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TGIF!!! Tonight I grilled burgers for G and me, sautéed mushrooms in the burger fat with thyme, and served them with corn salsa. Happy weekend everyone!
Feb 7, 2014 / 10 notes

TGIF!!! Tonight I grilled burgers for G and me, sautéed mushrooms in the burger fat with thyme, and served them with corn salsa. Happy weekend everyone!

Not exactly the best dish I’ve ever made, and not the prettiest plating I’ve ever done, but it wasn’t bad at all. 
I pan-fried burger patties, then cooked some garlic, onions, and mushrooms, then added some cream, then let the whole thing brown a bit. Seasoned with salt, pepper and a bit of dried thyme.
Next time, will probably use less of the fat and cream, use one onion instead of two, and season the sauce a bit more. Oh, and next time I will grill the burgers instead because the oil splattered all over our kitchen walls.
Monday down, four more work days to go!
Jan 20, 2014 / 7 notes

Not exactly the best dish I’ve ever made, and not the prettiest plating I’ve ever done, but it wasn’t bad at all. 

I pan-fried burger patties, then cooked some garlic, onions, and mushrooms, then added some cream, then let the whole thing brown a bit. Seasoned with salt, pepper and a bit of dried thyme.

Next time, will probably use less of the fat and cream, use one onion instead of two, and season the sauce a bit more. Oh, and next time I will grill the burgers instead because the oil splattered all over our kitchen walls.

Monday down, four more work days to go!

Seafood Tomato Soup
Initially I was planning to make calamares from the two large fresh squid that G’s parents gave us, but because both of us were down with the flu, I decided to make a hearty tomato soup with freshly chopped carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, yellow bell pepper, squid and fish balls. I sauteed the garlic and onions in olive oil, then simmered them with the rest of the vegetables in a cup of white wine before adding a can of tomato paste, shrimp broth cubes, and four cups of water. Added the squid and fish balls last, then served the soup with a sprinkling of dried thyme.
Nov 3, 2013 / 84 notes

Seafood Tomato Soup

Initially I was planning to make calamares from the two large fresh squid that G’s parents gave us, but because both of us were down with the flu, I decided to make a hearty tomato soup with freshly chopped carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, yellow bell pepper, squid and fish balls. I sauteed the garlic and onions in olive oil, then simmered them with the rest of the vegetables in a cup of white wine before adding a can of tomato paste, shrimp broth cubes, and four cups of water. Added the squid and fish balls last, then served the soup with a sprinkling of dried thyme.

Last night, I cooked a quick and easy chicken curry for dinner using a pack of curry paste, a can of coconut milk, chicken, potatoes and carrots! A lot of short cuts, I know, but still perfect if you get home late from work and just want a filling meal!
Sep 10, 2013 / 7 notes

Last night, I cooked a quick and easy chicken curry for dinner using a pack of curry paste, a can of coconut milk, chicken, potatoes and carrots! A lot of short cuts, I know, but still perfect if you get home late from work and just want a filling meal!

4 days of non-stop, pouring rain.
2nd day working from home, with slow Internet access.
1st dinner last night of a comforting bowl of steaming hot arroz caldo cooked by me.

Recipe adapted from Jun Belen

Photo taken using my iPhone
Aug 20, 2013 / 13 notes

4 days of non-stop, pouring rain.
2nd day working from home, with slow Internet access.
1st dinner last night of a comforting bowl of steaming hot arroz caldo cooked by me.

Recipe adapted from Jun Belen

Photo taken using my iPhone

Chicken and Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce
When I was in high school, Tuesday nights meant that we had Chicken and Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce for dinner. Well, who says I can’t bring this tradition back? For my version I used Shiitake Mushrooms (instead of canned button mushrooms) and topped it with steamed broccoli. And instead of just oyster sauce, I mixed a bit of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, salt and pepper, plus chopped chives. 
Two thumbs up from G, and from me as well!
Jun 4, 2013 / 8 notes

Chicken and Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce

When I was in high school, Tuesday nights meant that we had Chicken and Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce for dinner. Well, who says I can’t bring this tradition back? For my version I used Shiitake Mushrooms (instead of canned button mushrooms) and topped it with steamed broccoli. And instead of just oyster sauce, I mixed a bit of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, minced garlic, salt and pepper, plus chopped chives. 

Two thumbs up from G, and from me as well!

May 30, 2013 / 14 notes

“Apple Pie” Oatmeal

Weird fact about me: I’ve been having oatmeal for breakfast since I was 7 (except when I’m traveling and oatmeal isn’t available). My sisters hated oatmeal when we were younger (and still do to this day), while I was the one who never really minded.

