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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Maja Blanca Special

This one of the easy-to-learn Filipino desserts. It is also very flexible as one can simply make it with coco milk, sugar and cornstarch only. This is a Maja Blanca Special because of its overloaded add-ons.

4 cups cornstarch, sifted
8 cups coconut milk
2 cans condensed milk
1 cup shredded buko or young coconut
1 can corn kernel, water included
100 gms salted peanut, crushed
100 gms raisins

Prepare coconut milk by putting eight cups of water to grated coconut. Press between hands to get the juice. Repeat squeezing until all coconut is done. Strain the milk.

In a casserole, place cornstarch and slowly add coconut milk while stirring constantly until lumps are dissolved. Add milk, shredded coconut, canned corn plus the water, half of the peanuts and all raisins.

Put the casserole over fire, starting from high heat. Stir constantly preferrably using wooden laddle. When while stirring the laddle hits lumps at the bottom of the casserole, shift heat to medium. Continue stirring until lumps are formed. Shift to low heat and taste. When there is no starchy taste, remove the casserole from fire.

In a 9 1/2 X 14 tin pan, pour the mixture. Top with the rest of the crushed salted peanut. Let cool and put in the fridge. Serve chilled. Makes 24 1-inch thick square maja blanca.

Other ingredients to play with:
instead of corn, add crushed pineapple
use cream of corn instead of kernel
can also be cooked using buko water in lieu of coco milk
instead of peanuts, top with grated cheese
powdered or evaporated milk plus sugar may be used too

Monday, March 29, 2010

Banana-Peanut Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 to 1-1/2 c brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten

2 c flour, sifted
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t iodized salt
1/2 c evaporated milk

1/2 t vanilla
3/4 t baking soda
6 medium size very ripe bananas, mashed/pureed
100 gms salted or plain peanut, crushed

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 X 13 baking pan or muffin tins.
In a mixing bowl, cream the first three ingredients until well-blended. Set aside.
Combine the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.
In the mixing bowl of creamed ingredients, alternately add mixed flour and milk, a little at a time. Blending the mixture each time the ingredient is added in order to avoid lumps. Put together the last four ingredients and add to the mixture.
Bake cake for 30 minutes if baking in 9 X 13 pan. Makes about 24 1-inch thick squares.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Ground beef with vine spinach a.k.a alugbati

This tastes better than pinakbet, the dish we all knew. This is a favorite among Ilonggos as this vegetable mix brings back memories of home. Alugbati or vine spinach brings out the best in the beef soup. I believe some regions only considers alugbati as a horticultural plant and not one for the kitchen. Try this recipe and you'll know what i mean.

2T canola oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
250g ground beef
salt, pepper and powdered oregano to taste
6-8 cups water
1/2 beef broth cube (optional)
2 chili pepper, tail pinched
2 cups squash, cubed
2 cups string beans, 1.5-inch long
1 cup eggplants, quartered and cut into 1.5-inch long
1 patola, cut into 1/4-inch round
1 bunch alugbati

Saute garlic and onion. Add beef and season with salt, pepper and oregano. Stir-fry for a little while and add water. Add broth cube if desired. Bring to boil. Add all vegetables except alugbati. Let cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Adjust taste with salt and pepper. Add alugbati and cover. Remove from fire. Let stand for 2 minutes in order for the leaves to wilt. Serve with rice.

For more information and photos of Alugbati

Monday, March 22, 2010

Patola in Hoisin Sauce

Soupy or Stir fried, this is the best way of enjoying patola, gourd or loofah in english. Here's the kitchen recipe we always have in our table:

2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
3 medium ripe tomatoes
2 2-feet long patola, sliced round
1 T water (if stir-fried), 1 Cup water (if soupy)
2 T Hoisin sauce
salt and pepper to taste

In a pan, saute garlic and onion until translucent. Add tomatoes and mash until soupy. Add patola and stir fry until tender. Add water as desired. Add salt and pepper to taste and hoisin sauce. remove from fire and serve immediately on top of rice.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sweet Mambucal Honey-Peanut Butter Dip

We have boiled pretty camote (sweet potatoes) this morning. It's so boring eating it up. I gathered my Mambucal Honey and some remnant peanut butter in the fridge and made some twists.

