This is a recipe that we were originally introduced to as a frozen food by my middle brother Al’s Morrocan friends when we lived in Paris in the late 90s. It was basically ‘viande et pommes (du terre)’, and sold in the frozen food section of Leaderprice in 1 kg bags. Despite the unassuming name, the tiny diced potatoes, which had similarly tiny chunks of meat, were deliciously spiced – we could identify pepper, but the rest was a mystery, only hinted at by the fact that the potatoes were yellow-orange in hue when cooked. You just had to pop them in the microwave or stir-fry to enjoy. It was very much a budget cheapie frozen food, as there was much more potato than there was meat!
Believe me, we could each eat one of those bags. It’s a miracle that we didn’t end up massively unhealthily obese then, but we also walked a lot back in those days. Also, teenagers, I suppose.
Happy New Year! Bye, 2018, hello 2019! Hopefully everyone will have a good year, or at the very least, one you can bear. I’m sharing my recipe of coffee jelly, which we had as part of the New Year celebration food. Really though, it’s such an easy dessert (just takes time, as jellies do) that there is no reason why you couldn’t have it more often than that!
I started making Japanese style cooked mixed rice as a fairly easy, makes me happy light meal. Takeno Gohan, or Bamboo Rice, is actually by itself pretty filling (to me) but sometimes, I want a bit more and I can add seasoned seaweed, or aburaage, or crispy candied dilis fish. (I didn’t have access to dried dilis at the time but I found them packaged as a coated crispy snack with spicy cornstarch, so I cooked sugar and soy sauce together until it got very thick and sticky and coated the snacks with them to make my own candied dilis. In Japan they’re called Tazukuri.)This is really less of a recipe and more of a method of cooking. (Edited to add: I’ve made my own version of Tazukuri. Enjoy!)
The cake I sent with Rhys for his birthday. Delicious and was devoured to rave reviews, despite its’ flaws.
So, I made a Filipino-style mocha cake for Rhys’ birthday, that he took to work. It was delicious; but because I kept getting interrupted (by external reasons, lots of phone calls, etc) it ended up a bit denser than normal. Apparently everyone got excited seeing the cake and thought it looked at tasted ‘absolutely amazing.’
However, both Rhys and I knew I could do better. So I made a devil’s food cake, (2 layers, 8 inches each) and decided that it should have a marshmallow meringue frosting, and dark chocolate drip ganache topping it, that he will take with him to work.
Better effort, with Rhys decorating it this time.
Rhys got keen on frosting the cake to be brought along, so he did the frosting on this one that I’ve taken a photo of up top. The chocolate ganache is pooled at the bottom ‘because yum.’ I love that man. ^_^
I had Vincent make a cake for practice a few days ago, to teach him the correct order in which one adds melted butter into a cake, versus accidentally cooking the egg added into a cake and it tastes awesome, but was very crumby (it’s also devil’s food cake). The leftover marshmallow meringue frosting is slathered on top like a fluffy sugar cloud. Kiddo’s learning a lot this school holidays; baking cakes, cooking dinner, assembling a whole workstation class computer from scratch with very minimal help (only putting on the liquid cooler and the thermal paste) – and it worked perfectly!
Son’s practice cake, now with frosting =9
But, as you can see, it makes a lot of frosting (that’s a 10 inch single layer cake) so it probably has enough for a 2 layer 9 inch cake.
I like using a little bit of cream of tartar to get the egg whites started on frothing before I put them in the double boiler, but other recipes don’t include it, so you may omit if you like.
Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
Use as a frosting, or as a layer on top of a cake and then cover with ganache, use on top of a mousse or top and sear with a kitchen blowtorch, or pipe, or blop on for a casual, fluffy but engaging frosting style! Makes enough to frost 2 layers of a 9 inch cake, with enough to spare.
Start by boiling water in a large saucepan, enough to heat the bottom of your bowl. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer.
Mix together the egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla, until lightly frothy, in a bowl, using a handheld electric mixer with the whisk attachments. For ease and sanity, I tend to use the same mixing bowl that my stand mixer uses. When slightly frothy, place bowl in the water.
Moving the speed of your mixer to high, mixing all the while, add the sugar, either shaking it in gradually from your bowl or 1/8 cup at a time. Make sure it is dissolved.
Mix for 7 minutes, on highest speed, moving your mixer's whisks around to make the marshmallow white and silky.
Immediately move the bowl to your stand mixer, tapping out the leftover meringue from your whisks into the bowl. Beat on the highest speed your stand mixer can do for 10-12 minutes.
Use as desired; on your cake, sear with a kitchen blowtorch on top of your pie or mousse, etc.
