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Filipino casava cake recipe and welcoming Bennilyn to the USA

Sent Lynn and Jeffro back to Pensacola with leftovers! yummo!

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I’m dedicating this post to Bennilyn and Jeffro! (Uncle Jeff and Auntie Lynn to be exact) That’s their household names around the P-fam funk. My kids anticipated her arrival just as much as we did and they gobbled her right up. Anyhoot, it was a bittersweet weekend for Jeff. Thank God for divine order and the powers that be. After a long wait, a plethora of paperwork, headaches, interviews, visits to the U.S. embassy in Manila, daily calls from Jeffro biyatching about the next dilemma customs and immigrations has thrown his way, which,…. might I add, he did a wonderful job with considering he didn’t hire an immigrations lawyer (damn Taurus) and plenty of Skyping in between, she came from the P.I. after being granted her paperwork! Of course, Jeff wanted her on the plane like, yesterday when he found out. And since he has airline friends, yours truly, that could hook him up with a good quality Expedia search and the universe working itself out, she finally made it here safe and sound.

Took her to Comerica Park for the nose bleed experience. Not a bad view at all for nosebleeds

She had plenty of firsts that weekend. Chips and salsa, good ole’ American baseball, first time bonfire with Auntie Jo-day and Uncle Josh, American Karaoke, hamburgers and Greek town. After hopping a plane in less than 12 hours of being granted her paperwork, jet lag, and traveling all over Gods green acre, she was wore out. But a trooper to say the least. With the new found culture and food, we came home the night before she and Jeffro had to make their journey back to Pensacola, FL Air force base and made Filipino cassava cake for comfort. A very popular dessert in the Philippines. Lucky for her first American tweaked Fil-Am recipe, I’ve got some bragging rights. My version has vanilla and cinnamon added that gives it a distinct Fil-Am flavor. And everyone LOVES it. Bennilyn gave her authentic stamp of approval and that’s all this Fil-Am girl from the dirty needed to hear! Hope you all like it! But first, here is a clip. So, to ride Bennilyns jock real quick, did I mention she is a well traveled singer in Asia? Including Burmai, Korea, and Malaysia? Here ya are! Enjoy!


1 package of frozen grated cassava (thawed)

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 stick melted butter

1 bottle macapuno coconut strings

1 can coconut milk

1 can evaporated milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

The star Ingredient
Home to the ingredients


Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 by 9 pan. Pour mixture in pan. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hrs or until top of cake takes on a golden color. Cake will be gooey so knife trick will not work on this dessert. Let cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

As always thank you for visiting. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, vote 5 stars ;) or even follow me. I have a ton of recipes on this site you maybe interested in. I would love that! I’ll get back with you as soon as I can with your questions and comments. Promise. Happy eating and have a beautiful day!


Filipino Bbq, Island style

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So check it.  Memorial day is creepin. Which means that Bbq season is here.  My husband gets all wiggedy wack on me and his addiction to Filipino banana ketchup comes full throttle. Yes, I said banana ketchup.  Made from bananas, sugar, vinegar and spices.  It has a thai sweet chili flavor to it.  With tangy notes you can detect from the tongue to the palatte.  It gives off a totally different flavor when you bbq meat with it (pork and chicken).  My husband has mastered the art of basting and caramelizing his BBQ with this stuff. I usually pull it out of the cupboards and christen the summer off with with a memorial weekend  BBQ with it and he takes it from the there the rest of the summer.  I find it quite comical when I am away from home and he bbq’s with banana ketchup!  That’s my boo!  Bat shit crazy when it comes to cooking with Jufran in the summer!  Pinoy through and through!  Represent!  I have the best memories of Filipino gatherings with this dish! Pool parties, boating, bonfires and pork shish kabobs! Brings back nostalgic tears of joy.  Sniff!    P.S.  This is one of those dishes where you have to fend off your husband and kids.  It’s like they become blood sucking vampires when they smell it on the grill and you have to ward them off!  Trust.  They ate 6 skewers before I was finished bbq’ing it this week. Sheesh..Where is the garlic necklace when you need it ?! 😉 If you can’t find this stuff, no worries.  Use regular bbq sauce.  Or nothing at all.  Your meat should be plenty flavored after marinating it!  For those of you who are local to the Wayne county area here in MI , I get mine at the Jeramm west side oriental store in Garden city.  There are two kinds.  Hot and regular and the hot is really hot!  I hope you all like it!

