Happy World Cup Final 2014!

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Happy World Cup Final 2014! Argentina vs. Germany? Who do you want to win? Currently watching it  right now as I type! Just hoping for a great game! It’s been a pretty exciting month-long competition! Given that it is now on, I won’t take too long to tell you about this dish that I created for the World Cup 2014 final. What could it be other than pasta?  Football/soccer players and all athletes around the world eat pasta to fuel them!  Continue reading

Cherry-bottom Cheesecake (Pie)

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Happy Father’s Day 2014!

My dad loves to garden and has several fruit trees and veggie plants. With the produce that he harvests, he often asks me when I visit, “Can you make a pie or a cake with this?” My dad has a cherry tree and since it is cherry season, I did what he asked! Made a delicious cherry-bottom cheesecake (pie)Continue reading

Noodles and Salad, Part II

UdonPalabok16 Very excited to share these birthday recipes! They turned out really well and my husband really enjoyed them! As I mentioned in the last post, I made Cobb salad, my husband’s favorite salad, and pancit palabok with udon noodles and smoked salmon. Why noodles and salad?  We always celebrate birthdays with pancit! As for salad, my husband loves to eat salads. Get ready, this post is picture heavy!  Continue reading

Doughnut Day!

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 Happy National Doughnut Day 2014!

Every year, we celebrate this day dedicated to doughnuts! Remember celebrating with me last year with vegan baked donuts? This time, I’m at my parent’s house for a week and I think we are avoiding fried food, so this year is another baked version. I don’t have my donut pans here so we had mini donut muffins filled with apricot jamContinue reading

Chicken & Waffles B.L.A.T.

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Been busy in the lab trying to help get some data for a grant that the professor (who I work for) is submitting by the end of the month, hence my lack of wordpress activity. This post has been saved as a draft for about a month! But here it is, in time for Memorial Day! Maybe you are having a picnic, brunch, or other get-together this holiday. A waffle sandwich might hit the spot!

Recently, there seems to be a resurgence in waffle popularity. Nowadays, people are coming up with new dishes using waffle irons. Sorry, the wonut is a bit too over-the-top for me. Nevertheless, I am down to try my hand at waffle sandwiches, as kooky as that may sound. A couple of weeks a go, on a bus ride home, I was thinking about chicken and waffles and craving it. I thought to myself, how about a chicken & waffle B.L.A.T (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) sandwich with sourdough cheddar and chive waffles!? Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Mini Cupcakes…

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…with bacon! Yes, there’s bacon in these cupcakes. As you may know, if you are a regular reader, we don’t shy away from bacon here, especially the high-quality grass-fed variety. A big reason why I don’t fear bacon is that there is actually good fats such as monounsaturated fats and phosphatidyl choline that has antioxidant power superior to vitamin E (for more science-geeky info on bacon, check out this article by the Naughty Nutritionist). But enough about the science, lets get back to the cupcakes!

I made these bacon dark chocolate mini cupcakes for my mother-in-law last weekend on Mother’s Day. She loves dark chocolate so I though that that she might enjoy these cupcakes. You could also leave out the bacon and you’ll get a really nice intensely chocolate-y cupcake!  Continue reading

Cinco de Mayo 2014!

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Busy day but we had some tacos earlier for dinner for Cinco de Mayo. Tacos are probably my favorite Mexican food. What did you have for Cinco de Mayo? My mom always has a Mexican food feast for this holiday. I miss her layered dip, but she says she will make some next time I visit.


Today, a colleague at the lab shared this YouTube video en Español (with English subtitles). “Are those reebok or nike?” I was cracking up at this! I bet it will make you laugh, or at least put a smile on your face this 5th of May! Click play now! Continue reading

Kale-nola?!

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Sometimes you can’t help but be angry or irritated. It just happens. Some stupid little mistake can make you blow a gasket. You just want to scream! There have been times where I have reached for that bag of chips or box of cookies when I am upset about something, but I’ve found another cure for the bad mood – kale-granola aka “kale-nola”Continue reading

Walter Mitty’s Clementine Cake

WalterMittyClementineCake1 A subplot within the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, is the clementine cake. I won’t say too much about it if you haven’t seen the movie and are planning to watch it, but ever since I saw that clementine cake on the big screen a couple of months ago, it’s been on my mind. I think it was the star of the movie for me and maybe other food nerds.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it is a flour-less (almond meal) cake based on Nigella Lawson’s recipe. Read more about this cake and the movie from Cathy Merenda’s blog, who worked in the Walter Mitty studio.  Given that this cake is a no-grain sweet treat, my husband and I enjoyed this cake last week for Easter and Passover. A perfect dessert for celebrating both holidays and any occasion for grain-free and gluten-free eaters.

