April 12, 2013

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear " ~Buddha

Whenever we go to the supermarket, we always buy chicken nuggets, this is one of my son's favorite. But now, I'm trying to avoid buying processed or instant foods. As much as possible, I want to make it homemade. Not only it is more affordable but also healthier. I know what goes into my food and I can also control the saltiness or sweetness of my creation. My son loved my chicken nuggets, it is crispy outside, soft and moist inside. It's flavorful and I can clearly taste the Worcestershire sauce. Next time I will use buttermilk and check the difference. They say that buttermilk can also make your nuggets soft and moist.

2 chicken breast fillets or 1 whole breast*
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, grated or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Japanese bread crumbs, finely crushed using a blender or food processor
1 egg, whip until foamy

* If you will be using whole breast, just remove the bone, skin and fats of the chicken.

1. Wash the chicken breast and cut it into bite size. Put the chicken in a bowl or small container, add the Worcestershire, garlic, and salt. Stir. Marinate it for a couple of hours or for at least 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate. (I marinate my chicken overnight)

2. Remove chicken from the Worcestershire mixture. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. 

3. Prepare the coating. Finely crush the Japanese bread crumbs using blender or food processor. Put it in a bowl. Put also the flour and egg in separate bowls. Dip the chicken in flour, then in egg, lastly in bread crumbs.

4. Heat oil and fry the chicken until golden brown. Don't overcook the chicken nuggets. Drain to remove excess oil. Serve and enjoy.

1. Serve it with your favorite dipping sauce, like ketchup, sweet and sour, sweet chili sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, gravy, OR enjoy it even without sauce - it is good on it's own.
2. Leftovers can be tossed on your favorite green salads. You can also mix it on your pasta, or use it as a topping to your pizza, or a filling to your tortillas. 

Happy homemaking,


Mango Mousse Cake (no-bake)

My number goal is to love, support and be there for my son. ~Farrah Fawcett

This Mango Mousse cake is my graduation gift to my son, Lowell. 

He personally requested it when he saw the picture of the cake while browsing some photos in Google. I was hesitant to do it at first because I know that this is a time-consuming cake. You need to bake first the sponge cake, let it cool then layer the mango mousse.... wait a few hours for the mousse to set, then repeat again the procedure.... and then lastly, do the mirror effect. I didn't have a lot of time at that moment because he was sick and I need to take care of him - his graduation is on the next day. Afraid that he will be sad if I turned down his request, I came up with the idea of making it a no-bake cake. I have some graham crackers in the pantry and decided to substitute it for the sponge cake. I placed double layer of graham crackers and dipped it in fresh milk to make it a little softer before layering it, I don't want my cake to be crunchy! :D I must admit, it was still time-consuming but I enjoyed every moment of making it. This is a cake filled with sweetness and love.

I adapted the recipe of mango mousse from All that Matters.

Happy day always,


April 8, 2013


The secret of ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself. ~Joël RobuchonThe Complete Robuchon

I made Ratatouille yesterday and transformed the leftovers into amazing breakfast. It's like France meets Philippines when I topped the Ratatouille to our Pandesal. I toasted the pandesal to give a nice crunch. I really enjoyed every bite of it!

By the way, did you know that the Ratatouille dish prepared by Remy (in the movie Ratatouille) is the alternate variation called confit byaldi? The variation differs much from the conventional ratatouille in terms of preparation and method. The major difference is that the vegetable used are sliced thinly and baked instead of cooking them in a pot. (trivia source: imdb)

Now you know some facts about Ratatouille, you can now try it and become a Julia Child in your own kitchen. Here's the recipe. Bon Appetit!

(Inspired by Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking)

3 pcs eggplant, and cut into thin slices
1 medium size zucchini, cut into thin slices 
1 big red bell pepper, strips
1 big yellow onion, strips
1 small slice of squash (optional), chopped
10 pcs of tomatoes* (preferably big and ripe), peeled and sliced (please click to see: how to peel and seed a tomato) 
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 to 1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
small pinch of dried thyme (optional)
olive oil
1 1/4 cup water and tomato juice*

* I only get 1/3 cup of tomato juice in 10 pcs tomatoes. I just added water to make it 1 1/4 cup.

1. Wash thoroughly the eggplant, zucchini, and squash. Cut it into very thin slices. Put it in separate bowls. Sprinkle with salt and toss.
2. Pan fry the eggplant, zucchini, and squash in batches for about 1 minute by each side. Put it again in separate bowls. Set aside.
3. Sweat the onion with a little oil over low heat for about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper and cook for a minute. Stir in the garlic and season with salt and pepper, cook for a couple of seconds. Add the tomato paste and tomatoes then sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the tomato juice+water mixture. Add the sugar and a pinch of dried thyme (these two are optional). Stir and cook for several minutes uncovered, until the juice has almost entirely evaporated. Turn off the heat. Set aside.
4. Place 1/3 of the tomato mixture in a casserole or pot or skillet. Then carefully arrange the zucchini, eggplant, and squash on top. Then cover another third of the tomato mixture. Put the rest of zucchini, eggplant, and squash then cover it with the remaining tomato mixture. (tomato mixture-zucchini-eggplant-squash-tomato mixture-zucchini-eggplant-squash-tomato mixure)
5. Simmer for 10 minutes over low heat, covered. Raise the heat slightly, rotate the pan once in a while so that vegetables won't scorch in the bottom of the casserole. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, uncovered. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
6. Serve. Share and enjoy.


