Showing posts from March, 2012

Blueberry Crumb Cake

It's the second time for me to make this cake. And as the usual cliche goes, "it's lovelier the second time around". True enough, this cake is now officially in my list of favorites. How could it not be? The recipe is from one of my favorite food celebrities no less than "the" Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa fame. I made some modifications of the recipe though to suit my own liking. What I particularly liked about this cake is it's very mild profile. It's not too rich neither overwhelming in sweetness. It got the right balance of taste. The crumb gave an enjoyable texture to the overall flavor.
What you need:
For the Crumb or Streusel:
1/8 cup granulated sugar
scant 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup all purpose flour

For the Cake:
6 tbsp unsalted butter (3/4 stick), at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/4 cup …

Apple Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake

If there's one type of cake that will be quite easy to play around with in terms of variations, it will definitely be Upside-Down Cake. As soon as you've perfected your base, the choice for decorative topping is endless. The most popular to use are nuts and fresh fruits. I'm starting to develop a high liking for this kind of cake. Within a month, I've already served three types of upside-down cake to my sweet tots. But why bother to count? For sure there are still more to come.
What you need:
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup light brown sugar 2 apples, peeled, cored & sliced into wedges 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup milk
How to make:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat bottom and side of an 8-inch round cake pan with 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle bottom with brown sugar. In a medium bowl, toss apples w…

Weekend Breakfast #02 : Tuna Linguine and Cucumber-Dill Egg Sandwich

The kids were enrolled in a swimming lesson. So their normal routine on weekends usually starts with a fun activity. If swimming is to them, then cooking is for me. Because this translates to having me prepare a filling breakfast to provide them the much needed energy for such a physical engagement. No complains though, it's an errand that I'm always more than willing to take. As usual, I'm happy to serve any wandering palate. Last weekend, their plate consisted of a carbo-rich meal - Tuna Linguine, Cucumber-Dill Egg Sandwich, Baked Beans and Fresh Fruits.
Tuna Linguine

What you need:
250g linguine
1/2 cup pasta water reserve
2 cans tuna in olive oil
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp ground basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese

How to make:
1. Cook linguine according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, drain linguine and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a pan. Saute onion and garlic until fragrant. …

Mary Grace Ensaymada

One of the things that I truly missed in the Philippines is the abundance of delicious baked goods. From subtle and mild to sinful and indulgent, the market never runs out of new product ideas. The sweet industry is always abuzz with new craze. There was a time where premium Ensaymadabecame a must try pastry. And one of the names that made a mark was Mary Grace. It became popular for its melt in the mouth texture. For that alone, Mary Grace Ensaymada definitely won the sweet Filipino palate. Fresh from her recent trip to the Philippines, a colleague brought some in the office and I had a bit of nostalgia from every bite. It still tasted the same since the last time I tried it. It still delivered that promise of soft, moist and melt in the mouth indulgence.

Lemon Cake

Undoubtedly, Lemon Cake is one of the most popular cakes around. So popular it is that in fact, recipes are abundant. It's almost a must have in any baking book. Likewise, there are a lot of variations available and the choices are limitless. Inspite of its popularity though, some people will still either hate it or love it. Since our taste buds were oriented with cakes having a sweet profile, anything that's out of the zone should require a development for liking. Generally, it can be quite subjective. But for me, the melding of sweet & sour notes is something delightful. When baked or combined with other sweet substances, the sourness of lemon becomes subtle and mild. It also provides a distinct juicy character that makes the cake more mouthwatering. This cake can be best served as a dessert to rich and creamy meals. It will definitely break the satiation factor.

