Category Archives: Lifestyle

A Twisted Sinigang!

Ever since I moved out of the Philippines and started living abroad, I had difficulties getting the exact ingredients for the Filipino dishes that I want to cook every time I feel homesick. The taste is different when I don’t use Reno liver spread for my calderata. The adobo will taste different, as well, if it’s not the local brands for the soy sauce and vinegar.

And when it comes to the sinigang, it is different when it’s not kangkong or water spinach.

Sinigang is a soup characterized by its sour taste due to the tamarind mixed into it, or any other sour fruits (such as kamias, guava, unripe mango, etc.) or leaves as a souring agent. When I was in Thailand, they asked me to describe it, and I cannot think of any other easy way but say that it’s similar to tom yum, but without the red-chili spiciness or coconut milk in it.

Sinigang is typically cooked with pork. But the variety is endless, as there’s an option to use seafood like fish or shrimp or chicken, as well.

And since I’m away from home, I just used the sinigang powder mix I can buy in the Asian stores. Sometimes, there’s kangkong in the fridge, but it’s too expensive. My friend suggested using spinach instead, since it’s the one she uses anyway, and it’s cheaper.

Hmmm! Sarap!

This turned out so good. I bought the fish from the Pinoy store, where a pack of 8 cut pieces is priced at 4.99Eur. I only used 4 of them for this recipe, and I enjoyed it because the fish is fatty, and it adds flavor to the dish. The long Japanese eggplant is bought at the Indian store. I am fortunate to have a variety of stores in this part of France! ๐Ÿ™‚ I only miss this recipe using long chili, which adds flavor, spice, and more aroma to this dish.

Ingredients:
1 pc eggplant (any will do), cut into medium-sized pieces
1 kl spinach
2 medium-sized tomatoes, cut into quarters
1/2 kl long beans, cut into medium sizes
1 pc white radish, sliced
1 white onion, sliced
4 pcs fish, sliced in a serving portion (or pork or shrimp, amount is whatever you desired)
1 pack sinigang mix
pinch of salt
3-5 pcs long chili (if available)

  1. Boil 5 cups of water in a pot. When it starts to simmer, add in the pork if you are using pork. Cook it first until it becomes so tender.
  2. Once cooked and tender, add the onion, tomatoes and radish. If using fish as the meat, when the water starts to boil, add the fish along with the onion, tomatoes and radish.
  3. Put the sinigang mix, too. Stir gently to mix it in the soup.
  4. If you have long chili, add it in the pot after 5 minutes since you put the sinigang mix.
  5. Once the radish is cooked, put the long beans, and cook for about 10 minutes.
  6. Put in the spinach (or kangkong, if you have). This is the last and the easiest to cook, so turn off the heat. Season with salt or a teaspoon of fish sauce, and mix it gently. Cover the pot. The heat will help to cook it.

After a few minutes, this is now ready to serve!

I usually don’t put salt or fish sauce; I tend to forget about it. I love my sinigang sour, and it works for me most of the time. I leave it to you if you want to season it with salt or fish sauce to add a bit of salty flavor. How about you? Do you have a different way of cooking sinigang? Let me know, and maybe I can try that one, too! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Sunday Currently

I need to finish some presentation slides for this week’s session that I will be conducting in the office. But right now, all I want is to just lie down and relax. Today started with the sun greeting everyone with a smile, but after lunch, it started to get gloomy. I went to the local market this morning to buy some new flowers for my apartment, a small bottle of essential oil for my diffuser, some fruits and vegetables for this week, and cinnamon rolls in the bakery. Yummmmmm!

Currently

Reading.ย  Let me see what’s in my list right now… I never ran out of books to read ๐Ÿ˜›

Writing.ย None at the moment. Too many things to do at work.

Listening.ย There’s a rare bird flying overhead, an A320 Air France flight from Paris to Nice ๐Ÿ˜›

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over. For the vaccines for my family and friends. That everything will be fine soon.

Hoping. secret.

Loving.ย I have a mini-blender, and I love making fruit smoothies right now ๐Ÿ˜›

Needing.ย To finish those slides so I can relax.

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

The Baked Cheesy Pasta is Worth the Hype

I just heard about this in early March because I don’t have a TikTok. A friend who loves cooking and trying out something new as much as I do share it with me. When the word easy and lazy days came out of her mouth about this recipe, I decided to try it myself. Haha. I tried to look for where it came from since several people posted about this already, hence being viral, and I found this video from the blogger grilledcheesesocial.

It’s as simple as this: get a block of feta cheese, tomatoes, pasta, and herb and spices that you want to mix it with. The idea of it is basic, and I could not wait to try it. Off I went to the grocery for some feta cheese and cherry tomatoes. I only got tomatoes, as it seems like the trend has already reached the French shores, and the shelf was already empty of feta cheese. Still wanting to try it, I took a block of cheese from the Boursin brand instead.

