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merry christmas my loves

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This year I made a few batches of chocolate bark to give away and share. They are pretty easy to make. Just melt chocolate in a double boiler (I did 2 batches of 16 oz), pour out onto pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray and lined with parchment, sprinkle on some mix-ins, press down to get them situated, and then stick in the fridge to let them harden.

I did one batch of s’more style bark with marshmallow and graham cracker and one batch of darker chocolate with dried cranberries and pistachios. When you’re all done wrap them up in tissue paper and wrap them like a pro.

I hope your belly is full of good food this season. I hope you’re grasping for the inhaler through bouts of uncontrollable laughter. And I hope you’re spending this Christmas with the people you love the most in this crazy, crazy world. ❤ xoxo

Written by joann

December 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Posted in blah blah blah, dessert

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the next great singapore food tour

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Before I left Singapore we had another Singapore Food Tour (seriously, you could probably have an infinite amount of these in Singapore – there are so many places to eat).

Actually, wait. I have a few, unrelated things to purge from my brain.

– Yesterday I found a dead frog on the table in one of the conference rooms at work. Dis.gust.ing. How did it get there? No one knows.

– I am totally obsessed with watching Top Chef All Stars. I DVR each episode and then watch it about 5 million times. No, not just because of Dale Talde. (Although it’s a nice bonus.) The challenges are freakin’ crazy this season and you got some pretty badass chefs on the show. Except for Jamie who keeps flying under the radar…

– My brother got me the Momofuku book for Christmas and now I really, really want to try the cereal milk custard and the ramen.

– I’m leaving for a trip to Asia in a few days and I’m not packed at all.

– I wore boots over my jeans for the first time 2 days ago. I’m still recovering.

– I hate this laptop.

Okay, I feel better. Where were we?

Singapore. Food Tours. Let’s talk about it.

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Written by joann

December 24, 2010 at 3:34 pm

hi, hey, hello

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It’s been a million years, I know. Last time I blogged I was doing it from my white Ikea couch in my British colonial manor home turned studio apartment in Singapore. The air conditioning was at a crisp 25C and I was probably noshing on some mangosteens and goldfish crackers.

Nowadays? Well, right now I’m sitting in a cushy new queen sized bed in my very grown up townhouse back in the Bay Area. Sadly, no more mangosteens but I still have the goldfish crackers so that’s a nice vote for consistency. A lot has happened in the last 6 months. I went to the Philippines, Belfast, London, and back to the Philippines, I packed up everything I held dear to me (mostly bags, shoes, and clothes), and moved it all back to the Bay Area. I was halfway tortured by my overly adorable goddaughter and her equally sweet sister for 3 months while crashing at the cousins, and I did what big girls do and bought my own place. Slowly but surely we’re filling it up with furniture in anticipation of future dinner parties and soirees (ok, no soirees because I’m not that fancy).

Truth be told, after being airplane-free for 3 months I’m dead bored. My dear, trusty passport feels neglected, my luggage is confused, and I can barely remember the last time my ears popped. If I could, I would give Asia a great, big fat hug. I would commit crimes for a steaming bowl of bak kut teh, I’m collecting the courage to try my hand at marmite pork ribs, and I sometimes dream of butter crab. I’m going through life-in-Asia withdrawal and let me tell you – it ain’t pretty. I figure going back to blogging will be like therapy. I’ll look through some pictures, remember some great memories, and motivate myself to recreate some of those flavors. I will probably shed a tear or two or 75 and I’ll gain a few pounds from the non-satisfiable cravings that will set in, but I’ll also get to share.

And as Sophie, my crazy 3 year old niece told me while I was making my way through a pack of pretzel M&Ms: sharing is caring. Kids are so smart these days.

Over the next few weeks: a trip down memory lane and, if I’m feeling particularly inspired and remember my camera, a trip down some new lanes.



Written by joann

October 18, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Posted in blah blah blah

blogday countdown

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Sorry for the MIA status lately. It’s raining work these days (not unlike the picture above).

In any case, the Blog turns 2 on March 20th and I’m trying to fill up all the days in between with lots of fooooood. Some from the back log but hopefully a few new eats too. I’ve readied 7 new blog posts all coming at you this week. Also, if you’ve commented in the last few weeks or two, I’m sorry for the super late responses! They’re on their way!

And now – for fun – true confessions time…

Eating:  instant noodles doctored up with miso paste, imitation crab, tofu, and bean sprouts

Listening: erm… Gee by Girls Generation I can’t help it, it’s super catchy. Plus I’m knee deep in kdrama mode right now.