Ancient Filipino secret. That or use regular BBQ sauce or even nothing at all because the marinade has great flavor anyways


3 pound pork butt or country style pork ribs

1 cup soy sauce

1 cup vinegar

1 cup sugar

4 cloves minced garlic

1/2 tsp black pepper

bamboo skewers

1 bottle Filipino style banana ketchup (Jufran) optional

or you can use regular bbq sauce if you can’t find it at your nearest Filipino/asian store

As always thank you for visiting.  If you have any questions, pleasefeel free to ask, vote 5 stars ;) or even follow me. I have a ton of recipes  on this site you maybe interested in.  I would love that!  I’ll get back with you as soon as I can with your questions and comments. Promise.  Happy eating and have a beautiful day!

Filipino Mocha Cake Recipe, Goldilocks style!

This is it everyone.  I am super stoked about this weeks post because A.)  blogeina is giving me mad props on blogging and has given me the hook up on the hook up. and B.) This cake is an insanely good, slap yo mama worthy recipe!

Anyhoot, I just got into my hotel room here in San Franciso working a flight in from Honolulu! The passengers are always so nice coming from Hawaii.  It’s that vacation spirit they got going on.  What a nice change of pace serving Hawaiian vacationers versus businessmen. The airlines has us staying in the financial district here in Chinatown and I love getting lost shopping at the tea bars and going to the bakeries.  The Chinese have a similar version of a mocha frosting in some of their pastries that resemble that of the Filipino mocha cake, which is the recipe I am sharing on this weeks post for the  end all and be all cake of the Philippines.

I’ve searched far and wide for the infamous mocha sponge cake recipe just like how the famous Filipino Goldilocks bakery does it and after several attempts and failures, I’ve finally come up with a winner.  I was driven to make this cake, mainly because of my love for it as a child.  And my shear determination of finding the “secret” recipe no Filipina would ever share with me.  That and I recently purchased a half sheet mocha cake from a lady that sold it out of her house and the price was dang near 75 dollars.  What?!  I couldn’t figure out why it was so expensive.  Then when I made it for the first time, I realized how labor intensive this cake was to make.  Now I understand why she charged me like she was about to take my house.   I recently made this cake for my brothers birthday and I give myself mad props for my baking skills!  It was a hit.   There were no leftovers.  To best describe Filipino mocha cake, it is light, fluffy and not too sweet!  The frosting is light, sweet and buttery, enhanced with a yummy chocolatey-coffee  flavor.  It is one of the best, if not, most popular cakes in the Philippines and I am in love with it.  Before I get started, this recipe has more pictures than I usually put up  on my food posts because it is so labor intensive.  Sorry about that!  Hope you all enjoy it.

As always thank you for visiting.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, vote 5 stars 😉 or even follow me. I have a ton of recipes  on this site you maybe interested in.  I would love that!  I’ll get back with you as soon as I can with your questions and comments. Promise.  Happy eating and have a beautiful day!

This recipe is made in a 12 by 18 inch cake pan which serves 54 people when cut in 2 by 2 inch pieces.

What you will need:

cooking spray

parchment paper

12 large eggs yolks

1 and 3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp instant coffee granules

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cocoa powder

2 tsp water

1 cup oil

2 cups cake flour

2 and a 1/2 tsp baking powder

12 egg whites

2 tsp cream of tarter

For the butter-cream mocha frosting:

1 1/3 cup sugar

6 large egg whites

4 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/2 tsp instant coffee granules

1 1/2 tsp cocoa powder

 1 Tablespoon water

1 1/2 tsp vanilla  extract


1.) Spray the bottom of cake pan with cooking spray.  I am using a 12 by 18 by 2 inch Wilton cake pan.

2.) Cut a piece of  Parchment paper to size of the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

3.)  Starting with the cake batter, separate egg yolks and eggs whites.   Set aside egg whites for later use.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl or standing mixer, mix egg yolks and sugar  until you reach a fluffy pale yellow consistency.  About 3 minutes.

4. ) Mix Vanilla, cocoa powder, instant coffee, oil in small separate bowl.   Then pour to mixture and mix well.

5.) Sift cake flour and baking powder and add to wet ingredients.  Mix well!

6.) In a separate bowl, fluff egg whites.  Add cream of tarter and mix  until white peaks form.

7.)  Take your fluffed egg whites and gently fold with a large spatula into cake batter a third at a time being very carefully as not to deflate the mixture.

Your batter will go from a dark brown dense consistency to a light fluffy, airy batter like so………..

8.) Pour on parchment lined baking sheet.

