{Versions & Verdicts} Dini’s Best Spicy Sweet Chili Sauce

The best sweet chili sauce I have ever tasted!

Sweet Chili Sauce - TNSCC 1

As a person who loves to cook (and eat), I always have pantry-must-haves – two types of ketchups (banana and tomato), vinegars (apple cider, rice vinegar and the white one), dried powders, blah blah blah… and dipping sauce and that is sweet chili sauce. I always have a bottle or two and I make sure to buy one before it’s all gone. I can’t be out of sweet chili sauce or else there will be chaos. 😀 I don’t use them that much, but if I begin to, I could finish half of the bottle at once. And no, I don’t drink it. Really. 😀

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I’ve always wanted to make my own sweet chili sauce, but I don’t want to use fresh red chilies. So when I found Dini’s Best Spicy Sweet Chili Sauce, I just couldn’t let it pass. I love how she used Sambal Oelek instead of fresh red chilies. I mean, it’s mess and hassle free. Let’s say I am not too friendly with slicing/chopping things off.

Sambal Oelek
Sambal Oelek

This sauce is amazingly good even without the presence of cayenne powder. The house smelled incredible while I was making this. I could not easily forget the smell or the taste of something I really, really love… but when I made this and got to taste it, I forgot how the store-bought sweet chili sauce smells and tastes like. And it only means one thing – I have to ditch the store-bought one and make this more often.

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As I am writing this, I still have half of the recipe sitting beautifully inside the fridge and soon to be devoured with some eggplant omelette and a good serving of rice. Yum! 😀

Sweet Chili Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 120g white sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 63g Sambal Oelek

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, mix cornflour and water. Set aside.
  2. In a nonstick sauce pan, add in the rest of the ingredients and over a medium-high heat, simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add in the cornflour-water mixture and continue simmering until the sauce has thickened.
  4. Let cool a little and transfer to a sterilized air-tight glass jar to keep it longer.
  5. Let cool to room temperature before storing inside the fridge.

Notes:

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper can also be added for an extra kick. 

2-3 bird’s eye chili can be used (instead of Sambal Oelek) which I think will give you a  mildly hot kick. 

This yields about 1 1/2 cups.

Source recipe: The Best Spicy Sweet Chili Sauce by The Flavor Bender

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I wanted to show you how it looks like, but I can’t get a clear shot. 😦

I am thankful to Dini for sharing this very wonderful recipe that I am sure I am going to make frequently. Dini has such an amazing, amazing blog and mouth-watering, tempting GIFs. 😀 If you haven’t visited her yet, now is the right time. 😀 Just go to The Flavor Bender and you’ll see what I am talking about. 😉

I am sharing this sweet chili sauce with my friends at Fiesta Friday # 108, an awesome party hosted by Angie and co-hosted by Suzanne and Zeba.

I wish you also try this recipe and I am sure you’d not regret it. I wish you all a lovely weekend, and…

Wishing you a day full of smiles! 😀 😀 😀

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Easy Microwave Hummus

Chickpeas skins removed and microwaved for smoother and creamier hummus – you’ll want to eat this straight from the container

Easy Microwave Hummus - TNSCC

Did you experience craving for something and you just can’t let it pass? It’s not a chocolate craving this time. 😀

I’ve been on a chickpeas kick lately and I’ve searching like crazy for recipes that includes chickpeas. I am not sure how many recipes I have seen and saved. I wanted to make them all in one time, but I am only human who gets tired… so I’d go with the easiest first.

When I hear the word chickpeas, the first thing that comes to my mind is hummus. I’ve been very much in love with hummus, but we don’t see each other that much. There’s only me to blame. My mouth starts to water whenever I see a creamy hummus. There’s a special connection between me and hummus, by the way, that only both of us can understand. 😀

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Being said that I had this bad craving, I did not settle for store-bought or ready-made one – I wanted to make my own.

Making hummus with the canned chickpeas will not take that long, but I wanted to do a little something with regards to the texture. I prefer not-too-grainy hummus. I’ve read that removing the skin will make it creamier and microwaving will make it smoother. I wanted creamier and smoother hummus, so I did both.

