"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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KUSINA | TAHANAN | HARDIN | PAGMUMUNI-MUNI | MGA ANAKIS | HARCOMBE DIET JOURNEY

Baking & Cooking

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Brioche Molds

 

I finally got my brioche molds which I ordered week before the Lenten season! I got the size shown here (5.5 inch for the widest diameter. I think that's the perfect size for mamon and special ensaymada. These molds that I got are heavy tin and sturdy, to my surprise, unlike the molds I got from a friend which she bought in the Philippines. They are made in France (oh, and brioche is a French bread).

Now I can make supersoft ensaymadas flavored with fillings - ube, yema (will experiment on this, per Bobong's suggestion), hazelnut cream filling, etc.

I just need to find the time...it's hard during summer...gardening season, outing season, vacation time (not that we plan to go anywhere far this year). Sigh....

Ham Fried Rice

 
Easy...
Loved by my kids, fried rice is often found in any Filipino household as a common preparation for leftover rice. My older son loves making fried rice (and younger son is happy to have a share without spending much effort). Though my husband has very much learned to accept some Chinese food and actually likes fried rice in Chinese restaurant, he has never attempted tasting fried rice cooked at home (What's up with that????), which, in my opinon, is waaaay much better than that in the Chinese resto. Oh well...who said it was easy feeding my husband?
Ingredients:
LEFTOVERS -
Rice (we deliberately cook rice to end up with leftover. My kids love fried rice)
1 cup or so Ham, shredded (this was pork ham from our own pig we raised, cooked a la New England boiled dinner)
1 cup Frozen veggies (carrots and peas)
3 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
3 tbsp oil
soy sauce or Maggi Seasoning, salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
Heat oil. Sautee garlic until fragrant and golden brown. Add veggies and ham. Add rice and stir, breaking rice clumps. Season with soy sauce/seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until well heated thorough (my kids don't like the fried rice "tutong"-like, and neither do I). Can be eaten alone ("Kanin pa lang, ulam na!" is a common Filipino saying for such fried rice complete with protein source and veggies) or with anything you fancy.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chocolate-Hazelnut Roulade

Chocolate-hazelnut roulade was what I had in mind when I learned of the previous LaPiS theme Swirl n Twirl. I had been wanting to bake it since I saw the photo in Hannaford's fresh magazine. While I loved the consistency of the cake (basically a sponge cake) and the taste of the hazelnut filling, I was not too pleased with the mocha whipped cream icing. So even if I will post here the same recipe (I modified the filling), I do not recommend the icing. I probably would settle for the chocolate icing that I have been using in my favorite cake to prepare for birthdays.

Another thing that I would change in the way I prepared this is to beat the cream cheese only after 30 minutes of it in room temp. The way I made it, I soaked the pack in hot water, then got it out and let sit for more than 30 minutes in room temp. It made the filling a tad runny, and I think that was the reason why the roulade looks "collapsed". Or maybe I should have chilled the filling a bit before spreading on the cake. Oh well, lessons learned...

Ingredients:
Cake
5 Tbs cake flour
2 Tbs Cornstarch
2/3 cup Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted, divided into two 1/3 cup
1/8 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
4 ea Large eggs, separated
3/4 cup Sugar, divided
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Hazelnut Cream Filling
1/2 cup Hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
8-oz cream cheese
2 cups Confectioners or powdered sugar, sifted
3 Tbs Hazelnut liqueur (I found Kahlua brand)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mocha Whipped Cream
3 Tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder, plus
1 cup Heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp Instant powdered coffee dissolved in 1 tsp Hot water

