Tomato Egg Drop Soup

I wasn’t able to take photos as I was preparing this soup since I upgraded my phone and it took forever to sync with the old one.

In the meantime, I was totally phoneless (is that even a word?). I could’ve used the big Nikon dslr but it definitely would be in my way.

This soup cooked up really fast, about 15 minutes total, so it was ready way before my phone was done. I didn’t realize I had 12,000 photos and almost as much videos in there as I take photos with the phone when trying out and testing new recipes. I need to go and delete some one day. One day….

Anyway, the recipe….this is similar to the Egg Drop Soup you’ll find in most Asian restaurants, but with the addition of tomatoes. Trust me, it is very good.

My husband really loves Egg Drop Soup and since March last year, we had not gone out to eat at all. Time to try making it at home.

Someone sent me this recipe to try and after a few tweaks, I think it’s just perfect. I added a cup of water as the chicken stock made my soup a bit too salty for my taste. You may use 6 cups of chicken stock if you prefer your soup saltier.

I only have that one photo of the soup in the serving bowl, but if I make it again, I will update with step by step photos like all of my recipes!

Enjoy and I hope you’ll like it as much as we did!

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Ingredients:

2 ripe tomatoes, stemmed and diced

Pinch of salt

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 garlic clove, minced

5 cups chicken stock

1 cup water

Green onions, sliced

2 eggs, beaten

2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

2 tbsp soy sauce

Pinch of ground pepper

Procedure:

1. Sprinkle the tomatoes with a pinch or two of salt set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes until it softens.

3. Stir in the garlic. Cool for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

4. Add in the the chicken stock and water, cover and bring to a boil.

5. Stir the soup clockwise. Pour the beaten eggs into the center of the pot and keep stirring clockwise.

6. Stir in the reconstituted cornstarch, soy sauce, and pepper.

7. Simmer for a couple of minutes to cook the cornstarch and thicken the soup.

8. Pour into serving bowls. Top with the spring onion before serving.

Mackerel Pate

Hello my friends!

Today I’ll be making a delicious fish sandwich spread. As you might know, I make our bread at least once a week and of course, I want the best sandwich fillings to go with it.

My very favorite will always be butter and orange marmalade, but tuna salad, and BLT are close contenders.

We do have the usual Turkey and/or Ham with cheese and mayo quite often too.

My mom was taking about how she eats some canned mackerel more often now as it is very good fo your health, so imagine how excited I was when I found these at Trader Joe’s.

I was going to mix it up like my tuna salad but figured out I can make a more tasty spread using cream cheese. It makes a thicker spread that you can thin out using some mayonnaise. I hope you’ll like it!

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Ingredients:

1/4 red onion, chopped

4-6 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of ground black pepper

Pinch of Salt

1 6oz can mackerel, drained

1 hard boiled egg, peeled and chopped

*you can add 1 – 2 tablespoons mayo to loosen up the pate if you like it more spreadable*

Procedure:

1. In a bowl, mix together onions and cream cheese.

2. Add garlic powder,

3. Ground black pepper,

4. And salt.

5. Open the can of mackerel and drain well.

6. Place the fillets in the bowl.

7. Mash and mix everything together.

8. Add in chopped eggs.

9. Mix well. Add mayonnaise if using.

10. Spread on a thick slice of toasted bread.

11. Enjoy!

Portuguese Milk Tarts (Queijadas de Leite)

Beautiful to look at and a perfect bite sized dessert, Queijadas de Leite, will be your next favorite dessert!

They’re light, just sweet enough, creamy inside, and crunchy on the outside. I can’t stop at 1…or 5!

Lucky for me these are truly easy to make and I’m pretty sure you have all the ingredients needed in your pantry and refrigerator. Easy and delicious! My perfect combination!

Makes 24 muffin sized tarts

2 cups sugar

1 cup flour

4 eggs

1/2 cup melted butter

3 3/4 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons sugar

1. Preheat oven 400F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tray generously.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and flour. Make a well in the middle and add eggs, butter, and milk.

3. Whisk until blended and no dry chunks remain.

4. Fill prepared muffin pans with about 1/3 cup of the mixture (about 3/4 full). Bake 30-35 minutes until tops are golden brown.

5. In the meantime, mix together 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl.

6. Remove from pans and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

7. Cool completely. Enjoy!

Japanese Potato Salad

Try this Japanese Potato salad as a side for your Holiday meals!

Do you like potato salad? I know I LOVE starchy potato salad in all it’s variations!

This is a very tasty, Japanese style potato salad recipe. The potatoes are steamed to a point that it is soft enough that you can mash them, but you don’t, so you have some smooth mashed potatoes (from mixing) and chunks at the same time. Add in some ham, chopped boiled eggs, sliced cucumbers, and sliced carrots and this is nothing like your average potato salad! 😋

Serve it as a side to your main meals like any other potato salad. I sometimes grab a bowl of this straight from the fridge and eat it while watching TV, or reading. Or try it as a sandwich filling between two super soft and milky Japanese style pullman bread – yum!

