Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sweetie - fruity

Photography by Donna Samonte

My childhood friend asked me if I have a recipe for jams and jellies. Luckily, I still have the recipe in my mind that my HS teacher had thought us for strawberry jam.

I'm not so fond with jams and jellies but my kids are, most especially when added in peanut butter sandwich....mmmm....sounds yum! =)

And btw, one of the most yummiest jams I've ever tasted is made by Mariton's mother-in-law Shirley...wish I can have some more! Hehehe.....

Strawberry Jam

2 cups crushed fresh strawberries
4 cups sugar
1 pck dry pectin
3/4 cup water

Wash and hull strawberries. Mix crushed strawberries with sugar, and let it stand for about 30 minutes.

Boil water in low heat, stir pectin into water for 1 minute. Pour and stir pectin mixture with strawberries, mixing it well.

Set aside for 5 minutes to thicken, stirring it occasionally.

Pour your fruit jam into storage bottles and let it stand for 24 hrs, covering the bottles with tight lids.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I rarely bake...

Photography by Donna Samonte

I'm not really good with baking to be really honest, I'm always fascinated when I see bakers knead breads, decorate a cake and what not. Sometimes, I'm gutsy to bake but just the simple ones and here's one of those. A strawberry cake, since I love strawberries...simple, yummy and not too sweet.

Strawberry Cake

12 pcs fresh plump strawberries
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1 bx cake mix
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 large kraft cool whip
1 bx confectioner's sugar


Mash 8 pcs strawberries in pie plate with a potato masher, sprinkle with sugar and water then add strawberry jam and 2 pcs thinly sliced strawberries. Set aside, stirring occasionally to make juicy while preparing cake.

Bake white cake according to package directions. While cake is in the oven, combine confectioner's sugar and cool whip for the icing.

When cake is ready, let it cool down then turn layer out of pan onto cake dish with bottom side up. Spoon strawberry mixture onto cake allowing juice to seep into cake and add layer of strawberries. Then spoon icing over layer and smooth gently, do another layer with same procedure. Smooth icing on sides of cake, leaving remainder for top.

Refrigerate before serving.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Creamy and Soupie

Photography by Donna Samonte

Wanted some comfort food, ended up with the simple corn soup. Not much besides corn, shallots, butter, and basil simmered in water.....that easy.

Corn Soup

6 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup shallots, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 stem fresh basil, plus a handful of extra leaves
2 cups creamy corn kernels
1/2 cup scallions (white part only) finely chopped, save green part
1/4 cup red bell pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a soup pot, melt the butter. Saute shallots then dash salt, and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until the shallots are soft but not browned. Add chicken stock and stem of basil then bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the corn kernels and bell pepper, simmer for 5 minutes.

Using tongs, remove stem of basil from the pot. Add the handful of basil leaves and submerge them in the soup without cooking them.

Puree the soup in a blender until it is a coarse puree. Return to the pot, taste for seasoning, dash more salt and pepper according to taste.

Serve with scallion sprinkles.

Friday, October 10, 2008

De-boning a chicken?

One thing about buying chicken on the bone is, it's cheaper and the bones can be used to make homemade chicken stock. When deboning a chicken all you need is sharp knife and the know-how.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Nothing Beats Homemade Food!

Photography by Donna Samonte

Most often than not, when my family and friends ask for recipes, I always tell them to something new. I love experimenting my recipes, giving traditional food a new flavor but not losing the taste. Here's a traditional recipe with a zest.

Homemade Meatloaf


6 lbs ground meat mix (beef, pork, veal or chicken and turkey)
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
3 tbs Tomato Sauce
2tbs BBQ Sauce (any kind but I prefer Bull's Eye brand)
2tbs Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
2 tsp Pickle Relish
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3 Eggs - medium
1tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp thyme (fresh minced)
1/4 tsp sage (fresh minced)
1 cup chopped onion/shallots
Ketchup and Maple Syrup

*1/2 cup dry slice of bread soaked in milk (optional)

Pre-heat oven at 375'. In a bowl, combine and mix all dry ingredients. Add all other remaining ingredients then mix again. Put mixture in a meatloaf pan or in a baking sheet form mixture in loaf, poke hole all over and stripe with ketchup. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours. When done, spread maple syrup then broil for about 2 minutes.

