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Week 35 of 52: Bread cups

This week I cooked up a batch of Chocolate Chunk cookies and as usual, I had to figure out what to do with the three yolks I had left over. Usually I would whip them up into a caesar salad dressing, but I didn’t have any salad materials on hand ready. I decided I’ll make some sort of snack from bread shaped into cups. I got this idea from Home Cooking Rocks.

Basically I cut off the crusts off four slices of loaf bread and flattened them out with a rolling pin. I spread some melted butter on both sides then very carefully arranged them into a muffin pan. I actually tore the first slice slightly, but I plowed on ahead anyway. On two of these bread cups I sprinkled some white sugar. Into the oven they went (nicely preheated from baking the cookies) and baked until I could see the sides of the cups browned. Off they went onto a plastic tray to cool.

In the meantime I heated up a pan with the leftover melted butter and a drizzle of olive oil. I sauteed half of a large white onion until limp, then added a small can worth of sliced button mushrooms. I left it to cook while I took those three leftover yolks, added another whole egg, about a fourth of a cup of fresh milk, a bit of shredded cheese, and some salt, pepper, and dried thyme and beat them all together. After the mushrooms and onions were in the pan for about five minutes, I poured in the egg mixture and scrambled them all up. I made sure to keep stirring the contents so the egg will cook evenly. It came out very yellow of course, with four yolks. Once the egg was well cooked, I scooped out some, filled the two bread cups without the sprinkled sugar, and topped it with a bit more shredded cheese.

Onto the other two cups I placed some sliced tropical fruit from Del Monte I think. I wanted to see how the bread cup idea would work with dessert type arrangement.

The mushroom-onion-egg bread cups were very tasty. It’s very filling even though it didn’t have any meat. I think this will do well as a side dish, or with enough bread cups it may even do for an entire meal. My husband liked this too. The fruit-filled bread cups were okay, but a little jolting. I guess it wasn’t really a usual arrangement since the fruit wasn’t baked into the bread. It wasn’t really bad per se, but I don’t think it will be repeated.

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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 31 of 52: Cuppa Cuppa Cake

This is a potentially nice and easy dessert recipe I found on Pioneer Woman. The idea is simple: a cup each of sugar, self-raising flour, and fruit cocktail. There seemed to be a lot of things I did wrong on this one. Firstly, I forgot to add to my all-purpose flour some baking powder and salt to turn it into self-raising. I think I also put too much fruit cocktail, because I forgot it’s supposed to only be one cup. My cake turned out to be too white, and too sweet!

As you can see, the cake didn’t rise much and stayed pretty compact. It’s also very sticky, almost like sapin-sapin.

I think I’ll try this again next time with the proper measurements.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 30 of 52: Tuna Cakes

I forgot to post this! I have uploaded the pictures and everything already a week ago, but I didn’t realize I haven’t published it yet! >_<

Last week’s dish was a simple recipe that features canned tuna. I used one can of Century Tuna Light here. I found the recipe from Hapa Bento, and I thought it was a fast and easy thing to do. The recipe needed two cans of tuna, but since I only had one, I halved the recipe. The second change I did was to use my muffin tin pan, instead of a brownie pan since I didn’t have any. The third was to omit celery since I didn’t have any. The procedure was the simplest: just mix everything together, and pour into the pan. One can turned out to be a pretty small amount, and I was able to produce only six small cakes.

That’s how the tuna cakes turned out fresh from the oven. I alternated the positions to ensure even heating. It’s interesting to see that it made making tuna burgers even more easier, since it omitted the slicing of the cakes post-bake. It would of course be more economical to use the full recipe and make twelve cakes, since they could be frozen for future baon.

The heat predictably baked out all the moisture, and the cakes turned out to be a bit dry. A big dollop of ketchup or mayo would make things much better, or else bring some soup to go along with your baon. It’s incredibly easy to make, and fairly quick and effortless too. I expect a lot of variations can be made here, like the addition of herbs or even shredded vegetables.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 28 of 52: Potato Gratin

Potato gratin is what I ended up doing for this week. I still had a bunch of potatoes in the vegetable compartment that needed to be consumed, and I thought that this was the perfect dish. My source is again Soup Addict. The difficult thing about this is that she didn’t include the recipe itself because she used a Dorie Greenspan recipe. She just described the process, with beautiful pictures of each step. I had to guess at the proportions and had some of my own substitutions.

I used 4-5 medium potatoes, and sliced them into thin rounds by hand. My mandoline isn’t big enough for those potatoes. I kept the skins on advice from one of Soup Addict’s commenters. I used 2 cans of Nestle cream, and heated them up with a smashed clove of garlic swimming in it. I also grated up half a bar of quickmelt cheese, and half a bar of mild cheddar. I set my salt, pepper, and dried thyme cellars nearby, and prepared to assemble the gratin.

The bunch of sliced potatoes didn’t seem much at first, so I used these two containers I have pictured above. I put a layer of potatoes at the bottom, then sprinkled some grated cheese on top. A dash of salt, pepper, and dried thyme followed, then a generous dollop of garlic-infused cream. I repeated these until I got to the top of the dish. I fired up my oven to about 180C, and put these two containers in.

