Talking Food


Dining in restaurant become part of people's lifestyle. There are many numerous reasons why choose to eat out. There's birthday celebration, lazy to cook at home, friend's treat, and the list go on. But not all food served in restaurants are good for us.



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Restaurant meals are undeniably one source of unhealthy food due to excess calories, sugar and fat. But there are certain way to ensure that you are eating in restaurants are good enough for you. Many restaurants nowadays, hand over menu in which ingredients of meals are enumerated and even stating how much calories in there. 

The important thing to do when you go out and sat on a fancy chair of bistros or any other food chains is to take time in scrutinizing the menu. You can still enjoy dining out without ingesting too much calories. Being healthy is always our choice. 

Even though fizzy drinks are available in different restaurants, you can always opt out to that and instead choose water or healthier drinks like smoothies. Since 17th century soft drinks are made available to people to enjoy. But that doesn't mean we can't avoid it. Soft drinks are okay to consume from time to time but not too much though. Because too much soft drinks can bring bad effects to our health.

Here's some healthy guide to eating out by WebMD and the 7 side effects of drinking diet sodas by MSN Healthy Living

Hot to Mild Chili Peppers

Most of my favorite dishes have chili peppers in it. I use a specific one depending on how spicy I want my dish. Here are the 7 chili peppers that I buy and use from hot to mild.

7. Habanero
Habanero

6. Scotch Bonnet


Scotch Bonnet

5. Rawit
Rawit

4. Fresno
Fresno

3. Jalapeno


Jalapeno

2. Santa Fe
Santa Fe (The yellow chili pepper)

1. Thai Chili
Thai Chili



Embutido

It's been a tradition in our family to make embutido to serve on different occasions. Embutido is some sort of a meat roll Filipino style. It is best served with boiled rice and dipped in banana ketchup.

I'm so thankful that my mother shared her recipe with you and I'm going to share it with you. Hope you like it.



Embutido

Ingredients:

1 kg mince pork (ground pork)
1 large carrot (finely chopped)
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 red bell pepper (finely chopped)
3 medium raw eggs
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1/2 cup raisins
3 slices of white tasty bread (cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup cheese (shredded)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper (based on your preference)
3 hard boiled eggs


Steaming Embutido

Procedures:

1. Wash the mince pork and let it drain completely.
2. Transfer the mince pork in a large container and start mixing all the ingredients listed above except for the hard boiled eggs.
3. Wrap the mixture on sizes you prefer. Put few slices of hard boiled eggs and roll it.
4. Put the wrapped mixture in a steamer (electric of conventional).
5. Steam them for 1 hour.
6. Let it cool and put inside the refrigerator.
7. You may eat it as is or quick fry it. 
8. Slice it your way and serve with freshly cut cucumber and boiled rice. 

Enjoy!

Pastillas de Leche

Pastillas de Leche is a famous milk candy in the Philippines. There's two ways to make it: by cooking or by just mixing all the ingredients. If you have the luxury of time, cooking is the best choice. On the other side, if you just mix the ingredients, you'll still get delicious treat.
Homemade Pastillas de Leche

Ingredients:

2 cups powdered milk (I prefer using Nido full cream milk)
1 can condensed milk (there are different brands out there, just use what you want.)
granulated sugar (for coating the pastillas)

Rolling the small logs on granulated sugar.
Procedures:

1. In a large bowl, mix the powdered milk and a can of condensed milk. Make sure to mix both ingredients thoroughly. 
2. Let it stand for about 10 minutes. 
3. Form small logs and roll them into the granulated sugar. 
4. Wrap each piece to your choice of wrapping material. In my case I use bond paper and tissue paper sheets (also called as crepe paper).

Christmas Dinner Menu 2013

Christmas night is not complete without a simple meal to spend with your loved ones. Here's my menu for that special dinner.


Starter / Appetizer

Lumpiang Sariwa (Fresh Vegetable Roll) topped with crushed garlic and peanuts.


Main Courses and Side Dishes

Beef Caldereta
Embutido
Spring Fried Chicken
Chicken Macaroni Salad
Aubergine Salad


Desserts

Apple Streusel Cake

Leche Flan
Ube Halaya (Purple Yum)
Sweetened Beans





Cutting Edge Knives – Get the New, Hot Knife!