9.) Place in a preheated 375 degree oven.  This cake cooks very fast.   Bake on the bottom rack for 8 minutes and then the top rack for another 8 minutes.

Here it goes on the bottom rack…

And then the top rack half way through baking…..

Cake is done when you insert a knife or toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean.   Cool completely.

For the frosting,

10. ) make a double boiler by putting a large  glass  heat proof bowl over a sauce pan halfway filled with water..

11.)  Place sugar and egg whites in bowl  and set on a stove in your double boiler with water already boiling in the bottom of double boiler…

12.)  Immediately start blending with a hand held electric mixer blending so the eggs do not cook. mix  until you reach a marshmallow like consistency.  About 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan being careful as the bowl will be very hot.

13.) Place in a standing mixer and beat on medium for 5  minutes

14.)  Add half of room temperature butter and beat until well incorporated and then add the second half of the butter.  Beat for another 10 minutes on medium speed.

15.)  Mix water, instant coffee, vanilla, cocoa powder in a separate bowl.  Then pour into frosting and mix well.

Now you are ready to frost

16.) Invert cooled cake onto a cake board, then carefully peel back parchment paper.

17.) Begin frosting cake with a cake spatula.  A butter knife will do if you don’t have one.  Since it was my brothers birthday, I decided to get out my fancy piping bags…..

18. ) and make a shell border…..

19. ) Then I took about a quarter cup of the frosting and a few drops of green food coloring in a bowl mixed and put in a sand which bag.  Snipped the end for piping the lettering for  “happy birthday” .

20.) And I usually sprinkle dark chocolate shavings on top but my son trumped me with the sprinkles so hey, why not!

And voila!  The infamous Filipino mocha cake in all its glory.  Packed and ready to go!  Fil-Am cook here….Represent!!!!

Filipino Beef steak Recipe aka Bistek

Nothing chaps my ass more than when I go into an establishment that serves me questionable food.   I just so happened to go to a  Chinese restaurant the other day that half asses their cooking.   The stir fry tasted like  barely cooked meat drenched in either oyster or hoisen sauce. And the wonton soup tasted like dirty socks.  Can food taste lazy?  Because it all tasted lazy to me.

So today, I am making a stir fry recipe we Filipinos call “Beef Steak or “Bistek”.   It’s kind of like a lemon pepper stir fry.  It’s by far one of the most delicious stir frys ever.  It has this tangy, yummy, appeal from the lemon  or kalamansi juice that is so addicting.  Kalamansi  is a fruit that is a cross between a lemon and a lime  and way popular in Filipino cooking.  Since they’re hard to come  by in the U.S., we use lemon.  This dish has become a staple in our Fil-Am household. I often have to fend off my husband and children.  They turn into salivating hyenas over the stove when they smell me cooking it.  Although I’ve made this recipe many times the traditional way by quickly stir frying it after a long marinating process,  I’ve been cooking it differently.  Let me explain.

I have come to love my stepmothers version.  She,along with my father and little brother lived with my husband and I for a month in Houston back in 05′ when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.   They became refugees when their first floor apartment flooded.  In that month my step mother and I bonded as she taught me some great Filipino recipes that she added her own twists to.  She doesn’t cook Filipino beef steak aka bistek the traditional way by marinating an expensive cut of meat then quickly stir frying it, but rather she boils a cheaper cut of meat in the marinade with water.  She lets it get tender letting the juices evaporate all the way down until the meat caramelizes.  Pretty great idea for tenderizing a tough cut of meat!   Cheaper too, and cheap is good with me!  Here’s her secret method for a great NON-LAZY beef steak stir fry!


1 tbs canola oil

2 to 3 pound chuck roast cut into thin slices

1 large onion sliced into rings

1/2 pound of green beans cut in halves

juice of 1 large lemon or juice of 2 Kalamansi fruit

zest of 1 lemon (optional)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 T. vinegar

5 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon vinegar

salt and pepper to taste


1. ) I first start off by cutting my vegetables.  So cut the green beans in halves and snip the ends.  Cut a lemon wedge in half, mince garlic and cut onion into rings.  Set aside.

2.)  Cut meat into thin slices.

3. ) Add  meat to a large saute pan and pour water into pan until it covers about  1/2 an inch above the meat.   Add garlic, vinegar,  soy sauce, lemon juice to pan and sprinkle pepper to season.  You can also add the zest of the lemon at this point if you have a zester on hand.  It makes the dish taste so much better in my opinion.  Turn the heat on high and bring the whole pan to a boil!

