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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Burritos For Supper

Hubby and I had bean burritos tonight. I didn't have time to cook because we went to church. I didn't make the burritos. I don't know how to make it and haven't tried yet. My hubby bought the bean burritos in the store. It's been a while since we ate burritos so I requested him to buy yesterday. I just cooked it in the oven because I don't have microwave now. I disposed my microwave a couple of years ago since I learned the bad effects of using it. Anyways, we enjoyed the burritos tonight and I also fried some lumpia that I made.

Making a Lattice-Top Pie Crust


Making a lattice top is not a complicated process; it just takes practice. The techniques shown here can be used for more than just fruit pies: woven lattices are a great way to dress up quiches, pastries, and tarts.

Prepare your dough. It should be chilled at least half an hour before you begin rolling it out and making your lattice. Roll out half the dough and line the pie plate. Refrigerate.

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll reserved dough out to a ¼-inch thickness. Roll it in a circle, as though preparing a double-crusted pie. Transfer the dough to a small cutting board, baking sheet, or other rimless pan that will fit in your refrigerator.

2. Carefully cut the dough into strips approximately ¾-inch wide. You can use a sharp knife, pizza cutter, or scallop-edged pastry wheel. If you're worried about cutting straight, use a ruler as a guide.

3. Cover the pastry strips with plastic wrap and place the pan of dough in the refrigerator to relax while you prepare the pie filling and transfer it to the pastry-lined pie plate.

4. When you're ready to weave, moisten the rim of the pie with a small amount of water. Start with the longest strips and lay the first two in an X in the center of the pie. You can arrange them at 90 degree angles or at a sharper 45-degree angle. Alternate horizontal and vertical strips, weaving them in an over-and-under pattern. Use the shortest strips for the edges of the lattice. If you're having trouble removing the dough from the cutting board or pan, roll the strips up like a rug and unroll them onto the pie. Press the ends of the strips firmly to the lip of the pie and trim away any excess dough with kitchen shears or a paring knife.

5. The amount of filling left to peek through the lattice is entirely a matter of style: thin strips of dough make a more elegant lattice, while a few wide strips give the pie a more rustic look. You can even twist the strips of dough as you form the lattice, so they look like festive paper streamers.

6. Once the pie has been covered with the lattice, brush the top with egg wash (an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water or milk) or milk for a brown, shiny crust. Dust the top with cinnamon-sugar, if desired.

My Page Rank

I created this blog two and a half months ago and I bought the domain less than two months ago. In just less than 2 months, this blog was given a PR 2 yesterday. Ain't that great? But the question is, for how long will I enjoy the page rank? I just hope it will be here for a while. Anyways, welcome to my blog PR 2 and I'm happy you came along.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Beef Stew



I've been cooking beef stew before but I didn't think it would be necessary to brown the meat first. I thought it will just add grease to the meat and I don't like greasy foods. But since I've seen Juliana's recipe that she posted in her blog, I thought of trying to brown the meat first and it did turned out good and it tasted better. It was a hearty and delicious meal. My hubby and I love beef stew and I cook it very often. Here's the recipe of beef stew. Try it and you'll like it.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 pound cubed beef stew meat
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 4 cups water
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 tbsp soy sauce
* 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon paprika
* 2 cups cubed potatoes
* 1 cup chopped carrots
* 1/2 lemon juice
* 2 stalks celery, sliced
* 1 teaspoons dried rosemary
* 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
* 1/2 cup frozen green beans
* 1/4 cup frozen peas
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 1 clove garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat oil in large pot. Add beef and flour, stirring to coat beef; brown.
2. Add water, salt, and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour.
3. Stir in potatoes, carrots (or turnips), browning sauce, and rosemary. Simmer 1-2 hours.
4. Add corn and green beans; simmer for 30 minutes longer.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Making Apple Pie Filling

Hubby and I love apple pie and I already tried a few times baking apple pies. Here are some tips in making the filling.

