Nilagang Beef (Boiled Beef) …using pressure cooker

NilagangBaka-thenotsocreativecook2

One of the torturing things when cooking is the waiting period. Agree? :D

I love beef, but when it comes to cooking beef cubes or beef with bones, you will have to wait for too long. It’s been a while since I have not cooked beef because the cooking time hinders me to do so. I am not patient enough to wait for two hours or even more.

NilagangBaka-thenotsocreativecookMy Mom used to cook with pressure cooker but it was long time back. I could still remember the way it whistles and how tender the beef was. I didn’t have any plan to buy pressure cooker until I have eaten one delicious, tender beef. The first thing came to my mind was the cook was so genius and patient enough to wait for that long to wait for the beef to be tender. It didn’t occur to me that the cook may have used pressure cooker for that dish.

NilagangBaka-thenotsocreativecook2When I posted How to Tenderize Beef/Meat for Tricky Tuesdays, Nimmi and Selma mentioned about pressure cooker. From that moment, I felt that I needed to get myself one. And just last month, a generous and very kind friend gave me the pressure cooker of my dreams. :D To be frank, I really did not understand how it works, but I gave it a try.

One of the dishes I wanted to make is Nilangang Baka or literally translated as ‘Boiled Beef’. It’s a simple beef soup that one wants to have especially during cold days or rainy season. For us, Filipinos, we love to have this dish with rice. :D

NilagangBaka-thenotsocreativecook3

Nilagang Baka (Boiled Beef) Recipe

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Nilagang Baka (Boiled Beef) using pressure cooker.

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg beef cubes, about 2-inch, washed
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1/3 cup ginger, sliced
  • 2 cups sweet potatoes, cubed*
  • 5 pcs green long chili
  • 1 bundle of Pechay or Pak Choi, trimmed, cut and washed
  • 3 sweet corn, cut into three
  • Cabbage, optional
  • Salt
  • Peppercorn, optional

Instructions:

  1. Put the beef cubes, onions and ginger in a pressure cooker. If using peppercorn, put them as well. Add 6 cups of water.
  2. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook in a high heat until it reaches high pressure. When it reaches high pressure and whistles, you can lower down the heat and you can start counting the cooking time. For the 2-inch beef cubes, it can be done after 30 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off and wait until it reaches low pressure (no smoke is coming out from the pressure cooker) before you put the sweet potatoes, corn and chilis. If you are in a hurry, you can manually remove the pressure by bringing the cooker under running water (lid still intact).
  4. When the pressure is gone, put sweet potatoes, corn and chilis. Again, turn on the heat until it reaches high pressure and turn off the heat again; wait for it to lower the pressure. Few minutes before serving, add pak choi [and cabbage, if using].
  5. Season with salt.
  6. Serve as a soup or with rice. I love to serve mine with squeezed calamansi, lemon or lime.

Notes:

  • *Potatoes can be used as replacement.
  • Pressure cookers have different instructions. Refer to your manual in case you want to try this.

I hope you enjoy this and happy partying!

name2

Find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.

I am sharing this with my friends at Fiesta Friday , hosted by the amazing A. :D

Japanese Style Corn Soup

thenotsocreativecook-CornSoup2

There are many soup recipes I am seeing these days because of the weather. I mean, who doesn’t love a good bowl of hot, comforting soup?

I don’t make soup that much, but I don’t mind having soup anytime of the year. As long as I am in the mood for soup,  I’ll go for it.

