Archive for the Uncategorized Category

NEW BLOGSITES! HURRRRAY! =)

Posted in Personal, Uncategorized on May 4, 2010 by ketchupplease

Well, well, well… looks like I’ve finally found new homes for my blogs.. hehe =)

Please, please, do link me up!

Here are my new blogs:

Pursuits of Wifeyness and Quench My Thirst

Thank you so much for all your support in my “Ketchup, please?” blog… and looking forward to see you guys  in my new sites! =D


The World is Awesome! (Discovery Channel)

Posted in Music, Personal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 15, 2009 by ketchupplease

Good morning friends!!! Just wanted to share with you my current favorite ad/song.
A nice reminder for us to see all the beauty that surrounds us…

The world is such a beautiful place… it just depends on how we look at it.

One day, about 5 years ago, I just woke up and in a snap, it dawned on me how beautiful the world is, how beautiful my life is… Funny (some might even find it weird), but true.. Suddenly, I just saw the world in a different light… a gift that I’m always grateful for – being able to see the world through rose-colored glasses. And from then on, I’m easily amazed with the simple little things that are actually God’s miracles. 

Have a beautiful life! 🙂

“The World Is Awesome” (Discovery Channel)

Two astronauts float in space – voiceover:

 

Astronaut 1: It never gets old, huh? 

Astronaut 2: Nope.

Astronaut 1: It kinda makes you want to…

Astronaut 2: Break into song?

Astronaut 1: Yep

 

I love the mountains, I love the clear blue skies …

I love big bridges …

I love when great whites fly …

I love the whole world …

And all its sights and sounds …

Boom-de-ah-da, Boom-de-ah-da, Boom-de-ah-da, Boom-de-ah-da!

I love the ocean …

I love real dirty things …

I love to go fast …

I love Egyptian kings …

I love the whole world …

And all its craziness …

Boom-de-ah-da, Boom-de-ah-da, Boom-de-ah-da, Boom-de-ah-da!

I love tornadoes …

I love arachnids …

I love hot magma …

I love the giant squid …

I love the whole world, it’s such a brilliant place …

Boom-de-ah-da, Boom-de-ah-da, Boom-de-ah-da, Boom-de-ah-da!

My Arabian Dream… coming soon! :-)

Posted in All About Dubai, Travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2009 by ketchupplease

Ok let’s face it… hubby and I are here in Dubai for work purposes and not really for leisure…

Bored with our dull routine, I looked up places where we can explore and find out more about Middle Eastern culture. One time, I dragged my hubby to explore the Dubai Museum (which turned out not to be the main museum, but a government office/gallery, oops… ) Excitedly took pictures and all… then hubby laughed at me and said as if we’re tourists… I looked back at him and smiled.. “hell, yeah we ARE tourists!!! We pay so much to see and explore other countries, and it’s ironic that we’ve been here for quite a while already (2 years for him), and yet we haven’t seen the really interesting places… For me, being a “tourist or traveller” is more of a state of mind… This is actually a good opportunity for us to experience the immensely rich Arabian culture! 

Dubai is a very modern city, filled with too many new malls and structures, but it doesn’t quench my thirst for mid-eastern culture.. I don’t really appreciate modern stuff as much as old culture-y stuff. I looked up possible weekend getaways, but it wasn’t very easy coz I had one major restriction — a big NO-NO to modern hotels/resorts! — and  Dubai, as we all know, is such a new city, some even call it an “artificial city”.. *sob* 

I thirst for old Arabian architecture, decor, Moroccan lamps (ohhh how I love them!), local cuisine, ambiance… the works! 

After days of googling and checking with our friends, I finally found the perfect place for a weekend getaway at Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert and Resort Spa! (right smack in the desert, baby! *wink*) A bit overbudget, so we’ll just wait for our First Wedding Anniversary in a few weeks so we can celebrate at the same time… Nevertheless, we already booked last night, and specifically requested a room overlooking the desert! ohhh… sounds like the perfect Arabian paradise! 

