Monday, 23 November 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies using Shortening

It is fascinating that just by changing one ingredient in a certain baking recipe, you will get a different outcome.  

Last month I made a soft chocolate chip cookies (see the recipe here )  I used butter and the outcome was nice and soft.  Using the same recipe, I made this chocolate chip cookies but instead of using butter, I used the butter flavored shortening by crisco.  Well I just want to try it.  According to the label on the crisco tub, if using the crisco as a butter substitute, I will use the same amount as the butter then I just have to add 2 tbsp of water.

So the result are  cookies that spread thinner as compared to those I first made using  butter.  In fairness, they were still delicious and the taste also has a hint of butter. I will be using more of this crisco butter flavored shortening in my future cookie experiment.

PS:  I was not compensated by crisco to do this.  It was just a personal experiment to satisfy my curiosity (evil grin) Wait a minute, I just realized that butter is composed of 80% fat and 20% water.  If that is the case, I should have used 160 grams of shortening and added 40grams more of water since I used 200 grams of butter in my first recipe ( feeling confused...)



All-purpose Flour - 300 g.
Baking Soda - 4 g
Salt - 2 g
Butter-flavored Shortening, crisco brand- 200 g
Water - 30 grams
White Sugar- 150 g
Brown Sugar- 100 g
Egg - 1 pc (large)
Vanilla essence - 5g
Chocolate Chips - 150g to 200g

Cooking Procedure:

1.Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 
2. Mix together the all-purpose flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
3. Mix the brown sugar and white sugar together
4.  Cream the shortening, milk, and sugar together on low speed until fluffy.  Slowly add the egg and vanilla essence. Cream until the mixture becomes light in color.
5. Add the flour mixture in 2 batches and mix under medium speed until fully incorporated.
6. Throw in chocolate chips and mix at low speed until just incorporated.
7.  Scoop out the cookie dough using an ice creamscooper and lay them on a greased or waxed-paper lined baking tray
8. Bake for 7 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius

© myFresha-licious (23November2015)

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Monday, 16 November 2015

Apple Caramel Streussel Muffin

One of my favorite fruit which I often use in baking is apple. And I often find them great with sugar and cinnamon.  There are a lot of uses for apple in baking and I think I haven't maximize their uses yet. 

As to what kind of apple to use in baking, has an article discussing this topic.  According to eatingwell, mcIntosh are great for pies and sauce.   Granny Smith is also good if you want something sharp and tart in your pies.  Red delicious is not advisable for pie as they lack the tartness a delicious pie needs.  Honeycrisps are better eaten as is as they are sweet but they are also good for baking.

You want my thoughts, I actually do not know.  I use whatever apple is available in our kitchen.  I don't even know nor bother to get the type of apple we buy.  I like to eat Fuji apple and I usually use them in baking too.  Fuji apple is probable one of the apples I know the name of, another is the granny smith which I prefer using it in baking and in my smoothies rather than eating them as is.

Anyway, here is another apple muffin recipe shared to me by my good friend Tin Bernardino.  This is one way of making use of those apples you don't like to eat.

If you need to convert the recipe into cups and tablespoon measurement, check our measurement conversion.



Muffin :

All purpose flour - 250 grams
White Sugar, granulated - 200 grams

Apple, diced - 2 medium apple
Baking Powder - 5 grams
Baking Soda -  7 grams

Nutmeg Powder - 3 grams
Cinnamon Powder - 3 grams
Vegetable oil - 100 grams

Water - 300 grams
Egg, whole - 100 grams
Salt - 3 grams

Streussel Topping:

Sugar, brown - 70 grams
All Purpose Flour - 10 grams
Cinnamon powder - 0.40 grams
Butter, unsalted (room temp) - 15 grams

Filling and Topping
Caramel (store bought)

Baking Procedure:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
2. Mix together the all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and instant espresso powder.
3.  Combine the whole milk and vinegar, set aside
4.  Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
5.  Gradually and alternately add the egg, dry ingredients, coffee flavor, and the milk.  Mix until well incorporated
6.  Scoop batter to greased / lined cupcake molds
7.  Bake for 20-25 minutes  at 350 degrees Fahrenheit 

Enjoy :-)

© myFresha-licious (09November2015)


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Friday, 13 November 2015

Simple Medium Rare Beef Steak

The Husband loves his steak. When he craves for steak, our go to restaurants are usually Applebees, Friday's, Chili's, and the Amwaj restaurant located at their company's Al Ghazzal Club. He likes his steak moist, succulent, and medium rare of even rare.  Yes, he wants his steak to be "bloody".  When I was still into red meat (you know, pork and beef), I wanted the same too for my steak, succulent and bloody.  I don't like a steak that is cooked through.  

