Friday, July 17, 2009

The Quick Fabulous Fabada with Garlic Bread (on the side)

Though I am an an eater of Hunts Pork and Beans since childhood and I also like the sweetened beans from our Halo-Halo, this bean stew called Fabada -- is something I am not totally aware of until I became a follower of her wonderful blog and her contributions to this great food magazine!

This June's ish was fantastic (all issues are!) as I was able to use two of its recipes from the ish (and more to come soon!) and those recipes left WoW looks on my folks here at home.

Before I made this, I was supposed to make it with Hunts Pork and Beans (See how desperate I was?) Good thing I asked and waited for a couple of days 'til grocery time and there I had all the ingredients for this The Quick Fabulous Fabada. Now I found another way to enjoy beans! Ergo, patience is a virtue and patience pays! ;-)

Here's the Quick Fabada Recipe by Johanna de Larrazabal-Blanco:
(from page 44 of Yummy Magazine, June 2009)

Olive Oil
1 big white onion, chopped
5 to 6 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 bay leaf
100 grams bacon, chopped into 1 inch pieces
150 g chorizo bilbao or any spanish style chorizo, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (I used Purefoods Chorizo Bilbao Style - but I sliced it into about 1/4 inch or less -- beep beep , too much excitement!)
2 cans of white beans, one can drained (but juice reserved) and once can with juice (not drained)
salt and pepper to taste
about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of Spanish Paprika (I used 1/2!)

Heat olive oil in saucepan, once oil is hot, add onions, garlic and bay leaf/ Sauté until onions are soft and translucent

Add bacon and cook until fat is rendered and sides are starting to curl, but not crisp.

Add chorizo and cook until the lovely orange oil is released and chorizo is almost done

Add one can of beans with its juice/liquid and one can of drained beans. Stir and bring to a simmer. If mixure looks too dry, add some of the reserved bean liquid/juice. Tast and season with salt, pepper and spanish paprika.

I love it with garlic bread on the side :-)

For the garlic bread, I have two easy suggestions:

Suggestion # 1
in 1/2 cup of softened butter, add about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh minced garlic, a teaspoon of parmesan cheese or Mc Cormick's Garlic Bread Sprinkle and a dash of dried herb - basil, italian seasoning, parsely as garnish

Suggestion # 2 (the easiest and stress free way! hahaha! a.k.a.
pag tinatamad ka na!)
use Star Margarine, garlic flavor (the green one) and sprinkle a dash of dried herb - basil, italian seasoning, parsely as garnish

Spread over any bread slice / left over bread, toast in oven for more or less 10 minutes in 220C, and choose "Brown Toast" option, if that option is available.

FYI, my angels eat this with rice. Super Carbo Load! Ok, I go for the toast, carbo load is a little bit less here (may butter naman! hahahaha! Excuses!!)

This is a comfort food added to my list. Hope you can try this at home!

Enjoy! :-)

What's for dinnah? Cream Dory and Lemon Butter Cream Sauce

Aside from Bangus and Tilapia, Cream Dory has become a must have in our household. Thanks to my Papa who first tried it in Gerry's Grill a few months back. That dish started my adoration for this wonderful, juicy and yes, creamy, melts-in your-mouth fishy.

After that, I have searched for ways and ideas on how to play with this gorgeous and expensive fish. Fortunately cream dory dish #1 was a hit.

This is cream dory dish #2. It was my friend Ross who first tried this in her cooking kingdom and she said it was really good! So i tried it . Fortunately again, this second dish also became a hit. Yahoorn!

Cream Dory and Lemon Butter Cream Sauce
Inspired by Shandy Michael Sy's recipe. Thank you! :-)

8 serving slices of Cream Dory Fillet
Salt and pepper
A combo of 1/2 cup flour and 1 cup regular bread crumbs

Season the fish with salt and pepper then coat them with the mix of flour and bread crumbs. Allow about two minutes for the coating to somehow settle on the fish.
Pan fry them, about 2 to 3 minutes only on each side on medium heat. Drain oil and set aside.

For the cream sauce:

4 tbsp melted butter
6 tbsp mayonaisse
1/2 cup of evaporated milk (or fresh milk)
Juice of 1 lemon
about 1 tsp of white sugar

In a pan, mix all the ingredients together. Once they are blended well, turn on fire on low heat and simmer for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour over sauce in pan fried fish, serve with hot rice, french fries (yyyyyyum! I like!) or serve it alone if you are on low carb mode. ;-)

No worries! This dish will not give you short term memory. ;-)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lunch time: Sizzling Tofu and Mushroom Adobo

What to do with these beautiful tofu cubes???

