Saturday, September 30, 2017

oversized baked Filipino empanada

Another regular in the house. I would make this when we have left over from ground beef tacos or left over cooked chicken. Otherwise, make the meats from scratch using 1 lb of ground beef or 2 chicken breasts.

Cooked from left over or from scratch, it takes awhile to make it since you have to let the filling sit and cool to room temperature as the pie crust gets soggy if your filling is warm.

Chicken. I made this on a different day and I used tin foil.



  Ground Beef

Ground Beef 

Ground Beef

Makes 2 oversized empanada.

Special Equipment:

pastry brush
Two 9 x 13 baking sheet or 1 large cookie sheet able to fit 2 large empanada


1 package store bought frozen pie crust (2 in 1 box)

3 cups cooked chopped chicken breast or ground beef

4 T cooking oil
4 cloves garlic
half of an onion, chopped
1 C grated/shredded or finely chopped peeled potatoes
1/2 c finely chopped peeled carrots
1/2 c green peas, thawed and drained
3 T soy sauce
1 t salt
1/2 t cracked, black pepper to taste
2/3 c black raisins
3 t sugar

1 large egg, beaten


1. Prepare ingredients above.

(a.) If cooking 1 lb.ground beef from scratch, saute 2 cloves garlic and 1/4 of an onion, chopped in 2 T of cooking oil; salt and pepper to taste. Add the ground beef and saute. Remove from heat when meat is turning brown from red/pink. Set aside.

(b.) If using 2 chicken breasts, drizzle with cooking oil and season with salt and pepper; rub with granulated garlic, onion powder, mild red chili powder. Cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes at 375° F. Finely cube or chop when cooled; set aside.

2. Preheat a large pan or skillet until smokey. On medium high heat setting, saute garlic, onion, potatoes and carrots on cooking oil then add the drained green peas. Continue sauteing for 3 minutes.

3. Add the cooked meat and saute for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and add the raisins and sugar.

4. Set aside to cool at room temperature.

5. Defrost the store-bought pie crust. Remove from box but keep them inside it own plastic packaging.

6. Preheat oven to 350° F.


You will need 2 quarter size baking sheet (9 x 13) and 2 same size of parchment paper to line the bottom of the sheet. Or lightly brush baking sheet with cooking oil.

When the empanada filling has cooled to room temperature, spread one pie crust on the baking sheet without pulling the sides. Let the half of the pie crust, hang on the side of the baking sheet.

Scoop 1 cup of filling and drop it on the pie crust resting on the flat sheet. If you think it's not much or too much filling, add or remove filling.

Lift the end of the hanging pie crust towards the filling and press it to the other edge that lays flat on the sheet.

Crimp (gather, fold, pleat or ruffle) both edges of the pie crust to close and keep the filling inside.

Brush with beaten egg. Set aside.

Repeat procedure with the other remaining pie crust on the other baking sheet.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top of empanada is light brown or egg wash is light brown and shiny.

Mmm... buttery, savory with a hint of sweetness! Great with a side of a small salad and a tall glass of iced tea or cold soda.

For hand-size empanada, go here.  

Saturday, September 23, 2017

goldilocks® bakery inspired brownies from their bakebook©

If you are Filipino or just happen to know and have had some Goldilocks bakery products before, chances would be that you know what Goldilocks brownies are: fudgy and cake-y at the same time and using cashews for nut topping: yeah that's how I want my brownies to be.

In the United States, there are over almost 10 locations of this Filipino bakery-I can't even believe there's 2 in Canada! But most especially they are in the predominantly Filipino community of California. I have only been to the Las Vegas, NV location.

Disclaimer: I am in no way connected to Goldilocks or know anybody working in and for Goldilocks.

I have made this recipe several times since their Goldilocks bakebook© came out in 2011. The 2nd time I made it, I increased the cocoa to 2/3 c, which is originally 1/2 c, because it seems off and doesn't taste like the one's I was used to in the Philippines. Since then, I would use 2/3 cups of cocoa.

If you don't have glucose which is called for in the original recipe, use plain corn syrup as I did below.

Read my own version before trying it to avoid confusion since the original ingredients are stated in enclosed parenthesis.

Makes 18 bars using BOTH 2, 8 x 8 square cake pans OR 1 quarter size cake pan. Quarter size pans usually measures 1 x 9 x 13 or 1 x 9 ½ x 13.


Cooking oil to lightly brush the baking pan/s
1 ¼ C flour
2/3 c unsweetened cocoa (supposed to be 1/2 c only)
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 ½ C granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
2 ½ T water
6 T corn syrup (supposed to be glucose)
6 T unsalted butter, melted (supposed to be salted)
1/4 c corn oil
salted, roasted peanuts or cashews for topping (bakebook says just "nuts")

brownie glaze: 2 T corn syrup (supposed to be light corn syrup)
Pinch of crushed, coarse sea salt or sea salt flakes (optional)


Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly brush your baking pan/s with cooking oil.Line with parchment paper and leave a half inch to hang on the sides; set aside.

In a bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and baking soda 3 times.

