Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Apple Tartlets

They don't look very nice but they are delicious.  Even better - they are a snap to make!

The shells are puff pastry (looks messy because I did not cut the pastry into rounds! too lazy I guess) placed in muffin tins.  Chopped apples are added to the shells and a tablespoon of cream in spooned over the apples.  Cinnamon-sugar was sprinkled on top and off it went into the oven!  Bake at 350F about 20 to 25 minutes or until the pasty is browned.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sandwich Cake

For hubby's friend John... Happy Birthday!!!

But the cake is actually a huge 9-inch round sandwich.

I found a pack of dinner rolls baked as a round.  I sliced the bread in the middle (horizontally) and placed kani, cucumber and celery salad dressing in the middle, with lettuce leaves.  For the "icing" on top, I spread mayonnaise over then piped mayonnaise rosettes at the edge of the round as well as in the middle.  Lastly, I garnished the middle with kani and the other rosettes with finely minced celery!

It was a huge hit!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Homemade Banana Yogurt

I wanted to make flavored yogurt... to add the flavor before fermentation... but almost everyone told me that it would not work.  And indeed, my first attempt (with banana) was a sorry one!  But I decided to try again, after being told by someone in particular who suggested that I simply dice or cube the banana, not crush or mash it.  And, add a splash of vanilla while I was at it.

Well... this time I was successful!

When I opened the container, the cubed bananas had risen to the top.

I drained it overnight (we prefer the thick Greek-style yogurt) and the next day is was thick and creamy... and utterly delicious!  There was a slight tang but the banana flavor was quite pronounced.  The stirring and draining mashed the bananas a bit.  Yummmmy!

The recipe is simple!!!

Add 1/4 cup of yogurt (with live cultures) to about 800 ml of milk.  Stir in (gently!) cubed bananas from 1 to 2 medium sized bananas and about 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Incubate as usual.  Mine was done in about an hour less than my usual (6 hours, thereabouts).

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Taro, Tofu and Mushroom Stir-fry

This is one of the easiest dishes I have ever prepared... and with only 4 major ingredients, too!

The secret to the dish is a good XO sauce!

Basically saute onions, garlic and ginger.  Add a tablespoon of XO sauce and let the sauce cook for several seconds.  Add the taro (sliced into thick strips) and stir fry until almost done.  Throw in cubed tofu (1 big block of tofu) and mushrooms (any kind you prefer is fine) and stir fry some more.  Adjust seasonings and then you're done!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Banana Bread Cupcakes

Lolo Poldo grows a lot of fruits and vegetables in his backyard.  We have gotten all sorts - mangoes, malunggay (a whole plant!), duhat, kamias, ampalaya, kondol... and bananas!  And I don't mean the regular bananas from the palengke... his bananas (he says) are special bananas!

So what do I do with a bumper crop of bananas?  Banana cupcakes, of course!  But this batch is no ordinary banana cupcake...  it is made special with a built-in topping!  Cream cheese-Greek yogurt topping!

A cupcake that even my chocolate-loving girl will eat... with gusto!

The recipe is one I saw online... alleging to be the best banana bread recipe!  Of course I made a few adjustments... the first was baking them into cupcakes instead of a loaf.  Then I used chocolate chips instead of chopped pecans.  I also have to admit that I forgot the cinnamon!

The best adjustment I made was to do away with the frosting and instead add a cream cheese filling that was baked in.  It was no ordinary cream cheese filling either, it is a cream cheese-Greek yogurt filling!  Mix together 3/4 cup softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 6 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 medium egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla.  Spoon a heaping teaspoon on top of the batter in the cavities of the cupcake pan.  Bake the cupcakes about 20 to 25 minutes 

Truth is, the addition of the Greek yogurt was a way to use the last bits of Greek yogurt that I had!  Still... it was a great idea!

The cupcake was divinely delicious!  Is it because of the type of banana?  Maybe,  since Lolo's bananas has a sightly different flavor profile.  Then again we all agree - Lolo's homegrown, special bananas are better, way better than the bananas we usually find in the local market!