Red Velvet Cupcakes


Winter is getting the better of us. We’re becoming much like squirrels…we only get out of the house when need be. That is to go to school and buy food. That is why I am so thankful for the corner shop that sells vegetables and fruits in bulk, they also have meat that I can get for less – well, compared to grocery prices. Most importantly, eggs in abundance. I can get 30 eggs for 4euro whereas 10 eggs at the grocery shops cost 2euro already. The eggs are important for hubby and I, building up muscles from protein, for the macarons that we so love to make and for the cupcakes…for the same reason as the macarons.


There are a number of red velvet cake and cupcake recipes around but I wouldn’t go test each of them as they did here. Though I got to be thankful I know now which recipe I should follow next. These cuppies were made some months ago, unearthed from archives and posted oh so late. ^_^ I anyway hope you enjoy these eye candies. This is from one of my favorite bakers, Stephanie Jaworksi of Joy of Baking.



Food Friday, Yummy Sunday

Mohr im Hemd


Mohr im Hemd is an Austrian dessert of chocolate cake pudding served with hot chocolate and whipped cream and most of the time, ice cream. Its basic ingredients are chocolate, bread crumbs, sugar, egg yolks, almonds and red wine and has the shape of a small Gugelhupf but the above form is acceptable too. ^_^ Like the plum  pudding, it is cooked in water bath, doused with hot chocolate sauce and garnished with whipped cream and some berries of your choice.

Mohr im Hemd means moor in a shirt. The term Moor (black man) is used only rarely, and today – often perceived as negative – because of its colonial and racist partial use. The dessert is so named because the whipped cream is often put on top of or around the cake…pertaining to being worn.

For this post, I don’t have a recipe to share as this was something that son1 asked me to buy prepared, I only did the heating and plating…He loves this dessert to bits and I won’t say no either — you know how I’ve always said Austrian cakes are sour…this one is an exception.


Food Friday, Thursday Brownies

Simple Carbonara

eggpastaI would like to call this simple dish four-ingredient Carbonara but counting everything in – including pasta, there’s actually more and I forgot to include  two other ingredients in this photo – parmesan and pepper. So let’s say four-ingredient Carbonara sauce. ^_^ Italian Carbonara doesn’t have cream; that’s what I’ve been reiterating in my posts and I’m sorry I just have to say it again. Then again, it always gets creamier with well, cream…and that’s perhaps what we we’re used to having.

Carbonara sauce has 4 basic ingredients, that’s egg, bacon, cheese and black pepper. Going more particular, the bacon used is either guanciale or pancetta but hey any bacon is ok. For the cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano/parmesan is preferred but I sometimes use the more similar Grana Padano.

Here’s what you need:

250g pasta of your choice (I often have Spaghetti or Tagliatelle)
100g bacon
100g parmesan
2 eggs


olive oil

To cook, saute bacon in olive oil. Prepare pasta per package directions. In a bowl combine raw eggs, a drop of olive oil, cheese and pepper, mix well.

Put pasta in pan while still hot but remove the pan from heat. Stir in raw eggs mixture with pasta. Season with salt and pepper but I find the bacon salty already so I opt to leave out salt. Top your Carbonara with lots of parsley.

This is where your preferences come in. You can add peas, mushroom, broccoli or other vegetables. I sometimes put in tuna in lieu of bacon. Will have to share that recipe too. Enjoy your meal!



Food Friday, Yummy Sunday

Trout, Butter, Dill and Lemons

lemon, potatoes, dill, trout


“Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.” – Bobby Flay


My trinity ingredients for fish: butter, dill and lemon. I am most comfortable with that, a sidedish of baked potatoes and steaming rice would suffice whether the fish is seared, baked or pan-grilled.


Sometime ago when the trees where sprouting leaves I bought a Groupon deal for fresh fish market. I went to the market one lovely Wednesday afternoon only to learn that they are open only on Thursdays.  I went back again in Summer but they are closed and I was told that they’ll be open again in September. I really looked forward to September then it hit me: that the deal will expire on the 9th, the last Thursday that I could go would be the 8th. So that Thursday I called and said that I’d be dropping by to use my deal. The kids and I went hurriedly but even though I’ve been there twice we got lost and we had to walk about 20 minutes. 🙁 When we came, all the fish were caught, I mean bought already. We were told to come back next week since a lot of buyers weren’t able to use theirs.
dot difference

So next week came and I saw to it that we would arrive earlier than we did the last time. Thank goodness there were still a lot of them fish when we arrived. I got us brook trouts and a red-spotted trout, much bigger than what we caught from the rivers of Fürth (story to follow). Sorry, I know fish aren’t the most photogenic subjects but I just have to show this, you could see the pinkish flesh of both.


