Thursday, November 18, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

"Cupcakes are all about having your own little cake without having to share it"*

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Steamed Whole Fish

What could be easier to make than steamed fish?  I love steamed fish big time and fish loves my heart in return.   It's mutual love and respect.   Whenever I have fresh fish, steaming is the way to go in my books.  Fresh for me means I have witnessed its summary execution or better yet, I was the mastermind who ordered its untimely death. Ugh, it's getting morbid!

Never mind if this is easy, steamed fish for me spells celebration and luxury.  Another one of my food associations.  In Chinese banquets, steamed fish is never out of the menu.  It symbolizes abundance.  It is usually served whole in banquets - from head to tail- because doing so means you have a good beginning and a good ending.  It's also wise to remember not to flip the fish as it's considered bad luck.  It's one of the old superstitions that connote a capsized boat.  Garoupa is usually the banquet fish but of course, you can steam any fish and as long as it's fresh, it's bound to be yummy.  Tilapia is another favorite fish for steaming.  Not only is its flesh soft and flaky, it's also cheaper than garoupa.  

The victim fish in the above photo is garoupa (lapu-lapu).   

1. Wash it thoroughly, rub salt all over the fish then rinse to remove slime if necessary.  
2. Season it with a little salt and  gently massage oil all over its skin to prevent it from sticking to the steamer.  
3. Stuff the cavity with lots of spring onions and ginger and if you have some more left, put it on top of the fish.  
4. Steam for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.  Try poking the thickest part of the fish (near the fin) with a toothpick.  If it's already soft and the toothpick can easily go through, then it's done.  

Do not overcook the fish.  I repeat, do not overcook the fish.  It's a mortal sin.  It could mean the death of a beloved dish.   Some people steam the fish by putting it on a plate first then putting it in a wok with boiling water.  What I always do is to just put the fish directly onto  a rack in a pan of boiling water.  If you do this, just make sure that the water does not touch the fish.   

5. When the fish is done, discard the spring onions and ginger on top of the fish and replace it with fresh ones.  I like adding some coriander for additional flavor.  
6. In a separate wok, heat up about 2 tablespoons of oil until it's smoking hot.  Then pour it all over the fish. 
7.  Pour some light soy sauce over it and serve.  

Voila, a fancy banquet dish that's easy to prepare.  Wow your guests without having to slave over it.  Nanawu's paternal grandparents were here to shower him with love and attention and Tetetmum made sure they're never hungry.  I know Grandpa likes steamed fish so I served this for lunch on the day they arrived and again as my last homecooked meal before they left.  I guess this is just a teeny-weeny way of showing them how much their coming over to spend time with Nanawu meant to me.   

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Frozen Brazo vs. Brazo Bars

Frozen Brazo: Graham crust, vanilla ice cream, lemon-flavored custard creme, soft meringue

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Deep Fried Ribbit

I purposely made the picture smaller than my usual photo size because it might gross out some people.  They're frog legs. Deep fried frog legs to be exact.  Aren't they lovely?   Those chubby thighs looks very athletic.  Ok, so I'm  not helping ease your disgust against these harmless amphibians.  But fret not, they actually taste good.  And as everyone says, frog legs - all together now - "taste just like chicken!"  We don't have this  everyday, just once in a while.  Just to shake our boring routine.  I chanced upon these babies one day in the grocery store and I thought, why not?  My sous chef (wink) reported that they were still moving a bit while she was cleaning them.  Must be fresh.  Good.  This is how I did it:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Monster Burger

It might as well be called    Tetetmum Friday, a lame and lousy takeoff from Ruby Tuesday.  An attempt to be funny.  And failing miserably.  Too corny.  Anyway, we dined at Ruby Tuesday's a long time ago and ordered one of their burgers.  I vaguely remember its name having a 'cowboy' or something in it.  It's a heavy weight of a burger with blue cheese, among others.  The waiter asked us if we were sure we wanted this.  We replied in the affirmative and asked why he would think otherwise. He said it had a strong flavor because of the cheese.  Long story short, we got the burger and he asked us if we liked it.  We said "of course, we love blue cheese!"  What does he think about us, simpletons who only know how to eat Kraft singles?  Naddy's Uncle N made sure his nephews and nieces were introduced to the finer things in life (cheese included), and since I am an in-law, that makes me less ignorant about those things as well.  That, or maybe my tongue never rejects anything at all.  Hah!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More Pancakes