In another bowl, stir the eggs, vanilla and water then beat at low speed for 1 minute.

Add the flour mixture and beat for 50 seconds at low speed (Supposed to be 1 minute.). Add glucose and mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Switch to low speed and add the butter and corn oil. Beat until fully incorporated 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour onto the prepared baking pan/s and sprinkle with salted roasted peanuts or cashews. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted towards the bottom comes out clean.

Immediately brush with corn syrup. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Carefully lift brownies using parchment paper overhang and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

labor day Filipino noodle soup with meat or shrimp

If you can imagine the garlic, savory, sour, meaty (or shrimp) and fish sauce at the same time in your mouth, this is how this noodle soup will taste. It is a fresh but hearty and comforting noodle soup.

In the Philippines they would use marinated pork or beef bone marrows that still has some meat stuck onto the bone; charred lightly on the grill before being added to the broth.

The difference of this noodle soup from other Asian noodle soup is the use of garlic to a great degree (5 cloves for 2 bowls of soup?).

Recipe good for 2.
Increase ingredients and cooking time to make more than 2


1 brick or slab of chuka-soba (Japanese style) noodles (or at least 2 cups of packed cooked noodles.). Usually 1 package has 2 bricks/slabs

6 cups sodium free-chicken or vegetable broth or dissolve 2 chicken seasoning cubes in hot water (or 1½ T powdered chicken seasoning)

3 T flour
3 T cooking oil
5 cloves garlic; minced
1 shallot or half of an onion, chopped
1 large or 2 small carrots, cut into strips
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1 7 oz. (198 g) canned mushroom, drained
1 t salt (1/2 t if you are using chicken cubes or chicken powder seasoning)
1 t pepper to taste

1/2 lb cooked chicken, grilled pork or beef cut into 1" strips; cooked shrimp can be used too

Fish sauce to taste
1 bunch green onion, finely chopped
Calamansi or limes, sliced
Hot, green chili peppers (Thai bird, Jalapeno or Serrano), poked with a fork (or maybe not?!)


Cook chuka-soba noodles according to package instructions. usually if it's going to made into a soup, it says "boil for 3 minutes". Drain and set aside.

NOTE: you should have at least 2 cups of packed cooked noodles.

Stir flour into the broth, set aside.

Preheat on high a large, heavy bottom pot (NOT non-stick) for 2 minutes. Add cooking oil and garlic; saute until light brown.

Add the chopped shallot onto the pot and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the carrots and celery. Continue sauteing for 3 minutes. Add the drained mushrooms and saute for 1 minute.

Stir the broth with flour. Slowly pour onto the hot pot while stirring to avoid curdling. Let it boil.

Add the cooked noodles and cooked meat (or shrimp). Let it boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously. Do not boil more than 5 minutes to avoid over cooking the noodles. Carefully remove the pot from heat.

This is best enjoyed immediately right after you removed it from heat. Garnish with chopped green onions, a dash or 2 of fish sauce and a squeeze of lime juice. Don't forget the green chili peppers.

Monday, September 11, 2017

matcha green tea muffins with adzuki beans

This is my 2nd green tea/matcha muffin recipe. it has rice water, rice vinegar, adzuki (red mung) beans and black sesame seeds compared to the first one which was more simpler.

Adzuki or red mung beans is a type of beans that typically grows in East Asia. When cooked right, it should hold its shape while being soft and almost melting in your mouth without being 'pasty'.

It has a natural sweetness to it unlike the North American and Meso-American type of beans.

To make rice water, you will have to make steamed rice. Rice water comes from the first washing of uncooked rice. set aside the rice water from the FIRST washing.

If it's too much of a hassle, use rice milk instead available in the milk section of your favorite grocery store. and if that is still too much of a hassle-use dairy milk altogether (check ingredients below.).


2 ½ C all-purpose flour
1 T plus 1/2 T matcha green tea powder (unsweetened; NOT for milkshakes)
1 c granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 large or xlarge or jumbo eggs
2 T rice vinegar in a 1/2 measuring cup fill with rice water to make 1/2 c
1/2 c whole milk or evaporated milk
1 C soybean oil
1 t butter extract flavor or vanilla extract
1 cup (from canned) adzuki beans, drained well 
Black or white sesame seeds; optional


Preheat oven to 400° F. prepare muffin pan by spraying with cooking spray or lightly brushing/rubbing with cooking oil. you can either use muffin cups or not-it's up to you. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine/stir dry ingredients (flour down to salt). in another medium bowl, whisk all the wet ingredients (from eggs down to the oil).

Transfer wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients; combine well but do not over-stir. fold in the adzuki beans.

Set aside for 20 minutes.

Fill muffin cups with batter almost reaching the rim to make 6 jumbo muffins or 24 cupcakes.

Bake for 15 minutes-more or less-depending on your elevation and material of muffin pan (dark or light colored metal). after 15 minutes or so, lessen heat to 375° F and continue baking for 15 more minutes. Check after 10 minutes. They are baked when a bamboo skewer or toothpick inserted towards the bottom of 1 muffin comes out clean.