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Posts Tagged ‘snack’

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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) ūüôā

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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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According to Leonardo da Vinci, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. This is perhaps why posting a vanilla cupcake recipe is difficult.

The flavors of this cupcake rely on its simplicity. Unlike other cupcakes, a vanilla cupcake has nowhere to hide its flaws; no fancy frosting nor any sweet filling can mask a bad tasting vanilla cupcake.¬†In order to be a good vanilla cupcake, it has to be simply good. It’s that … simple. Yes, the simplest of things can sometimes be the most complex of all.

In the world of cupcakes, it is said that you only have to master two flavors: vanilla and chocolate.

Perfecting these two basic flavors can create a smorgasbord of gastronomic wonders just by tweaking an ingredient or two. You will be amazed by the seemingly limitless supply of wondrous combinations.

For a vanilla cupcake, everything relies on the ingredients. Real butter is a must, and the same goes with vanilla. If you want great tasting cupcakes, use great tasting ingredients.

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As mentioned earlier, nothing can mask a flawed cupcake therefore, it is imperative to have a trusted recipe.

Here’s mine: (more…)

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LBTxt

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

I was once¬†told to “eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”¬† but in this time and age, when we have to wake up even before the rooster blares his morning cock-a-doodle-doo, a proper breakfast meal is often considered one of the lesser morning priorities.

Personally, breakfast isn’t¬†really my thing. Sure, there¬†is the occasional cereal and pancakes, but most of the time, nada; unless, I wake up really early to prepare something. And during these times that I treat myself to some morning grub, it’s usually the staple Filipino kind – longganisa and eggs.

WHAT is a longganisa?

While the Germans have their bratwursts, the Americans their hotdogs, and the Mexicans their chorizos, we Filipinos have the longganisa. And like most sausages all over the world, the longganisa also has its variants: there are garlic-loaded ones, there are jamonados (distinctively sweet) and my favorite, the combination of these two flavors.

When I pamper myself to a morning feast, the sweet, garlicky longganisa is a favorite, paired with eggs over easy, and another definite must-have, sinangag.

But for someone like me who loves to cook, long-si-log (longganisa, sinangag at itlog) can sometimes be boring. So, one fine morning, I decided to turn this favorite Filipino breakfast into a burger.

Imagine a sweet garlicky peppery homemade longganisa patty, topped with cucumber slaw, fresh tomatoes, atchara (pickled green papaya) and fried egg, sandwiched in a toasted sesame bun. That’s¬†MY kind of breakfast – in sandwich form.

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Here’s how I do it:

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CMStext Throwing parties¬†at home is not new to me. In fact, I always prefer parties at home over dinners in¬†restaurants. Not only are they cheaper, I always have fun preparing the food and experimenting with new dishes to serve. Since chopping ingredients and the cleaning the pots¬†afterwards are tiresome,¬†I always see to it that the food I make¬†are¬†easy to prepare. When my brother celebrated his birthday last month, he requested for some mini burgers for his party. I have always been proud of my burger recipe, however, making the burgers require careful attention, making sure that the patties are cooked just in time so that you don’t serve cold burgers. Unfortunately, it was just us two in the house at that time so I have to think of a replacement¬†that can be prepared ahead of time. So goodbye burgers, and hello meatball sliders.

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So why meatball sliders? I have seen in a couple of Food Network shows meatball subs recipes.¬†What I like them is that the meatballs and sauces can be prepared ahead of time and can just be reheated before serving, without losing its quality. In fact, the meatballs get even more moist, and the flavors meld as they while away the time, resulting into more succulent meatballs and a more flavorful sauce. Meatball subs are¬†commonly served in a baguette and then cut into serving¬†pieces. Since I want to make them individual¬†sliders, I used mini french rolls instead. It is important to note that the recipe calls for Japanese breadcrumbs soaked in milk. Others would say that this is just a recipe extender. Well, yeah it is, but the breadcrumbs also has another purpose, its addition guarantees moist meatballs. The meatballs are then cooked in ¬†tomato sauce. If you are pressed for time, you can use canned/bottled¬†spaghetti sauce and that is just fine. Of course, making your own lets you personalize the sauce. Combining some techniques I use in my burger patty recipe and that from Allrecipes.com, here’s the recipe for my meatball sliders: (more…)

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WCMCtext

Let me start this post by saying that I am not the biggest fan of white chocolate. I’m a dark chocolate king of guy, and I mean really, really dark. So when I received a text message from a good friend who works in a confectionary company that they were having a sale on white chocolate chips, I sort of surprised myself when I told her to reserve me a bag. So when I went to their office to get my chocolate, I was stunned that it was a 5-pound bag of white chocolate chips! I guess I got too excited on the sale that I forgot to ask about the weight of each bag.

