Recipe ideas

Easy Ramen Noodle Soup Recipe

ramen noodles
Ramen noodles

Last night was girl-bonding with two of my friends — Aila and Arnie. Usually we go out with the rest of our office mates, so this in itself is a rare event. We went shopping for clothes (you know, girl stuff) and then scouted for a place to eat. To cut the story short, I ordered spicy ramen from a Korean food stall (ramen in Korea is called ramyeon), with kimchi on the side. It has a slice of cheese, which in my opinion blends perfectly with the dish and that melts in the mouth. Hmmm. I wish it had more cheese slices.

So anyway, that’s where I got the inspiration for this post: Ramen.

 

Ramen is a world-famous Japanese noodle soup. There are many regional variations of ramen in Japan, and there are also some varieties outside the country. Generally it’s composed of Chinese-style wheat noodles (which you can make at home), served in a meat- or fish-based broth and topped with pork, dried seaweed, kamaboko (a Japanese processed seafood product), green onions and corn, though you’d find that there are a number of other vegetables you can use as well. Soy sauce or miso is used to flavour the noodles soup.

The one below is a great base recipe for ramen noodle soup. It’s perfect as a quick lunch or dinner, especially if you’re cooking solo. Like other recipes I’ve listed here, I like the fact that you can easily personalise it according to taste or what you have in stock.

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Uncategorized

Homegrown Tomatoes

Ain’t nothin’ in the world that I like better
Than bacon & lettuce & homegrown tomatoes
Up in the mornin’ out in the garden

Get you a ripe one don’t get a hard one
Plant `em in the spring eat `em in the summer
All winter with out `em’s a culinary bummer
I forget all about the sweatin’ & diggin’
Everytime I go out & pick me a big one

Homegrown tomatoes homegrown tomatoes
What’d life be without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love & homegrown tomatoes

You can go out to eat & that’s for sure
But it’s nothin’ a homegrown tomato won’t cure
Put `em in a salad, put `em in a stew
You can make your very own tomato juice
Eat `em with egss, eat `em with gravy
Eat `em with beans, pinto or navy
Put `em on the site put `em in the middle
Put a homegrown tomato on a hotcake griddle

If I’s to change this life I lead
I’d be Johnny Tomato Seed
`Cause I know what this country needs
Homegrown tomatoes in every yard you see
When I die don’t bury me
In a box in a cemetary
Out in the garden would be much better
I could be pushin’ up homegrown tomatoes

 

Nice song. Perfect for summer harvesting of homegrown tomatoes.

Recipe ideas

Baking with Coca Cola: Coca Cola Cupcakes

Even now I’m still amazed that coca cola can be used in recipes. Somehow, this seems to me even more fascinating than using beer. Actually I rarely drink Coke or other soft drinks (doctor’s orders), but when I found this Coca Cola cupcake recipe, I immediate thought, “wow, I must try that.”

I looked over at the list and there’s nothing fancy about the ingredients — you can easily find them in the pantry, and it’s not difficult to make either. If you’re knowledgeable in baking cupcakes this is just a cinch.

These cupcakes don’t have an all-Coca Cola flavour. Instead, these have a rich, chocolatey taste and just a hint of Coca Cola. Still, believe me when I say that this recipe is one of a kind.

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General kitchen area

How to Make Homemade Yogurt: Plain and Flavoured

My interest in making homemade yogurt started with my craving for fro-yo. To tell you the truth, despite my self-professed strong relationship with food, I was a bit snob about frozen yogurt. That is, until me and my friends hanged out in this place and I’d tasted a green tea-flavoured one topped with heavenly berries and other fruits.

So back to yogurt. Of course, it’s always more convenient to simply buy it in a store, but homemade yogurt tastes better, contains no preservatives and is surprisingly easy to make. As such, I’m listing here the basic know-how of making homemade yogurt.

homemade yogurt

You only need two ingredients: milk and a cup of commercial yogurt for the active cultures. I’m aware that once you’ve done your first batch, you don’t need to buy another fresh cup of yogurt because you can use the homemade batch as a starter, but I rarely do this as I’ve noticed that using the previous batch gives varying results. So, just to be sure, use a commercial yogurt.

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Recipe ideas

A Crowd Pleaser: Milk Chocolate Pecan Pie

At work, I sit beside this girl who’d suddenly decided she wants to undergo detoxification by eating only fruits and vegetable for a week.

