Friday, March 25, 2011

Cold Weather Series: a warm and hearty bowl of soup

Scott's mum makes kick ass soup and she taught me that the most important thing is in making the broth. When all the frozen soup that Scott's mum left last Christmas ran out, I have to teach myself how to make  homemade soup. I learned in the process that in making a good soup, you need a lot of patience and preparation time.

The pictures below were from the Squash Soup drizzled with Virgin Coconut Oil that I made. Its a refine version of my favorite Ginataang Kalabasa.

How to make a vegetable stock (recipe from Martha Stewart's Dinner at Home p. 261)
(about 2 quarts)

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large celery stalked, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
10 cups of water
8 sprigs each of parsley, basil, thyme
1 dried bay leaf
1/4 tsp salt
whole black peppercorns and a dash of ground pepper

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium. Add onion and garlic stirring often until golden brown (about 10 min). Add celery and carrots, cook until vegetables are tender. If you have left over white wine, now is the time to deglaze it before adding 10 cups of water.

Stir in water, herbs, peppercorns, ground pepper and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.

Cover with parchment paper with a hole in the middle (I got this technique from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home p.120). Leave it for an hour.

Strain stock through a fine sieve

Meanwhile, put carrots, broccoli, squash, mushrooms or whatever vegetable you want to flavor the soup in a roasting pan. Add sliced onions, a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 20 mins or when vegetable is tender at 120 C.

Add the roasted vegetables to the stock and using an immersion blender, puree the vegetable until it is smooth, adding cream is optional. You can add croutons or grated cheese on top before serving.

Cold Weather Series: Croissant and a cup of coffee

Its almost the end of March and it supposedly the warmest time of the year here in Phuket. Strangely, we are getting cold weather and with it, unfortunately, brought an annoying case of cold in our household. Dow, Sea and I are the victims to be precise. Scott was spared because of his daily intake of fresh orange juice, mangoes and a vitamin C supplement.

So, with our 2 help not being able to work and me having a bed rest most of the time, I decided to make comfort food for this good-for-snuggling-but-not-when-you-have-a-cold weather.

I made this puff pastry ahead of time and I will post the recipe soon. This homemade flaky on the outside and a good bite in the inside croissant really made my morning.

I skipped brushing an egg yolk on the crust that is why it does not have a deep golden brown top..I thought it would save me some calories (not that it makes a big difference).

When I was waiting for this to bake, I thought, am I overdoing it by making my own croissant?

But I think all that midnight kneading was worth it when the smell of  butter and dough enveloped our apartment. It made our house a home.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

is that apple's? no, banana!

Simo is a new staff in the office. He met my upside down banana cake first before meeting me in person. So, when he was enjoying my (ahem) fast-getting-famous or more of shooting-to-super stardom banana cake..Kate saw him eating and asked, "is that Apple's?". Simo, "No, banana."..

As powerful as the protest going on in the Middle East...people are clamoring for transparency which left me with no choice :(. So, due to insistent public demand, and with a heavy heart,  i will  reveal the secret to my Upside down Banana and Chocolate Chip Cake here..

Sunday, March 6, 2011


my last entry was dated November 15! like, how lazy can i get? i've been engaged, Christmas and New Year passed by and a lot of things happened to me..there you go! that's a perfect excuse right there.. a lot of things happened to me. so, welcome to 2011!! a bit late but better late than never as they say.

so, what brings me back to writing. nothing. as in nothing. its an easy breezy Sunday..i'm a bit lazy to cook, downloaded a lot of good stuff to (True Grit and Treme) which I can't wait to watch. so I boiled some potatoes, turned the aircondition on, take out the raclette griller and voila! the smell magically transported me to the swiss alps (my dog is going crazy right now)..

better get some warm blankets to snuggle while watching a movie :P
what's your favorite TV dinner?