Posts tagged recipe

Lasagna di Broccoli.
I made this for lunch yesterday, as mom wanted broccoli lasagna. I’ve never made great lasagna before. But this one turned out special. If food could sparkle, this one would be blinding.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t follow any recipe this time. I just did and added what I think will be yummy. 
How many pieces of pasta depends on the size of casserole you will use for baking the lasagna. I used a deep, square casserole with four layers of pasta. I had some pasta left over which I brushed with oil and wrapped in cling wrap and stored in the fridge for later use.
Although this is broccoli lasagna, by brother requested some meat. Lol. If you’re looking for just a veggie lasagna, skip the meat part and you’ll be fine.
It’s by pure chance I used tomato paste. We ran out of tomato sauce, which is a good thing, because now I know tomato paste is a bajillion times better for lasagna than tomato sauce. It’s not runny and it tastes amazing.
I also added béchamel sauce to this lasagna because when I learned how to make a good one from a French cookbook years ago, I did say I would like to add it to a lasagna. And I just remembered yesterday. Here goes.
Ingredients: 12 pcs lasagna pasta1/4 kilo ground pork1 tbsp. butter1 tbsp. olive oil1 minced onion1 tbsp. soy sauce1 cup pork/beef broth or half a cube of broth cube4 cloves minced garlic1/4 cup evaporated milk or cream2 large tomatoes1 pack or small can of tomato paste3 heads of broccoli, cut in pieces, stem removed, steamed3 eggs 1 1/2 cup cheeses (combination of soft to hard cheeses like cheddar, mozarella, aged cheeses like romano, parmesan etc.)6 tbsp. flour 4 tbsp butter2 bay leaves2 cups milknutmegpeppersalt 
Boil pasta in salted water. When done, take out of water, brush both sides with oil to prevent from sticking together and stack, set aside.
Make the meat part. Melt butter with olive oil in pan. Add garlic, prod around for a few seconds, add onion. When it starts to smell good, just after a minute and a few seconds, add the meat. Keep on stirring so it doesn’t clump together. Add broth or broth cube. If using broth cube, add 1/4 cup water. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Uncovered, let simmer for 5 more mins or so until the liquid has been reduced and oil starts to come out. Season with salt and pepper. Add cream or milk. Add tomato paste. Stir. Simmer for another few minutes. Set aside.
Make béchamel. In a saucepan, melt the 4 tbsp butter. Add the flour and whisk. Cook until it turns golden. Keep whisking so it doesn’t burn and cooks smooth and evenly. This took about 6mins, as I recall. Add half of the milk (1 cup) and whisk very quickly and vigorously. Make it super smooth and then add the rest of milk. Add 2 bay leaves fresh finely ground pepper, salt and about 2 dashes nutmeg. Cover and simmer for 2 mins. Whisk frequently. Set aside.
Get the steamed broccoli and make them into small pieces using you clean hands, they should be soft enough to no longer be making snapping sounds when you pull them apart. You should be able to break them easily.
In a large bowl, break the 3 eggs and whisk. Add salt and pepper. Add the cheeses and mix mix mix. Add the broccoli into this cheese and egg mixture and coat evenly.
Get your casserole and all the parts of lasagna: pasta, meat, béchamel and broccoli. Depending on how many layers you want, divide each of them into equal parts. (I made 4 layers of pasta. So that’s 3 layers of the in-between-stuff. So my meat, bechamel and broccoli are divided into 3 parts each.) Brush bottom and sides of casserole with olive oil. Lay one layer of lasagna pasta at the bottom. Add 1 portion of meat and spread. Add 1 portion broccoli over that and spread somewhat evenly. Finally add 1 portion of béchamel and also spread somewhat evenly. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Repeat until all layers are done.
Add the final layer of lasagna on top. Shred some cheeses on top, sprinkled with a pinch of two of salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake, COVERED, in oven preheated to 150C for 45 minutes or so. Or until the divine smells come wafting over to the den where you’re sitting watching TV, as you wait for the pasta to be done.
It’s fine if the cheese that got stuck on the sides of the casserole turn brown or black. It’s not very pretty but it’s fine. Like mine:

Take out of oven. Rest for 15minutes, still COVERED. Slice and serve. 
I cannot stress enough that this has to be covered while baking and after baking. If not, the things gets dried out and tough and eww.
It’s worth the effort. :3

Lasagna di Broccoli.

I made this for lunch yesterday, as mom wanted broccoli lasagna. I’ve never made great lasagna before. But this one turned out special. If food could sparkle, this one would be blinding.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t follow any recipe this time. I just did and added what I think will be yummy. 

