Eskimo Nebula

Eskimo Nebula
We are all connected

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Epicuriousity for One and All!

On the book of face, I kept notes of what I cooked and also shared photos of those items as well as other photos from a number of outings to restaurants or shops. I used to call these notes 'Epicuriouslogues', but since I'm starting over with them in this quadrant of webtastica; I've renamed it Epicuriousity.

 Hopefully you'll enjoy it.

I had to use a Taro Bubble Tea to defeat this guy trying to steal my car. The power   of sago compels you!
Mmmmm tasty and refreshing justice ;p

This is Puto. Please stop laughing, I know what it means in Spanish. This is  one of many styles of rice cakes. This typical triangle shape is one formed of the steamed variety. I think in Tagalog we could also refer to this a some sort of Bibingka (a cake, but usually made out of rice or with rice in the ingredients. I bought this from QQ a Local Malaysian bakery.

I bought these at a local Asian Grocery store.  These are very good; they're surprisingly not  sickeningly sweet. It tastes like the middle of a butterfinger, candy bar except it doesn't have all that extra crap in it. It's just pure peanuts and sugar. The most similar product to it in the States would maybe be Atkinson's Crunchy Peanut Butter Bars.

Stir-fried Zucchini, Tofu and Garlic Chives with vermicelli rice noodles that I made for dinner. 

Eat me, I am your sustenance! 

Blueberry Flax cake that I made. Omega 3, whole grain and Anthocyanins, never tasted so good together. Yum Yum =)

This is what my Pico de Gallo and blackbeans rice looked like when the timer went off for my rice cooker. Yep, the rice cooker is a wonderful thing. It takes up way less energy than using the stove ( I have an electric one) and the results are marvelous. If you have to buy a rice cooker, make sure you get one with the ability of different functions and if possible get one that comes with a steamer basket.

This is what the Pico de Gallo and Black Bean rice looks like when it's all mixed up and fluffed.

I made tostones  from some ripe plantains. Usually they make them with the green plantains, but I don't think anybody is going to arrest me for doing so =)

Ohhh how we love those delectable tostones. Look at the caramelization on that tostone.

These are GF/DF/V Lemon Lotus Bars that I made. These came out alright, but I want to change a few things and make them thicker. Tasted great though. If the crust looks a bit purple; it's because of the little amount of buckwheat flour that I used in the dough.

I made quesadillas with some awesome corn tortillas from El Milagro (Local Michigan  Company)  it's filled with quesadilla cheese with oregano, a dash of adobo spice and black pepper, fresh Pico de Gallo from Dos Hermanos (another local latino grocery store).

These were all the vegetables that went into one of my Thai Curries. The  eggplant that you see is actually from my home garden =) I didn't have a photo of the finished curry because it didn't last that long =)

Paku Choi  in a tomato, garlic and turmeric sauce. Paku Choi is one of a gazillion in the Chinese cabbage family. This variety is on the bitter side (Yay, lots of Antioxidants and Phytochemials) similar to the taste of Rapini (an italian variety of broccoli). 

Sauted Sesame Yu choi. Notice how my bamboo utensils always try to sneak into my photos? ;p

So, that's it for this installment. Did any of them make you salivate in particular? Any of them weird you out completely? Still curious about these foods? Feel free to ask me any questions about them. I'll try to give you as much info as I can give you about them. 

It's always fun to try new things.

'Epicuriousity begins at birth and never ends.'
                          - J. G. I =)

Be well =)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kindness: Pay it Forward =)

I love everyday acts of compassion and the kindness of strangers. It shouldn't really seem to be so amazing to do the right thing, but they really do stand out when the world seems full of gloom and doom. A very simply gesture can mean so much. When you open a door for somebody or help somebody carry their groceries. When you see somebody who is down trodden and you offer them something to eat or your spare change. Not everybody will recognize your small gestures, but it's not about recognition anyway. You just do them because you know that it's the right and kind thing to do. I don't have a super profound anecdote to share about it right now, but I do have a small story to share.

