Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ebi Tempura

As I drove home from my sister's dorm last night I suddenly had this craving for Ebi tempura and other Japanese food. I'm allergic to shrimp and most crustaceans but it never stopped me from popping an anti-allergy pill and indulging in their savory goodness - especially crabs.

Tempura Batter
1. Sift together 3/4 c flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt
2. add one egg yolk
3. stir in 200ml of iced cold water

the contrast between the coldness of the batter and the hot oil makes the prawns extra crispy

Clean the prawns, removing the head and shell. devein.
dust with corn starch then dip in the tempura batter.

deep fry til crisp =)

for the dipping sauce
combine 2 tbsp kikoman, 1 tsp sake, 1tbsp sugar and garnish with finely grated radish squeezed off of water & juices.

hello happy tummy =)

kitchen experiment - honey mustard lamb chops

I always look forward to weekends because its the time of week where my parents are here in Manila and my sister comes home from a whole week of studying. It's also the only time of the week where I get to go and dine out. This week however, my folks had their own engagement out of town and my sister had to review for her upcoming examinations. So its bye bye to ding out and again I had to make do with what was in the freezer.

We've had lamb in the freezer for a while now. I didn't want to touch it as I had no idea what to do with it. We have no grill pan and my Ate was the one who always cooked lamb chops for us. I wanted to eat meat so bad hence this kitchen experiment.

For the Marinade:
1/4 cup of dijon mustard
1 lemon sliced
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup kikoman soy sauce

I baked them at 350F for 15-20 minutes until there was slight caramelization of the marinade and browning of the meat.

They turned out surprisingly tender and tasty. delish with mint jelly.  I ate mine with pasta.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Strawberry Swirl Cupcakes

Ambitious little me. 
I'm in the process of convincing myself that i can bake. 
note to self: "yes tanya, you can bake". 
So even if im not really a huge fan of cheesecakes, i decided to try making mini cheesecake cupcakes. 
(why mini? honestly, im just scared that I'd fail and that an actual cheesecake might not set.)
The original recipe was for a raspbery swirl cupcake but i used strawberries in mine.

i love the swirling part. 
Making small dots and then swirling them with a toothpick

adapted from Annie

1 1/2 c crushed graham
4tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp sugar

press one teaspoon on each cupcake liner
bake in 325F for 5 minutes
just until it sets

for the Strawberry swirl
blend 6oz fresh strawberries and 2 tbsp sugar
strain through a fine mesh sieve
set aside

for the filling:
2 lbs cream cheese
1 1/2 c sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs

to assemble fill the cups with 3/4 filling
make dots using the strawberry sauce
and swirl using a tooth pick

bake at 325F for 15-18 minutes or until set.

the cupcakes will create a dome at first but it'll flatten and deflate one cooled.

chill before serving 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Colorful Cinnamon Meringues

Oh what a delight when upon checking on today's top 9 the first picture i saw were of pretty cinnamon meringues from Scarletta Bakes
I have been fond of merengues since i was a little kid but have never tried making my own. I never realized how easy they were. and how cute they could be.

adapted from Scarletta Bakes

6 large egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon (the original recipe called for Canela, which i didnt have)

just mix cream of tartar, cinnamon and egg whites and in a mixer with whisk attachment
until frothy
add sugar and continue whisking til soft peaks form

bake in a baking sheet lined baking tray at 200F for 25 minutes or until meringues are slighty browned.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

baked buttermilk chicken fillets

To say that buttermilk is hard to find in the Philippines is an understatement.
Just like whipping cream and heavy cream, Big supermarkets and small ones alike rarely carry it. You have to make an extra effort to drive by a specialty store (baking supplies store), which is usually out of the way, just to get one.  

Anyway,  i find that nothing makes chicken more tender than buttermilk. Soaking chicken in buttermilk for at least an hour or overnight makes it extra extra juicy and tender.

Forgive me for the lousy presentation, i was starving and couldn't wait to dig in already.


2 pcs chicken fillets
1/2 cup buttermilk
cayenne pepper
olive oil

1. wash the chicken with cold water and lightly pound it
2. soak chicken in buttermilk, drown the fillets for at least an hour but best over night
3. season with paprika, salt and pepper
4. dredge in flour, shake off excess
5. quickly dip in buttermilk
6. press on a plate of panko, be generous
7. drizzle with olive oil
8. bake in the oven at 350F for 12 minutes or until crust is golden brown

Monday, January 23, 2012

Wok Steak

Sunday dinner was steak night for us. We had anticipated mass the night before and had a feast dining at Katre for mama's birthday that we were all too lazy to go out on a fambam sunday. It was papa who bought steak from S&R Shopping.