 I AM SOOOOO EXCITED!!!! 🙂 This experience will definitely go to our Memories of a Lifetime Bank”… 

My advice to fellow Pinoys in UAE —  do stretch a bit and treat yourself to some wonderful Arabian experience.. Make sure to bring home beautiful memories with you before you leave this desert city. Money’s as good as nothing if you can’t enjoy it once in a while, right?… 

bab1 bab4 bab6 bab10bab12 bab13 bab16

 

My Impromptu Chicken Cordon Bleu, et al… (Products of our Broken Refrigerator)

Posted in RECIPES EXCHANGE :), Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2009 by ketchupplease

cordon-bleu25

Well, well, well.. I’m proud of my   impromptu dish! A product of my   Domestic UN-Goddessness — yes ,”un-goddess”…

My fault, our refrigerator broke down last night. It’s been quite a while since the freezer was last defrosted.. and I insisted that we chip the ice so it would defrost quicker. So, we chipped the ice in the freezer with a knife and a meat tenderizer (talk about impatience!) hehe.. and there you go.. refrigerator gas leak!

So, I had to cook our food stocks so it won’t all go to waste.. and voila… my very own version of Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken with Cheese and Basil, and Shrimp Parmigiana!

I only used what I had on hand:

VERSION 1:

Skinless Chicken Breasts

Cheddar Cheese

Turkey Bacon

Fresh Asparagus

Ground White Pepper

Thaw chicken breasts. Cook the fresh asparagus in a pan with water and salt to soften it.  Slice the uncooked breast on one side to make a “pocket”. Stuff the breast with sliced cheese, fried bacon, and asparagus.  Sprinkle white pepper inside the pocket. Seal the sides with barbecue stick/s.  Dredge with cornstarch, then dip in egg. Then lastly, cover with Parmesan Breading mixture (below). Fry in medium heat for about 5 mins. 

VERSION 2:

Chicken Breasts

Cheddar Cheese

Fresh Basil Leaves

Same as above. I ran out of bacon so I just stuffed the chicken with cheddar cheese and chopped basil leaves which I just picked from my small Basil plant. Sprinkled with some ground white pepper. Same, same… Dredge in cornstarch, then dip in egg, then roll in Parmesan Breading mixture. Fry in medium heat for about 5 mins. 

BREADING:

1. Cornstarch

2. Egg

3. Hot ‘n Spicy Dry Breadcrumbs

   Grated Parmesan Cheese

   Mixed Herbs

   Dried Basil

Dredge the meat in cornstarch first, then dip in egg. Then roll in Parmesan Breading mixture. As for the Parmesan Breading, adjust ingredients according to taste..  I must have used about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese…

MUSHROOM SAUCE

Mushroom Soup Powder Mix (though I think condensed soup might taste better)

Water

Milk (in my case, Anchor fullcream powder milk was the only milk available, haha!)

Ground white pepper

Mix a small portion of mushroom soup mix with water, add milk, and white pepper. Make sure the mixture isn’t very salty coz the cheese in the chicken is already salty. Separate a few tablespoons of the mixture and mix with a little cornstarch. 

Stir over low heat. When already simmering, stir in the cornstarch mixture. Stir until sauce is thick. 

 

SHRIMP PARMIGIANA

Shrimps

Parmesan Breading

I had some shrimps available too, so I just salted the shrimps a bit, then dredged with cornstarch, dipped in egg, then rolled in the Parmesan Breading too. 🙂 

 

Not bad!

🙂

Now, how are we going to eat all of these? Hahaha!

To Grill or Not To Grill? Or Not To Eat At All? That is the Cancer Question…

Posted in All About Food!, Health, Personal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 5, 2009 by ketchupplease

optima21I was so excited when Fed Ex delivered this (along with my Philips Satinelle Ice epilator – which I’m still mustering up courage to use). We got this from HSBC’s airmile rewards program.

We figured an indoor grill would be safer to cook with since it doesn’t use charcoal (carcinogenic). Boy, we were so wrong!

The moment we got it, I quickly googled about grilled foods. And much to my surprise (and dismay), I read information about cancer-causing HCAs, or heterocyclic amines, which are created when meat, poultry, and fish are cooked at high temperatures. 

I’ve been trying my best to cook the healthier way since cancer is in my genes, and I really don’t wanna get it…

Here are essential info that I found on the web, which are enlightening, but at the same time, very confusing! It basically leaves us with nothing much to eat except for vegetables and fruits! 

I wanted to avoid oil as much as possible, so I’ve resorted to cooking without oil (something like grilling) with our Teflon pan.. but I found out that cooking that way only increases the HCA’s because of meat’s exposure to high heat and longer cooking time. Then maybe it’s safest to boil.. but, no..?

