Monthly Archives: November 2010

Macaroni Schotel

Earlier this morning i was talking with my mom’s cousin , she’s actually about 10 years older than me , but anyway , she was saying she’s making Macaroni Schotel for dinner . Mind you , i just started to wake up when she mentioned about what she’s having for dinner . Indonesia is about 12-13 hours ahead of Central Time .

So , i thought later on during the day , i haven’t had anything thawed out , all the chicken or the beef are still in the freezer , taking them out in the afternoon would not make any sense , because it’s going to take at least half a day to thaw them out . Why not making macaroni schotel then ? I remember the very first time i made them , i was back in Indonesia , i used my mom’s old style oven , the one that you have to put on top of a stove to get the heat .. where you actually don’t know what temperature you have going in there .. Well that’s the only thing we used to have .. i made that but it’s been years and years .. so what do i do . I browsed around .. but still there was no exact recipe that interest me enough ..

I told Jay i am just going to wing it .. LOL .. he said i should be fine . Beside .. it’s a casserole , how hard or how complicated could it be ? I had smoked ham that is thinly shaved , and then i had 2 pieces of leftover hot dog , that i diced little , and then i had bought corned beef . This one i remember from back then that i did use corned beef . Do not ask me why they called it corned beef .. my husband asked ” does it have corn ? ” Heck .. what do i know about it ? I just know how to eat it .. LOL ..

And then i used evaporated milk and fresh milk to make it enough to cover my macaroni schotel , so it wouldn’t get too dry when i bake them . Unfortunately i did not broil them , i should have , but i had this experience with pasta , starch thing .. if i broil them .. it gets too close with the heat source , and it could cause fire . It happened to me once when i was trying to broil macaroni and cheese .. and i think one time experience with burnt food is enough .. not only it was burnt .. but it caught on fire !!! LOL .. so i was just happy to have my macaroni schotel being baked at 375 F for a good 30-35 minutes !!! When it’s not runny .. u know it’s done ! Yummy !

Macaroni Schotel ( Macaroni Casserolle )

You will need :

12 oz of elbow macaroni

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic , minced

3/4 can of corned beef

2 hot dogs , diced

1/4 lbs of thinly shaved smoked ham

2 tsp. of sugar

1 can of evaporated milk ( add a little more 1 % milk to make 500 ml milk )

salt , pepper and 1 1/2 tsp. of ground nutmeg

2 beaten eggs

1/4 cup of shredded colby jack cheese

1 tub of grated parmesan cheese , or freshly grated parmesan cheese .

1. Boil macaroni according to the package , meanwhile , heat oil in a skillet , add onion , sautee about 5 minutes , add garlic , sautee for another minute , add all the meat , add the sugar and keep stirring the mixture for few more minutes . Turn the heat off .

2. Butter a 13×9 inch pan , add the macaroni that has been drained , add margarine so it won’t stick to each other , add the meat mixture , and colby jack cheese mix well .

3. Mix the milk and evaporated milk together to make 500 ml , and add beaten eggs , salt pepper and nutmeg . Mix them well , pour the milk mixture into the macaroni mixture . Add parmesan cheese on top . Bake at 375 C , for 30 – 35 minutes .

Pumpkin Roll

Preheat oven to 375 F , grease jelly roll pan , line with parchment paper and grease , flour again before pouring the batter evenly on to the pan . Bake for 15 minutes .

For the cake you will need :

3 eggs

1 cup of sugar

Beat the eggs and sugar for at least 5 minutes until thick , with mixer on the high speed .

Then add in :

2/3 cup packed pumpkin puree

Beat with medium speed , and mix well , then add :

3/4 cup of all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground clove

1/4 tsp. salt

Mix well , pour the batter into the pan .Bake for 15 minutes .

While the cake is baking , prepare the damp towel , make sure you wring it very well , spread the towel on the counter , sprinkle with powder sugar generously all over the kitchen towel . Once the cake is done , while it’s hot , sprinkle with powder sugar generously too , cover the cake with the towel with the powder sugar side on the cake , flip the cake over , and take the pan out , peel off the parchment paper carefully . Then start rolling with the kitchen towel , the kitchen towel works as a memory foam for later on . Wrap , not too tight , cool on the fridge for at least 1 hour .

