Muffin Monday: Lemon Pound Cake Muffins

I can’t believe that January’s almost over… Summer is almost creeping in and I am not ready for the hot, humid and sticky days yet. Not to forget, I still haven’t started on my fitness resolution yet!

Today’s muffin screams summer all over it. It’s very similar to the mini bundt cakes I made last week, but had very different ingredients.


I added a pinch of lemon zest to the batter to give it a more lemon-y texture and taste.

Here’s to summer and sunshine-y days…
Lemon Pound Cake Muffins
From Taste Of Home 
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream, I used buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp lemon zest 
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice 
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the sour cream, extracts and lemon zest 
Combine the flour, salt and baking soda; add to creamed mixture just until moistened. 
Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at  400° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. 
Combine the glaze ingredients; drizzle over muffins. Serve warm.

Oh, by the way, I just launched my Facebook page. Pretty please LIKE and share to your friends? :)

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.


From Crops to Crowns: World’s 1st Tansan Billboard opens up 100th Year of Coca-Cola in RP

100 Years of Opening Happiness. 100 Years More.

Remember when a plant billboard mysteriously grew out of nowhere along EDSA last year? Well, prepare to be amazed again as this time an entire billboard made out Coca-Cola crowns has risen up the highway!

Last January 17, 2012, in line with its 100th anniversary in the country, Coca-Cola unveiled simultaneously in key locations across the country (North EDSA in Quezon City, Highway Seno in Cebu and Ulas Highway in Davao), three incredible tansan billboard structures- the first of its kind in the world! All bearing the special insignia of the brand’s 100th year celebration headlined with a simple “thank you” message, the eye-catching road ads were erected to officially open up the year of happiness in the Philippines.

“We have created these extraordinary Coca-Cola crown billboards because 2012 is a very special year for the Filipinos. It is the year Coca-Cola gives back and gives thanks for the last 100 years of choosing and believing in happiness. This is the reason why the beloved brand is still here, today. The billboards are a signal of the start of the biggest, yearlong celebration we’ve ever had in the Philippines yet and the whole nation is invited,” said Guillermo Aponte, president and general manager of Coca-Cola Philippines.

There couldn’t be any more meaningful way to kick off such once in a lifetime milestone than with an iconic showcase befitting of a truly iconic brand. Even greater is the truth they stand for. More than merely symbolizing the brand’s 100-year presence in the Philippines, they represent a nation of happy people. With every crown come generations of stories of unrelenting optimism in the face of the gravest obstacles as well as the most memorable moments of sharing, bonding and coming together.

In a colossal manner, the crown billboards show us how each of us form a significant part of the distinctive contour bottle and the brand that has witnessed our struggles and triumphs; a brand that has embraced our way of life and weaved in its refreshing magic to it.


The World’s First Crown Billboard. In line with its 100th anniversary in the Philippines, Coca-Cola unveiled simultaneously in key locations across the country (North EDSA in Quezon City, Highway Seno in Cebu and Ulas Highway in Davao), three tansan billboard structures. The spectacular billboard structures reflect the unwavering commitment of the brand to giving back and showing gratitude to the Filipinos for the last 100 years of choosing and believing in happiness.

Alongside the many challenges this nation continue to endure, Coca-Cola rouses the Filipino spirit through our 100 Years campaign as icon of optimism. As Aponte points out: “May the crown billboards remind the Filipinos of their unbreakable spirit nurtured throughout the remarkable journey they have shared with Coca-Cola over the last 100 years. Moreover, may they inspire them to continue to face the future head on with a Coke in hand and hearts fueled by happiness.”

As we head on to a new chapter in our nation’s history, Coca-Cola, through its spectacular crown billboards, invites us to look back and cherish the past one hundred years of opening happiness and to make the pledge to continually open more towards the next 100 years.

Coca-Cola. Maraming Salamat sa 100 Taon ng Saya. Ituloy ang Happiness! Visit the Coca-Cola Facebook fan page and/or coca-cola.com.ph for more information.


Magnolia Bakery’s Lemon Vanilla Bundt Cake

Magnolia Bakery.

The name makes me giddy. If I get to go to New York in this lifetime, I will definitely go to one of their branches. It resembles Breakfast at Tiffany’s for me, it’s just that instead of dreaming of jewelry, I always dream of cupcakes.

My cupcakes would never be at par with Magnolia Bakery. Not even close to Georgetown Cupcake or even Sprinkles Cupcakes. I haven’t tasted any of these cupcakes but they definitely make my heart melt.

One of my goals is to make cupcakes as cute as theirs. And of course, recreate any of their cakes.

I’ve had two lemons sitting in my fridge for uhm, almost a month? I was supposed to make lemon meringue tart for a friend, but it never materialized. Hee.

So what to do with these aged lemons?

Magnolia Bakery’s lemon vanilla bundt cake it is. Mini bundt cake, I mean.


It’s one of the best and simplest cakes I’ve made to date. The hint of lemon isn’t too overpowering but it did make a difference. I didn’t make any glaze or frosting to go with it, but it was already good on its own.

