"The duty of a good Cuisinier is to transmit to the next generation everything he has learned and experienced."~Fernand Point

"A cookbook must have recipes, but it shouldn't be a blueprint. It should be more inspirational; it should be a guide." ~Thomas Keller

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Dr. Katz's Better-for-You Eggnog
Recipe created by David L. Katz, MD

Start by skipping the more mundane foods you can eat any day of the year. (The mere presence of something edible does not mean it belongs in your mouth.) Next, prepare for the holiday buffet, which makes restraint difficult because variety stimulates appetite. Limit what you put on your plate at any one time. Try to start with raw veggies (ten slices of green pepper: 5 calories). A bit of nutritious, filling, low-calorie fare will leave less room for more fattening items.

Whenever possible, skip the buffet in favor of a sit-down meal, which has the benefit of built-in boundaries. And keep in mind that the dinner table is a place for socializing. Pause to enjoy the company. Research shows that extending a meal gives your body a chance to register fullness before you overeat.

As you're raising a glass of holiday cheer, remember that the disinhibiting effects of alcohol can cause you to eat more. In addition, a glass of red wine has about 125 calories; a cup of eggnog, as many as 340. My gift to you: an eggnog makeover that uses less sugar and replaces whole milk and cream with skim milk. Cheers.
— David L. Katz, MD

Serves 6 (about 100 calories each serving)

* 6 cups skim milk
* 1 cup egg substitute
* 1/2 cup nonfat powdered milk
* 6 Tbsp. sugar
* 2 tsp. vanilla extract
* 2 tsp. rum extract
* Ground nutmeg or cinnamon
* Sugar-free whipped topping

In a medium pot over medium heat, whisk together skim milk, egg substitute, powdered milk, and sugar over medium heat. Cook, stirring, 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla and rum extracts. Let cool, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled, 2 to 3 hours.

Stir well and pour into cups. Sprinkle each with nutmeg or cinnamon, and add a dollop of whipped topping.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grandma's Apple Pie

Grandma's Apple Pie

Incredibly delicious hot with vanilla ice cream or, an old Yankee touch, a slice of cheddar cheese.
6 cups peeled, sliced apples (Idared, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Granny Smith)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter
pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine apples and lemon juice in mixing bowl. Combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; mix well. Pour sugar mixture over apples, and stir to coat. Spoon filling into pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan. Dot with butter.

Transfer top pastry to top of pie, trimming off excess. Fold edges under to seal, and flute rim. Cut slits, decorative or not, into top pastry for steam to escape.

Bake in preheated 450°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F, and bake for 45 minutes.

Note: You can cover the pie with pastry in a simple way without the lattice if you wish.

Source: Lorna's Site - Baking and Cooking

Basic Roast Turkey

Source: Oprah

Serves at least 15, plus leftovers

* 1 12-pound turkey
* Bacon-nut stuffing, may be cooked separately
* 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter at room temperature (extra-virgin olive oil may be substituted)
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
* 1 cup coarsely chopped carrot
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
* Stems from 1 bunch parsley tied together (optional)
* Turkey gravy
* Sliced figs for garnish (optional)
* Mostarda di frutta (mustard-oil preserved fruits, available at iGourmet.com), for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 500°. Rinse turkey; remove and set aside giblets. If cooking stuffing inside turkey, loosely pack the turkey cavity with stuffing, then tie legs together to enclose the vent. Coat bird all over with butter (or brush it with oil), then sprinkle well with salt and pepper.

Put turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan. Add 1/2 cup water to bottom of pan along with turkey neck, gizzard, any other giblets, onion, carrot, celery, and parsley. Put in oven, legs first if possible.

Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top begins to brown, then turn heat down to 350°. Continue to roast, checking and basting with pan juices every 30 minutes or so; if the top threatens to brown too much, lay a piece of aluminum foil directly onto it. (If the bottom dries out, add water, about 1/2 cup at a time; keep at least a little liquid at the bottom of the pan at all times.) Turkey is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh measures 155° to 165°. If, when the turkey is nearly done, the top is not browned enough, turn heat back up to 425° for the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking.

