Avocado Dessert

>> April 26, 2010

Most westerners think that avocado is just for guacamole. It never fails to surprise them that we, south-eastern people, can make a great dessert out of it. Ok guys, Avocado is a fruit, and every fruit deserves a chance to be a dessert (if it fits hehe).

Different asian countries, I suppose, have different ways of making dessert out of an avocado. But here's an authentic Pinoy Style:

- 4 pcs ripe avocado
- evaporated milk (Alaska evap sempre!)
- white sugar

1. Cut the avocado length-wise and remove the stone.
2. Scrape avocado flesh, but not super close to the skin as it can be bitter. Put it in a container.
3. Add milk and sugar. I usually use 1 cup of milk and about 4-5 tablespoon of sugar. But I always adjust according to my taste so you might want to do that as well. If you want it more milky, add more milk.
4. Put it in a freezer. Serve it medium frozen.

*note: I usually make it a bit sweeter than usual, freezing it loses a certain amount of sweetness.

Scoop it out like an ice cream or with just spoon, put it in a saucer, and put some wafer (or wafer sticks) to complete the presentation.

I didn't wait long enough to freeze it so there - kinda poopish LOL.

Before you judge it, try it! :P


What goes well with potato gratin?

Another boxed item we got from Healthy Options, presenting - The Gratin. According to Wikipedia:

Gratin is a widely used culinary technique in food preparation in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter.

In this case, the Gratin box we have is potatoes. All you have to do is to pour the stuff in a oven dish, top it with butter and grated cheese, put it inside the oven at 250C for 20mins.

For most Europeans/Americans, potato is like their rice - and I'm not used to it, so I don't always have a bright idea of what goes well with it. Fortunately, sausage and veggie skewers worked well.

- 2 Hungarian sausage, sliced and fried in olive oil, in medium heat.
- 6 pcs of grilled veggie skewers, comprised of:
green bell pepper (bite size)
onion (quartered)
tomatoes (quartered)
leeks (1 inch long)

Pour a little bit of olive oil on top of the grilled veggie. Sprinkle a little bit of salt, and a dash of oregano for some flavor. I am crazy about onion leeks lately - specially grilled. Maybe it'll pass like my addiction to fresh basil a few months ago.


My first brownies attempt

>> April 21, 2010

Note: This isn't the brownies that makes you high.

Believe it or not, this is the very first time I ever baked brownies. Surprisingly, it wasn't that bad at all - because it is from a ready to mix box hah!

Anyhow, just wanna show you how a simple, easy to bake brownies can turn in to a glamorous dessert.

We can find brownies in every bakeshop, let's admit it's not that special anymore. However, if you unleash that creativity in you and try to freestyle a bit, your dessert can be as dashing as the photo above (ehem love your own :P). A little embellishment like strawberries, sprinkled perhaps with a confectioner's sugar, or maybe a little whipped cream on top, will give that different mood and will definitely boost your appetite or whoever you'll serve it to. So simple, yet glamorous!

A more dramatic angle.

Seriously, strawberries go pretty well with the brownies. Strawberry is kinda like the breaker of the uber-sweetness of the brownies because of its a little bit sour property.


German flavah

I was digging inside our kitchen cabinet to make a quick inventory of what to cook for dinner and found a can of Sauerkraut. Before you roll your eyes and give me that confused look, it's a German dish. I know I said I won't ever go for intricate cooking in this blog - and this is not intricate. Let's not get intimidated of the German word.

Sauerkraut is just like pickled cabbage. It is saur sour. It kinda reminds me of achara - only, it's made up of cabbage, and minus the sweetness. So there now you have an idea.

Anyhow, I ended up with this because of my fiance. He bought this canned stuff few months back and I honestly don't know how to eat it. But I never realize it was extremely easy.

Ok so let's get started.

- Sauerkraut in can, drained (got a Del Monte one)
- Instant mashed potato (got from Healthy options)
- 2 pcs chopped white onions
- 2 pcs Schublig sausage
- gravy sauce

1. Heat pan and put a little bit of butter. Fry the sausages in medium heat. Set aside when cooked.
2. Heat pan and put a little bit of oil. Saute the white onions until soft, and then add the sauerkraut and mix together. Simmer for about 3 mins.