Instructions:
1. Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan with vegetable spray or solid shortening. Line pan with baking parchment, and then spray or grease parchment. Dust parchment with flour and tap out excess flour.
2. Sift together flour, cornstarch, 1/3 cup of the cocoa, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In large bowl of an electric mixer, whip 4 egg whites until foamy (reserve yolks). Gradually add ½ cup of the sugar while whipping to peaks that are stiff but not dry. Scrape whites into another bowl, set them aside (don't worry, they won't deflate), and return unwashed bowl and beater to mixer.
4. In same bowl, whip yolks, vanilla, and remaining ¼ cup sugar together until thick and very pale in color (3 to 5 minutes or more, depending upon type of mixer used). By hand with a rubber spatula, fold about one-third of whipped whites into yolks to lighten them. Sprinkle on and gently fold in about one-quarter of flour-cocoa mixture; fold gently to maintain batter volume. Alternately fold in remaining dry mixture and whipped whites until batter is fairly even in color; don't worry if there are a few streaks of white.
5. Scoop batter onto prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or just until top is springy to the touch and a cake tester in center comes out clean. Don't over bake or cake will dry out too much to roll without cracking. While cake bakes, set a dish towel flat on counter and sift on remaining 1/3 cup cocoa, making a rectangle about 10 by 15 inches. (Note: After use, shake out towel over sink and wash in cold water - cocoa won't stain towel.)
6. As soon as cake is baked, invert it over sifted cocoa on towel. Lift off pan and peel off parchment. With a serrated knife, slice off a scant 1/8-inch strip around all crisp cake edges so that it will roll easily. Fold one short end of the towel over a short end of the cake, and roll them together. Set aside, seam down, on wire rack until cake is cold, about 1 hour.
7. Make the filling. Start by toasting the hazelnuts. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in 325 degrees F oven until fragrant and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
8. In large bowl of an electric mixer set on medium-high, blend cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until completely smooth. Add liqueur and vanilla and blend. Taste and adjust sugar or liqueur if needed. Finely chop nuts and stir in.
9. When cake is completely cold, unroll it and spread evenly with hazelnut cream filling. Re-roll cake and place seam side down on a plate. Dust surface with confectioners' sugar, or prepare a Buche de Noel.
10. Make the Mocha Whipped Cream. Sift together cocoa and confectioners' sugar. In a medium bowl, combine cream and dissolved coffee (mix coffee granules in hot water). Use an electric mixer to whip cream. As soft peaks begin to appear, gradually add sugar cocoa mixture. Whip until peaks become a little firmer, but be careful not to over beat - about 3 minutes. Gently spread mocha whipped cream over prepared roulade. Run fork tines in cream along length of log. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. May be prepared a day in advance and refrigerated. Just before serving, sift on a faint dusting of cocoa.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chicken and Corn Soup

 

One advantage of keeping frozen chicken broth or stock in the freezer is that I can have tasty satisfying soups anytime.

Chicken and corn soup is one of those comfort foods that my kids and I love.

Ingredients:
1-2 cups cooked chicken bits
2 quarts (4 cups) chicken broth
1 (11-oz) can sweet corn kernels, drained
2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water (or broth)
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
salt and pepper to taste
spring onions (optional)

Instructions:
Boil corn in broth until done. Add chicken bits and let boil. Stir in cornstarch mixture in slow stream until soup is slightly thickened. Remove from heat then pour the beaten egg slowly while stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with spring onions to serve.
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Smoked Pork Chops

 


Smoked Pork Chops is the only pork I buy from the grocery store (if you have been reading my blog for quite some time now, you know that we raise our own pig). This is because my husband loves this stuff. We all do, actually. We get the Smithfield brand, which has 5 thin pieces. During those days when I am on duty and not having anything cooking in the slow cooker, smoked pork chops served with green peas and potatoes or rice is one easy meal I can prepare within 10-15 minutes, as long as I remember to tell the kids to cook rice before I come home (or I tell them to do so while on my way). I wash a potato or two (for hubby and/or stepd), sprinkle with salt, cover with wet paper towel then cling wrap and microwave (each takes about 4 minutes). I start the peas and start heating up the pan. I butter the pan and cook each side of chop for about 4 minutes or until nicely browned.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

KNB: Nu-Wave Infrared Tabletop Oven

I saw this in a catalog, and I was intrigued. A portable oven where I can cook a whole chicken even straight from the freezer??? For less than $100??? While I essentially have no need for an additional oven since my conventional oven does a good job already, my curiosity got the better of me. This seemed like a very good idea for those who do not have the space in the kitchen for a conventional oven, or for those who simply cannot afford one. How about college students? it also claims to be able to bake muffins or rolls...that I gotta try.

Anyway, I checked out the product reviews in amazon.com before I made this purchase. The first dish I made out of this is roasted cornish hen. While it took a while to bake, I realized I made a mistake of not cooking the back for half the time intially before turning it over to cook the breast part. But we ended up with very moist chicken which we loved.


Then I tried to cook steaks (marinated) in it, and they were tender and moist as well. My husband was very pleased with the results, and we were not sure whether it was the marinade that made the steaks moist though they were well done, or it was the oven itself.