One of my friends is moving to another state and so we decided to meet up for lunch so we could have a proper farewell. I naturally brought some homemade goodies for my friends because it's one of the ways that I share my love with people. We had a nice lunch together and we caught up on what was going on in our lives.  After lunch we wanted to take some photos together outside of the restaurant. We were in the middle of doing that and there was a couple inside of the restaurant  who were sitting just behind the window and I was thinking 'Oh gosh...they might be finding our photo shoot a bit annoying; so maybe we'd better hurry up so they can enjoy their lunch in peace.' Surprisingly, the woman of the couple waved to us and motioned that she wanted to help us take a group shot. We were trying to fit all 3 of us in a shot, but I was holding the camera and I was the shortest of us all and so you can imagine it wasn't working out too well. The lady came out of the restaurant with a big smile on her face and she took the camera and took a few shots of us.
Did you notice that the shirt I'm wearing in this photo says 'Love' on the front of it? =)

 I asked what her name was and she said 'Finia.' (I'm not sure that's how her name is actually spelled) I explained to her that it was really kind and generous of her to come out and help us because I thought maybe we were being a nuisance with our photo taking. I gave her hug and then I took the photo below of her standing in between my two other friends.

Hooray for Finia and good friends =)

What a sweet lady =) I waved to her husband who was still sitting inside at their table ( I don't think he could have left the table to take photos too because he would've lost their table completely!) and he just smiled and waved back and blew kisses to us. Too cute =) 

It's funny because when we were catching up while we were having lunch my friend who is moving away was talking about how many trips to the salvation army she'd taken to donate her clothes and other items from her house. We were talking about how good it was to give and  that the tax deductions would just be a bonus.
 I think the universe was listening to us and smiling =)

I believe that if we put out positive energy into the universe it will come back to us. The same goes for putting out negative energy into the universe; that too will come back to you. 

It is not always easy to do that in certain situations and with certain individuals, but you really have to try and stay with the positive approach. It'll keep you much healthier and extend your years if you're not pent up with anger and distrust. It is absolutely draining to try to stay mad at people and it is just not worth it in the end. 

I have a quote that I use in my emails:

“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.” 

 - Sun Tzu

It is difficult to do, but not impossible. 

I hope you have a good life and that you continue to pay forward the kindness to everybody you meet.

Thank you for stopping by to read this, by doing so you have made me smile =)



Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Garlic Chive Sesame Rice Pancakes

Hello Again,
Thanks for sticking around! 
The following is an entry I transferred over from one of my facebook notes.
 Hooray for copy/paste!
Hope that you enjoy it!

Hello Everybody,

I received quite a few requests for this recipe so I'm sharing it with you now.

I recently made a batch of these to bring as a treat to one of my friends who has only in the last year been diagnosed with celiac disease. She actually called me up the other day to tell me how much she enjoyed them. I'm always glad when I can help make somebody's day better and I think that's true for all of us, right? 

Why not try and make a batch of these and share them with your friends and family?

If you do make a batch of them; do share some photos!

Sharing is caring =)

Hot off the press!

Jessica's Garlic Chive Sesame Rice Pancakes - GF + DF

1 C Sweet Rice Flour*
1/4 C Garlic Chives** cut finely
1/8 C Toasted Natural Sesame Seeds
1 tsp GF Baking Powder
Pinch of Turmeric
1 tsp Sesame Oil
1 Brown Organic Egg (or 1T Flax Eggs*** if you want to keep it vegan)
1 T Organic Agave Nectar
1/2 C or less of Filtered Water (depending on the humidity you will need more or less of water)
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

*The type of rice flour you use makes a big difference both in texture and in taste.
You could use regular rice flour, but it will not be the same. It'll still taste good, but it will be a much harder pancake.
You can find Sweet Rice Flour in most supermarkets these days. You may find it listed as: Glutinous Flour, Malagkit or Mochiko.

Blue Star is a popular Japanese brand of sweet rice flour. Go ahead an buy a box of this if you can't find it otherwise, but usually the other brands are cheaper and no less in quality. I usually use brands that come in bags of 14-16oz and they usually originate from Thailand. If you manage to find the 3-5lb bags from any Korean brand those ones will probably be your best buy.