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(Image credit:  waltermittymovie.tumblr.com)

Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) brings some swagger to this cake. He makes it look cool to carry cake around. Maybe we should try and take his lead and do the same? Wouldn’t it be fun? Continue reading

Happy Easter 2014!


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Happy Easter Sunday dear readers! Also, Happy Passover too! I whipped up some spritz cookies for this spring holiday season. Last year I made Easter Biscuits, and wanted to try something difference, hence the spritz! They kind of look like Christmas spritz they way that I made them, but oh well! Since my husband is observing Passover and is not eating grains (chametz) or anything else labeled as kitniyot, these spritz are Kosher for Passsover and gluten-free too! How? The wheat flour is replaced with coconut flour! Continue reading

“Ancient grain” pancakes (of the thin, roll-able variety)

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Unabashedly simple. No-nonsense food. That’s what pancakes seem to be. Whether they are stacked, spherical, or of the thin, roll-able variety, it is a universal comfort food. I have good memories of my dad making pancakes in the morning, sometimes even on those busy school days. He always makes the best breakfasts and still does. When I was even younger, I still remember my grandmother, who moved to the Philippines when I was about 7 years old, making pancakes and mixing the batter with her hands–no whisk or spatula. She always seems to have the magic touch when she cooks. Her food is always good, including the pancakes. So I have a soft spot for pancakes. While I have fond childhood memories of thick, fluffy pancakes, I am growing to love pancakes in all it’s forms and am a new fan of the thin pancakes, which is more common outside the US. When I first had blintzes with all the different fillings, I was hooked. I had to have rollable pancakes in my repertoire. Now here it is,  a recipe for thin pancakes with “ancient grains.” Continue reading

An unorthodox cream cheese?

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Cashew cream cheese? I’ve been eyeing this type of non-traditional cream cheese for several months now, but have finally have gotten around to making it! Cream cheese is pretty tasty to many people and also my family, especially my little sister, as we have fond memories of large blocks of Raskas (another word that’s fun to say out loud! I’m a fan of those) from Costco.  Nevertheless, it can be fun to try an alternative and be “outside the box” sometimes. Things can get dull under a restrained modus operandi. Being adventurous with food is the passion behind food flavor fascination–embracing both the traditional foods and non-traditional, orthodox and unorthodox. Keeping your cultural roots and comfort foods close, yet going on taste adventures as well. Instead of ordering your regular dish at a restaurant or cooking the same thing for dinner, live on the edge a bit and try something new.  Maybe try this unorthodox cashew cream cheese and a couple of ways to feature it in your next meal! Continue reading

Turkey and Greens Kreplach

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Happy Purim! After we had dinner yesterday, I remembered that this Jewish holiday had started (ends this evening) so I decided to make something for lunch today. Jewish holidays usually celebrate with specific dishes, which are delicious and comforting. Lunch today was another comfort food dish, a traditional Purim dish called kreplach, which are dumplings, also known as “Jewish wontons.”  Continue reading

Mexican Chocolate Pie with Almond Crust

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Yay! Here’s the post that I promised yesterday on Pi(e) Day! Even though I got home a little late yesterday after a day in the lab doing science-ythings such as concentrating proteins and SDS PAGE , I was devoted to coming up with and making a pie! Every year we celebrate Pi(e) Day no matter how busy it is! Inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil‘s True Food Kitchen, one of my favorite San Diego restaurants, I made a Mexican Chocolate Pie with an Almond Crust. At True Food Kitchen, the motto is “Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure.” Their mission is that “every dish served must not only be delicious but must also promote the diner’s well-being.”While the focus is  fresh, nutritive dishes that highlight organic fruits & vegetables, grass-fed meat & wild-caught fish, there is something for everybody whether or not you are a health nut, are a vegan, or eat gluten-free. My in-laws like the restaurant too! You feel content after eating there. Satisfied, but not heavy. I even feel energized enough for a workout. Everything we’ve had is delicious, from the beverages, appetizers, entree to dessert. I’m a big fan of their desserts, especially Dr. Weil’s signature flourless chocolate cakeContinue reading

Happy Pi(e) Day 2014!

