Nutty Dried Mango White Chocolate Cookies

Nutty Dried Mango White Chocolate Cookies

When I started my blog we’ve just moved here and its been an on and off thing  as I work and manage the home together with my husband and two children. I am also a wife and a mother so to speak but to say only these things would be unfair to myself because I never thought of it that way. I am me and I found that baking, cooking and writing is equally about myself, my life and my struggles. I want to write, I want to express my thoughts because it makes me feel good and useful. As I wrote before, ( http://kocinadepinay.com/life-is-what-we-make-it/ ) “Every woman is a person, not a camouflage. I enjoy conversation,making friends and I am not afraid to share my experiences. There are people out there who might need my reflections as a woman, as a person and probably they are just right there in one corner, afraid and lonely.” So, yeah…I would always go back to where I begin. I wont even care if my readers have long been gone, it doesn’t bother me at all.. write Lizza write.. This is totally changing my aging self and they say age is just a number but it’s not true, personally speaking.. I feel the curse of aging..ha ha ha! and I can see it too. There are days when I look at the mirror, I would see myself..and oh my..yes its me and perimenopausal hits me.. its bulls eye! There’s no escape, neither me nor you. So, I better get going and challenge myself to do the things that I love.. this time I wont be looking back,  this time I will continue to progress and put my perspective into a reality, so help me God! Please I’m not a melodramatic mama here ..this is a happy post…ha ha ha!

So I will begin by telling you about these magical cookies that I made last time. It seems that my daughter is worried about her weight and I often tell her to go out, do some running or brisk walking. My son who is now serving his two-year National Service and a certified health buff has told me to stop feeding his sister with unwanted or unnecessary food for health and weight sake. You see growing up I didn’t enjoy eating because I was born in the hard times..oh well this is another story. My tendency is to buy all the things that I know would be good and delicious. I bring home all the nice things that I can buy. I bake and I cook them too. Until my son told me that I needed to stop because I’m not doing any help to his sister and even to him at times. He told me that in as much as I want to do those things because I love them, I should stop, its enough because they are not small children anyway, they’ve had their time and they enjoyed it ..but I need to stop..yes STOP. These words struck me face to face and the realization hits me, my children have grown already. How come I don’t know that..I didn’t notice that..blame it on me yes.. and I will blame myself because I’m a working mother. Oh what a life..I love my children and I miss them badly as a small children.

Then let’s go back to these magical cookies..I played around with ingredients. I put nuts, dried fruits and chocolates. But there’s this batch of cookies that I will never forget because it brought me home, down the memory lane and they’re so good. I never realize that putting our very own 7D Dried Mango together with white chocolate chips and pecan would be that great. By the way, I opted to make cookies for my children. I stopped bringing home all the goodies and our cabinet is empty.. just empty of those unnecessary for the health and weight. But the real me wont just stop like that..so in the end my world turn into cookies and I’m sharing with you the first ever delicious dried mango cookies in my whole 48 years of existence here on earth.. ha ha ha.. please join me in laughing!

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

4 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups quick cooking oats

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup chopped dried mango

1 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnut

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

Cream butter and sugar.

While doing that process, combine all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside

Add the eggs one at a time. Add in the vanilla

Add the flour mixture gradually. Combine properly.

Add the oats and make it just combined, then add the ff : nuts, dried mango and white chocolate chips.

Don’t over mixed. You can use apricot instead of dried mango, but use white chocolate chips only.

Drop 1/4 cup of dough or you can use a medium ice cream scoop about 7 cm apart onto lightly greased baking tray.

Bake for 16-20 mins 180 c /375

driedmangocookies3

It’s like embracing home once again.. I’m proud of our Philippine Mangoes, it’s the best and the  flesh is very rich and sweet. When its dried, its sweeter than sour and the texture is soft and chewy. Big and round that’s how I wanted my cookies. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am but Im sure the picture speaks for it.. these cookies are truly wonderful in a cup of coffee or tea. Let’s eat. Let’s giggle. Let’s be merry.

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Penne With Black Pepper Ham

Penne With Black Pepper Ham

I always look forward to a day like this wherein my mind ran out of something to cook and it means Pasta!!! The original recipe got parma ham and since I’m living in a place wherein this type of ham is hard to find and if you find one, surely the price is not cheap. In the end you will be discouraged to cook the original recipe. This scenario happened to me a lot of times. I wanted to cook this and that and when I find the ingredients I will realize how expensive it is… my brain and my pocket will automatically shut the idea of making it. That was awful. right? and I’m sure I’m not the only in this dilemma and somehow I began to change this pattern. I just thought if I can substitute the original ingredients with another which is always available and affordable, then that would be awesome..and that begins my journey of changing, incorporating and mixing and its fun.. delicious and funny… and you can dance and sing in the kitchen like crazy…like me… ha ha ha! Now for the recipe….

Ingredients:

2  tbsp butter

4 cloves garlic, grated

2 cups green peas

1 1/2 cup or more black pepper ham

2 1/2 cups fresh milk

1 1/2 cups light cream

500 grams penne pasta

3/4 cup parmesan cheese

Direction:

Cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet or sauce pan over medium fire, heat, melt butter, add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.

Add milk and cream, heat to boiling point then reduce the heat to simmering mode uncovered for about 6 to 10 minutes.

Add the peas, pasta and 1/2 of cheese. Mix and cook for 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat and add the rest of the cheese.

Enjoy!

penneblackpepperham2

Oh how can I resist my favorite comfort food, so light and gentle to my tummy. See, I even measured my portion, hope I wont be tempted to add another half a cup.

