Pajammy Party

Pillow fights, secrets, s'mores and scary stories. Sleeping bag not required.

Archive for the category “craziness”

How to make garlic parmesan chicken wings

I swear, there’s a real recipe in here somewhere.

garlic parmesan wings


A computer
internet connection
nail polish
top coat
4 kilos chicken wings (or less, if you want to listen to Jill’s cook)
flour for dredging
1 cup salted butter
8 cloves of garlic, crushed
powdered parmesan
grated parmesan
Italian seasoning
onion salt
onion powder
garlic granules/powder


1. Realize that Jill’s spicy pasta and Mexican corn aren’t enough. Your dinner party menu needs chicken.

2. Briefly consider making your soy garlic chicken wings but drop the idea because admit it, you have done soy garlic chicken to death.

3. Think about making buffalo wings and then roll your eyes at your stupidity. The pasta is spicy, the corn is spicy, what are you trying to do – set someone’s mouth on fire? (And if that’s the plan, target Giff.)

4. Let the lightbulb hit you. Garlic parmesan wings! Delicious! And not spicy! Yes!

5. Google “garlic parmesan wings recipe.”

6. Look at photos of garlic parmesan wings and try – and fail – to decide which plate of wings looks the most delicious.

7. Google “best garlic parmesan wings recipe.”

8. Google “perfect garlic parmesan wings recipe.”

9. Google “garlic parmesan wings recipe so good your guests will want to dry hump them.”

10. Stop googling.

11. Watch old episodes of Dateline and 48 Hours on YouTube for hours.

12. Stop watching when you realize that you still haven’t found a recipe for garlic parmesan wings.

13. Google “best garlic parmesan wings recipe” again.

14. Read about twenty different recipes and find yourself completely confused, like the Bachelorette on the first episode of, uh, The Bachelorette.

15. And, just like the Bachelorette, think, “They all look meaty. And delicious. How will I choose?”

16. Say to yourself, hopefully unlike the Bachelorette: “Screw choosing. I will use all the recipes at the same time.”

17. Use your phone to grab screenshots of the ingredients list of all the different recipes.

18. Go to the supermarket.

19. Ignore your ingredients list and head to the chocolates section first.

20. Go to the dairy section and look for a block of parmesan cheese because you want to grate your own.

21. Be left disappointed by the measly cheese choices and walk to the pasta section to grab a can of powder masquerading as parmesan.

22. Return to the dairy section for one more attempt at finding decent parmesan. Find real grated parmesan hiding in a black box. And it comes with a free pot holder! Score!

23. Resist the urge to pump your fist in the air.

24. Grab three blocks of salted butter.

25. Head to the produce section and grab a bag of garlic.

26. Stand in front of the spice racks and scroll through your many screenshots. Feel a little overwhelmed. Make the quick decision to just get all the spices listed in all the recipes and figure out which ones to use later.

27. Grab dried basil, Italian seasoning, onion salt, onion powder, garlic granules.

28. Scan the shelf for garlic salt and find nothing. Wonder: if you can’t buy garlic salt, can you just use garlic granules and salt?

29. Look at all the spices in your cart and convince yourself that even if you don’t get to use all of them, you’ll find a way to use them later.

30. Ask Jill how much chicken you should buy.

31. Wait as she calls their cook and listen as the cook recommends that you get 2 kilos of chicken.

32. Go to the poultry guy and ask for 4 kilos of wings, just to be sure. You don’t want to run out of chicken wings – it has happened to you once before and it wasn’t pretty.

33. Ask them to chop the wings between the flat and the drumette.

34. Pay for your purchases.

35. Leave the supermarket.

36. Paint your nails.

37. Seriously, paint your nails. You can’t have horribly chipped nails when you’re co-hosting a dinner.

38. Go to the kitchen and ignore the chicken.

39. Make hot fudge.

40. While you’re making hot fudge, find someone who will peel and crush the garlic cloves for you.

41. Spend so much time working on the hot fudge that by the time you finish, it’s almost dinner time.

42. Season the raw chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Really rub those flavors in, like you are giving the wings a creepy, pervy massage.

43. Deep fry the chicken. If you are lucky, find someone to deep fry them for you.

44. Panic when the first guest arrives and the food isn’t ready yet.

45. Chit-chat as the chicken wings are frying and Jill is serving her pasta and the angels are grilling the corn.

46. Panic again when you realize that they are all waiting for the chicken.

47. Panic even more when you realize you need to throw the sauce together now and you have no time to consult your twenty recipes.

48. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that if you can ace your El Filibusterismo exam in high school without ever reading it, you can throw together a garlic parmesan sauce without rereading a recipe.

49. Melt a few spoonfuls of butter.

50. Add the crushed garlic and sauté it.

51. Just before it turns brown, add the rest of the butter.

52. When the butter is completely melted, add the parmesan. Start with the powder.

53. If you bought enough real grated parmesan, add some of it to the butter mixture too. If not, don’t. You will need it later.

54. Add the spices liberally. Onion salt, onion powder, garlic granules, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper – throw them in.

55. Try not to look surprised when your butter mixture actually starts looking like garlic parmesan sauce.

56. Grab one of the freshly fried wings, put it on a plate and drizzle it with your sauce.

57. Take a bite and chew.

58. Resist the urge to shout “Holy shit, it really tastes like garlic parmesan wings!”

59. Make Jill take a bite and pretend to be nonchalant when she says, “Sarap!”

60. Grab a sturdy tupperware, put a few wings in, drizzle the wings with sauce, close the tupperware and shake it until the wings are coated with sauce.

61. Open the tupperware, add some grated parmesan, close and shake.

62. Serve.

63. Repeat steps 60 to 62 until your guests are too full to eat another wing.

64. The next day, realize that you still have about a kilo of wings left and that you will need to make more sauce.

65. Repeat steps 49 to 62.


A very weird Christmas dinner (or how I started my career as a doll killer)

(Warning: long post with a lot of pictures. Expect fake blood, gore, brains and a zombie baby. Skip this if you’re squeamish. Photos by me and Jill.)

For four years now, Jill, Giff and I have been hosting a yearly Christmas dinner for our friends.

Last year, we started our barkada Secret Santa and held the big reveal at the dinner. The reveal was super fun – we all had to present and unwrap gifts one at a time while everyone else watched – and what made it even more exciting was Giff’s gift-wrapping contest which Jill won.

And since she won, she decided on this year’s gift-wrapping theme: zombie apocalypse.

Yes, seriously.

I didn’t complain at first. She made the announcement in November and I thought I had plenty of time to work on my wrapping. I already had the perfect plan – I was going to make zombie doll versions of ourselves.

Yes, just like Sluterella, the doll I made and lost at the 2008 Olympics.

Day # 75 (08/09/2008) Meet Sluterella

And because I thought I had plenty of time, I concentrated on task number one first: making my Secret Santa wish list. (Yes, we’re required to submit wish lists.)

Then I concentrated on task number two: buying gifts for Coco, my Secret Santa recipient.

But that wasn’t as simple as I thought it would be.

The watch, light bulbs and vinyl Coco wanted aren’t available in any of the stores here. I tried ordering the vinyl from our favorite vinyl guy but he said it was backordered and wouldn’t arrive before Christmas.

I wanted to get him the shoes but I went to the stores several times and they didn’t have the right color in the right size.

I looked for the lamp, looked for it everywhere, but didn’t find one that looked like photo he posted.

But I didn’t panic. I thought I had plenty of time.

Then I woke up one morning and realized that, holy shit, it was the day before our Christmas dinner and I still hadn’t bought a single present for Coco. And I hadn’t made a single zombie doll.

I looked at Coco’s wish list again. I made a few phone calls, reserved the leather camera case he wanted and headed out to the malls. Two malls later, I had two gifts for Coco and still no idea how to wrap them.

All I knew was I wanted gore, serious gore.

So I walked into Toys R Us and walked up to one of the salesmen and said, “Excuse me, saan yung mga zombie niyo dito?”

“Zombie?” the guy repeated incredulously.

I nodded and he walked up to another salesman. “San daw yung mga zombie?”

“Zombie, ma’am?” salesman #2 gave me the same incredulous stare which I ignored.

“Oo, zombie. Kahit anong zombie, figurine, mask…”

“Ma’am wala pong ganun. Kasi po matatakot yung mga bata. Baka po may mag-complain.”

“Wala bang nakakatakot na kahit ano dito?”

Obviously, I was really desperate. I ended up walking out of Toys R Us empty-handed.

I kept walking around the mall, waiting for inspiration to strike. I visited a hardware shop in hopes of finding materials I could use for building a zombie survival kit. But once again, I found nothing.