They’re surely bigger than a ruler size, head and tail not included…What I did for this dish was to stuff the fish belly with dill, sprinkle with salt and pepper, squeeze fresh lemon juice and put lemon slices on top. I put in whole, washed potatoes too and buttered everything generously. Got the ensemble baked and here’s what we got:

throw potatoes in


Food Friday,Yummy Sunday

S’Baggers – Food Sliding Down

naggerder Frankendöner Haweii

That’s my naggerder Frankendöner Haweii mid Dibb/Escalope Hawai,  seared pork cutlet topped with ham and grilled pineapple. This is what I had during our last semi-rendezvous with the in-laws in Nürnberg, at S’Baggers to be exact.

For the dish, I love that they used fresh pineapple which was thickly cut and I did mention I love this grilled fruit over at my other blog where I already featured the restaurant. Please click here for that related story and to see how they uniquely serve food.


spare ribs

S’Baggers serves  traditional Franconian (a historic region in Germany, mostly northern Bavaria and neighboring cities) – all low-fat and low-calorie dishes. That means the use of calorie-less vegetable oil for frying (I think). The kids got Fritters (Baggers) so I’m not so worried that it’s loaded with oil.

Hubby got Barbecue spareribs with a serving of different breads. Since we are entitled to choose our own dip I only got catsup which didn’t go well with my dish, he got cranberry sauce which didn’t go well with the ribs. Solution – exchange of sauces! lol. The cranberry was good for mine but mom-in-law said she wouldn’t want to have her dish and dessert together like that. hihi


A few minutes after and what’s left is a plate of bones! Dessert follows.



Am Steinacher Kreuz 28

D-90427 Nuremberg

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for: Food Friday, Yummy Sunday, Mellow Yellow Monday


Macaron Perfected!

Finally, I can proudly say that after a lot of trials and using different recipes, we did it! We’ve made macarons and it’s easier than before, they developed lovely feet and were crunchy outside but very soft in the inside. We tried both ganache and confectioner’s frosting for filling…both tasted awesome!

Again, let me differentiate that this macaron is almond cookie as there is macaroon – made of coconut.

choco macaron
for the ganache

We always get excited when we see these cookies develop feet. It’s about the 5-minute mark when they appear and it means that I have to turn the tray – for them to be baked equally on each side.

For this batch I used the following recipe – the site I forgot to bookmark. 🙁

Ingredients for the macaron shells:

150g egg whites, aged

100g caster sugar (Superfine Bakers Sugar or Granulated Sugar)

180g almond meal

270g icing sugar (Confectioners’ Sugar or Powdered Sugar)

red food color (powder)

macaron in oven macaron with feet
we got feet!

The photo above reminds me of one of the funniest quips I ever read.

“This guy found a bottle on the ocean, and he opened it and out popped a genie, and he gave him three wishes. The guy wished for a million dollars, and poof! there was a million dollars. Then he wished for a convertible, and poof! there was a convertible. And then, he wished he could be irresistible to all women… poof! he turned into a box of chocolates.”


with choco ganache and cream cheese filling

Ingredients for the chocolate ganache filling:

230 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces

180 ml heavy whipping cream

30 grams unsalted butter

For the confectioner’s icing:

4 cups (460 grams) confectioners sugar (icing or powdered sugar), sifted

1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 tablespoons milk or light cream

For now, I’d just be teasing you with that – the ingredients. Tomorrow, I’d be posting the procedure on how these French cookies are made. 😉


Sauteed Lentils with Shrimp and Spinach

munggo, lentil

…or more commonly known in my mother tounge as Ginisang munggo. My mom often serves this along with fish or pork chop, if not she would include bits of pork. I prefer putting shrimp with it to maximize iron content, this is something I cook for my asthmatic son. I think I’ve featured this dish here and on my other foodblog often enough but today I’m plating this quite differently.


