Here we are once again, perusing through the website for the inevitable dessert after a nice comfort meal.  Lately, in my neck of the woods, heavy rain has set in, along with rolling fogs that settle amidst the foothills of our property.  Quite a beautiful sight to enjoy, alongside my big cup of coffee.  It is also days like this when it calls for a semi or no-bake culinary muse in my kitchen!  So once again, I turn back to one of my favorite food blogger extraordinaire, Stella Dacuma Schour  of Cooking with Stellaaa, whose motto “I cook with feelings and without exact measurements” coincides with my culinary philosophy of reinventing a recipe in the simplest way possible and with heart.  In Stella’s original recipe, without a doubt, she definitely had me at ‘No-Bake Honey Cheesecake’.

Without further adieu, in the spirit of creativity without the hazzle, below is my version of this delectable dessert.  Do enjoy!–gcc

Alas, after a couple of years in storage under the stove top cabinet and a few more months stored in a moving box, I FINALLY got around to using the pizza stone…and I can definitely vouch that it made for an honestly good pizza crust. Thus, from this day forward it shall be with pizza stone!

Beignet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Beignet (pronounced /bɛnˈjeɪ/ in English, /bɛˈɲɛ/ in French; French, literally “bump“),[1] synonymous with the English “fritter”, is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux paste.[2] Beignets are commonly known in the U.S. as a dessert served with powdered sugar on top; however, they may be savory dishes as well and may contain meat, vegetables, or fruits.[2] They are traditionally prepared right before consumption to be eaten fresh and hot.

Good Afternoon! Last night I ended the evening with ‘50 Shades of Chicken‘, a cookbook parody on my Instagram portfolio… Although this recipe is adapted from a different cookbook: Memories of Philippine Kitchens, this morning I start the day early with my own ‘first shade’ parody of Chicken: RED. Hence, I bring to you a popular dish from the city of Bacolod, Philippines, ‘Chicken Inasal’. This dish uses different ingredients for its marinade and basting sauce that create a unique flavour. Cooking it calls for a constant basting of lemon butter sauce with annatto (a natural plant extract used as dye) which gives it a unique hue of red in colour.

Coconut Pandesal
Ube Pandesal

Pándesal (Spanish: pan de sal, “salt bread”) is a bread roll made of flour, eggs, yeast, sugar, and salt.

It has become a common food item in the Philippines.[1]  Its taste and texture closely resemble those of the Puerto Rican bread pan de agua and Mexican bolillos. These breads all use a lean type of dough and follow similar techniques learnt from Spaniards or Spanish-trained bakers early in their history.  Despite the Spanish origins of its name, pandesal was introduced in the Philippines in the 16th century.[2] Pandesal originally started out as a plain roll, traditionally served for breakfast and accompanied by butter, cheese, scrambled eggs or filled omelette, sausages, bacon, Spanish sardines, jams, jellies and marmalade, coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Pandesal can be made from any type of dough and still resemble pandesal as long as the dough is rolled in fine breadcrumbs before baking. The softness of the newer type of pandesal—which consumers unaware of the proper texture now find desirable—is due to a weak dough structure derived from inferior quality flour.

A couple of pandesal variety I made for you are Ube Pandesal and Coconut Pandesal.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into Springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into Springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad…

The Sound of Music Lyrics of My Favorite Things

I cannot begin to tell you how much I adore A Country Cook’s Kitchen cookbook!  The author has done a tremendous job putting together timeless, rustic recipes from making artisanal breads, farm-house-style cheeses, preserving vegetables, curing meats, churning your own butter and soft cheese, baking cakes, pastries and biscuits…not too mention the page-turning arrays of heirloom, artisanal and organic food photography.  I am not a sponsor of this cookbook, nor any of the others I might have mentioned or will mention in the future–to make that clear, but my rule of thumb is, if I find something worth sharing…word of mouth is truly the key to do so.  Pay it forward, right?

Onward, one of the culinary skills I am trying to hone into is bread making, thus, whenever I post something on Instagram with regards to making bread, I immediately title it Bread-Making 101 because I am at the novice stage of baking.  You can only imagine the excitement I feel after peaking through the lit oven door and watching the development of the dough as it swells and rise before my eyes!  It was beyond exhilarating…

Indian cuisine is among the most diverse and versatile in the world, employing a wide range of cooking techniques and a vast array of ingredients and flavors.  The influences of geography, history and religion have resulted in a huge range of dishes that cater for almost any palate.

Hmm, where do I begin?  Beautiful Breads & Fabulous Fillings (The Best Sandwiches in America) by Margaux Sky. I don’t quite remember when and where I found this book but I love it!  An older recipe book written in 2006 and I purchased it about two years ago when we first began our cooking and baking frenzy at home.  There are a couple of bread recipes in this book I really like and one in particular that my older son has made in the past.

I, on the other hand, have only tried ‘baking’ a few months ago, when we moved into our new home.  Yesterday, I took out this cookbook that has remained untouched in the pantry for about the same duration as when we moved in!  Upon the revisit, I immediately opened it to the same bread recipe I have been wanting to bake for myself…Sweet French Loaf.

About a week ago I received a personal autographed copy of the Heirloom Cookbook from The Beekman Boys.  I also took the liberty to purchase an autographed copy of The Bucolic Plague.  Just as with any new cookbook and/or book I purchase, I could not wait to peruse through the crisp pages of both books.

Bistek Tagalog is a Philippine dish typically made with onions and strips of sirloin beef slowly cooked in soy sauce, and calamansi juice.  Bistek is considered one of the Philippines’ “national” foods. This is a nice, hearty dish for beef lovers that goes very well with boiled or steamed white rice. Great for a sit-down meal with friends and family.

(Source:  Wikipedia)

Wrap up a hot dog in true ‘mummy’ fashion in this fun Halloween take on classic Crescent Dogs.  This morning I wanted to surprise my ‘lil guy, so I made these before he got up for breakfast…

I know, I know for some you it’s not exactly the Kobe beef of choice…but if you have not tried beef tongue cooked the authentic French way, then you are truly missing out!  I give my hubby 100% credit for cooking the best beef tongue I’ve ever had.  It’s a must-try…at least once.