Ampalaya Mojos ยฎ

My hubby, Jupi, reinvented ampalaya! Instead of the usual sautรฉed ampalaya paired with our fried fish, he made them into crispy chips! Yes, chips! Our kids loved ampalaya even more. ๐Ÿ’š

AMPALAYA MOJOS ยฎ

Core and slice ampalaya thinly. Pat dry using paper towel. Season with salt + pepper and cajun spice. Dip ampalaya slices lightly on scrambled egg, shake to drip off excess egg then dredge into flour + cornstarch mixture. Deep fry until crispy & golden brown. ๐Ÿ’š

Dipping sauce: mayonnaise + catsup + pepper/chili flakes

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ’š

How to cook: Spicy Ginger-Garlic Shrimpsย 

My hubby and I love to cook…and eat!ย Here’s one of his specialties and he’d like to share the recipe with all of you. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Jupi’s Spicy Ginger-Garlic Shrimps

Season 1 lb. (about 1/2 kilo) of shrimps with salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika and ginger juice*. Marinate for 15-20 minutes.*For the ginger juice: grate a palm sized ginger, extract juice and set aside. This step will make the dish more flavorful. Add half of the ginger juice to the shrimp marinade. Toast the ginger pulp until light golden brown then set aside.Finely chop 1 head of garlic then saute in 1/4 c butter and a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle 2 tsps of flour. Whisk until combined. Add a little more salt and chili powder + sugar. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water or clear soda. My hubby put sake for a more distinctly flavored sauce. Add shrimps. Cook until they change in color. Do not overcook. Add remaining ginger juice. Continue cooking until shrimps are fully coated with sauce. Sprinkle toasted ginger pulp on top.ย Happy cooking and eating! ย ๐Ÿ’•

Cheesy Broccoli

Do you find it hard to feed your kids healthy? Do they always say no to greens and beans? Well, my secret ingredient is always cheese. My kids never knew their love for broccoli if not because of this recipe. Now, get ready to say cheeeese!

EASY CHEESY BROCCOLI

A bunch or more of broccoli flowers  (blanched)

1 tetra brick all purpose cream

1 box (200g) cheese (grated)

1/2 stick butter

6 cloves of garlic
  
Blanching is cooking by immersing briefly in boiling water until the color is bright green. To avoid overcooking, stop the cooking process by removing them from the boiling water and by dropping them in a bowl filled with icy water, then drain. Arrange them in a baking dish/pan and set aside. 

In a separate pan, melt the butter over low heat. Then, saute finely chopped garlic until light golden brown. Do not burn them. Set aside.

For the cheese sauce: Combine the cream and grated cheese in a sauce pan. Use a wire whisk to continuously stir until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the cheese sauce onto the pan of broccoli and put it in your oven, setting the broiler at high heat. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden. Drizzle garlic buter on top and broil for another 3-5 minutes. Serve while hot. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜˜

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If you enjoy this recipe and this test kitchen, please be sure to share your good news with us and others. I welcome your comments, as well as your own recipes and kitchen tips. As our test kitchen grows and reaches a lot of households, I hope to provide an even stronger community of support, reflection, and shared blessings. Greetings of peace and love to you all.๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’ž

Pan-seared Salmon Bellies


Method: Wash and remove scales of salmon bellies. Season with salt + pepper and drizzle with lemon juice. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a grill pan until it is beginning to smoke, then put the salmon bellies, skin side down. Sear for 2 minutes each side. Do not overcook. 

Best enjoyed with buttered veggies with quail eggs and cream, called Veggie Pastel.

 Belly good!!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

If you enjoy this recipe and this test kitchen, please be sure to share your good news with us and others. I welcome your comments, as well as your own recipes and kitchen tips. As our test kitchen grows and reaches a lot of households, I hope to provide an even stronger community of support, reflection, and shared blessings. Greetings of peace and love to you all.๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’ž

How to cook: White Pasta- Creamy Tuna and Mushroom Pasta

 

1 kilo spaghetti, cook according to package instructions

2 (250ml) All purpose cream 

1 can evaporated milk

2 small or 1 big tuna in can

1 big can button mushrooms, sliced

Salt + black pepper + cayenne pepper to taste

Fresh basil leaves

Italian oregano

Garlic

Onion

Olive oil

PROCEDURE:

Saute garlic and onion in olive oil. Add tuna in can and mushrooms, set aside brine. Season with salt and pepper. Add cream, milk and mushroom brine. Stir and simmer until bubbly. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper if you want it spicy or use spicy tuna. Serve seperately or toss in spaghetti noodles. Top with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. Serve with garlic bread.  ๐Ÿ˜

Yum!!! 

