Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mui Ne, Phan Thiet - Vietnam

Tốt buổi sáng Việt Nam!!!

I just sometimes can't believe it that I have been living and working in Saigon for almost 7 months already. How time flies. I already learned to embrace their culture, foods, scenery and language. And even the chaotic motorbikes whom I find irritating at first is now part of my everyday life. I have my everyday hitch on the Xe Om (motorbike) driver and the adventure I had everyday made me decide to buy one soon. Saigon is very small, that's why I go to the same malls, bars and all other stuff. So it's always great to have a city escape once in a while. And I am going to share you a story about a beach place and the reason why I was smitten.

Mui Ne is in Phan Thiet. A six-hour drive from the city. You can either rent a coaster or a van or you can ride the public bus. The public bus will cost you about 120,000 dong. Basically P360.00 pesos or roughly AU$12.00 dollars. I must say it's a great escape, a worth it six-hour drive. You can find the strip of good resorts to choose from. Good restaurants also surround the area. There's this nice bar near the shore that will lend you some pillows so you can lie down on the sand and gaze at the stars during night time. Lovers, friends and soloist could probably enjoy this unique offering. It's one spectacular moment to wish upon a brightly shining star and hopefully it will come true.

Aside from putting sand between your toes it's also good to watch and play some football in the sand. Isn't it great? I thought frisbee and volleyball are the two sports that we can only play on the beach, I think I was wrong. Because Vietnam is a football country the volleyball thingy won't appeal to them so this is what I got in Mui Ne. Since I am playing football lately I became enthusiastic about this nice Goalie court I found in the middle of the shore. But I feel bad I took it off playing with the Saigon Raiders. I am really not sure if I will go back. I had my bruise on my knee. It's kinda big one. Maybe I will hangout first with some Vietnamese footy players then hopefully go back to Saigon Raiders or could be with the Saigon Saints. In the meantime I still do train on my own with my football and do some drills whenever I can. It's hard to be athletic these days. But I am not giving up my running and Muay Thai and will join the jungle trekking come February.

In a nutshell, Vietnam has a lot of interesting beaches. I got smitten first by Mui Ne. I supposed to go to Na Trang but it was postponed. Maybe I try to visit Hoi An first and find out why Anthony Bourdain would love to live there with his family given the chance. But in my own opinion beaches in my country is still incomparable. I think we really have the most captivating beaches in Asia. I don't know if I can claim that, but probably I can.

Tạm biệt!
Cho đến khi thời gian tới

joanie xxx

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Australia Socceroos & The KIWI

Who's winning the footy mates?!

The FIFA World cup will happen next year June 11 - July 11, 2010. I'm sure you guys have your own bet and will be cheering for your favorite footy team. As for Joanie she is cheering out loud for the Australia Socceroos and at the same time for their neighbor New Zealand. Japan was beaten by the Socceroos last June 17 with the score 3-1 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Tim Cahill the Wonder Boy of the Socceroos scored 2 goals for his team. The Socceroos qualified and secured a slot for the FIFA World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010. Tim Cahill never fails to amaze me with his typical Cahill moves. This Samoan-Irish-English breed with an Australian nationality is also playing for Chang Everton in UK. Every time he will have that classic goal he will be ecstatic and will automatically do the boxing stunts. And that is what I like the most about him aside from his other interesting details. The socceroos team captain is Lucas Neill whom I also admire. To name other Socceroos I remember are Josh Kennedy, Mile Sterjovski, Nick Carle, Mark Schwarzer & Rhys Williams.

Rhys Williams running for the ball

Tim Cahill kick for his classic goal

Victorious moment for the Socceroos

Nice one on the head by Rory Fallon who has a nice ass too =)

Recently New Zealand won over Bahrain and secured a slot for FIFA. As the Kiwi rejoiced for their victory the players from Bahrain went home broken hearted. It was a boring game when there is no action happening after one hour watching it on ESPN live on a Saturday afternoon. But it was exciting when the momentum arrived. I think it was 27 years ago since New Zealand made it to the Finals and that was 1982. Ricki Herbert (NZ Coach) probably repeated the history of what the Australia Socceroos did last November 16, 2005 when they defeated Uruguay in a dramatic penalty shootout to progress to their first World Cup finals in decades. It also prove that this is truly the defining point for the sport of football in that nation. Only after a 32-year absence from football's biggest stage, and countless moments of qualifying heartbreak, could a triumph be as euphoric and memorable as it was for the Aussies that night? The Kiwi coach admitted that they are under pressure but they are enjoying it.

