Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I'm sure all you Mommies out there
are all busy with your Halloween preparations.
Since, Halloween falls on a school night again,
no special get togethers or parties this year for us.
We will be Trick or Treating
with the kiddies and their friends, 
and will be dining out.
Let me share with you what I had made for the Little Tykes
at my Moms Group last year.
This was inspired by Martha Stewart.
Although, my witch looks better than hers.
Thanks to Martha
it was a big hit to the Little ones
and the Moms as well.
I apologize for the poor photo quality,
I just used my old Canon digital camera with this one.



Things you need for the Witch:

Chocolate cupcake
Green colored buttercream frosting
Sugar cones
Chocolate Wafer Thin Cookies
Chocolate chips, melted
Black Lace Licorice, cut 2 inches long
Mini brown M&M's
Candy corn


  • I used sugar cones, dipped it in melted chocolate to coat.
  • Added sprinkles while still wet,
  • and attached it to a chocolate wafer thin cookie.
  • And let dry.

Things you need for the Pumpkin patch cupcake:

Pumpkin Candy corn
Oreos, crumbled
Gummy worms
Chocolate cupcakes


Friday, October 26, 2012

Sour Appletini

It's Cocktail Friday!!!
After a busy week,
we are staying home tonight.
I just want a quiet night with my family.
Well ...
... maybe a quiet night with hubby 
when the kids are in bed. 
Have a great weekend Everyone!!!

I would also like to ask all my readers and fellow bloggers
 to please keep the
Krim Family
in your prayers
who is suffering right now after a devastating loss.
Marina Krim (mother) is a fellow blogger.


1 1/4 oz Vodka
1 1/4 oz Sour Apple Schnapps
1/2 part  Cointreau or Triple Sec
Garnish with a slice of green apple


Add Ice cubes in Shaker.
Add vodka, scnapps and cointreau or triple sec.
Strain in a chilled martini glass.
Garnish with a slice of green apple.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Butternut Squash Risotto

I love cooking but I am not too fond of prepping.
It was easier when I was in the Philippines where I had help.
I do have help now, my wonderful husband.
But I feel so guilty when I have to make him assist me in the kitchen
after a busy day at work.
To my surprise he is actually loving being in the kitchen and learning
how to cook.
He said (jokingly) he wants to start his own blog now too.
Green being the color of his Alma mater.
The only thing I don't like with cooking is prepping.
I especially dislike cutting onions, garlic, handling poultry, and cutting squash!
Ahhh, the struggles in cutting squash.
Why in the world are they so hard to cut?
So I was in heaven
when I found already diced butternut squash at Costco.
I've been wanting to make this Risotto for so long
but the thought of cutting squash keeps me from making it.
The last time I made this recipe
 was at Thanksgiving.
This is one of my winter comfort craving.
The smooth creamy texture,
the fragrant smell of rosemary and sage when sometimes added.
This is one sinful craving!
With this recipe,
I am able to camouflage the veggie with
the yummy creamy deliciousness of the risotto
by mashing the squash.
I have learned to hide the unwanted veggies on my dish
with my picky eaters.
I still add a few cubes of squash
to see if they would actually eat it,
and make them think that they actually got away
in not eating their squash
when they put it the squash on the side of their plates.


5 cups butternut squash, cut in 1/2 inch cubes, divided to 4 & 1 cup(s)
3 tbsps butter, divided to 2 & 1 tbsp(s)
4 shallots, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Regiano Cheese
1 tbsp finely chopped chives

  • Steam squash in a separate pot for 10 - 15 minutes, or until tender.
  • Mash 4 cups of squash.
  • Set aside the remaining 1 cup of cubed, cooked squash.
  • In a saucepan, heat broth to simmer.
  • Over medium heat, in large heavy saucepan, melt 2 tbsp butter.
  • Add shallots and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add rice, stir, let it toast for about 2 minutes.
  • Add dry white wine, and let it cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often.
  • Stir in 1 cup of hot broth and add the mashed squash.
  • Simmer in medium-low heat, continue to cook rice until tender but still al dente, adding a ladleful of broth at a time, stirring often for about 25 - 30 minutes.
  • Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Stir in remaining 1 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Regiano cheese.
  • Serve hot, top with the remaining squash cubes and chopped chives.
  • You can also add 1 tbsp Rosemary or 1 tbsp minced Sage to add a lemony savory earthiness to your risotto.
  • My children love their risotto topped with crispy bacon or pancetta, just another indulgence added to make them eat.
  • For the right consistency of risotto, it should spread out very gently of its own accord in a bowl. If it doesn't, your risotto is too dry, just add a little more of the stock.
  • Serves 4 -6