Continue reading The Baked Cheesy Pasta is Worth the Hype

Foodie!

It’s been a long time since I blogged something that is not ‘the Sunday Currently‘, and as I was browsing through my site, I am trying to come up with topics to put in here. It’s not easy right now, since the inspiration flew out of the window. But perhaps, what I can post is about all the food I cooked in the past months, some have been newly-discovered. I remember my excitement as I pore over the recipes I found online, listing down the ingredients I needed and making a trip to the grocery to get it. My Instagram had some of those photos, as well as the places where I tried to buy something to eat during lunchtime or over the weekend. I love eating, and that’s why I love baking and cooking. Once I organized my photos and content, I will post the recipes and my experiences in making them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But for now, let me share you this…

The Sunday Currently

Gosh, it’s been a long time since I last made a blog here. Work kept me busy, and on weekends, I would rather be offline and reading books or watching movies or series on Netflix or Amazon. By the way, this is the second or third (?) weekend since the full lockdown (again) was announced. Honestly, I lost track of the dates. All I know was that it had been a year since I’ve gone full-on working from home, and we’re on lockdown here in the south of France with fewer restrictions compared to the previous lockdowns we’ve had. But let’s not talk about this for now, because it’s getting wearisome not knowing when this will end.

For the past weeks, there were books finished and movies watched. Have you seen Coming to America 2 on Amazon Prime? I’m easy to please, and I find it hilarious despite some expressing their discontent. I like it, and it made me laugh, especially in those key moments like the introduction of General Izzi (Wesley Snipes’ character) and Morgan Freeman. C’mon! Last week, I also saw the Zack Snyder cut of the Justice League, which I found amazing and much better than the theatrical version. Everything made sense in the movie!

This week, I’m on my mental break – taking time off to regroup and refresh my mind. It has been a busy month, and I still got lots of work to do, which I’m always thankful for. I’m going offline, too, especially that this is the Holy Week for the Catholics.

Currently

Reading.  Another history book. I never ran out of them.

Writing. I had some ideas in my mind, so I’m going to write the scenes down later to add in the book I’m trying to finish. Trying being the operative word. LOL

Listening. Silence. Just the ticking of the wall clock.

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over. For the vaccines for my family and friends. That everything will be fine soon.

Hoping. secret.

Loving. Beef Bourguignon. I just cooked it for the first time today, and I’m impressed with myself, hahaha.

Needing. I plan to go back to that book I am reading. Itโ€™s relaxing to read on this quiet Sunday night.

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

The Sunday Currently

I am sure that it’s not only me who has been taking those mental breaks since it dawned on us that this pandemic would be here in a while. When the 1st lockdown ended here in France in mid-May, I was able to adjust to the new norm – that we’re all going to be working from home longer than we thought. It’s not only me who needs this. We need this. We live different lives, but I’m sure that we go through things, and we need to have that opportunity to pause and re-group ourselves. A new year has arrived, the vaccines have been developed, but I’m still working from home for almost ten months. Not that I’m complaining. I am grateful for the work I have and love, and I was able to find a balance between life at home and at work. 

And that’s where the mental breaks come in. There was so much happening personally and at work in June. It’s my birthday month, but I was sad. And even when I love my job, it was also causing some strain in me. That’s when I decided to take the break during the week of my birthday. It did me some good, even for a short time. I had the time to relax and rest my mind and reset it for the coming weeks. Since then, I decided to take those breaks once a month. Besides, I need to use my holidays, and I have about forty-five more.

Last week, I took my first mental break for the year. But instead of going anywhere, I stayed home. I took off from social media. I went out for a walk, went to the market and bought myself some flowers. I went to one of my favorite cafes and tried their cinnamon rolls. I purchased another history book to read at the English bookstore in the old town. I enjoyed the calls I had with my family. I did anything but work. It was relaxing, and I’m ready for the coming week’s challenges.

Currently

Reading.  Another book about history. Did I tell you that I’m a sucker for history? One of the reasons that it was easy for me to be convinced about moving to Europe was knowing that this continent is rich with history that I have yet to discover. France is steeped in it, so does its surrounding countries.

Writing. None. I’m busy reading.

Listening. The sound of the wind rattling against the window frame. It’s a windy, cold night.

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over, so, I can go home and visit the family in spring or summer. I plan to get vaccinated, when it becomes available for the younger citizens, because I want myself and my family to be safe when I travel home to visit them.

Hoping. For that one wish that I have since two months ago.

