I'll see you next year!

Posted by JMom | Saturday, December 16, 2006 | | 4 comments »


I was hoping to post a few more recipes before I left. We even did a bit of holiday baking last weekend, but the christmas cookies were so good, they were gone before I remembered to photograph them!

We are gone for a long awaited trip to the Philippines, so when we return next year I hope to regale you with stories about all the food we ate and won't tell you how many pounds I gained. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I'll catch up with you in a month or so!

Leeks & Potato Soup

Posted by JMom | Monday, December 11, 2006 | , | 0 comments »

Leeks & Potato Soup

This is a quick, easy and vegetarian version of the Chicken & Corn Chowder we cooked previously which was meant to have some leeks in it. This is the Clone's new favorite soup because it doesn't have any meat and it has leeks which she planted herself, so it's her new favorite vegetable.

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup chopped onions
1 cup leeks, sliced thin
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups diced potatoes
1 cup corn
Salt & Pepper

Start by melting the butter in a hot pan and cooking the flour in it for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, onions, leeks, carrots, celery, corn and potatoes and let it saute' until it is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender and the broth has thickened up a bit. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Filipino Cookbooks

Shrimp Gumbo

Posted by JMom | Thursday, December 07, 2006 | , , | 1 comments »

Shrimp Gumbo

This recipe was adapted from the Evil Jungle Prince. This is a spicy soup, perfect for cold nights and perfect for using up the okra we had in the freezer from our summer bounty. I adjusted the proportions a bit to serve 4. I also used fresh herbs because I still have some, but you can use dried too, you just may have to reduce the amounts. I believe dried herbs have a stronger flavor than fresh.

1/4 cup Olive oil
1/2 cup Flour
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 lg. bell pepper, diced
5 small bird peppers, diced
2 medium jalapeno peppers, diced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. fresh dill
2 bay leaves
7 cups chicken broth
3 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups corn
2-3 cups okra, cut into 1/4 inch length
2 lbs. shrimps, peeled
Salt & Pepper to taste

Start making a roux by heating the olive oil then add the flour. Stir and cook until the the flour is browned but not burnt.

Next saute' the aromatics: garlic, onions, carrots, celery, and peppers. Let them cook in the roux until they are fragrant and starting to soften. Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute. Add the herbs: basil, thyme, dill, bay leaves. Stir. Add the broth, worcestershire sauce, and a bit of salt and pepper. Let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the corn and okra and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes. About 10 minutes before serving, add the shrimps and cook just until they are done. Adjust the seasonings and serve in a bowl over rice.

I added additional spiciness with some hot sauce, but I only did that with my bowl.

Fluffer Nutter Bars

Posted by JMom | Sunday, December 03, 2006 | | 5 comments »

Fluffer Nutter Bars

I am a lazy cook sometimes and am partial to one-pot meals. For desserts, I also like one pot desserts like these fluffer nutter bars. Just layer everything in a pan and pop in the oven. This recipe was adapted from Culinary in the Desert who in turn adapted it from Sweet Maria's Cookie Jar.

1 stick (8 Tbsp) salted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 large egg
1 & 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

Marshmallow topping:
1 cup Nutella (hazelnut spread)
2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (this was all I had in the cupboard, next time I'll add the full cup called for in Joe's recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together unltil light and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and egg and mix until well blended.

Press the mixture above into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9x13" baking dish to form a crust.

My addition to the recipe is the Nutella. Since it was already sweet and chocolaty, I cut the sugar in the crust down by 1/4 of a cup. Spread the nutella over the crust, then spread the marshmallow fluff over. Sprinkle with the nuts and chocolate chips and bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is slightly browned.

Cool before cutting into bars. As you can see, I couldn't wait until it was totally cooled, so it was still a bit gooey. It was delicious though!

Fish Curry

Posted by JMom | Saturday, November 25, 2006 | , | 4 comments »

Fish Curry

Tired of turkey? We are, so something decidedly different in flavor in texture is in the works. We cooked this batch of fish curry sometime ago, but we'll be duplicating this tonight. I had thought I posted this already, but when I came back to my blog to check the recipe, I realized I hadn't posted it yet! So here, I'll revisit the recipe with you. As I am typing this, I'm starting to wonder how curry would fare with the turkey....but, I better not push my luck with these folks. They loved the brined turkey I fixed for thanksgiving, but I think they'll thunk me in the head if I put anything turkey on the table one more time. I'll sneak in turkey soup on them tomorrow ;)

2 lbs salmon fillets (or any firm fleshed fish of your choice), skinned
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 onion, sliced
2 Tbsp. oil
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced into strips
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 small, red hot chili peppers, sliced
1 tsp. chili paste
2 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups coconut milk
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
2 cups of green beans cut into 1 inch lengths
torn cilantro leaves for garnish

Cut the salmon into bite sized chunks. Rub with 1/2 tsp salt and set aside.

