Sunday, March 30, 2014

I'd Rather Eat than Go hungry and Shop 'til My Last Money! Bangkok, the 2nd Time Around

If there is one place I enjoy going back to, it's Bangkok, Thailand.

The first time we visited Bangkok,Thailand was in 2009. We were mesmerized with the beauty of the palaces. We toured the different palaces and jewelry shops. The climate is the same here in the Philippines, so the usual travel outfits of fashionable jackets and boots were a no-no! Light-colored cotton blouses and slippers were our ootds (outfit for the day.)

Anyway, my daughter,Camille,(the more seasoned traveller) and I, do some research before we go to a certain place. Unlike other tourists who sign up with travel agencies to join day tours, we make our own itinerary! It's more fun!

This second time to go to Bangkok, I arrived in Suvarnabhumi International Airport, 7 hours ahead of Camille. It meant I had to go to the hotel alone. So, what I did before flying in was to google where to take a cab from the airport, the usual meter rate, the distance from the airport to the hotel and the minutes it would take to get there. Yes, I wanted to make sure I will not be overcharged. I also printed out a map,and saved a photo of this in my Iphone, just in case. That's the reason why I love google so much!



I made sure the taxi was metered. I paid 300 baht (on the meter) plus 50 baht for the airport charge, for a total of 350 baht. The taxi driver asked me if we will use the highway with a 75baht toll fee, and I said "no!" He said, "oh, slow way" I took us actually, around 10 minutes to understand each other har har har. Highway or slow way, we still reached the hotel without me having to pay an additional 75 baht. :)

Camille chose the Baiyoke Suite Hotel, at because it was the closest to the shopping area. At the reception, I was asked if I preferred a non-smoking or smoking room, of course I chose the latter. The suite was big, and the smoking room was adjacent to the bedroom. Very good!


Being alone and with nothing to do yet, I decided to avail of the wi-fi good for 1 day at 400 baht, instead of 200 baht for just 1 hour. Yes, wi-fi was not free :(

I made coffee for myself and and took selfie shots har har har.





 I felt tired and sleepy but was afraid to close my eyes (Lol!)  Nevertheless, I probably fell asleep. I was later on awakened by a sound from my phone, an FB notification that Camille was at Suvarnabhumi Airport already. Yey!

Anyway, our purpose in going back to Bangkok this time was to check out the shopping malls,compare prices, savor Thai food, and of course, get that much-needed break. Camille took the airport link which was available already, but was still closed when I arrived at 2 am. When she arrived, she just took a shower, ate with gusto the super moist Banana cake with walnuts that I baked and brought for her, and off we went!

When we went out the lobby of the hotel, Lo and behold! Pratunam Market!The shopping haven! We went around but since it was just outside the hotel and was a bit humid, we decided to go the malls first where it's cooler. Besides, if we shopped right away, we'd have a hard time walking with heavy stuff already,

Platinum Fashion Mall was a few meters of walking from the hotel. Nice nice nice! We also passed by other shops and malls.













Great pick for me which was hard to find was the Chanel Perfume Iphone case which was sold only at one shop selling branded items.Camille bought a clear and a black cases for her Iphone 5.What else? The shoes, sandals,slippers! Finally, they have my size! Bought several pairs! When these items reach Greenhills, they would be more pricey! So, when you're here, shop until you drop and to your last money! Har har har!





Shops shops everywhere! Prices in the malls were higher, of course, by 150-250 baht but you can buy 1 piece each. Outside, prices were lower but you have to buy several pieces to  get a wholesale price.

After going around the 3 adjacent malls, our tummies grumbled of hunger. We wanted to eat authentic Thai food first, as with our first Thailand trip, restos outside the malls are more authentic! So, for the duration of our Bangkok trip, we only ate at the mall twice. Street food and Restos along the road have food that taste better. You just have to choose where to eat. With so many street food hawkers, stalls and restaurants, you just have to take your pick and choose WHERE TO EAT!Oh, yes! I'D RATHER EAT THAN GO HUNGRY! When you're in another country, another culture, expect the unexpected. You have to be experimental, like trying out the country's exotic food.

As with other tourist destinations, Starbucks, 7-11, KFC and other American stores abound. We tried the egg custard at KFC. Yummy!



and the Green Machang Tea at Black Canyon




 We were not able to take pictures of the other food that we ate because we were too hungry and the food smelled and tasted so good!

It's been said that Thai chefs are so in demand. I agree why.



Spicy Tom Yum or Tom Yam








The streetfood :



Prawns and squid on sticks!



These are sticky rice with egg custard and bananas.




Street Bars at Night!

Aside from the Night Market where shoppers can still buy (if your body and feet will still permit lol!), there are also Street Bars where you can relax and unwind.






