30 August 2011

22 Days Before Eid Al Fitr - Days 21 and 22

and so the end is here. the final meals, desserts rather to make the list. one dessert is the easiest i have learned before for all those chocolate lovers while the other is again new to my kitchen experience.

i guess i don’t need to bore you anymore on how i made it but one thing is for sure, i enjoyed sharing the experience with you all (if I actually have readers out there). Oh well, this is already in cyberspace so whoever stumbles into it, i’m glad you passed by.

aside from my rumbles over getting too excited or failing to meet my cooking standards (as if), this month indeed was special. i believe i got closer to ALLAH and was able to reflect on so many things. couple of people ofcourse made this journey a memorable one.

this month’s blog would always be exceptional. i do not claim any expertise on cooking but i do love to cook.

my friends, EID MUBARAK to you all and please enjoy my last entries… chocolate mousse and lemon puddle pudding-souffle

26 August 2011

22 Days Before Eid Al Fitr - Day 15 18

i am so behind with updating the meals i have been cooking / baking. since school officially started, half of my evenings are employed with reading modules, posting discussions, researching for resources etc. Not to mention that I too am a full-time bank officer at day.

excuses, excuses, excuses – i know. anyways, 3 days ago my mom invited couple of her friends for iftar. for some reason, my mom expected that i should be tonight’s chef. Hehehe. (i was wondering how graciously she gave me the limelight or maybe she was just too lazy tired to cook) needless to say, it was a chance for me to showcase my thai cooking skills (as if). and what best to showcase that talent than to prepare 2 famous thai dishes. (2 of my favorites in fact). i remember during our short trip to Bangkok, i told my mom that we couldn’t leave until we have a feast of the country’s best known meals (aside from tom yum soup).

without further adieu, i present to you Pad Thai and Chicken Satay.

21 August 2011

22 Days Before Eid Al Fitr - Day 12

This is a delayed post. This was in fact supposed to be posted yesterday hence Day 12 but got tied up with some researches. (it happens =p). So all references here will be like as if I blogged yesterday. Hehehe.

Anyways for some reason, I woke up at 3:30 am thinking of what to cook for Iftar. After Suhoor, I browsed through my Women’s Weekly Cookbook and two recipes caught my eye. Fish & Chips and an appealing dessert.

To fast forward to 2:30 pm, I decided to make Fish & Chips without the chips. Got the fish marinated with lemon and ground black pepper. Then began dipping it in home-made batter and deep fried the fish afterwards. Since I like my fish to be crunchy, I’ve waited just as when the fish passed its golden brown color. On the side, I’ve sliced some lemons and mayo-ketchup dip since I didn’t have the ingredients to make a tartar sauce. I just had to improv.

And because my sweet tooth was calling for some dessert, I decided to make pudding once again. Aside from additional step of making the caramel sauce, the dessert was pretty simple. And after my 7-month long abstinence from coffee, I got the satisfaction of tasting caffeine once again but definitely in a good way.

So here it is, Fish & Chips and Coffee & Mixed Nuts Pudding in Caramel Sauce.

19 August 2011

22 Days Before Eid Al Fitr - Days 8 and 10

first off, day 8.

my mom decided to meet up with her friends during iftar so it only meant one thing, the kitchen was all mine. :-p

then i thought of making something quick but my mom never tasted before. i immediately got the skinless chicken breasts out of the ref then started dipping each in a whisked egg then afterwards coated it with spicy ready-made bread crumbs. as the frying pan preheated, i tossed the coated chicken breasts and turned each just as when the crumbs were golden brown. 

while the chicken made a splashing sound, i began to chop tomatoes into small cubes as well as couple of cloves of garlic. be generous, garlic always makes a great flavor to almost any dish. as i took the chicken breasts out of the pan and dried the oil out with an absorbent tissue, another pan preheated and off i tossed the garlic on a medium hot extra virgin olive oil.  just as when you i can smell a good scent of garlic, i added the chopped tomatoes and sprinkled it with salt and pepper. as the tomatoes began to simmer, i turned the knob off and began scooping the tomatoes out of the pan and placed it on top of each chicken breasts. now for the drama effect, i sprinkled mozzarella and cheddar cheese on top and baked the chicken for about 15-20 minutes just as when the cheese turned into light brown. as a side dish, i baked few potato strips. 