Best serve with mashed potato, corn on the cob and your choice of veggie...

For better taste result, set the mixture to stand about an hour before baking.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Quick and Easy!

Photography by Donna Samonte

It's always a rush, always on the run! At dinner I wanted to have just a quick and easy dinner..in short, a home-
cooked dinner in pronto!

I love seafood, healthy and light in the tummy most especially at night when I really don't need to much energy.

Broiled Chilean Sea Bass

1 lb Chilean Sea Bass (Tilapia Fillet is another choice)
1 tbs Soy Sauce
1 tbs Hoisin Sauce
1/2 minced garlic

Set oven to high broil. Wash and pat dry fish. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and rub unto fish. Set aside for about 10 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes on each side...

Can be served with your green salad or any veggie of your choice. Isn't that quick and easy?

Pan-broiling can also be use.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Photography by Donna Samonte

Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which in high in Folic Acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamine.
A member of the Lily family, has No Fat, contains No Cholesterol and is low in Sodium.Asparagus is great for stir-fry, sauteing, baking indeed an all around veggie.

Keep fresh asparagus clean, cold and covered.
To maintain freshness, wrap a moist paper towel around the stem ends, or stand upright in two inches of cold water.

You can also freeze it for longer storing,
wash thoroughly then trim stem end slightly. Leave spears whole or cut in 2" lengths. Sort according to stalk thickness; small, medium and large then freeze.

Just a tip....

It's my birthday today!! =)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Calm me, Bake Clam...

Photography by Donna Samonte

A requested dinner, a clam-crab meat bake. This recipe is great! All of my friends and family have loved it. Instead of frying however, I bake for around 25 minutes. The recipe has a great taste that doesn't interfere with the crab meat. Try them and enjoy!

Bake Clam-Crab Meat Cake


1 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
2 tbs biscuit baking mix
1 tbs dried parsley
2 tbs red bell pepper chopped
2 tbs mayonnaise
1 tbs prepared mustard
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 lb crab meat
1/2 lb chopped clams (set aside shell for baking)
dash of salt and pepper


Pre-heat oven to 375'F.

Mix together Old Bay seasoning, baking mix, and parsley in a medium size mixing bowl. Stir mayonnaise, mustard, egg, and Worcestershire sauce into dry ingredients. Mix in crab meat and chopped clam meat gently. Form mixture into 6 to 8 balls and press on top of half clam shell and flatten with a spatula.

Put shells in baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes.

Serve hot with your choice of veggies.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dinner in 1-2-3!

Photography by Donna Samonte

We always want to have something really healthy to eat. But sometimes our schedules are just crazy to cope with everyday life. Cooking shouldn't be that hard, there's always some food that can be made as easy as 1-2-3 and yet healthy.

Pan-Broiled Lamb Chops


4 pcs lamb chops about 1 1/4 lbs
3 tbs soy sauce
2 minced garlic
1/4 freshly ground black pepper


Wash and pat dry lamb chops, combine all ingredients in a bowl and rub unto steaks. marinate for about 10 minutes.

Heat heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the steaks and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 6-8 minutes per side for medium-rare (depending on thickness), or until the steaks are nicely browned on the outside but still a bit soft to the touch. (If the steaks are super thick, you may want to cook them for a few minutes on each of the short sides as well.)

Best served with potatoes, corn and veggies.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Left-over Chicken?

Photography by Donna Samonte

I always look for new ways to create old things and when you'd a baked chicken and leftovers from roasting or simply nilaga, this is a perfect 2nd time around. In tagalog..."pang-gat" in a different style.

In a newspaper interview, 3 top NY chefs agreed on the characteristics of a fine cook: He/she could chop an onion, roast a chicken and creatively use up left-overs from a refrigerator. A left-over can be anything from a surplus of a bountiful serving.

Chicken Salad Spread

2 c. chopped boiled chicken (or any left-over from roasting or nilaga)
1/4 c. mayonnaise
3 tbsp. chopped, scraped celery
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
3 tbs sliced scallions

Cook chicken in 1 cup water, adding a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. Simmer until cooked. Then chop in small chunks.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except scallions and mix gently. Then sprinkle scallions on top. Serve with bread of your choice.

I like using french bread and even crackers! :P