I've been added to Petitchef

My blog's been added to Petitchef!

Check out their site. There are a lot of recipes to try out, and some shared by bloggers like me. :)


Lookie Here

Look what I borrowed from the library the other day...

Nigella Christmas: Food Family Friends Festivities


The Cupcake Survey

I have a problem and I need your help. On Christmas, there will be a small gathering in our house with some friends. They will spend Christmas lunch at home. It's pot luck, everyone will bring something and since I'm still in the hype of my baking, I volunteered to make the desserts.

I'm planning to make a few cupcakes since there will be less than 10 people coming over. Now my problem is... what to bake?

The Cupcakes
I have three choices for the cupcakes:

  1. Red Velvet - red... perfect for the holidays
  2. Chocolate - for the chocoholic in me
  3. Vanilla - something simple for a change
The Frostings
    If I choose red velvet cupcakes, I have two options for the frosting:
    • Creamy vanilla frosting - a la NY's Magnolia Bakery
    • Cream cheese frosting - perfect combination.... sweet and tangy
    For the vanilla cupcakes, I also have two options for the frosting:
    • Vanilla frosting - plain and simple
    • Chocolate frosting - to contrast the vanilla cupcake... plus the chocolohic in me just won't let go. :D
     For the chocolate cupcakes, I have three options for the frosting:
    • Chocolate ganache - rich, dark, thick
    • Whipped chocolate ganache - whippy version of the chocolate ganache
    •  Chocolate buttercream frosting - back to basic
    So all in all, there are a total of seven choices. I'm planning to make one type only. But depending on the number of people attending, I'll make the top two, for a bit of variation. Or maybe make the cupcake the same and just change the frosting.

    Take your pick (cupcake and frosting)! Send me a message or comment which one you like most. I will be announing the winning cupcake/s by weekend.


    Bake On Baby!

    Since I got my oven a few days ago, I've been baking more than once a week!

    The first thing I baked is, of course, the classic chocolate chip cookies. Actually, hubby requested it. hihi!

    Second: I tried making banana muffins. First time to try it out and it looked, smelled and tasted great! Will post the recipe soon.

    The latest batch of food I baked are some chocolate crinkles. You can get the recipe from my other blog Journal of Thoughts (I posted it way before I had The Foodie's Food Trip). We gave them out as Christmas gifts to friends. I already gave out seven packs of them... still have a few more to give out. hihi!


    My New Toy

    Finally got a new oven!

    It's a Tefal OV1002. It's a small table-top convection oven, just a few inches bigger than our microwave oven.

    After buying this oven, I've realized some things that I should have checked and taken into consideration before buying:
    • The size. My baking sheets do not fit anymore. The inside of the oven is 13 inches wide. Even the smallest baking sheet I have which is 13.5 inches long won't fit it. So I bought a smaller one... went to a lot of stores looking for a baking sheet that's small enough.
    • The rack. It only has one rack inside. So I have no choice but to bake one batch at a time. And given point # 1 which is the size, I'm limited to at most 4 cookies per batch for a normal-size cookie.
    • The time. Given points 1 and 2, the size and the number of racks, baking will take longer than expected, almost double compared to a normal convection oven. There goes the electricity bill.
    Other than those mentioned above, I have nothing else to say other than I AM SO EXCITED TO BAKE! :)


    Red Velvet Cupcakes with Creamy Vanilla Icing

    Since my search for a new oven, I've been too excited and way ahead of myself that started searching for nice & yummy recipes. I've searched for cookies and cupcakes, easy to make and to transport. :)

    While looking for a way to beautifully frost a cupcake, I saw a few videos during my search. Two of those videos were posted by Epicurious.com. The videos showed Bobby Lloyd of Magnolia Bakery in New York making the red velvet cupcakes with creamy vanilla icing (as I mentioned in my previous post, not cream cheese frosting).