Looking Forward To: new episodes of BBF and mani/pedi time next weekend

Last Thing I Bought: new pair of black patent leather heels from Charles and Keith (oh fine, I bought a new bag too)

Next Trip: Bali for Erika’s wedding

Can’t Wait to Try: ICE MONSTER! I found the Ice Monster shop in Singapore. Wheeeee! Who’s coming?

Peace out homies.

Written by joann

March 8, 2009 at 11:09 pm

Posted in blah blah blah

63 years later…

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Today’s post is a little bit about food and a lot about being Filipino. 🙂

The picture above was breakfast in my godparents’ bahay kubo this past weekend. This time around it was tinapang galunggong (smoked mackeral scad) and talong (eggplant, in this case boiled) served with a dipping sauce of toyo (soy sauce) and kalamansi (Filipino lime). Delicious. 

If you’re Filipino, a morning in a creaky bamboo house on stilts with a light breeze and a full belly is as content as you’ll ever get. 

If you’re Filipino, sometimes it really does taste better when you eat with your hands. 

If you’re Filipino, you have a high forgiveness threshold so even though Philippine Airlines treats you like crap you’ll ride them again anyway. (This time around though they won’t disappoint you. In fact, they’ll be really pleasant and terrific.)

If you’re Filipino, “labs” does not conjure pictures of chemistry sets. It makes you think of cheesy romantic comedies and lots of pink hearts.

If you’re Filipino, when you’re uncle passes you’ll sit outside the house where his remains wait for their final place and greet and feed the guests that pay their final respects. You’ll do this for however long it takes with whatever you time you have – 2 day, 3 days, 7 days, 40 days. You’ll cry a little but watch your cousins’ many kids run around playing the games you used to play and understand that tradition and family goes on. 

If you’re Filipino, you’re celebrating a little bit at the passing of the Stimulus Bill. On a few little lines, a 63 year old effort has finally been realized. Although imperfect, those lines finally give some justice to the Filipino veterans who served the United States during World War II. These men are 80-90 years old now and their numbers have dwindled from the original 400,000+ Filipinos who fought alongside Americans. Regardless, it brought smiles (and ok, a few tears) to learn that the JFAV (Justice for Filipino American Veterans) provision finally made it. 

This post is dedicated to my Amang Ponso who also served with the Americans, my Uncle Lito who had a phatty bahay kubo, and my Uncle Romy who I paid my last respects to this past weekend in Baliuag.  

More food pics and lighter fare to come… Thanks for indulging me in non-food ramblings.

Written by joann

February 18, 2009 at 11:26 pm

how to get to singapore in 40+ hours

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Yah it’s kind of lame of me to not update for a month and then update with a non-food post. I’ll try to pay the internet world back in spades with plenty of food pictures from the holidays after I get this rant off my chest and outta my head. For strictly food fans, you can skip. Here are the chronicles of my journey back to Singapore.

5:22am PDT: Leave Hanford by car with the fam and head to SFO to catch11:55am flight. We leave super early since my parents are those lets-get-to-the-airport-4-hrs-early types. It’s still pitch black and cold as all get out. I give two big hugs to Brother #1 who has work and can’t come.

6:13am PDT: Give in to the sleepies and take a nap in the car. On long haul flights I generally don’t sleep the night before. The car nap was the first shut eye of the day.

6:48am – 7:30am PDT: Wake up periodically to tell Dad that his speedy driving is freakin’ me out.

8:22am PDT: Arrive at SFO 1 hour earlier than expected. Whoops. We’re super early. I check in and we grab overpriced breakfast at the airport.

10:30am PDT: Notice that my monitors say my flight is leaving 10 minutes early. Decide to trek through security and say goodbye to the fam – hugs for everyone. Blink away goodbye tears. Give extra big hug to Mom bc she worries a lot when I’m faraway.  😦

11:45am PDT: Not boarding yet…. weird.

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Written by joann

January 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Posted in blah blah blah, travels

go vote!

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It took me 1 absentee ballot request, 1 very late absentee ballot, 5 calls to the US Embassy in Singapore, 1 late night call to my home county Elections office, and 5 minutes with the fax machine. 

It’s probably a bit easier for you if you’re in the US, so please go out and vote today!

If you’re an expat registered in the lovely state of California, you can turn in your ballot by fax! A list of fax numbers for your home county can be found here.

Think your vote doesn’t count? A few stories that might inspire you and help remind you of the power of one vote.

Ok. Srsly. If you don’t vote in this election, you’re just being really irresponsible and/or lazy and def straight up annoying. 

More eats to come (after you vote, obvs).

Written by joann

November 4, 2008 at 9:49 pm

Posted in blah blah blah