Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pan with Ceramic Coating Derived from Nature.

Cooking is something that I learned to love.   I hated cooking when I was   single but when I got married, I started to explore the kitchen and now I love it.  Having  the right kitchen utensils also adds excitement when you cook.  That's why I love  working with Ozeri because they have a hige  selection of kitchen tools, gadgets, and utensils that you can buy for easy cooking.  I got this  12" Green Earth Pan from them  and I couldn't be happier.  I have their  8" and 10" and I also love using them  when I cook.  
This pan is one of their textured series  featuring the  ultra safe PTFE and PFOA free ceramic non stick coating, a coating that is derived from nature.  Greblon  ceramic coating is from Germany, it has no harmful heavy metals or chemicals.  It has a comfortable silicon handle and it is very easy top clean.  The elevated texture  creates  an air pocket which distribute heat underneath the food  which enhances  the cooking.
I love that they included  this  Pan Protector which  protects the pan from being scratched when  being put in the storage together with the other pans.  I just love how my pans color looks, they make you want to cook all the time.

Here's what I cooked last weekend  when my new pan arrived.   Green Beans adobo with  beef, it was yummy!
 The next morning, I used it to make  my husband's favorite pancake, the buckwheat with  blueberry.  The  12" pan  was perfect to use in making my children's sand dollar pancakes.

New stuff in the kitchen  really inspires me to cook.  Now I am getting ready to make some dumplings for dinner.  I am using  ground turkey  because the price of  ground beef is getting ridiculously high, lol.  Anyway, thank you once again Ozeri!.  If you want an eco-friendly kind of pan  like just like what I am using now, head on to Amazon and get you one. I love Ozeri's pans so I highly recommend them!

Disclaimer: The author of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review. Opinions expressed is not in anyway influenced by other factors. The product/s mentioned above was provided for FREE for evaluation purposes.

Fried Okra

I am not very fond of Okra  because of it's slimy texture  but this year, I decided to plant some in my garden so I could introduce it to my children.  As expected, they did not like it but I don't want to  waste the fruit so I ate them myself lol.

 I got tired of putting it in a soup so I thought of frying it for a change and voila, it worked!
Aren't okra  beautiful when cut this way?  It would have been easier to fry them if I just cut them in half but I like how it looks when cut this way plus I tested the new paring knife that my husband got me.
I used my tempura batter mix to coat them to maker it crispy.

I was hungry when I was cooking it so I did not wait till it's brown before I  removed them from my frying pan.  I was actually eating it while I fry them lol.
The rest of it, I ate with rice and achara.  It was so good with the sriracha sauce.

Baked Salmon Fillet with Herbs and Veggies

I had a pack of salmon fillet in the freezer so I cooked it yesterday for our dinner. Lemon zest, lemon juice, and tomatoes are my key ingredients so the fishy taste is not over powering.  My husband is not very fond of fish so I  have to do something to make it  desirable for his palate.

My herbs are doing great inside my kitchen so  I can use it fresh whenever I want to in  my cooking.  I added some basil, parsley, and rosemary to the salmon fillet.

Veggies are great addition as well when you are making  fish.  Don't forget to salt your fish before adding your ingredients.  Then sprinkle salt and pepper again on top of the veggies.
After adding everything you want on top of the fish, just seal the foil and bake it for 20  minutes.  I over cooked the veggies when I baked it a little longer (30) but it was still good.

Everything is fresh but the  salmon and the broccoli, they were frozen.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Crabs Cooked in Coconut MIlk

During our 11th wedding anniversary,  we went to Strip District and  shop at places we have never shopped before.  We went to Wholey's, bought some seafood and ate lunch there.  One of the  few seafood that we bought are these crabs.  After getting hooked to eating crabs again  during our vacation in Ocean City, Maryland this year, I have to have my fix for seafood lol.  I cooked this  in coconut milk, onion, and lemon grass.  It was fulfilling
 I prefer eating crabs at home because they are messy and requires work lol.
 I know, it is obvious in my face that I feel like in heaven just looking and smelling at this sumptous crabs I am holding.
 Just looking at the pictures makes me hungry again.

