Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chocolate Revel bars

My first encounter with a revel bar was at a friend's party. PURPLE OVEN's revel bar to be exact. It was an encounter that had me intrigued.

It was the blend of chocolate, oats and the fudginess of it all... 

In as much as I would like to take credit for inventing this recipe... hats off to better homes and gardens for a perfect revel bar!

Chocolate revel bar (recipe from

  • 1 cup  butter or margarine
  • 2 cups  packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons  vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon  baking soda
  • 3 cups  quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 114  ounce can  (1-1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
  • 112  ounce  package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces ( I used bittersweet chopped into small pieces )
  • 1 cup  chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons  vanilla

1.Set aside 2 tablespoons of the butter or margarine. In a large mixing bowl beat the remaining butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar; beat until well mixed. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In another large bowl stir together flour and baking soda; stir in oats. Gradually stir dry mixture into beaten mixture. Set aside. --- line your baking pan with wax paper or aluminum foil.

2.In a medium saucepan combine the reserved butter or margarine, the sweetened condensed milk, and chocolate pieces. Cook over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and the 2 teaspoons vanilla.

3.Press two-thirds (about 3-1/3 cups) of the oat mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Spread chocolate mixture over the oat mixture. Using your fingers, dot remaining oat mixture over the chocolate.

4.Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned (chocolate mixture will still look moist). Cool on a wire rack. Cut into 2x1-inch bars. Makes about 75 bars.

fresh from the oven

-- one thing though... I put mine in the refrigerator first before cutting. It will make your life easier... 

It's pretty hard to cut it fresh from the oven.. although I guess you'd find it hard not to take a bite at the gooey goodness of it all.

gooey!!! yummy!!!
Try to pace yourselves folks...!! these are truly addicting and deadly. My friends were asking for MORE MORE MORE!!!...

Hope you get to baking these. Surely a winner!

* note on the chocolate pieces... I find blocks are better to work with and are easier to melt. you can buy chocolate buttons also in the supermarket--- because you'll need a kitchen scale to measure the blocks out. bittersweet, semisweet... your preference really. just don't use unsweetened.. it will be a bit more bland than usual

Usually semisweet chocolate (the ones for chocochip cookies) are harder to melt so I steer clear of them if melted chocolate is asked for

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Make your own CURRY!

I recently traveled to Siem Reap in Cambodia to see the magnificent Angkor Wat sunrise. It was beautiful and was most definitely picturesque.

Other than visiting Wats or temples around Siem Reap and partying at night in Pub Street, there really isn't much to do in Siem Reap; that's why my friend recommended me to attend a Khmer cooking class at the Tigre de Papier.  It is a restaurant cum cooking school for tourists.

You can check out their website to check their schedules of classes.  I also wanted to meet other travelers so I called beforehand to find out and make sure there were classes.  The meeting place for the class is at the restaurant, just make sure to talk to the waitresses and tell them you're there for the cooking class.  It is a bit inconspicuous so I really had to make sure they don't leave me out.  

I arrived there and talked to the other people who were going to take the class too; and while we were waiting for others, we were asked to look at the menu and choose whatever we wanted to cook.  It's cool because they don't dictate what recipes to teach you.

I chose chicken curry and spring roll.  I did not enjoy the spring roll so much but was amazed to learn how to make my own curry which I am going to share with you.

To make curry paste, you will need the ff:  
This recipe is good for 1-2 servings.

Initially I thought it would be hard for me to find tumeric, lemon grass and lime leaves; but lemon grass and tumeric were readily available in the market; while lime leaves are a bit of a challenge.  I did find it in more high-end groceries like S&R (chiller, by the lettuces, Salad Time brand in a resealable plastic bag, fresh) and Rustan's Supermarket in the condiments section (pepper corns, etc.) Thai Kitchen brand comes in a jar, dried.  Dried lime leaves are also sold everywhere in Cambodia for USD1 a pack, which is very cheap compared to getting them here.  For the dired lime leaf, you will need to soak it in hot water for about 15 minutes until it "un-dries"; chop everything finely.

Put everything EXCEPT onion into the mortar and pestle and start pounding until you see it turn into a sort of paste, then add the onion, and pound again.

*Warning: be careful of Tumeric, omg, its the agent that makes curry yellow and it will stain your clothes permanently and your hands for at least 24 hours.  Also stains your braces rubber into a permanent neon yellow.

For the stew itself you will need the ff, the amount is up to you, just keep in mind that this recipe is good for 1 or 2 persons:

a few pieces of chicken, it can be (4 pcs) wings, or 2 deboned thigh part, or white meat if you prefer, cut into pieces

  • sweet potato (yes! more delicious than potato we are used to in Filipino cooking)
  • carrots
  • string beans, sitaw
  • eggplant
  • bell pepper
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • water

First, boil half a can of coconut milk, then put in the paste.  When it boils, put in the beans, sweet potato, and carrots in, because they take longest to cook.  This wasn't taught in class, but I find putting extra dried lime leaf brings in more flavor.  When they simmer for about 5 min, you will notice the sauce is now thicker, so put in some water.  Let it come to a boil again, put the fire in medium low then put in the bell pepper and eggplants. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes, then put in your chicken.  I personally feel that it's weird to just put in raw chicken into the sauce, maybe since I am used to Chinese cooking, I felt more comfortable stir frying it separately until half cooked, then put it in the sauce.  Simmer for another 15-20 min until the meat is cooked.

You can, for sure, replace chicken with beef or fish, just adjust the cooking time :)  Then voila, serve over hot rice!

It was so good!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Buffalo wings

I wanted a simple yet accesible recipe for the New year. What more can I ask for than this one? I tried it for Christmas and my friends raved that it tasted like bonchon chicken.

You can also make the sauce and use it for dipping and coating chicken fingers

1/2 kilo chicken wings

2 tsp cornstarch
4 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup chili garlic sauce (optional if you have kids)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp minced garlic

---dissolve cornstarch in rice wine vinegar in a small bowl
-- combine the vinegar solution with the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan over medium/low heat. Heat mixture stirring often until sauce reaches a boil, then  remove from heat. Let cool
--- to use sauce, pour 1/4 cup over cooked chicken wings (or nuggets) and toss gently

*note: I coated the chicken wings with cornstarch and deep fried till done

** also, depending on your kids, you can omit the chili or reduce the amount. Some kids don't like it spicy.

Hope you enjoy the recipe! Happy New year!