I love having different kinds of soup, but I love the creamy ones the most. Guess I’d never part with cream, eh? I have seen this video from YouTube long time back and I was glued. First, I love corn soups. Second, she is so cute and I love her stuffs. :D

thenotsocreativecook-CornSoupI don’t know why I haven’t made this earlier. Maybe I was too busy being hyper and was not able to bend my likeness for sweets… because, my friends, this is a vegetarian soup. I think the word VEGETARIAN was a big deal to me. Oh, don’t think I am going there – it’s not happening… not yet. In the future? Hmmm, let’s see. Jhuls as a vegetarian? It’s too much to process. :D

Meanwhile, enjoy this soup and I hope you will love it as much I did.

thenotsocreativecook-CornSoup2

JAPANESE STYLE CORN SOUP Recipe

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 large can cream style corn
  • Soy milk, measure it using the can of cream style corn
  • 1/2 cube or 1/2 tsp. vegetable bouillon
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Parsley flakes

Instructions:

  1. Put cream style corn in a pot. Using the can of the cream style corn, measure the soy milk and add to the pot. Add the vegetable cube.
  2. In a medium heat, stir constantly until hot. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
  3. Serve in a dish. Sprinkle with parsley flakes and slice of bread.

Notes:

  • If you don’t want the skins of the corn, you can strain it before putting it to the pot.
  • You can also use chicken cubes for this.
  • This soup is creamy, if you opt for not-so-creamy one, you can cut the soy milk into half and replace with water.
  • Full-cream milk can also be used.

I really love this soup – it’s creamy and the combination of soy milk and cream style corn is just so good. And with slice of bread – even better. ;)

I hope you enjoy this and happy partying!

name2

Find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.

I am sharing this with my friends for the Fiesta Friday event tomorrow, hosted by the amazing A. :D

Tricky Tuesday: Random Kitchen Hacks

TrickyTuesday

It’s Tricky Tuesday time once again. Below are some of the amazing kitchen tricks I have found for you and me. ;)

 (1) Do you still remember when I said that you can extend the life of your bananas by wrapping the stem-end with a plastic wrap? You can extend them longer by separating them and wrap each stem-end with plastic wrap. ;)

(2) I love slightly green bananas and sometimes, I find it hard to peel them. The trick is you have to peel them from the bottom up – yes, just the way my monkey friends do it. :D

(3) Medium-sized ice cream scoop is not only for ice cream or for filling your mini muffin pans. It can also be used to remove seeds from the gourds – the easier way, I must say.

(4) Do you love herb flavors in your soup or pasta but you don’t want to ‘feel’ them in your food? You can put your herbs in a tea ball and hang it on the side of the pot. When done cooking, you can pull it out and tada – you have a meal full of flavors, but without the unwanted texture.

(5) There are times when you buy fresh herbs, but you can’t use all of them. What do you do? Wrap them again and put them inside the fridge? You can do another thing and this is what I do with my fresh herbs. I buy a whole bundle of parsley and use how much I want to use. I trim the bottom end and put them in a glass with water (not touching any leaves), cover with plastic and keep inside the fridge. My herbs last for two weeks. Take note – you have to replace the water every after 2 days.

(6) Did you ever notice that there are times that your ice cream is forming ice crust? You can prevent this by putting wax paper over the top of the container just before you close the lid.

(7) It’s so divine when you open a jar of Nutella for the first time – it’s so runny and oh so delicious. After that, it will be exposed to air and will not be that soft and runny. The trick (and what I do) is to put a plastic wrap and put back the lid tightly. By doing so, the smoothness of your Nutella will last longer.

(8) To soften a ‘brick’ of sugar, pop it inside the microwave for few seconds with a glass of water next to it. It will draw up moisture and loosen up the sugar. Also, the same trick can be applied when heating pizza – put a glass of water next to it – it will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

To know more of these amazing tricks, please visit Homemade Home Ideas.

 Thank you for being with me today and happy Tuesday!

Have you tried any of these? Please let me know, I want to know your thoughts. ;)

name2

Find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.

INTRODUCING ‘NEW’ BLOGGERS #34

I am very happy that I am able to make drafts for my blog posts since the last two weeks and I think I will keep doing it. What I do is whenever I have my free time, I make draft for the two series I have on this blog. I cannot finish them in one time, so I come back  and edit or finish the draft and schedule the post. Oh, I really hope to be back on track. :|

Anyway, for today’s new bloggers:

sayhello

My Gastro Adventure

Quite simply, it is a site through which I will document my adventures in the kitchen.  I will be sharing pictures, recipes, tips and advice for a wide variety of recipes.  To start with, I will be embarking on a year long challenge trying out 52 recipes chosen by my wonderful friends and family.  To find out more about Challenge 52 click here.

