Bread, Love and Dreams

Posted by aBEE M. on 2/27/2011 11:02:00 PM in , , ,
I have been crying my eyes out for the last 3 days. Doing what you ask? Watching my new favorite K-drama called Bread, Love and Dreams, but commonly known as Baker King. Yes! my dear readers, this writer is a sentimental fool, among other things. I cry watching sad movies and I hate movies that don't end happily. Anyways, for those of you who haven't seen this drama, I can give you a little rundown of the plot, but can't tell you how the story ends since I'm still in episode 21 (out of 30). Kim Tak Goo <Yoon Shi Yoon> (main character- very handsome fellow) is the son of the president of Samhwa Enterprise, a legend in the baking industry, and his mistress. Technically speaking since he's the eldest son of the president and shows so much talent for making bread, his father wants him to inherit the company. Like all drama series, there is always a villain, well in this case, theres a lot. First is the president's wife. This evil hag who couldn't produce an heir did everything she could to have a son (to the point of actually getting one from the company's Manager Han). But, too bad, her son came too late, he ends up being the younger brother (thus, can't inherit). Second is Manager Han, the evil side kick. He does all the dirty work that the evil hag asks, including making a baby (actually, he's in love with the evil hag), killing the president's mistress and also killing Tak Gu. And the third villain is Tak Gu's "half-brother", Goo Ma Joon <Joo Won> (who is equally handsome but needs an attitude adjustment). He plots and plots and plots to make Tak Gu fail everything, but never succeeds. Ha! He, of course like most manic jealous  younger half-brothers wants to steal his girl, his pride and everything Tak Gu has, which isn't really a lot. Let me put it this way, Goo Ma Joon: lives in a huge house, get's everything he wants, went to school in Japan, and is very talented as well (but not his dad's favorite), Tak Gu: is very poor, no family, no education, lost his mother, and has been living alone in the streets since he was 12 years old.... hhhhmmmmm.... makes you wonder right? Well, that's because Tak Gu has manners, never gives up and is very responsible? and Ma Joon is a coward and a sore-ass loser. 
Baker King Kim Tak Gu / Bread, Love and Dreams
And so, the drama starts with the Evil Hag (President's wife) giving birth to yet another girl, frustrated and everything, she consults a quack doctor and asks what she could do to give birth to a son, Mr. Quack tells her that he's not telling. Evil Hag gets upset and offers money and whatever, Mr. Quack then tells her, that with her husband, no matter how many kids they have, it'll never be a boy. And so, Evil Hag decides to have an affair with Manager Han, Mr. Quack tells her, that she will have a son, but so will her husband, with another woman. Thus the births of Tak Gu and Ma Joon. Through out the episodes, Tak Gu goes through a million trials, including but not limited to the following: starving to death, getting beat up , almost losing his sense of smell, taste and sight, losing his girl (well, not really), and almost dying (all the time). Not only does he have to go through so much trials with becoming a baker, he also has to evade death from Manager Han's attempt to murder him every single episode. I know, the story line, when seen this way is a little heavy to put up with, but, like all the K-dramas I've watched, it teaches you a million and one lessons. You see, Tak Gu is the kind of person that, even if he can't smell or taste, still makes bread. If you try to murder him, he will forgive you. And, if you tell him to meet you at 6:00 PM, and you're not there, he'll wait till you actually come even if he has to wait till midnight. Practically, he's the best boyfriend for anyone. Anyways, all I want to do right now, is finish the series, and see how it ends. I hope it ends happily, if not, then there's one very pissed off girl in this side of the world.


Birthday Pie?

Posted by aBEE M. on 2/22/2011 01:20:00 PM in ,
As far as birthdays and cakes go, i bet you've never heard of a birthday pie. Technically speaking, its just a plain ol' apple pie that my uncle requested for his birthday. I know right? unusual would be the right word to use. Anyway, on this particular day (around January. As i said before, I'm writing some of my backlog blogs) I was on a very long conversation with my sister on the phone (from 11 pm to 5 am) and totally forgot that I was baking a pie the next day. So, trying to decide between getting some sleep or baking a pie before 8:30 am, I somehow ended up with baking the pie. I reasoned, that since birthdays are an annual thing, better make the pie than suffer guilt of a broken promise! Thank God I made the Apple Pie...
making a pie crust is always messy business
just threw in what I wanted, it's really a no-brainer recipe
not as neat as i wanted it to look, but due to time constraints, i just had to deal with it
the finished product! you wont even notice the patchwork i did with the holes


