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December 22, 2012

Seasons Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year

It has been 13 years since my last Filipino Christmas. Today, I will be flying to Philippines to spend  the holidays and will be returning to the blogosphere after New Year. I wish everyone love, peace, joy and good health in 2013. God bless us all!

December 19, 2012

Soft and Moist Banana Muffins

I was surprised when my sister came home from work last week with a bunch of overripe bananas. There's no way I would eat bananas with black spots but I would feel guilty if they go to waste. I wanted to get rid of them before they go bad. My sister suggested  banana bread so she could eat it for breakfast. I searched for a quick and easy banana bread recipe on the web. I found one that required an hour to bake. I wanted to reduce the baking time to save energy so I baked them in muffin tins. My sister and I couldn't resist  when I took them out of the oven so we both ate one piece after dinner. We ate them again the next day and sis brought the rest to her school to share.

December 16, 2012

Healthy Desserts at Vista Cafe - Verasu

My first encounter with cakes made from spelt flour was three years ago when I was doing a course on pastry. A friend took me to Verasu  so I could get a break from  fattening cakes. For those of you who might not know, Verasu is a store which especializes in home and kitchen appliances and products. It also has cafe/bakery called Vista Cafe that serves healthy meals and desserts at reasonable prices. I was there recently with the girlfriends and another friend to celebrate Father's Day.We had just came back from a party and decided to go to Verasu for desserts.

Brownie cheesecake

December 14, 2012

My Version of Black Forest Cake

Only seventeen more days before New Year and I decided to clean out my computer of unwanted files and programs and copy the photos I took this year to a cd so I can free space on my hard drive. As I was  browsing through old pictures  I stumbled upon this black forest cake photo. I made it for someone months ago. I meant to blog about it but due to my heavy workload, I had forgotten all about it. I'm sorry to say I won't be sharing a step by step picture of how I made it. I also don't remember where I kept the recipe. Once I find it, I will share it with you. 

December 11, 2012

A Rather Unique Belated Thanksgiving Dinner

Wonder what's all these random food? My friend Kath wanted to have a Thanksgiving dinner  before she returned to the US. Her mom made a special vegetarian menu exclusively for the occasion.  My family were invited. Saturday came, I went to see her and found the whole house full of smoke. The oven  gas pipe leaked when her mom turned the oven on  and spew massive black smoke. Long story short,  Kath's mom was unable to cook anything that day. Despite of what happened we still wanted to stick around. My sister brought food from the cafeteria. Kath went out to get some vegetarian dishes. It was not something we anticipated but we were just thankful that the house did not burn down. Thank God!

December 9, 2012

Carrot Cake

Last week had been pretty hectic for me. I ran errands for my sister. I went Christmas shopping with friends. I made three orders of carrot cake. One for a friend's friend who recently turned 30ish, one for a belated Thanksgiving dinner with family friends, and another one for a friend's son's birthday.

I have tried a few carrot cake recipes in the past and this is my favorite.  I followed the recipe for the carrot cake but made a little modification on the frosting. If you want a moist and delicious carrot cake which will wow the crowd, try this.

December 7, 2012

Mongo with Sotanghon (Mung Bean Soup with Glass Noodles)

It was Friday. I knew the girlfriends were waiting for my text message about dinner. I was planning to cancel it as I didn't have a dish in mind. Also, I hadn't gone grocery shopping. I composed a quick message but before pressing the "send" button, I hurried over to the kitchen to check the fridge and see if I could find  any thing to cook. There's nothing else but a head of cabbage, tomatoes and 5 pieces of mackerel. I saw a small pack of vermicelli. If I could find mung beans in the cabinet, then dinner would push through. I was so happy I did. Two hours before the appointed time, I sent a text message to the girls.

I fried the mackerel. I cooked  mung beans soup with cabbage and vermicelli. The girls arrived  when I was setting the table. We enjoyed a simple yet  delicious Filipino meal.

December 5, 2012

Ve-G-Choplets Adobo with Potatoes

Yesterday when I woke up from a quick siesta, I felt a little pain in my right shoulder. I changed my dress and went to get a massage nearby. When I arrived at the massage parlor, only two massage therapist were working. I was asked to wait for a few minutes. I informed my sister of my whereabouts in case I couldn't come back early to cook for dinner. Twenty minutes had passed before my name was called. At least I didn't have to wait  forever but I knew I would be late.

When I opened the door to my apartment, I saw my sister in the kitchen  preparing dinner. I asked her what she's cooking. She told me she's cooking adobo. I told her I hadn't blog about it so she waited until I came back to get my camera.

 Adobo is considered as the national dish of the Philippines. The stew can be made with either chicken, pork or both cooked in vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, black peppercorn and soy sauce. In my family, both mom and sister are vegetarian so we use soy protein in place of meat whenever we cook adobo. We cook it the easy way too!

December 2, 2012

Chocolate Overload - A bribe to see more of the Azkals

Two weeks ago, I had this chance to see a qualifying match between Thailand and Philippines for Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2012.  I'm not a crazy sports fanatic but when I found out that the AZKALS were playing, I bought a ticket. The team's soaring popularity got me intrigued. Is their good physique the reason for them being famous? Well, they're in Bangkok to play. I would not miss it for the world.

Fast forward to the night I watched the game.When the AZKALS came out for the first time to do some warm up, I was standing one hop away from them.Yeah boys! I got starstruck  but I made sure I click my camera as they walk past me. I was not able to take good pictures of some and I didn't want to go home without getting a better shot. I made a promise to  the girls  (sister, cousin and friends) that  if they  let me stay a bit longer to meet the AZKALS "backstage" I  would make them a nice dinner. Well, they did but imagine how I felt when I found out that the "backstage" was off-limits to fans. Bummer!

Anyway, a promise is a promise. I cooked an awesome dinner on Friday. I baked brownies loaded with dark chocolate chips. I served it with double dutch ice cream and drizzled them with chocolate syrup. Yum Yum!