Quick and Easy Farfalle with Swedish Meatballs


I was totally exhausted working three 12 hour night shifts after only a night off. The last 12 hour shift I worked, we were short staffed, I had the narcotic key, Heparin Drip and a total of 7 patients. I need a vacation! So I decided to check out my pantry and found these ingredients:



24 pieces of Swedish Chicken meatballs (KYCKLINGKOTTBULLAR)

1 lb. Barilla Farfalle

25 oz Tuscan Traditios Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

grated Parmesan cheese


1. Cook pasta as per package direction. Mine is boiling water in a pot and adding the farfalle and simmering for 11 minutes and draining in a colander and set aside.

2. Pour the pasta sauce in a Caphalon pan and add the meatballs and simmer for 11 minutes until the meatballs are cook through.

3. Add the pasta and mix until well combined. Turn off the stove. Sprinkle parsley or scallions on top. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Here it is, a super speedy pasta dish. As always, it’s Peaches here trying to make mine and  your already stressed life a little easier worth some simplified cooking!





Jamaican Oxtail with Chipotle


I got this recipe from my former co-workers, Doret and Ruby who are now retired. They also taught me how to make the Jamaican Rum Cake which I previously featured on this food blog, so let’s gather up our ingredients to start cooking this famous Jamaican dish.



3 lbs. oxtail (fat trimmed)

1 Chipotle pepper in Adobo sauce (seeded and chopped)

2 Tbsp. Avocado oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 stalks scallions, chopped

1 large red onion, sliced and divided

1 14.5 oz Kirkland Organic Diced Tomatoes

2 carrots (sliced)

1 cup Fava beans

1 tsp. dried thyme herb

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. whole Jamaican Allspice berries

3 cups filtered water, divided

Grace Browning (product of Kingston, Jamaica, you can find it in any huge supermarkets in the baking section or http://www.gracefoods.com)



1.Wash the oxtail with lime juice and drain in a colander, paper towel dry.

2. Toss the oxtail with half of sliced red onion, garlic, pepper, salt, soy sauce, fresh ginger, fish sauce and Chipotle pepper. Once fully rubbed  with the seasoning, drain in a colander until almost dry. Save the broth for simmering later.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the oxtail.

4. Place the browned oxtail in a pressure cooker, add the saved broth and 2 cups of water, cook for 15-30 minutes. (I did mine for 15 minutes as I want some firmness to my meat, I don’t want soggy meat), turn off the stove and open the lid, and check if the tenderness is to your liking.

5. Add the carrots, remaining sliced red onions, whole allspice berries, half of 14.5 oz organic diced  tomatoes, chopped scallions and add 1 cup of water, reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. In the last  15 minutes, add the fava beans and a few drops of Browning and stir very well.

6. Stir 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoon filtered water until they dissolve well and then add to the skillet. Turn off the stove. Sprinkle chopped scallions on top.

Serve while still piping hot.

As always, Masarap!

– Peaches.


Baked Salmon Steak with Portabello Mushrooms, Capers, and Lime



I originally planned to make Salmon En Croute, a recipe my friend Julie Ribystkiy taught me by phone, but I bought a 2 pound salmon steak with bones so that idea was scrapped. Anyway, I had to bake this using a procedure that could make use of the ingredients I had on hand.



2 lbs Salmon Steak

12 pieces Portabello mushrooms (brushed, washed, and drained)

1 tsp. each of Italian seasoning, dried rosemary and dill weed

2 Tbsp. olive oil

half red onion rings

juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 Tbsp. undrained capers



1. Wash, dry on a colander, and paper towel dry the salmon steak.

2. Season the steak generously with salt and pepper, filling in each nook and cranny.

3. Have the baking tray lined with aluminium foil, large enough that you can cover the top later. Spray some Pam and place the seasoned steak in the middle.

4. Pre-heat the oven at 300 ºF for 20 minutes and place the tray with the steak, uncovered.

5. In the meantime, sauté 4 garlic cloves, pressed by the garlic crusher with its peels on moderate heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté until it sweats its juice, add the red onion rings plus the 3 kinds of herbs, stirring well to combine. Add the white wine and lime juice, stirring well to combine then add 1/2 tablespoon capers, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper. Stir then taste.

