15 June 2012

Agat Mango Festival 2012

Last weekend, I got to go to this year's Mango Festival held in the village of Agat. As its name implies, the festival showcased mangoes - lots of mangoes. And I loooove mangoes. Mango is my favorite fruit; I'll eat it regardless if it's yellow or green. Although, I prefer green.

The festival was held at the Agat community center which resembled a park that overlooked the ocean. Or perhaps, it is a park in and of itself.

The heat of the sun discouraged me a little to go to the festival, but the thought of eating mangoes overpowered my discouragement (aka laziness) to go to the festival. In addition to the heat, the drive was exhausting. If you have lived in Guam for years, I bet you'll be used to the short drives. However, Agat is one of the southernmost villages (I live in the northern part of the island), and the forty-minute drive tires me out. Just imagine if I would move to the states where the shortest drive would probably take two hours. That would probably kill me.

To make a long story short, we got to the festival safely. It was scorching hot so we quickly looked for a booth that would offer ice cold drinks.

And in light of the Mango Festival, most booths served something that has mango in it. And we got to try this delicious fresh mango smoothie that cost about four bucks if I remember it correctly.

There were also booths that served shaved ice with mango toppings, and booths that sold locally grown mangoes.

And let's not forget about the booths that sold other stuff aside from mangoes:

Souvenirs for sale
And some booths just showcased mangoes. Meaning, they did not sell the mangoes, they just teased the eyes of the bystanders - kind of a "you could look, but you could not taste" kind of deal.

As mentioned earlier, the Agat Mango Festival showcased ripe and unripe mangoes. But who would have thought they would also showcase mangoes of different colors such as these:

Yellow and green mangoes 
Red-orange mangoes
Red-green mangoes
Yellow mangoes 
Mangoes of different colors
The booth that probably had the most buyers was the booth that sold mango donuts. I swear people lined up like crazy for the mango donuts! The craze got so bad, that the sellers had to put a limit on how many donuts one buyer can have!

One customer can only have one bag of mango donuts (which cost about $1), so I had my brothers line up as well so we can get more! *insert evil laugh*

And yup, the moment I tried the mango donuts, I understood why people lined up like crazy on the booth. The donuts were freshly made and were very delicious!

Mango donuts
Probably one of the most interesting things to see is the competition for the biggest mango.

Third place
This one won the competition:

From the photo above, the mango that won the first place looks a little too small to win, right? But here's a proof that the mango shown above is really big, and I used my hand for comparison:

By the way, did you notice the watermark on the photos? From now on, I shall take copyrighting to the next level. Thus, the watermark on the photographs.

Anyway, until the next mango festival!


09 June 2012

Tintin tries baking the Angel

The baking spree continues!

Who would have thought that I, who used to loathe handling the spatula and everything that concerns cooking, is now addicted to baking! And yes, up until this moment, I still could not believe that I am actually loving cooking and baking. The high that I get when the liquid batter slowly turns into a soft, fluffy bread is just amazing. It is akin to watching a yummy miracle take place inside my countertop oven!

A week ago, I baked the devil's food cake aka "The Devil" (click here for more). This time, I tried baking the angel's food cake aka "The Angel." How cool was that?

To be honest with you, I think there really is nothing so great or impressive to say about this experience. If anything, I think baking the devil had more - for a lack of a better term - challenge, compared to baking the angel cake. You'll find out why.

Being a beginner with baking, I use ready made cake mixes. This is my second time, people. I know. I'm twenty-one and I had only baked two cakes in my life. How embarrassing.

What you'll need with baking the angel:

1. Angel food cake mix

2. Water (1 1/4 cups)

3. Angel pan or loaf pan

Procedure (I take no credit for this. This recipe was taken from the box of Betty Crocker Angel Food mix.):

1. Move oven rack to lowest position if using angel food pan or middle rack if using loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 325 degrees for dark or nonstick pan). Do NOT grease pan.

2. Beat cake mix and 1 1/4 cups water in extra large bowl (Take this part seriously. When I beat my mix, the batter almost spilled from the bowl. So when they say use extra large bowl, use EXTRA LARGE bowl.) on low speed for 30 seconds then on medium speed for one minute. Or you can just beat it manually. Pour into ungreased pan.

3. Bake for 37-47 minutes if using an angel food pan or until top is dark golden brown and cracks feel very dry and not sticky. Do not underbake.

4. Immediately turn pan upside down onto glass bottle until cake is completely cool. Run knife around edges; remove from pan. Cut with serrated knife, using a sawing motion, or with electric knife. Store tightly covered.

 And here's the angel cake after baking. Look how imperfect it looks. :(

Note to self: research how to cut the angel cake decently without destroying it. Will definitely cut it better the next time.

