VIDEO | VLOG #026 – How to Cook Tikoy

VIDEO | VLOG #026 – How to Cook Tikoy

I am made aware that Chinese New Year coming not by the calendar, but by friends asking if I am giving away tikoy this year.

My friends. I love them. But they are a bit cliche. 😀

And some of them don’t even eat the tikoy on Chinese New Year like you’re traditionally told to do so. They just store them at the back of the fridge months on end. And they defend it by saying it’s even more delicious with mold.

Unless it’s cheese, it’s not supposed to be molding. Mold is a sign that things are going bad. You’re not supposed to eat something that’s already bad. At least if you harass your chinese friends every chinese new year for tikoy, have the decency to eat it on time.

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Mrs. Graham’s Cafe and That Bibingka With Salted Egg Macaron

Mrs. Graham’s Cafe and That Bibingka With Salted Egg Macaron

I am a solitary being. I have long accepted the fact that I am an introvert. When I was a kid, I’d spend whole summers inside my room, while my sisters played with cousins and neighbors outside. People would think I went to the province because two months would pass without them seeing even the shadow of me. And I’ve carried it as I grew. I am very much fine with staying at home. I like to keep my fridge and pantry stocked up as if I was preparing for a zombie apocalyse. I can cook so even though there’s a million and one food establishment within walking distance from me, there is really no need to go out. I have better coffee than most coffee shops in Timog. I like cute coffeeshops, but it pains me to cough up good money for bad coffee. There are corners in my house that always needs to be cleaned. There are unread books on my shelves. There are unedited clips waiting to be youtube videos on my harddrive. If ever I found myself in the miraculously on the bottom of both those files, I can write. And I can write about things endlessly. I can write about anything, about something and some things about nothings. If there’s one thing I am confident about, it’s that I will never get bored.

Then suddenly, one day, the dsl decides to conk out. Knowing that I do not have internet is unsettling. I start to get anxious and I quickly forget that the things I mentioned above do not really need internet to get done. There are loads I can do without internet and yet, the fact that I cannot get to instagram and twitter and facebook and youtube annoys me. And then I start charting the coffee shops near me that I wanted to try out someday if in case I have a reason to go out and pray to the internet gods that they have wifi.

If you want to smoke me out of my hole, cut my internet line off.

The first thing on my list, and nearest my place is Mrs. Graham’s Cafe. It’s a cute little homey cafe which is about 8 minutes (tops!) walking distance from my place. Mrs. Graham keeps popping up on every list of must try places when it comes to milkshakes, smores or macarons. Of course, such lists need to be verified. And today, my (lack of) internet in the house is the perfect excuse.

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I hauled my laptop, harddrive and chargers to this lovely cafe in F7 Rallos. I opened the door and the asked the staff cleaning the nearest table if they had wifi. Yes, she said, and so I stepped in and commited my spot as I placed down my stuff on the table by the window. I walked over to the counter, glanced over the macaron display and tried to apply a rarely practiced virtue, SELF-CONTROL. Lallie, you can have everything, but not in the same time, especially when it can cause diabetes. I held off from ordering the smores milkshare, which I really wanted to try. I know how milkshakes are served these days in the city. They’re massive and overflowing and ridiculous. I’ll try to save it when I have company. I looked at the chalkboard menu above the counter, basic for such chic cafes and settled for an Americano and the smores macaron. I glanced at the refrigerated display one more time and another macaron caught my fancy: Bibingka with Salted Egg. I’m getting one of those too.

Look, ma. I just got two. Self-control!

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I took a couple of pictures with the generous afternoon light by the window, and took a sip of the coffee before it went too cold. I picked up the smores macaron first, took a bite and it was okay. Macarons with a big burnt marshmallow in between. I bet my life the milkshake versions is much more impressive, but I didn’t feel like piling on the sugar. I reached for the Bibingka with Salted Egg macaron, took one bite and angels sang. This thing was too dang good. Like good in the levels where I was listing down who I’ll give these to on Christmas. I took my another bite, my last, and like I do so whenever I have great things resting in my palate, I danced a little dance in my seat. If I can marry that macaron, I would, even if I’m already married.

I fired up my laptop and tried connecting to their wifi. Let’s just put it this way: The Bibingka with Salted Egg macaron is so good, I immediately forgave Mrs. Graham’s cafe for their making me sign in for their wonky wifi service. I finished my coffee and gathered my things and off I went on an impromptu Morato-Timog coffee shop tour.

That macaron though. That macaron was a promising start of a wifi hunting afternoon.


Mrs. Graham’s Cafe
51-C Scout Rallos Street, Brgy. Laging Handa
Tomas Morato, Quezon City

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Lallie Cooks | Cereal Prawns with Salted Egg

Lallie Cooks | Cereal Prawns with Salted Egg

Ehem. I’m on a roll. Not that anyone is watching these shizz…

Now, this recipe is borne out of deep longing. Nuks. I wanted Cereal Prawns like those from SG’s Wee Nam Kee. I can’t fly to SG just to eat (or can I?). I feel like local Wee Nam Kee is hold up. So I decided I just figure out how I can cook it myself.

The original Cereal Prawn recipe calls for Nestum Cereal, which is not locally available. I swapped it out with Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal with Milk. I think it worked.

Or maybe, it’s just one of those things that you want it bad enough to work you kinda don’t care if it actually worked. I don’t know if it’s Wee Nam Kee Cereal Prawn (probably not) but it’s good. I think.

