Dec 23, 2011

Day 31 - A picture of food you made

I like the 100-day picture challenge because I get to share photos from yester-years... Like this one... :)

This photo was taken Valentine's Day last year. We just go out on V-day year after year so I thought we needed a breath of fresh air -- We're celebrating at home! I cooked Carbonara for the first time and not to toot my own horn but it was a massive success! J getting a second round was enough proof ;-)

To your left is what we had for dessert, a refrigerated cake also made by yours truly (gosh this feels so long ago -- look how small Haley is in the picture!). I painstakingly wrote those 3 characters using strips of ripe mangoes with oreo bits on the background. In fact, I almost didn't wanna slice my masterpiece when it's time to serve! Hahaha!

I'm making this combo again for Christmas Eve and if you don't have plans yet for your feast, you may want to try them. Yes, I'm sharing the recipe! :)

Pasta in Creamy White Sauce (Instant Carbonara)
Credit goes to my friend Noreen for the original recipe but this one I already tweaked to my liking :-)

* 1 kilo spaghetti noodles
* Cooking oil
* 250 grams bacon
* 200 grams ham
* 1 chicken breast
* 1 small can of Jolly button mushrooms, sliced thinly
* ½ cup butter
* 2 cans Jolly Cream of Mushroom
* 2 packs of Nestle All-purpose cream
* 1 small can of evaporated milk
* 1 pork cube
* 1 box of quickmelt cheese
* regular cheese (for toppings)
* 8 cloves garlic
* Pepper

1. Cook the noodles according to package directions.
2. Boil the chicken breast, shred then set aside. 
3. In a pan, fry the bacon until crisp. Let it cool down then dice into bits. In the same pan, fry the ham. Cut into squares.
4. In a separate pan, in low heat, melt the butter and sauté the garlic. Mix the cream of mushroom, all purpose cream, milk, pork cube and grated quickmelt cheese. Continuously stir until the sauce starts to boil so that it won’t stick. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water (be careful not to add too much of it cause the sauce will be bland).
5. Add the mushrooms, ham, chicken and about 2/3 of the bacon bits. Add pepper to taste (no need for salt as the cheese is sufficient). Simmer.
6. Put pasta into a plate then add sauce. Top with bacon and cheese. Voila, Carbonara! :-)

Ref Cake a la Maude :P

* 2 packs of graham crackers
* 3 packs of all purpose cream
* 1.5 cans of condensed milk
(Note: My milk to cream ratio is 1:2 because I have a sweet tooth. By all means, adjust it to your preferred sweetness.)
* Ripe mangoes and oreo bits for the toppings

1. Put the condensed milk and all-purpose cream in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
2. In a rectangular tray, lay the graham crackers. Make sure that there are no spaces as this will make the cream go all the way to the bottom of the tray once poured.
3. Pour the milk and cream mixture until the layer is completely covered.
4. Put strips of ripe mango on top of the cream. I used to think this is optional but soon I figured that this is the secret to a moist ref cake cause it prevents the layers from sticking together, thus absorbing the cream between them :-)
5. Repeat steps 2-4 till you fill the tray. I can usually make 4 or 5 layers with the ingredients above. Tip: Spare a generous amount of cream for the top layer.
6. Now do your thing with the strip of ripe mangoes and crushed oreos. Be artsy or cheesy, totally your call! :-)
7. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. Serve with a smile ^_^

Happy Christmas Weekend, dearies!

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