The Peach Spaghetti

peachpasta

When I served this spaghetti, the kids had the same reaction...Warum ist das farbe so? (Why is the color like that?) In actuality, the sauce has a strong hint of peach, hence the title.

I originally wanted to cook baked macaroni and cheese, however, I saw too late that we run out of macaroni, there was no time to buy at the store. (I am at home with 3 kids and its winter. To go out of the house to buy macaroni pasta means us dressing up layers of clothes first.) =(

So I came up with an idea, use spaghetti instead of macaroni. =D And that's how the peach pasta was born.

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Ingredients

ground beef
onion
garlic
tomato sauce
ketchup
salt and pepper

half stick butter
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese

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Saute garlic and onion, throw in ground beef when onions are transparent. Cook beef until brown. You may also add hotdogs.

Add tomato sauce and ketchup plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Put the stove on very low heat.

In another pan melt butter, drop grated cheese slowly, stirring continously. When the cheese melts add milk, still stirring. Make sure that all of the cheese melts.

Combine the cheese melt with the tomato sauce mix. Stir well. Serve over hot pasta.

You can also serve this with the cheesemelt over the sauce instead of combining it but the mixed version tastes better.

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This is the same recipe for baked macaroni and cheese, you only need to combine the tomato sauce mix with macaroni in a baking dish. Spread the cheesemelt over before baking in preheated oven at 180degs (C)/356 degs (F) for 15 minutes.

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Mashed Potatoes and Gravy


A little calorie overload from one of the family's favorite comfort foods. =D







Mashed Potato
Ingredients:
6 potatoes
water
half cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
salt/pepper

How to:

Peel, wash and cut the potatoes. Put them in a small pot with just enough water to cover them. Boil until tender, around 20 minutes or so. Drain the water off the pot.

Lower the heat and put back the pot, add milk and butter while mashing the potato. Use a potato masher or fork (don't put them in a blender). Mash until free of lumps, afterwards put them in a bowl and whip with a fork, season with salt and pepper. Serve.




Gravy

4 tbsps butter
3 tbsps flour
half of beef cubewater
pepper



In a small pan, melt butter on low heat. Add crushed beef cube and stir. Slowly put in the flour stirring constantly. Turn off stove then add pepper and a little water. Adjust the texture by adding water. You can also add a little of the mashed potato to make it thicker.

Best served with burger patties.

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Salad


I am not a salad fan (leafy salads that is)...one thing that my mom-in-law laughs about.

Even as a young kid when mom and bro makes a simple tomato-cucumber salad...I won't eat. It's because of the vinegar actually...I have a strong rejection of vinegar's taste and smell, that's why I rarely cook dishes that includes vinegar.


But once, being invited at a friend's house, I was tempted to taste the salad that she served since it was just plain lettuce. The dressing was a little vinegar, salt and Kürbis kernöl/Pumpkin seed oil. I liked it. So now, this is the only leafy salad I serve at home. There'd be occasional servings of potato salad and most of the time fruit salad, chicken macaroni salad...but lettuce with kürbis kernöl is the only leafy salad for me.

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Negative calorie foods





An apple a day surely keeps the doctor away. That's the cliche we commonly know. But apples also keep the dentist and the calories away! How? Apple is one of the fruits listed under the still-doubted-findings of negative calorie foods.




All foods contain calories together with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. So no, there is no such thing as negative calories, it only means that one who eats these certain foods need more energy than what the food has in order to metabolize/break it down.



Say an apple contains 100 calories but your body needs about 150 calories to burn it, 50 calories are borrowed from your stored calorie content...thus the more you eat apples, the more calories you burn.


Aside from apples, diverse vegetables are listed as well. Here are some of them, be sure to grab any once in a while:



asparagus, cranberries, beet, grapefruit, broccoli, lemon mango, carrot, orange, cauliflower, pineapple, celery, raspberries, green cabbage, strawberries, hot chili peppers, lamb's lettuce, cucumber, lettuce, endive, onion, garden cress, papaya, garlic, spinach, green beans, turnip, zucchini.