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Finally got this pie out of the oven! After a long day in the lab (+ busy long week) and trying to finish up some chores, I was able to bake a pie, specifically it is a Mexican chocolate pie with almond crust. Last year we had pizza with a gluten-free crust. I love Pi(e) Day! I had a bit of a snafu while making this pie and accidentally doubled the amount of eggs, so it is more souffle-like. I’m waiting for my husband to come home to taste a piece. Anyways, gotta go finish up cleaning the kitchen, so I’ll post more tomorrow! So we hope you had a ….

Happy Pi Day!

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Avocado and Mukimame Salad

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Every Tuesday I usually try to go to the farmer’s market on campus (when I can get out of the lab for a bit) to have some lunch and buy some local organic produce. In particular, we’ve been enjoying the different types of avocados that are in season this winter. Though Hass is a friend of mine, Zutano, Ettinger, Fuerte, and Bacon were strangers. Now, they are regulars in my kitchen. All of them are delicious! I asked the farmer what are his favorite ways to use these varieties and he said that he likes to use them in salads and sandwiches. So that’s what I did! We’ve been having this avocado and mukimame salad almost every week this winter! Continue reading

Bidding farewell to the 2014 Sochi Olympics with Khachapuri

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Today I was a bit sad that it was the last day of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. I always look forward to watching the olympics and keeping track of it. It doesn’t matter what sport or event is on, I just enjoy watching it! It is a worldwide tradition! The athletes are inspiring as they are dedicated to their sport and also dedicated to their health. That’s something I admire. This year’s olympics, even though amidst controversies, was pretty good, in my opinion. Do you have a favorite winter olympic sport? I think I got into watching the skiing competitions more this time. I wish I could go watch the olympics in person sometime. Today while the last events were on the TV, I made khachapuri, a Georgian dish that I hear is a Sochi staple. Continue reading

Beet Red Velvet Æbleskiver (pancake puffs)

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Happy Belated Valentines Day!

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Yesterday, for our Valentine’s Dinner we had a wonderful 3-course meal, made by my husband and I. He makes a mean steak, especially filet mignon. Sorry, don’t have pictures of the first two courses, but here’s the dessert:  Beet Red Velvet Æbleskiver with cream cheese filling. Continue reading

Giniling (Filipino-style Picadillo) Kasha Bowl

Giniling2Giniling! Kind of fun to say out loud! It’s a family favorite that I grew up with and it’s become one of my go-to weeknight recipes as it is so easy and pretty quick to make. Maybe takes 30 minutes, tops.  It’s the Filipino version of picadillo, a  ground beef dish with veggies, though other types of chopped up meat is also popular. Usually it is served with rice or as a filling of some sort, commonly in empanadas or other fill-able fare. As usual, I like to veer a bit from the traditional recipe that I grew up with and use a different mix of veggies and serve it with something other than white rice. Kasha?  It’s a grain, more specifically lightly toasted buckwheat groats that can be fluffy like rice, has a nice slightly nutty flavor, some good nutrients, but less intense in taste than the uber-popular quinoa. I was craving for something like a rice bowl, but we are not eating much white rice nowadays so I got the idea for this Giniling Kasha Bowl, a delectable and easy 30-minute meal. Continue reading

Fresh Kamut Noodles with Almond Sauce

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Pasta! Can’t deny it. I’m a sucker for some good pasta or noodles of most any type…even of the squash variety. It’s a comfort food  that has the innate ability to just make you feel happy and remind you of good times with friends and family, at least I think so. On a commercial promo that plays on the Cooking Channel, there’s a guy that says something like, “When I want to feel happy, I go grab a cheeseburger.” For me, it’s noodles! And its so fun to make too! When I was a kid, I had a lot of fun making noodles for Miki Nilad-dit (another type of Filipino chicken noodle soup) with my dad, so I’ve always enjoyed making them. Lately, I’ve been enjoying experimenting with kamut flour and whipped out my pasta gear and made some fresh kamut pasta. Continue reading

Ottolenghi-style lamb rib chops and some fun-sized sweet treats

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In my last post, I mentioned that we had lamb for New Year’s Eve as well as desserts. I wasn’t sure about posting about them, but decided to anyway. These are double-cut lamb chops (from a Frenched rack) with a cilantro and honey sauce from Ottolenghi:  The Cookbook. Yotam Ottolenghi is the chef “known for being the champion of vegetables at the same time as eating and loving meat”(to quote wikipedia). With his cookbooks and eponymous restaurants, he is also known as “the man who sexed up vegetables.” I do not yet have Plenty, his cookbook dedicated to vegetables and vegetarian cooking, but will probably soon get it as well as JerusalemSo far, I like the bold, vibrant Middle-Eastern flavors in his recipes. See more of his recipes and food commentary in his Guardian column. Ottolenghi pulled pork recipe? It’s on my cooking to-do list and maybe I’ll report if this recipe is “bringing sexy back” to pulled pork. Continue reading

Happy New Year! Some happy new recipes for 2014!