    Here's the video of Bobby Lloyd making the red velvet cupcakes:

    Here's the second video of Bobby Lloyd making the creamy vanilla icing for the red velvet cupcakes:

    Red Velvet Cupcakes with Creamy Vanilla Frosting
     from Epicurious.com
    by Allysa Torey

    Red Velvet Cupcakes
    Recipe found here


    • 3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 6 tablespoons red food coloring
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour three 9- by 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
    2. To make the cake: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
    3. In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
    4. Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
    Creamy Vanilla Icing
    Recipe found here

    • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 cups milk
    • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.
    3. Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer—set a timer!). Use immediately.
    When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting between the layers, then ice the top and sides of the cake with Creamy Vanilla Frosting.

    You can check out other Magnolia Bakery's recipes from More From Magnolia: Recipes From The World-Famous Bakery and Magnolia's Home Kitchen.


    Baking Escapades

    During my looong vacation in the Philippines, I did some baking. I've missed baking so much, that I baked three times in two weeks. :)

    The first item I baked is chocolate chip cookies. When I was young and my mom just started baking, my brother and I gave our mom the Mrs. Fields Cookie Book: 100 Recipes from the Kitchen of Mrs. Fields as a present.

    We lost that cookbook but I can still remember the name of the chocolate chop cookies in that book, Mrs. Field's Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies. Thank goodness for internet, I was able to search for it online and that's the recipe I used during my vacation. It's yummy as expected. :)

    The second item I baked is carrot cupcakes. I used the recipe that a friend of mine gave me. It was yummy! We served it at my grandmother's house during a family get-together. They loved it! One of my aunts didn't even knew that it was carrot cake until I told her. :)

    Last but not the least, red velvet cupcakes. I used the recipe by Allysa Torey of the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York. The recipe can be found in her cookbook More From Magnolia: Recipes from the World Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey's Home Kitchen. But instead of using vanilla frosting, I used cream cheese frosting... perfect!

    Now that I was able to bake some goodies again, hubby finally gave in and decided to buy me an oven! Happy-happy joy-joy! I will just buy those table-top/bench-top ovens, and not those that comes with a stove.

    I've been out of the house everyday since Monday, looking and canvassing. I saw some already but I don't know which one to buy. There's a DeLonghi AOV842/AOV843, a Tefal OV1002, a Baby Belling (heard some reviews about this... but I'm not familiar with the brand). The search is on... :)


    Back From Vacation... Again!

    I'm back from my vacation... again! :) This time vacation's really over. My next vacation is not so soon... maybe middle of next year. I did some baking during my vacation. I made some chocolate chip cookies, red velvet cupcakes and carrot cupcakes. I even searched for some more recipes online at Food Network, but was not able to do them anymore. I got some pictures of the red velvet cupcakes I made... I'll upload them once my sister sends me the pictures.

    Hubby and I arrived in Singapore yesterday after lunch. I'm really surprised that he was able to keep the house clean. Good thing he's also a bit OC like me hihihi! Although the house needs a little more cleaning 'round the corners and a little sweep here and there. Other than that, everything's fine. The dinnerware are still neatly stacked in the cabinet and the silver flatware are all in the drawer.

    Now that I'm back, I started cleaning the house this morning and did the laundry. Still thinking if I'll iron some clothes today. Later I will be cooking chicken adobo... that is if hubby and I won't go out to watch a movie tonight.

    There will be changes in my blogs soon. One of these changes is I've removed Entrecard from my blogs. Visit my other blog Journal of Thoughts for more info on this.


    Cutie Bottled Water

    No posts for a while... I'm still on vacation. I miss my computer!!

    Anyway, I want to show you guys something...

    It's being sold at SM's supermarket.

    Isn't it cute? :)


    Wine and Dine

    When we were in the US, our friends brought us to Door County, Wisconsin. It's full of B&Bs and some outdoor activities. There were some shops where you can try/taste some of the stuffs they're selling. These includes cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, cherry preserves and wine. We tried all except the wine tasting. I bought some of the cherry salsa... they were yummy! Hubby's now so addicted to it, he's eating chips everyday since we got back.

