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Archive for the ‘what’s cooking?’ Category


Going green again. Trying to imitate my brother Alden who is into fish, green vegetables and red rice now. Broccoli and Baguio beans sauteed in a little butter topped with sliced squid balls. Yum 

Greens are healthy.

 

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There is really no contest between the two. I love both and this is actually another experiment because it was the first time I used chicken as the main ingredient instead of ground pork. I haven’t baked anything in a while, desserts or recipes. I am not really that too busy  but the last few days have been so stressful that I have to think of a way to relax and cooking relaxes me. One morning while we were having breakfast, Josef and I discussed about what we used to prepare on the table and I told him, let’s prepare something for mom that she would surely like. My mom is turning 86 in a few days and she’s talking of going home to the province before the month ends. I told her to wait for her birthday here. There is no reasoning with our old folks once they decide on something. She just told me yesterday to call my brother so he could fetch her. One thing I like about her is that she is always appreciative of what I cook. When she is not familiar with it, she watches  me prepare the ingredients and asks questions.  We’ve been on mostly fish and vegetables since the season of Lent started and Fridays are totally “no-meat days”. Sourcing what is available in our pantry, here it is, a yummy chicken shepherd’s pie. It always tastes good with panini bread, just plain grilled slices.

Mom loves the melted cheese and mashed potato on top. Baked it just to melt the cheese.

Mom loves the melted cheese and mashed potato on top. Baked it just to melt the cheese.

Never been good at taking pictures of food. One more try, that is...

Never been good at taking pictures of food. One more try, that is…

P. S. And here’s the recipe,as promised Ren. You would need the following:

1 whole deboned chicken breast, boiled and cut into bite-size pieces

2 boiled potatoes

1/2 stick butter

dash of pepper

white onion, diced but it is better to cut it into small cubes

1 large carrot

1 cup of green peas

1 small can of Campbell Cream of Mushroom

grated cheese

Mash the potato with 1/2 stick butter, set aside. Saute onion, carrots, green peas and chicken then add in the can of mushroom last. Don’t put salt because the saltiness of the cream is good enough. Put in a baking dish, top with the mashed potato then grated cheese. A friend suggested that you can add bread crumbs to the cheese to make it crunchy to the bite  (it’s up to you). Bake for 30 minutes covered in aluminum foil or until the cheese melts. Serve hot with your favorite bread. I used the regular American loaf bread pressed on a Panini maker.

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“There was a mood of magic and frenzy to the room. Crystalline swirls of sugar and flour still lingered in the air like kite tails. And then there was the smell-the smell of hope, the kind of smell that brought people home.” – Sarah Addison Allen

One thing I love about baking, be it a simple banana bread,  moist carrot bars or cookies  is the smell that permeates the whole kitchen once you place the baking pan in the oven. I love the  combined smell of cooking raisins, nuts, vanilla or cinnamon or whatever ingredient a particular recipe calls for. This afternoon, I baked my second apple pie confident enough to tweak the recipe a bit and  experiment on brushing just egg whites on top instead of a beaten egg with the yolk.  The top part of the pie may not be as silky as when you use the whole egg but it adds a flaky feel combined with sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon. Whereas before I didn’t even know how to make a dough, it’s now as easy as kneading something for our local steamed bun called “siopao”.  I also sliced half and half of Fuji apples for a natural sweet taste and the tart flavor of Granny Smith.  It came out good, son said, “it’s yummy”.  I laughed when he asked, “did you take pictures?” He knows that I document almost everything that I cook in the kitchen  just like I do with my flowering plants when they are in bloom. He cut a slice even before it cooled down. I got three remaining apples, would love to try making apple sauce and use it on my next baking adventure.

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Here’s one more that I experimented on a month ago, a simple recipe for vanilla cake. I didn’t put icing because I love the flavor without being too sweet.

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I love the quiet, concentrating on the task at hand , the calming effect of kneading, measuring and  mixing to make something  yummy and  scrumptious.

I got a lovely surprise this afternoon when a friend sent me a lovely tin of Fannie May Colonial Assortment chocolates via LBC.  Aren’t I lucky? Can’t wait to take a bite. Thank you Ex.  🙂

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Once in a while, I see  it  in the wet market and it  looks  so fresh  that I am always tempted to buy. This morning, my son and I did our twice a month marketing  and saw it,  there were just four bundles on sale, I bought two and we had it for lunch along with lumpiang shanghai.

Locally, fiddlehead ferns are called pako. They are wild and nutritious greens which you can make into salads or cooked in coconut cream. Either way, they taste wonderful.  Here’s the simplest way to prepare this delicious treat. I just blanched  it  then topped it with fresh tomatoes, red onions, strips of fresh ginger  and sautéed ground pork.

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Category: Meat & Seafood
Style: Japanese
Special Consideration: Quick and Easy
Description:
The term teriyaki means shining(teri), broiled or panfried(yaki). Mirin, a sweet fortified rice wine is used. This is one of the recipes that I have collected from our BPI Culinary Club many years ago. It is very simple to make, you can use either pork, beef or chicken.
Ingredients:
1/2 kilo pork (lomo)/beef(serloin)/chicken
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Vino blanco or Anisado wine
1 onion, chopped
8 pcs. garlic – poundDirections:
Mix all ingredients and cook over small fire for about 2-3 minutes.

Let cool, then marinate with the meat/pork/chicken for about 6-24 hours.

Grease pan with little oil, stir fry fast until brown

Serve with bun, loaf bread or rice.

