Peaches and Cream Barbie

After purchasing a red-engine fire truck toy and waiting for it to be gift wrapped at the Toy’s Department at Takashimaya Mall in Orchard, Singapore, I went to the Barbie Doll Section, wanting to see the Barbie Dolls they were now selling.

There I saw the latest Barbie Dolls with their exaggerated eyes and painted, pretty faces. There were Barbie Basics in Little Black Dresses, a Barbie Doll of the character of Scarlett O’Hara from the movie, “Gone With The Wind”, a “Cleopatra” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” themed Barbie Dolls, there were even Designer Barbie Dolls by fashion designers like Christian Louboutin, Zac Posen, Anne Klein and such. So many new dolls that I am now not so familiar with.

I was studying their wide pretty eyes, perfect pouts, coiffed hairs, checking their dainty and intricate dresses, going from one display case to the next, checking their prices, and asking myself, “Now that I could afford them would I want to buy one? That if I do get one, would I still play with it or just collect them? I wouldn’t want to obsess and start collecting them, wouldn’t I???”

I was thinking really hard about all those earth-shaking things, when, at the topmost shelf of a locked display case, I saw the “Peaches and Cream Barbie Doll” I had when I was a child. I stood there dumbfounded and unbelieving. I quickly searched for a sales assistant and asked for the doll. When she finally handed it to me, I opened the box and stared in awe at the doll I used to play with when I was a small child. I was so enamored by it, memories and feelings I had of my childhood literally flooded me. I was brought back in time, back to the days when life was so much more simple and less complicated.

Needless to say, I purchased the doll, I was so happy to be reunited with her again. I called my parents to tell them about my find, I never expected to, but before I knew it, I was crying tears of both sadness and joy. There in the mall, sitting in the customer’s lounge, I was crying and laughing while talking on the phone to my parents. We reminisced about my childhood, and I was such an emotional wreck that I attracted the attention of a small girl and she sat beside me and just looked at me while I was doing all those things.

After almost crying my heart out, I felt a lightness in my heart. Looking back, borrowing from the lessons learned and the things I have experienced in my life since I was a child, I felt that now, however uncertain my life is, however bad, naughty or good I am now and will be, how many ambitions and dreams I still want to fulfill, everything will turn out fine and be exactly as the way they should be.

The exact doll that I bought.

Sansrival Cake Recipe

Sans Rival Cake is a Filipino dessert that originated from San Fernando, Pampanga,so as my friend informed me. This sweet cake takes on a layered presentation of cream filling, nuts and bread or biscuits. I have loved this cake since I was a child so I wanted to try to bake it.

Sansrival Recipe
Ingredients:
For Butter Cream Filling:
½ Cup Butter, softened
½ Cup Margarine
1 ¼ Cups Powdered or Confectionary Sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons Vanilla extract

For Base and Nuts:
9 Pcs Graham Crackers
¼ Cup Cashew Nuts, chopped

Procedure:
1. Filling – Whip butter and margarine until smooth. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until creamy and well-blended. Stir in cashew nuts.
2. Assemble – Lay a piece of plastic wrap (about 12×11 inches) on working area. Spread about ¼ cup chopped cashew nuts evenly on top of plastic wraps*. Spread thick layer of butter cream facing down, side by side over the nuts. Repeat 2 times to make 3 layers.
3. Cover the top and sides with a thick layer of butter cream. Leave about 1/3 cup of buter cream for decoration. Cover with plastic wrap to hold.
4. Chill for 30 minutes. Turn loaf over and unwrap. Serve.

*Use the graham as measurement guide. Chopped nuts should cover length of 3 whole grahams side by side. Use a piping bag to decorate edges of Sansrival with remaining butter cream , you may add about ¼ cup of finely chopped cashew nuts on the side.

My Verdict:
My cake turned out to be too sweet for my taste, and mind you, I have a very sweet tooth! I added 1 more layer of icing on top, so my advice is try not to make a very thick icing filling and topping. Anyway, I loved the cashew nuts combined with the cream filling.

Anyway, next time I do this again,it will be perfect, enjoy baking!

Peach Refrigerator Cake

I’m not known for being a great cook, much less someone who bakes, but I’m excited about this new project. I initially wanted to make a Strawberry Cheesecake but I found out that I need a baking oven for that, and since I don’t have that-yet, I’m going to bake a Peach Refrigerator Cake instead!

I wonder why I haven’t done this before, I so love Refrigerator Cakes because it’s very easy and simple to do. Only thing is, you have to wait till the next day to eat it–but, I can wait!

