Crazy for Nachos

I am getting used to my new job that entails to be awake in the wee hours of the night. Some of my batch mates cope up by drinking coffee, sleeping more in the day or eat more due to lack of sleep.  I describe myself as a nocturnal person – someone who is awake more at night than morning. I discovered this when I was in college ( either I have this inclination or I developed it that period of my life). My usual study habit is to do all homework and study for exams after dinner time until late at night. I decided to change the habit and sleep early and wake up to study early morning before breakfast. But to my dismay, I found out at the end of the semester, I have lower grades than before. Therefore,  I had concluded my brain is more active at night. I do not know a psychologist’s explanation for it but that is what I think of it.

For my grumbling tummy late at night or I say early morning at 4:00 H I have to quiet it down and eat an early morning snack. I do not have yet my baking tools at my new home so I tried making an alternative snack which is easy to do. I also believe it is a healthier option than eating junk foods. I just needed to get a box of nachos at a grocery and prepare the ensalada dip.

Ensalada de Nachos

1 box of nachos (for extra crunch- heat in toaster)

 

Ensalada dip

Ingredients:

1 green bell pepper

3 medium-sized tomatoes (red/green)

1 white onion

1 lemon (juice)

Instructions:

Finely chopped green bell pepper, tomatoes and onion and mix all together.

Add freshly squeezed lemon

Chill for an hour (for best result)

nachos and ensalada dip

nachos and ensalada dip

 

 

 

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Making your own Green Tea Frappe

For years, I have been addicted to Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino. Aside that I am not much of a coffee lover, I have a liking to anything green tea. May it be hot green tea, green tea ice cream and green tea frappe. I have been planning to make my own green tea frappe like the one in Starbucks but had difficulty in finding the green tea in powder form.

matcha

Finally, I saw this green tea powder. It is quite expensive though but I think it was worth it.

I searched for Starbucks green tea frappuccino recipe and here’s what I got.

green tea frappe

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp matcha green tea powder (if you got the sweet type like I did use 2 1/2 tsp)

1/8 cup hot water

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 cup ice

Procedure:

1. Start with hot water and green tea powder and wait for it to dissolve before pouring it into the blender

2. Add the sugar and milk to the blender

3.Add the ice and then blend u till you get your preferred texture

You can also add whipped cream but I opt not to. Minus calories. 🙂

I paired the green tea frappe with homemade spicy beef pizza.

spicy beef pizza and green tea frappe

I had leftover green tea powder from the green tea frappe  so I made green tea mini cakes as well.

green tea mini cakes

The Wonder Pot Stories III – Leche Flan

On my third post for Wonder Pot Stories, I made leche flan. It is also called creme caramel, flan, and caramel custard. This is a custard dessert with a soft caramel on top. This dish is eaten throughout the world and has many versions as well.

A friend knowing that I am making dishes in the Wonder Oven asked that I try to make leche flan since it is her favorite. If I would be successful in doing so, she wanted to learn how to make it. I was planning to do the leche flan project for October in time for Halloween but I saw this aluminum molds in the store. It was shouting to me -> buy me, buy me! So, I got two leche flan molds or llanera. Then, I had a quick trip to the grocery to get the rest of the recipe – milk, sugar and a dozen of eggs.

The procedure is quite easy but tricky too especially for the soft caramel on top. One needs to be patient and quick. Patience is needed  in waiting for the sugar to melt to get a nice brownish color and being quick is needed for transferring the melted sugar in the llanera. You can also melt the sugar in the llanera but I opt to melt in a saucepan then transfer it to the flan mold.

Ingredients:

10 pieces eggs (egg yolks)

3/4 cup condensed milk

1 cup evaporated milk (fresh milk)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Procedure:

1. Using all the eggs. separate the egg yolk from the egg white. (only egg yolks will be used)

2. Place the egg yolks in a bowl then beat them using a fork or an egg beater.

3. Add the condensed milk and mix thoroughly.

4. Pour in the evaporated milk and mix well.

5. In a saucepan, heat the sugar till melted. Then, pour into the mold (llanera).

6. Pour the egg yolk and milk mixture on the mold.

     Note: Use one large llanera or two medium llaneras for this recipe.

