Taste of Home: Stuffed chicken breasts

Tuesday morning was scorching hot and I wasn’t really feel inspired to cook and I hadn’t planned anything for lunch. Plus, when I asked my boys what they want for lunch, they said “I don’t know”.

So, I checked what we had in the fridge. I found chicken breasts and some vegetables. Then, I came up with this idea randomly: stuffed chicken breasts.

Stuffed chicken breasts

Stuffed chicken breasts

It turned out to be insanely good packed with colorful flavor. I served it with mashed potato prepared by hubby (leftover from Monday lunch) and stir-fry broccoli.

It’s super easy and you can stuff the chicken breasts with whatever vegetables you want.

What you will need:

  • 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large shallots, sliced
  • 2 tsp chicken powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano,
  • freshly crashed red Kampot pepper to taste
  • some shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • some fresh parsley, chopped

Stuffed chicken breasts

Stuffed chicken breasts

How to make it:

  1. Make slits in each chicken. Make sure you do not cut through completely.
  2. Seasoned with chicken powder, paprika and freshly crashed red Kampot pepper.
  3. Stuff with shallots, tomatoes and yellow bell pepper and sprinkle oregano.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle cheddar cheese.
  6. Put the chicken in a preheated oven to 220⁰C and bake it for 25 minutes.
  7. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
  8. Et voila – lunch is ready! Serve, share and enjoy with your loved ones!

 

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Taste of Home: Savory French Leek Tart

The first time I tasted Leek Tart was during our holiday in France when my mom-in-law made it for us. I love it and it’s one of my husband’s favorite foods. So when we came back from our holidays, I tried to make it at home. And this recipe is inspired by mom-in-law.

Savory French Leek Tart

To be honest, I hadn’t tried leeks since my childhood until I met my husband. But now I am loving it together with my family simply because it has a distinct rich flavor and it’s luscious. Plus, we love the sweet smell of leeks while it’s cooking especially when it started to caramelize. My husband usually used leeks in soup, and now I’m using it in tarts.

In my recipe, I prefer to use homemade pie crust (from scratch), homemade béchamel/white sauce, and for the fillings sometimes I added bacon with the leeks or just leeks. I don’t use eggs.

Leek tart without bacon

Leek tart with bacon

This leek tart recipe is quite easy. It makes a great brunch or lunch with side green salad. You can eat it as an appetizer or main course. For us, it is best served with a good white Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne and enjoy it with your loved ones.

What you will need for the fillings:

  • 8 leeks
  • 8 stripes bacon, slightly cooked (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • freshly crashed red Kampot pepper to taste
  • Emmentel cheese, grated

What you will need for the béchamel sauce:

  • 20 grams salted butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk

What you will need for the pie crust:

  • 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp white refined sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 20 grams salted butter at room temperature
  • ¼ cup of cold water

Leek tart

Preparation:

  1. Make pie crust.
    • In a mixing bowl put the flour, butter and sugar. Mix well.
    • In a separate small bowl, cracked the egg to make sure that it’s a good one and to remove some eggshells. Then put in into the mixture. Mix well.
    • Add the cold water little by little until you get the desired consistency. Mix well.
    • Form into a big ball.
    • Wrap it with a plastic wrap.
    • Refrigerate it while you are preparing the béchamel sauce and the fillings.
    • After you refrigerate it, flour the surface of the working area.
    • Roll it out to your desired thickness. Make sure the edges extend a couple of inches beyond the 9-inch pie plate.

homemade pie crust

2. Make béchamel sauce.

    • In a small bowl, put 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour. Add some water. Stir it thoroughly.
    • In a small cooking pot, put the butter, the milk and flour mixture. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes.
    • Set aside.