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Just remember....

that a little bit of this
and a little dash of that
makes a sumptuous life...

so Spice Up Your Life.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Caramel Apple

Caramel apple is good but I prefer eating  the apple  sliced or  fresh without the sticky caramel lol.  But for the love of my daughter I made this  because she loves caramel apples.  Son and I  are the same, I mean we can eat it but we prefer not to as it is messy.  Anyway, I made these  yesterday because we have a lot of apples here at home.  We bought the ones we picked at the orchard, it was a fun experience for all of us.

Today, my  9 year old chef made an apple pie by herself, it was delicious and she did a great job for a first timer.  I will post it soon.

Ginger Tea or Salabat

My husband and daughter both have sniffles when they came home from Doquesne so I made them  ginger tea (salabat).  I also  drank one cup because my migraine was building up.  After I drank it, I got sweaty, took shower and after that, the migraine is gone.  This is a great home remedy if your migraine is just building up.  Also a great   drink when you have cold.  I put mint leaves and honey on mine.

This is always my Mom's medicine for us kids when we have a cold.  I like it very strong but  my kids can't take it when it is too strong so I only make it  mild when they have to drink it as well.

Lemonade Chiller with Cucumber and Mint

I planted two cucumber plants this year  but I tell you, it gave me so much   fruits.  I had to give away some of my harvest because we couldn't  consume it all.

It does gave me an opportunity to explore more about it in terms of what I can do with it.

I have never used cucumber in a drink but I  would say that I like it.  I had a lemonade chiller in my fridge and I used it to make a drink/smoothie with cucumber and mint, it was really refreshing!
Sometimes, you have these thoughts in  your mind  and ask "What if.." and you will never know what it is going to be if you don't try it.  In this case, it turned out really well and I am happy I listened to the voice in my head lol.  Even with just milk, ice, and cucumber, when you blend them together, it is good!

Busy in the Kitchen

Saturday is a busy day for us.  My daughter and husband  has classes in Duquesne.  Sometimes, son and I  goes with them  but most of the times, we stayed at home so I can do my cleaning and cooking.  My son and I stayed at home and did some cooking while the two went to school in Pittsburgh.  I cooked the salmon fillet I have in the freezer and loaded it with herbs and veggies.  It turned out delicious.  I also made some caramel apples and ginger tea.

How's your weekend?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Crescent Roll with Blueberry Compote

I have a can of crescent roll in the fridge and decided to bake it with a twist.  This is my first time trying it and   so glad I did, hubby loved it.  Now he is requesting for more.  I put some blueberry compote before rolling  the  dough.
I made the compote out of the berries that we bought in Strip District in Pittsburgh during our anniversary.  They were very cheap so we  bought like ten packages of them.  I made into a compote because they were  getting over ripe.  It is so good to put in a fresh bake bread.  

Canning Tomatoes 2014

Canning is one thing that I have learned since I moved  here in  the US.  My father-in-law taught me the process when we were still living in his house.  I will be forever grateful for that because I have  loved to can since then.  I love making my own  tomato/pasta sauce.  In the country where I came from, you can pretty much  grow your tomatoes all year round but over here, you can only do it during the warm weather, unless of course if you have a geen house, then you can grow  veggies during the cold season.  Anyway, here's how:

  • Make sure to wash all your  tomatoes.  The riper the tomatoes are the better, it's easier to peel.  
  • Boil a big pit of water  and dump it on the tomatoes.  You can put the tomatoes in the sink or you can use a basin big enough to hold all the tomatoes and the water.

  •  Wait till you see the skin of tomatoes cracks up and the water is cool enough to handle, then start peeling the skin off the tomatoes.  

  •  You can slice the tomatoes according to the size that you like.  The smaller size you cut them, the easier it is to put in the jar when  it is done cooking. 
  • When you are done peeling all the tomatoes, put it in a big pot.

  • Add water (I just estimate   how much water I put, usually, half amount of how much tomatoes are in the pot.  Add salt and  sugar (for sweetener, I used my NuStevia quick dissolve tabs from NunNaturals since I have a lot of them at home)
  • Slice  the ingredients that you like to put in the sauce.  Since I  usually use my sauce to make pasta or chili, I always add onions, peppers (hot and bell peppers), and sometimes, I add  mushrooms.
  • Here are the herbs I usually add: parsley flakes, oregano, black pepper,  and basil.

