IT’S GOING TO ‘RAIN’ AGAIN!

Yeah…I’m sorry but I just had to get this out of my system. It is confirmed, Rain will be discharged from the Korean army this coming July 10! Just excited, hehe! I’ve been a fan since I watched his drama, Full House with Song Hye Kyo – I bought his albums, watched his movies, watched his first ever concert here…and now it’s out of my system…I will shut up now.

OUR NEIGHBOR’S POOR DOGS, FIONA & GEORGE

This is George, pic taken one afternoon while I was giving him bread

This is George, pic taken one afternoon while I was giving him bread

The video above shows Fiona, the Shi tzu and Chibi, my Pomeranian spitz. Fiona is our neighbor’s poor dog. She, along with another shi tzu and a dog of an unknown breed (we call him Tu-tu, we later found out his name was George) were sort of ‘abandoned’ by their owner, who happens to be our neighbor and my dad’s distant relative. The owner doesn’t come home for days, leaving no food or water for his dogs.

Fiona

Fiona

It all started when we began giving bread to George; it was obvious that he was very hungry with the way he just swallows the piece of bread we throw at him through the walls. After that Fiona came along with him, she was barking at us, but what the heck, we threw a piece of bread at her and she ate it. And it was like that for days, with no sign of our neighbor coming home.

One morning, we were surprised to find Fiona in our garage, under the car! She managed to slip under their gates because she was skin and bones and yeah…we still don’t know how she got in our garage, but for the next two days, she became our little furry guest.

One thing I noticed, she doesn’t want to go back home anymore. Each time we let our other dogs out, we take Fiona along, she had all the chances to go home, but she only follows us around. She stayed with us for two more days, until our neighbor asked my dad if he saw his shi tzu. I would have loved to lie at this point, knowing that Fiona would be ‘abandoned’ again if our neighbor takes her home. So he took her home, and locked her up in their garage.

This went on for a few more days before Fiona managed to get out of their garage and waited by Max’s (our Rottweiler) dog house, waiting for us to go out of the house. For about three more days she stayed with us, believe it or not, she gained weight! I would have loved to ask the owner to let us have Fiona, but he said he was going to take her to his girlfriend’s house.

I wasn’t there when our neighbor came to pick up Fiona that evening. But according to my mom,  Fiona was running away from him!  Even the dog doesn’t like him…if only we had animal laws that actually work here, I would have made a complaint already.  But no, we live in a country where dogs are killed for their meat. Even if there’s a law against it, not all people are aware of it – it’s a reality that sucks.

So now, I just hope that Fiona is doing way better with our neighbor’s girlfriend.

MY BASIC VANILLA CUPCAKE (with buttercream frosting) RECIPE

My vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting

My vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting

This is the recipe I used when I baked my very first cupcake years ago and it was a success. This is a no fuss, not too sweet, perfect with a frosting, ‘even kids can make this’ recipe. I found myself baking this more than a dozen times now, adding different ingredients, from peanuts, walnuts, chocolate chips and Oreo cookies. I’m not bragging but each cupcake comes out perfect each time. So I’m going to stop here now and share the ingredients with you.

              1 cup flour

              1 cup granulated sugar

              1    cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

              1 tsp vanilla

              1 tsp baking powder

              4    eggs (you can add an egg or two if you want your cupcake fluffy)

Pre-heat your oven to 350F and mix all the dry ingredients together – the flour, sugar and baking powder. You can now add the eggs, unsalted butter and vanilla. You can mix this using an electric hand mixer or a wire whisk. Personally, I like using an electric hand mixer because it saves me a lot of time. Mix until there are no more lumps of flour, and you can now scoop away to your cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes.

My technique – just dump everything together and mix away. Yeah, it doesn’t sound like it will produce a perfect cupcake but trust me, I’ve done this since the first time I baked and it worked just fine.

The recipe above will make 1 ½ dozen cupcakes.

Someone suggested I use ½ cup vanilla sugar and ½ cup granulated sugar to enhance the vanilla flavor. I haven’t done this yet, but feel free to do so.

MY BUTTERCREAM FROSTING RECIPE

I’ve always made fondant (although I really don’t like eating it) – just because making a frosting intimidated me. I just wish I tried making this years ago, because now, I’m having fun frosting cupcakes using different piping tips!

And here are the ingredients for my frosting recipe:

      1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar

      ½ cup butter (room temperature)

      2    tbsp milk

      Food color is optional

And that’s it! Those are the only ingredients for the frosting.