How many pieces of pasta depends on the size of casserole you will use for baking the lasagna. I used a deep, square casserole with four layers of pasta. I had some pasta left over which I brushed with oil and wrapped in cling wrap and stored in the fridge for later use.

Although this is broccoli lasagna, by brother requested some meat. Lol. If you’re looking for just a veggie lasagna, skip the meat part and you’ll be fine.

It’s by pure chance I used tomato paste. We ran out of tomato sauce, which is a good thing, because now I know tomato paste is a bajillion times better for lasagna than tomato sauce. It’s not runny and it tastes amazing.

I also added béchamel sauce to this lasagna because when I learned how to make a good one from a French cookbook years ago, I did say I would like to add it to a lasagna. And I just remembered yesterday. Here goes.

Ingredients:
12 pcs lasagna pasta
1/4 kilo ground pork
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 minced onion
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup pork/beef broth or half a cube of broth cube
4 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup evaporated milk or cream
2 large tomatoes
1 pack or small can of tomato paste
3 heads of broccoli, cut in pieces, stem removed, steamed
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup cheeses (combination of soft to hard cheeses like cheddar, mozarella, aged cheeses like romano, parmesan etc.)
6 tbsp. flour
4 tbsp butter
2 bay leaves
2 cups milk
nutmeg
pepper
salt 

Boil pasta in salted water. When done, take out of water, brush both sides with oil to prevent from sticking together and stack, set aside.

Make the meat part. Melt butter with olive oil in pan. Add garlic, prod around for a few seconds, add onion. When it starts to smell good, just after a minute and a few seconds, add the meat. Keep on stirring so it doesn’t clump together. Add broth or broth cube. If using broth cube, add 1/4 cup water. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Uncovered, let simmer for 5 more mins or so until the liquid has been reduced and oil starts to come out. Season with salt and pepper. Add cream or milk. Add tomato paste. Stir. Simmer for another few minutes. Set aside.

Make béchamel. In a saucepan, melt the 4 tbsp butter. Add the flour and whisk. Cook until it turns golden. Keep whisking so it doesn’t burn and cooks smooth and evenly. This took about 6mins, as I recall. Add half of the milk (1 cup) and whisk very quickly and vigorously. Make it super smooth and then add the rest of milk. Add 2 bay leaves fresh finely ground pepper, salt and about 2 dashes nutmeg. Cover and simmer for 2 mins. Whisk frequently. Set aside.

Get the steamed broccoli and make them into small pieces using you clean hands, they should be soft enough to no longer be making snapping sounds when you pull them apart. You should be able to break them easily.

In a large bowl, break the 3 eggs and whisk. Add salt and pepper. Add the cheeses and mix mix mix. Add the broccoli into this cheese and egg mixture and coat evenly.

Get your casserole and all the parts of lasagna: pasta, meat, béchamel and broccoli. Depending on how many layers you want, divide each of them into equal parts. (I made 4 layers of pasta. So that’s 3 layers of the in-between-stuff. So my meat, bechamel and broccoli are divided into 3 parts each.) Brush bottom and sides of casserole with olive oil. Lay one layer of lasagna pasta at the bottom. Add 1 portion of meat and spread. Add 1 portion broccoli over that and spread somewhat evenly. Finally add 1 portion of béchamel and also spread somewhat evenly. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Repeat until all layers are done.

Add the final layer of lasagna on top. Shred some cheeses on top, sprinkled with a pinch of two of salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake, COVERED, in oven preheated to 150C for 45 minutes or so. Or until the divine smells come wafting over to the den where you’re sitting watching TV, as you wait for the pasta to be done.

It’s fine if the cheese that got stuck on the sides of the casserole turn brown or black. It’s not very pretty but it’s fine. Like mine:

Lasagna di Broccoli

Take out of oven. Rest for 15minutes, still COVERED. Slice and serve. 

I cannot stress enough that this has to be covered while baking and after baking. If not, the things gets dried out and tough and eww.