If you enjoy this recipe and this test kitchen, please be sure to share your good news with us and others. I welcome your comments, as well as your own recipes and kitchen tips. As our test kitchen grows and reaches a lot of households, I hope to provide an even stronger community of support, reflection, and shared blessings. Greetings of peace and love to you all.๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’ž

How to make : Hummus

Hummus is a creamy dip from the Middle East and is considered as a clean, healthy food. The main ingredient, chickpeas, member of the legume family, give you protein, good-for-you carbs, and fiber.

Homemade is always better than any store bought food. To make hummus, you’ll need:

1 can chickpeas
1/4 cup Tahini (ground sesame seed paste)*
2-3 cloves garlic
3 Tablepoons or more olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp or juice of half lemon
Cayenne pepper (optional)

Procedure:
Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor or a blender. You can adjust the quantity of the ingredients to taste depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. Pulse to low speed while slowly pouring olive oil. You can always add more as you blend it, but if you add too much, you’ve got a sauce, not a dip. It really depends on how thick you like your hummus. Continue mixing until creamy.

Transfer into a bowl or dipping cup. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil and a dash of cayenne pepper if you like it spicy.

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I tried it with a slice of toasted whole wheat bread and fell in love with it. You can also use it as spread or dip for veggie sticks, crackers or pita bread.

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*To make Tahini, I used a coffee grinder to puree seseame seeds and olive oil. Pulse until it forms into a paste.

REMINDER: Too much of everything is bad, so portion control is the key. A cup of hummus has 408 calories according to nutritionists.

How to cook: Kare-Kare (Beef Stew with Peanut Sauce)

Is Kare-Kare your favorite but seems so complicated to cook? Sometimes experimenting in the kitchen can be a little scary. Okay, maybe a lot scary. Well, we canโ€™t all live on Nilaga and Adobo forever, but thankfully, all it takes to homecook one of our favorite Filipino dishes is a helping hand. Thank you for trusting me to help you. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Ingredients:

Beef chunks
Bok Choy Tagalog (pechay)
String beans (sitaw)
Eggplant (talong)
Creamy peanut butter
Atsuete seeds with lye water or lihiya* + water for orange color
Garlic
Onion
Fish sauce (patis)
Soy sauce (toyo)
Black pepper

Procedure:

In a stock pot, boil together beef chunks (I used Kalitiran), water enough to cover the meat, one onion cut into half, season with patis and pepper. Simmer until tender. Reserve broth. You may add ox tripe (twalya), boil them separately with water, vinegar, salt and pepper until tender. Discard broth of tripe.

Steam pechay and sitaw separately. I use a shallow non stick pan with water just on its floor, add salt, then put veggies. Cook until green color becomes vibrant. Do not overcook. Set aside. Fry sliced eggplants in a small amount of olive oil to bring out it’s natural taste. Set aside. You may add banana flower/ blossom (puso ng saging), steam them separately as well.

Saute garlic and onion. Add atsuete water, fish sauce, pepper and reserved beef broth. Add peanut butter, stir well because sauce will become thick. Adjust taste according to your preference. You may add sugar if you used unsweetened peanut butter. Toss in beef. Add veggies just before serving to maintain color and texture.

Serve with shrimp paste (bagoong) available in grocery stores or you can make your own too. Wash and drain alamang. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil. Add alamang, season with a few drops of soy sauce, sugar and pepper flakes or sili labuyo, if you want it spicy. Saute until slightly toasted then drizzle with more olive oil.

You can also use the same peanut sauce recipe for other Kare-kare variations: Seafood (clams, squid, mussles, crab, shrimp), Pork leg (pata), Bagnet or Lechon Kawali.

