Tag Archives: postaweek2011

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.


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



  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • cayenne pepper, about a dash or more according to tolerance
  • 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

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.

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.


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.




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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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 27 of 52: French Onion Soup

Oh yes, you read that right. I have finally achieved the craving I’ve been having for the longest time: French Onion Soup! I think I started craving for it around February or March, and I have been looking for restaurants that serve it but it has all been in vain. I didn’t really dare try it at home because of the length of time the onions will spend sweating and cooking, and that’d produce a lot of smoke. Finally today, I was able to try it at my mom’s place (which has better ventilation). The recipe comes from one of the funniest food bloggers I follow, SoupAddict.

I made a lot of changes to the recipe. I didn’t have any white wine, so I used sake instead. I also used cornstarch dissolved in a bit of water instead of flour; omitted the brandy; used mozzarella and toasted loaf bread sliced into squares; and used an oven toaster to melt the cheese, instead of a full oven. The glazing time of the onions was also reduced to about an hour because they were getting a bit burnt already.

To be brutally honest, I wasn’t expecting a lot from this experiment. Primarily because I felt I deviated too much from the original recipe, and that some of the onion bits were really dark and almost black. The taste of the sake was also a bit strong when it was on the simmering soup stage. I plunged on ahead and completed the recipe.

My mom and I bravely took our first spoonful. And we were floored! It was awesome! Creamy with cheese and the toasted bread soaked up the soup, it felt like we were eating a high class dish. I highly recommend trying this at least once in your life. Trust me, it’s worth all that trouble. Amazing.


Posted by on July 12, 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.


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


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