Happy 4th of July! Today’s the day we celebrate our nation’s independence. Checking out a parade, hanging out by the pool and protecting our dogs from fireworks are the only things on our agenda. Oh, and grilling, of course. BBQ food is an absolute must on the most patriotic day of the year. Because really, is there anything more American than hamburgers and hotdogs? We didn’t think so.
As you prepare to chow down with family and friends this afternoon, why not prepare something special for your dog? She’ll likely be waiting beneath the grill anyhow, hoping for human food to hit the floor. Unfortunately, most traditional BBQ foods are dangerous for dogs and can make them sick. Providing your pup her own tasty meal will keep her out of harm’s way and help her feel like she’s part of the celebration.
Check out a few of our favorite dog-approved Fourth of July recipes below!
1 cup water
1/4 cup blueberries
Rinse strawberries and blueberries. Mix ½ cup water and strawberries in the blender. Blend until liquefied. Repeat with blueberries. Pour strawberry mixture into star-shaped ice cube trays. Repeat with blueberry mixture. Pop them in the freezer for 2-4 hours and serve!
Happy 4th of July! 4 Tasty BBQ Recipes for Your Dog
Filipino cuisine is a melting pot of several different types of cuisine, but it is said that 80% of Filipino dishes have been influenced by Spanish cuisine. The Philippines was a Spanish colony from 1521 to 1898. Almost 400 years of Spanish rule certainly left its mark, many Filipino specialties are local adaptations of Spanish dishes.
One of our family favorites is Escabeche, or a Sweet & Sour Fish dish. Escabeche is a common Spanish dish that is popular in Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine. Typically it refers to a dish of poached or fried fish that has been marinated in an acidic sauce before serving. It can also composed of other meats including chicken and pork, or vegetables. The Filipino version of Fish Escabeche is fried fish in a Sweet & Sour sauce. It is a favorite Filipino party food, specially when it’s made with a whole fish that’s artfully arranged on a platter and topped with colorful veggies and sauce.
I’ve made it the traditional way using whole fish, but my grandsons have difficulty with the small fish bones. To make it easier for them to eat I have started making Escabeche using fish fillets than have no bones. Any kind of white fish will work. We have used Tilapia, Flounder, Orange Roughy, and other white fish we find in the market.
Like many Filipino dishes Escabeche isn’t difficult to make, but it is “fussy” meaning its preparation requires several steps; in this case dredging, frying, chopping, and making the sauce. It takes about an hour or so tho cook so it’s not something I make very often, but when I do my family loves it!
6 – 8 Fish Fillets (any white fish: Tilapia, Flounder, Halibut, etc.)
1 Large egg – slightly beaten
1 Cup Flour
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Sea Salt
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
1 1/2 + 1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Ketchup
2 Tbls. Corn Starch
1 Large Onion Sliced into strips
2 Medium Green Peppers Sliced into large chunks
4 Cloves Garlic roughly chopped
Mix flour and spices in a shallow bowl
Place egg in another shallow bowl
Pat fish fillets dry with a paper towel
Heat oil in frying pan
Dip fish fillet in egg, then dip in flour mixture, shake off excess flour
Fry in hot oil until both sides are cooked
Remove from pan and place on paper towel to drain oil
Repeat with the rest of the fish
Keep fried fish warm by placing it in the oven at about 200 degrees
Dissolve cornstarch in 1/2 cup water and set aside
Place sugar, vinegar, water, and ketchup in a medium pot and bring to boil
Stir in garlic, peppers, and onions
Make sure cornstarch solution is still dissolved, if not stir until it is
Slowly stir in cornstarch solution until you get desired thickness. Sauce should be the consistency of gravy.
Place fish fillets on serving dish and pour sauce over it
Serve right away. It goes great with steamed white rice.
Escabeche - Filipino Sweet & Sour Fish
Popular Filipino dish featuring fried white fish in sweet & sour sauce.
Combine flour, garlic powder, salt & pepper and place in a shallow dish.
Heat oil over medium - medium high stove.
Rinse fish fillets and pat dry with paper towel.
Dredge fillets in flour mixture and place in heated oil.
Fry fish until cooked and turns golden brown - about 4 - 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness
Remove from pan and place on a plate covered with a paper towel to absorb some of the oil. Set aside.
Combine sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and 1 1/2 cups water in a sauce pan and bring to boil. About 10 minutes.
Mix 1/4 cup water with corn starch until smooth.
Slowly stir corn starch liquid into the boiling vinegar mixture to thicken. Reduce heat to low and let sauce gently simmer. Keep an eye on it, you don't want it to get too thick. If it gets too thick add a bit of water to thin.
Saute onions in the oil you fried the fish in until it starts to turn a bit soft.
Add garlic, saute until cooked.
Add green peppers and cook until peppers turn slightly soft.
