Christmas gift or an early birthday gift?

Early birthday gift from my Mom. :) there's agony in waiting, yes, but it's a wonderful kind of waiting :)



I wasn't able to spend Christmas with my family cos my schedule at work wasn't confirmed until about two weeks ago. And since it's the holidays, airplane tickets are just ridiculously expensive.

I figured that since I didn't have work on Christmas eve and the day itself, I could might as well celebrate it by whipping up something special. My friend from college was spending the holiday alone as well, so I invited her over..

Here are snippets of what I prepared over the past few days:


Roasted  Pork Loin with Rosemary and Thyme

 I wanted to bake something, but I was too tired... Ended up with fruit salad for dessert.

And Tanduay Ice, which I didn't even finish.

I had this for lunch today. I was so tired, and I no longer have enough time to prepare cos I was really hungry. I decided to bring out the pork ribs which was originally part of the whole roasted pork package. I just asked the butcher to remove the ribs and the skin, so I had extra in the freezer. Hehe. These were cooked pretty much the same way as the roasted pork. I just experimented with the sauce. Sauteed Worcestershire sauce with a bit of garlic, ginger, chili, and  brown sugar.

There you have it. I'm pretty stuffed despite spending the holidays all by myself.

Still a lovely Christmas. :)


yema balls

I have not touched the oven since last week.. Oh wait, let me rephrase that. I have used the oven a few times but I have not baked anything new and anything from scratch since last week.

I kept the leftover batter for the cupcakes and cookies in the freezer, so all I do is pop a few pieces in the oven if I feel like bringing some sweets to work.

Like what I posted yesterday, inspiration is just missing in action.

I have tried making my famous (to my family, at least) leche flan over the weekend and all I can say is -- fail. It didn't taste and feel like how my leche flan should be. Argh.

I also tried making yema balls, and it has been relegated to the fridge until yesterday. I finally took the bowl out and tried rolling a few pieces yesterday since it has been staring at me every time I open the fridge.

Oh, and thanks as always to Miss Connie for the recipe. :)

Good thing I finally tried rolling some balls cos, my golly, it was sooooo gooooood!

Here's how it looked:


my final wish list :)

Over the past few weeks, I have posted a couple of entries regarding my birthday-slash-Christmas wishlist.

I have been agonizing for weeks on what I really wanted to get for this year's Kris Kringle at work. So last night, I have come up with a more realistic list. Hahaha.

So, for the sake of those who want to give me presents, here's my wish list for 2010 (but could also go until 2011 -- until the last of the items are ticked off. LOL.)

Sorted according to importance and preference. :)

Hand Mixer. At this point in my baking career err escapade, I can say that I am really serious about it. And good baking tools and equipment is a must if I want to make a really good dessert, cake, cookie, etc.

I am not very choosy with the brand. I know I cannot afford a CuisinArt  yet, but, maybe in time -- if I'll be successful. For now, I can settle with something like any of these from Hanabishi --

A REAL Cookbook. I don't have any real cookbooks except for those I got from Good Housekeeping and Yummy. They're cookbooks, yes, but I also want to have at least one real cookbook written by a culinary professional. My Grand Ma and my Dad own a couple, if not a lot and you can see from its appearance that they have really served their purpose -- not just as a bling. Hehe. My dad's cookbooks are all smothered with some kitchen ingredient, has earmarks here and there to remind him of something, papers with new recipes he had seen in cooking shows, and of course, full of almost illegible handwriting that serve as his reminders.

I want something like that, too. My Mom has inherited my Grand Ma's cookbooks and I know that someday, I'll inherit them too. She has one of the older versions of The Joy of Cooking and other essential cookbooks. She also has a couple of planners (you know the old school kind given away by insurance companies?) filled with recipes she has either come up with or has seen somewhere.

I have a lot of recipes printed out or written in one too many notebooks. My fridge door and sides are plastered with a lot of scratch papers with recipes scribbled in them.

I know that with the birth of the Internet, anything is within our reach. I get most of my recipes online, hence the print outs and scratch papers, but having a cookbook and getting recipes from them is still different.

There must be a reason why Ina Garten, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Giada deLaurentis, Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Jamie Oliver, Anthony Bourdain, and all the other chefs out there still publish cookbooks, right?

One reason? So that I could buy them! LOL.

Anyway, enough of my ranting.

Here are a few of my top picks:

I know, I know. It's quite a lot, isn't it. If I'd buy that, it'd probably cost me more than Php 20,000.00 hahaha. Good luck to me.

These are the only things I listed on my wish list at the office. I still have a few things in mind, though.

I am thinking of ticking the camera and cellphone off the list... It's not just the right time for me to do the purchase although I really really wanna get one soon. It's really not out of luxury, more out of necessity.