4. )  The trick to this dish is to keep boiling on HIGH heat, UNCOVERED, until the water starts to evaporate.  This will take about a good hour or so.  Keep the heat on high stirring once in a while until all the water evaporates.  Here it is roughly 45 minutes later with the liquid evaporating.

5.  )  Once the liquid is almost all evaporated,  you will want to watch it carefully.  At this point you can adjust the soy sauce and add a little more.  Add salt and pepper to taste if it needs it.  You can keep a little liquid in with your meat as this is good to serve over your rice once it is finished or let the meat caramelize and let all the juices  cook out of the pan completely.  It’s your preference.  Either way, your meat should be nice and tender.  Take the meat out and place on a serving platter.

6.) Return pan back to stove top.  To the pan drippings, add oil and saute onions and green beans. the traditional way to make bistek is to saute only onion rings, but I always add green beans or sometimes broccoli.  Saute until veggies are al dente’.  Excuse the blurry picture….

7.)  Place your sautéed veggies over your beef and there you have it.

A family style Filipino dish that is so mouth-watering.  The beef is tangy and so good!  My husband and children love this!  It is one that they get so excited for!

Since I’ve been on a health kick lately, I serve mine over a brown rice, millet and quinoa concoction just like this!

If you have any questions feel free to ask,  follow me or leave a comment.  I would love it! I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.  Promise.  Thank you for visiting my blog! Happy eating everyone and have a beautiful day!

Filipino Pinakbet Recipe (Auntie Nenengs and Uncle Arts version)

Today, I’m making Pinakbet.  A popular Ilocano vegetable dish from my Province back home.  For all you non-Filipinos reading this, get ready because it’s made with fermented fish sauce  or fermented shrimp paste aka bagoong.  Sounds tasty, yes I know.  It’s not for the faint hearted that’s for sure.  But Filipinos all over the world are addicted to this.  Like there is something in the fermented fish sauce equivalent to crack on the tongue. Anyhoot, Filipinos love it and so do my kids!  Makes this mommy proud!  This year, Auntie Neneng taught me her and my Uncle Art’s version!  YES!!!  I heart their version!

First things first!  Let’s talk about one of the most influential persons to have ever touched my life, my Auntie Neneng!  Growing up with her had its perks.  Weekend shopping sprees,  one on one dinner dates, and sunset power walks on the lake brings back nostalgic tears to my eyes! She has this zest for life that is utterly palpable.   Thank goodness for divine order and the universe granting her as my Aunt.

She has that un-canny ability to send your heart into overload in seconds. Her one liners resonates with me for months.  One of those infamous resounding moments was not too long ago during one of our one on one cooking dates.     She told me,  “Sarah… above all else, forgiveness is the key to everything”!   And I was left standing there over chopped onions thinking, “Dang!  That’s like, whoa”!  Then she adds that one, two punch, “It sets your heart free”.   More whoa! She always knows what to say and when to say it.  She’s the bomb! So whenever I am really mad at someone or something.  Or at least I think I am,  I fall back to her positive Dali Llama-esk influence because her impact resonates within me. Truly!    I enjoy listening to her talk about life and  her energy is off the charts.  Hell, even a phone call from her makes my day!  She just makes you feel so revived afterwards!

My aunt is always talking up our heritage and how proud we should be to be Filipinos!  A few weeks ago we threw a surprise 70th birthday party for her.  Relatives from all over the country as well as Canada made the journey to surprise her.  Since it was her 70th, it was 70’s theme of course.   Here are some candids and videos of that day!

Uncle Art sportin the Fro and the dry roasted pig cameo!

Mama. Mary, me, Criz, Rey and Arnold!

Acosta’s and Rabina”s

Crizlyn and the roasted pig denial.

Filipinos doing what we do!


1/2 to 3/4 pound pork thinly sliced

3 T pink Bagoong

Fresh ground pepper to taste

3 cloves minced garlic

1 medium tomato chopped

1 diced onion

1 egggplant chopped or 1 pound baby eggplant chopped

1 pound whole okra (I use frozen for convenience)

1 pound green beans cut

Butternut squash cubed

1 bitter melon thinly cut

1 cup water (if necessary)


1. )  Saute garlic until slightly golden.  Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.  Then add tomatoes.

2. ) Afterwards add pork and saute on medium high heat!

3.) Then add your pink bagoong

4.) And pepper to taste.  Saute for a few more minutes.

