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Salak, A Tropical Fruit You Might Not Know



Salak, Snake Fruits
Salak, Snake Fruits

Do you know all the fruits in your country? Have you tried eating them?

A few days ago, a Thai woman with her baby came to where I work. She brought a box full of packed tropical fruits. My Thai workmates  including me were so happy seeing those delicious exotic fruits in the box. The box was full of rambutan, Asian mango, jackfruit, young coconuts and snake fruits.

Have you heard of Salak? Me, not until the Thai woman came with the tropical fruits to sell. I have not seen Salak in my life until that day. I wonder if this fruit is sold in my home country Philippines. My Thai workmate showed me in her smartphone the english name of Salak. It´s called Snake fruit. Why snake fruit? I was so curious that I had to Google that fruit when I came home. At least I know now how it tasted as my workmate gave me one to try. Not bad at all.

 

Here´s what I have found out about Salak or snake fruits:

  • Salak is a palm tree fruit and is produced in some parts of Asia like Indonesia and Thailand.
  • It is called snake fruit as the skin of this fruit is rough and scaly like the skin of a reptile.
  • It looks like a fig fruit and has reddish-brown color with tiny spikes on it.
  • Though the skin is reddish-brown, the fruit inside is white in color and has a texture like lychee.
  • It has 3 lobes (as I have noticed when eating Salak for the first time) which resembles the cloves of the garlic. The inside of the lobe has a brown seed which is not edible.
  • The fruit is juicy, sweet but acidic and taste a bit like pineapple.
  • It is a healthy snack on the go as it contains Vitamin C, iron, thiamine, potassium and pectin.
  • Eating too much Salak can cause constipation.

 

How to eat Salak:

Salak is easy to eat. Just open the fruit skin with your hands and you will see a white film that covered the white juicy lobes. Remove the white film before eating.

 

I wish I have bought some Salak but it was so expensive. I just bought Rambutan which is one of my favorite fruits. Have you tried eating Salak?

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts



Bacon Wrapped Green Asparagus With Bell Peppers

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Ready to Serve
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Ready to Serve

The other day my Thai friend brought delicious green asparagus with Enokitake or Enoki mushrooms wrapped in bacon at work. It was the first time I have seen and then eaten that mushroom. It tasted delicious together with asparagus. Anyway, for me, every food that wrapped in bacon stripes is yummy. I did not know the name of that mushroom then and so I researched online.

 

Enokitake is a japanese mushroom that is getting popular in Thailand. It looks white, long and thin in appearance. The bacon wrapped food of my Thai friend was delicious that it inspired me to make similar food for tomorrows lunch. I have no Enokitake mushrooms because Asian shop is far from where I live for a spontaneous cooking. I created my own recipe adapting my Thai friends food.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Ingredients
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Ingredients

Ingredients of Bacon Wrapped Green Asparagus with Bell Peppers:

12 pieces of green asparagus

12 bacon stripes

a quarter of yellow bell pepper

a quarter of red bell pepper

2 pieces of carrots

white pepper powder

12 toothpicks

oil for frying

 

Procedure:

  1. Cut off the bottom of the green asparagus which has become hard and throw them in the bin. Wash the asparagus.
  2. Deseed, wash and cut the bell peppers into stripes.
  3. Shave or peel off the skin of carrots. Wash and cut them into stripes, too.
  4. Wrap one asparagus, 2 stripes of bell peppers and a stripe of carrot with a bacon and sprinkle white pepper powder on it. Repeat wrapping until all are done.
  5. Secure the bacon wrapped vegetables with toothpicks.
  6. Heat the frying pan with vegetable or coconut oil.
  7. Fry the bacon wrapped vegetables on both sides until golden brown.
  8. Serve as  starters, or with boiled rice, with mashed or cooked potatoes for lunch or  dinner.

Serves 3-4 persons

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus in the pan
Bacon Wrapped Asparagus in the frying pan

Tips:

  • You can use blanched spring onions to secure the bacon wrapped asparagus instead of toothpicks.
  • You can use any vegetables you like with asparagus.
  • You can add Enoki mushrooms if you can buy those in an Asian shop.
  • No need to add salt as the bacon is already salted enough.
  • If you have leftover of the ingredients, just stir fry with the same oil and frying pan after frying the wrapped asparagus.

 

I hope you like this recipe and will try cooking this. It is indeed delicious as we have eaten some of these wraps veggies after frying them. The rest will be heated in the microwave for our lunch. Thanks for reading.