Ingredients:

3-4 potatoes, peeled, cubed, and steamed until soft

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 cup carrot, thinly sliced

¼ cup sliced onions

1 – 2 cups chopped ham

2 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped 

1/2 – 1 cup Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise

1 tsp white vinegar 

1 tsp hot mustard 

1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt

Paprika, to serve

Procedure:

1. Steam the cubed potatoes until fork tender. Set aside to cool.

2. Thinly slice the cucumbers, onions, and carrots. I use a mandolin or a food processor to do this. I used Persian Cucumbers in this recipe as they are thin skinned and small enough that I just wash and slice them. Makes life easy!

3. Place sliced vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss gently and set aside for a few minutes until it weeps. Then grab a handful of veggies, squeeze tightly and place in another bowl. Repeat with the remaining salted vegetables.

4. Chop ham into bite sized pieces. They look nice when the sizes are identical, but if not, that’s okay too! It’ll still be delicious!

5. Now grab a big bowl, and mix everything together. Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

6. Refrigerate until cold. Sprinkle with paprika just before serving. Serve and enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #58: Pumpkin Flan

Flan!

Another recipe for flan? You bet!

This time it’s pumpkin flavored …because, well…PUmPkIN! 🎃 It’s kind of the fall season here in Southern California, according to the calendar, despite what the upper 100+ temperature is trying to tell you – and fall equals pumpkin to a lot of us!

This recipe makes a thick flan enough to serve 4-6 people.

Let me tell you what though, canned pumpkin has been hard to find recently, at least where I live. I had to go to 4 stores to find a can and they now cost me $4 each (they are usually about $1-$2 each). If there is a shortage of pumpkin, I just want to make sure I get this recipe right before I ran out!

Flan de calabaza is a staple in latin countries. You should try this recipe at least once and see how you like it! I know I love flan and that goes for every variation of it! The bonus dose of vitamins from the pumpkin might just convince you to keep making this! 😊

My husband isn’t a fan of the caramel layer so I minimized the amount to just enough to coat the flan. Feel free to double the amounts of the sugar and water to get more caramel yumminess with your flan.

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Caramel:

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon water

Flan:

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and a dash of cloves)

1/2 cup condensed milk

1/2 cup evaporated milk

2 eggs

2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

Pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Procedure:

1. Mix together caramel ingredients in the big bowl of the ELB. Heat over low heat until caramelized, swirling constantly to avoid burning. It’ll take about 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Place all the flan ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly. Make sure the cream cheese is dissolved in the mixture.

3. Pour flan mixture over caramel and cover with foil.

4. Set on the ELB base and pour 3 ELB cups of water to the base.

5. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

6. Carefully open the ELB and check the flan. It should look set, not jiggly.

7. Cool completely on a wire rack and refrigerate until cold, overnight if possible as it gives the flan a chance to really set and the flavors to meld.

8. Run a knife along the sides of the bowl to release the flan. Invert onto a serving dish.

9. Serve cold. Enjoy!

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Dash Everyday Egg Cooker

“An egg cooker? Who needs an egg cooker when everyone has a pot at home that will do the same thing?”

I used to think this way when I pass by the cute, colorful egg cookers at the big box stores. Not out loud, just in my head. I mean, I have a lot of kitchen stuff and mostly, they are unitaskers. However, if they do their one job well, I’m sold – hello Zojirushi rice cooker! 😊

Eggs though, I mean how hard is it to cook eggs? That is until you try to make soft poached eggs for breakfast, or the perfect soft boiled eggs for ramen.

Hard boiled is easy – I put eggs in a saucepan, add water, bring to a boil then turn off the heat. I let it sit for a bit (maybe 5-7 minutes) then place the eggs in cold water.

You do have to be there and pay attention though, otherwise you end up with rubbery whites and gray lined yolks. Not exactly what I picture as perfect.

It’s so cute and it’s pink! My Dash 12 egg capacity cooker.

I purchased a 12 egg capacity egg cooker ⬆️ a few months ago, because I like the idea that I can cook less in the bigger capacity cooker if I want to, but can cook an entire dozen if I have to. It also makes up to 7 poached egg/mini omelets. Dash also make a smaller, cuter (7 egg capacity) cooker but that can only make 2 poached egg/mini omelets – a problem since there are 3 of us at home.

I used the big cooker a few times but never really got the hang of making less than a dozen eggs cook perfectly. I even added notes to the measuring cup corresponding to the recommended amount of water for less eggs in the booklet. It cooks 12 eggs perfectly but for less eggs, it’s a hit or miss for me. Sometimes the yolk is too runny, or too set.