Menudo Sulipena Lasagna

Menudo Sulipena Lasagna

I can’t believe January is almost over and here I am struggling with my headache. As usual when I have it, I am all the more active and constantly moving. So, this lasagna came out because I have headache..oh great…and its that good. I have left over Menudo Sulipena so I decided I wont cook but then I thought to myself, “Would my children want it again for the third time..Hmmnn I don’t think so”. Good thing I remember we have lasagna pasta left over in the cabinet. I just have to make a very nice white sauce to go with it.

Ingredients:

left over Menudo Sulipena

5 cups fresh milk

1 1/2 cup cheese combination of cheddar, parmesan, quickmelt

a little nutmeg

4 tbsp flour

4 tbsp butter

ready to bake lasagna pasta around 9 to 12 pcs

How to make the sauce:

Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour, stir constantly until it turns yellowish and pastelike. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until it simmer and slightly thickened. Add a little ground nutmeg and stir in the cheese and whisk until melted and it reaches to your desired consistency.

Then I proceeded on arranging my pasta, left over menudo sulipena and white sauce. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 or 180 for 45 minutes.

Menudo Sulipena Lasagna

Oh my goodness.. and it blows me off…how could I pass the day without tasting this magical combination and I bet you too.. Thats why i love cooking and baking. The freedom to explore is so unlimited especially if there are  people who I know would love to eat and enjoy. Lucky for me, I have a husband and two children. Lets eat. Lets giggle. Lets be merry.

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Menudo Sulipena

Menudo Sulipena

This recipe caught my eye in the office while doing some internet browsing…yes I’m guilty of that in a lot of times…ha ha ha! but as always nothing more than food..its all about food. Well, the dish inspired me and I thought why not use chicken this time. This recipe calls for ox tail which Im not sure if my children will have the courage to try. So, I better be safe than sorry, I use the ever favorite of my children..Chicken!!! By the way, I have already posted my Filipino Menudo a year or two ago and if you were wondering whats the difference between the two, the original recipe has liver in it while this one got Spanish Paprika and bell pepper. Filipino cuisine is more than inspired with Spanish/Portuguese food. If you wanna know , there’s a little history and you can find it here: Filipino Fusion Technique. So here we go again… and now for the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 kg chicken breast cut into medium to small cubes or which way you want

2 tbsp rice wine

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp butter

3 tbsp olive oil

1 head garlic chopped or grated

1 large white onion chopped

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 large red bell pepper sliced into strips

1/2 tbsp spanish paprika

3/4 cup cubed ham

3/4 cup sliced chorizo

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1 1/2  to 2 cups chicken broth or plain water

1/2 cup chick peas

3 tbsp brandy

1/2 tsp salt or more

1/2 tsp pepper or more

Directions:

Mix chicken cubes, rice wine, cornflour, salt and pepper. Set aside in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Using a big sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp  oil and 1 tbsp butter. Then put the marinated chicken, cook the chicken until the raw look is gone. Set aside.

Using the same sauce pan, add the rest of the oil and butter. Saute garlic and onion together until they smell so good then add tomato paste.

Stir for about 2 minutes. Next, add the sliced bell pepper and paprika. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add chicken, chorizo, ham and tomato sauce, cook for about 3 minutes then add the broth or water. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Then add chickpeas and brandy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.

Kocina De Pinay Menudo Sulipena

Lovely dish and I don’t regret trying this one although I made some changes to fit in my own desire..lol! but that’s me.. and I can’t do anything about it.  I bet this would be nice with some rolls or what else…of course with a mountain of rice. We love rice..but nowadays we eat brown rice..lets go healthy. The original recipe call for ox tail but I used chicken. Also, I marinated the chicken first with rice wine, corn flour, salt and pepper. I learned that when you do this, the chicken is soft and tender and the sauce is nice and thick but not that thick. I also  put tomato paste while sauteing..that way the taste wont be sour. Don’t forget to add more ham and chorizo because that’s what I did. Dont be afraid to use plain water.. and another thing be careful with salt because ham and chorizo has some salt already.

So, cheers to us and let us enjoy the full week ahead. Lets eat. Lets giggle. Lets be merry.

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Caramel Chocolate Oat Bars

Caramel Chocolate Oat Bars

As I shared  before, my son requested me to bake for his friends. I made two bars both with caramel inside. I always love caramel. Whenever I think of something to give away, I know that bars with caramel wont fail me. This is the second one I made and its fully loaded with caramel, chocolate chips and pecan. The  precious pecan nut is actually a bonus. I have left over last holiday season so I decided to mix  in. In the end my son also brought some to his classmates and yes, it was a hit. They all love it! What made me laugh was one of his classmates told him she is on a diet but she would like to have some for her mom. Of course my son did bring some for her mom. I find the gesture so thoughtful. I wanna be her mom too… LOL!

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups quick cooking oats

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup margarine, softened

1 cup caramel topping

3 tbsp all purpose flour

1 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup pecan, chopped (you may use other nuts)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Use a 13x9x2 inch pan and line it with aluminum foil, then spray with oil or smeared with butter. Set aside

In a mixer or bowl, combine: flour, oats, margarine, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat at low speed until crumbly. Divide the mixture into 2

Spread the first half of the mixture on a pan, bake for 10 minutes. While baking proceed on making your caramel, you can see it here: Brownie Caramel Chocolate Bars

After baking the first half, let it cool first then sprinkle chocolate chips and pecan on top, finally pour over the caramel. Then sprinkle the second half of the crumbly mixture. Bake for another 18 minutes.

Cool for an hour before slicing or better chill in the fridge for two hours. Again it will give you 24 slices.

Caramel Chocolate Oat Bars

Oh my goodness, I never thought that oats could be that good. Obviously Im not a fan of it. But due to aging, I have to like oats. I am now into the world of acceptance. Seeing these magical bars with caramel and chocolates swept me off my feet. Now I am really back again.. yes I am.

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