2 C honey
1/2 C peanut butter (1 C if desired)
1 C banana ketchup
1 C apple cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients. If the peanut butter lumps, whip in a blender. Serve as dip for fried fish, chicken and french fries. Also, this can be a dressing to your favorite vegetable/fruit salad. Add hot chili pepper sauce, if desired.

A garden and a fish tank, an interesting link

It would be wonderful to have this at home. Two years from now, I will have a version of this here. I swear. i want some fresh garden herbs that are available whenever called for. :) Having some edible fish is also an enticing try.


We learned from our friends at Home Grown Evolution that Home Depot will soon be carrying Farm in a Box from Earth Systems. Farm in the Box is a combined fish tank/planter box with recirculating water system that grows vegetables on top of the box along with fish underneath. Waste from the fish circulates into the planter which provides fertilizer for the plants as well as removing nitrogen and ammonia from the water. The smaller boxes are designed to fit on a balcony, while the larger boxes are suitable to raise edible fish...



Friday, March 12, 2010

Classic Lasagna

This is sinful; the cheese and the butter. This is my first home-cooked lasagna and I am not especially groovy about it; it's a bit dry and very creamy due to cheese and butter and next time, i will use part tomato paste and part tomato sauce.. Before,I was able to make a home-made lasagna noodle and vegetable, it was so good and tasty and not dry. i will share to you the vegetarian version later.

1 box lasagna (500 gms, about 20 pcs)
-----------> Cook according to package direction. It says 1/2 of the 14 minutes but I boiled mine for 10 minutes.


(I suggest to prepare this ahead of the bechamel sauce)

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium white onions, chopped
1/2 kilo ground beef
6 tbsp. white wine
1/4 t nutmeg
1/3 chopped oregano
4 T chopped basil leaves
salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup beef broth
2 small cans or 300 gms tomato paste
1 cup ketchup (to temper tomato taste, use sweet style if desired)
shredded cheddar cheese (one big block)Half part only. Set aside half of the cheese for the layering.

------------> Heat olive oil and melt butter altogether. Add the garlic and onions. Add the beef, wine and the spices and simmer until beef is tender. Add beef broth and the tomato paste and ketchup and cheese. Simmer once more. Set aside.



3/4 C butter
1/4 C flour
2 C evaporated milk
1/4 t nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

-------------> Pre-heat oven to 200 C degrees. Melt butter in pan. Slowly add flour and gradually stir in evaporated milk. Cook in medium fire until bubbly and a bit thick. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Set aside.

This mixture can fill two pyrex rectangular pan, with 3 layers using 9-10 noodles each pan (Or a thick lasagna with six layers). Grease with butter the pans. Put 1/6 of the Bechamel Sauce, Tomato Sauce and cheese then arrange 3 lasagna noodles. Repeat until all noodles are laid.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

TWO SOUPS: Tomato Puree and Creamy Tomato

Pre-prepared tomatoes

One kilo ripe tomatoes
3 large white onions
6 cloves of garlic
2T Olive oil
2T water or chicken broth
2T Basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare tomatoes by cutting into two and removing the core with seeds. Set aside the core. Cut flesh into cubes.
Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil. Add the cut tomato flesh and water/broth until soft and saucy. Bring to boil and then simmer. Sprinkle the basil and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from fire and Let Cool. To store, put in a canister and freeze for later use.


Tomato Puree

1 clove garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1T canola oil or olive oil
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
Add dried Basil, salt and pepper to taste
garnish with cheese

To prepare the puree, strain the core of the tomatoes to get the juice (the ones set aside above). Mash or blender the core flesh. Add the flesh to the tomato juice.
Sautee garlic and onions in oil. Add the tomato puree and let simmer. add the chicken broth and wine and simmer once more. add dried basil leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with cheese as garnishing and bread on the side. One-half cup per serving is ideal as the sourness of the tomato is really awesome.


Creamy Tomato

Same ingredients and procedure as Tomato Puree
Just replace puree with the pre-prepared tomato.
Also replace wine with 1/2 cup evaporated milk.