Liebster Award #4 & #5

I was thrilled to receive this award from two lovely bloggers.

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On March 23, Flora of the Bakering was thoughtful enough to think of me when passing the award. We have something in common aside from our love for cooking/baking and blogging – we also love books and we loved the just-released Divergent movie. I was ecstatic to talk to her about the movie and books. She just started blogging on January 2014, but has shared lovely and delicious recipes.

Chloe of Food Like Cake was also so sweet to have me nominated for the same award on March 30. She has lots of yummy and mouthwatering recipes of cakes and other desserts. Well, who doesn’t love desserts?

If you haven’t, it’s better to hop on these blogs right now and find yourself some treat. 😀

Moving on, here are my answers to the questions which I had so much fun in answering them.

My answers for Flora’s questions:

  1. What is your favourite dessert and why? Hmm, it’s so hard – REALLY hard to choose among my favorites. But, I would pick anything with chocolate or mocha.
  2. What is one weird fact about you? I talk to things… and I mean most things. Not weird enough? Okay, let me think… … … Do you know Milo? It’s one of my favorite drinks – hot or cold, it’s delicious! I love drinking when I eat rice and processes/canned corned beef. And here’s the weird thing: I put some Milo over my rice. 🙂 Here’s a photo from my Instagram account.
  3. What are your top three favourite books? Another tough question. As of now for the stand-alone books, I love Please Look After Mom , Tuesdays with Morrie and Fallen Angels. As for the series, I love Catching Fire, Divergent and Twilight.
  4. If you had the ability to invent a new kitchen tool that would suit your needs, what would it be? Wow! This is great. I am not a creative person, but I would say ‘equipment that would be a food processor, blender, juicer, ice cream maker (and things of that sort) in one’. And oh, I would also let the equipment do the slicing and chopping stuff for you.
  5. What is your favourite music artist and genre? I really don’t think I have favorites. I love different genres, too, depending on my mood. But, I’ll give one… RegineVelasquez is one of my favorite music artists. If not aware, she is also known as the Asia’s Songbird. ❤ You should hear some of her songs. Go ahead and listen… 🙂 Well, some are in Filipino language, but there are English songs.
  6. What main goal are you planning to achieve in the next few years? Hmm, your questions make me really think – a lot! 😀 Anyway, I really don’t have any goals that I want to achieve except to be better than I am today.
  7. What superhero power do you want to have and why? Well, aside from teleportation, I would love to be like a ‘fairy’ that could sprinkle ‘positivity’ dust to everyone who needs it because I believe, when you start your day with positivity, everything will go smoothly and you will not think bad things about other person or talk behind their backs and things of that sort. I hope it made sense.
  8. How would your friends describe you? My close friends always describe me as a thoughtful person.
  9. What place do you want to visit this summer? A beach. Well, I don’t know how to swim but I love seeing such beautiful views.
  10. If you were given a chance to change 1 event in your past, what would it be? *optional question as it may seem a little too personal* I don’t think I would change anything because I would not be here where I am today (and I will not be stronger) if not for everything that happened in the past.

And here are my answers for Chloe’s questions:

  1. Why did you start your blog? I love sharing recipes to people, so I would say that was the first reason why I started my blog. Also, to connect with people.
  2. What is your favorite dessert? Anything chocolate or mocha, YUM! ❤
  3. Chocolate Chip Cookies or Brownies? Oh my! Two of my favorite things in life!!! But, I am not as cookie monster as I wanted to be ‘coz I am a brownie monster. 😀
  4. Do you collect anything? Oh, yes! I collect many unnecessary things. Some are books, kitchen stuffs (well, not the biggie ones and kitchen shelves are near to bursting out), perfumes/colognes… and I stopped buying that much of slippers/sandals and bags.
  5. What is your favorite color? I love Purple. There are times that when I go out to buy clothes or head scarves, I always tell myself that I have enough Purples, but what can I do? I think I’ll never have enough of Purple stuffs. 😀
  6. The beach or mountains? I love beach!!
  7. If you could be any animal…? I think I’ll be a cat. Well, maybe because I love cats.
  8. What’s the last movie that made you cry? Hmm, cry? Cry… like there’s tears came out right? Haha! Funny! 😀 Because the last movie I had teary-eyed on was 47 Ronin. And the last movie that made me cry because finally the movie has been released that had the chance to watch it in big screen was Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. And lastly, the movie that made me cry, I mean the movie itself was The Impossible.
  9. What’s your birthstone? Opal. I think. 😀 Okay, give me a minute, I’ll check with Google. (After one minute or less…) Yeah, Opal is my birthstone.
  10. Favorite quote? I don’t think I have a favorite, but I like anything related to positivity. Oh my! I can’t even think of one right now.