It’s worth the effort. :3

Traditional Scottish Shortbread.
How can anyone live without butter? I always get at least six bars of it when we do the grocery. It’s just wonderful on anything and a good or bad one can make or break any baking endeavour. And a good shortbread begins with the butter.
Baking to me is the closest thing I can get to magic. But making shortbread is nothing short of a miracle. You have four ingredients for it, when you put it in the oven, it doesn’t look like much but all doubts evaporate with one bite of that crisp, buttery amazingness. I always wonder how on earth flour, butter, sugar + heat can taste like that.
The first shortbread I ever tried came from a huge tin of Walkers that was given to us as a present. I immediately looked for the ‘Ingredients’ part on the tin. I was so sure they were hiding something because all it said was flour, sugar, salt and butter! Anyway, it’s become one of my most favourite things since. It’s hard for me to find shortbread that good. The ones at Marks & Spencer are pretty decent, though. But I always have to bake my own version or everything.. so why not shortbread.
I looked for recipes. I always read through recipes to see if it’s any good before even starting. The first 20 were rubbish. Any recipe telling you to add nutmeg or vanilla or berries or whatever extra things, especially liquid things, is no good if you’re looking for the traditional shortbread, like me. In short, I’ve tried 3 recipes and there is one that has a really good ratio of ingredients. Simple and doubles really well, as long as the ratio is kept. I’ve used it countless times and tweaked it a little myself. I’ll share it here:
Ingredients: 150g flour, 50g rice flour, 110g salted butter, 50g caster sugar
Before making, I advise to store all ingredients in the fridge so that everything will be cold. Even the bowl and whisk you’re going to use. Really.
Sift all flours together, add sugar, mix with a whisk.
You now need to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture. There are several ways to do this. The idea is to not let the butter get too warm but have it be soft enough to be incorporated. You can chop up the butter into little cubes, and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour. But I discovered that butter straight from the fridge is hard enough to grate using a cheese grater/shaver. So I prefer doing that. And I can always stick the entire bowl with the flour and grated butter into the fridge to make it cold again (and I often do). Then it’s easier to use your hands to rub the butter into the flour. Do this very quickly, so you don’t warm the butter.
By ‘rubbing’ I mean getting flour and butter on your palms, fingers closed, With your hands perpendicular to each other and rubbing them together like you’re washing clothes. If you don’t know what perpendicular means I can’t help you.
Don’t handle it too long. As soon as it’s mostly evenly combined, stop. It will be sandy. It won’t form a dough or anything. You will doubt it will become anything more than buttery flour, but have faith.
Get your baking tins and line with parchment paper. It’s fine to not trim the edges so you have some paper sticking out, it’s useful later. Press the flour mixture into the tins well. Press press press until it looks solid enough. Even out the surface. Stick in the fridge for 10mins at least. An hour is good. But if you can’t wait, 5mins in the freezer and 5mins in the fridge is fine. 
Bake in oven preheated to 160C for 40 mins or so. Just as it starts turning golden, take out of oven. Immediately sprinkle some caster sugar on top, slice into squares, bars or coattails. Poke the top some with a fork. Let stand until room temperature. Take hold of the parchment paper edges and lift out of baking tins. Devour. Or store in airtight containers.
This is the shortbread I made just a few hours ago. It’s so good. 

Goodluck to those who will try!

Traditional Scottish Shortbread.

How can anyone live without butter? I always get at least six bars of it when we do the grocery. It’s just wonderful on anything and a good or bad one can make or break any baking endeavour. And a good shortbread begins with the butter.

Baking to me is the closest thing I can get to magic. But making shortbread is nothing short of a miracle. You have four ingredients for it, when you put it in the oven, it doesn’t look like much but all doubts evaporate with one bite of that crisp, buttery amazingness. I always wonder how on earth flour, butter, sugar + heat can taste like that.

The first shortbread I ever tried came from a huge tin of Walkers that was given to us as a present. I immediately looked for the ‘Ingredients’ part on the tin. I was so sure they were hiding something because all it said was flour, sugar, salt and butter! Anyway, it’s become one of my most favourite things since. It’s hard for me to find shortbread that good. The ones at Marks & Spencer are pretty decent, though. But I always have to bake my own version or everything.. so why not shortbread.

I looked for recipes. I always read through recipes to see if it’s any good before even starting. The first 20 were rubbish. Any recipe telling you to add nutmeg or vanilla or berries or whatever extra things, especially liquid things, is no good if you’re looking for the traditional shortbread, like me. In short, I’ve tried 3 recipes and there is one that has a really good ratio of ingredients. Simple and doubles really well, as long as the ratio is kept. I’ve used it countless times and tweaked it a little myself. I’ll share it here:

Ingredients: 150g flour, 50g rice flour, 110g salted butter, 50g caster sugar

Before making, I advise to store all ingredients in the fridge so that everything will be cold. Even the bowl and whisk you’re going to use. Really.

Sift all flours together, add sugar, mix with a whisk.

You now need to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture. There are several ways to do this. The idea is to not let the butter get too warm but have it be soft enough to be incorporated. You can chop up the butter into little cubes, and using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour. But I discovered that butter straight from the fridge is hard enough to grate using a cheese grater/shaver. So I prefer doing that. And I can always stick the entire bowl with the flour and grated butter into the fridge to make it cold again (and I often do). Then it’s easier to use your hands to rub the butter into the flour. Do this very quickly, so you don’t warm the butter.

