The working life---the dawn of a new era

Or so it seems to two college graduates. And so it is with trepidation and excitement that we venture into this world, armed with a handful of recipes and an old spatula. Two women from both ends of the world, bonded by years of friendship and a newly discovered passion for cooking and baking. Care to join us?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tri-berry Muffins

Ever since I made the cream of fresh tomato soup, I've been itching to try another Barefoot Contessa creation. There was one that I've been eyeing for a while now though, and now that berries are in season, I've finally gotten the chance to try it out!

From the Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook, Tri-Berry Muffins!

It turned out great! Relatively easy to make also--the main berries were strawberries (chopped), blueberries, and raspberries. The only thing was, I thought I put the oven temperature for 375, but apparently, I actually put it on 325. Whoops.

So I'm not exactly sure how that affected the muffins, but for next time, I'll definitely make sure to double check. And probably put a little less sugar. And butter. Try to at least make it a bit healthier. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chicken and Orzo with Parmesan and Basil

After such a long cooking hiatus, I finally made something! (Mostly because I had some orzo leftover and needed to make something with it). I found this recipe online and decided to give it a shot.

It turned out pretty well! And the recipe is actually really easy to follow. After prepping everything, I melted some butter over the pan, and put some garlic in for taste. I sauteed the orzo in the pan until it was brown (just a warning, once the orzo starts to brown, it burns pretty fast). After taking out the garlic, I poured a can of chicken broth and let the orzo cook. Once all the liquid had evaporated, I added the parmesan cheese (a bit less than what the recipe called for), basil, and some cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste.

For this dish, I decided to add some ground chicken also, which I cooked beforehand (with some salt and pepper) and added at the very end. I was afraid the dish would taste weird with it and so I wanted to sample it first before adding all the chicken in. The combination is actually pretty good.

I highly recommend it--it's easy and tasty!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hot Fudge Sauce

Baskin Robbins' Jamocha Almond Fudge is my all-time favorite ice cream flavor. Sadly, Baskin Robbins closed in the Philippines and I can no longer indulge in what was a staple during my childhood (My aunt owned a Baskin Robbins franchise and I used to eat it everyday. It's truly a miracle that I'm not diabetic and was  underweight.). I decided to make my own hot fudge sauce using my leftover Valrhona to enjoy with the pint of coffee ice cream that was in my freezer. I used Guanaja (70%) and I think the bitterness of the chocolate was a good balance for the sweetness of the ice cream. I added slivered almonds as a topping. I tried my hot fudge both after I had let it cooled down and was warm enough to enjoy with my ice cream without melting it instantly, and when it was cold from storing it in the fridge. I can taste the flavors of the Guanaja more intensely when it's served warm but I like the thickness of the sauce when it's served chilled. With Valrhona, there are really very few things you can do that will make it unpalatable.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Christmas Dinner Part 2: Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup

A few months ago, I went on a trip to LA for a cousin's wedding, and was introduced by my aunt to Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I heard lots of good things, but had to try her out for myself. So I rented a whole bunch of her cookbooks from the library when I got back from my trip, and decided to try this recipe first (mostly because I'm a sucker for any kind of Tomato-based soup).

My aunt was not wrong! This soup was DELICIOUS. I highly recommend picking up one of her cookbooks and trying  out her recipes. Fortunately for anyone reading, I found an online version of the recipe I used. It was relatively easy to make, it just took a LOT of time, mostly because I wanted to make a large batch (so I doubled the recipe) and had to run several batches through the blender (I didn't have a food mill, as the recipe asked for). It came out slightly chunky, but very tasty!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Christmas Dinner Part 1: Szechuan Green Beans

During a recent trip to China, I had the best green bean dish in a small restaurant next to the apartment complex I stayed at. After that, I wanted to see if I can make it myself for Christmas dinner. So, after some research, I found a recipe I wanted to to try.

It was a relatively easy recipe to make, the only problem was, I made too much sauce for too few beans.. so the dish was too salty. Unfortunately, even after the dish was watered down (I saved the leftover sauce and used it for another green bean dish), it still didn't taste quite like that elusive green bean dish.

I guess this means the hunt for the best green bean recipe is still on!