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Food for thought: Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tart)

Hello Everyone, I have been baking the Pasteis de Nata for about two weeks now and every time I do it, it’s getting better and easier. The dough preparation is quite a challenge but it’s worth the while.

Pasteis de Nata is the famous Portuguese Custard Tart. What I love about is the crunchy crust! I have never experienced before the real crunchiness of the crust not until I made my own Pasteis de Nata. Of course the one that you can buy from any Portuguese bakeries or groceries are already good and tasty. But if you make them yourself, you would appreciate more the goodness of Pasteis de Nata especially the very crunchy crusts.

When it’s warm and fresh from the oven, holy! It’s really tasty and crunchy. If you’re eating the next day from your fridge, I would recommend for you to warm them using your oven toaster and you can still get that crunchiness!

Anyways, I got the recipe from online by #Leitesculinaria @leitesculinaria.com. Thanks! I will provide you the link of the recipe and video.

Pastéis de Nata | Portuguese Custard Tarts

BY: @leitesculinaria.com #leitesculinaria

  • Quick Glance
  •  1 H
  •  2 H, 30 M
  • Makes 40 pastries

Special Equipment: Mini-muffin tin with 2-by-5/8-inch (50-by-15-mm) wells; If you prefer the classic larger tins from Portugal, you can purchase them at Portugalia Marketplace.

INGREDIENTS: USMETRIC

  • For the pasteis de nata dough
  •  2 cups minus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  •  1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  •  3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
  •  2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature, stirred until smooth
  • For the custard
  •  3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  •  1 1/4 cups milk, divided
  •  1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  •  1 cinnamon stick
  •  2/3 cup water
  •  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  6 large egg yolks, whisked
  • For the garnish
  •  Confectioners’ sugar
  •  Cinnamon

GET INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

Make the pastéis de nata dough

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the flour, salt, and water until a soft, pillowy dough forms that pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 30 seconds.

Generously flour a work surface and pat the dough into a 6-inch (15-cm) square using a pastry scraper. Flour the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough into an 18-inch (46-cm) square. As you work, use the scraper to lift the dough to make sure the underside isn’t sticking to your work surface.

Brush the excess flour off the top of the dough, trim any uneven edges, and, using a small offset spatula, dot and then spread the left 2/3 portion of the dough with a little less than 1/3 of the butter being careful to leave a 1 inch (25 mm) plain border around the edge of the dough.

Neatly fold the unbuttered right 1/3 of the dough (using the pastry scraper to loosen it if it sticks) over the rest of the dough. Brush off any excess flour, then fold over the left 1/3 of the dough. Starting from the top, pat down the dough with your hand to release any air bubbles, and then pinch the edges of the dough to seal. Brush off any excess flour.

Turn the dough 90° to the left so the fold is facing you. Lift the dough and flour the work surface. Once again roll it out to an 18-inch (46-cm) square, then dot the left 2/3 of the dough with 1/3 of the butter and smear it over the dough. Fold the dough as directed in steps 4 and 5.

For the last rolling, turn the dough 90° to the left and roll out the dough to an 18-by-21-inch (46-by-53-cm) rectangle, with the shorter side facing you. Spread the remaining butter over the entire surface of the dough.

Using the spatula as an aid, lift the edge of dough closest to you and roll the dough away from you into a tight log, brushing the excess flour from the underside as you go. Trim the ends and cut the log in half. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or preferably overnight. (The pastry can be frozen for up to 3 months.)Make the custard

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and 1/4 cup milk (60 ml) until smooth.

Bring the sugar, cinnamon, and water to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 220°F (104°C). Do not stir.

Meanwhile, in another small saucepan, scald the remaining 1 cup milk (237 ml). Whisk the hot milk into the flour mixture.

Remove the cinnamon stick and then pour the sugar syrup in a thin stream into the hot milk-and-flour mixture, whisking briskly. Add the vanilla and stir for a minute until very warm but not hot. Whisk in the yolks, strain the mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside. The custard will be thin; that is as it should be. (You can refrigerate the custard for up to 3 days.)Assemble and bake the pastries

Place an oven rack in the top third position and heat the oven to 550°F (290°C). Remove a pastry log from the refrigerator and roll it back and forth on a lightly floured surface until it’s about an inch (25 mm) in diameter and 16 inches (41 cm) long. Cut it into scant 3/4-inch (18-mm) pieces. Place 1 piece pastry dough, cut side down, in each well of a nonstick 12-cup mini-muffin pan (2-by-5/8-inch [50-by-15-mm] size). If using classic tins, cut the dough into generous 1-inch (25-mm) pieces. Allow the dough pieces to soften several minutes until pliable.

Have a small cup of water nearby. Dip your thumbs in the water, then straight down into the middle of the dough spiral. Flatten it against the bottom of the cup to a thickness of about 1/16 inch (1.5 mm), then smooth the dough up the sides and create a raised lip about 1/8 inch (3 mm) above the pan. The pastry bottoms should be thinner than the tops.

Fill each cup 3/4 full with the cool custard. Bake the pastries until the edges of the dough are frilled and brown, about 8 to 9 minutes for the mini-muffin tins, 15 to 17 minutes for the classic tins.

Remove from the oven and allow the pasteis to cool a few minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack and cool until just warm. Sprinkle the pasteis generously with confectioners’ sugar, then cinnamon and serve. Repeat with the remaining pastry and custard. These are best consumed the day they’re made.

https://leitesculinaria.com/7759/recipes-pasteis-de-nata.html

Thanks once again to @leitesculinaria.com for the recipe.

#leitesculinaria #pasteisdenata #portuguesecustard

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Food for thought: Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki is a famous Korean dish. It’s main ingredient is the rice cake. The dish is spicy and sweet and very filling. What I love about Tteokbokki, the taste is very enticing and of course it definitely increases your appetite.

The first time, my children ordered it at Korean restaurant, I thought it was like pasta while looking at the rice cake. To my surprise, it was totally different!