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It’s now 2 weeks into January and I haven’t greeted you all a happy new year yet! Better a little late then never so…..Happy 2014 to you all! We wish you the best possible year! Have any resolutions? I don’t remember when I stopped making them, but this year I’m just focusing on being positive (and hopefully inhibit the production of gray/white hairs). I tend to stress (go bonkers) about things (such as finding recyclable plastic in the kitchen garbage can every morning). Nevertheless, I guess I don’t have much reason to be stressed. I don’t have kids yet, hehe, just higher-maintenance fur-kids. As always, here at food flavor fascination, we celebrate with good food (and a little tinkering of recipes & culinary ideas). In addition to the grub, we celebrated with New Year’s Eve traditions of displaying 12 or 13 round fruits to bring prosperity in the new year as picture above (click here to read more about this seemingly peculiar Filipino cultural tradition) and also watching all five of the original Planet of the Apes movies (my husband’s New Year’s Eve tradition). Now, back to the food. We rang in the year with some classic/traditional New Year’s dishes, but updated for 2014. Continue reading

…and the holiday beat goes on

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Christmas just flew by so fast! Belated Merry Christmas! Though many of us have gone back to work, the holiday spirit is still there. The lights are still up, yuletide decor is still hanging happily and the Christmas tree is still supple (hopefully until New Years!). The doggies had fun with Santa as you can see in our Christmas picture. It makes me laugh to see the different expressions–especially Santa! My mother-in-law said that Santa might have been thinking, “What did I get myself into!?!” LOL :) Continue reading

Fall delights–gobbling it up

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What are your fall delights?  I’ll leave afternoon delights alone, LOL. For me, one fall delight is pie and a cup of coffee for breakfast on the day after Thanksgiving. Instead of Black Friday shopping, I’d rather eat naughty ;). I had no shame in it, especially after an hour long walk with the dogs :) Thanksgiving, as always, was a splendid time spent with family, reflecting on things and being full of thanks. The holiday has come and gone, but it still lingers in my mind (+ we’ve been savoring the leftovers). How was your Thanksgiving? And we can’t forget about Thanksgivukkah/Thanukkah as well! Continue reading

Sotanghon Soup v2.0

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We ate a lot of great food on our anniversary. San Francisco is such a delicious city! Who can resist indulging while staying there? Especially with places like Tartine Bakery where we got our pastry craving satisfied. When we got home, I think we wanted to be a bit more salubrious and eat more veggies. My husband has become a big fan of veggie-heavy dishes….except for those with kale….or mixed with quinoa, LOL. I love both, but try not to cook those superfoods as often and just get my fix somehow some place. I blogged about a Filipino-style chicken noodle soup last spring and was craving that, so last night on Halloween we had a different version of it, a veggie-loaded sotanghon (mung bean noodle) soup. Continue reading

Garden Vegetable Slaw with Pea shoots, Corn, and a Creamy Calamansi Dressing

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There’s a backlog of drafts that I will be posting in the next week or so. “So many ideas, but so little time!” That’s how life can be, so I’m going with it. Been back in a lab doing lab things and learning a lot. It’s fun! Besides being in the kitchen, I love being in the lab. For those of you who work in a lab, doesn’t it seem that labs are synonymous with working long hours? I’m studying for the biochemistry subject GRE too. Anyways, back to the food, a dish that can be prepared when you are especially busy. Last month, I came up with a surprisingly delightful slaw of sorts that features some of my dad’s garden goodies. Continue reading

Apple-Honey Challah with Craisins

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Happy New Year! Rosh Hashanah started on Wednesday evening and the celebration ends this evening. It is a time to welcome and celebrate the new year with sweets, traditionally apples dipped in honey. Round-shaped challah, symbolizing continuity, is also a staple for this holiday. A couple of hours ago I finally baked some apple-honey challah with dried cranberries! Continue reading

Gettin’ orange-y wit it, a Whole Carrot-Mango Smoothie with Mint

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Hot hot heat (remember that band, by the way?)! It was feeling really good outside, autumn-like in San Diego, but I think there’s a bit of another heat wave going on here in SoCal and some storms which make things muggy. This morning, after pumping iron (I’m the type who would rather lift weights and do push-ups than run or do a spin class), I wanted to treat myself to a cool drink.  I really like the “Orange Carrot Karma” smoothie at Jamba Juice, but I wanted to see if I could make one at home. I came upon a smoothie recipe over at Camilla Saulsbury’s blog Power Hungry that had these: Continue reading

When Summer meets Autumn: Zucchini Bread Pancakes & Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash

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With windows wide open and summer skin rests,
Fall pulls back his bow and aims at the crest.