Every time he orders his steak, waiters / waitresses usually are shocked whenever he tells them that we wants his steak cooked medium rare or rare. "Sir, madugo pa po yun (Sir, the steak will still be bloody)", that's what the waiters / waitresses often tell the Husband (as if he isn't aware of the meaning).  He usually just smiles and nod.  We used to explain "the why he ordered a medium rare steak" to the servers but I think the Husband and I grew tired of explaining.  If he is served with a none medium rare/rare steak, we just return it and have them serve him what he wants.  As simple as that, no explanations necessary. 

At least once a week, the husband indulges in his simple steak pleasures. Either we dine out or he cooks his own steak at home. Sometimes I cook his steak, but half way through, he usually takes over (he doesn't trust me with his steak, evil grin) Here is his simple go to recipe for his Beef steak.  The most important technique in cooking beef steak which we learned from watching cooking shows on tv is that to cook the steak frozen. Do not and never thaw your steak. Just take out your steak slab from the freezer, let it sit for a few minutes (not more than 30 minutes) then put it straight on the griller.

( )

Ingredients :

Worcestershire Sauce
Black Pepper
Red Pepper

Cooking Procedure:
1. Wash, drain, and score the beef.
2. Mix the ingredients for the marinade then pour it on the beef. Massage the marinade on the beef.  Place the beef and the marinade in a zip lock and store in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
3.  After 2 hours, freeze them.  The beef should be frozen for at least 12 hours before cooking.
4.  Remove the beef from the freezer at most 30 minutes before cooking.  Do not thaw.
5.  Pan grill for at most 8-10 minutes on each side.  

Do not allow the steak to be cooked through

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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Spicy Beef & Beans Stew

We sometime include ground beef in our grocery list for one reason - for the Husband's Pinoy style spaghettie. Using ground beef makes the sauce for the Huband's Pinoy style spaghetti a lot tastier.  But then again, like anybody with cravings, the Husband would always have something in mind to eat other than the Pinoy style spaghetti.

Spicy beef and beans stew.  This is one of those beef recipes that I usually whip up when I see minced beef just lying inside the freezer for a long time.  It reminds me of the chili con carne of Wendy's  that I used to eat before when I was still eating red meat.

I used to love this kind of minced beef stew with nachos, doritos, or any tortilla chips.  I also used to add lots of grated cheese or spreadable cheese  like cheez whiz. This with a liter of ice cold coke and a nice tv series to watch like the Big Bang theory or criminal minds would make a rest day great. 

If you are not fond of chips, this spicy beef and beans stew is great as a rice topping too.

( )

Ingredients :
Beef, ground - 500 g
Garbanzos- 1 tall can
Kidney Beans- 1 tall can
Garlic,coarsely chopped- 7 cloves
Onions, coarsely chopped- 1 large
Tomato Paste - 4 tbsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Parsley, dried and ground
Oregano, dried and ground
Bay Leaves - 2 pcs
Black Pepper Powder
Sweet Red Paprika Powder
Chili Flakes - to taste
Brown Sugar - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Water - 1 1/2 cup
Vegetable Oil

Cooking Procedure:
1. In a saucepan, heat oil then add the beef. Stir fry until the beef is cooked through and turns brown.  Remove beef from the pan and leave at least 2 tbsp of oil
2. Throw in the chili flakes and garlic then the onion and stir fry for a minute.  
3. Add tomato paste, water, parsley, oregano, bay leaves, black pepper powder, sweet red paprika powder, brown sugar, salt, and cumin powder.  Let it simmer. 
4.  Return the ground meat and simmer for about 20 minutes on low fire. 
5.  Add in the garbanzos and kidney beans and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or until most of the liquids have evaporated.