I only brought with me my shoulder bag and RL duffle bag, We had to buy a lightweight "bayong style" bag to put the stuff we bought lol!

Anyway, and what would a Bangkok, Thailand visit be without a ride in a "Tuktuk." When riding the "tuktuk" you MUST haggle with the driver the amount that you will pay. I overheard an American tourist telling a "tuktuk" driver that she paid 100 baht from the hotel to the mall, so why charge her 300 baht from the mall going back to the hotel?


That is just an incident common to tourists anywhere in the world. It doesn't stop us from travelling again. :)

Home in the Philippines now! Hoping to go back again...soon! "wink"

-jewel

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chicken Fillet with Keso de Bola (Chicken Fillet with Cheese)

March 29, 2014

I woke up inspired today. Hmmm... I can smell cheese and butter. "wink"

 I took out the chicken breasts from the freezer, thawed, then deboned them. I thought of Jamie Oliver's Cheddar Chicken and decided to make my version of it.

Instead of cheddar cheese, I will use Keso de Bola or queso de bola, left-over from our New Year's eve. Keso de bola is Edam cheese, a semi-soft, wax-covered cheese.


CHICKEN FILLET with KESO DE BOLA




Ingredients:
  • 1/2 kilo chicken breast fillet
  • 5 cups grated Keso de bola
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper

For the creamy sauce:
  • 1 can Cream of Mushroom sauce
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsps butter
  • chopped parsley







Let's cook!
  • Put in separate bowls or containers the milk, grated cheese and bread crumbs.


  • Dip each chicken fillet in milk. 



  • Then in the cheese.

  • After the cheese, dip and coat with breadcrumbs.


  • Grease a baking pan and spread the coated chicken fillet.Cover the pan with foil and bake in 150 degrees Fahrenheit for 35 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 5 minutes more or until the chicken pieces are crispy.




  • Set aside the chicken and let cool. Transfer to a serving plate or platter.

Creamy Sauce:
  • Mix together in a pan the cream of mushroom soup, butter and milk. Let boil and season, if need be. Add the chopped parsley. Simmer. Turn off the heat when the sauce thickens.




When the sauce is done, pour over the chicken fillet. So yummy!




There! Another cooking- made -easy! Hope you enjoyed our time together! Follow me for more cooking adventures! Until next time! <3 -jewel

Notes:
  • You may use other cheese available in your cupboard.
  • breadcrumbs may be replaced with crackers.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Tortang Giniling with Cheese and Sky Flakes(Ground Meat Omelette with Cheese and Sky Flakes)

Tortang Giniling is a Filipino dish that is delicious and easy on the budget. A half-kilo of ground pork can give you around 40 pieces of torta.I cooked this a lot when I was a working mom. I cooked 1 kilo and stored the rest in a tightly sealed container, put the fridge, and just thawed when I needed to. This is a gourmet Tortang Giniling with Cheese and Sky Flakes. For newbie-cooks, this dish will impress your partner, friends and even your Mom :)

TORTANG GINILING with CHEESE and SKY FLAKES (Ground Meat Omelette with Cheese and Sky Flakes)


INGREDIENTS :

  • 1/4 kilo ground pork
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium-sized eggs
  • 2 packs Sky Flakes, pulverized (you can smash with the bottom of a bottle while still in the plastic)
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes,cubed
  • 4 slices of cheese, cubed (you may use more)
  • salt, pepper, fish sauce 
  • MSG (optional, I use either Ajinomoto or Magic Sarap, they add more flavor)
  • cooking oil







Let's cook!


  • Heat oil in pan. Put garlic and saute.

  • Add onions and saute until translucent.

  • Put the ground meat and mix with the garlic and onions. Juices from the ground meat will come out so no need to add water. When the juices are boiling. Season with fish sauce. Stir well then add salt and pepper.

  • When the meat turns brown and the liquid has partly evaporated, add the potatoes and mix.

  • Continue stirring until the potatoes are cooked. Check again and add seasonings if needed. Turn off the heat and strain the meat before transferring to a bowl. 

  • In another bowl, beat the eggs. Put salt and pepper. Continue beating, then add the cheese and powdered Sky Flakes. Mix well.


  • Heat about a 3/4 cup of cooking oil. Scoop about 2 tbsps of mixture in pan. (you may adjust and may prefer to make bigger or smaller torta pieces)


  • Brown both sides. Serve with rice and ice-cold drink. I prefer to eat this with boiled asparagus as sidings.


We're done! See? Very easy! If you want more, just double the recipe. If you have any questions, feel free to ask or comment. Hope you enjoyed our time together! Please follow me for more cooking adventures and travel escapades! Till next time! <3 -jewel