  • Cooking with liquid—boiling, steaming, poaching, or stewing, for example—generates no HCAs because the temperature never tops the boiling point of water. Ditto for microwaving, so long as the food is not overcooked or dried out. 
  • Heterocyclic amines appear to form once the meat reaches a certain temperature regardless of whether it’s fried, sautéed, grilled, or boiled. (Hey I thought it was safe to boil? Ano ba talaga?)
  • The other potential cancer causing agent found in cooked red meat is also a product of temperature. These are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are formed primarily when meat is grilled. If you’ve observed those black, charred pieces on steaks after they come off of the grill, you’ve seen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
  • Whenever fat drips on a flame, heating element, or hot coals, chemicals called PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) form. The PAHs waft up in the smoke and can land on the food. They can also form directly on food when it’s cooked to a crisp.

So, that leaves us with baking or roasting, which produces less HCA’s (depending again on temperature and cooking time)

  • Grilling, barbecuing, broiling, and pan-frying are more likely to produce HCAs than baking or roasting, because they generate more heat.
  • Never eat browned or overly cooked food. Burnt food forms harmful compounds. If by accident something is overcooked and browned, discard (ohh the yummy parts!). Avoid fried food and food sautéed in oil.

I read that marinating meat would lessen the production of HCA’s, and sausage and hotdog casings offered some sort of protection from HCA.. so I thought, maybe not-so-browned fried chicken’s a bit safer after all… once again, no…  why, even the breading (carbohydrates) is carcinogenic!

  • Add the carcinogenic potential from heated and overcooked oils (usually trans containing) delivered in doughnuts and fries with the powerful cancer inducing properties of carbohydrates cooked at high heat (acrylamide formation) and you have a great cancer potion.

Oh.. so hotodgs and sausage casings do offer some sort of protection from HCA’s?… Allelluia!!! …..NOT!!!

While HCAs do not form in grilled hotdogs, these highly processed meat products contain other carcinogens. Nitrates and N-nitroso compounds, preservatives found in processed foods such as hotdogs and sausages, have long been recognized as potent carcinogens.16

And… does this mean that McDonald’s burgers are the safer way to go? I am so confused now…

Fewer HCAs are found in fast-food burgers because they’re cooked so quickly. “They’re not exposed to the high heat over a long time that causes large amounts of HCAs,” says Knize. “There are some, but not what you get off the backyard barbecue.”

Ok, ok.. so processed meats are carcinogenic (spam, hotdogs, sausages, bacon, etc)… so what sandwiches can I prepare for my hubby’s breakfast at work? Ahhh, yes… my home-made cheese pimiento spread! It’s just made of cheese, butter, milk, and pimiento… what harm could it do? It must be the healthiest choice!  What, NO??? 

Worst Seven Foods for Health and Longevity

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Potato Chips and French Fries
  • Doughnuts
  • Salt
  • Sausage, hot dogs
  • Pickled, smoked or barbequed meat

Foods high in saturated fat and trans fat are consistently associated with high cancer rates. Cheese and butter typically contain over ten times as much saturated fat as fish and white meat chicken and turkey.

Sniff! I’m running out of options here… happy to see some helpful tips:

Tips for safer and healthier grilling:

  • Cook smaller pieces: They cook more quickly and at lower temperatures.
  • Choose leaner meat: Less fat should reduce flames and therefore smoke.
  • Precook in the microwave: Doing so for two minutes may decrease heterocyclic amines by 90%, according to some research.
  • Flip frequently: That way, neither side has time to absorb or lose too much heat.
  • Before grilling or broiling, pre-cook meat or poultry in the microwave for two to five minutes and throw away the juice. “By discarding this juice, you can reduce HCAs by 90 percent,” says Lawrence Livermore’s Mark Knize.

 

Ohh… finally, a solution to avoid HCA’s! Just precook the meat in the microwave for 2 mins prior to grilling, or frying too maybe… Microwave is the answer! What… NO again???

  • Microwaving prepared meats sufficiently to insure sanitary ingestion caused formation of d-Nitrosodienthanolamines, a well-known carcinogen.
  • Ingestion of microwaved foods caused a higher percentage of cancerous cells within the blood serum [cytomas – cell tumors such as sarcoma]
  • In a statistically high percentage of persons, microwaved foods caused stomach and intestinal cancerous growths, as well as a general degeneration of peripheral cellular tissues, with a gradual breakdown of the function of the digestive and excretive systems. If you must use a grill to prepare meat, choose low fat meat as they form fewer polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Trim off any black, charred areas before eating.

That’s it.. it’s bad to grill, to fry, to broil, why, it’s bad to cook anything nowadays! Ok, maybe, I can settle for good ol’, boring chicken breast and fish.. the leanest, safest food there is… or maybe not?

