June 26, 2013

Giniling na Baboy (Pork Giniling / Ground Pork)

"My tastes are simple: I am easily satisfied with the best." ~Winston Churchill

I'll tell you a secret...  actually... I don't know the real name of my dish. Whenever I ordered this at the canteen during our college days, I just say "giniling" (ground). Today, I asked my mom the name of the dish and she simply answered, giniling! LOL! Maybe it was its real name. Whatever it is called - "giniling, giniling na baboy, ginisang giniling", I'm sure that every Filipino palate know its good taste.

"Giniling" is originally cooked with tomato sauce. But in my recipe, I didn't put tomato sauce, instead I used tomato paste. It is richer and sweeter, that's why I like it more. But if you don't have tomato paste, just use a small pouch of tomato sauce (200g). I also cooked the carrots together with the celery and onion (mirepoix). This is to make the dish more aromatic and flavorful. 

3/4 kg ground pork
2 carrots, diced
2 to 3 potatoes, diced
1/2 cup fresh green peas or 1 small can of green peas
3 pieces hotdogs, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 big red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 to 3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 to 3 cups water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
fish sauce
salt and pepper
3 pieces boiled eggs, whole or sliced

1. Heat oil in a pan or pot or skillet. Saute the onion, garlic, and celery in medium heat. Cook for a couple of seconds or until the onion becomes translucent.

2. Add the carrots. Cook for a minute.

3.  Add the tomato paste. Stir. 

4. Put the ground pork. Add water and oyster sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes.

5. Stir in the potatoes and hotdog. Cook for 10 minutes, covered.

6. Stir in the bell peppers and green peas. Cook for 5 minutes, covered.

7. Adjust the seasoning. Add fish sauce or salt if needed.

8. Top it with boiled eggs. Serve with hot rice. Share and enjoy!

1. You can use quail eggs instead of chicken eggs.
2. You can also substitute the ground pork with ground beef.
3. If you don't have oyster sauce, use soy sauce with a tsp of sugar.
4. Left overs can be used as a filling to your "pandesal" or bread.

Servings: 6-8 person

Happy day always,


June 24, 2013

Mixed Vegetables with Chicken Liver

The greatest wealth is to live content with little. ~ Plato

This is a simpler version of Pinoy Chop Seuy.  Very affordable yet very tasty dish. Try this.

200 grams chicken liver, cut into bite size
100 grams snow peas or sitsaro, trimmed
1/2 head of medium size cabbage, chopped
1 carrot, sliced thinly
8 pieces young corn or baby corn, sliced in half
1-2 pieces bell pepper (red or green or both), sliced
2 pieces chayote or sayote, chopped
1 medium size red onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 1/4 cup water or chicken / pork broth
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
salt and pepper
vegetable oil

1. Heat oil in a wok. Saute the onion, celery and garlic over medium heat. Cook for a couple of seconds.

2. Add the chicken liver. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the vegetables (snow peas, cabbage, carrot, young corn, bell pepper, sayote). Add the fish sauce and stir.

4. Add the water or broth. Season with oyster sauce. Set the heat on high. Cover. Cook until the vegetables are tender but not soft. Adjust the seasoning (add salt and pepper if needed).

5. Put the cornstarch dissolved in water. Stir until the sauce becomes thick. Turn off the heat and add the sesame oil. Mix well.

6. Serve. Share and enjoy.

1. You can use pork, chicken, or shrimps instead of chicken liver.
2. You may add mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower to the dish.
3. If you don't have fish sauce, just use salt. If you don't have oyster sauce, use soy sauce and add a tsp of sugar.
4. Add quail eggs for a more please-to-the-eye effect.
5. Use the left overs for your pancit bihon or canton.

Happy day always,


June 18, 2013

Tapioca Pudding with fresh fruits

Original, in French: La bonne cuisine est la base du véritable bonheur.
English: Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.
~ Auguste Escoffier

This is our breakfast last Sunday - Tapioca Pudding with boiled taro (nilagang gabi). I saw the recipe from Yummy magazine and tweaked it a bit because some ingredients were not available in the kitchen. Tapioca Pudding is a Vietnamese dessert (Chè Chuối) and the difference of my pudding is I didn't cook the banana. I just want it fresh. May be next time, I'll do the authentic one.

