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Friday, April 18, 2008


It's been days of nonstop rain and the cold weather have actually settled in. The other day, our friends dropped by to share some homemade suman sa lihiya. I made him promise to share the recipe that actually was from his mother. I myself made guinataang halo-halo. There's something about the cold weather that makes you long for the native kakanin. For last night I cooked igado, an ilocano dish that I relly love. I used ground pork and marinaded it in garlic and red wine vinegar which is very similar to sukang iloko.
500g minced pork
200g pork liver (sliced into strips)
100g pork heart, diced
100g pork kidney, diced
1 bell pepper
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
pinch of fennel seed
annato powder
salt and pepper
cooking oil
Mix pork mince, heart and kidney, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper and annato powder and marinade for 1 hour. Saute onion in cooking oil in medium heat until soft and transluscent. Turn up the heat and add the liver and stir fry for 2 mins. Add the pork mixture and bay leaf and cook for another 5 minutes. When the mixture is almost dry, add the bell pepper strips and stir until the mixture is frying in oil then turn off heat.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Menudo at pan de sal

I have this photo of menudo at pan de sal sitting in my hard drive. I was only reminded of it when we had dinner at a friend's house. He cooked (yes that's right a HE that cooks!) a 'kickshin' menudo, I try not to use dirty words on my blog because it doesn't go well with food but you know what I mean right? He cooked and the wife just stayed pretty. How wonderful! I might just send the ironman to a few cooking lessons. No, thats too advanced. Maybe to a 'how to survive and not get lost in the kitchen' lesson or 'how to recognize pork from beef' lesson. Ok enough, I'm being mean. Seriously whatever skills he lack in the kitchen he makes up in other parts of the house....boy did that sound dirty. He always keeps the house spotlessly clean and is very masinop which sometimes drives me crazy because I'm the quintessential burara. It's bad enough that I don't put away my things, I always forget where I last put them and I would ask him if he saw this and that. He's like a rubberband, everything goes back in it's place.... shoes, headband, hairbrush, keys, make up. Come to think of it we compliment each other. I'm the manga to his bagoong and he is the pan de sal to my menudo. Galing ng bridging!
Just follow the link if you want to make your own pan de sal or you can just buy dinner rolls.
menudo at pan de sal
500g pork shoulder, cubed
200g pork liver, cubed
1 large carrot cubed
1 large potato, cubed
1 medium capsicum, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 c tomato paste
1/2 tsp of fennel seed
1/2 tsp of dried rosemary
1tsp dried basil
triple the amount if using fresh herbs
1 tsp paprika
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a pan. Brown the pork then add the liver. Add the tomato paste after the water evaporates. Add the herbs, paprika, bay leaf and 1.5 to 2 c of water. Add the potatoes when it starts to boil followed by the carrots. Simmer until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Lastly, add the frozen peas. Bring back to boil then remove from heat.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spaghetti bolognese

Mr sniffles visited our house early this year. First victim was my husband, then my son and me last. My son had to miss school for 1 whole week so that explains why I have not been blogging for the last two weeks. Not that I was not cooking. I think there's more recipe for chicken soup than you can poke a stick at. We mostly had soup like bulalo and nilagang manok. There's something about soup that is so comforting when you're sick.

Did I mention that this entry is about spaghetti bolognese? Bolognaise, bolognese... because this dish is italian, let's give credit where it is due. So bolognese it is. The recipe for the ragu is the same as the sauce I use for my lasagna recipe plus 1 glass of red wine and simmer it longer to thicken the sauce. Just a note when adding wine to your food; if you can't drink it why add it to your food. A bad wine is a bad wine.
Just follow the link to the lasagna recipe.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beef casserole with cheese and chives dumplings

There's nothing like the aroma of a good casserole cooking in the oven to warm up ones home. Figuratively and literally because my oven also doubles as a heater when I'm baking . It's very old and does not contain the heat inside. Good in winter but in summer I use a small oven that I have in the garage. This recipe is based from taste casserole recipe. This is the first time I tried it and it's really, really heaven. True! that was the thought came to mind with the first spoonful. The dumplings was crusty on top and soft and moist inside and the stew was rich and thick and full of flavour from the vegies.

