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
…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
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
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.
(Image credit: waltermittymovie.tumblr.com)
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
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
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
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 cake… Continue reading
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!
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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. 😀 Continue reading
Happy Easter to all my readers! It’s a beautiful day to enjoy our family, friends and good food. I hope you all are having a good time! What are your Easter plans? For Easter 2013, it will be a relaxing day for my family and I. We (including our Papillon-mix dog) are going out to eat! There are a number of restaurants in my town that allow dogs in the outdoor area. Can’t wait! Since I am not cooking, of course I had to bake something! 😀 I read an interesting post over at Lois Elsden’s blog (be sure to check out her blog!) on her Easter treats and saw a recipe for Easter Biscuits that fascinated me.
Since it’s Holy Week and Passover at the same time, I had to cook dinners with no meat and also Kosher for Passover for both my husband and I. During Holy Week, there are days when Catholics abstain from meat. I always follow these traditions. My husband always follows his Jewish traditions too. So for a dinner that had no meat and was Kosher, I was reminded of some ideas I found last year, while perusing Pinterest. I saw some pins on lasagna using matza as the noodles. So, I decided to give it a go and made matza lasagna with greens & mushrooms. Continue reading
Popovers for Passover? Never heard of them until about a year ago when my Grandma-in-law gave me a recipe for it after we were all full from eating the really good food that she made for Passover seder last year. After getting that recipe, a few days later, I tried making them and they turned out to be delicious. Actually, they are “delectable” as Martha Stewart would often describe the food she was tasting on TV. This recipe is from a Martha Stewart episode on Passover years ago. These popovers are made from matzo cake meal, which I also used in the mocha brownies. The procedure is pretty straightforward. It’s like making choux pastry. Continue reading
As the sun sets, I would like to wish you all a Happy Passover! I know that many of you are busy preparing for the holiday and festivities. I hope that your seder dinner goes well and you have a great time! Though I am not Jewish, my husband is following the traditions and that means food for him has to be Kosher for Passover. So, for something sweet to enjoy, I made Mocha Nut Brownies for Passover.
What are cellophane noodles? Do you know what they are? It is a type of noodle made out of mung bean starch and is also known as mung bean threads, glass noodles, or mung bean vermicelli among other names. Filipinos call it sotanghon. These are one of my favorite noodles and my mom would often cook with sotanghon more than bihon (rice vermicelli). I guess I was jonesing for some sotanghon soup. It’s the Filipino version of chicken noodle soup, though there are multiple variations on chicken noodle soup in Filipino cuisine. Just replace the sotanghon with elbow macaroni and you have sopas! Or take out some of the veggies, use homemade pasta and you have miki nilad-dit, which is my dad’s specialty. Today is sotanghon day and even though the weather has gotten a bit warmer, I’m still wanting some soup. How about you? Heck, I don’t mind eating this in the heat of summer either! 😀 It’s just a comforting dish. I’ve added some turkey meatballs to make a two bird soup of Chicken Sotanghon Soup with Turkey Meatballs. Continue reading
I couldn’t help myself. I jumped on the bandwagon and baked something with chocolate and stout! Luscious cakes. Gotta live a little, right? 😀 In recent years, there has been an explosion of chocolate and stout desserts especially for St. Patrick’s Day and last year I made chocolate stout cupcakes from Nook & Pantry. Those were really good. This year, I baked another chocolate stout cupcake, but with different ingredients based on the butternut squash, carrot, and hazelnut muffins I recently made. Using that recipe and a recipe from Cannelle et Vanille as motivation, I came up with St. Patrick’s Day inspired stout and chocolate cupcakes with Carolans cream cheese frosting. These cupcakes can be gluten-free if you use gluten-free dark beer. Continue reading