Make an Adobo out of 'em!

Okay, I know the photo does not show that the food sizzles. But promise it did! ;-) But it lasted a few seconds only! Deym!

I have been pondering on whether or not I should go vegetarian. A few friends of mine are, as well as one of my fave bloggers. I still went for the NOT. Hindi ko kaya nang walang karne! (I could not live without eating meat!)

Maybe soon I will try it M-W-F? T-Th-S? Nahh. I don't know! I will update you.

Anyway, I just want to share this with you all. As mentioned before, Adobo is so versatile that you can cook it in so many ways. Here's one for the vegetarians or those who, like me, simply love this dish.

On the photo:

1 pack of commercial tofu (the size was about 5 in X 3 in X 2 in)
1 can of button mushrooms, sliced, set aside

Deep fry the tofu cubes and drain, set aside and prepare the adobo sauce.

For the Adobo sauce, in a pan, I used my favorite mix of soy sauce, vinegar, spices and sugar et. al. and made it thick like a gravy by adding 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch diluted in about 1/2 cup of water. Simmer until it thickens.

Put the tofu and mushrooms on a sizzling plate and pour over the prepared sauce and you're good to go. Ready for lunch, ready for snacks, ready for just about any meal of the day, if I may say.

Please take a photo for me while it's still sizzling! :-)

I Lurve adobo 4 Life!

P.S. if you want another kind of sauce, you can try this nice bangus steak sauce on your tofu and mushrooms. This one's for you, Team Contis!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Archie's Home Made Lemon Mojito

This is hubby's first contribution to this blog. I would be very much pleased if he is the one writing this because it was he who made this drink anyway!! But right at this very moment, he would rather enjoy his home service massage! Blehhh! :P

This is just a sneak peek of what we and our friends are planning out for our next monthly general meeting, the weekend after next. The theme: Latino Night.

Hubby is very happy to have his mini bar and have started planning out his drinks and mixes since we moved in here last year. He has been obsessed with Mojito and he has now
finally gotten his dream of making his own. Good job, honey! :-)

Status quo: instead of lime, we had lemons from last weekend's grocery, instead of crushed ice, we had ice cubes. The essentials are with us, thank God!: mint leaves, powdered sugar, Sprite and the BACARDI!

No muddler? We used the end of the handle of our wooden spoon. Otherwise you can use your wooden pestle or the back of a spoon.

This home made Mojito is not possible without the help of this recipe, this recipe and this video. Thank you! :-)


The belated and imperfect square chocolate birthday cake!

Given the title of this post, I made this cake two days after little J's official natal day. This was unexpected. I never planned to make cake because:

1. Lolo Pepe and Ninang Abi gave cakes last Sunday. Thank you! :)
2. I am a scaredy cat when it comes to baking. Especially cake!
3. I planned to make chocolate truffles again

Let's talk about # 3

The supposed truffle mixture did not cooperate that Sunday afternoon simply because there's lack of time and I have put too much cream in it. I was thinking,
"pwede naman gawan ng paraan!". I was quite wrong. Bigo. The mixture did not turn firm at all. It was rather sticky. The mixture was back and forth in the freezer and chiller but to no avail. It just did not work. So come Wednesday I finally decided make use of it as chocolate cake frosting and to have more space back in the fridge.

Here's the recipe I used for the cake, courtesy of the back of the package of Gold Medal All Puporse Flour. Just click photo to enlarge:

I do not have 2 round pans, so I used my square pans. Lookie!

The cake on the left was the one on the first photo. It was gone in the afternoon of Wednesday. Javie's playmates enjoyed it. May nag take home pa! ;-)

And then, come Friday morning, I played with the 2nd cake (on the right). This was actually more moist than the first cake. Is it because the first cake was thicker?

Anyway, I cut the cake in half to make 2 layers and removed the bumpy parts. And because I want to achieve a dark chocolate caramel cake, I tried my very best to make a thick caramel filling. The taste was good! But the filling just reached a certain extent of thickness. I even put the pan in a bowl of ice water and beat it with my electric hand mixer. Pauline said it needs something to make it thick and firm enough for a cake filling. Maybe I should have prepared/used Dulce de Leche instead (?) Will research.