Loving.ย My me time. I baked some chicken and cooked some vegetables as sides. I also made this Scottish shortbread cookies – thick, soft and crumbly. I love it. This week, I hope the sun would be back because I plan to test making that soft cheesy rolls that I miss having at Mary Grace in Manila. I love baking when the sun is out (during winter) because it’s easier to make the bread rise as I put the dough directly into the sunlight near the balcony, hahaha!

Needing. I plan to go back to that book I am reading. Itโ€™s relaxing to read on this quiet Sunday night.

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

Chicken a la Hainanese recipe

This is derived from the recipe in cooking Hainanese chicken, but I personally decided that I will not be able to make this dish perfect enough to be rightfully called as Hainanese chicken. I have tasted the said delicious Singaporean pride and it’s one of my favorites, one that I always should have every time I set foot in Singapore.

Now, with respect to this dish that I love so much, I made my own in the comforts of my French home because I miss it so dearly.

Continue reading Chicken a la Hainanese recipe

Looking Back to the Year 2020

To say that nobody expected a global pandemic to happen this year was an understatement. Like it always does to many of us, I had so many plans in early January about the things I look forward to be doing for the rest of the year. I was even planning to send my parents here for vacation in March and take them around Europe.

The first quarter was a mixture of many things. I had a scary bus accident, and thankfully came out with nothing but a bruise. Things were looking fine at work. And, it may have sounded clichรฉ for some but I met a good man on the day after Valentine’s Day ๐Ÿ™‚ And then, the half of March came and things have never been the same.

Continue reading Looking Back to the Year 2020

The Sunday Currently

It was Christmas two days ago, my favorite time of the year. This time, I celebrated Noche Buena, a traditional Filipino Christmas eve dinner with a few friends here in Antibes. Of course, in observance to the safe health protocols, we were only four. ๐Ÿ™‚ But it was divine. I got to enjoy my time with these few but dear people, and I am fortunate to have them especially at this time.

In our Noche Buena, we prepared a fusion of our Filipino and the western culture, as we live through it now. We had paella, lechon, embutido, salad and roasted vegetables. The night was full of shared memories of the country we miss so much, laughter, a bit of games, wine and coffee, and of course, the exchange of gifts. ๐Ÿ™‚

A few weeks back, I attended a coffee break meeting with some of my friends at work, and we had this topic about what are the things we are grateful of. We took turns to share the things we love and thankful to have. For me, it’s just simply that for everything that has happened this year, I am grateful for the good health and welfare of my family and friends, a job that I still have and love doing, and food on my table. It has been a very challenging year for everyone, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I guess, it was not enough to say that we should look out for each other. I think that it should always be something that we have to do to each other, because at the end of the day, our sense of humanity is fulfilled with simple acts of kindness towards each other in order to get through everything, especially at this time.

On the night of Christmas, I finally got to enjoy Bridgerton on Netflix. I have been looking forward to this since it was announced that the book series by Julia Quinn will be adapted into a Netflix series. To say that I binge-watched was an understatement. I love it so much that I am watching it for the second time today again, haha. At the end of the eight-episode series, I am very much looking forward to Anthony Bridgerton’s story (enjoy the Viscount’s wink below). I love him in the books and I love him more in the series. Actually, I love this Bridgerton family that I can’t wait to hear the announcement of Season 2.

Currently

Reading.ย  A regency romance novel by Julia Quinn, because I cannot get enough of the Bridgertons that I have to read them again.

Writing.ย None. I’m busy reading. ๐Ÿ˜›

Listening.ย The faint noise of my neighbor’s TV, wherever that is. And occasionally, a car or a motorcycle passing by the road – during curfew hours. ๐Ÿ˜›

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over, so, I can go home and visit the family in spring.

Hoping.ย For a focused mind this week. Only three days at work, and only a few people in the team in the last week of 2020.

Loving.ย I just had coffee and cake. I love cakes, and ordered the yule log version of my favorite Saint Barth from Lilian Bonnefoi for the holiday season.

Needing.ย I plan to go back to that book I am reading. It’s relaxing to read on this quiet Sunday night.

Also, on the night of Christmas, there was a bit of commotion that happened in this part of France. We had an unexpected hail storm. I looked outside and my balcony was a bit full of water and I thought there was some stones, before I realized that it’s hail. Oh, well. I hoped that everyone is fine now after that night. It was unexpected and I know that it’s dangerous to drive out in that storm when the car is not well-equipped with such weather.

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

A Pinay Newbie in France

Two years ago, I made another big decision in my life by accepting that position in my job and moving to an entirely different world, aka Europe. For those who may not know yet, Europe is VERY different from Asia, in many aspects. To be culturally shocked might have been an understatement, even from me who’s always been a lover of world history and a regular in libraries to read and study it.