* for the mashed potato, you should see instructions at the back of the carton.

3. Mix mashed potato and sauerkraut together. Sprinkle a little bit of salt to taste.
4. Serve the sauerkraut with sausage, topped with some gravy.

The very sauer-kraut turned out to be pretty good for my Filipino taste ;). According to Mark, this is sort of a winter food - and we just had it in a tropical weather. Maiba lang.

This is a good easy recipe if you have that sudden craving for a foreign taste minus the hassle of food preparation time.

Here's mine. It's not the right way to eat it, again, according to Mark. He said you slice the sausage while you eat. But who cares? I will chew it anyways!

Guten appetit!


Coco Milky Squash

>> April 14, 2010

This recipe kinda brings me back to my good old days with my roomate, a good friend, and an adopted sister, Iya (we adopted each other haha) when I was living with her. This is one of our many budget dishes she taught me, and so far one of our favorites. Making this dish made me miss her, and I never thought peeling and chopping the squash can be lonely without her - and ate. Well... we leave the squash to ate's hands since it's such a pain to peel and chop it. I definitely miss the chickahan while cooking, and her undisputed reputation - when you let her take the ladle for taste test, especially if she sprinkled a little bit of salt and pepper for minor adjustments - man, you just lost your dish. It's hers now haha.

Ok so here's how her yummy "pauso" goes :P

Coconut squash with pork and string beans.

- 1/4 medium size squash, peeled and chopped into chunks (depends how much squash you want in the dish).
- 6 strands of string beans, chopped about 2 1/2 inches long.
- Fresh squeezed coconut milk. You can also use UHT coconut milk that you can get from supermarket if you can't get freshly grated coconut.
- salt to taste.
- 1/4 kg of pork, cut into small chunks.
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.

1. Heat pot with a little bit of oil and saute the finely chopped garlic until it's golden brown.
2. Add the pork. Pour about 2-3 cups of water and bring to a boil. I usually just put enough covering the pork.
3. When the pork is a little bit soft, put the squash. It may take a while to softened the squash.
4. When the squash is a little bit soft, pour the coconut milk. Let it simmer until it is thickened quite a bit.
5. I like it when the squash is really soft that it kinda melts in the dish. And when this happens, that's the only time I put the string beans.
6. Add salt according to your taste.
7. You'll know the string beans is cooked when it turns to bright green. I like keeping it half cooked because I love crunchy veggie.

Serves 2.

Mark loved it. So cheers dear kesa!


Realista na!

>> April 12, 2010

Because I love Claudine, i converted to being a Realista na! We'll see how it goes.

Photo by: http://sugarloaded.com


Friday Chill

>> April 10, 2010

We decided to take it easy this evening. We had dinner at Som's in Rockwell Drive, a Thai resto - which almost didn't turn out well because of the waiting time (about 1 hour) to get our food served. I was at the verge of losing my patience, but luckily, they are known to be the best Thai food in town - and the food was yummy enough to pacify me. I still feel a little bit pissed, but what can I say, it was just a bad time when we got there. So this evening we chill - Jack D on the rocks for Mark, and Caucasian for me. Have a great weekend everyone!



Honey Pork Stir Fry

>> April 9, 2010


About the RCBC plates

>> April 8, 2010

Although the plates have RCBC logo on it, I am not in anyway sponsored by RCBC hehehe! The dishes set (crockery) came with our furnished place na, and I must admit, I like them (except the golden logo), very classy and elegant. Thanks to my dear Land lady for the nice stuff in the house.


Today's breakfast plate

3:00pm - Breakfast.

I work from home and on US hours so this explains why my biological clock is fucked. Mark also adapted my work schedule so he works on his apps at night too (awww sweet!). But nevertheless, we still do the routine meals and we never ever skip our breakfast.

Mark's Plate. Herbed omelet + toasted bread + coffee.

My plate. Herbed omelet + muffin? WTF?

Herbed Omelet.
- finely chopped fresh parsley
- chopped white onion
- mushrooms
- 2pcs of beaten eggs
- little bit of milk.