Like me, Vanessa was also inspired by the film Julie & Julia to start a blog. I really love how this film inspired so many bloggers. If you click the link, Vanessa is into a challenge and one of them is this delicious Shepherd’s Pie.

Stephy Sweet Bakes

“Hi there, the one thing you should know about me is my passion for baking. I am a house wife and a mother of two beautiful girls. I love in a small town of Louisiana called Oak Grove. There’s not much to do around these parts as it is mainly farm land. So this is what I do and enjoy…… baking, lol.”

How lovely that must be – baking mostly all day? :D No wonder I really want to take a slice of this Chocolate Chocolate Chip Bread Loaf with Cream Cheese Filling… like now!!

The Swirling Spoon

” I regularly buy extra bananas when I go shopping so that I’ll have an excuse to bake banana bread at the end of the week. I’m probably addicted to coffee but I enjoy it too much to give it up. I am also addicted to drinking green smoothies every morning, so I figure they balance each other out.”

You are not alone with the bananas, Hannah. :D Also, I hope you don’t mind if I want to take all these Cucumber Hummus Rolls with me.

The Ruby Kitchen

“There is a strong connection between food and memories. The smells, textures, tastes – they all evoke memories in each of us. I grew up in the kitchen, so cooking and baking have always come natural to me. The first thing I remember trying to make was gingerbread cookies. They were the approximate weight and density of rocks, but my mom and dad smiled and forced them down. I was 9 years old, how sweet they spared my delicate feelings.”

I agree with you, Jolena. And like here, my first cookies was hard as rocks. :D It is so fun to go back to those time and laugh at them. Well, look at you now – you have made this Retro Cake so beautifully.

Sweet Cupcake Emporium

 “I bake, I frost, I decorate. These are a few of my favorite things. Born and raised on the sweet island of Trinidad & Tobago, I was brought up with the sense that anyone could cook and anyone could bake given the basic knowledge .”

Hmm, I hope she’d teach me how to decorate. :D But I don’t think I need to be taught on how to enjoy these M & M Blondie Brownies.

I hope you take time to visit these blogs. Happy Monday! ;)

name2

Find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.

{Baking Challenge} Homemade Pizza Dough

One of my 2015 resolutions includes dealing with yeast again. If you follow my adventures since early 2014, maybe you could remember that I have couple encounters with the yeast beast. All of them were not perfectly successful that I had to say goodbye to the yeast for a while.
thenotsocreativecook-Pizza3I was invited by my colleague to a pizza lunch. I saw her make her pizza using a pizza maker. She told me the recipe except for the yeast. I kept asking her about the ‘smelly thing’ and she said she didn’t use the it. It didn’t come to me that she only meant active dry yeast, so even how many times I asked her, she said ‘No’ multiple times. Her kids were playing and called my name when she was showing me how she made her dough, so my eyes left the dough-making class for a short period. The next thing I know, she already prepared the bowl and the dough to rise. I was really amazed on how the dough has risen despite of the not usage of the ‘smelly thing’.

I emailed Linda to ask for help and she gladly assisted me in the pizza problems I had. After we had exchange of emails, I tried making a dough myself without the yeast. Luckily, it worked. The texture was quite different – very light and airy. Regardless, the pizza was delicious that I ate half in one sitting. :D I immediately sent photos to Linda and she was happy for me. Again, she convinced me to try making the dough with yeast and she promised me that no smell will occur again.
The following week, my friend made the dough again and I saw her put instant yeast. She said I did not specify the instant yeast, so when she told me about the ‘smelly thing’, she thought that I was ONLY asking about the active dried yeast. Again, I emailed Linda. (See how many times I bothered her with my problem? :| )
This pizza craving did not let me sleep for how many nights. I have two choices – (1) try and accept the fact that it might not be successful or (2) I’ll just go on my life and let the yeast beast scare me again. With Linda’s encouragement + the craving I had for homemade pizza, it made me face the yeast again.

thenotsocreativecook-Pizza4In this, I made an estimate using my colleague’s recipe.