instead of a 3-cheese dish, i made 2-cheese Chicken.

next, day 10.

my mom has been cooking our iftar dinner for the past 2 days and quite honestly i haven't been doing anything in the kitchen except to feast on meals and do the aftercare. hehe. so today, as i finished my first official online class with UL and i thought i had some sort of an information overload, i just needed to find peace... in the kitchen.

again, this dessert is a first so i apologize for any aesthetic mishap. nonetheless, i am happy that once again, i did a good job for a first-timer. all i had to do was to mix altogether the self-raising flour, light brown sugar, cocoa powder, butter and eggs until it forms a smooth cream-like consistency. afterwards, i just had to scoop and divide each on a lightly greased muffin dish and added a small chunk of milk chocolate at the center. (this is where i made the mistake of filling up the entire muffin dish instead of just scooping enough mixture until it nearly covers the mold but not entirely.) then i placed the muffin dish in an oven and baked the dessert for about 20-25 minutes on a 180C heat.

this sweet is a good companion of coffee / tea or just by plainly indulging into some good old chocolate flavored dessert. here it is, double chocolate pudding.

15 August 2011

22 Days Before Eid Al Fitr - Day 6

this project would not be complete if i do not include the dish that my mom taught me ever since i've loved pasta. 

during the days when i was still an active dancer in school (oohh yes sometime ages ago i used to shake my b**ty. hehehe) my mom used to serve this to us when my friends came to our house and practice for some dance routines. 

as i grew older but not too old, i just had to ask my mom to teach me to make this dish. well actually it is quite simple it is just that you have 5 major steps to do. one, prepare the sauce. two, boil the pasta. three, mix both the sauce and pasta together in a baking dish. four, make the cheese topping and five, bake the dish for about 30-45 minutes just when the cheese is lightly golden brown.

so for tonight's special, the coveted Baked Mac.

13 August 2011

22 Days Before Eid Al Fitr - Day 4

this project just keeps my mind busy. i have been browsing through my stack of cookbooks and i saw something easy and yet a first for me to make. oh and take note, i bought a 9 rial electric mixer just to establish that i am serious with this. hehehe. 

so i put my apron on (how i wish i had a pastry chef hat as well) then began my trial-&-error dessert. i love fruits a lot and since it is ramadhan, the only chance i can devour them is after the Maghrib Prayer hence got tons of fruits that are either over ripe or nearly stale. this dessert helped me out clear the ref's fruit container. so i grabbed 3 green apples and 2 pears. peeled them, skinned them off and removed the cores. then i sliced them into quarters and spread them all over a baking dish and sprinkled brown sugar and about 2 tablespoons of water. 

on top of that, my mom kept screaming from our living room area and has been asking me what am i cooking. i couldn't just spill the beans that it is my first time to make this dessert but too late, she saw the cookbook infront of the dining table. as expected, she started telling me to add this ingredient, that ingredient. typical mom. so i told her since she's done cooking for our main dish, why don't she just take it easy and let me take charge of this one. i knew she wanted to do more but she couldn't argue so she went back to the living room area and turned on her favorite filipino channel. 

where was i? oh yes, as the oven preheats, i covered the dish with foil and placed it inside the baking oven and timed it for about 10 minutes. as it sits there, oooh i was excited to unbox my first ever electric mixer. got the mixing bowl ready then placed the sugar, plain flour, unsalted butter and i thought i can be a little bolder by adding up a tablespoon of vanilla. as i turned on the electric mixer, i just felt like i was Rachael Ray. spare me, i can just dream of anything.