Cutting edge cutlery can make food preparation easy so it can be tempting to buy the new, hot knife when you see it touted on television by a celebrity chef or featured in the fancy cooking magazines. The fact of the matter is that while you may or may not need a new knife, you really do need to take stock of the cutlery you own before buying anything new because proper cutlery care, handling and storage has a lot to do with how well a knife does or does not perform.  If you are not taking proper care of the cutlery you already have then a new knife is not going to improve the situation.


Take a look at each knife you have and make sure the handle is securely and seamlessly attached to the blade; there should be no wiggle room and rivets should be flush with the handle. The blade should be smooth and shiny with no nicks or gouges which may harbor germs and breed bacteria and the blade should be corrosion and rust free. Water is the natural enemy of any knife and regardless of how your cutlery is marked it should not be placed in the dishwasher because the hot water of the wash cycle and the heat of the dry cycle will compromise the overall integrity of the knife. The best way to clean a knife is to wipe it with a damp cloth until clean and then towel the knife dry to help prevent rust.

Knife storage is also important – it is not a good idea to toss a knife in the gadget drawer where it can be easily damaged. Invest in a knife block, magnetic knife rack, fitted knife drawer or individual knife protectors to keep your knife blades segregated and protected. Professional chefs often use a knife roll – this is another excellent knife storage option.

It is often said that a sharp knife is a safe knife and with good reason – if you are working with a dull knife you may be exerting too much force when can lead to mishaps and accidents. Invest in a knife sharpener and use it on a regular basis to keep your knives sharp and safe. If possible, make it a practice to sharpen each knife before using. Many professional chefs like to use a diamond steel sharpening rod; a manual knife sharpening wheel is another popular option.


Sinigang na Hipon

Sinigang is one of the famous Filipino dishes. This is often serve when the weather is cold as the sour soup helps to warm the body. You can actually use any meat you like, may it be a fish, pork, beef, or shrimp. 

Traditionally, fresh tamarind is use to give flavor to the soup. But there are sinigang recipe mix that you can buy in Asian stores. There are different varieties to choose from; sinigang na may gabi, sinigang na may sili or the original sinigang sa sampalok. This will also give you the same zesty flavor you hope to achieve.
 
Sinigang na Hipon

Ingredients: 

1/2 kilo large shrimps (sugpo)
1 onion (cut in quarters)
2 tomatoes (cut in quarters)
1 medium size radish
3 taro (gabi)
1 cup string beans (sitaw)
2 cups spinach (to replace kangkong)
1 pack Knorr Sinagang na  may Gabi
3 green chilli
1 liter water
fish sauce (dipping sauce)


Ingredients of Sinigang na Hipon

Cooking Procedures:

  1. Put water, onion and tomatoes in a large pot. Let it boil. 
  2. Upon boiling, stir in the taro, radish and string beans. Simmer the vegetables for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the Knorr sinigang recipe mix and green chillies and let it boil for another 3 minutes. 
  4. Add the shrimps and simmer the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Finally stir in the spinach. Add some salt if you wish. Let it simmer again for another minute. 
  6. Serve hot with rice. 

Kutsinta Recipe

My hometown take pride on its famous and delicious sticky rice cake or locally known as kutsinta. To be honest, I have no idea on how to cook this dessert until a good friend of mine share her recipe with me. Although I adjust the sugar content base on how sweet I want it to be. Other than that, I find this recipe very good and you'll definitely ask for more. 

Making kutsinta is very easy. Just be careful in putting the lye water, too much and too little can ruin the chewiness of this great dessert. This is a tested recipe and 1 teaspoon of lye water is perfect for amount of the rest of my ingredients. 

Naturally, kutsinta is kind of orange in color and that is because of the brown sugar reacting well with the rest of the ingredients. Some use annato seeds to make the orange color more deep. Some use food grade colorant to play with the colors of kutsinta just like I had below. But of course, that is all up to you. Though next time around, I would prefer making it without any food colors.  


Kutsinta

Ingredients: 

1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup self-raising flour
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups water
1 teaspoon lye water (lihiya)
grated coconut

Procedures:
  • In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients starting with the self-raising flour and tapioca flour. Then gradually add the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Strain the mixture using fine mesh strainer. This is to eliminate lumps in your mixture. 
  • Whatever container you will use in steaming, make sure to fill it halfway to avoid spilling during the process. I use muffin moulds or deep chutney pots.
  • Stream the mixture for 45 minutes or until the mixture is firm enough for you. 
  • Let it cool and topped it with grated coconut if you wish. 

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