Monthly Archives: December 2008

fiery fruity wings

got a party tonight? it’s not too late to make something to go with your bubbly, if you’re not under the gun from a snowstorm that is, and can still go out and score the ingredients. my minivan is starting to disappear in the snowdrifts…

chicken wings are America’s favorite party nibble and here’s a new take on it, fresh and fiery and fruity, my first try from “Wings” by Debbie Moose, from Wiley Publishing. (this is from the “fire it up” chapter). i really loved the combination of hot peppers and pineapple juice and peach preserves, it’s quite surprisingly, seriously, searingly delicious!

yup, it got a bit too charred under the broiler! i think i’ll do this over a charcoal grill…yeah right after the snowstorm :penguin:
this is a nice little collection of party dips also from Wiley’s, ranging from hot dips to cold dips and everything in between; great for cocktails and appetizers.

wings with fiery fruit glaze
2 cups pineapple juice
2 tbsps. plus 2 tsps. white wine vinegar
2 tbsps. sugar
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. garlic
1 tbsp. hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco, Frank’s Red Hot)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
12 wings, cut in half at joints, wing tips removed and discarded
1 12-oz. jar peach jam (used Bonne Maman peach preserves–i just mashed up the big pieces of fruit)
1 habanero, finely chopped, or more, to taste (i chickened out and used a milder serrano chile)

in a bowl combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, sugar, vegetable oil, garlic, hot pepper sauce, salt, and pepper. stir to dissolve the sugar.
place the wings in a resealable plastic bag. pour in the pineapple mixture and shake to cover the wings. refrigerate for 2 hours or as long as overnight.
place the jam and the habanero in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. heat, stirring, until the jam is melted. keep warm over low heat while cooking the wings.
prepare a gas or charcoal grill for direct cooking. remove the wings from the marinade and discard the marinade.
grill the wings for 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently or until done.
while still warm, place the wings in a large bowl and pour the warm glaze over them. toss to coat all the wings with the glaze.

p.s. my comments section has disappeared, i am so sorry my dear friends, i’m trying to fix it :scratch head: :fryingpan see you next year! that’s tomorrow! i’m very hopeful that 2009 has GOT to be better than 2008…happy new year to everyone!

Holiday glasses

i’ve had a bit of blurring in my vision lately. it’s quite frustrating actually! all my life it seems i’ve had this one terribly myopic eye, the left one, and it didn’t help that the environment i was raised in looked down on girls who wore glasses. you know why. the guys don’t make passes–just ask Ogden Nash!
i’m not that girl though… i just want to see clearly! i’ve had quite a few pairs of glasses, and i’ve had quite a lot of fun picking out the styles to wear. luxury is when you can get a different pair for every mood, for every look if you’re a die hard fashionista…or should i say, dare i say, fashion victim?
if i had my druthers though i’d get a pair of specs that came with sunglass shields…to give you an option when that blinding sun hits the glaring snow, when everything seems white hot and blinding…kind of like when you need to ski down the street in snow shoes to get to the corner store to buy the paper and milk for the kids. yeah it’s that blinding. and yeah like tomorrow here in Boston. we kind of forgot with the 60 degree F weather this weekend.

miniature raspberry almond tarts

it seems like a lot of work, but you can do things in steps, or, like i did something, like in this order:
wrap presents, grind almonds; address envelopes, make dough; pick up kids, make filling; shovel snow, bake cookies….you get the idea.

miniature raspberry almond tarts recipe from www. i made the almond paste from scratch to save big bucks–those blocks from odense Denmark cost almost $10 each; but since i found a source for bargain blanched skinned almonds i hauled bags and bags of them home and decided to go homemade all the way. tough times call for frugal tactics you know.
raspberry almond tarts
gooey inside, chewy almondy outside
the fillings sunk in the middle somewhat but as it did it offered up a little peek into the tart-sweet raspberry jam inside.

almond paste recipe from the joy of cooking; pili nuts would be the perfect substitute, or unsalted cashews, or even hazelnuts for a luxurious touch (my kids don’t like them too much).

merry Christmas! happy holidays! happy New Year!

