanish word meaning milk, and when you say leche flan, this is a famous Filipino dessert made of milk and egg yolks, simply put – custard, which is usually served during fiestas, parties and any other happy occasion you can think of.  There are several versions of this from different countries and this recipe is from the Philippines and is a heavier version of the Spanish one.

My grandmother used to make this. Unfortunately, before I had a love affair with cooking, she passed away and most of the traditional recipes she knew, she never got to teach me. But luckily, I found this recipe in one of the cooking magazines published here monthly, and every Christmas, I make this yummy dessert.

And here is the recipe:

12 egg yolks, placed in a big bowl

2 300-ml cans sweetened condensed filled milk

1 370-ml can evaporated filled milk

1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

sugar

1  To the bowl of yolks, add the condensed milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla, in that order. Pour in each ingredient slowly and mix gently until the mixture is smooth. Stick to one stroke as you mix and do it slowly, to avoid creating bubbles. Bubbles will make the surface of the flan uneven. Set aside. Prepare the sugar syrup. (See below)

My ever loyal egg yolk separator

A dozen egg yolks without the egg whites

2  Pour the egg mixture in the mold with sugar syrup. Cover each mold with aluminum foil. Cook in the steamer for 45 minutes. To know if the flan is cooked, dip a toothpick into it. If no flan particles stick to the toothpick, it’s cooked and ready.

This is what I usually use when making leche flan – aluminum oval molds

3  When cooked, refrigerate the flan. It’s best served cold.

To make the sugar syrup

Melt sugar in the molds over low fire. Using tongs, move the molds in a clockwise motion to avoid burning the sugar. Don’t wait for the crystals to turn brown, just let it melt. Then pour the egg mixture in to cook the flan. How much sugar? For each typical medium-sized oval mold, use 1/2 tablespoon sugar to make the syrup. For a small round mold, use 1 teaspoon sugar. Like it sweeter? Just add more sugar.

I used an 8 inch cake mold last year. Guess what? Even before I could take a picture someone already cut out a piece…

Steaming tip  If you’re using a conventional steamer, make sure that heat is on boiling point before you set the flans. Keep them on boiling point for 30 minutes then let cook on medium fire for another 15 minutes.

The traditional recipe does not include the egg whites to the mixture, because this lessens the creaminess of the flan and makes it ‘bubbly’; but some people do this, especially those sold in bakeries. Also, the usual recipe does not include vanilla, but if you feel like adding this ingredient, go ahead – vanilla will make the flan taste more heavenly. This is a sinful dessert – very sweet and not for diabetics, seriously.

DAK KANG JUNG (SWEET AND CRISPY CHICKEN WINGS)

Double fried chicken? It’s yummy on its own but if you add a sweet sauce to it, it’s even yummier. Not to mention that the chicken does not lose its crispiness even if it is smothered in that thick, brown sauce.

Alright, I admit. This picture was taken almost a year ago when I made this in my mother in law’s house. First off, this is my first time deep frying a chicken twice.  And I was actually thinking that if the crispy chicken was smothered in the sweet sauce, it would lose its crispiness, I was so wrong!

This recipe is really very easy to follow, you can even use other chicken parts, if you’d like, but I chose to cook wings because it’s small and has less cooking time. As for the sweet sauce, I decided to remove the ginger pieces before I added the double fried chicken – I can tolerate the taste of ginger but I just didn’t want any chunks of it in the sauce.  In Maangchi’s recipe, she added peanuts and chili flakes, I omitted that part. One mistake I did, I forgot the sesame seeds 😦

This dish kind of reminds me of Bonchon Chicken, but it still has its own unique ‘Maangchi’ taste to it and since it’s homemade, you can be sure of the ingredients that are used. Make sure to serve with Kimchi or any other Korean side dish, but don’t forget the rice 🙂

This is the not so artistic side of me taking the picture and because I was eager to taste it, I just took the photo as soon as I got the wings out of the wok. I promise to take a better picture next time 🙂

 

Watch Maanchi’s video here:

I AM MAX, THE ROTTWEILER

Human picked me out of my 8 other siblings, I don’t know…maybe because she thought I was cute while chewing on a metal bar, haha! She took me home that same day, but we had to stop at the vet first. On the way there, I threw up on human’s lap. Her pants were a mess but she didn’t get mad – lucky me!

The vet gave me vitamin shots and scheduled another visit before human carried me again and we went home. I was surprised to find out that she had other dogs – a cranky, old Dalmatian named Antonne and Sonic, a Chow-chow / Shi-tzu cross. There was no doubt about it, human and her family loved dogs 😀

A few months later, human brought home a green ball, and it has been my favorite toy 😀

I like to go on an adventure when it rains at night. Sometimes, I forget that human and her family is worried that I go missing for several hours, the longest I’ve been gone was two days, when I wandered too far away and another family found me. They knew where my human’s house was, but they were afraid to take me there, that I might attack / bite them. But one of them managed to get a chain and attached it to my collar and tied me to a tree for the meantime.  They were a nice family, they fed me but they complained I ate too much. Hey, I’m a big dog!

A few hours later, human’s father fetched me and thanked the family who took care of me the last two days. I’m glad I’m back at human’s house again.

Last rainy, Monday night I went on another adventure. But since everyone in the neighborhood knew me already, one of the neighbors went to human’s house and told them where I could be found. Again, human’s father went and fetched me.  I shouldn’t be going on adventures like that again, but I just can’t help it.

Max loves taking a bath 😀

Happy Max after taking a bath

 

This is the latest photo of Max, after he went on an adventure just the other night. Just chilling out – no, there will be no adventures for you this time, Max.

 

 

IT’S LIKE TYPHOON KETSANA ALL OVER AGAIN!

Typhoon Ketsana or locally known here as Ondoy, made the Philippines a (literal) water world in 2009.  Now, it’s just the southwest monsoon (no typhoons) but the northern part of the country is now submerged in flood waters.

Last week Typhoon Saola (Gener) ravaged the country and left 41 people dead – it had been raining non-stop last week; we barely  saw the sun. Now, it’s been raining non-stop since yesterday, resulting in many flooded areas in the country.

These are the two pictures I took just a few minutes ago, of what used to be a rice field beside our house, now looks like a river because of the flood waters that are thigh high.

This is not a swampland or a river – this used to be a rice field beside our house.

 

Another view from our room…

 

A few hours later, this is what it looks like outside our house…

 

By this time the flood waters are already inside the house because of the non stop rain since yesterday…

 

Knee deep flood waters outside the house – there are no signs the rain will be stopping soon. To think that this is just a southwest monsoon and there isn’t a typhoon…

 

I’m praying the rain will stop soon, as more and more areas are now submerged in flood waters and there are people stranded…

 

 

 

 

 

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