Saturday, January 12, 2013


Tonight will be one of the biggest challenges in my home cooking life. Tonight I attempt to cook the French dish tartifletteWhy tartiflette? Where the hell did I discover this dish, you may ask.

It was when my folks took me along with them to a European vacation. We had dinner in a small Parisian restaurant (I don't want to assume it's a bistro, hell I'm not even sure what a bistro actually is). They had a menu in English and I saw this three-course meal that started with French onion soup, tartiflette, and a chocolate mousse. Had to go with that after reading the description of tartiflette.

So what is tartiflette? Basically from all the research I've done it involves bacon, potatoes, white wine, and the crucial ingredient - reblochon cheese. I just hope the reblochon cheese I have here still hasn't spoiled. Yes, I got me some of that amazing cheese. My folks went to Paris again this year for Christmas and this was what I asked for. Because I really want to try and re-create the tartiflette here.

Tonight, tartiflette for dinner.


Thursday, January 10, 2013


There's one thing that frustrates me a lot. And it's this: I still live with my parents.

You read that right. I'm turning 33 this year, I have a wife and daughter, and I still live with my parents.

Before, my maternal grandparents lived with my parents and I. Can you read the difference?

It means I still depend on my folks for things that I should have on my own by now. It's all on me, of course. Being the spoiled only-child that I am. Also I never was as ambitious as I am now, and I guess I only started growing up a few years ago.

Why this sudden post? Because once again circumstances have gotten me thinking. But rather than keep thinking I should start doing.


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

I Can't Believe I'm Cooking More

I'm actually enjoying it. Cooking, that is.

I'd be lying if I said my food wasn't good. It is, personally. But then again, I'm the one who cooked it. My wife and folks seem to like it. But I'm guessing it's not blow-you-away like. Just pleasantly edible like. But who cares.

I cook to release stress. I cook because I like to cook. But, I cook for myself.

Remember Tali from MasterChef US Season 3? The reason he lost that tournament was because he was cooking only for himself, and not for the judges. I'm like Tali. I want to cook what I want. But that's because I'm not a professional chef. And I'm not in a contest.

I am happy that other people like what I cook. Last weekend I made fake tiramisu (fake since this isn't the authentic Italian tiramisu) for my relatives and in-laws. Two batches, one for each group. Both loved it, and both dishes of tiramisus were cleaned out. Not bad.

I'm also becoming more adventurous as I cook. I plan on creating some tartiflette this coming weekend. Tartiflette is a French dish I tasted in France. I had my mom buy me some Reblochon cheese, the specific cheese they use, from France when they were there on holiday. Just so I can risk creating some tartiflette of my own.

So wish me luck, as this Saturday I cook again.


Saturday, January 05, 2013

Two-Car Garage 2013 Edition

Same question, new rules. First, I have to list down most (if not all) of the cars that have graced our garage. Second, I have to decide which two cars among all the cars I've experienced I would want in a two-car garage. Of course we'll be assuming that whatever cars I pick will be excellently cared for, reliable, and not in whatever state it is in now.

First off, the cars. Here they are almost chronologically and from what I can remember:

  • VW Beetle - I used to call it the "bulokswagen" because I wasn't a petrolhead at the time and because it was actually a bit of a crapper from what I remember. Maybe because my dad loaned it to his sister and she didn't care for it as well as dad? I can't remember.
  • Toyota Hi-Ace - 1970s. I have a couple of memories of this van. First, it had two horns - the stock horn and a horn that sounded like a train's horn. I remember this because one time going home near Magallanes I asked my dad to sound the train horn and the electrical system fried or something. The car broke down and we had to take a cab going home. I also remember my dad and I spending weekends fixing the brakes. I was doing the pumping to release air from the brake hoses. Nice van, actually.
  • Box Type Mitsubishi Lancer - A company car my dad used to drive.
  • Nissan Sentra Box Type - My dad drove about two or three of these as his company cars.
  • 1993 Toyota Lite Ace - We jump to this. I've blogged about this a couple of times. Old reliable, still with us. Only it's in the province now. This was my practice car when I was learning to drive, and I remember I scraped the gate of our subdivision the first time my dad and I took this out to practice. Lots of great memories with this van.
  • Mazda 323 Familia - I graduated to using this as my primary car one time when my folks were on vacation and I stopped using the Lite Ace. This had an auto transmission and this was also the car that made me stop wanting to drive stick shifts.
  • 2001 Toyota Rav4 - This is the car I still drive. It was initially my mom's company car that she bought when she became eligible for a new company car. Don't be surprised if this is one of the cars I pick. In fact, I'm spoiling it right now. This is one of the cars I'm picking. A sentimental favorite. Right size, decent power, decent space. I love this car. And thanks to this article I found on jalopnik, I plan on saving enough money to make this car last me a lifetime.
  • 2006/7 Toyota Rav4 - This was the older Rav's replacement. It's nice, but it's too electronic and complicated for me. Plus, it's bigger. I love how it handles, though. My mom bought this when she became eligible for a new company car.
  • 2010 Toyota Hi-Ace Grandia - This is my mom's latest company car. It's a frickin' bus. Very big, very nice. But very big. I drove this once on the trip to Ilocos. It handled decently for a big van, but it's very big. Did I say it's very big?
So those are the cars I can remember us having in our garage. And the two cars that I will be choosing to have?

The 2001 Toyota Rav4 and the 1993 Toyota Lite Ace. Two perfect family cars with the right size and space each. I'd just upgrade the head and taillights of both. And for the Lite Ace I would try to do something to improve the power from the engine, and I'd improve it's sound system. The Rav4 is technically perfect already.

As an aside, if we were to have a third car that we'd park outside the house on the sidewalk (like what's happening to "my" Rav4 right now) I'd have the classic Beetle outside as my toy car. Nice.