Posted in city gardening, flowers and blooms, food, fruits, home garden, life, tagged Amazon lily, family life, flowers and blooms, food, gardenia, home garden, Jackfruit, journeys, photography, summer fruits in the Philippines on April 20, 2015 |
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It was a busy weekend but days before that I was so lazy even to go out because of the summer heat. I finished three books in one week.
Fancy an early morning breathing in the heavenly fragrance of Gardenia and Amazon Lily flowers mixed with the lemony scent of Calamansi (Philippine lime) flower buds. It’s a perfect excuse to stay in the garden for a while. My Gardenia shrub is flowering again, a bit early for the month of May when it shows its blooms almost in every tip of the branches. I didn’t know that Gardenia symbolizes love, harmony and grace and it was named after Dr. Alexander Garden, an American botanist, until now. I just love Gardenia and when it is in bloom , I always take shots of the lovely white flowers. Our two Calamansi trees are on their flowering stage too but the fruits are there all year-long.
Finally, one of our jackfruits was ready for harvest. I was as excited as Josef when we finally harvested it the other day and this morning, I sliced it with a sharp knife and separated the pulp from the rind. Josef just wants it fresh and cold from the ref. One can cook it as “langka preserve” or marmalade, the way you cook other fruits in season.
The young green one is cooked as a yummy vegetable dish, either sautéed in pork or cooked in coconut cream with lots of chilis. Try it, it is best served a little hot and spicy.
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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.
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
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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Posted in baking, dates, family life, food, tagged baking, date squares, desserts, food, photography, the joy of baking on September 3, 2014 |
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This afternoon, I got really, really bored so I started to update my journal, transferring some recipes I culled from the net for future kitchen experiments. I have to check our pantry if there are available ingredients for what I am planning to cook. Then I saw a pack of dates (my last one actually…huhuhu) which I am saving for my no-bake fruit cake. I don’t know where I could buy dried dates here (aside from the fact that they are expensive locally) but I was craving for something sweet. I’ve baked dates bars before but I recently found a simple recipe sans vanilla extract and cinnamon powder. Baking saved the boring afternoon. I love the smell of something cooking in my oven, the calming moments while waiting for it to bake, the oh-so-yummy look of it when it’s done.
Oh so yummy Date Squares!
If you want to try this, here’s the link. I reduced the sugar because the dates are naturally sweet and used calamansi instead of lemon. Happy baking.
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I need to practice on my macro shots again (on food, that is) and this morning with nothing much to do, I decided to cook the squid Josef and I bought at the wet market a few days ago. I have to remove the heads and clean everything from the thin-film on the outer skin down to the belly before freezing it. A kilo of regular-sized squid is good enough for two meals. As I don’t want to labor much in the kitchen by grilling it, I made the stuffing out of about one-fourth kilo of ground pork sautéed in garlic, onions, one egg, a spoonful of cornstarch, carrots and green bell pepper. You have to make sure that the ground pork is properly cooked since you only need to fry the squid to make it a little crispy on the outside. I marinated the squid in calamansi juice (Philippine lime), ground pepper, salt and granulated garlic for about thirty minutes before putting it in the frying pan. It was an experiment and partnered with mixed veggie salad, it tasted surprisingly good. Josef said, “success”. Yeay!
Fried Stuffed Squid
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