Sunday, May 21, 2017

Garlic and Lemon Shrimp Spaghetti

This has got to be my favourite pasta dish. It's quick, easy, and always a hit, especially with my toddler who loves shrimp. The garlic, butter, lemon, and basil combination makes this dish packed with fresh flavours that compliment the shrimp really well. I typically use spinach for the greens but this will also work with other green veggies such as peas, broccolini, zucchini, kale, or arugula. 

This is great as a meal on its own, but if you're feeding a larger group, serve it with a side salad and some garlic bread for a comforting pasta meal at home. Leftovers are fantastic for lunch the next day heated up for a couple of minutes in the microwave and topped with more freshly grated, parmesan cheese.

Hope you enjoy this simple, yet gratifying pasta dish!


  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 12 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, rind grated, and juice set aside
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste


  • Marinate shrimp with half of minced garlic, olive oil, and grated lemon rind. 
  • In a large pot, boil water with a pinch of salt and cook pasta to al dente (about 6 minutes). 
  • In a seperate, heavy bottomed skillet, melt the butter and sauté the marinated shrimp over medium heat until its starting to turn pink (about a minute). 
  • Add pasta, spinach, and pasta water, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted and shrimp is completely pink and cooked through (about 1-2 minutes). 
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add in lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and chopped basil. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with more basil.

Serves 4-6

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Asian Meat Balls

The first time I tasted these meatballs at my mother in-laws, I was blown away. They were crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. I was hooked! I've made them only a few times myself and once I added spinach instead of mushrooms. I think the key ingredient here is the cornstarch which gives it that outside texture that makes them the best, in my opinion. They keep great in the freezer as well so double the recipe to make a huge batch and freeze them in freezer bags for a quick and easy meal. 

*Note: I've played around with the temperature and have cooked them at 400 degrees for 40 minutes in the convection setting from frozen and they turned out fantastic! 


1 lb ground pork
1 cup water chestnuts, diced small
1 large egg
1 tbsp soya sauce 
1 tbsp sherry or red wine
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ginger, minced or microplaned
2 tbsp cornstarch


1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

2. Form into balls, around 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. 

3. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment at 325 degrees for approximately an hour, turning once in between. 

4. Serve topped with herbs, sesame, seeds, & your choice of dipping sauce. 

Thanks for visiting! Let me know how you like this recipe in the comments😊.

Jules ❣

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Whipped Shortbread Cookies

The holidays wouldn't be complete without Christmas baking! Traditionally, Filipinos don't do a lot of baking and our holiday cookies usually consists of the Danish kind that comes in a blue tin. So when I first tasted whipped shortbread at my mother in laws, I was hooked and addicted. I literally inhale these during the holidays. I love the melt in your mouth, buttery, decadence without being overly sweet. 

Last year, I started baking them at home to start a new Christmas tradition with my daughter. My dear friend Sam came over to help and she showed me her version with the glazed cherries. I thought the cookies were delightful as is but those glazed cherries make them amazing. And I love the pop of Christmas colours that they add. These treats are are great for gifting and are super easy to make with only 5 ingredients! 

Whipped Shortbread Cookies


1 cup salted butter

1 1/2 cups white flour

1/2 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla

glazed cherries cut in half


  1. Combine butter, icing sugar, & vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  2. Whip in mixer low until consistency is smooth.
  3. Add flour slowly and increase speed of mixer. Let the dough mix on medium-high for 5-10 minutes until light and fluffy. 
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, drop on ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment.
  5. Top with halved glazed cherry. 
  6. Bake at 350 degree pre-heated oven for 13-15 minutes. 
Makes about 20-24 cookies.

Thanks for visiting! Let me know what youbthing of this recipe in the comments! 

💖 Jules

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Easy Mini Banana Muffins

Bananas are a staple at our house, but there's always one or two very ripe ones at the end of the week that are too sweet to eat on their own. This is when the brown freckles have taken over most of the yellow skin. At this point, I think many people including my husband throw them away, thinking the fruit has gone bad. Don't do it! It's actually perfect for baking!!!

I toss them in the freezer and when I have 3 on hand, I make this quick mini muffins that my toddler absolutely loves. If you're a parent then you know how fickle toddlers can be with food. She's yet to turn down one of these perfectly sized little snacks!  It's so easy, it makes a great cooking activity to do with a little one on a rainy day! 


