WORLD IN MY EYES

A few days ago, I encountered this Japanese Chef in YouTube who infuses the traditional with the modern Japanese recipes. Her name is Rika Yukimasa. Though the recipes are very enticing, the ingredients would be very difficult as most of it are not available here in the Philippines. If ever there are, it’s very costly.

I did come across a particular recipe which I not only find it fascinating but also tried it myself and the results were amazing. It’s one of those moments where you want to have a quick meal from typical ingredients but with Japanese flavors. I did a bit to tweaking on the ingredients and also did some trial and errors but finally I came up with my own version of this dish.

And now I’d like to share it with you and hope you will not only try it but like it as well.

There are 2 components of this recipe; the sauce and the pasta dish.

For the Sauce:

1-½ cup water
¼ cup Kikkoman Soy Sauce
2 tsp. brown sugar

Put everything together in a pot. Heat the pot and then ocassionally stir the liquid. Just before boiling, remove from heat and set aside. Once cool down, pour in a liquid container for future use.

For the Pasta:

1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. butter, salted
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
¼ cup of the sauce
1 egg, medium
1 serving of pasta

Cook pasta the usual way. Do not add oil in the boiling water but add salt. After cooking the pasta, strain it and rinse it with cool water. Set aside.

  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add sliced galic and fry.
  • Just before the garlic turns color, add the butter.
  • Once they are incorporated, add the sauce. Let it boil and stir for a minute.
  • Add the cooked pasta and mix well.
  • Once stream appears, add the egg and stir thoroughly.
  • Remove from heat but continue to stir.
  • Serve it on a plate ot pasta bowl.
  • Garnish is optional. You either can use thinly slices of long onion or seaweed paper. Place it on top of the pasta before serving.

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TIPS:

  • Do not shortcut by placing the hot pasta into the pan without rinsing. When the egg is added, it gets cooked with the hot pasta by coating it rather than mixing with the sauce before gradually cook with the pasta.
  • The overall taste is a delicate balance of a subtle salty-sweet flavor. If you want to add salt and pepper to taste, you may have this option.
  • Adding wasabi in this recipe is an option. It is best to add this together when adding the fresh egg to the pasta before mixing. The quantity depends on your preference.
  • The excess of the sauce that is not used in this recipe can also be used as dipping sauce for cold soba.

Let me know what you think or if you’ve tried it. I would like to you know your experience. Send me an email at libratedmind@gmail.com.

Happy cooking!!!

I have been hearing good feedback about this series and I decided to start watching this. As I am writing this review, I am in the middle of season 1 and I, somehow, have mixed feelings about this.

As far a the storyline is concerned, it is made well and I love the twists and turns. It does put me at the edge of my seat. As far as the castings are concerned, a remarkable ensemble. Acting was great and believable.

But eventually, episode after episode, something caught my attention. I am not sure if I am the only one who notices this. Let me break it down for you.

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The base of the story is that in a classroom set-up in college (criminology class), there were students who were selected (5 students) to work with the defense attorney, Annalise Keating (played by Viola Davis), which is a good plot of the series. But the thing that became a pet peeve for me was that in every scene of the classroom, Annalise would engage the students with some questions but she would only choose among the 5 particular students that she selected to work with her on her cases. I know the questions are somehow connected to the plot of the episode but the little details that annoys me is that the class if full of students, trying to learn. When a question is being asked, she only chooses within the 5 students. What is the point of that scene? Would it be better if it was like a special class where the 5 students are the only ones in the room then Annalise then could bombard them with questions of the different cases. The other students in the classroom just looks so irrelevant and yet they all had to be in the scene. For me it was not a critical or make-or-break scene or detail. It could have been simplified and simply relevant.

Also I noticed that Annalise’s personal life is somehow mixed in to the storyline and the students are exposed to this. Well since it’s a pressure setting to be the best among the 5 students like a competition, those “personal mishaps” of Annalise could actually be used to blackmail her to pass the class or win the competition. I know it’s a bit on the darkish but then again isn’t it the core of this series? It could have been titled as ” How to Get Away with Blackmail” – sounds catchy isn’t it?

Nevertheless, it’s still a good series, I must admit. The twists and turns are very addictive and it would leave you to think for yourself on who the real murder is and how the murder was committed.

4/5 Stars rating

I will admit that I am a die-hard fan of Downton Abbey. My family and close friends knows this very well.

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I just finished the 5th season marathon and what I can say is that it’s been awesome. For the first time, the way the season ended was splendid – not what I expected. Normally, with all the twist and turns of the plot, there are always something tragic at the end of every season (christmas eposides). But the 5th season was something refreshing. I was expecting as the positive build up is on-going, I thought there’s something that will always turn out to be a downer in hoping to entice the viewers for the next season. But the thing is with the build up of positivity and it ended with a good note, this is something that makes me anticipate for the next season on how things will turn out.