What you need:
Cake 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar 3 large eggs 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/3 cup milk 1 …

Alcohol & Caffeine Free Tiramisu

I'm a big fan of the classic Italian cake dessert - Tiramisu. Although I'm slightly averse with alcoholic notes, the blending of sweet, bitter and creamy flavors of the cake is something really enjoyable. It maybe one of the easiest cake to make since it only involves a simple mixing and layering process; but it could be one of the most delicate too in terms of preparation. The classic recipe includes raw eggs and food safety precautions must be observed at all cost against possible salmonella contamination. Personally, I don't prefer the recipe that calls for raw eggs especially if I'll be serving it to small kids. Hence, I came up with this child friendly recipe that both kids and kids at heart can enjoy. For people who are veering away from alcohol and caffeine, it's still possible to indulge into this yummy cake with this recipe.  
What you need:
200g pack lady fingers or Savoiardi biscuits
300ml whipping cream
40g icing sugar, sifted
2 tbsp granulated instant d…

Weekend Breakfast #01 : Penne alla Norma and Choco Banana Caramel Crepe

As a mom, my first errand on weekends is usually preparing breakfast for the kids. I look forward to it because it's the only day where I can dedicate ample time for mommy duties. I have two different kinds of palate to please. One that's adventurous and another that belongs to the more challenging group of picky eaters. Hence, it's quite tough to come up with food varieties from time to time. Nonetheless, the challenge of preparing something in between is always a welcome dilemma.
This year, I'll be starting some food series for the blog and one of which is Weekend Breakfast. It'll basically chronicle all our weekend servings of good food at home. I just couldn't emphasize more on how important family meals are. With a big sigh, weekends are our only time to get the best shot of gathering our loved ones. That's why personally, these are really treasured days for me. So let me start this series with an Italian and French combo meal - Penne Alla Norma and Ch…

Weekend Dinner #04 : Parmesan Crusted Pork Chop on Garlic Spinach, Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Mushrooms, Garlic Bread and Mixed Berries Parfait

I simply love this plate! It speaks of subtlety. Although the main course I chose is meat, it's well complemented with a mildly flavored pasta and bread. I've been having this menu in mind for the entire week; thinking of the different ways how the pork chop will be cooked. In the end, I opted for a kid friendly recipe. Also, I decided to rest for a while from the sinful baked goods. We still have to stick to the diet plan for my eldest tot who's really going beyond the right range of weight for his age. Hence, that explains for the healthy dessert this time around.

Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Swiss Brown Mushrooms
What you need: 500g spaghetti 1/2 cup of pasta water reserve 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 4 cloves of garlic, chopped horizontally 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped 4 pcs swiss brown mushroom, sliced thinly salt & pepper to taste grated parmesan cheese
How to make: 1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before drainin…

Mango Walnut Crumb Cake

When it comes to having  the best tasting mango in the world, a number of countries want to claim the crown. In Asia alone, it will be a contention among countries like the Philippines, India, Thailand, Indonesia just to name a few. Having tried the varieties of these countries, I would say that Philippines definitely top the list. It got the right balance of sweetness, juicy and succulent. Its quality is definitely world class. So imagine my excitement and delight when a collegue generously shared some fresh mangoes from her recent trip to the Philippines. And so fortunate I was, that the mangoes even came from Zambales. A town that's made popular for its sweet and delicious mangoes. Instead of consuming the fruits as it is, I immediately thought of making a mango cake out of it. Still fresh from a Blueberry Crumb Cake indulgence (another cake recipe which I've yet to blog about), I decided to make another version with no less than the best tasting mango in Asia. The recipe i…

Steamed Red Grouper with Light Soy Sauce on Kailan Vegetables

Prior to moving to Singapore, I've always been wanting to prepare Chinese food at home. Especially the steamed fish, soaked in umami rich soy sauce kind. For us, it's a prime choice in every dining experience at a chinese restaurant. Needless to say, I'm always fascinated at how Chinese Cook usually stir this kind of dish. So when we relocated in the Lion City, I have every reason to believe that this time around I can easily make it at home. Chinese Cook books are abundant as much as the ingredients. Therefore, weekend lunch usually includes a serving of fish dish like this one.

