Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hey, Soul Sister on the Ukelele

Most Awesome video of an 8 year old playing Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" with a ukelele taken with a Canon 5D mark II. Can somebody point us to where we can adopt this kid? 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Arroz Caldo ala Racela

Last week, while we were pondering our food lineup, we suddenly had a huige craving for "Arroz Caldo". "Arroz Caldo" or "lugaw" to us pinoy folks is a popular dish back home. It is a type of rice porridge eaten in many asian countries involving rice and some type of flavorful broth. You can read more about the history of Lugaw here. 

We can't really remember how my mom made hers but this is our own interpretation. We hope you guys like it! Recipe down the end. Enjoy!

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and lightly fry on a separate stock pot

We slice our ginger a little bit bigger than normal to make it easier to fish out when eating (Not too fond of biting into ginger)

On a separate stock pot, sauté your garlic, onions and ginger, then add the rice. We ladle the chicken stock in small amounts to the rice ala risotto until we get the right texture from the rice making sure that we have a bit of stock left aside. The rice ends up drinking the broth so make sure to have some in reserve unless you want to have a huge pot of rice cake ("biko")!

Garnish with fried garlic and spring onions and serve piping hot!!!!

6 chicken thighs cut in half (any chicken part will do)
1 cup sticky rice
2 cups jasmine rice
2 cloves of garlic diced
1 medium onion diced
1 small ginger peeled and cut into strips
chicken stock or 2 chicken bouillon cubes
saffron (optional)
1 cup frozen peas (optional)
fried garlic and chopped spring onions

1. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and lightly fry in a stock pot.
2. Set aside some of the oil then add the chicken broth or bouillon cubes with 3-4 cups of water, let simmer with the chicken pieces until chicken is fully cooked. 
3. On a separate stock pot, sauté the garlic, onions and ginger in the oil that was set aside in step 2.
4. Add the rice and saffron and sauté for a 2-3 minutes.
5. Ladle the chicken stock into the rice making sure to stir constantly to prevent the rice from burning. 
6. Repeat until the rice is cooked and creamy! Don't forget to add the chicken pieces into the mix!
7. Just keep on adding the stock if you want a thinner soup.
8. Serve in a bowl with fried garlic and fresh spring onions and enjoy!

We are a big veggie consuming family and I almost always find a way to sneak some in every dish. If you're not too closed minded with your 'lugaw" then put in a cup or 2 of frozen green peas at the end. :o)

You might also enjoy some of our other recipes!
Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo ala Racela
A Good Friday Tradition

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Sandpit

I came across this video again while I was browsing the net this morning. I was blown away when I first saw it and still is. It's a  few months old but I wanted to share it with you guys. 

If you've seen pictures that shows miniature scenes like the one on top, it's probably taken by an SLR camera with a specialized lens called a "tilt-shift" lens. 

These lenses can change the angle of the plane of focus and thus control the perspective of the picture. This lens is usually used for architectural picture where you want to shoot with a wide angle and prevent keystoning from happening.

Another "accidental" use for this lens is that you can control where the plane of focus is as well as the shallow depth of field to create scenes that looks like miniatures. 

Searching flickr will show you a lot of examples of this kind of photography but   you'll notice that a lot of the pictures where actually done in post (maybe because the lens is pretty expensive).

This is where the video comes in. Sam O'Hare shot over 35,000 pictures in a span of 5 days, did his magic in post processing and created one of the most creative videos of NY that you can imagine. So enjoy and judge for yourself. :o)

The Sandpit from Sam O'Hare on Vimeo.
Watch in HD in Full Screen for the best effect!

Head over to Aero Film for descriptions on how they made the film.
Martin Pot also made a very informative tutorial on how to get this same effect  in Photoshop. You can check it out Here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

This is what I'm reading now in my Nook. I haven't watched the movie yet but I heard a lot of good things about it as well as the novel so I went ahead and added it to my reading list :o)

From Publishers Weekly

Know this: Lehane's new novel, his first since the highly praised and bestselling Mystic River, carries an ending so shocking yet so faithful to what has come before, that it will go down as one of the most aesthetically right resolutions ever written. But as anyone who has read him knows, Lehane, despite his mastery of the mechanics of suspense, is about much more than twists; here, he's in pursuit of the nature of self-knowledge and self-deception, and the ways in which both can be warped by violence and evil. In summer 1954, two U.S. marshals, protagonist Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, arrive on Shutter Island, not far from Boston, to investigate the disappearance of patient Rachel Solando from the prison/hospital for the criminally insane that dominates the island. The marshals' digging gets them nowhere fast as they learn of Rachel's apparently miraculous escape past locked doors and myriad guards, and as they encounter roadblocks and lies strewn across their path-most notably by the hospital's chief physician, the enigmatic J. Cawley-and pick up hints of illegal brain surgery performed at the hospital. Then, as a major hurricane bears down on the island, inciting a riot among the insane and cutting off all access to the mainland, they begin to fear for their lives. All of the characters-particularly Teddy, haunted by the tragic death of his wife-are wonderful creations, but no more wonderful than the spot-on dialogue with which Lehane brings them to life and the marvelous prose that enriches the narrative. There are mysteries within mysteries in this novel, some as obvious as the numerical codes that the missing patient leaves behind and which Teddy, a code breaker in WWII, must solve; some as deep as the most profound fears of the human heart. There is no mystery, however, about how good this book is; like Mystic River, it's a tour de force. 

Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Buy Shutter Island the Book Here
Buy ShutterIsland the DVD Here

Monday, April 19, 2010

Introducing... The 4th Generation iPhone

If you haven't heard of it yet, The new iPhone that is rumored to be announced sometime this June was somehow left behind in a bar somewhere in Redwood City. The guys from Gizmodo was able to get a hold of it and has dissected every little bit of information that they can from it. 

If you've seen the iPad, it does follow the same design lines... gone is the sexy curves of the 3GS and in with the more masculine (still sexy in my opinion), boxy look and I for one is very excited. Looks like it will have a higher resolution camera with FLASH, bigger battery and a front facing camera to name a few but go on and head over to Gizmodo to get the scoop

UPDATE: You can find the updated coverage of the 4th Generation iPhone Here!

Source: Gizmodo.com

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Gadget Loving Octopus.

This is making the rounds in the internet right now. The diver was minding his own business when this octopus suddenly grabs his camera and runs away with it. Most of the video just shows the extreme close up of the octopus while it's giving chase but try sticking with it till the end to see what happens.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Stormtroopers 365 - One Year of Stormtrooping Action

I've seen a lot of 365 projects before but this one really brought out the Star Wars fanboy within me. 

On Stéfan's site:

'Stormtroopers 365 is a photo project starring TK455 and TK479, Stormtroopers in the Galactic Empire Army.
The project spanned from April 2009 to April 2010. Each day during this year, a new picture was added to the series.'

You can check out his site for the complete story.

You can head over to Stéfan's flickr stream.

Source: Stormtroopers365.com

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo ala Racela

The Cheesecake Factory is one of our all time favorite restaurants here and one of the things that I get whenever we eat there is the Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo. Here is our version of this wonderful dish! (Recipe at the end


1/2 chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups shrimp stock
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes with juice
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked smoked sausage, sliced diagonally
1 lb Chicken breast, cubed
2 lb shrimp, cleaned and deveined

1 cup Heavy Cream

The original gumbo recipe called for making a roux but I opted not to do it because i'm just lazy :o) 
In a large sauce pan/ dutch oven sauté the onions, garlic celery and bell pepper until translucent. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 min to 1 hour or until done. Add the heavy cream and serve over rice.

That's one fat, happy kitty! Hope you enjoyed and happy eating!

If you enjoyed this, you might enjoy our Good Friday Tradition recipe!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch and Chunky Monkey Goodness!

After work, we suddenly got the urge for some ice cream and what better ice cream than Ben & Jerry's. So we went out to our local Price Chopper and got us a couple of pints and had us a good ice cream high!

I got the Coffee Heath Bar Crunch...Wifey got the Chunky Monkey!

What a nice way to spend the evening. Watching re-runs of Friends while enjoying our Ben & Jerry's... What a Life! 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sena Walletbook case for iPhone


Our iphones started to complain about the condition of their "homes" that we went ahead and decided to treat them to new ones. A few days ago I talked about my new iSkin Solo FX case for my phone which is a very nice case in my opinion but now it's time to talk about what my wife chose.

The Sena Walletbook case for the iphone is a very nice case indeed. It is a premium designer leather, comes in different colors as well as a "classic" and "Croco" leather design. The quality is very good and in my opinion , gives your phone an added elegance.

You have a couple of pockets on the left side to hold your credit cards, Driver's license or a picture of your mom and the phone slips in snuggly in a pocket on the right. The only weird thing that we noticed is that since the phone is on the Right side, it can get to be a bit awkward and unnatural the first few times that you open it up. There were some instances that I opened it up and found the phone upside down. But with everything else, you get used to it really quick so it's not a big deal breaker.

All in all the Sena Walletbook is a nicely made phone case. The quality of the materials is very good as well as the design. Shian has been using hers for the past few weeks and she said that the leather has started to relax a little just like a good leather shoe fits better to your foot after a few uses. She doubts that she will be using it as a real wallet since you can't really fit a lot of cards there but she's definitely happy with the purchase and that's really what counts.

Source: Sena Cases

Friday, April 9, 2010

iSkin solo FX for the iPhone

After a good 2 years of use, we finally decided to get new skins for our phones. The old ones that we used was really getting to be an eye-sore so it was really time to try the new ones out there, hence the new Solo FX from iSkin. I've used one of their ipod skins way back when I had an iPod Photo and was really satisfied with it so it was just natural for me to try their new offerings.

iSkin really makes good quality skins but I was kinda hesitant at first because they used to have that sticky silicon covers that attracts all kinds of lint and dust. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they changed the texture in their newer models. It's still rubbery so it's definitely anti-slip but it is smoother and feels real good and snug when attached to the iPhone. 