3. Make the fillings.

    • Thoroughly clean the leeks because some sands and other dirt often caught between the layers.
    • Cut the leeks. When you cut the leeks you can smell their acidity and it is burning your eyes.
    • Cut the bacon into small stripes or cubes. Then in a small frying pan, put the bacon and cooked it for 5 minutes.
    • Put the leeks in a cooking pan. Stir.
    • When the leeks have been caramelized, add bacon. Mix well.
    • Seasoned with salt and freshly crashed red Kampot pepper according to your taste. (You can use whatever pepper you like. My family and I prefer red Kampot pepper – it’s tasty and fruity.)
    • Let it cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.

leeks

leeks

4. Putting together.

    • Preheat your oven to 200⁰C.
    • Put the pastry and press it into a pie plate. Fix up any tears. Finish off the ragged ends into a neat edge.
    • Pour the filings into the pastry.
    • Bake it for 35 minutes.
    • Top it with grated Emmentel cheese, 15 minutes before the timer stops.
    • Allow the tart to cool off for 30 minutes after you take it out from the oven so that the cheese and leeks set and also to keep its shape.

ready to be shoved into the oven

5. Slice, serve, share and enjoy!

Taste of Home: Apple pie

Oh apples – we love apples and we love pie. And apple pie is our new quintessential dessert – it warms me and my family up from the inside out. It’s so delicious, healthy and we all love it.

Apple pie

So what makes this apple pie stand out for us?

  • We love the simplicity of this dish. It’s easy – just mix everything together into a bowl then pour the mixture into a homemade crust. And while it’s in the oven, it makes the house smell incredible and everybody loves it.
  • We love the combination of flour, apples, spice, a delicious golden crust and everything nice. And to make it healthier I used honey instead of sugar. I also tried making it with all green apples and a mixture of green and red apples – they both taste lovely. We love the balance of flavors – it’s just right!

I was on a cloud nine when my succulent homemade circle of happiness was a success, and I was over the moon when I learned that a slice of it makes everyone feel better.

Apple pie

So, here’s my simple, easy and scrumptious recipe of Apple Pie that could warm the hearts of your loved ones. Could there be anything better?

Ingredients for the pie crust:

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup of cold water
  • 20 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 4 tbsp of white refined sugar
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 large egg

Ingredients for the fillings:

  • 6 green apples OR 4 Fuji red apples + 2 green apples.
  • 4 tbsp of flour
  • 5 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground ginger

Apple pie

Preparation:

1.Make the pie crust.

  • Mix the flour, egg, butter, salt, sugar, and cold water until the flour is moistened.
  • Sprinkle some more cold water on it a little at a time until you achieve the consistency of dough.
  • Form into a two big balls. Place it on a plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  • Flour the surface of the working area.
  • Roll it out to your desired thickness. Make sure the edges extend a couple of inches beyond the 9-inch pie plate.
  • Press it into the pie plate. Fix up any tears. Finish off the ragged ends into a neat edge.

2. Make the fillings.

  • Sliced the apples into wedges. Make sure to get rid of stems, seeds and brown spots. Set aside.
  • In a small dry bowl, combine the flour, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and salt. Mix them well.
  • Arrange the apples into the pie crust to avoid spaces. Then add the sauce from the apple mixture.
  • Refrigerate while preparing the cover of the pie.

the main ingredient

apple pie

3.Make the cover of the pie.

  • Roll the dough out to your desired thickness.
  • Cut the dough into stripes.
  • Put the stripes on top of the apples to cover the pie. Weave the dough stripes (alternating the stripes in and out).
  • Press the edges. Cover the edge with tin foil.
  • Brush some melted butter on the stripes to make it a little bit brown.

Ready to be shoved into the oven.

apple pie – yum!

4. Preheat the oven for 5 minutes.

5. Bake the apple pie at 200⁰C for about 50 minutes.

6. Let it cool for about 3 hours before serving.

7. Et voila – apple pie is ready! Serve, share and enjoy!

 

Taste of Home: Soft Dinner Rolls

Since we don’t eat rice every day, I decided to make soft dinner rolls for tonight’s supper to pair with hubby’s soupe de legumes.

Soft dinner rolls

Dinner rolls fresh from the oven

We love bread. We love soft dinner rolls. We love it especially when we dip the roll in the soup or when we sweep the last drop of sauce on our plate. Hmmm…it’s so delicious. So for us, the softer and fluffier, the better!

Soft dinner rolls

I made a batch of these fluffiest of all fluffy dinner rolls. It’s light, soft and squishy. Plus, it goes along well with salad, soup, sauce, gravy, etc.

