Na ang makikita'y hindi basta-basta
Nakahimpil ay isang sasakyang panlupa
Na tunay namang napakagara
Walang pagaatubiling aking kinuha
Larawan nito, bunsod ng pagkamangha
Subali't ang modelo'y hindi ko tanda
Baka alam ninyo? Parang awa niyo na.
Today, one of my house mate celebrated his 24th birthday. A few days ago, he was planning to set a lunch party in our humbled flat and he wanted to invite our pinoy colleagues, but his main concern was his tight budget. And so to show my camaraderie(“pakikisama”), I volunteered to do the “marketing” for him(“pamamalengke”) and ultimately, to do the cooking. Yes, it's Eben to the rescue.
Asking for his suggestions, we agreed upon the following:
Originally set to S$50 (about PHP 1,500).
The Preparation and Cooking
Saturday morning, my other house mate accompanied me to the nearby market to buy the stuffs that we'll be using for the next day's event. We bought some vegetable, meat, spices, etc. Unfortunately, even if we bought the cheapest ingredients, we failed to remain at the S$50 budget margin, and we had to allot an additional S$30 to cover all other expenses. This includes the aluminum trays, paper plates, plastic spoons, forks and cups.
Saturday afternoon, I was preparing the bread rolls. The recipe is easy actually. Flatten the tasty bread, put some slices of chicken franks and cheese, roll it, dip it in egg wash, and dip it in bread crumbs (the one that's used in making tempura, the katakana in the packaging says, “Friers”). I did this to save time for the next day, since this spaghetti-compatible finger food took plenty of time to prepare but lesser time to cook.
I also prepared the chicken for the pancit, two chicken thighs boiled until tender.
Chopped some garlic, onions, red bell pepper, baguio beans, cabbage, carrots, and kintsay. I also prepared the meat for the adobo by slicing it into chunks.
Sunday morning, first to cook was the pancit. I had a hard time mixing all the ingredients together because the “kawali” (like a wok) that I'm using is a bit small, but still I managed to cook all 1 kilo of bihon and canton. I added some deep-fried fish balls, too. (yummy!)
Through the help of my other house mate, I let him fry the bread rolls which I have prepared yesterday.
With regards to the adobo, the birthday celebrant's girlfriend did the cooking, but still with my assistance and supervision (how 'bout that? haha). We just let the meat boil in garlic and soy sauce, waited until tender, then added some potatoes, and garnished with sliced boiled eggs.
Spaghetti was cooked last. I'm a Filipino and we make spaghetti the Filipino way. Yeah, with hotdogs and a little bit of sweetness. Hehe. I Just mixed some fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste, let it simmer, and the sauce is ready!
People started coming in at around eleven in the morning. Some brought their laptops with them (to play Warcraft and copy some downloaded movies and mp3s!), a colleague was watching her favorite koreanovelas, I on the other hand was playing O2 Jam, and then later on had a poker session with the others.
We also had some soda, cakes (4 birthday cakes mind you), and non stop booze.
However, I over estimated the quantity of food to serve and so we had leftovers. On a positive note, this is a good thing for we don't have to buy breakfast, lunch, and even dinner for the next day. Haha.
Seriously, this is my first time to cook for fifteen heads. I was so relieved that everybody seems satisfied with what they had devoured. (I hope).
I'm kind of tired right now but at the same time proud of myself for this accomplishment, well if that's the proper word to call it. My bed is calling me but I still need to press some of my clothes for this week. Today I wore a toque, tomorrow I will need to wear my thinking cap again. Oh yes, another week of brain cells exercise. U_U
On to the next birthday party!
Watching streaming video is what some of us do whenever we surf the net, and there's no better place to watch our favorite videos than the ever popular Youtube.
But have you ever felt the need to save your favorite videos direct to your PC, mobile phone or iPod?
I found this very useful online service that converts FLV files (Flash video) into several media file types. Introducing vixy.net, an online FLV Converter that converts FLV files from video streaming sites, such as Youtube, into several media file types like AVI for Windows, MOV for Mac, MP4 for iPod, 3GP for Mobile, and even MP3 to extract the audio. I've been using this site for quite some time now, and so far so good. Here's a brief information about vixy:
This service allows you convert a Flash Video / FLV file (YouTube's videos,etc) to MPEG4 (AVI/MOV/MP4/MP3/3GP) file online. It is using a compressed domain transcoder technology (outline in Japanese). It converts FLV to MPEG4 faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder.
When you submit an url, it will download and convert to the video format. Then you can download the converted file.
Too technical? Nevermind, what's important is that you know how to copy and paste the URL (in Youtube, you will see this on the right side of the screen just above the Embed textbox) of the video you want to convert, then select the file type of your choice, hit the Start button, and vixy will do the rest for you. Just dont forget to save the converted file to your hard drive.
As for me, I tried using vixy to download live performances of Regine Velasquez in her Twenty concert and Evanescence AOL Sessions, both in mp3 format. And also, the Final Fantasy Concert in AVI format. I haven't tried using it to convert video's from other websites though(i.e. Veoh, TV Links, etc), so I might as well give it a try.
Just some reminders, vixy cannot convert the FLV file if Youtube is down or under maintenance, also, the conversion speed varies depending on how fast your internet connection is.
So what are you waiting for? Christmas? Try it now!
Disclamer: I am in no way paid by vixy to post an article about their service (how i wish.hehe)