beef casserole with cheese and chive dumplings
500g stewing beef, cubed
1/2 c plain flour
1 large carrot
200g button mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
1 400g can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 c beef broth
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

1 c self raising flour
30g butter
1/2 c grated cheese
1 tbsp chopped chives
1/4 c milk

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Dust the beef cubes with flour and brown in oil in two batches. Save in a plate. Add some more oil and saute onion until transluscent. Add the beef and pour the tomatoes and beef broth. Simmer until beef is tender then add the vegetables, balsamic vinegar and worcestershire sauce. Return to boil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer in an ovenproof dish.
Preheat oven to 190c.
Meanwhile to make the dumplings, rub the flour with butter until texture resembles
breadcrumbs. Mix cheese and chives and pour in milk. Use a knife and make a cutting motion to mix the dough. Form into 8 balls and top on stew. Bake for approx. 15 minutes or until dumplings are golden brown. Serve warm with steamed vegetables.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Bicol express

It's not very often that I make bicol express at home even if it's one of my hubby's all time favorite ulam. One, it's full of the creamy goodness of coconut milk which is good if not for the artery clogging saturated fat and two, it's loaded with salt from the alamang. But I have to keep the ironman happy or there will be a lot of unwashed dishes hehehe.
Ok before I completely turn you off, seriously this dish is so full of flavour from the coconut milk, alamang and I always add ground cardamom or coriander seeds with coconut based dishes. This is optional. I got this from the Indians who put cardamom or coriander seeds
with their curry. Just a pinch or two because these spices are very strong and overpowering.
I used alamang that I sauteed in garlic, spring onion, paprika(hence the reddish color), sugar and vinegar. I just keep it in the fridge for kare-kare or manggang hilaw.

bicol express
5oo gms pork leg or shoulder, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 thumb ginger, grated
5 long green chilli, seeded
2 tbsp alamang
1 c coconut milk
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom or coriander seed
2 tbsp cooking oil
pepper to taste

Heat the cooking oil in a pan and brown the meat in high heat. Add the onion ginger and garlic and turn down to medium heat. Saute until the onion is soft and transluscent then stir in the alamang, cardamom and sugar. Pour the coconut milk and cover and simmer until the meat is tender. Slice the chilli and add to the pan. Simmer until the sauce is thick. Season with pepper and serve it topped on a steaming bowl of jasmine rice.

Do not remove the seeds from the chilli if you like it hot.
Add more coconut milk if the dish is too dry

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rosemary and seasalt focaccia

Focaccia is an Italian style bread. It is very versatile as you can use this as a base for your pizza, as a sandwich or just spread garlic and butter to accompany your favorite pasta dish.

The recipe for the dough is the same as the pizza dough recipe in this blog. Just substitute the wholemeal flour with plain flour and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Flatten it in a pan. It should be thicker than a pizza dough. Allow to rise for about an hour. Use your finger to press holes in the dough. Sprinkle some fresh rosemary and flakes of seasalt. Finally brush with olive oil and crushed garlic and put in a 220c preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

I usually have this for lunch when I couldn't be bothered to cook and just want a quick one. I just spread some pesto, top the focaccia with roasted capsicum, zucchini and mushroom, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill it until the cheese melts.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tokwa't isda (tofu and fish)

I still have a fillet of thawed white fish that is a part of a batch which I cooked as fish tempura (coming up on this blog). I saved this one fillet because I thought the 3 fillets would be too much for the 3 of us since I also made vegetable tempura and a cold leftover tempura is no fun to eat.
This dish is very timely for the coming lenten season. Although we do not do abstinence, we keep it simple on good Fridays. What is the purpose of giving up meat if you're going to have prawns and lobsters instead. I believe that the true meaning of abstinence and fasting is sharing Jesus' suffering in our own small way so we can truly appreciate God's love for us.
Those of you meatlovers should give this dish a chance before you turn your backs.
Have I mentioned that this dish is derived from the famous tokwa't baboy?

