Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cake decorating tips and ideas

Everyone loves to eat cake, which is nicely and perfectly decorated. But due to lack of decorating skill ones wish is not fulfilled up to the maximum level. Check out for some cake decorating tips that can help to make your cake more delicious.

GumPaste Icing for the Flowers, purple thing is Fondant

Butter Frosted Muffins

Cake decorating tips and Ideas

Baking cakes can be difficult but decorating them can be more challenging. While decorating a cake one has to take into consideration number of factors like flavor, texture and design of the cake. Its very important that you know from where you have to start the cake decoration. This article can help you with some useful tips that can help you on your way to decorating sweet masterpieces.

It’s very important that you allow the cake to cool down after it is baked. Give yourself at least 30 minutes before starting to apply frosting on the cake. 
You can use a whipped cream frosting to smoothen the decorating process. 
It would be advisable to start from the corners of the cake - they are hardest to frost
Frost the sides of the cake with lots of icing and steady hands. Start icing with thin layers before moving to the thicker ones.
Apply dollops of icing in the corners and in the middle of the cake.
Make sure the knife only touches the frosting part and not the cake.
You can apply icing to the cake as necessary. Be careful not to smear the icing that you already applied.
Use strokes to spread the icing on the cake. If the icing is difficult to spread try dipping your knife in hot water, which makes the icing spread faster. 
Style the frosting once it is applied by using a fork across the top of the cake to create a lattice effect. You can also use a knife to create swirls along the top edges of the cake.

A Brief History of Chocolate

Chocolate has been a favorite of man for thousands of years. Ancient people brewing the seeds of the cacao tree into a yummy beverage was the beginning of the wide assortment of chocolates that we enjoy today.

Once chocolate was discovered by European conquests, it became a treat only the wealthiest could afford. Not only was chocolate expensive, but it was bitter. Sugar and spices used to sweeten it were expensive too and out of the common man's reach. It was in the 1800's that the industrial age and mass production made chocolate candy affordable for everyone.

Chocolate candy became a big hit in stores in the form of the candy bar. It took its place proudly on the general store shelf next to the gum drop, hard candy and candy cane bins of the day. From that meager beginning, the varieties available today are mind boggling. Chocolate candy is available in many different flavors, shapes and with limitless ingredients. Some ingredients such as nuts and fruits are complimentary to the flavor and texture of the chocolate and left whole or diced inside the candy bar. Spices and other flavorings are also added to enhance the chocolate or add interesting flavor notes. Some people can taste a story in their chocolate candy. The flavor medley tells them through their tongue what region of the world each ingredient came from. Travel by chocolate!

Stack of Chocolates from Wales

Chocolate can also be enjoyed either inside a candy coating or as a coating itself over other yummy treats such as ice cream.

Today many people buy candy online. With the invention of the World Wide Web, you can snack on exotic chocolate candy delicacies made anywhere in the world. Innovations in chocolate recipes and shipping ensure you receive your chocolate candy in perfect condition.

There is also a wide variety of chocolate molds and candy making accessories for you to try your hand at making your own chocolate candy. It's a fun way to get children involved in the kitchen and also a great way to make personalized gifts. The possibilities are endless in the flavors and ingredients to test. A lot of very successful candy companies started this way, as a hobby in a home kitchen.

Who knows, perhaps one day when that chocolate connoisseur boots up his pc and logs on to buy candy online, the website with the interesting flavors to sample that he chooses to order from may be your own!

Nothing Like A Vegetarian Diet

These days you will find many people looking for options for making their diet rich in nutrients. One of the important driving forces behind a completely healthy diet is the food pyramid. The food pyramid is like a tool that will ensure that you have a healthy diet. There are different ways of illustrating a healthy diet plan but the most accepted way is in the shape of the pyramid. Food pyramids have been used by dieticians and even doctors for outlining different food groups as well as food choices, which will lay the foundation for a healthy intake of food if taken in right proportion.

The food pyramid

The food pyramid is in a triangular shape that highlights what all you need to focus on when you are selecting your food. At the base of the pyramid is the food that you need to take in bigger amounts and the food at the top of the pyramid should be consumed in lesser quantities. Today there are several types of food pyramids available and this might confuse you as you might not know which ones to choose. But the good thing is that the basic principles of different food pyramids are same and focus on the following:

1. Eat as much fruits as possible with fresh vegetables and whole grains
2. Reduce the intake of trans fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol as much as possible
3. Limit the intake of salt and sweets
4. Avoid alcohol or drink in moderation
5. Control the total number of calories consumed by you on a daily basis
6. Physical activity is a must

Foods mentioned in a food pyramid are always defined under different categories like meat, poultry and dairy products. This is meant to help you in making the right food choice. You have to remember that there is no single food that can replace everything else but vegetable definitely provide the maximum nutrients that is required by the human body.

One of the best ways to take care of your nutritional needs is through a well-planned vegetarian diet. If you change to a vegetarian diet then it will consist of mostly fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts. Since meat is not a part of a vegetarian diet hence, they will contain less of cholesterol and fat and will be high on fibers.