It's my first time to make it and I was skeptic. But I was intrigued if it has the same taste like our ginataang halo-halo / bilo-bilo. And I just discovered that it hasn't. It has its own character... it's creamy and caramelly. I just fell in love the first time I tasted it.

1 cup tapioca pearls (I used cooked tapioca, available in groceries and markets)
3/4 cup coconut cream
1 1/4 cup coconut juice
1 Tbsp caster sugar

1 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed firmly

1 ripe mango, chopped
1 ripe banana, chopped

- In a medium saucepan, combine coconut juice, coconut cream, and caster sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in tapioca pearls. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperatures or keep in the fridge until needed.

- Combine sugar and coconut cream in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens. (Be patient!). Set aside.

To assemble:
- Spoon some syrup on a glass or cup, fill it with tapioca pudding, and drizzle again with a little syrup. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, top with fresh mango and banana.

1. If you don't have coconut juice, substitute it with water.
2. Don't limit yourself with the toppings, top it with your favorite fruits (strawberries, grapes, apple, pineapple, etc) or add nuts.
3. You can also eat it plain (no toppings).

Serving: 4 glasses

Happy day always,


June 17, 2013

Wholemeal pasta with smoked bacon and shiitake mushroom

I am... a mushroom; On whom the dew of heaven drops now and then. ~ John Ford 

Even my youngest cannot resist the pasta I made. He doesn't want to eat anything except for this one. The bacon and mushrooms create a wonderful blend and texture into this pasta dish. Shiitake mushroom is known for it's rich and earthy flavor and when it is cooked in the bacon fat, the taste is incredibly amazing! It's like you're eating a pork fat. I'm sure you'll gonna love it! 

I used wholemeal pasta for this dish. It has grainy texture and harder than the regular pasta. Just cook it according to package direction because wholemeal pasta takes longer time to cook and it needs more water. If you don't like wholemeal, you can use any kind of pasta you have. Bon Appetit!

250 grams wholemeal pasta
100 grams hickory smoked bacon, chopped
10 pcs shiitake mushroom, sliced and de-stemmed
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup reserved pasta liquid
2-3 Tbsp basil pesto, bottled or home made *
1/4 to 1/3 cup cheese
salt and pepper to taste.

* If you want to make home made pesto, follow my step by step instructions HERE. Just substitute it with basil.

1. Cook the pasta according to package direction. It should be al dente (tender but firm). Drain and set aside.
2. Put the bacon in a pan and fry it in the rendered fat until starting to brown.
3. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent and then stir in the garlic. Cook for a couple of seconds.
4. Add the mushrooms and cook for a minute or two.
4. Put the pasta in the pan and add the pasta liquid.
5. Add cheese and pesto. Toss the pasta.
6. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Serve. Share and enjoy!

1. You can use dried shitake mushroom if you can't find one. Just rehydrate it first into hot water until soft.
2. To clean the fresh mushroom, just wipe it using a tissue or damp cloth. I don't usually wash my mushrooms but if you want to wash it, just give it a quick rinse and dry them using a clean cloth.

Serving: 3-5 person

Happy day always,


June 5, 2013

Chocolate Crinkles

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance? ~Franklin P. Jones

Once again, my lil' tyke helped me baking this cute snow-ball-like cookies. He insisted to have a baking session again that's why I decided to make chocolate crinkles because this is very easy to make, actually for beginners. But it turned out to be a challenging one. 

When we made this, our kitchen was in mess! Half of the flour mixture ended up outside the bowl so I had to make another batch again. Flour and cocoa were everywhere - in the counter, table, sink, floor, and even on my face. And once again... once again, he stretched my patience. I tried to keep myself calm and just enjoy the moment we have. He had lots of fun anyway. On the other hand, I had lots of things to clean up! LOL! 
... I'm sure that someday, this little hands will create the best pastry that anyone could wish for.

1 2/3 all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt*
1 stick unsalted butter or margarine, room temperature*
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

*If you're using salted butter or margarine, just omit the 1/4 tsp salt.