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

 

 

Important Gadgets for Baking

Haselnut cupcakes in silicon form
Haselnut cupcakes in silicon form

Hello Guys! You might have noticed that I am fond of baking. This is one of my hobbies that I am passionate about . As I was thinking today what to write for Blogjob, I thought I have to write about the important gadgets that I mostly used in baking. Without these things, it´s not too easy to achieve what I have in mind.

 

Here are the important gadgets for baking:

 

  Mixing Bowl

Mixing bowl is one of the basic kitchen utensils for baking cakes, cupcakes, cookies, muffins and bread. Having a set of mixing bowl is good as I surely need more than one. It should be the one which don´t slip easily when mixing.

Electric Stand  or Hand mixer

Electric stand mixer is one of the best. I could leave the ingredients mixing themselves in an electric stand mixer while I do other things like greasing the baking tin. Hand mixer is okay but you have to hold it while mixing the baking ingredients until the dough or batter  is done.

 Measuring Cups and Weighing Scale

It´s not common to use measuring cups here in Germany. The Germans mostly use weighing scale. I have both as some of my baking ingredients are measured by cups.

Wooden Spoon, Spatula and Offset Spatula

I have been using these 3 gadgets since I learned baking. The wooden spoon and the normal spatula are good when scratching off the dough or batter from the mixing bowl. The offset spatula is best when I decorate the cakes, cookies, muffins and cupcakes with icing.

Baking Tins

Well, without baking tins I couldn´t bake. I have different kinds of baking tins from round, square, heart and bundt forms. Some of my new purchased are made of silicon and they are great as I don´t have to grease them and it´s easy to get off the cake from the baking form.

Parchment  or Baking Paper

If I don´t use a silicon baking form, I used parchment paper. It´s easier to get off the bread or cake when the inner bottom of the baking tin is with parchment paper.

Scooper or Ice Cream Scooper

Yes, I do use ice cream scooper when I bake cupcakes and muffins. It´s easier to use an ice cream scooper when putting the batter in the cupcakes or muffins baking tin.

What important gadgets do you use in baking? The above baking gadgets are my basic. What are yours? Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment and share this post to your social media sites.

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

 

Stir Fried Asparagus with Kangkong and Bacon

Asparagus and Kangkong Stir Fry with Bacon
Asparagus and Kangkong Stir Fry with Bacon

Spring time is asparagus time. It´s the season of asparagus. Everywhere in the open markets and in the supermarkets, asparagus vegetables are on sale. Sometimes it´s only 4 Euro a kilo. The green one is cheaper than the white one.

Asparagus is commonly eaten with boiled or mashed potatoes and with sauce hollandaise here in Germany. I love this food but I don´t eat this vegetable in the same cooking method. For me it´s boring and so I tried my way in preparing this food. Besides that, it should not only be eaten with potatoes. Boiled rice will do as well.

Have you tried eating asparagus with rice? You might think asparagus and rice are not compatible to each other but they are. You can even mix this veggie with another veggie. What about Asian veggie? No? Oh yes! Asian veggie like Kangkong (water spinach) is a good partner of asparagus. Two super veggie together in a stirfry is delicious. Yum!!!

How come that I used these super vegetables in a recipe? Well, it was my way of not wasting any food. I was busy last weekend that I did not cook the Kangkong that I have bought in an Asian shop. I saw that my Kangkong would not stay long and then I have to throw it in the bin. The asparagus that I have bought last Friday was getting old as well. What a waste f I would have threwn those healthy vegetables. So, I made Kangkong and asparagus stir fry with bacon.

White Asparagus
White Asparagus

Ingredients:

6 pieces of white asparagus

2 handfull of Kangkong leaves

1 clove of garlic, diced

1 small onion cubes

50 grams of sliced bacon

1 to 2 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 stalk of spring onion, sliced

vegetable oil for frying

white pepper to taste

chili powder (optional)

 

Procedure:

  1. Peel the skin of the asparagus and cut them slantly into small pieces. Wash them.
  2. Wash the Kangkong leaves.
  3. Heat the frying pan or wok and add oil in it.
  4. Saute the garlic, onion and bacon slices.
  5. When the bacon turn brown and the onions are glassy, add the asparagus.
  6. Stir fry until the asparagus are tender.
  7. Then add the Kangkong leaves and the spring onions.
  8. Stir the mixture until the Kangkong is done.
  9. Add soy sauce and white pepper powder. You can add chili powder if you want this food hot.
  10. Taste the stir fry veggies if they are okay and put the fire off.
  11. Serve with boiled rice and salad.

I hope you will like this food. Feel free to share this to your social media sites. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week to all.

