Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eastern Europe Serbian style apricot jam tart

I got this recipe from Serbian Apricot Torte - Torta Praska on web.
As it is explained in their web, it's made with a layered yeast dough that requires no rising.

So it's fluffy, yet easy!

The recipe is web was just too large for my family,  so I changed a little, and baking time was much shortened.

So for my record,  I'll note here what I did.

What you need :

Active dry yeast ( not instant yeast)  3.5g (or around 1 tea spoon)
*I used Bob's red mill brand from USA

1/8 cup warm water + sprinkle of sugar to feed yeast

------These two can be combined already and set aside

80ml sour cream

2 egg yolk ( keep the egg white )

------ These 2 can be mixed together as you measure, then add the yeast + water

1 cup walnut chopped

2/3 cup sugar (could be less if you don't want to make it too sweet)

1/2 tsp cinnamon 

------These 3 can be mixed together and set aside ( for filling).

1 stick + 3 Tbsp butter

2 cups unbleached organic flour

350g Apricot jam or any jam you like / or canned fruits topping for cake

<Prepare these while baking>

2 egg white

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1/4 cup sugar (or less according to your taste)

1/2 cup walnut chopped

<How to make>

 Dissolve active dry yeast  in warm water with sprinkle of sugar, set aside. 
When it's foamy, add egg yolk and sour cream in it.

Coat a 20cm x 15cm pan with oil or shortening or butter.

I used an organic shortening this time.

In a large bowl,  mix together butter and flour, 
using fingers, until it becomes crumbles texture.

I don't normally place butter in room temperature
 if I use it in this way. 

Temperature is too warm and butter melts so fast, 
since I don't have air-conditoning in my kitchen.

It doesn't need to be perfectly crumbled. 

Add the mixture of <yeast / egg yolk / sour cream > in here.
 Mix just enough to blend, 
but don't knead.

Place out dough on floured board.

Divide in three.
No need to be so exactly equal.

You could start to heat the oven now.
350°F / 175℃

Using roller pin, roll the dough the size of pan.

Spread <walnut / sugar/ cinnamon > mixture.

Roll another dough and put it over.

Spread apricot jam, or any jam you prefer. 
For me, jam was just too sweet.
I'd prefer fruits in syrup or something less sweet.

I didn't have enough apricot jam, 
so I added a little quince jelly. 

Roll the last dough and place it on top. 

Bake around 30 min until brownish.

While baking, 
using electric hand mixer, beat egg white until foamy. 

Add cream of tartar, and sugar gradually, and beat until stiff.

Place out of the oven, 
spread meringue on top

Spread chopped walnut on top.

Bring it back to the oven, and bake until brown.
(around 15-20 min)

I love this dough with yeast. 
It's like a pie dough, but because of yeast, it comes our fluffy. 

I'd try apple, strawberry, orange, Lemmon next time. 
I prefer a little less sweeter, but it is just right to preserve in hot weather.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Chicken thigh fillet with cheesy potato

It's probably not even something I should post as recipe,
because it's just too easy,
and I'm sure many people have been doing it.

But anyway, here is it!

<What you need>

Potato - sliced

 ( you could soak in water a little while crushing garlic, but no need if you feel lazy)

Garlic - just crush them and get rid of skin ( no need to chop them)

Chicken thigh fille - cut in bite size

Fresh thyme (or died one)

1 Slice cheese low fat or any kind

Salt & pepper

<How to cook>

1. Heat the pan,  and dump in < Garlic,  potato, chicken, thyme > and sauté until chicken is cooked and slightly brown. (by the time chicken is cooked, probably potatoes are cooked too).

2. Add salt and pepper to taste. A little less salt if you are using salty kind of cheese.

3. Add a sliced cheese and coat it well.

Optional : You could add hot pepper or chili powder if you prefer spicy.

Too easy to cook,  but Good enough specially when you are in a hurry.

We like to eat it with bagel and cream cheese with jam of your favorite.

Freshly tossed green salad is good with this, too.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gout and Uric acid control

I met someone few weeks ago who had diabetes, 
and she said 

"You know,  I wonder why I got diabetes, I don't like sugar so much."

And in front of me,  she finished two packets of fried chips. 

