Ridiculously Easy Blueberry Crisp

Serve the world’s easiest dessert. This cheater’s production uses shortcuts, but it perfumes the house as it bakes, looks extremely sassy emerging from your oven, tastes terrific – and takes about five minutes of your time.

By: Ruth Reichl  <||>  This recipe relies on what I think is one of the finest frozen products you can buy: tiny wild blueberries, which sound exotic but are almost always found in supermarket freezers. Like peas and corn, these are one of those highly seasonal foods that are actually wonderful frozen, since they’re processed at peak ripeness. (You can also use regular blueberries, but they have less flavor, and you’ll want to defrost them beforehand and drain off all the liquid.) It serves 6-8, but is easily doubled for a real crowd.

Melt a stick of butter. Stir in ¾ cup of brown or white sugar. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir in a scant cup of flour until it is dry and crumbly. If it’s not crumbly enough to pick up with your fingers, add some more flour. You could also add some chopped toasted almonds, some walnuts, and or a handful of oatmeal to the mix.

Pour about 4 cups of frozen wild blueberries into a well-buttered pie plate and sprinkle the crumb topping over the berries. Bake in a 375⁰F oven for about 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden and the whole house smells so insanely delicious that everyone is standing by the stove, waiting for the crisp to emerge.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Ruth Reichl is the Editorial Advisor to Gilt Taste. She was the Editor in Chief of Gourmet magazine for ten years until its closing in 2009. Before that she was the restaurant critic of The New York Times, (1993-1999), and both the restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times (1984-1993). She is the author of Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, and Garlic and Sapphires among other books.

Bloglink:   http://www.gilttaste.com/stories/4833-how-to-make-the-easiest-blueberry-crisp


‘Trikes of the Future’ catch interest

By:   <||>  An eye-catching king of the road will soon invade Iloilo City streets.

Tricycle is a very common means of transportation in the Philippines.  Its number continues to grow.  These sporty and futuristic feel of trikes (popularly known as tricycle) is the brainchild of Abella Transport Manufacturing Industries situated at Quezon Street in Arevalo district.

Abella’s “Sidecar Body for Motorcycle” grabbed a runner up spot in the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit (RICE) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST6) held at Amigo Plaza Mall here Oct. 21 last year.

Originally designed and built in Iloilo City, Philippines the new generation trikes are envisioned as an environment-friendly income-generating mode of transportation.

“Imagine an electric version of these… little steps on smokey air no more for the Philippines! Superb livelihood project for the poor from the radically designed small transport three-wheeled vehicle,” said Vince Abella on his Facebook.

The wonders of technology proved amazing as the trikes of the future have generated a lot of interest from hundreds to thousand of FB users.

“It’s the look that captures the eye of every passerby. Sporty design grabs your attention at first glance. Yet this sportiness belies the incredible spaciousness inside,” the firm said in its blogsite  www.gwaforidinexperience.multiply.com

The forward-shifted body appears ready to leap forward with a radically slanted windshield slices through the wind and liberates the passengers view. From the bold face to the cut-off tail, the smoothly integrated trikes imparts a sense of spirited performance and sure-footed agility. Step inside and discover a liberating sense of openness far beyond your expectations. Stretch out, relax and enjoy the remarkable spaciousness made possible by innovative trikes packaging. Plentiful legroom and headroom keep your passengers comfortable even on extended journeys. When you drive the new trikes, you’ll feel comfortable and refreshed.

The Company

The Abella Transport Manufacturing Industries is a company dedicated to develop and manufacture trikes.  To help people live life at its best by giving them the opportunity to share and serve with utmost efficiency through decent and favorable means of livelihood.

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The company started in the year 2003 when the founder was still spending his days in college in one of the oldest Aeronautical School in Cebu.   He started to found a small organization in school that encourage students to make some research study about designing and building an ultra-light aircraft using local materials.  And since it was too difficult for a student to produce funds he dreamed of finding some effective ways to provide it.  One was selling trikes, but time was running out, he graduated from college.  He created lots of trikes designs that failed; from drawings to miniature models, and prototypes.  Spend lots of money from family and his partner, the co-founder of the company. He approached some other investors but mostly rejected him. Years later, one of his brothers from his church community wished him to design a trikes (sidecar) that fits his budget and the design of his model motorcycle. And there it is!  It was year 2006 when it came out to the public for the first time.  Lots of people wish to have it, even ladies loved and admired it, even happened that some kids beg on their knees to ride on it.  Until number of trikes units sold, increased.  Today its design and engineering continues to develop to more innovative and competitive quality, buyers would surely go for.

