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Friday, December 12, 2008

Almond-Crusted Tilapia


ALMOND-CRUSTED TILAPIA


INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 lbs Tilapia fillets
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp water
3/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup Panko (Japanese style) bread crumbs
1 Tbsp shredded orange zest
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Rinse tilapia with cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
  2. Place flour in a shallow bowl, set aside. In a second shallow bowl, beat together eggs and the water. In a third shallow bowl, combine almonds, panko bread crumbs, and orange zest.
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, dredge tilapia in flour, shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture. Coat with almond mixture.
  4. Fry almond-crusted tilapia in hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a ford.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Butternut Squash Thanksgiving Soup

Here's another dish in my Thanksgiving menu this year, an easy soup recipe that I got from Rachel Ray of 30 Minutes Meal at Food TV Network.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH THANKSGIVING SOUP

INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup pulpy orange juice
2 boxes frozen butternut squash puree
2 or 3 cups chicken broth
Grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves, for garnish (I skipped this)
1 Tbsp orange zest for garnish (I skipped this)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter. When butter is melted, add the onion and carrots and cook until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Season with salt and pepper, deglaze with the orange juice and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
3. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or a blender. Puree the mixture until smooth, then return to pot over medium heat.
4. To mixture, add the frozen butternut squash puree and the chicken broth and stir to combine. Adjust the seasoning. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Grate some nutmeg and stir to combine.
5. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped thyme and orange zest.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sweet Potato Casserole

Here is another dish that I served at Thanksgiving dinner this year. A sweet potato casserole can either be a side dish or a dinner ender dessert. However you want it served, one thing is for sure, it's just so easy to make.

SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS:
2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large eggs
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup 1% milk
2 tsps freshly grated orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

TOPPING:
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 tsps frozen orange juice concentrate (I used plain orange juice)
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans (1 3/4 ounces)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and return to pan. Mash with potato masher. Measure out 3 cups. (Reserve any extra for another use)
2. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. Coat an 8-inch-square (or similar 2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Whisk eggs, oil and honey in a medium bowl. Add mashed sweet potato and mix well.
4. Stir in milk, orange zest, vanilla and salt.
5. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish.
6. To prepare the topping: Mix flour, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate, oil and butter in a small bowl. Blend with a fork or your fingertips until crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over the sweet potato mixture.
7. Bake the casserol until heated through and the top is lightly browned, 35 to 45 minutes.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sausage and Herb Stuffing

The turkey on Thanksgiving dinner will be lonely without its the good old partner, the stuffing. This year I used the recipe of Ina Garten of the Barefoot Contessa fame at Food TV network. This stuffing turned out to be flavorful and tasty.

SAUSAGE AND HERB STUFFING

INGREDIENTS:
16 cups 1-inch bread cubes, white or sourdough (1 1/2 lb loaf)
8 Tbsps (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups medium-diced celery (2 stalks)
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored and large-diced
2 Tbsps chopped flat-leaf parsley ( I used 1 Tbsp the dried Parsley flakes instead)
1 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 lb sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup dried cranberry

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 300 deg. F. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 350 deg. F. Remove the bread into a a very large bowl.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt the butter and add the onions, celery, apples, parsley, salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Add the bread cubes.
3. In the same saute pan, cook the sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through. breaking up the sausage with a fork while cooking. Add to the bread cubes and vegetables.
4. Add the chicken stock and cranberries to the mixture, mix well, and pour into a 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until browned on top and hot in the middle. Serve warm.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Buttered Spring Vegetables

Another yummy side dish at the Thanksgiving dinner table that I made was a mixture of spring veggies that I blanched then mixed with sauteed shallots and butter. I substituted some veggies to some that I couldn't find in my local grocery, the dish was crunchy and tasty nevertheless.

BUTTERED SPRING VEGETABLES


INGREDIENTS:
1/4 lb French string beans (haricots verts), ends removed
Kosher salt
1/4 lb sugar snap peas, ends removed
1/2 lb broccolini, ends removed (I used the big broccoli because I couldn't find broccolini in my grocery)
2 Tbsps good olive oil
3 large shallots, sliced
1/2 tsps freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS:
1. Blanch the sting beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute only. Lift the beans with a slotted spoon or sieve and immerse them in a bowl of ice water. Add snap peas to the same boiling water and cook for 1 minute, until al dente, adding them to the ice water and the beans. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch lengths diagonally and cook in the boiling water for 2 minutes, and add to teh ice water. Cut the broccolini in half, boil for 1 minutes, and add to the ice water.
2. When all the veggies in the water are cold, drain well.
3. When ready to serve, heat the butter and oil in a very large saute pan or large pot. Saute the shallots over medium heat for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until light browned.
4. Add the drained veggies to the shallots with 1/2 tsp salt and the pepper and toss.
5. Cook just until the vegetables are heated through. Serve hot.

