Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 2013 #FOODstagram

At the onset of this year, one in my 2013's list of things-to-accomplish was to learn to cook at least 10 dishes. Remember that when we got married in Nov 2012, I had zero knowledge in the kitchen and I thought Jan 2013 was a good month to start (yes, I chose to wait for 2 months post-wedding before I realized I should learn, lest we'd die in hunger, hehe).  

Now 12 months has already passed, and last night, I counted the new dishes I now know how to cook, at least the ones which I captured and posted on Instagram.  I did twelve!  Yippee! :)
Clockwise from left:  Nilagang spareribs, Sinampalukan, Spaghetti, Pork Sinigang, Adobo, and Tinola.
Clockwise from left:  Chopsuey, Lechon Paksiw, Fried Tilapia, Tuna Pesto Fetucinni, Ginataang Kalabasa at Sitaw

Not all of these were a success though.  Just look at that massacred tilapia and the super masabaw pork adobo.  But as they say, practice makes perfect, and try and try until you die/succeed (hahahahahahaha)! =D  I know there'll come a time when I'll be able to serve that perfectly fried fish on our dinner table. =P

My #FOODstagram target for 2014?  Dishes like menudo, caldereta, afritada, and the like.  I don't know how you call these, but I prefer calling them mga masarsang ulam vs. the mga masabaw (i.e. sinigang, nilaga, etc.).  Hehe.

Oops, speaking of food, it's time to eat now!  Bye bye! :)


Monday, December 30, 2013

Our Second Merry Little Christmas

Ho ho ho!
Happy holidays, everyone! :)

It's our second Christmas together, yippeee! :)  And if last year we were in sunny yellow, this year our matchy-matchy shirts are obviously deep blue with Christmas-red collars.  Hehe.  Gotta find rainbow-colored terno shirts naman for next year! :)


Monday, December 9, 2013

Banana Caramel Craze

It was afternoon of November 27, Wednesday.  My invisible bell was about to ring signaling my time to leave the office after a long, tiring day.   I knew my plan come four o’clock.  Get my things, log out, drive to the salon at Dusit to get a haircut and unwind.  However, things suddenly came running through my head.  FLOUR. SUGAR. EGGS. BUTTER… FLOUR. SUGAR. EGGS. BUTTER… FLOUR. SUGAR. EGGS. BUTTER… Oh man… I couldn’t ignore this inexplicable urge to bake!  I got my things, logged out, and drove… not to the salon but to our house instead.  This was the perfect way for me to relax --- convert STRESSED to DESSERTS!

That afternoon, my pink whisk felt like it wanted to whip up some banana cupcakes, and I found myself giving in. Here's the recipe that I used:


1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp softened butter
1 cup sugar
4 pcs overripe bananas
1 medium egg
2 tbsp sour cream or milk 
3-4 tbsp nuts


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
2.  Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg, mashed banana, and sour cream or milk.  (In the case of this unplanned baking session, I used milk.)
3.  Slowly add in the flour mixture.  The batter will be thick and sticky.
4.  Line a 12-piece cupcake tray with 3oz. liners and fill each up with batter 2/3 full.  Top each with your favorite nuts.
Because the batter is thick, it's easier to fill the cups using an ice cream scoop. :)
5.  Bake for 18 minutes (yes, just 18, not 20) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
See why you hafta put these in the oven for only 18 minutes?  They easily get baked...
and burnt (!!!) if you're not alert enough to 'rescue' them as soon as the 18-min alarm rings.

Now let's talk about what I "clothed" these naked banana cuppies with --- salted caramel frosting!  Making this may not be very challenging especially to expert bakers out there, but I found it less easy than all the icings I've made in the past.  One reason is the fact that you need to make caramel sauce first before you can start with the creaming and mixing and whipping!  If you know how to make caramel sauce, then good for you.  If not, I'll share with you how.


1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
1/4 tbsp salt


1.  Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a heavy saucepan.
2.  Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt.
3.  Stop whisking once all of the sugar has melted, and swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.
4.  Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color.  It would look almost reddish-brown with a slight toasted aroma.  If you have an instant-read thermometer, cook until the sugar reaches 350 degrees F.
5.  Add the butter all at once.  Whisk until it is completely melted.
6.  Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour the cream into the caramel.  Whisk until the sauce becomes smooth.  Add the salt and whisk to incorporate.
7.  And you're done!  Set the sauce aside and let cool before using. :)  

After the sauce has cooled down, you're now ready to make the frosting! :)  Ugh, too many steps right?  I told you this is relatively tedious.


1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
1/2 cups powdered sugar


1.  Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes.
2.  Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined.
3.  Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, until all has been incorporated.
4.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat some more, until light and fluffy.
5.  Pipe the frosting onto each cupcake and drizzle with some additional salted caramel sauce.

Presenting the now dolled up banana cupcakes! :)

Banana beauties! :)

Happy happy happy! :)  These bananas didn't die in vain after all, 
for they served a yummy purpose. ;)



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