Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Warm Brownie Cup

Oww hello there! I am back with a bitter sweet post. As all of you know this is a very interesting dessert because it is best served when the WARM brownie is topped with ICE cream. You'd have to sink your teeth into that cold and warm feeling, creamy and spongy textures, bitter sweet goodness altogether. For this version, I purposely used dark chocolate to offset the sweetness of the ice cream. There's a lot of room for experimentation with this, you can opt to drizzle or incorporate peanut butter or caramel and the likes.
These two main ingredients tops my daughter's list when it comes to dessert; chocolate and ice cream, combine them in a cup and that is heaven for her. You'd notice 3 brownie cups on the left pane, but only 2 cups on the right pane; apparently she snatched one cup while I wasn't looking. She got impatient waiting on me taking pictures of the brownies. I couldn't blame her, these were smelling pretty great while still in the oven. You can bake your cake and eat it too, my daughter and I ate this while watching the TV series H2O. There is definitely comfort in food.
warm brownie cup
RECIPE: Warm Brownie Cup 
Yield: Makes 5

4 ounces semisweet chocolate  *I used dark chocolate
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting  *I left this out and replaced it with vanilla ice cream

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a baking pan half full of water in oven.
Bring a saucepan of water to barely simmering. Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl. Place over water and stir until almost melted. Remove bowl from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally.
Sift together twice all the dry ingredients except sugar. Set aside.
Beat eggs and vanilla until foamy and light. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Stir in chocolate-butter mixture. Fold in dry ingredients. Pour into five 8-ounce custard cups, filling each nearly to rim. Place in baking pan; water should come halfway up sides of cups.
Bake for 30 minutes or until brownies have risen to just above the rim and tops are cracked. They should be firm to the touch. 

Share with me your version, I'd listen =)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pesto Buttered Porkchops

Pesto Buttered Porkchops
I almost always start with a little backgrounder with all my posts, I cook and blog mostly because of my cravings. But this time around, the reason was because I owe somebody a huge favor. This person is quite special to get something back. Also, we both have the same restaurant in mind when we talk about this recipe. Brown Cup, is one of the few Italian restaurants serving pesto buttered porkchops. Brown Cup is located at Skyrise 1 Building, IT Park, Lahug Cebu City Philippines. 

IT PARK is not only a business district but is also known for places to eat and
hang out after a hard days work. I used to work for one of the companies in IT Park, pesto buttered porkchop was just one elevator ride for me; now, this would mean one taxi ride to this restaurant. I posted the recipe of basil pesto here, and I promised to post some of the uses aside from spreading it to bread. So here is one =). Enjoy!

Pesto Buttered Porkchops

Servings: 2
3/4 lb boneless pork chop
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons pesto sauce
2 tablespoons  olive oil 
1-2 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Put flour, salt and pepper on a plate and combine.Dredge both sides of pork chops in flour, and shake off any excess. Pour olive oil on the skillet and preheat on medium-high.
4 Add the chops and brown on each side for two minutes.
5 After they are browned, add butter and spread the pesto sauce over the chops and put lid on the skillet.
6 Continue cooking for an additional two minutes or until they reach 160 degrees.
7 The chops will be juicy and not dried out.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Apple Crumble with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

 I've been obsessively watching Junior Masterchef lately and I am truly in awe at the skills these kids have. Their skills is way beyond their years and it is so refreshing to see such passion from a kids. I don't know what goes on inside my head when I see little happy faces cooking; I burst to tears, I literally can't help tears rolling down my cheeks. Mind you, I do not cry when somebody gets evicted, I cry when they get high praises from the judges. I think it's that proud parent in waiting to happen. I have a soft spot for kids persevering whether this be in academics, sports, arts or culinary. Enough about that! Now that you know my secret, let's get on with business. 
Recipe Below ;-) 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tinolang Manok (Chicken Ginger Stew with Vegetables)

Tinolang Manok  (Chicken Ginger Stew with Vegetables)

I honestly do not know what dawned on me this afternoon, I just had to cook something that has "homemade" written all over it! I was like a crazy person itching to cook this dish. It was running through my head as the minutes progressing and luckily I gave in to that craving. I am lucky that the wet market is just about 2 blocks away from where I'm living. This does not only say "homemade" but this also screams "provincial" where unripe papaya's can be freshly picked from its tree. I have to tell you that there is a distinct taste cooking this dish with unripe papaya than with chayote squash. My vote goes to cooking it with unripe papaya. Imagine my dismay when I was asking every open stall left in the market if they have unripe papayas and they all said "No" or " you'd have to go to the city market". WHAT? So like every cooking emergency, just make use with what you have! 

