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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shrimps In Coconut Milk

When I got married and came to US, I didn't know how to cook and I ran the phone bills calling my family in the Philippines to ask for recipes. My older sister on the other hand has a talent for cooking and baking and she can make a great chef! Here's one dish I learned from her over the phone. My sister told me to just eyeball the ingredients because that's the way she cooks, but I measured just the same so I can do it again next time, LOL.


1 lb of Shrimp with shell or tail on;
1 can of Coconut Milk;
1 can of Tomato Sauce;
1 tbsp of minced garlic;
1 tbsp of canola oil;
1/2 tsp of hot pepper flakes;
1/4 tsp of salt for the sauce and
1/4 tsp of salt to season the shrimp.


1. Season the shrimp with salt and set aside;
2. In medium heat, saute the garlic in canola oil until brown but not burnt;
3. Add the coconut milk and stir constantly until reduced to half;
4. Add the tomato sauce, pepper flakes and salt; stir constantly until the consistency is thick. 5. Add the shrimp and mix with the sauce, cover and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Don't overcook the shrimp.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Parmesan Popovers

If you haven't guessed it yet, from the many recipes I tried of Giada de Laurentiis and showed in my foodie blog, yes indeed she's on top of the list of my fave chefs on Food TV Network. Here's another of her dishes, the Parmesan Popovers, a perfect partner to any pasta dish. These popovers are light and airy and can be eaten at lunch or dinner.

6 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence (recipe here)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese (about 5 ounces)

1. In a blender, combine the eggs, flour, salt, pepper, herbes de Provence, and parsley. Blen on medium speed. Turn the blender to low and slowly add the milk, then the cheese.

2. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the muffin cups, filling each cup 3/4 full. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Remove the popovers from the muffin pan and serve hot, or cool on a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shrimp Lasagna Rolls with Creamy Marinara

This is another recipe from my fave chef Giada de Laurentiis from her cookbook Everyday Pasta. Shrimps and pasta noodles are staples in my freezer and pantry so anytime I want to cook this dish, I have them ready. In this dish just don't overcook the lasagna noodles when boiling as they will finish cooking in the oven.

1 lb lasagna
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (15-ounces) containers whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3 cups marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 5 ounces)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and partially cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimps with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and the garlic to the pan and saute until the shrimp are cooked, about 4 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and let cool. Coarsely chop the cooled shrimp and place in a large bowl with 2 cups of the ricotta cheese (one container and about 1/3 of the other), the Parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the nutmeg. Stir to combine.

3. In another bowl, combine the marinara sauce with the remaining 1 cup of ricotta cheese and stir to combine.

4. To make the lasagna, cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish with 1 cup of the marinara mixture. Lay 4 noodles flat on a dry work surface and cut in half (to make 8) Spread about 2 tablespoons of the shrimp mixture evenly over noodle. Roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat twice more to make 24 lasagna mozzarella.

5. Bake until the lasagna rolls are heated through and the cheese is beginning to brown, about 25 minutes.

Makes 6 servings

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chicken Carbonara

The traditional carbonara is made of eggs, pancetta, Parmesan cheese, and spaghetti, but this one has a different twist for added texture. Instead of pancetta which is kind of pricey I just used strips of bacon. This is another recipe from Giada de Laurentiis of Everyday Italian.

2 tsps olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta or bacon, chopped
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
8 large egg yolks
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tsps minced garlic
4 cups coarsely shredded chicken (from 1 roasted chicken)
1 lb spaghetti
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (see how to toast nuts here)
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and saute until it is brown and crisp, about 8 minutes. Cool until lukewarm.

2. Whisk in the cream, cheese, yolks, basil, parsley, and garlic. Stir in chicken.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add teh spaghetti and cook, stirring often to prevent the pasta from sticking together, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain.

4. Add the spaghetti to the cream mixture and toss over medium-low heat until the chicken is heated through and the sauce coats the spaghetti thickly, about 4 minutes (do not boil). Season the pasta to taste with pepper.

5. Transfer the pasta to a large, wide serving bowl. Sprinkle with the walnuts and lemon zest, and serve.

Makes 6 main course servings.

Friday, March 27, 2009

How to Toast Nuts and Skin Hazelnuts

There are some recipes that call for toasted nuts and usually store-bought toasted nuts are more expensive. So here are steps to toast nuts by yourself either in the oven or stovetop.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
2. Place shelled nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, pine nuts and hazelnuts, on a heavy baking sheet or in a pie tin.
3. Toast the nuts in the oven until they are fragrant and golden brown on the outside and pale golden throughout the inside stirring occasionally and watching closely to ensure they brown evenly and don't blacken.
4. Toast about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of the nuts.

