sienamystic: (Italy signpost)
Frequently when I travel, I end up wondering what paths my life might have taken me down if these new places had been formative parts of my life. It was especially hard not to do that while wandering around the campus of Stanford U. It's big, beautiful, full of confident young girls and guys on bikes (and the quarter hasn't even started yet), sun gleaming off of buff stone buildings and peeking between the spears of palm trees lining avenues. I'd have to have been a different person to go to school there, and I'd be even more different after I came out, I'm sure.

I also wandered through nearby neighborhoods, as I am wont to do, and snapped a bunch of photos and even took a few short videos. It feels a bit like Manila to me, but I don't know how or why exactly. I mean, I know there are a ton of Filipinos in the area - my cousins are among them - so am I extrapolating? It can't be the weather, because even though it was warm today, it was hardly like Manila's overwhelming heat. It's not the houses themselves. It's probably the exuberant plant life: palms and spiky shrubs, thick gnarled trees, hedges of flowers, trees with giant blossoms or hanging with fruit, the colors of green and pink and red and orange and white.

I'm such a sucker for new places. They make me want to reinvent myself and my entire life.

trips 001
sienamystic: (horse)
Pony rides in Baguio detail

Thinking of the way you'd leave the humidity of Manila and finally reach the piney cool air of Baguio.
sienamystic: (DADA)
Nation to Try Its Luck Out West: The Onion

Funny, but I was most amused at the mention of the "economically stagnant state of Nebraska" mention - hello, this state is right in the middle of the corn belt, and thanks to ethanol, it's doing just fine.

A film of Old Manila in the 1930s

Part one, Ep 1 of Project Runway Philippines. Listening to everybody talk makes me all nostalgic. The rest of the episode is linked from there. One of the judges, Rajo Laurel, was supposed to make my wedding dress, back when the wedding was going to be a big affair. He specializes in intricate hand-beading, and the dress would have cost a fortune. It was hysterical to see him sitting there ready to judge, with his little blue bow tie.

Yum!

Apr. 24th, 2008 10:33 am
sienamystic: (human torch)
Hee, yay for Dale making halo-halo last night on Top Chef. I haven't had any in ages. Mmm, halo-halo.

Here are two recipes for it - really, you just need the basics and then you can improv wildly to your own taste.

1 ripe large banana
2 ripe mangoes or 1 cup canned ripe mango
1 c. firm gelatin set into gel and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 c. canned ripe jackfruit
1/2 c. sweet corn or chick peas (garbanzos)
1 c. young shredded coconut, fresh or canned
1 c. cooked sweet yams or glutinous purple yam, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 c. shaved ice
2 c. milk
4 scoops of favorite ice cream
1/2 c. chopped peanuts or rice krispies
Peel mangoes and slice the meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Discard the seeds. Prepare 4 tall glasses. Divide each ingredient into 4 equal parts. In each glass place 1/4 of each ingredient, adding layer by layer starting with corn or chick peas, cooked sweet yams, jackfruit, bananas, coconut, and gelatin. Top with 1/2 cup shaved ice.
Pour 1/4 cup milk over shaved ice and top with a scoop of ice cream. Sprinkle nuts or rice krispies over it.

NOTE: Individual persons may eat as it is or mix the whole concoction before eating. Some of the ingredients above, such as corn or fruits may be substituted with cherries, crushed pineapple, papaya, or any other ripe fruits in season.

Or:

2 tablespoons kaong (sweet palm) or
2 tablespoons langka (jackfruit)
2 tablespoons macapuno (a variety of coconut meat sold in bottles)
2 tablespoons sweetened kidney beans
2 tablespoons sweetened garbanzos
2 tablespoons sweetened ripe plantains
2 tablespoons ube or yam
2 tablespoons custard or crème caramel (leche flan)
crushed ice to fill glass
2/3 evaporated milk
a scoop of magnolia ube macapuno ice cream on top
Directions: Put everything in a bowl. Followed by shaved ice, evaporated milk and scoop of ice cream. Others chose to top the dessert with just ice, milk and sugar.

Man, now I'm craving macapuno ice cream.
sienamystic: (Default)
So I don't talk much about my addiction to various trashy reality shows, but I watch Project Runway and America's Next Top Model and Top Chef with great glee. I ended up watching Germany's Next Top Model on Youtube, where some kind soul has posted subtitled versions, because nothing is greater in this life or the next than watching Heidi Klum yell "Schnell, schnell, schnell!" Or at least, so I thought - until I discovered Philippines Next Top Model, which features a troupe of women all sounding like and vaguely resembling various cousins of mine. But the best part? It's not that there's a girl named Elf. Normally, that would be good enough. But PNTM went one step farther and made me so happy I had to call up my sister and leave an absurd gleeful voice mail for her. One of the girls in the competition is named...

Grendel.

Grendel, people. Grendel.

I love my place of birth. *hugs it tightly*

I also made truffles. I can get the ganache without too much trouble, but again I've failed with the coating-layer of chocolate (I wanted to do it in white chocolate this time). I have not been able to grasp the whole tempering thing, I think. So I just took the white chocolate and drizzled it all over the truffles and it looks odd but tastes good, so I guess they'll have to do.

Haiku2 for sienamystic
at all as most of
which i have and cherish this
is probably not
@
Created by Grahame

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