Rory Fallon is the son of the Assistant coach who played during the last NZ World Cup final game in 1982. Rory scored the winning goal using his head literally for New Zealand over Bahrain. He is also my favorite among kiwi footy players. He is the counterpart of my Tim Cahill. But of course Tim Cahill is undisputed here in my heart. My love for Aussie people and Australia as a nation is incomparable. Tim Cahill is like Jamie Oliver in my heart too, but of course Jamie is Jamie. No body can take away this feeling of admiration I have towards him. Just a short story, I hung out with Saigon Raiders the other week and played some football game near where I live. It's truly difficult to run on a big field with all men playing. I feel intimidated and it made me think if I really wanted to play with an all male team. On the other hand I met a footy player from Saigon Saints last Saturday. The opponent of Saigon Raiders. I am thinking which is which? And where will I be at my best? In the meantime I'd like to say GO, GO, GO Tim Cahill and Rory Fallon!!!

Go Australia Socceroos and New Zealand Kiwi =)

joanie xxx

Monday, November 23, 2009

Radicchio Coleslaw

What's up Mates? How's your weather today?

Mine is a little bit gloomy today. In spite of that I am still enthusiastic in posting this very simple salad recipe I did two weeks ago. I guess most of Western people are very familiar with the Radicchio. Especially the Australian and English people. I remember my favorite kiddo chef Matthew McKenzie from Melbourne using Radicchio on his salad that he got from his backyard. He simply did a lips smacking dish. From there I was inspired to come up something with my Radicchio. So voila! I come up with this pink coleslaw using my now favorite salad essential--Radicchio! It's also my first time to use fresh green peppercorn which I pounded using my steel mortar and pestle. You guys excited with the recipe?

Just took this photo on my living room floor

My diet meal. No rice just the Radicchio Coleslaw.


• Half part or small Radicchio
• 2 medium Carrots
• 2 medium onions
• 4 stem fresh green Peppercorns
• Japanese Mayonnaise
• Cane Vinegar
• Salt / Sugar to taste


Slice thinly or shred the Radicchio, Carrots and onions then set aside. Pound the fresh green Peppercorns using the mortar and pestle then set aside. Bring out a huge bowl then put all together the shredded veggies with the pounded peppercorns. Add right amount of cane vinegar then add salt and sugar to taste. Leave it for 15-20 minutes. Mix everything then add Mayonnaise. Chill then you can serve with chicken or steak with mashed potatoes on the side.

Buon Appetito!

joanie xxx

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jamie's American Road Trip

Hey Mates! Shake your booty! =)

Last night I really waited for the premiere episode of Jamie's American Road Trip TV series on Discovery Travel & Living. Well I made it and was able to watch it from the very start 'til the end. Although last night I fell asleep on my couch because I was so tired lately. I am doing Muay Thai 2x a week and I am more on techniques now compared to my cardio and technique classes before. Well I was able to see Jamie says goodbye Fish and Chips and hello to Mac and Cheese. From the Big Ben to Big apple--First destination, New York!

I was surprised about the things that he featured about New York. It's not the typical thing that I would see a celebrity chef would visit. The episode pinched my heart. The main reason is because he featured different immigrants in New York. It started from the Egyptian guy who shared him the Egyptian spice called Dukkau to the guy from Columbia who crossed the border from Mexico to big apple. He is George, devoted in feeding the homeless immigrants every night. Jamie helped him cooked and witnessed the cold night where in they fed numbers of immigrants in Jackson Heights, NY. Another thing that surprised me was the illegal Peruvian restaurant that Jamie visited somewhere in Jackson Heights too. I think he was really amazed with the food and the set up. The first floor is the restaurant and the owner's house upstairs. He helped the owner's aunt do the Ceviche. The area is kinda hidden and Jamie was flabbergasted, he even commented that the place even looks like Lousisiana after typhoon Katrina. But he said what matters is what you put on the plate, and he's right! Another interesting people that he visited were Zorah and Tamara who convene people inside their little New York Apartment whom they called, SUPPER CLUB. Then he also went to a Chinese resto and did some Schezwan noodles. Later on he tasted what he cooked and all he said was "Hohohohoho." Too spicy I guess. To wrap his New York trip he prepared a dinner and invited some NY bloggers and had a dinner menu for them. Then he placed a donation box at the door of his NY apartment to collect some money and give to George the guy who feeds the homeless immigrant every night.

