Tag Archives: recipe

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies

13 Feb

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in the sense that it should be celebrated (i.e. flowers, chocolates, bling, blah, blah, blah), so by connection The Hubby doesn’t either.  Like so many other holidays, it’s overtly commercialized and the capitalistic opportunities are many.  Why, just a couple of days shy of the New Year, I noticed a few stores in Bellevue Square already marketing their Valentine’s Day wares… oh those merchants… they just couldn’t let their patrons bask in the newness of the New Year.  Not that this post has anything to do with the upcoming heartsy-fartsy day but… this past weekend, The Hubby made Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies after my persistent “Would you like to learn how to bake pb cookies that are really easy to make?”  Who wouldn’t, right.  (Notwithstanding folks with peanut allergies or dislike peanuts.)

Just as I’m not into V-day, I’m also not into baking cookies, with the exception of the holiday season; in which case, I humor traditions.  Because baking cookies doesn’t fall on the list of activities I-want-to-do, I had to recruit The Hubby into cookie making.  Lucky me, he learns quick!

When it comes to literature, I’m not stuck in a genre and in fact, I read a diversity of books – one category being recipe books.  I found the easy-to-make Crunchy PB Cookies recipe in an eight year old Food & Wine cookbook.  It’s one of the books that I took with me when I flew from my parents’ nest because it was the only cookbook I have that boasts a 0.5mm thickness, or thinness I should say.  All my other cookbooks are chunky and cumbersome.

The cookies came out to be nice, crunchy (as its name suggests it would be), and sweet.  Too sweet for me, unfortunately.  The Hubby is fine with the cookies, but he has a sweet tooth.  For those of you who love your sweets and love peanut butter, you’ll love this recipe.  Consider making a batch for that sweet tooth and even that sweetheart of yours!

Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies*

1 c smooth peanut butter
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbs finely chopped peanuts (optional)
1/4 c chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Mix peanut butter with sugar, baking soda, and eggs.  Add peanuts and chocolate chips, if using.  Roll the mixture into 24 balls.  Create a crosshatch pattern on each cookie using a fork.  Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly browned.

Smile and serve.


Cowin, Dana and Sigal, Jane. (2004). Food and Wine: Fast. New York: American Express Publishing Corporation.

Leche flan

12 Aug

Currently living in London and on a quest to create the perfect leche flan, Kat, my youngest sister, experimented by making five flans in the span of a month.  That’s 30 eggs and 10 cans in total of both evaporated and condensed milk in 30 days!  Do the math, that’s an egg a day.  In a way I’m not surprised, she loves eggs and milk more than any person I know.  If it isn’t unhealthy to have >2 eggs on a daily basis, then she’d consume that many eggs every day.  As for milk, well, she won’t eat any cookies or slices of cake or pie unless there’s milk available.  A few years ago, she started eating chocolate cake before checking to see if there were any milk, only to find out that there weren’t any.  The mistake has yet to be repeated.  Thereafter, she’d confirm the availability of the super-duper-amazing liquid first before proceeding to eat any dessert.

Here’s the dealeeyo with eggs.  Having lived in England also, I can attest to the richness of chicken eggs there compared to ehrr, for the lack of a nicer word, not-so-rich American eggs.  If you can get your hands on duck eggs then consider yourself a lucky duck and use those instead since duck eggs have a larger yolk-to-albumin proportion; essentially, more yellow stuff than white stuff.  When it comes to making flan, the more yolks used, the creamier the result.  If you do choose to use duck eggs, be careful as overcooking/overbaking will lead to a rubbery dish due to the low water, high protein content of duck eggs.

Below is the wunderkind’s recipe and photos.  Now, I’m not sure if she got the ingredients list from a cookbook or online or if she modified our Mom’s recipe.  I think my Mom’s ingredients list involve granulated sugar and just yolks, not whole eggs.  Kat is still tinkering with her recipe and her mission is still at large.  At any rate, when she’s stateside, I plan on bugging her to make her prettylicious leche flan.

Kat’s leche flan

brown sugar
5 tsp granulated sugar
6 eggs
1 can of evaporated milk
1 can of condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
*secret ingredient*

for the caramel:
Lightly sprinkle brown sugar on the bottom of the dish, thus creating a thin coat. If there are patches of noncoated spots on the dish, this is fine. You don’t want the bottom fully coated, because then it’ll be achingly sweet.

for the flan:
Separate the eggs, and beat the whites and the yolk separately.
Combine the two then slowly amalgamate the white and yolks with a spatula

Slowly pour 1 can of evaproated milk and 1 can of condensed milk in a separate bowl.  Add sugar then vanilla extract.  Slowly add the eggs.  Mix the ingredients slowly with a spatula.  Tap out the air bubbles.  Pour into the dish that has been coated with brown sugar.

Put 1.5 inches of water in a big pan, and put the flan dish inside the bigger pan with the water.  Bake at180 degrees celcius (convert to farenheit), for an hour, or until the top is golden brown, and the flan is settled.

Once it has cooled, loosen the flan from the dish, and then turn it upside down onto a serving plate.  Voila.

As for her *secret ingredient*, it possesses the molecule below.

