Category Archives: Savory Dishes

Pão de Queijo

Pão de queijo is Brazilian cheese bread.  If you’ve never had it then please make a batch of this recipe, buy the mix, or buy the frozen dough balls because they are delicious.  Over the holidays I decided to make these savory snacks from scratch since I am not a fan of box mixes.  They were such a hit this recipe was made four times in 2 weeks.  I’m surprised I even have a picture of them baked since every time I turned around to grab more from the oven a bunch of the ones I already placed on the plate or bowl were missing. =)
Although I made my cousin promise never to share this recipe or show how to make it, I decided to post the link to the recipe I used.  I did this primarily because it is not my personal recipe.  Second, I was going to write that it is a basic recipe and similar to all recipes on the Internet, but I did some research to verify this statement and I was incorrect.  Although I have not made any of the other recipes, based solely on the pictures and ingredients alone, the recipe below seems closer to the pão de queijo I am familiar with.  It’s so good I want everyone to know it!
Recipe from Sonia Portuguese.
dough Dough once all ingredients have been incorporated.
ballsFormed into balls…or as close as my cousin and I could get it.
baked Some of the baked pão de queijo.
Although any tapioca flour will work, buy from an Asian store as it is WAY cheaper.  I think I bought my tapioca starch for less than $2, but Bob’s Red Mill’s taopica flour is around $5-$6.  In Brazil, they supposedly use manioc flour*, which tapioca flour comes from, so I bought some from a Brazilian store to test out flavor and texture differences.  I also bought a box of Yoki pão de queijo mix to test as well.    I’ll post those pictures at a later date when I get to actually conducting the experiments.
*Here’s a great article on the difference between manioc v tapioca flour.
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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Food, Savory Dishes



I know people usually say their mom makes the best [insert food here], but my mom makes amazing palabok.  It’s so addicting…I can’t stop eating it until I’m bursting, which is why I only eat it when I’m home for the holidays.  For those who don’t know what palabok is, it is a Filipino noodle dish consisting primarily of ground pork, shrimp, noodles, onions, garlic, green onions, hard boiled egg, and crushed pork rinds.  You can find it in almost any Filipino restaurant since it’s a comfort food and extremely popular.
My mom’s version is technically called pansit luglug because she uses thick, luglug noodles instead of the thin palabok noodles, but I’ve never heard anyone call it pansit luglug.  They’re both pretty much called palabok, regardless of the noodles used.  And because it is my mother’s recipe I cannot include the recipe because she won’t let me. LOL.  But here are some pictures and some of the cooking methods.  It’s pretty basic and probably the same as most palabok recipes…I’m just biased because she’s my mom.
Here are the ingredients:
Palabok Ingredients
So, you saute your onions and minced garlic to golden brown.  Then, add your ground pork and cook until browned.  Add ground pepper and the Mama Sita mix (or whatever palabok mix you prefer) and the recommended water or as much water to your liking (my mom doesn’t exactly measure).  Then add the achute (annatto) powder until you reach a dark burnt orange color.  Simmer for a few minutes and your sauce is complete.
Cook your noodles until they are soft, hard boil eggs, and saute the peeled shrimp with some achute powder for color.
Achute Shrimp umm…I went a little overboard with the achute here since I didn’t want any leftover powder and just dumped the rest in hence the clumps of achute powder.
Combine noodles and sauce, cover with ground pork rinds, and decorate with sliced eggs, shrimp, and sliced green onions.
Finished Palabok
Ta-da!  My mom’s is definitely prettier, but I don’t think it’s so bad.  To prevent the yolks from breaking like mine boil the eggs the day before and let harden in the refrigerator overnight or at least for a few hours.
Here’s my single (um double serving) of palabok:
Single Serving (um ok probably at least double serving)
I know it’s like being a tease by not posting the recipe, but I just had to share this since I was so proud I made it so well.  I think it’s better than my mom’s ::gasp:: People who ate it loved it and someone wanted to pay me to make it! Woot!!


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Posted by on March 1, 2011 in Food, Savory Dishes


Turkey Vegetable Soup

My friend Melanie and I have a tradition of going to Olive Garden whenever we are in the same town.  I’m not a huge fan of Olive Garden, but I LOVE their pasta e fagioli soup, which is the only soup I order.  Since I pretty much only go when I’m with her I decided to make a version of the soup for the times I was craving it using a modified recipe from Top Secret Recipes.  I made this once two years ago with ground beef, but being more health conscious I have replaced it with turkey and pretty much omitted the pasta since it doesn’t really make much of an impact in the soup.  It’s pretty simple to make, but is a little time consuming.  Recipe yields about 8-10 servings, depending on the serving size.


454g     Lean Ground Turkey
56g     Garlic, minced
160g     Onion, diced
128g     Carrot, diced
130g     Celery, diced
250g     Red Kidney Beans
250g     Great Northern Beans
11.5oz   V8 Juice
28oz    Diced Tomatoes, canned
15oz    Tomato Sauce, canned
1/2t      Oregano
1/2t      Thyme
1/2t      Basil
1t       Salt
1t       Pepper
1t       White Vinegar (I used rice vinegar since it’s what I had on hand)
1lb    Ditali Pasta
These are the canned goods I used.  I was trying to keep it as low sodium and organic as possible, but the Muir Glen (the only tomato products I use) I already had were not low sodium and due to time constraints I just went to Walmart and bought those beans and v8.  Next time I will boil my own beans…more time consuming, but I like controlling the amount of sodium that goes in my food.
Cans (Note: I forgot to take a picture of the vinegar.  I used Star Foods Rice Vinegar)
1. Cut your onion, carrots, and celery to medium dice, and mince your garlic.  (I cheat and buy minced garlic since I use so much garlic in my cooking mmmm garlic…)
Onion & GarlicCarrots & Celery
2. Lightly spray a large pot with cooking spray or use a nonstick pot.  I actually spray extra virgin olive oil with a Misto.  Brown ground turkey.  Drain fat.
3. Saute garlic and onions until lightly brown.
4. Add carrots and celery and continue to saute for about 10min.  [I don’t saute mine this long since it will continue to cook when you simmer everything and I like a little crunch to my veggies.]
5. Drain and wash your beans if using canned.  Add the remaining ingredients and the beef.  Simmer covered to desired thickness.  [I like this soup to have the consistency of stew so I simmer mine for about an hour.]
Note:  I modified the spices from the original recipe since I am not a big fan of oregano or basil and I reduced the amount of salt due to the salt in the canned products.
You can adjust the spices and vinegar to suit your needs.  And, if you would like to add the pasta, 10minutes before your soup is done simmering make the pasta, drain, and add to the soup.  If needed, use the pasta water to thin out your soup.  If you plan to eat this soup in batches, boil only the amount of pasta you plan to consume because it will soak up the liquid as it sits.
I had nutritional information for this, but I seem to have lost it.  I will update this post later with one that uses dried beans and low sodium products instead.
Turkey Vegetable Soup
Here is what my soup looked like.  For some reason I never took a picture of it in a bowl…


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Posted by on January 31, 2011 in Food, Poultry, Savory Dishes


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