HOMEMADE PIZZA DOUGH Recipe

  • Servings: 2 12-inch round or 3 10-inch round
  • Difficulty: easy, needs practice
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or any flavorless oil)

(You’ll also need additional flour for your work surface and oil for your bowl.)

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients for the dough in a large bowl.
  2. Using a wooden spoon or your clean hands, mix the dough until you get all the flour from the bowl.
  3. Knead the dough until it becomes soft and does not sticks to your hands (about 10 minutes or more).. You can do the window pane test to know if the dough is ready  You can also use your stand mixer to do the kneading for you. (You can do the kneading in a lightly floured surface or in a large plastic bowl. For me, since this is a pizza and doesn’t need that much of ‘bubbles’, I decided to knead using a large plastic bowl with ONLY my right hand working on the dough and it worked perfectly.)
  4. Shape the dough into a ball and put in an oiled bowl, cover using a plastic wrap or lint free towel. Keep it in a warm place and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Punch the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few seconds.
  6. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts if you prefer a thin-crust pizza or 2 parts if you prefer something sort of a deep-pan pizza.
  7. Flatten the dough to 12 inches (or whatever you prefer) to fit your baking sheet.
  8. Preheat your oven at 400 F. While doing so, you can let your pizza dough rise before putting your favorite toppings.
  9. Bake at 15 minutes or until the mozzarella melts beautifully.
  10. Serve and enjoy immediately.

For mess-free eating, I chopped my veggies (green bell peppers, tomatoes, white onions and black olives). I made half Hawaiian and half veggies just the way I love it. For the sauce, I used tomato ketchup. Yep! That’s right – the easiest and a good sub to store-bought pizza sauce or homemade. ;)

thenotsocreativecook-Pizza2The pizza dough has risen to about 1-inch thick (the baking powder’s fault?). Apart from that, I don’t have any comments at all except that… wohoooo!!! I made a pizza dough!!!

I wanted to kiss the pizza as soon as it came out from the oven – it was so soft and so delicious. I better try making it thinner next time and try different toppings. Shawarma, maybe? Now, give me a really good Shawarma pizza topping recipe. Anyone? :D

So, what do you think of my first pizza? :D I hope you like this and happy partying!!

name2

Find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.

I am sharing this with my friends at Fiesta Friday, hosted by Angie. Today, everyone is a co-host. How fun!! :D

I am also sharing this at

#FoodieFriDIY

Sweet and Savoury Sundays

Tasty Tuesdays

 #CookBlogShare

Tricky Tuesday: Uses of Citrus Peels

Ways to Use Citrus Peels

It is not surprising to me that there are many uses of citrus peels. One of the things I know is you can make them as air freshener. For other uses, I didn’t know about it.

Here are some of them:

Infuse in Tea

I love citrus fruits and I sometimes add a thin slice of lemon or lime in my green tea when I am in the mood. But guess what? You can also add some citrus peels to your tea to give your tea a nice citrus flavor.

Citrus Vinegar Cleaner

As we all know, vinegar has so many uses like a natural cleaner. Well, I knew about that long time back, but I don’t use it as one because of the smell. If you don’t like to clean with the smell of the vinegar alone, you can add some citrus peels to it and you will have a good natural cleaner. Here’s a tutorial on how to make Citrus Vinegar Natural Cleaner.

Destink Garbage Bins & Trash Can Freshener

Who loves the smell of garbage bins? No one. Why not throw some citrus peels to it to regularly to keep it smelling fresh and kill the odor?

Ant Deterrent

Along with mint-flavored tea (used tea bag), lemon peels are also good as ant or other pests deterrent. It is suggested to place lemon peels where ants and other pests enter. Also, it also keeps the roaches and fleas away.

Chrome & Stainless Steel Polish

When you sprinkle some sea salt over metal and scrub it using a lemon peel, the shine can be brought back.

