Sunday, April 30, 2017

Humba Saturday (not Zumba!)

I want to make up for the lack of post in the past few months that I am putting up another post today!  Yayyy!  (I feel productive, haha!)

I've been craving for Pork Humba (also known as the Visayan Adobo) for quite some time now but haven't gotten around cooking it because I'm the only who is fond of it.  The reason why I liked Humba was actually because of the banana blossoms, haha!

But I just have to give in to this craving so I decided to cook it (for myself, Hun!  No sharing! LOL )

So my Saturday morning was spent searching for a Humba recipe.  There are a lot of recipes available online but what made me choose this particular one was because it has tausi (salted black beans, which I love) in it.   It also said it was an "Original Bisaya" Recipe.  I am assuming the author was from the Visayas region, one of the main island groups of Philippines located in the southern part of the country.  So that means he knows what he is talking about, haha!

I had Humba before cooked by our Ate G, who hails from the Southern part of Philippines and I loved (and miss) her Humba!  So I am sure this recipe is a winner!

It looks like a winner, right?!

Guess what, it does taste good too!  If I had it my way, I would like to add more sweetness to it BUT Hubby doesn't like it too sweet so . . . we met halfway (one of the things we have learned in our 9 years of marriage).  

And here's another "Guess what?!!!"

Hubby liked this Humba!!!  Hmph. .  . which means now I got to share! Haha

For the complete recipe, please click on this link.

My personal notes:

1. I did not use star anise because Hubby and I don't really like the taste of it (but the Humba still came out good!).  I am sure using star anise would add another layer of flavor for you.

2. I used brown sugar instead of white which is less sweet. 

3. I used only 3 tbsp of tausi because I was afraid the dish might be too salty.  It's better to underseason while cooking because you can adjust everything (saltiness, sweetness, thickness of the sauce, etc) at the tail end.

Hope you are having a great Saturday like me!

Happy Cooking!

Side kuwento: 

My Saturday morning looked like this . . .

Outdoor cooking!

We started cooking outdoors last week after seeing my friend and a cousin do this (two different people).  Funny thing is, they are both from Las Vegas (is this a Vegas thing?  Haha, just kidding!) But you know what, this makes sense.  If you want your home to smell good (no amoy kusina), this is a good thing to do.

So thank you M and Kuya N and M for inspiring me to cook outdoors! =)  

Saturday, April 29, 2017

My Favorite Chocolate Sheet Cake Recipe

Hiyeeeee!!!!  I am so glad I am writing a blog post today!

I know, I know, I should be doing a better job managing my blog.  No, I think I should be doing a better job managing my time!

Anyway, life is still the same . . . except the kids seem to have grown up over the last few months and that I have more white hair now, haha!  It is true what they say, they grow up so fast!  You know, I miss them being babies (sniff, sniff). . . ahhh and that baby smell!  (As much as I miss these, I don't see a baby anymore in the future! Haha!)

And speaking of things being "fast", I would like to share with you a cake recipe which I tried the other day.  

It was supposed to be a gift for someone but since it was the first time I tried the recipe, I thought I should taste it first, heehee.  (So yes, you can say I owe her a cake!  Haha!)  

Do you know what I love about this recipe?

1. It is a sheet cake --- you just need a pan to bake it.  I always have disposable cake sheet pans (9" X 13") at home because that means no extra dishes to wash for me, haha!  Aaannnd sheet cakes are the best way to go for potlucks or gifts to family and friends.   

2. You just need a bowl and a wire whisk (yep, no need for an electric mixer!) for this recipe.

3. The recipe is easy, fast and tasty!  I love that it may look simple but is a good chocolate cake!

For the recipe, please click on this link to go to Add a Pinch's blog site.

For the original recipe, the author used chocolate buttercream frosting.  I used a chocolate icing recipe  (given to me by my friend, B) because this icing reminds me of a good old fashioned chocolate cake!  Oh and it's easy to make too, haha!

Trivia:  Ever wondered if there is a difference between a frosting and icing?  Here you go. . .


The Williams-Sonoma cookbook Cake states that “icing is generally thinner and glossier,” while its counterpart frosting is “a thick, fluffy mixture, used to coat the outside of a cake.”

For the chocolate icing I used, you need the following:

1 can of condensed milk (14 oz)
1 can of all purpose cream (225 ml / 7.6 fl oz)
1/2 cup of cocoa powder (50 grams)
3 tbsp butter

Just mix everything in a double boiler and stir constantly until everything is well combined.  You would notice that the consistency is a little bit thin.  Let it rest for a few minutes because the icing will thicken up.