5. )  Then take the pork mixture out of the pan and set aside

6. ) To the pan drippings,  add your vegetables.  As a general rule of thumb, add the hardest vegetables at the bottom.  The ones that need to cook the longest. I didn’t have butternut squash (which would have gone to the bottom of the pan) or bittermelon this day, so I started off with eggplant at the bottom of the pan

7. ) Then green beans

8. ) Then okra

9. ) Lastly, pour the pork mixture over top and do not disturb the layers!

10. ) My aunt always tells me that once this starts to cook, liquid will form so there is no need to add water, but I like my Pinakbet juicy so I always add a cup of water at this point anyways.

11. )  Cover and turn to low or medium low, cooking until the vegetables are done.

12. ) Give it a good stir at the end of cooking.  My aunt adds extra bagoong to taste if needed.

Serve over rice and enjoy!

As always, I hope you enjoyed this post.  Please leave any comments or questions.  I will get back with you as soon as possible. Promise.  Feel free to follow me and subscribe.  Have a beautiful day everyone.  Thanks for stopping by!

Filipino Beef Sinigang Crockpot Recipe

The Holidays have come and gone.  And as always, they go by in a blink!  I’m not one that loves to receive gifts.  Just more to dust.  That or it all goes to the salvation army sooner usually than later in our household.  But the one true thing I love about the holidays is basking in the quality time spent with loved ones.  After spending time with my mom on Christmas Eve, I felt so lucky I still have her around!  Here is my excerpt on that fantastic evening!

True gifts can never be bought…… We were gathered around the Christmas table talking and laughing over full bellies. As I looked back over my shoulder, I saw my mother quietly sitting on the couch and observing us with a sheer smile over her face. Her transparencies showed loud and clear. And she was literally glowing from within. As I watched her basking in the beauty of watching her grown children and grandchildren, I felt her energy radiating with love. My heart became so full as I watched her beam this unconditional love for us and my heart overflowed with love back towards her. I felt such mixed emotions. Especially since I know her health hasn’t been the greatest this year. I am grateful I still have the gift of her presence. It’s one of the many gifts I have received this year that can never be bought! Thank you God for the company of my mother and the many priceless blessings you have given me this Christmas season!

So anyways, me and my mom have been enjoying our quality time together ringing in  more parties for the New Year!  We went to my aunts surprise 70th birthday the first Saturday in January and the theme was 70’s!  How cliche is that?!  But I had nothing 70’s in my closet to wear.  I woke up that morning and low and behold, my momz dress she wore in 1975 was peeking down at me from the top of the closet!  Funny how things work itself out sometimes!  She was a little thing too at 9 months preggers with me, sporting that small dress!  Here she is with the Windy city, Chi-town, at her back, ready to pop…

Fast fwd to present.  This is my cameo in the same dress.  I think this was a 70’s moo moo style island dress!    And let me tell you,  it hurt to squeeze into this thing.    I’d like to think my biceps were bulging out of the sleeves because I’m buff like Angelina Jolie.  Not so much!

My daughter walked past us as my husband was having a bit of trouble zipping the back and said, “Wow mom, you’re really fat in that”!  And sped off as quickly as she said it.  Seriously?!  We just about died laughing.  Kids and their “I don’t know any better,  so sometimes  I have diarrhea of the mouth” one liners!  Oh boy! I let that one slide.

Anyways, After that 70’s party, I had my mom spend the night for a slumber party with the kids! We made Sinigang!  One of her favorite soups!  This is a traditional Filipino tamarind based soup that I discovered works out really well in the crock pot!!  Very popular, very easy and very sour!  Which is why so many of us love it!  Including my kids!  Ah, they are so Filipino. Makes this mama proud!   I used what I had on hand.

Slumber party part 1 (Siningang)


3 to 4 pound beef chuck .roast

1 Knorr tamarind based  Sinigang packet

(Note: Do not get mixed up with the guava based sinigang as this is not sour)  One way I remember is to always buy the packet that has the shrimp on it. (Jeffro tip)

1 diced tomato

1/2 pound green beans  cut in half

1/2 pound baby eggplant cut in quarters

3/4 pound greens such as spinach or turnip greens

Patis to taste aka fish sauce – optional

First I turned my crock pot on and placed my roast in it.  I mixed 6  cups water to one knorr tamarind sinigang packet.  I use two cups less water than what the package instructions call for in order to make it extra sour.  This was actually a great suggestion from my friend Jeff.  Who would’ve thought?  A white boy schooling a Filipino how to make sinigang even better.  He surprised me with such teachings after having been based in Guam and Japan for 5 years in the Navy.  He came back dang near Filipino eating like a true local.  Spam and all!  lol Anyways, pour the mixture over the roast.  And set on high for roughly4 to 5 hrs.  Or low for 8 to 10 depending on how much time you have.  Easy right?!