I decided to list down the things I learned and observed, and please be reminded, that these are only based from my experiences and it could be different with others. ๐Ÿ™‚

Continue reading A Pinay Newbie in France

The Sunday Currently

Five days to go before Christmas.

It’s my favorite time of the year, and I really love spending this with my family. But this year, as we all know it, is a very exceptional year! So, while I’m stuck here in France, I will make the best out of it. I already planned some things like hearing mass online, videocalling the family, making embutido, preparing presents for a few of my friends, indulging myself on a cake from my favorite boulangerie, watching Bridgerton on Netflix…

Early last week, I went to the post office to send postcards and Christmas cards to my family and friends. I am excited because it’s been a long time since I’ve done that. I know I was way too young, and I remember that it was during the time when my dad was in Australia for a few years.

This weekend, I started checking out gifts for my friends here in Antibes. There is still some work to do in the office, and I am honestly jealous of those whose offline messages started last Friday, haha. Most are going back in early January, and I was usually one of them. Next year, I plan to go home and will make the best of it with my family.

I avoided posting for the past two weeks here in my blog because of work and some personal stuff. But hopefully, in the coming year, I will be able to post more content when time permits. Isolation gets into me sometimes, especially at this time of the year, and please understand that it’s not easy. If you have family members or friends who you think are alone somewhere in the world right now, hit that button and send them a message. You will know how that simple thought is greatly appreciated especially at this time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Currently

Reading.  A regency romance novel.

Writing.ย Reports. It’s what keeping me busy these past days.

Listening.ย I just finished watching a Filipino online concert from the Philippine community in Paris that a friend shared with me today. You can check them out at their Youtube or Facebook page for more details.

Smelling.ย I brewed some espresso for my afternoon merienda. Bango! ๐Ÿ™‚

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over, so, I can go home and visit the family in spring.

Hoping.ย For a focused mind this week. Only three days at work, and only a few people in the team in the last weeks of 2020.

Wearing.ย jammies ๐Ÿ˜›

Loving.ย It’s a lazy Sunday. I always love a lazy Sunday! Did you even plan to do something on a Sunday?!?

Needing.ย I plan to go back to that book I am reading. I’m opening the third book in the series and guess what, it’s an actual book, not e-books!

Feeling. Sore. I think I was in a wrong position last night cos I woke up with sore muscles down from neck to shoulders. I took some pain reliever today, and with a combination of coffee (it’s my downer, actually) and the cold weather, I just want to lie down and relax (Plus, yeah, it’s a lazy Sunday! ๐Ÿ˜› )

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.

The Sunday Currently

President Macron addressed the French nation last Nov24 to announce new measures to fight this health situation that the world is going through right now.

I thought we’re ending the lockdown on December 1, but turns out that it will be on Dec15 instead. Yesterday, the new changes were implemented, particularly on the extension of the distance that we can go for exercise: 20km for 3hours. Hehe. And then when the lockdown ends on the 15th, the curfew will be back. Good thing was, they gave a special exemption on Christmas Eve (24th) and New Year’s Eve (31st). But I hope people will still observe safe health measures so we can all be done with this already. The health workers are getting saturated with all the amount of work that needs to be done in the hospitals and the rise on the issues of mental health and domestic violence is staggering.

But enough talk of Covid for now. I went out last week for a quick visit at the Antibes English bookstore and bought some Christmas cards to send to my parents and friends. Perhaps, it will be nice to receive something physical right now as a gift, like as if we’re going back to the basics. Anyway, what we can all agree here is that this year taught us to appreciate what we have and I would like to do something for my loved ones this year despite the distance we have right now.

Currently

Reading.  A regency romance novel.

Writing. I finished two chapters last night. I’m so proud of myself, haha!

Listening. The quiet hum of my laptop, and the stillness of the street under lockdown outside.

Smelling. My humidifier is on right now, and I used one of the essential oils that I bought in Marche Provencal last summer. A mixture of eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary and thyme just like the one below:

Wishing. For this pandemic to be over, so, I can go home and visit the family in spring.

Hoping. For a focused mind this week. I got a few hats to wear right now at work. It’s keeping me really busy.

Wearing. Itโ€™s a bit colder, but Iโ€™m in my cotton shorts and shirt. The cuddle weather is here and sometimes in the morning, it’s difficult to leave the bed.

Loving. The silence in my street during the lockdown. ESPECIALLY DURING SUNDAYS 

Needing.ย To lie down. This scent coming from the essential oil filled the apartment with some kind of warmth and comfort at this cold weather made me just want to lie down and stare at the ceiling, even when I have a few things left to do today ๐Ÿ˜€

Feeling. Relaxed. I cleaned and vacuumed the entire place today cos it started accumulating dust. Everything’s spic and span now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Sunday Currently by Siddathornton.