1. Preheat a small heavy skillet over medium-low heat.
2. Place the nuts in the hot skillet and stir them until they become fragrant and golden brown on the outside and pale golden throughout the inside, about 5 minutes.

To remove the dark brown skins on hazelnuts, rub a small handful of cooled toasted hazelnuts at a time briskly between your palms, allowing the skins to fall from your hands and onto a work surface. Don't worry if a few specks of skin remain on the hazelnuts.

(Source: Giada's Family Dinner book)

Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence or Provencal herbs is a mixture of dried herbs from Provence invented in the 1970's. The mixture typical contains savory, fennel, basil, thyme and lavender flowers and other herbs. Some cooks maintain that lavender is an essential ingredient of true herbes de provence. The proportion vary by manufacturer. Thyme usually dominates the taste produced by the herb mixture. This herb combination captures the flavors of the sunny South of France.

Herbes de Provence are used to flavour grilled foods such as fish and meat, as well as vegetable stews. The mixture can be added to foods before or during cooking or mixed with cooking oil prior to cooking so as to infuse the flavour into the cooked food. They are rarely added after cooking is complete. Herbes de Provence are often sold in a larer bags than othe herbs, and the price is Provence is considerably lower than other herbs.

Provencal cuisine has traditionally used many herbs, which were often characterized collectively as 'herbes de Provence', but not in standard combinations, and not sold as a mixture. It was in 1970's that standard mixtures were formulated by spice wholesalers, including notably Ducros in France now part of McCormick & Company. (Source: Wikipedia)

3 Tablespoon Oregano
3 Tablespoon Thyme
3 Tablespoon Savory
2 teaspoon Lavender
1 teaspoon Basil
1 teaspoon Sage
1 teaspoon Rosemary

Food Friday - Edamame

I always buy a pack of organic edamame for snack. It is fully cooked and ready to eat. I just microwave it for a couple of minutes before serving. My little tot also loves eating it. Eating is fun when I let him squeeze the soybeans into his mouth with his fingers. And sometimes I just squeeze the soybeans out of the pod in his bowl and he picks them.

Edamame is a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean, harvested at the peak of ripening right before it reaches the "hardening" time. The word Edamame means "Beans on Branches," and it grows in clusters on bushy branches. To retain the freshness and its natural flavor, it is parboiled and quick-frozen. In East Asia, the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. Edamame is consumed as a snack, a vegetable dish, used in soups or processed into sweets. As a snack, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers.

(per 100 gms of Edible Portion)

CALORIES - 125.0
PROTEIN - 12.1
FAT - 3.6
ASH - 1.7
IRON - 2.7
SODIUM - 5.0
VITAMIN A - 130.0
VITAMIN U1 - 0.31
VITAMIN C - 40.0

Drool over other dishes by visiting here:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Iron Rich Foods for Iron Deficiency Anemia

I've got iron deficiency so aside from taking iron supplements and multi-vitamin, I also watch my diet in such a way that it should include food rich in iron. My mom used to cook a lot of liver dish for me as it is an excellent source of iron.

Absorption of iron from food is influenced by multiple factors. One important factor being the form of the iron. Heme Iron, found in animal sources, is highly available for absorption. Non-heme iron on the other hand, found in vegetable sources, is less available. Here are a list of iron rich foods.

Excellent Sources
1. Clams
2. Pork Liver

3. Oysters

4. Chicken Liver

5. Mussels

6. Beef Liver
Good Sources:
1. Beef

2. Shrimp

3. Sardines

4. Turkey

Excellent Sources:

1. Enriched breakfast cereal

2. Cooked beans and lentils

3. Pumpkin seeds

4. Blackstrap molasses

Good Sources:
1. Canned beans

2. Baked potato with skin

3. Enriched pasta

4. Canned asparagus

WARNING: Pregnant women should not eat liver because of its very high Vitamin A content. Large amounts of Vitamin A can be harmful to the baby.

The absorption of Non-heme iron can be improved when a source of heme iron is consumed in the same meal. In addition, the iron abosorption-enhancing foods can also increase the absorption of non-heme iron. While some food items can enhance iron absorption, some can inhibit or interfere iron absorption. Avoid eating them with the iron-rich foods to maximize iron absorption.

1. Meat/fish/poultry
2. Fruits - orange, orange juice, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapefruit, etc.