KITCHEN TIP #5
Putting blanched vegetables in a bowl of ice cold water will prevent them from further cooking therefore preserving the crunchy bite to the veggies


Monday, December 1, 2008

Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast

I prepared simple dishes this Thanksgiving Day. I didn't cook whole turkey anymore , I just opted to roast a three-pounder turkey breast instead. Both my husband and I love the breast anyway so it's just wise not to get a whole turkey that usually weighs 8 to 10 lbs. Every year I put different twists to the traditional Thanksgiving menu by using recipes from different chefs of Food TV Network. This year the main star of the dinner is from the recipe of Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa, she's one of my fave chefs on TV. Even if I only used a 3-lb turkey breasts, I still use the whole measurement of the herb mixture.

HERB-ROASTED TURKEY BREAST


INGREDIENTS
1 whole bone-in turkey breast, 6 1/2 to 7 lbs
1 Tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
2 tsps dry mustard
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tsps kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsps good olive oil
2 Tbsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine ( I replaced this with a cup of chicken broth)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 deg F. Place the turkey breast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste.
3. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine (broth) into the bottom of the roasting pan.
4. Roast the turkey for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until the skin is golden brown and an instant read thermometer registers 165 deg F when inserted into the thickest and meatiest areas of the breast. If the skin is over-browning, cover the breast loosely with aluminum foil. When the turkey is don, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Food For Sleep Deprived

Sleep is golden. Study shows that sleep deprivation is bad for women and can have real impacts on a person's overall health. If you are sleep deprived because of blogging ;-) here are some food that can help you regulate your sleep as well as food that should be avoided for they will keep you awake.



FOOD THAT HELP REGULATE SLEEP
Do eat bananas or starchy foods such as potatoes or cereal and eat them four hours before bedtime. Some people say pasta helps them sleep better when they are stressed, which makes sense because carbs can raise serotonin.

Also, combine unsweetened carbs with protein. High carbs and low protein snacks seem to help the brain use tryptophan, which you may recognize from your Thanksgiving turkey coma. The combination produces more sedating serotonin.

Other good snacks for sleep include: apple slices with peanut butter; small bowl of oatmeal with low-fat milk; and crackers topped with turkey slivers.

FOOD ASSOCIATED WITH INSOMIA
Not all foods will cart you off to Dreamland. Some, like rich or spicy foods, can give you insomnia. They can give you heartburn when you lie down. Also, sweets are a stimulant, so you shouldn't eat them within four hours of bedtime. And while decaf sounds innocent, almost all decaf has enough "caf" left in it to keep you up. Go for herbal tea instead.

FACTS AND FICTION OF SLEEP
Exercising at Night is bad
False: If you do it in the early evening, for example between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. about three times a week, exercise actually can help you sleep. If you go to bed a bit later than most folks, just remember to get your workout within three hours of bedtime.

Eating dinner by candlelight will help you sleep.
True: Not only is it romantic, but it does make you drowsy. You need to spend more time in dim light before bed in order to prepare for sleep.

Drinking alcohol at night helps put you to sleep.
False: This is a bad idea because while the alcohol may make you sleepy at first, it can wake you up later in the evening

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Honey Walnut Shrimps


Honey Walnut Shrimps is one of the favorite dishes I love to order in a Chinese restaurant. The very first time I had this dish was during our vacation in Washington state in 2005. I have tried making it once, and it was pretty good. Every time we go to Boston, we usually eat at Jumbo Seafood and of course I never fail to order this entree.