Here in the Philippines,  not many doctors take time to teach their patients. 
They don't ask their patients to go to nutritionist so they can learn how to control their blood sugar.

A lot of people nowadays  know that diabetes is not about sugar,  but about blood sugar. 

So it is important to monitor their calorie intake,  look at GI of food,  so you could watch your total carb intake.  

Weighing food beforehand is important if you really want to monitor your calories.

For sugar and diabetes information, you could refer to this website.

Same thing for uric acid.  

But uric acid is a bit more complicated than diabetes.   Because it could destroy your kidney or other organs even you don't have gout attack for years.  

And here in the Philippines,  I often hear people say 

"all beans are high in uric acid, so I shouldn't eat."
"anything with seeds are bad, so you shouldn't eat tomatoes."

But again, almost all food have purine.  And what is important is total amount of intake. 

So here,  I weighed some food that people often avoid.

It is recommended that you shouldn't get more than 400mg of purine a day.

I got this reference from internet website here.

So this is oil sardines.  

It's 29g for three pieces. 

Sardins in oil is 480mg /100g purine

So if it's 29g, purine content here is 139.2mg

46.4 mg / piece

This is  anchovy in oil. (239mg /100g)
It's 5g per piece.

So purine content here is 11.95mg

Remember you could eat total of 400mg a day.
So if you just don't eat too much, one or two pieces is just fine.

This is chicken thigh with skin.
110mg /100g 

So you noticed that per 100g purine is quite low compared to sardines and anchovy.

Total weight for 2 pieces is 108g

So total purine is 118.8mg

The most among three items I weighted.

It is true that some fruits and vegetable are high in purine contents, 
but you can't eat that much. 

While even it's not high in purine, 
if you eat a lot, it'll be same.

And you need to consider also if the weather is hot,  
or you do a lot of exercise, 
and you perspire and it's likely to increase uric acid in your  blood.

Drinking a lot of water is important too. 

Medication (if recommended by physician) as well.

And here's my suggestion: 

Weigh your food and know how much you are taking.

you could weigh it until you get an idea of it more or less, 
so eventually you don't need to weigh them all the time.

No need to avoid certain food,  to me. 
just know how much purine you are taking.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Rich in fiber dates muffin

It's so easy to make + heathy + yummy!

First measure all wet ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil   2/3 cup
Organic egg  2pcs
Organic molasses syrup  3/4 cup
Organic vanilla extract 1 table spoon 
Total of 1 & 1/3 cup of evap milk, or milk, or sour cream or yogurt or  any combination of those.
( I used 200ml of sour cream + full cream milk this time)

Optional : ripe banana 2 or 3 pcs
( I just happened to have ripe banana that I wanted to use, so I added it.)

You can blend wet ingredients by hand or by machine until well blended.

Measure dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients:

Organic wheat bran 1 cup
Organic wheat germ 1 cup
Organic unbleached flour 1 & 1/2 cup
*Kinako or roasted soy powder 1/2 cup
Organic natural sugar 1/2 cup
Organic Baking soda 1 & 1/2 tea spoon
Sea Salt 1 tea spoon
Organic Cinnamon 1 tea spoon 

* kinako or roasted soy powder is available at Korean grocery. They use it to make sweet drink. Kinako is the Japanese name and you can find it in Japanese grocery too. If you can't find it, just substitute it to regular all purpose flour.

Chop dried fruits and mix lightly just enough to combine.

Dried dates 1 cup to 1 & 1/2 cup
Dried cranberry 1/2 cup
( or dried fig, dried cherry or anything you like)

Fill batter in paper lined muffin cups 90% full.

Set the temperature between 350 to 400 ℉ or 180 to 200 ℃.

I use gas oven without auto setting, but when it comes to muffin, you don't need to be so particular about temperature.

For small muffin cup, it takes 8 to 10 minutes.
For medium size muffin cup, around 15 to 17 minutes.
For big muffin cups, around 30 minute.

Be ready with BBQ stick, so you can just insert it in muffin to check if it comes off clean. If you want it moist, get it out a little earlier and allow the remaining hotness to bake some more ( but outside the oven).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Homemade Granola with apple jam

       My husband loves granola, and I used to buy Bob's red mill naturally made granola.  But I don't really want to buy a lot and stock it at home because it's humid here in the Philippines, and food gets older than it is in cold country. 