Heart of the Matter

Posted by aBEE M. on 2/16/2011 01:04:00 AM in ,
Another Valentine's Day, without a special someone... But, instead, I've been given more; I have special someoneS... with an emphasis on the S. Last Valentine's Day, instead of the usual bouquet of flowers, the chocolates, the love sonnets and the candle light dinners everyone usually get, I got to spend a fun night with my Family and some of our closest friends eating, drinking and listening to LOVE SONGS sung by us of course. With everyone belching out from Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” to Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” I would say, FUN isn’t the only word to describe the whole night. With last year’s special Valentine’s Day feast becoming such a success, everyone just figured out that sometimes, “the more the merrier” is really the way to go. Everyone of course didn’t go home empty handed, in spirit of the celebration, everyone received a special gift from everyone else. There were heart-shaped chocolates, teddy bears, flowers, and mugs with heart designs. With all the excitement of planning the potluck dinner the night before, I decided to make something special for my DATES. I wanted to make a cake with all the icing flowers and maybe some fondant icing and go all out with it but, reality struck me, thank God; I honestly did not have enough time. So, instead of making something new and difficult for the first time with TIME against me, I decided to tone it down a little bit but still make it special. In the end, I decided to make Valentine’s Day Cupcakes.

The idea was brilliant, I will make my specialty cupcakes (Banana Walnut Cupcakes) and then to make it unique, I would decorate it individually to make it look all Valentine-y… So, for the topping, I needed some creamy Vanilla Butter Cream Icing, which by the way, I have no idea how to make. And so, I went hunting in YouTube (as always) for some delicious vanilla butter cream recipe. I found a couple which I liked (because it was easy and didn’t require too many ingredients) and decided to trim down the find to the yummiest, in terms of look and simplicity. Since most of the recipe looked quite the same, I determined that the best way to go from there was to summarize the ingredients used, in other words, I took some of this and some of that to finally have the ultimate recipe. With the VBC recipe in hand and the knowledge of what to do the next day, I was finally able to sleep, which was around 5 in the morning…

Like most great events that took a day of planning, things don’t really go as smooth as you want it. Let’s start with the time I woke up, at noon. With two dozen cupcakes still to be made, some vanilla butter cream and some decorating, I was in serious trouble. So, with no other option, I took a deep breath, climbed out of bed and started with the cupcakes. I had all the ingredients at hand, which made everything from measuring to mixing the batter quite uneventful. And, with luck on my side (as I started thinking) I then decided to play with the food coloring and make the cupcakes a different color. I was trying to decide between pink or red (thinking of red velvet cupcakes) and thought of red being too strong, I went for pink. And so, the whole baking process went as smooth as it could get, the cupcakes turned out great and had an extra dozen cupcakes, although the color turned out to be normal (it didn’t really bother me one bit). With all the baking done, I placed the cupcakes inside the fridge to cool it down and to make it easier to frost later (without the crumbs falling off). 
it looked more pink in real life
 So, I moved on to get my VBC ready, this is when I started to panic. With the recipe calling in for softened butter (but not melted, which means it should be in room temperature) I remembered too late that my butter was still in the fridge, I took it out immediately (like it would help) and was pushed back 30 minutes waiting for the butter to be soft enough for the recipe. So, when the butter finally melted!!! I continued on with recipe and placed it in the mixer. Just when I was going to start putting in the sugar, the mixer broke… can life get any harder? I honestly wanted to throw out the butter and just not continue on with the icing. But, disheartened I may have been, I’ve always hated giving up. So, I went through all the kitchen appliances we have, until I found a curious little thing that was called a THUNDER STICK (don’t let the name fool you), a weird name, yes! But it was all I have. The thingamajig was like, if a blender, a mixer and a food processor would have a kid, I guess this would be the end result. Thank God for geniuses! And so, with the thingamajig on hand I tried going through with the whole mixing thing, and I take back what I said earlier (about thanking God for geniuses), the whole thing was a disaster, powdered sugar everywhere, it was a nightmare. And like I said before, disheartened I may have been, but I’ve always hated giving up. And so, with so much time wasted already with stupid machines that either break or don’t work at all, I ended up using an old fashioned whisk, and it worked like the bomb! Lesson learned: Don’t trust appliances…

very yummy vanilla butter cream

and so, with my VBC all done though the color was off white which doesn’t matter since I was going to color it anyway and my cupcakes chilled, everything was ready! I placed some VBC in three separate dishes and decided on purple, pink and turquoise for the colors. End result? Well, they’re not as pretty as I wanted it to be, but I believe with time and practice, I can definitely make them look sooo much better.

With everything ready and dinner came to an end, it was time for dessert and like always, everyone was pleased (they love my cupcakes, as everyone tries to order them all the time after I gave out cupcakes for Christmas) the Cupcakes were delicious, as always, and though the decoration wasn’t how I wanted it to be, the Vanilla Butter Cream tasted like heaven, it turned out so yummy! I think I just need to make it look prettier next time. After, the celebration ended, just about 12:30 am, everyone were exhausted, dancing and drinking and having such an ecstatic time, and that is the heart of the matter, Valentine’s Day isn’t only about chocolates, flowers and romantic strolls on the beach, it’s about spending time with the people you love, and that’s exactly what I did!

everyone doing their wacky cupcake pose!