turkey chili

i’m so behind with my posts…this should have been up right after Thanksgiving! but never mind, i’m sure there are a lot of turkeys still to be roasted for the upcoming Christmas/holiday festivities. to me, the roasting and all that it entails–the prepping, chopping, brining, anticipating, all that fuss!–is the fun of it all. not necessarily the eating.
turkey is really delicious straight out of the oven when it’s moist and juicy. after a few hours it starts to dry out and the blandness gets really pronounced (that’s why we need all those sides and gravies and stuffing) so we certainly end up with leftovers. and, it’s nearly impossible to find a bird smaller than 14 pounds!
so here’s a delicious leftover alternative to the usual turkey sandwich and turkey noodle soup and turkey-lugaw (congee/rice porridge) and the unusual turkey-paksiw (sweet vinegar stew). it surprised me because my kids loved it! quite unexpected. the only thing different i’d do for next time is to add another can of black beans. from Gourmet magazine,November 2008.
oh, and i do apologize for the lousy photo, but it tastes much better than it looks :opera:
turkey chili

* 1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
* 2 bell peppers (any color), cut into 1-inch pieces
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
* 2 teaspoon packed brown sugar
* 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
* 1 (19-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 cups cooked turkey, cut into 1-inch pieces

* Accompaniments: sour cream; sliced avocado; chopped white onion; lime wedges


Cook onion and peppers in oil in a heavy medium pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Add spices and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, breaking them up with back of a spoon, then add beans, water, and 1 teaspoon salt and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.

Stir in turkey and let stand, covered, until heated through, 5 minutes.

pinakbet in Saveur

can you tell from the photo that i overcooked my vegetables?

sigh. i tried anyway, because this is just the most soothing of all comfort foods–a saute of eggplant, yard long beans, okra, and squash in shrimp paste– and it WAS FEATURED in SAVEUR MAGAZINE!

i usually just wing it when i make pakbet by myself, sometimes calling my Ma for inspiration. it’s really swell to see that recipe in a magazine–the article is about Christmas in a little town in Pampanga. go get one, now!

J & R coupon code

husband has long been itching to switch our cable service–the previous one was just lousy and expensive and with pretty grim customer service. so during Thanksgiving week the cable guy came in and now i have a cable connection for a TV in the kitchen! and i can get to watch Tony Bourdain’s No Reservations reruns and BBCAmerica and the educational shows and documentaries (ahem!) and the free movie channels (available for a limited time only of course) while i’m chopping vegetables. of course i needed a “new” television, specifically a small, preferably LCD flat screen…for cheap! we always strive for the deep discount of course and the first thing we check is the second-hand market. i got really lucky and found one quickly, but now i need a wall mount so that the unit won’t take up precious space in my little kitchen. i got a j&r coupon code. this has always been our buying philosophy anyway–why buy full price?–but with the current economic situation, that is, the very dire recession, we need to be very thoughtful with our spending and save some for a “that rainy day”. it is possible to still afford some bit of comfort as long as you get smart and get online coupons.

Mr. Boston

so when i left Manila for Boston, a long long time ago it seems now,
i brought with me several cookbooks from the Philippines, happily anticipating my new status as Mrs. C.

what do you think i found in Mr. C’s cookbook arsenal?
Mr. Boston!
Mr. Boston! yup, his one and only “cookbook” was a bartender’s guide.
Mr. Boston was “the distributor of the largest line of fine liquors in the world,” according to the 1978 edition, of which i have quite fond memories: it was organized in alphabetical order, and my firstborn son was seen often browsing at the toddler stage. i think i taught him early ABC’s by letting him read Mr. Boston!
and though the distillery is long gone and is now just a name on a line of liqueurs and cordials the bartender’s guide lives on as The Guide, the veritable Booze Bible.
recently i received the latest edition from Wiley’s, and it is now quite sleek and modern, with beautiful photographs of all sorts of cocktails and mixed drinks, enough knowledge to start a second career if one so desires.
there is something to be said about the old edition, with its quaint and slightly bawdy illustrations.
however this latest edition is heftier–there are a lot of new cocktails–it has 200 new recipes culled from the eminent bartenders and mixologists from the US and beyond. and though you won’t find “hair raiser’s cocktail” (vodka, rock and rye, and lemon juice, shaken with ice and strained into a glass) anymore, there’s “hairy sunrise” (tequila, vodka, triple sec, orange juice and grenadien, garnished with a lime slice).
it is a substantive little volume, which i highly recommend for more than just its entertainment value–imagine all the possibilities of hosting a Mr. Boston party and all that shaking and stirring and pouring fun you could have with your friends!
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