Strawberry Jam Doughnut Bars


I am a breakfast person. So when I found Tonia George’s book about breakfasts while I was in my local used bookstore I without hesitation brought it the counter and paid for it. Here’s my version of her Sugary jam doughnut muffins found in page 73.

Sugary Jam Doughnut Bars

75 ml canola oil
150 g buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
100 g caster sugar
75 g strawberry jam

topping (not pictured)

25 g unsalted butter, melted
50 g powdered sugar
a square pan, 8X7X2 lined with parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 190 °C. Start with the wet ingredients, in a bowl, put the oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract and eggs and beat together. In another large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together until free of lumps. Pour about 2/3 of the batter into the pan, spoon the strawberry jam on top of the batter as evenly as you can. Then pour in the remaining batter to cover the jam. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, until well risen. Remove from oven and, let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting into a plate, peel off parchment paper then reinvent immediately.

While still warm, brush the top with the melted butter then dust with powdered sugar.


*This doughnut is cake like than bready and is best for those who does not like the fried doughnut versions.

Shrimp and Spinach Pasta


I was asked to cook a sweet pasta, you know the usual pasta that Pinoys love. I don’t feel like having a sweet pasta that day so I set aside a handful of noodles for this.

Shrimp and Spinach Pasta

prepare the shrimp: remove heads and peel off shells, carefully make an incision to remove the black thread like spine. set aside.

prepare pasta: cook pasta as directed in the package but make the water as salty as seawater.

you will need:

olive oil
pepper or chili flakes
spinach (1 cup per person, approx.)
butterflied shrimp
minced garlic

Heat olive oil in a shallow saucepan. Saute garlic until aromatic but not burnt. Toss the shrimp and spinach together until cooked. Add in the pasta and season with pepper or chili flakes as desired. In case you forget, do not add salt as the pasta is already salty.

Serve and eat immediately.

Banana-Pineapple Cake

I’ve been baking cakes weekly non stop since mid January. I took a break after holy week to concentrate on breads. I however got irritated at how the lakatan bananas ripen really fast. I also bought a few kilos of avocados and pineapples waiting to be eaten. So, I excused myself for a while and mashed ’em bananas so i could make room for a banana cake. Oh and I bought a loaf pan and blue silicon spatula so you know I have to bake a cake.

Banana- Pineapple Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed lakatan or cavendish bananas, ripe (about 6 pcs)
1 cup crushed overripe pineapple
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar, packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, large


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line 2 loaf pans 9 X 4 (3″ height) with baking paper. Prepare 3 mixing bowls.

In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Combine the mashed bananas, crushed pineapple and sour cream in a separate bowl.

In another bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light in color and well incorporated. You may use a wooden spoon to do this if you don’t have an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Okay, this step isn’t that tricky just important. Mentally divide flour mixture into three parts and the banana mixture in two parts.
At low speed (if using an electric mixer), alternately add sifted dry ingredients and banana mixture to the creamed butter.

Pour the batter into 2 loaf pans equally, it would be about three fourths full. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.

Allow to cool before inverting into serving plates. To keep the banana-pineapple cake in the fridge, wrap the loaves snug and fit in cling wrap.



When I was away

Well, there’s really no reason or point in explaining why I haven’t posted a single thing since months ago. NO matter how swamped I was I could’ve always made time to post, yes? I didn’t and that’s it. Meanwhile, I can tell you what I’ve done so far. I got a job that I knew I wouldn’t like and kept at it for 10 months. I made new friends. I went to the gym, lost the weight I thought I never had. I’ve genuinely embraced a healthier lifestyle.



I do love the feel of the cool breeze in morning when I take my bike for a ride.

Oh and I took a Competency Certification for Cake Making and Petit Fours in TESDA. I learned a lot! Lots and lots! I baked weekly for like 3 months! I’m sorry I haven’t posted any of them, I didn’t take as much photos as I normally would have.

Here’s some photos (some with recipes) I did while I was away.


A cookie sandwich made of nutty meringue and covered with rich buttercream that originated in the Philippines. It is the cookie version of San Rival. Best served with coffee or bitter tea.

(recipe slightly adapted from


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted cashews (reserve half to coat cookies, see step 6)
egg whites from 4 larges eggs
3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup super fine sugar dissolved in 3/4 cup milk (chill for at least 1 hour)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened

Procedure for the buttercream: Whip butter until fluffy, Gradually add in the milk until well incorporated. Chill.
Procedure for the meringue:

1 Pre heat oven to 300F. Grease and flour cookies sheets, set aside. Grease and flour 3-inch round molds.

2 Make the meringue: Compbine flour and cashew in a food process fitted with the blade attachment. Process until nuts are finely chopped,but not powdery. Divide into half.

3 Pan roast the half of the flour-nut mixture in a non stick pan until slightly brown.Set aside.

4 Using a handheld mixer, whip eggwhites on high speed until stiff but not dry. Add sugar a tablespoon at a time. Fold in the flour-nut mixtre in 3-4 additions.