I’ll definitely make this again. And again. ;)


Muffin Monday: Mocha Muffins with Chocolate Chips and Cashews

I had a full week at work last week… and I can’t believe I spent the weekend partying.

Okay. Not really partying. I’ve never been the  clubbing kinda girl. I’m more of a chill person – meet up with friends for dinner, drinks, coffee. I never appreciated clubs and dancing. I have two left feet. Heh.

So yeah. My weekend was full of food and catching up with friends. Although rest is a bit elusive, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I had dinner and mojitos with my best friends in college last Friday. Being with them makes me feel as if I were young and carefree. It’s like we never changed. We may not see each other often, but when we do, it’s just fun and happy. It’s comforting.

Saturday was spent the same way. I had dinner and coffee with three of the best people I have worked with. I started working in 2006 and we’ve been friends since, even though we’re now in different companies.

Sunday night was the bomb. My friend Yella was given complimentary tickets to Katy Perry’s California Dreams Tour concert as a birthday present. She’s out beaching and she gave us the tickets. I went with Charls, one of our best friends in college. To say that it was fun is an understatement. Check out #ManilaDreams to get a feel of what it was like.

It’s 1.45am, Monday, as I am writing this. I know I should get to bed but I’m still on adrenaline high. And besides, we don’t have work today! (Kung Hei Fat Choi to all Chinese out there!)

It’s one of those rare Mondays that I look forward to. Oh, the joy of sleeping in knowing that there’s no work waiting for you when you finally get up.

It’s one of those times when you can slowly sip your freshly brewed coffee.

A day to cherish for those like me who abhor Mondays.

And you know what makes Mondays like this better?


Pairing your favorite blend of coffee with something just as good: Mocha Muffins.

And even better, you get to enjoy each and every bite (and sip) of coffee goodness.

What’s not to love about mornings like this?


cupcake project | 11: twinkie cupcakes.

I have never eaten a Twinkie bar in my life.

No, scratch that. I don’t even know what a Twinkie was until this week.

I know, I know. Where have I been all my life? Well, I’m here, in the Philippines, where some “imported” stuff are hard to find… Or are too expensive for me, I'm frugal that way. Heh.

A few days ago, a friend asked on Facebook where she can find Twinkie bars. I left a comment, even though I didn’t know what Twinkies were. I told her to check out S&R, a membership-only grocery warehouse which is similar to Costco. They mostly sell goods from the US.

I went on with my day, trying to push the seemingly big question “What are Twinkie bars?” away from my mind.

But know myself, I just couldn’t let go. I Google-d and found a few answers. So it closely resembles sponge cake bars with cream filling! That’s easy, I thought.

On I went to another search. If there were homemade Twinkie bars, surely there are Twinkie cupcakes somewhere.


And there is! Most of my day at work was filled with daydreams about making these little cupcakes and stuffing myself with the batter and the frosting. Yeah, I am weird that way.


Muffin Monday: Blueberry Muffins

I’ve always been a picky eater. My Dad always reprimands me if I refuse to eat something that’s new to my eyes and taste.

Would you believe me if I told you that I don’t eat oysters? And that I hate sushi and sashimi? I don’t have anything against these foods, I just never learned to appreciate them. I love seafood but I stick to the usual shrimps, mussels and squid. Don’t bother cracking the crabs for me, I don’t eat them.

So how can I be so passionate with food if I don’t eat half of the most exciting dishes? Well, that’s a hard question to answer. Truth is, I don’t really know.

Another list to consider is fruits. I don’t eat too much fruits. I always play safe with what I eat, you see. So I only eat a few.., there’s apples, oranges, bananas, mangoes, to name a few. What about those that I don’t like eat? Well… Let’s see. Kiwi, dragon fruit, and all those berries. YES. You read that right. Berries.


And I’m making a blueberry muffin today.

How contradicting can I get, huh? Just to set the record straight, I may be choosy with what I eat, but with what I make? That’s a whole different story. And besides, with fruits, I can always get away with them. I don’t eat them, but I like them in a smoothie, an ice cream and in desserts!

So let’s get on with the baking, shall we?

I was really excited for today’s muffin, it closely resembles a blueberry cheesecake, one of my favorites, and I just couldn’t pass up on this one. Okay, a confession. I almost didn’t want to buy blueberries while I was out grocery shopping. There were no frozen/fresh blueberries available (I know, how timely…) and as I was getting canned blueberries, I was shocked with the price tag – Php 145 (about 3.50 USD). I’m cheap that way, haha. One can is about 1 1/2 cups, and I only needed 1/4 cup! But what the heck, I grabbed the can and I was mentally noting what else I could do with the extra blueberries. Heehee.

I have to say, I’m glad I got the blueberries. The aroma of the muffins baking is just irresistible. To die for. I could wake up to this everyday.

You should make this. It’s amazing and very simple.

Your Mondays would never be the same again. I’m sure of that.

