Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Dulceria Maria is busy during the Holiday months. I was able to to make this despite being busy, this Charity Event was right after Thanksgiving. And I was very thankful it was calm in my kitchen when I started making this.
One thing I'm going to do next time is I will use toothpicks to hold the puffs.
Because of the heat in the room from the heater, body heat and lights, it held up until it was dessert time. About 4 hrs. Not bad!
After dinner and the fashion show, there was a mini concert. We went to a different room to hear the singer and when we came back for desserts, the Croquembouche's caramel melted and the puffs were all over the cakestand.
Imagine the horror in my face. My work! The burns on my fingers from the hot caramel! The backaches!
Now I know why Martha Stewart made hers smaller.
But hey, mine looks better and we still ate it and it was delicious!!!

                                                                                   photo taken with iphone4s

Thursday, February 23, 2012

PUTO Mamon

I know, I know, I know!
My Latino friends always give me a look of shock everytime I tell them the name of this muffin.But always, after they taste it, they forget about the Spanish definition of the puto, and they all walk around chanting "I want more Puto!" ;) 

Puto is a kind of steamed rice cake/muffin in Philippine cuisine.
I grew up eating this steamed rice muffin.

You'll disappoint a lot of kids if this is not serve at the party.

There's different kinds of Puto.
  • Puto Bumbong - Traditionally made from a special variety of heirloom sticky or glutinous rice called Pirurutong which has a distinctly purple color, soaked in salted water and dried overnight and then poured into bumbong or bamboo tubes and then steamed until done or steam rises out of the bamboo tubes. It is served topped with butter or margarine and shredded coconut mixed with sugar. It is commonly eaten during Christmas season in the Philippines along with bibingka, another type of rice cake.
  • Puto Lanson - Puto found in Iloilo which is made of grated cassava, and is foamy when cooked.
  • Puto Manapla - A variant of puto that is cooked specifically with Saba banana leaves underneath for the flavor.
  • Puto Maya - A puto mixture of glutinous violet rice (called tapol) soaked in water, drained and then poured into a steamer to steam for 30 minutes. This rice mixture is then combined with coconut milk, salt, sugar and ginger juice and placed back into the steamer for another 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Puto-Pao - A combination of siopao (meat-filled dumpling) and puto. It uses the traditional puto recipe but incorporates a meat filling.
  • Puto Mamon - A puto mixture that does not include rice but flour and combines egg yolk, salt and sugar. One mixture of milk and water and another of flour are alternately mixed into the yolk mixture. (On some recipes Egg whites are beaten and folded in before the mixture is poured into muffin cups and steamed for 15-20 min.)
I'll be sharing my Semi-homemade version of Puto Mamon, especially to my friends who loves to eat but does not like to spend so much time in the kitchen.
And besides, I can't share Dulceria Maria's secret recipe for the puto.
But this is just as good!


I box Puto Mix ( 2 packages)
2 cups water
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
10 tsp. melted butter
6 egg yolk
You will need a Steamer and Puto molds. .

If you don't have the puto molds you can use   the individual silicone cupcake molds. You can find this at the baking aisle of any retail stores.
 photo by: kaboodles                          


Start boiling the water in the steamer.
In a medium size mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg yolks.
Add the evaporated milk, blend well.
Slowly add the puto mix, alternating with the water.
Mix until smooth.
Pour into puto molds about 3/4 full.
Steam for 25 minutes.
Puto is cooked when surface id shiny and bounces back when pressed.

Let it cool. Take out of the mold and Enjoy!

Kids love different colors on puto.
You can easily do this by mixing food color on your mixture.
Or by mixing ube and pandan flavor on your mixture.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Is it only in my house that we never seem to eat all the bananas we get from the market?