Most Tteokbokki recipe used anchovies and dried kelp for broth but since my family is not a big fan of anchovies, I used vegetable broth instead. On this recipe, I added grated cheese which is optional. You can serve it without cheese but somehow my children preferred to have cheese added.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 700 g rice cake
  • 15 pieces of fish cake
  • 4 hardboiled eggs
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 stalks green onions chopped
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp chili paste
  • 2 tbsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp potato flakes
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese to garnish (optional)

PREPARATIONS:

  • On a non-stick deep pan, add oil, garlic, ginger, onions and green onions
  • Sautee for about 5 minutes on medium high heat
  • Stir the chili paste, chili flakes and black pepper
  • Add the vegetable broth and potato flakes and stir
  • Add the fish cake and rice cake
  • Bring into boil and stir gradually until sauce is thick and shiny
  • Remove from pan into a serving dish
  • Garnish with cheese
  • Serve warm and enjoy…

***You can adjust the chili paste if you want not to spicy***

#tteokbokki #koreancuisine #koreanfood

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Destination: Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

Hola!

May is normally my travel month with my daughter as we celebrate our birthdays together. However, due to Covid19 this past 2020 and 2021 we sadly missed it. Since it’s May, all our travel memories are coming back everyday and I sometimes feel sad and at the same time happy as we are so blessed that my daughter and I were able to travel frequently and see other sides of the world.

Last May, 2018 we went to Mexico and explore the beautiful Playa Del Carmen, Cancun and Tulum. I did an article about Tulum, Mexico last year showing beautiful photos of the pyramids, the beaches and cenotes and a little part of Cancun, Mexico.

Cenotes are sinkholes or a natural pits resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposed the groundwater. The water is cold and very refreshing especially after swimming from the salt water or ocean or from hiking.

Playa Del Carmen is very like Cancun, meaning very touristy. Most tourists go there to enjoy the warm weather, the beautiful beaches and of course drinks, food, party which are part of the all inclusive hotels and resorts accommodations. But if you’re one of those explorers and history lovers, Tulum would be the best destination in Mexico. You may not find all inclusive hotel or resorts accommodations in Tulum, but there are a few beautiful hotels there too and most of the historic ruins and cenotes are there.

Anyways, when you’re visiting Mexico in the future, I am sure you’ll enjoy the history, warm weather, beautiful sun, amazing cenotes, beaches, food, tequila, rum cake and more. One thing that’s very important to know, it is very cheap there too which is great!

Here’s some photos of Playa Del Carmen… Enjoy!

And I can’t wait for the world to be back to normal and be able to travel again!

Featured

For for thought: Japchae (Korean Dish)

Japchae is Glass Noodles with Stir Fried Vegetables. Glass noodles are made from sweet potato starch. I made this Korean dish today and it’s really delicious. Everyone enjoyed it. It’s very easy to make and yet very filling.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 300 g glass noodles
  • 200 g sirloin beef thinly sliced
  • 6 pcs white mushrooms cut
  • 6 pcs shitake mushrooms cut into strips
  • 1/2 red bell pepper cut into strips
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 stalks green onions cut about 3 inches long
  • 1 pc carrot cut into strips
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 ground black pepper

PREPARATIONS:

  • Marinate the beef 30 min to an hour before with 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp brown sugar, salt and black pepper
  • In a boiling water, boil the glass noodles for about 7 minutes, drain and wash with cold water to avoid getting overcooked and set aside
  • In a non stick pan, add 2 tbsp vegetable oil, minced garlic, minced ginger, beef and shitake mushroom, stir and cook for about 6 min or until beef is brown
  • Add carrots and cook for about 2 min
  • Add mushrooms, red pepper, green onions and spinach and cook for another 2 min
  • Add the remaining sesame oil, soy sauce and brown sugar and set aside
  • In a big serving dish combine the beef with vegetables and the glass noodles and top with roasted sesame seeds
  • Serve while warm and enjoy
Featured

Food for thought: Easy Homemade Croissants

Hello Everyone,

Happy Mother’s Day to all mommies! I hope all is well for you all and you’re enjoying the beautiful weekend. For me, I spent my day at home with my children and #baking #croissants.

While browsing online earlier today, I came across to a simplified version of Croissants recipe that would only take 5 hours of preparation time as compared to the traditional or classic Croissants recipe that would take 2-3 days. So, I am sharing the recipe with you and I am sure the you’ll love this recipe because it is the shorter and easier version of making Croissants. Sure, there’s a difference with the flakiness but I’m fine with it. The most important is homemade and I know what I’m putting on it.

Although the process or preparation time is significantly shortened, I am very happy with the results and so with my children. My daughter had been asking me forever to make Croissants and as always my excuse was the preparation time of 2-3 days. My children just told me today that I don’t have to make the traditional Croissants anymore but instead they’re happy and fine with the simplified or short cut easy homemade croissants. Yes! they’re delicious with cream cheese or on it’s own.

By the way, with some of the croissants, I added some semi-sweet baking chocolate chips fillings to make the famous French Croissants: “Pain au Chocolat” which happenned to be my favorite! Definitely, it’s delicious too. Although, the recipe says to yield 15 Croissants however, I would highly recommend to divide the dough to 10-12 portions only to make good size Croissants.

Also, I will highly recommend watching Youtube video on how to make Croissants first as the process of making croissants is somewhat tricky. Although I bake a lot and I don’t buy bread anymore, just like most of you, I am not a professional baker but I watched a lot of baking videos before attempting to make any baking recipe. Believe me, it helps a lot and I am able to avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Thanks to @bakingamoment.com #bakingamoment. I’ll attach the link of the webpage at the end of my blog.

EASY HOMEMADE CROISSANTS by Baking a Moment

INGREDIENTS:

PREPARATIONS:

  1. Place the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together until combined. 
  2. Slice the butter into 1/8-inch thick slices and toss in the flour mixture to coat.
  3. Add the milk and stir together until a stiff dough forms. 
  4. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. 
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a long rectangle shape.  
  6. Fold it into thirds (like a letter), turn 90 degrees, and repeat 4 to 6 more times, or until the dough has large streaks of butter in it but it is smooth and flat. (If at any point the butter starts to feel soft, chill it in the refrigerator or freezer until stiff.) 
  7. Wrap tightly and chill for 1 more hour, then divide the dough in half and roll each portion out to a thickness of about 1/8-inch, in a long rectangle shape (approx. 10-inches wide by 22-inches long). 
  8. Cut the dough into long, skinny triangles (about 5-inches at the wide end). 
  9. Notch the wide end of each triangle with about a 1/2-inch cut, then roll from the wide end to the pointed end, tucking the point under the croissant. 
  10. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and allow to proof until doubled in size (1 to 2 hours). 
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and gently brush the croissants with egg wash.
  2. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until puffed, golden brown, and flaky.  

https://bakingamoment.com/easy-homemade-croissant-recipe/

Featured

Destination: Grand Cayman Islands

Just looking back my trip with my daughter to Grand Cayman Islands, in May 2017. I missed travelling and am sure you all too. Regardless where’s the destination, could be local or international, the fact that it is not safe to travel yet… that makes most of us sad.