While my phone is still okay, I know it's about to give up anytime soon. It's just so slow nowadays and the camera's lens cover (not the one that opens and closes but the plastic that covers it) has gone blurry. I can just replace the housing... But I think it's past its lifetime anyway.  I can do away with the camera for now, as long as I get a phone that takes good pictures. :)

Next on my list would be accessories. Any kind of fashion accessories. Period. Hehe.

And shoes from Aldo, Nine West, or Michael Antonio!

Lastly, a nice (casual chic) dress would be a lovely addition to my closet.

That's all for now... 

I guess.  :)


my two-cents' worth.

I'm always a victim of random thoughts. Who isn't?

My only problem is that whenever these random thoughts strike, I am almost always unable to put them on paper. And when I'm ready to write them down, chances are, I have already forgotten what it's all about.

So shoot me. I hate it when that happens. I hate the fact that most of the time, the things that I forget to write about are worth writing. Oh well.

It's too late to dwell in the past.


The Internet is swamped with news about the release of Hubert Webb and the other guys accused of committing the Vizconde Massacre.

Don't get me wrong, but I don't see anything wrong with the reversal of the decision. I am not a law expert, but from a layman's point of view, I think it's just right to free them especially if the evidence presented is not very strong. That's just me.

While it's true that our justice system is not very credible, I think we should also give the justices some credit for realizing that we cannot hold these people in jail forever if almost all of the evidence presented by the prosecution is not enough to prove the accused party's guilt.

In an article from the Philippine Star the Supreme Court states that --
"In our criminal justice system, what is important is, not whether the court entertains doubts about the innocence of the accused since an open mind is willing to explore all possibilities, but whether it entertains a reasonable, lingering doubt as to his guilt. For, it would be a serious mistake to send an innocent man to jail where such kind of doubt hangs on to one's inner being, like a piece of meat lodged immovable between teeth," the SC stressed. 

I am happy that they are finally given the freedom (that I think) they deserve. It's just sad that the Vizcondes still think that the Supreme Court justices were paid.

An excerpt from the Inquirer article:
“They should remember that God’s wrath extends until the fourth generation. That’s what the priests told me,” she said, seemingly to console herself.
“Here, it’s all about money. I fear for what’s going to happen to us Filipinos in the hands of these corrupt justices. They can no longer be called honorable. They are all dishonorable. For money they can ignore the call for justice,” he said. 

I just don't understand how someone can say something like that. I know for a fact that they earnestly prayed for justice but hey, God can't always say "Yes" to our prayers. Maybe the acquittal of Hubert Webb, et. al. is God's way of saying that we have convicted the wrong person.

And I think that if the defendants' families really paid millions to get these guys out of jail, shouldn't they have done so long ago? I mean, why wait, what, 20 freakin' years? Why let your son rot in jail if you'll bribe anyway?

That's just a thought.

Oh man, all I can say is... What a twisted world we have.


Two Great Musicals in ONE Month!

Show Details:

A.) Jonathan Larson's RENT
March 5, 2011 / 3:30 PM Saturday / RCBC

Ticket Prices:
P 2000 (Orchestra Center)
P 1700 (Orchestra Side)
P 1700 (Loge)
P 1200 (Loge Back)
P 800 (Balcony)

RENT March 5 3:30 PM Seat Planview here

March 19, 2011 / 2:00 PM Saturday

Ticket Prices:
P 1500 (Orchestra Center)
P 1300 (Orchestra Side)
P 1100 (Loge Center)
P 900 (Loge Back / Loge Side)
P 700 (Balcony)

NEXT TO NORMAL March 19 2:00 PM Seat Planview here


Contact Onay @ 0918.536.2116
or visit: watchplays.

Put McDonald's in Your Menu

Convenience is very important nowadays.

It used to be that you can only blog using your desktop computer, or laptop…now you can also do it on your mobile phone! It’s the same way with McDonald's—order and pay for your food using your mobile phone. Just when you thought things couldn't get better, McDonald's comes up with something to make ordering…and paying much much easier! Learn more about this new and exciting service at www.mybpimag.com then simply register at www.bpiexpressonline.com.

And get this—there's no more minimum orders at McDelivery, only a fixed delivery charge of P40. Perfect!

You don't even need to have any money in your pocket to enjoy your McDonald's treat. Now that's definitely something worth blogging about!

Any order, McDonald's delivers.

*** from Nuffnang.


RENT in Manila!!!

I've always loved the play 

Saying that line is like a lie. I haven't actually seen the play itself, I've only seen the movie. No, I keep on watching the movie. I cannot remember how many times I've watched it in the past 4 years. Haha.