Remove turkey from oven. Take bird off rack and make gravy while bird rests; let it sit for about 20 minutes before carving. Serve on a platter garnished with sliced figs and mostarda di frutta and with gravy on the side.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Skirty Steak (also called Diaphragm Steak)


Ready in half an hour, serves four, or cut in half, and freeze half, if for two.

On a cookie sheet, cover with foil, and add canola oil or olive oil to the bottom.

Place meat on the cookie sheet. Spread any kind of mustard you like on the top.

Sprinkle Worcestershire sauce over the mustard, then sprinkle with garlic powder.

Broil meat at least 3-4 inches from broiler coil, until it looks done, then turn and repeat. Add some water as this will give you the juice to put over either noodles or rice.

Serve with a green vegetable.

Place the Diaphragm steak on a plate or cutting board, and with a sharp knife, cut almost horizontally, making the beef wider and thin.

(While meat is cooking, prepare noodles or rice).

Serve while hot.

This has very little fat, if any, and no cholesterol. Worcestershire sauce contains salt, and it can be cut in half, and diluted with water

(While meat is cooking, prepare noodles or rice.)

Buon appetit

Toni Helfrick

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

13 Baking Tips from Ace of Cakes' Adam Goldstein

Source: Oprah

There's nothing worse thank a cake that falls flat, crumbles at the smallest touch or just tastes off. Help stop a "caketastrophe" with this excerpt from Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes by Duff Goldman and Willie Goldman.

To avoid catastrophe, store eggs and butter at 38 degrees F.

To avoid a "caketastrophe," allow them to come to room temperature before mixing.

To restrain hair without the stigma of a hairnet, wear a beanie.

Do not leave cake unattended around vultures, jackals, or underpaid art students.

If your cake turns out a little dry, try eliminating an egg white or two next time.

If your butter cake turns out rather heavy, chances are that you didn't cream the butter and sugar long enough—at least five minutes is a good rule of thumb.

To take your chocolate cake to the next level, try adding brewed coffee to the mix.

If your recipe calls for baking soda, make sure there is an acidic component (buttermilk, vinegar, citrus) in your ingredients as well—unless, of course, you're going for the always popular soapflavored cake.

Preheating your oven is not optional in baking.

The toothpick test is still the best way to determine if a cake is done—give it a poke in the center, and if the toothpick is clean, you're good to go.

For perfect, easy-to-spread ganache, use slightly more (by weight) cream than chocolate. So if you have 1 1/2 pounds of chocolate, use about 1 3/4 pounds of cream. And make sure to allow for ample time for the ganache to set up.

When making a meringue, it is better to underwhip your egg whites a little than risk overwhipping and drying them out.

When whipping egg whites, make certain that your bowl is clean and that you haven't gotten any yolk in the mix. Fat spells doom to light, fluffy meringues.

Restrain yourself—or have someone else restrain you—from cutting into the cake until it is completely cool. If you plan to ice the cake, this is particularly important.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pam's Tin Roof Fudge Pie Recipe

It is with Pam's permission to copy this recipe so I can try baking this in my daughter's new kitchen as she has a nice oven to convert into a laboratory kitchen.

Pam of Mom's Mutterings blog apparently is an expert baker with lots to share to her followers and readers. Kindly follow her blog IN THIS LINK for more and better surprises.

In this particular recipe, I left the picture out. You can see what it looks like when you pay her blog a visit. It looks super delicious and mouth watering.

I posted this recipe here so I will have easy access to her recipe board. One thing, I have never baked a pie in my whole life. Hope this will be a good start to begin with pie making. Hooray!

My newly married daughter wanted to learn baking, so this will be her new added interest to fill her time as a new wife, her new life.

Thank you very much Pam for your kindness.