There are four main categories of vegetarians and they are:

i.   Flexitarians: These people are also known as semi-vegetarians and they follow a plant-based diet normally and sometimes consume smaller quantities of poultry, meat, and fish.
ii.  Vegans: Vegans are pure vegetarian who will consume only plant-based foods. They will not consume any animal-derived food like eggs, cheese, meat, milk, and fish.
iii. Lacto-ovo vegetarians: This comprises of people who consume milk, eggs, and any milk products like yogurt and cheese apart from plant-based foods. Lacto-ovo vegetarians don’t consume fish and red meat.
iv.  Lacto-vegetarians: Lacto-vegetarians consume only milk and milk based products apart from plant-based foods. They don’t consume fish, eggs, meat, and other poultry products.

A healthy diet is generally restrictive in nature and most often than not it will require you to avoid meat, fish and poultry products, which are high in fat and low on nutrients. Hence, a healthy diet includes mostly fibrous food, which is in the form of fresh vegetables and fruits. Some of the important nutrients available through non-meat sources include:

i.   Protein: The human body requires a lot of protein for maintain healthy bones, skin, muscles and other organs. Some of the food products that are high in proteins include legumes, soy products, lentils, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
ii.  Vitamin B-12: The human body requires vitamin B-12 for producing red blood cells and to prevent anemia. Vitamin B-12 is found in some of the enriched cereals, or fortified soy products.
iii. Calcium: Calcium is required mostly for strengthening the bones and to make the teeth stronger. You can find calcium in most of the green vegetables like turnip, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, and kale.
iv.  Iron: Iron is a crucial nutrient that is required for red blood cells. You can consume iron by eating peas, dry beans, lentils, whole-grain products, fruits like bananas, dark leafy green vegetables, enriched cereals, and even dry fruit. You can also consume foods, which are rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli and cabbage.
v.   Zinc: This is an important nutrient that builds enzymes in the human body for enhancing the process of cell division and also helps in the formation of proteins. Some of the best food sources for zinc include soy products, whole grains, nuts and wheat germ.

If you consume these fibrous fruits then it will ensure a healthy life for you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Native and Exquisite Cuisines

ODOX or One-Day-Old Chick
One of the famous Filipino street food. These chicks are deep fried til crisp. Served with chilli and vinegar.

An Ilocano favorite. These fresh baby fish are drizzled with Calamansi (or Lime or Lemon) juice, minced onions and salt to taste. Served as an appetizer or beer food.

An Ilocano staple. An assortment of local veggies steamed with BAGOONG and grilled fish. Served with rice.

Bigoli's @ Trinoma

Tita Ji's choice, tender juicy steak and some buttered veggies.

Bigoli Breadsticks
Complimentary breadsticks for my Chin.

Pepperoni Classico and Spaghetti Bolognese
Big lunch for a 7 year old. 

Stromboli Beef
Loved it! Will try Stromboli Bacon next time I visit the place!

Broccoli and Mushroom Pasta

Broccoli and Mushroom Pasta
A quick fix for our vegetarian friends.

Corned Beef Spaghetti

Add caption
Hmmmm, this is one of our comfort food... great to eat anytime of the day! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


La Trinidad Strawberries

Dipping our strawberries in honey as if it's not yet that sweet. :)

Chicken and Corn Casserole

Chicken and corn Casserole

Tired making adobo or fried chicken, I checked what's available in our pantry and found a can of corn kernel. 
Ingredients: whole chicken cut into serving size, diced red bell peppers, corn kernels, minced garlic, sliced onions, diced tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, tomato sauce, oil for sauteing
Procedure:  Saute onions and garlic, add in the chicken and brown a bit, put in the tomatoes and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, pour in tomato sauce add in the corn, simmer for 15mins.
Serve with steamed rice.

Beef Tapa

Sun-drying Beef slices
Almost dried - Beef Tapa
Taking advantage of the hot and humid weather! Sun-dried beef slices marinated in soy sauce and crushed garlic. Could be served any time of the day be it breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.

Beef Tapa with Sliced Onions
Surprisingly tender and savory, best with caramelized onions and of course steamed rice!


This is an all time favorite. We never get tired having this almost every single day! I prepare a week's supply and and keep it frozen. And fry just what we need for breakfast or snack.
Ingredients: Saba bananas, brown sugar for rolling, lumpia wrapper, chunky/crunchy peanut butter (optional), oil for frying
Procedure: slice saba bananas lengthwise into four, roll each in sugar of peanut butter and wrap neatly with lumpia wrapper. Keep in plastic containers and freeze until needed. To cook, heat oil in a pan and fry, making sure to cook all sides. Enjoy while hot and crunchy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Patola and Squash

I'm not quite sure how patola is called in english. If we get tired of the daily chicken-pork-beef routine, we cook veggies like this.

Apple Crumble Tarts

One boat tart is definitely not enough! These little boats goes extinct after a few hours. I couldn't even keep them in a jar for later's consumption.

Kimono Ken

Some of our favorites from Kimono Ken.
I forgot the names but the third one on this pic is Tempura. :) Another favorite Japanese Resto is Nihonbashi Tei.