6. When the fish is half done in 20 minutes, pour this sauce mixture on top of the fish and enclose on the aluminium foil and bake at 350ºF for 15 more minutes.

7. When done, turn off the oven and take out the fish and open the aluminium foil and decorate the mushrooms around the fish. Rest the fish for few minutes and serve while still warm.

As always, Masarap! Peaches.

Baked Curried Tilapia and Mussels



I brought this to our 2000 Hail Mary’s 1st Saturday of April and Sisters Lilian and  Ate Lou also celebrated their birthdays together there. They are all fasting and not eating meat so I made this fish and seafood dish for all of us that day.



1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 tsp. Avocado oil

4 garlic cloves, crushed/sliced

1/2 cup each of chopped red, green, and orange bell peppers

3 tsp.fresh ginger, chopped very finely

1 cup scallions, divided

2 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. cumin powder

4 tsp.soy sauce

1 Tbsp. sugar cane sugar

1/2 of 13.5 fl oz Chaokoh coconut milk

6 of 4 oz each wild caught Tilapia

a tray of frozen/shacked mussels

Cilantro sprigs



1. Wash and drain both the Tilapia and the mussels (after thawed out) in separate colanders.

2. Fry the ginger in a hot pot with avocado oil, add garlic until they sweat, then peppers and half cup of scallions, add curry powder and cumin until fragrant. Add the mussels and stir well.

3. Add crushed red pepper flakes, soy sauce, sugar and coconut milk, and bring to a very low simmer. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.


4. Season the filets with salt and pepper on both side then cut each fillet into thirds, and sprinkle finely chopped cilantro. Lay on a bakeware and pour out the mussels mixture.



5. Bake at pre-heated oven at 375ºF for 8-10 minutes. Arrange the mussels around the Tilapia, pushing on all 4 corners, exposing the fish fillet in the middle. Ladle the sauce and pour on top of the mussels if getting dry after baking. Sprinkle chopped scallions.

My prayer group members like it very much, As always, Masarap! Peaches.

Stove-top Skinless Chicken Adobo with Fried Rice



Chicken Adobo is the unofficial national dish of the Philippines.When the Spanish empire colonized the Philippines in the late 16th century, they encountered this dish and it was first recorded in the dictionary “Vocabulario de la Lengua Tagala” (1613) compiled by the Spanish Franciscan missionary, Pedro de San Buenaventura; he referred to it as “adobo de los naturales” (adobo of the native people). Many people have different styles of preparing it, you can also use pork or combination of both but this is my own style.



2 pounds cut Organic chicken (skin/fat off/washed/drained)

4 garlic cloves (crushed)

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup water

4 bay leaves

1/2 Tbsp.whole  peppercorn

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. cooking  oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar cane sugar

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

1 star anise

refrigerated cooked rice

3-4 eggs



1.Mix well all the ingredients in a deep pot except oil, prick the pieces with a huge fork and soak them for a while.


2. Cover the pot, turn on the stove and boil them and  put on low simmer for 10 minutes. Drain everything in a colander and save the broth for later in a deep pot. Fish out the bay leaves, peppercorn, and star anise then discard.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non stick frying pan and fry all the garlic first, don’t burn them, gather the browned garlic on a bowl then fry the chicken pieces and turn them until all of the pieces get this nice, shiny brownish color. Gather the fried chicken pieces, add to the bowl with the fried garlic. You can fry your refrigerated rice in the same frying pan and add chopped scallions.

4. Wash the eggs before boiling them together with the broth, approximately for another 10 minutes. Once done, plunge the eggs in cold water and peel the shells off and add eggs to the serving bowl  with the chicken and garlic.

5. Pour the hot broth into the chicken bowl. Pour excessive broth in a separate serving bowl. Chicken Adobo is more flavorful the next day. It is usually eaten with fried rice or steamed jasmine or brown rice and banana is always the perfect accompaniment to it.