By ‘rubbing’ I mean getting flour and butter on your palms, fingers closed, With your hands perpendicular to each other and rubbing them together like you’re washing clothes. If you don’t know what perpendicular means I can’t help you.

Don’t handle it too long. As soon as it’s mostly evenly combined, stop. It will be sandy. It won’t form a dough or anything. You will doubt it will become anything more than buttery flour, but have faith.

Get your baking tins and line with parchment paper. It’s fine to not trim the edges so you have some paper sticking out, it’s useful later. Press the flour mixture into the tins well. Press press press until it looks solid enough. Even out the surface. Stick in the fridge for 10mins at least. An hour is good. But if you can’t wait, 5mins in the freezer and 5mins in the fridge is fine. 

Bake in oven preheated to 160C for 40 mins or so. Just as it starts turning golden, take out of oven. Immediately sprinkle some caster sugar on top, slice into squares, bars or coattails. Poke the top some with a fork. Let stand until room temperature. Take hold of the parchment paper edges and lift out of baking tins. Devour. Or store in airtight containers.

This is the shortbread I made just a few hours ago. It’s so good. 

Scottish Shortbread

Goodluck to those who will try!

Dad’s Udon.
Ingredients:

Clockwise from left: narutomaki, dashi, enoki mushrooms & udon. And there’s shrimp (not shown), cuttlefish balls (not shown), fish sauce etc.
My dad, several used pots later in the aftermath of a secret process clouded by fogs of steam, clinking bottles and mysterious cackles of glee, ladled this steaming goodness in my waiting purple bowl. 
Bowl is spotless again after a few minutes of enthusiastic slurps.

Dad’s Udon.

Ingredients:

Japanese Soup

Clockwise from left: narutomaki, dashi, enoki mushrooms & udon. And there’s shrimp (not shown), cuttlefish balls (not shown), fish sauce etc.

My dad, several used pots later in the aftermath of a secret process clouded by fogs of steam, clinking bottles and mysterious cackles of glee, ladled this steaming goodness in my waiting purple bowl. 

Bowl is spotless again after a few minutes of enthusiastic slurps.

Japanese Soup

My brunch. This is tuna with alfalfa and a slice of cheese on wheat bread. 
;
For the tuna spread I just drained the vegetable oil from a can of tuna fillet. Added 3 heaping (and I mean HEAPING) tablespoons of mayo to the tuna. Sprinkled a pinch of salt. Cracked a generous amount of pepper from a wonderful medley of various peppercorns. Mixed well. And that’s it!
Spread the tuna over a slice of wheat bread + added alfalfa magic + slice of light cheese = a healthy super yummy sandwich.
Edit: You can find alfalfa in the PH from Santi’s Delicatessen or S&R. At least those are two places that I know of that regularly has them. Gourmet’s at Tagaytay also has but, it’s all the way in Tagaytay. Lol.
 

My brunch. This is tuna with alfalfa and a slice of cheese on wheat bread. 

Tuna + Alfalfa Sandwich;

For the tuna spread I just drained the vegetable oil from a can of tuna fillet. Added 3 heaping (and I mean HEAPING) tablespoons of mayo to the tuna. Sprinkled a pinch of salt. Cracked a generous amount of pepper from a wonderful medley of various peppercorns. Mixed well. And that’s it!

Spread the tuna over a slice of wheat bread + added alfalfa magic + slice of light cheese = a healthy super yummy sandwich.

Edit: You can find alfalfa in the PH from Santi’s Delicatessen or S&R. At least those are two places that I know of that regularly has them. Gourmet’s at Tagaytay also has but, it’s all the way in Tagaytay. Lol.

Tuna + Alfalfa Sandwich 

I’m not kidding. These meatballs are G.O.O.D.
Let’s get down to it and make some balls!

Make the meatballs first. You need 1/2 kilo ground beef, about 6 cloves minces garlic, 1 beaten egg, 1 crumbed slice wheat bread, 1/2 cup Parmesan, some chopped parsley and basil, salt and pepper. Mush everything up, make into balls and set aside in the fridge.

Make the sauce. Melt butter with olive oil, fry minced garlic and onion. Don’t let it burn but don’t let it get too soft either. Add tomato sauce, Provencal spices, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper one at a time, stirring all the while. Toss in any other aged cheeses you want to! Add some skimmed milk and sugar too! Simmer. Then add the meatballs. Simmer for an hour.  While you wait for the meatballs, make the garlic bread.