Tips and suggestions on how to make a very very thick caramel filling? I would very much appreciate it! Like the one of Red Ribbon's chocolate cake or whichever cake shop! Thank you! :-)

Meanwhile, below, my mini two layer chocolate caramel cake. Hehehe:

Here's the choco frosting and caramel falling down! I do not have toasted almonds anymore so I used the semi-sweet chocolate chips as topping. Hubby said it tastes good and better with the caramel! Whew! That's what matters to me most!

I hope in my next attempt, planned or not, it will be a perfect one, or maybe close! ;-) Wish me luck!

Update: the rest of the chocolate frosting were stored in the chiller and surprisingly became firm today, Saturday, July 11 at about 4pm - real time. So it took 6 days for it to get firm huh? Now they are officially truffles and are situated in the chiller waiting for their master. my husband. ;-)

P.S. I said before that I am a not-so chocolate lover. I still am. It's my choco freak hubby that gets me going about this whole recent love affair with chocolate. But one thing's for sure, I can say I am bingeing again.

I think my pigging out is endless.

Our boracay team building is a few days away. Good luck!!! :P

Little J's 2nd Birthday

My little boy just turned 2 years old last July 6 and he is at the prime of his toddler stage.

Javie is our greatest joy and the best blessing in our life as a family. He makes us (hubby and i) more complete than ever!

Never mind his little tantrums and his fuzzy moments. Everyone goes through that anyway! I learned from Irene, my former boss, that it's best to focus on what our toddler can do and NOT on what he/she cannot do. Focus on your kid's positive side! With that, she erased the "terrible toddler" mentality and she called her toddler her
Terrific Two! Please allow me to apply that with my own :-)

For my terrific two's birthday, our family had a get together last Sunday (as an advanced celebration). Then come his birthday, on Monday noon, we had a feast at Pepper Lunch at the Shang. Our boy liked the croutons from his dad's Caesar salad, slurped on his own order of miso soup and shared the Double Beef Pepper Rice with mom.

He likes playing with the chopsticks and he thinks they are drum sticks. He says "drums! drums!" acting like a little drummer boy!

Didn't end there. He had dessert of course! So we headed right up to the ice cream stall. He can't stop eating the rocky road. He wants to steal my pistachio and coffee crumble ice cream by the way. (He says: Ice shweee!!! Ice shweee!!! )

Look at that funny little mess!

In the afternoon, we brought pancit palabok for merienda to my in-laws' and headed home to get ready for dinner. His Ninong AG and Ninang Rica (aka Ninang Ganda) came to visit after work to spend some time with their chung chung. Thanks Ninong and Ninang! (
chung chung is a term of endearment that they call little J)

As a pinoy family tradition, I have to prepare something for long life. Hubby likes Spaghetti Bolognese. I have seen a lot of great recipes but I chose this one because of its simplicity as well as most of its ingredients are readily available at home. :-)

As much as I wanted it to be really authentic, I couldn't. Fresh parmesan cheese is expensive. Grabe. It's only as small as a 1/4 size of intermediate pad paper and only about 1/4 inch thick or less and with that you will say good bye to 139 pesos.

OK. We're good for now with Kraft's Parmesan and Romano Cheese! Not bad at all!

I have been wanting to make my own version of Green Tomato's Chicken, Pesto and Garlic Pizza for quite a long time now. It was my superfriend Owen who introduced me to it a couple of years back. It's one of my favorite pizzas aside from H-h-h-Hey Jude!'s Margherita Pizza!

It was a lovely match for the pasta...for a change. Instead of the usual garlic bread.

For the Chicken, Pesto and Garlic Pizza:

Pre baked Pizza Crust
about 2 cups of Chicken breast cut into small chunks
a combo of about 1/4 cup of Eden Melt Sarap and 2 tbsp of mozarella
2 tbsps minced garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Basil Pesto

marinate the chicken in a few tbsps of pesto then set aside.
drizzle the pizza crust with olive oil, put pesto on top
followed by the marinated chicken
, cheese and minced garlic.
use some more garlic if you want.
bake for about 10 minutes at 230C or until crust is lightly toasted.

For the pesto, either you use the bottled pesto from the grocery
or you can make your own pesto pinoy style:

Fresh basil leaves (I used 2 packs from Rustan's Supermarket)
about 1 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
about 1 tsp of minced garlic (add more if you want it to be garlicky)
a few pinches of salt and pepper to taste
about 2 tsps of parmesan cheese
about 1/2 cup of cashew nuts

mix all ingredients together in your food processor or blender until smooth.

if you have some more money to spend, use pine nuts! There are actually a lot of options. I believe you can use any kind of nut. whatever nut you like.

this recipe makes about 4 pizzas

Over dinner, the little birthday boy joined us and got his shares of pasta and pizza, drank soda, then ran to his dance floor (our living room) and made his dance moves: a combo of feet stomps and clapping hands and another funny step that only he can do. I could not put it into words.