Last year's staging.
From Google Images

The play was staged early this year, and unfortunately, I was unable to catch any of the play dates. Just great, eh?

So now, can you just imagine how ecstatic I am when I found out that RENT is going to be re-staged on March 5, 2011?!

I'm like a little girl who just got her first Barbie Doll. Or a little kid who just stepped into the gates of Disneyland. Something like that.

I cannot wait!!!!

More details here - Watch Plays, Embrace Theater (how true).


Update: As of 3:30am, Dec 14, I have finally reserved two seats! Yay!

** Thanks to Google for the images.

peanut butter cookies.

I've been sick since Wednesday -- flu and diarrhea got me. I still dunno if it's tummy flu, gotta have it checked tomorrow.

And because I am sick, I haven't been able to bake. The last time I baked was on Monday, a few hours before our company Christmas party. I still need to try baking those revel bars again, they just didn't cut it for me. This is seriously one expensive hobby. Haha.

Well, expensive but truly rewarding... especially after trying out the finished product. ;)

Anyway, I tried making some peanut butter cookies yesterday. I baked them today. The result? Surprising.

Why? Cos after baking them for 12 minutes, the center was unbelievably soft and I was sure that it was another epic fail. I trusted my guts (and the recipe, since it called for 10-12 minutes baking time) and cooled the cookies on the sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool some more. And the finished product was delicious!

Cooling time is longer than the usual cookies, it takes time for the cookie to harden. Lift them away from the rack too early, and they break. So, to be sure, cool them on the rack for 30 minutes or longer. That's just for me, at least. ;)

packed and ready to sell.

Anyway, here's the recipe I got from All Recipes.

3/4 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/2 c granulated white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 c peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
2 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c chopped peanuts or 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Beat in the peanut butter. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the peanut butter mixture and beat until incorporated. Fold in the chopped peanuts or chocolate chips. (If the batter is too soft to form into balls, place in the refrigerator for about an hour or until firm.)

Roll the batter into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet, placing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Then, using the tines of the fork that has been dipped in white granulated sugar, make a crisscross pattern. 

Bake the cookies for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container, for about a week. Freeze for longer storage.

Makes about 40 cookies -- or more, in my case.

I am entirely unsure if the center should be soft once done. I also forgot to make that crisscross pattern, I was just excited -- all of the recipes I have checked have this -- maybe it's really how a peanut butter cookie should look like. Haha.

Oh, and yeah, the cookies turned out great -- soft, chewy, and melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Yummmm. :)


exciting discounts to be given away soon!

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting some exciting discounts readers can enjoy.

I'll keep you all posted!


revel bars.

As promised, here's the recipe for the Revel Bars I tried (emphasis on tried, hehe) to make last night.

No, it wasn't as successful as I wanted it to be. The first batch turned out to be a bit too crumbly, I guess I have to reduce the amount of oats since I used rolled oats. And maybe cut the baking time to 25-30 minutes.

I tried giving it another try earlier today -- I didn't miss out on the milk this time, I can't say how it turned out yet. I kept it in the fridge since I was in a rush to get ready for our company's Christmas Party.  Hehe.

Anyway, here's the recipe - got it from All Recipes.

3 c quick cooking oats
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c butter, softened
2 c packed brown sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp vanilla extract
1  can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, beat together 1 cup butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In another bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt; stir into butter mixture. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in walnuts and 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Pat 2/3 of the oat mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over the top, and dot with remaining oat mixture.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool on a wire rack, then cut into bars.

Some revisions:

- I used bittersweet chocolate chunks and added a bit of sugar.
- Opted for rolled oats instead of the quick cooking kind.
- I only had peeled peanuts available. Hehe.

The first batch of revel bars still tasted good - but it's not close to the revel bars I'm used to. So I'm calling them Oatmeal Bars. Hehe.

I'll let you know later how the second batch turned out. I hope they're better. :D


it should've been a cake.

I have promised to bake a cake for myself in celebration of my birthday.

I was supposed to bake Devil's Food Cake or Choco Lava Cake today. Yeah, I'm ambitious. Haha.

I spent the whole day cleaning (kinda) my place and after my weekly visit to the supermarket, I was ready to take on the Cake Challenge.

I started with baking remaining batter for the cheese cupcake and chocolate chip cookies, then started with the Revel Bars I was dying to try. What supposed to be an hour's worth of experiment turned out longer. I have been meaning to buy a hand mixer and have since failed cos the model I wanted is always out of stock. So, to challenge myself, I have bought a manual egg beater, thinking that it's easier than what I'm usually doing. I thought wrong. It was harder! I ended up with a cut on my finger and going back to my more manual beating, creaming, and mixing procedure.

