Monthly Archives: December 2006

trifling with crema de frutas

yehey, Santa made it…just barely, but he sure rewarded the kiddies for their hardwork and nice-ness all year long. only mama got all the charcoal :melodramatic:

“christmas is past. it’s gone. it sure was fun,” #2son told me at the day’s end. he looked forlorn. i asked him what he liked the most–he said he enjoyed being the elf at the family party and handing out the presents. i told him, isn’t it such a wonderful day to look forward to, all year long? then there’s still new year’s eve you know… “yeah, but no presents.”


so we have our little cozy appetizer filled evening counting down to the New Year. and this little dessert to accompany the noise-making and well-wishing.
crema de frutas

this is something that i will always associate with holidays in the Philippines. invariably we’d always get one as a present from one of my parents’ work colleagues or a visiting relative. i just changed the presentation a little bit.. Continue reading

santa says…

it’s okay not to be perfect!

santa says it's okay!

wishing you all a very happy merry holiday, however and whenever you celebrate it… i am now running so way behind in my idealized schedule that i’ve stopped trying to catch up. anyhow, i do believe Santa is on his way and my kiddies will have a happy jolly morning tomorrow. i was able to make at least this fruitcake to go with our late night dinner. it’s the hot toddy fruit cake from Jane Hornby in bbc Good Food magazine, December 2006 issue. delicious, fragrant, pretty (i added Brazil nuts and walnuts, and used dried peaches,figs and pitted dates)–but it was a horror to get out of the purportedly nonstick pan, which was even greased and floured. puzzling! need to work on it some more. next year. :fryingpan i’ve seen this billed as jeweled fruitcake and Murrumbidgee cake or something like that…i favor it because it has no molasses and is more like a studded bejeweled beguiling pound cake.

and this is one of the things i have to deal with everyday: that’s the tree skirt, which is supposed to go around the base of the tree stand, but it is instead attacked and wrestled to the middle of the room by this strange plume-tailed creature who has taken over our house and covered us all in white fur….

meowy whiskmas everybody!

Danishes for de-stressing

when i feel like a tightly wound-up coil (cobra?) i like to mix and stir and roll out dough and bake to unwind. after a day of dodging jittery motorists and distracted pedestrians and trips to the pediatrician and schools and a beautiful middle school concert, i decided to bake. but i didn’t want to make Christmas cookies yet, i just really had to try out this new recipe from the New York Times’ dining section, December 13 issue.

we used to enjoy this famous grocery-store brand frozen cheese danish which they sadly discontinued. i read through this recipe and thought, it sounds the same and it looks easy. i’m glad i did try, for the filling is  nearly identical in taste (maybe just missing a bit of transfat badness?).  i was a bit apprehensive at first because it doesn’t call for any rising time for the dough, just resting and chilling times, but it did turn out tender and tasty. i might try neufchatel (light cream cheese) next time, and i might even try for a home-made Danish pastry dough. maybehhh:fryingpan.

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black bean and chipotle dip

“the Christmas stuff” has been derailed, hit a snag, sidelined…i have two sick boys at home so it is very clear that i have to prioritize well and just…yield to the circumstances. i am anxious about my boys, but i do like this little break from the frantic pace.

i made them steak burritos for dinner.
while on a quick trip to the supermarket, with no idea what to cook, anxious, no appetite, but knowing i had to make something easy, at the meat case i found skirt steak which husband has been hankering to try as a main-course pan-grilled steak. then i remembered this bean dish i read about in “fine Cooking” magazine (december 2006). so steak burritos to the rescue…

chipotles en adobo

essential to this recipe is this little can of hot smoked jalapenos (chipotles) in adobo sauce (no relation to Pinoy adobo). the recipe calls for two peppers and three tablespoons of the sauce, but if milder is better, just use the sauce.



party food? :yes: great as a dip or to wrap up with sliced grilled steaks in soft tortillas. a warning, though: it’ll make you want to drink a lot of tall frosty cervezas
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cooking up a Christmas

at least i got the tree up, thanks to husband (for muscle might) and #2son (ornament helper/coaxer for mom to get going).

wouldn't be the same without...

but there are a gazillion things to do! looking at my list checking things off as they’re done….pogi!

the entertainment has been swell meanwhile, and i still can’t believe the young man is my #1son looking all grown up and dashing :grandma: seems like he was just a babe in my arms not too long ago, *sniffsniff*:melodramatic:
we’ve had to be creative with the rushed dinners and tight schedules but i managed these new ways with two old favorites:

saffron roasted potatoes from Delia Smith and veal stew a la,er, ahem, tellienie…i made it up, a product of indecision and not wanting to cook with any kind of cream since all the recipes with veal i found seemed to call for it.

saffron roasted potatoeseasy veal stew Continue reading

black forest slices

a new look for an old favorite.

dark chocolate is now almost a vegetable right? i mean in the way that it is so good for you.

i’m interpreting it thus: eat! eat! eat! (in moderation, and once in a while in a sinful cake.)

this is my dad’s favorite which we always tried to get him for his birthday.

i know my kiddies won’t touch it if i slather on the kirsch so i used raspberry liqueuer, sparingly. it’s a bit of an “epic fail” as my #1son might call it; it doesn’t look too good. but taste-wise, when i asked them, they were speechless. “mmmmmm” was all i could hear.

black forest cake

the sponge cake recipe is from The Chocolate Bible of Christian Teubner.

memo to self: mix the batter in a warm kitchen, and not on the coldest day of the year (so far) so that the chocolate won’t seize up and shiver and refuse to blend in with the meringue. i think that’s why the cake didn’t rise up to the occasion and i got really skinny slices.

i also forgot the garnish of chocolate curls/shreds…which may account for the cookie monster look. do you see it?
a slice of black forest cake

burgundied cherry recipe from The Cake Bible of Rose Levy Beranbaum. i substituted raspberry liqueur for the kirsch.

brandied cherries for black forest cake