Munggo (lentils, green mung beans)
Shrimp (shelled and devein)
Fish Sauce

How to:

1. Boil the lentils/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


Best served with fried fish! (Another iron-rich food.) I learned that spinach contains inhibitors that will be difficult for the body to absorb iron, so I tend to remove it for my son’s portion. The tomatoes on the other hand contains lots of vitamin C, that which help iron absorption.

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


A post for Food Friday, Foodie Friday, It’s a Keeper, Recipe Swap, Fat Camp Friday, Friday Potluck.

Panna cotta with sweetened memories


It seems reminiscing is all I can do lately. It must be the age…I’ve lived half the life my father did and this thought makes me look back more. I miss my highschool friends, being in school and studying (or not), exchanging notes, jokes and laughter with them in between schoolwork and other activities. It’s like everything I look at are memorabilias of the life I’ve lived…but everytime I pick a scene to relive, it’s very clear as though it was yesterday.

I’ve had my share of good food with friends back then. Simple meals and dishes concocted for a country-girl’s palate. In school, some common foodjoint, a special restaurant but mostly at home…friends’ homes. Once in a while, we get treated to something unique and unusual from the fare.  Among the  few desserts there were, Panna Cotta reigns supreme.

Chefs could go wild with variations on Panna cotta, flavoring the cream while it heats. A  little coffee, a fresh bay leaf,  a touch of almond extract or torn mint works well…the possibilities are endless.

Some often dress up panna cotta with complicated sauces too, from caramel to blueberries, raspberries and chocolates or coffee-inspired creaminess. I like it on its own, plain, mouth-watering,  unassuming form. I have, however, known a better alternative for sauces…Jellyace sweetened gelatines…a childhood favorite! Thanks to our  Math teacher (my bestfriend’s mom)…my memories of Panna Cotta are always  perfect and yummy! (Though we knew panna cotta by another name…) Their home was and is always a pleasure to visit. One that always have a welcome-y atmosphere. One that you’d consider your own…especially when food, aromatic as they were would be served like there’s no tomorrow. (Thanks Ma’am and Tito Danny!)

panna cotta with berries

Panna Cotta ((italian) loosely translates to cooked cream. There could be differences in consistency among chefs, but I liked the one that Tita Minda would make for us, greedy it may sound but yes I can finish a whole serving of this… probably 250 grams… 😀 I am still not able to achieve that  perfect consistency, as this is the closest I can get but  hopefully in time and with practice I will. Here is an adapted recipe from an online cooking source. The sauce is a bottled strawberry concoction.


1 envelope of unflavored gelatin (approx. 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup milk (if you use condensed milk, omit the sugar)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh berries, gently washed, drained, and sweetened to taste**
6 sprigs fresh mint

*Half & half, buttermilk, whole milk, and/or sour cream may be substituted for part of the cream.


Any assortment of fresh, seasonal fruit may be served with panna cotta, but berries are especially nice. To use other ripe, soft fruits, such as cherries, peaches or apricots, just remove the stones and peels as necessary and cut them into thin slices or bite-size pieces. They could be made into jam-like sauces as well.

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup milk; let stand until the gelatin is softened, about 5 minutes.

In a large saucepan, combine heavy cream and sugar. Add vanilla extract or vanilla bean. If using a vanilla bean, slice the bean lengthwise and scrape out seeds into cream (add whole bean to cream for additional flavor). Bring cream just to a simmer (do not let it boil), whisking occasionally until sugar has completely dissolved; remove from heat and remove vanilla bean pod. Add the softened gelatin mixture and whisk to completely dissolve the gelatin.

Strain hot cream mixture into a large glass measuring cup with a pouring spout; pour into ramekins or custard cups.

NOTE: Don’t skip the straining step as it removes any bits of undissolved gelatin and insures a nice smooth dessert. Also, don’t let the cream mixture cool before straining. If using a vanilla bean, lightly swirl the cream to distribute the seeds evenly. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

To unmold and serve, carefully dip bottom of each ramekin in a baking pan of hot water briefly. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin to loosen it from the inside of the bowl. Wipe the outside of the mold dry and place on individual chilled serving plate (topside down). Invert the custard onto the plate and carefully lift off ramekin (shake gently to release). Garnish with berries or fruit or a favorite sauce of your choice.

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