Easy Microwave Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, not drained (optional: you can reserve 1 heaping tbsp for serving later)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste (start with 1/2 tsp)
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

To serve (optional):

  • Olive oil
  • Few pieces chickpeas
  • Paprika
  • Roughly chopped parsley

Instructions:

  1. Separate the chickpeas and its water. Reserve the chickpeas water for later.
  2. In a shallow dish, place your drained chickpeas and remove the skin. Hold one chickpea with your index finger and thumb and it will easily pop out. Repeat until all skins have been removed. This will take about 20 minutes. (You can do this while watching your favorite TV show or movie.)
  3. Wash the skinned chickpeas and drain.
  4. Place the chickpeas in a heatproof bowl and put back the reserved chickpeas water.
  5. Add the garlic cloves and microwave for 4-5 minutes. Let cool.
  6. In a food processor or blender, add in the microwaved chickpeas with garlic along with lemon juice, salt and tahini. While the food processor/blender is mixing, add in olive oil. Process until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Adjust the seasoning at this point, if desired.
  7. Transfer into container and place in the fridge for thicken up and develop flavor.
  8. To serve, drizzle more olive oil, chickpeas, roughly chopped parsley and paprika. Serve with your favorite crackers, veggies or pita bread.

Source recipe: Best Ever 5 Minute Microwave Hummus by Minimalist Baker

Notes:

Skinning the chickpeas is totally optional. If you don’t prefer to skin the chickpeas, I suggest you go with 1/2 cup tahini as per the source recipe.

If you prefer to skin the chickpeas, 1/3 cup of tahini is just the right amount to avoid the hummus to be thin.

But then again, your version, your preference. 😉

I really love how this came out – just the way I wanted – creamy and smooth! I literally ate this straight from the container. So so good! Maybe I’ll try using dried chickpeas next time and compare it with using canned one. Hmmm… 😀

Happy Fiesta Friday # 107 to everyone! So… what do you think of this one, Angie? Hmm, how about you, Margy and Su? Thanks for attending to all of us, lovely people!

Wishing you a day full of smiles! 😀 😀 😀

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I am also sharing this very easy recipe at

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Tiramisu Tart

Sweet crunchy crust with rich chocolate filling, topped with espresso mascarpone cheese

Tiramisu Tartlet - TNSCC

Here’s another story of an ingredient wanted to commit suicide.

This time it’s the mascarpone cheese.

So you also know the story of buying stuffs in bulk? Ha! I know you do.

So you get the picture.

I knew I bought the mascarpone cheese for something. I really did. But my saved recipes to try are everywhere and I didn’t have enough time to search all of them.

What to do? What to do?

Well, I found it before I encounter some suicidal scene inside the fridge.

I was supposed to use the mascarpone cheese for another recipe, but I want to have a reason to use my pretty tartlet pans.

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The source recipe used 11-inch, but I managed to divide the crust, filling and topping evenly with my tartlet pans. I love them more in smaller size or do you think I am really just finding an excuse to use my pans? 😀

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These tarts have sweet, crunchy crust with very rich chocolate filling. I have burnt the crust a little as I was busy with something else – probably another recipe to try. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, but I think dark chocolate can be used, too. I don’t even know why I did not opt for dark chocolates. Oh well! Maybe next time, Jhuls! 😛 To finish off, each tart must be topped with expresso mascarpone filling and dust with fairy dust, er… cocoa powder.

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Tiramisu Tarts

  • Servings: 4 tarts x 12 cm or 1 tart x 11 inches
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 7 tbsp butter, cold
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the chocolate filling:

  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 large egg

For the espresso mascarpone cream:

  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1¼ tsp unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1½ tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Cocoa powder, for sprinkling

Instructions:

For the crust:

  1. Prepare 4 (12 cm each) tartlet pan.
  2. In a bowl, combined all ingredient except the egg yolk. Mix using a pastry mixer or your clean hands until crumbly. Add in egg yolk and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Divide the dough into your 4 tartlet pans. Press the dough until crust is formed. Place inside the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 350 F.
  5. Bake the crust for 15 minutes or until lightly golden. Place in a wire rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

  1. In a saucepan, heat cream and milk in a medium heat. When it edges starts to bubble, remove from heat. Add the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the egg and mix until well incorporated. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust.
  3. On the same temperature (350 F), bake again for about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely and place in the fridge to chill. This may take about 2 hours.

For the espresso mascarpone cream:

  1. In a small bowl, place the cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. In another small bowl, dissolve espresso powder into the vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. Back to the gelatin mixture: microwave the mixture for about 10 seconds until the gelatin barely melts. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Add in mascarpone cheese and sugar, mix using a spatula.
  5. Reduce the speed to low and add the gelatin mixture + the espresso mixture. Beat until combined.
  6. Spread the espresso mascarpone cream over the chilled tart. Sprinkle with cocoa powder. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Source recipe: Tiramisu Tart by With Love and Cupcakes


Notes on whipping the cream:

As to my experience, the only points to note are:

  1. Make sure to have your glass/metal bowl and beaters cold. And of course, your cream.
  2. Beat the cream on low-medium for 7 minutes or until stiff and make sure not to overbeat.
  3. And please, BE PATIENT!😉

I hope you try this recipe and I would love to know what you think. 😉

Have a fantastic weekend and happy Fiesta Friday to all! Wishing you a day full of smiles! 😀 😀 😀

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Meet ‘New Bloggers’ #47

When you are in doubt, don’t bake it!