Pancakes with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chips

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival [中秋節快樂]

Snowy mooncake.  No-bake, chilled  mooncake with mochi-like crust.  I didn't make it, we  got it from our local baker.  It's good, and it's not even the best of its kind yet.   This is the first time we've tried it.  This is nothing new, I know, as it has been quite popular for about three decades now.  

I just want to greet everyone a happy Mid-autumn festival.  Hope the weather clears up so we can see the beautiful moon.

*The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is in September or early October in theGregorian calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties. -source: wikipedia

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fluffy Pancakes

Tetetmum Pancakes topped with almond-chocolate coated bananas

I know the photo doesn't say fluffy but you just have to take my word for it.  Be mature and learn to look past the grotesque appearance.  Search for the inner beauty, so they say.  Enough of the rationalization, let me just say that homemade pancakes taste so much better than boxed pancake mixes.  There is no aftertaste and you are sure of what goes into the batter.   I have yet to perfect the shape and appearance but I will get there.  Maybe some day I'll get pancake rings to make the picture-perfect pancake.  But for now, this will do.  This is just the basic pancake.  While simple is yummy, you can also sprinkle some cheese, crumbled cream cheese or chocolate chips onto the batter (while one side is browning in the pan).  Up to you.  You are only limited by your imagination.  I encourage you to try this at home.  Who wouldn't love waking up to the smell of fresh pancakes, anyway?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Salmon in Butter-Lime Sauce

At least once a week, I try to incorporate fish in our diets.  If it were just me, I'd have fish every other day. I love fish but not to the point of having it everyday.  Gotta have some meat, y'know? Pork, beef or chicken- whatever!  Even Nanawu gets his break from meat.  And I think it's because we don't eat fish that much (read: every other day, lol), that they enjoy them too.   

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Taco Bowls

Naddy loves tacos and so do I.  It requires minimal cooking but delivers maximum mmmms.  He'd order a taco whenever it's in the menu and would always ask me to make some.  I wanted to take our taco night one level up by making taco bowls instead of settling for the store-bought corn tacos.   I thought it's going to be prettier and more filling. Was I right!  I prepared the minced beef, salsa and shredded the iceberg lettuce ahead and just prepared the taco bowls come dinnertime.   I still had enough time to freshen up and read a book.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pre-birthday Dinner

I know I won't be cooking for my actual birthday, so I declared last night's dinner to be my pre-birthday dinner.  After all, I love cooking and I should be allowed to cook for my birthday, right?  I made some of the things we love.  Tacos, pasta, chicken lollipops, and my birthday cake.   Nothing extravagant, Nothing fancy.  Simple and flavorful.  Definitely yummy.  Just like me :)

That's all for now.  I will be posting the recipes in another entry. 

Salted Caramel Brownies

It's official.  I'm in love with sweet-salty combos.  And it's my birthday.  And this is my birthday cake.   I already got two of my birthday presents from Naddydaddy and he's still finishing an AVP for my birthday.  I think it's going to be pretty special because I know he's been asking some of my friends for something for it.  That's all I know, I promise.  That's one of his acts of love.  Isn't he the sweetest?  So I know  getting me a birthday cake is far from his mind.  I'm too shy to make a full-blown birthday cake for myself so I made something that I'm sure Naddydaddy would like too.   And liked it he did!  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Teacher's Day (10 Sept)

Salted Oatmeal Cookies for Nanawu's teachers

I also made some salted caramel brownies that I will pack tomorrow.  
Will do a separate post about it.   