Cook it and tell me, will ya?

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Lallie Cooks | Chicken Sopas

Lallie Cooks | Chicken Sopas

After 10 million years, I finally put up a new video. Good job me.

I’ve always said that if I asked what 3 things I wanted to have for my last meal, they would be fresh uni, roasted bone marrow, and homecooked chicken sopas.

I want to cook the sopas.

Also, this is one of those meals that if I wanted to cook, I’d have to mentally ready myself to eat it for days because I really don’t know how to scale the recipe down.

Now, make yourself one! Sopas for days!

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The Day I Made Dynamites and Burned my Hands.

The Day I Made Dynamites and Burned my Hands.

 

You will never appreciate how well-stocked your kitchen is until something disastrous happens to you. I do not recommend you go that route to test how complete your pantry is, but it can be telling how much crap you’ve got in your house.

So last saturday, I had a brilliant idea that I would like to make dynamites. Okay I realized that sounds bad just when I was typing that. It’s nothing of the terrorist kind. Dynamites are chili picantes stuffed with meat and cheese, wrapped in lumpia skin then deep fried. It’s a popular bar chow, and understandably so, because the slight kick with hearty meat and salty cheese would just cut through the alcohol. And since I thought it was just a simple deep fried pica pica, I didn’t do my usual google/youtube search on how to do it. It was just a matter of buying some ingredients at the grocery and just frying the shiz up. Nothing to it, really.

Really.

Please consider that I was doing this for the first time. One day, I just woke up and decided I would cook some dynamites. That kinda happens a lot. So I was hallowing up some chilis and then even took the extra step of letting them steep in milk just so they wouldn’t be as hot. And these were big chilis which I mostly associate with sinigang. They’re not supposed to be that hot.

Right.

The dynamites turned out great — at least my resident taste tester said so. I tasted one and it sure tasted like how a dynamite’s supposed to taste. I took on making the rest of the real dinner which was chicken rice and got done and then my hands started burning. It wasn’t a low burn. It didn’t creep up on me. It’s like in one instant, a couple of hours of hallowing up the chili picantes and the pain, on a scale of 1 to 10, was an absolute 10 bordering on 11. It was seriously one of the most physically painful episodes I had in my life. Apparently, even though chili picantes have only but a small kick left in them, they’re still peppers therefore, still have capsaicin.

If you’re a fan of Orange is the new black, there was an episode where Piper tried to make amends with Red by chewing on some peppers to do some sort of rub to alleviate Red’s bad joints. Capsaicin is like nature’s Bengay. Now, I can only describe the pain as a super strength Bengay to the 10th power. I couldn’t explain the pain to my confused husband, who touched my hand and felt nothing. I was in serious pain — this close to tears — and I was actually considering having them cut off just so they wouldn’t burn anymore. And what truly hurt was that I couldn’t blame anyone but my own stupidity. And this was completely preventable! Gloves! I should’ve worn gloves!

So, short of cutting my hands, I went on to what was the next most logical thing to do — search on Dr. Google.

Thankfully, there were some equally bright minds like me who ended up in this situation and I found a thread with a 21 page long comment section. In a crowd sourcing effort in an unfortunate circumstance, here’s a collection of things that may help, and which I tried.

Dip your hands in ice water –  No. There was temporary relief but once you get your hands out of the water, it’ll start to burn again.

Dip your hands in milk – No. Milk would be effective if you ate the peppers. Burning hands, no.

Slather yoghurt to your burning hands – No. It had that yucky feeling and the rationale would be the same with milk. This did not work.

Wash your hands with olive oil –  No. The logic being capsaicin is it’s fat soluble. Olive oil would dissolve the capsaicin and then you wash it off with soap. Ran thru half a bottle of olive oil when I realized this is doing nothing for me.

Play with some tomato – No.

Run your hands thru hot water. – The idea is the capsaicin is in your pores causing the pain. The hot water would open up the pores, release the capsaicin and then you can wash it off. I did this and I swear this is bat shit painful crazy. If there was a completely masochist person out there, you can find your fix by rubbing your hands in pepper and dipping it in hot water. And no, it did not work.

I was 10 pages in when somebody suggested the most universally stupid solution to all stupid completely preventable pain. The poster said, “It ain’t over until you peed in your hands.” Ammonia in the pee would dissolve the capsaicin. They claimed it worked for them. I passed.

I was nearing 4 hours into the ordeal and was losing hope. I was looking into a sleepless night because the pain was still a solid 10 and Im sure it would not let me sleep a wink. (Should I pee in my hands now?) Nineteen pages in and somebody from the forum suggested Epsom salts.

Epsom salts. By some weird reason, I have that in my house! It was another painful episode where I thought I was passing stones. And again because of Dr. Google, I found a natural concoction that would help you pass stones with the help of epsom salts. Well, whatever was passing thru my body did, and I never get around to doing what the internet told me to do. But I still got a big carton of Epsom salt in my pantry.

You immerse your hands in a liter of water with 2 tablespoons of epsom salts for 30 minutes, and pray. And it effin’ worked! Well the pain went from a 10 to maybe a 3. I’ve read some comments in the forum where they had to endure 9 hours of it and had to resort to Benadryl to knock them out and after waking up, their hands were still burning. People’s only solution was drugs, mehn. I was pretty thankful I am a pack rat and I have weird shit in my house. With all the stress and spent energy, I can already sleep with a 3. I’ll take a freaking 3.

 

 

 

 

 

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