© myFresha-licious (12November2015)


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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Nilagang Baka (Boiled Beef Bone Soup)

Nilagang baka, for the Ilocanos like us we call it inanger, anger, or for other Ilocanos they call it lauya nga Tulang ti Baka which can literally be translated to English as Boiled Beef Bone Soup.  Other Filipinos this soup is called bulalo specially when the beef shank is used

With nilagang baka , the beef including the bones are boiled or stewed for hours, mine was cooked for 4 hours on low fire,  to get that fell-off the bone tenderness of the meat and a soup that is oh-so flavorful.  Vegetables are added for the most need fiber, from potatoes, sweet potatoes, to carrots and leafy greens like pechay and cabbages.

This dish is a comfort food at its best enjoyed specially during rainy seasons.  Serve this to pregnant women for their most needed protein source. 


Ingredients :

Beef Bones with marrows and meat of course - 500 g.
Beef, cubed - 250 g
Garlic - 10 cloves
Onions, diced - 1 large
Black peppercorns, cracked
Carrots, diced - 1 medium

Fish Sauce - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water - 1 inch above the meat and enough to cook the meat for at least 4 hours

Cooking Procedure :

1. Dump all of the ingredients, except for the vegetables, in a pot and bring to a boil at low-medium fire for at least 4 hours.  Add more water as needed.  Adjust taste by adding more salt when necessary.  

Note:  Skim the scums off the stock as you cook.

2. Add the cabbage and carrots and cook for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Serve and enjoy

© myFresha-licious (11November2015)


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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Hamonadong Baka

Hi there friends hope everyone's well and happy.

Last week, we featured several Filipino vegetable dishes and a week before that we featured some Filipino desserts. If you missed them, try to browse back our website to check on them.  

This week, we are featuring a few beef recipes so visit us often to be updated specially that Christmas and New Year holidays are just a few weeks to go.  I'm sure everyone's preparing there menus and grocery list for the upcoming occasions not to mention the reunions and other get-together parties in between.  You can get some ideas as to what to cook here in our blog, that we can assure you.  

So, I'm starting this week's beef recipes with this very flavorful, savory, and sweet beef stew we call hamonadong baka.

When we say hamonado we refer to dishes that are simmered in pineapple juices and cooked with pineapple fruits. This dish is usually served to impress families and friends as it is truly delicious.  What is great about this is that it is so simple and easy to make yet yields a very sumptuous dish that makes every meal special.

Try it and you won't regret it (smiling with a halo on top of my head)


Beef, cut into small cubes - 500 grams
Pineapple chunks - 1 small can
Pineapple syrup from the pineapple chunks
Pineapple Juice - 1 cup
Soy Sauce - 6 tbsp
Brown Sugar - 2 tbsp
Black pepper, cracked 
Garlic, chopped - 5 cloves
Water enough to cook the meat
Vegetable oil

Cooking Procedure:

1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl except for the beef, pineapple chunks, garlic, and vegetable oil.  Marinade the beef in it for at least 4 hours.
2. Drain and set aside the marinade.
3. Heat the oil in a wok, toss in the garlic then the marinated beef. Stir fry for about 5 minutes.
4.  Pour the marinade and water enough to make the liquid to reach at least an inch above the meat.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.
5. Toss in the pineapple chunks, add more water (at least a cup or just enough to cook the beef), simmer for another 60 minutes or until the beef are tender or until most of the liquids have evaporated.  Do add more water as needed.

© myFresha-licious (10November2015)


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Monday, 9 November 2015

Corn Muffins Using Whole Corn Kernels

The Husband has been requesting me to make corn muffins.  I was thinking of making corn muffins similar to that of the Philippine Kenny Roger's corn muffins way back 2006.  My friends told me that the current corn muffins at Kenny Roger's do not taste good anymore so I'm basing my taste preference the last time I had corn muffins at Kenny Roger, in 2006.

This corn muffin I made do not taste like that of Kenny Roger's corn muffin nor will I claim it to be a copycat for many obvious reasons. First, I did not use cornmeal which is a basic ingredient of Kenny Roger's corn muffin (sssshhh) Secondly, the texture of my muffin is not gritty because I did not use cornmeal.  Thirdly, you can taste the real corn in it even if  I did not use any corn flavoring. Lastly, the Husband told me my corn muffins tasted better (oh of course he would say that)

I used Heinz sweet corn (canned) for this recipe and had to process them using an immersion blender to make them a bit pureed in order for me to achieve that "corn taste".  I also use an all purpose flour with 12.5% protein content. This is moist and a bit dense but I would love to be denser next time.