So….I bought the smaller, 7 egg cooker to simplify everything. One measure for soft, one for medium, one for hard boiled plus an option for 2 omelet/poached eggs. No more guesstimating the amount for less than a dozen eggs like I did with the other cooker. I tend to cook 7 eggs on the stove top anyway as they fit perfectly in my little saucepan. It’s a win win!

Dash 7 egg capacity cooker.

Instructions are the same as the big one – poke eggs on the rounded end with the piercer, set on the egg holders, measure water according to preference and pour into the base, cover and steam away. This small unit shuts down AND plays a nice melody when done. The big one has a startling buzzer sound – probably good when we are half asleep when preparing breakfast, but not pleasant at all. Bonus points for the little red cooker! I recorded both sounds below if you want to hear it.

Dash 7 egg cooker
Dash 12 egg cooker

When the music/buzzer starts playing, it’s time to remove the eggs and place them in cold water. After a few minutes, tap all over to crack the shell, gently roll the egg between your palm and the counter and peel. It usually comes off in 2 – 3 big pieces, or a couple of long peels. Easy!

Perfect boiled egg!

I like my boiled eggs somewhere between soft boiled and hard boiled and it’s easy and fool proof to achieve it with this machine. You can even walk away and do something else! Just come back when the music starts playing.

This is just right for me!

All in all, I think this is $15 well spent as I am so busy in the mornings preparing coffee for me and my husband, a milk drink for my son, sandwich/pancakes/waffles/etc. to eat, and chopping fruits for our breakfast. Set it and forget it till it tells me the eggs are ready is so worth it. And no icky gray yolks! My only issue is that it only makes 2 little poached eggs/omelets…but I think I can live with that since I will be holding on to the 12 egg capacity cooker! 😊

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Giniling (Ground Meat With Potatoes, Carrots, And Green Peas)

This is one of those recipes that every family in the Philippines has a unique version of. This particular one is my own version put together with memories of eating it in Bataan as a kid in our aunt’s home, the bakery that used it to stuff pandesal (bread buns) with, and all other places I’ve had it, including the different variations our cooks had when making it over the years at our own home.

I put everything I remember it had together with the quail eggs, if I have it on hand. Otherwise I usually add hard boiled chicken eggs.

This version has tomato sauce instead of a pound of fresh tomatoes as it is easier to make it this way year round.

If I have it, I also add diced bell peppers. Adding both green and red bell peppers also add to the many color of this dish.

Feel free to add more or less of a particular ingredient, remove one that you do not like, and make it your own.

1 pound ground beef (or pork)

1/2 cup to 1 cup water

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 onion, chopped

1 can (8oz) tomato sauce

1/4 cup soysauce

1 large potato, peeled and cubed

1 large carrot, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup green peas

1/2 cup corn

1 tablespoon beef bouillon powder

2 cups water

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Canned quail eggs or boiled eggs, optional

1. Place ground beef in a saucepan or wok with a 1/2 cup to 1 cup water and set over medium high heat. Let it boil the water off and brown the meat.

2. Move the meat to one side of the pan and add the oil. Let it heat up a little then add the garlic. Stir until fragrant then add the onions. Saute until wilted and lightly browned.

3. Add the tomato sauce, soy sauce, potatoes, carrots, raisins, green peas, corn, bouillon powder, water, fish sauce, and pepper. Mix everything together, cover and simmer over medium low heat until potatoes and carrots are done, around 20 minutes.

4. If using boiled eggs, add it now and simmer for another 5 minutes to heat it up. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

5. Serve over hot cooked rice. Enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #27: Coffee Flan

I love flans! If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll realize that I have a few recipes for flan already. But this flan is mildly coffee flavored so I just had to share it in case you’re like me and love coffee too! 😊

This is what happens when you don’t chill the flan enough before unmolding! 😂

As you can see from the photo, I wasn’t patient enough to wait for it to cool much before unmolding and so my photo was a disaster. It still tasted great but looked not very appetizing. I wanted to show that oops moment often happens while developing and testing recipes!

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

Caramel:

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon water

A couple of drops of lime juice

Flan:

2 eggs

1 1/3 cups milk

2 teaspoons instant coffee

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons sugar

Place all caramel ingredients in the bottom bowl of the Itaki Pro (or medium bowl of the Itaki Jumbo). Heat over low flame until it caramelizes. Set on a heat safe surface and let cool.

Meanwhile, mix flan ingredients in a small bowl and beat to combine and melt the sugar. Pour over the caramelized sugar and cover with foil.

Place 2 Itaki cups if water in the base, place the flan in and cover. Steam until it shuts off, about 40 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and chill in the refrigerator until cold. Run a knife along the edge and place a plate on top of the bowl. Invert the bowl onto the plate carefully to release the flan.

You can serve this over shaved ice and drizzle top with espresso.