Saturday, October 17, 2015

#160 Easy Dinner Rolls

While I was growing up in the Philippines, I've always wanted to make breads, I would day dream that someday I will have my own oven. Can you believe that it wasn't until I moved to California 8 years ago that the dream finally came true?! Breadmaking was just not something that was commonly done in  the kitchens of average households back then and most probably even until now. It costs  a lot to own a working oven in my former home country, gas is not cheap and it was so inexpensive to buy delicious pastries from a local bakery. I knew I was somehow different, and always wanted to create things from scratch, but the resources weren't there. Now I can bake as much as I can. I consider myself especially blessed. :) 
My daughter looooves eating bread, and so when I made these easy and delicious dinner rolls from scratch, she was in heaven. I enjoyed making it because it  was too easy and the house smelled yummy. I used organic ingredients,  and after hours or waiting, we had 24 soft and fluffy dinner rolls. It keeps well in the fridge and freezer,  this batch lasted for several days. You can just throw it in the oven for a few minutes to heat it up before serving. Ready to make your own? Here's how:

1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 packages yeast - Do not use the quick rising variety
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/4 cups flour
  1. Combine water and yeast in a large bowl, let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Add butter, sugar, eggs and salt. Stir it well.
  3. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mix well.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or you can make ahead up to 3 days.
  5. Grease 13 x 9 pan
  6. Turn dough out onto floured surface, divide into 24 pieces.
  7. Roll each piece to form a smooth round ball.
  8. Place in rows in greased pan, cover and let it rise for 1 hour or until the size doubles.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F for 17 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from here 

Organic Flour and  Yeast ( pack of 8) is available at a good price on :

#159 German Spaetzle

My daughter, who is an extremely picky eater loved eating Spaetzle with the Chicken Paprikash.  I'm glad I followed recommendations to make this side dish, my daughter thought it was perfect! It was very easy to make too!  We made this dish from scratch using organic flour, milk and eggs, butter and herbs. Although I recommend to buy organic always, it is not really required to make an outstanding dish. One thing I will do differently next time to make the shape better is to use my new Steel Spaetzle Maker. :)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. In another mixing bowl, mix the eggs and milk with a whisk.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients well, until thick and smooth. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add salt, then simmer.
  5. Now to make the spaetzle: use a colander or slotted spoon to form the spaetzle, add dough in small batches in while holding the over the simmering water, push the dough through holes with a spatula or spoon. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until it spaetzle floats to the surface.
  6. Remove from simmering water, and give it a quick rinse under cold running water. 
  7. Repeat 5 and 6 until you finish cooking all the dough.
  8. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add spaetzle. Toss gently to coat each spaetzle in butter and cook for about 2 minutes or until desired color is achieved. 
  9. Sprinkle with minced  chives and parsley, salt and pepper to taste before  serving.
  10. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from here

I need more practice though to make sure I do it perfectly the next time. Planning on  getting the steel spaetzle maker? It is currently available on amazon, just click on the image below to check on the availability and price. 

Here are a few of the ingredients for this dish, just click on the images below and it will take you to

Sunday, October 4, 2015

#158 Chicken Paprikash

Before moving to the US, I never used Paprika in my cooking. And I remember the first time I bought a bottle of the spice, it was for the Goulash that I made almost two years ago. Now, thanks to this blog, I learned that there a few varieties, and that the Hungarian Paprika has the strongest flavor of them all, and so I bought a bottle last weekend. This recipe is bursting with flavors! If you have kids or anyone joining for dinner who cannot stand the heat, then I recommend decreasing the amount of this fragrant red spice and the red pepper flakes. If you don't and you like intense heat, then by all means, dump as much Paprika as you can take, personally, I can never really have too much of it! :)
I also omitted the flour from this recipe, but if you need to thicken the sauce, then you can add about 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. It was still definitely delicious without it. :) I also list organic ingredients, but this is optional, it simply means I used the organic variety for that ingredient. I also created Spaetzle from scratch, it's a pasta that is highly recommended as a side dish, since I have eliminated all grains from my diet, my daughter gladly taste tested it and loved it. 
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  •  2 large organic onion, chopped
  •  3 cloves of organic garlic, minced
  •  1 cup water
  •  1 whole organic chicken, cut into pieces
  •  1 tsp. crushed
  •  red pepper flakes
  •  4 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  •  1 8 oz. organic canned diced tomatoes  
  •  1 8 oz. organic sour cream
  •  2 tbsps. flour (optional, you can do without)
  •  salt and pepper to taste 

  1. Heat olive oil, add onion, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and paprika. Stir together until onion is translucent. Add chicken and the water. Cook over medium heat for 1 hour, adding more water if necessary.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, reserving liquid. Stir liquid into a medium bowl with sour cream; mix until well blended, then slowly add mixture to chicken, stirring constantly. Cook until well blended. If adding the flour, stir it with the sour cream and diced tomatoes liquid and cook until the sauce is thickened.  Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy it! 