Hhhmmm what else?... Oh the...The Husband is requesting that I make this again (nodding while smiling)


Makes: 10 - 12 muffins
Cooking time: 22 - 25 min


All-purpose flour-  1 1/2 cups - 180 g
Bread Flour - 1/4 cup - 30 g
White sugar (granulated) - 1/2 cup - 100 g
Baking Powder - 3 tsps (depending on the brand) - 15g
Salt -1/2 teaspoon - 3 g
Evaporated milk - 1/4 cup - 50 g
Corn oil - 1/2 cup - 100 g
Egg, slightly beaten - 2 medium-size - 100 g
Sweet corn (Whole corn kernels) (do not drain) - 1 can (400 g) (I used Heinz sweet corn)

Baking Procedure:
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl then set aside.
3. In another bowl, pour the content of the can of sweet corn (include the syrup), add in the milk, and white sugar.  Using an immersion blender, blend them all together until the corn kernels are coarsely chopped.  
4. Add the eggs and vegetable oil to the corn-milk mixture and beat using a wire whisk until incorporated (less than 1 minute)
5. Gradually mix the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat using a wire whisk until well-incorporated.  
6. Pour batter into muffin tins. Top each muffin with a few whole corn kernels
7.  Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Remove from tins and serve warm.

© myFresha-licious (09November2015)


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Sunday, 8 November 2015


One of those soft breads that have become not only a Filipino traditional breakfast bread but an all-time favorite bread is pandesal.  Pandesal  literally means bread with salt but since most Filipinos are "genetically" sweet tooth (I am not though but I am a proud Filipino... evil grin) it evolved into a sweet bread.  Some bakeries usually use 16-20% of sugar in their pandesal which is way to high. Less than 10% is recommended.

If you grew up in the Philippines, specially in the provinces, you could have had experienced this.  Every morning, one gets to wake up to the "pandesal! pandesal" calls of the pandesal boy who roams around the neighborhood carrying and selling a box full of hot pandesal. In our town, the Ilocano pandesal boys usually shouts "pandesal napudot pay" which can be literally translated to "pandesal, they're still hot" with the unspoken words "gumatang kayon" which is "buy now" in Ilocano.  They usually beat the magtataho (person seeling silky tofu) in the morning (evil grin). Breakfast or snack is also not complete without dunking a piece of pandesal in a cup of coffee.  Oh well, those were the days when the earth is a lot younger than today (evil grin)

Personally, I want a pandesal that has a crunchy crust but soft in the inside.  You cannot buy that from our part of the world (we are currently residing here in Doha, Qatar) pandesal here do not taste the same as those sold in the Philippines. And mostly, most breads like pandesal are already packed and stocked on the shelves for consumers to be able to grab it as soon as they see it.  In which case, the pandesal is no longer crunchy.  Heating them in an oven will do no good (sad face)

So, the best thing to do is make my own pandesal.  What's the use of having a dough mixer and an oven if I can't make my pandesal

With my pandesal, I combined all purpose flour with 12.5% protein content and bread flour with 14.5% protein content.  Why not just use pure bread flour? Because using bread flour alone usually makes bread dense and heavy like the sourdough breads and I don't want a dense and heavy pandesal.  I also don't want to use pure all purpose bread because I might not be able to get the crunchy crust I want to achieve.  So there you go (evil grin)



Sponge :
All Purpose Flour (12.5% protein) - 1 cup. (set aside at least 15 grams for dusting)

Bread Flour (14.5% protein) -  2/3 cup
Water- 2/3 cup
Instant dry yeast (le saf) - 1 tsp

Dough :
All Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup

Bread Flour -  1 /3 cup
Instant dry yeast (le saf) - 1/4 tsp
White Sugar - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Butter Flavored Shortening - 1 tbspWater- 2 tbsp

Bread Crumbs 1/2 cup or more

Baking procedure:

     First Fermentation time: 12 hours

     Second Fermentation time: 1.5 hours
     Dough Scale:  45 grams each
     Proofing time :  45 minutes 

     Resting Time : 10 minutes
     Baking : 180 degrees celsius / 18-25 minutes or until the top is light brown and crusty

     Yield:  12 pcs

1. In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix all the ingredients for the sponge. Cover bowl with cloth and place in a warm place.  Allow to ferment for 12 hours
2. Mix the dry ingredients for the dough except for the salt. Set aside.