Return fried fish fillets to pan with veggies.
Gently stir fish mixture for about 3 - 4 minutes.
Arrange fish and veggies in a platter.
Pour sauce over all.
The most efficient way to make this dish is to start making the sauce while the fish is frying. Keep the sauce simmering over low heat while you finish sauteing the veggies. Stir the sauce periodically to keep a skin from forming on the top.
When you drain the fried fish and set it aside keep it warm by placing it in a warmer or on the stove top. Don't cover the fried fish, it will get soggy.
When you replace the fish in the pan gently stir it so that the fillets warm up a bit. Transfer fish and veggies on to your serving dish (or you can keep it in the frying pan) and pour the hot sauce over all.
This dish is perfect served with steamed white rice.
Ukoy or Shrimp Fritters is a popular Filipino street food. There are different types of fillers for this deep fried fritter but the common ingredient is shrimp; unless you want to make it vegan and just have veggies.
Ukoy can be made using grated squash, sweet potatoes, yucca, green papaya, carrots or just bean sprouts, my personal favorite.
Ukoy as I mentioned is a popular street food which can be eaten on the run, but it can be served as a side dish or as I do the main course with rice and a vinegar dipping sauce.
I’ve been trying to make Ukoy the way my Lola, grandma, used to make. Hers always had the perfect texture and the right crunch. She made it with fresh tofu, bean sprouts, and medium sized shrimp. Talk about yummy!
After many fails, I mean trials, I finally figured out where I’ve been going wrong. It was my batter! For reasons I can’t explain I’ve been using egg in my batter, possibly because egg is something that I put in all my batters. But that batter is always thicker and heavier. And the end result was more like a fluffy pancake, not crunchy at all.
Well the simplest solution was no egg batter! Don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner! Once I omitted the egg my Ukoy turned out perfect. Literally just like Lola’s Ukoy was!
I’m a big fan of those hot soft pretzels that they sell at malls. I have trouble walking by these kiosks that sell those deliciously salty twisted pieces of baked dough without stopping for a pretzel or two. I’m sure you know how expensive they can get, specially after you add the dipping sauce and drink! Then it gets really costly if you have to buy pretzels for the family.
Well I’ve started making them at home! I know you think it hard, messy, and time consuming. What with letting the rising, blanching, rolling, and shaping of the dough it does sound pretty daunting. But what if you can whip up a batch in about an hour?
Yup this recipe makes a batch of 8 pretzels (more or less depending on the size you make) in about an hour from start to finish. The best part it they cost pennies to make and taste just like the ones at the mall! (At least that’s what my grandkids say, and they love mall pretzels!)
Combine first 3 ingredients in mixer bowl and mix for about a minute. It’s ok with there are clusters of yeast. Let rest for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl stir together 3 cups flour and salt.
Add flour mixture to the water yeast mix.
Knead for 2 minutes. If dough is too sticky add remaining 1/2 cup flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
Add cheese, parsley, and garlic powder. Combine well.
Let rest 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 425degrees
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead for about a minute.
Form into a ball.
Using a sharp knife cut ball in half.
Take first half and cut in half again so you have 2 smaller sections
Cut each section in half to make 4 sections
Repeat with second half. You should end up with 8 sections of dough.
Roll each section into a 25” rope. Make rope thickness as even as possible.
Take end of rope and hold away from you, twist together about 3” from each end. You should have a circle on the bottom part of rope that is closer to you. Separate the ends and bring towards you, gently pinch either end into the circle part close to you.
Form all sections into pretzel shapes.
Whisk egg and water together in a shallow bowl.
Dip both sides of each pretzel into egg wash.
Arrange pretzels onto a baking sheets covered with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Pinoy (Filipino ) Chicken Noodle Soup is a tasty noodle soup dish usually made from bone-in chicken thighs, bacon and chicken liver. It has that good Asian chicken flavor and can help keep you warm during cold season.
I love cooking my own chicken noodle soup at home because aside from having the chance to enhance my cooking skills, I also get the opportunity to make chicken noodle soup the way I like it to be and within my budget.
This Recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup is very simple and quick and yet delicious. This is perfect for those Asian Food Lovers. Enjoy Cooking!!!
1 lb. chicken, cut into small pieces
1 lb. round miki noodles
½ cup chopped chicken liver
4 pcs. crumbled bacon
4 cups chicken broth
½ small cabbage, core removed and chopped
1 medium carrot, julienne
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. fish sauce we called it (patis)
2 tbsp. cooking oil
2 cups water
Heat the oil in a cooking pot.
Then sauté the garlic and onion.
Then add the chicken and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until it turns light brown.
Add the chicken liver. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Pour-in water and chicken broth, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Add the bacon, cabbage and carrots. Stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
Pour-in the fish sauce and stir.
Pour the miki noodles and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.