The advantages are that I can cook frozen foods without having to pre-heat the oven, and end up with cooking time same as that using conventional oven minus the thawing time. Easy clean up as well (just like you would ordinary dishes). It does not heat up the kitchen as much as conventional oven does. The space it has for baking is just right for a family size meal (as long as I am not planning to bake other things like rolls or breads at the same time).

I did buy an extender ring (for additional $38++) so I could bake big chickens and small turkeys in it. The extender ring includes the transparent ring that makes the wall higher, and a rack that is 2 inches high, plus additional smaller nonstick baking pan.

While this is another clutter on my countertop, after I am done getting to know it, I will pass it on to my older son when he goes out of the house, living on his own, cooking for himself or with a friend. (Or I might love it all the more as time goes by!) I will still have to experiment baking yeast breads or muffins or cakes in it. If it really does as promised on ads, then I have got myself a winner at a bargain price.

This is what I got from my recent google ads and foodbuzz earnings. So my dear readers, if you have been enjoying my recipes here, paki-klik lang po ang mga gugel adverts for additional incentive for me to keep on posting. TY!

Friday, April 24, 2009

LaPiS: Swirls n Twirls

Do you remember holding that sparkler during New Year's Eve and waving it around and around making circles in the air?...You did the same thing with a ribbon tied at the tip of a stick....

Swirls n Twirls

They hypnotize you....

They connote continuity...presence of life and mobility versus stagnation...

Reminds me of windmills...pinwheels...scrolls...

The tendrils of vines...or curly hair...

Calligraphy...

Graceful dancing...a ballerina...or a playful child going round and round until she gets dizzy...

The motion of my wrist and the spatula as I fold whipped egg whites into the cake batter...

Swirls n Twirls are in my kitchen and my favorite foods as well...cakes, pastries, ice cream sundaes, lollipop...spice rack, paper towel holder, shelf brackets, chandelier...they are so pretty, and I just love them!


Do you love Swirls n Twirls too?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lentil Shrimp Soup (Ginisang Lentil)


A good substitute for ginisang munggo, lentil is faster to cook and tastes and feels almost like mung beans.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups of lentils
3 tbsp oil
3 clovces garlic, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced,
2-3 medium tomatoes, sliced
1/2 lb shelled shrimps (or more, if you like)
2 cups chicken broth (or as desired
dash of ground basil
a bunch or a package of spinach
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
Wash lentils and soak for at least 30 minutes (up to one hour) with water double the amount of the lentils. Drain.

Heat oil and sautee garlic, onions and tomatoes. Add the lentils and broth; simmer for 10 minutes (or until lentils are soft enough for you; I prefer mine with a little resistance). Season with salt and pepper as necessary. Add a dash of ground basil.

During the last two minutes of cooking, add the shrimps and stir until shrimps turn pink. Turn the heat off. Add the spinach and stir to wilt. Enjoy with plain rice.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Special Mamon (mala-Goldilocks)

Special Mamon
Well, at least"Special Mamon na mala-Goldilocks" was my first thought when I tasted this milk sponge cake the first time I made one for the base cake of crema de fruta. And I was not the only one who had the same opinion. The latest comment I received for crema de fruta was from Joy Leaming, who said the cake itself tasted like mamon from Goldilocks.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Laing (using Haddock and Collard Greens)


I always have the craving for laing when I feel like going mostly vegetarian (mostly because I am and never will be a pure vegan), usually when I want to lose some weight.

However, being too far from Asian stores, and actually never really finding the dehydrated taro leaves in this state, I looked at some of the greens available in the grocery store and felt them with my fingertips, trying to imagine their consistency in comparison with fresh taro leaves. The collard greens seemed close enough...and I started my quest in finding a good substitute for taro leaves in cooking laing.

I have friends who have tried fiddleheads for this mainly-veggie dish, paired with pork. But for some reason, I get dizzy eating fiddleheads. It must have some component that did not agree with me.

I also have cooked spinach haddock laing, although it was heavier on haddock, so it was like a marriage between fish chowder and laing, using coconut milk instead of milk or cream. It was one of the recipes I submitted to Hannaford when they interviewed me for the "Food Lover's Favorite" column in fresh magazine.

But I really wanted a leafy type of veggie to make this dish with. Collard greens seemed like a good substitute.