  • Many people switch to chicken and fish, believing these to be healthier alternatives to beef. But that is not the case. On the grill, chicken produced more than 10 times the amount of the carcinogenic heterocyclic amines found in grilled beef. Furthermore, nearly all the HCAs detected were in the form of PhIP, which has specifically been implicated in breast cancer risk.12 This increased PhIP formation is likely due to the fact that chicken contains a large amount of phenylalanine, tyrosine, and isoeucine, amino acids that contribute to HCA formation. Fish also contains significant amounts of creatine, one of the other main ingredients for the formation of the carcinogens; not surprisingly, fish showed significant HCA formation as well.

The Five Worst Foods to Grill

Food HCAs ng/100g*
Chicken breast, skinless, boneless, grilled, well done 14,300 ng/100g2
Steak, grilled, well done 810 ng/100g3
Pork, barbecued 470 ng/100g4
Salmon, grilled with skin 166 ng/100g5
Hamburger, grilled, well done 130 ng/100g3
   

*100g portion equals about 3.5 ounces grilled

Ok I get it! Red meat, poultry and fish still have carcinogenics in them.. I guess this means switching to fruits and veggies, and vegemeats… *sob*

  • Consumers who want to reduce their cancer risk need not give up grilling. Reducing exposure to carcinogens is as simple as grilling veggie burgers instead of hamburger, or a thick portabello mushroom instead of a steak. 

I’ve actually tried vegetarian sausages and vegemeat, but it’s not even half as good as the real thing.. Googling about all these have made me more confused… and I wonder now when I’d ever feel good using our new electric griller… If all the foods mentioned really do cause cancer, then how come earlier generations lived so long? I mean, they didn’t have studies like this yet.. and they lived up to 100 yrs old…

It’s past lunchtime now, and I’m hungry.. but I kinda feel bad frying the Chicken Parmigiana I prepared last night.. It’s chicken breast, it has breadcrumbs (carb) and parmesan cheese (saturated fat)… Tsk.Tsk. Tsk. 

😦

I don’t guarantee all these as facts coz I just got them on Google at the following sites:

http://www.cancerproject.org/media/news/fiveworstfoodsreport.php

http://www.curezone.com/foods/microwave_oven_risk.asp

https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/cancer-risk-from-bbq-meat

http://www.cspinet.org/nah/6_98heat.htm

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-meat-grill-fry-or-broil-it.html

A small request: Prayer for Cancer Cure

Posted in Personal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 22, 2009 by ketchupplease

A friend emailed me this… I can’t help but share it with you.

A small request:

candle

Dear God, I pray for the cure of cancer. Amen.

All you are asked to do is keep this circulating. Even if it’s to one more person. In memory of anyone you know that has been struck down by cancer or is still living with it.

A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle.

Please Keep This Candle Going!

There will be a cure. Thank you.

pink_ribbon_gs1prostate_cancer_-awarenessThis prayer is for my mom and dad, who are both cancer survivors, and for all others who are stricken with cancer… Please pray with me for their complete healing.. Thank you.

Sheikh Mohammad, Dubai’s great leader

Posted in All About Dubai, Politics: Taboo?, Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 18, 2009 by ketchupplease

sheik2“What’s the name of our Sheikh again??” 

I must have asked this a million times already, but I always can’t seem to remember his name… maybe it’s because I just wasn’t very interested.. but lately he’s been getting not only my attention, but admiration as well. 🙂

I’d like to share with you a recent article in Gulf News that just shows what a great, hands-on leader Sheikh Mohammad is. 

Happy to introduce to you His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai…

sheik1

Mohammad treats family to true Arab hospitality

Gulf News Report
Published: February 03, 2009, 23:51

Dubai: It was a once in a lifetime moment.

A European family on a picnic in Dubai was surprised when a 4×4 stopped near them.

It was none other than His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who was driving past (no bodyguards!) and saw a car parked by the main road. 

It seems the family parked their car which could not get any further into the desert, and walked a few hundred metres where they set up their camp.

Shaikh Mohammad noticed the car at the side of the road and footprints leading into the desert. Out of concern, he ventured in with his jeep and followed the trail to make sure everything was fine. He saw the family camping and taking pictures.

Greeting them, he welcomed them to Dubai and in true traditional Arab hospitality served them coffee, and spent time chatting with them.

The family experienced first-hand the chivalry and humility of a great leader. 

Please click on this also to read another great article about him: Five Minutes that Changed an Elderly UAE Citizen’s Life