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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Which is Right?

Ang Sarap or masarap? First I thought it was masarap, but I checked online for it and found nothing. Next I searched Ang sarap and got a lot of hits. I think it’s obvious that Tagalog is not my primary language. Either way, I think you know what I mean. I understand most of what’s being said, it’s just a matter of actually saying it. I can say phrases here and there, but it’s what you’d expect from an American born daughter or two Filipino parents. A lot better than my sister, who refused to understand at all.

But I try my best! You should see my collection of Filipino movies. I’m also considering the ABS-CBN deal where you can see their shows online.

Anyways, it’s time for breakfast. I had takeout for dinner last night, and I’m in the process of finishing that review, as well as another take out review from earlier in the week. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be!

I’ll be making one of my childhood favorites. I asked my mom once how she learned to make Monkey Bread, and she told me the recipe was on the biscuit tin. Now, I’ve looked at it for years and years, and never has that recipe shown up! Who cares where she found it exactly, what matters is that she found it and twenty plus years later I’m still making it.

What’s great about Monkey Bread is that it requires so few ingredients. Four to be exact. Also, it’s very simple, so little kids can help out without really messing it up (save for throwing some ingredients around, but you can’t help that). Think of it as edible play dough… but I’ve learned from past experience that you don’t squish the dough, or it will not rise as much as it should.

I’ve looked online and found that my mom’s Monkey Bread wasn’t exactly the same as others. For example, they used brown sugar along with the sugar for the coating. I think that’s much too sweet. They also add nuts, such as walnuts or pecans. I don’t know about this. I’ll stick to my reasoning that simplicity is key. Besides, what do nuts have to do with monkeys? (jokes jokes) I’m not too sure about the serving size, considering my sister and I would devour it as soon as it got out of the oven.

Monkey Bread

2 12oz tins of refrigerated biscuit dough
¾ cups sugar
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup butter (you can add more if you want it buttery)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pan (tube or otherwise). Take butter out of the fridge to soften.

Best part #1 – popping open the biscuit tins. If it doesn’t pop open after pulling the tab, securely grip both ends and twist your wrists in opposite directions. That should pop it open. Cut the biscuits into quarters. I find it easier to cut them with kitchen scissors rather than a knife.

Best part #2 – coating the dough. In a large ziplock bag, place the sugar and cinnamon. If you like more cinnamon, please feel free to add more. Place a handful of the dough (7-8 pieces I guess) into the bag and seal. Do this for all the dough. The more pieces you throw into the bag, the less cinnamon each piece will get. This would be a good job for a little kid, and it’ll be a laugh to see how they shake the bag (I’m envisioning a shake-the-bag dance). Once coated, place the pieces in the pan. You can be deliberate and place them piece by piece, or you can throw them in haphazardly (my method of choice). Either way, make sure the dough is dispersed evenly in the pan to ensure even cooking.

In a small saucepan, add the butter and remaining sugar cinnamon mix. Heat over medium heat until the butter melts and starts to bubble. Stir to help the sugar dissolve. Pour over biscuits.

Bake in the 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. You can cook by time, or you can cook by taste. I pull a piece off after 30 minutes and see if it’s ready, as well and the pieces below it. If it no longer looks doughy, take out of the oven and let cool for fifteen minutes. Place plate on top of the pan and turn over. No need to slice! The genius of this bread is that you just have to pick it apart.

Guaranteed to disappear quickly!

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