I’m moving to a new home

It’s not really a new home.  I’ve been trying to maintain both my wordpress and blogger account since June.  Unfortunately, it takes me a long time to post in both sites, especially with the cut-and-paste feature disabled in my browser, mozilla firefox. Hence, if you want to continue reading my new posts, please visit my blogger site, http://lawandbadminton.blogspot.com.
Hope to see you all there!

Korean Beef Stew

A fellow blogger, Mita, requested my recipe for Korean Beef Stew, so I decided to prepare this dish today. If you’re reading this Mita, this one’s for you.

1 head garlic crushed
1/4 cup oil (can be reduced later)
3 pcs. siling labuyo
1 tsp. shredded ginger
1 kilo beef short ribs
3 tbsps. sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 cups water
3 tbsps. corn starch
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsps. toasted sesame seeds
leeks

COmbine the first 10 ingredients. Cook until beef is tender. I use a pressure cooker which takes about 30 minutes. Others do not like to use pressure cooker and prefer the slow cooking method to allow the flavor to seep in. In that case, it takes about 3-4 hours. After cooking with a pressure cooker, transfer to another pot and bring to a boil, then simmer. Add the corn starch, sesame oil and sesame seeds. I have to admit we ran out of corn starch, so mine doesn’t have it, but it is preferable if you put it in order to thicken the sauce. Then transfer to a serving dish. I added chopped leeks to give it that decorative touch. Voila!

In our case, I do not immediately put the sesame seed in because there are others at homw who do not like the taste of sesame seeds. I just put some on the side so that those who prefer it can just put it in their dish. We respect diversity in our house…hahaha.

Anyway, since this is a Korean dish, I decided to pair it with Kimchi. No, I did not make the Kimchi nor do I know how to make it. Fortunately, these things are readily available in groceries and supermarkets. I prefer the chinese cabbage variety.

Arrgghh, I’m gaining weight with all these cooking. Oh well, I’ll just start dieting next week…hopefully. :-)

What’s your name again?

I just wanted to share with you this funny site.  It’s a twist on the “name generator.”  I first came across this game while watching an episode of “Will & Grace.”  Apparently, there are different variations of this game.   

Porn name (or drag name)

Combine your first pet’s name and the street you grew up on. – Mine is “Balto Kapitan Tiago.”  (Hmmmm, doesn’t sound sexy at all.) 

Super-villain name 

Combine the color of your shirt or blouse you’re currently wearing and your least favorite vegetable. –  “Pink Kinchay!”  (Hahahahaha…….Pink Kinchay is here to destroy the world!  I can’t imagine anyone being frightened by that name.) 

I hope you enjoy playing this game as much as I did. :-)

New Rules to be introduced at the U.S. Open

Aside from being a badminton fanatic, I also love watching tennis tournaments, especially the 4 grand slam tournaments.  I also have lots of books about tennis at home.  Sadly, I san only manage a decent forehand and backhand stroke.  I don’t even know how to serve..that’s because my tennis lessons went only as far as those 2 strokes before I eventually ended up playing badminton exclusively.  (Previous story on this topic.)  However, my love for tennis still persists.

I’m glad to learn that theupcoming U.S. Open Tennis Championships at Flushing Meadows will introduce a new innovation to the sport…instant replay.  What happens is that when a player questions a call, above-court video screens show a graphic rendering of the ball’s flight, in slow motion, with a dark spot indicating where it landed.  That spot either touches a white line — the ball was in — or it doesn’t — the ball was out.  Simple as that. (Wow!)

(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Open official website)
According to the U.S. Open official website, here’s how it works:

*  Each player will receive 2 challenges per set to review line calls.

*  If the player is correct with a challenge then the player retains the same number of challenges.

*  If the player is incorrect with a challenge, then one of his/her challenges is lost.

*  During a tie-break game in any set, each player will receive one additional challenge.

*   Challenges may not be carried over from one set to another.

This is a major change in a sport steeped with tradition.  I’m glad tosee that they’re moving in step with advances in technology.  I’m certainly looking forward to it!  I just hope that the International Badminton Federation also adopts this new rules.  Now wouldn’t that be something?

