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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 34 of 52: Spaghetti and Vegetables

Double feature this week!

First off, I started with this really nice vegetable dish I found from The Pioneer Woman. It’s basically a bunch of vegetables cut in similar size and roasted. Here, I used a small and a large potato, a medium carrot, and a large zucchini. I seem to have put too much pepper, but it turned out pretty delicious! Addicting, even. I think this is because the whole thing tastes like some sort of chips or fries.

The second dish is Filipino style spaghetti. I’ve been meaning to try this out for the longest time because my husband prefers that to the Italian style spaghetti (non-sweet). Good thing I’ve discovered Jun-blog, as he has a great recipe for this style of spaghetti. I mostly followed his recipe to the dot, except I substituted tomato ketchup for banana ketchup (turns out I didn’t have any?). It may have affected the overall taste and texture. My husband commented that it was a little bit too runny. Next time, I’ll use banana ketchup and see how it compares. I also used jumbo hotdogs so the slices were enormous! I’ll downgrade to regular hotdog next time. It was a very satisfying lunch!

We had the spaghetti and roasted veggies for lunch, with a side of potato chips for him and some Gardenia bread for me. Here’s how our spread looked like:

My plate of spaghetti:

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 33 of 52: Cayenne Pepper Beef

We had a slight problem with our fridge for most of the week. Actually it’s been going on for most of the month, but it was the worst this week. The fridge part seems to be getting too cold that it occasionally freezes some of the things in it like the water in pitchers, the eggs (which I had to discard), some of the yogurt, and others. Once or twice my veggies froze as well. It’s been annoying, but for a while it was manageable. This past week, however, has been totally discouraging, and I had a bit of problem thinking of something new to do. I needed to get rid of some of the stuff before it goes bad by the weird freezing cycles.

There was a small pack of sliced beef in the freezer and I thought I’d try making something out of that with the remaining veggies I had. I was also craving for something spicy, and I immediately reached for my cayenne pepper shaker. I was thinking to try some sort of stir fry or sauteed beef. Here’s what I did.

Cayenne Pepper Beef

Serves 1

Ingredients

Marinade:

  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • cayenne pepper, about a dash or more according to tolerance
Others:
  • about a half cup of beef strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, cut into strips
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • oil
1. Mix the marinade ingredients together and pour over the beef strips. Toss until fully coated and submerged. Marinade for about 10-15 minutes. Fish out the beef and set aside the remaining marinade.
2. Heat some oil in a frying pan or sauce pan. Put in the garlic and cook until a bit brown. Toss in the onion strips and cook until translucent.
3. Put in the marinaded beef. Cook in high heat until all sides of the strips are seared, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the carrots and stir fry in medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Add a bit of vegetable stock whenever the pan gets dry.
5. Season with salt, pepper, and more cayenne pepper.

McCormick Cayenne Pepper c/o mccormick.com.au

It’s actually a pretty straightforward and easy process. With the preparation and cooking, it took about 25 minutes to complete. I put it all in a bento along with some freshly cooked rice, and I tasted the dish come lunch on that day. For good measure, I ran it in medium high microwave for a minute before eating. It was every bit of spicy that I was looking for. I can clearly taste the marinade on the beef, and the carrots added some texture and color. The beef turned out to be not that lean, and exuded some oil when I ate it at lunch time. It wasn’t that much of a big deal, but it would definitely taste better if I used not so fatty meat. The onions wilted considerably, and curled into almost unrecognizable balls among the beef. I’m thinking I could delay putting in the onions with the carrots next time, instead of sauteing it before the beef. To be honest, I was also a bit afraid that I didn’t cook the beef long enough, but it was cooked just fine when I tasted it. It seems 10 minutes in medium flame would do for thin strips.
It was a very interesting and informative experiment. I found that it’s not that hard to cook with non-ground beef (I had previously been cooking almost exclusively chicken), and an important process in cooking is the marinading. There’s a lot of scope for variations there, and I’m excited to find out what else I can come up with in marinade and stir frying.
 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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Week 32 of 52: Butterbeer Latte

I’m on a Harry Potter marathon lately: started with audio books, and now currently plowing through the movies. I am a big fan of this universe, and the possibility of trying out the dishes mentioned in the book is very tempting! I found this recipe for Butterbeer Latte on Tumblr. It’s not exactly the butterbeer in the books, but I can imagine that this would taste close. It’s actually just a simple milk recipe with caramel and some flavorings, but it tastes awesome! And more importantly, it’s not hard to do.

I made two servings of this recipe, one for me and one for my mom. We enjoyed mugs of steaming butterbeer latte while watching Goblet of Fire. It was an awesome experience, especially since it was also raining at the time. It felt like a really rich milk, and I could feel all those fattening stuff going into my body but I don’t care! It’s one of the best things I’ve drank in my entire life! I love the fact that it’s not carbonated (I don’t like carbonated drinks), and maybe next time I’ll try chilling it to see how it performs cold.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 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 29 of 52: Chorizo Carbonara

I was watching the Asian Food Channel, and the Japanese show Dosanko Cooking was on. I love this show because the host, Mrs. Hoshizawa, seems almost the Japanese equivalent of Julia Child. She’s very amiable and looks like she really loves what she’s doing. She teaches three simple recipes in her show, and that day one of them was carbonara. It seemed pretty simple when she was doing it, and it inspired me to try my own version. Her carbonara featured bacon as the flavoring agent, but as I didn’t have any I used chorizo instead.

Chorizo Carbonara

Serves 1-2

  • ~200 g spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 chorizo sausage, chopped into 1cm cubes
  • ~1/4 cup grated cheese (I used monterey jack)
  • 2 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh whole milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 egg yolks

1. Cook the spaghetti noodles in some water with a bit of salt, about 5-8 minutes. Set the whole pan aside (the spaghetti and the soaking water).

2. Add the flour to the grated cheese, and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

3. Melt the butter in a wide pan. Saute the garlic until limp and translucent. Add the chopped chorizo and cook for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the milk. Mix thoroughly and simmer for about 2 minutes.

5. Add the cheese-flour mixture. The cheese should melt shortly and the flour should help thicken the sauce.

6. Fish out the spaghetti noodles from the other pot and add it to the sauce. Mix thoroughly to coat the noodles evenly. If the sauce turns out a bit dry, add a tablespoon or two of the spaghetti soaking liquid.

7. Season with salt and pepper, then turn off the heat.

8. While the noodles are still hot, quickly add the yolk/s and vigorously mix to cook it in the residual heat. Serve immediately.

The whole process turned out faster than I expected. You can of course use bacon as Mrs. Hoshizawa originally intended, in which case you might need to use less salt at the end. You can probably use different pasta shapes as well. Mrs. Hoshizawa also had some toppings (parsley if I remember correctly), so you might want to try doing that as well. It performed very well as a baon (although don’t try to use it past 4 days or something).

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in 52-Week Challenge 2011

 

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