Mung Bean Stew (Monggo Guisado) for a true friend

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“You’re only a dog, old fellow; a dog, and you’ve had your day;
But never a friend of all my friends has been truer than you alway.”
– Julian Stearns Cutler

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Happy Easter 2013!

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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! ūüėÄ 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.

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Matza Lasagna with Greens & Mushrooms

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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

Passover Popovers

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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

Mocha Brownies for Passover

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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.

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Filipino Chicken Noodle Soup with Turkey Meatballs (Sotanghon Soup)

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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! ūüėÄ 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

Lucky Pasta

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This weekend was all about green things and Irish fun. I hope you all had a fun St. Patrick’s Day weekend! We had a good time with good food and good people adorned with green. Had some left over corned beef and cabbage and some cute four-leaf clover shaped pasta I found at World Market so I made a dish out of it: ¬†lucky pasta. Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day inspired cupcakes

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I couldn’t help myself. I jumped on the bandwagon and baked something with chocolate and stout! Luscious cakes.¬†Gotta live a little, right?¬†ūüėÄ 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

Greek Greens Pie with Cornbread Crust (Hortopita)

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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

Carrot and Hazelnut Muffins…with a hidden ingredient

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“The rule is flavor, and flavor rules.”

-Master Breadmaker Peter Reinhart

Okay, I won’t keep you in suspense, the hidden ingredient to these carrot and hazelnut muffins is…butternut squash! These muffins have another secret too…they are gluten-free! But they taste really good! That’s no secret ūüôā A year ago I never thought that I would cook gluten-free foods. I’m not on a gluten-free diet, but I love the challenge of cooking gluten-free, especially in baking, where baked goods usually depend on the chemistry of gluten. I enjoy science, and gluten-free baking is like a science experiment for me, in addition to cooking in general. I realized that even if dishes are gluten-free–if it tastes good and makes you feel good, what’s the harm in that? Thus, I wholeheartedly subscribe to Peter Reinhart’s “Flavor Rule” where flavor determines what I enjoy in a dish, not labels–whether gluten-free or otherwise.

Now, back to the muffins. These butternut squash,¬†carrot and hazelnut muffins were inspired by a recipe I found in¬†Whole Living magazine. It is a great all-around muffin recipe with a nice soft and moist texture. They taste even better the next day, or days later. Makes for a great post-workout snack, after-work/school snack, or even as part of a quick breakfast (though I prefer more savory foods in the morning). I decided to use carrot instead of apple in the original recipe and it was definitely yummy. I think you can pretty much sub or add in ingredients like you would in a normal muffin or quick-bread recipe. Zucchini, banana, and chocolate, you’re next!

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Mussels Adobo with Potatoes

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A couple of weeks ago, I bought some cookbooks (I finally caved in!) and have been eager to test out some recipes or find inspiration from the recipes in the books. One of the books that I purchased was Chef Brian Malarkey‘s¬†Come Early Stay Late and it is a beautiful book with photographs of each dish (yay!). I would recommend buying this book if you are into cookbooks. We’ve been to 2 of his 5 restaurants in San Diego, and have had nothing but delectable experiences. Searsucker and Gingham are a couple of our favorite San Diego restaurants. We make sure to eat there especially on restaurant week! Maybe you have seen Chef Malarkey on the new reality cooking show¬†The Taste or on Top Chef Miami¬†(season 3 in 2007)? Anyways, if you haven’t heard of him, I’m telling you that his food gives you a happy feeling like a beam of sunshine. Well, that’s how I feel!

One of these days, we’ll have to check out his Asian-influenced restaurant called Burlap as one of their top dishes there is Mussels Adobo. I was proud to read about the popularity of the dish and proud that people are enjoying dishes inspired by Filipino cuisine. There is actually a Filipino mussels adobo dish which in Tagalog is called “adobong tahong.” Seeing the mussels adobo recipe in the cookbook inspired me to explore my family’s recipe with a restaurant-style touch from the Burlap version. My parents also gave us some half shell green mussels–thanks! So here is my version of mussels adobo with potatoes. Continue reading

Hamantaschen

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Have you ever heard of Hamantaschen? It is a Jewish pastry that is part of the Purim festivities. It is a tender, crumbly, and buttery-tasting cookie shaped in a triangle and has a filling. I never knew about these cookies until about 3 years ago when my husband and I started to go to D.Z. Akins, our town’s Jewish-style deli. My husband especially likes that place when he is craving for Matzo ball soup and a good corned beef sandwich. I really like their barley soup. ¬†Their bakery is really good too! Their hamantaschen are very yummy! I guess that when I heard that Purim is this weekend, I got a sudden craving for Hamantaschen. So I made some! Continue reading

Blog of the Year 2012 ‚ėÜ3!

