Saturday, September 19, 2009
This is my and Rad`s favorite salad ever. Especially if it`s with Cobb`s dressing. This has daikon strings, some greens, onions, avocado, shrimps and tomatoes. Adding peas, garbanzos, tomatoes and other veggies will add to the tastiness of this salad. The picture below is another version with a bit of chicken, lettuce, nachos and boiled eggs. Unfortunately though, I haven`t tried my hand at homemade Cobb`s dressing.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
We called home today and they told us they were having frogs for lunch. A local delicacy. Since I have no way of getting hold of the same today, I decided to cook something close (not to frogs but to home, that is.). What`s more traditional Ilocano cooking than INABRAW? So timely because yesterday I spotted a lot of jute at the supermarket. If only there were malunggay but I guess I have to be thankful that at least familiar veggies were there.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I bought a marinated chicken (marinated in something a bit sweet and a bit spice with pepper)from the supermarket and usually I would just grill or fry it but I decided to spice things up a bit and coated it with the following mixture before baking it at 200℃ for an hour.
- Rosemary mix ----Minced fresh rosemary, 2 tbsp lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil. (This is good for two big cuts already. I only cooked 1 tonight and froze the other.)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I was on a roll last friday, Rad made me bake another batch of bagels and I made myself have another try at muffins without beating the batter! Here it is! Oh I was so happy when they finally came out looking like real muffins! I just used the basic muffin recipe and folded some blueberries, choco chips and pineapples. If you are thinking that I am too lazy to post the recipes, you are right. LOL! Just wanna share my excitement over my muffins. These were gone on our first day of our trip to Matsue (I`ll be blogging about it later). If you`ve got tips for a noob then please feel free to share! They are so welcome!
Last Friday, Rad came back from work tired and so hungry and called to ask me if I`d like some bagels. We both love to sit and just savor the bagels at Bagel and Bagel. Since I just had my presentation and my adrenaline is still on a plateau, (although my head was already throbbing), I grabbed the opportunity to use the oven again and cook for him this time. Plus, I had to make something to bring with us in our trip the next day. So, I ventured into bagels. And I didn`t know that you had to boil them first before baking them! Making them was really fun! I was kneading them while Rad sat on a stool telling me about his day. I guess we got so engrossed in talking that I really kneaded the dough well enough because, I liked the consistency and elasticity that I came up with. Rolling and shaping it though was really tricky but practice makes perfect.
Homemade bagel recipe
Plop the dough down onto the counter, and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is uniform and smooth. Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 minutes.Pre heat your oven to 425F.
Now, take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant roiling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at your palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be! This is the only part of the process that can take a little practice before your bagels will look really professional. Don't get discouraged if they don't look perfect, it just takes practice!
Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 minutes, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly. You can just rub a splash of vegetable oil and rub it around. After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy, and it's time to get them boiling! Add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Take them out a let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled. Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another ten minutes; and they're done! Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, get the cream cheese ready, and feast on what's got to be one of the best weekend brunch treats possible!
You can add any toppings you like to these. To make sesame, onions, poppy seed, caraway etc. etc. bagels just have a dry plate ready with the seed or spice topping spread out on it. After the bagels have come out of the boiling water, place them face down onto the seeds, and then place the seed side up onto the baking tray. Bake and flip as for plain bagels.
After more than two weeks of no post here, I am back with one of Rad`s cooking again. The past two weeks have been so busy for me that I asked Rad to excuse me from the household chores which included cooking, well mostly cooking because the clothes still needed to be laundered and no way will he ever try to decipher the kanjis on the washing machine. So the past two weeks consisted of eating out, bentos, and Rad`s occasional recipes. He`d always cook some porkchops for me whenever I have an exam or presentation but on the night before my presentation, we were not able to go to the supermarket so he had to make do with whatever was left in the fridge. There was chicke, sausage and some veggies and here is what he came up with. He claims it`s his teriyaki although he didn`t cook it the usual teriyaki way, and it didn`t even tasted like one. He just liked the sound of it, So, I`ll just call it Rad`s Chicken. One thing though, it was very delicious! He cooked enough for my lunch the following day because he had to go to work. I will have to post the recipe later as my cook is so fast asleep (poor thing, these castle trips are energy consuming!).