We like the way he says "Dance! Dance!". He says it like a brit says it. Promise!

Then he invited his ates to dance with him, as well as his Ninong AG, went back to the dining area, had his bites and soda, and went back to his dance floor. This went on for about an hour or more. He slept at half past 10. Went really low batt! ;-)

So that was how we spent our terrific two's birthday last Monday. I can say he enjoyed his day a lot as much as we did! Wonder what we will be up to next year!??!

He is growing up so fast and I wish I can hold on to his childhood, stop the clock and savor the moments as much as I can! (Ok, I'm getting cheesier than my pizza)

Happy birthday Javie! No matter how old you are, you will always be mommy's and daddy's baby dudels. (dudels - another term of endearment)

Kahit trenta ka na tabi parin tayo matulog.

P.S. What did Lady Gaga do to my son? Just Dance and Poker Face are his favorite songs now! Where did Incy Wincy Spider go??? :-) Anyway, happy weekend!!!

Another P.S. Coming very soon: The belated and imperfect square chocolate birthday cake!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Good morning! :-)

Hello, Sunshine! B-)

Little J usually wakes up at 6am or half past 6.. Lucky I am if he wakes up at 7 or later than that. My normal work shift starts at 3 in the afternoon until 11:00pm which gives me some sleeping time of less than 8 hours. The next day, more often than not, my energy and brain power function is at level 4 (or less) and would prefer to snuggle n' cuddle with my little boy and sing ABC or count 1-2-3, or watch him play with his blocks and Spiderman toy.

Since I have my house angels here and they wake up at about 5am, I let them take over the breakfast work mostly on weekdays... therefore on the table: tocino, tapa, ham, tuna guisado, sardinas guisado, luncheon meat, tender juicy hotdog or leftovers from yesterday.

God bless my heart, there are times when some magical intervention just happen to tickle my feet and sprinkle me some imaginary Extra Joss, so therefore I rise like a spring, head to the kitchen and come up with simple breakfast specials.

Along with my morning coffee or Choco Lava (Yes, John Lloyd, I am your fan), I would like to share with you some simple breakfast joys here at home...

Ham, Mushroom and Cheese Omelette

Pan Cake Syrup over French Toast and Honey Cured Bacon
...for some reason, I like this more than I like pancakes!

Arroz a la Cubana (my ultimate favorite!)

Rise and Shine! :-)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mango Cream Pie

For a change, I waved TTFN (tata for now!) to the hanging
B-A-N-A-N-A-S and said hellerr
to the pretty mangoes sitting on the fruit stall.

Suki! Matamis ya-an! (Those are sweet!) said the lady. Ok, she got me there!

Matamis ya-an! was from a tv commercial back in the '90s. I forgot what the product was though. Since then, fruit vendors have used it as one of their selling spiels!

This Mango Cream Pie has been a family favorite since God knows when. I could say the recipe has improved over the years based from our experiences in making it almost all the time.

From whole grahams, condensed milk and big slices of mangoes (plus pineapples!) to adding heavy cream, bananas, nuts and fruit cocktail. Fruit Galore!

Thanks to MY San for selling crushed grahams. At least we need not exert a lot of effort in crushing those whole graham crackers like we used to, through our mortar and pestle or batong panghilod (LOL) and I have, unfortunately have almost crushed my thumb several times because of this. Well, let's add carelessness to that!

I am proud to say that I have made a pretty small-small amount of fortune with this cream pie (aka "ref cake"), way back when salary was not enough for a young lady's lifestyle, living in the south, maintaining an old car with premium gasoline, paying toll fee to and fro, working in the Makati CBD....blah blah blah. I could go on and on, mind you.

In other words, this Mango Cream Pie I am talking about gave me a short stint as an entrepreneur. Taking orders left and right, making them after a zombie shift, meeting the number of orders and trying to produce additional ones. Short stint it was - because it only lasted for 4 weeks.

Hindi na kinaya ng powers ko!

Though I was very happy making this for my colleagues (who were my loyal clients!) and it was fun to see them eating the cream pie in their workstations while taking calls! That time, we can still eat in the "Operations Floor" even when there was an e-Rat scare (lol).
we really didn't care.

By the way, the small-small fortune i mentioned became a nice pair of sunglasses that is rarely used. Just so you know. ;-)

Segue #2: e-Rat is our term for a roaming mouse in the office. as agents/CSRs, we were called "e-Reps". Now guess where I came from!

