Monday, October 28, 2013

The Asian-American Combination for Halloween

I love Halloween. Having spent the last 8 years in an ad agency, Halloween has become a big annual occasion that I prepare for. Being surrounded by creative individuals, it's always a pressure to come up with a costume that will merit the approval of the highly conceptual. There was always a theme per department at my old office and the past few years, I have transformed into the following:

Our theme was Pixar last year and I came as Mirage from The Incredibles. My friend Donnah dressed up as Mrs. Incredible and Miggy as Russell from Up. We nailed it, didn't we?

In 2011, the theme was movie villains so I came as Gogo Yaburi from Kill Bill.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

How to keep your ten fingers while carving a pumpkin

This post is brought to you by, the official life hacker of Miles Montecillo. Thank goodness for youtube. It is where I learned how to crush a garlic, chop an onion, put makeup on and now, carve a pumpkin.

I am a very visual person so instruction manuals do not work for me so, I am glad that everything I need to know about life can be found in Youtube.

I honestly do not know why I chose this dude, Jack's show to guide us in our pumpkin carving activity. The over-sized jersey and flipped cap don't not scream credibility. But hey, he got my attention and we ended up with a good pumpkin!

A week ago, we went pumpkin picking. It was such a challenge to find the perfect, round pumpkin mainly because everyone else at the farm had the same objective. We're pretty happy with the one that we ended up with, it's round, big and bright. A perfect first pumpkin for pumpkin carving first-timers.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sinigang should be the national food of the Philippines

My friend and I were talking the other day about how there's so much potential for Filipino food to become as mainstream as Japanese, Indian or Italian. When you think of Japanese food, sushi and ramen immediately come to mind; Indian food, curry; and Italian dishes, pizza and pasta pop up.

How about Filipino?

There's really no one dish that we can immediately associate our cuisine to and in my humble opinion, it's largely because of the many influences that we've had over the years.

The Philippines has been influenced by many cultures. First, the Spaniards who colonized the country for more than 300 years, then, the Americans who established a military government in our land. Afterwards, the Japanese occupied the islands during World War II.

Much like our favorite dessert, halo-halo, our nation's background is a little bit of everything (Halo-halo literally translates to 'mix' in English... Side story: Even the infamous Anthony Bourdain tried this and loved it, check out this clip)

So, I thought long and hard about what one dish we can claim as truly Filipino. Of course, adobo is probably the first dish that you think of but, many other cultures can claim adobo. Pancit is also another favorite of ours, then again, it's not unique.

While doing my all important solo brainstorm, I received a text from Brian:

"Want to cook sinigang tomorrow?"


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The cozy Pod Hotel roof top

I have a thing for roof tops bars/decks and lucky for me, NY has a ton that offer breathtaking city sights. Just last Monday, my friend Carissa was back for a short visit and invited me an another friend, Ina, to catch up at The Pod Hotel near Grand Central.

The Pod Hotel is a cost-efficient, hip and convenient accommodation for the thrifty traveler (ahem, me!) Aside from its funky interiors, the hotel offers a roof top where you can sip on cocktails while watching the infamous NY sunset.

The open roof top has brick, ruins-inspired pillars with vines growing on them. I especially love the casual lights hanging above. I find the place really pretty and romantic. It would actually make a perfect venue for a cozy, non-conventional, fun wedding reception.

Caption This

The photo of the day is brought to you by this Mercedes Benz that literally crossed the line. My caption for this is, 'You can't buy class.'

I bet you guys can do better.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Yee-haw, pumpkin farm!

In my beloved tropical country, pumpkins are not very common. Prior to this weekend, my only reference of the orange vegetable was of Cinderella's carriage. So, when Brian brought up the idea of visiting a farm to pick up some pumpkins for Halloween, I got very excited. 

So very excited because I know that it will offer some great backdrops to shoot photos of my adorable nephew, Ethan!

Little farmer boy among pumpkins bigger and heavier than him

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall in Bellport: An iPhone Sonata

I love coming out to visit Brian's parents at their home in Bellport because it's such a beautiful, peaceful and serene place. 

Now that it's fall, the place is even more gorgeous. Come see it through the eyes of my iPhone.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Friday Beasts

A dear friend of mine, Angel is allergic to alcohol. Yes, for many, including myself, that has got to be the worst kind of allergy to have. I can't imagine going through life without a little help from our favorite enablers. Well, in her case, it's survival so she needed to find another channel or vice.

And that's how her love affair with food began.

Yes, that tiny frame of hers houses unimaginable amount of food particles. Like the Bermuda Triangle, it will remain a mystery as to how she manages to keep her weight at bay. This girl is the walking yelp and zagat combined. She knows where the best places to eat are. From hole-in-the-walls, mom and pops, food trucks to swanky dining areas around the 5 boroughs of New York, she is the best person to ask about where to eat.

So, this Friday, she invited me and our other friend, Wesley, to check out Stanton Social and the Lower East Side.

Stanton Social as a collaboration of one of NY's hottest team of restaurant creators, Celebrity Chef/Owner, Chris Santos, TAO and LAVO owner Richard Wolf, and Peter Kane of Happy Endings worked with the James Beard award winning design team at AvroKo in 2005 to create this "jewel" of a restaurant, conjouring up their favorite dishes and by paying homage to LES garment industry part with innovative design.

They say that a lot of celebrities go to dine there but this Friday, I think we scared them (Asians with cameras).

Now, about the food, oh glorious food. I am not a foodie. I do not know the fancy names of food and pretty much live off the basics--rice, chicken, beef and pork (and vegetables too, in case my mom is reading this). However, I have impeccable taste buds that appreciate food beyond bacon.

Potato & goat cheese pierogies - caramelized onions, truffle creme fraiche that go straight to the thighs but oh so damn worth it... We shamefully ordered for a second set.

Tuna poke wanton taco - crispy wanton, avocado, fresno chili. To give you perspective, this has got to be the best tasting tacos that I have ever had. They put Taco Bell's to shame! I know, why am I even comparing them. Taco Bell is perfect hangover food though.

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