Sometimes you need a simple meal that, as Rhys puts it, ‘fills the hole.’ This took a bit more proper cooking than the previous Gamer Wife recipe, but really, didn’t take that much effort either.
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!
Quick, light and easy, this soup suits both cold nights and summer days back in the Philippines. Some versions include using diced Tender Juicy Hotdog (which resembles the red-covered frankfurter, but tastes different) or diced ham. This is the simplest version in the family and is also a nice side dish, especially if the chicken is cut into even smaller cubes.
It can also be made with chopped up store-bought roast chicken meat, cutting down the cook time even more.
Nilagang Baka, or “boiled beef” belies the very delicious and richly satisfying soup that results from the ‘mere’ boiling. Best done with cheaper soup bones with meat still clinging to the bone and with cheaper cuts of beef, my prefered method is to add all the ingredients together and simmer for at least four hours in a large stew pot.
Because I have a large family, when I make this it’s a huge batch, with leftovers that the kids like to have later on. You can reduce the amount of ingredients as needed (Or, for single-person amounts, 1 osso bucco, 1-2 corn cobs, a handful of cabbage, one large carrot, a handful of beans, and two medium potatoes, 1 beef broth cube!)
I promised to make Rhys apple muffins for Father’s Day (it’s in September, here in Australia) but I missed it by a day because that Sunday was eaten up by errands. I made these on the same day as the Sour Cream Chocolate Cake so you see the unfrosted cake sitting in the background at in one of the photos.
This chicken recipe uses a can of cola, orange soda, or Mountain Dew as a base. I’ve also used this as a recipe base for a slow cooker pork roast (adjusting the amount of ingredients to suit.) This was a huge hit with the kids and adults alike.
One of the things I like to eat here in Australia are meat pies. They fit in your hand, are a full meal in one, are served warm, and with a drink can be very satisfying. I’m also fond of pasties for the same reason. I mean, a food you can eat with one hand and a book or magazine in the other is tops for me.
Japanese Curry Bread is one of those delightful concepts where they took a good thing to an entirely new level. Instead of baking the stuffed bread, they dip it in egg, coat in panko bread crumbs and deep fry. Result: Crispy, savoury stuffed doughnut filled with comfort food. How could I not try this? I’ve technically eaten something like this in the Mini Stop shops back in the Philippines, but the dough left my mouth feeling dry; too much baking powder, perhaps? Nevertheless, they were filling, and cheap. But that’s all the way over across an ocean, and I’m in the Land Down Under. So, after my brother-in-law introduced me to a manga called Addicted to Curry, I resolved to make my own. I’m not as obsessive about curry as the folks in Addicted to Curry are, so I use the pre-packaged Japanese roux.
Easy Chocolate Cake
This is an adapted version of Marta Stewart’s 1 bowl chocolate cake
It’s not as heavy as mudcake, with a good ‘chewy’ mouthfeel, and despite the sugar, isn’t sweet tasting. Combined with the icing, which isn’t that sweet either it makes for a rich cake that makes you feel like you’re eating something decadent enough to slice thinly and enjoy with tea or coffee after dinner, or with friends in the afternoon. The recipe makes 1 8-inch double layer cake. The version pictured above was my successful test; when I made this for Rhys’ birthday, I tinted the frosting blue; one of his favourite colours.
I’m lazy, so mashing bananas until they’re of a suitable consistency doesn’t appeal. However, I do love banana bread, and the kids don’t always get to eat all the bananas I buy for their lunch boxes. Blending the wet ingredients together also mixes them together more thoroughly. I like the use of soured milk or sour cream; it gives the banana bread a slight tang. If you don’t like it you can definitely substitute plain milk.
The picture above was taken only after half the loaf was eaten. Kinda forgot to take the photo; warm banana bread is irresistible. I bet these would make utterly delectable banana cupcakes.
It’s been years since I made some; and none since I moved to Australia. So I made some. The meat mixture makes a good meatball too, but will need some breadcrumbs as binder. Consider the recipe below as a basic starter, and feel free to add other vegetables and seasonings and ingredients for your own lumpia.
I also put in how I wrap them, in case anyone needs a step by step. I hope it helps ^_^
I’ve been doing a lot of running around on errands so I haven’t posted recently. My blood sugar dropped a lot so I found myself craving sweet things.