Chicken Ginger Stew with Chayote


Fondly called “tinolang manok,” its first mention is in Jose Rizal’s first novel, Noli Me Tangere, published March 21, 1887. Jose Rizal was the Philippines’s national hero against the Spaniards. On the novel, Kapitan Tiago serve Tinolang Manok to Crisostomo Ibarra upon his arrival from Europe and he was given the breast to the dismay of the corrupt Spanish friar, Padre Damaso who got the least favored part of the chicken, the neck.

This dish is an all time favorite both in our country and abroad because of the easy accessibility of the very few ingredients. Usually stewed with green papaya or chayote and green Chili pepper leaves or spinach. Let’s start gathering our ingredients and start cooking.




2-3 lbs. cut bony parts of an organic chicken

2 inch fresh ginger (slice into thin matchbox)

3 Chayote or small green papaya (peeled and cut into bite-sized squares soaked in water)

3 cloves garlic (crushed)

1 red onion (sliced)

1 red sweet pepper (sliced) add for color

freshy cracked peppercorn via peppermill

1 Tbsp. fishs sauce

1 Tbsp. avocado oil

8 cups of filtered water


Here’s how most of your ingredients look like:



1. Wash and drain chicken and rub with coarse sea salt then leave draining on a colander.

2. Pour 1 tablespoon of an avocado oil in deep frying pan, wait till the oil sizzles before adding the very thinly sliced ginger. Add the crushed garlic until slightly brown then add the onion and the sliced red pepper till fragrant and translucent for one minute.

3. Add the chicken parts and the fish sauce, cover and turn the fire to a low simmer for 2 minutes until one side turn brown before stirring and turning the other uncooked side approximately another 2 minutes until you no longer see any red coloration on the chicken.


4. When all the chicken parts are looking like this and the juice are extracted from the chicken parts. Add the water, cover and turn up the heat on high until it boils.


5. Simmer for 10-20 minutes and check the chicken for doneness by pricking the fork into the meat. Then add the chayote.


6. Once the chayote is already in the pan, crack some peppercorn via a peppermill and count 10 minutes then add the spinach and turn off the stove and put back the cover, the steam will immediately cook the spinach. Some people add a long green chili but I already added the sliced red sweet pepper both for a subtle spicy flavor  and a hint of red color.

Serve immediately while still piping hot, very good for people under the weather and a good hot soupy chicken dish during this start of spring as it is still very cold.

As always, try to cook  and enjoy this dish.

-Peaches, Masarap!

Corned Beef Brisket



I was always curious how my prayer group member-sister Mila cooked a very delicious corned beef brisket with tasty and half-cooked vegetables on the side. I asked her and even wrote the recipe on a piece of paper and tried cooking it the last holiday season but I ended up baking it; I’m still thinking about her special and simple way of cooking it so this time, we went to Costco and bought Mosey’s Brisket. This time I followed the instructions to a T. As you can see I sliced half only and for me it tasted really salty, so I boiled the unsliced half and revised Ate Mila’s recipe.  The ingredients are pictured below.




a bag of 7.85 lbs. Mosey’s Corned Beef Brisket (you should trim off the excess fat)

a bag of brussel sprouts

A bundle of king sweet bokchoy

10 cups filtered water ( for the 1st boil)

10 cups filtered water ( for the 2nd boil)

few pieces of potatoes

spice packet (included inside the brisket)


1. Remove the Brisket from its plastic bag and separate the spice packet like this…


Kindly compare the size of the spice packet last year with the size of the latest spice packet! A huge reduction in amount! Anyway, let’s continue.

2. Wash the beef brisket, rinse, and drain on a colander.


3. Pour 10 cups of water in a wide and deep pot and submerge the beef brisket and turn the stove on high until it boils, turn the heat down to a 10 minute simmer.

4. Scoop the beef brisket and drain on a colander, discard the 1st boiled water, pour another fresh 10 cups of water into the same pot and empty the spice packet into the pot and submerge the beef brisket. You may simmer it for 3-4 hours or pressure cook for one and a half hours.



5. Open the pot and check the meat for doneness by pricking a fork into the meat. In the last 30 minutes, place the peeled potatoes, add the brussel sprouts in the last 20 minutes, and finally add the sweet king bokchoy in the last 10 minutes of simmering.