I am posting here a procedure that I think will give me a better outcome. When I tried cooking this, I did not realized that the collard greens took a lot of time to cook to the tenderness I desired, and in effect, the fish was overcooked, and the coconut milk almost turned all the way to oil (I want it to reach only the creamy stage, not oily). So with the following revision in the procedure, I hope to next time cook this again, hoping that the results will be what I had hoped to achieved. Because after the "getting-to-know-you" stage (I admit I was not too fond of the veggie at first, because it somewhat left a subtle hint of bitterness, maybe because it was not fully cooked), I have come to love the taste of it on the subsequent days when I had it for lunch.

Ingredients:
1 bunch collard greens, cut horizontally in strips (separate the hard stems from the greens)
3 tbsp oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 onion, slilced
3 tbsp (roughly) equivalent slices of ginger root
1 pound haddock, sliced (or you may purchase chowder cut;they are cheaper)
1 cup water (or enough to half cook the greens)
1 can premium coconut milk
3 tbsp patis (fish sauce)
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

In a wok, sautee the ginger and garlic in hot oil. Follow with onions and cook until translucent. Add patis and let sizzle. Add 1 cup water and the stems. Let boil for about 5 minutes. Add the greens and stir. Let boil until just past half-cooked (I'd say about 10 minutes). You may have to add some more water to make sure it does not dry up. Add the coconut milk and let boil for about 5 minutes uncovered. Add the fish cuts and let cook for about two minutes or so (do not overcook). Enjoy with plain rice.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Maple Oatmeal Bread


This is one of the recipes that I sought to make because of available ingredients. My in-laws just made another batch of maple syrup for this year (they do around March) and gave us some. I still had some from last year's, so I thought I'd look for a recipe to use up the opened jar sitting int he fridge. I found one at KAF, but I modified the recipe. Reading their blog about this recipe, I learned that they originally made use of 1/2 cup maple syrup. and while they made use of water, maple syrup and maple flavoring to brush the top to save on the expensive ingredient, I did not have to do that.

I had about 1/2 cup from a pint jar of maple syrup, and after pouring that off into a measuring cup, I had maple sugar sediment at the bottom, which I crushed with fork. This was what I used to brush the top of the loaf prior to baking. The blog author was right, the maple flavor was like creeping on you slowly...and toasting it (I do for 5 minutes) brings out the full flavor. Perfect for breakfast with my coffee, even plain or with jam.

And since I was using my bread machine, I changes the flours to bread flour and traditional whole wheat, both KAF brands, and the yeast to BM yeast. Of course, once these ingredients are changed, the method changes as well.

Ingredients:
* 3/4 cup warm water (80-100 deg F)
* 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
* 1/2 cup real maple syrup
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 3/4 cup King Arthur 100% Traditional Whole Wheat Flour
* 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
* 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast


Instructions:



Combine all wet ingredients and warm up to 80 to 100 deg F. Place in BM pan. (Don't forget the paddle!)

Combine all dry ingredients and place on top of dry. Start the dough cycle. Run a timer for 30 minutes (this will be the total time of kneading by the machine before it rests to rise for one hour), after which, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and flatten with your floured palm to a disk. Generously grease your loaf pan.

Roll the dough to a log and place seam side down in an 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 loaf pan (if you use a bigger one, your loaf will not have an overhang and will seem to small for the pan). Cover with cling wrap smeared with shortening on the side that will eventually touch the dough so that dough will not stick when you remove the plastic later. Let rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours in a warm, draft-free, moist place or until the dough has doubled in size and has about 1 inch overhang.

Heat the oven to 350 deg F. Place rack at the middle.

Remove plastic and brush the top with maple sugar-syrup all over. (I placed the loaf pan on another shallow pan to catch syrup drippings.). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when top is tapped with finger.

Let cool down for about 5 minutes before turning onto a cooling wire rack. KAF advises to let it cool fully before slicing. I don't. I think the reason they advise that is that it is easy to compress and deform the loaf with the pressure of slicer. I have, in the past, even as a child, learned to angle the loaf in such a way that my slicer hits the bottom corner first. When done this way, versus hitting the loaf from the top or flat sides, the bread maintains its shape, especially if you are not hastening the slicing.

Now this is very artisanal, all-natural, and heart-healthy. I loved the flavor and my kids did as well. Too bad, I did not expect it to take a long time to rise to a level I wanted it to, so that we ate supper first before I baked this, so hubby did not have a taste of it as soon as it was baked (he prefers his breads and rolls eaten at meal times). When freshhly baked, it had a wonderful crunchy crust with that maple sugar on top. This top would not be there after placing in ziploc bag, even upon reheating in a toaster. However, like I said above, toasting it brings out the maple flavor of the bread itself.

