Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Toblerone Cheesecake (No Bake)

What do you do when you have an over-supply of Toblerone? That's the question Miguel and I asked ourselves last Friday when I realized we had two huge Toblerone bars on hand. Using my phone I did a quick search on Google for some recipes that required Toblerone. There are a number but since I had ingredients to for cheesecake Miguel said I should just do Toblerone cheesecake.

I just used the no-bake mango cheesecake recipe I learned from the Maya Kitchen class I attended a few weeks ago, but instead of mangoes I used Toblerone. For the filling I crushed 5 Toblerone triangles (I put them in the freezer for about 3 hours first). Then for the glaze I melted about 6 triangles on a double broiler (I just actually just put the chocolate on a lanera and steamed it). I was planning to just let it set in the refrigerator, but since we wanted to have it for dessert I put it in the freezer for an hour to hasten it to set. Here's how it came out, next time I think I won't go for the glazed top, but my boys loved it nonetheless.

I know my Mom's going to love this so I made little tart-sized ones for her.

I know I still need to work on making it more presentable, but it turned out yummy as it looks. Hehe.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

My Smurf House Cupcake

I've been meaning to learn how to bake cupcakes, so I got 2 new muffin pans last week since I was inspired by a colleague. I thought I'd try baking some cupcakes using the mix that Maya Kitchen gave me when I attended the cheesecake class. I told myself that baking using a mix would make me comfortable working on a more complicated recipe later on. So I got myself to work yesterday and here's how the cupcakes looked like.

For the life of me I have no idea why the middle part of the cupcake expanded. I have a couple of theories -- may have overmixed it or maybe because I did not put a water pan under. Beats me, but I'll likely do some research on it so I don't make the same mistake.

A couple of friends said they look like muffins. My friend, Chelle, says that they look like a Smurf's house. Another friend says they'll look like a monster on a game if I decorated them.

So I shall call my first cupcakes, the Smurf House Cupcake. For all it's worth, it turned out okay. Here's the proof:

And well... they're all gone now. Haha.

Happy to hear any cupcake baking advise if you have any.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No Bake Mango Cheesecake

I attended the Maya Kitchen Cheesecake class early this month and told myself that I'd make at least one cheesecake this month. My boys were also eager to sample it. Got some ingredients last weekend when we went grocery shopping and I immediately put myself to work.

Of course, I started with the easiest recipe -- the no-bake cheesecake. Haha.

Ingredients for the crumb crust:

1 cup crushed graham crackers (approximately 2/3 of a 200 gram pack if you don't find the crushed one)
1 cup finely chopped cashew nuts
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Ingredients for the cream cheese filling:

1 225-gram pack cream cheese (I found out that Magnolia has, it's cheaper and it tasted yummy)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups thick cream
1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water (if you can't find Knox, you can use Petroaco the local brand)
3 medium sized mangoes, chopped

An hour before you start, bring out of the fridge the following: cream cheese and butter.

How to make the crumb crust:

1. Crush the graham crackers and cashew nuts. Combine in a bowl and mix well.

2. Melt the butter (don't burn it! You'll know it's burnt if it smells like popcorn). Add to the dry mixture. Mix well.

3. Press evenly over the base of the prepared pan. (You can opt to use the bottom of a glass to press it on the pan).

4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

How to make the cream cheese filling:

1. Prepare the gelatin mixture. Set aside to cool.

2. Mix cream cheese and sugar using an electric mixer. Just use low speed and add the sugar in parts. (Or you can use a blender, but better to use an electric mixer).

3. Add the cream and mix until the mixture is smooth and well-combined. Do not over-mix though because this will create bubbles.

4. Add the cooled gelatin mixture.

5. Stir in chopped mangoes and pour into chilled crust.

6. You can refrigerate or put it in the freezer for about 3 hours (best to leave it overnight).

Here's the finished product:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

French Beef Stew

When I thawed the beef cubes earlier I didn't really know what I was going to cook for dinner. The only beef cube dishes I've done so far are caldereta and braised beef. I didn't want to eat braised beef and Sweetie doesn't eat a lot when I cook caldereta since he doesn't like the taste of liver spread. So I leafed through my recipe books and thought I'd try to make some French Beef Stew since Sweetie asked me last weekend if I can cook beef stew.