1. Use eight medium Granny Smith apples and a mixture of 2/3 of a cup sugar, 1/3 of a cup all-purpose flour, and one tablespoon of cinnamon to make our filling. A pinch of salt and a dash of ground cloves enhance the cinnamon flavor. Use a peeler or paring knife to peel the apples. If you have an apple corer, use it while the apple is still whole.

2. Cut the apple in half to remove the seeds, blossom end, and stem.

3. Use a melon baller, spoon, or paring knife to remove the seeds and hard flesh of the core. If you used an apple corer, remove any remaining bits of core with your paring knife.

4. Cut the apples into even slices no more than ¼ of an inch thick. If you like a chunkier pie, cut the apples into ½-inch cubes. To ensure the apples bake evenly and completely, the fruit pieces should be cut to the same size.

5. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the sugar-flour-spice mixture. If you're using a sweeter variety of apple, add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor. Transfer the filling to a pastry-lined pie plate. The flour in the mixture will mix with the juices of the apple to form a thick cinnamon sauce for the apples to stew in as they bake. This pie can also be made using frozen sliced or cubed apples.

6. Top the pie with a crumb topping, a lattice crust, or a full crust, as desired, and bake as directed.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My First Baked Cookies


I've been baking cakes, muffins and bread but I never tried baking cookies. So finally, I tried to bake some home-made cookies because my hubby likes it. I baked oatmeal-butterscotch cookies and to my surprise they turned out good. They're delicious and my hubby and I have been eating them. I offered him to take some to his work but he forgot. Oh well, more for us to eat. Here's the recipe:

Sensibly Delicious Oatmeal-Butterscotch Cookies

Ingredients:


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or grated peel of 1 orange

3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats

1 2/3 cups (11-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Butterscotch Morsels


Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ginisang Upo (Bottle Gourd)


I bought 2 bottle gourds at the Asian store in Fort Worth when hubby and I went there last week. I cooked it a few days ago and hubby and I ate it with rice. I cooked it with ground beef and not pork because I removed pork in our diet more than 2 years ago. My nutritionist told me that pigs are scavengers and so pork is not good for our health. Anyways, the ginisang upo that I cooked was good though it was not as good as my aunt's cooking in the Philippines. I still have to do a little more practice before I can match her cooking. I gave the other bottle gourd to my friend Ann when she and her hubby came here the other day.

Ingredients:

* 2 tbsps cooking oil
* a cup (200 grams) ground beef
* 4 cloves garlic, finely crushed
* 2 medium onions, minced
* 1 large (1.8 kg) bottle gourd, cut into 1"x 1/8" cubes
* 3 tbsps fish sauce
* 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
* knorr beef cubes

Procedure:

In a large wok, over medium-high fire. Put the oil and ground beef. Stir-fry until beef is lightly brown. Remove from pan the ground beef. Retain the oil. Put the garlic. Saute until golden brown. Follow with onions. Saute until soft. Put the bottle gourd. Stir-fry for a minute. Add in the fish sauce. Sprinkle the pepper. Mix. Cook until aromatic. Pour water. Put the beef cube and fried ground beef. Mix well. Cover. Cook until veggie is soft. No need to add water because this veggie is watery

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mangoes


When we went to Fort Worth last Tuesday, we stopped by the Asian store before heading back home. Hubby and I bought some groceries because it's cheaper there than the Asian stores here. We bought some veggies, can goods, rice, pancit noodles, lumpia wrappers, mungo beans and mangoes. Mangoes there are cheap so my hubby decided to buy 2 boxes. Hubby loves mangoes and he first ate it when he was in the Philippines. But the thing is, mangoes here are not as sweet as the mangoes in the Philippines. For me, Philippine mangoes are the best. But for now, it's better than no mangoes at all. In the Philippines, we have 8 native mangoe trees that are now bearing fruits. For sure we will eat to our hearts' content when we go back there.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Crumbly Dutch Apple Pie

My friend Toni had taught me how to bake Dutch apple pie. We had a cooking session in her house. My hubby took me to her house which is about 12 minutes drive from our house at around 2:00 PM. Then he just came back to pick me up after we're done cooking. I showed Toni how to cook our native cake "puto". When I was done, it was her turn to show me how to cook apple pie. She made a crumbly Dutch apple pie. My husband love apple pie and I took it home and just baked it in our oven because hubby came to pick me up before we had time to bake it. Here's a photo I took before it was baked. Sorry, I forgot to take a photo after I baked it but the pie really turned out good.