anyways, as the solid mixture turned into soft crumbs i had to get back into reality and stop acting like i am in 30 Minute Meals show. i took the dish from the baking oven and removed the foil and began scooping the crumbs and placed them on top of the fruits. just as i have done that, placed the dish back into the baking oven and turned the knob to 250C. The recipe calls for 350C but because we have a 15 year old oven, the maximum it can go is just 250C. 

i timed the baking for about 30 minutes but the moment it hit 25 minutes, omg the entire flat was filled with amazing scent of vanilla, fruit, sugar and i just had to run towards my mom and asked her if she can smell it too. before i even asked, she already had a huge grin on her face. (yes that is a good sign). 

so as i opened the oven, a powerful and addicting aroma just hit my face. the crumbs looks goldenly (is that even a word) amazing! i quickly placed the dish on top of our table and i just can't wait if the taste would be as amazing as the smell. but i just had to hold on more because i still have about an hour and a half to wait before i can criticize and worst, before my mom can bombard me with tons of feedback. 

an hour and a half later, the call for prayer blankets the air. as i whisper a prayer before i take a sip of water, the dessert just keeps calling my name. but i can hold on quite good and had our iftar first. then came the moment of truth, i scooped the dessert and placed it on my plate. so far so good. as my fork touch the crumbs, i just kept on hoping that it would atleast taste decent. then as i lift the fork and make its way to my oral cavity, i just had to do it. and there, OMG I am AMAZING. not to brag or anything but for a first timer, i did one great job. plus my mom said she tasted something similar at hotel restaurants! wohoo!! cheers for me!

so here it is, apple + pear crumbler.

12 August 2011

22 Days Before Eid Al Fitr - Day 3

as the debate inside the courtroom woke me up. let me rephrase that, the good wife's scene inside the courtroom woke me up. this has been my alarm clock for the past days. for some reason, i keep on falling asleep without turning off the lights nor my multimedia player + tv. 

then i glanced at my tab's watch, the long dial just turned to number 6. it is 3:30 am. my mind slowly ran frantic as immediately thought i roughly have 15-20 minutes to prepare a decent Suhoor (last meal before the start of day's fast). 

again a fresh loaf of bread pierced into my eyes then when i opened the cupboard i saw a good bottle of basil & garlic tomato sauce. which by the way, i make sure that i keep tomato sauces always at hand. if some households keep bundles of onions, well in my territory tomato sauces are the staple. 3:35 the clock is ticking, great the roast chicken mortadella is good to go and got the mozarella and cheddar cheese at hand. one thing left to do is to lightly brush the pan with olive oil and put all the ingredients on top of each sliced bread. 

3:45am - 15 minutes later i knocked on my mom's door to wake her up & told her that today, we will have a light Suhoor. ran back to the kitchen and as i opened the oven, a delicious smell of toasted bread and tomato sauce filled the air. i just got excited that i nearly burned my hand when i was taking out the pan. the cheeses melted perfectly. as the clock ticks nearly 4am, my mom and i enjoyed a light meal that was surprisingly filling. hope it holds us throughout the day. 

here it is my friends, an Improv Pizza.

10 August 2011

22 Days Before Eid Al Fitr - Day 1

as i plate the dessert i've made today, a project came into mind. ting! a bulb lights on! 

for the past 9 days, i have been observing this year's HOLY MONTH OF RAMADHAN. for us Muslims, this is the time to reflect on our ways of life and an opportunity to renew our spiritual connections with Allah. during the day is when we come into terms with our fate while the evening brings forth festivities with the loved ones. 

as we invite friends and families in our homes, one of the highlights of Iftar (breaking of the fast) is the feast that we serve to our guests. being the self-proclaimed domestic chef, i thought that i could share with you some of the meals / desserts i prepare. note that i just have to trust both my instincts and imaginary taste palette for the sole reason that we cannot taste any food until the call for Maghrib prayer.  

and so for today, as i rummage through our refrigerator, a plastic of loaf of bread caught my attention. then i thought, that calls for a dessert. i went looking for a fresh milk and a can of condensed milk. how i wish though that we had dates because it would be an interesting twist to this very simple dessert. and so for today, i present to you, my very own version of pudding