Sorry about the lack of posts

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I’m sorry to have started this and (seemingly) quit right away. No worries though, I’m still around. I’ve got a fine arts competition coming up on Friday, and I’ve been spending most of my time preparing for it, so not much time to bake things, much less photograph and write about them. So hopefully I can get back to writing once I get the competition over with.


Chicken Adobo

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I first came across this dish while perusing the archives of Ivory Hut. When I saw the word “adobo,” I thought of those Mexican chipotle peppers.

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

Reading further, I discovered “adobo” also refers to a Filipino dish wherein, according to the Oxford Companion to Food, chicken or pork is stewed in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce, garlic cloves, peppercorns, and bay  leaves. Apparently, it’s like the national dish of the Philippines, or something.  I’d never tried it before, but it looked good, so I gave it a shot. I’ve made it, oh, three times now, and my family loves it.

I’m not sure if this is how it’s traditionally made, but I’ve gotten such good results from this recipe, I haven’t bothered to look for any others! This is a very convenient dish, too, because it’s a real one-dish… um, dish.

You just dump all the ingredients into the pan you plan to cook it in and let it marinate for at least 20 minutes or as long as overnight. I usually try to give it 2-3 hours. That is, if I remember to put it together in time….

When you’re ready to cook it, just set the pan on the burner and bring to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling nicely, cover it, turn down the heat, and cook for about 15 minutes. Try not to mess with it, unless it starts to boil over onto the stove like mine did… ahem. After the 15 minutes are up, turn over your chicken pieces. Simmer another 8 minutes uncovered then flip the pieces again. Check to see how done your chicken is, then reduce the sauce to the thickness you like. I like mine to be thick enough to really stick to the chicken.

Serve over rice. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the finished dish.) You can use whatever type of rice you want; I imagine it would be good with fried rice. I like to use a Japanese sticky rice. Yeah, yeah, I know this dish is supposed to be Filipino, but, well, I’m not.

And there you have it: An easy meal with only one (kinda sticky) pan to clean. Tastes pretty good too. 🙂

I was planning to post the whole recipe , but I haven’t heard back from Erika at Ivory Hut, so I’ll just post a link for now.

Update: Well, about 5 minutes after I posted this, she wrote me back!  So here you go:

Ivoryhut’s Quick and Easy Chicken Adobo
Serves 5
4 to 5 whole chicken leg quarters, divided into thighs and drumsticks, washed and cleaned, thighs skinned
6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup soy sauce (I don’t recommend using Kikkoman for this, but if you have to, use the low-sodium Kikkoman)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce (or an additional tablespoon of brown sugar)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, half left whole, half cracked slightly
2 bay leaves
Using the same pot you’ll be cooking the chicken in, put all the ingredients. Let the chicken marinate for at least 20 minutes, and up to overnight.

When ready to cook, put the pot on the stovetop and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, lower the heat slightly and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. Remove the cover. Flip the chicken pieces and continue to simmer, uncovered, to reduce the sauce, lowering the heat if necessary. If the sauce is too thick or too salty, add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of water. After about 8 minutes, flip the chicken again. Taste the sauce again and add more water if needed. Don’t worry if you accidentally add too much water—the simmering will take care of that.

Continue to simmer until chicken is fully cooked and has released its oils into the sauce, and the sauce has thickened slightly and taken on a rich, dark brown color.

Serve over jasmine rice, or, for a real Filipino treat, with garlic fried rice.

[Original Author’s] Note: I use Filipino soy sauce and cane vinegar when making this. Remember to taste the sauce after about 15 minutes or so of cooking and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Distilled vinegar tends to be sharper, which you can remedy with additional water and brown sugar. If it’s too salty, just add more water.

Splenda®-rific Chocolate Chip Cookies

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The other day, my mom mentioned that she wanted some soft, chewy chocolate chip cookies. With Splenda®… I hate Splenda®. I just hate it. I hate the way it gets all sticky. I hate the aftertaste. So why am I using it?  Not long ago, my mom found out she has diabetes. So I’ve had to start using Splenda® and other sugar substitutes more often in my baking. I may not like it much, but my mom’s worth it. I’ve gone through quite a few cookie recipes in the years I’ve been baking, and so far, this one is one of the best. I used David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from his book Ready for Dessert, for the basic formula, and then I tweaked it. Let me just say, these cookies are great. Maybe it’s the brown to white sugar ratio. Most other recipes call for equal parts brown and white sugar, but this one calls for more brown sugar. The extra moisture keeps the cookies soft and chewy, just the way I like ‘em. Throw in a cold glass of milk, and hey! Instant bliss! Unless you’re lactose intolerant, of course, in which case, you can have, um… soy milk or something. I know the whole cookies and milk thing is sort of cliché, but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

There are basically two types of chocolate chip cookies: the fat, chunky kind, and the flat, chewy kind. I happen to prefer the soft ones, mostly because they’re just easier for me to eat (I’ve been blessed with braces, so my teeth tend to hurt a lot these days). When I want softer cookies, I just add a tablespoon or so of milk to the dough. I tend to just eyeball how much milk to pour in, but a tablespoon is usually just about right. It helps the cookies spread out, and it keeps them moist, so they don’t dry out too fast. If you like chunky, fat cookies, then just omit the milk.

UPDATE: I’ve also found that these are really good with some orange zest added.


Splenda®-rific Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz from Ready for Dessert

2 ½ cups (350 g) all-purpose flour

¾ tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup (2 sticks, 225 g) salted butter (or unsalted, if you prefer), softened to room temperature

1 cup (240 g) dark brown sugar

¾ cup (20 g) Splenda® (you can use regular granulated sugar instead, if you’d like)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs, room temperature*

7 oz chocolate (such as Hershey’s Special Dark), chopped

1 T milk

*to bring eggs to temperature, you can run warm, but not hot, water over them for a few minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C).

In small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, and salt (I like to fluff it up with a fork to break up any clumps of flour).

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer), beat together butter, brown sugar, and Splenda® (or sugar) just until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Mix in flour mixture in three additions, waiting until flour is evenly distributed before each addition. Beat in milk, if desired. Stir in chocolate chunks (Make sure to add all the little chocolate shavings too!).
There are several ways to shape your cookies. I use a one tablespoon cookie scoop. That way all the cookies end up the same shape and size. If you don’t have a scoop, you can use two spoons to shape your dough into balls roughly 1 tablespoon each. Of course, you can always form the balls using your hands. Whichever way you choose, make sure to keep all the dough balls about the same size so they’ll all bake through evenly. Place cookies 1-2 inches apart on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. If you did add the milk, make sure to leave room for the cookies to spread out without running into each other.

Now, if you’re nothing like me, you remembered to preheat your oven, so it’ll already be hot and ready to go. Please wait while the rest of us turn ours on now. Sit down, maybe have a nice cup of tea… OK, everyone back now? Place rack in the middle of the oven, and bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. The time could be different your oven. Once cookies are slightly browned around the edges, remove from oven and let them cool a little. Once they’ve set up a little more, transfer from pan to a cooling rack. Once they’re cool enough to handle, well, I think you can probably guess the next step: Eat ‘em up!

Store cookies in an airtight container. They’ll last for… Um, I’m not actually sure. They don’t usually have time to get stale around here.


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