Only in the Philippines # 1: SINULOG!

Posted by aBEE M. on 2/12/2011 01:01:00 AM in
I have decided to add a new topic to my blog, and it is exactly what the title imposes. ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES ... These are events, things, people, customs and everything else that you can find, only in the Philippines. There are many unique customs and events here in my country that may either leave you in awe or shock you to the very core and I want to share every single one with you starting with Sinulog. 

Sinulog is an event celebrated every third Sunday of January as the feast of  Sto. Niño (Child Jesus)  in Cebu. People all around the world, both Foreign and Balikbayans (Locals working/living abroad) flock the streets of Cebu to celebrate this fiesta and show their devotion to the Sto. Niño. As of the origin, Historians say that even before the conquest of Spain, natives have already danced the Sinulog in honor of their wooden idols and anitos. Then, Ferdinand Magellan came and introduced Christianity to the natives (of which a certain Rajah Humabon and his wife Amihan, later Queen Juana after her baptism, along with 800 of their subjects were all converted to Christians). Historians now say that during the 44 years between the coming of Magellan and Legaspi, the natives continued to dance the Sinulog. These time, however, they danced it no longer to worship their native idols but a sign of reverence to the Santo Niño, which is now enshrined at the San Agustin Church (renamed Basilica Minore del Santo Niño).

 The Altar at Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

An image of the Santo Niño

Although the event is often celebrated with blue skies and sunshine (thanks to the prayers of the  Carmelite Sisters and a handful donation of eggs) this year, was not as lucky (which people state: "the government forgot to donate the eggs") as evidenced by the sudden downpour of rain for the whole week. But, Rain or Shine, people donned their trusty umbrellas and celebrated anyway. 

Cebuanos and non-Cebuanos alike –pay tribute, give thanks and offer petitions to the Child Jesus, or Santo Niño. On January 15, 2011, Saturday, starting at 1:30 p.m., devotees will gather in the Basilica del Santo Niño and pray the rosary as they walk in solemn procession before the image ofthe Holy Child. This will end at 6:00 in the same place where it began. This is symbolic of the very essence of Sinulog – that everything that God has given us can only be offered to Him in return.

My Family and I started the celebration with the procession, which happened on Saturday (the day before Sinulog) The rain was horrible at that time. The streets were flooded and even though people were half-soaked, we eventually reached the end feeling light hearted (on my part, it felt like all my sins were lifted from my shoulder... Thank God) Sunday came, we started the day with Mass, and then strutted off to the main road to join in with the dancing. As always, the participants never fail to surprise me. Every year, they come up with the coolest costumes, floats and props. These are some of the pictures I took for Sinulog 2011.

I love the whole Beehive idea
Dancer Bees carrying their flower prop
a picture of one of the festival queens
One of the Contingents 

love the costumes: its like a cross between Spanish and the Natives
Winner of the Float Competition: IPI. They had the whole Avatar thing going on.

like I said, RAIN or shine...

Although the parade is only for one day, it doesn't mean, Sinulog is only celebrated on this particular day. It starts 2-3 weeks before this parade. I'm talking about Cebu Night Life parties with local bands performing, Mr. & Ms. Cebu Competitions, Barbecue in the streets, singing contests, Sinulog dance competitions and many more. Sinulog is definitely one of the events you shouldn't miss. It blends culture, tradition and beliefs. Truly, Only in the Philippines.

For more information about the history, events, participants and anything about Sinulog, visit


I'm Back...!

Posted by aBEE M. on 2/11/2011 03:32:00 AM
I've been on a 14 month hiatus without writing blogs. This is horrible... This all happened after I started my Job. Now, I know most people would say, "why not write during the weekend?" or "why not write your blogs when you get home from work?" Well, to answer that, number one, I work during weekends, which is absolutely crazy, I know. Number two, I couldn't write after work, because I was so sick of actually looking at a computer for nine whole hours, when I got home, I didn't even want to be near anything that resembles a computer! Not to mention, that I was simmering inside from talking to a lot of people who never made sense... (i.e. The Customers... I worked as a Tech Support for printers, but for which company? I'll never TELL) Now, these so-called Customers, call in, asking the stupidest questions, not to mention, some of them are already screaming the first nanosecond somebody picks up. I'm glad I quit. :) Although, I would say, that I'm glad for the experience, I feel like i can do anything now. 

And so, after my very abrupt resignation last month, I browsed through all my files in my computer. I saw a couple of pictures that were dated somewhere between December of 2009 (which was the last time I wrote anything) to January 2011. These were pictures I took of the food I cooked up, saving it for my little blog, but never got the chance to write. Oh well, I have time now... :)

I'm just glad I'm back!!!

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