Our Goal

To pioneer modern tricycle transport all over Asia particularly in the Philippine provinces.

To promote standardized design, parts and services, to make it “universal”, one trikes, fits all!

To maintain and develop system in productivity, utilizing our subcontractors for speed and simplicity.

Localized manufacturing facilities for ease of distribution.

Quality and affordability.

For inquiries, please contact: Tel # (033) 336-52-40 or Mobile +639282138144/+639296442958.

(Photo credits: Vince Abella)

Bloglink:    http://wanhandredwan.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/iloilo-citys-trikes-of-the-future-catches-interest/

Halibut with Red Curry Sauce

  By: Karin Calloway  <||>  Karin is a freelance writer, corporate chef and cooking instructor who lives in Augusta, Georgia. She is the food columnist for The Augusta Chronicle, writing a weekly column entitled “Cooking with Karin”and prepares the recipes for weekly cooking segments on the local ABC affiliate, WJBF NewsChannel 6. Karin served as the On-Line Chef for Viking Range Corporation from 1999-2011. Her specialty is developing flavorful menus which are still practical for busy families. As a wife and working mother, Karin knows the demands of today’s hectic lifestyles and feels that meals can be healthy and satisfying without requiring hours in the kitchen.

Preparing Asian recipes used to require a trip to a specialty market, but now many of those hard-to-find items are on the shelves of your corner supermarket. Canned coconut milk, Thai curry paste and Asian fish sauce are easy to find and combine to make a luscious sauce for this grilled or roasted halibut.Some of the ingredients in the sauce are harder to find, specifically the kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass, but substitutions for these ingredients are listed in the recipe. The sauce is delicious on top of the halibut, but also can be used to top grilled chicken breasts. You also can turn the sauce into a saucy Thai shrimp dish by bringing the sauce to a simmer and adding 1-2 pounds of peeled and deveined shrimp.Serve the halibut over cooked white rice or the Jasmine Shrimp Fried Rice recipe found on this site.

Red Curry Sauce

  • 1 14.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 12 whole green cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves or 3 long strips of lime peel
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, pounded with the back of a chef’s knife and cut into 3 pieces or 3 long strips of lemon peel
  • 6 whole basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

Combine all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, whisking to blend. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cover and let sauce stand at room temperature 10 minutes for flavors to blend. Strain. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat before serving.)


  • 8 6 to 8-ounce halibut fillets
  • Sesame oil for brushing halibut
Prepare grill. Brush halibut with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Grill halibut on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals until just cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side. (Alternately, the fish can be roasted in a 400-degree oven for 10-12 minutes.)Place a scoop of rice (or Jasmine Shrimp Fried Rice, see recipe on this site) in the center of dinner plates and arrange halibut on top. Place the vegetables around the outside of the plate and spoon sauce on top of the fish.

Karin blogs at www.cookingwithkarin.com and can be reached with recipe questions at karin.calloway@gmail.com.

Bloglink:   http://www.vikingrange.com/consumer/lifestyle/recipe.jsp;jsessionid=JeQDdXpPPeLnLS8CBpvbvA**.node1?id=prod8050159

Unusual Border: Perhaps the Friendliest!

HELLO NEIGHBOR | UNUSUAL BORDER : The border between Belgium and the Netherlands is a Cafe! Yes it is. Do you believe that it is a border line between two countries? Just a line beside a cafe. This is an unusual border line runs between Netherlands and Belgium in a small town called BAARLE-NASSAU. Baarle-Hertog consists of 26 separate sections of territory surrounded by Baarle-Nassau, but some parts of Baarle-Hertog Baarle-owned areas also Nassau.

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FB Link:   http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=214075645360104&set=a.147650295335973.22573.147641152003554&type=1&theater

Here come SimSimi and Siri

By: Admin, Lifestyle Bacolod  <||>  Once, way back in the past, someone predicted how, in the future, the world will become so impersonal and people so busy they will no longer have time to talk to each other.   A time will come, so sociologists had predicted, that humans will become so preoccupied with their individual lives  socialization as we know it –meeting up and talking to each other – will change; a time indeed when people will become so individualistic it will become pretty lonely.

