Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #29: Stir-fried napa cabbage with dried shrimp

FT stir-fried napa cabbage

... and dried mushrooms, too.

My entry for the Tuesday-Wednesday edition of Wordless Wednesday.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Four Foods Friday #002

Here are this week’s four questions.
Let’s talk about things that might not be quite the usual fare.

1. What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever made with bread?
- I've just begun making bread on my own so I'm in my introductory phase. I have not done anything adventurous nor odd as of yet :)

2. What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever done with mac and cheese or pasta?
- I'm not sure if it's odd but I have recently taken off tomato sauce in my spaghetti and use lots of fresh tomatoes instead. In effect, the result is a dry spaghetti.

3. Is there a food you eat other then it is intended?
- Hmmmm... there's the crispy tuna skin chicharon, or tuna skin kropeks.

4. What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever seen?

bugs copy

- Fried bugs! It was weird, at first, watching locals munching on assorted bugs - crickets, roaches, spiders,etc. - popping it in their mouths like a popcorn, but after 9 years of living here in Cambodia, I got used to it already *lol*. Years ago, while visiting a project beneficiary in the countryside, I saw an old woman mixing ant eggs in her egg and noodle soup. This sounds weird or odd to most of us but it's definitely food for them. I was told that during the horrific Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia, people had very little to eat and they'd just pick up whatever they see around them that they think is okay to eat.

In case you are wondering -- no, I haven't tried these exotic stuffs. I do not have the guts to pop even a teeny-bit in my mouth.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #28: Steamed Tilapya

steamed tilapya

... with grated ginger, onion, a dash of salt, black pepper powder and soy sauce.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Four Foods Friday #001

This week I discovered a great meme that'll surely add spice here to my blog. Called the Four Foods Friday meme, it is a quick and easy way to know fellow bloggers. It's fun so let's start the ball rolling:

#1. Do you prefer to eat Chinese food in the restaurant or to have it delivered?
- We always go to our favourite Chinese restaurant called the Peking Canteen near the Central Market. The Peking Canteen is popular to backpackers and expats in Phnom Penh for its fried pork dumplings, among others. It's a small, unassuming place but the food really rocks! There are times though that my husband and I would rather stay home and settle for home-delivery.

#2. Do you prefer wonton or egg drop soup?
- It's wonton anytime!

#3. What flavor fried rice is your favorite?
- I go for seafood fried rice and topped with fried egg. It tends to be greasy at times but I am just happy to indulge at least once a month. I do have my own fried rice recipe where I put diced plump tomatoes for that extra flavour.

#4. Describe your favorite item on the Chinese food menu.
- Szechuan tofu, a wonderful spicy minced pork with tofu. Simple, easy to cook and a healthy dish. I tried making this at home but I can never get the right flavour. It's the MSG, people say. Chinese cooks tend to put too much of it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #27: Banh xiao

banh xiao
I am so craving for it right now!

More Wordless here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Christmas road-trip with Miss Igorota*

Happy new year everyone!
We were away for Christmas and got really busy thereafter so this blog was quiet for awhile. While the rest of the world were in a frenzy preparing to greet the New Year on December 31, it was a normal day for us here in Cambodia. While there was a NY countdown planned at the Sisowath Quay (across the Royal Palace), it rained heavily that night, much to our disappointment, and so we stayed at home and watched as the rest of the world welcomed 2009 on television.

A week ago, we (R, Max, and I) drove down to Kep, on the southernmost coastline of Cambodia with the globe-trotting Miss Igorota to spend the Christmas holidays there. It was Miss Igorota’s first road trip to the Cambodian countryside, to Kep, specifically, and she was very excited to see what awaited her.

Kep is a coastal municipality about 180 kilometers away from the capital of Phnom Penh. Kep was, in another era, a favorite getaway for French colonial masters and the wealthy from Phnom Penh, who enjoyed its beaches, seafood, and sea breeze. Now, the municipality as a whole is impoverished and relies on inshore-fishing and small-scale agriculture. Up until recently, Kep has always been our favorite weekend getaway due to its “wild” feel and remoteness.

Kep roadtrip1Day 1.
We were planning to leave early at 6 o’clock on the morning of the 23rd, but for some reason we woke up very late. After getting some cash at a bank in Russian Blvd., we were able to get out of Phnom Penh past 12noon, when the sun was already at its hottest.

We drove out of the city on National Road Number 3 passing Pochentong International Airport. The road was mostly good, but the first 50 or so kilometers after the airport was a long stretch of bumpy and dusty road. Trucks, motos and other vehicles compete for the right of way, swerving, overtaking and cutting lanes. Thankfully, Paige, our trusty, old Pajero, didn’t go boinkers as it maneuvered its way round the monstrous potholes :)

After an hour or so, we were already cruising along very good roads – we have JICA and the EU to thank for this. With windows rolled down, we were greeted by the beautiful, flat Cambodian rural landscape.

Kep roadtrip2

At this time of the year, the fields have already turned yellow – from a bright yellow to a brownish shade - as the rice has already ripened, and harvesting begun. Cows freely roam in the rice fields, feeding on the rice stalks left from harvesting.

Kep roadtrip3

R was driving slowly, at 40kph, and as we passed them, the locals looked our way – and saw we had Max and Miss Igorota in the car! They were amused to see a dog and a doll enjoying a road trip! Along the way, we met schoolkids on their bicycles – going to and coming out of school.

Kep roadtrip4

From then on, these are what we saw:

Kep roadtrip5

After the junction...

Kep roadtrip6

We also crossed this bridge, old but not yet rickety...

Kep roadtrip7

The bridge led us here...

Kep roadtrip8

Thirty minutes after, we’re finally in Kep ...

Kep roadtrip9

The sun was beating us down and took its toll on us. After checking in at Vanna’s guesthouse – our favorite guesthouse on the hill – we all crashed into bed and fell asleep. We all woke up at 5.30pm, refreshed ourselves and then headed to Kim Ly’s restaurant for the much-anticipated foooooood!

Kep roadtrip10

We were all so tired, I guess because of the heat, but Miss Iggy enjoyed the long drive. We decided to retire early for another big day was in the offing, but not before soaking in the beautiful sunset of Kep.

Kep roadtrip11

- to be continued.

*To know more of her beginnings, please read Miss Igorota's story.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wordless Wednesday #26: Pizza at La Volpaia

La Volpaia pizza

... I know, I should have avoided :(

My entry for the Tuesday-Wednesday edition of Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Look what I got for Christmas!!

goodies from home

... and, I was told there's, more coming!

As always, family and friends never let the holidays pass without sending us stuffs - to share with us the holiday spirit - which I want to show off here.

I would like to give special thanks to my family and to dear friends...

goodies from sam
Sam of Duotones, my soul-sister, pareho kaming Oragon *lol*. Dakul na salamat. Uya, helinga na iyan. Iyan na lang ang natada sa pig-padara mong Swiss Miss ta iyo yan an pig-enot kong inumon kada aldaw :)

goodies from Redlan
From Redlan of Redlan's Web of Arts. Yudi ha, kabalo sa kun ano ang paborito ko :)

goodies from Seralulalu
From my best buddy and tukaya Seralulalu of Seralulalu's Palette. Salamat, mare ha? I am so envious of your UP jacket, sana sinabi mo sa akin nagpabili na rin sana ako sa iyo. Hmmpfff!! *lol*

Christmas may not be celebrated here in Cambodia but we still feel the spirit from all the things you've shared to us. Thank you, thank you. May our 2009 be happier and filled with all the things we desire.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy birthday, Mama!