With enough butter and olive oil to make 1/2 cup in total, fry minced garlic until sooooft but not brown. Remove from saucepan, pour into a mixing bowl. Use a whisk and beat well while slowly add mayonnaise. Add the minced parsley. Slice crusty French bread, smear on the garlic spread and toast.  Combine all in a plate, et voila:

Meatballs of Fire!

I’m not kidding. These meatballs are G.O.O.D.

Let’s get down to it and make some balls!

meatballs

Make the meatballs first. You need 1/2 kilo ground beef, about 6 cloves minces garlic, 1 beaten egg, 1 crumbed slice wheat bread, 1/2 cup Parmesan, some chopped parsley and basil, salt and pepper. Mush everything up, make into balls and set aside in the fridge.

meatballs of fire

Make the sauce. Melt butter with olive oil, fry minced garlic and onion. Don’t let it burn but don’t let it get too soft either. Add tomato sauce, Provencal spices, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper one at a time, stirring all the while. Toss in any other aged cheeses you want to! Add some skimmed milk and sugar too! Simmer. Then add the meatballs. Simmer for an hour. While you wait for the meatballs, make the garlic bread.

garlic bread

With enough butter and olive oil to make 1/2 cup in total, fry minced garlic until sooooft but not brown. Remove from saucepan, pour into a mixing bowl. Use a whisk and beat well while slowly add mayonnaise. Add the minced parsley. Slice crusty French bread, smear on the garlic spread and toast. Combine all in a plate, et voila:

spaghetti meatballs

Meatballs of Fire!

I’m fine with the usual dry-ish, hard-ish type of ‘scrambled eggs’ when it’s made to be savoury and paired with rice. (Read: it has onions and tomatoes or wrapped around steamed asparagus.) But when it’s just the eggs, scrambled that way, it’s not so appetising. French scrambled eggs are different in the way that the eggs are creamy and mushy, not tough and not taking the shape of the pan it’s cooked in. It does take a little bit longer to prepare, as it’s cooked over low heat but it’s well worth the extra wait.  This is usually how I make French scrambled eggs. Just melt some butter in a pan over low heat and add minced garlic. Fry until soft but not brown. Break some eggs into a bowl, take any shell bits out and pour into the pan. Using a whisk, start muddling up the eggs. As it sets a little bit, add a touch of cream. Muddle some more and add the tarragon. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper. The eggs should be creamy and a little lumpy. I like more lumps in the eggs, though. So if your eggs are creamier than as the photo shows, don’t worry, it’s supposed to be like that. Keep whisking and when it’s cooked to your liking, take it out. Place on a plate, and immediately sprinkle with mozarella cheese shavings on, so that it can melt while the eggs are hot. Serve with toast or with rice, it’s up to you!

The tarragon makes a whole lot of difference…

I’m fine with the usual dry-ish, hard-ish type of ‘scrambled eggs’ when it’s made to be savoury and paired with rice. (Read: it has onions and tomatoes or wrapped around steamed asparagus.) But when it’s just the eggs, scrambled that way, it’s not so appetising. French scrambled eggs are different in the way that the eggs are creamy and mushy, not tough and not taking the shape of the pan it’s cooked in. It does take a little bit longer to prepare, as it’s cooked over low heat but it’s well worth the extra wait. This is usually how I make French scrambled eggs. Just melt some butter in a pan over low heat and add minced garlic. Fry until soft but not brown. Break some eggs into a bowl, take any shell bits out and pour into the pan. Using a whisk, start muddling up the eggs. As it sets a little bit, add a touch of cream. Muddle some more and add the tarragon. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper. The eggs should be creamy and a little lumpy. I like more lumps in the eggs, though. So if your eggs are creamier than as the photo shows, don’t worry, it’s supposed to be like that. Keep whisking and when it’s cooked to your liking, take it out. Place on a plate, and immediately sprinkle with mozarella cheese shavings on, so that it can melt while the eggs are hot. Serve with toast or with rice, it’s up to you!

Oeufs Brouillés

The tarragon makes a whole lot of difference…

Cornbread is one of many quickbreads that is ubiquitous in other countries. Here, I can’t remember ever finding cornbread in groceries or restaurants, except for Kenny Rogers’ tiny muffins. Finding cornmeal to make cornbread with is another almost-futile quest. I say almost because although I’ve never seen cornmeal sold in groceries, I don’t look for it every single time we do the grocery. But more often than not, they don’t have it, and even when I ask the attendants, they’ve never even heard of it.   Which makes me think. We grow a lot of corn in the country. People make mais (corn) rice and they use cornmeal for that. I’ve had that once before in Cebu. Dad said that’s what their daily fare usually was back in the day, instead of actual rice. I remember it being soft, just like rice but with a different taste and a lil gritty. So, where’s the cornmeal at?