Still, we don’t know until when this pandemic would lock us down? Some said, it could last 2024 or even longer. All we can do is hope and pray that this will be over soon!

Yes, there are a lot of virtual tours available and yet it’s never the same when travelling for real. I did join one virtual tour to Jerusalem, it was great experience but the feeling is different. So, for now all I can do is revisit my previous photos of my previous trips.

Anyways, just reminiscing our beautiful time in Grand Cayman Islands…

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Food for thought: Honeysoft Buns

I got the recipe from Savor Easy on Youtube. The buns are amazingly soft and tasty. The rising time is at least two hours, one hour each time after you knead the dough. I recommend for this to knead manually instead of using the mixer. First attempt, I used my stand mixer but the result was not as great as my second attempt. Today, as my second attempt, it was perfectly soft! Yes!!!

Definitely, watch the video on Youtube first before baking. It really helps and you’ll be able to pick up some techniques especially if you’re a beginner. I am sure you’ll love this recipe. All you need when serving is butter. Serve them while warm.

Thanks to Savor Easy.

Enjoy!

#Savoreasy #Sweetbuns #bread

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Food for thought: Japanese Cuisine

Today, for dinner I made some Vegetable Tempura, Fried Salmon Skin and Sushi. At home, I make sushi once a week. It’s actually one of my family’s favorite and of course everyone at home loves Salmon. Preparation is very simple and quick. On my previous posting “Sushi”, the ingredients were posted there.

For Vegetable Tempura, all you need are eggs, tempura flour and any vegetables that you like. You can use eggplants, broccoli, sweet potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms and more. Today, I used sweet potatoes and zucchini. With the vegetables, you can season them with salt and pepper and if you want a little spicy, just add some chili flakes.

I made Fried Salmon Skin. It’s delicious and crunchy. I seasoned it with salt, black pepper and chili flakes.

Enjoy!

#sushi #tempura #japanesecuisine

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Food for thought: Sushi

Who love sushi?

One of my family’s favorite Japanese food are sushi and sashimi. Today, I am sharing with you all how to make sushi. It is very easy and simple. A pound of salmon fillet makes about 20-24 pieces. When making sushi, make sure that the salmon is fresh.

When serving sushi, you can either serve the sushi while rice is warm or cold. If you preferred cold, just refrigerate them for about 30 minutes before serving.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 450 grams salmon fillet, cut into thin strips about 3 inches long
  • 4 cups cooked sushi rice
  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar to mix with sushi rice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar to mix with salmon strips
  • 3 tbsp of Kikkoman soy sauce

PREPARATION:

  • In a bowl add 4 tbsp of rice vinegar to the sushi rice and mix well
  • Form rice into roll about 3 inches long
  • Add 1 tbsp of rice vinegar to the salmon strips and mix
  • Put salmon strips on the rolled rice
  • Serve with the Kikkoman sauce

Enjoy!

Featured

Baker’s Corner: All About Bagels

Traditional Bagels VS Regular Baked Bagels

Traditional or Classic Bagels are more filling, tasty and chewy as they are boiled before baking. They are boiled between 30 to 60 seconds on each side. Otherwise, if you want your bagels chewier and thicker, boil it 2 minutes on each side. The longer you boil the dough, the thicker and chewier it becomes. The boiling process makes the starches in the flour of the dough gelatinize. Boiling makes the bagels set apart.

Basically, the main purpose of boiling the dough before baking is to make the outside crust sets. The amount of time of boiling the bagel dough definitely affects the bagel’s interior texture.

Regular Baked Bagels are just like regular bread. It doesn’t have that thick and chewy texture or that unique characteristic of a traditional bagel. With the regular baked bagels, there’s no boiling involved although you can add different toppings just like the traditional ones but there’s still a big difference when it comes to taste and texture.

Most bagels that are sold in the groceries or supermarkets, bakeries and coffee shops are not boiled. You can easily tell the difference! However, I am sure that there are still a few bakeries that sell traditional bagels and of course a little costly.

At home, I usually make the traditional bagels. Once you’ve tried them, it becomes harder to switch to regular baked bagels. My children actually preferred the traditional or classic bagels.

Try making the traditional or classic bagels, I am sure you’ll enjoy them!

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Winter in Spring…

What a wonderful day! I do remember sometimes in 1993, around May when it was snowing and we had lots lots of snow. Today is just another beautiful day here in Toronto. See beautiful trees with snow on. Cherry Blossoms are definitely gorgeous! Priceless…

So, why not embrace our beautiful crazy weather in Toronto? Let’s think happy thoughts especially during our current situation as we are on the third wave lockdown. When travel is still a far cry for everyone, let’s continue to enjoy what we have locally like a stroll in the park at High Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Riverdale Park and more.

I myself, I love to travel and can’t wait to visit other countries again. I really missed travelling and I am sure you all do too. Yes, there are some who still travel and taking so much risks in spite of everything going on around the world. But let’s wait when the pandemic is over and it’s safe to travel. No one really knows until when we are tied with it? It may be another year or two but what is important is our safety. Travels can always wait…

I spotted a few beautiful shots of Toronto on Instagram and I would love to share them with you all. Thanks to Instagram, Blogto and the talented photographers.

#steelcat #torontoclx #instagram

By the way, during lockdown High Park is open for the locals only. Yes, we can still enjoy the beautiful Cherry Blossoms at High Park.

This is our handsome Prince Samuel Kobus who loves the snow so much! Today is an awesome-pawsome treat for him.

#Instagram #koeldas1 #torontoclx

#Instagram #toronto_papi_

#blogto #Instagram

I hope you enjoy this. Stay safe and well everyone! If you haven’t got your vaccine yet, what are you waiting for? Get it soon! All the best!

#toronto #instagram #blogto #winter #spring #snow #torontoclx #toronto_papi_ #steelcat #Highpark #Trinitybellwoodspark #koeldas1

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Stay Well and Safe. Protect yourselves. Get your Vaccine!

