Sunday, 29 April 2012

Meatloaf Dinner

For a healthy option for dinner or packed lunch, one can make this meatloaf a day ahead to have one day less to worry during the work week. 

chopped fresh button mushrooms
cubed red bell peppers

an egg

250 grams of lean meat (chicken or pork)

mixing everything


  • 250 grams ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium sized bell pepper, cubed
  • 1 cup fresh button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped (omitted)
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
  • rosemary, thyme and parsley
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp mustard


  1. In a bowl, mix ground pork, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions (optional), eggs, bread crumbs and shredded carrots. Season with garlic powder, mustard, salt and pepper. Optional seasoning with rosemary, thyme and parsley.
  2. Separate the mixture into two equal parts. Form each into a roll and cover with foil.
  3. Steam for 45 minutes. Let it cool for 15-20 minutes. Cut into 1" slices. 
  4. Pan fry each side for about 8 minutes or until it turns brown. Serve with rice or mashed potato.

For dinner or lunch bag

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Lately, I have been addicted to Food Network (again). I'm not usually a tv fan but when it comes to Food Network (or any other fancy cooking channel), I'd watch it anytime of the day! :) So when I saw Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) make the Cream of Mushroom easily, I thought, why not make one for the little tot? :)

Below is the original recipe I got from FoodNetwork website. I didn't follow everything. As always. :D

  • 5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 ounces fresh portobello mushrooms
  • 5 ounces fresh cremini (or porcini) mushrooms (I used white button mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves, divided (I used dried thyme)
  • Kosher salt (I used sea salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks) (omitted)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine (omitted)
  • 1 cup half-and-half (omitted)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (I used the regular parsley)

Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a dry paper towel. Don't wash them! Separate the stems, trim off any bad parts, and coarsely chop the stems. Slice the mushroom caps 1/4-inch thick and, if there are big, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

To make the stock, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped mushroom stems, the onion, carrot, the sprig of thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. You should have about 4 1/2 cups of stock. If not, add some water. (I added chicken bones to make my own stock)

Meanwhile, in another large pot, heat the remaining 1/4 pound of butter and add the leeks. Cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until the leeks begin to brown. Add the sliced mushroom caps and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir for another minute, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the mushroom stock, minced thyme leaves, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the half-and-half, cream, and parsley, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and heat through but do not boil. Serve hot.

A drop of cream and paired with a slice of bread - perfect way to warm the tummy!

Friday, 27 April 2012

New York Cheescake

You can garnish with fresh fruits or make a compote

Thought of making NY Cheesecake with strawberries as toppings. I didn't know it was this complicated! Argh. I didn't use graham crackers because it was so darn hard to find one.

  • 3 packs 300 grams cream cheese 
  • 1 1/4 cup golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 yolk (omitted the additional yolk)
  • 284ml carton sour cream
Sour Cream topping
  • 142ml carton sour cream
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  1. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups flour and sugar. Blend in the melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared greased pan. Cook for about 12 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius. Remove from oven after baking the crust.
  2. Position an oven shelf in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to fan 160 degrees Celsius. Line the base of a springform cake tin with parchment paper.
  3. For the filling, increase the oven temperature to 200 degrees Celsius. Beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar with slow beating, then the flour and a pinch of salt, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  4. Use whisk and add the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add in the eggs one at a time. Stir the 284ml carton of sour cream until smooth. Then measure 200ml (just over 3⁄4 of the carton). Continue on low speed as you add the measured sour cream (reserve the rest). Whisk to blend, but don't over-beat. The batter should be smooth, light and somewhat airy.
  5. Brush the sides of the springform tin with melted butter and put on a baking sheet. Pour in the filling - if there are any lumps, sink them using a knife - the top should be as smooth as possible. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 110 degrees Celsius and bake for 30 minutes more. If you gently shake the tin, the filling should have a slight wobble in the middle. Turn off the oven and open the oven door for a cheesecake that's creamy in the centre, or leave it closed if you prefer a drier texture. Let cool in the oven for 2 hours. The cheesecake may get a slight crack on top as it cools.
  6. Combine the reserved sour cream with the 142ml carton, the sugar and lemon juice for the topping. Spread over the cheesecake right to the edges. Cover loosely with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  7. Run a round-bladed knife around the sides of the tin to loosen any stuck edges. Unlock the side, slide the cheesecake off the bottom of the tin onto a plate, then slide the parchment paper out from underneath.

Yum yum butter.

Butter and the flour mixture


My flaky crust

2 week old lemon :D

Lemon zest

Adding the vanilla

Mixing in the egg

See the bubbles? Pop them.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Hukad in Abreeza

We had dinner at Hukad at Abreeza Ayala Mall a night before we left. It was pretty busy for a weekday night.  We had to wait for 20 minutes to be seated.

I had the Sago't Gulaman. As always, this didn't fail me. Just as long as the sago's cooked well and the drink's sweet, I'm good baby!