Okay, so back to 2009.

Once I got hold of the mangoes from the fruit stand, I had Mango Cream Pie already in mind. Oh I missed making it!

After fixing the market goodies, I got the ball rolling.

Based from experience, it is best to make the filling first before the crust. Time is of the essence.

This recipe fits into an 8in X 5in X 2in rectangular container.

For the filling, I used:

2 ripe mangoes, diced
2 packs of Nestle all purpose cream
About 6 tbsp of white sugar
(you can put less, depending on your sugar level)
a small drop of vanilla essence

mix the cream and the sugar first, make sure that the sugar has dissolved, then add the mangoes and vanilla, taste, and if it's sweet enough, cover it and chill it first for about 2 hours.

*you might want to put the white sugar little by little onto the cream mixture so that you can do the sweetness taste test!

For the crust and graham topping:

about 1 cup to 1 and a half cup of crushed MY San graham
about 2 to 3 tbsps white sugar (you can put less, depending on your sugar level)
a small pinch of salt
about half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
about 3 to 4 tbsp melted butter (I used Magnolia's Baker's Best)

mix the dry ingredients in a bowl then create a well in the center, add the melted butter. make sure the butter is evenly distributed and as much as possible try to achieve a kind of "slightly wet and sandy" kind of crust. Just like the texture and feel of a slightly wet sand in a white beach (not the taste! LOL) *wink*

Put half of the crumbs on the bottom of a rectangular container and press it down and set aside or put it in the fridge. Set aside the other half but do not put it in the fridge. The butter will harden and it will not be easy to loosen up the crumbs for your topping. (experience said so!)

So after waiting for 48 years... just kidding.

So after waiting for an hour or two, pour the chilled mango filling onto the crusted container and smooth the top with your spoon or with a spatula if you want. Top it with the remaining crumbs and chill it one more time for at least an hour before serving.

A few of my friends like it frozen than chilled. Para daw ice cream cake!

Depends on your mood I guess!

You can add diced peach halves also and make it a Mango-Peach Cream Pie!

After chilling, serve it plain or with chocolate syrup. Just like the one on the photo! ;-)

Happy weekend! :-)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Easy French Onion Soup

I have seen relatives and friends feast on french onion soup a couple of times on different occasions in fancy restos and wondered why they liked it so much.
Onions? Soup? No way! Eww!?? Yep, that's what I said before!

It was only last December when I became so curious that I thought that it's time I should give it a try. It was my friend Pauline's order of French Onion Soup from Tender Bob's that made me appreciate it and made me understand why this soup is lovable. Yes, Pau, you started it! ;-)

After that memorable day of finally shaking hands with the soup, it then became a staple order during our frequent visits to TGIFriday's.

Frequent = equals = Gastos (Expense).

So why not look for a recipe and make one at home?

I have found a few but they look quite difficult to make...

Talk about career!

Thanks to this neat video I found, I watched it a couple of times, took down notes. And Voila! :-)

In lieu of what's in the pantry and in the fridge. I used:

2 big white Onions
about 3 tablespoons of butter
1 Knorr beef bouillion cube, diluted in about 3 cups of water (for the broth)
Dried thyme leaves
(Fresh thyme leaves to be procured sometime soon.. Husband, will take me there.)

Salt and Pepper to taste

For the topping, I used left over french bread, a mix of Eden Melt Sarap and Mozarella Cheese.

The Way: Click me! Click me!

Top it with toasted bread and your choice of cheese.
Most recipes call for Gruyere and sharp cheddar. Whatever works, I guess.

Lesson Learned #1: Put less amount of Eden Melt Sarap vs. amount of Mozarella
Lots of
Eden Melt Sarap made the topping extra salty than expected. (Natuwa ako mashyado!)
That's what happened to bowl # 1 and 2.

Bowl # 3 had a good balance of Eden Melt Sarap and Mozarella
so goody enough for my kidney! ;-)

Lesson Learned #2: Look after your cheese! I almost goofed big time! Almost.

Mmmmmm.. still wonderful and hearty on a slightly cold weather.

Bye bye gastos!!! :P

This cyber soup is dedicated to two lovely people:

my best friend Abi - who happened to confirm (
just now over text) that I still have a sharp memory - I remembered that she ordered French Onion Soup
on our first dinner in TGIFridays Glorietta... 14 years ago!

Yes Day, 14 years ago!

and to the one who hooked me up with this wonderful soup, Pauline.