Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Maybe, we cook it in different ways but the taste would always be  that delicious, a blend of so many spices and the nutty flavor of coconut cream.

I just cooked chicken curry for lunch. I have so many spices on different Asian and Singaporean recipes that Nissa brought home from their trip in Singapore. This is a yellow curry flavor. We also have the green and the red ones. I’ll partner this with sauteed string beans.




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Mom is still with us and she can’t wait to go home to the province to tend her garden.  She spends most of her time here watching her favorite soap programs and playing solitaire. She’s not much into cooking, she said I cook better than she does. Well, one thing I love about her is, she is so appreciative of what I prepare  in the kitchen, whether it is a simple meal or an elaborate dish for special occasions. This afternoon, she watched me prepare puto,  a steamed rice cake similar to English muffins. I did a little variation though, instead of just plain puto mix, sugar, eggs and oil, I added a cup of evaporated milk for that rich and creamy texture and Mom loved it. She said, it is better than those she has tasted before. I just smiled when she uttered “mananam”. In our dialect, that means yummy. It’s nice paired with a hot cup of decaf coffee. puto

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Puto is simply steamed  rice cake which is prepared using a round mold  or muffin cups or several small plastic molds, whichever suits you is okay. There are varied ways to make puto one of which is puto pao –  it’s a puto recipe with filling. I used a puto mix here so it is pretty easy to prepare it.

mini puto pao


200 g White King Puto Mix

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

5 tsp. cooking oil

1 can corned beef (I used the Delimondo brand)

Cook corned beef until it is dry. Set aside.

Boil water in a steamer and grease puto molder. Since I used the smallest puto molds, there was no need to grease them since the mixture comes off easily once it’s done.

Combine puto mix and water until well blended. Add sugar gradually and mix. Gradually add cooking oil and continue mixing until smooth.

Pour batter up to 1/4 of the puto molder, add a half teaspoon of corned beef then continue pouring the batter until the molder is 3/4 full. You can put cheese strips before steaming but this is optional and since you are preparing bite-size puto pao, it becomes salty if you put too much cheese so a thin strip will do. Put a clean cloth between the steamer and the cover so water won’t mix with the puto while cooking.

Arrange puto molders inside steamer and steam for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the surface is shiny and bounces back when pressed.

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Sometimes I feel so lazy preparing dinner since there are only the three of us. When hubby is not around, I don’t think much of what to cook. It’s “anything goes” for my son and Mom. As long as it is appetizing and it tastes good, there is really nothing to worry about. There are still lots of fruits and veggies inside the ref so I thought of just making veggie salad for dinner. They are left-over from our Media Noche.

Topped with a deboned chicken breast which I made into chicken nuggets and some rolls of lumpiang Shanghai stored in the freezer, it made preparing dinner quite an easy task.  Now for the dressing, my son loves tartar sauce but it does not go well with what I had in mind so I made an Asian ginger dressing and  he said it is as good as the sauce he loves.

The ginger added a kick to an otherwise ordinary salad dressing.  Mom loves it. I reduced the amount of ingredients so I won’t have to keep it long in the ref. It’s good enough for at least ten servings.  You will need the following for the Asian ginger dressing:

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar ( I used sugar cane vinegar as substitute)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey

Mix them all together, arrange the veggies and fruits on a plate, top them with the chicken nuggets and voila, you have a tasty and sumptuous dinner.

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Two summers ago,  I enrolled in some cooking lessons at Sylvia Reynoso Culinary Studio. I learned a lot from the Practical Chinese Cooking course taught by Sylvia, baking courses from Ernest(her son) and special lessons on Doughnuts from Morella(her daughter). It was fun and I enjoyed every minute of every lesson that they taught us.  The fun part of course was the taste test. We were given the chance to sample our own cooking and share it with the other students. They were so supportive and generous of their know-how in cooking. We got some practical tips on how to enhance, measure, where to source for ingredients, how to make product costings if you want to sell them in the future. Sylvia emphasized that cooking is an art and  you got to have a passion for it in order to learn.


Chinese cooking course include siopao dough making, siopao filling, cuapao, siomai, fish head soup, fried kikiam, radish salad, lumpiang hubad, camaron rellenado and many more. I was so impressed with the steamed lapu-lapu, it was so appetizing. Sylvia told us that not all types of lapu-lapu are suitable for steaming, some are for grilling.

Ernest taught us different kinds of cookies and bars and also some courses on money making for beginners like chocolate chip cookies, chocolate crinkles, yummies, date walnut cookies, polvoron, chewy mallow bars, Lebanese boat tart, Russian tea cookies etc. There were all kinds of special cookies and bars like Mississippi mud bars, chewy rocky road brownies, chunky oatmeal bars, peanut butter brownies, marsmallow cookies. If you want to put a small-scale business, these are quite easy to make but the thing is the ingredients are quite expensive.  Ernest knows if you are a newbie in baking or an expert by just looking at the way you handle  the spatula and the way you mix the dough. It was so exciting learning new crafts and meeting new friends too who have the same interest  as I have.

A charming lady, Morella is based in Baguio, she has her own culinary school there. I only got to learn Special Lessons on Doughnut  from Morella. So that was the way they do the different kinds of dips, fillings and frostings for doughnuts. I haven’t tried the recipe on Churros yet with a thick Spanish chocolate as dip.

Baking needs a precise way of measurement but you can experiment on other ingredients like substituting casuy instead of walnut.

That was an unforgettable summer for me.

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