6. Scoop 1st the sweet king bokchoy very gently and drain on a colander and the rest of the vegetables, the brisket last.


7. Lay down the brisket on a chopping board and once it cools down, slice thinly and place on a huge serving plate and decorate the vegetables around it. You may cut the potatoes in half and slice the sweet king bokchoy. Don’t discard the 2nd boiled water, you may boil cabbage into this flavored water as all the vegetables finished  1st than the brisket.


Yummy and less salty, a very simple way of cooking  corned beef brisket.

-Peaches, Masarap!

Paksiw na Pompano (Poached Fish)

This is a Filipino style of cooking where a fish like milkfish or Pompano is poached in vinegar, ginger, garlic, and onion, but mine is with a twist and I will show you all later. This is usually eaten with Jasmine rice and bagoong. Bagoong is a sautéed shrimp fish. As chutney is to Indians and Jamaicans, bagoong is to Filipinos.



1 miklfish or Pompano (cleaned and scales removed, cut, washed and dried on a colander)

3 garlic cloves (smashed)

1 small onion (peeled, quartered or sliced)

1 thumb-sized fresh ginger (sliced thinly)

leeks or scallions

pieces of okra, Japanese eggplant, or Bittermellon or Karella (optional)

1 cup water mixed with 1/2 cup of a vinegar

a swirl of Sesame oil (for later)

1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt

1/2 tsp. black peppercorns

1 packet of coarse sugar cane sugar (for later)

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or fresh long green pepper (either or)


1. Put the cut fish into a medium pot, pour the vinegar/water mixture, place all ingredients  except the sugar cane, scallions and the sesame oil. Make sure that the fish is submerged in the liquid and all the eggplant, bittermelon and okra are on top of the fish.

2. Cover the pot and turn the stove into a slow heat for a few minutes, don’t open the pot until the vinegar is cooked through and the fish is tender, approximately 10-15 minutes.

3. Open the pot, mix into the liquid the contents of 1 packet coarse sugar cane, add a swirl of sesame oil and tilt the pot to distribute the flavor. Serve with rice and bagoong.



Here’s the Bagoong, the famous Sautéed Shrimp Paste we eat with Kare-Kare and Poached Fish like Pompano here, Enjoy! But please make sure you have no allergy to shrimp! It is very salty and gives the fish and the vegetables its salty kick. Some people prefers fish sauce on the side. Enjoy!



Asian Five-Spice Ribs


This is a really popular Chinese short rib recipe using five-spice powder; my friend gave me this recipe but it was too salty for my taste, so I revised it and added 1.5 tablespoons of lime juice and prepared my own personal five spice herb mix, different from the ready-made, store-bought powder.


With a mortar and pestle, I pounded equal parts of cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise, peppercorn, and fennel. I used 1/2 tablespoon of each and pounded them altogether until they were coarsely pulverized. Let’s gather the rest of the ingredients.




2 tbsp. five-spice powder

3 trays of bone-in beef short ribs

2 pounds of beef chunks

2 tbsp. olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves (smashed/sliced thinly)

1 medium onion, sliced

1/3 cup of each red wine, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil

2 thumb sized grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup sugar cane dissolved in 2/6 cup of boiling water

rind of 1 orange and its juice

1 and 1/2 tbsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. Chinese Chile Sauce

I potato (peeled/sliced)

2 pieces each of red and yellow small sweet peppers (sliced)



1. Drain the short ribs and beef chunks in a colander and dry with paper towel.

2. With clean hands, rub the ribs and beef chunks with the five-spice herb mix.

3. Brown each side of the ribs and beef chunks in a large Dutch pan with 2 tablespoon of oil in medium heat until everything are all browned. Set aside in a huge bowl.

4. In the same Dutch pan, sautée garlic then onions until translucent for 3-4 minutes, careful not to burn them. Pour wine, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, chile sauce, fresh ginger, orange rind, orange juice, lime juice, and sugar mixture. Stir well for 2-3 minutes on high heat and add the short ribs and beef chunks. Cover the pan, boil until it simmers, turn the heat down and let it slowly simmer on low for 30-40 minutes. In the last 5 minutes put sliced potatoes and add sliced red and orange bell peppers on its last minute or you can braise it; the beef inside the covered cast iron  while baking inside the oven like a French way of cooking at 450ºF for 1-2 hours.