Those that know me know that not only do I love to cook, but also that I like to spend some time watching cooking shows. I was watching PBS one morning and came across a show on Greek cuisine called The Cooking Odyssey hosted by Chef Yanni Mameletzis. It was an episode on Trikala, a city in Northwestern Greece, in Thessaly. I enjoyed watching the show. Every time I see Greece on TV or some sort of media, its so beautiful it just makes me feel like in awe, like I would want to be in that world. I’d be staring at the beautiful scenery with my mouth open, my eye muscles relaxed and softened to a gaze as if in a trance. Haha, anyways, most of the PBS cooking shows I like, in contrast to Food Network. What do you guys think about PBS or Food Network? PBS shows appeal to me more, though there are some shows that I like on FN. On The Cooking Odyssey, a particular rustic-type pie called hortopita caught my eye. It is a cornmeal pie with a wild greens filling. I never saw cornmeal used as a pie crust, or if I did, it did not catch my attention then. I’ve eaten phyllo based dishes such as spanakopita, but didn’t know that Greek cuisine included cornmeal much. So…since I was fascinated, on a nice and sunny day in San Diego while yearning to be in Greece, I made Greek Greens Pie with Cornbread Crust. Continue reading
The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.—English nursery rhyme, Gammer Gurton’s Garland (1784)
Love is in the air as St. Valentine’s Day is approaching (on Thursday) 🙂 The history of this holiday and it’s origins is rooted in the martyrology of Valentine, who was said to have illegally performed weddings to soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted during the Roman Empire. Then, by the time of Geoffrey Chaucer (known as the “Father of English Literature“) in the High Middle Ages, Valentine’s Day became a day to celebrate romantic love full of flowers, sweets, and valentine cards. Continue reading
Noodle time again! Though it was not anyone’s birthday this week, I wanted to make Pancit Guisado, a Filipino stir-fry noodle dish with vegetables, seafood, and meat. We’ve been continuing to enjoy the winter squashes that are available, especially Spaghetti Squash, which are in it’s peak season from fall to winter. I’ve seen a lot of pasta applications to Spaghetti Squash, but I think that it could also be adapted to any noodle dish or beyond. What better way to satisfy my Pancit craving and my fascination with tweaking dishes like this Filipino favorite than with the tasty, nutrition-packed and unique Spaghetti Squash? Continue reading
As you probably know, I love experimenting with and eating gluten-free foods. I’ve had some sorghum flour that I wanted to make something with and was excited to try making Jowar ki Roti or Jowar ki Bhakri. This is a flatbread made with only sorghum flour and without the help of any gums or other common gluten-free binding agents. To make this flatbread you need just the sorghum (jowar) flour, salt, water, and oil which is optional. Continue reading
A part of me wishes that the holiday season won’t end. It’s a time of fun with family and good food. Probably the reason that I don’t want the season to end is because I’ve been battling the stomach flu since Christmas Day and wasn’t able to enjoy it as usual. Nevertheless, I am better now and am itching to get back to cooking and blogging. Last week, I promised to post a recipe of one of the holiday treats that I made and gave to friends and family, so here it is…..a post on Aussie Bites! Continue reading
Happy Chanukah friends, family, and blogosphere! Time to make latkes! Everyone in my family loves latkes aka potato pancakes. Part of my husband’s family is Jewish so I have come to love this dish. Last year, we spent the holidays with his family and I had fun learning how to make latkes and partaking in the tradition. A couple of years ago, we got the Latkes for Dummies recipe from his Grandma, but didn’t get around to making them until this holiday season (plus I couldn’t find where I put it so she e-mailed us the recipe–Thank you!). The Latkes for Dummies recipe is really tasty and very similar to the family recipe except that the family recipe is done by taste.
Hanukkah or Chanukah is known as “the festival of lights” that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and commemorates the recapture of the Holy Temple from the Greeks. Oil is central to this eight-day holiday because of the miracle in which the oil used to light the Temple’s menorah was supposed to last only one day, but burned for eight days. To celebrate Chanukah, the tradition is to eat foods fried in oil such as latkes and jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot).
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
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!
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
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.
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
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