During the last hour of cooking add your green beans and sliced eggplant

And at the last half hr of cooking I take the meat out of the crock pot and cut into chunks and add it back to the crock pot.  Then add tomatoes and leafy greens!

Here it is simmering away about ready to be devoured!!  Sorry about the blurriness.  Not so quality but that doesn’t matter cause it is oh sooo good!

At this point you can add a few dashes of patis if you want it extra authentic or you can even add a dash of patis to the serving bowls as you wish.

And here is the momz enjoying it during our sleep over!

Filipino Leche Flan Recipe

Cooking is my zen!  I get a little overzealous when it comes to event cooking.  I made 3 desserts for our cousin Christmas party. Wow!  But I love it! Leche Flan was one of them and it always goes over well.  This is somewhat like the Mexican version of Flan, but not as fluffy.  The Filipino version emits the egg whites so you end up with a more dense and creamier flavor.  It’s one of the more popular staple desserts in Philippine feasts.  And no wonder.  It’s always the first to go!

The cousin Christmas is a very special event and to be invited to it is like scoring front row seats to the circus! No pun intended. Okay so maybe we are a little bit of a circus act.  At least my side of the fam.  But that’s what I love.  Never a dull moment.  We usually invite one or two non related cousins to the cousin Christmas and the winner this year is, drum roll…  Dot! Dot! Dot! Mary’s friends, Meenah and her husband. Ding! Ding! Ding! They made the final cut! Like their power ball winners or something! Um…kidding! They’re a really nice couple too.  Anyhow, they’re married with one kid.  The wifes name is Meenah and she’s Indian. Which is one of my fave ethnic foods so I should have hit her up for a good recipe when she asked me how to make Leche Flan.  I am such a recipe stalker! But I forgot the husbands name.  Whoops! Not really good with names, but I managed to take a great snapshot of him and the Leche Flan!


We struck up a convo with each other about how he makes fine artisan breads, which made me wanna go home and start baking bread right then and there.  I can never contain myself when I talk about the food bizz with somebody.  Come to find out he gardens too.  Which led to talking about planting garlic, which I love.  Anyways, anyone who bakes fresh bread and gardens is a cool cat in my book.  That and their son absolutely loved the  Leche flan. And kept on coming back for more! Hell yeah! I just wish I could remember his name darn it! Oh well.  I’m sure they’ll be back for future parties.  Here is the Recipe…..


3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

12 egg yolks

2 can evaporated milk

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1tsp vanilla

First add sugar and water to a small sauce pan and turn heat to high and let boil until it starts to thicken and turns into a caramel consistency.  When it turns golden brown VERY QUICKLY pour sugar into an 8 by 8 pan or a Loaf pan.

Tilting the pan in all directions until the bottom is coated. This mixture is very hot and solidifies in seconds so be careful.  Set aside.

Then take 12 egg yolks place into a large mixing bowl.  Add both cans of evaporated milk to eggs.

Then add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.

Mix with a wire whisk throughly..

Hold a strainer over your pre-made sugar pan and pour liquid into strainer to catch any excess goo from eggs.  The mixture will go into strainer and then directly into the pan like pictured below. This make the custard much smoother.

Cover your pan with aluminum foil tightly.  Then place into a larger pan.  Note: (I usually will use a 9 by 13 pan if I am putting the mixture in a smaller loaf pan.)  But since I made it in an 8 by 8 pan, I just used a larger roasting pan. I make a steam bath environment in the oven by pouring  about 2 inches of water in the larger pan like so…

Bake for an 1 hr twenty minutes  to 1 1/2 hours at 350 degrees.  Take out of water bath and let cool on top of the stove for twenty minutes and then place in the refrigerator overnight.  Or at least 4 to six hours if you don’t have that much time.

Then invert onto a platter and it should come out very easily.  You can play around with different molds too.  I like bundt shaped Leche flan.  It’s fun!

This dessert is money!! On the realz!  If you like it, follow me, leave a comment, vote!  I’ll get back to you with any questions you may have! Thanks!