Here's to healthy eating! =)

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Garlic Shrimp Pasta

While posting the kids' photo, I noticed the google ad on my page...it says Garlic Shrimp Pasta! How good can google come up with that from my tags??? lol. Anyway, I actually had this recipe saved up,here again a simple pasta dish...(again) with shrimps!


shrgapast



Ingredients:

Pasta

Olive oil
Garlic head
Shrimp (shelled and devein)
Dried Basil
Salt and Pepper


How to:





1. Cook pasta per package direction. Heat olive oil. Saute garlic and shrimps...do not overcook the garlic.










2. Add basil leaves and season with salt and pepper. Drop in the spaghetti so it gets covered with basil.






Try not to let the basil get all over your face. Click this pic. =D

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Kinder!




Als die Kinder auf mich gewartet habe, die nette Dame im Fischgeschäft hatte jede einen Fischfahnen gegeben! Danke!


Ich kaufte frische Lachs (angebot!) für 10 Euro pro Kilo!

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Mung beans, Garnelen und Spinat

Munggo, Shrimps and Spinach



My son has suffered with bronchitis over the past year and a half. In my effort to help him overcome it and aside from the Doctor's advice, I researched a lot about bronchitis and found out that somehow it can develop in children with low-iron diet. Which in turn could be caused by poor absorption of iron and not necessarily by eating iron-less foods.

Iron is a necessary mineral for body function and good health. Every red blood cell in the body contains iron in its hemoglobin, the pigment that carries oxygen to the tissues from the lungs.

Iron deficiency weakens the immunity sytem which leads to other complications. As for Charlie, when he's exposed to some irritants, his bronchial tubes are affected causing difficulties in breathing and other symptoms that makes me cry. =(

This recipe is a good combination of iron rich foods which all my kids (yes, not only Charlie) likes. Mung beans are rich in iron, thiamin, magnesium and folate, which help many other bodily functions for optimum health. Shrimps, like other seafoods are also a good source of iron. Spinach also has iron but contains phytate (an iron absorption inhibitor), that is why it is a good thing that this recipe includes tomatoes. They are a good source of vitamin C which helps in the body's absorption of iron.

My apologies for not providing enough photos this time.

Ingredients:
Garlic
Onion
Ginger
Tomatoes
Munggo
Shrimp (shelled and devein)
Spinach
Water
Fish Sauce
Pepper

How to:

1. Boil the mung beans in a large cooking pot or pressure cooker. While waiting for them to tenderize; mince garlic and ginger, cut onions and tomatoes.


2. In a separate pan, saute garlic, onions and ginger. Throw in the tomatoes when the onions become transparent. Put the shrimps next. Season with fish sauce (or salt) and pepper. Set aside.


3. When the mung beans are tender enough, put in the pan contents together in the pot. Add a little water and season according to taste. Add the spinach on top and let cook on the still hot-turned-off- stove =D.
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There's a significant change in Charlie's condition somehow. When bronchitis 'attacks' it doesnt take more than 7 days compared to 2 weeks or more before.

(Disclaimer: This recipe will not cure bronchitis, but it will help people with iron-deficiency thereby strenghtening the immune system.)

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A Simple Pasta Dish





An experimental dish with few ingredients, less preparation and cooking time.

Ingredients

Spaghetti or any pasta you like

Ground beef
Garlic cloves
Tomatoes
Basil leaves
Pepper











How to:





Cook pasta per package directions.
Mince garlic cloves (the more, the better). Cube the tomatoes.
Chop the basil leaves finely (but dried basil leaves will also do the trick, again the more, the better.)













Braise the beef in a pan for a few minutes. When it oils, set it aside and throw in the minced garlic. Mix.










Add remaining ingredients, cover and let cook for a few minutes. Serve over hot pasta plus garlic bread.



Enjoy!





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Side dish: Words for the day
Tomato/es (n): Tomate/n
Basil (n) : Basilikum
Garlic (n): Knoblauch
Ground beef: Hackfleisch (Germany), Faschiertes fleisch(Austria)

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Umami, The fifth taste (A.k.a. MSG)

Our tongue has been used to foods that are sweet, salty, bitter, sour and also spicy. We even learned that our tongue has different areas of taste maps. Technically, there were only 4 (spicy being a sensation) but a fifth taste emerged, referred to as Umami, Japanese for 'beautiful flavor' or 'good taste.'

