Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I am so excited to share this dish with you. I had this for lunch just a few minutes ago and I can’t wait to blog about it:

homemade chicken nuggets and salad, by 240baon

I had some salad and chicken nuggets. Wait, these are not ordinary chicken nuggets. They are homemade, made from scratch chicken nuggets. This is the first time that I’ve attempted to make chicken nuggets and I’m very happy that they turned out really good.

I got the recipe from Yummy but you know me, I tweaked it a little.

You need some chicken breast fillet cut into nugget sizes. Marinate the fillets in 1 cup milk and 1T freshly squeezed calamansi juice. Put this in the ref for an hour or so. I think I left it for 2 hours.

In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, grated parmesan, salt, chili powder and one crushed chicken cube. You might notice that the cubes tend to stick together and end up in globs. To remedy this, Coat the globs with breadcrumbs and crush them again with your fingers. It will be fine like breadcrumbs and will mix easily. After that, just mix everything thoroughly.

Get another bowl and put some flour. In another bowl, break two eggs and add 2T of water. Beat.

Dredge the nuggets with flour, then dip them in the egg mixture and finally, dredge in the parmesan mixture. Make sure that each nugget is evenly coated.

The recipe called for a nonstick/oil spray but I didn’t have any so I just drizzled some canola oil on the nuggets and put them on a wire rack and baked them at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-25 minutes. The original recipe says 400 degrees but my mini oven can only do 250.

I kept an eye on the nuggets and turned them once in a while. The thinner the nuggets, the better in my opinion. I got one to try and oh, my…. They are absolutely the most incredible nuggets I’ve ever tasted (aside from McDonald’s on days when they do it right). It was a bit crunchy on the outside and soft and moist and juicy inside. You can actually see the juice dripping on the pan while baking. And I am proud to say that they are softer and juicier than McDonald’s nuggets.

The coating was light and the medley of flavors created by the breadcrumbs and parmesan and seasoning beats all those frozen nugget crap out there. The meat itself was a bit sweet with a little explosion of sourness from the calamansi and when you combine all these wonderful tastes, you get a chicken nugget that doesn’t need any sauce or condiment whatsoever. It was perfect. And we ate it straight out of the even. Yes, my sister didn’t care that it was hot. I  cut one in half and went upstairs and told her, “look at my pretty chicken nugget”. She snatched it and put it inside her mouth while I was left screaming, it’s still hot! She went down and asked for more before she and mum ate lunch. They also had the nuggets for lunch. She just had it for appetizers too.

The salad that I prepared was made up of mixed greens, olives, gourmet croutons (I think this was garlic and parmesan), oranges (I wanted Mandarin but we didn’t have any so I just cut one up) and the dressing was honey mustard vinaigrette. The sweet, sour, salty, a bit spicy was absolutely wonderful. It was a perfect light lunch indeed.

I used just half a tray of chicken fillets because I was worried that it might not turn out nice. There are only a few pieces left in the oven. I’m going to make some more later for dinner. I’m so excited for MB to try these. Homemade definitely beats frozen and fast food anytime. 
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

During the holidays, everyone was soooo busy straightening out the house and running around to buy presents and house stuff. I had to help out and although I was so tired already, I needed to cook for everyone especially if it’s just the boys and me. I needed to cook something fast and easy every time as I was also low batt already.

Here’s what I came up with one very late lunch time (cooking and preparation time is 30 minutes):

beef salpicao and pink salmon soup, by 240baon

Beef salpicao (recipe in the archives), pink salmon soup with wombok pechay, corn and carrots and salad. The meat was of course, for the boys. I wanted some soup. I needed to salvage the carrots and so I made that side dish. Salads are always present on the table whenever my mom or sister is there.

For dessert:

haagen dazs chocolate orange and watermelon and melon platter, by 240baon

I was feeling bad the night  before as I wasn’t able to eat some watermelon. After slaving in the kitchen for a couple of hours, they did not even think to put some fruit aside for me. They ate everything! So I did another fruit platter the next day and ate half of it. Haha!