5 Arrange the round molds on the prepared cookie sheets. Evenly fill each mold using an offset spatula.

6 Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly golden brown. remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from molds. You will make a total of about 40 meringue discs.
7 Assemble, spread buttercream into one side of the meringue disc then cover with another meringue to make a sandwich. Cover the sandwich with the buttercream completely then roll into the pan roasted flour-nut mixture.

Serve chilled.


My bento love story

In the Philippines lunchboxes mostly contained only protein and carbohydrates. A high number of those lunchboxes are under this “baon” group: hotdog+rice, tapa (cured meat)+rice, eggs+rice, adobo+rice. Back when my brother was still in high school we always expect at least a 3 day tapa (cured meat) breakfast as it is also his “baon”. It’s not a complaint just an observation. So, imagine my delight when I discovered Japanese lunchboxes widely known as bento. It was love at first sight.

I have here a few of my bento creations over the past couple of months. Some I love some I’m disappointed with. I’ll get better though. I promise you that.

chick ben

The chicks were made with boiled quail eggs soaked in egg yellow soup base. The faces were made with teeny tiny nori sheet cut outs.

pen ben

The chicken is deep fried and coated with sesame seeds! They smell divine. The penguins were shaped then covered with cut nori sheets and cut carrots for the mouth.


squas ben

The squash were made using boiled quail eggs, shaped using plastic wrap and loom bands then soaked in “curry soup”.

yoojin ben

Yoo Jin is the name of my favorite alarm clock. She fell once and she’s not working anymore bu she this pretty face so I made her a bento equivalent. There’s cured pork underneath, hence the “surprise”.

twin kitty ben

Oh this. Hmmm, I don’t know. I wasn’t really pleased with the end result. That by the way is fried rice, and some purple sweet potato and carrots cut out.

Deep Fried Tofu

deep fried tofu soaked in stock

Deep Fried Tofu (soaked in stock)

2 blocks soft tofu 30 grams each
Oil for deep frying

For the stock:
1 ½ cups chicken stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin

Toasted black seeds
Chopped scallion

1. Drain the tofu by wrapping it in kitchen paper towels. Next, set it on a cookie/cake cooling rack with a plate underneath to catch drippings. Finally, set a plate on top of the wrapped tofu. The weight will help drain the tofu without squishing it. Unwrap and cut into cubes (1”x1” inch) after about 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a frying, deep fry the tofu in batches. Set aside.
3. In a sauce pan, bring the mirin to a boil. Add the soy sauce and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then set heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Assemble. In a bowl, place deep fried tofu. Pour sauce, then sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and chopped scallion. Serve warm.
*In addition, you may continue to simmer the stock until thick and add in the deep fried tofu. It’s a variation similar to how I’d make adobo. That manner of cooking is more familiar with the people I share the dish with.
**This dish was inspired by a Japanese dish called Agedashi Tofu.

deep fried tofu close

To the good days ahead.

Ceramics and Oyakodon

According to all of the Japanese food blogs (the ones written in English) Oyakdon literally means “parent-child bowl”. My first thought was that it referred to a mother’s dish shared with her child. Really, that’s what I thought, it made sense. According to Nami-san of Just One Cookbook however, it referred to parent=chicken and child=egg. That made more sense. I’m not much into donburi or rice bowl dishes but I sometimes crave it for reasons I still do not know. I get over this unexplained desire and uncertainty by making myself a donburi.

Oyakodon (Chicken and Egg Rice Bowl)
2 boneless chicken breast
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1 cup chicken stock (or preferably dashi)
1 large onion
2 eggs slightly beaten
Scallions for garnish, chopped

1. Wash and pat dry the boneless chicken breast. Cut into chunks. Peel and slice the onion thinly. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan, bring mirin to a boil (the recipes where I based this listed an addition of 2 tbsp sake, I skipped it since I don’t have sake).
3. Add chicken stock (or dashi if you have it), soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil again.
4. Once boiling, add the thinly sliced onion and chicken chunks then cook covered over medium heat. I used free range chicken that we raise in our farm. This type of chicken is best for stews or soups since it’s a bit tough, so for this recipe I cooked it a little longer than the original recipe required. By the way, as the chicken, the broth smelled so good I had to stop and sit for a while, immersing myself in the aroma.
5. Once the chicken is tender enough, I drizzled the eggs over the chicken, cook until set covered. I must admit I overcooked some of the eggs, it turned brown, so I drizzled another egg and carefully made sure I don’t overcook it this time. Add the chopped scallions then turn the heat down.
6. Pour the chicken and eggs over freshly steamed rice and drizzle as much sauce as desired. Serve immediately.


Oh, it just came to me. The reason I wanted to make a donburi was because of this new ceramic bowl. I found a glass wares store that sells Japanese (and some that are noticeably Chinese) ceramic plates, bowls and tea cups. I was ecstatic. I kept coming back, the owner insisted to take my phone number in case they have new items available. How sweet!