  •  Add everything in the pot and let it cook for about 1  and half hours till everything is cooked.

  •  Make sure to  sterilize your  jars and lids very well so that  the sauce would be preserved without problem.

  •  It is always  great to  taste your sauce if it needs salt or something that is missing.

  •  I usually use this measuring cup when canning because  it easier to  pour the sauce inside the sauce inside the jar especially if your jar has the small  mouth.

  •  I love the jars with big lids because  it is so much easier to  pour the sauce especially if it has chunks of tomatoes in it.

Well, I did four batches of canning this year  and I think I am done but let us see because I still have so many green tomatoes in the garden.  Canning requires a lot of work but it is worth doing because you are sure what's in the sauce that you are using  when you cook.  I love doing it as  I don't have to buy commercially made sauce from the store.

Individual Omelet

My husband works 4/10s now which means, he only work 4 days a week but each day requires 10 hours.  I kind of like it because it gives us extra days to be together  and it also gives him time to do his homework  from his master's course.  Another advantage of the 4/10 schedule is that, it saves  our car some gas mileage.

Anyway,  on Wednesday, he  had a flu shot from his work.  It was given for free  and it goes them 5 points for their  wellness program.  Usually, he gets sick when he get this flu shot but since it will give him point, he got it.  Sure enough, he was feeling bad  yesterday.  So after we walked and sent our kids to school, we proceeded to a speed walking for about 40 minutes then when we came home, I cooked us some  breakfast.  I made this individual omelet with  fresh tomatoes, scallions, and bacon.  I loaded it with sriracha sauce too.

I showed these photos to my kids and they wanted this for breakfast today, so that's what we have as well this morning.

Kids at Heart

If you have imaginative  and playful kids like mine, you will certainly learn how to play along to have fun!  In this photo, we are  sporting our cucumber braces after we ate breakfast hehehe.  Parents need to be  kid-at-heart when dealing or around  kids.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Kahlua Pot Roast

Inspired by Melissa d'Arabian's Ten Dollar Menu recipe from Food Network, I made  my own version of her Pot Roast Carbonade by changing some of the ingredients.  She used beer on her recipe but I used Kahlua on mine. Kahlua is a coffee liquor. I also added some Mirin (a Korean's sweet cooking rice seasoning) to it and it's absolutely savory.  So here's how.

You need: (no specific  measuring for this)
  • Beef (cut into desired  pieces)
  • One Onion (Chopped finely)
  • Dried Prunes (optional)
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Bacon, 2 strips
  • Kahlua (or beer)
  • Mirin (optional)
  • Render the fat of the lardon in a pan.  I didn't have lardon so I used the regular bacon. Set aside.
  • Caramelize the onion in a slow  heat.  Set aside when it's done.
  • Brown the  beef to the pan, add some oil if you need to (I didn't).  It's important that you brown  all of the sides of the  beef.
  • Add the kahlua or beer.  I only add like three tablespoon of it since I only have a small amount of beef.  
  • Add a couple table spoon of Mirin (this is optional)
  • Add the carrots, potatoes, prunes, bacon, and caramelized onions.  
  • Cooked in a medium high heat for about 20 minutes till  the veggies are cooked.
This dish reminds me of the  Filipino dish called Humba.  It was really delicious.  I think this would be a regular menu   at our kitchen since my  husband loved it.  We both ate two plates  with this menu.  Yeah, I know, diets ruined lol.  We ate it with rice and  kimchi.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Awesome Little Kitchen Tools from KitchenIQ

