Category Archives: Great Recipes

Mmmm… Tiffin lunches are wonderful

Tiffin = a stainless steel container with curries, rotis, rice, meat, dessert... MMMM

Tiffin lunch = MMmmm!

 

Last night, I watched as Padma Lakshmi (star of Top Chef and Carl’s Jr.’s recent ad) explained the virtues of the tiffin trade in India on Discovery Travel & Living.  Mumbai is apparently the only city in the word where home-cooked food is delivered by the dabbawala or Tiffin Man to working people all over the city.  Basically, your mom or wife cooks your food, the Tiffin Man picks it up around 9-10am, then through a complicated series of train/cart transfers, your tiffin gets to you, filled with hot steaming rotis, curries, meats and a sweet treat at lunchtime.  Amazing!

 

Amazing dabbawallas deliver non-labeled tiffins directly to you

Dabbawallas deliver non-labeled tiffins directly to you

 

It just makes no sense to bring your lunch with you in the mornings as this system of over 5,000 Tiffin Men delivering to over 200,000 working people has been in place forever!  Plus, the dabbawallas, lowly educated Indians from the Pune region, have built their lives around this trade. It’s such an amazing system that you can easily find diagrams and flowcharts online explaining its intricacies.  Click HERE for more on the tiffin trade.

Here’s a popular tiffin recipe for Coconut Chicken.  Mmmm….

 

coconut chicken

 

  1. Cut 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.  Fry them in oil. 
  2. Add 1 thinly sliced carrot, 1/2 cup sweet peas, 1 chopped green onion, 1 tablespoon curry powder, salt and pepper to the chicken.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine 1 can of coconut milk to the mixture and mix well.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes more. 
  4. Pack into your son’s/boyfriend’s/husband’s waiting tiffin and if you don’t live in Mumbai, just look at it until he comes home…

Get some Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding in you!

Just looking at this makes my teeth hurt

Just looking at this makes my teeth hurt

If you don’t give a snit about your waistline or your blood sugar levels, then I suggest trying out this very popular recipe for “Bill Nicholson’s Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding” from Paula Deen’s cookbook.  It’s highly recommended by all the Southern folk who love Paula, especially because they love anything deep-fried and caked in sugar down there.  I may make this for the holidays for my 7 year old, who is sad to be on an enforced break from Krispy Kreme and DQ.   Sorry D, mommy will shower you with sugar soon…

  1. Cube 2 dozen (!) regular glazed Krispy Kreme donuts into a large bowl.  Pour in a mixture of 2 beaten eggs, 2 4.5-ounce cans of fruit cocktail (undrained), 1 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 9-ounce box of raisins, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1 pinch of salt.  Mix all ingredients until donuts have soaked up as much liquid as possible.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees in a pan for about an hour or until center has jelled.  Top with butter rum sauce (Melt 1 stick butter, stir in 1 pound box of confectioner’s sugar (!), add rum to taste and heat until bubbly).  Pour over each serving of bread pudding.   Makes 20-24 servings (!!)… but I suggest halving the recipe… or running a marathon the same night.

My ‘Paris Cuisine’ Cookbook – oui! oui!

paris2

I collect vintage cookbooks and children’s books.  I purchased many books from the antiquarian bookstores at the top of Dunbar St. and all over the Downtown area when I used to live in Vancouver.  Paris Cuisine by James Beard and Alexander Watt is one of my favorites.  It wasn’t just a cookbook, it documented the best restaurants in Paris in the early ’50s.  This book has gorgeous descriptions of the restaurant plus recipes shared by the chefs.  Priceless : )

Maxim's!

Maxim's!

La Tour d'Argent

Clique clique ici! Click on photo to read : )

La Tour d'Argent - page 2 (please click on photo)

La Tour d'Argent - page 2 (click on photo to read)

paris5

Mmmm.... une recette de Crepes Suzette! Formidable! ; )

Good salad vs. bad salad

caprese salad

I love love any Asian salad, with Vietnamese or Thai versions being my favorites.  But when it’s summer, I always look for a good, simple Mediterranean salad.  I usually go for Greek, but I found this great recipe for a Caprese one:

  1. Drain 1 large can of black olives.  Cut the olives in half.  Cut 3 cups of cherry tomatoes in half as well. Put the olive and tomato halves in a bowl.
  2. Cut up about 1 cup of good mozzarella and add this to the bowl as well.
  3. Chop or tear 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves and mix into a 1/2 cup of an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.
  4. Combine dressing with tomato mixture, salt and pepper and serve.  Mmmm…

From the Bad Salad department… I got this Jello ad from a vintage ad blog years ago.  It was labeled by the blog owner as “Satan’s salad” : (   Maybe because it looks like there are body parts trapped in it…

gross salad

Not to be outdone is our local mayo brand, Lady’s Choice, which actually thought this ad would make me want to buy mayonnaise.  I wonder how much mayo (or cement) she had to add to her macaroni salad to make it stand like that.

gross salad2

The Kiwi is a wondrous wonder fruit

kiwi

The Kiwi has recently made it back on Philippine supermarket shelves but since they look a bit alien to people here, haven’t been selling too well.  I bought some on sale at Shopwise the other day  – 6 kiwis for P75!  I’m worried they’ll be yanked soon if no one buys them.  They’re so good that my kids have gotten over the fuzzy brown skin and spotty green pulp to actually eat and enjoy them.

Plus, I read in the paper today that 1 Kiwi:

  • Contains as much potassium as a banana
  • Has the same amount of Vitamin E found in 3 apples
  • Contains twice the amount of Vitamin C found in an orange
  • Is high in Folate
  • Is naturally high in anti-oxidants
  • Is a good source of dietary fiber

It also has a low glycemic index.  So go, go buy some Kiwis now!  Then celebrate by making this Kiwi Bellini…

kiwi bellini

Kiwifruit Bellini c/o ZESPRI GOLD

  1. Puree 2 peeled Kiwis, 1 teaspoon caster sugar, 2 teaspoons Cointreau in a blender on gentle speed (you don’t want to crush the seeds).  Pass through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. Then spoon the puree into 4 champagne flutes.
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons chilled prosecco (or similar sparkling wine) and gently stir to combine, then gently pour on more prosecco to fill each glass.  Serve. Mmmmm….

I want a Lemon Drop on the Rocks

Ice cold, delicious Lemon Drop

Ice cold, delicious Lemon Drop

This is a recommended summer drink from marthastewart.com.  It’s delicious and just as good as it looks in the photo.  I really like sweet-tarty things so this is the perfect sunny afternoon drink for me (too bad it’s been cold and rainy).  The recipe is so so easy:

  1. Combine 3 cups of vodka, 2-1/4 cups fresh lemon juice (from 10-12 lemons), and 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons superfine sugar.
  2. Transfer to an ice-filled pitcher, add lemon slices and serve. 

Yumm!

Mango Lassi is goood

Mmm... Mango Lassi !

Mmm... Mango Lassi !

I love mango shakes and juice, but the Indians added yogurt to the mix to come up with this delicious shake.  I love mango lassi – it’s creamy-fruity-yummy, it’s healthy,  and it’s very refreshing on a hot summer day. Make with our own Philippine mangoes for the best tasting lassi ever : )

  1. Mix in a blender 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 4 teaspoons sugar (to taste), and 1 cup chopped mango. 
  2. Blend for 2 minutes, sprinkle with some cardamom and cinnamon, and serve!