Umami taste can be found in many foods such as walnuts, grapes, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, seaweed and parmesan cheese. But the most common we are familiar of is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or Vetsin. It is also in soy sauce, fish sauce and ketchup.


In 1907, Professor Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University started his experiments regarding the taste apart from the 4 common flavors known to man. He knew that umami can be tasted in dashi stock (soup out of kelp which is used as base for many Japanese dishes). Prof. Ikeda extracted glutamic acid (glutamate) from the konbu broth, crystallized it and called it 'umami,' coined from the Japanese word umai (delicious).




(photo and other info courtesy of http://www.glutamate.org/media/discovery_of_glutamate.asp)




Contrary to popular belief that MSG is unhealthy or full of chemicals, glutamate is in fact an amino acid which plays an important role in the body's metabolism. MSG enhances the flavor of food, so if raw food contains saltiness and you added MSG, it becomes saltier naturally. No need for salt which contains 1/3 more of sodium, a mineral linked to certain health risks.


Nutritionists recommend that we eat foods that are low on fat and sodium, that means less salt...so next time you cook consider omitting salt, don't worry that food will taste bland, all you need is a dash of MSG!

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Beef, broccoli and mushroom

Beef, Broccoli and Mushroom


When cooking dishes, I keep in mind that the kids will like it best. This dish is a hit because soft mushroom is Alexie's fave while brocolli is the veggie that Charlie eats most. As for Daniel, well he eats almost anything (lol), so this is for him too.





Ingredients:
Mushroom buttons
Broccoli head
Beef
onions
water
Soy sauce
Oyster sauce
pepper







How to:



1. Cut the beef into cubes. Braise them for a few minutes. Add a little water and some soy sauce afterwards and leave in the pan on low heat.






2. Peel and chop the onions, cut mushrooms and brocolli into serving sizes.








3. . Throw in the onions and let them cook, leaving the onions with the beef will allow it to be tender faster.





4. Put then the veggies and season with pepper, add oyster sauce and some more water, cover. Turn off the stove as the veggies get crispy-cooked because of the heat. Best served when the beef are really tender almost falling off...





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Side dish: Word for the day

Mushroom(n): Champignon (cham-pi-nyon)

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Burger King 1st District

At a glimpse of this photo, you might think that this is a Burger King branch somewhere in Manila...everyone has that familiar, welcomely smile! Yes, they are Pinoys too!


This Burger King Branch is located at Annagasse 3, 1st district, the heart of Vienna. Though this certain area of Vienna is full of tourists, the street where BK is located is not crowded. Since the crew are mostly Pinoys, it is always pleasant to visit once in a while, I feel as though I am one step closer to home.


Sadat Pela, one of the manager, who has been working with them for almost 3 years sums up how the Pinoys work into one word: Supppeerrr!!!



Well, that's no surprise, considering the hospitable and cheery nature of us pinoys, add to that the dedication and willingness to work, right?



Though I do not bring the kids often since they like japfoods and homecooking...they always finish a whole meal. They like the burgers here better than the others. Charlie likes the onion rings too and Alex always has a banana split-shake.





As for me, I prefer their Long Chicken with cheese. This is really a big serving, enough for me (even without the fries and drinks).

The chicken is soft to bite and the cheese adds a certain kick to it too...considering that it is not the usual round burger, its not messy to eat.



Here is what's left of it in a while.














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Oh! Check out the interiors too. One will easily recognize that this was an old building once integrated with modern architecture. I was surprised to see the intricate details on the ceiling and pillars...













So don't forget to drop by once you happen to find yourself in Vienna.


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Salmon Feast

I used to prefer Tilapia, Bangus and Galunggong (fat, dried ones) over other fishes...Everytime I buy (or order) from the Asia shop, they were always on the list.

But the past year, we started with Salmon cravings from uncooked sushi, to grilled steaks from smoked strips to baked fillets, then it eventually became an all-time favorite!

Here are two of the easiest Salmon recipes I have but I' d be posting more for sure.