This would be a wonderful holiday bread to share with relatives.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Hot Fudge Chocolate Pudding Cake


I had been studying for my NRP certification on Friday, but I so badly wanted to be able to make something to enter in this week's LaPiS theme: MELTed bliss. I had been teasing my kids with the photo of this delectable and easy to bake chocolate dessert, but I told them they would have to wait because I needed to study for my certification. My stepd offered to bake it the other night, but it was too late (at 10 pm) and I told her she could make it the next day (yesterday). She started measuring, but got confused with the instruction (I asked her to take note of "divided" measurements for white sugar and cocoa), so she gave up. My older son volunteered then. And this was his product. I am two chapters away from finishing the DVD "textbook" and I thought I could use a break by blogging about it.

I am so proud of him!

Taken from my Hershey's Classic Recipes cookbook, the recipe can be found online.

Ingredients:

* 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa, divided
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
* 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1-1/4 cups hot water
* Whipped topping

Instructions:

Slideshow below is not a step-by-step series since my son was the one whipping it up while I was studying...I took the photos when it was done.


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar, flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk, butter and vanilla; beat until smooth.

2. Pour batter into ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Stir together remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and remaining 1/4 cup cocoa; sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Pour hot water over top; do not stir.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes. Serve in dessert dishes, spooning sauce from bottom of pan over top. Makes about 8 servings.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Summer Squash Zucchini Stir-Fry


I have been having cravings for veggies lately because I feel heavier...I need to cut down on fats and meat, and instead stuff myself up with more fiber and vitamins.

If I were in the Philippines and someone asked me what this was, I would have answered, "ginisang gulay" or "lutong bahala na," but I am posting it anyway in my blog, with a more appropriate name. Actually, both summer squash and zucchini are categorzed into "summer squash," in contrast with winter squash, where butternut squash (and other hardy varieties) would fall into, the kinds that keep good in the pantry. This is so easy and good, even my kids love it. I just got about an ounce of meat thinly sliced off a frozen steak which I later on cooked as bistek tagalog (which reminds me, I have not posted a recipe here for bistek!).

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
1-2 oz thinly sliced beef (or whatever meat or seafood; added for flavor) - optional
1 stalk celery, cut in half longitudinally then cut into small cubes
1/2 each of red and green bell peppers (I used frozen ones), diced
1 zucchini, cut in wedges
1 summer squash, cut in wedges (the longitudinal one like zucchini, but you may want to use the sunburst?-like type)
3 tbsp Kikkoman stir-fry sauce (or to taste)
dash of pepper

Instructions
Heat wok on medium for about 5 minutes. Add butter until clarified. Stir-fry beef for 1 minute. Add celery and bell peppers and stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add the summer squash and zucchini. Stir fry for bout 2-3 minutes. Add stir-fry sauce and stir. Season with pepper.

Serve on plain rice.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Basic Muffin Recipe


I have always been intrigued by the muffins I see in stores -- the ones with high domes/peaks....I have always wondered how that is achieved, whether that depends on the recipe or the oven temperature or the placement of pan in the oven. Well, I started the quest for the answer by using a basic muffin recipe. I finally learned the secret to making nice domes of muffins: preheating the oven to high heat, which creates an effect akin to "golpe de gulat" as we would refer to it in the Philippines. As soon as the muffin pan is placed inside the oven, the temp is dropped down to the right temp (which will not burn the muffins's exterior and leave the center underbaked). Next thing I will experiment on is whether I could do the same trick with my favorite blueberry muffin recipe.

I did use the King Arthur recipe just to experience for myself whether the trick they taught there was for real, which it was. But Wena also has an almost the same recipe, only with more oil, which also helps with prolonging shelf life and accounts for the tenderness, although we probably can experiment adding mashed sweet potato or regular potato, or some sweet sticky rice flour or tapioca flour to see how these affect the tenderness. I knew at some point in my childhood life, my Tatay experimented with adding grated kamoteng-kahoy (cassava) that he harvested from our backyard, into his basic muffin recipe which he used for his version of cheese cupcakes (which was basically muffins with grated cheese on top), and I liked the outcome better than the original; more moist and tender.

The beauty of having a basic recipe is the many variations you can try, as suggested by KAF. I found the plain one not sweet enough, and was thinking of maybe experimenting with adding colored sugar crystals on top at the last minutes of baking, aside from using chocolate chips, or sweet fruits, nuts.