Then inspiration struck. If I found a doll that was big enough, I could rip it open and hide the gifts inside. I went back to Toys R Us. No big dolls, nothing I could slice open.

I called Jill who was at Shopwise buying ingredients for the Christmas dinner.

“Can you check if they have big dolls there?”

A few minutes later she called back and said yes, there were big dolls. And they weren’t just big dolls, they were creepy big dolls.


I went to Shopwise, chose my victim doll and because I wanted gore, I bought red food coloring for fake blood and gulaman so I could make fake intestines. (I didn’t know where I could get liquid latex at the last minute.)

But I had another problem. Only the Swiss Army knife would fit inside the doll. The camera leather case was too big.

Then I thought, I could submerge the case inside a brain specimen jar. That would be cool. But I couldn’t find jars that were big enough at Shopwise. And it was too late to go to a different store – we had to start baking the cake pops.

That night, I mixed the batter and as Jill started to bake the cakes she and Giff would use to make the snowmen cake pops, I started to wrap Coco’s gift.

I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen a gift wrapped this way before.

I opened the doll box and realize with glee and horror that if you removed its pacifier, it actually started talking and crying. “Mama, Mama, Papa, Papa.”

Creepiness factor doubled.

I put the pacifier back in the doll’s mouth – I didn’t want it crying as I turned it into a zombie baby. I have to admit the doll was growing on me – it was beginning to look cute and not creepy. And so I tried to be as gentle as I could. I used scissors to cut his stomach open. I wrapped the Swiss Army knife with cling film and buried it inside the baby’s body. Then I made leg, arm and face wounds, dabbing them with red food coloring to simulate blood. But I soon realized that the food coloring dried to a pale red that just didn’t look believable.

So I raided Jill’s art box. “Not the Prang, not the Prang,” she kept saying.


Mixing the paint with the food coloring produced better results.


I was particularly proud of this foot wound I painted.

I decided to scrap my plan to make fake intestines – it was going to be too messy and I was worried ants would get to the gulaman.


I wasn’t just going to hand Coco a zombie baby. There had to be a story. So I scrawled this letter to Coco from the baby’s mother, smearing it with fake blood and letting drops of water drip onto it to simulate tears because yes, she was crying when she wrote this. I ended the letter abruptly because that was the moment the zombies got to her.


I found the crate that carried the Villa Del Conte chocolates someone gave me last year and decided to recycle it as the baby’s little coffin. It was the perfect size.


Then I brought out the stamp set I bought just days ago.


I used it to stamp creepy messages onto the crate’s cover. Run Coco. Save yourself.


And I added fake blood.


Then I wrapped the whole thing with the netting that came with the Christmas gift basket someone gave me last week. (Yay for recycling!)


I was done wrapping one gift – the other had to wait until the next day.

When I woke up the next day, the first thing I did was go to another mall and find a jar that could hold my brain specimen (which was actually a beautiful brain-shaped head of cauliflower that I bought at Shopwise the day before).

I returned to Jill’s where she and Giff were already cooking. My wrapping had to wait. I had a lot of cooking to do. I made deviled quail eggs.


And baked mussels.


And open-faced tacos that I sadly do not have a photo of.

Giff baked this awesome walnut apple coffee cake (delicious!) and she and Jill put their finishing touches on the chocolate chip banana muffins with snowmen butter cake pops.


Nel arrived to make his paella and Coco started assembling his tapas as the guests arrived. As they started to eat the appetizers, I snuck off to wrap my other present and get ready for dinner.

My original plan was to submerge the gift in bloody water and put the brain on top of it. But I should have paid more attention in science class because Archimedes’ principle totally fucked me over. I settled for putting the brain at the bottom and my gift on top. It wasn’t ideal but it would have to work. I also added spurts of Elmer’s glue to make it look like the brain was starting to decay and disintegrate.

I went down and joined them for dinner.


I told Nel and Coco that my gift would be interactive and I found it funny that Coco kept saying he was excited to see my wrapping. He had no idea he was going to be my victim.

After dinner, the craziness started.


They all wondered what was under the black cloth. And since they were focusing on that and not my wooden crate, I thought I should unveil that first. The story would change depending on which gift Coco opened first. If he opened the crate first, that would mean the brain in the jar was Coco’s. But if he opened the jar specimen first, that would mean the brain in the jar was the baby’s mother’s – and that would be a happier ending for Coco. That would mean he didn’t become a zombie after he found the baby.