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Woohoo! Yay! A nomination for a 3rd star for the Blog of the Year Award! I truly feel honored to be nominated and to be a part of this great community of bloggers. Thank you to Fae from¬†Fae’s Twist & Tango¬†for nominating me! Her blog is one of my favorites and is also one of the most interesting ones out there! Go check it out! Continue reading

Broiled Hake in Tomato-Olive Crust

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I love fish! I love learning about them–their biology, systematics, ecology, etc. I spent many hours as a undergraduate researcher in a university biology fish lab (specifically with guppies & close relatives), was the first author of a manuscript, and for a couple of years was the lab manager in charge of hundreds of fish tanks. I became very attune to the needs of the fish that I worked with that I think I was in some ways “The Fish Whisperer.” I ordered all their supplies, coordinated a team of students to help care for them, spent weekends cleaning tanks and measuring their reproductive capabilities (for the scientific research of maternal provisioning–yes, some fish I worked with had placentas too! lol ), and I even made a special dish for them–a beef liver¬†p√Ęt√© for optimal nutrition. Anyhow, I get excited by the subject of fish. Just ask my parents! They have been there with me through all of my fish adventures at school and with the several incarnations of the family fish tank at home while growing up.¬†Of course, I also enjoy fish in the culinary realm–cooking and eating them!

Anyone else love fish? I learn a lot about food when I go grocery shopping. On a grocery trip recently, I encountered a new fish for me, a white fish called hake (Merluccius capensis) or also commonly called Cape Capensis in the U.S. and Merluza in Spain. Continue reading

Super Sweet Blogging


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I hope you all had fun on Valentine’s Day! It was a lovely Valentine’s Day for my family and I. Nice and relaxing. I am out of town so I couldn’t celebrate with my husband today, but he was very sweet to send me a dozen red roses ūüôā My mom stopped by The Cupcake Place, a cupcake bakery¬†near her work and got some very delicious cupcakes–the favorite of ours was a chocolate cupcake called “Tall, Dark, and Handsome.” I only ate half of it and it was one of the best cupcakes I have ever had! Nice and balanced–not too sweet at all. So, I would say that this Valentine’s Day 2013 was really sweet!

Been behind on doing award posts (sorry!), but I will get to them. Going with the sweet theme, I’ve been nominated for the Super Sweet Blogging Award! ¬†Thank you to the super sweet Fae from Fae’s Twist & Tango ¬†for nominating me! I really enjoy learning new things every time I read your blog! Continue reading

St. Valentine’s Day Pop Tarts‚ÄĒsomething for the kid in all of us

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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.
‚ÄĒEnglish nursery rhyme,¬†Gammer Gurton’s Garland¬†(1784)

Love is in the air as St. Valentine’s Day is approaching (on Thursday) ūüôā 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

Spaghetti Squash, Onion, and Cashew Pizza

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Who doesn’t like pizza? I guess it is rare to encounter someone who ¬†isn’t into pizza. It’s a very customizable dish, which makes it fun for everybody. Even gluten-free pizza satisfies many, myself included. I like all types of pizza! From salsiccia (sausage) to spinach and goat cheese (my husband’s favorite), there are so many types of pizza to shkoff! I always wondered why Chicago-style fans and New York-style fans butt head over which pizza is better. I think, the more the merrier! Why not enjoy more than one type? The only thing that gets to me with pizza is when it is too greasy. I get a sickening feeling seeing an oil slick, often with the reddish hue, on my slice. One way to circumvent that problem is to make your own pizza!

How about an unusual one? A little while ago, I wanted to make a weird pizza. In the kitchen, it’s not a rare occurrence for me to make something that I think may be unusual. I have a fascination with such things ūüôā ¬†So… here is what I thought up: ¬†a Spaghetti Squash, Onion and Cashew Pizza. This is the type of dish that you can just throw together without following a recipe, as are the case with most pizza. So here is a step-by step tutorial of sorts with comments. Continue reading

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

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Yay! I am so happy that I got nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!! It is really nice to get to know great bloggers out there and learn about new blogs through these awards. I want to thank the authors of the blogs Savor the Food and tuttacronaca for nominating me for this award! I really appreciate the support! Continue reading

Pancit Canton Bistek + Happy Birthday Dad! & Happy Anniversary to my Parents!

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Happy weekend everyone! I have to start by wishing my Dad a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Today is his birthday and I am so glad that he is my Dad! Also, ¬†on Thursday it was my parents 31st Wedding Anniversary! They are definitely a couple to look up to and admire. I’m glad they went out to celebrate yesterday by going to a Lea Salonga concert in Palm Springs. They had a great time and they deserve it! This post is dedicated to them.