Everytime I say how much I like the cornbread muffins at Kenny Rogers’, Mom tells me about the cornbread served at Marie Callender’s and how it’s so much better. She likes cornbread and misses it too. So when we saw the Krusteaz cornbread mix being sold at S&R, we got excited. Finally we can make cornbread at home. But had to try it first so we only got a box. S&R sells it for around Php 600.  I baked it in a cake pan. It is so easy! It really is just add water and bake. It’s easier than making boxed pancakes! Here it is with some butter melting on top:

It is very good and moist. I love the grittiness. So much can be done with this, I’ve tried making it into muffins and that went well too. I bet it would be great if I add some corn kernels in. I’ll try frying it, too, and see how that goes.. lol. The best thing about it is it’s so simple. I can whip up a batch any time. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Although I do love making things from scratch. The convenience of being able to make something like this from a mixture in a box is amazing, though. We got two more boxes of the mix.  It’s great by itself warm or from the fridge and yum with some butter. But I’m a sweet tooth. So I made a simple sweet thing to drizzle over it. It’s more a like a cake now this way:

To make the drizzle, all you need is some powdered sugar and milk or cream. Just mix as much as you need, stirring well. You’re aiming to have a nice, white syrupy liquid. More powder to make it thicker or more cream to thin the glaze. This is great on donuts too! You can play it up by adding vanilla extract or real bean scrapings. If you want to colour it, dip a toothpick in some gel food colour and swirl it in the glaze.  As a muffin with butter:

And there you go… :)

Cornbread is one of many quickbreads that is ubiquitous in other countries. Here, I can’t remember ever finding cornbread in groceries or restaurants, except for Kenny Rogers’ tiny muffins. Finding cornmeal to make cornbread with is another almost-futile quest. I say almost because although I’ve never seen cornmeal sold in groceries, I don’t look for it every single time we do the grocery. But more often than not, they don’t have it, and even when I ask the attendants, they’ve never even heard of it. Which makes me think. We grow a lot of corn in the country. People make mais (corn) rice and they use cornmeal for that. I’ve had that once before in Cebu. Dad said that’s what their daily fare usually was back in the day, instead of actual rice. I remember it being soft, just like rice but with a different taste and a lil gritty. So, where’s the cornmeal at?

Everytime I say how much I like the cornbread muffins at Kenny Rogers’, Mom tells me about the cornbread served at Marie Callender’s and how it’s so much better. She likes cornbread and misses it too. So when we saw the Krusteaz cornbread mix being sold at S&R, we got excited. Finally we can make cornbread at home. But had to try it first so we only got a box. S&R sells it for around Php 600. I baked it in a cake pan. It is so easy! It really is just add water and bake. It’s easier than making boxed pancakes! Here it is with some butter melting on top:

cornbread!

It is very good and moist. I love the grittiness. So much can be done with this, I’ve tried making it into muffins and that went well too. I bet it would be great if I add some corn kernels in. I’ll try frying it, too, and see how that goes.. lol. The best thing about it is it’s so simple. I can whip up a batch any time. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Although I do love making things from scratch. The convenience of being able to make something like this from a mixture in a box is amazing, though. We got two more boxes of the mix. It’s great by itself warm or from the fridge and yum with some butter. But I’m a sweet tooth. So I made a simple sweet thing to drizzle over it. It’s more a like a cake now this way:

cornbread slice with glaze

To make the drizzle, all you need is some powdered sugar and milk or cream. Just mix as much as you need, stirring well. You’re aiming to have a nice, white syrupy liquid. More powder to make it thicker or more cream to thin the glaze. This is great on donuts too! You can play it up by adding vanilla extract or real bean scrapings. If you want to colour it, dip a toothpick in some gel food colour and swirl it in the glaze. As a muffin with butter:

Oven-fresh cornbread w/ melting butter on top

And there you go… :)

Wheat bread with butter & honey, untoasted + english breakfast tea with the works: milk and sugar. That’s breakfast for today.

  .. and then I poured the hot tea over ice cubes as it really is getting so hot now. I just wanted something warm to sip, I have this feeling my stomach wouldn’t agree to anything ice-cold as the first meal. It is so hot! The cool gale-force winds have stopped. It’s sticky and it’s wet. I feel like I’m in a swamp place. It’s been eerily still since yesterday. As though everything’s waiting for the sky to pour down. Anyway.  We learned to eat bread with butter and honey from a Dutch friend a few years back. He’d have it every day. They also have a tip for keeping bread fresh as long as possible: keep it in the fridge. Microwave for a few seconds or toast a few slices for breakfast. Keep in the freezer to make it last longer (if you don’t eat bread everyday).  Oh, and about that sky pouring part, I hope it does that later in the night. I’m going to a theme park today!