    Speaking of wine, Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel here in Singapore is having a wine and dine gala event called the The Grand Mercure Roxy Wine and Dine, Gala Event. There will be food and wine served during the event. To tease your tastebuds, some of the food that will be served during the event includes

    Jia Wei Deluxe Combination
    A perfect way to begin your exquisite culinary experience, this Jia Wei Chinese Restaurant signature is an appetising and colourful dish of bite-sized lobster paste roll, smoked duck, seafood dumpling, wasabi prawn and marinated octopus.

    Steamed Cod Fish with Special Sauce
    Steamed to perfection while retaining its texture and original flavour, the cod fish – specially flown-in from Norway – is bathed in an appetising special sauce made from a variety of vegetables.

    On the other hand, some of the wine collections includes
    FAMILLE CASTEL, Sauvignon Blanc from Gascogne, France
    Fresh and liveky with green highlights and aromas of tomato leaf, aspargus, exotic fruit and lychee. Ideal for drinking on its own or with grilled fish and shellfish.
    BASCAND, Pinot Noir from Waipara, New Zealand
    Bright berry fruits overlay a complexity derived from old aged vines and intelligent use of oak. Deep, boldly- colored with a big plum and vanilla aromas.

    If you're in Singapore and you're planning to stay in a hotel soon, complete The Grand Mercure Roxy Survey and you can book a weekend special accommodation package at Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel. Readers will also be automatically entering a lucky draw to win a weekend staycation at Grand Mercure Roxy Hotel with 3 dining vouchers at the award-winning Chinese restaurant, Jia Wei.



    Something's Wrong...

    There's something wrong with my Firefox browser. I can't post a new entry using Firefox.
    Visit my other blog Journal of Thoughts to know more.

    Argh! Just when I was about to post an entry!

    Update (Oct. 16): Finally everything's fine now! Still have no idea what happened but it doesn't matter now. :)


    US Food Trip: Phoebe's Cupcakes

    Before leaving for our trip to the US (read previous post Back from Vacation), I included Phoebe's Cupcakes in our Chicago itinerary. Just found out about it from Cupcakes Take the Cake from the blog's list of cupcakes.

    We went to the shop on our second day in Chicago. Lloyd and I bought a cup of coffee and the Death By Chocolate cupcake - Chocolate Cake with a Fudgy Chocolate Frosting. Rommel & Alina bought the Tuxedo cupcake - Vanilla Cake topped with Chocolate Sugar Cream (sorry no picture of the Tuxedo... I thought I had one though). The Death by Chocolate is to die for. Chocolate lovers will love it. The Tuxedo's yummy too.

    Death by Chocolate

    Their flavors change every week. Their flavors for this week: Pumpkin Pie and Apple Crunch Cake. Did I mention they also sell dog treats?

    How I wish I'm not that far away from Chicago.

    Phoebe's Cupcakes, L.L.C.
    3327 N. Broadway Ave.
    (between Aldine Ave & Buckingham Pl)
    Chicago, IL 60657


    Back from Vacation

    After three long weeks I'm finally back! Hubby and I went on a three-week vacation in the US and just got back last Saturday.

    Before hubby and I left Singapore for our vacation, I did my research: check for restaurants, fast food, bakeries, etc. from other blogs/websites.

    I'll be posting some of our food escapades during our trip... not in a chronological order. Whichever picture I'll see/edit first will be posted. :)

    FYI I am not a food critic, and I won't be posting reviews or whatever. Just some photos and the food/drinks I've tried.

    So keep visiting to check on updates. :)


    On Hiatus

    Be back in a few weeks.
    Will try to post some new food I'll try out during our vacay. :D


    Puto - The Second Attempt

    Since I'm not so happy with the puto I made the first time (link: My First Try with Puto), I decided to make some again.

    Sorry... I cheated. hihihihi!
    In fairness they were yummy! Perfect texture too.

    Seriously, I really tried making puto again from scratch. Here's my second attempt in making puto:

    This time it contains coconut milk.

    Before steaming & without the cheese

    After steaming them, I can already smell the coconut milk flavor.
    The texture: soft yet firm. The taste: creamy rich flavor (because of the coconut milk).

    I brought some to our friends' house and they liked it.