2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
1 pastry shell (9 inches), baked

20 caramels
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups salted peanuts

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Whipped cream and salted peanuts, optional

3 caramels
5 teaspoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter

In a small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat; stirring until smooth. Spread onto the bottom and up the sides of crust; refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
For peanut layer, in a small saucepan, melt caramels and cream over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat; stir in peanuts. Spoon into pie shell; refrigerate.
For chocolate layer, in a microwave, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl beat cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Carefully fold a third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture; fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread over peanut layer; refrigerate until set. Garnish with whipped cream and peanuts if desired.
For topping, in a small saucepan, melt caramels, cream and butter over low heat. stirring until smooth. Drizzle over pie. Store in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup Created by Rori Trovato

The stock recipe makes more than the soup recipe calls for. Store the remaining stock in small airtight, freezer-safe containers, up to 3 months.
Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 whole chicken , halved and cleaned and 6 chicken wings
  • 3 carrots , trimmed
  • 1 onion , peeled
  • 2 leeks , thoroughly rinsed
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 3 parsnips , trimmed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1 whole lemon

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion , chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 carrots , peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch coins
  • 2 stalks celery , cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 1 pound egg noodles
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper , to taste
For the stock: In a large pot, combine all ingredients and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to the barest simmer and cook 4 hours, occasionally skimming the scum off the surface. Strain stock into a large bowl and discard solids except for chicken halves; set those aside.

To make soup: In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery. Cook about 10 minutes. Add 6 cups stock. Cook 25 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.

Meanwhile, pull chicken into shreds from reserved chicken halves; discard skin and bones. Add chicken to stock, along with dill and noodles and cook until noodles are al dente, 8 to 10 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (the stock is unsalted; it may need more than you think). Serve hot.

Butternut Squash and Sage Soup by Rori Trovato

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion , chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 butternut squashes , peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage , plus 8 to 18 leaves for garnish
  • 4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • Vegetable oil , for frying
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add squash; cook 5 more minutes. Add chopped sage and broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until squash is very tender, about 30 minutes. With an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth (or puree in small batches in a food processor fitted with knife blade). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a small pan, heat 1/2 inch vegetable oil until hot. Drop sage leaves in about 3 at a time and fry until just crisp; remove to a paper-towel-lined plate. Serve soup hot, garnished with 2 or 3 sage leaves per bowl.

Creamy Potato Soup with Sour Cream

Found this in Oprah online magazine and thought I'll keep this till winter comes down under during America's summertime. Since there are food that we are not allowed to eat, it is easy to find ideal substitute for them. We love soups, so I am going to give this a try.

In due credit to Rori Trovato, the recipe owner.

Description: a thick puree served with classic baked-potato toppings.

Serves 6 to 8

  • 6 strips bacon(silver side as my substitute)
  • 1 large onion , chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 large cloves garlic , chopped
  • 3 pounds unpeeled russet or baking potatoes (about 4 potatoes), cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives
In a large pot, cook bacon over medium-low heat until crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Remove bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, break into small pieces and set aside.

Drain from the pot all but 2 tablespoons fat. Add onion and increase heat to medium. Cook until golden, about 12 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 more minute. Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

With an immersion blender, puree soup until chunky-smooth (or puree in batches in a food processor fitted with knife blade). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, in bowls, topped with bacon bits, sour cream, Cheddar cheese and chives.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tinolang Manok


2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, regular size, cut
1 stem of fresh lemon grass (dry lemon grass, optional)
White gourd or upo, peeled and cut into desired size
1 cup green beans, cleaned and halved
1 cup deboned moringga leaves or "kalamunggay"
1 tsp annato powder (soy sauce, optional)
water, salt to taste

White Gourd or "Upo"

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Scrumptious Diced Fruit Salad

Now don't get mislead. They are not your average fruit salad for dessert. This is only one variation of salad using raw mango ideal for Barbecue dishes to break down fatty components of the meat that need to be burn down in your system.