    So one day,  I run out of granola, but no time to go to a mall to buy it anymore, so that I tried making it myself.

    It turned out quite good,  and you should try making yourself if you want a crunchy kind of cereal.

So here's what you need:

<measure dry ingredients>

3.5 cups (or around 400g)  organic rolled oats (old fashioned)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut powder
1/4 cup organic sesame seeds
handful of pumpkin seeds / sun flower seeds / sliced almond etc 
(may be around 1/2 cup in total: preferably organic)

*most of organic products are from Bob's red mill.

<measure other ingredients and combine>

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup organic moscovado sugar ( it's also called "Barbados sugar" or "molasses sugar" )
1/4 cup 100% orange juice (or apple orange juice, etc)
(any brand can do. No need to squeeze from real orange, but you can also do that)
1/4 cup organic maple syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tea spoon organic ground cinnamon
1 tea spoon organic vanilla extract
1 tea spoon organic orange extract
1/3 to 1/4 homemade apple jam 
(optional: you can substitute it to other commercial jam of your choice, too.)

*My sister in law gave me a box of apple for Christmas, so I made all the apples into jam, and kept in freezer for apple tart, apple pie, or things like this.

Pour combined wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well by rubber spatula.

So this is how it looks after mixing.

Spray olive oil on baking sheet, 
and spread the granola mixture on it.

I use silicon baking sheet, but I think non-stick baking tray can do.

Bake at 300℉ or 150℃ until golden brown.
You need to get the baking tray out of the oven every 15 minutes, 
and using rubber spatula, mix the granola, rotate the tray and bring it back to the oven.

It took me around 35 minutes to get it done, but I think it depends on the oven. 

I use gas oven so normally it's easily get burned.
(some oven may take 50 minutes or so)
Burned granola will be bitter, so just be careful not to over-bake.

It looks a bit wet even it's done, and soft if you touch it.

But when it cools, it gets harder and crunchy.

<Add your favorite dry fruits>

Now you measure any dry fruits of your choice, around 1 to 2 cups. 
I used dried cranberry, dried raspberry, and dried black currant.

You can use raisins, apricot, cherry, or anything you like.

It was easier than I thought, and you can never buy granola like this in store with extra virgin olive oil,  cause almost everything is organic, and there's no white sugar added,  .


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Rum & Raisin chocolate balls for Valentine gift

I saw this recipe at TV, 
though I changed a little according to my way.

Good news: It looks like chocolate truffle, but much less calories!
And it's so easy to make, too.

This is what you need:

150g         Any sponge cakes, bought in shop
(in my case, I used mamon cake)
40g           Almond powder
2 TBSP     Rum or non-alcohole Rum syrup
(or orange juice /any kind of juice)
30g           Raisin / Prune / dried fruits
60g           Chopped black or milk chocolate (sweetened)
1/4 TBSP  Vanilla extract
3 TBSP     Cream (around 35% fat contents) 
                 Unsweetened Cocoa powder for coating

So this is the mamon cakes I bought in sale at shopping mall.
It can be bought anywhere here in Metro Manila.

*You can use any soft cake.

 I used pastry cutter to crush the sponge cake, 
but you can use food processor if you want it easier.

Add almond powder.
(I was making a little more than double size amount)

 Time to add liquar or juice of your choice.

I specially like this brand for cream.

Add Rum or juice (or anything), Raisin, Chopped black or milk chocolate (sweetened), Vanilla extract (preferably organic),  cream  and mix well until blended.

I like to mix until well blended, but you can also intentionally leave the unblended part to enjoy the sponge taste.

If it is hard to make it to a ball,
(because it breaks so easily)
You can use cling wrapper to make it to a ball and chill until firm.

Coat them with powder cocoa.


Ready to wrap and put ribbons.

  If you want it sweeter,  you can add sugar. 

I didn't know that Valentine's day was the death anniversary of Fr. Valentine who performed wedding ceremony to a soldier who wasn't supposed to get married that time. And because of that, Fr. Valentine got death penalty.  It takes courage to do something right, and I'm sure people always remembered him as the person who supported love.