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Before you think I am super excited about  Christmas, I am. Since  December 21 is about to end in a few hours, let my count be, it’s  three days to go before Christmas.

It was a busy day for me  (weekends are always busy days). We went back to the wet market to buy last-minute things that we need to prepare for Noche Buena. I’m finally done cooking embutido, our Filipino version of meat loaf. My son requested that I put whole hotdogs inside so I also bought Purefood’s tender juicy hotdogs. I normally don’t put hotdog in my embutido recipes  but it’s Christmas anyway so I let my son indulge a bit.  This afternoon, I made a lightning visit to the grocery store to buy confectioner’s sugar since I am also planning to bake  chocolate crinkles  (another request from my son)  but I was a bit disappointed when the sales clerk told me that he doesn’t know what confectioner’s sugar is. They have baking supplies in their shelves and  he pointed to the baking powder lined up there, such a shame because they clearly lost a customer because I am not going back there.  I am reminded  a few months back when I was looking for  baking soda in another supermarket and the sales clerk told me that it was quite sometime since they had a box in their shelves.  I asked how could they sell all those baking goodies when the ingredients are not even complete. On my next visit, I was surprised to see small boxes of baking soda   prettily lined-up along with  all-purpose flour, cake flour, rice flour  and boxes of baking mixes. I smiled. At least they listen to the needs of their customers.

Christmas time is a perfect excuse to make those sinful and calorific sweets. I don’t eat much of them anyway because I usually give them to our neighbors and friends. There is nothing like a home-cooked  food to share, right?  I am planning to bake  chocolate chips cookies with cashew nuts. Yes, you heard it right, cashew nuts. Although there are plenty of cashew nuts here, they don’t come in cheap but compared to other nuts like pecan or walnuts which cost an arm and both legs, they are more practical to use.  Come Christmas Eve, I’ll make carrot squares to go with the traditional pancit bihon and fried chicken.  I usually spend my time laboring  in front of the stove after the holy mass come Christmas day.  This  will probably  be the only time that I won’t do it because I can always prepare the Callos    and macaroni salad the day before.  Would love to spend my time playing with Nate when they come over to celebrate with us.

And Christmas will always be the best time of the year to share love and joys  and make peace with those who may have offended you at some time in your life.  I remember  a  year ago, I posted this message on my wall, Happy Birthday Jesus!  And a child of nine, a relative asked me, “why happy birthday” so I told him, He is the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Two days ago, Josef and I did our twice a month marketing at our wet market here in Cainta. And look what I found inside the stall of my “suki” (favorite vendor), some fresh produce that are old-time favorites. I seldom see these in other stalls in the area, something as fresh as they look.

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I love zucchini but they are not regular fares in our household because I seldom see them in the wet  market and the ones they sell in supermarkets no longer look fresh. Do you eat fiddlehead fern? We call it locally as paku or pako. And boy, it really tastes good made into salad.  Those new slim and long green ones are called French beans,my suki said, and they are now locally grown in the uplands in Baguio.  How nice, can’t wait to taste this with a few drops of oyster sauce.

 

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I was craving for sweets the other day and since I cannot eat oatmeal solo, I always incorporate it in some other recipes that need a cup or two of rolled oats.  I have to source the net to find something simple to make and I came up with this recipe.  It was moist and yummy though but I told Josef  it is better baked as bars than cookies.  Will try it some other time.

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And these are the ingredients which as usual, I tweaked a bit. I don’t really dig sweet cookies so I always lessen  the sugar. These are the original  ingredients though, it’s up to you to adjust everything if you want to try it.

You will need:

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 stick butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips ( I omitted this)

Preheat oven to 375 °F or 175 °C. Grease cookie sheets. Stir together flour, cocoa, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown and white sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients using a hand mixer. Spoon into the greased cookie sheet leaving at least two inches in between cookies. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool.

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It’s been a busy week but son managed to make siomai a few days ago. We were able to buy fresh molo wrappers and thought of preparing one of our favorite Chinese recipes, siomai. Even my nine-year old niece knows how to prepare it (sans the cooking of course) because it is also her favorite.  I put half of it in the freezer  and thought of making siomai/molo soup but I could not find fresh noodles in the supermarket. When there is no expiry date attached to it, I ignore it no matter how fresh it looks unless you buy them in wet market from a suki.  And since I don’t want to reheat it and steam it again, I decided to make do  with vermicelli noodles, a lot cheaper than other noodles but taste good just  the same.  Using a few stalks of green onion from the garden, a bit of garlic and  chopped red onions, salt and pepper, it turned out yummy. And a hot soup is perfect for that unexpected rainy evening.

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Siomai soup, anyone?

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I am practicing  my macro shots on the recipes/experiments I am doing in the kitchen but they don’t always come out well.  I guess, I need more practice, I tried them with a minimum of light and with flash at different angles.  Anyway, here’s another recipe that you might want to try. Would you believe, it was my first time to bake carrot squares and surprisingly, it was really yummy and  moist.  And you won’t need to put any frosting  because it’s just perfect as it is.

carrot squares

You would need:

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups  brown sugar (you can always reduce the amount to suit your taste)

3 eggs

1/2 cup chopped walnut (optional)

1/2 cup  crushed pineapple , drained (I used a 227 gram can)

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup finely shredded carrots (I added  a half cup more)

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour an eight-inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt then mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, milk, brown sugar and eggs. Pour into flour mixture and stir well.

Stir in walnuts, pineapple, raisins and carrots.

Pour in prepared pan and bake for an hour or until lightly browned.

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