Hello Everyone,

Covid19 has been the world challenge for at least 16 months now and who knows until when we will be facing it? A few of us are still deciding whether to get it or not. Totally understandable! I spoke to some of my friends and they’re still undecided about getting the vaccines due to fear of side effects. Yes, there are news about some unfavorable side effects but think about the chance of getting it, one in millions. Be positive and think that these vaccines save millions of lives…

I just got my first shot of Pfizer vaccine a few days ago and I am totally fine. If you would asked me if I have hesitation at all before? Definitely none whatsoever! In fact, I have been very anxious and patiently waited for my turn to get it. Now it’s been two days since my first vaccine shot, I am doing great! What I am feeling was just like getting my annual flu shot, a little sore on my arm and that’s about it. A few of my family and friends got their vaccines already, two got Pfizer and the others got Moderna and AstraZeneca and they’re all fine.

As we all know, millions of people around the world got their shots months ahead of most of us and millions are still waiting to get it and who knows when they would get the vaccines?

What I am trying to say, for us who have access to the vaccines, I encourage you all to get it once your turns come. Consider ourselves lucky to have the privilege and access to the vaccines. Regardless if it’s Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca get yours soon!

As we are experiencing the third wave and new cases are mounting up, please do take care of yourselves and take extra precautions. Do your due diligence, protect yourself, family and friends.

Get your vaccine now!

Visit your local government websites.

For Toronto: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/

For Ontario: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/

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Food for thought: Everyday Meals Ideas

Hi Everyone,

I just want to share with you all some lunch or dinner ideas. I’ve learned to be more creative with meal preparations during lockdown. My children are home all day and with our current challenges, I have refrained from ordering food for delivery or take out.

These meals are easy to prepare and yet delicious. I mostly steam the vegetables and have steamed rice or boiled sweet potatoes prepared ahead of time. With the meat, I usually season and marinate them a day or two days before.

I have an indoor grill which I used for grilling almost everyday and of course a steamer to steam vegetables or fish. These two are life savers!

These are homemade hamburgers. Beef patties can be prepared a few days early and stored in the freezer. The buns are freshly baked of course. What I loved with homemade burgers, I can season the meat with different spices I want. I normally add some onions, bell peppers and spices like black pepper, paprika, chili flakes and parsley. So, whatever your heart desires spice it up!

Enjoy!

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Food for thought: New York Style Cheesecake

Hello Everyone,

Do you love cheesecake? I am sure most of us love cheesecake. My favorite one is the New York Style Cheesecake. It is larger, thicker, richer, super creamy and of course more indulgent than the traditional or classic cheesecake. With the New York Style Cheesecake, it has more eggs and cheese. Regardless if it is the traditional or New York Style Cheesecake, I definitely love cheesecake!

This recipe of New York Style Cheesecake is from Once Upon a Chef (www.onceuponachef.com) Although the base, I used Oreo Cookies instead of Graham Crackers. Why? I just want to get the chocolatey flavor. Anyways, the preparation is very straight forward and simple especially for us beginners.

New York-Style Cheesecake

By Jennifer Segal

Servings: 8 to 10 Prep Time: 30 Minutes Cook Time: 1 Hour 55 Minutes Total Time: 2 Hours 25 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CRUST

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, from 12 whole crackers
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

FOR THE FILLING

  • 32 oz (four 8-oz blocks) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon packed lemon zest, from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Special equipment: 9- or 10-inch springform pan; 18-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Berry sauce, for serving (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

FOR THE CRUST

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the lower middle position. Wrap a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with one large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, covering the underside and extending all the way to the top so there are no seams on the bottom or sides of the pan. Repeat with another sheet of foil for insurance. Spray the inside of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Make the crust: In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Stir until well combined. Press the crumbs into an even layer on the the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until set. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Set a kettle of water to boil.
  4. Make the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour together on medium speed until just smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure the mixture is evenly combined. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt; beat on low speed until just combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until incorporated, scraping the bowl as necessary. Mix in the sour cream. Make sure the batter is uniform but do not over-mix.
  5. Check to make sure your oven has cooled to 325°F, then set the cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour the batter on top of the crust. Pour the boiling water into the large roasting pan to come about 1 inch up the side of the cake pan. Bake until the cake is just set, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes (the cake should not look liquidy at all but will wobble just a bit when the pan is nudged; it will continue to cook as it cools). Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack. Cool the cheesecake in the water bath until the water is just warm, about 45 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the water bath and discard the foil. If necessary, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it’s not sticking to the sides (which can cause cracks as it cools), then cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  6. For serving: Remove the sides of the springform pan. Serve the cheesecake right from the base of the pan; or, to transfer it to a serving platter, run a long, thin spatula between the crust and the pan bottom, and then use two large spatulas to carefully transfer the cheesecake to a serving dish. Slice with a sharp knife, wiping the knife clean between slices. Serve with berry sauce, if you like.
  7. Make Ahead: The cheesecake can be made and stored in the springform pan in the fridge, tightly covered with plastic wrap, up to two days ahead of time.
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cheesecake can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place the cake in the freezer briefly, unwrapped, to firm it up. Then double-wrap it tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw in the refrigerator the night before you plan to eat it.

A special thanks to Once Upon A Chef for the recipe! #Onceuponachef #Newyorkstylecheesecake #cheesecake

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Food for thought: Bunuelos

Hi Everyone,

Today, I am sharing you the recipe for Bunuelos. It’s a Spanish delicacy which is very similar to our timbits or doughnut holes. They are also famous around the world. They are sweet donuts and famously served in Spain during special occasions like Christmas for instance.

Bunuelos can be made with fillings like chocolate, jam or marmalade. They are also famous in South America and Latin America.

I got the recipe from 196 Flavors @196flavors.com/spain-bunuelos

Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour , sifted
  • 3 eggs , lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1½ cup milk or more (at 95 F / 35˚C)
  • 3 tablespoons anise liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Sweet olive oil or vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Sugar or icing sugar (for the decoration)

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder and sugar.
  • Dig a well in the center of the flour and add the eggs.
  • Add the lemon zest, anise, and cinnamon.
  • While kneading at medium speed, gradually incorporate the milk until obtaining a smooth and homogeneous dough.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes in a warm place, away from drafts.
  • Heat a large amount of oil to 350 F (170˚C), preferably sweet olive oil, in a deep pan.
  • Place the dough in a pastry bag and drop balls of dough into the hot oil.
  • It is also possible to form balls with two teaspoons.
  • When they swell and turn brown, remove the buñuelos with a skimmer and place them on a tray lined with paper towels.
  • Serve with a little sugar sprinkled over them.