Heat the oil and saute the onion, ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add the rest of the spices and sauces (except for the fish). Also add the green beans at this point. Stir, and bring to a simmer. Let it cook for ten minutes for the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings. You may have to add a little bit more tamarind or chili paste depending on your preference.

Add the fish and simmer for about 5 minutes or until it is cooked. Serve over rice with cilantro on top.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! It's that time of year again, feared most by turkeys and loved by gourmets and gourmands alike. Thanksgiving has got to be my favorite holiday. It has all the festiveness of Christmas without the worry and stress of giftgiving. This year, we are turning to our traditional Southern menu with a touch of Filipinoness. As you will note, Turkey is the only main dish. It's Thanksgiving after all. Some people will add a second or third main dish, like ham or fish, but we feel the turkey should have front center and top billing. I will probably add a couple of new, experimental (my kids hate this part)dishes but I haven't figured out what yet.

Here is a collection of recipes typically served during our Thanksgiving Dinners. I wish you and your families a happy thanksgiving. Enjoy! (Click on the photos for recipes)


Stuffed Mushrooms
Fried Zucchini
Crab Cakes (make them smaller for appetizers) Shanghai Lumpia

Roasted Turkey
Click on this link if you want to brine your turkey first.

Braised Cabbage Green Beans & Carrots
Corn Casserole Wild Rice
Vegetables & Groundbeef Lumpia Cornbread & Mushroom Stuffing
Southern Style Greens (Collard & Mustard Greens) Giblet Gravy
Brussel Sprouts with Olive Oil and Garlic Fresh Pickled Beets


Momma Dot's Coconut Cake
Pumpkin Flan
Momma Dot's Sweet Potato Pie Jade's Watergate Salad
Sassy's Peach Royale Banana Pudding

Grilled Steak & Beets

Posted by JMom | Monday, November 13, 2006 | , , | 4 comments »

Steak & Beets

This is round two of beets in the garden and the last (probably) of outdoor grilling. Nothing beats grilling steaks so when we had a few days of unseasonably warm weather recently, we decided to grill one last time.

One of our favorite marinades for steak is bottled teriyaki sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, cracked black pepper and herbs. We still had some fresh rosemary and thyme in the garden so that's what we used this time around. When we had plenty of basil, we used basil; but one night of freezing weather pretty much burned all the basil left.

These were New York Strip Steaks grilled medium for hubby and I but well done for the princesses.

It is definitely soup weather time again, and we'll have plenty of those coming up. This is our last taste of summer.

maybe...... ;-)

For Beet recipes:
Boiled Beets
Beet Greens with Garlic

Strawberry Tiramisu

Posted by JMom | Saturday, November 11, 2006 | | 6 comments »

stiramisu-wholeThis is one of Asi's favorite desserts, tiramisu. She likes tiramisu so much, she even asked for tiramisu for her birthday treat rather than the traditional birthday cake. Every so often when we just have a craving for something sweet and creamy, we also make tiramisu without needing an occasion for an excuse. This strawberry tiramisu came about because we wanted to use up some last-of-the-season strawberries. We adapted this from a Strawberry Tiramisuwe found from Best of the Best from Colorado by Gwen McKee and Barbara Moseley who spent 22 years combing the country for the best recipes and have compiled them in the Best of the Best Series of cookbooks.

Continue to the Strawberry Tiramisu recipe.

Steamed Garden Vegetables

Posted by JMom | Friday, November 10, 2006 | , | 5 comments »

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This is an Easy Friday post. I just made that one up, don't bother looking for a link. We had our first hard frost last week, and now our garden looks like it has just been hit with napalm. Everything is blackened and dead save for a few cold weather herbs. Before the frost came, we scrambled to get what we can out of the garden, not that there was much left. So, what to do with a little bit of this and a little bit of that?

I decided to just steam them all and eat them in their natural glory. These were dressed in soy & lemon dressing but I suppose any type of dressing would do. The Clone of course had to have her ranch dressing.

The Butterfly Effect

Posted by JMom | Thursday, November 09, 2006 | , | 0 comments »

I was tagged by Iskandals for this meme which was created by Dan of Saltshaker.

