Monthly Archives: October 2011

Squash Gratin

I really love looking at recipes online.  It’s always a treat for the family whenever we try a new recipe.  Most of the time, it is successful and they would ask me to make the dish again after a week or so.  Sometimes though, the ingredients are challenging to find and so I would have to use local ingredients.

One recipe that caught my eye was Butternut Squash.  Here, we only have one type of squash, I don’t even know what kind of squash it is but looking at the pictures here, what we have is Fairytale Pumpkin Squash.  What a nice name!  I actually don’t like cooking with squash too much since it’s a lot of work peeling and slicing.  It was great that we did this on a Sunday so Jon did all the peeling and slicing.  😀

We had potato gratin before so I was really excited to try it out with squash instead.  What’s great about this dish is it’s vegetarian.  I can’t really say that it’s very healthy since it has cream and milk and cheese but at least there’s no meat and we can always use the calcium from the dairy products.  These are the substitutions I made:  kankong instead of spinach, evaporated milk for the half-and-half, and cream for the creme fraiche.


I’m happy to report that it was a success.  Everybody loved it and they all had seconds.  Try it out!


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Posted by on October 19, 2011 in Squash


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Potato Croquettes

Potato Croquettes are on my list of stuff to make after seeing this picture in Not Quite Nigella’s blog.  It looked very delicious.  Although the post was about making it healthier and using fryers without oil, I made mine by baking it in the oven.

It was okay but kinda fell short of expectations.  I guess that’s my fault for altering the recipe a bit, I had less than the needed potatoes and I used the whole egg (I hate waste and I don’t really want to freeze one egg white).  Also, I think it needed to stay in the oven for an extra 5 to 10 minutes to make it really crisp.

It was a learning experience.  I’ll probably make this again and make sure it looks really crunchy before taking it out of the oven.

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Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Potato


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Pizza Puffs

I have this bad habit of spending hours just looking at food blogs I find through food gawker.  It’s really food porn at it’s best.  It is a good source of recipes though and there are so many I want to try.

So one recipe I found are for pizza puffs.   Everybody loves pizza and if we can have it without waiting, it’s worth a try!  I just used bacon instead of pepperoni and omitted the olives which no one eats it in my family anyway.

You really need to dip it in sauce as it is a bit dry.  We just used regular tomato sauce and you can mix in some Parmesan cheese to make it better.

And there you have it, pizza in a flash 🙂

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Posted by on October 7, 2011 in Pizza


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Steamed Eggs

I saw a recipe for Steamed Eggs in a Reader’s Digest magazine a few months ago and I decided to give it a try.  I’ve never had steamed eggs so I had no idea what to expect.  The closest experience we’ve had with steamed eggs is leche flan which we all love.

But the Reader’s Digest recipe is a savory recipe so I’m pretty sure it would taste different.  I didn’t even know if we were supposed to eat it with bread or with rice or just by itself.  After googling it, I found out it’s quite a popular Chinese dish and great with rice.  So that’s what we did.

The recipe called for salted eggs and century eggs spread out at the bottom of the pan.  Since we’re not great fans of century eggs, I only used salted eggs.  Then I used 4 eggs and mixed this with about 2 cups of broth.  Well, not real broth but a chicken broth cube dissolved in water.  I placed this on top the salted eggs and steamed it for about 30 min.

This is the first time I’ve actually used the steamer of my rice cooker.

It said to steam until set but still wobbly so I tried to do that.  Then top with some sesame oil, soy sauce and spring onions.  The sesame oil really gives off a wonderful scent.  It just smelled like Chinese food right after I topped it with sesame oil.

I think I should have steamed it for 5 more minutes because it broke down when I sliced into it and it looked just like taho.  The texture is similar to taho as well.  The salted eggs were a nice break from the smoothness of the eggs.  The spring onions also gave a nice contrast and some freshness to the dish.  The kids had no complaints but they weren’t raving about it either.

Overall, it was a nice dish as it is different from what we usually eat.  Would I serve it again?  I’m not sure, maybe.

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Posted by on October 5, 2011 in Eggs


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Creamy Macaroni and Cauliflower

I saw Jamie Oliver make this on one of his shows.  I just couldn’t remember what he called is so I’m calling it, creamy macaroni and cauliflower.  He said it was supposed to be similar to macaroni and cheese with the added benefit of having cauliflower and bacon.  Now, everything is better with bacon.  🙂

It turned out pretty okay, I think.  There was a topping of bread crumbs, bacon bits and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and this provided a nice contrast to the creamy macaroni.

I couldn’t find the recipe on his website though so I just did it the way I remembered it.  I just boiled the macaroni and cauliflower together in one pot, and they cook at the same time.  After draining, I mashed the cauliflower in the baking dish.  I mixed in a pack of cream and a cup of the pasta water.  I also mixed in some cheese and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Then, I sprinkled the topping and baked for about 30 min at 180 degrees Celcius.

Of course a pasta dish should be served with bread so I made some Herb Garlic Baguettes to go with it.  I just shaped it a bit differently.  It smelled so good and was great with butter.

Overall, it a pretty good dinner.  I guess what would make it even better is to also have bacon bits mixed in with the macaroni to cut through the creaminess.  Let’s eat!

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Posted by on October 1, 2011 in Bread, Pasta


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