I'd like to think that the Revel Bars turned out to be a success despite the mishaps earlier. I am still cooling the pan on the wire rack and I want to chill it before cutting them into squares. (EDIT: I already cut and wrapped the bars. I can't say it's successful cos I totally missed out the condensed milk! The end result? It's still okay, but not as gooey and yummy had I included the milk. Argh.)

I still want to make a cake, any cake would do. I have the basic ingredients, but I'm too tired. Ahh, frustrating.

Maybe a good night's sleep would do me some good.

*PS: I'll post the picture and recipe of the Revel Bars later -- if it's successful. Hehe.


cheese cupcakes.

Sometime ago, I was debating on whether to bake cheese cupcakes or tres leches cupcakes for dessert. (I was supposed to post this last month, but I forgot that I left it in my drafts folder. Haha.)

I decided to do the former - less work for me. Hehe.

I got the recipe from Kusina ni Manang and I'm glad I tried it out cos it was so easy. And the cupcakes turned out close-to-perfect. :)

Here's the recipe:

1 bar (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar 
4 eggs
2 cans (14 oz each) sweetened condensed milk
3-2/3 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
cheddar cheese, finely grated, for topping

Line 2 muffin pans with paper cups.

Preheat oven to 350 ° F

Mix flour and baking powder well in a bowl.

Cream butter and sugar together on medium speed. Turn speed to slow and add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually increase speed to medium and beat well. (Since I didn't have a mixer, I manually creamed the butter and sugar using a fork. I guess it would've turned out nicer had I used a real mixer. Hmm.)

Turn speed to slow and slowly add the condensed milk. Beat well on medium speed for about a minute.

Turn to slow again and add the dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium and add oil. Beat well for about another minute. Add vanilla and beat to blend.

Fold in grated cheese for that additional cheesy goodness. (This wasn't part of the original recipe, I just decided to mix the cheese in. Hehe, cheese fan here.)

Transfer batter to a piping bag and pipe into the muffin cups, leaving about 1/4 inch space at the top. (I normally use an ice cream scooper to transfer cupcake/muffin batter to muffin cups.)

Top with grated cheese.

Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the pans for even baking. (If you want, you may add some more cheese at this point).Bake for another 10 minutes. Enjoy with maple syrup or condensed milk if desired.

Transfer to cooling rack and completely cool before storing in ziploc bags those that you will not be able to consume right away.

I halved the recipe cos I wasn't sure it would come out perfect. I made around 10-15 mini-cupcakes. I normally use baking cups with 2in bases so that the cupcakes would be in bite-size sizes.

that's the cupcake with some brownies and oatmeal cookies.


25th and then some more wish list items.

So yes, I turned 25 today. *gasp!*

How did I spend err am spending it?

Well, I have taken a two-day leave from work (again, haha). I slept the whole day yesterday and when I woke up, I cooked the lunch orders for the people at work. Fish curry with kangkong leaves was on the menu. I didn't know it was such an easy recipe, except for the fact that I had a hard time looking for some of the ingredients. Anyway, I'll remind myself to post the recipe later. :)

I received my birthday cake 10 minutes before the clock struck 12. Hehe. It was a chocolate carrot cake from Homemade Cakes. You know, the bakeshop with a carrot logo? Yes, that one. They actually have one of the yummiest carrot cakes I have ever tasted. I am not a fan of carrot cake, so it's really something when I say that I like their cake. :)

Since I wasn't scheduled to work, I just dropped of the lunches at the office at around 2am last night, or this morning.

I was craving for lechon kawali or crispy pata, so we scouted the Greenhills/Addition Hills area for some open food stops. We ended up eating at Andok's hahaha. To be fair to them, masarap nga naman ang lechon kawali and Bicol Express. :)

When I got home around 3am, I started fixing my cabinet haha. What's up with me? It's my birthday and I was cleaning? Hahaha. Yeah, I had to cos my place is just so cluttered!

It's all better now, but I still have to clean and do the laundry. Argh.

Anyway, since my phone's camera has gone bonkers, I have been thinking of getting a new phone with a decent camera. No, I have given up the hope of getting LG Optimus One. Instead, here's what I want:

Sony Ericsson J10i2 ELM

I want the pink one!

I think this phone would work well for me. And it's just for Php 7,500.00. Whaddyathink?

Or maybe this one:

Alcatel OT-980 Omni

Although I'm not a fan of QWERTY phones, but it has pretty good specs and it's just around Php 10,000.00. But if that's the case, then I'll prolly get the LG Optimus One instead. Haha, fickle-minded me.

Yung Elm na nga lang!


That's about it for now. I have to go to the kitchen and start baking goodies for my sibs! :)