Here are my pre-shopped ingredients  for you, just click on each image and it will take you to :

#157 France's Daube de Beouf (with rosé)

About a month ago, we had dinner at the Left Bank Brasserie in Santana Row. That night a Braised Short Ribs was the special. They cooked it in wine, we were curious and so we tried. It was nice, different and the meat was really tender. Since then, I was on search of a good beef French recipe. I found one, and tweaked it. Since I only had a rosé from the Copolla Winery, I used it instead of running to the grocery store. One thing I learned from making this dish, is this: the wine truly intensifies the flavor of the meat and herbs.  I also bought a dutch oven, which I have always procrastinated in buying. I am now a proud owner of one and a learned more about French flavors. It was delicious!

  • 3 pounds trimmed grass fed beef chuck, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 medium onions
  • 12 oz. rosé wine
  • 4 garlic gloves
  • 4 cups organic beef broth
  • 3 springs of organic fresh thyme, fresh parsley and fresh bay leaves in cheese cloth
  • 10 organic potatoes
  • 2 large organic carrots
  • 1 tablespoon red vinegar

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Season the beef with salt and white pepper. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add beef and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes; reduce the heat if the meat browns too quickly. Transfer the meat to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef. 
  2. Add onions for about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the wine, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the casserole. Add the beef back to the casserole along with the stock and herb bundle. Bring to a boil, cover and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is super tender.
  3. Add the potatoes and carrots carefully into the stew, cover and bake for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked according to your taste. Discard the herb bundle. Stir in the Dijon and vinegar, season with salt and white pepper and then serve.

Note: The enameled cast-iron casserole is very heavy, handle carefully to prevent burns. 
Recipe adapted from here

It was perfect!

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#156 Cuba's Ropa Vieja

I learned today that Cuban Cuisine is a mix of Native America Taino food, Spanish, African and Caribbean Cuisine. Rice, Beans and Meat are omnipresent, soups and stews are commonly prepared. For flavor, they use a lot of citrus fruits, tomato, vinegar, garlic, onions, peppers, capers, olives, white wine or beer.
This dish was delicious. Ropa Vieja means old clothes in Spanish. It is a shredded beef dish simmered in tomato sauce. I made it in the slow cooker and cooked it for more than 4 hours. The result? The meat was falling apart and bursting with flavors! I didn't eat it with yellow rice and fried plantain bananas and beans.. I will make sure to include those items the next time I make it for a more authentic experience.



  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • 2 pounds grass-fed flank steak
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 large onion 
  • sliced red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon organic olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • chopped cilantro and sour cream for garnishing (optional)

  1. Brown beef in heated organic coconut oil. 
  2. Transfer beef in a slow cooker and then add the next 10 ingredients. Cook in high for 4 hours.
  3.  Serve with rice, friend plaintain bananas, and if you like, sour cream and freshly chopped cilantro.

I love it! Can't wait to make it again!

Below are ingredients I pre-shopped for you, click on each item and it will take you to

#155 Eggless Tapioca Pudding

I love to eat pudding as a dessert or a savory dish. The word pudding is believed to come from the French word boudin , originally from the Latin botellus, meaning "small sausage". Where did it originate? Nobody really knows where exactly, but the British claim it as part of their culinary heritage. 
I make ahead a couple or jars or two, this helps a lot during my busy week day schedule. It keeps in the fridge for 7 days with no problem! :) 

This is so easy to make. We omitted the eggs, and so this pudding only has 3 ingredients. Ready?
  • 1/4 cup tapioca pearls
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  1. Soak tapioca pearls for about 30 minutes. Do not drain.
  2. Add milk, cook in medium heat until boiling then simmer in lowest heat for 15 minutes, or until done. 
  3. Sweeten to taste, or add fruits to sweeten. Enjoy!

Buy your Tapioca Pearls on, just click on the image below: