Egg, Ham & Cheese Pimiento Sandwich

I am not really a bread person; I like rice more.  But when (or if) I had to make sandwiches, my favorite filling is cheese pimiento, followed closely by egg mayo.

For some of hubby’s friends, I combined my 2 favorite fillings/spreads…

6 eggs, hard boiled and coarsely chopped
200 grams cooked ham, diced
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 to 1/3 cup diced pimientos
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon pickle relish, or to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Stir everything together gently so as not to smash the eggs too much.  For a chunkier filling, use less mayonnaise.  Use more mayo to make the filling “wetter”.

To serve, line sliced bread (or whichever bread you prefer) with lettuce leaves. Pile on the filling ( I used a scooper and it is convenient! ) and add cucumber slices.



Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies

The recipe intrigued me!

So I thought of trying it…

My first attempt was a dismal fail –

The cookies spread so much it stuck together forming 1 weird looking mass.

My second try was better – I “contained” the spreading of the cookies by baking them in a pan with shallow round cavities.  But the cookies were too soft.  I think perhaps I may have underdone the baking slightly.

My next one was even better, but I still baked the cookies in a shallow round mold…

My final one was by far the best one.  But it was waaay tooo tedious.  I don’t have a big oven so technically only 2 large cookies would fit my cookie sheet! It took me the whole afternoon to bake 11 cookies!!!

The recipe can be found on The Vanilla Bean Blog.


Veggie Patty Sandwich

Actually the patty is a variation of the corn fritters I’ve made before… which the kid absolutely loved.

The reason for the variation is the doctor’s orders that the kid needs to eat more veggies.  And this variant is a success!

1 cup fresh corn kernels (canned is ok just drain)
1/3 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup malunggay (moringa leaves)
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Mix together egg, milk, oil, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.  Stir in the corn kernels, grated carrots and malunggay.

Using 1/8 or 1/4 cup as measure, drop into hot oil and fry until browned.

The kid ate a sandwich and then asked if she could munch on another patty!

Triple Chocolate Mini Cupcakes

While I have my standard go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes, I still try other recipes.  Especially when the recipe is by a well-known chef/baker/the like… more so if the recipe is featured in the New York Times…

So, this is Mark Bittman’s recipe (and yes, I bought 2 copies of his book How to Cook Everything – a hard copy and a soft copy!) but since I intended to make mini cupcakes, I halved the recipe, and of course, made some adaptations to suit me (ok, I admit I’m lazy so I like the dump-it-all-in-the-bowl method) –

The adapted recipe –

1/4 cup butter
45 grams unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup flour
1/8 cup black cocoa (my addition)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk

62% chocolate buttons

Melt the butter with unsweetened chocolate; stir until smooth.  Cool slightly before using.

Combine the dry ingredients together (flour, black cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar).  Note that the original recipe did not include black cocoa but I wanted a super dark, almost black cupcake!

Add the egg, cooled chocolate mixture, vanilla and milk; mix well.  Note that the original recipe specified that the egg/s be separated and the whites beaten to soft peaks but like I said I am lazy!!!

So anyway, fill paper-lined mini muffin tins about 3/4s full and bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 9 to 11 minutes.  Cool completely before frosting and garnishing.

Shameless but proud momma here – my kid helped me frost some cupcakes.

Really now, they’re pretty good considering her age…

Shitake and Watercress Stir-fry

Stir-fries are the fastest things if you’re short on time to make dinner.  My absolute favorite is this one, if I can find watercress that is!

On our last trip up north, I found some!  As well as fresh mushrooms…

minced garlic
300 grams fresh shitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed
a bundle of watercress, hard stems removed
(about 350grams I think)
about 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, or to taste
about 1 tablespoon light soya sauce, or to taste
splash of sesame oil, optional

Sauté the garlic in oil, add the mushrooms and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Throw in the watercress and stir fry several seconds then add the oyster sauce and light soya sauce.  Cook over medium heat until the watercress is cooked.  Adjust seasonings as desired.  Splash a bit of sesame oil before serving.

Voila!  A meal in about 10 to 15 minutes!

(Spinach can be used instead of watercress.)

Carrot Cake and Cupcakes with Maple Cheese Filling/Frosting

We went north recently and while mixing business with pleasure we explored the marketplace.  While we often went to buy souvenir food stuff and famous walis (brooms) from the famed palengke (wet market), we were greatly surprised to find out that the market that we were frequenting was just the tip of the iceberg!!!

As we discovered, the market extended to 2 other neighboring buildings!

Relying on (secret???) information, we delved deeper into the market to find… vegetables at prices that were waaaaayyyy more friendly!  So hellooooo carrots!!!!  and mushrooms, and beans, and Japanese cucumbers, and talbos ng sayote, and sayote, and… WATERCRESS!!!! (see the following post…)

Exploring further on, we found the dry goods section.  And glory of all glories, I found YARN!!!! Tons of it!  More importantly, I found SPECIALTY YARN.  Needless to say I had a field day and if I had my way, I would have gotten more but (it’s a good thing that) credit cards weren’t accepted so I had to choose carefully to fit my cash budget.