Here are my Ingredients:

1 piece of raw mango

1 red truss tomato

1 Granny Smith Apple

1/2 cup of mixed marinated Kalamata olives and stuffed olives.


Peel the fruits, core, dice and place together in a bowl. Add the marinated mixed olives (I bought from a Deli shop)and mixed well. Garnish with parsley or anything that you may fancy of decorating.

Serve with newly cooked barbecue (meat of your choice).

Helps to digest the fat. You may add red and green capsicum.

Remember Cooking is an Art. Be creative. Be imaginative. The secret is all in your palate. How's your tastebuds going?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

You Like Smoothie?


Here’s a little health tip. You can make milkshakes without all
that sugared ice cream. I’ve been freezing bananas when they start
getting quite ripe (slice them up before freezing) and using other
frozen fruit. This gives the milkshakes (just fruit and milk – and
yogurt if you wish) a thick consistency.

However, this gave them more of a “smoothie” taste, which did not
impress my daughter. “Make it with ice cream this time, please.”

So here’s how you make it taste like a “milk shake”. Add a
touch of vanilla.

Happy Guy, April 10, 2009

Practical Help in the Kitchen

Keep your muffin tins, baking pans, and other rarely-used items in plastic bags when not in use, to protect them from dust.

Got an extra napkin holder? You can use it to hold mail.

For red stains on fabric, stretch the stain over a bowl and cover it with salt. Then pour boiling water over it and wash as usual.

Did you know that you can use old newspaper to get rid of the smell in food containers? Simply put a ball of newspaper into a lunch box or container, close it, and leave it overnight. The smell will be gone in the morning.

Stubborn crusts on pans? Just put a little baking soda on them and leave them for about 5 minutes, then scrub clean as usual.

Did you know you can use vinegar to remove messy gunk that price tags and stickers leave behind? Just brush the area a few times with vinegar, leave it for 5 minutes, and then wipe it off.

Adding a little salt to your cooking water when boiling eggs can prevent the eggshells from cracking.
Source: Kitchenomics Club

Chicken Afritada

Trying to explore my kitchen with uncommon recipe that I don't usually cook. I used the very simple Chicken Afritada Recipe on this one.

You may also try this one here. This is a sweetened Chicken Afritada. I'll try this myself later on.

Chicken Afritada Ingredients:

  • 1 kilo chicken, cut into pieces
  • 5 pieces potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 2 cups pork or chicken stock (broth)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of patis (fish sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil

Cooking Instructions:

  • In a cooking pot or wok, heat oil.
  • Sauté garlic and onions.
  • Add chicken and slightly brown.
  • Pour the tomato sauce and stock. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is almost cooked.
  • Add potatoes and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
  • Add the green and red bell peppers, simmer for an additional minute or two.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Serve this chicken recipe hot with steamed rice.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Ritual is back!

I had a night out spent in my daughter's home. And this morning, we decided to have our old tradition back for a day, at least. Her husband was very pleased and he enjoyed eating the food we used to prepare each weekend at home. We kept this ritual since my children were little.

The trimming was not complete because I forgot to tell them all we needed. I just assumed my daughter remembered but she didn't. Since these are all basic foods, I did not include the recipe.

  • Apple stew
  • Pancake
  • Silverside
  • Scrambled Eggs

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hot Chicken-Rice Pot

At home, we call this Arroz Caldo. I Anglicised the name to make it sound appealing to my children's picky taste. I cook this when they have problem with colds, sore throat and when they are plainly sick. I cook this in winter for body sustenance.


6-8 pieces chicken drumsticks, remove joint bones
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 of onion bulb, finely sliced, lengthwise
2 x 1 inch length fresh lemon grass, cut into half
1 tsp finely sliced, cubed or diced fresh ginger
1 cup broccoli, cut
3 tsps finely diced capsicum (red, green and yellow or any of the two)
3 pieces of shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp of cooking oil (I used either olive or rice bran oil)
a dash of annato powder or paprika powder for colouring
salt to season, soy sauce
1 cup of half-boiled rice. (I do this for quick cooking).
2-3 cups rice stock.