Thank you, Flora and Chloe, for the above questions. ❤ I hope I did not bore everyone. 😛

Now, I nominate the following wonderful blogs for Liebster Award and CONGRATULATIONS!!

creatingbeautyinthekitchen
bakingflavours
devikaskitchen
sophisticatedjerseygirl
theglenhouse
thedeblicious
circahappy
cookingwithauntjuju
ngansequitur
annascuisine

For the questions, I will choose five from each set of questions above. So here are my questions:

  1. What is your favourite dessert and why?
  2. What is one weird fact about you?
  3. What are your top three favourite books?
  4. If you had the ability to invent a new kitchen tool that would suit your needs, what would it be?
  5. What is your favourite music artist and genre?
  6. Why did you start your blog?
  7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?
  8. Chocolate Chip Cookies or Brownies?
  9. Do you collect anything?
  10. What is your favorite color?

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions you were given.
  3. Nominate other blogs with less than 500 followers.
  4. Post questions for your selected nominees to answer.
  5. Tag and link the nominees and post a comment to let them know you have nominated and appreciate their hard work.

Have a lovely day y’all! ❤

Thank you so much again to Flora and Chloe!! ❤

Shish Tawook

Hello, my dear friends! It’s so nice to be here at the party. And to make up my absence, I am bringing you something so new to me and I know everyone will love this…

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Trying out foods that originated from other countries was never my thing. The thing is, if I didn’t grow up eating that kind of stuff or anything from such country, I don’t REALLY try it. I don’t know – maybe I am just not used to it. Or, maybe I am afraid that I will not like how it tastes.

Although there are existing restaurants which serve dishes I am not familiar of, I have not really tried eating anything alien to me. During dining out with friends or family, some of them ask for Middle Eastern or Indian food. As for me, I order anything Filipino, Italian or Chinese food. I haven’t even tried eating Malaysian food when I went to Malaysia. While some others are enjoying their foods, I did not even bother to take a bite. Despite of how I love food, I am weird, I know. Haha! Anyway, so while they are enjoying every bite, there I was – watching them with amazement as I can see how they love the food so much.

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Last week, I stayed at home for the whole week for some… let’s say I needed to rest for a bit. So while at home, I had the time to chat with my friends and relatives who work in the Middle East. As always, I asked them about food. Some of them suggested that I need to try this and this, mentioning that the smell and taste is not that strong… blah, blah, blah! After chatting, I tried Googling (is this a new word?) Shish Tawook because that was the first thing they ever told me to try. According to Wiki, the dish originated from Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. And as what I have understood, they are just chicken skewers. Well, in that case, I would need to find the recipe, I thought.

Googling. Googling. Googling. (Here’s that word again!)

After I pinned down on one recipe, I imagined how the combination of the ingredients will taste. Well, maybe not that bad. Just chicken skewers, I kept thinking. How shall I know if I wouldn’t try? Right? So I did take the risk and made some.

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Shish Tawook

Ingredients:

  • Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • ¾ tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tsbp paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Bellpeppers & onions, chopped & cherry tomatoes

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix everything except the veggies, making sure to coat very well.
  2. Keep in the fridge to marinate at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  3. When ready, skewer the chicken pieces and veggies.
  4. Grill all sides until chicken are cooked through (about 3-4 minutes each side).

Note: This can be grilled on the grill pan, electric grill or over a charcoal.

Source recipe: Shish Tawook by Chef in Disguise

Since one of them knows that I am not a huge fan of outside grilling and she knows that I will be doing the grilling on the pan, she taught me a trick – a very helpful one – to get that ‘charcoal’ smell and take note – the TASTE, too. You get what I mean? So, here’s the trick:

  1. Top left: get a charcoal and set on fire as shown below.
  2. Top right: arrange your Shish Tawook in the same pan or in any pan that could handle heat and put butter or oil in aluminum foil as shown below.
  3. Bottom left: when the coal is smoking hot, put it immediately together with the butter; don’t close the foil.
  4. Bottom right: cover with aluminum foil, making sure that no smoke is coming out. Leave for 10 minutes.

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The Shish Tawook was really delicious and instantly became another favorite of mine. 😀 Despite of not being a huge fan of chicken breasts, I was amazed how moist and soft the chicken pieces were and if I am not mistaken, that was because of the yogurt. And believe me, the trick was really awesome.