Here’s a close up of one of those small containers after baking (and after taking a small portion for tasting). I waited until I can see the tops of the dishes melted and a bit bubbly. Unfortunately I wasn’t really marking the time, so I can’t tell you how long it stayed in the oven. I also had a bunch of ingredients left and no more small containers, so I decided to use the small casserole to make a large but rather flat gratin to use up the leftovers. Here’s what came out:

It’s really flat, only about a couple of layers. I should have just gone with this big container to begin with. I left these to cool down, then packed them in individual serving containers for easy grabbing for baon. They were just as yummy as I had imagined, with the potatoes soaked with the garlic-flavored cream. The garlic was just right, not too strong. If your taste can stand a bit more strength, you can add another clove or two in the infusion step. I think I sprinkled way too much salt in some places, as they came out weirdly salty in some of the bites. The thyme was a nice touch, and opens up some other choices of herbs in future experiments. Nice melty cheese is also awesome, and I think putting a layer of grated mozzarella on top would be interesting.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 26 of 52: Chocolate crinkles

The Man expressed a desire for chocolate crinkles, and his wish is my command! I haven’t really tried making crinkles before, and I’ve always enjoyed eating them. I even have chocolate crinkles in my great cookie quest, and I’m going to use that recipe from Joy of Baking. I’ve tried three different types of cookies already, and I felt up to the challenge of a new recipe.

I mixed up the dough early in the morning, using Goya Dark Chocolate Buttons, then left it to chill in the fridge. After lunch, I took the dough out and started the process of shaping it into balls. Here is where I ran into a big problem: the dough was too hard. It might have been the temperature of the fridge, but it was hard to get some of the dough to form into balls. I first used a teaspoon, but it was deforming so I used an ice cream scoop instead.

This is how the cookies looked fresh out of the oven. If you will notice, some of them remained ball-shaped. I lengthened the baking time of the next two batches by around 2-3 minutes, but some of it still came out ball-shaped. Whatever the shape, though, it tasted just as good as I thought crinkles should taste.

Here are more or less all the cookies yielded, minus a couple for taste testing.

And here’s a close up. The taste is really amazing, and I doubt that these cookies will survive uneaten for more than a couple of days. I’m not sure if the effort of making it myself is worth it, I might just as well buy ready-made from the store. This one is richer in taste than commercial crinkles.

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 24 of 52: Chocolate cut-out cookies

To be honest, I would have wanted to try more vegetable dishes but I finally ran out of veggies to use. It’ll have to wait until my next grocery run, when I can restock on those veggies.

My daughter has been requesting to make cookies with me for the longest time, and I figured that this is a good time as any. I’ve tried cut-out cookies before, but this time I wanted to try chocolate cookies. I decided to use this very simple recipe I found on Allrecipes.

I used the box of Hershey’s cocoa powder I bought earlier, and my daughter got to try out a set of cheap new cutters I had, along with the rest of the cutters we used before. I had to do a bit of distracting to get her to wait for the dough to finish resting in the fridge. I also encountered a bit of frustration trying to roll out the dough, as it kept sticking to the rolling pin. I eventually gave up and just slapped the dough flat with my hand.

Here she is, happily cutting out shapes.

I didn’t make any frosting, mostly because I’m lazy. Instead, I gambled on putting the decorations directly into the dough before baking them. I used some tiny M&M’s and some leftover heart sprinkles from Valentine’s. It didn’t turn out so bad. Some of the M&M’s cracked after baking, but the rest stayed intact and embedded in the cookie without the need for frosting.

She took a turn decorating too.

It turned out surprisingly good! I think it has to do with the quality of the cocoa powder. It was very chocolate-y, and not very sweet. Very reminiscent of brownies, come to think of it. My husband commented that it might be a bit overcooked because the surface is hard and crunchy, and he prefers the chewiness of the chocolate chunk cookies that I make. Next time, I’ll shorten the baking time to preserve some of the chewiness.

Finished cookies, cooling on the rack.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 21 of 52: Baked Spaghetti

Ever since I received the small glass casserole from my mother-in-law (which I used for the lemon cakes), I had been fantasizing about making baked pasta. I’m crazy about pasta, and I would gladly try anything to be able to cook my favorite kind of food.

One of the Filipino food bloggers I follow, Trissalicious, has an amazing recipe for baked spaghetti. I decided that this is what I was going to try. I had to make a few adjustments right from the start, since my casserole is really tiny. I figured halving the recipe might be a good start.

I ran into a bump right away. I had a bit of problem concerning the local term for coriander. I had thought that it was kinchay, but my father-in-law told me it looked like parsley. A search around the internet confirmed this, and also provided me the term wansuy to mean cilantro, which is another term for coriander. I had to go back to the supermarket to buy a bunch of wansuy instead.

The next bump I ran into was the fact that I seemed to have too much spaghetti, and too little meat sauce. And that my casserole was still too small for half the recipe. And maybe too little of the bechamel sauce. Still, I plowed on ahead, and came up with a casserole and a smallish bowl of baked spaghetti.

Unfortunately, I ran out of time and totally forgot to take pictures. I had sent the spaghetti to my in-laws, and it didn’t really last long enough for me to take pictures. It tasted great though, and the bechamel was awesome. I can imagine just making a batch of bechamel sauce, and pouring it over any baked dishes I make. I also appreciate the part where I learned about local terms of herbs.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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