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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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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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Pizza lunch!

I’ve promised my kids that we’ll have home made pizza every month and they’re always looking forward to the day that they can make their own pizza.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do it for August since I ran out of ingredients.  We just had delivery that month.

So, after shopping for ingredients on Saturday, they wanted to have pizza on Sunday and of course I obliged.

I’ve always wanted to try pesto on pizza and since I still have some pesto left-over, I knew I could finally make it this time.  But, we also have a lot of toppings available so I also wanted some of that.  We had bacon, burger, mushroom, garlic, onions, mozzarella and parmesan.  So, since I want it all, I decided to make my pizza half and half (or more of one third and two thirds).

Jon was also undecided so he made his half oil-based and half tomato sauce-based (sorry, it’s a bit unfocused, I was hungry already).

Jari’s pizza was the best looking of the bunch.  He’s really fixated on stuffed crust so he made a big crust with mozzarella inside and really had a lot of toppings on his pizza.

Yumi’s pizza also had a stuffed crust but a bit smaller.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any pictures of the adults’ pizzas after it was baked.  We were too hungry.  In the same way that I didn’t have pictures of the kids’ pizzas before baking because theirs went in the oven first.

I just want to say that I loved the pesto pizza.  I should have made mine all pesto (and just get a slice from everybody else so I could also have some taste of the toppings).  I will definitely make my next one just pesto.

We definitely had a great lunch.  Let’s eat!

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Pizza

 

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Mini Frittatas

I haven’t baked any goodies in about three weeks now.  We ran out of supplies, like flour and sugar and haven’t had the opportunity to buy some.  If we aren’t busy, it’s raining.  I miss baking and using my oven.

So, when my daughter requested to have potato frittata this week, I decided to use the oven for it.  I’ve seen some blogs making frittatas using muffin tins and I decided to give it a try.

Just like the last time, I cooked the potatoes and cabbage first before assembling the frittata.  Just brush the sides of the pan with oil, put in the vegetables at the bottom, add some cheese, then top with the scrambled eggs.  I mixed in some cream with the eggs this time to make it more creamy then I topped it off with parmesan cheese.  Just bake for about 15 – 20 in a 180-degree Celsius oven.  Let’s eat!

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Potato

 

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Cabbage and Potato Frittata

Following my Potato Frittata success last week, I decided to give it another try this week.

I was thinking of making some cabbage and potato soup but I decided against it and thought about using the cabbage for frittata instead.  This time,  I made 2 frittatas instead of one big frittata since I’m not too keen on the pan flipping thing.  I still didn’t make perfect shapes though as part of the frittata broke when I turned it over and when I transferred to a plate.  It may not look good but it still tasted great.

I used less potatoes this time since I used a whole head of cabbage.  I just cooked the cabbage after the potato cooked and stirred until soft.  I also added some bread crumbs this time but omitted the milk and totally forgot to add the pesto.  My family usually doesn’t eat cabbage so it was a surprise when my daughter tasted some of the cabbage before I mixed it in and actually liked it.  She really liked it that we had dinner really early, before 6 pm and after the plates have been cleared, she asked if she could eat again as she really found it delicious.

I’m happy to add another meatless meal to our repertoire.  I try to have at least one meatless dinner per week but I usually saute some ground pork with the vegetables.  This dish had no meat at all.  My daughter even requested to bring this to school for lunch next week.  In her school, Mondays are fruits and vegetables days so they are encouraged (aka required) to bring fruits and vegetables for snacks and lunch.  I think it’s a good initiative and we should all eat more fruits and vegetables.

On another note, I think I’m addicted to pesto.  I’ve been eating pesto and tomato sandwiches for lunch for 2 days running now.  I also had it for breakfast today and just spread some pesto on toast for my afternoon snack.  I wonder how long before I finish off my stock?

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Potato

 

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