I think I would keep that in my kitchen for me to remind me.

I was badly craving for something and did not study the recipe very well. I replaced one ingredient, but I was still in doubt. The result was like ‘Uh, okay! These muffins can be eaten still.‘ They were coffee cake muffins with coffee in it. But I can’t taste the coffee. Oh well, there’s another chance to make them.

For now, there’s no time for me dwell on what happened.

For now, it’s a new day and time to meet new friends.

Meet New Friends 4

Healthy Jon

Jon started enjoying health and fitness lifestyle since 2012… and like others, it did not happen in a snap of a finger, but it happened gradually. I know Jon will inspire so many readers through his blog with regards to eating healthy and being physically fit.

When it comes to my nutritional regime and training I believe that if you eat clean, train hard, acquire as much knowledge as possible and implement what you learn, the results will come.

And now ladies, drool over this delicious Raw Raspberry and Coconut Cheesecake. 😛

Cuisinovia

Meet Galatia – her grandfather was a chef and she shares the same passion for cooking/baking with her Mom and sister. She was a graphic designer and used her talent in making gorgeous, gorgeous cakes for her part-time profession. And this is what she has to say after she quit her job when she gave birth to twins:

I still love to create so I started decorating cakes for fun, which eventually turned into a part time profession. So I started “Cloud 9 Cakes”

And hey guys, have you heard about Tahini Cinnamon Rolls? If not, here’s Galatia’s Tahini Cinnamon Rolls that will make you say ‘Wow!’. 😀

My Culinary Saga

Trupti and I have been following each other’s blogs and we got along so well. I know some of you already knows her, but for those who are not, let me say a little something about her –

She loves painting, writing poetry and cooking. Her cooking has began after she got married. She loves baking, too, and like me, baking is where her heart lies. She also loves food photography.

I am fascinated with food photography – though I have a long way to go. I’m not a professional chef, but when I’m not working, I’m in the kitchen cooking up something hearty.  I love to entertain and have friends over.

She has so many amazing recipes, but since I saw these Kulkul’s, I knew I had to make them. Or I will just sit in one corner or drool over them while I look at the screen. 😛

Maison Travers

Having a French mother who loved to cook, Nadia developed her love for cooking at an early age. She has also taught private cooking lessons and looking forward to more experimenting new recipes.

Loving nothing more than trying out new recipes, experimenting in the kitchen and of course, eating. I have taught small group and private cooking lessons for 20 years now and as we embark on a new life in France in July 2015, I am so excited about the experieces awaiting us.

Right now, I am really interested in this Oxtail Potjie. It looks really good and comforting. It is also nice to have discovered some traditional way of cooking from different countries like this.

Cooking with Archi

Archi used to spend her time at the kitchen with her Mom. She has then confessed that she did nothing but to stand and observe her. But for me, I think that will all start in that scene. 😀 Her interest in cooking eventually came and she felt satisfied whenever she received an appreciation. She also started baking recently and baking a lot lately, too.

Baking is something I wanted to learn since long, but was never able to find enough time for it. So when I got some, this was the first thing on my list. It’s just been few months since I had learned baking, so you might end up finding lots of related posts in ‘Baking’ section of the blog.

I love her Archi’s bakes, but I am going into some Paneer Jalfrezi this time. 😉


I hope you say hello to these bloggers. Give them a wave by liking their posts or shake their hands by commenting on some of their posts. But you can also show you love to them by following their blogs. You follow their blogs = you gain new friends and a bonus of lifetime free delicious recipes! What do you say about that? 😀

And to my new found bloggers and friends, I am inviting you to join this wonderful virtual party (if you have not yet joined us) called Fiesta Friday with so much lovely, gorgeous people. In this party, we don’t just drop our sweets and savouries, we have lots of chitchats and lots of fun! I hope you could join us! You can find the rules and guidelines in the Fiesta Friday link. See you there!