Thanks to #196flavors for the recipe.

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Food for thought: Rye Bread

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Rye bread is one of my family’s favorite. It’s healthy, light and tasty. The preparation is very simple and just under 1.5 hours. I normally bake two loaves at a time and save one for another week or two. It can stay in the freezer for a month or two and still good after. This recipe will give you a softer and tastier rye bread unlike the one from the supermarket and I am sure you’ll love it!

Recipe: 2 Loaves

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rye flour
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp dry potato flakes
  • 4 tbsp caraway seeds
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 olive oil
  • 1/2 pineapple or orange juice

Preparations:

  • Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl or mixer
  • Add warm water and mix
  • While mixing add the olive oil and juice alternately
  • Continue to mix well
  • Knead for about 5-10 minutes
  • Let the dough rise until double
  • Punch the dough to remove air pockets
  • Knead for about 5 minutes
  • Divide dough into two parts and put into a greased bread pans
  • Set aside for about 15 minutes
  • Brush with butter
  • Bake at 360F for 30 minutes

Enjoy….

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Food for thought: Ube Pandesal

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Ube Pandesal is one of the famous Filipino Breads and mostly eaten for breakfast or merienda. Pandesal can be plain or flavored like ube/taro or matcha or pandan flavor. You can also find Pandesal with fillings like Ube Cheese Pandesal. It is very soft and tasty with just a pat of butter and I recommend to eat it warm and fresh from oven. Otherwise a day old or more is still great, simply warm it in the microwave for about 10 to 12 seconds. Just like any other bread, it can be stored in a freezer for a month or two.

Recipe: 12 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp ube/yam flavoring
  • 3 1/2 tsps instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 butter melted
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Preparation:

  • Combine well flour, yeast and salt in a big bowl or mixer,
  • Add milk and butter to above mixture and mix well.
  • Add eggs and continue to mix.
  • Knead for about 5 minutes
  • Let the dough rise until double.
  • Knead for another 5 minutes.
  • Cut into 12 portions and form into round or oblong.
  • Roll onto the breadcrumbs.
  • Let it set for 10 minutes.
  • Bake at 375F for 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm with butter.

Voila! Enjoy…

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A Passion for Baking

Hello Everyone,

I know that it has been awhile since I last posted baking recipes on my blog and I should have. Once you’ve learned the basics of baking bread, you can bake any type of bread with a little twist of one specific recipe. That’s what happened to me for the last months and was not sure if I should be posting all the recipes since they’re very similar.

Going forward, I will only post photos of breads and maybe some tips. You can always email me if you’d like a copy of recipe. I have been baking a lot at home and I thought it is one positive skill I have developed during the lockdown. Definitely, I am able to explore my passion for baking and loving it for sure!

Over time, I have learned to bake a few types of bread and realized that the recipes are not far different from each other. If you want a lighter bread, then use less flour, more yeast and add eggs. When you get your hands on the basics of baking, it will come easy to bake different types of bread with just slight variation of recipes.

Also, when making pizza, it’s better to use stones when baking. The crust is tastier and crispier, otherwise if you’re fine with soft crust, then bake it normally. You can buy different types of baking stones from Amazon. Stones can be round, square or rectangle in shapes and what I got are the smaller square versions where I can bake square or round pizza. I can also make small or personal size pizza or an extra large one for the whole family. What I liked about the small cut stones is the versatility, I can put them together and make small pizzas with different toppings like meat lovers, vegetarian or simply just cheese pizza or extra large pizza overload!

Anyways, that’s my tip when making homemade pizza!

Meat Lovers and Vegetarian Pizza
Garlic Bread

I hope this tip will help you make the best homemade pizza ever! Enjoy…

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Looking forward to travel again…

Hello Everyone,

Hope all is well for you all. It’s been a year since my last travel to Australia, New Zealand and Philippines. I can’t wait to travel once again and I am sure most of you too. Having to look back those days before Covid19, all the awesome and wonderful travel memories, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to visit other places…

All I can do at the moment is imagine that I am out there enjoying the beautiful places especially the blue oceans. Feel the breeze and the sunshine on my face, priceless!

Now, it’s Spring very soon and we’re not back yet to our normal life. When? No one knows. However, let’s enjoy what we have and what we can. A stroll to the park is still a blessing for us all, don’t you think? Whatever you’re planning to do to enjoy the beautiful sunshine, stay well and safe everyone.

Since international travel is still not safe and most countries are not open for tourism, I would love to share with you some amazing photos from my previous trips to Mexico, USA (Hawaii & Arizona) Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Hongkong, Grand Cayman Islands, Canada.

Some places I have been when I was younger that I would like to revisit like France and Belgium and hopefully explore other part of Europe as well when it’s safe to travel, For now, let’s enjoy the beautiful travel memories,

Stay well and safe everyone….

Mexico

HAWAII, USA

HONGKONG

AUSTRALIA

PHILIPPINES

NEW ZEALAND

ONTARIO, CANADA

GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA, USA

GRAND CAYMAN ISLAND

Featured

Food for thought: Dried Pork Adobo

Hello Everyone,

Today, what I am about to share with you is a recipe from a friend, Gerry Daymiel. It is the famous Filipino Pork Adobo but with a twist! He called it as Dried Pork Adobo (Pinatuyong Pork Adobo).

I myself, just learned recently how to cook a perfect pork adobo. Thanks again to Gerry! Honestly, I have tried to cook adobo so many times but I could not get the yummy and perfect taste. I am glad that I saw Gerry’s posting of Pork Adobo on Facebook and he was kind enough to share with me his recipe. And what’s amazing, this recipe was a family recipe handed down from one generation to another and it was from his grandfather.

For the meat, Gerry recommended to use the shoulder part as it gives you some fat and loin which is perfect for adobo.

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams pork (cubed)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black whole pepper
  • 4 pcs bay leaves
  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 1 pinch of ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup water

Preparations: 45-60 min

  • On a skillet, add the meat, soy sauce, vinegar and black whole pepper and mix them
  • Smash the garlic one clove at time without removing the skin and add to the meat
  • Cook for 8 to 10 minutes at medium heat
  • Flip the meat while cooking until the fats from the pork are extracted
  • Add 1 cup water and increase the heat, cover the pan and simmer it for 5 minutes (add more water if necessary)
  • Add bay leaves and continue cooking until meat is tender
  • Add a pinch of black pepper to taste
  • Bring the heat down until the sauce is almost dry
  • Stir the meat occasionally until the sauce is almost dry and ready
  • Serve with steamed rice and veggies

Enjoy….