Here is the guideline for this meme as originally written:

My thought in this meme is food items or events that changed your foodie life. Not some “oh, it’s the first time I didn’t put jelly on a peanut butter sandwich and used bananas instead” sort of change, unless you truly feel that affected you profoundly. That’s the key - it affected you profoundly, in some manner. A moment you can look back at and say “that was a defining moment”. The questions are simple, the answers might be harder - an item, person, event, or place that had that effect on you, and why. They don’t have to be big splashy things - sometimes it’s something very small and simple that changes the way we view the world - the famed “butterfly effect” (and I’m not talking about the Aston Kutcher movie). So, to those who want to participate, copy this and pass it on (and, if you’re so inclined, do a trackback to the originating post). Here are your categories:

1. An ingredient
2. A dish, a recipe
3. A meal (in a restaurant, a home, or elsewhere)
4. A cookbook or other written work
5. A food “personality” (chef, writer, etc.)
6. Another person in your life

1. An ingredient - cheese & crackers with apples, grapes & glass of wine while tutoring an 8 year old girl in English

2. Dish -

3. Meal - Chinese banquet - 20+ courses, 3 hours. Seemed more like a hundred courses.

4. Cookbook -

5. A food "personality" - Julia Childs, Galloping Gourmet, Naked Chef, Yan Can Cook, Frugal Gourmet

6. Another person in your life

Filipino Cookbooks

Chicken & Corn Chowder

Posted by JMom | Wednesday, November 08, 2006 | , | 5 comments »

Chicken & Corn Chowder

With the weather turning cold once more, what better way to welcome fall than chowder. The clone really wanted to use some of the leeks from the garden, but they aren't quite ready yet so we settled on using scallions and corn instead. I wish I could say the corn came from our garden, but unfortunately our corn didn't do so well this year and we only got a couple of ears. The potatoes used for this soup was from our garden though.

4 T butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 med onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
Scallions (green onions), separate white end from green, set green ends aside for garnish
3 carrots
2 cups corn
6 med potatoes
4 deboned chicken thighs or 2 chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 c. flour
salt and pepper
2 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth

Melt butter in hot pan and sautee garlic onion, celery and white part of scallions until fragrant and onions are translucent. About 5 min. Add chicken and sautee until opaque. Add flour and sautee with the chicken and veggies for another minute. Add potatoes and carrots, broth; and milk. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until potatoes are done and broth is slightly thickened. Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the green onions, stir through and serve.

NaBloPoMo Shameless Plug

Posted by JMom | Monday, November 06, 2006 | | 3 comments »

nablopomo_yoda_120x90In case you, like most of my friends, never use the front door to our house and always come through the kitchen door instead, I invite you to visit me In Our House this month. Through the front door.

This month, I have done something that I will probably regret in a week or so. I am participating in NaBloPoMo or National Blog Posting Month. NaBloPoMo is fashioned after another event called NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, where you are supposed to write a novel in a month. Hah! no, I'm not writing a novel. NaBloPoMo participants are only expected to update their blog every day for a month.

Anyway, visit me there once in a while and see what I'm rambling about.

Herbed Potato Crab Cake with Basil Aioli

Posted by JMom | Saturday, November 04, 2006 | | 6 comments »

Herbed Potato Crab Cake

Summer time always means lots of fresh basil from the garden. This meal, can be categorized as basil overload! You'd really have to love basil for this meal. Luckily, we all love basil!

Click here for the recipe for this crabcake with potatoes and herbs.

Click here for the recipe for the basil aioli and spaghetti with pesto sauce.

This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging which, this week, is back to it's original home in Kalyn's Kitchen.

LP 15 - Siopao Adobo

Posted by JMom | Wednesday, November 01, 2006 | , , | 12 comments »

Read the full post for this round of Lasang Pinoy, Siopao Adobo.

LP15 - Stuffed Ampalaya

Posted by JMom | Monday, October 30, 2006 | , , | 7 comments »

BEFORE cooking AFTER cooking

See the full recipe for Stuffed Amplaya (bittermelon).

Potato Salad with Herbs

Posted by JMom | Saturday, October 28, 2006 | , , | 2 comments »

Potato Salad with Herbs

The weather has started to turn cooler, and so we've had to take in the remains from our garden. Not willing to let summer go quite yet, we've taken advantage of the fall sunshine to do a bit more grilling. I came across this recipe for Potato Salad with Dilled Vinaigrette and decided to use up some of the fresh herbs from the garden before they are dried for the winter.

This is my variation, and my entry for weekend herb blogging which this week is hosted by Fiber of 28 Cooks.