But I had to stop thinking about my contest entry – it was time to see what everyone else had made.

Jill is such an overachiever that even if she’s not a contestant this year (she’s judging), she still followed the zombie theme, hand-dyeing gauze with fake blood and using it as the ribbon for her many many gifts for Nel.


Nel’s gift for Jill had a story too – humans were trying to find a cure for the zombie virus but before they got it, the zombies attacked them.


Giff opted out of the contest – and I couldn’t believe it because he is the king of gift wrapping.


Le used hand-dyed fabric to wrap her gifts for Jolo.


I liked how Jolo wrapped his gift for Tatin too. I loved how it still looked Christmassy.


Tatin’s wrapping was both freaky and funny. Ayaw paawat ng Christmas lights. We couldn’t stop laughing, especially when J took it apart and said, “Ang pangit! Pero ang galing!”ird


J, who drew Plants vs. Zombies-inspired art on his gift, deserves an award for best dramatic reading. His zombie “ho ho ho” still haunts me today.


J picked Gia who then gave her gift to Giff. I love it too.


And since it came with a mask, we made Giff wear it as he opened his gift.


Then we realized that only Coco and I had not presented our gifts. Which means he picked me and I picked him. I told him to go first and he retrieved this from his car.


A freaky paper mache zombie foot. I was creeped out by the realistic toes. And the fact that it looked like it was flipping me the bird.

But inside the freaky foot was this beauty.


Black Yosi Samra flats which I’ve wanted for months and months.


Thank you, Coco!


It was Coco’s turn to open his gifts. I tossed gloves his way and he gamely put them on.


We started with the brain.


My cauliflower didn’t fail – it looked freaky.


It took Coco a while to actually open the gift. I was so worried the water would destroy the leather case that I wrapped it multiple times in cling film and Ziploc.

And when they thought it was over, I asked Coco to read the last line on the jar.

“Found with deceased infant.”

Then I produced the crate.


Coco uncovered it and read the letter.


When he realized he had to dig inside the baby for his gift, his reaction was priceless. “Shit! Seryoso?”


Check out Coco’s facial expressions while trying to get his gift out. We made him take the pacifier out so the doll was crying and talking while he was digging.


I love how Jill’s picture captured our friends’ reactions to my wrapping. Shocked laughter, disgust and yes, some of them looked like they wanted to be elsewhere.


I won the contest but I decided to give up the prize – after all, I was one of the hosts. Coco got the prize from Jill – I’m sure he was relieved he didn’t have to dig for it. (She’s not as crazy as I am.)


After all the gifts were opened, we relaxed, listened to music and drank the mojitos and vodka cocktails our bartenders Coco, Jolo and Jill mixed.


I think I drank about six mojitos and I had the world’s best buzz. I laughed until my throat hurt and the next day I woke up at 5 p.m., hands still covered by food coloring stains. I didn’t care though. I was just happy to know that my efforts were not in vain. I got the prize that I wanted – I get to choose next year’s theme.

Searching for Sylvia

Today, my beloved book store failed me.

Last night, I updated my Facebook album of “Books I’ve Read In 2011” and realized two things:

1. I’ve read 66 books this year – 65, actually, because I read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares twice. And that means I haven’t been meeting my goal to read at least ten books a month.

2. I read like I’m a 13-year-old girl. The books I’ve read so far this year are an embarrassing mix of young adult favorites, chick lit, non-fiction, a few memoirs, crime and Justin Bieber.

And those realizations led to more realizations:

1. Fuck, I’m 30 years old. I cannot be reading like a 13-year-old.

2. Holy shit, no. I’m not 30, I’m almost 31. That’s even more embarrassing.

3. While I have a huge pile of books waiting to be read, they’re of the same variety – my trail mix of juvenile fun and sexy trash. And that leads us to number…

4. I need to buy new books.

5. I need to buy books because Sylvia Plath was 30 when she put her head in the oven and left behind Pulitzer-worthy poetry and here I am, same age as she was when she said goodbye, wasting my time, choosing to swim in marshmallow fluff.

6. I knew what I needed to do. I needed to find Sylvia Plath.

I own several of her books but I have no idea where they are. I’ve never finished any of them, her sadness always scared me. But I think I’m ready now.

And so today, I went to the book store. I dumped my laptop and bag into a cart and proceeded to check every inch of their shelves for signs of Sylvia.

There were none.