HONEY WALNUT SHRIMPS
INGREDIENTS:
1 cup water
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup walnuts
4 egg whites
2/3 cup mochiko (glutinous rice flour)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 lb. large shrimps, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp canned sweetened condensed milk
1 cup vegetable oil for frying
Broccoli florets for garnish, steamed

DIRECTIONS:
1. Stir together the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the walnuts. Boil for 2 minutes, then drain and place walnuts on a cookie sheet to dry.
2. Whip egg whites in a medium bowl until foamy. Stir in the mochiko until it has a pasty consistency. Heat the oil in a heavy deep skillet over medium-high heat. Dip shrimps into the mochiko batter, and then fry in the hot oil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
3. In a medium serving bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, honey and sweetened condensed milk. Add shrimp and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the candied walnuts on top and serve.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Korean Food and Japanese Sushi




Hi folks, we discovered another resto around town, actually it's recommended by one of our friends, it's called Korean King BBQ in Canton, MA. They serve a buffet of Korean dishes and Japanese sushi, yummy! We tried it out last Sunday after mass, and they've got pretty good selections. We came just before opening at 11:30am and the place got crowded easily. Here are some of the stuffs I got - different kinds of sushi, potato noodles, marinated tofu, dumplings and more.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Guinisang Ampalaya (Sauteed Bitter Melon)



When I was little I never liked Ampalaya (bitter melon) because of the bitter taste. But I remember my mom had a way of somewhat eliminating some of the bitterness so my siblings and I will eat it. She sprinkled the sliced bitter melon with enough salt and sort of carefully massaging them for few seconds to make them sweat. Then she would rinse off the salt thoroughly and throws out the bitter juice secreted from the process. When I got older, I just developed the taste for it and it became one of the favorite vegetables I eat. We usually use bitter melon in Pinakbet and Guinisang Ampalaya (Sauteed Bitter Melon). This is how I make my Guinisang Ampalaya based from my recollection of how my mom did it and just added my own twist. My British hb loves eating this dish too ;-)


GUINISANG AMPALAYA



INGREDIENTS
2 medium pieces of Ampalaya, sliced
thinly
1/2 lb ground pork

1/2 cup chicken broth

2 pcs tomatoes, cubed

1 medium onion, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 eggs, beaten

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp vegetable oil
PROCEDURE
1. Saute garlic, onion, and tomatoes until tender for about 3 minutes.
2. Stir in ground pork, add salt and pepper and cook until meat is tender.

3. Add the bitter melon and broth and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes making sure not to overcook the bitter melon.
4. Pour in the beaten eggs in a swirling motion and carefully stir to incorporate in the meat and vegetable.

5. Serve with steamed rice.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Easy Chicken Pot Pie



When I run out of idea of what to cook for dinner, I sometimes copy the recipe at the back of the food box like Bisquick. I normally use Bisquick for breakfast pancakes but if you look at the back of the box there are wonderful recipe idea you can make. This is one of them.

EASY CHICKEN POT PIE




INGREDIENTS
1 bag (1 lb) Frozen mixed vegetables, thawed, drained
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

PROCEDURE
1. Heat oven to 400 deg. F
2. In an ungreased 2 quart casserole, mix vegetables, chicken and soup until blended
3. Stir remaining ingredients in a medium bowl with wire whisk or fork until well blended. Pour over chicken mixture.
4. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lobster Sandwich

Lobsters are very popular in New England states and they are always part of the summer experience. My girlfriend was so gracious enough to bring us two big pieces of live lobsters from Maine. It's our first time to cook live ones, we usually just eat them in restaurants, but we didn't do bad. I googled the way to cook it and hb made them into lobster salad. It was so delicious!





BOILING LOBSTER*
  1. In order to boil your lobster, you will need a large pot with a lid.
  2. Pour enough water in the pot to cover the lobster completely.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of sea salt for every 2 liters (4 pints) of water.
  4. Bring the water to a fierce boil.
  5. Grasp the live lobster behind the claws and drop it headfirst into the boiling water.
  6. Cover the pot and once the water has started to boil again, start timing.
  7. Boil the lobster for 10 minutes for the first lb of weight and then 3 more minutes for each extra pound. A two lb lobster will be done in 13 minutes, a 3 lb lobster in 16 minutes.
  8. Once cooked, drain the lobster immediately and serve hot.