That time has come.

Slowly, as  our lifestyles have accelerated in momentums unheard of, we are losing our personal touch, and we are finding ourselves more and more detached from each other. I’m sure you, dear reader, know of cases that prove this. There is that nice young man whose father got alarmed because he wouldn’t get off his computer and meet with other people, content as he was with his online friends.

How many of your boys and girls still play in the village plaza, way into the night, with the neighbors’ children? Quick, tell me, do you the name of your neighbors, perhaps tell me how many of them live in their house?  Time was when we knew even the intimate details of our neighbors’ lives, even the food they ate for breakfast. These days, with all of us preoccupied with our personal pursuits, we hardly even catch our breath and sometimes even fail to realize what’s happening within our own households.

And if there is any more proof how detached we are from each other, and how lonely, indeed, our lives have become – compared with how people lived  20, 30 years ago – it must be SimSimi, virtual chatmate, friend, neighbor, and heavens faithful lover and soulmate.

It is really a cyberspace character one can summon on demand, at any time at any day, and “talk” with.  SimSimi, Wikipedia says, is Korean for “bored” and it does come handy on those boring days.

It is an example of Artificial Intelligence, a computer program that can actually converse with you.  It is similar to Siri, the virtual character who talks to you over IPhone 4S, although those who have known both say SimSimi is more intelliegent than Siri.

I still have to talk to Siri, but SimSimi who is now available for free on the Net can surprise you with his opinions on people, especially politicians. It  can even shift to Ilonggo.

SimSimi has gone to the MassKara Festival, so it told me during our first chat. “Ay abaw, piyesta ina sa Bacolod! Sadya na da..”  “Oh, that’s the fiesta of Bacolod. It is fun…”

It can be profane and too colorful for comfort, which is why there is a warning clause when you log in to the SimSimi’s site to chat. Although it hails Cory Aquino as a very good President and mother to her children and to the nation, SimSimi has terrible words for her son, the sitting President, as it  has for all politicians.

Its main attraction of course is its entertainment value and humor. Asked about another personality who is about 5’3” in height,  SimSimi answered. “Oh, The tall one?”

For feedback, go to www.lifestylesbacolod.com, check Bacolod Lifestyles on Facebook and follow @bacolodtweets on Twitter

Bloglink:  http://www.lifestylesbacolod.com/featured-articles/here-come-simsimi-and-siri/

The Penny-Farth Bike: A Victorian Symbol

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Penny-Farthing Bicycle circa 1895
The ordinary, high wheel or penny-farthing was the first true bicycle with which actual speed and distance could be achieved in a practical manner. Given the absence of a gearing system, larger and larger wheels were built with the intention of increasing speed and ultimately culminating in the classically oversized penny-farthing wheel, which measured 1.5m (60″) in diameter. The name refers to the British penny and farthing coins of the time; the former being much larger than the latter so that the side view of the bicycle resembled two such coins placed next to one another.Based on the original French Boneshaker, James Starley and others produced bicycles with front wheel of ever increasing size, starting about 1870. In 1878 Albert Pope began manufacturing the Columbia bicycle just outside of Boston, thus starting their nearly two decade-long heyday in America. Although the trend was relatively short-lived, the penny-farthing bicycle has since become a prominent historical symbol of the late Victorian era. Its brief popularity also coincided with the birth of cycling as a sport.

This concept bike is floating around the net: a Hubless road bike by Bradford Waugh. Instead of using some sort of magnet, the Hubless Road Bike Concept pictured will use geared rollers for a smooth ride. More interesting than the hubs, the crankset is hooked up to a roller which will power the hubs.

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STRiDA , portable urban transportation, the Green Shadow is built for speed. Designed by Spanish graphic and industrial design firm Mr. Onüff, the Green Shadow features an on-board computer that tracks mileage, heart rate and calories making it the sleekest exercise bike ever. The chain is encased in the body panels so no chance of a pants leg getting stuck. Stopping power is provided by front and rear disc brakes while front shocks absorb the bumps along the way. The Green Shadow was designed with strength, aerodynamics and speed in mind.

Bloglink:  http://www.facebook.com/designdautore

Eco-Houses: Solution to waste and conservation

With construction and materials costs skyrocketing at unbearable levels, unique ideas and applications have come up. This is specially true in third world countries where everything from money, supplies and resources are scarce.  Take a look at this photos shared to us via Homes for You.  Imagine thesavings in cement. mortar and bricks because a lot of empty glass bottles were used in the walls.