    I got the recipe from Oggi's blog I Can Do That! (thanks Oggi for sharing the recipe).

    Some changes I made:

    • I added a slice of cheese on top before steaming because I looove puto with cheese!
    • I used cupcake paper cups. Unfortunately my individual molds are too small for the paper cups I have, that's why the puto I made did not fill the paper cups completely.
    Next time I'll try the pandan & ube flavor. :)


    My First Two Awards

    The Foodie's Food Trip just received it's first award! Not just one, but two blog awards from Anya of Kutsara at Tinidor. Thank you very much!

    The rules for these awards are:

    1. To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link.
    2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
    I am now passing these awards to:

    Happy blogging everyone!


    Chocolate Tiramisu - The Second Attempt

    After being terribly disappointed with the tiramisu I made before, I decided to give it another try and bring it to our friend’s birthday party. I made a lot of mistakes on my first attempt that I decided to make only half this time. Good thing I still have enough chocolates, mascarpone cheese and Savoiardi. I just need to buy eggs and cream again.

    Was the second attempt a success? Oh yes!

    Pardon the plastic container I used... I know it's not presentable. :)

    I won't call the chocolate layer as crème chocolat. Instead, I'll call it Chocolate Zabaglione. I made the chocolate zabaglione Friday morning. I watched and stirred it well this time. Placed it in the fridge to let it chill, so I can make the tiramisu that evening. The image on the left is the chilled chocolate zabaglione.

    That evening, the first thing I did is to make the coffee that will be used for dipping the ladyfingers.

    While waiting for the coffee to get cold, I started making the mascarpone cream. This time instead of using raw eggs, I used whipping cream. The first try didn't get creamed... turned lumpy/grainy because I overbeat the cream, and I used normal white sugar. So I made another batch again using icing sugar (good thing I have some). After just two minutes, the whipping cream with mascarpone cheese looked like whipping cream!

    I then started layering the tiramisu. Instead of making just one set of 3 layers (coffee-soaked ladyfingers, chocolate zabaglione & mascarpone cream), I made two sets.

    I let it chill in the fridge. I was so tempted to try it out already!

    The next day, I added some powdered cocoa on top as garnish, and brought it to Cheche's party. As soon as they served it, I tried it immediately. It turned out great!

    You might be expecting the recipe I used... unfortunately I can't! Well, the only recipe I can't share is the chocolate zabaglione recipe I used, which is the crème chocolat recipe from the Ultimate Chocolate Treats I class from Shermay's Cooking School. The coffee is just coffee, I found the mascarpone cream recipe online. BUT... I saw recipes online that are almost the same as the chocolate zabaglione I did.

    I won't include the measurements... just the list of ingredients, and the links to the recipes I found.

    Chocolate Tiramisu


    • Italian savoiardi or ladyfinger biscuits
    • Whipping cream/Heavy cream
    • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • Mascarpone cream
    • Egg yolks
    • Super-fine sugar like Caster sugar/Confectioner's sugar
    • Cocoa powder (for garnish)
    • Strong coffee
    1. Prepare the chocolate zabaglione and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
      Chocolate Zabaglione: Follow the Chocolate Zabaglione recipe for the Chocolate Tiramisu by Giada De Laurentiis. The only change I made is I didn't add the dry Marsala and the salt.
    2. Prepare the mascarpone cream.
      Mascarpone Cream: I used the tiramisu recipe I found in allrecipes.com. It's called Emily's Famous Tiramisu. I just followed the directions for making the filling without the dark rum.
    3. Dip the ladyfinger biscuits into the coffee and place them at the bottom of the prepared pan.
    4. Spoon the cream chocolate mixture on top of the ladyfinger biscuits and spread evenly so that the sides are completely covered.
    5. Spoon the mascarpone cream mixture on top of the Chocolate Zabaglione layer and spread evenly.
    6. Repeat the layering (steps 3-5).
    7. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
    8. Sift cocoa powder over the surface before serving.
    • The Chocolate Zabaglione should be chilled to at least lukewarm temperature, therefore needs to be prepared ahead of time. The mascarpone cream should be prepared before you are ready to assemble the tiramisu.
    • Easier version with chocolate zabaglione & mascarpone cream mixed together: use Giada De Laurentiis' Chocolate Tiramisu recipe found in FoodNetwork.com.
    • Another chocolate tiramisu recipe easy to follow recipe: from The Barefoot Kitchen Witch. The recipe has images for each ingredients and for the directions, so it's easier to follow.
    Lessons Learned
    1. Never oversoak the ladyfingers! The extra coffee it soaked will just spread around the bowl. And it breaks easily before even putting the soaked ladyfingers in the bowl. By the end of the day, the bottom of the bowl is all-liquid.
    2. Do not overcook the egg & cream mixture (for the chocolate zabaglione). Before I mixed the chocolate to the boiled cream mixture, I realized that I've overcooked the eggs because lumps were forming at the bottom of the pan.
    3. For the mascarpone cream, better to use whipping cream, rather than use raw eggs to make the cream. I think this happened because I beat the egg whites for too long and I didn't beat the egg yolks long enough.
    4. Better to use finer sugar like caster sugar.