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

 

Scrambled Egg With Bitter Gourd

Scrambled Egg with Bitter Gourd
Scrambled Egg with Bitter Gourd

Have I not told you that I was in an Asian shop last Saturday? Right, I did! Okay. We went to the Asian supermarket, Tain Kim Heng. We bought a lot of Asian food for storage. What I really loved to buy was soybean sprouts but they were sold out and their was no fresh bitter gourd or Ampalaya in the veggie shelves. I was craving for these healthy vegetables that at least I bought a frozen bitter gourd. It was not as good as the fresh one but it was better than nothing. As  I was busy baking and did not want to do a lot of cooking, so I just cooked a simple menu for my dinner. I made a simple scramble egg with bitter gourd.

 

Ingredients:

2 eggs, well beaten

1 clove of garlic

1 ripe tomato

1 piece of spring onion

1 piece of bitter gourd or ampalaya, sliced

vegetable oil for frying

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce

white pepper powder

 

How to cook it:

  1. Sliced the garlic.
  2. Wash the tomato and slice it into small cubes.
  3. Wash the spring onion and cut it into small pieces, too.
  4. Heat the wok or frying pan.
  5. Saute the garlic, tomato and ampalaya until the vegetable is tender.
  6. Add the blended eggs to the sauted veggie mixture.
  7. Add salt or soy sauce and white pepper powder.
  8. Add the spring onion and mix them well until the eggs are done.
  9. Taste it and if it is not salty enough, you can add more soy sauce.
  10. Serve with boiled rice.
Bitter Melon, Ampalaya, Bitter Gourd
Bitter Melon, Ampalaya, Bitter Gourd

Scrambled egg with ampalaya / bitter gourd / bitter melon is a simple recipe for breakfast in the Philippines. It is usually served with boiled rice and fried dried fish. This vegetable has a lot of health benefits like it lowers blood sugar. If you want to know more about this vegetable, here´s the link https://blogjob.com/mykitchenandi/2016/04/15/bitter-melon-a-healthy-food/ 

 

Take Note:

Frozen Ampalaya is watery when use in cooking. It was the first time I have made this recipe from a frozen ampalaya and I was not contented as it was not so crispy as I used to. If you cook this recipe, please use the fresh one. To avoid bitterness of this vegetable, squeeze this sliced veggie with salt.

 

Thanks for reading. Let me know if you have tried cooking this recipe and how you like it.

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

 

Ciabata Rye Bread Sandwiches For Brunch

Ciabata Rye Bread Sandwich
Ciabata Rye Bread Sandwich

What is ciabata? Ciabata is an Italian white bread. It is a long broad and flat bread which is baked in many variations. It is the “baguette” of Italy though ciabata is broader than the baguette in France. Ciabata bread are widespread here in Germany. As the Germans are not fond of eating white bread, so the bakers baked ciabata with rye flour. Ciabata rye bread is more healthier than made with white flour. It tastes more richer and heartier than the white bread.

 

Ciabata rye bread is very filling and so I mostly used this for making sandwiches for our brunch during weekends. I have made a lot of variations in making rye bread sandwiches and I will share you some of these in this post.

 Ciabata Rye Bread
Ciabata Rye Bread

Ciabata Rye Bread Sandwiches Variations: It is cut lenghtwise: 

  1. The lower part is brushed with cheese spread. Then filled with salami, gouda cheese, tomato slices with salt and pepper and decorated with mint leaves. (Photo above)
  2. The lower part is with butter or margarine. Then filled with lettuce leaf, tomato slices, boiled egg  and cucumber slices. Sprinkled with salt and white pepper powder.
  3. The lower half rye bread with tomato cheese spread and top with tomato slices. Sprinkled with salt, white pepper powder or chili powder and mint leaves. (Photo below)
  4. The lower half brushed with olive oil, then tomato, gherkins and boiled egg slices on top of the oil. Spiced with salt, pepper powder and basil leaves slices.
  5. The lower half spread with margarine, then add lettuce leaf, leftover chicken meat flakes and pineapple chunks.
  6. The lower half spread with cheese spread, then tuna flakes with salt and pepper and top it with miracle whip or mayonnaise and pieces of orange chunks.
  7. The lower half spread with margarine, then ham and some Sauerkraut on top.
1/3 slice of a Ciabata Tomato Cheese Sandwich
1/3 slice of a Ciabata Tomato Cheese Sandwich

These variations are all covered with the upper top of the ciabata rye bread before serving. There is no limitation what to fill in this bread. Of course you can fill  this with nougat cream, honey or just green leafy vegetables. Just create something you love. Enjoy brunching!

