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Friday, August 26, 2011

Caroline's baby shower




My friend Carol had a baby shower last August 21. I made chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting that I tinted blue, yellow and green.



The day before the baby shower, we were busy chopping and cooking for the party. It was a good thing that I was still able to bake. I made 60 cupcakes. 50 for the party and 10 for personal consumption.



We'll see you in a couple of weeks JACOB :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pretty in Pink




My niece turned 6 months old today and to celebrate her monthly birthday I made moist chocolate cupcakes with baby pink buttercream frosting. I love the cupcake liners. Pink with white polkadots. Cuteness.




My little niece is not so little anymore. She looks like a little school girl all dolled up in pink. How time flies. Happy 6 mos birthday baby girl! May God shower you with blessings and keep you safe always. Tita loves you so much and can't wait to see you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pastel de Lengua





Sirens, not of the Greek mythology kind, but rather the kind that produced loud wailing sounds, greeted me as soon as I got out of the crowded airport and onto the busy city streets. During the drive back to my friend's house, I contemplated going back to the airport and hopping on the first plane back to the city up north.

I would be the first to admit that I was never enamored by the City of Angels. I am, however, smitten by the City by the Bay. You know, the place where one leaves his or her heart (or so I heard)? But I digress.

LA has been my home for quite some time now. Living here taught me how to be independent and has been a humbling experience for me. Although I've adjusted to life here in LA, being away from the comforts of home and family makes me homesick.

SJP's said, " The most important thing in life is family. There are days you love them, and others you don't. But in the end, they're the people you always come home to. Sometimes it's the family you're born into and sometimes it's the one you make for yourself." I am just grateful to my friend, as well as to my dad's friends, for taking me in and treating me like family. I've met and made new friends because of them. I've gone on road trips and shopping sprees and food adventures with them. I look forward to their family gatherings. Good company and a sampling of Tito Alex' kare kare or Manong Jake's tinola or Carol's beef caldereta or Tita Lurlina's pancit makes me a happy camper.

Oh I made pastel de lengua the other day. Meltingly tender ox tongue was cooked with mixed vegetables and cheese, topped with a golden pastry crust. It was a bit time consuming because I had to pressure cook the ox tongue until tender. Then I had to peel the outer white covering of the ox tongue once it got cool enough to handle. Then I had to do some sauteing and then baking. To do away with extra prepping of veggies, I went ahead and used frozen mixed vegetables. I also used a prepared pastry crust because I didn't have time to make one from scratch. This is a dish that's meant to be shared and eaten family style, although presentation-wise, I like serving it in white ramekins.

PS
The sirens? They don't bother me anymore. In fact, they lull me to sleep. I've come to like L.A. but SF still has my heart.



Pastel de Lengua

1 ox tongue
water
2 onions , sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a pressure cooker , combine all ingredients and pressure cook until ox tongue is tender. Reserve broth and set aside. Let tongue cool. Peel the outer white covering of the ox tongue and slice diagonally , about 1/2 " thick. Set aside.

2 onions, sliced
1/2 cup butter
1 can button mushrooms
1/2 cup flour
2 cups ox tongue broth
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup grated cheese
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
salt and pepper to taste

ready made pie crust or frozen puff pastry

1 egg
2 tbsp milk

In a pan, heat butter and saute onions over low fire until onions are transparent. Add ox tongue and continue cooking for 5 mins. Add mushroom and flour. Stir quickly. Pour in broth, stirring to prevent sauce from getting lumpy. Add the vegetables, milk and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a baking dish and top with prepared pastry crust.

Combine egg and milk in a bowl and use to brush top of the pastry crust.

Bake in a 350F oven for 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Serve immediately.




Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chicken Curry with Basil and Mango Ginger Chutney








After three months, I'm back to blogging!

Hello cuppycreme. I've missed you so.

Life got in the way.

Yes, I have a real life and for the past three months it took me for a crazy ride. I've realized that although it's not as colorful as I want it to be, it's not wanting in blessings.

Oh I made dinner tonight. The second time in three months that I cooked dinner.


I opened the pantry and saw an unopened pack of green curry paste and mango ginger chutney from Trader Joe's and decided to make a thai style chicken curry with basil.

It's simple and fast and tasty and spicy and ready in an El Ay minute (hehe!) I kid. It took me around 20 minutes to make it, prep time included.

It's real life dinner for real people.

PS

I wish I could make YOU dinner.
For real.