The recipe is fairly easy and the ingredients were all available so I went for it. Here are the ingredients:

1/2 kilogram beef cubes
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. flour
olive oil
2 potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup beef broth (I just dissolved 1 Knorr beef cube in hot water)
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 cup water

How I made it:

1. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper.
2. Coat the beef cubes with flour. Shake off the excess.
3. Fry on olive oil the beef cubes until they turn brown.
4. Add the potatoes, then add the thyme.
5. Add the beef broth and let boil for 2 minutes.
6. Add the crushed tomatoes and a cup of water. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes (until the beef is tender).

Sweetie loved it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

547 Clicks (Days)

Yesterday, Sweetie and I celebrated our one year and a half anniversary. It's just amazing how Sweetie manages to remember important dates (more than me!)! We didn't make any grand plans to celebrate and just heard mass and ate lunch at my Mom's. We spent the rest of the afternoon at home doing chores! Haha.

We've been through a lot in the past 547 days. After getting over our frequent household chore mishaps we got busy with Miguel's college application and exams, moved to a new home, went through graduation ball and graduation and then prepared Miguel for college.

And here are ten things I learned in the past 547 days:

1. Chores are bottomless. Instead of hating it you just have to embrace it and find joy in doing it. I've found joy in letting our laundry bin roll down the stairs and I have discovered the secret to distributing laundry load is in how you sort them.

2. Things can get pretty routine and you just have to spice things up every once in awhile. We try to head out of town every once in awhile when time and budget permits. (Buying stuff on group buying sites helps!).

3. Delegate responsibilities. I'm glad that Sweetie and I filled-out the "100 Questions" book before we got married because we got the chance to discuss important matters like finances, household chores etc. The book got wiped out during Typhoon Ondoy, good thing we spent time discussing several chapters every week before we tied the knot.

4. It helps to draw up a budget sheet. This is where we put in all our bills and monthly obligations. Being transparent with your finances is important.

5. Be frugal and just spend as needed. Inasmuch as I'd love to travel every so often our budget sheet keeps me on ground. Unlike before we just go out now at least once on weekends so we can save.

6. Don't let your expectations rule your marriage. Leave that baggage even before you walk down the aisle because if you don't you'll just set yourself up for disappointment. It is always better to give than to receive. Wow-ing your spouse with little surprises every so often keeps the fire burning.

7. Write love letters or love notes. Sweetie does this for me every day (except weekends) because all of his love letters perished during Typhoon Ondoy. He also files it for me! And surprised me once by putting those notes in an album.

8. One of you will get sick every so often. Be supportive by being attentive to his/her needs. I'm glad that Sweetie runs to my side whenever I SMS him about an ailment. Miguel's also been great at taking care of me when I'm sick because he can already cook!

9. Sweetie has been travelling often too, so we try to space our travels so we can be together. I've been grounded for the rest of the month because I traveled a lot in May haha.

10.  Don't forget the good night kiss! And always have fun!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Menudo Espesyal

Last night I got the chance to watch Nestle's short film anthology, "Kasambuhay Habambuhay" and they gave out limited edition recipe books! I was so excited about receiving a new recipe book and scanned through it before I slept and told myself I'll try one of the recipes today.

The recipes were not arrange alphabetically nor by ingredients. It was arranged in a very Pinoy fashion - Pangtawid, Pang-baon, Pambiglang Bisita, Pang-Pasko, Pang-Sikat etc.. The Menudillo Itlog caught my eye since I like dishes with hard-boiled egg. I studied the recipe during lunch, but unfortunately I didn't have any ground pork. I didn't want to substitute it with ground beef so I just looked for another recipe.

I had all the ingredients for the Menudo Espesyal save for pork liver. Sweetie doesn't like liver so I decided to leave it out. What made the recipe different is the addition of longganisa macau and fried cubed potatoes. I decided to use the Mandarin chorizo I got from Cebu (I just assumed it's the same hehe) and cubed 2 potatoes.

I fried the potatoes first so that the pan would be hot already once I start cooking the menudo. It took me about an hour and half to finish, but it turned out well since I marinated the meat for over an hour before I started cooking. Here's the outcome -

I got two thumbs up from my boys for this special menudo. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sicilian Baked Tuna Recipe

Here's a recipe on how to bake tuna with a twist.


