Monday, July 12, 2010

Spaghetti with sundried tomatoes and sweet italian sausage

It's Monday once again and I'm home alone so I volunteered to cook pasta for dinner.

Sundried tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, mushrooms, cream. basil. garlic and spaghetti make up the cast of ingredients in this pasta dish.

Oh! I almost forgot the sweet italian sausages. Not in photo are the butter and EVOO.

Anyhow, begin by chopping the garlic. Then slice the mushrooms as well. Drain the stewed tomatoes and give them a rough chop too. Set these aside.

Remove the sausage casings and crumble the sausages. Set these aside too.

Salt and boil water for the pasta. Cook pasta until al dente as per package directions.

In a saucepan, heat the EVOO and butter. Add the garlic followed by the stewed tomatoes. When the tomatoes are tender, add the sausages. Cook sausages until they turn brown. Add the mushrooms. Saute and add freshly ground pepper. Add cream. Add some pasta water to the sauce and check for seasoning.

Let simmer for a few minutes until it thickens a bit. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.
Adjust seasonings accordingly. Sprinkle with parmigiano reggiano and basil that has been julienned.

this is my super late brunch/early dinner.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

birthday cupcakes for gelli

It was my sister's birthday last March 5. I wanted to surprise her with a birthday cake but seeing that I had no talent whatsoever when it comes to cake decorating, I decided on making some cupcakes instead.

I was suppose to bake the cupcakes before we left for Manila but my oven did not cooperate so I had to bake the cupcakes in Manila one day after her birthday.

I used my trusted chocolate cake recipe but tweaked the frosting a bit. I added cocoa and coffee to half of the frosting. The other half I left plain. I preferred the vanilla frosting but my sisters liked the mocha flavored frosting. Either way, I still have to thank my sister Tanya for taking these photos.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Comfort me with Carrot Cake

My love affair with carrot cake started when I was in college. My good friend Geedes makes scrumptious carrot cakes. I remember helping her bake dozens of carrot cakes in her La Vista kitchen when she was still living here in the Philippines. Her carrot cakes were moist and yummy and generously covered with cream cheese frosting
She's now based in Canada and I miss her and her cooking. On days when I feel sad and start missing friends who are now based halfway around the world, I comfort myself with a hefty chunk of carrot cake and think of the good times I had with them.

Carrot Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 large eggs
3 cups grated peeled carrots
1 cups coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F

Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans instead of cupcake molds. Line bottom of pans with waxed paper. Butter and flour paper; tap out excess flour.

Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Whisk sugar and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, if using them.

Divide the batter between the prepared pans, and bake the layers for about 40 minutes each, or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Peel off waxed paper; cool cakes completely. Top cake with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1-2 tbps milk

In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients on medium until fluffy. Chill the frosting for 10 to 20 minutes, until it has set up enough to spread smoothly.