Friday, October 19, 2012

Pastillas de Leche con Langka (Jackfruit)

Last night I was watching Sweet Genius.
I always salivate with all the creations they make
and wish I am at least half as creative as this talented contestants.
I kinda giggled when I saw the mystery ingredient thrown in last night.
Or Langka as we know it in the Philippines
The 2 competitors left, thought it had a funny smell.
For us used to it,
we find that the Jackfruit has a sweet delicate flower smell to it.
The smell to some is a cross between a pineapple and a banana.
You can get the fresh fruit
at any Asian Markets when it's in season,
usually summer time.
It comes frozen and canned as well.
We love it as a snack, fresh or dried.
We sometimes add it to desserts such as Halo-Halo, a shaved ice dessert
and to Turon, a banana wrapped in egg roll wrapper rolled in brown sugar and deep fried.
Believe me when I say ... It's delicious it is Delicious!
Another sweet we grew up eating and buying from the corner store
or from classmates selling it in our class is Pastillas de Leche.
Yes, I had classmates that come to school selling candies and desserts.
I thought it was fabulous, no need to go far, and yes the school allowed it.
Pastillas de Leche
is the poor man's candy in the Philippines.
A simple delicious creamy candy made from 2 types of milk.
Powdered milk and Condensed milk in tablet shape and rolled in sugar. 
Sometimes flavored with Langka (Jackfruit), Pandan, coconut, mango,
and Ube(Purple Yam).
So let me share with you one of my childhood favorites
Pastillas de Leche con Langka also known as Pastillas de Nangka,
which I now enjoy making with my daughter.
3 cups powdered Milk (I used Nido)
1 can condensed Milk
1/2 cup Jackfruit, finely chopped, drained
1/2 - 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Add condensed milk in a large bowl.

  • Mix in the chopped Jackfruit.
  • Gradually mix in the powdered milk.
  • Form in a cylindrical shape, just like a large tablet.
  • Roll in sugar
  • And individually wrap in plastic cellophane wraps cut in about 3 x 3 inch squares.
In this recipe I used a canned Jackfruit since it is out of season now.
Make sure you drain all juices out especially after you chopped it.
What works for me is after chopping jackfruit, transfer to a paper towel and dry.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kid Friendly Egg Salad

Does your child come home from school saying
"Mom I'm Hungry!!!!!" ?
When you point them to the fruits or healthy section
of the fridge and pantry,
all of sudden they're not hungry anymore.
I am constantly experimenting on how to make my dishes 
appealing to my kids.
It's not easy!!!
I can't wait for the day when they say,
"I used to hate eating this, but now I love it!"
I think we all had that moment
when we excused ourselves from the table
with a mouthful of food heading to the bathroom
and discarding that disgusting food our Mom's forcibly made us eat.
And now as adults,
we call our Moms for the recipe of that dish.
Ahhh... childhood!!!
Here's something I learned from my Mom
that my siblings and I loved when I was a kid
and now my own children love to eat whether it's for a picnic
or an after school snack.
I find that the red onions that my Mom adds on the egg salad
is too strong for the childrens tastebuds.
I instead used chives.
Besides adding a splash of color,
it doesn't have the pungent taste of onions that the kids hate.
6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 tbsp mayonaise
2 1/2 tbsp sweet pickle relish
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
freshly ground pepper
1 tsp chives
6 slices any choice of artisan bread
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Egg Salad:
  • Mix eggs, mayonaise, relish, salt, pepper, sugar and chives in a large bowl.
  • Chill for at least an hour before serving.
For the Bread:
  • Drizzle Olive oil on both sides of the bread.
  • Grill both sides until light toasted.

For the adults tastebuds:
  • you can add chopped shallots
  • lay a piece of smoked salmon on the bread
  • layer with egg salad
  • And top it with alfafa sprouts.
Yes, you can substitute sugar with any sweetener.
Kid Friendly Egg Salad

Friday, October 12, 2012

Spiced Apple Cidertini

It's been awhile since I have shared a drink with you all.
Let me share this easy, simple but delicious cocktail.
My little guy and I went to his first fieldtrip,
It was exciting for the little guy even if he had visited this farm numerous times.
It was exciting because he was with his school buddies.
After we have moved here from Los Angeles,
this Farm has been our Disneyland.
Nothing in comparison,
but this is our entertainment in cooler Autumn weekends.
One of the reasons why we love coming here
 is for the farm's doughnuts and cider.
Hillbilly Joe's apple cider is the BEST I think.
I have tasted a lot of cider
and so far this is the only one that makes me crave for cider.
So of course,
I had to bring some home.
The kids love apple cider,
but i give it to them in moderation,
not only because of the sugar content,
 but also
so Mommy and Daddy to enjoy it too.
here's our adult version
 for a before dinner refresher.