New Potatoes, cooked and halved/quartered
2 medium carrots, cooked, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tablespoons fresh dill
3 Tablespoons fresh italian parsley, chopped
3 Tablespoons chives or green onions, chopped
4 Tablespoons lime or lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked balck pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar or pickle juice

Boil the potatoes and carrots, cut up, and set aside to cool. In the meantime, heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet and saute' the onions and garlic until fragrant and the onions are translucent. Add the onions and garlic to the potatoes and carrots. Add the dill, parsley, green onions, and bell pepper to the bowl with the potatoes. In a small bowl or jar, mix the remaining olive oil, lemon/lime, black pepper, salt, and pickle juice. Adjust the seasonings, and pour the dressing over the potatoes. Mix well and let sit at room temperature until you are ready to eat to let the flavors blend.

Purple Basil Chicken Bake

Posted by JMom | Wednesday, October 25, 2006 | | 6 comments »

Purple Basil Chicken

If you hadn't noticed already, yes, we do bake a lot of chicken. We have our favorite way which is also the simplest way, but once in a while, especially when we have an abundance of a particular ingredient (in this case purple basil), we like to change it up a bit just to have some variety. This is our experiment with purple pesto, and it turned out pretty well.

Juice from 2 limes
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup or 1/4 of large onion, roughly chopped
1 cup purple basil, chopped
3 Tbsp. pinenuts

Put all the ingredients above in a food processor to make a purple pesto.

Purple Basil PestoPre-heat oven to 350 F. Place the chicken pieces in a baking dish and season with salt and pepper then spread the purple pesto over each piece. Put in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

This chicken was served with sauteed green beans and potatoes.

Green Beans Salad

There are many versions of green bean salad, this is one of the simplest but it's my favorite because the natural flavors of each vegetable is enhanced rather than masked. This dish is also perfect when you are on a diet as it has 0% fat content.

This is the green bean salad I referred to in a previous post, green beans & tomato salad. While that salad was dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, this one is dressed simply with lime juice and fish sauce. To begin with, fresh green beans are blanched just until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes in boiling water. They are then quickly cooled off in a bowl of ice water to prevent additional cooking, then drained. In a bowl mix the green beans with chopped tomatoes and cilantro then toss in a dressing of equal parts lime juice and fish sauce. If you prefer you can also add thinly sliced red onions which I chose to omit this time.

Wondering about fish sauce? There are a great many misconceptions about what fish sauce is and how it is made. I was once talking to a former Vietnam Veteran who I thought would have known better since he was actually in the country, but I guess under the circumstances that brought him there, I can't expect him to glean the nuances of Vietnamese cuisine. He actually believed that nuoc mam (fish sauce) was made by hanging fish out in the sun, and as it decomposes and renders it's juices, they are then caught and this is fish sauce. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Fish sauce is a by product of a fermentation process that has been tested and perfected over generations.

Thank goodness for the internet, information is now readily available to the curious or to those who just wants to set the record straight. Here are some background information, just follow the links if you'd like to learn more.

Fish sauce is a condiment commonly used in Southeast Asian cuisine and goes by many names:

NamPlah - Thailand

Nuoc Mam - Vietnam

Ngan Byar - Myanmar

Teuk Trei - Cambodia

Patis - Philippines

Fish sauce is not exclusively of southeast asian origin however, it is also an ingredient to one of the more common western condiment, worstershire sauce. Fish sauce can also be traced as far back as the roman times when it was known as garum.

Thanks for the Muscadines

Posted by JMom | Friday, October 20, 2006 | | 4 comments »

I must thank P of What's Cooking in Carolina for inviting us to her garden/vineyard to have a taste of these beautiful muscadine grapes that her husband breed. They were delicious! I wasn't sure if my girls were going to like them as they tend to have a very strong, sweet flavor. My concern was for naught as the girls, especially Asi and Jade, have been devouring these beauties since we went to pick them last weekend. They have even been bringing them to school with their lunches.

Btw, besides her beautiful garden and vineyard, P also has ENTS surrounding her house. We loved them!!

Simply Fried Pork Cubes

Posted by JMom | Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | | 8 comments »

Fried Pork CubesWhat can be simpler than frying up some meat for dinner? This is one of those dishes that just kind of evolves simply because you have ran out of time and hungry kids are banging on the table for food (I'm exaggerating). I was going to make a slow simmered stew with these cubes, but between the slicing and dicing of all the veggies and spices required for the stew, I knew that would be out of the question. So as a quick and easy solution, I simply salt and peppered the pork cubes and fried them up in hot oil until they were nicely browned. Just so they won't look so pitiful, I sliced up some green onions and threw them in the skillet just before taking the meat out. Stirred through, they were ready to serve.

These were dipped in a mixture of soy, vinegar and pepper flakes. Or if you are not the dipping kind like my husband, just drizzle the sauce over the meat.