For the filling

3/4 cup of powder sugar

6 tbsp. of softened butter

1 tsp. milk ( if needed )

1 tsp. vanilla extract

After the roll has been cooled down , unroll carefully , spread the filling on top the unroll cake , roll it back in again carefully . wrap with plastic wrap and foil , refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing them . The longer you let it cool the better , sprinkle with powder sugar to serve .

Pumpkin Roll

So , a friend of mine , well he’s the guy in the front desk at the gym , had mentioned about pumpkin rolls for the past 2 days . He’s excited about making it for this thanksgiving and asked me question if it is okay to add more pumpkin puree than the recipe calls because his baking sheet is not really the precise jelly roll pan . LOL .. I said no .. because baking is about being exact .. you miss measurement , you can mess up the whole thing ..

Anyway i was intrique with the idea of making pumpkin roll . I am not a big fan of pumpkin roll myself , i don’t even like pumpkin pie , that was 10 years ago , on my wedding rehearsal when i was served pumpkin pie .. being me .. i love trying new things , i am always up to taste anything new . So there i was trying pumpkin pie .. but i didn’t like it . Since then i never even had a bite of any pumpkin pie or pumpkin roll , during my years of baking .. i only baked pumpkin bread once , and that was because i had to bring some dessert to the hospital where i had the lamaze class .

So , earlier i decided to try making this sucker , wasn’t as hard as i thought it would be . The cake was pretty quick and easy to make , and then rolling them up was a trick , cos you have to sprinkle powder sugar on that damp towel , or else your cake will stick pretty good and you would not have a cake to roll LOL .. The filling was okay .. i wasn’t so much into icing , that’s probably why i didn’t care much about it . I don’t like icing , that includes cream cheese icing on carrot cake , i prefer just the cake . The same way with this pumpkin roll , but then if i didn’t put icing then it wouldn’t be called pumpkin rolls .. LOL ..

For recipe click here

Vegetable Beef Soup

So i had a package of petite boneless steak in the fridge , thawing out since thursday where i originally thought was going to use it for Beef Rendang . Ended up with the idea this morning , why not making Beef Soup instead of the Rendang , and beside all the soup we’ve made it’s always been chicken soup .. chicken soup .. and chicken soup .

Then , this afternoon i started preparing stuff for the soup , chopped all the fresh vegetable . The only frozen vegetable i used was green beans , i didn’t have any fresh ones on hand . The soup turned out wonderful .. i was going to add Worcestershire sauce , but instead i picked up balsamic vinegar , and i already poured it in when i realize it’s not the sauce i wanted !! LOL , thank god the taste was still great , in fact it was so beefy and was so yummy !! I added some orzo to make it a hearty one pot meal .Serve it with parker house rolls on the side .

I really don’t have any exact measurement for this soup .. But here is the list of ingredients you need :

1 package of boneless petite steak , cube

3 medium carrots , sliced

3 stalks of cellery , chopped

2 small onions , sliced / chopped

green beans

5 cloves of garlic

1 -15 oz can diced tomatoes

5 beef granules/ cubes


italian seasoning , garlic powder , onion powder , pepper and salt

fresh parsley , chopped

2 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

1. In a pot heat vegetable oil to brown the beef cubes on both side , sprinkle with salt and pepper . Once both sides are brown , add the onion , garlic and cook few minutes , stirring occasionally .

2. Add water about 2 quarts , add beef cubes , add diced tomatoes with its juice , and then cook for a while . Add the rest of the vegetable when the beef is started to get slightly tender , you don’t want to overcook your vegetable and becomes mushy . The beef might take longer time to get really tender , that’s why u don’t want to rush putting in the vegetable into the pot . Just time it right .

3. Then simmer until the beef is tender . Take out the sprigs and the leaves , add orzo , let it cook until it’s done , then serve with dinner rolls .

Vanilla Cinnamon Poached Pears

I have been waiting to try to make poached pears , this afternoon i finally got the chance to do it . Being saturday and being home , gave me enough time to be busy in the kitchen .

