Irish Soda Biscuit

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This recipe is not your traditional butter biscuit or an Irish soda bread. The difference is – it has other “fun” ingredients which added more depth to its flavor such as dried fruits, nuts and aromatic spices like fennel. The Irish calls it the Americanized version of their soda bread. Traditional Irish Soda bread has only 4 basic ingredients: flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk. And unlike typical biscuits, this recipe uses baking soda instead of baking powder, so it’s more crumbly than flaky.

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HOT PANDESAL, an authentic Filipino Bread Roll

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I woke up this morning and the temperature was a little chilly, the sky was overcast and I was craving for hot Pandesal, a popular Filipino bread roll I remember eating on breakfast or afternoon snacks back in the Philippines.

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Looking back, I used to buy hot pandesal at Solomon Bakery, an old Chinese baker’s shop in Tondo (Manila) which was only a block away from the house. At five in the morning, people would start walking from different neighborhoods toward the bakeshop to get their paper pouch bag (or supot) of hot pandesal for the morning meal. When I get there between 6-7am, there would be a long line already. At 8am, the shop was done making hot pandesal. My next chance for a bag would be at 3-4 in the afternoon. Since, Filipinos are not big on bread diet, pandesal is the most common freshly-baked bread roll we consume.

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Penne Pasta with Creamy Beef and Mushroom Sauce

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This is another go-to dish which only takes less than half-an-hour to make. Yet, it won’t taste like a dish-in-a-rush. Believe me, I made few of those and regretted that if I had given it more time and respected the process it would have tasted better. But this recipe isn’t one of those.

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I always keep in my cupboard few cans of cream of mushroom or chicken or celery soup for days like this that I don’t have much time to make it from scratch. I’m glad that nowadays these cream soups also come in low-sodium varieties.

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For healthier option, you can get the ground beef on a ratio of 80%-20% or even 93%-7% lean vs. fat content. Also, you can choose to use gluten-free pasta or whole-wheat pasta to suit your diet. To substitute the cream, a mixture of cottage cheese (1 cup) and skim milk (1 cup) can be used; or a mixture of melted butter and skim milk with 1 cup each.

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Pad Thai Noodles

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This is a popular Thai cuisine and I was very curious about this dish for quite a while. So last week I bought a box of Thai noodles. I didn’t find fresh bean sprouts though, so I used canned. This dish also called for Tamarind pulp which I don’t expect to find anywhere close. Instead, I use the soup-based Tamarind powder mix that Filipinos usually use for soup dishes.

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