Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day 2010

How's it going down under? Another year passed by and I just want to send this greeting...

Happy Australia Day to all the Aussies around the globe :-)

How time flies and today I am reminded that it's my third year of celebrating this special day. It also serves as a reminder that I shouldn't give up my Australian dream. I wrote last year a lot of things about how I fell in love with this country. It's more than two years ago since I last visited Oz. How I terribly miss being there. I still remember how teary eyed I felt when the plane landed on Brisbane. So much joy when I saw the Sydney landscape while I was still in the plane. Indescribable feeling and unfathomable happiness.

Even though I am 8 hours away from Oz I still do join them in celebrating their big day! And my only way to do that is to do some cooking the Ozzie way. Last year I grilled pork which I marinated with black beer & honey. This year is the repeat of the same porky recipe but this time I marinated it with Coopers stout beer and spices. Aside from that my Fusilli Pesto with Sun dried tomatoes is ready. After office I will quickly run to the French bakeshop called Tours Les Jours to buy a small cake.

Somewhere in Geelong, Victoria - Australia

Somewhere in Portland, Victoria - Australia

Featherdale National Park, Sydney - Australia

London Bridge at The Great Ocean Road, Victoria -Australia

The Roof of Sydney Opera House - Australia

Missing Oz makes me feel pressured about my dream. Oftentimes I wonder if that will turn into a reality. Would I still get a Permanent Residence Visa? I am still praying for that. Sometimes I feel sad because the day something in my life crashed, I thought along with that is my Australian dream. That is what I thought so. But I told myself that as long as I breathe I will continue to dream for myself. As you see in my photos--like the cows they seem to have no direction and they seem to walk infinitely but surprisingly their purpose is to provide us milk everyday. Same as the unique plant I saw in Oz, I was bewildered that it exist and I do believe it has a unique purpose. Also with the little kangaroo that I never thought I will get that close to be able to feed and cuddle it. Maybe fate brought me there. Like the moment I touched the roof of the Sydney Opera House, it was an amazing feeling touching it. To think its not nice when you see it in a closer distance. And lastly the rock formation at The Great Ocean Road which Aussie called "The London Bridge." Its myth is about 2 people who fell in love. I do believe that the order of events in my life has a meaning. Each of us serves a great purpose and along with that lies a great dream.

Getting ready for Aussie Day dinner Saigon style!

joanie xxx

Saturday, January 23, 2010

French Toast with Cranberry Jam

G'day Mates!

Aussie Day is just two days away. I woke up this morning thinking about what am I going to do on Tuesday? and at the same time I wanted to cook my favorite French toast, which I did. I just had it with my favorite Cranberry jam and finished the jar today. My French toast tasted different because of the vanilla and cinnamon. Thanks to Nigella Lawson & of course Jamie Oliver!

Lunch time came and I was still thinking about Aussie Day (so obsessed) 'til I took my ladle and cooked some ginger pork and served it with to my Vietnamese friends. Then later on I had my Vespa lesson with them. I'm just happy that I was able to ride and run it! After falling 4x, I agree now with my Vietnamese friends that if I won't try and try I will never learn. So I believe that you have to fall several times or even more than the average before you really succeed on something.

Night came, I decided to do some barbies since I doubt if I can do it on Tuesday after my Muay Thai class. I invited my friends from Sky Garden and Hung Vuong and we grilled the chicken and dory that I marinated. I also bought some fresh corn and they brought some sausages to be grilled too. And of course my Ginger Turmeric Lemon Rice never fails to amaze hungry stomachs. Thanks to my new found friend Quinn for bringing the griller. The girls had fun and before we actually started the barbecue picnic dinner at my veranda, my Russian friend Mischu arrived. He's the only thorn among the roses. I guess we all had fun. I hope next time I can finally buy my real griller.

Still looking forward for Tuesday :-)

joanie xxx

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chicken Curry Rice ala Paella

Happy Year 2010 Mates!

How have you been my Filipino, Vietnamese, Aussie & the global readers and friends? What are you guys preparing for the dinner tonight? :)

It's always best to welcome the year with a bash of good food. Any occasion will not be a feast unless there are sumptuous dishes on the table. It's more than a week now since 2010 arrived. Still unfathomable that we are ending another decade. How time flies, really. Tonight I will be preparing Jamie Oliver's Ginger Lemon Turmeric Rice along with my specialty Chicken Kebabs. It's always good to catch up with good friends here in Saigon after my Holiday vacation in Manila.

Before I headed for my holiday in Manila, I did some cooking stints for my good friends here in Saigon. I cooked Paella for Muay Thai friends after not cooking the dish for almost two years. I also cooked Crepe Dome Chocolate Cake for the first time but I do not have a nice photo for me to post it here. But one of my specialties which is Chicken Curry Rice was a winner during the Christmas dinner with fellow Filipinos here in Saigon. And I am happy to share the photo and the recipe here in my blog.

Did you guys know that I spent Christmas Eve in Saigon unexpectedly? On the day of my flight back home which is on the 24th, an unfortunate event happened in the airport. Problem with my visa at the immigration. The whole day of he 24th I was fixing my visa to be able to fly back home on the 25th of December. I thought it will be a lonely Christmas by myself because most of Filipinos I know went home already for their vacation. I was sad until Ashely Groom my Aussie mate from Muay Thai invited me to be part of his Christmas dinner. I brought a cake and we ate it along with the Cayenne Chicken he prepared which I terribly liked. With us also was his American friend Corey and his Vietnamese girlfriend. Corey's girlfriend left early so Corey, Ashley & I just watched the DVDs of Logie Award-winning Australian television mockumentary series---SUMMER HEIGHTS HIGH. That's how we spent the Christmas Eve after the Cayenne Chicken, Salad, Beers & Wine. It was indeed a different and memorable Christmas Eve that I will always be thankful to have and it's because I gained a true friend like Ashley Groom.

It was a pretty tiring holiday back home. I engaged myself meeting a lot of people to catch up and I didn't cook much during Manila trip because it was too tight and I am still a bit sickie then. To summarize the year that was, it's a pretty amazing year. It's about failures & victories, quitting & surviving and most of all standing the test of time.

Chicken Curry Rice Ala Paella


• Curry Powder
• Chinese Chorizo
• Breast Chicken
• Spring Onion
• Lemon/Lime
• Chicken Stock
• Paprika/Pepper/Salt
• Jasmine Rice (cooked)
• Green Capsicum
• Egg/Butter
• Garlic


Cut the breast chicken into cubes then put in a bowl. Squeeze in some lemon then put a dash of salt, paprika, pepper and curry powder then set aside. Boil the eggs then cut diagonally then set aside also. Cut the capsicum in small cubes then peel and pound the garlic and have it ready. Heat a wok in a medium temperature then place the butter then add the garlic. Saute it for around 30 seconds then add the marinated chicken and chorizo. Allow it to be cooked until a little golden brown then add the the capsicum then followed by he Jasmine rice. Mix them all together. Then add the chicken stock then seasoned it with huge amount of curry powder. Then some pinches of salt & pepper. Continue to mix all together until cooked. Place it in a Pallera pan or wok then sprinkle the chopped spring onions and top it with the sliced eggs. Put some lime on the side for optional citrus flavor of the rice.

Here's to another year of roller coaster adventure to a life less ordinary! The day I proclaimed "Starting today will be my lucky day" it did happen and it still continues...

joanie xxx