Friday, May 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Jamie Oliver!

May 27 has just arrived again. Another day for me to remember the man I consider GOD in my culinary journey. I will forget to blog on the day of my birthday but never on Jamie Oliver's birthday. This is his first birthday that I would greet him after meeting him in person in London last October. For me he is the noblest human being that has ever existed on this planet, without any exaggeration. Being aware about all his campaigns and good deeds in life in helping people by using his ultimate passion and talent about food, makes me admire him more each day. He has already proven himself that he is more than just this fat chef with a drum kit as what Marco Pierre White has brutally said about him couple of years ago. I would vehemently disagree on that. I would just wish he continue to produce good TV shows, delightful cook books and stunning food campaigns. I also wish he will continue to develop good products through his JME online products.

Behind all these countless activities this man is busy about, at the end of the day --he is a good dad and a loving husband. I think he wouldn't ask for more now that he has a gorgeous wife--Jools, 3 lovely daughters and an adorable son. A very good family man. Never became conceited. In this world, good people are blessed because of their good deeds and Jamie is one of those. He is like a pitcher filled with blessings and what he does is to pour it to other people and share it.

So last night I just watched episodes from Jamie's 30-minute meals and Jamie's at Home. While watching, I made a slow roast pork which I marinated in beer and herbs & spices. I wasn't able to finish roasting it so I don't have photo yet. I only took the photo of my roasted tomato soup which smells and tastes really good. This tomato soup will beat all the tomato soup I have tasted. This soup is a lip-smacking one and the sensation of the herbs and spices are vivid but not overpowering the essence of the mashed roasted tomatoes. The after taste is something you will never forget. A recipe i would recommend to everyone.



• Tomatoes
• Curry powder
• Paprika
• Turmeric
• Cayenne
• Salt & Pepper
• Milk
• Onions
• Marjoram
• Thyme
• Olive oil
• Butter


Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius 10-15 minutes. Wash tomatoes and put it in a baking tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and dash some salt. Reduce the temperature of oven into 150 degrees celsius the put the tomatoes inside the oven. Heat it for 30-40 minutes. When cooked, peel it and mash but leave some chunky texture. Heat casserole with butter then add onions. Saute for few minutes then add the mashed tomatoes. Season with all the herbs and spices and add a bit of milk and water. Simmer until it thickens. Serve with toasted bread.

I dedicate this post to James Trevor Oliver!

Happy Birthday Jamie!! xoxo

big hug,
joanie xxx

Sunday, May 15, 2011

April 30. Happy Birthday Joanie!

Hello April 30!!!

It's another birthday indeed. The year that was--came so quickly that I didn't realize I am a year older again. I can say that last year was the best year of my life. It has a lot of meaningful anecdotes, significant stories, priceless moments, dreams turned into reality and a breaking milestone.

So as usual my birthday is the day of my life that I really yearn for a cake. I prepared myself to do my own cake with the fear that no one will give me one. So prior this day I've been struggling which cake to make. Whether an Australian Pavlova or the Italian Tiramisu. And guess what? I know you figured out the answer even before you read this. Pavlova made it! I was able to bake this meringue dessert from the people down under. It was a success despite the mishaps. I promise to do it again next time to perfect it, Baking it the first time is not as perfect as it supposed to be.

So came the day of my birthday I just intended to cook little food plus my Pavlova and invited friends who are in town at that day because most people are out of town because of the 4-day weekend. I had 4 guests and they all brought me presents. I was really touched. Yeng Reyes brought in an additional cake, JP & Marge brought me a bouquet of flowers and Xie Hao never fails to give me something for my beauty regimen. After dinner, Xie Hao and I went to Park Hyatt for one round of drinks and what a surprise when a guy who is a traveling business man approached us. Xie was teasing me that he was smitten by my petite beauty that he kept on giving adorable compliments. He offered me and Xie free drinks. We had an interesting conversation with this generous and gentleman American. He would catch us again some other time when he is back in Saigon. Nice to meet a stranger who could possibly be a good friend. To conclude things, it was a quiet April 30 birthday.

A week later which was on the 7th of May, I selected a very few friends from office and Filipino friends whom I can share the celebration of my birthday. It was held at GEISHA, the cafe where I work as a weekend chef. I themed it as a royal birthday celebration and I asked my female guests to wear some hats to join the fever of the royal wedding. My good friend Mariano Agostini rendered his adorable trumpet performance; again it was a stunning performance! This guy never fails to amaze me with the music from his trumpet. I owe him a lot when he performed during my painting exhibition and now another debt for me. But I was happy to give him a little gift I brought from my Liverpool, England trip--the Beatles "Pennylane"collectible guitar pick. My Filipino friends also performed few songs with their guitars and my guests had to forgive me as I jam with the musicians. JP Albito rendered Beatles "You've got to hide your love away" and Paolo Garcia did "In my Life" aside from his Dave Matthew's songs. On the other hand I was surprised that my Aussie friend Adrian Ammendola really graced my birthday party despite knowing that he confirmed he's coming. Honestly I'm touched because he has been dormant for quite a long time and I have already concluded he has forgotten about me. What a neglectful friend he has been. But it's good to be in touch and to hangout with him lately. And I must admit that I enjoy every bits and pieces of his company and our bonding moments! Anyhow, what a birthday night about food, music and good friends I had on the 7th of May!

So to recap everything, I am dearly happy that almost everyone remembered my birthday even the unexpected people still remembered to send me their greetings. And I also need to thank my Canadian friend Kyrke Gaudreau for the surprise greeting. He owes me a Skype-date again, wherever he is in Senegal! And lastly, there's one person I really have to thank BIG TIME ---Jurgens Masciulli! He never fails to remember me not just on my birthday but every possible way through his sweet emails and impromptu calls that warms my heart. I will see him very soon on September!

Last year was really a very happy year in so many ways. Maybe you can read in my year-end post last January where I cited the reasons how beautiful the year was. It will be another year coming and I do believe that this is my prime. I haven't really found what I am exactly looking for. Things are coming my way but I have to choose which one is the right one. But for now, the only thing that I know is right---is my upcoming culinary study in Italy this September. I don't have plans in my life right now except for that. If I succeed or not, I know the experience I will have in Italy will enrich me as a passionate cook.

Anyways, I still believe that whatever I am giggling about, if it's meant to be... a sign will just fall from the sky. In the meantime, whoever joins me with my journey it will be great if another pair of running shoes will go with my adventures in life.

This is it... THIS IS MY PRIME! :-)

big hug,
joanie xxx