tokwa't isda

200 gms of white fish fillet(cut into strips)
6 blocks of tokwa(tofu, cubed)
1 red onion
1/2 c light soy sauce (kikkoman)
1 tbsp white vinegar (thinly sliced)
crushed garlic
chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp brown sugar
1 cup flour
cooking oil for deep frying

Season flour with pepper. I don't add salt anymore because the sauce is salty enough. Pat dry the fish and dredge in the flour shaking off any excess.
Heat the oil to high and deep fry tofu in batches until golden brown. Deep fry the fish taking care not to over crowd the pan. Combine tofu and fish in a serving dish
To make the sauce, mix the onion, garlic, chilli flakes, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl. You may pour it over the fried fish and tofu or you can serve it as a dip on the side which I prefer to avoid the dish from getting all soggy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Banana jaffa loaf cake

I cut out recipes that captures my fancy from newspapers and magazines and stick them in my recipe books and generally forget about them. The other day, I was just sorting through my old stuff and found this recipe for a banana chocolate cake. I already have a recipe for a banana cake which uses grated orange rind and just smells wonderful and is light and moist. So I decided why not marry the two recipes. The slightly bitter cocoa dusted crust creates a delicious contrast to the sweet flavour of orange and banana.
This is also good for the lunchbox. I generally don't buy cakes and muffins for my boys' lunchbox. It's not just the cost, which mind you is really outrageous. Most store bought cakes, cookies and pastries have trans fat.
This loaf is so easy to make, I timed myself and it took me 30 minutes max. Don't count the 1 hour that it sits in the oven. You don't have to watch it. You can make dinner while it's in the oven. Just don't forget to set the timer. To freeze this cake. Slice into desired thickness and wrap individually in a clingwrap. Just pop in your kid's lunchbox and it will thaw by morning tea.

Banana jaffa loaf cake

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
grated rind of 1 orange
3/4 c caster sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/4 c extra light olive oil or canola oil
1/3 c milk
1 1/3 c self-raising flour
3/4 c coarsely chopped walnuts
3/4 c chocolate chips
1/2 tsp salt

preheat oven to 180c
Spray loaf pan with cooking oil spray and dust all sides with cocoa. Sift self raising flour and salt in a large bowl. Mix in walnuts and chocolate chips. Make a well in the centre. In a smaller bowl, combine first 6 ingredients and mix well. Pour into the flour mixture and gently stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for approx. 1 hour or until top springs back when pressed. Stand in the pan for 5 minutes.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Chicken kaldereta

I'm trying to add more tomato based dishes in our meals because tomatoes has lots of antioxidants and good for the male specie (lowers risk of prostate cancer). So if you want to keep your MOTH(man of the house) for a long time, feed him tomato based dinners. Raw tomatoes are not as good because it has to reach a certain temperature before it releases lycopene(the good stuff).
I always make beef kaldereta but this is the first time I've made chicken kaldereta. Unlike beef kaldereta, I wanted the sauce to be light and not too rich. I omitted the liver pate' as I thought it's too overpowering for the chicken but I added fennel seed and some herbs that I have in my garden. Dried ones works well too but reduce the amount to a third. I also added lots of stuffed olives because all of us love it including my son who has developed a gourmet taste. He was two when he first tried pesto served on the plane when we went home to the Philippines for a holiday and since then became his favorite pasta sauce.