Butter Chicken

I knew it.  While mixing the marinade, I knew this dish will be delish.  The smell of the  spices individually awakens the senses.  Mix all of them together, and you feel inspired.  Tomorrow seems so far away yet I kept my patience. Good things come to those who wait. So I waited and let it marinate overnight.   This dish has been on my cooking wishlist for a while now.  The list of ingredients intimidated me because it's quite lengthy.  I'm impatient that way, reading line by line.   But I want the dish so much that I tried reading it anyway.  Hmmm, it's not that difficult after all.  In fact, it's quite easy to prepare.   

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Eggs Benedict

What makes for a perfect Sunday?  We start by wasting ourselves the previous night with some movie, chips and rootbeer.  Sleeping just as the sun is waking.  And waking just as the traditional household is preparing for lunch.  That is the perfect Silvannas Sunday.  And what makes for a perfect Tetetmum Sunday?  Preparing a hearty brunch!  It has to be special since it's not everyday that Naddydaddy and I get to eat breakfast together.  I had it all planned days ahead.  Yes, that's typical of me.  You can say that food is always on my mind, and I won't mind because it's true.  So eggs benedict it is.  

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mango Crumble

This is a no-cook/no-sweat dessert.   Even Naddydaddy can manage this.  Maybe not as fast as I would have done it, but he'll manage.  The ice cream would have melted before he's done, but he'll manage.  Okay, I'll stop berating Naddy and just say that this is easy.  Really easy.

Prepare the ingredients:  
(1) Mango (sliced/diced - your choice).   I have sliced mangoes at the bottom and diced mangoes on top.
(2) Crushed graham crackers.  I used instant coffee jar to crush 2 pieces of graham crackers.
(3)  Hershey's chocolate syrup
(4) Vanilla ice cream.  Take it out of the freezer only when you are ready to assemble.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Japanized Porkchops

It's because of the panko (a variety of flaky breadcrumbs), tonkatsu sauce and the Japanese mayo.  Eating it felt like eating some authentic Japanese tonkatsu except that we took it one notch higher in taste.  You see, Naddydaddy likes highly-flavored food.  So what  I do is  marinate the boneless porkchop for a few hours in some store-bought marinade, grated ginger and grated garlic.  I always ask for thick-cut boneless porkchops from the supermarket so I can butterfly them.  I slit the meat halfway through its thickness stopping before I cut them all the way, then start pounding it with the back of a knife.  Of course, it's not necessary to butterfly them but I do it anyway to make sure that I cook the meat uniformly and it stays tender.   They go into the marinade for a few hours before the deep frying begins.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Churros Con Chocolate

I was so happy that I finally got to make my own churros.   This has been a favorite of Naddydaddy and mine and we never fail to order these however full we were back then when we were still dating in Manila.  Dulcinea makes one of the best in Manila.  Well, I really can't say if the taste is as good the ones they make in Spain because I've never been there but I do know that Dulcinea's is really good.  If I remember correctly, they're served plain and dunked in a really rich chocolate sauce that you can drink guiltily after you've finished the churros.  And guess what? I made them today! Naddydaddy said he demands to have a weekly breakfast of churros con chocolate.  I must say that I am pleased with the compliment.  I got the recipe from Food Network and I encourage you to try this one out.  It's easy peasy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Silvannas Oatmeal Cookies

I've never liked oatmeal cookies but when I started baking, about less than a year ago, I figured I "needed" to make one as a "rite of passage".  Don't ask me why because I don't even know  why I ever thought of that.  And besides, when I started baking my own sweets, I realized how  much butter and sugar go into those yummy cookies, cakes and whathaveyous. So I told myself, oats would compensate for it.  Don't ask if it's true because I'm sure it was just my other self rationalizing.   So I tried it and I promise you, this has got to be one of the  best cookies I've ever baked and one that I can make again and again without having to try any other variety.  It's crispy and crumbly but still soft and chewy.  It's sweet and salty, kinda  like eating popcorn.  So here it is, presenting the recipe the way I tackled it.

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