1/2 kg. tuna
3 Tbsp vinegar
1/2 onion, chopped finely
small bunch of fresh parsley, minced  
4 Tbsp calamansi
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
2 potatoes

How to Bake:

1. Combine oil, onion, vinegar and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. Marinate for an hour and turn it frequently.

3. Bake the fish with some marinade for 15 minutes.

4. Arrange the potatoes on the sides of the fish. Sprinkle with marinade and juice of calamansi.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes.

I loved it! I turned the left-over tuna into spaghetti two days after and it was really tasty versus using canned tuna.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baked Potato


4 large potatoes
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium white onion, minced
1 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

How to cook:

1. Boil potatoes. When cooked set aside and let it cool a bit.

2. On a frying pan, melt the butter and then add the chopped onions. Cook for about 3 minutes. Make sure that the butter doesn't turn into oil (you'd know if it smells like popcorn already).

3. Halve the potatoes.

4. Create a boat by scooping out the potato.

Here's how it should look -

5. Mash the potatoes.

6. Add the cooked butter and onion mixture and sour cream. Then add about half of the cheese and put salt and pepper to taste.

7. Using a spoon fill up the potato boat and then sprinkle some cheese on top.

8. Pre-heat the oven at 180'C for about 8-10 minutes and then bake the potatoes for about 10 minutes.

 *You can also opt to bake the potatoes instead of boiling them. It takes longer though so I just boil them to shorten the cooking time.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pasta Pinangat

2-3 pcs. pinangat
2 cloves minced garlic
spaghetti noodles

How to cook:
1. Cook spaghetti noodles. Set aside.
2. Saute pinangat with minced garlic.
3. Add APC and let saute for about 3 minutes.

Serve hot.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Buying Furniture for a Midnight Delivery

Whatever furniture we have in our home right now is either: (1)  borrowed; (2) customized by my Mom's carpenter; or (3) a hand-me-down from our parents. My experience in manufacturing and exporting furniture proved useful when we transferred. What we failed to take note of though was the fact that we forgot to buy a mattress, so we ended up sleeping on the floor on a 2-inch old mattress for a few days after the wedding.

In the past year we only bought a couple of cheap shelves since we got married. We bought most of them on sale and really needed them. In the last 2 months we realized that we've outgrown our dining table -- a marble inlaid 40"x40" table borrowed from my Mom. We didn't buy one because one of my aunts promised she'll get us one after the wedding -- it's been 15 months and we knew that it was going to take more time before she could fulfill her promise because of her obligations.

So I set my eye on a temporary dining table. I saw a wooden set at SM that only cost PhP10,000. I became very busy, so I hadn't gotten around to buying it. One Sunday afternoon we chanced upon a similar set at Market Market at PhP6,000+. Since we needed a new table we decided to get it. The furniture shop promised that they would deliver it on Wednesday afternoon.

I was out all-day Wednesday, so I asked Miguel to wait for the delivery. I got home late and was disappointed when I didn't see our new table. We were all tired and went to bed at around eleven in the evening. We were jolted awake at around midnight when our doorbell buzzed. I peeked out the window and was surprised to see a delivery truck. It couldn't be? I thought.

Sweetie went down and had no choice but to accept the delivery since they were there already. They explained that the original truck broke down. What they failed to do was inform us by phone about this and just assumed that they can deliver our goods at midnight. What made matters worse was the fact that the delivery guys were asking for double the amount (PhP100) we usually pay (PhP50) to the homeowners association for deliveries. So we just told them that we'd settle it at the homeowners office the next day.

So they left, but 15 minutes later they were back and were demanding for PhP100. I told Sweetie that since it was already 1 in the morning we shouldn't entertain them anymore -- plus who knows what they might do to us since all our neighbors were asleep already. I just SMSd them and told them that to tell the guard that we would settle the bill the next day (in the first place the guard should have followed the 6pm delivery cut-off!), so they left again. A few minutes later I got an SMS that they needed PhP50. I felt that they were already extorting money from us and just said to tell the guard that we'd settle the bill at the homeowners office. It just didn't feel right that they would deliver at midnight without informing us and the guard let them in way past the allowed delivery hours in our village.