Its cool thin arrow cuts through thick air,
It glimmers like silver and tickles the pear.

Slicing through wheat and brushing the sparrow,

It stirs up the hay that lay in your barrow.

Into the window and onto your breast,
Through thinly spun linen it kisses your chest.

Despite the dream and amongst it all,
You know you’ve been kissed by the coming of Fall.

 -Randy Holden, “A Poem:  When Summer Meets Fall” in Chronogram Magazine

Late last month, my husband remarked that it feels more like fall than summer where we live (SD).  I like the weeks in August (and in other months) that is sort-of in-between seasons. But I do have to say that fall is my favorite season. Since getting married in the fall almost two years ago, I like it even better. Now that I think about it, it’s interesting how the seasons and the weather plays such important parts in our lives. In the food world, it is definitely a tremendous influence.
But I’m still enjoying summer and still enjoying the summer bounty of vegetables and other seasonal fare. Many home gardeners like my dad are having to find ways to use up certain fruits or vegetables that grow like weeds. Zucchinis are notorious for that. I think my mom makes 20-30 loaves of zucchini bread every summer. I visit my parents often and was thinking of ways to use up them up and one way is to make… Continue reading

Strozzapreti “Priest strangler” Primavera

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It’s nice so far this August at food flavor fascination headquarters. Lots of stuff to do, but always trying to do things with a smile and that “keep calm, carry on” mentality. We had lots of smiles and laughter yesterday with my family at Del Mar for the horse racing. We’ve been going to the races at least once every season since we have been living in San Diego. I never win at gambling, but I just bet on the horses for fun and not over 10 dollars a race, LOL. It’s nice when someone in my family wins like my husband did. I think maybe a couple of others in our clan won too. But we always have a great time. Great weather, fun food (Gourmet Food truck Festival was on that day too!), and great company! Having an excuse to wear a fascinator hat is also a good thing for the ladies :) “Easy breezy,” I think could sum up the day in two words. I’m not really talking about the Cover Girl motto, however. Just the experience of letting loose, especially with the weather and the nice breeze. Okay, I love being out in the breeze. Speaking of that and going with the theme, if you are looking for something “easy breezy” to cook, here’s is a dish for you:  strozzapreti primavera (no-cook tomato sauce). Continue reading

Birthday Peach Pie

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Turning a year older, to me, is an exciting thing. More things to learn and explore!…and more time to celebrate life. Doesn’t hurt to celebrate a little, right? With a dessert of course! I love what Zen Master Edward Espe Brown writes in The  Tassajara Bread Book about sweet treats,

“A good dessert is a celebration of any occasion. Not that we have to treat ourselves royally every day, but offering dessert with generosity and warmth, we can appreciate the bounty of our lives and celebrate a moment of our aliveness…But I am not also going to scold people for eating a dessert that is really a dessert. Every moment is a gateway to the truth. Which way is in? Which way is out? Are you entering or leaving?…May all beings be healthy, happy, free from suffering. And may desserts celebrate our wondrous nature. Fully.”

Today is my birthday and I’m going to raise my glass, eat a dessert and say “Cheers to the world!” LOL. It’s fun to be a bit kooky, especially on such a day! Despite being a chocolate lover (who always has a chocolate stash!), if there was only one dessert in the world that I would pick, it would be this peach pie made with my dad’s homegrown peaches. Continue reading

Taco time: surf ‘n’ turf edition

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I’ve had this post as a draft for a little over a week now. Finally done moving! Just some unpacking to do, but we are loving the new apartment. Especially the dogs! Below is the post as written before we finished moving. 