As you probably know or if you have read some of my posts, that Filipinos (and many other cultures) celebrate special occasions by feasting well and by eating noodles, specifically a noodle dish called Pancit. There are many variations of Pancit noodles such as Pancit Guisado, Pancit Malabon, Pancit Hab-Hab, and Pancit Canton to name a few. Wikipedia lists 29 variations! I’m sure there are more out there!

I was thinking, for these specific occasions that I would do a different type of Pancit and of course continue in my fascination of tweaking and tinkering with foods. Since we are celebrating my Mom and Dad, I thought,” Hmmm…what is a dish that my Dad is known for and that my Mom often requests?” My Mom asks my Dad to make Bistek very often and it is a family favorite. It is a dish with¬†Beef Steak and Onions in a soy-lemon sauce.¬†Bistek is one of his specialties! Also, he¬†loves to eat steak on his birthday in addition to Pancit, so I thought that the best dish to fit the special occasions would be to combine Pancit with Filipino Bistek. The result is a dish that is flavor-packed and fun to eat! It is hearty, yet light at the same time. It’s a noodle wonderland with meaty goodness!¬† Continue reading

Fresh Lumpia Cabbage Wraps, a Remix on Lumpiang Sariwa

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Last week, I was at my parent’s house visiting for the week. Since I still go to my dentist near where they live, I often stay at their place for a few days when I have an appointment. One thing that I love, besides spending time with my family and the good food that they make is that I get to test some recipes on them. They have a bigger kitchen, so it is a nice change-of-pace to cook there instead of my small apartment kitchen. I think I mentioned in some of my other posts that my Dad has a big garden and that I often get some of his homegrown produce. One new item that he planted this season is a type of cabbage. I’m not sure exactly what the name of it is, but it seems like Savoy Cabbage. I told my Mom that I was thinking of making some sort of cabbage wrap with it and she gave me the delightful idea to make Lumpiang Sariwa (aka Fresh Lumpia) with the cabbage as a wrapper and some of the Spaghetti Squash Pancit Guisado (+ added veggies)¬†that I had made. Continue reading

Pancit Guisado with Spaghetti Squash Noodles

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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

Sorghum Flatbread (Jowar ki Roti/Bhakri)

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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

Esau’s Lentils

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What can I say about lentils except that they are awesome! Radical even. I came across several recipes for Esau’s Red Lentil stew (also called Jacob’s pottage), a dish inspired by ancient times. In addition to ethnic dishes, historical and ancient dishes fascinate me. What a story about a birthright and lentils that was! I cannot deny that the story of Jacob and Esau is a very fascinating one for me. So, I was eager to try to make lentils that seemed to be worthy of a birthright. Continue reading

Eggnog Tea Cakes

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After making Swedish-style Meatballs with Eggnog last week, I still had some eggnog leftover. I should have made a double batch of them, but was also curious on what would happen if I baked with it. So, to appease my curiosity, last Friday I baked some Eggnog Tea Cakes. Continue reading

Blog of the Year 2012 award ‚ėÜ2!

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Wow, I have been nominated for a 2nd star for the¬†Blog of the Year 2012 award! I want to thank¬†¬†Fae from¬†Fae’s Twist & Tango¬†for nominating me. Along with great pictures and videos, she has awesome travel stories and a wide knowledge of cultures and cuisines throughout the world. When you read her blog you will learn a lot! ¬†Thank you again Fae! Continue reading

Swedish-style Meatballs with Eggnog

SwedishMeatballs9To celebrate the New Year, I had some eggnog, but had some left over. What can I do with leftover eggnog? Didn’t feel like drinking anymore of it since it is sweet and rich and wanted to avoid such things for a while, so, inspired by The Food In My Beard’s Beef StrogaNog, I decided to make Swedish Meatballs with Eggnog. Continue reading

Blog of the Year 2012 Award!

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I am always surprised to receive an award nomination, but was even more surprised to be nominated for the Blog of the Year 2012 award! I am behind on posting about some awards, but I thought I would get to this one as soon as possible since it is the new year. I thank TUTTACRONACA for nominating me for this award. Check out this blog! Very interesting and profound posts, pictures, and info that makes you think. I always learn something new from reading it. Thank you again. Continue reading

Happy New Year 2013! + a New Year’s Pizza

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As much as I wanted the holiday season not to end, I am happy that it is 2013! Looking forward to this new year and all that it brings. We had a nice, laid-back New Year’s Eve celebration that included our tradition of watching a Planet of the Apes¬†(from the late 60’s and early 70’s) marathon , setting out 13 round fruits for a Filipino tradition, and of course eating good food. How did you celebrate New Years Eve and/or New Year’s Day? Continue reading

A quirky cookie, an Allergy-free version of Costco’s Aussie Bites

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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

Better Than Sex Cake

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Christmas is almost here! It’s been a bit hectic with all the holiday preparations so I haven’t had much computer time. I love getting ready for the holidays and I always get ambitious with my holiday baking. This year, I think I made about 7 different holiday treats to package and give to friends and family. I’ll do a post on one of the treats in a day or so. I love giving homemade gifts ūüôā ¬†Last year, I think I did 10 different holiday sweets. I don’t bake or make so much sweets during the year because my husband and I don’t like to eat sweets often so I like to really go all out during the holidays to take care of my baking itch.