    Rice Vinegar - A Splash Goes A Long Way

    I chanced upon a recipe that requires rice vinegar. I’ve never used rice vinegar in a dish before. The only vinegar I’ve used is the vinegar usually sold in the Philippines, which is cane vinegar. Rice vinegar is completely different with cane vinegar, even in use, so this is totally new to me.

    While doing my research on rice vinegars, I realized that sushi rice is mixed with rice vinegar. Another thing I discovered is that rice vinegar is usually used in Asian cuisines.

    I chanced upon a website of a certain brand of rice vinegar called Mizkan. It is the distributor of Nakano Rice Vinegar. Mizkan has several flavors of rice vinegar, with each flavor for different purposes. With the flavors they have available like Original Seasoned, Roasted Garlic, Basil & Oregano, Red Pepper, Balsamic Blend, and Italian Herb, you’re definitely not limited to Asian food.

    Rice vinegar is the perfect for the health-conscious because it is a healthy alternative to salad dressing, sour cream or butter.

    How do you use rice vinegar in dishes? Splash a bit on green vegetables and sliced tomatoes for a simple salad, use it as marinate for grilled chicken, sprinkle some as an added flavor to your favorite pasta recipe, baked potatoes, or hot vegetables.

    Check out Mizkan’s website and join the NAKANO Splash Recipe Club for more Splash Tips and free recipes. You'll discover how a splash of rice vinegar goes a long way.



    New Widget - Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

    Got a new widget installed in my blog! It's by Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. The widget looks like this:

    I installed the widget on top of my blog posts.

    If you watch Anthony Bourdain's show, then this is the way to get up to date by viewing sneak peeks of shows to come.


    Chocolate Tiramisu - The First Attempt

    We had a little get-together at home last Saturday to celebrate our birthday (my birthday and hubby's birthday is just 4 days apart :D).

    I decided to make another dessert, other than the usual leche flan that our friends normally request. Since I still have no oven, I settled for something that needs no baking yet challenging. So I decided to make chocolate tiramisu.

    I shopped for the ingredients a week before because my in-laws will be arriving that weekend, and I wouldn't have the time to shop for myself after they arrive. I got my ladyfingers, my chocolate, my cream, my mascarpone cheese. The only ingredient missing were the eggs, which I bought the day before I started making the tiramisu.

    I started making the crème chocolat Thursday night, because it has to be chilled before I can layer it to the tiramisu. The crème chocolat was perfect, despite the fact that I only used Hershey's chocolate chips. :D Not too sweet and not too bitter. Left it in the fridge overnight to chill. Friday night I made the mascarpone cream (made of mascarpone cheese and the eggs). First look at the mascarpone cream and I knew it's not right. Didn't get stiff enough... too runny... huhuhu.

    Since it's already there, I decided to continue with it and layer my tiramisu. I layered my ladyfingers dipped in strong coffee (didn't bother mixing any alcohol to it), then the crème chocolat, lastly my liquid mascarpone cream. Chilled it overnight, hoping for some miracle to happen and make the mascarpone cream perfect.