Wishing you a week full of smiles and awesomeness! 😀 😀 😀

name2

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In My Kitchen – February 2016

Hello, lovely people! Welcome to my little kitchen. 🙂 I’ve missed last month’s IMK as I was still adjusting with my time after the given additional working hours at my workplace. Anyway,  I am happy to be here once again as Maureen @ The Orgasmic Chef is hosting In My Kitchen series.

In my kitchen…

…is this ground coffee from the Philippines. I think this is our version of espresso powder as the smell is very close. I love this coffee a lot and I am having a cup of this almost everyday. IMK Feb 2015 1

In my kitchen…

…is a packet of Tablea de Cacao or chocolate tablet.

IMK Feb 2015 2

Now, saying that this is a packet of tablet, I am not saying that these are medicines. 😀 Of course, you know that they are not. These chocolate tablets are Philippine’s version of cocoa. You might ask what’s the difference between these tablets and the cocoa powder. These tablets contains something like a butter that when processed and turned into powder, the butter disappears. These are how they look –

IMK Feb 2015 3

I still haven’t used them, but I am thinking of turning them into Tsokolate, which is the Philippine version of hot chocolate. I am sure when I use them, I will share it to you. 😉

In my kitchen…

… are these goodies from Trader Joe’s which I got online. The cookies are all gone by now. 😀

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In my kitchen…

…are cookie butters from Trader Joe’s, also I got them online. I love these and I am thinking of getting some again before they disappear.

IMK Feb 2015 6

In my kitchen…

…are these containers, given by my friend. They are not printed, but I love them because I can see what’s inside. 😀

IMK Feb 2015 7

In my kitchen…

…are these pretty little bowls. They were candle holders when I bought them, but I’ve thought of using them as a bowl when the candles have melted and gone because they are so pretty.

IMK Feb 2015 9

In my kitchen…

…is a scale. Finally. I really had no plan of getting one because I told myself that there are conversion charts, but sometimes, it’s really not a good day to get your head in pain just converting measurements… so I decided it’s time to get one and I must say that it is really, really useful. Good decision, Jhuls!!

IMK Feb 2015 8

In my kitchen…

…are these Filipino Coconut Macaroons which I baked to bring at my workplace and so I will have something to munch on when I get back home after an exhausting day. I still have three sitting in the same bowl. 😀 My container is currently occupied, so the poor little macaroons settled  for the bowl.

IMK Feb 2015 4

That’s all folks! 😉 I hope you enjoyed what you have seen and thank you for being with me.

How about you? What you’ve been up to? Share them to us by joining In My Kitchen. Make sure to link back your post to Maureen, so she’ll be notified. Thank you so much for hosting IMK, Maureen! ❤

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Chicken Tinola

It is insane that no matter how common the dish is, we haven’t made it at home. Chicken Tinola is one of those dishes. I don’t have any memory of having this dish at home.

Chicken Tinola is a common dish in the Philippines, if not popular, in which the soup is ginger and onion based. The chicken is simmered in about forty five minutes to one hour so the soup will be very rich in chicken flavor and the chicken meat will be tender. The dish is traditionally cooked with green papayas, but chayote can be used as well. As for the green leaves, chili leaves or spinach can be used.

Chicken Tinola - TheNotSoCreativeCook

There are recipes that fish sauce is added while cooking, but there are eaters who have a strong aversion to fish sauce. In that case, fish sauce can be set aside and use salt instead. For those who likes fish sauce, a tiny splash on your bowl before you dig in would be perfect.

Chicken Tinola

Ingredients
  • 500g chicken, cut into pieces
  • 500ml rice washing
  • 1 cup chayote, sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 thumb ginger, cut into strips
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • Water spinach/moringa leaves/chili leaves
Instructions:
  1. In a pot with medium heat, add oil. Sauté garlic, onion and ginger until fragrant.
  2. Add in chicken pieces and cook until color turns light brown.
  3. Add fish sauce.
  4. Pour in rice washing. Simmer for 45 minutes in low-medium heat.
  5. Add in chayote and simmer again for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the leaves of your choice.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve hot with warm rice.

Source recipe: Chicken Tinola by Panlasang Pinoy

Notes:

You can also add 1 piece chicken cube if you prefer. 

If you dislike fish sauce, you can omit it. But it makes the dish even better. 😉 

 

This can be served as soup alone. But for us, Filipinos, we always serve this warm with good cup of white rice. 😀

Chicken Tinola - TheNotSoCreativeCook 2

 

 

Wishing you a day full of smiles! 😀 😀 😀

name2

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I hope my friends at Fiesta Friday #105 will love this . I hope Angie and the co-hosts, Lily and Chef Julianna, will love this, too. 🙂

I am also bringing this dish at