May you all have a prosperous and fruitful 2013 !
Hello ! Renxkyoko Iglesias here.
My European tour made 2012 quite an eventful year , and I’m glad I get to share it with you. It was also quite an experience to be given an opportunity to help re-elect Pres. Obama. My sister and I and several thousand Californians went as far as Nevada, Iowa, Colorado, and Wisconsin as part of Pres. Obama’ s ground campaign. ( Just Reno for me, though… specifically Washoe County, the poor part of Nevada , totally Republican, dirt roads, trailer parks, all white * don’t they know they will be thrown under the bus by Romney, he he he, someone on a truck yelled Eff you at us , it was scary…… Anyway, it was difficult , but we managed to turn Nevada into a Blue state. ) But then, if not for those 2 above, 2012 would be same-o, same-o… school, work, home, study, check out if there are any manga updates of my favorite shojou romance, daydream or rant, sleep, go to school again… yep, story of my life. I must have sinned in my past life.
Well, we all got a love letter from WordPress, right? My stats are modest, but I ‘m happy . I get a fair amount of comments, and to me, that’s more important. To be honest, I don’t know if those who click LIKE really like my post. He he he…. One time, I was online when I heard a ping on my Messenger. That means, there was a reader who just clicked LIKE. But surprise, surprise, I heard 4 pings , one after another, in 3 seconds duration. Gotcha ! lol ! ! The blogger couldn’t have read my post in 3 seconds flat, could he/she? As for me, rest assured I read your post word for word. This is also the reason why I have 5,471 unread emails , to date. I don’t delete. I read all, but……. my fellow bloggers, I cannot cope anymore. I have 50 subscriptions, and each day that I don’t get to open my email folder adds about 200 emails. I kid you not.
According to WordPress, I had 24 posts in 2012. That’s 2 a month. And the blogger with the most comments is 35andupcynicismonhold. What is most interesting is the post that got the most number of views …… it also got the most number of comments, 139 I think? WordPress also says that it has the most ” staying power”. I posted All About Nothing , as usual in February, 2012, and believe it or not, I still get at least 10 views a day from that post for almost a year now. WordPress didn’t give the total number of views, but I’m sure it must be in the thousands already. Happy Valentine’s Day comes second. OMgosh, I was so pathetic here ! ! Well, I’m still pathetic.
There is one post in 2011 and one in 2010 that also got tons of views. I mean, I still get so many views from these old posts. WordPress suggests I should consider writing about these topics again. Uhm, not really, except this one….. HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2012 ! ! ! I like the foodie post myself. When I reread this, I was surprised to see the paella and the empanada that I cooked that year. Yeah, I cooked those ! Here are the pictures…..
.Empanada….. by the way, I made a mistake with the dough. I used a fluffy dough. It was store dough, ready made…. I don’t know how to make a dough, haha. I’m intimidated.
Empanada dough should look like this.
.I mentioned these two because the best food I had eaten by far in Europe were Spanish empanadas and the paella in Spain, Both are very common foods in the Philippines. In the Philippines, Paella is sometimes called Arroz a la Valenciana. Philippine dishes are basically of Spanish origin. The Philippines was under Spanish rule for almost 400 years, so the similar palate shouldn’t come as a surprise….. for example, Filipinos eat pig’s blood too. In Spain, it’s called Morcilla. I had Morcilla in Burgos and it was good. The blood sausage in London wasn’t that good though. Well, I love pig’s blood. It’s one of my favorite Filipino dish. It’s an acquired taste, so don’t hate, lol. I’ll talk about this soon. ( Filipino stores here in the US sell pig’s blood )
Below are some photos of our New Year spread. Not much this year, though. It was just family, all 6 of us.
Hmmmm, I notice the program on TV… it was The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. Eh. We were watching a political talk show during New Year’s Day lunch.
Stewed beef we call Pochero. It’s made of beef, cabbage, garbanzos, long, green beans, potatoes, garlic, onions, tomato sauce.
Lumpia… just ground pork and shrimps, watercress, carrots, etc, wrapped in egg wrapper, then fried… eaten with sweet – sour sauce. The one on the right is roast pork dip made up of soy sauce, vinegar and fried tofu.
Roasted spare ribs, we call Lechon. This one will give us a massive coronary, but it tastes so good, especially the crunchy skin. Oh, my. . The dip is the one with tofu, but I prefer liver sauce. You can see the liver sauce bottle in the pic.
The one above is one of my favorite desserts. It’s pandan flavoured agar-agar ( similar to Jello) and lychees . Pandan essence comes from the leaves of Pandanus plant, which is very common in SouthEast Asia. Sometimes, we add pandan leaves when cooking rice to give that great aroma. ( The leaves are sold in Asian stores here in the US. )
Fruit salad…. A mainstay Philippine dessert. It’s just a mixture of fruit cocktail, cream, nata de coco, and sweetened palm fruits. The last two are “ must “ingredients in any Philippine fruit salad. Nata de coco is Spanish for cream of coconut. According to Wikipedia, nata is a chewy, translucent jelly-like product produced by fermentation of coconut water by Acetobacter xylinus, a bacteria introduced into coconut water, the fermentation of which produces this jelly -like substance. The process originated in the Philippines.
Cubed colored nata gels. The white nata has the original color. Nata is very, very delicious. There is also nata de pina….. cream of pineapple.
Above is fish with sweet sour sauce . We call the dish Escabeche. Escabeche is Spanish for pickled… the fish is not really pickled, just covered with vinegar- sugar sauce and soy sauce.
We call the juice Sago Cooler. It’s made up of caramel ( boiled brown sugar with banana essence or almond essence ) and sago pearls.
We use a tall glass with long teaspoon to scoop out the sago pearls. Guys, you should try this. It’s very good, If there’s no sago at the Asian store near you, you can float gelatin, jello, or whatever. Be sure to add banana or almond essence, that’s all.
By the way, you can see 2 more desserts with the Sago Cooler photos. The black colored dish is Biko, some sort of rice cake. Mom used deep purple rice, almost black rice. ( we also use white, sweet , glutinous rice, available at Asian stores… it’s different from regular rice). The other dish in the photo , the one in red dish is cassava cake. Cassava or yuca comes from the root and do you know it’s one of the most dangerous food in the world, if not prepared properly? lol
UBE, ( pronounced oo- beh )or purple yam, one of the Philippines’ favorite dessert. It’s used as ice cream flavor, in cakes, bread fillings, or as is, like the photo above. It’s a mixture of condensed milk, butter and grated yam. We use the Philippine variety, because the purple yam grown in other countries does not have the desired taste and consistency. In fact , that ube in the photo isn’t the real thing, and Mom got so pissed that she almost threw it away. It got saved when we added a Philippine variety that we found in the freezer. The store where we bought it ran out of ube and what we found were purple yams from another country, which we suspected were not really purple yam, just ordinary yam with purple food coloring. It was gooey and tasted weird.
Aaaargh, holiday food ! ! It ‘s always a problem to lose weight after pigging out on all that goodness.
I definitely won’t fit into my newly acquired Runway dress shown below.
I need to exercise again.
To be honest, I want to make another WP account that will have food and fashion as my theme. Or , another account where I can write about animes and mangas. ( I know, I know ! I confess ! I’m an anime manga fan. Don’t hate ! )
So, anyway, I’m almost done with my European travelogue. Spain and France are next. Paris was our last stop. From there , we flew back to good ol’ US of A. \
This is all for now. Barcelona and Madrid are next in my travelogue ! Good day to all and Peace ! !