I hope you make this and let me know your thoughts. 🙂 Wishing everyone a yummy Fiesta Friday and have a safe weekend!! xx

Thank you, Angie, for bringing us all together!! ❤

Max’s Style Fried Chicken

I feel so sorry for myself that I missed the last Fiesta Friday. Something’s just got in the way. I will make it up to you next Friday (hopefully). But, I will make sure to check what happened on FF8. 🙂

and I missed everyone!

Today is my blog’s 11th month and I am also bringing you my 100th recipe post. I am not bringing a cake or a dessert. This is something that goes so well with… rice. 😀

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Max’s Style Fried Chicken is one of my favorite comfort foods. The most special about this is the crispiness of the chicken skin. And for your information, that is my favorite part. You can throw the chicken skin all you want and I will catch it with all my heart. 😀 When dining out at Max’s, I always chew slowly, as if trying to figure out how it’s made. I set aside the thought and settled with take out and dine in. The chicken also goes perfectly with Max’s Banana Sauce. I even bought one bottle the last time I dined in. And before the sauce expires, it’s time for me to try making the chicken.

thenotsocreativecook-Max'sFriedChicken

This has been on my waiting list for too long. The diet thing got in the way so I forgot the plan on making this. Gladly, I finally found a time – that’s when I told myself to stop checking my weight for a while and enjoy (not too much) my love for food.

Max's Style Fried Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 kg whole chicken
  • 6 dried bay leaves
  • 1/4 parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 cups cooking oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a steamer, add in water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add bay leaves and parsley.
  3. Steam chicken for about 45 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and remove the chicken from the steamer. Place the chicken over stack of paper towels or in a strainer for the excess liquid to drip off. Let it cool down.
  5. When chicken are cooled down, rub salt and pepper all over.
  6. In a deep pot with high heat, pour in cooking oil.
  7. When the oil is really hot (or reaches 375 F), add in chicken and fry until golden brown. (Flip the chicken if necessary)
  8. Place the fried chicken on stack of paper towels or strainer to remove excess oil.
  9. Serve hot!

For the fried sweet potato, I just sliced them like what you do with French fries and fried them until golden brown.

Source recipe: Max’s Style Fried Chicken by Panlasang Pinoy

I was really amazed by how easy it is to make this chicken. I remember that every time I dine in at Max’s, I always wished that I knew how to make it. Well, I don’t know if they do the exact procedure or put the same ingredients. But, really, it tastes exactly the same.

Sometimes, you just crave for something simple and this is one of the simple things in life that I am sure everyone will enjoy. 😉

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And, ahem… this meal could is not complete without rice. (Of course, I ate this with rice!) I also served this with sautéed glass/cellophane noodles and had Chicken Macaroni Salad for dessert. What a beautiful and delicious day! 😀

Churros with Chocolate Sauce

Ugh! I missed blogging so much. Though you can still see posts every week, I still missed blogging. I missed spending my everyday with my eyes on the computer screen and my fingers on the keyboard. The reason is that since I started my diet, I don’t cook and bake that often. So no matter how I love to do a recipe post, I don’t have anything to publish. Honestly, I stopped checking my weight because if I do, it’s like I am obliged to lose a certain kg for a month no matter what it takes. It doesn’t mean that I will go back to my old (and bad) eating habit… it means I can still enjoy the food, but I am still in control. At times, I eat chips. On some days, I eat pasta or salad… but, moderately. If moderately means little pasta, little salad, little chips in one sitting, then I eat moderately. 😀

When it comes to these Churros, what do you mean by eating moderately? I think two is fair enough. Three? Maybe. How about ten? Well, close to that. I don’t think so. Come again? Did I just say ten? Like TEN Churros? 😀 Ha! Don’t judge! I can’t help myself.

Oh, wait! These Churros are perfect for today’s Fiesta, yes? Wohooo!

Uhm, am I too early? Come on now, Friends, these Churros are best when still warm. It doesn’t matter – I’ll make another batch for you! Where is our host – Angie?

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I used a small deep pan when I fried these yummies and I got bored waiting… I got five sticks in every batch – it really took time to finish everything. So while waiting for the Churros to be cooked, I kept on eating and eating with sugar ‘coz the chocolate sauce has not been made yet. How many? I lost count. After everything is finished (thankfully, I haven’t eaten everything), I decided to make the chocolate sauce… and guess what? Honestly, I think I have eaten more than ten on that same hour. Don’t be surprised! Why don’t you try this yourself?