He loved the kaldereta and couldn't wait for dinner as you can see in the photo.

chicken caldereta
1 k chicken drumsticks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 c tomato paste
1bay leaf
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 medium carrots, cubed
1 medium capsicum (bell pepper), diced
1 small can pineapple
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 c frozen peas
1 c green olives
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 sprig rosemary
pinch of fennel seed
olive oil
salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil and saute onion and garlic until transparent. Turn up heat and add chicken until slightly browned. Turn down heat to medium high and stir in tomato paste and saute for 1 minute. Pour 500 ml of water or chicken broth and add paprika, herbs, fennel seed and bay leaf and cover for ten minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots, pineapple and capsicum and boil until the potatoes are tender then season with salt and pepper and stir in the frozen peas, olives and 1/2 c grated cheese and return to boil. Turn off the heat and serve.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


This recipe is so simple and quick to make. I wasn't even thinking of posting this but I noticed that the other recipes I happen to check were all requiring rice flour. My instinct already told me that I should use glutinous rice flour like my mother and lola used to make. That nothing was wrong with that recipe. But no, curiosity killed the cat or palitaw in this case. It turned out tough and nothing like what palitaw should be.

So folks here is a true and tested recipe for palitaw. I added a few drops of sesame oil in the 'galapong' because I did not have any sesame seeds and sesame oil is the only sesame thing that I have if you get my drift, so it will have to do. I think I just set the world record for using the word sesame in one sentence. Just a few drops to give that fragrant flavour. I don't use grated fresh coconut because I dont like it in my palitaw but feel free to do so.

Serve while warm or microwave it and sprinkle more peanut mixture. I like to have native kakanin with jasmine green tea. It compliments the delicacies sweet rich taste.

3 cups glutinous rice flour
1 1/3 cup water
pinch of salt
dash of sesame oil
2 c roasted peanut, ground
1 1/2 c white sugar

Boil water in a pan or pot.
Mix the first four ingredients. Add some more water if the 'galapong' is too dry or flour if it's sticky and hard to handle. Mix the ground peanut and sugar adjusting the sugar to suit your taste.
Roll 'galapong' into balls and flatten with your thumb. Slowly slide them in the boiling water. Do not overcrowd. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the ones that have floated to the surface.

Coat each palitaw with the peanut mixture and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle some more of the ground mixture and serve warm.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cornbread muffins

Normally, I would make a mashed potato or turmeric rice to go with the roast chicken but I thought I'll give the cornbread muffin another go. I made this muffin in the not so distant past and it turned out tough. It took me awhile to figure out how I can make it better. I reduced the amount of polenta(cornmeal) and increased the amount of plain flour and it turned out just the way I wanted it to, crunchy top and soft bottom.

Cornbread muffin

makes 12 muffins

1 1/2 c self-raising flour

1/2 c yellow cornmeal

3/4 c sugar

3/4 c corn kernels

2 eggs, beaten

2/3 c milk

1/4 c cooking oil

2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 190 c

Mix all the dry ingredients and in a bowl. Add the corn kernels. Make a well in the center and add the milk, eggs, vanilla and oil. Fold gently until just combined.

Divide into 12 1/3 cup capacity muffin pans and bake for 12-15 minutes or until top springs back when pressed.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday roast chicken

One of our all time fave dinner and my fave to prepare. I named it sunday roast chicken because I usually make this when the boys are home and we all can share a nice dinner without turning my kitchen upsidedown in preparation. It's simple, it's easy and it's yummy. Just rub the chicken with the salt rub and leave it in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight. This chicken is so tasty I don't need to make a gravy unless it's mash potato on the side. This time I made corn muffins ala kenny rogers to go with it. I'm going to post the recipe for that in my next blog.

I just pop the chicken in the oven and do something else. Microwave a bowl of frozen peas, corn and carrots and dinner's ready.

