Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Look Back...

As you can tell, I've been away from writing for a long time.  Things fell apart when we moved and went through a rough spot in finances which didn't allow me to be as creative with my cooking as I was before so I started relying on tried and true recipes for stir fry and Filipino foods along with large amounts of rice to fill our plates at mealtime.  I have posted at least one recipe for stir fry, my modified General Tso's Chicken but I never got much response about it and the one time I posted a Filipino recipe the silence was deafening.  Hence I stopped writing because I really had nothing to write about.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Make Your Own Brown Sugar

I like to keep things as natural as possible in my cooking, or at least keep the ingredients similar to what would have been available back in the old days.  One thing that is devilishly hard to find though is organic brown sugar.  There's one brand available here and despite my love of their other offerings I was not impressed with the brown sugar they make.

See, when I lived in the Philippines, brown sugar meant Muscavado Sugar and I could buy it at the Palengke for about 60 cents a kilo (2.2lbs).  Here it's $7 per half pound so far out of my price range.  Then it struck me one day that brown sugar in the store is just regular sugar with molasses added back into it.  Problem is they use the lowest grade sugar and molasses to make brown sugar but by making it at home you can control the ingredients and have something that comes out like my beloved muscavado sugar from before.

There's no real recipe here, I use Florida Crystals Organic Sugar and Plantation Molasses.  Simply pour some sugar into a small bowl and drizzle a little molasses in.  Mix with a fork until blended.  Less molasses will yield a light brown sugar and more will yield the typical dark brown sugar.  Use as you would normal store bought brown sugar and store any leftover in a glass jar tightly capped in the pantry.ka720 phonic

Friday, December 20, 2013

If Heaven Made a Wonton

This post brought to you by P.F. Changs. All opinions are 100% mine.

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It isn't always about the vintage recipes at our house, sometimes my wife and I like to go out to eat and then sometimes we just go out for a cup of coffee and something sweet.  After looking at P.F. Chang’s new dessert offerings I'm ready to head out the door and go try them.  My favorite up above is the Chocolate Raspberry Wonton, crispy... check, chocolate... check, raspberries... YES!  I'm sold! 

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You could also try their Sweet Vanilla Cheese Wontons and pair them with a beverage that exemplifies the holidays like their Peppermint Mocha Cappuccino or a Vanilla Bean Milkshake.  With PF Chang's you know that you will be getting great food artisically presented at an affordable price.  This holiday season take some time off from all the shopping hubbub and indulge your sweet tooth and soothe your soul.  Head on over and Follow P.F. Chang’s on Pinterest where you'll find pictures of every dish on their menu, guaranteed to get your mouth watering and you can keep up to date with everything going on at PF Chang's by adding their twitter and Follow @pfchangs

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What new menu items are you most interested in on the new PF Chang's menu?  I'd have to say the wontons are my favorite.  I've always been a sucker for wontons and these new dessert interpretations are certainly getting me hungry.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pickled Eggs and Beets

I love making pickled eggs for Easter and Christmas, their red color is reminiscent of the red dyed eggs used at Easter in Ukrainian traditions.  They are extremely easy to make just requiring a few days to sit in the brine and get well flavored.

I have tried to trace the history of adding beets to pickled eggs but I have been stumped every step of the way.  Here in the USA we tend to call them "Amish Style" pickled eggs however variations of the same recipe exist in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany and the Low Countries.  Pickling eggs in a vinegar brine has been around forever and I think the beet variation isn't that much younger.  This recipe is good for 14 eggs.  You'll need 2 quart size mason jars along with lids and rings.  Keep them in the refrigerator after they cool.

Note: This was a recipe I had posted about before Easter but I tried them again except omitting the shortcuts such as using canned beets.  The end result was far beyond my expectations and made me embarrassed that I had ever put the original recipe on this blog.  Here is the modified recipe using fresh ingredients.
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