This recipe is just something to help you build up your culinary powers. See, wasnโ€™t that easy?

I hope you and your family will like it. Happy weekend!

๐Ÿ’•
Elaine

Note:
*Asians use lye water in dessert making such as the Filipino rice cake suman sa lihiya. Using it will extract color from atsuete seeds giving a red orange color. It is available in bottles like that of vanilla extracts in supermarkets or local wet markets.

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If you enjoy this recipe and this test kitchen, please be sure to share your good news with us and others. I welcome your comments, as well as your own recipes and kitchen tips. As our test kitchen grows and reaches a lot of households, I hope to provide an even stronger community of support, reflection, and shared blessings. Greetings of peace and love to you all.๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’ž

BANANA WALNUT CREAM CAKE

Want to make a cake but can’t bake?

If you are too busy or lazy to face your oven but has a sweet-tooth, or need to impress your guests, or simply want to entice and satisfy your loved ones’ cravings for a dessert, then recipe is a must-see, a must-have and a must-try. You don’t need to be an expert to make a delectable creation. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Here’s a go-to, fool-proof, no-bake, homemade cake that you can make. I’m happy to share this with all of you. ๐Ÿ˜˜

Elaine’s Banana Walnut Cream Cake

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For this beautiful, reach-for-another-slice dessert, you will just need:

1 (200g) pack graham crackers
2 (250ml) tetra brick all purpose cream
1 (300ml) can condensed milk
8 pieces or more big Lakatan bananas
A handful of walnuts (optional)

You’ll also need:

An electric mixer or a wire whisk and a mixing bowl to whip the cream
Freezer-safe plastic container ( I used a Lock and Lock 9x6x3 container)

How to:

Put all purpose cream in your freezer door compartment for at least 6 hours or chill overnight in the fridge. When your cream is ready, prepare bananas by slicing them in circles and set aside. Pour contents of chilled cream tetra boxes into a bowl and whip them until doubled in volume. If you are using an electric mixer, a good 5 minutes in high speed is perfect. I use my ever reliable Kitchen Aid Artisan stand mixer, I get the perfect results everytime. You may use a wire whisk but you will achieve the desired thickness and fluffiness of the cream after about 15 minutes of manual whipping. Then, add condensed milk and continue whisking until fully incorporated. If cream is still thin, put the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes and whisk again.

Prepare crust by lining your container with graham crackers. Pour cream mixture until layer is covered. You can do one thick cream layer or multiple layers by alternating graham crackers and cream. The sliced bananas are in the middle after a cream layer, or can be used as toppings. Repeat process until the container has been filled. Cover and freeze for (how long can you wait?) atleast 12 hours or depending on your freezer settings. I usually make this in the evening so my children wouldn’t be tempted to ask for a slice. Cake should be frozen enough to cut through and pull out a slice. Sprinkle with walnuts before serving and enjoy!

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Tips: You can use your favorite fresh fruit fillings or toppings like mangoes, peaches, kiwi, strawberries or any fruit in season. The possiblities are endless. You can also control the sweetness by reducing condensed milk into half. Happiness is homemade indeed! ๐Ÿ‘

Thank you for dropping by my test kitchen. Let me know how you had fun making it or how your family and friends loved it. Don’t forget to take some photos and tag me. ๐Ÿ“ท๐Ÿ“ฑ Loving is sharing. ๐Ÿ˜˜

With love, ๐Ÿ’•
Elaine

Pink, Yellow and Bleu!

๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽถ I love the colors of Christmas time- red, green, blue, yellow and white. I love the colors of Christmas time…they make my day so happy and bright! ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽถ

An excerpt from one of the Christmas songs I grew up with, sung by my cousin Carissa Ching and composed by my Uncle Greg Ching, entitled Colors of Christmas from the album Smile in Every Prayer, produced and released some 20 years ago! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›

Colors of Christmas- they are bright, happy and yummy!…yes yummy!!! I see pink, yellow and blue..in the pursuit of delicousness, we can call it bleu! These are the colors of my Chicken Cordon Bleu ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’™

Chicken Cordon Bleu may sound complicated to do, but believe me…it’s not true! These fried breaded chicken breasts wrapped around a slice of ham and cheese is a great entrรฉe to your Christmas lunch or dinner menu!