1. If you don't have dried thyme, substitute it with other herbs like parsley or basil (fresh or dried). Use 2-3 Tbsp chopped FRESH thyme, parsley or basil.
2. This is a popular side dish but you can serve this with rice or toasted / crusty bread. It can also be used as a filling to your omelette or frittata, a sauce for your pasta, or a topping for your pizza.
3. Ratatouille actually tastes even better the next day. Just slowly reheat it to intensify the flavor.

Yield: 5-8 servings

Happy day always,


April 3, 2013

Spinach Pesto Pasta

There is no love sincerer than the love of food. ~George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

I am truly, madly, deeply in love with this pasta. I like the traditional basil pesto but I like the spinach pesto even more. It has a milder flavor, delicate aroma, and delightful fresh flavor which will tickle your palate. Start your day with this healthy dish. Bon Appetit!

Spinach pesto:
handful of spinach
1 clove garlic, grated
2 Tbsp chopped cashew nuts
2 Tbsp cheese (any hard cheese), grated
olive oil*
salt and pepper

Pesto pasta:
200 grams angel hair** 
1/2 to 3/4 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid 
1/2 cup water
4 cloves of garlic, minced
cheese, grated or sliced
olive oil

* I don't usually measure the oil. It depends on how thick or thin I want my pesto to be. I drizzle more oil if I'll be using the pesto for pasta, less oil if I will use it as a spread on breads and pizzas.
** Angel hair pasta cooks quickly, about 3-5 mins (see the package instruction). To ensure that your pasta won't become soggy. Test it by removing a piece of pasta from the pan and take a bite, it should still have a tiny crunch when you bite it.

Spinach pesto:
1. Wash thoroughly the spinach then drain.
2. In a blender or food processor, put the spinach, garlic, cashew nuts and cheese. Blend it to roughly chopped the ingredients. While the blender is running, add the oil until you reach the consistency you want. Since I will be using it for my pasta, I added more oil.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Put the pesto in a small bowl or container.

Pesto pasta:
1. In a pan, put some olive oil and saute the garlic.
2. Just before the garlic turns to golden brown, add the cooked pasta. 
3. Add the reserved liquid and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Toss until cheese has been completely mixed and the liquid has been absorbed by the pasta. 
5. Turn off the heat and add the spinach pesto. Toss.

1. Since olive oil is expensive in our country, you can use canola oil as a substitute. This is also a heart healthy oil.
2. Try to use other nuts like walnut or our very own pili nut. I tried it and loved it!
3. If you want basil pesto, use basil instead of spinach.
Happy day always,


April 2, 2013

Pininyahang Hipon (Shrimp in coconut-pineapple sauce)

Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and cupboard of the heart. ~ Thomas Fuller

My nephew gave me some leftovers of halabos na hipon*. Since I'm craving again for gata (coco milk/cream), I decided to cook pininyahan. Pineapples (pinya) are in season nowadays, would you believe I only bought it for only 20 Php/pc (the bigger ones cost 25-30 Php each). Wow, I only spent 50 Php for this dish, thank you Fritz (my nephew) for making this possible. 

My kids love anything that is pininyahan, whether it is chicken, pork, or fish. The pineapple gives the sauce a tropical flavor - fresh, sweet, and tart at the same time while the coconut cream makes the sauce rich and creamy. The combination of coconut and pineapple are unbeatable, very summery. 

*Halabos na hipon is freshly caught shrimp that is boiled in little water or in its own juice. (source: wikipedia)

30 pcs leftover shrimps (halabos na hipon*)
1 1/2 cup chopped ripe pineapple, canned or fresh (I used fresh)
1 small red bell pepper, strips
1 small onion, sliced
1 big tomato, sliced
1 1/2 cup coconut cream (first extraction)

1 Tbsp patis
1/2 to 1 tsp sugar (optional)
salt and pepper

1. Put the leftover shrimps in a pot. Add the coconut cream, pineapples, red bell pepper, onion, and tomato.

Note: No tomato in the above photo, forgot to put it. *wink

3. Cook over medium-high heat, uncovered.
4. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for 8-10 mins, uncovered. 
5. While simmering, add the patis. If you want it sweeter, add sugar.
6. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Then turn off the heat.

7. Serve with rice. Share and enjoy.

1. Add chilies or chili flakes to give a little kick in your dish.
2. You may also add veggies like eggplant or string beans.
3. If your pineapple doesn't give enough tartness, you may add a squeeze of calamansi, lime, or lemon.

Servings: 3 to 5 person

Happy day always,

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...