My highlights of this season (spoiler alert):

  • The birth of John and Anna Bates’ son. Finally they have their own family
  • The retribution of Thomas to be asked to replace Carson as butler in the Crawley household
  • The relationship of Edith and Mary as sisters have improved
  • The marriage of Mrs. Hughes and Carson. It was about time.
  • The return of Branson to Downton Abbey and he is back to stay

Downton Abbey never ceases to amaze me with it’s plot and storyline. I find the period plot is very appealing and very much appreciated. When I have a chance to talk to my family and friends about this, the greater majority either does not get it or is not aware of this. I don’t blame them with all the offerings of television series. So I turn to this blog to show my deepest appreciation of the series.

Kudos to the show and looking forward to the 6th season.

5/5 Stars rating

As the saying goes, better late than never. I was glad to be able to get the chance to watch this movie. I guess you can consider me a Star Wars fan but not to the extreme (otherwise I would have watched this on the very first day of showing). I viewed it more on the performance of the characters and the storyline/plot.

I was pretty impressed on this movie. It’s a good comeback for the Star Wars franchise. Admittedly, I did not go back to the previous installment, The Return of the Jedi, but nevertheless, you somehow get the connection and it was not difficult to recall.

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I am particularly amazed with Daisy Ridley who played Rey. She was the combination of strength and grace, and her acting is superb. I would watch out for her in future films. I also adored BB-8. For a robot, it’s very relatable and cute performance. It’s like a ball of fun. I just want to have him with me all the time (ok time to get back to reality). I also commend actor Oscar Isaac who played Poe Dameron and Adam Driver who played Kylo Ren. Isaac took command of his role and he was believable. Driver also for the antagonist, he was effective and just evil (which is good for his role). And of course, who can deny Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher who played Hans Solo and Princess Leia, respectively. it made the movie more enticing and I guess more sincere to where they left off the last installment. I just wished there was more humor between the two like before but them again, they have matured very much, literally. I also like the comeback of C-3PO, R2-D2, and Chewbacca. It was very refreshing and brings a smile to my face like a long time reunion. And one more thing, I am particularly surprised to see Greg Grunberg who played Snap Wexley. It was nice to see him in film again, even if it was only a minor role.

A few meh moments for me was John Boyega who played Finn. The performance was just weak and I find him cowardly and there was no defining moment for him. Though he tried to fight Kylo Ren using a lightsaber but it was expected that he would loose as he has no knowledge on how to use it. This gave Ridley a more shining moment as she saved him and somehow partially defeating Kylo Ren. I was expecting more from Boyega. Another one was Lupita Nyong’o who played Maz Kanata. The role was a masked soldier and only the voice was evident plus the role was somehow insignificant and forgettable. As a role, this was a tad bit shallow. And lastly, Mark Hamill who played Luke Skywalker, played a very short role plus it was never a build up when Ridley would meet up with him in the end. It was obvious there was no climax/build-up to this scene. I guess they had to do this in preparation for the next instalment but it’s just too short and too expected – no thrill. 

Well, it seems that the Star Wars saga continues and I wonder when and how will this all end. I just hope they build this up after this chapter and not freaking loose the appeal. Nevertheless, this was a far better installment prior to A New Hope chapter.

4/5 Stars rating

A lot of people might not know about me but I enjoy watching vlogs. I’m not limited to a particular kind of vlogs but anything that sparks interests. And from there, I get glued to them like I want to view more so this has become some sort of addiction to me.

These are some of my favorite vlogs in YouTube: (in no particular order)

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First and foremost, I am not a boxing fan but when I was growing up, I was exposed to some movies that focuses on boxing like the Rocky franchise. I was not keen on understanding the boxing aspects but more of the acting and how entertaining it could be to a certain extent.

Then last month, I came across some promotion of an upcoming movie titled “Creed”. It’s another one of those boxing movies so you kind of imagine how enthusiastic I was (sarcastic remark). But then it featured an actor named Michael B. Jordan. I knew him only from the Fantastic 4, a movie catastrophe. Jordan played Johnny Storm as the Human Torch. Though the movie flopped big time, he did catch my attention because it did not really give him the opportunity to shine as an actor, more so as Human Torch. So when I was watching the preview, it did spark an interest to try and watch the movie when it opened.

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The verdict? I was blown away with the movie. Though I knew Sylvester Stallone was in the movie, I thought of him just an actor, acting as a coach for Jordan. But NO!!! This movie is actually a continuity from the Rocky franchise. Jordan played as Adonis Johnson, the illegitimate son of Apollo Johnson. Stallone was Rocky as a retired boxer and now owns an Italian restaurant. Was the “Italian” restaurant a surprise? Not at all. And Stallone was helping Jordan become the best boxer that he could be.

