Tuesday, 27 September 2011

2 Days and 1 Night Birthday Trip at Fujairah

Last Friday, 23rd September, was my dad's birthday (and Key's too!) and to celebrate his 42nd years of living, our whole family decided to travel out of Dubai and head to Fujairah. And I must admit, after two weeks of coming back to school, I really need a little bit of relaxing. Haha.

This post is a bit of a travel post and a foodie post. And just a little bit of a warning, this will be really long (as I am a very detailed type of person) and will be picture heavy. Nevertheless, let's get into it :)

Done a bit of selcas before leaving the house!
Day 1

Woke up at six in the morning, and started to get ready right away. We packed our things  and food and settled them into our car and immediately drove into the road. We were in kind of a hurry since our reserved check-in was pretty early and also to add that it's our first time travelling to Fujairah by car so we definitely knew that we will get lost in the road. And like what we sooth-said, we really got lost.

Clay mountains in Fujairah
The car travel from Dubai to Fujairah was supposed to run for 3 hours at most. But with all the unwanted roaming around Sharjah, and a lot of asking random people for the way for two hours, we finally reached Fujairah in total of 5 hours with my legs all cramped and my stomach crying out for food. And in fact, I knew we finally reached Fujairah when I started to see those beautifully carved clay mountains standing so gracefully on the side of the road. The small picture on the side is not even enough to depict on what I really saw through my own eyes. Even though this is already my second time of seeing these mountains (first one was when I was in Oman), I was still really enthralled and amazed as you cannot see any of these in Philippines. And for the last time of asking for directions, we finally reached Hilton Fujairah Hotel and Resort.

Reaching our destination at last, we checked-in in the hotel. We were warmly welcomed, served us with smiles in their face, and got into our room with ease. We rested a bit for an hour and had our lunch, my mom packed Sinigang na hipon and Kare-kareng baka and for our dessert, the hotel gave a complimentary cake for my dad.

The pool view in Hilton Fujairah Hotel and Resort
In the afternoon, with all my sister's whining and such, we went swimming in the resort. The pool was big and clean, and on the other side you can hear 3 gorgeous Latina ladies singing and performing in the pool bar spicing up the mood of the audience. We swam for hours and as usual I got hungry again, haha. So I ordered a Hilton Burger and a can of Pepsi. I will give the burger a 4 out of 5. The beef was tender and juicy and so are the sauce, the only downside I had was the sesame seed, I really prefer my burgers without it. I admit it was really good, but in all hotel burgers I had taste, the Crowne Plaza one is still the best for me. After the snack and a little bit of sun bathing, me and my dad decided to have a match of table tennis. The match took us for almost an hour too, and unfortunately, I had a really humiliating defeat while my dad had all the glory of winning. With all the swimming and playing, I felt so exhausted and pain started to creep on my body so I went back to our room alone while the rest of my family wandered of to the beach. I took a time of my own and relaxed as the sun set down.

Seafood Fettuccine with Red Tomato Sauce, Al Ghorfa

Evening came after the tiring afternoon, so we headed downstairs to have a dinner. We found a restaurant offering international cuisine beside the pool named Al Ghorfa. A sweet Filipina waitress served us and took our orders. I chose Seafood Fettuccine with Red Tomato Sauce and a glass of vanilla milkshake for my refreshment. I would give the pasta a 3.5 out of 5, the fresh seafood and fettuccine was a bliss on my mouth but the dry tomato paste was just too sour for me, and my oral ulcer does not help at all, just a bit of it and it stings my mouth so bad. My milkshake did the wonders, though I still feel that it was a bit of waste since I was not able to finish the dish at all.

Day 2

Second day of our trip came fast after a 10 hour of sleep. I could not get out of the bed at all, but we had to grab our morning breakfast buffet before 10:00 am. The buffet offered a variety of delicious breakfast food. But as I am an absolute meat lover, half of my plate was filled with bacon -- pork and veal, sided with egg omelette filled with vegetables and cheese. For morning drinks, I ordered a fresh orange juice, but to heat up my stomach, I also went for my ultimate favourite, a healthy milk tea. A 5 out of 5 for this breakfast.

For breakfast, egg omelette, pork and veal bacon; cup of milk tea and orange juice

After a very refreshing breakfast, my sister and my parents went for another round of swimming, while I decided to just lay on the bedroom because I figured out that loads of homework is waiting for me in Dubai.

We checked out of the hotel past noon and headed back to Dubai. Thankfully, this time only took us less two hours of drive even though I was not able to take any nap during the ride. When we reached back Dubai, we went straight to Dubai Mall to have a late lunch. We thought that we should have an Asian cuisine this time and thus, we picked one of our favourite Asian restaurant, the Noodle Factory. This time, I had Korean-style Noodle Soup with Marinated Grilled Beef  and just a glass of lemon tea. I would give this 4 out of 5; Like other Korean dishes, the soup was spicy and flavourful -- you can really taste the red chili paste, so as a Korean food lover as I am, I endured all the agonising pain I felt because of my mouth ulcer plus... I just could not resist the marinated beef at all!  Two thumbs up!

With our bodies tired and all, we went back directly to our sweet abode afterwards. And just like that, our two days and one night trip ended. I got really worn out, but it was truly an enjoyable experience, plus spending it with my family was a real blessing from God :)

Last few words, my humble apologies for a really long post. It's past 11, and the pillow is already calling out for my name, so I'll end this now. A wonderful night to everyone, until then :)

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Foodie day: Food for the Gods

Well, this is really awkward. I know I said that I will fill this blog with many posts and it took me a month to make this second post. My apologies, shame on me.

Anyway, this post is about food! As you can see, I labelled it as Foodie Day, and I will make more food post under the same label on the future. All throughout my life, I always have loved food. But on the contrary, I'm not that experienced in eating. Well if you ask me, I would say I love eating food than making them ;p Still, I got interested on baking and thus, I'm learning how to. I'm actually planning to take Baking and Pastry Arts, but I'm still newbie though. So enough of these! Let's get to the food post.

A slice of Food for the Gods ; Again, my apologies for the lame photo, I'm still new with this :)

So today, I (and also my mom) made Food for the Gods. I first tasted it when one of my Filipino friend brought a piece and I totally fell in love with it. It just has this sweet, chewy, heavenly taste that I definitely cannot resist even though I was eating it like a ninja so that my teacher won't catch me :p 

Without further ado, here's the recipe:

Food for the Gods
Recipe by Junjun de Guzman and Andoree Uy from Manila bulletin

A snapshot of the ingredients and materials used.
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place rack in the upper middle position.  Line a 9″ x 13″ rectangular pan with parchment paperand set aside.
  2. Sift all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Put half this mixture in another bowl and dredge the chopped dates in there.
  3. Combine melted butter, brown sugar, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Mix until batter is uniform. Add honey and mix.
  4. Fold flour into the batter using a rubber spatula. Lastly, fold the dredged dates and walnuts.
  5. Pour the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Pour the mixture to the prepared pan. Spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes when using a 9”x13” pan, and 15 minutes when cooked in a jelly roll pan. It should be done when you poke a toothpick through the middle and it comes out clean. The center would still be wet.
  6. Cool completely before slicing into bars.
And done! The experiment ended successfully and the sweet was a pure bliss! My whole family totally loved it and I did so too! I have few more bars left... so gotta finish them now, haha. So happy weekend :) Ta ta~