Next time I’ll prepare Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon (hopefully when I get my next night off). I was inspired by the movie “Julie and Julia” where I saw that recipe for the first time, and I didn’t stop until I got the recipe right!

Please look down below as I start to simmer this on the stovetop with a cover.



Serve these ribs with some Jasmine rice! Patience is key with this very strong and tasty recipe, and the five spice herb mix imparts a very unique, cultural, Asian flavor.

-Peaches, Masarap!

Kare-Kare (Traditional Filipino Peanut Butter Stew)


Let me introduce to you the Famous Filipino Kare-Kare composing of beef, ox tail, or tripe or mixed in with cubed beef simmered with ground white rice, broth and peanut butter, mixed with eggplant, snake beans and pechay or bokchoy and banana blossoms. People all over the country have different version of cooking it but I will give you the ingredients that you can buy from Asian or Chinese supermarkets to cut our preparation in half the time. I was looking for the famous red claypots which are used to make its presentation grander as this is usually served in the famous restaurant in our country called Barrio Fiesta but I can’t find any here.




4-6 pieces of beef oxtail (trimmed of fat)

6 garlic cloves

1 medium sized yellow onion ( sliced )

beef tripe (washed, ( boiled 2x with fresh water each boiling)

2 pieces Japanese eggplants (sliced diagonally)

a bunch of snake beans or green beans

1 bundle of bokchoy

1 17 oz. can Lucia Banana Blossom in Brine ( optional )


This is Mama Sita’s Kare-Kare peanut sauce mix, it’s poured on the tiny glass bowl, it consists of the grounded white rice, grounded peanuts and achuete (annatto powder).


This is the achuete or the annatto powder that gives the dish its distinct extra deep reddish color. You can add more of this to the pot if you wanted the more reddish color.


1. Boil oxtail and beef with enough water to cover in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes only.

2. Take out the cubed meat, oxtail and boiled tripe together in a bowl and set aside. Save the broth.

3. Boil the broth and blanch the snake beans and eggplant for 3-4 minutes, on its last minute, put in the bokchoy. Gather the vegetables and set aside for later, save the broth.


4. Sauté garlic then onions in a tablespoon of olive oil until translucent. Put in all the oxtail, beef and tripe and pour a tablespoon of fish sauce, stir for a few minutes to distribute the flavor, then pour the saved beef broth, boil until it simmers.

5. Pour the contents of the kare-kare mix in a small mixing bowl, ladle the boiling broth and add into the bowl and whisk the mix well then pour into the pot. Continue simmering on a low fire to make  a slightly thicker sauce.


6. Check if the reddish color of the sauce in the pot is what you wanted and if not, pour 1/2 of the packet of Annatto powder in a small mixing bowl and ladle the boiling broth and whisk well, once fully disolved, add into the boiling pot. Mix well and stir well until the sauce covers the beef, tripe and oxtail.

7. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the plain peanut butter. Once you achieve that smooth reddish consistency of the sauce and the meat is tender as to your preference, taste but you don’t need to add salt, you can serve shrimp paste on the side. Now mix in the vegetables,  cover the pot and turn off the stove.

8. Transfer the mixture into a red clay pot or onto a nice huge bowl, add the bokchoy last on top. Serve with fish sauce or shrimp paste on the side if you still wanted to add that salty taste. The addition of the fish sauce during sautéing for me is enough and no need for things on the side but most of my countrymen don’t add the salty fish sauce during the sautéing and serve it with the shrimp paste or famously called, “Bagoong”. Back home Kare-Kare is famously paired with this bagoong, see the picture below.


So here it is folks, the famous Filipino Kare-Kare, my own way, the speedy way. Utilizing the ingredients by Mama Sita  and Kamayan which are available worldwide, just go to most Chinese or Filipino supermarkets and shops. Good luck!

-Peaches, Masarap!