WCS: Good morning! =)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

2010 JULY 29 to 30. Nothing beats a filling breakfast. Although I still personally consider lunch as my most important meal, I attest how having breakfast before leaving the house does make a difference.

But whipping up a nice breakfast for little bro and myself is a particularly big challenge, as I always maximize the hours of sleep I can get (currently with Queen Seon Deok eternally forcing me to keep awake until almost midnight). We usually end up with crackers or sometimes nothing at all.

The weekend before, I attended a great weekend-long seminar, or "careshop" it was called. The careshop made me realize, among many other helpful things, that I haven't been taking very good care of myself. I've been letting myself wander off to face the day without taking time to see if I'm OK. Last month, I was sick for almost three weeks. One thing that I promised to do for myself is make sure I always have a nice meal. I hit two birds with one stone with this: I get to practice cooking in "real time", and I do something good for my own health.

When I was on my way home from the second day of the careshop it was raining. Umbrellas moved frantically across the streets. I felt how nice it would be to have a hot bowl of sopas the next morning. I had ingredients on hand at home.

I suddenly had an idea. Why not make the dish two-step? Meaning, I start the recipe that evening (just the soup) and put it in the refrigerator, then cook the pasta the next morning. And that's just what I did. I spent the night in the kitchen (I didn't do my careshop assignment, hehehe). The next morning, while waiting for my driver who will take me to Quezon City, I finished the soup recipe and made more than enough for my driver and the three people I'll be leaving at home. My aunt and nephew, who visited later that day, even got to have some of the soup.

The week after, I decided to cook the same thing again. However, we did not have evaporated milk, so I used all-purpose cream. Either way resulted in a delicious soup. The difference was with evap, there was this faintly sweet milky taste, and with cream, the texture was almost like pasta white sauce, so you may want to add more water (or chicken stock) to make the soup less thick. I had a bit of leftover frozen mixed vegetables. On a sudden whim, I dunked them in.

I did the soup the night before while having dinner.
Mom didn't realize I didn't eat much dinner. Hehehe!

The second step--cooking the macaroni--I did the next morning while little bro was in the bath.

One of the pasta brands I love. Cheap but delicious.

Doing the dish two-step gave me enough time to fix myself up. Even take pictures around our kitchen. Hahaha!

We're not Lock & Lock addicts, are we? Those are mostly mine,
except the bigger ones.

Mom bought a nice kitchen bookstand.
She also bought an extra piece for my future house.

Breakfast was ready even before little bro finished ironing his polo shirt. Even his cup of coffee was ready for him. =)

Good morning!

"Good Morning" Chicken Noodle Soup
Serves 4 or more
Variation 1
1-2 cups macaroni pasta, cooked according to package instructions, set aside/chill
oil (regular cooking or olive oil)
half a head of garlic, minced
cooked chicken breast, shredded (saute this with the garlic, then add the rest of the ingredients to make the soup)
1-2 cups (or as needed) chicken stock or water
half a pack of powdered cream of mushroom, diluted in water
half a small can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt (almost did not use any) and pepper (used around 1 teaspoon) to taste

Variation 2
Same ingredients as variation 1, but in place of evap, use All Purpose Cream
1/2 to 1 cup frozen or "takal-takal" mixed vegetables (carrots, green peas, corn kernels)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Note: all measurements are approximate quantities only. Go ahead and do it your way! =)


SQF: My chicken is Italian

Sunday, July 11, 2010

2010 JULY 11. My parents were leaving me, little bro and hubby-to-be home alone. A cousin who lives in Makati is celebrating her birthday. I had to pass--even if a quick trip to Market! Market! was tempting--because of colds and my still-heavy head.

I intended to cook Italian-Style Chicken Wings for Monday evening, but I didn't want to eat sardines or corned beef just now. This is the first recipe under the "Take 5 Ingredients" section of Meals in Minutes. This is actually the first recipe I earmarked, but because I kept on using the spaghetti sauce for pasta or chicken wings were constantly absent from our freezer, this got delayed.
The Italian-style sauce is composed of sauteed garlic,
sweet-style spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning. I also
added a dash of cayenne pepper powder. So easy, right?