On Thursday last week, my husband had a holiday potluck at his work and he asked If I would like to make something for him to bring. My mom gave me the great idea to make the Better Than Sex Cake. When we were growing up, my Mom would make this for special occasions and birthdays. Her coworkers loved it when she brought it to work too. It was a hit with everyone every time. I didn’t know the name of this cake until sometime in my twenties since, as kids, we always called it “the chocolate cake with skor bar” or “chocolate caramel poke cake.” Continue reading

Brussels Sprouts Chaat Salad

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Is it weird to eat salad for breakfast? With all the holiday cheer of sweets and indulgent foods, I’ve been trying to achieve a balance and eat some good stuff too (like salad for breakfast)! Have you ever had salad for breakfast? Yesterday, we took our Papillon-mix to the groomer at 8 am and then I went back to sleep. I guess it’s a luxury for me right now to be able to go back to sleep or sleep in and wake up late. Since it was late-breakfast to early lunch-time, I had a brunch of Brussels sprouts salad with chaat masala. Continue reading

Latkes for Dummies Recipe

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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).

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Holiday Side-Dish Inspired Pizza

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We all have our favorite holiday foods. Some of my favorite holiday side dishes are green bean casserole and brussels sprouts with apple and bacon.What are yours? Why not have those holiday dishes on a pizza? Using the skillet-broiler method for making pizza, that’s what I did recently and had some fun with¬†holiday side-dish inspired pizza. Continue reading

Eggs in Purgatory (Uova in Purgatorio)

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Eggs in Purgatory. Doesn’t it sound a bit creepy? It definitely stands out as a name for a dish (I have a fascination for things with interesting names). In Italian, it is Uova in Purgatorio. Fun to say aloud. Whatever you call it in wherever country, this is a simple yet satisfying dish. Something rustic and comforting that is great for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is the traditional dish for Italians on New Year’s Day and I might just have to make it then too even though I am not Italian! Continue reading

The Liebster Award

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Sorry this took a while to post, but I have been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award! Chef Randall at Savor the Food¬†has nominated me¬†for this award. I was very surprised! Thank you! You can tell that Chef Randall loves food and sharing it with others–check out Savor the Food¬†(he has nice video tutorials too)!

Liebster Award Rules and Requirements

1) Post eleven facts about yourself.
2) Answer the questions the tagger has set for you and create eleven questions for people you’ve nominated.
3) Choose eleven people (with fewer than 200 followers) to give this award to and link them in your post.
4) Go to their page and tell them.
5) Remember, no tag backs.

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Chaat Masala Chips – Two Ways

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About a week ago, at lunch, I was at home heating up a bowl of chicken and vegetable noodle soup and wanted something crunchy with my meal. Something crunchy that was also spicy. Chips! Who hasn’t liked those sensations that you get from eating chips? It’s those sensations that hook you. Crunch. Flavor. Crunch. That’s why chips are so addicting. Can’t explain that experience of eating chips into words very well. Some phenomenological qualia that’s addicting. Lol.¬†However, chips are usually fried and I don’t like to eat fried foods often. When I make nachos, I make my own tortilla chips by baking them, so I decided to make myself some baked tortilla chips since I had some corn tortillas on hand. Of course, normal fried tortilla chips taste better, but baking the chips is a nice compromise. For the flavor kick, I used chaat masala, an Indian spice mix that I really enjoy. I like the hint of sweetness from the amchoor (dried mango powder) in the blend of spices.

I’m also a fan of veggie chips and earlier this week wanted some kale chips. Why not spice it up with some chaat masala? Kale with ¬†garlic, salt & pepper is a great classic, but it also pairs well with the sweet and spicy notes in chaat masala. Below is a recipe for chaat masala chips, two ways: ¬†spicy kale and tortilla chips. Continue reading

Jeera Spaghetti

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Suraj, a friend of mine since first grade, loves talking about food and the recipes he tells me about, especially his family recipes, always sound so good. He gave me some pointers on Vegetable Manchurian, which I have featured in a previous post. Here is one of his recipes Jeera Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce. It is a great dish for a weeknight when you are busy because, like many pasta dishes, it does not take too long to make.

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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¬†Neufch√Ętel¬†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

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. ūüėÄ

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 Course.¬†Immediately, 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