7. Cover the top of the mold using an aluminum foil.

8. Steam the mold with egg and milk mixture for 30 to 35 minutes.

9. After steaming, let the temperature cool down then refrigerate.

10. Serve the dessert upside down on a plate showing the caramel on top. Enjoy.

I was disappointed at first because I did not get a smooth side of the flan.

leche flan

When I get to slice the sides, I felt proud since I get the right consistency that I see in leche flan served by restaurants.

flan

The leche flan was not too sweet and just had the right yummy taste I am looking for.  At least now, I be confident to tell me friend that I could teach her how to make leche flan and I get to do this yummy dessert this coming Christmas season.

slice of flan

Japanese food snippets

When I first heard the word “gourmet” when I was seven years old, I instantly decided to be one. Maybe because I was the designated taste tester of the family every time my mother cooks a dish may it be for a special event or for an ordinary day. I grew up trying to be a gourmet in my own simple way. One of my favorite cuisine is Japanese even if I am not used to  eating with chopsticks. Tip: one of the best way to practice is to use chopsticks in getting peanuts from a plate it worked for me. There are many Japanese restaurants and other Japanese food stands in the local scene yet it is very interesting to know how close their cooking are compared to restaurants and food stands in Japan.

Tempura is a Japanese dish of seafood or vegetable that have been battered and deep-fried. My favorite is shrimp tempura. The photo below is called tendon which is a shrimp tempura on top of a bowl of rice. While katsudon is deep fried pork cutlets, onion and egg on rice.

Tendon

Katsudon

Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish with Chinese origin. I am used to instant ramen and decided that me and my friend cannot leave Japan without trying a bowl of the famous authentic Japanese ramen at the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum.

Raumen Museum

Shoyu Ramen

Miso Ramen

Ramen @ Narita Airport

Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki

Okonomiyaki

We tried this okonomiyaki at Meiji Shrine National Park. Okonomiyaki looks like a pancake and an omelette at the same time. This consists of flour, egg, cabbage, bits of squid/octopus and my favorite bonito flakes on top and glazed with  a lot of Japanese mayo and okonomiyaki sauce. One serving is good for a quick lunch.

Same with okonomiyaki, takoyaki are sold in yatai – street food stalls. Takoyaki is a popular ball-shaped dumplings made of batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan. Usually it is filled with diced octopus, pickled ginger and green onion and commonly brushed with takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, nori and bonito flakes. We tried the famous Osaka style takoyaki and it did not fail my expectation. For only 100 yen, I had three big balls of newly grilled takoyaki. Too bad I was so engrossed in eating them I forgot to take a photo.

I also tried rice cracker covered in seaweed wrapper. I like the crunch and taste of seaweed.

how to make rice cracker

yummy rice crackers

Bento is a home packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. We tried different kinds of bento during the trip. What I love bentos are how  Japanese prepare these meal in a way that all the types of food is in it already. From appetizer to main course (usually rice and some meat) and a little sweet thing too for dessert. We got bentos in a 24/7 store and railway and for me it passed my palate already or maybe I was just too hungry and never minded the taste. At least, every bento really filled my tummy so no complain there.

bento with juice @ shinkansen

ekibento with grapefruit juice

Milk Tea – my staple drink in Japan

ekibento with milk tea

first bento

I love the appearance, the taste and the delicate preparation of Japanese cuisine. Fresh ingredients are a plus too. Next time, I need to get sake together with all of these food. ITADAKIMASU!!!!

Note: Itadakimasu is a Japanese word meaning “I humbly receive”

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So what is your favorite Japanese food?