Alternate way of cooking lobster is by steaming, and here's how:
STEAMING LOBSTER*
You will require a longer cooking time to steam your lobster, however, many people say that the result is even better than boiling, giving you a succulent and tasty lobster meat.
  1. Place a steaming rack to hold the lobster in the bottom of a large pot.
  2. Pour 2 inches of water into the pot and add 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
  3. Cover the pot with the lid and bring the water to the boil.
  4. Once the water is boiling fiercely, place the lobster onto the rack, cover the pot and bring back to the boil.
  5. Begin timing once the water is boiling again.
  6. Steam the lobster for 14 minutes for the first lb of weight and then an extra 3 minutes for each extra lb. A 2 lb lobster will cook in 17 minutes, a 3 lb in 20 minutes.
  7. Once the lobster is done, drain immediately and serve

LOBSTER SANDWICH


INGREDIENTS
1/2 lb fully cooked lobster meat
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
Celery, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 small scallions, thinly sliced
Wheat bread

DIRECTIONS:
1. Just combine the first five ingredients,
2. Chill until ready to use
3. Fill the bread with the mixture and serve.


*Source: helpwithcooking.com

Friday, September 19, 2008

Food Friday - Fried Shrimps with Cashew



This recipe is from my Wok & Oriental cookbook and one of the favorite dishes I cook when I have tons of veggies in the fridge. It originally calls for orange bell pepper, leeks and broccoli florets veggies but whatever veggies you have in the fridge is really fine, the important ingredient here is the sauce. In this dish I threw in sugar snaps, mushrooms, yellow and red bell pepper, and onions.

FRIED SHRIMPS WITH CASHEW



INGREDIENTS
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp cornstarch
pinch of superfine sugar
1 lb raw jumbo shrimps
4 tbsps vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 medium size yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 medium size red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, quartered
4 ounces sugar snaps
3/4 cup unsalted cashew nuts
SAUCE
3/4 cup fish stock (I used chicken stock)
1 tbsp cornstarch
dash of chili sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
DIRECTIONS:
1. Mix together the garlic, cornstarch, and sugar in a large bowl. Peel and devein the jumbo shrimps. Stir the shrimp into the cornstarch mixute to coat thoroughly.

2. Heat the oil in pre-heated wok and add the shrimp mixture. Stir fry over a high heat for 20-30 seconds, until the shrimps turn pink. Remove the shrimps from the wok with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and set aside.

3. Add the onions and mushrooms to the wok and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and sugar snap and stir fry for another 2 minutes.

4. Mix together the ingredients for the sauce and add the mixture to the wok, together with the cashews. Return the shrimps to the wok and cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute to heat through completely. Transfer to a warm dish and serve immediately.

VARIATIONS:
This recipe also works well with chicken, pork or beef strips instead of shrimps. Use 8 ounces of meat instead of 1 lb of shrimps.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Food Friday - Mini Banana Muffins


I always buy banana and I slice some in my cereals every morning. But when I bought too much I always end up with overripe ones that I just make into banana bread or muffins. This one is a recipe for banana bread that I poured into mini muffin tray, I just shorten the baking time to avoid burning them up. This is one of my toddler's favorite afternoon snacks.

MINI BANANA MUFFINS



INGREDIENTS
2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. F (175 deg. C). Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan or a 24 hole mini muffin tray.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan or muffin tray

3. Bake in preheated oven to 60 to 65 minutes (in loaf pan) or 25 to 30 minutes (in mini muffin tray), until a tootpick inserted into center of the bread/muffin comes out clean. Let bread/muffin cool in a pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Friday, August 29, 2008

New England Pasty





This is an American version of the English tradition of pasty, one of my favorite dishes to order at British Beer Company in MA. The New England Pasty has slow roasted turkey breast and cornbread stuffing. This dish includes fries, cranberry sauce and gravy and steamed vegetables.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Zucchini Bread


Our neighbor who is a garden buff gave us two 'gigantic' zucchinis that he harvested from his garden. Click here to see the picture. I can easily make maybe 5 dishes out of it but I'm not that fired up in the kitchen lately so I'm just gonna share with you the easiest dish I came up with - Zucchini Bread. Ok if you're not a vegetable eater, don't get scared, this bread doesn't taste anything like Zucchini at all. The grated Zucchini plus the crushed pineapple added moistness to the bread.
ZUCCHINI BREAD
(click the picture to see how moist the bread is)



INGREDIENTS
3 eggs
1 cup olive oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsps vanilla
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins

PROCEDURE
1 Preheat oven to 350 deg F. In a mixer, beat eggs. Add oil, sugar and vanilla. Continue beating mixture until thick and foamy. With a spoon, stir in the zucchini and pineapple.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. A third at a time, add dry ingredients into wet and gently stir (by hand) after each addition. Add the walnuts and raisins, blend gently.
3. Divide the batter equally betwen 2 greased and flour-dusted 5 by 9 inch loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks to cool thoroughly.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Cheddar Broccoli Salad



This is a recipe I got from a girlfriend. I normally eat broccoli steamed or stir-fried or as an appetizer in a fresh veggie platter. Here's another way of eating it - just raw in a salad. The original recipe calls for 12 strips of crisp bacon crumbled on top but I replaced it with almond sliver and dried sweet cranberry for a healthier twist.