What you need:
2 pcs red grouper fillet
a bunch of kailan vegetables
2 tbsp canola oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp ginger, julienne
1 small red onion, chopped
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp spring onions, julienne

How to make:
1. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Steam until the fish becomes tender. 2. Blanch kailan vegetabl…

Weekend Dinner #03 : Pan Roasted Round Steak and Nutty Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I just can't get enough of red meat these days. I found myself lucky perusing the aisles of the supermarket last weekend for I caught some good round steaks in the meat section. Notably, it has the right thickness that I'm looking for a steak, it's  not too thin nor too thick (about 1 1/2 cm).  So I thought it would be easier to cook. True enough, roasting it in the pan is like a walk in the park. I didn't have to bother at all on its doneness.  It came out just the way I liked it. I served it with baked asparagus and complemented it with a nice mushroom gravy.
Pan Roasted Round Steak

Heat a non-stick frying pan to high heat. Oil the pan a little, add sprigs of rosemary and 1 garlic clove. Sear the meat for 1 1/2 mins on each side. Transfer to a plate and rest for at least 5 mins before serving.

Mushroom Gravy

Heat the frying pan with the meat drippings. Melt 1 tbsp butter. Add and saute 1 cup swiss brown mushroom slices until the juice comes out. Add 1 tbsp all purp…

Banofee Pie a la Our Taste of Life

Although my taste buds is largely partial to savoury flavors, there are certain sweet goods that definitely left a remarkable memory in me. So much so that occasional cravings of it continue to haunt me. A classic example of that is the pastry dessert Banofee Pie. In the Philippines, there are a number of food establishments that serve good quality Banofee Pie. But I guess, the most readily available is that of Starbucks. I've yet to see and taste a Singapore version and sadly, up to this day I haven't tried any. Thus, to satisfy an insistent desire for this goodie, I made one at home recently. It may be too rich to have, but really it'll leave you heavenly satisfied.
Banoffe Pie
What you need: 200g + 50g crushed graham crackers 1 cup melted butter 1 cup brown sugar 4 pcs banana, sliced horizontally 4 tbsp nutella spread 1 pack heavy cream, whipped caramel syrup chocolate syrup
How to make: 1. Prepare the crust. Mix 200g graham crackers, butter and sugar. Press in a 9-inch pie pan. F…

Weekend Dinner #02 : Roasted Lemon Rosemary Chicken, Shrimps Dill Salad, Portobello Mushroom with Veggie Stir-fry and Chocolate Almond Upside-Down Cake

TGIF! Thank God It's Friday! It's perhaps the most appreciated remark in the workforce. After working so hard for the whole week, we all look forward to a relaxing weekend. For me, it usually starts on a friday night and it's marked with a good family dinner at home.  
For this weekend's menu, it's a take off from a typical Roasted Chicken Platter. We are a fan of Kenny Rogers and the like, so we tried to bring it at home with this repertoire - Roasted Lemon Rosemary Chicken for the main dish, Shrimps Dill Salad and Portobello Mushroom with Veggie Stir-fry for the side dish and Chocolate Almond Upside Down Cake for dessert.
Shrimps Dill Salad
What you need: 500g shrimps, cleaned and deveined kosher salt 2 cups water 1 lemon, cut into wedges 1/2 tsp dijon mustard 2 tbsp mayonnaise salt and pepper to taste 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp finely chopped onion 2 - 3 tbsp finely chopped celery 3 tbsp minced dill
How to make: 1. Boil water in a pot. Season with kosher salt…

Weekend Dinner #01 : Pan Roasted Ribeye Steak, Linguine with Shrimps Scampi, Fresh Greens Salad with Homemade Vinaigrette and Very Berry Cheese Cake

Work life has been terribly busy this last week. So when the weekend came, I felt I really need a treat. And for a Foodie like me, what better way there is to de-stress than cooking? I made a trip to Fair Price Finest to look for a good cut of steaks. Lucky me! Fresh stocks of meat from New Zealand are still available. I opted for a 150-day grain fed rib eye steak. The moment I saw the meat, I felt some excitement started to build up within me. The marbling of fats in the meat is such a joy to behold. And boy, it was not cheap! These 2 slabs alone cost me S$38 bucks. Well, what's the surprise? Good quality usually comes with a price tag.
For tonight, we're having a western set meal. Fresh Greens Salad with Home made Vinaigrette, Linguine with Shrimps Scampi, Pan Roasted Rib Eye Steak and Very Berry Cheese Cake for dessert.
Fresh Greens Salad with Vinaigrette

What you need:
1 pack of organic greens
1 tsp minced garlic
kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 1/2…