3. Vegetables - broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomato, tomato juice, potato, green and red peppers
4. White wine

1. Red wine, coffee and tea

2. Vegetables - spinach, chard, beet greens, rhubarb and sweet potato

3. whole grains and bran

4. soy products

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ham & Potato Casserole

I like easy dishes that I can prepare in advance and this is one of them. For a stay-at-home mom like myself, it is always impossible to do anything in the kitchen continuously especially when my little tot is awake. So I prepared this Ham and Potato Casserole while my son was napping; kept it in the fridge and just popped it in the oven just before dinner.



1 lb left-over ham, cubed

3-4 thinly sliced, peeled potato, parboiled
1 cup shredded carrots

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/4 cup milk

1 Tbsp chopped onions

1 cup soft bread crumbs

1 Tbsp melted margarine

1/8 tsp pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Place half of the potato and half of the carrots in a Pam-sprayed 2 quarts casserole dish.

2. Combine ham, soup, half of cheese, milk, onions and pepper. Pour half of the mixture over the potatoes and carrots. Repeat layers.

3. Combine crumbs, remaining cheese and melted margarine. Sprinkle over the casserole.

4. Bake until heated through approximately 45 minutes.

PARBOIL means to cook partially by boiling for a brief period.
The length of time in parboiling potatoes really depends on the size

but the rule of thumb is:
5-6 minutes for small potatoes;
6-7 minutes for medium potatoes;
and 8-9 minutes for large potatoes.

Wordless Wednesday - Lemon Tart


Whenever we dine out, I never get hold of the dessert menu at all. I don't usually have room for it anymore because American servings are usually humongous. But in China Pearl, a Chinese resto that we frequent almost every week for their delicious dimsum, I always get the chance to have a dessert or two. I love dimsum not only for their yummy taste but also for their small servings so I don't over-indulge (yeah right! if I can help it that is;-)) The last time we were there, I had this yummy Lemon Tart.

See other WW participants HERE

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Walnut Melts Cookies

Here's another easy and quick cookie recipe that I want to share with you all. I got this recipe from Razzle Dazzle few years ago and it has become one of my favorite cookies to make since then. In fact I bake this often since hb and I find it a perfect pair with our afternoon green tea or black English tea. The recipe calls for 4 oz. of butter and 4 oz. of margarine, but I just used 2 sticks of unsalted butter and the cookies turned out great too.


2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup confectioner sugar

2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped finely (I run the walnuts in a chopper)
1/2 cup confectioner sugar (to toss the warm cookies with once baked)

1. Heat the oven to 350 deg. F. Cover cookie sheets with baking parchment and set aside.

2. Blend the butter with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer at the slowest speed. Add the vanilla and 1/2 cup of the confectioners sugar, beating until combined.

3. Mix the flour and salt. Gradually add the flour to the creamed mixture and beat it until a soft dough forms. Add the walnuts and stir until incorporated.

4. With your hands, form the dough into 1-inch balls and place them two inches apart on parchment-lined pans.

5. Press each ball slightly in the center. They will flatten as they bake.
6. Bake until cookies are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss the warm cookies in the other 1/2 confectioners sugar.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Cactus Blossom

This is the appetizer we had on Valentine's Day at Texas Roadshow. A Texas-sized onion, hand-battered, golden fried and served with special Cajun Horseradish Sauce. Really crunchy and tasty.

See other WW participants HERE

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kitchen Sink Cookies

I'm a sucker for easy and healthy recipe. This is an interesting cookie recipe I got from one of my fave Food TV Network stars, Ellie Krieger. I'm not sure why it is called Kitchen Sink Cookies, probably because it is so easy to make, very basic and you can really mix everything by hand. I love the recipes of Ellie Krieger because they're very healthy and the portion is just enough so you won't indulge.

2 Tbsps unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsps canola oil
1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup applesauce

1 egg white

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts

2 ounces dark chocolate, cut into chunks

Cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Combine butter, oil and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on high speed, stopping occasionally to scrape down bowl, until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

2. Add applesauce, egg white and vanilla and mix to combine. Add flour, oatmeal, salt and cinnamon and mix just until just combined. Add cherries, apricots, walnuts and chocolate and mix to combine.

3. Spray 1 baking sheet with cooking spray. Using 1 tablespoon cookie dough at a time, roll into balls and place 2-inches apart on baking sheet. Press cookies down with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly, as cookies will not spread as much as cookies with more butter.
4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned but still soft. Remove from oven and cool on racks.