1. Preheat oven to 180 C or 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Put the confectioner's sugar into a bowl. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

4. In another bowl, beat in the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

5. Put your eggs in a small bowl and add the vanilla. 

6. Beat in eggs one at a time.

7. Stir in the flour mixture. Beat until combined. DO NOT over beat the mixture. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until the dough is firm enough to roll into ball.

8. Shape the dough into 1 inch balls. Roll each ball into confectioners' sugar TWICE to make sure it's thoroughly coated. Put it in the baking sheets, spacing them 1-1/2 to 2 inches apart.

9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. It will still be a little soft so cool slightly on baking sheets then transfer it to wire racks to completely cool.

10. Serve with cold milk! Share and enjoy!

1. Store the crinkles in an airtight container or ziplock bags for 3 to 5 days.
2. Do not forget to double roll the dough in confectioners'. The sugar can be dissolved while you try to finish rolling them so make sure your rolled dough is completely covered with confectioner's sugar.
3. Don't skip the refrigeration part. I know the feeling that you want to bake it immediately but I'll tell you, it's worth the wait. It's easy to shape the ball when refrigerated, and it will also keep the cookie for being flat.

Yield: 50 pieces

Happy baking,


Binatog (Boiled corn kernels with coconut and sugar)

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. ~Aristotle

When you're making binatog, you definitely need patience. It's my first time making it and I waited for hours before tasting this simple perfection. Good thing is I used our ever reliable charcoal stove to boil the corn kernels. Try this healthy recipe, you can eat it as a snack or breakfast. Enjoy!
1 kg white corn
1.5 L water
coconut, grated (niyog na mura)

1. Remove the kernels from the cob using your fingers.

2. Put the corn kernels in a large pot and add water. Cook until the kernels are tender and the liquid becomes slightly thick. I just cook mine for 2.5 hours. Note that most of the liquid will evaporate, if the kernels are still hard, add more water. 

3. Mix the boiled corn kernels, sugar, and grated coconut in a bowl.

4. Serve, share, and enjoy!

1. You may add a little salt into the binatog to balance the flavor.
2. You may also use japanese or yellow sweet corn but the consistency will be different because it contains less starch.
3. Try to add evaporated or fresh milk. It will bring your binatog to another level. My kids love it so much.

Happy day always,


June 1, 2013

Overload banana cupcakes by Lowell

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~ Walt Streightiff

These are the cutest art pieces I've ever seen. Well, it's my son's creations. We have some bonding and learning time yesterday. It's always great when he helped me in the kitchen. I can see the happiness in my child's eye when we do something together.

Just so you know, I wanted to teach my son to be responsible, that's why I always make a point to give him simple household chores everyday, like watering the plants or putting dirty clothes in the hamper or picking up his toys. I'll tell you, it's not an easy task but it is our duty as a parent to help our children grow into a better human being. Turn the responsibilities into something fun, just like what I did yesterday. My son made the decoration of the cakes and I can't believe he made all of it. I'm a proud mama! So next time you bake, try to put some happiness in your baked treats by letting your child help you make wonderful creations.

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup chopped cashew nuts
3 pcs oreo cookies, chopped or crushed
1 pack kitkat (42g), chopped or crushed (I used dark)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp canola oil or any vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 190 C.
2. Whip butter and sugar together.

3. Add egg, flour, and baking soda. Mix well.

4. Add mashed bananas, cashew nuts, oreo, and kitkat. Mix well.

5. Add the vanilla extract, oil, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well.

6. Scoop into cupcake moulds.

7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and set aside to cool.

8. Put your favorite frosting on top of the cupcake. But it's still good even without it. Serve, share, and enjoy.

Yield: 12 cupcakes

1. If you have overripe bananas, try to use it for this recipe. They are easier to mash, sweeter, and more aromatic.
2. Fill your cupcake moulds no more than 2/3 or 3/4 full to avoid over spilling.
3. Add your favorite cookies, nuts, or chocolate chips on this recipe, just like what I did! I put Kitkat, Oreos and cashew nuts.

Credit: Thanks to my sister and brother in law for the cute cupcake moulds.

Happy baking,

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