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It’s so easy! Here’s how:

Pound/ flatten whole chicken breast fillet to 1/4 inch thick or cut breast into half- if you want thicker chicken portions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Put cooked sweet ham and cheese slices on top and roll. Secure with a toothpick. Roll into flour, egg (seasoned with salt and pepper) and Japanese breadcrumbs. Repeat process if neccessary until chicken is fully coated.

Fry using a deep pan with cover. Make sure oil is hot enough before putting the chicken roll in. Then put fire in low heat and cover. Roll/flip chicken once in a while to make sure it is cooked through evenly. Breadcrumbs are easily browned/burned so you should watch closely to check.

Slice just before serving. Top with catsup, creamy white sauce or mushroom gravy! ๐Ÿ˜‹

White sauce: Melt together 1 stick of butter and 1 all purpose cream plus salt and white pepper to taste. If you want a cheesy sauce, add grated cheese (omit salt and pepper) and mix using a wire whisk.

Mushroom gravy: Melt 1/2 stick of butter, add 1 can of sliced button mushrooms including brine, 1 chicken cube and all purpose cream.

Drizzle sauce right before serving or serve on a separate bowl. Enjoy!!! ๐Ÿ˜‹

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Elaine’s tip: Let chicken cool before slicing to avoid cheese oozing out of each slice. Use a serrated knife and carefully do a sawing motion when slicing to avoid deforming the roll.

High Pie! โœ‹

Hi everyone! Thank you for stopping by my kitchen. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I know everyday is a struggle on what to cook for our family. Needless to say, we need to budget and plan our trips to the supermarket. Everyday with no fail, we need to search for the best resources to run our household and raise our family. And, if we can squeeze a bit of fun in between, we can end our days with a happy sigh and a grateful heart.๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ

Cooking is fun and stress-free if we have our ingredients on hand or easy to find. I wanna share with you an easy to prepare, an okay make-ahead meal and a dish that has it all. There’s protein from the chicken and mushrooms, creaminess from the milk and butter of the gravy, carbs from the mashed potatoes and of course heaven from the cheese! All these in one spoonful. Now give me a high pie!!! โœ‹

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Shepherd or cottage pie is a type of savory pie, a classic British dish and is usually made with ground meat, minced veggies and mashed potatoes as crust. The name “cottage pie” was first used at the end of the 18th century. It was around that time that the poorer people of Great Britain, people who lived in cottages in the country, started using potatoes as an everyday food. If it is made with lamb it is usually called “shepherd’s pie”. But the options are endless, we can use any meat we prefer and add our favorite veggies. In my recipe I used chicken breast fillet because it cooks in no time. I kept it really simple and I know you can never go wrong with it.

You’ll need:

Chicken breast fillet strips
Minced garlic
Soy sauce
Black pepper
Water
Sliced mushrooms in can
All purpose cream
Potatoes
Evaporated milk
Butter
Quickmelt cheese
Olive oil

How to:

In a skillet, marinate chicken in garlic, soysauce and black pepper for 15 mins. Add water just enough to cover the chicken. Simmer until chicken is cooked. Add mushrooms including brine, a dab of butter and all purpose cream. Stir and continue cooking until gravy has thicken. Set aside. Peel and slice potatoes in cubes. Put them in a casserole with water then sprinkle with salt to taste. Boil until tender. Drain. Using the same hot casserole, mash potatoes using 2 forks, if a masher is unavailable. Add milk and butter, few tablespoons at a time, stir and mash until creamy and fluffy.

To assemble, put creamy chicken in a big or individual serving baking dishes, then spread mashed potatoes on top. Cover with grated or sliced cheese, drizzle with olive oil.

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Bake until golden brown and bubbly.

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If you enjoy this recipe and this test kitchen, please be sure to share your good news with us and others. I welcome your comments, as well as your own recipes and kitchen tips. As our test kitchen grows and reaches a lot of households, I hope to provide an even stronger community of support, reflection, and shared blessings. Greetings of peace and love to you all.๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’ž