3. After 12 hours, mix all the ingredients of the dough in a mixing bowl. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.  Then gradually add the sponge. Continue mixing for a minute. Increase speed to medium and mix until the dough comes together and gluten has fully developed.

Use the window pane method in checking for gluten development. Cut a small chunk of the dough and stretch it. If a thin film appears in the middle and it doesn't break, the gluten is fully developed.

4.  Cover the mixing bowl with cloth and set aside in a warm place to allow it to ferment for the second time.  Ferment for 1.5 hours.
5.  After 1.5 hours, punch the dough and place it on a flat surface sprinkled with flour. Form into a log.  Rest for about 10 minutes
6. Cut the the dough into 12 pieces.  Roll each piece on bread crumbs, shake a little to remove excess and arrange them on baking trays.
7. Leave bread to proof for 45 minutes.  Pre heat oven to 180 degrees celsius atleast 30 minutes before baking.
8.  After 45 minutes of proofing, bake pandesal for 15-18 minutes or until the top is light brown

© myFresha-licious (08November2015)


Saturday, 7 November 2015

Sauteed Pechay in Oyster Sauce

When we were kids, we usually have a garden filled with pechay.  I still remember a time when we have pechay for lunch and dinner seven days a week.  They were usually sauteed with meat or canned sardines or are added to sinigang or nilaga dishes. My favorite on the other hand is when the pechay are just blanched, then dipped in vinegar with salt and sugar and chopped onions.  They are yum.

Sauteed Pechay in Oyster Sauce is one of those things I whip up that goes well with steamed fish. It is simple yet tasty dish, and the sauce can be used as a dipping sauce for the steamed fish.

In our part of the world (Doha, Qatar) pechay is a valued commodity as they are only available during the winter period.  They usually pop up in supermarkets starting November until February.  And yes, this dish was cooked months earlier, last December (evil grin) 


Ingredients :

Pechay Leaves - a bundle
Onion, chopped - 1 small
Garlic, minced - 3 cloves
Black Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp
Oyster Sauce - 2 tbsp
Low Sodium Soy Sauce  - 1 tbsp
Water - 2 tbspOlive Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
Water for boiling

Cooking Procedure :
1. Mix together the water, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and black pepper powder. Stir.
2. Boil water then throw in the pechay leaves and simmer for about 2 minutes.  Drain.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan then saute garlic and onion in it.  Stir until softened. 
3. Pour the soy-oyster sauce mixture, stir, and simmer for about 2 minutes.  Throw in the pechay leaves and continue to simmer for another 2 minutes

© myFresha-licious (07November2015)


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Friday, 6 November 2015

Ginisang Patola

Ginisang patola or Sautéed sponge gourd. This simple dish always reminds me of a simpler rural lifestyle when we were kids in a town far north in Luzon.  Growing up, our Mami or our Lola would cook simple dishes like this. Patola are sold cheap in our town and that makes it affordable to families like us.  Bits of meat, or inasinan nga taba (pork fat cured with salt), or sometimes a can of sardines, is added to make the patola dish more flavorful. Most times, Mami or Lola will just cook it as is with no additional ingredients, just sauteed and seasoned with either salt or patis (fish sauce). The simplicity of this dish cooked with love is what makes this dish delicious.  It is one of our favorite vegetable dish.

This days, it is one of those dishes that I often whip up specially when I am running out of ideas to cook. They are sold cheap in our part of the world, so patola is always present in our weekly grocery list.  They are filling, delicious, nutritious, and friendly to my gut.  This makes a  great meal specially when served with either steamed or roasted fish or chicken.

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Patola (sponge gourd)
Fish Sauce- 3 tbsp
Low Sodium Salt and pepper to taste 
Vegetable Oil

Cooking Procedure:
1. Heat oil in a saucepan and sauté the garlic until it is aromatic and almost turned brown.  Add in the onions and tomatoes and cook until they soften.
2.  Throw in the patola and stir for a few minutes.

3.  Add Water and season with patis, salt, and ground pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Cook the bottle gourd until its soft.

© myFresha-licious (06November2015)


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