I love the marbling on the striploins which were tender and  so yummylicious. Our grill pan was in La Union so we had to make do with what was available to us - a wok

we just seasoned the meat with salt & pepper, drizzled olive oil and cooked it on a very very very hot wok

so yummy!!! the steak melts in your mouth
sorry i was overwhelmed by the tenderness of the steak that i forgot to take pictures our sidings of carrots, peas and corn

Saturday, January 21, 2012

KATRE: Fusion Mediteranean Cuisine

My mom turned fifty something today 
 which meant we had another excuse to indulge in a gastronomical feast
we had Vietnamese cuisine for lunch beef & seafood pho, spring rolls, salt and pepper squid, pomelo salad and then for dessert we had the Dome cake from Cheesecake, Etc
me, my mom & my sister gelli
Come dinner time, it was a toss between 
two of our fave go to restaurants along Tomas Morato in QC
We've been going to Katre since it opened in 2001. The owners minus some of their partners  reopened the restaurant TOQUE and renamed it Katre.
I guess we all wanted to drink bottomless pandan iced teas
so we ended up choosing Katre today.


Calamares with wasabi mayo


Adobo Flakes over a bed of Bagoong Rice


our all time fave: Roasted Chicken with mushroom pasta


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ysabela is 11 months old today

enjoying her cake (just looking) from red ribbon

Happy 11th month my dearest Ysabela
you mean everything to mama
soon you'll be able to eat grown up food
and we'll be a great tandem in the kitchen

you are God's gift to me anak
my harbinger of light
i know i can do everything because of you
i love you so much my baby

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chili honey & Pineapple sticky cream dory & broccoli with coconut cream sauce

I was reading Curry and Comfort this afternoon and came across her Maple and Orange sticky chicken recipe.
It was already past 4 in the afternoon which meant that i no longer had the time to send Ate Sonya out to the  to the nearest supermarket to get me the ingredients that i needed so i figured why not make my own version and base it from her recipe.

I have been having early dinners since i became a mom as Ysabela usually sleeps at 6:30pm and since she's breast fed, i had to adjust my time to accomodate her feeding time.

I didn't have chicken and orange marmalade so I decided to use a fillet of cream dory and pineapple jam

For the marinade

4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (kikoman light)
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp pineapple jam or marmalade
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
dash of chinese 5 spice powder
dash of garlic powder
dash or two of paprika
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp of minced garlic
1 tsp chili flakes

For the Brocolli in Coconut Cream Sauce
sautee 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp chopped onions, 1 tbsp ginger in 2 tbsp canola oil.
add the coconut milk and season with salt and pepper
let the milk reduce and then add the broccoli and let simmer
until the broccoli is cooked.


mix all ingredients in a bowl
in a ziplock bag marinate the fish or protein of your choice for at least an hour
line a baking sheet with foil and bake in the oven at 300F for 12-18 minutes or until the fish becomes flaky

finish product

yummy with rice and veggies, i had brocolli in coconut cream

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spaghetti and meatballs

i made these for my friend jaypee when she came over to visit. i wanted a food that was filling and comforting at the same time. 

For the meatballs, mix
1 medium sized carrot, grated
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 celery, finely chopped
1 egg
250 g pork, ground
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

sear all sides, set aside

For the Sauce
saute 1 medium onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 diced bell pepper
then add
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 tsp basil
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp butter
1/4 cup cream
season with salt and pepper 

Baby Food - Rice Porridgewith flaked steamed salmon

Feeding a baby is not a very easy task.
My hubby told me to treat our little Ysabela with utmost respect when it comes to feeding and by that he meant for me to refrain from doing "play feeding sessions" with Bela. Adios! No more airplane airplane (as when the spoon is the plane).

and with that I challenged myself to cook baby food for my daughter, one that taste good despite the lack of Salt or artificial flavorings.

Porridge with flaked steamed Salmon

In a steamer, steam for 8 minutes a slice of unseasoned salmon fillet (set aside)

In a pan, heat one teaspoon of butter and  brown the sides of 1 piece of boneless chicken breast fillet next saute 4 cloves of garlic, half a shallot and 4 slices of ginger. Add one cup of uncooked rice, mix until covered with the juice of the shallots, oil from the chicken and butter. add 4-5 cups of water and bring to a boil mixing occasionally. cook for 10-15 minutes or until rice and broth has thickened.

once cooked discard the ginger.

What i do is separate the onion, garlic and chicken and then use an immersion blender so my daughter wont choke on big pieces of chicken etc.