You can also use the salt rub for the grilled chicken breast to be used in the chicken pesto pasta recipe

sunday roast chicken

salt rub:
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp
grated rind of 2 lemon, juice reserved
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 tbsp olive oil

Clean a 1.5 k chicken excess fat removed. Dry with a paper towel. Pour the lemon juice and rub inside out. Mix all the ingredients for the salt rub and massage it to the chicken including the cavity. Stuff the cavity with the lemons that's been juiced. Leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to overnight to let the flavours develop. The longer you marinade it the better. Just don't go overboard. There's always the danger of salmonella poisoning when poultry is left too long in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 190 c or 180 for convection oven. Roast the chicken for 1.5 to 2 hours. Prick the thickest part of the thigh. The juice should be clear when cooked. If not return to the oven and cook for a further 15 mins before checking again.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

sweet and sour bola-bola

Actually the title is a misnomer because the bola-bola here is shaped into a log, embutido style and then sliced after frying. But I adapted bola-bola for lack of a better name to give this dish. This is the kind of food that I grew up with. My lola, bless her soul would always make a batch of these meatballs and then steam them before frying. By the time the meatballs are cooked everyone already had a sample before it manages to reach the dining table. I skipped the steaming part. It saves time and there is no significant difference to the end result.

We always have vegies to go with our meal whether it's fish,pasta or meat. The good thing about this dish is that its already got vegies so I don't have to make a salad. Normally I wouldn't put zucchini but it's in the fridge so I'd rather use it than waste it. Surprisingly, it went well with the tangy flavour of the dish.

As always, feel free to experiment with the veggies that you would put in this dish. Generally, the firm and crunchy types like carrot, celery, capsicum and cauliflower are the best ones to use.

sweet and sour bola-bola

5oogms pork mince
1 egg, beaten
1 carrot, grated
1/4 cup water chestnut, finely chopped(optional)
dash of sesame oil
1/4 c spring onion, chopped or 1 onion finely chopped
salt and pepper
cooking oil for frying

sweet and sour veggies:
3 tbsp coking oil
1 carrot, sliced
1 small capsicum, sliced
1 small can pineapple pieces(juice reserved)
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 inch ginger finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp vinegar
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1 1/2 c water
reserved pineapple juice
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients for the bola-bola except for the cooking oil. Shape into three logs and deep fry in medium heat until brown. Let it cool before slicing.

Heat cooking oil and stirfry the onion, garlic, ginger and carrot for 2 minutes. Add the capsicum and zucchini and stirfry for another 2 minutes. Lastly add the pineapple pieces

Meanwhile combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour into the pan with the vegies and stir until thickened.

Arrange sliced bola-bola in a platter and top with the sweet and sour vegies.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beef lasagna

I get my inspirations on what to cook for dinner from the oddest of source. But sometimes I would just stand there in front of the fridge and couldn't decide at all. A cook's block that's what I call it. There are a few mainstay in my freezer. A whole chicken, sausage rolls, frozen pizza dough, beef mince, pork mince, puff pastry, lamb chops and sausages for a quick barbie and some unrecognizable objects pushed at the back which will only be discovered in the next bi-annual fridge clean up.

The idea to make lasagna started with my craving for garlic bread. I thought the garlic bread would be nice to mop a creamy,saucy lasagna. The meat sauce is actually a basic bolognese sauce. The carrot, celery and onion will add a natural sweetness to the sauce. I have a strong aversion to sweet pasta sauce. It makes one ask if he is eating dinner or dessert. It's alright to add a tablespoon of sugar if the passata you use is really acidic but please i beg you... don't use ketchup!

I seldom use butter. If I can get away with it I substitute it with olive oil. My garlic bread is made with olive oil infused with garlic, parsley and basil. You'll never have it any other way again once you tried it. Just brush it on a good crusty bread like pane di casa or french bread or you can use you everyday sandwich bread just like i did. The oil is also good to fry your croutons in to add to caesar salad. But that's for another blog.

beef lasagna

meat sauce:
500gms beef mince
1 700ml passata
1 medium carrot (grated)
3 stalks celery (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
3 cloves crushed garlic
pinch of oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 c beef broth
salt and pepper
1 packet lasagna

Heat half the olive oil in a pan and brown the beef mince in high heat. Remove from pan and set aside. Heat the remaining olive oil and add the onion and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Lower the stove to medium heat. Add the vegetables and let it sweat for 10 mins. Return the mince to the pan and add the passata bay leasf, oregano and the beef broth and season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for 30 minutes to let the flavours develop.

bechamel sauce:
3 c milk
3 tbsp flour
30gms butter
pinch of nutmeg
mozarella cheese

Turn the stove to medium heat. Melt the butter and add the flour in a saucepan and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually add the milk and nutmeg while whisking. Return to the stove and continue whisking until the sauce thickens but in a pouring consistency.

