Aside from my usual photography and crafting stuff, one thing I also really enjoy is cooking. For some reason, my mom really didn't like cooking but she was a really good cook! One of the reasons that she told me was that she used to cook all the time that she kinda got burned out. I guess it happens?
I'm a big foodie, so for me it's a really fun thing to do. One thing I super hate tho is having to wash dishes. I really am making it a goal that I'm getting a dishwasher! Another challenge that I face most of the time is the availability of Filipino ingredients, or Asian goods in general. Living in the Midwest, there aren't really a lot of big Asian grocery stores with a lot of variety. There are some places like in MIlwaukee or Chicago, but I don't live in those big cities so I somehow have limited quick access.
I'm still happy tho, because there is quite a large Hmong population in Wisconsin there are a lot of Hmong Asian stores in Oshkosh. Not bad, because they do sell quite a bunch of Filipino stuff!
My Filipino Spaghetti!!
I have been really craving my Filipino-style spaghetti a.k.a. sweet spaghetti (or so that's how foreigners, well, non-Filipinos) describe it. It's kinda hard to use the "term" foreigner now because I just realized that I'm the foreigner LOL.
I got several packs of the sauce from Seafood City in Chicago, and finally I'm able to make it! My recipe is a little bit more intricate than the usual, probably because I add a lot of other stuff in it. One thing about my sauce is that I love making it extra meaty. So basically it's meat, mushrooms and whole lot of good yums with some sauce.
And what's the best thing to pair with Spaghetti? Chicken!
I was to lazy to grill outside so I just grilled this one on the griddle.
TA - DA!!!
Cooking can be so relaxing, it makes me so happy (and fat!).
So aside from my beloved Pinoy spaghetti, I also crave so many Asian food that's really hard to come by here. And even if I do, since they're considered delicacies, they're usually quite pricey. Relatively speaking, I'd say they're fairly priced - but knowing how to make them myself, I still find it hard to spend that much.
Yes, I know. I'm stingy.
So I decided to just take a stroll at the store and came home with some wrappers, meat, veggies, and...
TA - DA!!
Gyoza and Siomai!
These are pretty tedious to make, but I actually find it really relaxing (more than the cooking itself). Just sit there and make dumplings.
Then of course, I had to make some Palutang / Palitaw! It's basically similar to mochi but cooked differently. It's sticky rice flour, molded and boiled. The name itself roughly translates to "to float" or "to show up" - which is how this snack is cooked. Once it floats to the top of the boiling water, it's basically cooked.
There's more to come, and maybe I'll post some recipes in the future too.
Hope you enjoyed all the foodie pics! :)
Last Friday, AlexBear and I went to Chicago to renew my passport and (finally!) file my Report of Marriage at the Philippine Consulate. It was a dreaded trip, we weren't really looking forward to the traffic and all. Normally, the trip would take three hours - with what Google Maps considered as normal traffic.
Well, it took quite a bit more than that. We also didn't expect that it would rain. It wasn't bad, but it definitely added to the slow movement of vehicles. Now I sound like weatherman. Lol!
As we got closer to Chicago, it felt soooooo nostalgic. I don't like heavy traffic, but it sure made me homesick! I mean, big city, the smog, the traffic and the skyscrapers. The whole time I was saying, OMG I feel like I'm on my way to Manila/Makati! Especially from this view - it felt like a Cavitex trip.
When we arrived in downtown Chicago, traffic was a lot different from Oshkosh. There were hardly some lines on the road and I swear I will not drive there ever. The buildings were all beautiful tho. I won't deny that this really made me miss my days hanging out in Makati, and crashing over friends, going shopping and all. I don't really miss the busy big city life, but I still do every now and then.
Back to Chicago - I'm sure the city would be more beautiful and picturesque if it was a sunny day. So I took the best photos I could with my phone.
NOTE: Click images to enlarge.
And of course, I need to take photos of my favorite stores. I mean, yeah, it's quite childish - I go to the same stores here but still... LOL.
Except Burberry tho, I don't think we have that in Oshkosh at least.
The Philippine Consulate
Honestly speaking, I was kind of dreading going to the Consulate itself. I've read some reviews and there were some people who said that it was really slow and they were told to come back the next day. I really don't want to come back on Monday because that means I'll have to take another day off and we're going to have to travel ways away again.
I mentioned earlier, we had no idea how bad the traffic was going to be so we actually arrived more than three hours later. Luckily, there is an underground parking area. Unfortunately it costs a lot. I mean, parking in Appleton, WI is about $10 at most. Parking for 3-8 hours was $37! And no, there was no 3-5 hours but it's just a bracket of 3-8 hours.
When we arrived, it was also raining quite hard so we did get somewhat wet trying to find the right place. Turns out the Consulate was in a building whose entrance said it's a school. It's the right place, there's just no indication outside. That part was kinda irritating consider that looking for the right place while it's raining is no fun.
The consulate itself was a small place so it's not really busy and full of people. There were several other who were there before us and a movie was playing for those who are waiting.
The lady at the counter did ask me why I was late, technically I wasn't because it's about 1pm and they close at 4pm. But she said it takes a while to get the Report of Marriage done, so I explained that we came from Wisconsin and that we didn't expect this much traffic. They were really nice and they managed to get our paperwork done within the day.
I was also able to file for my passport renewal! Woohooo!!
The Highlight of it All
Now the thing I was really looking forward to was...
Going to Seafood City!!
Seafood City is actually a Filipino grocery store that has all sorts of Pinoy goodies. Then it also has some Filipino restaurants like Jollibee and Red Ribbon. This is the reason of my enthusiasm to come! There are a lot of Asian stores here in Wisconsin, but there are a lot of other Filipino products that they don't sell here like my Pinoy Style spaghetti sauce haha!
And of course... I gotta eat all that I can in Jollibee!!!
And when I said eat all I can, I meant that. So I ate the spaghetti, chicken, burger steak and peach mango pie.
I deserve it!!!
Moving forward, we did our groceries finally and oh boy did I overspent! No brainer. I took most of what I think I need, but I know I will need a lot more.
I'll be coming back...
The only thing that really got to me is how expensive things are. AlexBear and I love hopia but sheez, $4 for a pack of four pieces. Oh lawd have monetary mercy!
And I thought, oh let's get some local beauty stuff... simple but smells like home...
Uh.. okay, I'll skip this one.
But overall, I think we're all solved at the moment! Especially that the Bear has finally gotten his San Miguel Pale Pilsen!
Was it a good day?
Overall, of course it was! I got to talk to some Filipinos at the Consulate, ate my Jollibee and bought my groceries. I was also able to stock up my pancit canton (wahahah *insert evil laugh*).
See you next time Filipino goodies!
I've always kept a diary growing up, and come the digital age I always maintained a blog - until life got too busy.
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