Filipino Ginataang Bilo Bilo with Ube Recipe

So the cousins Christmas was another success.  I decided to have coffee around 9 p.m. with the ladies of the family while I was there. Not optimal! Now fast forward to present time. It’s 3:30 a.m.  The party is way over and 4 a.m. is getting its creep on real fast. I’m hoping I’ll be able to fall asleep by tomorrow mid day!  But with my luck, I won’t be able to sleep til Monday night.  I knew I shouldn’t have drank that coke too.  Dang it! Why, Oh why do I let myself?  Oh well, since blogging is my new therapy, might as well blog it out!

Everyone got crunk til 1:30 in the morning.  We did the usual Wii dance and band games. The Lolo’s  played poker. The kids opened presents. We ate each others potluck dishes. Laughed and talked over coffee and played Christmas bingo for some  cash money!!!!!!!!!…………..

Then got a complimentary

crane technique action show


Followed by “the force”.

Don’t try this at home folks!

These are highly trained individuals!

And of course, dessert!   I made Ginitaang Bilo Bilo.  Ginitaang meaning  “made with coconut milk” and Bilo Bilo meaning “sticky rice balls!  Wouldn’t that be a nice nickname!?

My dad use to make this all the time when we were kids.  My aunts were super impressed that I made it and gave their stamp of approval.  My aunts know I stalk them for recipes and they embrace that about me.   I asked my Auntie Kristy how she makes hers and she said, “Well…you know….. you just put everything in it”  Lol’ing over here.  I absolutely love their answers to my cooking questions.  It just tickles me.  This is why I love you tube.  I told my Aunts that I you tubed how to make the recipe and they were equally impressed.  Come to find out Auntie Kristy is already hip to you tube and uses it all the time.  And then my Auntie Lucy  said she uses Face book too.  Whuh-what?! I couldn’t believe it.  That was a double “sign of the times” whammy for me!  I’m gonna have to tell my sister Crizlyn about this.  If, my aunts have FB and know how to use youtube, then its about time she got with the program.  My aunts rock!

Anyways, I’m glad everyone liked it.  Here’s proof!

 Ginataag Bilo Bilo with manang Crizlyn……

Ginataang Bilo Bilo with manong Rey…….

Ginitaang Bilo Bilo with my momz….

And Ginitaang Bilo Bilo with the Lolo’s and poker!!!!!

I added a few more ingredients to the mix since the owner of Pearl of the Orient told me how he makes his too.  So I combined both recipes and tweaked it more!


1 pack of frozen Purple Ube, setting aside 1/2 cup

1 can jack fruit, sliced (reserve juices)

3/4 cup sugar

2 cans coconut milk

1/2 can of water

6 pieces saba banana sliced

1 sweet potato peeled and diced

1 cup large or small tapioca pearls (sago)

roughly 12 bilo bilo balls

Bilo Bilo balls: recipe is 1 cup rice flour, 1/2 cup defrosted ube and 1/2 cup water.  Mix well, roll, and form into marble shaped balls, add more rice flour if mixture is too sticky. You can leave out the ube from these if you want!


First boil your tapioca pearls or sago.  I used large pearls, but I think next time, I will use small ones since it takes so long to boil these from the raw.  Well over an hour in a larger pot and you must constantly stir and add water so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.  I thought this was the most tedious part.   My auntie Lucy told me there was a 5 minute cooking sago available so I will for sure get that next time.

Meanwhile, Prepare your bilo bilo balls by mixing rice flour, water and 1/2 cup defrosted Ube.  Form into round marble sized balls and set aside..

Heat coconut milk, water, sugar, and juices from can of jack fruit in a soup pot to boiling.  Turn down heat to medium and add rest of the package of ube,

Then add sweet potatoes and cook until al dente about 5 minutes…..

Next, add sliced saba bananas.

And then the bilo bilo balls 1 ball at a time so they don’t stick to each other and boil for 3 to 5 minutes.

Then add sliced jack fruit at the end….

Heat for another minute or two  and serve hot!  It thickens the longer it sits so it is best served soon after cooking!  Here it is.  Easy peezy lemon squeezy!

Re-united and it feels so good!

Here we are.  The three musketeers kickin it old school.  Except with coffee and Lumpia instead of beer and Taco bell.  We had nothing on our agenda besides catching up and reminiscing about our hayday.

Jodie, Jeff and I were inseparable for a while. We pretty much still are.   Their coolness level is at a 10.

