Practical Kitchen Gadgets

Aside from my Adjust-a-Cup measuring cup, these three other gadgets have become indispensible in my kitchen.  Yes, you can live without them and I have.  But once you start using them, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without.

In the photo is the round and flat meat tenderizer with a hard  ceramic handle – way better than those meat-beating devices with spikes. I also use it for crushing breadcrumbs and nuts.  A great tool is always something with multiple uses.

Behind it is the Microplane lemon zester which also works great for hard spices like nutmeg. My sister got me hooked on this gadget.  She makes great leche flan and uses this quite a lot for zesting lime.  I have to admit, it works better than any zester you will ever come across in your life.  And since this gadget started out as a woodworking tool, you can bet it will last a long time.

Then there’s the meat thermometer.  You know how disappointing it is to roast a whole chicken in your oven, being careful to follow cooking instructions – only to find the inner thigh bone is still bloody.  With a meat thermometer, you don’t have to guess.  Just follow the recommended temperatures for roasting meats and poultry and you have the perfect dinner.  Don’t spoil that roast, don’t play with your family’s health…get a meat thermometer…it doesn’t cost much.

Corned Beef with Mashed Potatoes with Leeks


I found another interesting way of making mashed potatoes in another Filipino blog, Rice and Noodles.  This is flavored with leeks and much lighter than what I’m used to, a pleasant change from the heavy butter and cream mashed potatoes I usually make

As I mentioned in a past entry on corned beef, the non-Filipino corned beef reminded me very much of our Nilagang Baka. Since we always put leeks in our Nilaga when I was a kid, I found this recipe really interesting. Continue reading “Corned Beef with Mashed Potatoes with Leeks”

Arroz con Pollo 1 (Chicken with Rice)


I have so many recipes for Arroz con Pollo which I still have to try.  This is a dish which most every Hispanic country calls their own.  Quite surprising to see how many different versions there are out there. There must be a different version for every country Spain colonized through the centuries.

I’m contemplating starting  a kitchen experiment of the different versions of Arroz con Pollo I can find.  Then I’ll decide which one I’ll adopt for my own.

Let’s start with this Cubano version.  The rest of the recipes just have to wait…until I get back to Colorado from visiting family in the Philippines. Continue reading “Arroz con Pollo 1 (Chicken with Rice)”

Zucchini Bread for the Diabetic



I made some adjustments to my usual recipe for Zucchini Bread and turned it into a healthier and lighter one even my diabetic mother can enjoy with a clear conscience.

Actually, this bread I’m making is my “pasalubong” or souvenir for my mom when I see her next week.  I used part whole wheat flour, a sugar substitute instead of sugar, egg whites instead of whole eggs, more zucchini and less oil.  For added flavor, I threw in somecinammon, plenty of nuts and dried cranberries.

This was perfect…I urge you to try it.

I intend to freeze it, wrap it well, hand carry it back home…and cross my fingers it survives the one and a half days trip across the Continental Divide and the Pacific! Continue reading “Zucchini Bread for the Diabetic”

Italian Sausage with Peppers

This is another quick  recipe that will be on your dinner table within an hour of starting it. Serve it with a light, green salad and you’re ready.

For this recipe, I used Sweet Italian Sausage flavored with fennel.  I find the hot sausages a little too spicy for me. I prefer sprinkling red pepper flakes in the sauce so I have better control of the heat.  Spouse and I are not big fans of hot spices. Continue reading “Italian Sausage with Peppers”


Here’s the REAL unofficial cook…that’s a photo of Spouse frying up a batch of Lumpiang Shanghai taken some 2 years ago.  Oh by the way, the title of this entry does not refer to him being shanghai-ed, it refers to me!

I’d just made this Filipino meat spring roll when Spouse asked me to make another batch a week later.  I emphasized how labor intensive it was and he volunteered to help me out.  So I took him up on it…and he ended up rolling and frying and having fun…as you can probably tell from his wide grin. Continue reading “Shanghai-ed!”