I scream for Alton

31 May

The weekend before my scheduled California visit to see my family, I received an early Saturday phone call from Claire and Kat to give me the news that Alton Brown is in Monterey making an appearance and signing books at the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium.  How perfectly untimely!  I mean really, it was one week ahead of my visit.  But it so happens that my luck isn’t so sour since my sisters’ playground is Monterey (and also SF) so they happened to be there at the time and came upon the event.  Hoo-wee, lucky me!  When my sisters told me that they’re getting me a book for him to sign, I could only scream with glee.  Maybe I cracked their eardrums given how long and sustained my screaming was—my excited scream also woke up Ryan (and maybe even our neighbors).

My sisters and I are known for being mischievous, so of course they couldn’t help but trick me into thinking that the line was so long that they weren’t able to make it within his signing time block.  I shrugged it off though I was a bit disappointed. 

During my visit, my sisters surprised me with the book by keeping it in my bookshelf, in the tier where my cookbooks are housed.  Claire asked to borrow one of my cookbooks (tricky, tricky) which she had to ask me several times because I didn’t want to be rouse from my lethargy, when I finally did get it for her I noticed something oddly colorful and misplaced so I pulled it out then screamed my parents’ house down.  Perhaps my reaction was expected since no one told me to keep quiet.  At any rate, check it out.

I heart, heart AB!

But this is the exciting part of all (a message that Kat came up with and asked AB to write).  They didn’t have a camera on hand with them but if I can’t be in the photo too, then it’s for the best.  Besides which, the message rocks enough already.

A message from AB

In case you’re wondering why I would get so elated over Mr. Alton Brown, here’s why… I’ve followed Good Eats since I first saw it which was, if my memory serves me right and it does, 1999.  For those of you who are quick with numbers that was indeed a decade ago.  I was fascinated with food and cooking at an early age, but Mr. Brown was the one who turned my fascination to a near obsession.  I fell for Mr. Brown like a ton of bricks frites. A fact not lost on my family (thank you, thank you, thank you again for the book!).  After I learned cooking techniques and the science behind cooking, I began eschewing recipes and tinkering 99.8% of the time.  Pretty damn empowering. 

In I’m Just Here for the Food, the recipe that made me go “Oooh!  Mmmm!” at first glance was Scampi V1.0.  I followed the recipe almost to a T (I added a couple of other spices and inflated the amount of garlic than what the recipe called for).  Also, the cooking method suggested broiling but I opted for the alternative method of sautéing instead. Nevertheless, the result was finger-lickin’ ‘licious.

Because I was taught to share, here’s a part of the recipe:

“Heat the broiler and position the rack to about 5 inches below the heat source.  Arrange the shrimp (1 pound, peeled and deveined) in the broiler pan so there is no overlapping.  Drizzle the oil (2 tbs) and scatter the garlic (1 tbs minced) over the shrimp and season with salt, pepper, and Old Bay.  Put the pan under the broiler for 2 minutes, until the shrimp begin to turn pink.  Stir in the lemon juice (4 tbs freshly squeezed), add the panko (1/4 c) and parsley (2 tbs chopped), and toss to coat the shrimp evenly.  Return to the broiler and cook until the bread crumbs are evenly brown.  Serve immediately.”   Brown, Alton.  I’m Just Here for the Food. New York: Stewart, Taboori, and Chang, 2006.

Scampi V1.0

Scampi V1.0


Mango Almond Macaroons

30 Jul

Or Mango-Almond Macaroons for long.

Last Tuesday, Eva, a longtime girlfriend, her Mom, and her one year old plus baby girl named Gabriella flew in for a one-week visit.  Unfortunately, Teppo, her husband, wasn’t able to join them for the trip. Something about work. Again, unfortunately.  They lodged in Seattle but spent an overnight with us in Redmond.  When I visited Eva and her family many, many full moons ago, Gabriella was only three months old.  So it has been quite a while since I’ve seen them.  Their long awaited visit is mainly a bite from the traveling bug which Eva has been afflicted with for years, and partly from my constant cajoling that she should get out of San Francisco to see the Northwest and visit me.

Eva & company’s itinerary included a weekend trip to Victoria, Canada which Ryan and I got willingly pulled into.  We would have gone to Vancouver but Eva preferred Victoria.  Given that she was the one who came up for a visit, I think it’s only fair that she call the shot on the Canada trip.

Growing up, when my familiy went on long trips, my Mom would pack snacks for us: fruits, crackers, and sandwiches, so we would have a choice of healthy eats and not rely on fast food junks.  So it’s no surprise that I’d pick up the habit of packing snacks for long trips too.  For our trip to Victoria, aboard the Victoria clipper vessel, I packed mini coconut bun rolls and mango-almond macaroons.  Perfect munchies for Ryan, the coconut lover, and for Gabriella, the budding coconut lover.

Here’s the easy breezy recipe for the macaroons:

Mango-Almond Macaroons

4 large egg whites
4 tbp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c sweetened flaked coconut
¼ c dried mango chips
¼ c sliced almonds
Pinch of salt
Butter and flour for baking sheet and/or foil

Put oven rack in middle position.  Preheat oven to 300°F.  Butter a baking sheet, then line with foil and lightly butter and flour foil.  Knock off excess flour. Combine the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.  Then mix in coconut, mango chips, and sliced almonds.  Divide coconut mixture into size of your choice onto the baking sheet.  Make sure the mounds are about 1 inch apart.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tops are pale golden.  Carefully peel off the macaroons from the baking sheet and transfer them onto a rack to cool.

I’ll let Gabriella be the judge of the coconut bun roll (recipe not included).

Gabbe eating coconut bun

I hope you enjoy your macs as much as Gabriella bella enjoyed her coconut bun roll.