1.5 - 2 oz Vodka
4 oz Apple Cider
1/2 oz Simple syrup, (optional)
1/2 tsp Lime Juice
Dash of Cinnamon
  • Put ice in cocktail shaker.
  • Pour vodka, apple cider, lime juice, cinnamon, and vodka.
  • And Shake.
  • Garnish with a sliced apple.
  • Optional for your glass rim:
                      Wet the rim with lime juice.
                      2 tbsp Sugar and a dash of cinnamon
  • Simple syrup is optional, some prefer their cidertini less sweet so I suggest don't add it.  I prefer mine sweet.
  • A girlfriend of mine opt out with the cinnamon in her cidertini, and just use it on the rim of her glass.
So here's to a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Adobong Sitaw (Chinese Long Beans Adobo)

It's getting chillier everyday.
Have to enjoy some seasonal ingredients
while I can still get them in the market.
One thing that I can always count on finding at our local Asian Market is
the Chinese Long Beans or Sitaw.
Chinese long beans are long, flexible beans
and are known to be a member of the black-eyed peas family.
No ... not Fergie and the rest of the bands,
the edible black-eyed peas.
I love me some Apl.De.Ap since he is a fellow Filipino
 who loves to contribute to the Filipino community
with his Foundation focusing on education,
with the campaign
Back to my dish,
this is my Filipino version
of my String beans with Pancetta and Almonds.
A filipino adobo is not the same as the Mexican Adobo.
The base for a Filipino adobo
is coconut vinegar, garlic, and soy sauce.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb diced pork or beef, cut into about 1x1 inch
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup coconut vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 bunch of Chinese Long Beans, cut in 2 in. pieces
freshly ground pepper
  • In a wok, saute onion and garlic on medium high heat.
  • Add pork or beef, continue to stir until brown.
  • Add soy sauce, vinegar and water. Lower heat to medium low. Cover and bring to boil. 
  • Add long beans. Cover. Cook for another 10 minutes or until beans are tender.
  • Season with freshly ground pepper.
  • Serve hot with rice.



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Champorado (Chocolate Rice Porridge)

Fall is here!

I appreciate Fall more here in Michigan.
The lush woods, and forests
have this majestic autumn beauty to it,
when Foliage turns to its vivid fall colors,
yellow, orange, gold, amber and red.
In Los Angeles the leaves mostly turn to brown and then falls off.
Unless you go up North in California,
 then that's where you see the same beauty of fall, Michigan have.
Fall weather is just perfect for me.
I love the cooler mornings and crisp nights.
We woke up to a rainy morning.
I love rain as long as I don't have to go out and drive.
And today is that day.
Curling up in bed with my little 3 year old Taz.
Watching his PBS kids shows.
Just as I was about to doze back to sleep,
Little Taz said "Mommy my Tummy is talking."
My signal to get out of bed and make something.
And what's my craving for this rainy day?


Filipino Champorado is not the same
as the Mexican or Cuban Champurrado which is
 a hot and thick drink, made from masa, piloncillo, water or milk and which occasionally contains chocolate, cinnamon, anise seed and/or vanilla bean.

A Filipino Champorado is
a sweet, rich creamy rice pudding/porridge cook with
coconut milk and chocolate.
This is one of my childhood breakfast favorite or after school snacks.
And now my childrens.


1 cup sweet sticky rice
4 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
a pinch of salt
4 oz 60% bittersweet/unsweetened baking chocolate 
      or 1/2 cup cocoa powder, chopped
Sugar to taste


  • In a medium saucepan, pour water, add rice, and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to low, simmer for 15 minutes, constantly stirring to avoid rice from sticking at the bottom of the pan.
  • Stir in coconut milk and salt, simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • Add chocolate, and sugar to taste. Blend well.
  • Serve hot. 

  • If you don't like coconut milk, you can substitute it with evaporated milk.
  • My children like to top their champorado with chocolate shavings, and I like to pour mine with evaporated milk on top.
  • In some Provinces in the Philippines they like to pair champorado with Tuyo, a dried salted herring.

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