Crab Fat Pasta with assorted mushrooms

The next best thing to having big juicy crabs on the dinner table is having a handy jar of Crab Fat (Aligue) in the fridge. My dad recently brought home two small jars of pure crab fat and i couldn't wait long enough to sample it.

Since my cousin mike, his wife martha and my niece Cloie will be coming over, i figured what a perfect excuse to cook crab fat pasta.  

Martha, my niece Cloie,  my lil girl Ysabela and my cousin Mike
CRAB FAT PASTA with assorted mushrooms

1. Sweat 2 table spoons of shallots in  2 teaspoons of Olive oil
2. Add 5 cloves of minced garlic, cook for 1 minute not letting the garlic brown
3. Add the assorted mushrooms which has been soaked in water for 15 mins
4. add 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
5. add 1/4 cup cream and let simmer for 2 minutes
6. mix in 2 tbsp of crab fat and let simmer for another minute
7. season with salt and pepper
8. toss in al dente cooked pasta (spaghetti, spaghettini or angel hair pasta)
9. turn of heat and garnish with fresh flat leaf parsley

Monday, January 16, 2012

Chocolate cupcake with chocolate cream cheese frosting

i made these for my cousin  mike and his wife martha.
who'll be paying Bela and I a visit tomorrow morning with their beautiful daughter, Cloie.

i made chocolate cream cheese frosting for a change. I melted 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips in the microwave and folded it in my cream cheese frosting
8oz cream cheese, 2 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kori Coffee

 kori coffee originated in Japan in the early 80's. Its actually freshly brewed espresso, iced into cubes and then served as such with fresh milk and syrup.

It was my first time to sample such at UCC coffee. At P195, i found it quite expensive for am ordinary tasting coffee drink.

I also found it very bitter especially after most of the espresso cubes had melted.

other meals we ordered are Crispy Seafood Fry Japanese Curry and Unagi teriyaki with rice


I love the cheese puffs from Conti's. 
that's why i decided to try and make home made
cheese puffs for myself now that i have some puff pastry
handy in the freezer.

it's my first time to handle puff pastry
i also don't have a rolling pin yet so i used one of gelli's plastic glasses from school
as my rolling pin. luckily our kitchen counters are made of solid marble so i just cleaned an area and dusted it with flour


Cheese, i used whats in the fridge cheddar and kraft american sliced cheese
Puff pastry

i decided to make puff stick swirls, sugar palmiers and cinnamon sugar palmiers while i was at it =)

here are the pastries waiting their time in the oven

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Puff Pastry!!!!!!!!

i was devastated when Santi's delicatessen Timog avenue branch closed down...
i didn't want to bother driving through traffic to Makati City just to get me some puff pastry.

found one in Rustan's Fresh Tomas Morato =) weeeeehooo to my delight!

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon

When my hubby and I were still dating, I had a lot of kitchen misses trying to impress him.
1. I over seasoned our fish meal with salt which ended up being saltier than the dead sea.
2. my fall of the bone baby back ribs ended up making our teeth fall as i was ignorant in using the pressure cooker then
i had wanted to redeem myself to him for the longest time as i was a living joke in the kitchen for him
so i started out simple with honey soy glazed salmon & bacon mushroom pasta


Salmon Fillet
4tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp honey
1 star anise
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp corn flour diluted in 1 tsp water

bring ingredients to a simmer
marinate fish for at least an hour
and bake at 350F

Baby Food - Baked Golden Potato Croquettes with Salmon & grated carrots

Yesterday, 13th of January was a very stressful day for me. 
1. I was stressing whether or not I'd be able to meet my deadline and finish the political law book I was reading;
2. my daughter got into a lil accident under her nanny's care and hit her head on the breakfast table in the kitchen;
3. The nanny whom I had scolded for the lil accident told me she wanted to quit her job. hayayayyy 

I ended up taking care of my daughter for the rest of the afternoon; and extending my reading indefinitely for a day and bargaining with the nanny to extend her stay until I find a new nanny to take her place. Then I'll have to squeeze in a new task of retraining the new nanny but that's another story.

Here she is in her high chair her lolo bobby bought her
So anyway, i decided I had to do something about Bela's food to  make her enjoy meal times and not resort to force feeding her mashed vegetables & porridge. My hubby also suggested that she be put in her high chair during meal  times to avoid such accidents whenever she tries to violently reject her meals. Sigh Bela. 

as if a bulb lit up, i thought of cooking up a finger food for Bela that she can enjoy eating.


1/2 cup Panko Bread crumbs
2 large potatoes, steamed and mashed
1 fresh salmon fillet, minced or cubed
2 tsp freshly grated parmesan (optional)
1 egg

she did enjoy her meal tonight.
hopefully i could come up with more.