Nowadays, I usually mix mangoes into my daily oatmeal, but today I felt I needed something special. So I made “Apple Pie” Oatmeal. I mixed 1/2 cup of old fashioned oatmeal with some water in a bowl. Separately, I cut an apple into thin slices and arranged them on the oatmeal. Finally, I mixed 2tsp of brown sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon and sprinkled it all over the apples. Then I cooked the whole thing in the microwave for 2 minutes on high. I left it for another 2 minutes inside, then voila! Easy peasy special breakfast for me!

Cooked dinner two nights in a row, during a weekend at that! I simply sauteed garlic with chicken marinated in soy sauce, hoissin sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper, then served the chicken on a salad of greens, with boiled sweet corn on the side.
May 26, 2013 / 16 notes

Cooked dinner two nights in a row, during a weekend at that! I simply sauteed garlic with chicken marinated in soy sauce, hoissin sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper, then served the chicken on a salad of greens, with boiled sweet corn on the side.

A lazy Saturday at home means a lazy dinner. I sauteed garlic, tomatoes and brocolli, then pan fried some burgers and eggs for two. Does not necessarily make for a pretty photo but it was delicious.
May 25, 2013 / 14 notes

A lazy Saturday at home means a lazy dinner. I sauteed garlic, tomatoes and brocolli, then pan fried some burgers and eggs for two. Does not necessarily make for a pretty photo but it was delicious.

Mar 4, 2013 / 15 notes

Mac n’ Cheese + Surf n’ Turf

I grew up eating the type of Mac n’ Cheese you find in those blue cardboard boxes (guilty pleasure, I know), but I think it’s about time that I made the real thing. 

This is probably the most expensive Mac n’ Cheese dish I made because I bought my cheese (white cheddar and gruyere) from a deli, but it was worth a shot! For the topping I mixed some cheese with panko bread crumbs, which made for a nice thin crust that covered this rich and creamy pasta dish.

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I served the Mac n’ Cheese with pan seared beef covered in thyme and pan fried shrimp, along with broccoli. We got the beef and shrimp fresh from G’s dad, so both were very flavorful. I wish I had a grill to cook these in next time though. Next time! 

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Here’s the recipe for the Mac n’ Cheese:

Macaroni and Cheese

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Note: I cut this recipe in half because the original recipe is way too much for two people to handle!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used low-fat milk which worked fine)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 1/4 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese (about 180 grams)
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 80 grams)
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (about 220 grams)

Procedure

  1. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute.
  2. While whisking, slowly pour in hot milk. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cups Gruyere; set cheese sauce aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
  5. Fill a large saucepan with water; bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 minutes less than manufacturer’s directions, until the outside of pasta is cooked and the inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce. Pour mixture into prepared dish. 
  6. Combine remaining cheddar cheese, Gruyere and Panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over top of dish. Bake until browned on top, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes; serve hot.

Mar 2, 2013 / 572 notes

Nutella Mango Crepes

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After so many months of preparing for the wedding, G and I finally have a non-hectic day all to ourselves. What better way to start the weekend with delicious Nutella Mango Crepes?

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I used Martha Stewart’s Simple Crepes recipe but made a little changes, as you will see below. The best thing about these crepes is that I can put in as much Nutella and mangoes as I can, unlike store bought crepes where they scrimp on the delicious fillings and you eat mostly crepe (okay, except for my favorite crepe places like Cafe Breton and La Creperie).

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Summer means extremely hot and humid tropical temperatures, but it also means that sweet golden mangoes are in season! Yum!

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We had some crepes leftover, so I wrapped each crepe in plastic wrap, stacked them on top of one another, then stored them in a ziplock bag in the fridge.

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Here’s the recipe:

Nutella Mango Crepes

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Simple Crepes recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used non-fat milk) 
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-3 mangoes sliced
  • Nutella hazelnut spread
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Procedure

  1. Whisk flour, sugar, salt in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk milk, eggs, and butter.
  3. Carefully pour the flour mixture into the bowl with the milk mixture and whisk until smooth and bubbles form on top, about 30 seconds.
  4. Let batter sit at least 15 minutes at room temperature (or refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 1 day; whisk before using).
  5. Heat a nonstick pan (nonstick is key here!) over low heat. Lightly coat with butter. Add 1/3 cup batter and swirl to completely cover bottom of skillet.
  6. Cook until underside of crepe is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Loosen edge of crepe with a rubber spatula, then quickly flip. Cook 1 minute more.
  8. Slide crepe out of skillet and repeat with remaining batter. (Coat pan with butter as needed.)
  9. Leave crepes to cool for around 10 minutes.
  10. Add as much Nutella and mangoes as you want, and enjoy! *You can also experiment and add other fillings like bananas, strawberries, ice cream, peanut butter…the possibilities are endless!
Feb 25, 2013 / 8 notes

Pork Tonkatsu

Inspired by our tonkatsu dinner at Yabu, I decided to make pork tonkatsu for our dinner tonight. I don’t really have a proper recipe for this but I used 1/4 kilo of pork, cut into slices then tenderized, 3 tablespoons of panko bread crumbs, 1 egg (beaten), and 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour with salt and pepper. I then dipped the tenderized pork into the flour mixture, then the beaten egg, then the panko bread crumbs. I didn’t want to deep fry the pork, so I fried the pork in a pan on medium heat, then I drained them and finished baking them in the oven. In hindsight, I should have baked the pork for 5 minutes instead of 10 minutes as they came out a bit tough to chew. But they were juicy nonetheless and had a crisp crust. Instead of serving them with shredded cabbage (which we didn’t have), I served them with carrots and broccoli and super yummy Bulldog tonkatsu sauce.