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

Read more at https://blogjob.com/mykitchenandi/#rMuOBqfu7hXFD1Yq.99

Bitter Melon, A Healthy Food

Bitter Melon, Ampalaya, Bitter Gourd Plant
Bitter Melon, Ampalaya, Bitter Gourd Plant

Have you heard about bitter melon? Have you eaten this healthy vegetable?

 

I was thinking about what to write today in my kitchen blog without cooking. I was thinking of what food I have missed. Food that I have not eaten for almost 2 years while staying here in Germany. I have missed a lot of Filipino vegetables like Kangkong (water spinach), Ganas (sweet potato leaves) and bitter melon or bitter gourd.

 

Bitter Melon, Ampalaya, Bitter Gourd or Goya is a tropical and subtropical vine with a long edible pod and has a soft warty skin. It has light to dark green color. There are many variations of bitter melon but I am describing here the Ampalaya, a Filipino variation.

 

Writing about bitter melon makes me hungry. It reminded me of how my late mother and my late grandmother used to grill this food on a coconut charcoal fire. Then they sliced it into pieces and dunk each pieces into coconut vinegar before eating. As I can remember, it was only me who joined them eating this bitter food. I did not know at that time then that this food was so healthy. Until now!

 

Health benefits of bitter melon:

Through my research, I have found out that bitter melon

  1. lowers blood sugar. This vegetable is good for those who have Type 2 Diabetes.
  2. helps break down kidney stones naturally by drinking bitter melon tea.
  3. lower cholesterol. It reduces the possibility of having a stroke, heart attack and other heart diseases.
  4. a liver tonic, especially good for alcohol drinkers.
  5. it´s beneficial for the skin. Good for those who have acne and eczema problems.
  6. it helps when having constipation.
  7. It has  lots of vitamins and minerals besides low in calories. 100 gram of bitter melon has only 19 calories.

 

How does the bitter melon taste?

Bitter melon is indeed bitter but if you squeeze salt in this sliced veggie before cooking, the bitterness is lesser than before.

 

How to cook bitter melon?

  • Making scrambled eggs with this veggie.
  • Stir frying this with eggplant, squash, okra, string beans and pork meat. This Filipino recipe is called Pinakbet. Instead of pork, you can also use beef, chicken or shrimps  meat.
  • Grilling it on an open fire and eat it with vinegar and soy sauce.
  • Making pickled bitter melon.
  • Making tea from sun dried bitter melon.

 

I hope I have encouraged you to eat this bitter edible pod vegetable. I hope I can go to the Asian shop soon to buy this healthy food and I will cook for you to see how I make it. Thanks for reading😀

Source: Wikipedia

P.S. I will upload the photo later when the “Add Image” is functioning. Update : Photo is uploaded but I had to change the theme of this site.

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

Healthy Veggie and Fruit Salad

Healthy Veggie and Fruit Salad
Healthy Veggie and Fruit Salad

When was the last time you have eaten a plate of salad? Was it yesterday or a few weeks ago?

 

Well, I eat salad almost everyday and I think if my doctor will take a laboratory test these days, he would advice me to eat meat again because he can only see green in my lab test😁 My doctor in Ireland had told me once to eat meat. No, I am not a vegetarian. I also eat meat but not everyday. Actually I seldom missed meat but I missed veggies when my laziness hit me to prepare something that costs my time. As you might have noticed, the food that I published at Blogjob contained mostly of vegetables and fruits. I know, I know! Meat is good against iron deficiency but there are lots of veggies with loads of iron too.

 

Yesterday, I was so tired from work and so I just put veggies and fruits on my plate and drizzled some olive oil, gherkins pickle water and balsamico vinegar in it. Spiced it with salt and pepper and that was  it. As you can see in the photo, it was plenty for one person but I was able to consume it. In an hour of chewing 😀.

 

Here´s what I put on my plate:

  • A handful of washed rucola
  • 1 ripe tomato, cut into cubes
  • 1 pineapple ring from a can, sliced
  • 6 strawberries, sliced into quarters
  • 1 small meatball, cut in small pieces
  • 1 leaf of chinese cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon gherkin pickles water
  • 1 teaspoon balsamico vinegar
  • Salt and white pepper powder to taste

 

Procedure:

I just arranged every fruits, vegetables and the small portion of meat on the plate. Remember, our eyes “eat” as well. I love my food colourful and so that was the way it looked on my plate.

 

Don´t you think my salad photo is inviting to you? Well, it was to me. As I have said, I eat salad everyday but it doesn´t look the same. It´s not boring either as the ingredients are not the same. It really depends what I have in the fridge.