3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter  
1/4 cup raw brown sugar 
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract 
1 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
Pinch of pink himalayan salt
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
2 tbsp melted coconut oil


1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

2. Using a silicone brush, grease 24 mini muffin pan with coconut oil. Put any leftover oul aside. 

3. In a mixing bowl, add the mashed  bananas, melted butter, egg, sugar, and mix well.

4. Stir in the baking soda, salt, and flour. Mix well until smooth.

5. Using a small cookie scoop, transfer batter into the mini muffin pan. Top with peanut butter chips.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350°F or until a toothpick is inserted into the center and comes out clean.

7. Remove from oven and brush the tops with remaining melted coconut oil. 

Makes 24 mini muffins. 

Thanks for visiting! Let me know how you like this recipe in the comments😊.

Jules ❣

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Chicken & Rice Soup

This Chicken & Rice Soup is a variation on a dish called Lugaw, found in Filipino cuisine. A popular childhood comfort food favourite, Lugaw is a simple dish similar to the Chinese congee. Just like me, it's one of my toddler's all time favourite foods! She's popping out her incisors at the moment and dinner has been a challenge lately so I thought I'd make her something not just comforting but also easier for her to eat. 

I used store bought rotisserie chicken, which I deboned and shredded. I only used about a third of the meat and saved the rest to use for chicken salad tomorrow. You can use boxed chicken stock instead of making your own from the chicken carcass, but I didn't have any on hand so I had to make do with what I had. It's an extra step and adds about 20 minutes to the total cook time, but I find homemade stock from rotisserie chicken carcass a lot more flavourful than boxed stock, and it was easy enough to let simmer while I got the vegetables chopped.

I used pre-cooked rice, leftovers from earlier this week which cut about 20 minutes off the cook time so I guess that evens it out with the stock. We tried a new brand and type of rice from our usual brown jasmine. Its sprouted brown & and black japonica rice that I got from Costco. When its cooked, the black rice turns into a purplish colour which was a little odd at first but it tasted pretty good! It reminded me of this sushi place we ate at in Victoria a few years back when we were still kid-free. Can't remember the name of it now but I distinctly remember them using black japonica rice. The owner of the small restaurant touted the health benefits of the black rice so passionatelh he even handed us a pamphlet filled with its health benefits to read while we waited for our order to come! It was a little weird eating sushi with purple rice, but I'm a sushi fiend so that didn't really stop me.  

Ok, enough reminiscing and back to the soup, lol! I topped it with finely sliced Thai basil from my herb garden as garnish since I had no green onions on hand. Traditionally, Lugaw is also garnished with crispy fries garlic and onions, and sliced hard-boiled eggs but I'm too lazy to do that on a weeknight, lol! Its also flavoured with a squeeze of calamansi or lemon before serving, but with my toddler teething, I figured it's best to go without the citrus this time around. 

This recipe is not exactly the old-school way of cooking Lugaw with the shortcuts, the type of rice, the addition of vegetables, and the improv garnish but I have to get those veggies in for the little munchkin and also work with the ingredients I had on hand. 


1 rotisserie chicken carcass
1/3 rotisserie chicken meat, de-boned and shredded
6 cups water
1 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion, chopped
1 thumb size nub of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp butter
2 cups diced carrots
1 medium apple, diced with skin on
1.5 cups cooked rice
salt & pepper to taste
finely sliced Thai basil or green onions for garnish


1. Simmer rotisserie chicken carcass in water for 20 minutes on high. 

2. Drain stock then set aside.

3. In a soup pot on medium heat, sauteé garlic & onions in butter until transluscent or lightly browned. 

4. Add chicken, carrots, apples, & rice and stir. 

5. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring regularly until a porridge consistency is reached.

7. Garnish with Thai basil or green onions and enjoy! 

Serves 4-6. 

Thanks for visiting my blog! 

Jules ❣

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sopas (Filipino Chicken Noodle Soup)

It's been very cold here in Calgary, with temperatures hovering between -22°C to -33°C this past week. This has been very fitting considering Gastropost Calgary's mission this week is called "Warm It Up"! So I figured what a great time to make some chicken soup, the quintessential comfort food.