Spread the bottom of a baking dish with 1 cup of meat sauce. Arrange the lasagna sheet then top it with meat sauce then the bechamel sauce. Repeat this procedure ending with the bechamel sauce on top. 3 or 4 layers should be good depending on the depth of the dish. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake in 190 degree oven for for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Let it set for 20 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Beef with broccoli

Stir fry is one of the easiest and quickest food to prepare second only to opening a can of corned beef. But who wants to eat corned beef when you can make this stirfry in about the same amount of time. Just top it on a steaming bowl of rice and it's good to go.

My son and I love broccoli. I often steam it together with carrots and serve it as a side dish when we have adobo or bistek tagalog. My husband on the other hand will eat almost anything. He is not very fond of stir fries but as I told you he is not very picky. You can substitute broccoli with cauliflower or snowpeas

The secret to stir frying is to wait for the wok/pan to turn really hot. Make sure that all the ingredients are ready before you start because the cooking process takes only a few minutes. I always add sesame oil to stirfries as it gives the dish an oriental flavour.

Beef with broccoli
serves 4

1/2 k beef rump (sliced thinly)
1 medium head of broccoli (cut into florets)
1 onion
1 cm ginger
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
dash of sesame oil (optional)
1 tbsp cornflour (dissolved in 1 1/2 c water
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a wok until smoking. Stirfry the beef until slightly browned. Add the ginger and onions and continue stirring for 1 minute then add the broccoli. Stir until the broccoli is tender. Mix the oyster sauce and soy sauce to the cornflour mixture and pour in the wok. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat when the sauce thickens and add the sesame oil and give it one last stir.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Blueberry banana muffin

Of all the cakes/pastries that I've made, muffin is the easiest to whip up. You can add fruits, nuts, chocolate. You can also make a savoury muffin with ham or bacon, cheese,corn and your choice of veggies. This is good for your kids lunch box. I made this muffin last saturday to take to the park. We were meeting with Joshua's new classmate and decided to make this at the last minute. Pretty organized huh! Well blame it on the weather who couldn't decide if its gonna rain or not.

I always make banana muffins when we have overripe bananas at home. This time I have a leftover frozen blueberries so I decided to add them as well since I couldn't add walnuts because Josh's friend is allergic to nuts. The muffins came out light and fluffy and the flavours of banana and muffin blended well.

blueberry banana muffin
makes 12 muffins
2 c self raising flour
3/4 c sugar
2 large bananas (mashed)
150gms blueberries
1/2 c milk
1/4 c canola oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 190 celcius

Mix the flour, sugar,bicarb, salt and set aside. Beat the eggs until frothy then add milk, oil and vanilla essence and pour into the flour mixture. Add the mashed banana and blueberries and fold gently until just combined. Do not overmix as this will make your muffins tough.

Divide the mixture into 12 muffin pans and bake for 15 minutes or top springs back when pressed.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Wholemeal Pizza

All three of us in the family loves pizza. Who doesn't?! A friend once jokingly said that it is one of the 5 main food groups. Low fat pizza is probably the greatest oxymoron in this world.So I thought why not make our own pizza. Not the make-your-own-pizza option at pizza hut duh! but really make your own from scratch. That way we can manage what we put in and how much we put in our pizza. So I thought a wholemeal crust will be good, thin of course! With lots of good olive oil and garlic.Then add a bit more veggies and pepperoni for the meatlovers and voila!.....a guilt free pizza.