Copyright 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

Savoury Bacon Feta and Ricotta Cheese Filo Pastry

Savoury Bacon Feta and Ricotta Cheese Filo Pastry
Savoury Bacon Feta and Ricotta Cheese Filo Pastry

Today was actually a lazy day for me. Well I thought it was until I felt hungry skyping with my cousin. There was a brown out / blackout in my house in the Philippines that we had to stop our chat. After that I went to the kitchen trying to find out what I could make for our light supper. I saw an almost expired filo pastry dough that I thought I had to make something out of it. Gladfully I found some of what I needed for the pastry. Thankfully, these ingredients were the basic food we had in the fridge for making our meals. That was the first time I made this triangle filo pastry that I was creative again in my kitchen. I  was successful. The filo pastry was delicious and savoury that I have eaten 2 out of the 6 pieces I have baked.

Savoury Bacon Feta and Ricotta Cheese Filo Pastry, ready to be eaten
Savoury Bacon Feta and Ricotta Cheese Filo Pastry, ready to be eaten

Ingredients : 6 pieces

1 Filo pastry from the supermarket, 25×38 cm

50 grams bacon, cubes

1 ripe tomato

50 grams Feta cheese

2 to 3 tablespoons Brunch Tomato and Ricotta breadspread 

1 leaf spring onion, cut into pieces

Chili or white pepper  powder

1 egg for brushing the pastry

Baking paper

 

Procedure :

  1. Cut the filo pastry dough into 6 squares.
  2. Wash and cut the spring onion and the tomato into cubes.
  3. Slice the Feta cheese into cubes.
  4. Spread the Tomato and Ricotta breadspread on the filo pastry dough but not on the edges.
  5. Then add some bacon, tomato, feta and spring onions on top of it. Don’t make it so full.
  6. Sprinkle white pepper powder or chili powder if you want it hot.
  7. Fold the filled filo pastries into  triangles and arrange them on a baking tray.
  8. Sealed the pastries by pressing the edges with fork.
  9. Brush the top  with blended egg.
  10. Baked in a 200°C preheated oven for 15 minutes  or until golden brown.
  11. Serve with salad and maybe a glas of red wine.

 

I hope you will try this food especially now that barbecue time is in season. This filo pastry snack is good for fingerfood parties because eating this food cold is also yummy. Thanks for reading. Have a great new week to all😀

Copyrights 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

Delicious Potato Salad With Yoghurt Cream

Potato Salad With Yoghurt Cream
Potato Salad With Yoghurt Cream

Potatoes are German staple food besides bread. I don´t cook potatoes everyday as my kitchen is international. Well, I cook mostly Filipino, Italian and German food but still potatoes are not my favorites. For me, it takes time to peel the potatoes and to save the time, I boiled plenty so I have lots of leftover for the next days potato salad or Bratkartoffeln, a hearty German fried potatoes. The other day, I made potato salad with yoghurt cream instead of using  mayonnaise and I loved it as it was not so heavy for my tummy.

 

Ingredients: 3-4 persons

10 leftover boiled peeled potatoes, cut in cubes

1 piece of fried Bratwurst (you can use any sausage you want)

2 pieces of pickled gherkins

10 to 12 tablespoons of yoghurt salad cream

2-3 tablespoons of pickled gherkins water

1 small onion, cubes (optional)

2 tablespoons of canned peas

1 boiled egg, cubes

salt and white  pepper powder

chili powder (optional)

chopped parsley

 

How to make the potato yoghurt salad:

  1. Put the leftover cubes potatoes into a deep bowl.
  2. Cut the gherkins and Bratwurst sausage  into cubes.
  3. Add the pickled gherkins, sausage, canned peas, egg cubes, onions and chopped parsley to the potatoes.
  4. Mix the yoghurt salad cream, gherkins water, salt, chili and white pepper powder in a small bowl.
  5. Add the yoghurt salat sauce to the potato mixture.
  6. Mix well and taste it. You can add more gherkins water, salt and pepper if you want to.
  7. Let it stay for at least  few hours in the fridge. Letting it stay overnight is better.
  8. Serve with vegetable salad and  with boiled sausages like the German Bockwurst.

 

Substitutes for some of the ingredients:

  • Yoghurt salat cream——–mayonnaise or miracle whip
  • Bratwurst ——————-Bockwurst, Longganisa, Vienna Sausage, Frankfurter, Hotdog, Bacon strips
  • Gherkins water————-Vinegar or other pickled water
  • Parsley———————–Chives, spring onions
  • Peas————————–Pineapples and oranges

Potato salad is commonly served for any celebrations like birthdays and  anniversaries by the Germans. In fact it is also commonly served with heated Bockwurst (German sausage) for Christmas Holy Eve dinner.

Copyrights 2016, All Rights Reserved by ©Thelma Alberts

 

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