We’re in the middle of the moving process. Right now I’m at our new apartment sitting out in the patio typing this blog post. Life feels good when you have a nice breeze while relaxing outside. We’ll be moving everything officially this weekend with help from family and movers. It can be a headache at times to move and get packing (my husband jokes that the kitchen gear will be the worst to finish packing), but it is always an exciting time for us! I think it was my sister who gave me the good advice to keep Tylenol handy while moving! While cleaning out the fridge, I realized that I have some ingredients to make some tacos, two ways:  fish and steak. Or, as I like to call it, surf ‘n’ turf tacos. By the way, do you spy a hungry doggy waiting in the background? Continue reading

Brie-stuffed Burgers and Quenelles

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Happy 5th of July everybody! I hope you all had a ball of an Independence Day yesterday! Good times here at food flavor fascination headquarters too! Did some fun cooking in our soon-to-be vacated apartment. We are in the process of moving closer to my husband’s work. Yesterday he made some great burgers, probably the best burger I have had in a long time. One of his specialties is the cheese-stuffed burger. He has made some with cheddar as well as slider-sized ones in the past. This time it was brie’s turn to be stuffing. It’s one of our favorite cheeses. Sometimes we sneak a small piece to give to the dogs :) Continue reading

No-bake Goat Cheesecake

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Don’t worry, the creative juices are still flowing! Still cooking and working on recipes to post! A couple of weeks ago for Father’s Day, we were driving through Southern California for some family celebrations. It was a bit of a busy time, but I made some mini no-bake goat cheesecakes that came along for the ride, in a cooled container of course. I think that my dad’s favorite animal are goats, hence the goat-themed dessert. Continue reading

David’s Pancit with Bacon, Salmon, Vegetables and more Seafood

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Yesterday was my husband’s birthday so of course we had to have pancit! This post is dedicated to him and also to my mother-in-law (birthday the 17th), my grandparent’s-in-law (June 9th wedding anniversary, birthdays on the 10th and 11th), and uncle-in-law (birthday on the 1st). This weekend we are also celebrating my brother-in-law’s graduation from college. Lots of things to celebrate in June! (See the Remixed Chicken Tikka & Aloo Gobi post on June 1st for my sister’s birthday) I think this is a noodle recipe that’s perfect for all of these special occasions. It is hearty, meaty, yet light and fresh-tasting. It’s not as filling as pasta, but it’s satisfying. Plus, there’s bacon in it! In our families, you can’t go wrong with good bacon! We also love seafood and one of my husband’s favorite fish is salmon. In fact, at our wedding, he chose to have salmon over filet mignon. I think I’m becoming a salmon-cooking master. I cook it often as we are able to get good wild-caught salmon at the market. Also, a noodle dish isn’t a pancit unless there are some sort of veggies mixed in (and calamansi or lemon!). If my husband David were to make a pancit recipe,  I think he would make something similar to this, a noodle dish centered on fun ingredients that he enjoys with pasta (like bacon and shiitake mushrooms!) with rich flavors. Continue reading

Molecular Mac & Cheese in a certain shade of orange

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What? Molecular macaroni and cheese? Yet another macaroni and cheese recipe! Yes! If you like to experiment and spice up your weeknight dinners, this is a fun recipe to try. But it’s really delicious too! And you don’t need a roux! Yay that rhymes :) What makes this mac and cheese recipe “molecular” is the use of a molecular or modernist technique of emulsifying sauces (cheese sauces in particular) with sodium citrate. It’s a salt that comes from citric acid. Citrate itself is an intermediate in the citric acid cycle and thus is involved in the metabolic processes of aerobic organisms. If you majored in science, like I did, you would know citrate intimately, and if you finished a masters in biochemistry like I did, you would know it even more intimately as a friendly metabolite. Add on a sodium ion via bicarbonate and you get sodium citrate, which is nothing to fear. At least I don’t. It’s in our bodies even if you don’t use techniques from modernist cuisine. Continue reading

Happy National Doughnut Day 2013!

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Yay it’s Doughnut Day!

Every first Friday of June is a great odd holiday of National Doughnut Day. We’ve been celebrating this holiday for years. I think it was my husband who brought it up first when we first started dating. Since then, I always keep it in my mind to remember the day and to make some doughnuts. These round bread-y pastries  have always been popular, but in recent years it seems like it’s popularity has skyrocketed. There are even pretzel doughnuts, muffin doughnuts, and I still have to try those “cronuts!” Or maybe if you want to try a new type of doughnut, try some of the pao de quiejo donuts that I made a few weekends ago. With donut maker electric appliances and doughnut baking pans, no wonder these have become more popular, especially homemade. This year I tried a baked version from Official Hungry’s “Eat My Vegan” recipe. I have been eye-ing this for some time and adapted it to a gluten-free recipe. Continue reading