So there I was, lost in a sea of white chocolate chips.

Thus the hunt for good white chocolate recipes began. I made brownies out of them, snacked on them straight from the bag, and consumed most of it by melting them in the microwave with milk and adding the slurry into my morning coffee ‚Äď white chocolate mocha, anyone? But among these white chocolate overload, what stood out were my cookies.

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I really didn’t have to look for a recipe. I have my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe and just replaced the choco chips with white, lessened the amount the sugar and added chopped nuts. I had so much confidence with my favourite cookie recipe that I just let the baking gods take control. The result? One of the best cookies ever! If only macadamia nuts are not that expensive, I’d be making these everyday! Here’s my recipe:

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I love sandwiches! But even for someone¬†as voracious of an eater as me, the thought of all the mayonnaise in a sandwich spread or dressing is pretty much unpleasant… and that says a lot coming from someone who doesn’t even count calories. Well, what’s wrong with mayo? An article from The Huffington Post¬†¬†shares, “…the white stuff is loaded with fat, calories and salt. One tablespoon provides roughly 94 calories; 10 grams of fat; and no protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron or calcium.” ¬†Pretty unappetizing, huh? Good thing there’s an excellent substitute that wouldn’t compromise the flavor and creaminess that mayo gives in your sandwich spreads – Greek yogurt.

In Manila however, it is sort of¬†difficult to find greek yogurt so here’s a cool trick: Get a strainer, some coffee filters and plain yogurt.¬†Place yogurt in strainer lined with filter (I use two filters), put over a bowl to drain overnight in the fridge. If pressed for time, an hour or so will do. This removes excess water resulting to a thicker, creamier yogurt.

As I said, I am not a calorie freak¬†nor am I a¬†health buff, but once in a while, I try to be healthy with my food choices (emphasis on TRY). So I paired my healthy ‘mayo’ with tuna!¬†Armed with¬†this¬†healthy substitute, it is now easier to¬†enjoy healthier salad dressings, sauces and sandwich spreads like this one. Here’s my recipe:

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Alton Brown has this little story to tell: ¬†According to¬†The History of Science and Technology, by Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans, in 610¬†AD “…an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers. He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, ‘pretiola’ (“little rewards”)”. ¬†Though there also other accounts on the origin of pretzels,¬†most agree that they have Christian backgrounds and were invented by German monks.

Living in the province, the only pretzel I knew then were the Jack ‘n Jill chocolate-covered pretzel sticks. A staple in our canteen, I’d always buy one (when there’s extra¬†baon) during snack time.¬†Moving to Manila for college, I was then introduced to Auntie Anne’s and got semi-obsessed with them. Again, when there’s extra baon, I’d always get some.

This semi-obsesion led me to search for various recipes. Of course, I first tried those claiming to be similar to AA’s. Some yielded great results but mostly were disappointing. Most often than not, I’d end up with great-tasting pretzels that would harden after a few hours. I’ve also tried making a caramel sauce to go with it, similar to that of AA’s.

Going back, I’ve realized that along with brownies, pretzels were actually the first few treats I ever baked.

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It must have been fate when I caught an episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats featuring these German treats. ¬†His scientific approach to baking pretzels helped a lot. Learning a lot from that episode, I finally gave up on my Auntie Anne’s quest and settled with his recipe which personally, is way way better.

These pretzels have a crunchy outer skin with a soft bread inside. Dipped in mustard and paired with a cold cold drink, this is probably among my favorite comfort foods. With a minor tweak, ¬†here’s my recipe.

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