    The next day, Saturday, I tried a spoonful of the tiramisu after eating lunch. As soon as I took out the spoon, the liquid mascarpone cream filled the hole I made. So sad with what happenned... I served it anyway. It tastes good... it just didn't look good.

    Hubby told me to just try again. I still have a few ladyfingers, half of the mascarpone cheese and some chocolate chips. :D I'll try something different with the mascarpone cream next time. Wish me luck with my second attempt!


    20 Yummiest (commercially baked) Cakes

    Another long overdue post. :D

    Last month, mother's day, my sister told me that she bought our mom a yummy cake, which was in the list of top 20 cakes in Manila.

    Out of curiosity (and jealousy as well, since I was not able to try out the cake), I searched for it from the net and found the list my sis was referring to. It was an article from Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper.

    Just looking at the list was making me crave for sweets! And I didn't bother looking at their article about the yummiest privately baked cakes... one article is enough! :D

    Check out the article from Inquirer.net.
    20 yummiest (commercially baked) cakes - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos
    Shared via AddThis


    Bought a New Cookbook

    I have a new cookbook!

    Simple French Desserts by Jill O'Connor.

    I bought this cookbook for SGD4.00 during the book fair last weekend. What a knock-off! :D

    So happy I was able to buy a new cookbook. Will try one of the recipes this week. :)

    To find out more about the book, check out Simple French Desserts from Amazon.com


    Pork Menudo

    I finally made some pork menudo last Friday! I had this recipe bookmarked from my cookbook for months.

    Menudo is a Filipino dish, with thick tomato sauce. Normally menudo has raisins to balance the sourness of the tomato paste and liver to add some bitterness, but I opted not to put it because neither I nor hubby will eat them. Some would also add green peas, carrots and bell pepper. But for the dish I made, I only added potatoes. I actually added too much potatoes. You can actually count the number of pork cubes in there. :D

    Pork Menudo


    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    • 1/4 cup diced onions
    • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    • 1 cup minced tomatoes
    • 1 1/2 cups potatoes, cut in 1/2" cubes
    • 2 cups pork, cut in 3/4" cubes
    • 1 1/2 cups cubed liver (optional)
    • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
    1. Saute garlic, onions.
    2. When the onion is translucent, add the tomatoes and saute until it starts to liquefy.
    3. Add pork and cook until brown.
    4. Add the tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
    5. Cook until meat is soft, adding more water if necessary.
    6. Add the potatoes.
    7. When the potatoes are half-cooked, add the liver.
    8. Cover and simmer until fully cooked.


    My First Try with Puto

    This is a long overdue post. :)

    Puto is a Filipino food. It is a steamed rice cake, usually mixed with coconut milk. There are other puto variations like ube and pandan flavor.

    I've been craving for puto and been wanting to make puto for a long time. Since I do not have an oven yet, I'm stuck with no-bake or steamed food. And since puto is steamed, and not baked, I wanted to give it a try.

    I made these puto after making some leche flan for a friend's birthday party. I have too much egg whites and I didn't want them to go to waste, so I searched for puto recipes and decided to make some.

    I found a puto recipe that uses egg whites and a bit of all-purpose flour. Very simple and easy.

    Unfortunately, I only have sliced cheese in my fridge. So despite the fact that the puto will definitely taste different because of the cheese, plus it will surely melt differently, I still used the sliced cheese.
    When the puto were done, it looked perfect! The look and the texture... puto! But the taste was a bit disappointing. Actually from the smell I already guessed that they won't taste like puto. They tasted like egg whites hihihi!

    Despite that, I'm still happy I was able to give it a try. :) The search is on for the next puto recipe. Next time I'll try using rice flour. :)


    Cook Books Sale at Border's

    Got an email from Border's today. Selected cook books are on sale, up to 50% off. Some of the items on sale include cook books by Betty Crocker and Jamie Oliver.

    I think this is an opportunity that should not be missed...