Back to the Basics: How to Boil Rice 
(without a rice cooker and without making it stick to the bottom of the pot)
Without a rice cooker the past 2 weeks (you really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone!), I had to find a way to cook rice without it sticking to the bottom of the pot. Which definitely happened in my fifth grade home economics class…never boiled rice without a rice cooker after that incident until now!
As with all simple how-tos, I turned to eHow.com for some advice. I wasn’t a big fan of the taste of butter in my rice so I substituted it with olive oil…and it worked like a charm! I also added some chicken stock for more flavor.
Ingredients
1 cup uncooked rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups water
2 cubes of chicken stock (optional)
Procedure
Pour water and rice into a large pot, add chicken stock cubes (if you like), turn the stove top to high heat and bring to a boil.
Add olive oil to the boiling water and stir. Lower to mid-high heat and cover for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Once the 20 minutes are up, turn off the heat and leave covered for another 10 minutes.


The rice is a little on the sticky side, so you can certainly experiment on increasing the heat or the time to end up with the rice you prefer. This one works for me pretty well! 
Apr 13, 2012 / 3 notes

Back to the Basics: How to Boil Rice

(without a rice cooker and without making it stick to the bottom of the pot)

Without a rice cooker the past 2 weeks (you really don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone!), I had to find a way to cook rice without it sticking to the bottom of the pot. Which definitely happened in my fifth grade home economics class…never boiled rice without a rice cooker after that incident until now!

As with all simple how-tos, I turned to eHow.com for some advice. I wasn’t a big fan of the taste of butter in my rice so I substituted it with olive oil…and it worked like a charm! I also added some chicken stock for more flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cubes of chicken stock (optional)
Procedure
  1. Pour water and rice into a large pot, add chicken stock cubes (if you like), turn the stove top to high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Add olive oil to the boiling water and stir. Lower to mid-high heat and cover for 20 minutes, stirring every now and then.
  3. Once the 20 minutes are up, turn off the heat and leave covered for another 10 minutes.
The rice is a little on the sticky side, so you can certainly experiment on increasing the heat or the time to end up with the rice you prefer. This one works for me pretty well! 
Mar 12, 2012 / 4 notes

Pierogi

Our Church has been selling pierogi for the past few weeks. I admit that I didn’t really pay much attention to them until I saw a pierogi post by Dash of Vanilla that looked delicious! 

I learned that pierogi are Polish dumplings traditionally filled with potatoes, though they can be filled with other ingredients too. So today after Sunday mass, I bought potato, potato & onion and potato & cheese pierogi and made them for lunch.

I first placed water with a bit of salt on medium high heat, then when it started to boil, I placed the pierogi in the pot (without overcrowding the pot). Once the pierogi floated to the surface, I let them boil for an additional seven minutes before transferring them to a strainer to drain.

In the meantime, I sauteed chopped garlic and sweet onion in olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper.
It looks like a very simple dish but it is really filling and delicious!
lyferuiner replied to your postPierogi
Another great way to make them is to melt a little butter into a pan and let them simmer in the butter until they’re browning!
Thanks Chris for the tip! Will try it next time!
Macaroni and Cheeseballs
This is the love child of Spaghetti & Meatballs and Mac & Cheese. 
Perfect way to end a day when you oversleep for an hour (!?!), skip breakfast because you are rushing to make it to an 8:00am meeting, and run around the office to attend 7 other meetings/telephone conferences for the rest of the day.
Because of my semi-zombie state, I was not able to take more photos. But I simply used Martha Stewart’s Fried Mozzarella recipe and added it to my pasta dish of tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, parsley, and sliced chicken.
Feb 17, 2012 / 9 notes

Macaroni and Cheeseballs

This is the love child of Spaghetti & Meatballs and Mac & Cheese. 

Perfect way to end a day when you oversleep for an hour (!?!), skip breakfast because you are rushing to make it to an 8:00am meeting, and run around the office to attend 7 other meetings/telephone conferences for the rest of the day.

Because of my semi-zombie state, I was not able to take more photos. But I simply used Martha Stewart’s Fried Mozzarella recipe and added it to my pasta dish of tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, parsley, and sliced chicken.