Other photo shows Kani Salad, Watermelon Shake and Chicken Teriyaki! Yummmmm!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Banana Truffle

Gyro STICKS N STEAKS Cafe's most popular dessert.

Caramelized banana wrapped in rice paper then deep fried served with Chocolate Truffle Ice cream.

Palitaw and Cuchinta

Very Filipino! I'm glad my girls would throw a fit for me to buy them tupig or watermelon instead of junk food and cotton candy. They prefer these goodies than the latter.

Healthy Options

Fried Sweet Potatoes and fresh orange-strawberry smoothie. :)

Barok's Pigar pigar

Deep fried beef tenders garnished with onion rings seasoned with salt. Manang padagdag ng sebo ha! :) Others prefer it served with cabbage and cauliflower.

Best pigar pigar @ Barok's somewhere in Dagupan City


Milky. Makapaaspal. :)

A typical breakfast

We usually eat leftovers for breakfast. Vegetarian spaghetti, chapati and baba ganoush, garlic toasts, white bread and peanut butter, Nescafe Instant Coffee and whatever fruit we have.

Pan De Sal

Ang pambansang tinapay ng Pilipinas! Also known as MULAWIN (because of the chain of bakeries that specializes in baking this sweet bread)

Truly a comfort food, breakfast champ - crispy outside, soft inside. We like it with coco jam, homemade peanut butter or milo.

Peking Duck

Our dad's duck recipe! Almost out-shined the "lechon" we had for New Year's Eve.

Almond Cookies

Cookies made by our friends from The Science of Identity Foundation. Definitely eggless and vegetarian-safe. I reserved 1 pack just for myself.

Cut-out cookies

My first attempt. It does look good but tasted bland. My girls enjoyed decorating it with sprinkles but I made a mess in the kitchen. Will try to another recipe similar to this one.

Carabao Mango

A bit milder than the green Indian mangoes. We love it served with vinegar. :)


A no-brainer. Chilled cucumber slices in vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. A refreshing snack and wonderful addition to any daily diet.

By the way, I just learned that cucumber is a fruit! :)

Hawaiian Spare Ribs

1 kg pork ribs (about 4-6 slices)
salt for seasoning
1 can pineapple tidbits, juice set aside
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey

Sprinkle ribs with salt, then pot roast until tender.
Combine next four ingredients together and simmer in a saucepan until thick.
Dip the ribs in the sauce then pan grill.
Serve immediately with mashed potatoes or steamed rice.

Serves 4-6

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sotanghon Guisado

Vermicelli noodles stir fried with veggies and chicken liver.

Green Mangoes

I am a woman! And yes I enjoy eating Green mangoes with sauteed shrimp paste. Add a little vinegar (sukang Iloko) and chilli (siling labuyo) for that extra kick!

Stir Fried Squid

1/2 kg squid
oil for frying
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onions
soy sauce and crushed black pepper to taste

Pan fry squid.
Slice into rings.
Toss in tomatoes, and the rest of the ingredients.

Serve as appetizer or with rice.
Serves 2-4

Red Swan Barbeque

Must try: Grilled Ensaymada... comes in a variety of flavors; savory and sweet. Cafe is located at #36 Scout Santiago Street Corner Scout De Guia Street, Quezon City, Philippines

Lengua de Gato

Crisp buttery-milky cookies that melts in your mouth.

One of the famous PASALUBONGs from the City of Pines, Baguio City.

Thanks Ms.Camille for sharing your recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe shared by a friend. :)

Betchin @ 7

Making my eldest's birthday cake for her 7th Birthday.

A labour of love. (:

Vday Dinner

The family enjoying a hot pot of Shabu-shabu @ Kawbin's Restaurant.

Baked Leche Flan

Yup! I baked them not steamed as done traditionally.

Baking it gives it a more velvety-melts-in-your-mouth feel in every every bite.

Best served chilled.

My Pizza Party

Today I just decided to start blogging about the food I prepare everyday for me and my girls.

The photos are from my birthday's pizza party. I had my girls, sisters and friends make their own mini pizzas, of course with homemade doughs too.

The Recipe:

The Dough: I didn't have time to rest it so I used Baking Powder instead of Yeast. We also opted for thin crust pizza.

4 cups flour and
2 teaspoons Baking powder sifted together
pinch of salt
1/4 cup oil

Mix all ingredients together to form a ball. Knead for a few minutes. Divide the dough into 4. Flatten each dough with a rolling pin as thin as you like. We used cookie cutters to cut it into desired shapes.
Place the dough on a plate and fill it up with your favorite topping. We baked ours in a turbo broiler for 15mins/batch at 200*C (392*F)

Toppings: I didn't have any particular pizza in mind so we just prepared whichever is available in our pantry.
> cream cheese, mozzarella cheese, processed cheese
> spam, vienna sausages
> tomato sauce sprinkled with Italian seasoning
> onion rings, sliced canned mushroom (best to use fresh mushrooms), canned pineapples, bell peppers, eggplant slices, etc