Did you also know that citrus peels are good as microwave cleaner, coffee cup stain remover and can be mixed with other dried herbs as potpourri? Find other uses of citrus peels here.

I hope you enjoy this post and please let me know how you use your citrus peels.

Happy Tuesday!

name2

Find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.

INTRODUCING ‘NEW’ BLOGGERS #33

How great is this to write your blog earlier? It feels good. From now on, that’s what I’ll do – write my series earlier so I don’t miss a thing. :D

Today is Monday. And Monday means bringing you some new friends.

sayhello

The Verdant Pantry

“I’m all about cooking with whole foods, gardening and DIY. Kale and chocolate are my two favorite foods. I love using olive oil for just about everything, but I’m quite fond of butter at times too.”

Wow! I hope I could plant, too. I love plants, but I don’t they they love me back. Liz is a girl who has many talents – she can cook, bake, plant and she loves DIY as well. I found this article ‘Planting Garlic‘ very informative. And don’t think I forgot to check out recipes because I did not – look at this Rice Noodles with Veggies in Peanut-Coconut Sauce – oh, so yum!!

Halal Food Enthusiast

“We are Sadia and Nadia, sisters who have a passion for halal food. Our culinary hobbies include trying new restaurants, different cuisines, and instagramming pictures of food. Sadia loves to cook and bake, while Nadia enjoys eating only.”

How sweet – two sisters. <3 While trying new restaurants, the sisters are doing reviews and I believe that is very helpful to those who wants to try the same restaurants. Click here to see their reviews. Not only that, they also have so many delicious recipes like these Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Cooking Delight

Jayeeta is living as an expat in Netherlands and sadly, she has to be away with her loved ones.

“While sitting lonely in house and hoping between vocations, I gradually found my interest in cooking and started experiments on different dishes among which some are very popular and common to us. Sadly, no snack bar or restaurant would make those for me here even if I spend all my money. So the only way to taste them is to prepare by myself.”

Being away from loved ones is one of the painful things that could happen to a person. However, this sometimes makes us into something like learning how to live by ourselves and cook this Chicken Tandoori. :D

Sweet Salty Thoughts

“Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. I didn’t have much time to do it back in my hometown, but now that I have plenty of time I decided to start a journey in my small kitchen and wanted to share it with you.”

Cooking is one of the best hobbies in the entire universe, yes? Or is it eating? :D From reading Adriana’s blog, I also found out that she loves reading and I am so thrilled to read her book reviews. Well, you know that I won’t leave her blog without checking her recipes, and I really love this Pita Bread Pizza. Now I know what to have for weekend. ;)

Melting Ray of Light

“This blog is kind of like a chronicle of those attempts, an honest sharing of what was good and what failed. It’s also about all of life’s in-betweens – reviews of restaurants I’ve been to, random threads of thought… etc.”

Pamelia loves messy meals and that makes one of the things we have in common. Messy meal like this Hot and Sour Prawn Soup (Tom Yum Goong) is the best messy meal I have even seen. :D

I hope you take time to visit these blogs. Happy Monday! ;)

name2

Find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.

{Versions & Verdicts} Angie’s Tangerine Sesame Chicken

Like many other cooks and food bloggers, my cooking and baking bucket list is never ending. :D

The recipes I want to try were once in a printed paper and kept in one file/folder. I was close to being an organized cook – my files were categorized according to desserts, main dishes, snacks, etc. When I started blogging and started to explore more about food, I started bookmarking using the web browser and iPad. I also have list on my mobile, planner and post-its. But all the lists I have don’t end there – I have also a mental list. Imagine LOTS of recipes bubbling up in your head. You don’t know what to cross off first. Even if you made some of them, you’ll just end up adding more. Relate? :D

thenotsocreativecook-TangerineSesameChickenSince I saw Angie’s Tangerine Sesame Dippin’ Chicken, I knew that I had to make it sooner than later. But you know what happens when some of your ingredients want to end their lives – they get in the way, resulting to the delay of making Angie’s delicious dish. :(

But as they say – everything happens for a reason. And for this delay, I think it has something to do with Chinese New Year. Being a Muslim, of course, we don’t celebrate this holiday or do anything during this day… not anymore. My Mum used to do something like giving cash in a red envelope with Chinese writings on it. My Mum used to asked ‘What year are we in now? Year of the Horse? What’s with Year of the Horse?’ and things of that sort. It happened many times when she was still alive; I cannot remember when was the last time she did that.

