Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Most Memorable Birthday

Today is my birthday. I had the simplest birthday celebration but the most memorable one. I didn't really prepare anything for my birthday and all we've really prepared for is our lunch for the day (sauted bittergourd or ginisang ampalaya!!!)which we wanted to last until dinner because we're saving our money for my teaching stint abroad (pocket money,luggage etc.). But, my brother sent me an sms last night and offered to be in charge of the treat and so I had no choice but to celebrate...

If that was not enough of a surprise, this morning there was another surprise. My cousin handed me a small card in a small sealed envelope. It turned out that my Tita has given me pocket money, on the other hand, for my trip somewhere out of the country. She calls it a small "baon" but I tell you, it will be a big help when I start my life abroad. My birthday today did not present itself as a big bash. It was a very simple one, yet, it has been very heartwarming. I spent the whole time sharing meals and laughing with my family (specially with my loving husband Niknok).

God (like love and His blessings) come at the most unexpected time. Sometimes we worry too much about what will happen to us in the coming days...all of a sudden, He comes to the rescue and uses people to bless us and express His love for us... -Niknik

Monday, June 23, 2008

15-Minute Recipes for Two Comfort Foods

I would like to share with you two of the recipes Niknok and I were able to hatch up out of boredom, empty stomachs and an almost empty fridge!

One restless night, Niknok and I could not sleep because we were anxious about my pending trip somwhere for a teaching job. Whenever I am bored, I have always found it a delightful escape to be in front of the stove, cooking up a satisfying meal all of us at home can enjoy. I am neither a cook nor am I chef but I love cooking and I love cooking what others may consider comfort foods. It so happened that we had a few packages of vermicilli (given by a friend who came from Jeddah, but 'mind you, this vermicelli is far from what we call sotanghon...more like tiny and thin spaghetti cut into one-inch pieces...more like the real pasta) in our storage cabinet and we could not decide what to do with them. So, I thought of hatching up a recipe out of it, something quite similar to how we do our favorite-the popular sopas. Here goes the first very simple recipe...laugh if you must but we found it quite sumptuous...

Vermicelli Soup ala Niknik and Niknok


vermicelli noodles (the one-inch sticks)- or any other type of soup pastas will do (elbow macaroni etc.)

4-6 Knorr chicken cubes, depending on the amount of water you will use, 1 liter will need about 4 cubes (This substitutes for the real chicken flavor.)

1 can vienna sausage (we found Libby's blending well with the taste of the chicken cubes), sliced diagonally

1/4 head cabbage minced

1 big white onion minced

1 head garlic minced

1/4 cup minced green onion leaves

3 tbsps. cooking oil

1 big can of evaporated milk

pepper to taste

salt or fish sauce to taste


1. Heat casserole.
2. Pour cooking oil and allow it to heat a little.
3. Brown about 3/4 of the minced garlic.
4. Set brown garlic aside.
5. On the same heated oil, saute white onions followed by the remaining garlic.
6. Pour in water and allow to boil.
7. When it reaches boiling point, pour in pasta and cook according to package instructions.
8. When pasta is almost cooked, pour in sausages.
6. A few seconds before pasta is cooked, pour in minced cabbage
7. When cooked, serve on soup bowl and pour milk then top with brown garlic and minced green onions.

*Best when served with plain salted biscuits or plain bread

Our other recipe is something that we have decided to call Choco-glazed Pancakes. We thought of doing it because all we had in our fridge that time was imported chocolates sent to us by my mother-in-law. We also had a big bag of Krusteaz hot cake mix also dearly sent to us by my mother-in-law who is in the U.S. So, with these ingredients, I was reminded of the waffle flavor I see at the stalls at the malls. They have chocolate waffles instead of just the usual hotdog waffles. I told myself, well, I can't go wrong with this one. Hot cake mix and leftover chocolates is definitely a match made in heaven. And, guess what? Niknok and I loved it so much. My nephews and niece also loved it. It was like eating that expensive chocolate cake in a posh restaurant... I guess it goes with how you blend the melted chocolate bar and the milk. Here goes the very easy-to-do Choco-glazed Pancakes...