In this recipe, there’s nothing complicated about making these rolls. Although it’s just a snap to make it at home but it requires quite a long time to prepare as it has 2 sets of rising times – about 3 hours for the preparation (including the rising time) and about 25 minutes baking time. Likewise, I use simple ingredients (you can find them easily at the supermarket). Plus, I don’t use a mixer to make the dough (if you don’t have a mixer don’t worry), but if you have one, please feel free to use it.

Soft dinner rolls

While it’s in the oven, my family and I love the intoxicating aroma of the bread baking – the smell of the warm fresh bread wafting through the kitchen and into every nook and cranny in our house.

I promise, you are going to love it!

Soft dinner rolls

Ingredients for 16 rolls:

  • ½ cup warm water
  • 3 tbsp salted butter, melted
  • ½ cup milk, slightly warm
  • 4 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 ½ tsp yeast
  • 4 cups all – purpose flour
  • olive oil

soft dinner rolls dough

Soft dinner rolls

How to make it:

  • Activate the yeast in a mixing bowl. Put in ½ cup of warm water, 1 tbsp of white sugar and the yeast. You need to add sugar to feed the yeast so it would be activated. Let it rest for about 5 minutes. Mix it well.
  • Add milk, melted butter, the rest of the sugar, salt and egg to the yeast mixture. Mix well. Add all – purpose flour. Mix it thoroughly.
  • Flour (a wee bit) the working area.
  • Knead the dough until it becomes softer and no more leftover on your fingers.
  • Once the dough looks nice and smooth, form it into a big ball.
  • Lightly oil a bowl. Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and put it into an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place in your house.  Let the dough rest for an hour and half to allow it to rise.
  • Butter a 30cm X 15cm baking pan. Set aside.
  • Once the dough has risen well (double in size). Knead the dough. Flatten it.
  • Form the dough into small rolls.
  • Arranged the rolls in the pan. Cover it with a plastic wrap and let it rest for another hour so that it would rise.
  • Preheat oven at 180⁰C for 5 minutes. Bake it for 25 minutes.
  • Once the rolls are baked, brush them over with a light coating of melted butter.
  • Et voila! Enjoy!

Taste of Home: Jardinière de légumes

Our dining table is always a hangout for a bowl of greens as we enjoy this healthy dose of vegetables in our everyday meal. In spite of the countless health benefits we can get from eating salads, we love it simply because we can always go creative with the way we eat it.

Jardinière de légumes

One of our favorite salad dishes is “Jardinière de légumes”. In English, it means “vegetables from the garden” but personally, I prefer the French name – it sounds fancy, sweet and sophisticated. lol.Image result for wink emoji

This salad is easy to make – I just toss whatever fresh and organic vegetables I could find at the Green O’Farm greengrocer then drizzle it with homemade lemon yogurt mustard mayo sauce, one of our favorite salad dressings. Jardinière de legumes is bursting with nutritious ingredients, and full of delicious flavors and textures.

Jardinière de légumes

Voilà! This simple, budget, vibrant salad in minutes with lettuce, peppers, avocado, green apples, cucumbers and shallots truly makes a perfect dinner! What could be easier?

Ingredients:

Jardinière de légumes

  • lettuce
  • 1 small avocado, cube
  • 1 small green apple, cube
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 big size shallots (red onion), cut lengthwise
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and cube
  • Kampot black pepper, freshly crashed, to taste
  • salt, to taste

Lemon yogurt mustard mayo sauce

  • lemon juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kampot red pepper, freshly crashed, to taste
  • salt, to taste

Lemon yogurt mustard mayo sauce

How to prepare:

  1. In a small bowl, toss together the lemon juice, mayonnaise, mustard, plain yogurt, olive oil, pepper and salt. Mix until well combined. Chill until serving.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together all the vegetables.
  3. Serve, share and enjoy.

 

Taste of Home: Moist chocolate cake

It really has been a long while since I baked a cake. Up until now, I wasn’t motivated to bake cakes since my husband and son don’t like sweet or sugar and cakes. But what is life without cakes?

Nevertheless, each time I read Rhonda’s (my blogger-friend) blog post on cakes, I feel like I want to give baking another shot again. So, I tried to narrow down the culprit first before I started baking – what is it about the cake that they do not like – the sweetness, the cake itself,…?

Moist chocolate cake

One day, I just mix the ingredients up until I found the mixture that appeases them. Indeed different strokes for different folks.

