Monthly Archives: January 2008

spicy chicken

…based on Martin Yan’s Sichuan boneless chicken from A Wok for All Seasons.
can’t believe i haven’t posted this yet, one of my favorite winter foods, and it’s quick and easy to make.

5 chicken thighs, cut into bite size chunks with a cleaver (or use boneless chicken thighs; adjust cooking time)
2 tbsps. soy sauce
1 tsp. cornstarch

sauce ingredients:
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. Shao Hsing rice wine
4 tsps. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
3/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. hot pepper paste

vegetable or canola oil for frying
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 spring onion, sliced thinly
1-inch knob of ginger, minced
6 pieces dried red chili peppers

marinate chicken in soy sauce and cornstarch for at least 30 minutes.

heat the wok, add the oil and brown chicken until it is no longer opaque and is caramelized.
transfer chicken to a platter. remove excess oil, then stir fry the garlic, ginger, green onions and chili peppers.
add the sauce ingredients, mix well, then simmer until chicken is done. add broth or water as needed.

serve over hot steamed rice.

a loaf of bread

an easy white bread recipe. a bedimpled baby loaf.

i followed the recipe faithfully (from the back of the King Arthur’s all purpose flour paper sack), and it came out with a lovely brown crust and tender crumb.

3 cups all purpose flour (or use a combination of all purpose plus white wheat flour; i used only all-purpose)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup hotwater, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
4 tbsps. melted cooled butter
3 tbsps. sugar
1 & 1/4 tsp. salt
1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tbsp. water or 2 teaspoons instant yeast (i used the latter type)

in a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6-8 minutes or until it becomes soft and supple. (or knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle.)
transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

transfer the dough to alightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8-inch log. place the log in a lightly greased 8& 1/2 inch by 4 & 1/2 inch loaf, pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s crowned about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. a finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

bake the bread in a preheated 350F oven for about 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or measuring its interior temp. with an instant-read themrmometer (it should register 190F at the center of the loaf). remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack before slicing. store bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.

quadruple-rich cookies

i call these “instant replay” cookies; also known as, “don’t tell Kuya[big bro] we have cookies or else he’ll come home from college and eat them all up” cookies.
use any combination for the chocolate chips. quadruple? well, Droste cocoa + white chocolate chip + semi sweet chocolate chip + milk chocolate chip=sticky kisses from your kiddies, i guarantee it!

based on double rich chocolate chip cookies from Mrs. Fields.
(and yes i did call Kuya and he did almost eat them all up so i had to bake them all over again :fryingpan .)
2 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup dutch-processed (unsweetened) cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter (i used Land O’Lakes), room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 tsps. vanilla

2 cups chocolate chips (i used 1 cup white chocolate, 1/2 cup dark, and 1/2 cup milk)

preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and whisk well. in a large mixer bowl, combine white and dark brown sugars and butter and mix well over medium speed until grainy and homogenized.
add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl after each egg. add vanilla and beat well.
on low speed add the cocoa-flour mixture and the chocolate chips, then mix just until blended. do not overbeat.

chill cookie dough for at least 15 minutes.

scoop out tablespoonfuls (use a small ice cream scoop or two tablespoons) into parchment-lined cookie sheets then bake about 22-24 minutes (depending on your oven! be vigilant! or else they’ll be too crispy and bitter or burnt! arrrghhh!)

note: on my oven, i use the convection setting and so am able to bake two cookie sheets at a time. it might be different for your oven; conventional ovens may need only 18 minutes, one cookie sheet at a time.

so not over you…

well sort of.
this is a Belgian chocolate Santa that the kids and I demolished not too long ago. there’s still a snowman and a reindeer and a few pralines from Salzburg….alright! alright! i’ve been bad, i admit it! so spank me.

i was quite sad, putting away the Christmas ornaments this year…though not about the Christmas tree! i was really ready to chuck that out, it was taking up too much space.

heavenly Fashion

I must admit that I spend a lot of time browsing at clothing store websites just to check out the fashion scene. I do steal glances at the current issues of Vogue and In Style and one of my favorite reality shows is Project Runway. My ma used to call me “Pitay Moreno” for the drawings I made (an allusion to the great Pitoy Moreno of the Philippines) as a tweener during my feeble attempts at being artistic.
Yes I am a closet fashionista, or shall I say a wannabe fashionista, since I look quite the sloppy shaggy fashion slob?

I found this sweet white blouse at for contemporary clothing.
This is just the type of blouse that I would wear, but I wouldn’t dare, I think that it’s quite too young for me now. I would pick it for my 13-year-old daughter, but lately I’ve noticed that she’s picking more edgy, colorful, bolder designs… and they have that as well. In spades!

What can’t be beat for this terrific, with-it, youthful, edgy junior clothing, is the prices. As the parent of growing-faster-than-weeds-or-bamboo children, I say this is quite a find.

How about this tank top, for her of course! for $5.95?
They have everything…accessories, jackets, coats, sweaters, in that bold California style that most teens really swoon for. Everything at $17.95 or less! At their prices, with free shipping for orders over $75, you can fill up your shopping cart quite easily and make your teenager, or your inner teenager, quite thrilled.

my first German

…Wusthof knife, that is!

i should have gotten one sooner. i’ve never had so much fun slicing and dicing (and i haven’t even seen Sweeney Todd and hated the Hannibal movie, Silence of the Lambs).
i’m definitely getting more (but never at full price hehehe).
a fish filleting knife is next on my list.
so timely that i watched Anthony Bourdain’s 2008 premiere episode set in Singapore featuring chicken Hainanese that called for copious amounts of ginger, garlic and scallions.

clean hair, on the fly!

Do you have oily skin?
I do. And if you don’t, I can tell you that it’s really a pain, a nuisance, a discomfort. I still think this despite the fact that purportedly oily skin is an advantage over dry skin, in that one is less prone to wrinkles and lines and crow’s feet.

One of the greatest disadvantages to oily skin is oily scalp, and greasy hair. The only way to combat the shiny sheen, the oily awful feeling is to wash your hair often, and if you’re lucky enough to have the time, to wash it whenever it’s oily.
Some of us don’t have the luxury of time, so this dry shampoo is a godsend.
Imagine a shampoo that you can apply to your hair to get that cleansed clean feeling.
I’ve wished for this product, ever since I can remember. Especially when I was stuck in the hospital for abdominal surgery and was unable to walk to the shower with no one to help me wash my hair. It was just the most horrible unbearable feeling in the world.
This product would have helped me avoid that greasy unkempt feeling!
Now imagine if you were at work all day long, and had to go out to a date or a business function in the evening, with no time to go home and wash that hair…they even have products to match your natural hair color! I’d pick the silver product for my salt and pepper locks. It leaves no residue, and leaves hair shiny and manageable. Imagine how fresh and clean you’d feel. I think that’s pretty priceless.