Choco-glazed Pancakes


2 cups Krusteaz hot cake/waffle mix (or any other local brands with less sweetness/sugar - makes about 8 pancakes

1 bar of milk chocolate (in our case we used 10 pcs. of Nestle Nest Eggs, egg-shaped Nestle milk chocolate, preferably without crunch or peanuts but for testing, well, who knows, they might bring out a better recipe)

1/4 cup evaporated milk


1. Cook pancakes based on the package instructions.
2. While cooking pancakes, melt chocolates by placing them in a mug and dipping half of the mug on a pan with boiling water until the chocolates melt.
3. (For some chocolates that are too sweet) While the chocolate is melting, pour a little of the evaporated milk enough to reduce the sweetness of the chocolate.
4. When the pancakes are ready, use the melted chocolate to spirally glaze each of the pancakes.
5. Using the remaining chocolate, serve the pancakes with a few grated chocolate on top aside from the glaze.

We hope you will enjoy these easy-to-do recipes as much as we did. Through the above recipes, we've learned that enjoying good food among other things is knowing how to be resourceful and knowing how to maximize the use of the goods that are available in one's kitchen. Share with us if you enjoyed having any or both of the above recipes. Happy eating!- Niknik

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Aftermath of Typhoon Frank: How Pathetic Can We Be Pinoys?

Typhoon struck the Philippines again as it is expected to do every year. But, it seems that we Pinoys never learn our lessons...we are as complacent as ever and our consciousness as usual are far from considering our safety and other people's safety. We always welcome destruction with open arms. Unfortunately, yes, this is what most of us Pinoys are...

It is true that we have been unfortunate to be in a country which is often hit by typhoons. But, should we always wait for something bad to happen before we do some real preventive actions. M/V Princess of Stars would not have capsized if we practiced extra precaution...Hundreds of people's lives would not have been shed if in the first place our very own Philippine Coastguard did not allow them to travel aside from giving them the necessary warning. Same thing, lives would not have been destroyed if Sulpicio Lines did not allow its ferry to travel despite the possibility that typhoon Frank will be heading northeast of the Philippines. This is because there was also the very big possibility that it could be headed northwest.

So, the unexpected happened. Frank went westward. Very sadly, the only thing we can do now is reconcile the facts and collect the missing bodies of hundreds of these poor Pinoys. Litigation may take place, damages can be paid for but the lives of those poor Pinoys can no longer be brought back. I guess we never learn our lessons...How pathetic can we be Pinoys? - Niknik

Monday, June 16, 2008

Too Sad to Leave...

I am leaving the country on July 4, 2008 and I feel a little anxious about it. It's been a long time since I got the chance to sleep early. Why? My mind is full of things at the moment and I could not sleep as early as I used to sleep. It would lately take me up to about midnight before I start feeling like hitting the sack. All psychological? All in the mind? Yes, but I really can't help thinking about a lot of things...

First among many reasons, ofcourse, is that I would never wish to leave my loving husband. I trust him ofcourse to leave him but it would be terribly difficult for me to be away from him having gotten used to doing things with him(eating home-cooked meals, brushing teeth, sleeping, watching good movies,etc.)eversince we were married. We're really much like Ernie and Bert. Can you imagine Ernie without Bert and Bert without Ernie? Sad and boring time, isn't it?

This, for your information, is our first time to be away from each other for more than a week...-Niknik

Leaving the Philippines

I'm leaving the Philippines on July 4, 2008 and I'm getting all anxious about it...What will be my life in a place I haven't been to before? What will happen to the job I will leave in the Philippines which I have held for almost fiteen years now? -Niknik

Sunday, June 8, 2008

One Steamy Afternoon

Have you ever imagined yourself being a "siopao" in a steamer and being cooked? Well, we feel we are a couple of it today. Oh boy! Yeah, boy! It is indeed one very hot afternoon! The rainy season here in the Philippines has started several weeks ago and yet it feels like summer has just started. In this kind of weather I guess no one would even imagine of going out to get a facial treatment. This day's heat is giving out enough steam to open people's skin pores!- Niknik

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Welcome to Our Blog!

Hi, everybody! Niknok and I have been dreaming of building our own blog. Unfortunately, it took a while before we could muster enough courage to really build one. We are what you may consider the kind who still have to grope our way to technology...Thank God we now have Blogspot, a simplified way of building a blog.
Why have we been dreaming of putting up our own blog? Well, practically because life is rich in experiences and we want to share our thoughts with people. We want to find out how similar our perceptions are with whoever will be our readers. We will feel greatly rewarded to find out that we, afterall, see things in the same way other people see them. And, would it not be a great thing, too, if we can all have the opportunity to laugh at things together for all its complexity and hilarity. Welcome to our blog! - Niknik and Niknok