Breakfast anyone?

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I got a pack of frozen blueberries after reading they are just as good for baking as fresh blueberries.? Blueberries are expensive this time of the year but I wanted to start the year right by getting more of the Super Foods in our diet.

Okay, part of the reason I chose frozen over fresh is because?I?m a confirmed tightwad.? Even if fresh blueberries are available at the supermarket, I?m buying them frozen at half the price of the fresh ones just because I? find it ridiculous to spend twivce as much?for something that should have the same nutrients and give me the same results in my cooking.? I found a Bluberry Muffin Recipe online that didn?t use a lot of sugar and came out tasting really good.? Here?s that recipe:

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1 and 3/4 c. all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder (2 tsp. if you are over 3,000 ft)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. Olivio margarine
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
3/4 c. non-fat milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 400F.? In a large bowl, put the frist three ingredients and stir.? In a second bowl, mix the sugar and butter together using your fingers until they are mixed.? Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla until smooth.? Pour into the firts bowl? Stir until just mixed, a little lumpy.? Don?t overmix your batter, your muffins will become heavy.? Fold the blueberries lightly into the batter.
Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.? Bake for 20-25 minutes until just nicely browned.? Makes 16 muffins.

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TIP:? Stay away from shortening sprays.?Most of them have chemicals (Propylene glycol)?that can seriously harm you and your family over time.? Use muffin paper liners instead.

Back…

I’ve been back from my vacation in the Philippines for almost a week now.  It was a nice 3-week reunion for all 7 siblings and my parents.  We have two new additions in the family whom I met for the first time…and dutifully fell in love with. Ohhh, I miss home and family everyday….

After more than a week of sleep-deprived nights and days, I’m still not all 100% here and have neglected my blogging and cooking.  So I decided to write this piece to help me get back on my usual schedule  and heal this heart that feels divided between two countries…

 

 

Continue reading “Back…”

Political Ice Cream

It’s no secret Mita and I are big Ben and Jerry’s fans.  We’ve even considered moving to Vermont and getting jobs with B&J, especially since one of their employee benefits is three pints a day of your favorite flavor.  Hmmm, that’s three balanced meals free, is it not?

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Well look’s like our fav ice cream maker has stubbed their toe a little bit on a political stumbling block.  I really thought that ice cream could be truly international and above politics, but seemingly not any more in this age of rabid ‘I’m offendedism’, *sigh*.  It’s a month since St Patrick?s Day which the Irish and the rest of the world celebrated with little note.  But some reporter with nothing much to write about has gone back into Steve’s Junk Food blog  to look at a string of comments (mostly from “brave” anonymous comments (ever notice how the loudest mouths are the most anonymous … gotta love the ‘Net)), apparently just to dreg up what these loud mouths were ranting about and give the maudlin complaints credibility.

The is no argument that the “Black and Tans”, a slang name for the Royal Irish Constabulary, were responsible for many reprehensible acts in Ireland many years ago.  (more here for history buffs).  But there’s also no argument that the ‘Black and Tan’ mixture of Guinness Stout and Harp Ale is an extremely popular drink in England, Ireland and the US.

The Reuter’s article claims that Ben & Jerry’s issued an apology, I don’t see it in writing after a cursory look at their web site and I am not going to look further.  How nice it would be if everything didn’t offend someone.  I think I’ll cool off with a glass of orange juice.  Ooops, does Minute Maid know about this?

Perhaps we’ll have to refer to the juice as amber and not Orange, after all the Orangemen were on one side of a very nasty religious rebellion and someone might be easily offended….

Halo-Halo

Regular readers may have noticed a little gap in the flow of postings here.  Our favorite author and the creator/owner/chief cook of this blog, Mita, is in the Philippines right now. Her internet connection has been a little ‘spotty’ so this is the oft-mentioned Spouse stepping in with a little content.  Mita will be back soon, although not soon enough to suit me ;-), I miss her.
It’s windy here in Colorado and cold as a well-digger’s knee (to use one of my daddy’s favorite expressions)(actually daddy said it a little different but this is cooking and food for the whole family, so ‘knee’ will serve quite well).

It’s hot in the Philippines though and browsing through my daily reading I came upon several references to halo-halo.

 

Halo-Halo

 

(sorry, can’t get the full image to upload, I’m a klutz in WordPress as well as in the kitchen).

For those not familiar with the dish, here’s a pretty through description:

Halo halo or Halo-halo (from Tagalog halo, “mix”) is a popular Filipino dessert that is a mixture of shaved ice, milk, and sugar, to which is added various sweet beans and fruits, often topped with ice cream, and generally served cold in a tall glass.

There is no specific recipe for this dessert, and a wide variety of ingredients are used. Primary ingredients include red mung beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, sugar palm fruit (kaong), coconut sport (macapuno), and plantains, . Other components may include jackfruit {langka), star apple, tapioca or sago, nata de coco, purple yam (ube) or sweet potato (kamote), sweetened corn kernels or pounded crushed rice (pinipig), flan or custard, and gelatin. Other fruits, such as papayas, avocados, kiwifruit, or cherries, may also be added.

Generally, condensed milk or evaporated milk are used instead of fresh milk, due to the tropical climate of the Philippines.  You can get more at answers.com .

I’m personally not a big fan of ube, but as long as the halo-halo mixer doesn’t go too overboard with the purple stuff, I like it just fine.

Here’s a place to start looking if you want to build a list of places to look for the best halo-halo … I have to do something to make me think of warmth.

More on Couscous

The internet is a godsend to anyone seeking information on anything – from the mundane to the serious to the most casual things…to couscous.  Wikipedia alone gave me a wealth of information on this foodstuff.

Featuring it in my last blog entry made me more curious about its origins.  Although, I knew somehow couscous has its origins in the Arab world, probably Northern Africa, I really didn’t know much about this grain, pasta…whatever!

Here’s what I found out about Couscous…. Continue reading “More on Couscous”

Soybean-Caused Nostalgia

This is my version of the common Filipino dish “Fish with Tausi” or  Fish with Fermented Black Beans.  It has fried firm tofu, green bell peppers, xiaoxing wine and plenty of garlic – more Chinese than Filipino really.

My mother used to make this dish with tomatoes and her tausi was freshly bought from her favored vendor or “suki” at the market.  They normally sell tausi in Philippine markets with other soybean products like tokwa (tofu) and tahure (fermented beancurd).  In Colorado Springs, I’ve been sourcing my fermented black beans from Filipino and Oriental stores around Academy Boulevard.  It’s only available in cans but is the exact same thing you’ll get back home.

Spouse is not usually keen on soybean products.  He doesn’t like tofu and I love it.  I have to coax him into enjoying it.  I have to tell him tofu is like a chameleon with no flavor of its own but it picks up the flavors of the other ingredients you put in with it.  He likes it better when it’s fried like in this dish.? He enjoyed this dish immensely, thank goodness.  Even after I cooked it twice last month to use  up a bag of frozen catfish fillets I had. Continue reading “Soybean-Caused Nostalgia”