A special thanks to Gerry Daymiel for this recipe.

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For for thought: Gourmet Tuna Frittatas

Hello Everyone,

My apology, I was on the sidetrack for a month and was not blogging. But I am here now with my New Year recipe, my simple creation: Gourmet Tuna Frittatas 😉 Voila!

This recipe is very easy to prepare for breakfast. My daughter loves it very much. Actually, I started with just a simple omelet and then improvised by adding tuna and different veggies.

For this recipe, I normally use the oven toaster to bake. You may add other veggies of your choice like zucchini, mushrooms etc.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can flaked light tuna in water (170 g)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (green or red or yellow)
  • 1/4 cup mushrooms
  • spices to taste (black pepper, chili flakes)
  • salt to taste

Preparations: 25 minutes

  • Prepare a small baking pan, spray with Pam cooking oil spray
  • In a medium size bowl, mix all the ingredients well
  • Pour onto the baking pan
  • Bake at 350F for about 20 min
  • Serve warm with a glass of orange juice or cup of coffee 😉

Enjoy…

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Welcome 2021

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

I wish you all the very best of 2021. I hope that this year will bring us all good health, peace and joy and a much better year…

The year 2020 was a bumpy ride for all for us and yet, I am still grateful that we all survived 2020 inspite of all the challenges we’ve faced. Some of us have lost a family member or a friend to Covid or for other reasons, others have lost their jobs and some are facing financial hardships. But we’re still standing and strong!

Yes, our biggest challenge for Covid19 is not over yet but with the new vaccines, we all hope that this will be over if not very soon but eventually! For the time being, let us be patient and continue to stay safe…

On New Year’s Eve, my children and I were watching the New York Time Square’s Countdown as always. I didn’t understand how and what I felt at that moment. As if I wanted to cry because there were only a few people at the countdown, no beautiful big ball dropping, only one entertainer singing, no crowd cheering and no fireworks. However, I still felt peace, hope and joy during the countdown 😉 I still see people smiling and hopeful….

So, let’s welcome 2021 with a positive and hopeful heart and attitude. Cheers!!!! Happy New Year once again to you all!

Best Regards,

– Grace and family

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Food for thought: Baked Salmon

Today, I am sharing a very easy and quick dinner recipe. I normally use the oven toaster for this. I like my baked salmon very simple with just sprinkle of my favorite spices, himalayan salt and top with some honey garlic barbecue sauce or mayonnaise. For barbecue sauce, I used Diana sauce.

Ingredients:

  • Slices of Salmon (about 2-3 inches thick a slice)
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Dried Parsley
  • Dried Oregano
  • Dried Basil
  • Black Pepper
  • Chili Flakes
  • Himalayan Salt
  • Honey Garlic Barbecue Sauce or Mayonnaise

Preparations:

  • Spray the baking tray with cooking oil spray
  • Arrange salmon slices
  • Brush salmon with olive oil
  • Sprinkle spices and salt to taste
  • Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes
  • Remove from oven and top with barbecue sauce
  • Bake for another 5 minutes
  • Serve with brown rice and steamed veggies or salad

Enjoy!!!

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Food for thought: Halo-halo

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Hi Everyone, I hope and wish you all in Canada a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Today, I will talk about Halo-halo which is the famous Filipino all year round treat. Halo-halo means “mixed” in Philippines. Basically, it’s all mixed fruits, sweetened treats like leche flan, ube halaya, sweetened bananas, sweet corn, pinipig or even rice crispies together with shaved ice and condensed milk. And don’t forget your toppings, you can top your Halo-halo with your choice of your favorite ice cream like mango, ube and green tea or jackfruit and ube halaya.

Halo-halo is great for summer especially when it’s really hot! But for me and my children, it is always a great treat no matter what’s the season, Just earlier today, I made Halo-halo at home.

Making Halo-halo is very easy. There’s no specific recipe for it. You can make it without any recipe since it’s mostly mixing fruits with shaved ice and milk. However, you can always make it with preserved bottled sweets which are available from Filipino or Asian supermarket.

You can use fresh cut mixed fruits or combine fresh fruits with preserved bottled sweets or the bottled pre-mixed Halo-halo Mix. Since there’s no specific recipe and there’s no way you can get this wrong, instead of posting a recipe, I can provide you with a list of what you need. But some ingredients are optional if you’re watching your calories.

  • condensed milk
  • regular milk, coconut milk, almond milk or any of your choice
  • fruits
  • shaved ice
  • ice cream for toppings and optional

For bottled preserved sweets:

  • Pre-mixed Halo-halo mix
  • Nata de Coco – red, green and white
  • Sweet Kaong – red, green and white
  • Ube halaya
  • Beans

For milk, you can add any of your choice. Just like at home, each family member has preference when it comes to milk and sweetness. Like myself, I like coconut and almond milk and slight sweetness. I like the smell and taste of coconut milk. However, my daughter likes condensed milk with coconut and almond milk. What I really meant, it’s really up to you especially Halo-halo could become heavy when you’re using preserved bottled sweet mix.

For shaved ice, I used my blender to crush ice. You can add milk when crushing the ice especially if your ice cubes are too big for the blender blade or you can use ice from grocery stores or you can make smaller ice cubes. Using smaller ice cubes is recommended if your blender is not a heavy duty one.

Since, I am not publishing the Halo-halo recipe, please feel free to comment or send me an email if you have some questions. But believe me, you’ve got this!

Enjoy! Stay safe….

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Food for thought: Cassava Cake

Hello Everyone, today I will be sharing with you the recipe of one of the Filipino famous desserts, the Cassava Cake. If you have some Filipino friends or coworkers or have attended parties or gatherings hosted by Filipinos, for sure you have tasted this type of delicacy. Together with other of your favorite Filipino foods like Pancit or Chicken Adobo, Cassava Cake is always one of the prepared desserts.

Cassava cultivation originated in El Salvador, where the oldest direct evidence of cassava cultivation comes from. Cassava is a starchy root crop and a staple food in Caribbean, South America and Latin America. Cassava is also known as Yuca or Manioc or we, Filipinos call it Kamoteng Kahoy in Philippines.