This time, I baked chocolate cake. In my recipe I only used 1 rice cooker cup of sugar. I used soft butter and cream cheese, and good quality coco powder – it really makes the difference. The cake is super easy to put together. It is light, moist, and just sweet enough with a delicious chocolate taste.

Moist chocolate cake

We had it at tea time and I was over the moon that they loved it – my son had 3 slices of cake and my husband had a big slice. I’m bowled over because I can bake cakes now for family parties. This cake recipe is truly a keeper!

Ingredients:

Chocolate cake

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup of cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons refined white sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 fresh eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water

Chocolate Buttercream cheese frosting:

  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cups of softened butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups coco powder
  • some milk
  • 1 tablespoon of icing sugar

Moist chocolate cake

 

How to make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Prepare the cake pan – butter the cake pan including all the sides and edges. Sprinkle some cocoa powder on it and shake the pan off to spread the cocoa powder. Top out the excess.
  3. Sift all the dry ingredients – flour, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl before adding it into the mixture in order to prevent adding a bad egg to your ingredients. Better to throw out an egg than have your whole recipe/ruined what you are preparing.
  5. Combine all the melted butter, milk, olive oil, honey and vanilla extract in a separate bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
  7. Slowly pour in the hot water. Mix and make sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (without a moist crumbs).
  9. Remove cake from the oven and allow it to cool.

How to make frosting:

  1. Put the cream cheese and softened butter in a mixing bowl. Whip until it becomes fluffy.
  2. Add in coco powder. Mix well.
  3. Add a couple of tablespoons of milk. Mix. Keep adding milk until you get the desired consistency. The amount of milk you add would really vary. Just eyeball it and trust yourself.
  4. Add in sugar. Mix until everything is well combined and smooth.

Putting together:

  • Spread frosting evenly onto the cake.
  • Serve and enjoy!

 

Taste of Home: Beef Kaldereta with a French twist

I was longing for a beef stew, so I thought of making one of my favorite hearty Filipino stew, Kaldereta, another dish I learned from my mom.

Originally, Kaldereta uses goat meat, but my family prefers beef with potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, fresh tomato sauce and liver pate, which gives this dish its own identity. However, this time, I am adding mushrooms and red wine for some little French twist. So it was quite a combination.

Beef kaldereta with a French twist

Even though Beef Kaldereta is easy to cook, it requires a long cooking time so that the meat becomes really tender.

Sometimes I serve it with steamed rice and sometimes we just ate it as it is. It was a great hit and it’s definitely a keeper!

Ingredients good for 6 servings:

Marinate the beef:

  • 1 kg of beef, cut into cubes
  • 4 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

Stew:

  • Beef marinate
  • 2 medium carrots, cut roughly
  • 1 large potato, cut roughly
  • 1 small green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
  • 5 big tomatoes, cut roughly
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 1 Knorr beef cube
  • 150 grams of liver pate
  • 1 small can green peas
  • 425 grams of mushroom
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • black pepper, freshly crashed, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon flour

Beef kaldereta with a French twist

How to make it:

  1. Put the meat in a marinating bowl. Add oyster sauce and soy sauce. Mix thoroughly. Set aside and marinate for at least 3 hours.
  2. Put olive oil in a cooking pot.
  3. Sautéed the garlic, onion and tomato.
  4. Add the beef marinate, and cook until it turns light brown.
  5. Put in the liver pate. Stir.
  6. Pour 500 mL of water. Mix. Add the Knorr beef cube. Stir. Cover the pot. Cook in low heat for about 1.5 hours or until the beef gets tender. Add more water if needed.
  7. Add freshly crashed black pepper. Stir thoroughly.
  8. While the stew is simmering, put the mushroom in a separate frying pan. Let it cook for about 7 minutes so that the water in it will evaporate.
  9. Pour in the wine. Stir.
  10. Add potatoes, carrots and mushroom. Stir. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  11. Prepare a flour mixture. Put a tablespoon of flour in a small cup. Add water, and stir thoroughly so that the flour dissolves.
  12. Pour in the flour mixture in to the cooking pot. Stir. Keep stirring regularly so that it won’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  13. Add the bell peppers and green peas. Stir. Continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  14. Et voila! Serve, share and enjoy!