I prepared the sauce. I guess I didn't mince the garlic enough. LOL. Also, the recipe called for 500g of sweet-style spaghetti sauce. I only had 250g, so I added a 250g pack of a Three-Cheese version, which did make the dish a bit cheesy.

Coat the chicken wings with breading mix and fry.

Frying the coated chicken took a long time because I made the mistake of using a small pan. And I didn't want to deep-fry. Hubby-to-be already arrived; good thing he ate before he left. But little bro was starving. I decided to toss the cooked ones with the sauce while the last few pieces were still cooking so we can already eat.

Voila! A great alternative to your usual fried chicken.

The dish was simple but flavorful. I was already full after just two pieces as I ate a lot of rice with it. Three pieces were left for dad's lunch tomorrow. Later, I texted sis-in-law, who also owns a copy of Meals in Minutes, to try the recipe. Sayang, my baby nephew can't try it yet. I'm sure he'll love it.

Italian-style Chicken Wings
Find it on Yummy Meals in Minutes


ILYS: Seafood Fried Rice

2010 JULY 10. This dish is self explanatory. LOL. My stupid colds is making me tamad...

Azumi trying to supervise my progress. I'm wondering
she made any progress with that herself.

Anyway, I also planned this ahead of time. The thing was, I left my Quick and Good on my desk in the office Friday. Hubby-to-be, who was on night shift, wasn't able to retrieve it; maybe it got lost amongst my pile of to-do's... so I'm perfectly sure I didn't follow the recipe. LOL

My take on Seafood Fried Rice.

Seafood Fried Rice
(serves 4 and a bit more)
1 medium onion
1 head garlic
half a pack of frozen mixed seafood (got this from Shopwise Alabang)
half a pack of frozen mixed vegetables (got from the takal-takal section of SM Supermarket, cheaper than frozen)
soy sauce
oyster sauce
hoisin sauce (a teeny bit; not necessary kailangan lang gamitin dahil mage-expire na LOL)
chili garlic sauce
leek (actually not necessary rin, decoration lang LOL)
2 eggs, cooked scrambled and sliced


ILYS: Tuna Kani Canapés

2010 JULY 10. It is truly an I Love You Sabado for two reasons: I can try out another recipe. Second I'm sick. I really need to rest. =( I was supposed to spend the night at Danes's with Juligel. But as the weird heaviness in my head developed into full-fledged colds and a headache Friday, I had to pass.

With the modest success I had with Charlie Tsong, I decided to tackle a new recipe without asking the person I got it from if I recalled the ingredients correctly. I put my flavor memory to work. Anyway, the dish isn't as hard.

About the recipe. For some reason, I don't like crab sticks. Funny thing is, I haven't even tasted them, so I don't really know why I don't like them.

Until one Saturday night a few months ago. After choir band practice, the host brought out a chilled bowl of tuna kani. While everyone else was excited to dig in, I wasn't, seeing the telltale red strips all over the thing. There was an alternative, chili con carne. But, as I'm very known to be the "last man standing" in any meal and food trip, I gave the kani a shot and was glad I did. I was so surprised how the strange assortment of ingredients yielded such a nice flavor. I tried to memorize the ingredients as our host dictated them to one of our singers.

Fast forward to this last Thursday. My parents and I got groceries from Shopwise. However, the lettuce there were big heads, the cheapest costing around P70. Mangoes also cost like gold since it's not in season. So the next day, I bought a fat mango from a vendor at our village kanto and dropped by SM Supermarket for the lettuce. I also grabbed another can of tuna, which turned out to be a good idea.

I was greeted by a terrible headache when I woke up around 6:00 AM, so I spent another couple of hours of broken sleep to wear it down (which did to some extent). I got up a bit before 9:00 AM; the kitchen beckons.