Cassava is prepared by removing the hard skin before shredding, or converting into flour or starch or cooking. However, I don’t recommend preparing the cassava from scratch. We’ll leave it to the experts as there is a special and specific way to prepare it. There are a few other ways to cook the cassava aside from baking cassava cake like boiling.

What I am about to share and publish is simply the cassava cake recipe. We will be using the pre-packed grated cassava which you can buy mostly from any of the following: Caribbean, Chinese or Filipino grocery stores. Yes, you may also find pre-packed grated cassava from regular stores that carry Asian or Caribbean products.

In this presentation, I used 5 small size baking dish with lids for personal size so I can stack them in the fridge for better space saving. However, if I am serving the cassava cake during dinner or gatherings, I use the 9″x13″ rectangular glass baking dish instead. So, you decide the size of your baking dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pkgs grated cassava
  • 1 can coconut milk (400 ml)
  • 1 can evaporated milk (354 ml)
  • 1/2 can condensed milk (150 ml)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 pkg of grated young coconut (optional)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Topping:

  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 can condensed milk (150 ml)
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (optional)

Preparation: 1.5 hour

  • Preheat oven at 350F
  • In a big bowl mix the first set of ingredients well for cake batter
  • Pour batter into a greased baking dish
  • Bake for about 40 min
  • Mix the second set of ingredients for topping and set aside
  • Remove cassava cake from oven
  • Make sure cake is hard enough for the topping
  • Spread topping evenly and bake for another 15-20 min or until the topping is golden brown
  • Insert toothpick to check if cake is ready
  • Cool it down before serving

Tips:

  • Baking dish recommended size: rectangular glass baking dish 9″x13″
  • You may serve the cassava cake while it is warm but it is sweeter and tastier if served cold from fridge.

Enjoy!

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Food for thought: Chicken Enchiladas

Hola a todos!

Enchiladas are one of the famous Mexican food and also originated in Mexico. Enchilada are made by rolling tortillas around food. Traditionally, corn tortillas are folded or rolled to wrap around fresh small fish caught by natives in the lake areas in the valley of Mexico way back the Mayan or Aztec times.

Over time, there are so many version of Enchiladas now and it is not just of Mexican Cuisine. I would say, there are a few other countries now have its own version of Enchiladas. For sure there are so many ways to make enchiladas and you can make chicken, beef. fish or vegan enchiladas

So, what I am sharing with you is plain Chicken Enchiladas. The great thing with Enchiladas, you can add beans, chick peas, rice or corn and spice to what your heart desires. I like my Enchiladas a little spicy but not too spicy though.

Your choice of the following:

  • Beans: Black beans, green beans, kidney beans or any type of lentils
  • Cheese: Tex Mex, Cheddar, Jalapeno cheese or Mozarella
  • Tortillas: Plain flour, whole wheat or corn tortillas or flavored like sundried tomato or herb tortillas
  • Topping Sauce: Tomato chunks, plain tomato sauce, or taco sauce or homemade sauce

Whether you make chicken or beef enchiladas, I would recommend you marinating the meat for three hours or overnight before making it. But if you don’t have time, sure you can just prepare the meat at same time.

For Vegan Enchiladas, you may use black beans, broccoli, chick peas and spinach or any of your favorite vegetables and top with vegan cheese or your choice.

Ingredients: 8 rolls of Chicken Enchiladas

Fillings:

  • 2 large chicken breasts cubed (about 300 grams each)
  • 1 medium size onions chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 8 pcs of 10″ tortillas

Toppings:

  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of spinach chopped (optional)

If marinating overnight: In a bowl combine the meat with all the spices and cover with saran wrap and leave it in the fridge for three hours or overnight.

Preparations: 50 minutes

  • In a skillet, sautee the garlic and onions until brown
  • Add the chicken, spices, salt and stir for about 5 minutes
  • Add water and tomato paste and cover to simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Add pepper and cheese and mix well
  • Let it simmer for another 5 minutes or until chicken not too saucy like above photo
  • Let it cool before rolling up
  • Arrange your enchiladas on a greased baking pan
  • Top with sauce, cheese and spinach
  • Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes
  • Serve warm

Enjoy!!!

Featured

Food for thought: Raisins Bread

Hello everyone! How’s your weekend coming by? I hope everyone is enjoying the last days of summer as we enter Fall season officially this Tuesday, September 22nd. For most of us, it seems that we kind of skipped Spring and Summer and definitely I feel you since I myself totally missed Spring and Summer. Hopefully Fall would be better for us especially for the children as Halloween is coming up very soon.

Although, we still have to do our due diligence when it comes to social distancing and our safety especially for our young ones. Yes! We’re still going trick or treating on Halloween. Why miss dressing up????

All I can say as what we, parents always do for our children, keep them safe and of course this time it would be more precautions to take for their safety. So, all the best to all for this coming Halloween! Have fun!

Now, I will be sharing today the Raisins Bread Recipe which one of my family’s favorite. My family loves it and I normally served it warm with or without butter, very delicious.

One trick when slicing any type of bread is to wait about an hour when it has cool down before slicing the bread. However, I myself could not wait and I prefer slicing it warm and serve right way to enjoy it. So, it’s your choice whether to wait an hour before slicing it perfectly or slice it while still warm… Anyways, whatever you decide, the Raisins Bread is super delicious.

You can store the bread in the fridge or freezer depending on your consumption. I normally just put both loaves in the fridge, we normally finish them in two weeks anyways. From the fridge, just warm it on the microwave for about 20 seconds or simply put it on the oven toaster and serve.

Ingredients: For two loaves of bread

For dough:

  • 8 cups of all purpose flour
  • 5 tsp of instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1/2 melted butter or margarine
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 warm milk
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp melted butter to brush the dough
  • 2 tbsp melted butter to brush the bread from oven

For fillings:

  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Preparations: 2 hours 15 minutes

  • Mix all the dry ingredients
  • Mix eggs, vanilla extract, butter, milk and water
  • Combine two mixtures well
  • Knead for about 10 minutes, then form the dough into round
  • Use the olive oil to coat the dough
  • Put into a bowl to rise for about 45 min or until double
  • Mix the sugar and cinnamon for fillings
  • Punch dough a few times to remove air pockets
  • Roll the dough into oblong about 10″ x 20″
  • Brush with milk and sprinkle evenly the cinnamon sugar mixture
  • Roll up the dough like a jelly roll
  • Divide into two and secure the edges
  • Put into the greased bread pans and set for about 25 minutes
  • Preheat oven at 350F
  • Brush the dough with butter and bake for about 35-40 minutes
  • Brush the bread with remaining butter and let it cool before slicing

Enjoy!