Sago't Gulaman
The Blue Marlin was good. It could've been better with the serving portion but I guess it was pretty ok.
Sizzling Blue Marlin
The Bicol Express was really disappointing. As you can see, there's more fat than meat. The taste was ok but of course one would want to eat meat rather than fat, right?
Bicol Express
My daughter enjoyed this soup, but I can't for the life of me remember what this was. She had this soup with chicken and had 3 servings!
Some tinola soup
Chicken Pandan was so-so. They used meat with some bones and it was a let-down for me. To add, they provided vinegar based dipping sauce which is not technically a pair for the chicken pandan.
Chicken Pandan
This dish was just so-so. The husband wasn't really blown away however my parents were pleased with the added twist of crispy pork in this traditional Filipino dish.
Crispy Dinuguan

The humba was nice because there was a good balance of meat and the fat. If you're a humba lover, you'd like this because the skin is tender and the sauce was really savory.
They serve unlimited rice! So for you rice lovers and in the mood for Filipino cuisine, then head to Hukad. Just don't expect too much when you're there during peak hours. :D We actually cancelled one dish we ordered because we were almost done eating when we remembered that we were missing the pancit canton. Good thing they also forgot about it, so no need to feel guilty that they cooked and we cancelled it. Hee hee

Overall, our experience in Hukad was average. I would give it a score of 7/10 because the food wasn't really great and the service didn't impress me much. However, I may give it another try next time but it should be off peak hours.

2nd Floor Abreeza Mall
JP Laurel Avenue, Davao City
Price per person: Php150-200

Monday, 23 April 2012

Lumpiang Shanghai

I had a hard time deciding what to cook for lunch because I only had ground meat in the fridge. Then I remembered, I wasn't able to eat Lumpiang Shanghai in Davao last month. Darn that tight schedule. So today, we're having Lumpiang Shanghai for lunch! :)

  • 200 grams ground lean pork 
  • 1 tsp onion powder (can use fresh medium onion, chopped)
  • 1 carrot, grated 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tsp black pepper 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 pc medium sized egg
  • 20-30 pcs spring roll wrappers 
  • 1 1/2 cup canola oil for frying 


In a bowl, combine ground pork and shredded carrot. You can opt to use fresh onions instead of onion powder.  I only used onion powder because I don't like fresh ones :) It's better to use your hands when mixing the meat.

Using a smaller bowl, combine all the seasonings (soy sauce, pepper, garlic/onion powder, and salt). Mix well before adding into the meat mixture.  Add the egg and combine thoroughly.  Just a tip, try to fry a tablespoon of the mixture to try the taste.

Use a flat plate and lay out the wrappers. Place a tablespoon or two in a line on the center of the wrapper. The filling should be about half an inch thick and leave about half an inch space on both sides of the wrapper. Roll from one side up to the top sealing the roll but leaving the sides open.  Cut the rolls into 4 or 5 pieces depending on your liking.

Heat the oil on a heavy skillet. Make sure the oil is really hot to cook the rolls thoroughly, not just the wrapper.  When the lumpia turns brown, you can turn it over and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Serve with sweet and sour sauce and lotsa rice!

shredded carrots

Thick spring roll wrappers

Rolled and cut into small pieces

Crunchy spring rolls

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Wine and Cheese Pairings

The husband and I have been planning to have a wine and cheese pairings night. Actually, it was just me who thought about it and when I told him, he said yes, let's have one. I'm not really a wine person. I just don't find it pleasurable to drink wine. Give me free flowing iced tea and I'm good.  Jologs. :P To be honest, I just thought of the pairings night because I wanted to eat a lot of cheese. I was probably a rat in my past life. And it seems that my tot has acquired my love for cheese, too! :D 

When I visited Carrefour, I saw some nice selection of cheese. And a few days before, I was able to read on Patty Laurel's blog about her favorite cheeses. I only remembered the Tomme part, but unfortunately I picked the wrong one.  It's supposed to be Tomme De Savoie! Oh well. But this one is good :) According to Wiki, Tomme des Pyrénées is a French rustic cheese, usually seen covered in a thin black skin.

Tomme Noire des Pyrenees
I saw this Camembert at a discount, of course I had to get one! :) According to Wiki, Camembert is a soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow's milk cheese. It was first made in the late 18th century in Normandy in northern France.
Discounted Camembert. Yay!!

Grapes, Quesadillas, crackers, batard slices, cheese clices

On the table with the wine
I added quesadillas since I think the husband won't feel full if we'll only have bread, crackers, cheese and grapes for dinner. :D Also, I didn't get any dried fruit because I felt they're too sinful (loaded with sugar) and they're crazy expensive here!

We had moscato wine paired with our cheeses because that's what my friend (who studied hospitality in AU) recommended.  Good thing the husband found a cheap one! :D I loved the moscato even if I'm not a wine fan. I think I had 4 glasses.  That explains why I feel a bit dizzy or having palpitations right now. Hihi

I look forward to more of these.  Because I want to eat more CHEESE!! :D

Saturday, 21 April 2012

SOL Tasca

My Sangria Blanca - 1 for 1 S$14
Salteado de setas - sauteed wild mushrooms, sherry and grated manchego cheese S$7

Bistec Coca - Flank steak a la plancha, tomatoes, rucola, cheese S$16

Croquetas de bacalao - salted cod croquettes S$8

Pollo al ajillo - Roasted chicken leg with garlic and smoked paprika S$10

Lubina con ensalada agria - Slow roasted bass fillet on citrus fruit salad S$10

Paella Negra - squid ink, octopus, shrimps, mussels, clams, chorizo S$26

Churros - Spanish donuts served with hazelnut chocolate S$6

SOL Tasca
3 Fullerton Road #01-04
The Fullerton Waterboat House
Singapore 049215
Tel: (65) 6533 8913
Sol Tasca's Menu (not updated)
SOL Tasca (Facebook)