INGREDIENTS:
6 Cups fresh broccoli florets
1 ½ cups (6oz)
shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 ½ cups mayonnaise

¾ cup sugar 3 tbsp red wine vinegar or cider
2 tbsp roasted almond sliver
2 tbsp dried sweet cranberry
PROCEDURE:
1. In a large salad bowl, combine broccoli, cheese & onion.
2. In a separate bowl mix together the mayonnaise, sugar & vinegar. Pour over broccoli mixture & toss to coat.
3. Refrigerate for at
least 4 hrs.
4. Just before serving, stir in dried cranberry and almonds.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Kielbasa In Raspberry Preserve Sauce




This is a very hearty appetizer that is so easy to prepare. You just need 4 links of Kielbasa either beef or turkey, sliced into bite pieces and 3 jars of 18 oz Red Raspberry Preserve. Just mix the two ingredients in a crock pot (slow cooker) and cook on high for 4 hours, and you're done! You may think it might be too sweet of an appetizer, but it will have a tangy bite as the saltiness of the kielbasa and the sweetness of the preserve marry together.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Craving For Pancake




I'm not a usual pancake eater for breakfast, I usually go for oatmeal or cereals, but I suddenly craved for this fluffy pancake smothered with butter and syrup, slurp! Here's my entry to Food Friday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Angel Berry Trifle

This is a very figure-friendly dessert, refreshing and not too sweet, because I used all non-fat or reduced fat ingredients.

ANGEL BERRY TRIFLE


INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups cold fat free milk
1 package (1 oz) sugar free- instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup ( 8 oz) fat free - vanilla yogurt
6 oz reduced-fat free cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup reduced fat free-sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 carton (12 oz) reduced- fat free frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
1 prepared angel food cake (8 inches), cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pint each- blackberries, raspberries & blueberries

PROCEDURE:
1. In a small bowl, whisk the milk & pudding mix for 2 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat the yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream & vanilla until smooth.
3. Fold in pudding mixture & 1 cup whipped topping.
4. Place a third of the cake cubes in a 4 quart trifle bowl.
5. Top with a third of the pudding mixture, a third of the berries & half of the remaining whipped topping.
6. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining cake, pudding & berries.
7. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Yield: 14 servings

Friday, July 18, 2008

English Tea with Donut and Biscotti






I love any kind of tea especially Japanese green tea and English black tea. I take afternoon tea with anything sweet on the side like biscuits, cookies or donuts. Today, I had English tea with cream and sugar paired with Chocolate Donut and Biscotti. This is my entry to Food Friday.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Fried Vegetable and Pork Potstickers



Potstickers are one of our favorite snacks or dinners depending on the amount I cook ;-). I normally steam them in my bamboo steamer, but for a change I fried them in canola oil. I used lite soy sauce mixed with calamansi juice for dipping sauce.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Cassava Cake

Here's another easy dessert recipe for everyone to try. Promise you can make this with eyes closed, but don't try it anyway, you might make a big mess in the kitchen ;-). Cassava cake is a very easy and popular Filipino dessert, as the name implies it is made of cassava, a starchy tuberous root crop common to tropical region like the Philippines. Cassava is sometimes called yuca, manioc or tapioca. Cassava is already great as it is, we used to just boil them and eat them with sugar sprinkled on top. Sometimes we boil them in water mixed with sugar as syrup.

CASSAVA CAKE

INGREDIENTS
1 lb Frozen Grated Cassava
1 can Coconut Milk
1 Can Condensed Milk
1/4 cup Sugar

PROCEDURE
1. Thaw the frozen cassava
2. Mix all the ingredients together and pour in a baking dish
3. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Chicken BBQ for Cookout

Hi friends, how did your 4th of July celebration go? We had a cookout in my house yesterday and of course my hb, the master chef was so busy manning the grill. Nobody touches the grill except the man ;-). We had the usual hamburger, hotdogs, back ribs and chicken barbeque on the hot grill. I want to share this very easy and no-brainer chicken bbq recipe. For the marinade - whatever you have in the pantry that you think will make the marinade tasty and juicy just throw them in. That's what I did and it turned out great. These are some of what was left from the cookout and I paired the chicken bbq with hot steamed white rice and vinegar with hot green pepper on the side, yummy!

