Archive for October, 2009

Hangover Cures

my souvenir from Fiesta San Miguel

Last night, I got a little carried away and had more than my share of beer. Woke up this morning to what seemed like a hundred jackhammers in my head and the feeling of regret for having ingested so much alcohol. By 2PM, I already wanted to shoot myself because I was still in misery. As Barney of HIMYM would say, “I’m getting too old for this.” I couldn’t eat and was sick almost every hour. I’m telling you, I developed abs in one afternoon from all the hurling. Amazing.

In my desperation to find a cure for my insufferable hangover, I came across this post by the Drunken Pirate, which inspired this one. His post made me want an Alka Seltzer and Gatorade badly, but being as incapacitated as I was, I couldn’t even find the strength to send someone out to get some.

So in honor of my recovery (which took a whole day), here is a list of my favorite hangover cures.

1. Beef Cup Noodles by Nissin. This instant soup is always a soothing welcome to my drunk and acidic stomach.  This is usually the only thing I can take after a rough night of drinking, and yes, this one is my favorite.

2.  Aleve. Taking one of these before sleeping always prevents a hangover. But if you get too drunk to remember, taking one in the morning will eliminate any nasty headaches.  *Taking pain killers after consuming alcohol may cause liver damage.

3. Lugaw. One of my favorite comfort food of all time.  I was relieved to see that this was served for breakfast but was only able to eat it in the afternoon. This carb-filled meal fills and warms the stomach.

4. Gatorade. I think everyone knows that if you drink one before sleeping, you could save yourself a lot of trouble.  The Drunken Pirate makes a funny specification to get the lemon lime variant because in the event that it comes back up, this one won’t stain 😛

5. Airborne or Berocca – There’s something about fizzy drinks that makes me feel better when hungover. Plus it’s probably a good idea to make up for lost nutrients.

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my cure-all

6. Anything greasy. The moment I feel ready to eat, I always look for something fried like hotdogs, spam or chorizo. Maybe it’s my body wanting to make up for the loss of calories.

7. Water – Duh. Naturally, your body will welcome any form of rehydration but I think water just does the trick. But for some reason, I cannot take cold water when in this state because it hurts my stomach. I can only take lukewarm water when recovering, and I take lots of it.

And what not to take? Anything sour. I attempted to drink a glass of pineapple juice and my body just instantly rejected it.

So unless you’re in your early 20s and can easily bounce back from a night of drinking, be prepared so you can prevent having to spend the whole day trying to recover from a nasty hangover.

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Saizen

Move over, SM because Saizen has definitely got it all! This Japanese made store has managed to put everything that you might need (and think you need) within approximately 80 square meters inside Robinsons Galleria. Now, that’s my kind of convenience store. I was humorously (and kind of seriously) holding on to Mister M when I first got a glimpse of the store because I was too excited. Imagine, everything for P85Nakakaloka!

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Kitchenware galore

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Cookie cutters!

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silicone cups and more baking materials

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all you need to make a bento box

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they also had scrapbooking materials

Image0040some of my Saizen loot : an apron, oven mits, ice cream scooper, elastic headbands, and carton cake boxes

We would’ve stayed there longer if it weren’t for my aching feet and our fear of purchasing unnecessary items. Visiting this store definitely requires a lot of self-control.  My advice : leave your credit card at home and set a budget for yourself, because you can seriously get carried away in this store.

My visit to Saizen was so therapeutic and definitely exciting. Thanks, Mister M for introducing to my new favorite store 🙂

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Food Photography

Whenever I have a new idea for a post, two things come to mind: (1) When can I make this dish? and (2) How do I photograph it? Styling (or attempting to) and photographing my food probably takes just as long as it does to make the actual dish. I think everyone who has a food blog knows that it’s one thing to make your dish taste good, and another to make it LOOK good.

BE CREATIVE
BE CREATIVE

I was quite thrilled with the idea of using colored chocolate chips as an accent for my cookie photo.  I think it makes for a more eye catching image as opposed to using a plain brown background.

Food photography is still quite tricky for me, especially in terms of composition.  You can only style a cupcake in so many ways, right? And it is through my search for food styling inspiration that I stumbled upon these wonderful sites that have excellent food photography.

1. HONEY & JAM – A food blog by an 18 year old. This has got to be one of my favorites because other than her mouth watering recipes, she always takes beautiful photos that are wonderfully styled without being too contrived.