Here is the recipe and procedure:

Peach Refrigerator Cake
Ingredients:
30 ounces sliced peaches
14 ounces condensed milk (1 can)
8 ounces table or all purpose cream
8 to 12 pieces graham crackers

Procedure:
1. Combine condensed milk and table cream and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate for 3 hours to thicken the mixture.
2. Arrange a layer of graham crackers in a baking pan or any container of your choice.
3. Pour half of the condensed milk and table cream mixture over the arranged graham crackers and spread until the crackers all well covered.
4. Arrange some sliced peaches on top of the mixture (you may slice the peaches in half to make it thinner).
5. Place another layer of graham crackers over the peaches.
6. Pour-in the remaining mixture over the second layer of graham crackers and spread evenly.
7. Top the mixture with the remaining sliced peaches.
8. Refrigerate overnight.
9. Serve for dessert. Share and enjoy!

My Verdict
It turned out perfect—for me that is!

Only thing was I only made a small portion, which was okay as I was doing it for the first time. I also learned that one should strictly follow the measurements of the ingredients in the recipe to achieve the desired consistency of the mixture. Next time I’ll also cut the peaches into thinner slices. Other than that, it was delicious, totally satisfied my sweet tooth!

It sucks to be sick

I was supposed to have an overnight retreat this weekend, I also got invited to a surprise party, and there is a barbecue at Labrador Park that I was invited to, but I unfortunately wasn’t able to go to any of those things because I am sick!

I have coughs and cold, I also feel so fatigued. My friend says it’s just stress, but I almost had a breakdown yesterday. I wanted to cry, shout, and throw a tantrum to my heart’s content but I just didn’t have the energy anymore.

I wanted to go to my parent’s house back in Manila and curl into a ball in my old room and be taken cared of by them. I wanted to hear the comforting sounds of my old house, the bustle in our kitchen, my mom doing her paperwork in the dining table, my dad watching television in the living room, my sister chatting on the phone, and our dog walking inside the house with her feet making soft padding sounds and clicks against our marble floor.

Instead, I am here in Singapore, inside my room, lying in my bed, resting and missing out in all the fun I could have had this weekend all because I am stressed, burned out and sick. It totally sucks.

Book: The Art of Racing In The Rain


Synopsis:
Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life’s ordeals.

On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through: the sacrifices Denny has made to succeed professionally; the unexpected loss of Eve, Denny’s wife; the three-year battle over their daughter, Zoë, whose maternal grandparents pulled every string to gain custody. In the end, despite what he sees as his own limitations, Enzo comes through heroically to preserve the Swift family, holding in his heart the dream that Denny will become a racing champion with Zoë at his side.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it.

I have had dogs all my life, and one thing I love about them is that they are TOTALLY DEVOTED to you. They love you unconditionally and will never leave you no matter what, unless of course when they die, which is always traumatic and depressing.

I especially love this book because it is Enzo the dog, who narrates the story. It is told from his point of view, it is often amusing, funny, heart-warming and sometimes sad. I have shed a tear and also laughed out loud (sometimes in public places) while reading this book. Enzo has arguments that man’s closest relative is not the chimpanzee but is in fact, the dog. With a dog’s devotion, love, compassion and protective instincts, I think Enzo might be right.

A line from the book, ” When I am racing, my mind and my body are working so quickly and well together, I must be sure not to think, or else, I will definitely make a mistake.”

“That which you manifest is before you”, one of Denny’s philosophies in racing and in life.

Oscar 2010

Oscar excerpts:

Mo’Nique, after winning the Best Supporting Actress Award for the movie “Precious”, talking to the press backstage,

“Everybody, and I don’t care who you are, or what crime you’ve committed, everybody deserves to be loved, even when they’re unlovable.”

In her most memorable line from “Precious, “Mo’Nique’s character asks, “Who else is going to love me? Who else is gonna make me feel good?”
In her acceptance speech, Mo’Nique offered thanks to Hattie McDaniel, she says, “I would like to thank Miss Hattie McDaniel, for enduring what she had to so that I would not have to.” Hattie McDaniel was the actress who became, in 1940, the first black to win an Oscar for the movie “Gone With The Wind”.

I loved those two things that she said.

“Precious” is a film based on the novel Push by author Sapphire starring Gabourey “Gabbie” Sidibe as a Harlem teenager who is pregnant with her second child and trying to overcome illiteracy and childhood abuse. After she is accepted to an alternative school and forms new relationships with a teacher and a nurse, she begins to feel hopeful about her future.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

I was secretly rooting for Sandra Bullock to win the Best Actress Award, though I wasn’t really expecting for her to win as this was her first nomination. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she did. Her acceptance speech was both funny and touching, she also mentioned the words, “We are all deserving of love.”

I loved her movie, “The Blind Side”. Her performance there was so simple and real, and I want to say that I am fortunate enough to have in my life several people like that.

My favorite lines from that move are “I got your back.” and “All right, then..”. Watch it and you’ll know what I mean. I can actually write a review of the film here, but I’ll save it for later.

“The Blind Side” is the story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. Oher’s presence in the Touhys’ lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. As a football player and student, Oher works hard and, with the help of his coaches and adopted family, becomes an All-American offensive left tackle.

Watch it.

Make like Kara DioGuardi

I find him cute and adorable, I wasn’t really into him till I watched this performance. I want to post this video here so I can watch him anytime. *swoon*