Court Ethics in Badminton

I love watching a good badminton game. I am what you might call a professional….spectator! Hahaha… (Did you think I was gonna say professional player!) What makes a badminton game enjoyable to watch? In my personal opinion, it becomes enjoyable when the players are good, of the same caliber and of course, well-mannered. I have watched a million informal games in court and even a sizable number of tournaments and I have observed that there are a good number of players who do not practice the proper decorum in court. I have even seen a shouting match in a tournament when a player succumbed to the cheerings and jeerings of a spectator-mom, but that’s another story altogether.

What constitutes good manners and right conduct of players in court? There are no hard and fast rules, although there are really some behavior that are prohibited in court as stated in the Players’ Code of Conduct issued by the International Badminton Federation, the official governing body of badminton associations worldwide.

I also came up with my own list. Some of these can also be found in the Players’ Code of Conduct, others are just my own observations. Please feel free to come up with your own list.

1. When the shuttle falls dead on your side of the court, you should return the shuttle properly to your opponent. The shuttle should be picked up either by hand or by your racket and properly tossed to the other side of the court. Please do not kick it, sweep it or smash it back to your opponent.

2. When the opponent is serving, do not engage in threatening acts or words in order to psyche out your opponent. Please leave that for the boxing match later.

3. When you are serving, please wait for your opponent to be ready before you swing at the bird…err…shuttle. Surprising the opponent is a “dirty tactic” that is easily gaining popularity…tsk tsk.

4. Please do not abuse the shuttle or your racket, especially in moments when you get frustrated. It is not nice to see a racket doing somersaults and back flips during a game.

5. When the opponent inadvertently lifts the shuttle high and near the net (otherwise, pag benta na — badminton aficionados will understand this term), please do not aim for your opponent’s face. This is not target shooting.

6. Show only the appropriate amount of emotion in court. Do not shout obscenities, use foul language directly to your opponent, the linesmen or the umpire. That behavior should’ve retired together with John McEnroe.

7. When playing informally with a group of friends, and the shuttle falls on your side of the court, please make the appropriate call. Please do not say that the shuttle is out when it obviously fell in. Remember the Golden Rule.

8. While this is not necessary, I really appreciate a show of apology by either raising your hand or your shuttle when the shuttle grazes the net and still falls in your opponent’s side. After all, even world no. 1 Lin Dan does this. So shouldn’t we, lesser mortals, follow his example?

9. Do not be intimated by spectators. (Ang mapikon, talo.)

10. Finally, before this list gets any longer, after a game, please do not forget to shake your opponent’s hand. (And this includes the service judge and umpire when playing in a tournament.)

With this in mind, just remember that the most important thing in a game is to enjoy. Happy playing!

Bicol Express

The abundance of coconut trees in our islands is probably one of the reasons why our culinary culture is steeped with dishes using this ingredient. Coconut milk, which can be extracted from coconuts, can be found in native dishes like bringhe, bikol express, guinataan and laing. While coconut milk is now readily available in cans and tetra paks, I still prefer the taste of freshly extracted coconut milk.

phil06.JPG

I decided to cook bicol express today since it was my turn to cook in the kitchen. It was tough extracting coconut milk. Fortunately, Manang Anita was there to help me. I still had trouble though in slicing the pork since the skin was tough. Manang told me it was probably because the pig was already old. Ouch! I suddenly wished I had once of those super sharp knives available in the TV shopping network, so sharp according to the commercial that it can even slice aluminum. Hahaha…I’m really a sucker for these kinds of commercial.

Anyway, here are the ingredients for bicol express:

cooking oil

5 pcs chili pepper (siling amerikano, the big green kind. You may also wish to use siling labuyo. Just adjust the amount according to your taste/tolerance for heat.)

1 tbsp. salt

4 cups thin coconut milk

1/3 cup ready-made-bagoong ( I used Barrio Fiesta’s bagoong)

½ kilo pork liempo, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium-sized onion, minced

2 cups thick coconut milk

Heat the oil. Brown the garlic before adding the onion. Then add the pork and the bagoong. After 5 minutes, add the salt and thin coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chili pepper and cook until half of the liquid has evaporated. Pour in thick coconut milk and continue cooking until oil comes out.