Blueberry Muffins
Adapted from Gail Sher - From a Baker's Kitchen

1 cup plain yogurt (regular or low fat), I used 1/2 cup strawberry yogurt and 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup canola or corn oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, I doubled it to 1/2 cup since I used those from the can. 
The ingredients.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Position rack in center of oven. Butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large measuring cup or bowl whisk together the yogurt, lightly beaten egg, oil, and vanilla extract.
In another large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Remove 1 tablespoon of the dry ingredients and toss it with the blueberries.
With a rubber spatula fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are combined. Gently stir in the blueberries. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result. 
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop.
Place in the oven and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.
I made 10 regular sized and 12 mini muffins.

Happy Monday, folks!
Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.


vegan chocolate chip cookies.

Would you like some healthy chocolate chip cookies?


Something without butter and eggs? Yes, you read that right.

I couldn’t believe I just made cookies without butter and eggs. Can that really happen?

I think so… The cookies came out so wonderfully puffy! And very delicious, too! You wouldn’t know it’s vegan. And that it doesn’t have the goodness of butter and eggs.

The best thing about this? You can eat 3, 4, 5, or even a dozen without feeling guilty.

Yes, you can gorge on them all you want.

I’d have to thank my friend C for tweeting about Alessa’s blog yesterday. The next thing I knew, I couldn’t wait to go home and make me some of these yummy nibblers.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Life After Breakfast 
1 cup unbleached flour, I used all-purpose
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips,  I used Callebaut Hardbake Chips
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup water 
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. 
In another bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, vanilla and water. Mix until combined. 
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in wet ingredients. Mix just until combined. 
Roll cookie dough into balls, or like me, use a small ice cream scooper to make uniform sizes. 
Place cookie dough balls into prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten tops of the cookie. 

DSCF4487Flatten ‘em some more… Believe me, this ain’t enough. ;) 
Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack. 
Enjoy with a glass of milk!



Muffin Monday: Crusty Cheese and Onion Muffins

I’m finally back to baking muffins on Mondays! I’ve missed this. Like totally. ;)


I want to start the year right, and one of my “resolutions” is to blog more often and to expand my baking (and cooking) knowledge. There is no better way to do that by continuing with the “blog hops” that I have joined last year (it feels weird saying writing that).

I also resolved to not let work get in the way… so, in the past week, I have met up with friends and well, baked my heart out.

I have also tried acupunture and ventosa over the weekend. I will try to write a post about that.

It’s been one fun-filled week and I am so glad to have started the year just right. And I know it’ll keep getting better.

Anyway, let’s go back to the muffins, shall we? They’re not the usual muffins I like… they were savory, not sweet. But hey, I don’t mean to say that I didn’t like them. Truth is, I did! My friends loved them, too. :)

I hosted a mini dinner for my highschool friends last night and I served the muffins to go with the pasta I made, in lieu of the usual bread. I must say, they were a hit. And that means, I might just make them again. :)

They’re very easy to make, except that I had a problem with the crust, I must have done it wrong. But you can go check out the other Muffin Monday bakers, I bet they have done it better. Hee.



11 Random Things from 2011.

Happy New Year everyone!

Another year has passed and it’s time to look back and see where 2011 has brought me.

In 2011, I…
    1. Pursued my love for baking. My cousin remarked that I finally found my passion. I guess she’s right. Sometimes I go crazy just looking at baking blogs and websites. They’re such an inspiration. I love it so much that I even joined baking blog hops.

    2. Finally got my new passport. I lost my first passport in October 2009, just two months after I got it. I have passed up on a lot of trips for the past two years because I was so lazy to process my papers. So, cheers to 2012 – it’s going to be a year of travel!

    3. Settled the labor case with my previous employer. After a year of battle – yes, it was a battle, we had to go back and forth the National Labor Relations Commission to hear the case, we lost the case. The decision was in favor of the respondent (our previous employer), they had to reinstate us in 7 days (upon the receipt of the decision) or they have to pay our severance pay plus back wages. They did not reinstate us and chose to pay. So in essence, that made us the winners. :)

    4. Moved to a new apartment… and loving the neighborhood.

    5. Got promoted. I can’t say if I love it or loathe it, it’s somewhere in between. I still thank God for the blessing.

    6. Bought a domain for my blog… and I resolve to keep it.

    7. Got a new camera and learned (still learning) to take better photos.

    8. Started practicing yoga. It wasn’t an easy decision, I still get lazy at times, but I am really trying to discipline myself. Really.

    9. Stopped running halfway through the year… but I resolve to start running again. Today.

     10. My family transferred to our new house. My Mom’s newest project and her “dream house.”

     11. Our beloved city got flooded. While my family and our house was spared, it’s still devastating. We never experienced a typhoon or flood as strong before and Cagay-anons were left unprepared. It taught me to never be complacent and that it’s not the material things that matter – it’s family. Always.

I did a lot of growing up last year. Tough feat for me, really. But aside from that, 2011 gave me a chance to experience a lot of things. Some are random, which made the year even more amazing – sometimes, it’s the small, seemingly random things that matter.

Cheers to an awesome 2012, bring on the adventure! :)