The acting was great, the cast was awesome, and the plot was amazing. I really couldn’t find any fault or “it could have been better” scenarios. I actually enjoyed the movie, both the boxing action and the story itself. Jordan did redeem himself in the movie as a real actor. I was convinced that he was a boxer. But the most surprising moment for me was the way Stallone acted. He was believable and adorable. I have a sense of appreciation on his role because it’s more raw and vulnerable in the movie. I felt the acting of Jordan and Stallone were neither overly or underly done. It was just perfectly right. I also appreciate the little humor every now and then which released a bit of the tension of the movie/plot.

I also have to make mention one of the fantastic scene in the movie or at least for me. It’s the first official fight of Adonis as a boxer. If you will take note, it was a one-take scene. The camera was just moving circular around the ring while they fought. There were no cuts in the scene so the way it was choreographed was impressive.

This is one movie that the action is as equal as the emotion that unravel within the story which makes a great worthwhile movie therefore I highly recommend this. There are other interesting twists and turns (especially on the legacy aspect) in the movie and I prefer not shredding them all here so you could find the time to watch this movie. But rest assured, you will not be disappointed.

5/5 Stars rating

I am very thankful that I have two dachshunds to keep me company at home. They’re practically my own small family. Macchi is black male with tan tones and Moccha is a tan male dachshunds.

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Being a dog owner is not something new to me. I got them both as puppies and Macchi is more than 6 years already while Moccha is less than a year.

I distinctly remember that when I was starting out with Macchi, I was a wreck in trying desperately to understand him and his needs. Later on, I did not have to sweat that much. I guess for new dog owners, you’ll fall into the same cracks as I did. And I thought of writing this to help you somehow and to let you know that everything will be ok. You just need to pay attention to certain things before doing anything else.

Dogs are basically a creature of habit. They learn through habits. I used to term if as discipline but I stand corrected. Discipline is having knowledge of whites right and wrong. Dogs does not get it that way. They learn through habits and probably reactions from you as the owner.

When I started out with Macchi, I scheduled his feeding twice a day; mornings and early evenings. This was based on information from people and friends. And so I did but then I noticed that Macchi wasn’t finishing one of the meals and just leaving his bowl. I wondered then panicked, thinking that something is wrong with him. As far as his exercises are concerned, it was above minimum since he is a small dog and my house is just right for him to run around. We also do the walking around the compound where I live. Then I started observing his behavior to assess why he is not finishing his food. I did try to lessen his food per meal but it has the same effect. Then, without consultation, I changed his meal times to just one around lunchtime. And ever since, it worked and he has a normal appetite.

Now when I got Moccha, a feisty little one, it got a bit complicated as this is now 2 separate dogs. As what I did with Macchi, I initially fed Moccha twice a day like before, while keeping Macchi’s effective feeding style. On Moccha’s case, I noticed something wrong with him. He’s gaining too much weight (for his age). I started observing him and noticed that his bowl movements are too few too little. And as i observe his exercise, he was a very active dog. It got me thinking that I need to change the eating habit of the young one. I also started feeding Moccha the same pattern as Macchi. And now they’re both ok. The exercise (or playtime) is now more than usual but I always make it a point to make them rest after their meal then the moment they wake up, you should expect them to do some playtime with each other.

These are the things you need to pay attention:

  • Monitor the bowl movements. Possibly the dog was not able to process the first meal of the day so definitely he is not hungry when the second meal comes.
  • Observe the dog’s activity. Exercise does help their digestion. The fewer exercise, the less chance they will be hungry. And if they seemed inactive then there might be something wrong with the dog and it’s best to have it checked by a vet.
  • I used to think that a probable reason why the dog does not finish his food is because they’re sick and tired of what they eat. Though it’s still a possibility but let me correct this. Dogs do not have that acquired taste like humans in eating the same food every day. Dogs will eat their food when they are hungry, regardless if it’s the same old food. Of course you can always tweak your food but this is more of your preference more than the dog’s.
  • If you are used to feeding your dog dry food and noticed that they are having problems pooping, add water to their food. And if the poop is too liquid or watery, it’s best to have them checked by a vet. Also if a dog is constipated, you can check their anus and see if it’s swollen – that is an indicator.
  • Too much exercise or playtime is also bad for the dogs. They should have a good balance of exercise and rest (meaning nap time)

So it’s very important to have that clear understanding about your dogs’ behaviors. From there you could be able to assess and make certain adjustments in their eating, exercise, even sleeping habits. And again, never panic if something goes wrong. I am sure you have your dog’s best interest at heart and it’s unfortunate that they cannot tell you what’s wrong but then it should not stop you from observing and creating habits and patterns for them.

I hope this helps you in someway. Let’s me know what you think. Leaving a comment or you can email me at libratedmind@gmail.com.

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