First step is to cream the butter – I highly suggest you use an electric hand mixer, beat the butter like crazy until it is pale yellow in color :).  Next step is to gradually add the confectioner’s sugar. Never, ever dump the whole thing in, you don’t want your kitchen to be covered in sweet, white dust! Add milk little by little or until the frosting is not too dry, but not to runny. A perfect frosting will hold its shape once it is piped.

Just a reminder, never frost a cupcake while it is still hot. It will melt the frosting.

I will try to post the variations I made with this recipe, sooooooon!

GIVE IT TO ME (SISTAR)

I only accidentally listened to this , as the internet connection was slow again, I told myself what the heck and pressed the play button on one of the k-pop websites. I stopped listening to k-pop after lots of kpop group started ‘popping’ here and there. But I still like Super Junior, haha!

Not really a fan of Sistar, but I particularly liked this song, maybe because of the strings playing in the background…kind of reminds me of Larusso’s On Ne S’aimera Plus Jamais, or maybe that’s just me.

Great song, catchy beat (simple lyrics though) but the video – blah! They could have done better.

CRISPY SILKEN TOFU

Crispy silken tofu

Crispy silken tofu, this might look like chicken nuggets, but this one is healthier

I did one of my experiments in the kitchen again! This time, I used the left over silken tofu from the budae jigae (Korean army base soup)I cooked for dinner last time. I guess this can be called crispy silken tofu. Pat dry the tofu with a paper towel and slice into bite size pieces, (think mini chicken nuggets), dredge  in flour, dip into beaten egg, drop it into a bowlful of panko bread crumbs and deep fry until golden brown.

It’s crispy outside but really soft inside. But since this is tofu, it will taste bland so I would suggest make a dipping sauce. The one I made was soy sauce and vinegar mixture, with a bit of chili oil for the kick. I recommend eating this with kimchi and steamed rice 🙂

TUNA KIMBAP (참치 김밥) [CHAMCHI KIMBAP]

kimbapPressed for time and ingredients, I rummaged through the fridge with whatever I can use so I can fix my husband lunch before he goes to work that day – and I came up with spinach, a carrot, mayonnaise. Going through the cupboard, I got a can of tuna, sesame seeds and nori sheets. Rice was just about ready in the rice cooker. Why not kimbap?

I simply mixed about 2 tbsp of mayonnaise to the tuna (drained) and added pepper  (and salt, if you prefer). Blanched the spinach, squeezed the leaves and added some soy sauce and sesame oil and stir fried the julienned carrots. For the steamed rice, I added sesame oil and sesame seeds. Yeah, I know…I forgot the eggs. But even without eggs the kimbap tasted great. I guess this is as healthy as it can get, kimbap with vegetables 🙂

Rummaging through the fridge for the last time, I found the left over pasta my husband cooked last night. I honestly don’t know what to call this pasta dish, this is pasta sautéed in garlic and onion, with oyster sauce and chili oil – I used Lee Kum Kee Chiu Chow chili oil (for that ‘kick’). This was actually another one of my ideas in the kitchen, I’ll try to post the recipe one of these days.

NAILS IN A RUSH

Did this in a rush...

Did this in a rush…

Really, who has the ‘time’ to put nail polish when you have a 7 month old baby boy? Everything you do, from eating (breakfast, lunch, dinner) tidying up the house, going to the bathroom…yeah, I now drink my coffee like water but it never seemed enough to perk me up in the morning. I never had a normal sleep ever since I gave birth.

But enough about that, I’m not complaining; I just want to point out that when you have a baby, you learn to do everything in a rush but with precision; and multitasking is a MUST! Like what I did here – I finally got to put on nail polish (again, in a rush) while my baby slept. I got my nails done in 20 minutes, tops. Believe me, you don’t want a wet nail polish on your nails and your baby wakes up, hehe!

I used local brands here, I only used two nail polish, Frosted White for the French tip and glitter nail polish with a pinkish shade. Uh, sorry…no base coat – in a hurry, remember?

To quickly do the French tip, I used tape. Yes, tape. I simply placed it below the white part of my nails and began putting on the frosted white nail polish. After that, when the nail polish is semi-dry, I carefully removed the tape. Then I put on the glitter nail polish. Hmm, no top coat either, but the glitter nail polish does the job of looking like my nails has a top coat, right? I’m not expecting the nail polish to last long, after all, doing housework can simply shorten the life of the nail polish. At least I have pretty nails to show off even for a short time.

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