Wheat bread with butter & honey, untoasted + english breakfast tea with the works: milk and sugar. That’s breakfast for today.

butter and honey

english breakfast + milk english breakfast + milk .. and then I poured the hot tea over ice cubes as it really is getting so hot now. I just wanted something warm to sip, I have this feeling my stomach wouldn’t agree to anything ice-cold as the first meal. It is so hot! The cool gale-force winds have stopped. It’s sticky and it’s wet. I feel like I’m in a swamp place. It’s been eerily still since yesterday. As though everything’s waiting for the sky to pour down. Anyway. We learned to eat bread with butter and honey from a Dutch friend a few years back. He’d have it every day. They also have a tip for keeping bread fresh as long as possible: keep it in the fridge. Microwave for a few seconds or toast a few slices for breakfast. Keep in the freezer to make it last longer (if you don’t eat bread everyday). Oh, and about that sky pouring part, I hope it does that later in the night. I’m going to a theme park today!

Kristine and I were watching Masterchef US reruns and one of the challenges was they had to make fresh pasta. We decided to try it ourselves!     And it would be nice for once to say ‘I made pasta’ and actually be telling the truth. People say that all the time. I bet you did yourself but you honestly didn’t actually ‘make’ pasta. You made a sauce and you boiled store-bought pasta (and maybe overcooked it).     So since this my first attempt at any sort of pasta-from-scratch, I thought we’d make ravioli. It seems simple enough. I don’t have a pasta machine so any other kind of pasta might have dodgy results, I thought. And stuffed pockets of anything is always fun to eat! So there’s mainly 3 steps: Make the stuffing, make the sauce and make the pasta.  After we tried the first cooked ravioli, it was like a sort of denouement. We gave birth to pasta. It took a few hours and we totally trashed the kitchen. And we still made cupcakes afterwards.  Here goes..
Ingredients for the pasta: 2 cups sifted flour 3 eggs (you can wash it first if you like), set aside a bit of the egg white
Ingredients for the stuffing: 1/2 tbsp. olive oil 1/2 tbsp. butter about 20 pcs. shrimp, peeled and sliced in small nibbles 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 tbsp. pesto 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Ingredients for the sauce: 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 tbsp. butter 250ml double cream 50g cheese of preference, chopped in pieces (aged cheese, cheddar or a combination of both is fine) 2 tbsp. Parmesan about 3 pinches fresh or dried tarragon some fresh or skim milk
Stuffing. Procedure: 1. Heat a non-stick pan. 2. Add the olive oil and butter. Don’t burn the butter. 3. When the butter is all melted, add the garlic. Don’t burn the garlic. Cook in low heat until soft. 4. Add the shrimp and sautee just until all sides turn opaque and orange. 5. Add the pesto and sautee for around 30 seconds more then remove from flame. Set aside.


Pasta. Procedure: 1. You need a clean counter top. So soap it, scrub it and rinse well. But don’t santitise it with alcohol! Make sure it’s dry. Clean your hands too. 2. Pour the flour in a mound in the middle of your working area. Make a well in the centre. 3. Crack your eggs into a bowl first just in case you get pieces of the shell, it wont be as difficult to pick them out as when the eggs are already in the flour. 4. Put the eggs in the well of the flour and start beating it gently. 5. Start incorporating the flour into the eggs a little bit at a time using a fork or your clean fingers. 6. Put your back into it! Start kneading the dough with your clean hands. Slap it on the counter. Squish it. Pull at it. Squash it. Do this until your shoulders ache! Your whole body must be moving, putting your entire weight in moulding this naughty dough. Some upbeat music would be great for morale at this step, especially if people start laughing at your gyrating hips. Stop when the dough is smooth and well incorporated.



Make/Stuff ravioli and cook. Procedure: 1. Roll the pasta out with a rolling pin, as thin as you possibly can without ripping the dough. I suggest cutting the dough in sections and rolling out one strip at a time. Instead of rolling out the entire dough (you need a long rolling pin for that). 2. Spoon teaspoonfuls of shrimp stuffing on a pasta strip 2 inches apart. 3. Get another pasta strip, and with a pastry brush, brush with a thin layer of egg white. Have it cover the pasta with stuffing. 4. Seal the pockets by pressing around the edges of the stuffing. Cut up and trim into any shape desired with a knife or pizza cutter. 5. Boil water with a pinch of salt. 6. Once boiling, put ravioli in, boil for around 6 minutes each until al dente.