Happy Birthday to My Sister! Chicken Tikka Masala and Aloo Gobi Matar Remixed

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Happy Birthday to my sister! I hope you have a good time today! You deserve it! If only I can send you some of this food! A fun memory I have of my sister while we were kids was when we had some visitors over and a lady asked my sister, she was then a 3 year old, “What is your favorite food?” My sister responded enthusiastically, “Chicken and mashed potatoes!” However, the lady’s daughter, about the same age said “Malunggay!” I can’t believe I still remember this, it makes me laugh thinking about that time. So, for her birthday, I made chicken and mashed potatoes, inspired by Indian cuisine. She loves Indian food and even traveled to Southeast Asia for a mission trip last year as a nursing student. We are really proud of her achievements and desire to help people. In addition to serving many people, I think she developed a taste for foods with spices. So for her birthday, here is an Indian fusion dish:  Crispy potato chip chicken tikka masala with aloo gobi mash. Continue reading

Brunching on donuts de pão de queijo com bacon…Happy Memorial Day Weekend 2013!

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone! We hope you all are getting a chance to spend time with family and remember those who served our country. Though this holiday is synonymous with grilling and eating outdoors, I think it is important to remember why this holiday is significant and why we get together and celebrate. Thank you to all who have served. We appreciate it today and everyday. Cheers to you all!

Like many people out there, we like to spend Memorial Day Weekend relaxing and spending time together. We eat good food and play with the dogs. I think we do this for many other holidays as well. Earlier this weekend I made a brunch dish that would be perfect for this holiday to make you feel happy and in the mood for going outside and/or grilling. Doughnuts of course! Well pão de queijo shaped into doughnuts with bacon added in. Also with a maple bourbon Hollandaise “glaze.” Continue reading

Crispy Purple Yam Tots and a breakfast salad bowl?

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I’ve been a proponent for salads as breakfast fare and was craving one lately. While watching Trisha Yearwood making Garth’s breakfast bowl on her Food Network show Trisha’s Southern Cooking, I suddenly had a craving for a breakfast bowl too. So, that lightbulb thought sparked in my head to combine the two cravings into a breakfast salad bowl with tots, of course. This time crispy purple yam tots for a nod to my Filipino roots. Why would you want salad for breakfast? Try this recipe, tweaking this to your taste if you like, and see for yourself. :D Continue reading

Caramel sweet treats on a relaxing and surprise-filled Mother’s Day

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This was a really fun Mother’s Day weekend! Relaxing and yet surprising! We hope you all had a nice Mother’s Day! As for the surprise, on Saturday, my husband, I, and the two dogs Pipi and Nutter drove up to “the Valley” at my husband’s parent’s house. His mom did not know at all that we would be there and she was so surprised and happy that we came up to spend Mother’s Day weekend with her. You should have seen the look on her face when we got in the door! A happy shock! It’s always a great time visiting them. Pipi and now also Nutter love visiting too!

We took her out for dinner at a cafe not far away from their house and had a great time. The only thing that could make it better is if the dogs could come along to the restaurant too, LOL. After dinner and walking with the dogs, I baked some alfajores, a sweet treat of caramel sandwiched in between two British biscuit-like cookies. I baked some at their house and then finished baking more at my parent’s house on Sunday evening. Lots of alfajores! This time it was alfajores–two ways:  whole wheat and a gluten-free variation. Continue reading

A weekend with the dogs and some chocoflan

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How was your Cinco de Mayo weekend? We celebrated with some festive foods such as tacos and I also baked some gluten-free chocoflan. We stayed home most of the weekend because on Saturday we brought home a doggy! We are watching him for the week and if he meshes well with us and our dog Pipi (who has made some appearances in previous posts), then he can stay! He is a 7 year old Pekingese named Nutter. Continue reading

Avocado-Coconut Panna Cotta

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One of my favorite desserts is panna cotta, a creamy gelatin-based dessert originating from Northern Italy in Piedmont (possibly since the Middle-ages). Panna cotta translates to “cooked cream” in Italian. So delicious. If I see it on a dessert menu, I am most often going to order it! Light, yet creamy and rich-tasting. I like it even better than custard. I think it is about time that I tried to make this dessert! But I always like to play around with ingredients. Tweaking things is a fascination of mine. I just can’t help it even if a food experiment sometimes ends up as a mess or something not palatable at all. Luckily, this recent panna cotta experimentation was a success. Panna cotta should be fool-proof. As David Lebovitz says, “Panna cotta is incredibly easy to make, and if it takes you more than five minutes to put it together, you’re doing something wrong.”