I had 4 bartlett pears , they’ve been sitting in the fridge for almost over a week , so i decided to make these pears after i got my vegetable beef soup going on the stove . Cored the pears , but i could not find my melon baller , but oh well still worked fine with just paring knife . And the rest just making the poaching liquid , nothing really hard , nothing special , and put the pears in and that’s it . You’ll find that making poached pears is not very cheap thing though , the vanilla beans itself is quite expensive , the cinnamon sticks is not cheap either . Then the whole bottle of wine .. probably right around $15.00 !!! Next time , i probably would make more than just poaching 4 pears in there .. u might as well get what you spend !! LOL .. the syrup that i made with the riesling , vanilla beans , vanilla sugar and cinnamon stick was wonderful though .

At the end i served this for us with the syrup , and vanilla ice cream , which was wonderful . While for our 5 years old son , he only gets the  pears without the syrup ( i am thinking about the wine ) instead i drizzled some chocolate on top of the pears and the ice cream .

For recipe click here

Parmesan Crackers

Made this parmesan crackers the other day , it was easy to make , but you have to let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour . I let it sit in the fridge overnight , i didn’t have any reason to rush with this . The dough was very easy to make , i used freshly grated parmesan cheese which is essential in here , and i chopped up some thyme leaves . I grow thyme leaves in my garden , so they’re quite handy !

After rolling the dough , and let it sit in the fridge overnight , i sliced them and surprisingly they’re quite easy to slice , and lined a parchment paper on the cookie sheet and baked them .. it has a great taste . If you’re dutch or indonesian , you probably can tell this crackers have a similar taste with kaastengel (somekind of dutch cookies made with cheese ) . Definately not skipping the salt the recipe calls , thinking that the parmesan would be salty enough .. boy i was wrong . But i did fine with sprinkled a lil salt before eating it .. it’s great !!

For recipe click here

Bean Sprout Soup ( Kongnamulguk )

I have been wanting to try to make this soup , since couple of weeks ago when i complained that my son is catching cold . But we all know , americans don’t usually eat bean sprout , so finding them , is kinda hard . Luckily , the past couple of weeks , i’ve been shopping at Meijer , and happily i found that they do carry beansprout with a reasonable price .

So , after working out this morning , still on my working out short and sweatshirt , stopped at that grocery store . Mind you, it was 40 F outside , people probably think i was a lil crazy .. LOL . At home , i started getting it ready , it was easy and quick , the recipe was from Maangchi , the korean lady who teaches all of us online people how to cook korean food .

Turned out the soup was so yummy , no wonder she said it’s good for cold , because just from having few times , it made my nose runny . And i love spicy stuff , just never thought it was this hot LOL .. My husband who originally refused to eat bean sprout , decided to try it . And he said the broth is really good and surprisingly , he did finish the whole bowl , not only the broth but also with the bean sprout !!

Halloween Butter Cookies

The day before halloween , i made these cute butter cookies . They’re easy to make , just takes time when you decide to ice them . Personally , i love the plain butter cookies , little sugar sprinkles is okay , but not with icing . But my son loves the ones with icing , of course .. what kid wouldn’t like icing on cake or cookies ?

So i ended up making pumpkin , bat and moon shape of butter cookies , i knew i had skeleton shape somewhere but who knows where i couldn’t find it . Unfortunately , it didn’t go as i planned , i planned on using the purple and black and orange , but i only had 1 pastry bag left , so we were stuck to decorate everything with orange color !! LOl ..

My recipe for the frosting is really easy , it contains corn syrup to make it very shiny in color even when they’re super dry . Here is our halloween butter cookies .

Spicy Meatballs

Ingredients :

1 lb of ground turkey

1 package of sweet and spicy italian sausage , remove from the casing( about 5 links )

3 slices of bacon , chopped well

3 cups of diced bread , to be put into the food processor to make bread crumbs

2/3 cup of 1% milk

1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese ( just cut them small dice and put them in the food processor using steel blade )

2 large eggs

1 tsp. of salt

1 1/2 tsp . of ground pepper

1 tsp. dried oregano

pinch of ground red pepper / red pepper flakes

1. Preheat oven to 400 F , line parchment paper into the baking sheet .

2. In a small bowl , mix milk and bread crumbs , set aside .

3. In a large bowl , mix , ground turkey , italian sausage , bacon , fresh parsley , cheese , eggs , bread crumbs mixture , salt , pepper and oregano .Mix lightly using fork .