I guess we won't be buying any furniture for a long time after this experience. I was annoyed and ended up cranky when I work up. Sweetie knew I'd be that way and I was surprised to see the dining table set-up the next day with a funny note on it -

Lesson learned: if your goods aren't delivered on time try to call up the store. In this case though we couldn't contact the store anymore since we got home at ten in the evening. Oh well...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Welcome to the Club Denz and Leejay

My buddies, Denz and Leejay, finally tied the knot yesterday. They've been best friends for about a decade now and only realized that they were MFEO back in 2009. Yeah, it took them awhile, but witnessing their love unfold is just a testament that God writes each of our love stories in a unique way.

I thought I'd write this post to welcome the two to the "married" club! I have a feeling that they would be sharing their newfound discoveries about each other and their mishaps in the coming weeks and months.

Denz and Leejay, don't worry, we're just a text away!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baked Cream Dory

My baked cream dory was a big hit with my boys so I thought I'd post the recipe here. It's Lent too, so this is one dish you can certainly prepare on Fridays.


2 cream dory fillets
1 clove minced garlic
1 white onion, minced
1-2 tomatoes (sliced)
6 calamansi
1/4 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. dried basil
2 tbsp. rock salt
1/4 stick of butter
2 tbsp. olive oil

How to prepare:

1. Line baking pan with olive oil.
2. Rub down fish with calamansi, rock salt and dried basil. Place on baking pan.
3. Spread butter on both sides of fish or place cubed butter on top.
4. Distribute evenly on top of fish, garlic, onion, tomato and ginger.
5. Cover pan with aluminum foil.

How to bake:

1. Pre-heat oven for 10 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.
2. Bake the fish for 15 minutes.
3. After 15 minutes take out the pan and turn-over fish. Bake for another 10 minutes.

And here's the finished product!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beef Caldereta (Kaldereta)

I have so far tried two beef caldereta (kaldereta) recipes. One is from the Nora Daza recipe book and the other from Kulinarya. The Kulinarya recipe provides a more traditional taste (with olives and chorizo) and has a longer cooking time, while Nora Daza's recipe uses basic ingredients. I made adjustments to the recipe to cater to what my boys like.


400 grams beef cubes
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 huge red onion (or 2 small ones is okay)
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 medium potatoes, cut into half inch cubes
1-2 medium carrots, cut into cubes
3-6 pieces Purefoods chorizo, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
3 cups water
2 T olive oil
1 cup tomato sauce (237 ml pack)
1 can or 1/3 cup liver spread
2 T soy sauce
1/4 cup green olives
salt to taste
pepper to taste

How to cook:

1. Boil beef and reduce heat to simmer when it begins to boil. Allow to cook until beef is tender. Remove beef from water and set aside beef stock for the sauce.

2. Saute garlic, onion and tomatoes in olive oil. Add beef, tomato sauce, liver spread, soy sauce, reserved stock, potatoes, carrots and chorizo. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add bell peppers and olives. Allow to cook until potatoes are done. Season with salt and pepper.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Now That I have You

I missed making a post to celebrate our first year anniversary last December 26, 2010. We didn't have any plans for that day, but ended up just spending the day with family. We heard mass in the morning and then trooped to have lunch at Max's Restaurant with my siblings and my nephews and nieces. It was truly a fun day and I realize now that's what marriage is all about -- having your own little family.

So much has changed since Sweetie and I tied the knot more than a year ago. I learned a lot of new things and acquired new skills in a short amount of time -- those skills include cooking, doing the laundry, ironing and, managing a household and gardening!

Well, chores aside, our first year has been filled with many beautiful memories - both happy and sad. We managed to have two out of town family trips (Bohol and Iloilo) and countless pig-out foodcourt sessions, movies, grocery days, family lunches with our parents, hang-out times with friends, school activities, college entrance exams etc. Our first few months was spent nesting, spending time at home and catching up with family and friends who we kinda ignored when we were preparing for our wedding.

There were trying times too. A handful of tampuhans which were just really mababaw. The hardest was when I found out my Dad was sick, but I'm glad that Sweetie has been so supportive and has been my rock through the hard times. He's also been taking good care of me which led my doctor to say, "I cannot clinically explain how you got well".

Well, God continues to write our love story and thank you guys for all your support too. Hope to be able to update this blog more often now =)