Churros

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3-4 Eggs*
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • ½ cup white sugar for sprinkling or chocolate sauce for dipping

Instructions:

  1. Heat a deep, thick pan. Add vegetable oil and wait until the oil reaches 350 F.
  2. In a large saucepan with low-medium heat, add water, butter, vegetable oil, 1 tbsp white sugar, vanilla and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest and add in flour slowly while stirring constantly until it turns into a ball shape (about a minute).
  3. Remove from the heat, transfer the ball into a bowl, and add one egg at a time, while mixing after each addition. After the addition of 3 eggs, check the consistency of your mixture. If you think it can hold its shape, then no need to add another egg. If it’s really thick, then add another egg.
  4. Transfer the dough into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (or star tip).
  5. Pipe the batter into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd them. Cook until golden brown.
  6. Place them on a stack of paper towels and dust with white sugar or dip in chocolate sauce.

Note: * I believe 4 eggs are too much for me as I found the batter a little ‘thin’. I think using 4 eggs was the reason why my Churros did not hold their shape (I used 2D Wilton tip). I suggest that you start from 3 eggs and it you find the batter too thick, you may add another one. Your Churros, your way! 😉

For the chocolate sauce: Melt 1/2 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or any baking chocolate) using microwave oven , double broiler or just in a bowl over simmering water. When melted, add 1-2 tsp of milk or more until desired consistency is reached. Or YOU CAN USE YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE OF CHOCOLATE SAUCE. 🙂

Source recipe: Laura in the Kitchen

These may not be the most beautiful looking Churros, but who cares? 😀 Okay! I will start digging in.

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Happy Fiesta Friday, my lovely friends! xx

Pulled Chicken over Rice

I was stressed the whole week.

Well, more like FRUSTRATED.

I tried baking something. I gave all the patience I have, but it was not 100% success. The most painful part was I was very close to celebrating. However, the last step messed up almost everything. I went to the bed and almost cried myself to sleep. I closed my eyes, thinking what could I benefit from crying? Then I thought I can’t restart what happened. I made up my mind to move on and watch one of my favorite movies – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. I decided to watch another movie so I also watched Pitch Perfect, which I have watched for so many times. The movies, somehow, made me forget what happened.

Before going to bed on the same day, I was close to telling myself that I will NEVER ever bake that again. Ha! Who am I kidding? Of course, I will bake the same again. I just need to gather the highest level of patience I have.

Okay! Enough with the frustrating story and let’s get to the post.

First, let me say that I am so grateful to be invited by Angie of The Novice Gardener to join the party at Fiesta Friday. Thank you so much, Angie.

Today is Fiesta Friday and it’s time to share something that is very close to my heart.

In the Philippines, we have something called Pastil (Pa-steel). It is a meal that consists of rice topped with shredded chicken or fish and then wrapped in banana leaves. Because I don’t want to go out every time I want to eat it, I decided to make my own version. I just did not wrap it in banana leaves – no serious issues, I just want to eat it right away. 😀

Kagikit

During gatherings, we sometimes make this and put them on individual containers or banana leaves. I was the one in-charged with the wrapping and my Mom was the one in-charged in cooking. I was not aware during that time on how to make this.

I always love to put this over rice and serve with medium-boiled eggs. There are times that I want to eat this with buttered corn kernels. If there are leftovers, I use them for fried rice. 😀

Pulled Chicken over Rice

Instructions:

  • 400 g chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4-5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp banana sauce (or sweet chili sauce)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil (about 2 tbsp)
  • Cooked rice
  • Spring onions (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Fill the pot with water (just enough water to cover the chicken), add salt and pepper and add the chicken breast and boil for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the water and set aside. Shred the chicken when it has cooled down and set aside.
  2. Heat (medium heat) a pan and add oil. When oil is hot, sauté garlic until fragrant. Add onion and cook for one minute.
  3. Add shredded chicken, mix a little and cover for five minutes.
  4. Add soy sauce and banana sauce (or sweet chili sauce). Cover and let the chicken absorb the sauces for ten minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and transfer to serving plate, or put over rice. Garnish with spring onions if desired.

Notes:

  • The amount of soy sauce is depending on how salty your soy sauce is. The soy sauce I used is, for me, a salty one so I used 4 tbsp.
  • I used 2 tbsp of banana sauce. However, if banana sauce is not available, you can use sweet chili sauce as a replacement. Banana sauce is not as sweet as the latter, so you might want to use 1 tbsp of it.
  • If you feel that your dish is a bit dry, you can add a little oil in the middle of cooking or water – start with 1 tbsp.

Hope you make this and let me know. Enjoy! 😉

If you haven’t tried joining Fiesta Friday, this is the time to start joining. Meeting new friends is AWESOME. So, come on. Please click here for more details

P.S. I believe this can also be used as sandwich filling – add some lettuce, tomatoes, mayo or barbeque sauce and you’re good to go. 😉