One of the good things about the angel cake is that you can use anything as a topping to it. Strawberries, peaches, pineapples, raspberries, anything! And my choice of topping is strawberry!

 And here's the final product:

Happy baking everyone!

05 June 2012

I wish I have a macro lens

I'm just saying. These pictures would probably look better had they been taken using a macro lens. Unfortunately, I do not own a macro lens yet. Although, purchasing one is already in my plans.

Anyway, I'm posting these set of practice pictures that I took with my Canon T3 with 18-55 mm lens. I'm going to skip posting about working out and cooking for the time being.


Yellow get-well-soon orchids:

Red roses and stargazers from Flowers by Tand:

I hope you liked the photos. :)

Constructive criticisms are most welcome, by the way.

04 June 2012

Aqua Zumba

Ever since I got to try Zumba fitness (click here for more), I think I got "kind of" addicted to the workout. In a span of two weeks, I was able to try three kinds of Zumba - fitness, toning, and aqua. And so far, I like Aqua Zumba the best.

As the name implies, Aqua Zumba is Zumba workout done while you're in water. Zumba fitness is exhausting but fun. Aqua Zumba, on the other hand, takes the difficulty and fun in a whole different level. I guess everything you do that involves water is fun, anyway.

Just this afternoon, I got to do my second dose of Aqua Zumba. And yes, it was as fun as it was during my first try. The Zumba instructor was as lively as ever and the music she played really got my groove on. And that statement came from me - someone who just doesn't get the groove on, if you know what I mean. ;)

Like last week, the Aqua Zumba was done in the Infinity Pool at the Sheraton Laguna Hotel.

During Aqua Zumba
And yes, I know, the pool looks really, really nice. It actually tempts me to swim every time I go there. And swim, I kind of did this afternoon. LOL. It was too tempting to resist anyway!

And did I mention I went down the slide too? I may be an adult but slides in swimming pools still make me happy. But hey, we adults gotta do something for the kid inside us, right?

The Aqua Zumba lasted for about an hour. And trust me, one hour is good enough for the Aqua Zumba workout. I may not feel sore after the workout, but at least I got to get active, and I had a lot of fun too!

Here are some post-Zumba pictures anyway:

Taken using Canon T3, EF 18-55 mm lens.
Bathroom photos: Me and my Gym buddy ;)

Self portrait

First Aqua Zumba night

03 June 2012

Tintin tries baking the Devil

This may be sort of a shocking news for some people who know me personally, but I did bake the devil's food cake yesterday.

Prior to yesterday, baking was not exactly my thing... The mere thought of putting anything in the oven scares me. I was actually content with just opening canned foods or cooking using the stove. However, after reading some easy recipes that do not actually look too daunting or difficult to make, I decided to learn how to bake. And the first thing that I baked is the devil's food cake.

Betty Crocker Super Moist Cake Mix: Devil's Food
Photo from Google
Being a beginner with NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE to baking cakes AT ALL, I decided not to make any variations of the cake and baked just the plain devil's food. Also, due to my lack of experience, I followed the recipe at the back of the Betty Crocker box step by step (with a few exceptions, LOL).

First step is to prepare the tools and the ingredients to be used:

New countertop oven from Hamilton Beach
New egg beater, two 9" round pans, sparkle gel, toothpicks
Fresh Eggs (used three)

Crisco Olive Oil Spray

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

2. Spray 9 inch pans with oil (Crisco).

Spray-oiled pans
3. Mix Betty Crocker Supermoist Devil's Cake food mix, three eggs, and one and one-fourth cup water in a container.

Three eggs. They look like a smiley face. GOOD OMEN! Lol.
Water, cake mix, and eggs before combining.
After mixing the ingredients. Looks yummy already.
4. Pour batter into the prepared pans.

Batter on the pan.
5. Place batter on the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted on center comes out clean.

Baked cake. :)
6. Cool down cake for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before applying frosting.

7. Stir frosting and apply as desired. Honestly, I'm not one to talk about how to professionally and beautifully put frosting on your cake. This is the part where my cake started to look ugly. Tip: if you're just a beginner, choose chocolate frosting instead of vanilla.

Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting

How much frosting is too much frosting?
8. My brothers favorite step: Design as desired!

Wilton Sparkle Gel: Blue

My brothers are beginners too when it comes to designing the cake. But kudos to their efforts, right? :)

Because John was awarded in school. This is his cake. :)

That's Wolverine, just in case you have not noticed. T__T
9. Enjoy. :)

And that concludes my beginner's recipe for baking Devil's food cake. :)

Hmmm.. I think I want to bake again. LOL. Let's keep life sweet, shall we? Happy baking everyone!