Jamie will also visit Los Angeles, Wyoming, Louisian, Georgia and Arizona. Well I have to see those episodes on the coming Thursdays! It's another sure rock, I bet! Here are some photos from Jamie's American Adventure.

The vintage car, the flag & grocery bag

The Navy guy? or Sailor Man?

The Indian

Fifth little Indian Boy

The Hard Hat Man, Oh yeah!


The COWBOY stare...

The Marlboro classic


Jamie's first episode of American Road Trip was really amazing! He's really an amazing person. I could imagine how lucky those people he met along the way. Too bad not everyone knows Jamie. And for us who know him well, lets be happy with the stamina of this person in cooking and helping other people. Now I am torn if I will pursue my US trip or my Australian trip on Christmas 2010. My mind isn't there yet. But I am looking on both options. My mind is still up high with my London trip on my birthday!

Hadrian Wall or Stonehenge? =)

joanie xxx

Friday, November 06, 2009

Cranberry Jelly with Caramel Pudding

Hi Mates! Whadaya doin' this arvo?

Maybe you should try something different. Something to tease your partner. Something that they will crave from now on. My suggestion is so sinful and seductive. A devilicious dessert that will surely brings out the tiger roar in your partner or the person you will have this one tasted. I sent this recipe on the Valentine's video I did last year for Jamie Oliver's contest. And the video won. Last Halloween I had my chance to repeat this sinful recipe. It's so hard to find some ingredients here in Saigon but I was able to do some alternatives. This will surely delight you and will satisfy your craving. So why don't you bring out your apron and start whipping this amazing dessert!


• Fresh Cranberry extract or Cranberry Juice
• Plain Jello
• Egg yolks
• Vanilla Ice Cream
• Caramel syrup
• Jello Caramel Pudding Mix
• Cinnamon
• Sugar


Prepare the cranberry extract. Boil water then add the cranberry. Add a little sugar. Mix the plain gelatin in cold water according to the instruction on the label. Add it to the boiling cranberry. Stir for few minutes until it thickens a bit. Bring out some Martini or wine glass or even water goblet, pour the cooked cranberry gelatin. Have it cool until it's hard enough for the caramel pudding topping.

Get the Jello Caramel Pudding mix. Mix according to the instruction at the back of the label. Boil a little water then add the Caramel pudding mix. Stir carefully then add the beaten egg yolks. Scoop some vanilla ice cream then add caramel syrup. Continue stirring until it thicken. Pinch some cinnamon powder. Taste if the sweetness is good enough-- if not, feel free to add sugar. Then it's ready. Top it on the cooled Cranberry gelatin that was placed on wine class or martini glass. This is sooo good, I must say!

Hope you enjoy it sinners! :-)

joanie xxx

Thursday, November 05, 2009

1/3 The Artist Chef Manila

This is part one of the last three customers I had back in Manila. I have to post them first before I finally post the very first Artist Chef here in Saigon. These photos are overdue already. I just procrastinates very often that's why this has been delayed for the longest time. My apologies. I have so many preoccupations and many stuff I have to do with work and all the other things I am busy with lately. Don't worry two more to go then everything is set for The Artist Chef Global. I am also getting ready for my new business card with my new theme design of aqua blue.

Btw guys, If someone knows the names of this couple do email me or post a comment. I forgot their names already and since I didn't bring my notebook where all the names of my customers were written, I can't acknowledge or give them my thank you. I'd be grateful for any help given.

Cảm On tất cả mọi người!!!

joanie xxx