Yelly Writes

What’s in a name?

The next Blogging 101 assignment is to take control of your title and your tagline.

It always takes me ages to think of a blog title…mostly because I think my blog title should also be my blog address.  I must admit that it can be a frustrating exercise because when you think of a title that is completely you and you find out that someone else has thought about it and the domain name is no longer available, it can be frustrating and very disappointing.  I’ve always known that blog titles should be snappy, unique and memorable.  I am thankful, however, that my father named me the way he did.  My name makes for interesting blog title permutations!  Toda rabah Abba!  Oh and no, he didn’t name me Yelly or Welly! Ha!

A blog tagline is certainly as important as a snappy title.  I’ve gone from not having a blog tagline to having an über long one, to have a sort of acceptable one, to the one I have now.  I quite like the one I have now.  It focuses on the things that I am enjoying at the moment – food and photography, hence “bites and snapshots”.  My blog really is a place where I talk about the absolutely ordinary life that I lead and the things that make me smile (a great recipe, good food, a great read, a breathtaking photo – all of which don’t have to be mine!).

I’m happy that people are coming to visit the blog a wee bit more.  I’d love to be able to chat to people on the comments section of the blog though.  Please leave me a few words in the comments section!  I’d love to hear from you!

Letter Y

Yelly Writes

Who am I and why am I here?

I’m late to the Blogging 101 Party but I thought I’d still work on the assignments.  I need to redirect my blogging efforts and relight the blogging fire so to speak.  So in this case, this start is better late than never!


Those two questions are probably the scariest questions a blogger can face…well, to me it’s very scary.  Because sometimes, I forget to focus on the who and the why.

I remember starting a blog on another blog host site.  It was mostly a journal for me.  I place where I wrote about my rants, where I made fun of people who made grammatical mistakes, where I talked about me.  I’m not exactly sure that’s where I found my voice…if I’ve ever found it at all.  But I’m a lot more serious about this blog.  Because I think I’m much more selective about what I write and share online.  I find that as I grow older, I’m more sensitive to how what I put out in the universe affects other people – ripples in the water, and all that jazz.

So, why don’t I just write my thought down in a journal.  I don’t know is the answer to that question.  Sometimes it’s just knowing that you can send things out into cosmos and somewhere someone goes, “Oh I get that completely!”  I think it’s a deep-seated human need to fit in, to belong or just feel like we’re not so different – am not entirely sure that that’s a good reflection on my individuality because it speaks volumes about my need to conform to the mores of society!

I write because I want to talk.  I think I write because I want an audience.  But at the same time, I sort of want the imagined anonymity.  I mean I can hardly be anonymous if I use my photo as my Gravatar image, now can I?  But it’s the ease of putting stuff out there.  Of seeing if anyone finds what I have to say interesting.

I also want to talk about my food journey.  I love to cook and bake and I want to share what I’m learning.  Food for me isn’t just about the physical nourishment.  It also holds a lot of happy memories of family and friends gathered around a table.  Food is an intrinsic part of my growing up, so being so far away from my family, a way for me to reconnect and cheer myself up.

I also love to talk about Filipino food, which I think is a long-ignored Southeast Asian cuisine.  I thought if I wrote about Filipino food then people would see a new facet about the Philippines.  I want to get people talking about Filipino food.  I mean I know that Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern have both visited the Philippines and they rave about Filipino food.  So we have been featured on TV.  There are a lot of tutorial videos about how to cook Filipino food floating about on the internet but I want to add my voice to that.  I want people to know how good Filipino food really is.  We need to be as known as our other Southeast Asian neighbour’s cuisines:  Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Vietnamese.

I have no idea how the blog is going to help me turn my food passion into something that I do everyday.  If that is even possible (yes, I know it’s been done, but in this saturated market, can I carve out a little niche for me?).  But I’d like to find out what is out there, if there are opportunities.

I think the first goal is to connect to other people.  See blogs that I have a lot in common with, actually read them, learn from them.  Refine my writing style.  Find my voice.  Fall in love with blogging again (I used to blog everyday…sometimes even more than a blog post a day!).  Find out if this is something I want to take further of this will evolve into something else.  I want to hear from other people.  I want people to come to the blog and say things, react to what I have to say.  If it’s negative, please be gentle, but thoughts are welcome!

I’m excited again.  That’s a brilliant start.

Yelly Writes

The responsibility of choosing

I posted this on my Facebook wall and it got interesting reactions and discussions.  I was thinking about the Philippines and the upcoming elections.  I am hoping that the Filipinos choose wisely when voting this time.  We’re due to elect a president, a vice-president and 12 senators, am not sure if they’re electing other officials. 

The fate of my country ultimately lies in the choices its voters make.  It is my hope that Filipinos who are able to vote make informed choices this time.  I hope they don’t vote for personalities.


electionsDear Fellow Filipinos,

I very rarely post anything political. Because I believe that you can’t complain if you don’t exercise your constitutional right to express your opinion, to make a choice. I haven’t voted in a very long time. So I can’t really complain about how things have turned out in the country.

I do have one request, though, when you vote, please remember that you vote for Filipinos who cannot vote. Please remember that you are making a choice that will affect everyone else in the country.

Please chose your politicians wisely. Make sure that you think about your choices. You are voting for people to lead the country and make its laws. Make sure you vote for people who will lift the country up, make sure you vote for people who care more about the greater Filipino good than what is good for them. The only agenda has got to be the Philippines, what’s best for the country and its population.

Please and thank you.

That’s it. That’s me off my soapbox.

Yelly Eats

Absolutely magic!

This should go wrong…even when I was making it, it felt absolutely wrong.  The batter didn’t look like it was going to set at all.  But let me tell you, whoever invented magic custard cakes is an absolute genius!

This is going on my must-bake-all-the-time list!

For those who have missed this growing trend, magic custard cakes are cakes is a cake with three layers, a spongy-meringuey top layer, a custard center and a pudding bottom layer.  The magical bit is that all this happens with JUST ONE BATTER!

Don’t ask me how because I have no idea how it works…but it does and it’s so good!

Magic custard cake

Yelly Eats

Dry rub Yelly-style!

I love cooking meats low and slow.  There is a nuance of flavour that you can’t get anywhere else.  Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways of cooking.  You mix your spices for the rub, you slap it on the meat then bung the meat into an oven and (almost) forget about it.   I particularly like slow roasting pork.  I’ve tried a few rubs and I think  I think I’ve cracked the whole dry rub thing, at least for my pork.  I’m happy to share my recipe because I think it works really well.

  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chilli pepper

Just mix all the ingredients together.  This will be enough for at least 2 kilos of meat (pork shoulder or beef brisket work best).  Place the meat in a baking tray lined with baking parchment and then covered with foil.  I put a piece of parchment in between the foil and the meat so that the foil doesn’t stick to the meat.  Preheat your oven to 220°C.  Once the oven is heated, put in the meat.  Cook at this temperature for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 150ºC and cook for at least 5 hours.

Then serve with coleslaw and cheesy cornbread! Voila!

If you’re trying out my recipe, I’d love to hear from you!  I’d love to know how you got on.

Pulled pork, southern style