Featured

Food for thought: Pizza

Hello everyone, I hope all is well for you all. For those who have children who are going back to school, I thought that I would share the pizza dough recipe for you all mommies and maybe to some daddies too. And of course to everyone…

To most parents, sending children back to school is a big challenge especially that our fight against the Covid19 is not over yet. Fear is giving us constant anxiety and definitely stressing most of us. Yes, we cannot live in fear but we’re only human and it comes naturally. However, we have to continue living life at the same time. What else can we do?

To keep ourselves safe, we continue to protect ourselves by wearing face masks, observe proper social distancing and personal hygiene. Also, continue to educate ourselves healthwise, keep well informed about the Covid19, avoid crowded places and mostly taking care of our health in general.

Anyways, stay safe everyone and I wish you all well….

Making pizza from scratch is very easy. What I love about making it myself instead of ordering, I can always customize the toppings and of course the crust. My children like both thin crust pizza and regular crust. It’s the toppings that my son or my daughter would have preference. My son likes pepperoni and extra cheese or meat toppings and my daughter prefers vegetarian pizza. With the vegetarian pizza comes sundried tomatoes, banana peppers, mushrooms, spinach and more.

The recipe is good for a medium size regular pizza. However, you can always make an extra large size by doubling the recipe or ingredients. Now, you have the choice for thin crust or regular crust. So whatever your heart desires…. You can add any toppings to your pizza and for cheese I would suggest mozarella for sure.

Ingredients: Medium Size

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil for the dough
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil after kneading

Toppings:

  • 1 cup pizza sauce or tomato sauce or 3 tbsp of olive oil (your choice)
  • 1 cup grated mozarella cheese or your choice of type of cheese
  • your choice of toppings

Please note you don’t need to put the whole cup of tomato sauce, you can use only half or no sauce at all. Sometimes I used olive oil instead of tomato sauce and it’s still delicious.

Preparation: 1 hour 45 min

  • Mix all the dry ingredients
  • Add warm water and 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Mix well and knead for about 10-15 min
  • Form the dough into a ball and use the remaining olive oil to brush the dough
  • In a big bowl, let the dough rise about an hour or until double
  • Punch the dough a few times to remove the air pockets
  • Knead for about 5 minutes and flatten the dough with a rolling pin forming into round about 12 inches in diameter or medium size pizza
  • Add sauce, toppings and cheese
  • Preheat oven 475F
  • Bake for about 12-15 minutes

Enjoy!!!!!

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Destination: Hong Kong

Today, I would like to take you all to see a glimpse of Southeast Asia, Hong Kong in particular. Probably most of you have visited the beautiful Hong Kong already.

Again, just before we start our virtual trip, a friendly reminder folks about safety awareness as the world is still battling against Covid19 and there’s still a lot of risks when travelling regardless if it’s domestic or international. My travel blog is for travel ideas only for future travel plans and as always, I am not encouraging anyone to travel any time soon. So, stay safe everyone if ever you’re travelling very soon!

First, a brief history of Hong Kong and it’s always great to know a little or something about the place you are visiting like history, languages, money or the people or simply places for shopping…

Hong Kong is a former British colony and was handed back to China in 1997. Although it was never an independent country but it became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HK SAR) of the People’s Republic of China and for special purposes is a part of China. It operates as an independent country and it has its own judiciary and legal system separate from mainland China.

Hong Kong is famous for its skyscrapers and shopping. You can find all the high end boutique everywhere in Hong Kong. Just like in any other big cities in the world, it is highly developed and just like most big cities like New York, Toronto, or Paris has high cost of living. However, it’s still worth your time and money to explore. The public transportation is super fantastic! Food of course is amazingly delicious.

Hong Kong is highly urbanized, It has a highly developed free market economy and well established financial market. Hong Kong is the home to the second highest number of billionaires in any city of the world. Cantonese and Mandarin are the most spoken languages in Hong Kong. Their money is called Hong Kong Dollar.

While in Hong Kong, these are the few places not to miss: Tian Tan Buddha or Big Buddha, Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Disneyland, Victoria Harbor, The Peak Tram, Sky 100 Hong Kong Observation Deck and Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple.

I have been to Hong Kong a few times to visit my family. What I love about Hong Kong aside from food, temples, shopping, tourist attractions is their public transportation system like the double deck buses and their trains or subway stations. The subway stations are very safe and huge with all the shops underground which include high end brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and many more. Their train stations has at least 4-5 levels and always packed. You could get lost underground if you’re new to their public trains system. Believe me, it’s one of the best public train stations and system in the world.

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Food for thought: Pandesal

What is Pandesal? Pandesal is a Filipino famous bread. Although these days, there are different flavors available like ube cheese, pandan, cheese and the original plain pandesal. Whatever is the flavor, I guarantee you’ll love it. What I am going to share is the original plain recipe.

Pandesal is commonly eaten with pat of butter or margarine or simply plain and of course with coffee for breakfast or during merienda (spanish for snacks). When I was a child I remembered my dad would go to the bakery early morning to pick a dozen or two of fresh and warm pandesal every single day. We had pandesal early morning just before our main breakfast and when I say early, I meant 5 o’clock in the morning. Until now, I never understood why we would have a pre breakfast at 5 in the morning when breakfast was also served at 6 o’clock in the morning. It sounded weird but that was my memory as a child. It may not be same with others for sure!

Anyways, whether you eat the pandesal with butter or margarine or simply plain, of course it’s delicious! It is very delicious eaten warm or fresh from oven when soft and fluffy. So enjoy!

Ingredients: 18 pieces of Pandesal

  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs

Preparation: 1.5 hours

  • Combine flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt and mix well
  • Add eggs, butter and water and mix well until sticky
  • On a floured surface knead for about 12 minutes
  • Divide dough into 3 parts and roll each part about 12 inches long
  • Divide each part into 6 parts and form into balls
  • Roll on bread crumbs and arrange on greased cookie sheet at about 2 inches apart
  • Cover loosely with saran wrap and let it rise for about 45 min or until double
  • Preheat oven at 350F
  • Bake for about 12-15 minutes
  • Serve warm with pat of butter or margarine

Enjoy!