I also heard that this is one of the favorite dishes of the Pambansang Kamao no other than Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao like how it is told here. He doesn't go to boxing battle without having this dish before fights and during training days. No wonder! As you can see this is a very good source of protein and those vegetables are packed with vitamins. Could be what you need to give your day a punch! What are you waiting for? Get your fire on! Recipe below. =)

Ingredients :
1 lb. chicken, cut into serving pieces (or any choice cuts of your liking like thighs, drumsticks or wings)
1 thumb-sized fresh ginger root, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp. patis (fish sauce)
salt, to taste
4 to 5 cups water (or rice water – 2nd washing)
2 to 3 sayote (chayote squash), quartered (or green, unripe papaya or potatoes)
1 cup sili (chili) leaves or malunggay or substitute 1/2 lb. spinach
vegetable oil

Cooking Procedures :
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add onions, stir-fry until softened and translucent.
Add chicken cuts. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until chicken colors slightly. Season with patis and salt.
Pour in water (or rice water, if using). Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer until chicken is half-done. Add in chayote (or papaya or potatoes, if using). Continue simmering until chicken and vegetable are tender. Correct seasonings and then add sili leaves or malunggay or substitute. Stir to combine until well blended. Remove from heat.
Let stand for a few minutes to cook the green vegetables. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

Pesto was introduced to me by my uncle and he always saved some on a glass container kept on the fridge. I could remember a phase when I'd spread and mix it on everything! This is a good spread for toasted bread and you can mix this into pasta too. Store-bought international condiments cost significantly more than when you would make them at home. Plus, this is best served fresh. This can be stored in the refrigerator and used within 2 to 3 days.

There are several recipes online for pesto some are keen on portions and the ingredients used but most often than not I make use with what I have and like. I might be sharing a couple of recipes using basil pesto. Stay tuned!

Fresh Basil Pesto Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Special equipment needed: A food processor / blender


1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
2 Slowly add the olive oil while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.
Yield: Makes 1 cup.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beef BLT Burger

Last weekend, I was out to shop for some ground pork, I already had envisioned myself making meatballs or "bola-bola" (Philippine translation) which is one of my daughter's favorites. I am not sure if this has an etymology or if this word is truly Filipino but it sure does sound like it comes from the root word BALL. But really, that is besides the point of this post LOL sidetracked again! So I did find myself some ground meat and shopped for other household stuff and went home. I did find ground meat, alright! I was just so disheartened when I read the tag that said "GROUND BEEF". 
Don't you just hate it when things do go well as planned? A complete bummer! 
But this recipe served well for a different audience. My daughter is not much of a burger fan so my father got one of the burgers the other one I had to taste for myself. ;-) 
I didn't have any of those square cheese slices, so I had used cheese spread. It still is cheese!!!

Beef Burger Patties
3/4 ground beef
1/2 head of garlic, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
1/2 beef bullion cube, crushed to powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg 

Place the ground beef, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and egg in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until evenly combined. This makes 4 small burger patties, you can divide them, form them into balls and flatten them out to form patties. You can let this rest into 

It is better to use the topside cut of meat and have it grinded as it has little fat. You can ensure a tender and more flavorful beef burgers. Topside is the recommended mince for making beef burgers as it contains the right amount of fat. The egg acts as a binding ingredient it holds the minced beef together while cooking. 

Making the Burger:
1 toasted burger buns
burger patty
1-2 tomato slices
1-2 onion rings
iceberg lettuce
cheese slice or spread

I stumbled upon this picture on the net, It gives you an idea how you can layer your BLT burger 

Oooh la la
Prepare your BLT burger bite

Here is another recipe idea for those extra tomato and lettuce.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Recycled Salad

RECYCLED. HA! "recycled food" sounds off for something that should be appetizing. If you are a frequent grocery shopper, you would know what I mean. When you buy vegetables, they come in packs of 2's & 4's. If you happen to have plently of spare ingredients on your fridge and wouldn't know what to do with them, why not create something delish out of  them.
Most of the ingredients I have on here were extras from a dish I was making. The lettuce and tomatoes were from the hamburgers I made over the weekend; the carrots were from an extra piece I had from the apple carrot juice; the croutons were from yesterday's loaf of bread. I for one do not have a crouton box lying around my kitchen. But if you want to go technical on me, croutons are dry or stale leftover bread usually fried or re-baked. I'm sure we Filipino's won't have any problem finding some leftover bread from the 3pm "merienda".
Out of the leftovers mentioned above came out this healthy alternative that can substantially replace any of your meals. You have your GO, GROW and GLOW food all in one plate. 
That is if you are on a low carb diet. 

1 head small iceberg lettuce
croutons: 1 slice of bread, toasted or re-baked, cubed
1 whole large tomato, sliced
1/2 carrot, peeled diced
1 slice of cheese, cubed
mayo lite dressing (you can add more to your liking) 
1 tbsp. white cheese (optional)
boiled eggs, diced (optional)
Serves 1

I tell you, the white cheese mixed with the lite mayonnaise dressing adds to the flavor and will let you finish every last piece. I honestly do not know what kind of salad this is, I tried searching for salads have these ingredients, I haven't found it yet. I am also quite certain that I am not the first who came across this idea. So, if you know what this is, leave me a comment and let me know. 
For now this will be called "recycled salad".