THAI CHICKEN CURRY

1 19 oz can coconut milk, divided
2 teaspoons green curry paste (use less if you don't want it spicy)
1 bell pepper cut into wide strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 lb boneless chicken thighs cut into huge chunks
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/3 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
juice of 1 lime
salt to taste

In a large skillet, bring 1/4 cup coconut milk and curry paste to a boil over medium high heat. Make sure to whisk constantly. Add bell pepper and onion. Saute for five minutes. Stir in chicken, remaining coconut milk, sugar and fish sauce. Cook until chicken is cooked through. Stir. Add basil and lime juice. Season with salt.

Serve hot with rice and mango ginger chutney.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pink & Blue Cupcakes for Bela




Last Feb 19, 2011, I officially became a tita (aunt). My sister gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who she named Ysabela Ruth Florida ((Ruth and Florida are the names of Ysa's grandmothers) and who I love to bits.

This April 19 she's turning two months old and to celebrate I made some cupcakes.
I made some moist chocolate cupcakes with pink buttercream frosting and some carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting which I tinted blue using some gel food coloring.
It's been a while since I made some cupcakes so I wasn't able to properly frost them and I was also in a hurry.


Happy 2nd month BELA! I love you!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ginisang Gulay - KCC March Challenge


It has been my practice for the past 3 - 4 years to give up meat for the entire Lenten Season. It meant giving up juicy delicious cuts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken from Ash Wednesday up to Easter Sunday.
This year I decided to start early (February 1 to be exact) in order to ween myself to an almost vegetarian fare ( I still consume seafood, eggs. milk and cheeses).
Being a carnivore (hah!) I don't have an arsenal of vegetarian recipes at my disposal, which is why i decided on making ginisang gulay. This dish, although simple in terms of preparation is bursting with the flavor of tomatoes, garlic and onions, and for someone who arrives late and still has to make dinner, (sometimes) this is a reliable go to dish.
I know the challenge said to prepare a vegetarian dish, but I just had to add shrimps. (Don't worry I only added like 8 pieces).

PS.
I decided to give up rice too (I replaced it with quinoa and couscous).
I was the only one at home to go on the rice free, pesco-ovo-vegetarian route and yes I feel envious whenever they chow down on yummy beef-pork-lamb-chicken but I'm sticking to my Lenten sacrifice. After all it's just gonna be a few more weeks :).

PPS

I didn't bother measuring and neither do I bother with what vegetable goes first.








Ginisang Gulay

garlic, minced
onions, sliced
tomatoes, chopped
fish sauce
veggies (to be honest, I grabbed a package of Trader Joe's mixed asian vegetable and did away with the sauce that came with it, although it also tasted good)
shrimps (just a handful)
oyster sauce (about 1 tsp)
pepper
water

In a pan, heat oil. Saute garlic, onions and tomatoes until fragrant and tomatoes are tender.
Add, pepper and fish sauce (start with a small amount. you can always adjust it.). Saute shrimps. Add the vegetable. Add a little water and the oyster sauce.
Adjust seasonings accordingly. Cover pan and simmer until vegetables are tender.
Serve with rice. (or in my case, quinoa)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sugpo sa Aligue at Gata - KCC February Challenge




Technically speaking, it's still February 28 here so I still made the February deadline albeit I am late yet again.
This month's theme stumped me completely as I had to come up with a Filipino dish using food with aphrodisiac properties. An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire and in the Philippines, balut and the notorious Soup No. 5 are just examples of foods that have aphrodisiac properties. Why? I don't know.
I initially wanted to do either a strawberry dessert or a fried banana dessert drizzled with chocolate and honey but I had a craving for anything cooked in gata (coconut milk) so I decided to go with prawns (an aphrodisiac) with crab fat and chilies (also an aphrodisiac) and coconut milk.
This is not an everyday fare. This dish is meant to be eaten once in a blue moon. Why? Because crab fat is not exactly the healthiest of food. But since it's Happy Hearts Month, let's make our hearts and appetites happy. lol!

Sugpo sa Aligue at Gata (Prawns In Crab Fat and Coconut Milk)

600 grams prawns or shrimps, whiskers trimmed, unpeeled
vegetable oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (or go loco and use an entire head of garlic)
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
1 onion, chopped
3-4 siling mahaba (green finger chilis), sliced
1 cup aligue or crab fat
1 cup coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce ( if using thai fish sauce, you might need to add more)
juice of 1 lemon or 2-4 calamansi
sriracha (optional)
cilantro for garnish

Heat oil in a skillet or pan that is big enough to accommodate the prawns. When the oil is hot, saute ginger, onion and garlic. Saute until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the chilis and the aligue. Cook until the aligue softens and oil separates. Add coconut milk and continue to cook. Add fish sauce and lemon or calamansi to taste. Add sriracha if you want it spicier.
Add the prawns and remove from heat as soon as the prawns are cooked. Garnish with cilantro.
Serve hot with rice.


PS
I added scallops to the dish too :)