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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kitchen Tips (Part II)

Here's the continuation of the kitchen tips which I posted a few days ago. I do hope that it will help others who are following or reading my blog. Here it goes...

To improve the flavor of green string beans, place 1 or 2 small onions in kettle before adding beans.

Singe chicken or other fowl by holding over burner of oil or gas stove.

When baking whole fish, wrap in well-oiled cheesecloth. When fish is done, it can be lifted from baking pan without falling to pieces. To remove cloth, slip a spatula under fish and slide cloth out after fish is on platter.

When prok or beef liver is tough, run it through a food chopper. Season and drop by spoonfuls into hot frying pan.

Wash fresh pineapples thoroughly before paring. Cover parings with water and cook until soft. Use strained juice for making jelly.

To keep muffins from burning around the edges, fill one section with water instead of batter.

Stick 2 or 3 pieces of macaroni in the center of the top of a double crust pie. The juice bubbles up these sticks and prevents pie from running over.

Do not beat egg whites for cakes or meringue until ready to use. If allowed to stand, some of the white will return to liquid.

To prevent onions from burning your eyes, hold them under water when peeling or slicing them.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kitchen Tips (Part I)

I was going through all my books especially my cook books a few days ago. I got quite a few cook books but the Mennonite Community Cook book caught my eye. The book was sent to me by a foreigner friend whom I met in a dating site way back when I was still single. He sent the cook book to me together with a concordance Bible. This cook book is quite thick with lots of recipes in it. It has also some household hints that are very helpful to housewives like me. I thought of sharing it here.

Dry green celery or parsley leaves until crumbly. Store in covered jars to use as seasoning and fillings.

After rice has been cooked and drained, place a slice of dry bread on top of the rice and cover. The bread will absorb the moisture and the rice will be dry and fluffy.

Before melting chocolate, rub the inside of the pan it is to be melted in with butter. The chocolate will not stick to the pan.

When washing pans and dishes to which food has adhered during cooking, turn the pan outside down in steaming, sudsy water. Food will loosen in a ery short time.

When cookie dough is soft and difficult to handle, place it between pieces of waxed paper that have been floured. Roll to desired thickness, remove top paper and cut cookies.

To gel fruit juices that are difficult to gel, such as peach juice, add 1 1/3 teaspoons plain gelatin to each cup of juice. Soften gelatin in 3 teaspoons juice and add to remaining hot juice. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to each quart of fruit juice.

Before discarding the empty catsup bottle, pour some vinegar into the bottle and use in making French dressing.

Pour melted paraffin on the cut end of cheeses or dried beef to keep them from molding or drying up.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ginataang Kalabasa At Sitaw Once Again

I love cooking and eating veggies. Squash or kalabasa is one of my favorite vegetables. My garden in Texas was full of squash last year and I cooked a lot of it when I harvested. I even gave some to my Mexican neighbor and she said it was good. See how coconut milk enhances the taste of this recipe. I cooked this recipe before and posted it here.

1 squash, peeled and cubed
a bunch of sitaw (10-15 pcs)
8 pcs okra
1 medium size onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 cup of ground beef or
1/4 kilo of shrimp (whatever kind of your choice from the small one to the big ones)
1 cup of coconut milk
oil for cooking
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste or ginisa flavor mix

Put oil on a saucepan and saute the garlic and onion, after that put your choice of "sahog" (beef, pork or shrimp), then put the squash and saute for a while then add the okra and the sitaw then again saute again for a while then add the water. Cook for a few minutes and then add the coconut milk and cook until the veggies are done then seasoned with salt and pepper to taste or some ready ginisa mix if you want. Then serve with steam rice.

Beefsteak, Filipino Style

My hubby is not very fond of steaks but when I cooked this recipe, he loved it. The calamansi and the onions added a good flavor for this beefsteak recipe. We call this bistek tagalog in our language.

1 lb beef, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
3 pcs. onions
3/4 cup soy sauce
2 pcs. calamansi, juice only
cooking oil

1. Marinate the beef in soy sauce and calamansi for at least 15 minutes (or overnight)
2. Slice the onions into rings. Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions, remove and set aside.
3. Using the same pan, fry the beef.
4. Add the marinade and allow to simmer until the sauce has reduced.
5. Top with the onions before serving.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chop Suey

One of my favorite Chinese recipes is chop suey. I just love vegetables mixed with some meat and this recipe is just perfect for a veggie lover like me. In fact we had this during our wedding anniversary. It was gone so quick.