Sauce. Procedure: 1. Heat a saucepan. 2. Add oil and butter. Do not burn butter. 3. Add garlic, cook until soft. 4. Pour the cream and stir well. Simmer and keep stirring. 5. Add the cheeses and stir until all the pieces are melted. if the sauce gets too thick, add some fresh milk. 6. Add the tarragon and simmer.  Serve!

Kristine and I were watching Masterchef US reruns and one of the challenges was they had to make fresh pasta. We decided to try it ourselves! And it would be nice for once to say ‘I made pasta’ and actually be telling the truth. People say that all the time. I bet you did yourself but you honestly didn’t actually ‘make’ pasta. You made a sauce and you boiled store-bought pasta (and maybe overcooked it). So since this my first attempt at any sort of pasta-from-scratch, I thought we’d make ravioli. It seems simple enough. I don’t have a pasta machine so any other kind of pasta might have dodgy results, I thought. And stuffed pockets of anything is always fun to eat! So there’s mainly 3 steps: Make the stuffing, make the sauce and make the pasta. After we tried the first cooked ravioli, it was like a sort of denouement. We gave birth to pasta. It took a few hours and we totally trashed the kitchen. And we still made cupcakes afterwards. Here goes..

Ingredients for the pasta: 2 cups sifted flour 3 eggs (you can wash it first if you like), set aside a bit of the egg white
Ingredients for the stuffing: 1/2 tbsp. olive oil 1/2 tbsp. butter about 20 pcs. shrimp, peeled and sliced in small nibbles 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 tbsp. pesto 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Ingredients for the sauce: 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 tbsp. butter 250ml double cream 50g cheese of preference, chopped in pieces (aged cheese, cheddar or a combination of both is fine) 2 tbsp. Parmesan about 3 pinches fresh or dried tarragon some fresh or skim milk

Stuffing. Procedure: 1. Heat a non-stick pan. 2. Add the olive oil and butter. Don’t burn the butter. 3. When the butter is all melted, add the garlic. Don’t burn the garlic. Cook in low heat until soft. 4. Add the shrimp and sautee just until all sides turn opaque and orange. 5. Add the pesto and sautee for around 30 seconds more then remove from flame. Set aside.

Fresh Ravioli Pasta

Pasta. Procedure: 1. You need a clean counter top. So soap it, scrub it and rinse well. But don’t santitise it with alcohol! Make sure it’s dry. Clean your hands too. 2. Pour the flour in a mound in the middle of your working area. Make a well in the centre. 3. Crack your eggs into a bowl first just in case you get pieces of the shell, it wont be as difficult to pick them out as when the eggs are already in the flour. 4. Put the eggs in the well of the flour and start beating it gently. 5. Start incorporating the flour into the eggs a little bit at a time using a fork or your clean fingers. 6. Put your back into it! Start kneading the dough with your clean hands. Slap it on the counter. Squish it. Pull at it. Squash it. Do this until your shoulders ache! Your whole body must be moving, putting your entire weight in moulding this naughty dough. Some upbeat music would be great for morale at this step, especially if people start laughing at your gyrating hips. Stop when the dough is smooth and well incorporated.

Fresh Ravioli Pasta

Fresh Ravioli Pasta

Make/Stuff ravioli and cook. Procedure: 1. Roll the pasta out with a rolling pin, as thin as you possibly can without ripping the dough. I suggest cutting the dough in sections and rolling out one strip at a time. Instead of rolling out the entire dough (you need a long rolling pin for that). 2. Spoon teaspoonfuls of shrimp stuffing on a pasta strip 2 inches apart. 3. Get another pasta strip, and with a pastry brush, brush with a thin layer of egg white. Have it cover the pasta with stuffing. 4. Seal the pockets by pressing around the edges of the stuffing. Cut up and trim into any shape desired with a knife or pizza cutter. 5. Boil water with a pinch of salt. 6. Once boiling, put ravioli in, boil for around 6 minutes each until al dente.

Sauce. Procedure: 1. Heat a saucepan. 2. Add oil and butter. Do not burn butter. 3. Add garlic, cook until soft. 4. Pour the cream and stir well. Simmer and keep stirring. 5. Add the cheeses and stir until all the pieces are melted. if the sauce gets too thick, add some fresh milk. 6. Add the tarragon and simmer. Serve! Fresh Ravioli Pasta Fresh Ravioli Pasta