I’ll give you a quick briefing.  Most people agree for the sake of agreeing. …. Not us.  We’re the best of friends with a lot of trash talking involved. We challenge each others thoughts, keep each other grounded, fight like cats and dogs and it doesn’t really matter because in the end, we know we can count on each other.  Jodie and Jeff are like the stable brother and sister I never had.  Thank god for divine order.

I’ve known these two since childhood.  And Jodie has been in my life since Kindergarten.  Knowing her so long has it’s perks.  Like how I’ve come up with my own language she’s branded Jingenese.  And she’s the only one that can decipher it.  So if you can’t understand me, get with her.  She’ll translate.  Haha

Her family is like the surrogate American fam. I never had. I always looked forward to going to her house.  Her entire clan lived within 2 blocks of each other.  They hung out on the porch swing, played solitaire and talked from afternoon til night.  So simple and so meaningful.  Something I think our society has lost.  To engage with each other in simple conversation.  But instead, many of us engage in front of a flatscreen.   Lame!  The disintegration of relationships.  Err!  I’m going off on a tangent now.  Let’s focus.  Where were we? Oh yes, my best friends.

There is something to be said about these two. I always look forward to conversation with them.  Jeff calls on his way home from rush hour in San Diego talking trash in his usual manner about the 2 hour traffic jam and his command.  While Jodie calls me sipping on her morning cup of joe.  I always look forward to our morning convos’.  It always starts my day off right. Sometimes we even three way each other to catch up on our trash talk just for the sake of trash talking.   So simple. But yet there is such a special connection there. Corny yes I know.  But it’s what we do.  It’s what best friends do.  Talk, engage in each others lives, and genuinely care about one another.  I guess going off on my tangent a second ago had a connection after all.

I don’t how people do it without friends like these.  Matter of fact, I know these two are gonna read this blog and say, “yeah, she’s right. We are the shit” lol.  I remember Jodie’s momz take on friendships.  It went something like this,……. “Ya know, when you come into your thirties, you really get to know who your true friends are.  Just wait.  You’ll see.”  …..What a wise soul.  What she said has been hard wired into my system for a while now  and man she was right on point.

Thank you God for blessing me with lifelong friends like Jeff and Jodie.

Since Jeff only comes in town a few times a year.   Our gatherings are far and few between.  I decided to fry up some Lumpia for our special night.

Before I begin, Let me first start by saying that making Lumpia is like an art form. Once you have it mastered, you can bang’em out with a quickness.  Freeze them and when you have company, pull them out, fry them and you’re set with spring rolls that will have your company sprung.  If you ever had these before, you know these beat any restaurant quality spring roll.  So you’re welcome for the recipe!


1 pound ground beef

1 package of raw cole slaw mix or a pound of shredded carrots and cabbage.  Either / or

1 medium onion chopped fine

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 package spring roll wrapper or Lumpia wrapper from Asian store (thawed)

For the Sauce: ( vinegar dip aka suka)

1/4 cup vinegar

2 cloves garlic minced

salt and pepper to taste

I start off my chopping my onion and garlic.

Then I Julienne my cabbage and carrots or put them through the shredder on my cuisinart.  Most of the time, I buy a package of raw cole slaw mix and call it a day for this step.  It makes my life a whole hek of a lot easier.

I sautee the onion and garlic.  Then add the ground beef until brown.  Add salt and pepper.  At then end, I add the package of cole slaw mix or in this case I actually chopped cabbage and carrots.  But this is where I am usually lazy so I buy the cole slaw mix.  Cook for another 2 minutes until it slightly wilts.  Re-season with salt and pepper to my liking.

Set the mixture aside to cool for about 15 minutes

Beat an egg and have lumpia wrapper thawed at room temperature

I place a wrapper with the pointy side of the square facing towards me. Then take a spoonful of cooled mixture and place towards the bottom like pictured above.  Spread out the mixture slightly with your fingers.

Then begin by wrapping it like a burrito. First fold the bottom end up.

fold both sides over……

Roll it all the way up, tucking and tightening as you go. That is the key!  Leave the tip exposed like so.

Dab a little bit of beaten egg on the tip to seal.  You can also use plain water but I think the egg does a better job of sealing.

Here is how it looks like before frying them…..

It will take a few practice runs to get them lookin like your restaurant quality spring roll

After you are done rolling them, you can freeze them for later or fry them in 2 to 3 inches  of cooking oil until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  And serve with sweet and sour or you can serve them with suka, a traditional Filipino dipping sauce usually made with rice vinegar, garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  But you can use plain white vinegar  if you don’t have the rice vinegar.  Enjoy!

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