Our last and best surprise of all was discovering the meat market.  We found the famous longganisa that I adored (of course at a friendlier price than that of the souvenir shop where I used to get them from!) and hubby found the longganisa he preferred!  Do I need to say that we went home LADEN with treasures???!!!

Anyway, let me go back to the carrots.  If I bought carrots in our local market, the price would be (a bit) shocking.  Up north, where many vegetables are grown, the prices are more than reasonable, so when I have the chance, I hoard carrots!  When I return home, I peel and shred them and freeze them in portions for 1 batch of carrot cake/cupcakes!




Menudillo with Quail Eggs

The real dish is Menudo, and where I’m from, it is a tomato-based stew of pork and liver.  Usually it also has tomatoes, carrots, raisins, garbanzos, green peas, pimientos and red hotdogs!  It’s definitely not the Mexican menudo, which is with tripe.

My version always skips the peas (which I loathe) and the raisins (which I like on their own but not in cooked food). I always use liverspread instead of actual liver (because while I like the flavor, I do not like the texture!). I also like putting in garbanzos and red hotdogs, but since hubby does not like either of those things, they rarely make an appearance!

When I need to make a big batch in a hurry, I make menudillo, which is kinda like saying mini or baby menudo, which implies using the same recipe but smaller cuts of meat, in this case the meat was ground into mince instead of small cubes.  And, in the interest of saving more time, I shredded the carrots instead of dicing them… and to add ooomph, boiled quail eggs went into the dish!

My recipe…

800 grams lean ground pork

4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet onion, minced
1 small can pork liver spread
4 largish tomatoes, diced
1 to 2 large pimientos, sliced
about 1/2 cup shredded carrots (large shred)
1/2 cup tomato sauce (optional)
3 pieces dried bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
a pinch or two of crushed chili flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
18 to 24 pieces boiled quail eggs

In a hot pan, sauté the garlic and onion until soft and fragrant.  Add the liverspread and stir fry several seconds.  Add the tomatoes and pimientos. Stir fry several minutes then throw in the pork and stir fry a couple of minutes more. Add the shredded carrots then the tomato sauce, if using. Pour enough water or stock to barely cover the meat. Add seasonings, to taste. Simmer until pork is cooked and sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to a thick paste. Halfway through simmering, put in the boiled quail eggs.

Serve on top of steamed rice!

This dish was made for hubby’s friends so we packed their meal in convenient “lunch boxes”, and added mini cupcakes for their get together!

(The picture of the packed meal is not mine; I grabbed the photo from the social media account of one of the recipients – )

Of course when hubby told me that everyone liked (loved?) this dish, I was happy!!!!

Apple Walnut Maple Cake

There’s been rotational water supply lately due to what the water utility company refers to as critical water level in the city. For me this meant doing the laundry at night (which is when we are scheduled to have water supply) and cooking less… as for baking? Virtually non-existent anymore.

But for the last few days, we had water during the day, so while there’s water supply, I took the opportunity to bake!

I chose to try a recipe from this book (Cookingclass Cakes by The Ausralian Women’s Weekly) that I found in a second-hand bookstore. It’s an Australian cookbook and while (I understand that) there are slight differences in measurements, I went ahead and just used the cups and spoons that I have.

This book was a great buy!!! I’ve earmarked a lot of recipes to try. For now I tried the recipe for Apple Pecan Cake but since pecans cost an arm and a leg (and more) I used walnuts instead. Also since we have no self-raising flour locally, I made a substitution as well.

The recipe, adapted –

Mix together the following, on low for 1 minute then on medium for about 2 minutes –

90g butter, softened

1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar (I reduced from 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used real one that my mom got from Canada)
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (because I always put my homemade vanilla in everything I bake)

Then fold in –

1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup coarsely grated apple (I used about 4 small Gala apples)
(I omitted the 1/2 cup coarsely chopped) raisins

Pour/spoon the batter into a greased and floured 8 or 10-cup Bundt pan. Bake in a preheated 325F oven for about an hour, rotating the pan a quarter turn every 10 to 15 minutes. Start checking for doneness at around 50 minutes.

The recipe included maple frosting but we liked the cake bare. It was absolutely divine with coffee for breakfast the next morning!!!

Marmalade Pound Cake

A friend of mine told me about this recipe for Marmalade Pound Cake and forwarded the link to me.  She said (and I quote) YOU REALLY HAVE TO TRY THIS!!!!

So I did.  And am I glad that I did!

The timing was great because I had this half-full jar of orange marmalade!

But, I halved the recipe  and reduced the sugar a little…

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest (1 large orange)
4 large eggs
40 ml orange marmalade
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Grease/butter and flour the baking pans (the original recipe makes 2 8×4-in loaf pans) – I made 5 mini-mini loaves and 5 big muffin sized cakes.

Beat butter, sugar, and orange zest together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the marmalade and vanilla.

Combine dry ingredients and stir into the batter.  Mix until just combined.

Place batter into prepared pans and bake (original recipe specified about an hour, rotating midway).  I baked mine at around 20 to 25 minutes.

I did not put glaze on my cakes, instead I mixed marmalade and hot water in equal parts and brushed the tops of the cakes with the mixture.

It was yummmmyyyyyy!!!!