November 10, 2015

Deep Fried Apple Pie

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Deep Fried Apple Pie

I never was into McD's apple pie maybe because my tongue got burnt the first time I tried it many many moons ago and I remember it too sweet for my taste.

I didn't know they are now baked instead of deep fried. People who grew up eating the fried version miss the flavor and cooked their own. Serious Eats even bought the baked pies and deep fried them in their kitchen just the way the pies should be.

October 20, 2015

Cherry Sultana Cake

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Cherry Sultana Cake

I first tasted this moist delicious cake over 25 years ago. The cakes which were from Australia came in a sealed tin that you open with a can opener. I remember the cake was chock-full of moist cherries and golden raisins, not cloyingly sweet, and mildly spiked with liqueur. I don't think stores will ever sell this cake where I live; I can't even find them being sold online They are probably no longer sold in tins, I don't know. Thankfully, there are tons of recipes online and I was able to combine them to make my own moist Cherry Sultana Cake.

October 18, 2015

Crunchy Candied Pumpkin and Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Ice Cream

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Candied Pumpkin

I see pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere, and most of the food blogs I visit are still gaga over the Starbucks™ Pumpkin Spice Latte. I haven't tried their seasonal drink [I've never set foot in a Starbucks™ in over 20 years.] but I have made the yummy treat a few times before. The recipe is here.

October 16, 2015

Pastillas De Leche

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Pastillas De Leche

Pastillas de leche literally means milk bars, pills, or tablets. I'd go with the bars, as in chocolate bars They are teeny tiny, usually less than 1 inch long and ½ inch thick, made with fresh milk, sugar, a little butter, and powdered milk, and optional natural fruit flavoring such as purple yam (ube) and jackfruit. The original candies were made with carabao's (water buffalo) milk which has a higher fat content than cow's milk. I made it a few times before. This time I ended up making 3 batches because the first was a complete fail although I rescued it and made it into milk caramel spread. The second one is plain milk and I added Milo malt drink powder into the third batch.

October 11, 2015

Kouign Amann

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Kouign amann

I was binge-watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. I love the show (except for the finale). The hosts are funny and entertaining and the baketestants sometimes are too.

One of the "technical" bakes was Kouign amann. None of the bakers knew or even heard of the Breton bread, much less how to pronounce it. I was surprised because I baked this delicious crunchy with caramelized sugar bread almost 8 years ago when I read about it on David Lebovitz's blog. I've never baked it into small muffin size though and don't remember it being flaky or with visible layers like croissants.

The recipe is Paul Hollywood's, one of the two judges on the show. BTW, most of the recipes are posted on PBS website. I like these too but I remember the Kouign amann made with David's recipe tasted better probably because it has more sugar than Paul's.

September 8, 2015

Caramel Apple Butter And Apple Mint Jelly

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Apple Butter and Jelly
Caramel Apple Butter

Autumn is almost here, I can already smell it. It's time to make apple butter, jam, and jelly when a wide variety of apples are available in farmer's markets (or grocery stores that sell local produce). Caramel apple butter sounds really good when I heard about it. It really is and with a little sea salt it tastes fantastic. I added a few sprigs of fresh spearmint from my garden while cooking the jelly. I love its subtle flavor. So good.

August 31, 2015

Snow Skin Mooncake

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Snow Skin Mooncakes

I have been trying for a few years now to find or make the toasted glutinous rice for snow skin mooncake without any success. I finally decided to cook the dough/skin on the stove and it actually works. The skin is soft and easy to use. I don't really mind the additional step. The mooncakes are great but I still prefer the baked ones because of their soft cake-y shells.

Snow Skin Mooncakes

August 27, 2015

Crispy Sauerkraut Fritters

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Crispy Sauerkraut Fritters

At last, after 1 month of waiting, my lacto fermented sauerkraut is ready and it is delicious, crunchy, and sour. I rarely eat sauerkraut and never knew homemade could be so yummy. Adding it into crispy fritters with smoked sausage and bacon makes it extra scrumptious. Although I might have lost some of the lacto fermentation beneficial nutrients, the fritters are worth the loss. They are crispy and tangy, and with the honey mustard sauce, they're quite addicting. I could easily scarf down half a dozen, maybe more, in one sitting.

August 23, 2015

Golden Syrup

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Golden Syrup
Golden Syrup
the recipe for the dark thick syrup in the middle is provided below

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is 35 days from today, on September 27, 2015, which means plenty of time to make delicious mooncakes. I use Lyle's Golden Syrup which is too expensive, about $7.00 for an 11-ounce jar, so I looked online for homemade golden syrup so I can make lots of mooncakes. Golden syrup is an invert sugar syrup that needs acid to prevent crystallization.

Lyle's Golden Syrup

August 13, 2015

Sourdough Barley Bread

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Sourdough Barley Bread

I borrowed from our library a German cookbook titled NEW GERMAN COOKING by Jeremy and Jessica Nolen, published in January 2015. I was not planning to cook German food; I was just curious and because I love reading cookbooks. Two recipes caught my eye: Crispy Sauerkraut Fritters and Sourdough Barley Bread. My sauerkraut still needs a week to ferment, so bread it is. I'll make the fritters next week. The store-bought sauerkraut won't do.

August 10, 2015

Lacto Fermented Vegetables

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Lacto Fermented Vegetables
Supercrispilicious!