If you don't have a double boiler, it is okay (I don't)!  I just improvised for one.  This is exactly what I did ( pls. see photo below).  

Image from
Fill the pot with water (half full or less, depending on your pot---I just made sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl) and bring it to a boil.  If it does, adjust heat to make it simmer. Also, please make sure you use a heatproof bowl.

For more details about the double boiler method, please click here.

I hope you enjoy your cake!

Happy Baking and Have a great weekend!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Lifechanging Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Happy Valentine's Day!!! 

Since I missed out on posting anything in the last few months and wasn't able to give you my warmest greetings for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, well it goes without saying that I am in time (okay a couple of few weeks early) for Valentine's Day! LOL

Now that the Princess is in Kindergarten, life has just been busier.  (And she is just in Kinder! LOL) 

I've mentioned to you in my last post about being a parent classroom volunteer in her school once a week AND I am happy to share with you that I am now doing part time work (I am on call) for the school district! So yep, I guess life just got busier!  And I will tell you more about this in another post (abangan ang susunod na kabanata!)

I haven't been able to try out new recipes as much as I want to but this recipe that I tried a few days ago deserves to be shared.  I tried this recipe out of necessity actually, haha.

My sister in law brought home pints of cherry tomatoes and I don't know what to do with them.  And since they are organic, I had to act fast!  But being the procrastinator that I am (I am putting this AGAIN in my New Year's Resolution!  HAHA), I did wait for a few days and in the process had to throw "let go" (haha) of some of them.

What is the best way (read: fast and easy) to deal with all of these tomatoes?!  ROAST THEM!

And since I love sundried tomatoes, roasting them makes more sense.

There are so many recipes online but I chose to do Rachael Ray's version because it has Balsamic Vinegar in it.  I love balsamic vinegar!  Besides, it's about time to open that bottle of balsamic vinegar which has just been sitting in the pantry, haha!

This recipe is simple, quick, easy to follow, healthy and tastyyyy!!!


For the complete recipe, please click on this link

*The original recipe doesn't include garlic but hey, in my book, GARLIC (like butter!) just makes everything better!

*Adjust salt to suit your taste.   

All you need is right here in the picture: Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Garlic, Kosher salt and pepper!

Roast them at 425C for 20 minutes or more (if you like them a bit more dried up)

You can enjoy oven roasted tomatoes in different ways!  You can enjoy them as they are, put them in your salad, Bruschetta (with your favorite cheese) or put them in your bowl of pasta (which I did).

Pesto and Oven Roasted Tomatoes are a match made in heaven!

Happy Roasting and Happy Eating!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Easy Cilantro and Lime Chicken Recipe

He-llooooo (singing to the tune of Adele's song, haha)

Can you believe it's October already?!  I love that Fall is already here!  I love this season because first, the weather is cooler and second, I get to watch new TV Shows!!! Woohoo!  (I will be sharing with you list in a different post.)

What's happening in our casa right now?  Well, I volunteered to help out in the Princess' class every Tuesdays (yesterday was my first day) so this is one thing I am excited about every week!  The kids are excited about Trick or Treating and are counting the days until Halloween while Hubby's excitement is all about his Fantasy Basketball Team, haha.

And today I am excited to share with you another recipe which I've tried the other night.  I am happy that the dish exceeded my expectations because honestly, I wasn't sure f I wanted to try it!  Okay, let me clear that up, haha.  I wasn't sure because I'm afraid of trying recipes that are not in my "comfort zone".  I've never tried recipes whose names sound like they belong to a restaurant's menu. . . . something like Cilantro Lime Chicken!

So why did I go for it?  Because I hate wasting food.  You know how you are left with a handful  of an ingredient because you only needed to use a tablespoon of it? Haha.  In this case, I have a bunch of cilantro (from making guacamole) on hand that is enough to use for this recipe.

I remember seeing in my FB feed a recipe for Cilantro Lime Chicken dish so I googled and found this recipe from Suzy of The Mediterranean Dish blog.  It is a simple and easy to follow recipe (plus her dish looked pretty in her blog post! haha)

All I can say is something so simple can actually taste good . . . I will definitely cook it again!

For the full recipe, please click here.

My personal notes:

1. I love Chicken breast but I think for this particular recipe, using chicken thighs would be best.

2. I didn't have dry white wine (as listed in the recipe).  As a substitute, I just used chicken stock and rice wine (1 tbsp of rice wine mixed with 1 cup of chicken stock).

