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Garlic and Herb Breadsticks

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There are days when I am craving for something, and I can’t get it off my mind until I finally make one.

Such was the case when I had a serious craving for breadsticks. And not just the typical boring and dry breadsticks, I wanted mine herby, garlicky, soft and moist breadsticks. Problem was, I didn’t have a recipe.

A quick YouTube and Google search led me to a lot of recipes, ranging form simple ones to complex recipes, but one recipe stood out – Laura Vitale’s. Hers was simple, and all her ingredients were available in my pantry. Plus, it included Italian seasoning which I looove (and I have an excessive amount at home) :)

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I’ve always been a fan of Laura, so I was excited to try her recipe. So with a few of my tweaks by instinct and uhmm accident, here’s the finished product:

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Talentadong Chef Cupcakes Book

As a birthday treat, I am sharing with you an e-book of my favorite cupcake recipes. This is just the start of my “kitchen adventures” series of e-books. I just hope I find the time to make more! Cheers!

To get the file: Click the link below, then click “save as” or “download linked file as”. The file should be in PDF form.

Talentadong Chef Cupcakes Book

Enjoy!

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PS: Follow me on Instagram,@talentadongchef. Thanks!  :)

Homemade Oreo Cookies

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I was already in my teens when I was first introduced to an Oreo cookie. Yes, I never had that twist ’em, lick em, dunk ’em kind of childhood.

Growing up, my go-to vanilla-filled chocolate biscuits were Hi-Ros and for me, these were the best. But, when I tasted Oreos, it was love at first bite! What made me a convert, was how deep and rich its flavor was compared to Hi-Ros. Since then, Oreo cookies  have always been a constant cookie companion.

Now, you’d ask me, why trouble myself with making a homemade version, when a quick trip to a sari-sari store is easier, and cheaper? Yeah, I’ve thought about that too. Well, the answer is simple. SIMPLE ingredients.

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In this recipe, we’ll use ordinary ingredients like sugar, eggs and cocoa; not those ingredients that you only read in chemistry books and experiments. I mean, what would you rather put into your mixture: white sugar, or fructose and thiamine mononitrate? 

So what are you waiting for? Here’s the recipe.
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Summer is over in the Philippines and the rainy season has begun. While I’m not a fan of raindrops falling on my head, one thing I love about this season is that summer fruits go on sale, and that includes mangoes! Yes, I know that they are available all-year round, but mangoes are sweetest during summer… and Philippine mangoes are THE BEST in the world! So towards the end of the season, they come cheap and sweet. And who doesn’t love cheap and sweet things? :)

Growing up, one of the favorite cakes that my grandma bakes was her mango cake. It is a soft, pillowy vanilla sponge cake, filled and frosted with Swiss meringue-mango buttercream. Given my adorationfor her recipe, I took her cake as an inspiration for this cupcake.

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Since sponge cakes and I are not really the best of friends (I don’t know why), I decided to just use my trusted vanilla cupcake and tweak it bit which resulted into a rich and moist buttery vanilla cupcake with mango bits.

For the frosting, since I do not have the luxury of a ‘light’ cake, I opted for whipped cream. This is just my excuse because I have yet to try making SMBC, and I’m scared! Haha. Using whipped cream to frost the cupcakes complemented the already ‘heavy’ cupcakes.

Here’s the recipe:

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Here’s an updated version of my Singapore-style Chili Crabs.

Being a Samareño, I’m proud to say that we have the best crabs in the whole world! :) The crabs from Maqueda Bay are so sweet and juicy. Then we have the Alimango (mud crab) from Calbayog that are so rich in flavor!

Back home, we would cook the crab by just steaming ’em and that’s it… just as simple as that. If there are left overs, we would make crab omelette. Then I discovered crab cakes, which are basically fried patties of crab and potatoes dredged in flour and breadcrumbs. But it was only a few weeks ago that I discovered Singaporean Chili Crabs! A heavenly recipe for crabs! The perfect balance of spicy/sweet combo complements the crab so well.

So after some online searches, a few video demos, I made my list of what my version of Singapore-style Chili Crabs would be. I sort of mixed different recipes, threw in a few of these, removed a few of that, until I came up with what I would think is the ultimate chili crab.

Here’s the recipe:

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Most people ask me, ‘how do you  come up with these recipes?’ Honestly, watching food-related TV shows has already filled my brain with years worth of ideas (it never ends). And sometimes, I just wake up wanting to cook a certain dish; this recipe for instance.

One Sunday morning, I woke up wanting to make roast chicken. I’ve been wanting to make one but the size of my old oven wouldn’t allow me to do it. So when I upgraded my oven (woohoo!), this dish was among the first on the list.

A quick trip to the supermarket’s produce section inspired many delectable flavor combinations, but nothing beats a classic, time-tested recipe. So, I grabbed some lemons, fresh rosemary and a stick of butter, and made my version of, well, lemon-garlic-rosemary roast chicken.

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It’s really amazing how simple ingredients create the most wonderful flavors when combined right. Here’s the recipe:

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Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Valentine’s day is just around the corner and as much as you try to veer away from romance, you just can’t seem to escape it. It is freaking everywhere!  It’s the season where heart and cupid cut-outs are plastered all over and anything that is red is in.

In the world of cupcakes, there is only one red cupcake that deserves the spotlight on this occasion. The most famous of them all – red velvet cupcakes!

Red velvet cupcakes are vanilla cupcakes with a little hint of cocoa, tinted to a red hue. A lot would be intimidated to make one, but they’re actually easy to  make. This Southern cake has been sending cupcake shops in frenzy but I really do not get the fuss over it. I still prefer chocolate cupcakes, but once in a while, I let my romantic side kick in and would devour a red velvet cupcake or two.

As I’ve mentioned, these cupcakes are not really that difficult to make. What makes them quite the little divas that they are is their moistness. They have this little, sorta infamous reputation of being dry once refrigerated. That was also my problem. WAS.

I’ve tweaked my recipes a lot of times already and I kept having this problem over and over again. I almost gave up, but I didn’t. I finally got my light bulb moment when I took inspiration from my super moist chocolate cupcakes and a recipe from divascancook, the result: my perfect red velvet cupcakes!

Here’s my recipe:

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