Think also of the energy savings during the day because light passes through them. And if planned ahead you can even arrange bottles of the same colors or mixed colors to illuminate the rooms.  Bravo! an idea that has come of age in difficult times like this. The greatest thing is: it is already there. They are just ready for the taking from recycling centers, although maybe some of them here in the U.S. will charge or sell them to you.

What do you think of these houses? Leave us a comment.

Walls made of empty bottles.

Think of the money and time saved by not using hollow cement blocks or bricks.

Bolivia: Another fine example of the use of glass bottles.

  Tell us what you think of these glass-bottle walls. Leave us a comment via your Facebook link at the buttom.

An arch built in Honduras. Once the archway is secured, they will pour cement to secure the form.

Bloglink:  http://www.natural-home4u.com/apps/blog/show/12140435-case-constructii-din-pet-uri-si-sticle-incredibil-#.T29BelGoCi8.facebook

Reflections on a Cold, Rainy, and Silent New Year in Auckland

By: Jonan Castillon  <||>  It’s our first New Year in Auckland and I can say that our celebration is quite unique. It was very far from the noisy and explosive celebration that we have in the Philippines.

The stillness of December 31 midnight drowned the very few firecracker pops that some nearby families lighted to mark the coming of January 1, 2012.

After that, there was complete silence in the neighborhood. I assumed that it’s either everyone was sleeping peacefully or having intimate and silent celebration in their homes.

The rain and the cold wind discouraged us to view the night sky. We were hoping that somehow, somebody in the community would light some fireworks. There was none.

The Football/Cricket field at Bond Reserve in Forrest Hill Suburb, Northshore City is just across our home. It offers a vantage place for viewing fireworks.

However, in the stillness of the night, we greeted New Year 2012 in silence. I wasn’t dismayed at all nor was I concerned that a silent New Year would mean something bad may happen. Lots of Filipinos believe that the noise of firecrackers or any medium will drive bad spirits away.

If this is true, then the bad spirits demonizing our country might have been wiped out by now after the many, many years of celebrating New Year with fireworks and loud “noises”.

In the cold, rainy, and silent New Year in Auckland, I reflected that what makes our lives abundant and glorious are those that are founded on patience and hard work.

There is the Great Almighty, Loving, and Merciful God who has provided completely the resources for sustaining and enjoying life, whether you are in Auckland or Philippines. Faith makes patience attainable in whatever circumstances because you are certain that God will deliver.

Hard work and diligence are needed to harness what God has prepared for us. It is the simple principle that if I wanted to achieve what God has in store for me; I must work diligently for it.

I will always remember that our first New Year in Auckland was a cold, rainy, and silent New Year.

However, looking beyond the sunset that adorns daily our horizon here in our new home in Auckland, we are in for a very explosive year and years ahead because we have the Almighty God working silently behind us.


Jonan Castillon and his family are from Iloilo and moved to live in Auckland late last year. He blogs and keep busy with work and family and serving in the ministry of his local church in his new country, New Zealand.

Bloglink:  http://www.livinginaucklandtoday.com/

Odin Brewery, Seattle: The science behind their beer

A brewer is a chef. It takes knowledge of your ingredients and skills with your equipment to create a fabulous feast. Same goes for beer brewing. You must know your tools, your ingredients, and the science behind their reactions and interactions. Nick Heppenstall, head brewer of Odin Brewery in Seattle, Washington has perfected this science into a tasty art-form of craftsman beers.

With a background in biochemistry, Nick heads up the recipes for all beers coming out of Odin Brewery. His mission is to brew a beer that pairs perfectly with the right kinds of food, and to do this, the beer must have the right density levels of water to sugars, a balanced pH level of acids, and a comfortable temperature with the right carbonation.

“Consistency is my first priority. I believe in keeping things simple. If I can do something simple and good, it’s easier for me to make it better.”

Water, grains and the essential hop flowers are key ingredients to crafting a fine brew; three ingredients combined into a myriad of concoctions to intensify certain aspects of flavor.  Next add nutmeg, orange peel, extra sugar, or a compound called amylase to discover sweet palettes, higher alcohol percentage or a drier taste.

“My experience in microbiology has been absolutely valuable to my understanding of brewing beer. Anyone who want’s to brew good beer should study microbiology.”