This is classic. What I do is i beat the eggs and mix a little bit of milk in it plus a pinch of salt. Then i sautee white onions and then mushrooms, and then pour the egg on it. Sprinkle the parsley on top and wait till its cooked.

- well... we ran out of bread and that's what we have left. It's not that bad :).


Japan-ish Spinach Roll

>> April 7, 2010

- seaweed wrapper
- fresh spinach leaves, washed thoroughly
- crab meat, boiled
- mayo/mustard for dipping

1. lay the seaweed wrapper and top it with spinach leaves and crab meat.
2. Roll it, and lock the seaweed wrapper by rubbing a little bit of water using your fingertips on the ends so it sticks.
3. Cut in bite size.

If you are not a fan of spinach, feel free to free style. You can use romaine lettuce instead. The crunchiness of romaine lettuce is awesome! If you don't like crab meat, use tuna (canned). It's a nice simple snack when you crave for something fresh.


Homestyle Raisin French Toast

- 1 large sized egg, beaten
- milk
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- raisins
- strawberries, cut length-wise in 3 parts
- maple syrup
- sugar
- butter

1. Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl. Add a little fresh milk.
2. Dip the bread on both sides.
3. Sprinkle raisins on top of the bread. Press the bits a little bit so it is pinned on the bread.
4. Heat pan and put a little bit of butter.
5. Fry the bread. Flip it on the other side when its golden brown.

To serve:
- Sprinkle white sugar on top and cinnamon.
- Put the sliced strawberries on the side, french toast is also nice with some fresh fruits. Pour a little maple syrup on top of the strawberries.

Perfect breakfast idea.


D80 is back in business

My D80 has been revived from a month long coma and I'm very happy that I can finally use it again to document my cooking! Looking forward to make great, mouth-watering photos of my home cooking!


Healthy Skewers

Feeling guilty about our unhealthy KFC lunch (2 piece hot and crispy for Mark and original for me mmmmm!), we decided to make a simple healthy dinner.

I just cut tomatoes in half, chopped bite size white onions and bell pepper, put it together in a skewer and grilled it in the oven. I also grilled 2 sweet corn and cut it in 3 sections. To satisfy our meat cravings, I added some vegetable meat skewers we got from vegetarian shop in Palm Village, Estrella. We like keeping vegetarian stuff in the house since we have a 1 day a week strictly meat free.

Vegetable skewers

Sweet corn


Strawberry Bread

>> April 2, 2010

Whenever I prepare this bread, it brings me a bit of a light feeling and put a smile on my face. I don't know why but it makes me smile. If only strawberries aren't a seasonal fruit, I'd make it every single day without getting sick of it. I got this idea from Emilie back in Holland and I'm still loving it!

I usually serve this for breakfast, matched with brewed coffee and basic omellete, but it is also a healthy snack.

It's very simple.

- wheat bread (or any bread you prefer)
- fresh strawberries, washed thoroughly and sliced length-wise.
- Pancake syrup

1. Wash strawberries thoroughly. Remove the stem.
2. Slice the strawberry length-wise. Cut it in 3 parts, but if it is small, 2 parts will do.
3. Toast your bread.
4. Arrange strawberries on top of the bread.
5. drizzle it with pancake syrup. Sometimes, strawberries ain't that sweet that you need a little boost.



Lent Chows : Simmered Squid

I like sea food a lot, but the part I hate most is preparing them. I usually have them pre-cleaned in the supermarket because I don't really like touching any sea creatures - dead or alive. At home, I just wash and marinate - which I still don't enjoy. This is the first time I ever cooked squid. I'm very fortunate that I convinced the market guy to clean it up for me. They normally just clean up fishes, and not squid. He removed the mouth (i don't exactly remember if it's mouth or teeth) and the spine that contains ink. Still, it was a challenge for me to wash it. It's more slimy than normal fish. Anyways, I got this recipe online, and it turned out to be quite successful ;), not bad for a first try.