Fermenting with sea salt brine called buro in Tagalog language has been a Philippine method of preserving vegetables for as long as I can remember. I specially like the spicy mustard greens bought from the wet market. My mother added them to sour soups. I really love burong mustasa with the Chinese-Filipino steamed bun sandwich, cua pao. Another favorite of mine is green mango. I have made both several times but with a shorter period of fermentation and never used the airlock system. 

July 3, 2015

Dinuguan (Blood) Sausage

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Dinuguan (Blood) Sausage

Pork blood stew (dinuguan), is a Filipino dish I rarely eat. I cooked it once and I actually liked it. It's made with pork blood and meat, and stewed in vinegar and spices. It's usually eaten in the Philippines together with steamed white rice cakes. Recently, I've read about dinuguan made into sausages and smoked, kinda like the Spanish morcilla. What a brilliant idea!

May 22, 2015

Limoncello Lemonade

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Limoncello Lemonade 

I don't know why I make Limoncello and other fruit flavored liqueur. I hardly drink alcohol and forget I have them to enjoy once in a while. This batch is almost 3 years old and it's time to check if it has aged enough. I ended up diluting it with mint-infused sugar syrup and freshly squeezed lemon juice. I like it. Sweet, tart, and refreshing with a hint of mint.  

May 18, 2015

Rice Krispies Ice Cream Bars

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Homemade Pinipig Crunch Ice Cream Bars

It's ice cream season! Actually I make all year round but I make more frequently during late Spring and all Summer long. 

March 27, 2015

Salt Cod Croquettes

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Salt Cod Croquettes

For those who still have fish for Fridays during Lent season, here is a recipe for salt cod croquettes. Although I've had croquettes before in restaurants, I've never tried making them at home. If you can't find salt cod in grocery stores you can salt and dry your own. They are good specially with Tartar sauce mixed with sriracha or Frank's hot sauce for a little kick.

March 16, 2015

Strawberry Ice Scramble

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Strawberry Ice Scramble

1 more day and it's officially Spring. Everyday, temperature has been rising and the last patches of snow have finally melted over the weekend. I'll miss the white stuff...not really, but it's time to try the Filipino icy street snack or drink. It's called Ice Scramble which is shaved ice mixed with evaporated milk, sugar, and flavoring, usually banana, and red food color, then topped with milk solids and chocolate syrup.

March 9, 2015

Flour Tortillas

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Flour Tortillas

I cooked Puerco Pibil for the umpteenth time which I always have with white rice. I suddenly wanted the pork dish wrapped in flour tortillas. I made a small batch of tortillas using a recipe that doesn't have baking powder (not recommended). Rolling the dough into thin rounds was time consuming and the dough tends to shrink when transferring to the skillet. Then I remembered I have an electric tortilla maker I bought from eBay many years ago. It was for baking something else, not for making tortillas, but I have forgotten about it after storing it. Story of my life: Buy it, store it, and forget it!

February 28, 2015

Portuguese Muffins and Korean Walnut Bread

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Portuguese Muffins

King Arthur Flour catalog sells Portuguese muffins mix. I've never heard of these flat bread before. They are similar to English muffins but a bit sweeter and don't have "nooks and crannies". The Portuguese call them Bolo LĂȘvedo. They are cooked just like English muffins, in a griddle or cast iron skillet on a stove top, not in the oven. KAF recipe bakes them in the oven.

February 25, 2015

Sriracha Caramel Corn Puffs

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Sriracha Caramel Corn Puffs

Sriracha sauce, caramel, corn puffs together. The best combination. Sweet, slightly spicy, buttery. You can't eat just one bowl. Why didn't I think of making this earlier?

Sriracha


February 20, 2015

White Chili Spaghetti Bake

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White Chili Spaghetti Bake

The current chilly temperature isn't likely to leave us any time soon. Times like these make me hope global warming is real because we could use some "climate change" right now. *Where the heck is algore BTW?*

February 18, 2015

Kung Hei Fat Choi 2015

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Chinese New Year 2015

For this year's Chinese New Year, steamed rice cakes, the ones with cracked tops, tested my patience. I almost gave up but third time's the charm. I don't know what I did wrong the first 2 times but the tops were smooth and a bit too sweet for my taste. I removed 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and somehow they came out soft, fluffy, and have cracks (smiles) on top.

February 16, 2015

Homemade Powdered Ginger

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Homemade Ginger Powder

I use fresh ginger regularly but not a lot of the commercial ginger powder. A small container becomes stale, bland, and not as aromatic before I'm able to use it all up. I can't remember the last time I bought and I was shocked that it costs so much. The smallest container of McCormick® is $7.00 and some fancy bottled "gourmet" brand is $15.00. Really?

February 5, 2015

Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake

The last time I made Black Forest cake was maybe 4 or 5 years ago. The urge to make was triggered by a cookbook called The Art Of French Pastry by Jacquy Pfeiffer. I borrowed the book after reading so many glowing reviews specially the Black Forest cake which one rater said "the best recipe ever". Well, I didn't try the recipe, returned the book, and rated it 1-star because the recipes are the same ones you can find in many many baking books. The author offers nothing new or revolutionary and I didn't like the endless anecdotes about his childhood, etc. I can't understand why cookbook authors have to talk about their past and the people who influenced them. They should either write a cookbook or a separate memoir, but please don't mix the two. But the most disappointing is the supposed to be great Black Forest Cake. Pfeiffer adds gelatin to both the cherry liqueur syrup and the heavy cream frosting. I'm sorry, but no. The cake shouldn't have gelatin, nah uh.

 
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