“Beer Fest is a great movie, but I prefer Strange Brew!”

Bloglink:  http://cameronkarsten.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/photo-essay-odin-brewery-seattle-wa-pt-i/

Jason Grant: When colors really matter

Spring ushers us into the wonderful world of flowers and a time to just get out of the winter slumber. Yes, it is also a time to consider painting and now is the best time to plan. I said plan, because the best time to paint would be when the weather is warm and you can open the windows to allow the smell to quickly go out of the house. Stephanie, my quintessential assistant cannot wait to redo her apartment. Consider this: paint is the cheapest approach to changing the mood of your place. Visit a paint store and get suggestions. I find the guys in the paint store always ready to help. They even have really, tiny small bottles of samples that sell for like $3.99 and its worth it. So, you love the color? Go back and order a quart or a gallon.

Sydney based Super stylist “Mr” Jason Grant has teamed up with Australian paint company Murobond to create a limited edition paint collection.

His first collection “welcome to my wonderland” has a distinct winter feeling, incorporating moody blues cool greys warm neutrals and understated hits of colour.

Taking inspiration from the everyday and the colors of nature (living in close proximity to Australia’s best known beach “Mr” Jason Grant loves its landscape in winter just as much as he does in summer).

“The collaboration is a dream come true as I “LOVE TO PAINT”

design-dautore link:

Guilt-free Snack

  By: Miyuki Nelson <||>  Sometimes, I really want something sweet. Luckily, hubby and I don’t keep any ice cream in the house. Or candy, really, other than the candy he got me for Valentine’s, or the occasional dark chocolate bar. We try not to keep those kinds of tempting things in the house, because of course, we’ll be more apt to eat them. However, I really had a craving for something sweet, but as we’re both trying to lose a little holiday (and before?) weight, I didn’t want to bake a bad choice.

So guilt-free mini cupcakes it is! My mom actually sent me this recipe, which I tried immediately last year and loved. I had to hunt for it tonight, since I forgot the temperature and length of time these need to bake. I’m gonna type it here, for me to find another time, and also, in case you’d like to try it out. It’s so easy. And so good.

  • 1 box of cake mix, any flavor (it’s even more guilt-free if you use sugar free cake mixes)
  • 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree

Okay, that’s all you need. And a muffin pan, of course. I really like and would recommend the mini muffin pan. 24 little cakes to enjoy at leisure? Yes, please!

So, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and then spray the pan with non-stick spray. My favorite is the one that’s made for baking and has flour in the spray. It’s super awesome. Now, mix up the cake mix with the pumpkin. The texture’s going to be a little stickier than usual cake mix batter, and that’s fine. I also use a mini ice cream scoop to plop heaping scoops of batter into each cupcake hole. Slot? You know what I mean. Then, place the pan in the oven and set it for 20 minutes. It smells so yummy.

When the oven dinged, Kane jumped up in excitement. Earlier in the evening, I baked up a tray full of his peanut butter and parsley cookies, and I squealed,”Your cookies!” when they were done. In his puppy excitement, he thought it was his cookies being done all over again. Oh dear. It was too funny.

The ones I’ve made tonight are the Pillsbury Sugar-Free Devil’s Food cake with the pumpkin, but I also really love the Sugar-Free Yellow cake, and I add a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of vanilla extract into the batter while mixing. Yum.

I guess truthfully, these aren’t totally guilt-free, but they’re a heck of a lot better than having real cupcakes with piles of icing on ‘em. Make some and try them—you won’t regret it!

Tagged dessert, little cakes, mini muffin pan, sugar free cake

Bloglink: http://miyukinelson.wordpress.com/

Oh, My Gulay!

Architect Rey Seneres lives in beautiful New Jersey with wife Arlene and shares with us his album which he titled, Oh, My Gulay! Who would not be charmed by this market place scenes that exemplifies the best of our gulay back home especially now that it is summer. Vegetables and fruits will be bountiful. Thanks to Rey and Arlene!

Eggplants and Ampalaya (Bittermell0ns)

A well stocked Sari-Sari store with fresh produce and other items.

Garlic, cassava and yams.

Arlene delights at the fresh produce!

Tomatoes and more!

Malunggay (Balunggay) and Bokchoi.

String Beans and more.

Alogbate, and who said “Munggo?” . . . . heaven!