Here’s the finished product.

bicol-express.jpg
My husband absolutely loved it! :-)

That fateful night

It was a hectic day at the office yesterday. I had lots of stuff to do so I had to work overtime. My husband picked me up from the office at around 8 P.M., but since I was not yet finished, he brought me dinner and waited for me until I finished at around 9:10 P.M. Finally, I could just sit back and relax, or so I thought.

Traffic was light and we were slowly cruising along South Super Highway coming from Makati City. We were in no hurry to get home. Conversation inside the car was light, the topic ranging from the latest news about his friends to my current obsession — blogging. As we were about to approach the Makati-Manila boundary, our car suddenly careened off-tangent, zigzagging as if having a mind of its own. Fortunately, my husband had presence of mind and the clear sense to grab hold of the steering wheel even when it was spinning wildly, trying to steer the car back to its proper course. Then the car stopped. Silence ensued.

Ladybug: Anong nangyari?” (What happened?)

Hubby: Silence…breathing hard…

Ladybug: “Anong nangyari? Pumutok ba yung gulong?” (What happened? Did the tire explode?)

Hubby: Malamang, hindi ko alam eh…” (Probably, I really don’t know)

Ladybug: Grabe kinabahan ako dun ah…” (I got really nervous there for a while…)

Hubby: Teka, mukhang nabangga tayo nung truck eh.” (Wait, it seems like we were hit by that truck.)

Ladybug: “Bakit parang hindi naman natin naramdaman.” (Why didn’t we feel anything?)

Hubby: “Teka, itatabi ko lang tong kotse.” (Wait, I’ll just park the car to the side.)

Upon doing so, my husband got out of the car and looked at the damage. It turns out that we were indeed hit by a truck – let me rephrase that – we were hit by a big six-wheeler delivery truck. This truck apparently transports alcoholic beverages for La Tondena Inc. The driver got out of the truck and talked to my husband. He was very apologetic and acknowledged his fault. He claimed that he was just trying to avoid some branches (what bloody tree is he talking about???) and he did not see our small (translation: teeny weeny) car driving in front of him. My husband kept his cool but I was silently chiding myself for cutting my nails the night before as I wanted very much to lunge at him and create big, red, blotchy, pus-filled stretch marks across his face. Well, at that point, what else can I do? Darn. The time was 9:30 in the evening and upon talking to the owner of the trucking company, we had no choice but to go to the nearest police station to get a police report – a requirement of the insurance company. We went to the nearest police station which was a few blocks away, near Quirino Ave. and just before the Depot Station. Unfortunately, it was already part of Manila and they did not have jurisdiction over the incident. After about an hour and a couple of hits and misses, we finally found the appropriate traffic command station that had the jurisdiction and proper authority to fill out a police report. But it didn’t stop there. We had to photocopy the registration papers, as well as the license of my husband and the truck driver in order for them to properly fill out the police report. Mind you, this was already 10:30 in the evening. Finding an open photocopying business at this time of night is no mean feat. We finally found one after an hour of searching. I was cursing the truck driver under my breath.

Finally, we went back to the traffic command station with the required papers. Photographs of the vehicles were also needed for insurance purposes. Hey, I have a new camera—Canon Ixus 750! I could take pictures with it! Oh no, I suddenly remembered that I left the camera at home, safely nestled inside my drawer, gathering dust.

camera-01.jpg

Darn! I made a mental note to always bring the camera with me from now on.

Here’s a picture of the damage to the back portion of our car. (Taken with my camera phone only.)


Finally, at 12:40 in the morning, after pictures were taken and the police report filled out, we were on our way home, FINALLY.

We arrived home at around 1:10 in the morning. We were so exhausted all we could do was climb into bed and fall asleep.

Travel Advisory Update (for ladies only)

I just saw a recent travel advisory update on CNN. Apparently, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States started receiving feedbacks from passengers regarding the strict measures they have imposed as a result of the planned terror attack in Heathrow airport involving planes traveling to the United States. As a result, the TSA made some changes to their list of banned carry on items.

Passengers are still prohibited from carrying all kinds aerosols with them on board. However, under the new rules, travelers can take up to four ounces of non-prescription medicine, glucose gel for diabetics, solid lipstick and baby food, the agency said. Solid lipstick you say! Hahaha…I can just imagine the number of lady passengers who complained about not being able to bring with them their lipstick on board.

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