Instead of going to waste, and I have the maintenance people coming to fix things in the casa,
might as well whip up something. Makes the casa smell like my Lola's (grandma) house on the days my Aunt Dianette decides to bake.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed


Line the cupcake pan with 21 paper liners or 18 muffin cups with paper liners.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and instant espresso  in a
medium bowl to blend.
Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the banana. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

Scoop the batter among the prepared muffin cups or pans. I find that using an ice cream scoop all muffins come out the same size.
Bake the muffins on the middle rack until the tops are golden brown and tester inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached, about 25 minutes.
Transfer the muffins to a rack to cool.

It's ready to eat, muffins can be eaten warm or cooled completely.
I prefer mine cooled.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beef Stew

It's a cold winter night.
Snow falling, fire crackling in the fireplace.
Kids quietly playing in their own corner of the house. Me? In the kitchen looking at the stove, staring at the empty pot. What can I feed my hungry bears?
Looked in my icebox and trying to see what I can whip up.
Ahhhhhh, beef, chicken,  shrimps, salmon,carrots, potatoes, celery, green and red peppers, an array of veggies. And yes! A leftover bottle of wine from last night.
Despite a full fridge, seems like there's always nothing to eat.
You open and close the refrigerator door, trying to find what to eat. Open, close,open,close.
Snap out of it!!! Think!
Aha!!! Chicken soup or Stew?
On cold autumn or winter nights we just want a warm hearty meal.
So STEW it is!!!
I am a throw everything in the pot cook so this is hard for me to give you the exact recipe.
So adjust the recipe according to your taste if you'd like.


2 pounds stew beef
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup any red wine
1 can 14.5 oz Diced Tomatoes (or 1 1/2 cups dice fresh tomatoes)
1 can 6 oz Tomatoe Paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash of ground all spice and italian seasoning (optional)
3 large carrots, sliced
3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 cup of cut into chunks red pepper
1/2 cup of cut into chunks green pepper
1/2 cup pitted green olives

1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh italian parsley leaves


Set a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and season the beef with 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper. Dredge beef in flour. Sear the beef (in 2 batches) in the saute pan for about 2 or 3 minutes per side.
Add the beef broth, red wine, Worcerstershire sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, spices, sugar and browned meat to a slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker and set the temperature to high. Cook for 1 hour. Add the potatoes and carrots and continue to cook the stew for another 5 hours. During the last hour of cooking, add the olives and chunks of peppers, and replace the lid. Once the stew is cooked, stir in the peas and parsley and serve immediately.

Note: Everyone has a different palate. Some like more salt, I try not to add a lot of salt in my recipes since I have HBP. So feel free to season it according to your taste.

My family love the stew serve over rice. Or you can serve it with biscuits.
Yum, yum, yum!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sweet & Spicy Cranberry BBQ Meatballs

My friend Shannon had a children's birthday party and she served this delicious sweet meatballs. The kids loved it and the big kids like me loved it too!
She shared the recipe and one day I saw a bag of meatballs in the freezer and I decided to make it for dinner.
Ready to cook, geared with my Red Apron,
I looked for the ingredients in my not so organized pantry, seriously who has an organized pantry besides Martha?
Of course! I didn't have the grape jelly it required!!!
No one eats grape jelly in my house!
Why? I don't know why?
My kids just don't. Like most of the "don't like this and that" food in their short list of food likes.

I looked in my fridge and looked for something I can substitute the grape jelly with.
Voila!!!Cranberry sauce!
I make cranberry sauce all the time, this is pretty much a staple in my fridge. I love cranberry sauce with my roasted poultry, in my pork or on my bagel with cream cheese.

That's how this happy accident recipe came about.


1 (32 oz.) bag frozen meatballs
1 1/2 cups cranberry sauce/jelly

1 (18 oz.) bottle spicy BBQ sauce

Cranberry Sauce
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 12-ounce package Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; add cranberries, return to boil. Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 2 1/4 cups.


Pour the meatballs, cranberry sauce and BBQ sauce into a crock pot and stir until well combined.  Cook the mixture on high for 2 – 2 ½ hours until completely cooked through.  Serves about 60 – 64 bite-sized meatballs.

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