For purposes of keeping the recipe easy to find here, I am copying and pasting here the recipe from KAF.
Ingredients:
2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil or softened butter (optional)*
2 large eggs

*If you leave the oil out, you can reduce the calories in your muffins by about 30%; the flavor will still be excellent, but muffins won't be quite as tender, and won't keep as well should you happen to have any left over.

(I added blueberries in half of my batter; I just sprinkled them with some flour to help them be uniformly distributed.)
Instructions:
Preheat your oven to 500°F.

Blend together the dry ingredients as long and as vigorously as you want. If you use a little whole wheat flour in your mixture, it's easy to tell when everything is thoroughly mixed.

Beat the liquid ingredients together -- milk, oil or butter, and eggs -- until they are light. If you have a 2-cup liquid measure (one with a lip above the 2-cup mark) it makes mixing the liquid ingredients very easy. Most eggbeaters will fit right in the cup, so you can use it both as a measure, and as a small mixing bowl.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Take a fork or wire whisk and blend the two for 20 seconds -- no more! The secret to light and tender muffins lies in this final blending. It's OK if you've left some lumps that look as if they want more stirring; they really don't. So, no matter how hard it is, resist the impulse.

Fill cups of a lightly greased muffin tin two-thirds to three-quarters full. Place muffins in the oven and immediately drop temperature to 400°F*. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until muffins test done. Yield: 12 muffins, 24 mini-muffins, or six "crown" muffins.

*When you put muffins in a very hot oven and immediately drop the temperature, you help create the high peaks that make them so appealing.

Nutrition information per serving (1 muffin, 63 g): 161 cal, 6 g fat, 4 g protein, 16 g complex carbohydrates, 8 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 47 mg cholesterol, 217 mg sodium, 66 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, 124 mg calcium, 72 mg phosphorus.
More tips can be found at KAF's basic muffin recipe page.
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Thursday, April 02, 2009

LaPiS: Hip to Be Square

 

Huli man daw at magaling, naihahabol din. Here is my entry for this week's LaPiS's theme Hip to Be Square. I love this square plate (I got only one, individual sold at WalMart) since I have at least 4 sets of plates already (not counting numerous white-only restaurant-type dinnerware given by a friend) and really did not want more clutter in my kitchen. I got this single plate only for purposes of presentation for some foods (especially good for finger foods or such pinoy goodies as pichi-pichi). I used it for the first time with my pandelimon rolls about a month ago. I can also imagine it a very good plate to use for a round leche flan.

And like what Ces says, it is indeed hip to be square when it comes to dinnerware. It reminds me so much of Zen (as what one commenter said), especially with this combination of black and red.

KNB: Electric Gravy Boat/Warmer

 

I had been wanting this for a long time. Although I have a gravy boat that has nice prints, I wanted one like this, which will keep gravy warm during a meal.

This is not used to warm up gravy, but you will have to put warm gravy and this gadget keeps it warm. The warming base is also detachable from the cord, so that you can place it on the table during a meal and it will still keep the gravy warm for a period of time.

I am not sure if I can use other ceramic-type gravy boats on it, though.

What sucks, though, is I bought this a while back for >$30. I used the first month pay I got from foodbuzz (paid through paypal). Now that I am posting about it, the price is $19.40????

Bummer!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wish-Bone Marinated Baked Chicken

 

This is one of the chicken dishes that my husband loves, and is one of our all-time favorite recipes. My stepdaught likes it as salad.

I actually posted this in my old kusina, but to make it easier to find, I am re-posting here. This photo is also a better one.





Ingredients:
Chicken cut into serving pieces
Wish-Bone Robusto Italian Dressing

Instructions:
Wash and drain the chicken pieces well. Place in ziploc bag and marinade with Robusto Italian dressing enough to cover all the pieces (probably about 1/2 cup for 1 whole chicken). Let sit in the fridge at least overnight, turning from time to time for the flavor to soak in well in all pieces.

Place iron cast griddle or grilling pan on higher rack of oven. Heat oven to 400 deg F. Drain chicken pieces. Spray griddle with oil and place chicken pieces. Let cook for about 15 minutes then baste with fresh dressing and cook further for 5 minutes. Baste again and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn over and let cook 10 minutes on the other side then baste and cook another 5 minutes. Baste and cook further for 5 minutes or until done and surface has a glazed and nicely browned appearance.

Serve with iceberg salad and Robusto dressing, and boiled potatoes or rice.
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