There are some great dishes out in the blog world that celebrate spring and all its green-ness and vibrancy, so I thought I would chime in and do something with avocados as they are in season here. Creamy and rich, I thought it would be a nice parallel in panna cotta. So here’s a spring recipe contribution:  avocado-coconut panna cotta. Continue reading

Oaxacan-style Chicken and Dumplings (Mole Amarillito con Pollo y Chochoyotes)

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Being a Philippine-American, I am naturally drawn to Mexican culture and cuisine as Philippines and Mexico share customs and traditions dating back to some 400 years. If you are interested in reading about the Mexican-Philippine cultural relationship, check out this article. Many  traditional Mexican dishes (non fast-food ones) that I have had remind me of Filipino home cooking and comfort foods. The first time I ate cochinita pibil at a Mexican restaurant, it reminded me of a pork dish that my dad would cook. Though there are some differences in ingredients used (for example:  Filipino adobo refers to a meat stew cooked in a vinegar & soy based sauce and Mexican adobo involves dried and/or smoked chiles), something about Mexican food transports me to my family’s table. I can feel the warmth and care put into making the dishes in the same way that my parents and other relatives do with Filipino food.

Since my husband is recovering from a nasty cough and it has been a bit cloudy outside last week, I made  Oaxacan-style chicken and masa dumplings (mole amarillito con pollo y chochoyotes). This orange-red colored mole is not usually what you would think about when talking mole. Probably the most common is the mole poblano or mole negro that involve chocolate and a slew of other ingredients and spices. There are several types of mole originating in Oaxaca and other states in Mexico, but this mole amarillito isn’t very complicated and doesn’t require so many ingredients. It is easy to whip up and is  full of flavor, I guarantee it! Continue reading

Pasta al vino, zafferano e salsiccia (Pasta with wine, saffron and sausage)

PastaAlVino4 My friends, family and I love to go out to eat at Italian restaurants and I never seem to tire of it. Especially the pasta dishes (and maybe tiramisu as well). How about you? My husband and I have eaten at several great Italian restaurants in San Diego, our hometown of about 3 years. Our favorites are Antica Trattoria and Osteria Panevino (our dog loves eating there with us too!). My husband likes to eat pasta and cooks it really well too. The first meal that he cooked while we were dating was a salad and a vegetarian pasta dish (as I was a vegetarian at the time), like a pasta primavera. I was impressed. Today, pasta is a staple in our home.

We had a bunch of pork shoulder stored in the freezer so I decided to grind it up and make sausage out of it. I left it loose and did not stuff it into casings so I could cook a really interesting dish:  pasta with wine, saffron and sausage (also known as pasta al vino, zafferano e salsiccia).   Continue reading

Green Smoothie Muffins and Pistachio Milk

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I’m feeling mean green today. In sixth grade, my friends and I would do silly things and one of the things that I did (among other crazy kid things) was perform rap songs. To my friends, I was once “The Mean Green Rapper Crapper” because I was a wannabe rapper and my favorite color was green. So silly, but those were the days of being crazy kids. I was influenced by those times as I was developing a new muffin recipe and an accompaniment to it. I was thinking of using green things that are good for your insides so that they do their job well (LOL yes, alluding to my former rap name). I love zucchini bread and muffins, but wanted to use a different green veggie. Cruciferous kale is big nowadays, so I decided to try it out in a muffin recipe along with banana, apple, and pineapple, which are often found in green smoothies. When I wanted to stop my coffee and caffeine addiction a couple of years ago, I started having tea or a green smoothie instead, often with kale and a few fruit pals. Moreover, I love matcha green tea in green smoothies so I added it here in this recipe. The pistachios are a nice addition as well. Going with the green theme, I also made pistachio milk, which, when paired with these green smoothie muffins, is a mean & green, yet delightful combo. :D Continue reading

The Double-Double Burger, a vegan variation

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Yes, we are going vegan today. Like with many dishes, I am not afraid to try different variations on the theme whether it be vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or carnivorous versions. There are only a few burgers that I haven’t liked and that’s mainly due to culinary execution.  I’ve had the common beef, turkey, and salmon burgers in addition to boar, buffalo, elk and my favorite–Crazee Burger’s alligator burger with fruit & curry tapenade. So I’m always on the quest for a good burger, including the vegetarian or vegan ones. I grew up eating veggie burgers and have enjoyed them throughout the years, but this vegan double-double burger is my new favorite burger. Continue reading