CHICKEN BARBEQUE



INGREDIENTS
Boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite pieces

MARINADE
Toyomansi (Soy Sauce with Calamansi)
Vinegar with Hot Pepper
Ginger Ale
Teriyaki Sauce
Hot Chili Sauce
Sweet Chili Sauce
Ketchup
Sesame Oil
Oyster Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce

Garlic Powder with Parsley
White Ground Pepper
PROCEDURE
1. Just mix all the marinade ingredients together and soak the chicken there overnight.
2. Thread the chicken in skewers and discard the marinade.


Kitchen Tip #4
If possible, I use kitchen shear instead of knife to cut the chicken or other meat and
cut them up in the sink. That way, I won't use chopping board anymore and
therefore only have few utensils to wash and
won't make the kitchen counter messy too.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Grilled Salmon Salad

Last night we had a very light dinner of grilled salmon salad. I usually partner the salmon with steamed veggies and mashed potato, but for a change we just mixed it with greens.

GRILLED SALMON SALAD



INGREDIENTS
Grilled Salmon
2 hearts of Romaine
Artichoke hearts marinated in oil
Kalamata Olives
Raddish

MARINADE OF SALMON
Lemon juice
Lite Soy Sauce
Garlic Powder with Parsley
Ginger Powder
Ground White Pepper

PROCEDURE:
1. Mix the marinade ingredients together, I just eyeball them depending on the amount of the salmon. Marinate the salmon for an hour and grill 2 minutes on each side. Cube.
2. Drain the artichoke and kalamata olives and slice the raddishes.
3. On a bed of lettuce, put all the ingredients and serve with your choice of dressing. My husband prefers Italian dressing while I normally use Thousand Island Dressing.

Food Friday - Frozen Lemons





As my first entry to Food Friday, here is a shot of my frozen lemons. Lemons in US are usually expensive so I buy them in bulk at Costco and freeze the juice in ice trays for later use. Here are some pieces I popped out of the tray and used to marinate the salmon we grilled for dinner.

Friday, June 20, 2008

BBQ Season

Summer will officially start after midnight tonight and bbq season will be making its official debut by then. Here's one appropriate message just for laughs to us women, to remind us of our role in the summer-long cookouts.

After long dragging months of cold and winter, we are finally coming up to summer and BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking as it's the only type of cooking a real man will do, probably because there is an element of danger involved.

When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:

Routine...
1) The woman buys the food.
2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - Beer in hand.

Here comes the important part:
4) THE MAN PLACES THE MEAT ON THE GRILL.

More routine....
5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another Beer while he deals with the situation .

Important again:
7) THE MAN TAKES THE MEAT OFF THE GRILL AND HANDS IT TO THE WOMAN.

More routine.....
The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces and brings them to the table.
9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:
10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.
11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off." And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women .

And so that's the story of our outdoor cooking life.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Drink Water!

It's been very hot lately and I always crave for ice cold water to quench my thirst. I prefer water over soda, I only drink soda occasionally when I feel like it or when in a party. Here are some useful facts about water that is worth sharing about.

* * * * *

Water makes up 83% of the blood and acts as a transport system, delivering nutrients to the brain and eliminating toxins.

Your brain needs to be fully hydrated so that the circuitry works well and it functions at optimum levels. Water is essential for concentration and mental alertness.

Studies have shown that most people are permanently partially dehydrated. This means that their brain is working considerably below its capacity and potential.

A study by Trevor Brocklebank at Leeds University in the UK discovered that schoolchildren with the best results in class were those who drank up to eight glasses of water a day.
(source: Bill Lucas, Power Up Your Mind, 2001)

Therefore, you should drink at least 2 litres of water every day.

Monday, June 16, 2008

An Intelligent Diet

Boost your brainpower by feeding your brain 'brain foods'. Here are 4 tips for an intelligent diet:

1. Balance your glucose - it provides fuel for your brain. Try to eat carbohydrate foods in the evening as it promotes relaxation and sleep.