First of all, I would like to thank Ms. Fields for sending me these awesome little tools for my kitchen.  I received five multi-purpose  tools to review and I couldn't be happier as all of them  are great addition for my cooking to be easier and more fun.  I got  Zester,  Cheese Grater, knife sharpener,  3-in-1 mini prep,  and ginger grater.  
We have a sharpener that came with the knife set that we bought but to be able to use it effectively., you have to be in the right angle to achieve the right sharpness that you want and oftentimes, I failed to achieve that.  I always wait for my husband to  do it for me.  But now that I have this  Deluxe Edge Grip Knife Sharpener from KitchenIQ I can always o it anytime I want without a problem.  It is so easy to use 
There's two  stages of sharpening.  Thiere is a coarse for dull knives  and fine for finishing and light touch ups.  You can use the fine slot for serrated knives which I really like.
I absolutely love this sharpener.  When  my husband came home, it was the first thing that he  noticed.  He said that her Mom used to have  a sharpener like this and she  always used it to sharpened their kitchen knives.
I hate when my knife is so dull because cutting veggies is frustrating but  with a sharp knife, it is a lot easier and faster.
I love it when I have new tools in the kitchen because it inspires me to cook.  I prepared one of my family's favorite dish when I received these products, sauteed mung beans.
I have mentioned in my previous  posts that we started  making our  lemon water  since there is an abundance source of  lime nowadays.  The Better Zester  will be put to use  from now on  min making our lemon water.  What I love about this zester is that, it comes with a storage container with squegee.  I have never seen one like this before in the store so I am pretty impressed.  And oh, the  blades are really sharp.  Aside from the container, it also comes with a cover on top of the blade so when you are not suing it, it is safe to store and won't cut your hand  if you accidentally grab it.
I used it for the first time when I cooked  the other day and man oh man, the blade really is sharp.  It really does the job really well.
Even my daughter got excited because the next time she makes this Lime-Vanilla cupcake, she would be able to use it.
Another  essential ingredient in our kitchen that I always use is ginger so I am  super happy to have this Grate Ginger Tool.  Now, this is not a regular  grater that you  buy in store because this can peel, slice, grate and  juice fresh ginger and other aromatics like garlic, all of these  tasks in one tool.  Pretty Cool huh?
As I've mentioned above, ginger is one  product that we  usually use here at home especially during the winter.  I always make ginger tea  because it helps us not to get  cold or flu.  I always have ginger in the refrigerator or in the freezer because I use it every time I make  a dish with fish.  It makes the dish tastes better and it also eliminates the  fishy taste .  
The blade is super sharp and I love that it has cover  for the blade so when you are not suing it, you can safely  put the lid back and nobody gets cut.  As you can see in the photo, one side is for grating and one side is for slicing.  I love that the container in the middle is super easy to slide when you have to take the  ginger or garlic that you sliced or grated.  
Another favorite dish  if both my kids and husband is sauteed sardines  with veggies. 
 I remember the first time I made sardines, I thought for sure that my husband would not like it because  he is not very fond of fish but  gladly, he loved it!  So now, it became one of the regular dishes that I make when I miss home or when they crave for it.
I haven't use the Mini-Prep 3-in-1 tool but I am sure that this would really come in handy.  I am planning to make a pot roast tomorrow so I will update this with my own photo.  For now, I am sharing a photo I took from KitchenIQ website.  As you can see, there is a brush on one side which serves as a tool to clean  potato or carrot skin.  Then on the other side, it has the peeler and in the middle, there is a dicing blade that you can use to dice any kind of veggies.  This versatile little tool can clean and scrub, peel, slice, dice and chop any veggie! Whether preparing a nutritious smoothie, making vegetable soup or just fixing leftovers – this tool can handle it all.
UPDATE:  The 3-in-1 tool was  perfect to clean the carrots that  we harvested from our garden.  My son  had a ball using it, he cleaned  almost all of these carrots.  
The cutter  did a really great job in chopping the ends of the carrots.
The last but  not the least awesome tool that I got is this Cheese grater.  Just like the zester, it also has a lid on top of the  blade which is really nice.   We normally  use grated cheese  because we don't have  grater but now that we do, I think that I will start buying the whole cheese.
These grater is not only good for cheese but can also be used for chocolates, veggies like peppers, carrots, cucumbers, coconut, nuts, ginger, and garlic.  This would be grate to use when I make achara again.  I am so looking forward to that, I just have to  look for  kohlrabi.  
Thank you  once again Ms. Fields and KitchenIQ!  It's  so awesome to work with you.  Looking forward to working with you again in the future.  You can visit the website through the link above  if you want to learn more about KitcheIQ.  

Disclaimer: The author of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review. Opinions expressed is not in anyway influenced by other factors. The product/s mentioned above was provided for FREE for evaluation purposes.

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