Though I don’t celebrate the Chinese New Year, it doesn’t mean that I cannot bring this super delicious dish here at the party. Besides, it’s something Chinese, isn’t it? When I come to a Chinese restaurant/fastfood, I mostly get Orange Chicken or Sweet and Sour Chicken. <3

thenotsocreativecook-TangerineSesameChicken2In my version, I used all tangerine. In the sauce, I chose water over chicken stock. I also garnished mine with additional tangerine zest when I served it and that made that dish more tangy just the way I loved it. Of course, spring onions. Uh, I don’t know why the color of my version is lighter than Angie’s. The tangerines I used, maybe? :| What do you think?

Verdict: I am guilty of squeezing of about eight tangerines and finished all the ones I needed for my fresh juice and supposed to be snack. I am guilty of eating countless chicken bites before I’ve taken the photos. Lastly, I am so much guilty of eating more than a cup of rice. :D I just can’t help myself, dear juries – this is just so delicious!!

Click here to get Angie’s recipe. You can find more delicious recipes and drool-worthy photos at The Novice Gardener. ;)

I hope you drool and enjoy. :P Happy partying and happy weekend.

name2

Find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.

 

I am sharing these with my friends at Fiesta Friday, hosted by Angie,

I also sharing this at

#FoodieFriDIY

Showcase Your Talent Thursday

Tasty Tuesdays

Recipe of the Week

#CookBlogShare

Tricky Tuesday: Reusing Teabags

If you are following me for quite some time, maybe you would remember that I drink tea more than coffee. I know that used teabags can be reused for the dark circles around your eyes and for home. Aside from it can be used as fridge deodorizer, you will be amazed how you can reuse your teabags… especially when you’re a tea drinker. ;)

Reusing Teabags:

If you have a sink full of  dirty dishes due to the earlier party you’ve had and are very tired too finish the job and want to do it the next morning, you can drop a tea bag or two into the water and let everything soak. This will limit the scrubbing job as the teabag removes grease and food stains.

Aside from fridge deodorizer, it can also be used as a cupboard deodorizer.

Reusing teabags is not only limited in your kitchen. In fact, there are more other uses as well:

Homemade Glass Cleaner – Re-brew used tea bags and spray the weak tea onto windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces to loosen up dirt, grime, fingerprints, and other gunk. Be sure to wipe away with a clean, lint-free cloth to minimize streaks and dust particles.

Renew Wood Surfaces – Use weak tea made from pre-brewed bags to clean and shine hardwood floors and polish wood furniture.

Deodorizing Hand Scrub – After handling foods like garlic, onions, and fish, use pre-brewed tea bags to scrub your hands and remove those lingering scents. For more tips to save time and effort around the kitchen.

Neutralize Household Odors -Used tea is also great for removing lingering odors from your home. Mix dried used tea leaves into cat litter.  Drop a few dry used tea bags into the bottom of your trash bins to neutralize bad smells before they can escape into your kitchen.

Feed Your Garden -Rebrew used bags in a bucket of water and use the resulting weak tea to water your plants and protect them from fungal infections. Alternately, open up used tea bags and sprinkle the damp leaves around the base of your plants to fertilize the soil and deter garden pests like mice. You can also add previously-brewed tea bags to your compost pile for a boost of nutrients. Just remember to remove the metal staple if your tea bags are the kind that have them.

See? There are lots of uses. Amazing, yes?

Have you tired one of these? I have tried it as fridge deodorizer and it worked. In fact, I have 4 used teabags inside the fridge as I write this. ;)

Any ideas on how to reuse teabags? I’d love to know. Leave them down in the comment box below.

name2

Find me on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook.

Source: SFG, Natural Living Ideas