Stock: Reserve the second and third washing of rice. Meanwhile boil the rice in a rice cooker. I use a cup of half-boiled rice to add to the recipe.

Method of Preparation:

Clean drumsticks with white vinegar; rub them with salt; wash under running cold water, and drain.

Place cleaned drumsticks in a saucepan, fresh lemon grass, and ginger. Cover and boil to extract its natural juice. Occasionally stir and turn over and adjust heat to moderate.

In a frying pan, saute garlic and onion with oil till brown; pour into the saucepan and stir. Cover with lid and continue boiling in moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add rice stock gradually, boil, then add more stock to cover the mixture and simmer. Occasionally give it a stir to avoid sticking in the bottom.

Add half-boiled rice, stock and add annato or paprika powder. Add soy sauce sparingly and salt to enhance flavour. Then continue to simmer till tender. Add broccoli. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add capsicum last.

Sprinkle finely chopped shallots. On serving, you may squeeze fresh kumquat, lemon or lime as you like.

Makes a nice healthy hot soup to ward off winter chills.

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Diced Steak Stew

It's Wintertime again, time for those hot stuff on the table...


500 g diced (beef)steak
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced potato
Onion, finely chopped
1 small green capsicum, diced
1 small red capsicum, diced
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons gravy
salt to taste
olive oil or rice bran oil


Rub diced meat with olive oil to seal its flavour. In a hot deep pan, saute garlic and onion and add meat, stir, cover to bring out its natural juice for 3 minutes and reduce the heat. Add 1 and 1/2 cup of beef stock or water and simmer till the meat is tender. Add carrots and potato. Moisten gravy with the meat juice and stir into the stew then add capsicums altogether. Cover with lid and take out of the stove.

Season salt to taste as required.

Serve with boiled rice or toast bread.

Note: I am not much of a salty person. My salt intake is under control, ditto with sugar intake.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Big Brekky Break

I made this special big brekky yesterday.

I prepared the following:

One piece square cut of Turkish Bread
2 eggs
1 red firm Tomato (truss)


I fried the eggs sunny side up with little amount of olive oil in a big deep pan together with sliced tomato. I turned over the tomato. [Do not overcook the tomato].

At the same time, I lightly toasted the Turkish bread under the griller.

Arranged bread on a plate topped with fried eggs and neatly stacked tomato on its side. I seldom take salt or pepper.

I had banana to go with it and creamed decaffeinated coffee. I'm actually using Ecco coffee made from Barley, Malted Barley, Rye and Chicory.

Try it! You'll love it!

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ozzie Brekky

Yesterday prompted by what I read from Madam Diane's blog about their short brekky order during their trip to Switzerland, I decided to have something different for a change.

These days, I notice my diet has changed. My eating habit is getting less and less and I do not seem to be having any appetite to eat at all. Am still keeping my 55 kilos frame though.

Ozzie Toast

2 pieces brown slice bread
slices of cheese (block)
1 ripe tomato, sliced

Pre-toast brown bread under a griller on each side, remove and spread butter. Arrange on top slices of cheese and tomato and whip vegemite little or generously as you like.

Grill until cheese melts.

Serve with your favourite hot drink: tea or coffee.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Avocado Treat


1 ripe avocado
sugar to taste or honey (optional)
1/4 cup milk

How to prepare:

Just cut avocado in half, remove the seed and scoop the meat and place in a bowl. Add sugar to taste or honey and mash. Add milk.

It's either you eat it as a dessert or place it in an ice cube tray and freeze. Makes ideal summer treat.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Dinner Last Night

Easy to prepare. Fresh and practically nutritious.Bruschetta

My own ingredients:

2 pieces of sliced Damper Bread (bread of your choice)
1 piece of perfectly ripened truss tomato
5 sprigs of Coriander (parsley)
1 piece small Zucchini
1 tsp of olive oil
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar


Wash tomato, coriander and zucchini. Slice zucchini lengthwise and grill for 5 minutes turning each side and chop along with tomato and coriander and place in a deep bowl. Splash olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Grill the bread until brown, spread butter and top it with the mixture above. I added mine with smoked salmon.And a glass of Orange Mango juice to wash it down.

Bon appetit!


Damper bread is an Australian and New Zealand unleavened bread or cake of flour and water baked in wood ashes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chicken Adobo

This is traditionally a Filipino recipe. Any Filipino you know will always tell you Chicken Adobo is one of their favourite recipes. My children love it.

This is how I cook it.


1 kilo of chicken drumstick (you can use maryland or thigh or pieces whatever)
3-4 pieces of bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon of pepper corn
onion, slice lengthwise
3-4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup of water
salt and soy sauce to taste
extra white vinegar for cleaning


Clean drumstick by rubbing them with salt and moisten it with white vinegar and remove any extraneous fat or unwanted skin. Rinse under water and drain.

In the pot or cooking pan, place all the condiments in the bottom and add chicken drumstick neatly on top of the other. Add salt by estimate, perhaps, a teaspoon, and pour in soy sauce and water.

Bring to the boil, then simmer until tenderly cook. Occasionally turn over the drumstick to bring the colour of the soysauce (I prefer Kikkoman Soy Sauce for its flavour and aroma) uniformly around the meat. Then pour in olive oil last and simmer for another 10 minutes, then remove from the stove.

Serve with boiled rice or boiled vegies of your choice.

Bon appetit!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Enjoy Playing Host

My daughter and her fiance came to visit me today. I regarded this as a rare visit as they decided to stay for a little simple dinner.

I served them:

a bowl of green salad (lettuce and cucumber)

a plate of olives marinated in brine that I sprinkled with olive oil

a plate of slices of roast turkey from the deli shop

a plate of slices of smoked salmon

a plate of Matzos (Unleavened Bread)

a plate of slices of cheese and

a nice cup of hot strong brewed coffee.

I love playing host now and then. It gives me a pleasure to serve something to my visitors and it's nice to exchange pleasant conversation in between the bites.

That made my day!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Baked Fish

Tonight for my dinner, I cooked Baked Bonito.

One whole fish, about 10 inches long, cleaned, gutted, gills and fins trimmed out.

I slit each side three times, 1 inch distance from each slit; rubbed bit of salt inside the open gut and filled it with sliced ripe tomato and thinly sliced onion, lengthwise. Placed in an oven tray and baked for 40 minutes or until cooked.

Halfway through cooking, I basted it with margarine and continued with the baking.

I served it with boiled rice and a side salad made of cucumber and avocado and chopped fresh coriander leaves. My dressing? Just a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and half a teaspoon olive oil and mixed.

Have it with wine, if you would. I have no wine, so lemon lime was fine by me.

It's simple and nutritious.

Note: You may use any fish you like and improvise the technique as well. It's all about creativity.

Pity my little digicam is not in working condition, so readers may just have to use their imagination.

Bon appetit!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where I Excel

Our Sunday Brekky Ritual

Anyone can follow a recipe. But what about those talented people who can take whatever's on hand, throw in a pinch of this, a dash of that, and come up with something delicious -- and different? Here's a simple method for cutting yourself loose from cookbooks and having more fun in the kitchen.- www.oprah.com

To be successful at cooking you have to have incredible hunger, no doubt about it, not just for food...There's a hunger to want to become something, to contribute, to do something that's good in the world. —Norman Van Aken, chef

Interestingly enough, I am just one of those people who can cook without a cookbook. I literally got a collection of hundreds and thousands of recipes in books and magazines and clippings I got from just any reading materials, mainly newspapers and old magazines ready to be thrown into the bin for good...but, but ....

