Monday, April 25, 2016

Not a Cake!

Apparently, it was a trend a loooonnng time ago to make sandwiches (or other appetizers) look like desserts... so this is my contribution...

Looks like a cake but it is really a sandwich!

3 layers of bread (cut into a round using a cookie cutter), with chicken spread on the bottom layer and a slice each of ham and cheese on to upper layer.  The "frosting" is a thin layer of softened cream cheese and the garnish is diced red bell pepper!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

(Faux) Corndogs

The little girl loves corndogs.  She likes the one at the weekend market most of all.  She also thinks (for now anyway) that I am the world's greatest and ablest cook, and as such, can do pretty much anything and everything in the kitchen.  So (obviously) she thought I could make better better corndogs!

Hmmm, well, I told her (truthfully) that I don't know if I could make better ones, but we (and I do mean the little girl and I) could try!

My biggest issue was the cornmeal... I found some in our favorite supermarket but... it was so darned expensive!  And I only needed a cup!!!  So, never mind... I had to figure out what else I could use.  It was the little girl who gave me the idea when she said that the corndog was her favorite because it combined the hotdog and the pancake!  Hmmm, so then I decided to use a pancake recipe for the batter covering the hotdog!

My next concern was the amount of oil it would need!  I decided to go the same way as the mini doughnut last week and use the mini hotdogs and the smallest saucepan I could find.

My last question was the recipe for the pancake... I couldn't use my regular recipe because it's a thin batter.  I did remember that there was another recipe that I tried and it was a thick one...

Mix together:

2-1/4 cups flour, sifted
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 medium eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter, melted

It worked like a charm, although I had to double dip and fry the corndogs since the little girl complained about the first batch being too thin ("Mommy, why is this not taba (fat)?")

For this project though, the little girl mixed the batter and dipped the hotdogs but refused to go near the hot oil (she saw the oil sizzling and was afraid it would burn her...)

In any case, the project was a huge success, with the little girl and her playmate M declaring:  I want some more please!  And that was after each of them ate 3 pieces already!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tropical Fruits Lassi

One of my favorite hangouts is the bookstore, and one the bookstores that I frequent is a secondhand books store named... Booksale!!!  I find many treasures there - cookbooks, magazines, kids' books.  Last week, a found a pristine copy of AWW Kids Cooking for Health.  I got it for the little girl.  She has a few cookbooks of her own, from which she chooses recipes to make.  I knew that she would like this "new" cookbook!

Of course I was right!  The minute she got her hands on it, she flipped through the pages (looking at the pictures mostly) and decided immediately that she wanted to make 2 of the recipes.  The first was the egg-in-a-basket sandwich (which we modified by adding ham) and this...

For this project, the little girl learned about how to weigh ingredients using the digital scale!

Here is the recipe:

Blend together:

1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup  water
100 grams each rockmelon (cantaloupe), mango, pineapple and strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar (honey in our case)
6 ice cubes

(actually the recipe specifies 1 small mango.  Our mango yielded about 98 grams of flesh.)

The little girl poured the lassi into glasses (each person got about half a cup to drink) and we all agreed... yummilicious!  Just perfect for the summer heat!!!!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Thai-Inspired Roast Chicken

Actually, this is a tale of 2 chickens, both inspired by Thai cuisine...

I bought 2 spring chickens from the weekend market... I was thinking of grilled or roast chicken for dinner... both Thai-inspired.

The first one was a chili-lime chicken, for hubby who loves spicy dishes!

The second one was this...

1 spring chicken, about 1 to 1.1 kilo (clean and rinse), cut in half lengthwise

8 to 10 cloves of garlic
3 to 4 stems of wansoy (coriander)
1 teaspoon black and white peppercorns
3 pieces 3-in tanglad (lemongrass, white part only)
2 tablespoons each fish sauce, dark soy sauce, honey
1 to 2 chilis, optional

Place everything in a (small) food processor or pound (mortar and pestle).

Marinate the chicken halves overnight.

Roast at 400F for about 30 to 40 minutes.  Cover with foil if the skin gets too burned.  (I placed each half in its own little roasting pan.)

Rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Everyone agreed that this was the better of the 2 chickens... and even better than the local Andoks!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Chocolate Ice Cream, in a bag...

It's summer break from school!  The little is happy... but bored!  So we try to find activities for her to do... one of which is making ice cream in a plastic bag.

Of course she wanted chocolate ice cream!

Our deal was for her to do everything... well almost everything... which she did.

1. She measured and placed into a 2-cup capacity Pyrex liquid measuring cup, 1/4 cup of each:  cocoa (then sifted), chocolate milk, and condensed milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.  And she mixed everything until the cocoa was fully dissolved. (first pic, top left)

2. She measured 3/4 cup of whipping cream and added it to the chocolate mixture (second pic, top right)

3. She mixed until the mixture was well combined. (second row, left)

4. Then she poured the mixture in a small zip-lock bag (we used Reynolds secure seal) [second row, right).  We placed the zip bag in the freezer while we prepared the bag of ice - mix 1/3 cup rock salt and 3 trays of ice cubes in a bigger zip lock bag.  Then place the small bag containing the chocolate milk into the big bag of ice cubes and salt.

5. Shake, shake, shake... or massage the bags... We used gloves because the plastic bag was really, really cold!  (third row, left)  The bags were to be shaken or massaged for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the the consistency was that of soft serve ice cream.

6. Of course, the little girl got tired in about 4 minutes!  So I had to take over the shaking of the bags. Meanwhile, she decided that she wanted her ice cream stuffed with chocolate chip cookies, so she "chopped" some Mini Chips Ahoy while I was busy shaking and massaging the super-cold bags!  (third row, right)

7. The finished product!  (bottom row, left)  After about 15 minutes, the mixture had thickened.  We place the bags in the freezer for about 15 minutes while I looked for a container!  To transfer to the container, remove the inner bag from the out bag.  Wipe the inner bag well.  Snip a corner and squeeze the ice cream out (soft serve consistency) into the container.  Add the chocolate chip cookie pieces and fold.  At this point the little girl took a couple of spoonfuls.

Then she decided to save the rest for dessert after dinner (to share with Daddy, as well!)  So we stored the ice cream in the freezer.

8.  After dinner, the little ater with gusto and proclaimed:  Best choco ice cream ever, Mommy!