So this is what happens when you are, or know someone who is, planning to be on a diet — you start to think of all the decadent sweets you’ll missed out on. Really, not everybody’s like that? Anyway, that’s what happened. I looked up sweets on Pinterest and got very interested in a Forrest Gump Chocolate Tart, which looked so good I wanted to thank whoever made the film that inspired the author of the said blog post. From there on, I decided I’d do something sweet the next time I’m in the kitchen.

So that’s the story. And now, here enters milk chocolate pecan pie. If you’re a fan of pecan pie and wanted something a little bit different, this recipe is perfect for you.

milk chocolate pecan pie

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Recipe ideas

Pizza Lover’s Surprise: Zucchini Pizza Casserole

zucchini
Zucchini + pizza = perfection

I’m a great pizza lover. Have I mentioned that before?

In fact, one time when my previous office mates and I were hanging out together, Marvin said, “hey guys, you ever noticed that whenever we go out we always order pizza and nachos?” It dawned upon the rest of us that he was right, but this is the kind of thing you just ignore because you’re perfectly content with the way things are.

So, with my fondness for pizza, I was delighted to come across a recipe for a zucchini pizza casserole. It’s not pizza-pizza and don’t expect it to be, but the good thing is it has cups of veggies in it and does taste like pizza. Whatever you want in a pizza, you can also put in this dish (pepperoni, anyone?).

 

Okay, let the pizza loving begin!

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Recipe ideas

Summer Day Ice Cream: Mint Chocolate Chip

Hallo summer!

There’s so many things to love about this season: summer dresses, beach vacations (my friends and I are planning to go to Boracay), even the sheer excitement of it all.

Summer also means refreshments and ice creams. Yep, that’s the inner child in me who’s excited about ice creams.

Here’s how I make mint chocolate chip ice cream. You can also do this without an ice cream maker, but I find it easier if you have one. Much more convenient that way, especially if you’re the kind who needs a regular tub of ice cream in the fridge (or, that is to say, you have little nieces who never seem to get tired of ice cream). Besides, ice cream makers come with a recipe booklet that you’ll find useful, especially when it comes to creating your own flavour.

mint chocolate chip ice cream

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Recipe ideas

Creamy Risotto with Crunchy Bacon Bits

I once read that cooking risotto is one heck of a way to impress one’s date. This is from a funny but serious-toned relationship book of my brother’s, a bit like Barney Stinson’s The Bro Code. Since the author highly approves of this dish — and in fact chose this among a myriad of other classy dishes available — I’d placed risotto in my must-learn, must-try dishes.

arborio rice
Arborio rice is easy to cook al dente without overbrowning

Honestly speaking, the stirring involved in cooking risotto can be a bit tiring, but if you’ve got a wonderful recipe it’s totally worth it. The bacon risotto recipe I’ve posted below is relatively simple compared to other recipes I’ve scoured on the net and it’s also straightforward (creamy risotto and crispy bacon, yum!).

Oh, and just one more thing before you move on to the recipe below. The secret to a delicious risotto is good homemade broth! Keep it simmering until you have to add it to the rice.

Recipe ideas

Easy and Creamy Pasta Salad

There are two things I never say no to — free pizza and pasta salad.

In fact, for the past years I’d been begging my mom to make pasta salad for Christmas instead of our traditional spaghetti (only one pasta dish, please), which is cooked either with sweet tomato or carbonara sauce. Unfortunately — and for an unknown reason — I’m the only one in the family who finds this dish especially delectable, so my request often falls to deaf ears.

I can’t remember my mom’s recipe, but I knew that it was minimalist: chicken strips, cheese, mayo dressing, a dash of pepper, sometimes cheese. There’s a lack of colour, but it has always been delicious.

So, I’d adapted another recipe when I started making my own, one with a “classic” dressing. Personalise the salad however you want, but the dressing is perfect on it’s own. I was uncertain about the mustard at first, since I know that my mom doesn’t use any, but alas, the overall flavour is just mmm-mmm. But don’t take my word for it. Try it.

creamy pasta salad

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Recipe ideas

Peanut Butter and Snickers Cookies

Give me freshly baked cookies and a cup of milk and I’m happy as a clam.

Normally, I’d want simple chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal raisin cookies (my favourites), but this time I thought I’d do different. So, how about peanut butter and snickers cookies? The famous sweet-and-salty taste of peanut butter cookie with the chocolate-caramel goodness of a Snickers bar — honestly, just the thought of it makes me drool.

If you already have a good recipe for peanut butter cookies, you merely have to add chopped Snickers and do a few adjustments to taste.

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