Adobong Pusit (Simmered Squid)

Serves/Makes: 4


* 1 kg (approximately 2 pounds) squid
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 cup white vinegar
* 1 teaspoon peppercorn
* 1 pinch of salt
* 1 head garlic (roughly chopped)
* 1 medium onion (roughly chopped)
* 3 pieces tomatoes (diced)
* 1/2 tablespoon sugar (optional)
* 3 tablespoons oil

How to cook Simmered Squid (Adobo Pusit):

* Wash and clean squid well. Remove the long thin membrane in the head and slit the eyes to bring out the ink.
* In a deep pan, bring the water to a boil along with the squid, vinegar, pepper and salt.
* Cover and cook slowly until the squids are tender.
* Take out the cooked squid and cut into 1/2 inch slices crosswise, set aside.
* Strain the sauce (the liquid in which squid were boiled), set aside.
* In another pan, saute garlic, onion and tomatoes.
* Add the squid and pour the sauce.
* Add sugar if desired and simmer for 7-10 minutes.
* Serve hot with steamed rice.

source : www.all-fish-seafood-recipes.com

It was a little bit odd for Mark to eat squid with still, a little bit of ink on it. But nevertheless, he loves it (or he'll starve, it's the only food in the table hehe).


Lent Chows : Cucumber salad with a twist

This cucumber salad is very similar to ensaladang pipino, but prepared in a different way. This was first introduced to me in Holland, via Tita Dijne (mark's mom). It's very simple but I find it appetizing. First off, the cut is different, and you put some spicy flavor in it.

- 1 medium sized cucumber, peeled, de-seeded, and cut into cubes
- 1 tsp sambal oelek
- 2-3 Tbsp. of calamansi juice
- 1 tsp. sugar
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine cucumber, calamansi juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well. Remember, you can always adjust the sweetness/sourness/saltiness according to your preference.
2. Add the sambal oelek. This will add that spicy taste.


Lent Chows : Adobong Kangkong

- 2 bundles of Kangkong, washed thoroughly
- 1 medium size onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp. Vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Soy sauce

1. Pluck the kangkong leaves. Include the young stems and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok, then saute garlic and onion until golden brown.
3. Add the stems of kangkong, then the vinegar and soy sauce. Remember, you can add more vinegar/soy sauce according to your taste. Add a little bit of water.
4. Add the leaves and simmer. You will know the leaves are cooked just right when its a bit wilted and color turns to bright green.


Lent Chows : Crispy GG

- 6pcs of medium size Galunggong (Mackarel Scad), cleaned and scaled.
- Olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced.

Rub salt on galunggong on both sides for flavor.
1. Fry the minced garlic until it's golden brown. Set aside.
2. Pour olive oil in the pan and fry the Galunggong.
3. Roast the Galunggong but careful to not burn it. Then flip it to the other side.
4. Remove from pan and dab napkin to remove excess oil.
5. Arrange it on a plate. Brush a little bit of butter and sprinkle the roasted garlic.


Lent Chows : Eggplant Salad

Part of Catholic tradition during Lenten season is to abstain from eating red meat. It's a probably a bit too late to get you these menu ideas, but at least you can save it for next year :P.

Eggplant Salad

- 3 medium sized eggplant, grilled.
- 3 chopped tomatoes
- 1 small white onion, chopped.
- Calamansi juice.
- Salt and sugar to taste.

1. Wash the eggplants thoroughly and grill it.
2. When the skin is roasted, set aside to cool down.
3. Peel off the skin, but make sure you preserve most of the eggplant flesh.
4. Mash the eggplant in a bowl using fork.
5. Throw in the tomatoes and onions, then sprinkle calamansi juice. This depends on your taste, but I prefer not too juicy as it's very sour.
6. Sprinkle salt and sugar, taste it until you are satisfied. Add a pinch of pepper.


Bubble Blahs

I work and live at night time. I am a person deprived of natural light. I rarely cook in the morning as I'm almost always asleep, else busy with house chores. As much as I love natural light in my photography, I'm afraid I don't usually have that luxury, unless I sacrifice my sleep, or make an effort to stay up longer during the day to do a cooking + photo session. So I depend on my flash, and sometimes, available light from my fluorescent bulbs. Although, in my opinion, nothing beats the natural light, I am, so far, satisfied with my shots using my flash that I learned to love.

I always look forward to the weekends for some sunlight.

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