Grilled Salmon Teriyaki


Sugar
Sesame oil
Garlic, minced
Ginger, crushed
Soy Sauce
Vinegar

Salmon Steaks










In a shallow dish, combine the first 6 ingredients. Marinate the steaks into the mixture at minimum 1.5 hours. Grill over charcoal (or any griller you have) turning once after 9-12 minutes then cook the other side for another 10 minutes...serve!


Salmon Taco


Smoked Salmon Strips

Lettuce

Taco Wraps

Mayonnaise













Simply put in the ingredients (except mayo) inside the wrapper...yeap, that easy! Heat it up in your bread toaster and your good to go! You can also add onions, tomatoes and other taco stuffing but this simple recipe is enough for me though.

It is the smoked taste of the salmon that I really like, gives this that unique hint of mystery in every bite...(What was that?)

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Side dish: Word for the day


Salmon (n): Lachs (German)

Sake (Japanese)


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Ratatouille

How would you react upon seeing a rat scurrying out of the kitchen upon seeing you? Bet you'll scream. But how about seeing a rat cooking in your kitchen?

Might be the same reaction of Alfredo Linguini (the garbage boy turned restaurant owner and chef): shocked and speechless. But like him, I would want to know how the rat was able to cook...

Ratatouille, set in Paris, is one of those films that my kids love watching over and over until they can exchange the dialogues of the characters. This is one of those Pixar movies you would wish to have a sequel.


Aside from the smooth story which makes this a film for "Moms and Dads, but the kids will love it too," Ratatouille makes you crave for the food you see on screen. The animators where successful in 'cooking' computerized foods which appeal to the viewers as though it is real food. But what I like most is the presentation of a French peasant food of the same name, Ratatouille (rat-ta-too-wee). So here is how the veggie wonder is done.


Ratatouille


Ingredients:
garlic
onion
tomato
eggplant
zucchini
bell pepper
thyme, basil, parsley
olive oil
tomato paste
salt and pepper







1. Wash and cut up the vegetables accordingly to serving sizes.








2. In a deep cooking pot, pour in lots of olive oil. When the oil warms, put in the onions and garlic. Stir in the bell pepper strips and the tomatoes and stir well. Throw in the three herbs, salt and pepper.






3. Throw in the eggplants and zucchini and stir well. Put the tomato paste and let it cook for another 45 minutes or more.
This is like the Filipino Pinakbet sans the bagoong...and with a French twist! Can be served as it is or (of course), with rice!



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Side dish: Word for the day
Umrühren (v) : to stir

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Cordon Bleu

(Homemade Cordon Bleu)


Ingredients:

patis(fish sauce )
pepper
lemon juice
eggs
flour
breadcrumbs
cheese slices
ham
chicken breasts
cooking oil











How to:




Cut the chicken breasts open. Marinate the chicken meat in fish sauce, pepper and lemon juice (calamansi will do). Leave at least for 2 hours, turning the meat once in a while.








Roll the cheese slices inside the ham then put each roll inside the chicken meat.





Heat the oil at this time. Put the flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs in separate plates.
Coat each chicken breast in order: 1. flour 2. egg 3. bread crumbs.
Make sure that they are well covered, so they won't open while being fried.






Deep fry the breasts until they are golden brown.

Voila! Serve with rice and ketchup or just with potato salad.








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Side dish: Word for the day

Kartoffel (n) : potato

synonym: Erdapfel

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Onion and Tears



I am no crybaby, but onions really make me cry.

Almost all of us have to deal with crying while mincing onions. Maybe some of us have tried soaking the knife to be used, soaking the onion itself or both.

But based on my experience, lighting a candle nearby is the trick. From what I read, "the sulfur compounds released when you cut an onion needs oxygen to make sulfuric acid. This explains why your eyes tear up! Burning a candle would use up the O2 and prevent the sulfuric acid from getting into your eyes."
Works for me.
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Side dish: Word for the day
zerkleinern: cut up

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Food Color


I have always regarded the market as a nice place for photography, especially the fruit and vegetables section, the most colorful I must say.

A variety to choose from; sizes, crispness, texture...!

Diverse flavors, sharpness, spice and again color!

Though the same things aren't exactly boring to look at eh?

And of course, the helpful and cheery 'tindero,' though not colorful, will make you smile for the day! hehe.

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