4. Shape into 2 inches ball and bake for 40 minutes in the oven .

5. Serve with Linguine and pasta sauce

Spicy Meatballs w/ Linguine

I made this meatballs for dinner , it wasn’t hard to make at all . Instead of using ground beef , i used ground turkey , you can say i try to eat better , but not really .. since i added another package of sweet and spicy italian sausage . The result ? It’s like the best meatballs i ever had !! Delicious and yummy .. not to mention they’re big LOL .. Oh another thing .. not to mention my kitchen doesn’t get messy .. because these balls were baked in the oven !!!

Made the bread crumbs myself too , and also made our home made pasta sauce to go along with the meatballs . The only thing that was not the greatest was my choice of pasta , i picked whole wheat linguine .. it wasn’t the greatest . I guess if you’re trying to eat healthy then whole wheat pasta would be a better choice , but this was not good at all . It could be that it’s been sitting out by itself for few hours without being covered .. who knows .. I would rather regular pasta though ..

Still the meatballs and the sauce were delicious !!Might be able to make a meatball sandwich too , just have to make the rolls and will be able to have meatball sandwich 🙂

For recipe click here

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

Ingredients :

2 -28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes , crushed by hand and use the juices

1 large onion , chopped

4 cloves of garlic , chopped

2 tsp. of balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tsp . of salt

1/4 cup of tomato paste

1/2 tsp.  of crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp.  of dried basil leaves

1/4 tsp. dried italian seasonings

3 whole heads of peeled and roasted garlic

1. Heat olive oil in a pot , add chopped onion , cook about 4-6 minutes , add garlic and cook for 1 minute ,keep stirring , add tomato paste , balsamic vinegar , salt , italian seasonings and basil , stir about 1 minute . Add 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes and stir . Bring to boil , then simmer for 20 minutes .

2. Meanwhile , peel 3 heads of garlic and sprinkle with olive oil and roast under the broiler , watch because they burn easily .

3. After the sauce has been cooking for 20 minutes , add 3 heads of roasted garlic and cook , simmer for 30-45 minutes until flavor comes together .

Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce

All i can say is delicious !!!

A long time ago when i was just started learning to cook , i depend on jar sauce , not knowing how nasty jar sauce / store bought sauce tastes like . That’s all i knew .. that’s all we know , we thought all pasta sauce should taste like store bought / jar sauce . Boy .. was i wrong !! What have i been missing for all those years ?

After my son was born , i obviously started to spend more time to learn to cook and bake , and that includes making a home made pasta sauce . Yes , it takes time , not just like store bought sauce , where you can just dump it in the pan along with the meat and warm it up and voila .. it’s done . Home made sauce takes time ,a little time , not like you’re going to spend the whole day in the kitchen making pasta sauce . Esp. nowadays they have the convenience where you don’t have to peel and steam / boil your own fresh tomatoes .. you can always use the whole peeled tomatoes from the jar .

So , i have this one recipe , called roasted garlic pasta sauce , i am a garlic lover , and this sauce was heavenly !! Ever since i found this pasta sauce , i always .. ALWAYS use this for most of my pasta dish . It is delicious .. even though at first i wasn’t sure that i wanted to put 3 whole heads of garlic cloves into the pot .. i thought 3 heads of garlic is A LOT .. But it’s not like you’re going to leave the garlic in there anyway , i took them out before i used the sauce . I also loved this sauce chunky as it is , or sometimes i used my immersion blender to smooth the sauce . It’s your choice ..

For recipe click here

Vanilla Poached Pears

  • 1 (750-ml) bottle white wine, Riesling or Viognier
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 ounces vanilla sugar, approximately 3/4 cup
  • 1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 firm Bartlett, Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled leaving the stem intact


Place the white wine, water, sugar and vanilla bean and pulp into a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Core the pears from the bottom. Decrease the heat to medium low and place the pears into the liquid, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the pears are tender but not falling apart. Maintain a gentle simmer. Remove the pears to a serving dish, standing them upright, and place in the refrigerator.

Remove the vanilla bean from the saucepan, increase the heat to high and reduce the syrup to approximately 1 cup of liquid, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Do not allow the syrup to turn brown. Place the syrup in a heatproof container and place in the refrigerator until cool, approximately 1 hour.

Remove the pears from the refrigerator, spoon the sauce over the pears and serve.