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
So sue me. I am new at this and mistakes are bound to happen. I was happy that I have muffin plates already so I tried them with the delicious banana-blueberry muffin recipe (and because of my excitement, I even put in choco chips! what the heck..). And since I have been making these quickbread recipes which I figured could also be turned into muffin delights so I thought, I had it all figured out. Well, I thought wrong. When the "muffins" came out of the oven, I thought they looked flat and a bit soft. Perhaps, I didn`t beat the batter well enough? No! I overdid it! Geez. Every muffin recipe should have the warning: "Never Beat the Batter!" for noobs like me.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Our friend from India, Lavender, celebrated her birthday last Tuesday, August 18, but since we meet every Wednesday for Bible study, we decided to have dinner together at our apartment. She promised us the goodness of her Indian curry. I asked Rebecca over at Chow and Chatter for some tips on what`s best to pair the curry with because her mother-in-law is visiting from India. She had an interesting suggestion but I promised to try it some other time as I didn`t have time to prepare it. So instead, I went the Japanese way (or Indian way) and made some katsu (like tonkatsu) to go with Lav`s egg curry. The recipe for egg curry would have to be posted later as soon as Lav takes a short break from her protein and cloning experiments.
A while back, I posted here that I have found my bread recipe, that is, whole wheat honey bread recipe. However, it seemed that it is "too healthy" for Rad to enjoy. Thus, yet again, I found myself trying another recipe. So I went back to cookingbread.com and tried their recipe for country white bread. I was not disappointed. And what`s more, Rad liked it! The recipe is good for two 5x9 loaf bread but as I only have the smaller loaf pan, I was able to make 4 small loaves out of the dough. (I froze half of it for use later). This is good because there are only 2 mouths to feed here and 1 small loaf is gone in just one sitting so, that`s about 4 meals or 6 snacks. And like I said, although buying bread is, time-wise, the easiest and most practical way, nothing beats the satisfaction of baking your own bread. My bread turned out better this time because, I had Rad to knead it till it was smooth and elastic (I don`t have the strength or the patience LOL). It is indeed a "fairly heavy bread" with "a wonderful creamy color and soft texture". I followed the instructions to the dot so if you want to try it yourself, visit the site`s illustrated procedure here. Mangantayon!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
- pork chops
- kikkoman soy sauce
- a dash of black pepper
- fresh tuna (maguro)
- datu puti white vinegar (abt 3 tbsp)
- a dash of salt
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1/4 carrot
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 ginger
- *(all vegetables are cut into small bits)
1] While the pork is grilling, prepare the kinilaw or raw part. Slice tuna into cubes and mix with white vinegar add a dash of salt.Toss until tuna meat is "cooked" (turns white).Discard the extra juice.
2] Toss tuna meat, ginger and onion with the lemon juice and put in the fridge or freezer till it is ready to serve. If you put it in the freezer, make sure that it won`t be too long for the mixture to freeze.
3] Slice/cut all other ingredients into small bits. You can either mix it together with or garnish afterwards for presentation.
-------- We both like fresh octopus or tako so I put some in too. When everything is cut and ready, mix the grilled and the raw parts together. Serve immediately.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
You can use just about any vegetable in it but the the most commonly used are string beans, bitter gourd, eggplant, okra, winged bean, chili peppers, winged beans, alukon (Aleanthus luzonicus), and malunggay fruits (seed and pulp). When we arrived from our trip, somebody left a bag full of veggies at our door. I was so happy to find chilli peppers, string beans and eggplants. String bean is not easy to find from these parts so I immediately told Rad to buy additional veggies to make pinakbet.
There are many versions on how to cook pinakbet. Some prefer to sautee the veggies but my parents said that the real pinakbet is to put it all together and to just let it simmer till the veggies shrink.
string beans (about 8-10 strings) cut into 2-in length
1 eggplant, sliced
1/2 bitter gourd (I bought a big long one. We usually use the tiny round ones in Ilocos)
5 chili peppers
2 big tomatoes, pulped, or cut
2 tsp bagoong (we have the shiokara (塩辛) here. it is milder than the normal Ilocano bagoong)
1/4 ginger, julliened or just cut
Put all ingredients in a pot. You can dilute the bagoong in water but make sure that there won`t be too much liquid to simmer the mixture in. I always see to it that the total liquid won`t exceed half of the height of the mixed veggies. My mom always said to put a bit of salt in the tomatoes and mash and squeeze with your hands to get the juice out.
Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or less. See if the veggies have been cooked enough. Add salt to taste. If you have to mix the veggies, mix them before cooking it. Don`t mix it while it is simmering, it will bring out the bitterness of the gourd. If you have to, then just toss it holding on to the handle of the pot. With the lid on of course.
I added some pork slices which I fried in its own fat beforehand. You can also put in fried fish or grilled fish or shrimps.And of course, the best would be to put in bits of chicharon or bagnet.
I don`t use MSG in my cooking but some prefer to put a dash of it in.
In the Tagalog version of Pinakbet, slices of kalabasa or squash are added.
Note: The photo above is the uncooked version, with Rad`s watermark and not the usual "mangantayon" mark. Cook it then, mangantayon!
Friday, August 14, 2009
In the wake of the intensity 6.5 earthquake last Monday, Rad and I went shopping for some supplies. We have decided to again, revive our "earthquake" emergency bag. Funny how fear motivates one to finally get everything ready. Shizuoka City has been waiting for the Tokai earthquake for more than 30 years now and although, the city/prefecture prides itself as being ready for that great big quake, it pays to be ready, personally too. But this is not a blog about earthquake, so....
- 2 cups warm water (about 45 degrees celsius)
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
Friday, August 7, 2009
It`s Seishun Juhachi Kippu season once again and Rad is on his seasonal Japanese castle quests. For this summer, he has Shinshu and Shikoku in his itinerary (this would mark his 60th or so castle). I was not supposed to go with him as I have really many things to do and deadlines to meet but when I looked at how much he would spend going alone compared to how much it would be if I tagged along, I packed my papers, my laptop and decided that I will just have to change my work environment. That was the best decision ever! I got rid of my household chores, slept in a nice bed for a change (we are using futon at home), and worked in a relatively cooler environment (Shizuoka is so deadly humid nowadays).
Sunday, August 2, 2009
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I used plain milk)
- 1/4 cup melted butter (I used salad oil)
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup honey)
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tbsp marmalade (for glaze)
- 3-4 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon dessicated coconut
Paste for the crosses:
- 1 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon powder sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons water
1 1/4 c. flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 c packed brown sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 c. milk
3 tbsp melted butter or margarine (I used 3 tbsp salad oil)
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Still having last night`s dinner`s aftertaste, today`s breakfast is a combination of the Pizza and Pasta. Rad emphatically said "No" to eggs so we no longer see any eggs for meals. ( As long as he doesn`t see the eggs, like in cakes and bread, he is ok.) I was planned to do some bacon asparagus wrap but I was still sleepy and I still didn`t have the energy to do some wrapping and grilling. Thus, a simple and fast recipe on the skillet.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- minced garlic
- 2-3 strips bacon
- about 4 sticks of asparagus
- pineapple chunks
- 1 green bell pepper
Rad went to Nagoya today for the Cosplay World Summit, not as a participant of course, but just to capture some cosplay portraits. My status on Facebook is that I am in a cooking frenzy. Frenzy meaning, I want to cook and cook and cook but I want em recipes to be very easy and fast tehehehe... So our dinner is, Pizza and Spaghetti! That`s how far my creative mind came up with.
- 2-3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- garlic, minced
- spaghetti noodles
It is a slow Saturday. Despite the very nice weather, I wasn`t able to go out. I am really feeling lethargic. So I spent the whole afternoon doing the laundry, thinking what to cook, what to do with my paper and watching the old Willy Wonka musical, in that order.
- 1 can crushed pineapple (I used about 5 pineapple rings and crushed it for 2 secs using blender)
- 1 1/4 c. flour
- 1/4 c packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 3/4 c. milk
- 3 tbsp melted butter or margarine (I used 3 tbsp salad oil)
- 1/2 c chopped walnuts (I used almonds)
- 2 t grated orange peel (I used 2 tsp orange marmalade)