Stuffed French Toast with Poached Apples, Pecans and Cider Sauce

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On Wednesday, I thought that it was just another Fall day when my husband texted me in the middle of the day while he was at work, “We should have French toast tonight for National French Toast Day.” I was planning to make French toast aka pain perdu this week for dinner since we got some raisin challah from his Grandma on Thanksgiving. We both love breakfast foods anytime of the day, not just in the morning so it was the perfect day for it. I had some American-style Neufchâtel cheese in the fridge and an extra Granny Smith apple that was not used in the Dutch apple pie that I made for Thanksgiving, so we celebrated the beloved breakfast treat by having Stuffed French Toast with Cider-Poached Apples. It was an excellent way to celebrate the day! Continue reading

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Mommy Bene’s Macaroni with Beef Recipe and Giving Tuesday!

Hey everyone! Happy Giving Tuesday! After Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, charitable groups have pooled together to start a new tradition, Giving Tuesday! Basically, after all the “consumption time” it is a day to give back, show some generosity and help others by volunteering or donating to a cause. Continue reading

Pumpkin Doughnuts

I hope you all had a fun and relaxing Thanksgiving! I know that I had a good time this holiday with my family. Even though I made a bunch of pies this Thanksgiving–pumpkin, Dutch apple, and cannoli pies; I still was in the mood to do some baking and for something pumpkin-flavoured. Call me crazy! Today I baked pumpkin doughnuts, and yes, of the gluten-free variety. I really have been bit by the gluten-free baking bug. 😀

If you wanted to, you can fry these cake-style doughnuts, but baking is easier and it tastes great!

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Seafood & Vegetable Ya Mein (peanut noodles), a birthday dish for my favorite twins, my Mom and my Aunt

Yesterday was my Mom’s and my Aunt’s birthday. They are identical twins who are both very successful and are role models of mine. Though my Mom lives close to me in Southern California and my aunt lives in the Philippines, they sometimes see each other at family events (last time was at my wedding!) or when my aunt visits us. Since they are twins, It’s cute to see them together and it’s fun to joke and laugh with them.

Like many Asian cultures, we also celebrate birthdays with a noodle dish to represent a long life. In the Philippines, we have pancit for birthdays and also for special occasions where we feast with lots of food. When we cannot all be together to celebrate, we still have pancit, or at least some type of noodles.

To celebrate their birthday, I made a dish called “ya mein”. Continue reading

Quinoa Soda Bread

I am a big fan of Irish breads. Hearty, no-nonsense breads that go well with soups or as I sometimes like it with either Irish cheese or Irish butter. Irish soda bread is one of my favorite breads whether it is sweet  with raisins as in the Americanized version or rustic and dense in the traditional version. Continue reading

Gluten-Free Quinoa Flour Chocolate Biscotti

Biscotti is one of my mom’s favorite cookies. Actually, probably a favorite of my whole family as it is often requested, especially during the holidays. Now that I am doing more gluten-free cooking, biscotti has been on my gluten-free baking list.

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Pan-Seared Scallops & Crunchy Apple Salad Lettuce Cups

I was watching Gordon Ramsay make a simple, yet elegant dish of pan fried scallops with crunchy apple salad on the first episode of his latest TV show Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery CourseImmediately, I knew that I had to make that dish for Thanksgiving. Continue reading

Baguettes – Egg-less & Gluten Free

For a change of pace from what I normally eat, today I baked egg-less gluten-free baguettes, and I can say that I am not disappointed with the results. They really look and taste like bread! Although these GF baguettes do not have the same flavor and texture of traditional baguettes, they have a pleasing earthy flavor all their own. It is hearty, crusty, with a tight, soft crumb. Continue reading

Acorn Squash with Wild Rice Stuffing

Acorn squash is stocked in markets this time of year and it is one of my favorite types of squash. I think most squash are my favorite though. Dark green skin and orange flesh, it is a beautiful-looking squash. I grew up eating squash often as my Dad grew them and still does. Summer squash, winter squash, all different types of squash. I get some nice free squash and pumpkins sometimes 🙂

Roasted acorn squash with wild rice stuffing is a vegetarian dish that I used to eat on Thanksgiving when I did not eat meat and wanted to have something besides tofurkey. I first cooked this dish about 4 years ago after I heard an interview on NPR about a vegetarian Thanksgiving and some veggie-friendly recipes. Continue reading

For the meat lovers: Flap Steak and Nachos

Flap Steak also called Flap Meat or Sirloin Tip is an affordable, yet pretty good cut of meat. There’s isn’t much fat on it too. I don’t eat meat much meat (usually one meal a day) or red meat for that matter, but when I do, I want a juicy, tender, and flavorful piece of meat. This flap steak fits the bill perfectly. I love the grooves on the meat itself, which helps flavor the meat if you use a dry rub or marinade. My husband’s uncle is a master griller and BBQ guy who knows how to make awesome flap meat. I need to ask him for his recipe, but here I’ve used a spice rub based on a recipe from Serious Eats. Continue reading

Pão de queijo (cheese buns), a cheesy gluten-free bread

Pão de queijo is a popular cheese bun in Brazil. It’s made from tapioca (cassava) flour so it is a gluten-free bread. Not that I am on a gluten-free diet, but I think it is good to know. My husband wants to eat healthier foods nowadays. I’ve had some tasty gluten-free foods and it’s fun to experiment with it. I’ll be posting my gluten-free recipe experiments pretty soon.

A couple of years ago, I encountered pão de queijo at Fogo de Chao, a Churrascaria (Brazilian Steakhouse) in Beverly Hills. We were celebrating my grandparents-in-law anniversary and their birthdays. For many of us in the family, it was our first time at a churrascaria. After discovering the cheese balls that were almost hidden in the cloth-lined basket, I ate quite of few of them. So did my mom. The parade of meat  and the sides were great, but I really enjoyed the cheese buns probably more than anything that I tasted there. Chewy, light and densely cheesy. So addictive! Continue reading