So I decided to take the plunge and made meringues for the first time.
Sounds silly I know, but I’ve had this thing about being afraid of screwing up the egg whites. I had a box of egg whites in my fridge that I bought and felt, if I never take the risk, I’ll never do it!
One of the easiest Filipino desserts for me to make here in Australia is Leche Flan. The kids love this recipe, but as you can see in the image, the caramel isn’t very dark. That’s because of my family’s preference, so you may need to experiment with the caramel to get it as dark as you like.
I hope you enjoy making this! This is a busy mom version; traditional Leche Flan uses carefully separated egg yolks, careful hand beating with a whisk, and strains the mixture through cheesecloth several times, resulting in a silky creamy flan. I’m rather lazy and want my delicious treat with minimal effort; my answer to this is to tap the bubbles out and use either a blender or mixer.
As part of their holiday ‘fun thing’ I taught my eldest how to make chicken wonton filling / chicken meatballs. Eldest boy helped wrap up a few, but I had to take over or else we wouldn’t have dinner on time! Happily my little budding hearth witch mastered the wrapping of wontons quickly. We still have meat so we’ll make a packet of wontons to freeze, and make meatballs out of the rest.
So, I’m back from the hospital with some blood pressure meds I need to take every eight hours. Egh. They really mess with me though, so I have to be careful with how long I stay upright.
Normally at this stage of my pregnancy, I’ll be feeding the baby with the aim of brain and muscle development. However, in the wake of no less than 5 failed cannula attempts (my veins just kept going NOPE!) I have the grip of a three year old. So, while I was planning delicious foods like piroshky and maina to prep and freeze and store for easy reheating and eating, they have to take an unfortunate back-burner for now. Fortunately, the children can be pressed into kitchen service (it’s also good training for them; a seven year old boy is quite capable of peeling potatoes and carrots, and the eldest daughter is capable of chopping that up into little chunks, and with the aid of a food processor slicing up onions is easy – she just has to cut them into quarters and feed through.) I’ll have to have them brown up minced meat with carrots, onions and potatoes and freeze to use as bases for future meals.
My children will grow up to be capable in the kitchen.
I found some enoki mushrooms at the local grocery though! They were on sale too, yay, so I snapped up a packet. I knew I had some aburaage in the pantry, and either soba or udon, so I decided to make something noodle-based for our first dinner of the year. Yeah, I’m not steady enough to do the whole thing proper but fusiony dishes let me get away with this. There were frozen shrimp har gows in the freezer, and to my delight I’m not allergic to this set. I’m going to have to remember that, and buy more in the future. I had both soba and udon, but decided on the soba because the udon felt like too much to deal with right now, plus it’s more traditional for the Year End Soba” (though I’m making it for the start of the year, since I was too ill yesterday to cook. We went with a different Japanese-holiday-appropriation instead.)
Shadowdancer’s Super Lazy Toshikoshi Kitsune Soba with Shrimp Har Gow
1 packet aburaage (there were ten pieces in this one) or inari-zushi no moto (they’re the same thing.)
1 liter Campbell’s Chicken Stock
2 Maggi Chicken bouillon cubes
1 small punnet of enoki mushrooms, pulled into strips
1 frozen package of Shrimp Har Gow (feel free to substitute any other dim sum of choice)
Half the packet of this brand of soba” This makes enough for four or five people
(not used this time) Asian greens, such as Chinese cabbage (wom bok), chopped into strips, leeks, spring onions chopped fine, bok choy, as desired
1 medium sized pot
In a medium sized pot, pour the chicken stock. Add bouillon cubes and enough water to fill up to 2/3 of the pot. Add the aburaage with the accompanying liquid. Put in the enoki mushrooms, and bring to a boil at medium heat. Add the har gow adn cook for another 10-15 minutes. Add the soba, (and greens and naruto) and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Serve in bowls, with chopsticks. Enjoy!
I am, however, having a slice of fruit cake for dessert. With Lady Grey tea.
Sticky, yummy, packed with fruit. It’s not boozy, but my time-tested method of improving on store bought fruitcakes is to simply soak them in the brandy or rum of one’s choice in a plastic container for a week. Store bought fruitcakes are also a delight when you’re making boozy fruitcake truffles – just ball up boozed up fruitcake, dip into white glaze, decorate with candied cherries … yum~