2. TASTESPOTTING – This site offers a plethora of food blogs that one can spend hours on.  I like this site because they seem to have a good standard for choosing which photos to feature on their site.

3. CUPCAKES TAKE THE CAKE – More than the photography, I look to this website for really fun cupcake designs.

4. 80 BREAKFASTS – Among all the local food blogs, this is probably the one that I visit the most. I like that each post usually just has one excellent photo.  There’s nothing more annoying that a site with a ton of poorly taken photos that take forever to load.  80 Breakfasts is simple but engaging.

5. NOBLE PIG – This site has amazingly unique recipes with photos that are straightforward but still very pleasing to the eye.  Definitely one to add to your RSS feed.

MAKE THE MOST OUT OF NATURAL LIGHT
MAKE THE MOST OUT OF NATURAL LIGHT

I almost always shoot during the day just so I can avoid having to use my flash. But hey, if you know how to use your flash well, go ahead 🙂 Maybe you can teach me a thing or two?

Any food blogs you’d like to suggest?

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Remembering Julia

Because I’m still obsessing over her…

How I wish they’d show reruns of her show on the Food Network.

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Who is your Julia Child?

Julie and JuliaI was right. I absolutely loved the movie Julie and Julia. It was exactly what I needed after an exhausting week of checking papers and calculating grades. The movie was an engaging narrative about how two people’s lives are affected by their love for cooking. It is expected that all foodies will gravitate towards this movie and will come out with a new affinity for both characters.

I especially felt a strange likeness to Julie, who of course, had a food blog and a restlessness that I also possess.  It was quite funny to see her meltdowns after failing at several recipes (metaphor for life?). What a familiar feeling, I thought.  As for Julia Child, I never really realized what an inspiring person she was. Her brave choices in life and wonderful relationship with her husband has left me fascinated and wanting to learn more about her.

Paul and Julia Child

Paul and Julia Child

Watching this movie has also made me think, “Who is my Julia Child?” Who inspired and taught me how to cook? My mom would actually be the obvious answer, but inasmuch as I did learn a lot from her, I turned to someone else when I decided that it was time to learn how to properly cook abodo. I turned to someone who spoke to me through a poorly printed and plain looking cookbook – Nora Daza.  Nora Daza’s Let’s Cook with Nora changed my kitchen life which is why I will reserve an entire post/s just for that.

.my ever reliable copy of Let's Cook with Nora

So, who is your Julia Child?

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Positive Reinforcement

Hell week is officially over and I got through it unscathed. Well, almost.  I now cringe at the word assessment and grades, and that twitch seriously starts to surface whenever I am in front of a PC (yes, I loathe PCs and Windows). But all that is over for now and I can take pleasure knowing that I can enjoy my term break. So, to celebrate, here are some things I would like to reward myself with.

1. A really nice meal ( at Je Suis Gourmand, perhaps?).

risotto

my homemade Tomatoe Basil Risotto

2. Beer. Need I say more?

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3. A long massage.

4. A funny, non-intellectual movie, which I got in the form of Julie and Julia. Beef Bourguignon, here I come. (pseudo review to follow)

5. Lots and lots of sleep.

my sister's son who looks like he loves sleeping as much as I do

my sister's son who looks like he loves sleeping as much as I do

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Zen Baking

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Green Tea Cupcakes with a Surprise Frosting

I’ve forgotten how therapeutic baking can be. Lately I’ve only been baking to fulfill orders, which can be quite stressful for the obvious reasons. Baking for yourself or for loved-ones is a totally different story.

Today, instead of working on my laptop and checking papers, I decided to take the load off by spending some quality time in the kitchen. I have a date with my college girlfriends tonight so I decided to make a dozen green tea cupcakes for them.  Making those didn’t take very long and I was still in the baking mood so I considered making a recipe I’ve ignored for quite a while.

Remember that pound cake I made before? Well, for some reason, I could never make it again. All my succeeding attempts were all failures and I just chose to resentfully  keep this recipe until I felt brave enough to try it again. I guess all I really needed was the confidence because it turned out just like the first one. Who knew ovens could smell fear?

Although today was really supposed to be spent working, I’m glad I took the time off to do something I really enjoy. I’ve been feeling so overworked lately that all I do when I’m done is sleep (oh, and maybe have a beer or two).  After today, and what I can imagine to be a good night with the girls, I should be ready to take on more work. The next week will be quite hellish and I think it was really important for me to regroup. So here’s to a week full of deadlines and hopefully a disposition that will help me breeze through it.

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