Once I got home, I couldn't really be bothered looking or reading the recipes I tore off or copied ...I just put them between pages of any book or notebook I had on hand ..if not, I just put them inside my bedside drawer...and forget all about it!

My life is always spent in the kitchen since I was young as if I was designed to be a kitchen dweller. I learned how to cook when I was 9 years old. It started off with a simple cooking of boiled rice under the supervision of my Auntie.

In Grade 5 we had Home Economics. I was 11 years old. We were taught how to cook basic recipes made from eggs: egg omelette, scrambled eggs, poached egg, fried eggs, hard and soft boiled eggs etcetera. We were even taught how to cook eggs by rolling them on the side of hot woodfire stove where the ashes were real hot! Definitely not on top of the embers as in those days, there was no such thing as electric stove in our country. We used this so-called dirty kitchen where we used firewood lit under a strong steel tripod as our cooking stove. So I was a natural born "girl among the cinders". If you know what I mean!

Sometimes, in lieu of the tripod, we used three equal size of strong rocks positioned like a tripod with vacuum in between to allow firewood to fit in, that would enable to produce good combustion to cook food.

At home, I watched my Auntie or my mother cooking. I always loved to give them a helping hand. I was their favourite dishwasher because my other siblings hated washing up. Besides, I am unfortunately the eldest girl in the family too. So that explains a bit.

It would always be world war II when it came to tidying up. Just like the mother hen with her planting, harvesting, pounding and cooking rice where nobody likes to help except when in the part of eating. Just like that. It's a normal atmosphere, you know. haha.

As we always had have abundance of fresh homegrown vegetables, I learned how to cook vegetables with proper instruction from my mother. I did take note everything she taught me so that the nutrition part of the food would not be spoiled.

In those days, there was no recipe books to copy or follow. So I basically learned cooking by estimation and calculation because we were such a big family. At 11 years old, I got to think of cooking for about 10 people and even more if we had incidental visitors. That happened all the time.

In the boarding house during my university days, my boardmates and I shared the cost of food so that we could economize our budget. Instead of buying cooked food from any roadside restaurants lining outside the school, we went home straight from our classes, and guess who did the cooking?

You guess it right! Me! Because most of my boardmates grew up with maids at home, therefore their experience in the kitchen was not as broad as mine. I did not mind at all, I mean being their Chef! I rather use this modern word for a cook. Who cares?

Again, I cooked by calculation and estimation without spoiling the taste and nutrition. Even my children love my cooking. Infact, my youngest preferred me to cook for her birthday than us going to the restaurant. Oh, they have plenty of memories to share when it comes to my cooking.

There is so much to tell when it comes to cooking without the cookbook. I can do better without really.

My aptitude it seems is a reflection of what I eat and of what I am doing even safer to say how I am doing things in particular to my cooking.

If you can create your own trick, I'll tell you what, "the secret of good cooking lies in the taste buds of the cook and a healthy palate of the eater".~Leah Dancel

It's actually my quotation.

As cooking is like an art, you can create a pleasure in your cooking style to the delight of your family and friends who take the leisure in eating whatever you serve them.

As to my cooking? You can give it a name for a recipe if you like. I am not keen of nomenclatures. I just cook and I eat.

So, like what most Germans would say before meal, Bon Appetit!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Chicken Soup

Just a simple nutritious chicken soup for a nice cool rainy like today. I simply boil three pieces of maryland (hipbone sides) till tender. Chuck in chopped onions. Add three pieces of bay leaf. Boil longer so the flavour will be pronounced and add vegetables (any of your choice). I used choko and beans as they are the only ones I have at hand. Season to taste with salt and paper, and add fresh coriander leaves, close the lid and take the pot out from the stove. Hmmmmm...Serve with rice or your favourite buttered toasted bread.

Bon appetit!