Monday, 9 March 2015

A Visit to Dallas Art Museum

In the places I've been or planning to go I make it sure that visiting museums is on my itinerary. This type of place interest me so much as history, art, music, and dance speaks of one's culture. You can tell how rich and diverse a certain community out of these museums' collection, artifacts and paintings.
Main entrance of Dallas Museum of Arts

Last October 2013, although it was my 2nd time in Dallas, Texas that was the only time I got the chance to visit the museum.  I was able to visit the place courtesy of a colleague living there. He was so generous that he offered to drive me there and see places that I haven't visited and of course museum is one of them. Visiting Dallas Art Museum is one of great experience. As I'm more exposed to Asian culture and arts, this place was a heaven to me.

entrance to American Art

North America painting, depicting the tribe
mother and child

European section

during the depression

Dallas Art Museum is located at the Arts District of downtown Dallas. It was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes, winner of Gold medal winner for 2007 American Institute of Architects. The has a lot to offer and divided into regions and countries. They house around 22000 objects and has a wide range of art collection from ancient Mediterranean, South Asia, ancient American, and European Art to name a few. 

I highly recommend this place to visit and get to know more about the art and history of one nation.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Puto de Leche Flan

I cooked Puto (steamed cake) many times and it's always a hit in my family and even friends but haven't tried this Puto Flan or steamed cake with custard. This is a combination of Leche Flan (less the caramelized sugar) and Puto. So I decided to give it a go since I have successful created both of the product, separately of course. I adjusted the sugar for puto since you already have the custard. The taste of puto compliments that sweetness of custard on top. This is one of the simple dessert that you can make this Christmas or in any occasion. 
Preparation: 15 mins
Cooking/Baking: 30 mins

Buttered Puto
4 cups of plain flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup evaporated milk (you can use fresh milk - full cream)
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup butter
1 piece egg

1. Mix all the dry ingredients - flour, sugar and baking powder
2. Melt the butter, then combine milk and egg
3. Combine the dry and wet ingredients and add water, whisk proper ensure the all ingredients are well incorporated
4. Set aside

Leche Flan:
4 egg yolk
1 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon juice

1. Mix all the ingredients and set aside

To assemble/incorporate:
1. Put water in the steamer and bring to a boil.
2. Ensure you put cloth on the pan cover.
2. Fill each molder with 1 tablespoon of the flan mixture then steam for 5 minutes or until done.
3. Put a tablespoon of puto mixture over the cooked flan and continue to steam for 7  minutes or until done.
4. Let cool before un-molding, upside-down, the leche flan will be on top, puto below.

Served with your favorite hot tea!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

In order to find ourselves, we've got to learn to stop

My definition of vacation is going to a place where I can find solitude and serenity. A place where I relaxes my mind and just merely connecting to nature. It always fascinates me to see the sea, the vastness of the ocean excites me and the texture of the the sand agitates me. Born in a tropical place, going to the beach is one of the things that you can't take away from me. Grew up in a place where sea is just a walking distance. This is where I stop and think and look back on what I have done and what I wanted to do next. A thing that is priceless, especially now that things move so quickly, it is so important to spend some time alone in order to think clearly and discover ourselves.

taken at Boracay Island, Philippines last June 2014

“When you're hurrying around too quickly," he had said, "there's a part of the world you can't see. If, for example, you're taking a wrong direction in your life, it's only when you stop and look at things clearly that you can revise your direction and take a more proper course. Then message of Zen is that in order to find ourselves, we've got to learn to stop.” 
          - Pico IyerThe Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Focaccia Bread

This is my first time to bake an Italian bread, a focaccia bread. I was enticed by a cooking show I watched weeks back and I told myself why not try this and see how complicated yet artistic could it be. This is a flat-oven baked bread where the dough is somehow similar to pizza but uses olive oil as one of the main ingredients. You can make your own toppings of flavor according to your preference. For this one I baked two types, cherry tomato with basil leaves and cheese; and Rosemary with grapes. Do use fresh ingredients as possible.

It does not contain sugar, milk,  nor butter thus it is highly recommended for vegetarians and people who are on diet. I was able to make it in one try and I bet you can do the same. Sharing this pretty healthy recipe, hope you enjoy it.

Preparation Time: 2 Hours
Baking Time: 25 minutes

1 package rapid dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water,
2 1/4 cups tepid water
2 Tbsp olive oil,
3 cups bread flour
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp salt, plus coarse salt for sprinkling over the top
5-10 fresh rosemary leaves
10-12 pieces seedless grapes
5-10 fresh basil leaves
10-12 pieces cherry tomatoes

1. Stir the yeast into the 1/3 cup of slightly warm-to-the-touch water and let it rest for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, pour in 2 1/4 cups of tepid water and 2 tablespoons olive oil. After the yeast has rested for 10 minutes and has begun to froth, pour it into the water-oil mixture.
3. Mix all purpose flour and bread flour with one tablespoon of salt.
4. Whisk in 2 cups of flour mixture, cup by cup with the yeast mixture and olive oil & water mixture. Whisk in the rest of the flour. As the mixture goes from a batter to a thick dough, you'll want to switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon.
5. In a large bowl, spread one tablespoon of oil and place the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 2 hours in a room temperature until the dough has double it's size.
6. Split the dough in two.
7. For rosemary focaccia, prepare your rosemary leaves and grapes. Spread the dough into a baking pan spread with little olive or baking sheet so it will be easier to remove once baked. Dimple the bread dough with your hands and let set for 1 hour. Once done, put the rosemary leaves and grapes.
8. For tomato and basil focaccia, prepare your basil leaves and tomato. Spread the dough into a baking pan spread with little olive or baking sheet so it will be easier to remove once baked. Dimple the bread dough with your hands and let set for 1 hour. Once done, put the basil leaves and tomato.
9. Preheat the oven to 400F/204C
10. Once the dough has risen, brush some olive oil on the dough and sprinkle with salt.
11. Bake the two sets of focaccia 20-25 minutes.
12. Once baked, place the bread into the baking rack and let it cool 2-3 minutes. For your basil & tomato focaccia bread, sprinkle grated cheese.

Served the bread with balsamic vinegar & olive oil for your dip. Or you can have butter to go along with that!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Love one another, but make not a bond of love

Then Almitra spoke again and said...
"And what of Marriage, master?"
And he answered saying:

You were born together,
and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings
of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the
silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love.

Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress
grow not in each other's shadow.

- The Prophet, Khalil Gibran, 1883-1931