3. I love garlic so I used more than what the recipe called for.

4. I also added 2 tbsps of butter in the dish (while it was simmering) which I've added before putting it in the oven.  (just because butter makes everything better, haha) 

5. You don't have to buy a cast iron pan to make this dish.  But I have to say, I love using this kind of pan because it gives the meat a nice sear and color.  It also made this dish a "one pan plan".  I used the same pan to sear, cook and bake the chicken in.

Hope you like it as much as I do =).  Happy Cooking!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Home Cooked Korean Food for Dinner - Yes please!

Hello everyone!!!!

I can't believe I wasn't able to blog AT ALL last August!  Things got a little busier last month because the Princess started Kindergarten!  I knowwww, she is a big girl now, in a big school, far different from the 4 corners of her preschool classroom.  I am sure that all of us have experienced that first day in school excitement and have found it overwhelming too.  When we picked up our Princess from school, she cried the moment she got in the car and my heart just went out to her.  I was afraid that she would tell me that she doesn't want to go back the next day!  And my heart melted when she told me that she just missed Mommy and just being at home.  I'm happy to tell you that she is feeling and doing better now. (Yayyy!)

So this is one of the reasons why I haven't been blogging  (this and a lot of other small things--- things that added up and somehow took my time! haha) for the past month.

So for today's post, I want to share with you something that I got excited about!!!!! (see, there's not one but 5 exclamation points! Haha)

I haven't really tried any new recipes for some time now.  Finally, I got the chance to do so this week and I'm happy to say that they are both winners!

I had a sudden craving for the Korean Beef Stew (called Galbijim) we usually order in Kaya Restaurant back home in Philippines.  So I googled and there are a lot of recipes which you can find online.  I went with the recipe of Ms. Hyosun of the Korean Bapsan blog because there is always something special about a Mom's cooking!   

For the complete recipe, please click on this link to go to her site.

Personal Notes:

1. I didn't put Asian Pear in the braising liquid because. . . I didn't have any on hand, haha!  But the recipe still turned out good.  I will put it the next time I am cooking this and I'm sure it's going to be even better!

2. The level of sweetness in this recipe was just right for us.  You can adjust the sweetness of your Galbijim as you go (you can have a play with your sugar, honey or mirin).  

3. I just used carrots and shiitake mushrooms. (If you are using dried ones like I did, please soak them first in hot water for 4 hours).

4. For garnish, I just used spring onions and next time, I want to try sprinkling some sesame seeds on top.

And because I love this blog and this Mom's cooking, I thought of trying another recipe the next day, haha!

Since I have some chicken wings, I searched her blog and saw this  . . .

And I was sold!

Yangnyeom Chicken it is!

(Or what others call KFC . . Korean Fried Chicken! Haha)   

If you like Kyochon or Bonchon, you have to try this recipe!  If you like your wings crispy, sticky, sweet and spicy, this one is for you!  It is really finger lickin' good!

I did not have ALL of the ingredients listed in the recipe but mine turned out still really good and tasty!

For the complete recipe, please click here.

Personal notes:

1. For the coating of the chicken, since I didn't have cornstarch, I just used a tempura batter which worked out really well actually.  As a  matter of personal preference, I will use this instead of cornstarch.  (I used Kikkokman Tempura Extra Crispy batter)

2.  This recipe was meant for a spicy fried chicken.  You can adjust the level of spiciness to suit your taste.  I did not put hot sauce and just used 1 tbsp of chili sauce. 

3. Since I don't have gochujang (Korean red chili paste), I just used tomato catsup.  But I'm planning on buying some gochujang since I'm sure this is not the last time I am going to cook this, haha!

I really highly recommend this recipe, it's my new favorite chicken wings recipe!

So if you want something new to cook for your family (and to impress them! Haha), you can try any of these Korean recipes! =)

Happy Cooking and Have a great week ahead! =)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Our First Airbnb Experience

As much as possible, when time and budget permits, I would like to take family vacations every year. 

For this year, we thought of exploring more places in California. . . initially (haha).  But then Hubby said it would be nice to go to a . . . new country!  So we checked the places where I (as a US resident) don't need a visa to travel and where the airfare won't break the budget!  And we came up with. . . VANCOUVER!  Did you know that Vancouver is just 3 hours away from LA?!  I didn't know that!  

It was an unforgettable vacation (not the way how I want it to be though).  Why?  My little big boy and I were under the weather (he was running a fever) the day we arrived in Vancouver that we had to stay in bed the whole day.  And the most stressful part about the trip was we had to rush him to the hospital one morning because he was having chills, his nails were turning purple and his lips were starting to turn purple too . . . I just got scared!  