1 lb. beef or round steak
Vegetable oil for cooking
4 pcs carrots, sliced
1 c. onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
8 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 lb green beans, sliced
1 medium size cabbage, sliced
2 pcs. chayote, sliced
1/4 lb mushroom
2 c. water
6 tbsp. cornstarch in 1 c. water, mixed

Cut steak into slivers. Brown in small amount of vegetable oil. Add garlic, onion and saute. Then add soy sauce and 2 cups water. Simmer for a few minutes. Add all the vegetables. Add 2 more cups water. Thicken corn starch with 1 cup water to thickness wanted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more water if desired. Serve with hot cooked rice.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Brown Sugar Banana Pecan Muffins

A week ago, I baked again banana pecan muffins. This is my favorite and my family too. I still have a lot of pecans in the fridge. I froze it so it will last longer. BTW, I baked banana pecan muffins before but with another ingredients. I think I like this recipe that I just baked because it has lesser ingredients and the muffins still came out yummy and delicious.


* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup chopped pecans
* 18 pieces muffin liners


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Stir in vanilla and banana. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Blend the banana mixture into the flour mixture; stir just to combine. Fold in chopped pecans. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins with liners about 3/4 full and place a pecan on top of each muffin for garnish.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Macaroni Fruit Salad

We always have this macaroni salad during special occasions like birthdays, Christmas and New Year's Day celebrations. It's always been our family's favorite because it's really appetizing to eat after meals for our dessert. We also eat it during snack time. Yummy!


* 1 pkg salad macaroni, cooked per direction on the the package
* 1 large can of regular fruit cocktail
* 1 bottle of kaong
* 1 bottle of nata de coco (clear coconut cubes)
* 1 can of condensed milk
* 2 cans of nestle cream
* 1 medium size bottle of mayonnaise
* Cheddar cheese cut into cubes (optional)


1. Drain the syrup form your fruit cocktails and bottles of nata de coco. You can dry them by mixing them all together in a strainer and leaving them there for a few minutes to drain any excess syrup.

2. Place the drained fruit cocktails and nata de coco in a large mixing bowl and add the cooked macaroni, mayonnaise and then Nestle cream. Mix well.

3. Add the condense milk, and then the cubed cheddar cheese, if you choose this ingredient. Mix them all together until everything is evenly blended.

4. Place the bowl inside the fridge and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Then serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to Make Fresh Vegetables Last Longer

Vegetables will last long enough for you to serve them to your family if you spend a few minutes getting them ready to store. Here's how.


Step1. Remember that a tomato is actually a berry. It should be stored on the countertop, stem side down and away from direct sunlight.

Step2. Place cucumbers on the top shelf of the refrigerator to keep them from partially freezing. Wrap fresh corn in a damp cloth and store it still in its husk on a shelf.

Step3. Store carrots and celery in the crisper. Cut the green tops off the carrots and place them in a paper bag before storing them. Mushrooms should also be placed in a paper bag.

Step4. Onions, potatoes and garlic should be stored in a basket or wire bin in a dark place.

Step5. Freeze certain fresh vegetables but remember to blanch them first. Cut them up, drop them in boiling water for a minute or so, then plunge them into an ice bath. Dry them and place in plastic bags. Carrots, peas, corn, cauliflower, broccoli and green beans can be frozen this way.

Step6. Dice and freeze onions, celery and bell peppers. Veggies like these that will be cooked thoroughly in the course of meal preparation don't need to be blanched first.

Tips & Warnings

* Never try to freeze lettuce, radishes, potatoes, onions or whole tomatoes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm Back ...

...after more than 3 weeks of no internet. The phone company just restored the line so I'm back to the blogging world. The thieves had strike again and they stole the phone cable, reason why we didn't have internet. In a way it's good because I was able to do some other things but my blogging earnings suffered. Well that's life, I have to be contented with what I have. Now back to my blogging business once again.
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