    Today's Comic Strip: Fruit Yogurt Parfait

    Ooohhh... this looks so yummy and so easy to do.
    Been wanting to make parfait... and this is the perfect recipe. :)

    Cheap Thrills


    Tonkatsu in Tonkichi

    It's been years since I've eaten authentic tonkatsu with authentic tonkatsu sauce. Last time I had it was in Japan in 2003 (or was it 2002?) with my officemates/friends. Each of us will order a tonkatsu set. That's not all.... the rice was eat-all-you-can! hahaha!

    Since I left Japan, I've been searching far and wide for that real tonkatsu sauce. The tonkatsu itself is easy to do... but the sauce... I'd just end up disappointed. Most of the time they give me soy sauce!

    A few days ago, after going to the gym, Lloyd and I decided to check out if Takashimaya/Ngee Ann City has a Japanese restaurant with tonkatsu in their menu. Lo and behold... there is!

    The restaurant's name is Tonkichi. Their specialty... TONKATSU!!! heaven.... :)

    So we went in and ordered. Lloyd had the Prawn & Chicken Katsu Set. I had the Nagoya Rosu Miso Katsu Set. Lloyd is fond of Japanese curry so we ordered extra Curry Sauce.

    When the food arrived.... speechless. I was too excited (& too hungry as well) that I never got the chance to take pictures of our food!!! Their tonkatsu is actually big... enough for 2 people. And... it was P-E-R-F-E-C-T! The sauce: It was P-E-R-F-E-C-T! Even the curry sauce and the shredded cabbage with the salad sauce... They were P-E-R-F-E-C-T! I was so happy with what I was eating I ordered extra rice... half for me & half for Lloyd. Although Lloyd was teasing me that I was just shy and can actually finish the whole thing! wahahahaha!

    To give you an idea of what they offer, here are the links to their menu:
    Popular & Standard Items
    What is "Tonkatsu"
    Page 1
    Page 2
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    Ahh... Japanese food...

    Tonkichi - Ngee Ann City
    391 Orchard Road, #04-24
    Tower A, Ngee Ann City



    Today's Comic Strip: Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

    Another Cheap Thrills comic strip. :)

    Cheap Thrills


    Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

    One of my favorite chocolate candies is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I started liking it when I was in high school. Reese's was not available in groceries and supermarkets, so I'd ask a favor to anyone who goes to the US to buy me some. :)

    So I made some, and... here's the final product! :)

    After attending the Ultimate Chocolate Treats I class from Shermay's Cooking School and learned how to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares, I was excited! I wanted to make some chocolate peanut butter squares! But there were a lot of factors that stopped me...

    • The main reason is that I don't want to buy lots of stuffs/ingredients when I'm doing it the first time.
    • I only have Hershey's chocolate chips. I told myself that if I'll use Chef Joycelyn's recipe then I must use Valrhona.
    • I have butter at home and it's not unsalted butter.
    • The recipe uses the Metric system (in grams). I have a weighing scale, but it's not accurate & reliable.
    • I have creamy peanut butter, but it's sweet & creamy, so the taste would definitely be sweeter than expected.

    So I searched for a different recipe, and I found one by Nigella Lawson. The recipe is in her book How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking. I also found another recipe shared by Nigella Lawson in Good Morning America. It's the same as the one in the book, the difference is the measurements used are in US system of measurement. :)

    Since this is just my first try, I don't want my ingredients to go to waste so I only made half (plus I don't have that much chocolate chips hihihi). I used a 5.5in x 5in plastic container with the inside wrapped with foil.

    My plastic container

    I left the whole thing in the fridge overnight (just to make sure). But seriously... that night, I can't sleep because I was so excited to open it and see if it turned out OK. When I opened the container... perfect!

    As you can see, I placed some peanuts on one half, and none on the other, just to try out the difference of plain vs. crunchy and also to have a variation of having that extra peanut taste.

    cut in half

    Lloyd's not a fan of the combination of chocolate & peanut butter, but he tried some (the ones without nuts. He hates crunchy!), and he said it was good. :)

    If you love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, then you should definitely try this out. Next time, I'll buy some Valrhona and make these using Chef Joycelyn's recipe. :D


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