The ingredients make the recipe seem elaborate.

Mom found me at the kitchen table preparing the ingredients. She wondered what I was planning to do, as the ingredients weren't my usual thing. She watched me chop, cube and throw everything together and finish in almost a flash (almost, as I had a lot to slice) like magic.

The tuna kani mixture. So easy to do!

For our breakfast, I first made 16 pieces and toasted them, which was both a good and not-so-good idea. The heat toasted the bread and made the mixture settle on the baguette slices, but it dried up and wilted the lettuce, which may look unattractive after some time.

The first batch. Mom already got one piece.

The recipe yielded 32 pieces (I made another batch after we annihilated the first). Sounds like a lot, right? That's what I thought, until I finished the leftovers from the second batch without realizing it.

I thought I was going to store leftover tuna kani in the
refrigerator so I whipped it up in a plastic container.

I so want to rave about the recipe, because it's easy, delicious and healthy, but I can't. Stupid colds. I have to stop here... I hope this entry made sense. LOL. Whether it did or not, feel free to try the recipe below.

Tuna Kani Canapés
Makes 32 pieces (serves 4 or less, hahaha!)
1 can tuna chunks (or solid) in water, drained
1 (or 2 if small) crab stick/s, sliced
half a small onion
1 cheek ripe mango, cubed
half of a small cucumber, cubed
lettuce, sliced
mayonnaise (Japanese mayo if you have, although I used Miracle Whip)
1 French baguette, cut into half-inch thick pieces

P.S. If you don't have a baguette, never fear! Serve on ordinary bread like pandesal, Skyflakes or even Fita!
Also made some to be brought by my mom to big bro's,
this one on pandesal halves.


SQF: Seafood Sunday

Friday, July 2, 2010

27 JUNE 2010. After Charlie Tsong was eaten and the leftovers stored in the fridge, we were resigned to have a the rest of the Sunday in peace. Mom got out a whole fresh chicken from the freezer, ready to be turned into afritada for lunch.

But then, Aling Toning, a vendor with whom my mom is a suki, came ringing at our gate. We bought some vegetables form her. Aling Toning was with another lady vendor who brought fresh seafood in timbas like galunggong, clams, mussels from Cavite, dulong, alamang among others.

Now, it's been a long while since I had tahong; we're constantly in a red tide alert, although there's usually none. Hahaha, paranoid.

And suddenly, aha! We declared it Seafood Sunday. I immediately requested my dear fiancé, who was to quietly spend Sunday with us, to buy quickmelt cheese somewhere on his way here. We ended up inviting big brother and his family over for lunch as well.

Using a recipe on Yummy as a reference (which we didn't entirely follow anyway), we set to work making Mixed Tempura out of the shrimps we bought and a couple of carrots and an eggplant we had in the fridge.

Veggie tempura

Honestly, our Ebi Tempura ended up looking more like
Camaron Rebusado. LOL! Will have to study the tempura mixture...

At the same time, we portioned the tahong: half was steamed and set aside for another meal, the other half was baked for lunch.

Sobrang cheeeeeeeeeeeeeesy!

Big bro's family arrived to find mom, husband-to-be and me in a mess in the kitchen, halfway through the tempura so big bro was able to help out. I had big bro samplCharlie Tsong, which he found good.

Behind the scenes...

My lovely family + a great quick-fix meal = perfect Sunday. =)

Baked Tahong
serves 4 and more (in our case, it served 8)
1 kilo fresh mussels (tahong)
1 small box quick-melt cheese
1 head of garlic, sliced into fine bits (or maybe you can use garlic powder)
Dash of ground pepper

Mixed Tempura
serves 4 and more (in our case, it served 8)
1 kilo fresh shrimps (I prefer good-sized suahe)
Sliced vegetables (we used carrots and eggplants, but you can also use sweet kamote)
(about) 3 eggs Egg
(about) 1 cup flour
(about) 2 cups Japanese breadcrumbs

Photo credits: my sis-in-law! *BB*

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