This is a lovely, summery dish that goes for a savoury sweet flavour instead of the usual sweet-n-sour. Unusually, it also uses evaporated milk as part of the broth, yet doesn’t end up soured. In the Philippines, we call this pininyahang manok. I think it makes a good midweek dinner; and my kids definitely agree.
I loooove coffee walnut cake. Luckily for me our grocery chain Coles has them for less than 10 AUD and it is omg scrumptious. I loooove coffee walnut cake. Luckily for me our grocery chain Coles has them for less than 10 AUD and it is omg scrumptious.
But for my birthday, I wanted a bit more Ferrero Rocher-ey taste; more chocolatey, maybe a bit of Nutella… I still wanted the coffee buttercream though. But for my birthday, I wanted a bit more Ferrero Rocher-ey taste; more chocolatey, maybe a bit of Nutella… I still wanted the coffee buttercream though.
I made this cake for both my birthday and again for Easter, which is why the above cake has mini Cadbury Creme eggs nested in the middle. I made this cake for both my birthday and again for Easter, which is why the above cake has mini Cadbury Creme eggs nested in the middle.
Maybe someday I’ll remember to take a photo of a cake slice instead of going ‘om nom nom’ right away.
When I was a teenager, I encountered deep fried, battered hard boiled eggs for the first time. Mom and I were on our way home one afternoon and I smelled something delicious being fried at a street vendor’s cart. There was a mound of orange bunlike things and he was heating up a couple for another customer. The odd orange tinted things were tokneneng.
Since I was curious, and they would make a fine afternoon merienda, Mom bought some, and selected the seasoned vinegar. We brought them home, eggs soaking in vinegar in plastic bags. After pouring them out into bowls we broke into the eggs with our spoons and swirled the hard yolks into the vinegar before taking a bite.
This is an adaptation of the apples n’ onions recipe that I read about in Farmer Boy back when I was in grade 5. it makes for a very straightforward and flavorsome meal. My husband prepared this while he was out field and he proudly reported that some of the guys came back for thirds – everyone, apparently had seconds!
So, over the holidays, I remembered to finally cook up some elven bread to share with my in-laws; taking advantage of the fact that my brother-in-law has a lovely wok to deep fry with. I try to cook dinner at least once or twice when we visit, and that night I commandeered the kitchen for a full dinner, and while it was cooking, whipped up dessert for that night (chocolate cake), a leche flan as a gift to my brother in law, (he also got the recipe) and a batch of elven bread to leave to rise overnight.
This is one of my ‘I’m busy and I need to get food on the table’ go-tos. I usually make this with home made hamburger patties; but I reckon you could do well with store-bought. With a hearty gravy with mushrooms, I almost never have leftovers – and if there are any, it’s meant for my hubby’s lunch the next day. Well, if he leaves any – he’ll walk in through the door and one of the things he’ll ask me is when it’s ready to eat.
Everyone has a favorite type of congee. I love the Filipino version, called arroz caldo, which in typical Filipino form, can be eaten at all times of the day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, or merienda (well, more like a small meal between meals. Hobbits would love us!), or snack or as a side dish or opening item! My family’s version is very garlicky and ginger-y. If you want to reduce the salt, use a low-salt chicken broth and omit the chicken broth cubes. Some folks like putting toasted, crispy garlic and onions on top, or chopped up green onions, or, in my case, cubed, fried tofu. Experiment with toppings if you like, but you might find that my recipe is flavorsome enough.
My family looooves this, because it results in such a flavourful and tender meat dish. It’s also a bit expensive because of the use of whole jars of ingredients (at least, over here in Australia) so it’s a treat. For folks who are looking for a quick, easy main to serve for a crowd of guests, this is a good recipe to go for (and is similarly easy to scale down.)
Back when I lived in the Philippines, we would make rum balls. We experimented with different methods, but the one we liked best was the one made with ground up and crushed chocolate cream wafers. We found that the wafers absorbed the alcohol best, and after a few days of resting in the fridge, they were absolutely divine! Making these was a social activity, not too different from making dim sum as a group, and we’d chat away while working at crushing the wafers and later, shaping the dough. Continue reading →
I make no secret of the fact that I am a gamer, and that a lot of my work also requires me to be in front of the computer (or Cintiq) and sometimes, the work here is very hard to interrrupt! Or the party grind session.
I call this chicken bake this because I realized one afternoon, after immersed in Lineage II that I hadn’t thawed any meat and the children had just come home. This meant – oops – that dinner would need to be ready, or at least cooking by the time Rhys got home! My darling man would be tired and hungry, and my pride refuses to not at least have some food warm and ready!