INGREDIENTS

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
* 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
* FILLING:
* 2/3 cup sugar
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 1/4 cups water
* 3 cups peeled, diced tart apples
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS

1. Combine the first four ingredients; set aside 1 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 9-in. pie plate; set aside.
2. For the filling, combine sugar, cornstarch and water in a saucepan until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in apples and vanilla. Pour into crust; top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Free Range, Organic Meat

My hubby went to pick up the other day the meat that I ordered from the coop that sells free-range and organic meat. Free range animals are never given growth hormones or antibiotics which is bad for our health. Their cows are all grass-fed and the chickens and turkeys are grain and vegetable fed

This free-ranged organic meat is an exceptional source of protein in your diet because it is free of antibiotics. Over half of the antibiotics fed to mass-produced farm animals including chickens and cows are identical to the ones administered to humans. As has been well publicized in the media, overuse of such antibiotics can lead to strains of bacteria resistance to the antibiotic, opening doors wider to the potential for human disease.

That's the reason I prefer to buy this kind of meat. One more thing is that these meat taste better than those bought in the stores. It doesn't have lots of fats too. I ordered chicken, beef and turkey meat and my hubby paid $120. I told him it will last us for more than a month. Our freezer is full of frozen organic meat now.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Chicken Afritada


My hubby loves chicken afritada better than chicken adobo. That's the reason that I often cook this recipe because he loves it and it's easy to cook. I just cooked it the other day for our lunch. Hubby almost ate it all. I'm so glad he likes my cooking.


Ingredients
# 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs or breast (1 1/2-inch cubes)
# 2 medium potatoes (sliced 1-inch cube)
# 2 medium carrots (sliced 1-inch cube)
# 2 medium bell peppers
# 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
# 1 small onion (sliced)
# 1 teaspoon salt
# 135 g tomato soup or ketchup

Directions

1. In a wok, heat a 2 tbsp of cooking oil. Saute the garlic until a bit brown, then put the onion.
2. Wait about 10 seconds and pour in chicken, stir until golden brown. Drop the potatoes and carrots.
3. Pour some water(enough for you to make its sauce) let it boil, and lastly pour in tomato soup or ketchup. When the sauce become thick, turn off the heat. Serve.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

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This policy is valid from 8 April 2008.


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact ilocana11@yahoo.com.


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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pinakbet Ilocano

One of my favorite Filipino recipes is Pinakbet. We always had this recipe in our house way back when I was still there in the Philippines. There are many variations of cooking Pinakbet but I like the Ilocano style with ampalaya. I think pinakbet is not complete without it. I won't get tired eating pinakbet even everyday. Hmmm... yummy.

Pinakbet Ilocano

Indgredients:

* 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
* 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1/4 kilo pork, thinly diced
* 7 small tomatoes, cubed
* 4 tbsp. bagoong
* 1 cup warm water
* 2 medium sized eggplants, sliced
* 1 medium sized Ampalaya
* 5 medium sized okra (ladies fingers)


Directions:

1. Heat Oil in a saucepan and saute garlic and onions.
2. Add pork and half a cup of warm water. Stir and cook until meat is soft.
3. Add ginger and tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add the bagoong and remaining half-cup water. Bring to boil.
5. Mix in the Amplaya, eggplants and okra.
6. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve Immediately.

Here's a video for Pinakbet.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Venison

One of our friends in the church gave us venison last Saturday. That was the 3rd time that he gave us deer meat, about 9 lbs. I cooked venison stew yesterday and it was so delicious. I love venison because it has only little fats and deers are free range animals. They were not given antibiotics or growth hormones. Next time I will cook venison steak. Our friend said, when we run out of venison, we can ask him again. We're planning to go with him to his ranch and see all those animals that are in there, like deers, turkeys and hogs.