2. Eat essential fats - ensure your diet is rich in omega-3 fats found in oily fish.

3. Include plenty of protein rich foods in your diet. Proteins are essential to make neurotransmitters which are vital for the thinking process. Try to eat a protein based lunch to optimise your mental performance and alertness throughout the day.

4. Eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals to 'fine tune' your mind.

5. Drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day to keep your brain well hydrated.

6. Oxygenate your brain by exercising and eating little and often. Eat your main meal before 7pm.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Anytime Chicken

I prefer chicken over other meats and I stock up my freezer with it. I get a pack of 6 individually wrapped portions of boneless thighs or breasts from Costco which costs from $12 to $16 a pack depending on weight. It's very economical to buy in huge quantity and just freeze them away for use anytime.

Chicken is a very versatile meat and I can concoct a variety of quick and easy dishes out of it. Few nights back I made Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce. I got this recipe from Food Network by one of my fave chefs Tyler Florence. Its very simple, very easy and all ingredients are the usual things I normally have in my pantry and fridge. I just injected a few twist to make my life easier - like instead of grilling it I just broiled it (after brushing with canola oil) in the oven on high for 10 minutes on each side or until done. I also used a store bought peanut sauce for more convenience, but you can make your own if you have more time to spare.

CHICKEN SATAY WITH PEANUT SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:
Marinade:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips (Tyler used breasts)

20 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes

Vegetable oil, for grilling

Peanut Sauce:

1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons red chili paste, such as sambal
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 limes, juiced

PROCEDURE:

1. Combine the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and curry powder in a shallow mixing bowl, stir to combine.
2. Place the chicken strips in the yogurt marinade and gently toss until well coated. Cover and let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at up to 2 hours.
3. Thread the chicken pieces onto the soaked skewers working the skewer in and out of the meat, down the middle of the piece, so that it stays in place during grilling.
4. Place a grill pan over medium heat and brush it with oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Grill the chicken satays for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until nicely seared and cooked through.

= = = = =

The morning after I cut the leftover chicken into strips and put it in my husband's salad to take to work.

SPINACH SALAD WITH LEFTOVER CHICKEN SATAY


INGREDIENTS:
Baby Spinach
Romaine Lettuce
Radish
Feta Cheese
Toasted Almonds
Italian dressing on the side


Food For The Brain

The foods you eat directly affects the performance of your brain. It has been proven that by eating the right food, you can boost your IQ, improve your mood, be more emotionally stable, sharpen your memory and keep your mind young.

If you give your brain the right nutrients, you will be able to think quicker, have a better memory, be better coordinated and balanced and have improved concentration.

The three key brain foods to boost your brainpower and keep your brain healthy and your mental processes operating effectively are nutritious food, water and oxygen.


Brain Foods ~ Protein

Protein is found in meat, fish, milk and cheese. Protein provides the building blocks for most of the body's tissues, nerves, internal organs (including brain and heart). Proteins are used to make neurotransmitters and are essential to improve mental performance.

Brain Foods ~ Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates enhance the absorption of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin in the brain. Within about thirty minutes of eating a carbohydrate meal,, you will feel more calm and relaxed. The effects will last several hours.

Grains, fruits and vegetables are key sources of carbohydrates.

Digestion causes the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose (sugar) which is the brains primary source of energy. If your glucose levels fluctuate too much, you may experience mental confusion, dizziness and if severe, convulsions and loss of consciousness.

Brain Foods ~ Fat

The brain is more than 60% fat. This is because the brain cells are covered by the myelin sheath which is composed of approximately 75% fat. Fats also play a crucial role as messengers. They regulate key aspects of the immune system, blood circulation, inflammation, memory and mood.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential to the optimum performance of your brain. Lack of omega-3 fats in your diet can lead to depression, poor memory, low IQ, learning disabilities, dyslexia, ADD and many more mental disorders.

To ensure that your diet is rich in omega-3 fats, ensure that you eat plenty of oily fish like salmon, sardines, trout, tuna, herring, mackerel and anchovies.

Brain Foods ~ Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential for the growth and functioning of the brain.

The 'B' complex vitamins are particularly important for the brain and play a vital role in producing energy. Vitamins A, C and E are powerful antioxidants and promote and preserve memory in the elderly.

Minerals are also critical to mental functioning and performance. Magnesium and manganese are needed for brain energy. Sodium, potassium and calcium are important in the thinking process and they facilitate the transmission of messages.