Food hacks I learned during the holidays

When Speedy bought a couple of young coconuts for Christmas Eve's buko pandan dessert, I wondered what I'd do with the coconut water. The fridge was full; so was the freezer. Why not use some for a cocktail drink? There was mango puree in the fridge, we had kalamansi-honey … [Read more...]


A night in the city: good eats and dining disasters

What I really wanted was to spend New Year's Eve cooped up in a hotel room in the city, the room on a floor high enough to watch the fireworks with no cables to distract my view and take photos galore. But I couldn't get a reservation for New Year's Eve so I settled for the … [Read more...]


A Christmas ham story

A funny thing happened while we were preparing for our Christmas Eve meal. As agreed upon, I did not cook regular food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Instead, we ate sandwiches here and there all day.By five o'clock in the afternoon, we realized that we were running … [Read more...]


Lasagne roll-ups with chunky meat sauce

In the Philippines, no party menu is complete without a noodle dish. And pasta is always a crowd pleaser. I've been alternating baked macaroni and lasagna with meat sauce for as long as I can remember -- for the girls' birthdays and school Christmas parties, for family … [Read more...]


Egg-topped sweet potatoes braised in tomato sauce

Sam found the inspiration for this dish on Pinterest. The original recipe is a baked dish. Our oven is large and pre-heating it takes forever so I decided to make a stovetop version. The sweet potatoes were cooked in chunky tomato sauce and, when they were done, I cracked … [Read more...]


Bacon, asparagus and cottage cheese breakfast muffins

In my ideal world, breakfast consists of freshly baked bread or freshly baked savory muffins, or both. There is herbed butter that, when smeared on the still-warm bread, transforms into a glistening creamy liquid that the bread soaks up with cheerful readiness. Beside the … [Read more...]


Hot choco hazelnut and dulce de leche drink

When it comes to hot chocolate... Imagine a straight line. On one end of the line are the ultra traditionalists who swear that you can't make proper hot chocolate drink without using a batirol. I'm often tempted to tell the batirol people that their beloved tool was useful … [Read more...]


Churros con chocolate

Story has it that when the Portuguese sailed East, they paid attention to the delectable food they encountered in China and brought back with them to Europe new culinary techniques that they proceeded to tweak. The churro is part of that story. The Portuguese saw the Chinese … [Read more...]


Visualizing our New Year’s Eve meal

If the holidays were all about nostalgia, if the season were a time to look back fondly on happy childhood memories and if I were to create a meal along those lines, I'd have a platter that looks like this -- sliced cold tongue on one side, golden fried dumplings on the … [Read more...]


Visualizing our Christmas Eve meal

The other Sunday was the final day of the photo shoot for Sam's portfolio. We had to cook/assemble/plate five different dishes in one afternoon so that she could complete her set of photos. What we came up with turned out to be a teaser trailer of what we had been planning … [Read more...]