I checked everywhere. Biographies, memoirs, poetry, literature, award-winning literature, fiction, non-fiction. I found nothing. I checked children’s books, dictionaries, travel books, self-help, graphic novels, effing cook books. No Sylvia.

Not happy to be defeated and not willing to walk away empty-handed, I decided to find other books to read instead.

I walked out of the book store with The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka and The Portable Dorothy Parker.

They’re not Sylvia but Frank and Dorothy will have to do while I continue my search for Sylvia.

A very sticky update

Yes, stickers are still driving me crazy.

And I never realized it before but the Philippines isn’t exactly a gold mine when it comes to cute puffy stickers.

I searched two malls and came up with nothing.

I had better luck at Bonifacio High Street.

I found these at Hobbes and Landes:




The chickens are my favorite, naturally. After all, I am turbochicken.


And then I found this at Fully Booked:


The next day, Tatiny surprised me with these:


And she surprised me with a matchbox full of goodies too! And that is awesome because we’ve been planning to start a matchbox swap.

How much cuteness can you pack into a single matchbox?

This much.


Crazy right?! (If you want to join our matchbox exchange, let me know, post a comment, tweet, whatever.)

And when I found out from Tats that Accessorize was selling stickers at 70% off, we all went there after dinner.

I got these snowmen. They’re so cute I couldn’t believe they were on sale.


These weren’t on sale but I got them anyway.



Jill has joined the sticker madness, she’s been buying a lot of sheets too.

And there, my sticky update is done. For now.

While I don’t spend all my waking hours thinking of stickers, it’s just nice to know that something so simple can bring so much joy.

Oh yes, the little girl in me is alive and has no plans of disappearing anytime soon.

How to rock my world

1. Be Kat Dennings.


I first saw Kat Dennings on Sex and the City, when she played that brat Samantha had to plan a party for. But I didn’t really take notice of her until I watched Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

I love love love that movie. Love it so much that I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen it. I just know I saw it three times on one long flight. I love it so much that I searched long and hard for the book and wrestled with time so I could read it.


I loved Kat Dennings in Nick and Norah. Loved her so much that when I read Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List, another book by the authors of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, I heard her voice every time Naomi spoke.

And that’s when I realized that I didn’t just love Kat Dennings in Nick and Norah, I love Kat Dennings anywhere. Kat Dennings rocks my world because she’s beautiful but doesn’t seem to care, because she’s smart and weird and incredibly funny, and because she seems unaffected by Hollywood crap.

Last week, I discovered that Kat Dennings has a great blog on her website.


It’s not a blog run by assistants, it’s a personal blog that reminded me of the time when blogs were a fantastic way to look at people’s lives and not commercial cash cows shamelessly milked by their owners. Too bad she stopped posting in 2010.

But Kat Dennings is still serving up her brand of wit on Twitter and for that I am grateful.

2. Be sticky. And freaking cute.

I have JJ to blame for this.

I had a big sticker collection when I was a kid. I had all kinds of stickers – Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars, Garbage Pail Kids, pretty stickers, cute stickers, smelly stickers you can scratch and sniff.

All these stickers were in sticker books. I outgrew them before I had the chance to use them.

But JJ brought home these little monkey stickers from Hong Kong and now I’m obsessed.


My Muji planner’s starting to look crazy. I added the monkeys to the cupcakes I had gotten in New York and then Tatin gave me giraffes and clouds.

And now I want more stickers. I’ve spent way too much time looking at them online.

Japanese. Korean. Q-lia. Kamio. Pool Cool.

Puffy food stickers.



Tiny little animals.


All kinds of cuteness.



3. Be a note card. A pretty note card.

I bought this cardboard lunch box from Kate’s Paperie in Manhattan without really knowing what I’d use it for.


But I soon figured it out.


I’ve been using it to keep my note cards.


Because despite my obsession with the internet and my love for e-mail, I am mad about handwritten notes. In fact, when friends ask what I want for my birthday, I always say the same thing.


And I don’t just enjoy receiving them. I love writing them too.

And that is why, during my last trip to the US, Jill and I bought a lot of note cards.


Pretty pretty note cards.

My favorites are the sets from Wooster & Prince.


I want these sets too.


I can spend my days just writing on these cards.

4. Be a book.

I’ve read 11 books since 2011 started and I am now in the middle of juggling two books. But it still doesn’t feel enough. My wishlist book is twenty beautiful miles long.

So many freaking books, so little time.

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