So we really only had one day to explore Vancouver.  But it's okay, it gave us another reason to go back, haha!  We may not have seen a lot of places the city has to offer (and there are a LOT!) but we still had a good time because we were just chilling, taking things easy, eating (ofcourse! haha) and just enjoying each other's company (a good friend was with us too).   

And I think, staying in a place that is not a hotel or a place that has that touristy vibe made the trip more relaxing.  (You will see why shortly.)
Thanks to our Airbnb find!

It was actually our first time to try Airbnb.  I got inspired to try it  because some of my good friends (my childhood friends!) who went to Bali last year stayed at a beautiful villa which they got for a good price!  (To read more about their Bali weekend, please click here to head to my BFF M's blog.)

For our trip, we found a 2 bed and 2 bath condo which has a fully functional kitchen, washer and dryer. It is in a good location because there is a shopping mall across the place, restaurants nearby, walking distance to a train station and with what happened to us, we are thankful that it was also near a hospital!

The place was clean, bright, comfortable and homey!  It didn't have airconditioning system which is totally fine because we didn't need one!  The city had a lovely weather during our trip.

The place was everything we hoped for.  It was exactly how it was pictured and advertised.  Don't you just hate it how some places can mislead you with their published pictures?  Haha!

Here are some pictures of our beautiful nest . . .

Master's Bedroom

Walk-in closet

Master's Bath

Bedroom #2

The kitchen has everything we need. . . for cooking and eating.

We did our laundry before going back home, haha!

This is our view from our balcony . . .

As first time Airbnb users, we were lucky that we had a good experience!  And I hope it stays that way in our next trip. . . no, make that TRIPS!  Hehe

If you are planning for a vacation, I suggest you try checking out Airbnb!

As what Airbnb says in their commercial, when you travel, "don't go there, LIVE THERE!"

And that was exactly how we felt . . . having a home away from home =).

If you are planning to go to Vancouver, here is the link for the place where we stayed.  

Monday, July 11, 2016

You're the man Tyler!

July, you're here!!!! =)  Wow, more than half the year has gone by!  Did someone put it in fast forward?! 

Just as I've been doing for the past few months now, I start the month with a post about the recipes (mostly sweets, teehee) I've tried.  So for this month, I am posting about the Ultimate Cheesecake recipe of Tyler Florence. 

(Trivia:  Did you know that July 8 is National Blueberry Day?  I learned about it from the Princess' summer school)

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts.  And if you ask what my favorite cheesecake is, I don't have a particular favorite but Blueberry will be up there in the list (and OMG, Cheesecake Factory's GODIVA Chocolate Cheesecake!)

Actually, I have a go to recipe for a blueberry cheesecake which I've blogged before here.  It is a super easy and quick, yummy recipe which needs NO BAKING!  I haven't tried making a baked cheesecake (yep, those pretty ones which we see in restaurants) because they intimidate me, haha.    

Since I had some blueberry pie filling leftovers sitting at the ref, I thought of challenging myself and stepping up my cheesecake game!

There are so many cheesecake recipes online and one of the highly rated I've seen is that of Tyler Florence's from the Food Network site.

And all I have to say is. . . you're the man Tyler!  (with matching fist bump, haha!) 

And thank you for sharing this recipe!  It is absolutely a winner!

But most specially, thank you for making me believe in myself, hahaha!

As Tyler mentioned in his video, what makes cheesecake smooth and creamy is putting them in a hot water bath (also called the Bain Marie method).  

To further explain why, I read this at

Why do I need a water bath?
Some cheesecake recipes don’t call for a water bath, but we prefer this method. The water bath (also known as a bain marie) is used to regulate the baking temperature of the cheesecake. Since the temperature of water never exceeds boiling point (it turns into steam), it keeps the cheesecake baking at an even, slow temperature. This prevents the cheesecake from overcooking (especially around the edges). The steam created by the water bath also further protects the baking cheesecake, keeping the air in the oven moist and humid to prevent the top of the cake from drying out and cracking.

For the complete recipe of Tyler Florence's Ultimate Cheesecake (I suggest you watch the video too), please click here.

My personal notes for this recipe (based on my experience):

1. I added 2-3 tbsps of sugar in the graham crust (only because the graham crackers I used aren't that tasty)

2. The recipe called for lemon rind but since I didn't have a rasp grater, I just used (1 tbsp of lemon juice).  The next time I make this, I would use 2-3 tbsps to get more "Zzzing".

3. If you see yourself baking cheesecakes (lots of them! haha) in your future, I suggest you buy a Springform pan =).

Happy Baking!  Here's to more good times with homemade cheesecakes!
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