wholemeal pizza

2 1/3 c wholemeal flour
1 c plain flour
3 tsp instant dried yeast
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
extra flour to dust

toppings for 1 pizza:
1/2 c grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 c grated tasty/cheddar cheese
1/4 c parmesan cheese
semi-dried tomato
sliced mushrooms
black olives
capsicum (sliced thinly)
crushed garlic
extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle)
dried chilli flakes (optional)
basil leaves(shredded)
1/4 c tomato paste
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper

Mix together the plain flour, yeast and sugar and 1 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Cover and set aside in a draft free place for about 45mins or until bubbly. Preheat the oven to 230 c. Mix in the rest of the dough ingredients and knead in a clean surface for 10 mins by hand or 5 mins in in the mixer. Dust the dough generously with flour if you are kneading by hand as it will be sticky and hard to handle. Divide the dough into 3. Freeze the other two if you only want to make 1 pizza.
Dust the remaining dough with flour and flatten with a rolling pin to your desired thickness. Make allowances as the dough will rise a little as you are putting all the toppings. Don't be too concerned with its shape as it will add to the rustic touch of your pizza.
Spread the tomato paste then top with the cheddar cheese then follow with the rest of the toppings saving the mozzarella, parmesan, garlic for last then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can add as much or as little toppings as you like.
Cook in the oven for about 20 mins or until the top is brown and bubbly.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bacon and spinach frittata

My husband and son always take their lunch to work and school. This is a great way to save and keep my family eating healthy.
I made this fritata on my son's first day in school. I put two slices in his lunch box plus carrot sticks and he finished all of it. It's an ideal 'baon' because its a complete meal in itself. It has potatoes, bacon, spinach and eggs. I also grated lots of cheese on top and finished it off in the grill to obtain that nice pizza like appearance that is very appealing to kids. The other good thing about this is you can add other meat, seafood or veggies like grated zucchini or carrots, peas, capsicum, corn, prawns or your leftover 'giniling'. This dish is so easy to make that you can prepare it in the morning or as a last minute lunch. A salad of mix greens will complete this dish.

bacon and spinach frittata

  • 500 gms potatoes diced
  • 3 rashers bacon chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 c grated cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
Heat about 2 tbsp of cooking oil in a nonstick frying pan. Brown the bacon and add the onion and cook until transluscent. Add the potatoes and cook until soft but not mushy.
While the potatoes are cooking, beat the eggs, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the spinach in the pan and mix. Pour the egg mixture in the pan of potatoes and shake to make sure the egg coats everything. Sprinkle the cheese and dried oregano. Place the frittata under a hot grill for 3 to 5 minutes or until brown.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Grilled chicken pesto

My 5 yr old son joshua loves pesto and will eat it anyway i serve it. But the pesto pasta(that's what he calls it) that i make him is just plain and as a growing boy, he needs protein etc. etc.
This recipe is so simple to make. I have a small herb garden in my backyard so i only have to pick the basil leaves and get the rest from the fridge and pantry and i'm all set.
This is not an original recipe and you can find this in most restaurant menus that serves pasta. I used walnuts instead of pine nuts because the oil found in this wonder food is good for your health. Don't be afraid to substitute as long as you agree with the flavour. I use lime when i'm out of lemon. Theres no drama. But please don't substitute the olive oil.

So here is my take on this recipe. Just serve it as it is or with a simple salad and you have a meal pronto! I hope you enjoy it as much as my son did. I got the thumbs up and a kiss!

grilled chicken pesto

1 whole grilled chicken breast ( deboned)

2 cups basil leaves

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup walnuts

50gms parmesan cheese (extra to serve)

1 clove garlic

salt and pepper to taste

350gms pasta (any will do but i use fussili or penne)

Make the pesto first because pasta is best eaten right after it is cooked so leave it for last. In a food processor or blender, pulse all the ingredients except for the lemon and olive oil, until it is coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil and lemon juice slowly in a stream until it's of a thin paste consistency. Add more oil if you want the sauce thinner.

Meanwhile slice the roast chicken breast across the grain

Cook your pasta of choice according to packet instruction. Drain and toss in the pesto and sliced chicken breast then serve it with more parmesan cheese. Enjoy.