The solo FX boasts a new reflective screen protector that looks like a mirror when turned off. It really looks nice and adds to the look of the phone but unfortunately it also adds glare and I mean a LOT of glare. It becomes very hard to use your phone outside in a sunny day so get used to a lot of squinting if you want to use the mirror film although it is really a good way to check if you have something stuck between your teeth. :o)

The iSkin Solo FX is a big improvement from the skin that I remember a few years ago. The only drawback that I can see is the included reflective screen protector. If you are the type that values looks more than function... or you have super vision powers, I suggest just going with the trusty clear screen protectors. iSkin also sells a Solo model without the screen protectors and a Solo FX SE kit with both mirror and clear screen films.

Source: iSkin.Com

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Karvt Wooden Macbook Skins

If you love to personalize your gadgets, here's a good alternative to the multitude of vinyl skins that you can put on your Macbook. The Karvt skins boasts 100% wood with a professional grade 3M adhesive backing that should stick well on your Macbook. It comes in different flavors of wood (pine, cherry, maple,..) as well as an artists series which looks really great with the aluminum body of the mac. A nice apple-outline detail also serves as a fool-proof way to center the panel in the back which in my opinion will save a lot of people installation headaches. 

They are still on pre-orders but orders taken for April will ship on May 1st. That's $35 for the original and $50 for the artists series with 10% off on pre-orders so hit the source to check it out.

Source: Karvt.com

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pottery Barn Patchwork Knit Throw

We went out to Crossgates Mall the other day in search for a good throw to replace the old one that we had. The old throw was this cheap $5 thing that was actually beautiful when we bought it but it didn't take a week before it started shedding all over the place! 

So we went over and ended up at one of our favorite store, the Pottery Barn, and look at what we found in one of their clearance bins. 

It's 50" wide x70" long made of soft cotton-acrylic yarn. It comes in an Ivory, Fresca Blue and Red Nectar color (I wonder who comes up with these names..). We preferred the Fresca Blue but ended up with the red because it was the last one.  The texture is smooth and soft, not like the "itchy" feel of our old rag. It's well worth it especially with the deal that we got. The throw retails at $79 and you can order online here but it still pays to peruse your local Pottery Barn for great deals. We didn't get the color that we wanted but with the price and the quality, it's too good to pass up.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Cheesecake Factory

A couple of weeks ago, we went to one of our favorite restaurants here in Albany, NY. The Cheesecake Factory is one of the most recognizable "landmarks" nearby, located in the Colonie Center you really can't miss the colorful facade not to mention the Huge sign that says that you are in for a cheesecake treat when you enter. The Cheesecake Factory has a very rich history, dating since the 1940's, when the original cheesecake recipe was created (You can read the whole story here). 

The place is spacious but can get really full when you come in during peak hours. We waited for 10-15 minutes before we were seated but during peak and especially holidays, it can get to be as bad as a 60-90 minute wait so plan ahead because it is really worth it. 

As soon as you enter, you sign up in the middle counter and they give you one of the beepers if there's a lot of customers. 

The beeper. This gadget will light-up and vibrate when they're ready for you. 

The famous Menu. It's 20 pages thick and it can get really confusing if it's your first time ordering. Take your time and browse through the selection. The wait staff is also a great resource for entrée suggestions so don't be shy to ask. You can view the entire menu here (pdf warning).

After you've chosen, they give you some fresh bread and butter to tide you over. 

We love the butter that comes with the bread! Can't seem to find any good quality butter in the groceries over here. Any suggestions?

I always order the Iced Green tea, which has a refreshing mint flavor. Tastes a whole lot like Starbuck's iced green tea.

The ambiance and the interior is amazing. There's a lot of columns, murals and Egyptian head "thingies" going on. 

Where's our food?! If it's a busy night, be prepared to wait 15-20 minutes more for your grub.

Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta

New Orleans Shrimp

Finally. Time to eat! Attacking the wife's dish before mine.. Yumm!

Caramel Royale Macchiato. Double Espresso, Hot Caramel, Vanilla and Steamed Milk. Need i say more?

Tiramisu or Whipped Cream with a little bit of tiramisu in the bottom. Loved this dessert but there was too much whipped cream on the top. 

Fresh Strawberry Shortcake. Lots of fresh strawberries! Good enough for 2 people but the shortcake was a bit dry for our taste but still good and refreshing.

This is what's left of the tiramisu. Still half a plate full of whipped cream! But i still loved the tiramisu. 

The Cheesecake Factory is still one of our favorite places to eat. We have just barely scratched the surface when it comes to their menu but all in all will recommend this to everybody to try at least once. 

Looking for the nearest Cheesecake Factory?
Click here.

ShareThis 2

Link Within

Related Posts with Thumbnails