Everyone loved this set. My sister especially loved the beef. I had to stop her from eating so that mom can taste some of it for dinner. All the rest were wiped out.
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

There was one dinner during the holidays that I had a break from cooking. I was surprised that my sister was busy cooking up a storm one afternoon. This is what went out of the kitchen that night:

Creamy Dory Pasta, by 240baon

Sorry for the blurry pics. I was too hungry already to adjust the settings. Anyway, this is a cream dory creamy pasta. I asked her how she made it. Here are the details:

1. Saute chopped garlic and onions. Then add chopped or crumbled cream dory. Wait for it to cook.
2. Add mushrooms. Allow those to cook then add cream. Season with salt, pepper and chopped parsley.

Oh, my. It was delicious! I always thought that fish and pasta DO NOT go together but I was so wrong with this dish! She was able to take out all the “fishy" taste and the dory was delicious! It is one very filling pasta though so you might want to eat in moderation.

Aside from that, she also made this:

homemade pesto, by 240baon

Homemade pesto from scratch. We do not have a food processor so she painstakingly cut the basil leaves with a pair of kitchen shears. She also used almonds instead of pine nuts. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Even MB liked it and MB does not like trying “weird” food.

pesto on baguette, by 24obaon

That’s my plate. I forgot to take a pic first before biting into the baguette. Teehee.. I loved this dinner! And I love it more because I didn’t have to lift a finger to prepare it!

dinner spread with creamy dory pasta, by 240baon
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Good morning everyone! I hope you've had some nice breakfast before going to work. 

For me, breakfast is the hardest to prepare. I envy people who are very creative with making and preparing breakfast. I now find it especially hard since MB and I are used to just eating bread from Bread Talk then that’s it. Now, we all eat together and I am tasked with preparing all the meals and breakfast just drives me crazy! So what I do is I prepare a whole bunch of things for them to choose from. –evil grin- That way, I don’t have to stress myself out and not be late for any appointments for the day.

If you are like me, you may find this useful:

ham and bacon breakfast spread, by 240baon

I bought a box of mini Danish pastries at French Baker and transferred them to a plate (para di mukhang takeout!) I also served bacon (only 2 slices for each person, masama sa heart!) and heated the leftover Fiesta ham and slices of ham from Cagayan de Oro, a pasalubong from a family friend.

breakfast spread - toast and sliced navel oranges, by 240baon

Further down are toasts, some mayo and some sliced Navel oranges. The Christmas balls are still there (mental note: change centerpiece) but this was before New Year. I also have a selection of drinks – mixed fruit juice, OJ, decaf coffee, Milo and Swiss Miss.

Here’s my plate:

my breakfast plate, by 240baon

I already got one of the blueberry Danish pastries. That’s the only flavor that I like.


mini danish pastries, bacon and ham breakfast spread, by 240baon

I only have 3 sets of placemats, 3 table covers and the black, white and red dinner plates that’s why you are seeing a repeat of everything. All the rest are just things I’ve accumulated through the years that is why it is my mission to find more table setting sets. I’m quite excited!
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I think dealing with holiday leftovers is every housewife/mom/chef-at-home’s dilemma after all the festivities has ended. Great if you have relatives and friends who asked for take aways but what happens when you’re stuck with all that food? First thing that I would do is get creative and transform the dish into something else. But what about the other dishes that are not “recyclable”? Me, I try to inject them one by one into our meals. Let’s take for example, this afritada:

leftover afritada setting, by 240baon

I knew everybody was sick of eating the leftover afritada so I cooked a light soup with canned pink salmon and wombok pechay. The light refreshing flavor of the soup was a nice break to the heavy, saucy nature of the afritada. I also added some simple greens with Mandarin oranges.


leftover afritada and extras, by 240baon


I also always try to make the setting appealing and a bit festive to make them feel like it’s still Christmas (but this was only two days after Christmas) hoping that they will eat more. Haha!

dinner afritada leftover setting, by 240baon

It was a good meal and we finally finished the afritada. How do you deal with leftovers?
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