** You can find Garlic Chives in most Asian Markets. They may be called : Chinese Chives, Ku chai, Chinese leeks or Nira. They're very fragrant and the type that I used in these are the flat leafed variety.See picture below

Garlic Chives. Make sure that you wash the chives well as they're grown in sandy soil and you don't really want to eat any grit with your pancakes =)

*** To make Flax Eggs: for every egg you need, mix 1T of Flax Meal with 3 T of water and let it sit for a few minutes before using.

Mix all the wet ingredients together and blend well. Then add in all the dry ingredients. Let it sit a few minutes and in the meantime get your pan ready. Heat a large skillet/fry pan with a teaspoon of oil. I like to use either Canola or Olive Oil, but you can just use whatever you have in your cupboards; it should be fine as long as it's not a strong tasting oil.

When the pan, is hot ladle in the amount of batter that you want ( a few tablespoons for tinier pancakes and maybe a little less than one ladleful for bigger pancakes). Just like any other pancake when you see the bubbles start to form on the surface you know it's time to flip it to the other side which will take far less time than the first side. Once you flip the pancake; it probably takes about 1 minute more ( you'll see the steam rising from the surface). Stack the pancake on top of each other so that they keep warm while you're cooking the rest of the batch.

These pancakes are good on their own and really don't need much else, but you could definitely pair these up with a number of different things. If you thin out the batter a bit more you could make a spongy crepe out of them and use them as a wrap for your other nibbles. A way to make healthy fast food that is good for you!

If you have any questions about the recipe; feel free to ask.


Lonely triangles of pancake sitting on a plate =p

Hello, it's nice to finally meet you =)

Hello out there,

WARNING: The following entry is very scatterbrained. All of this blogginess is new to me and the next entries 
      will be more concise, but for now you must deal with a bit of my verbosity =) 
                      Thank you for your patience

I've finally settled on a blog title. It took quite a stretch of time, but I finally picked one! I had mused earlier in the year with a friend about opening up a tea shop. I said that it would be called 'Humanitea' =) I really do not have plans to open up a tea shop, but I do enjoy tea of vast varieties. I have made a porte-manteau of Humanity and Tea, which I suppose reveals an aspect of my personality and interests. I think puns are cool and clever. They might be cheesy at times, but I always have to give them a bit of respect. All comedy of errors plays/novels/musicals make me laugh tremendously. Some famous writers of comedy of errors include Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde. I mean, who can overlook the Importance of Being Earnest =p

Anyhow, I don't have a one single subject matter for this blog. Lest the title of the blog mislead you; it will not always be about humanity or the beverage of tea etc. I do a lot of cooking so you may find some entries about what I've made that day or photos from out and about at restaurants etc. I can tell you that it's for certain that there are going to be entries about Vegetarianism/Vegetarian Cooking.  I've been a Vegetarian since about the age of 11; so it's been a big part of my life. I'm sure they'll be recipes and some tips and information about Vegetarianism. You'll definitely get to read about the reasons why I became a Vegetarian.

I adore taking photos and am thankful for digital cameras. I think my record for amount of photos in 1 day is a little over 2,000. I've scaled that amount down quite a bit (I couldn't afford all the memory cards! I am one of those people who take photos of anything that catches their eye. I am also one of those people who take photos of  their food at restaurants/markets. If that makes me weird; then I'm weird and that's fine with me =) 

I love languages and culture; so I'm sure I'll be writing about that for sure. I grew up bilingual. I spoke Tagalog and English at home. It wasn't until I was in Kindergarten that I realized that being multilingual was not the 'norm', for the other kids. When I was in those younger years the community that I lived in what not as diverse as it is today; so in a way I kind of felt like my family and I were kind of ambassadors in educating the school community about the Philippines, the homeland of my parents. That's most likely why I've always had an interest in languages and culture. I never liked the feeling of being boxed in and I think always learning new languages and about different cultures will help you to be more open to the world. 

Well, I hope to be writing more entries soon. Prior to me creating this blog I did share entries as 'Notes' on my facebook page. I may transfer some of those entries onto this blog; while I make the transition. 

Sorry, this wasn't the most exciting entry, but hopefully you'll be willing to stick around and see what'll come next. =)

Thanks so much for stopping by to read this, you've made me smile by doing so =)