Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mocha Chip Cookies

Part of the new treasures my mom bought from Caro & Marie is a bag of mocha chips...and it has been dying to be taken out of the fridge[or was I the one who's doing to take it out? haha] Yesterday morning, I tried to search for a recipe to make good use of it and I found this one. I immediately went to the kitchen and did my thing. Instead of 5 tbsp. of coffee, I only used about 1. I don't want it too strong on my cookies. :)

Here's the recipe I used:

Mocha Chip Cookies [modified from the Nestle Toll House Recipe]
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 cup (6 oz.) mocha morsels
PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Lightly grease baking sheets. COMBINE flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.COMBINE Taster’s Choice and water in small bowl; stir until coffee is dissolved. Add to sugar mixture; mix well. Gradually mix in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto prepared baking sheets. BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are crisp. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

*I didn't use Toll house though, I didn't see those here.

see the molten chips in the cookie. :D

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Last Hurrah for March

Okay... so March is almost over but Summer fun has just begun.
Yesterday, we went to Cebu City for the main purpose of having my father checked up by a doctor there. And so we did, so early in the morning for the lab tests. The doctor's check up was scheduled the next day[which was today] so after the lab
tests, we took time to find ourselves a resting place. We walked around a few blocks only to end up at the pension house right in front of the laboratory we first arrived into. After that though, we did go out to have some lunch and to just roam around the at Ayala for 'exercise'[haha]. I didn't get to photograph much of the foods we ate. I was just too hungry or too tired to do them.

Today, I tried my best to get some photographs. I still didn't take a shot of a meal though. I always forgot. My favorite part of the trip was the visit to Leona Cakes and Pastries at SM Northwing. I don't know but eversince I've gone there, my feet always tend to walk to the 'cafe's' direction. My parents and I had a few bites there. The doctor's check up went well and we are supposed to start a new diet as soon as possible that's why consider this day our last day to indulge. I don't know if this is my last day though. I don't think so. However, I'm thinking of joining them in their diet change because the doctor said strokes are hereditary and being the 'obese' person that I am now makes me so prone to it.

Now here are the little photos that I took of my little indulgences. Most of the shots I took were photos of my parents but I don't intend to include them in this post so here we go...

A photo of the the print on the table napkin at Leona's.

I think this is called Chocolate Swirl.
[It tastes like a chocolate flavored bread with some chocolate chips mixed with it. I loved this one.]

This one is the Chocolate Mamon.
[It's from my mom but I ate most of it. haha It was soft and chocolatey. Not very special but good enough.]

Have a look at some goodies my mom got for me.
Most of them are from Caro & Marie(a baking supply store at SM).

And here's what we had for supper at the boat.
It's called Eden Green Salad from SM Supermarket.
You get to pick what your veggies and dressing to put in your salad, they weigh your choices and you pay them. :D

A lot of things are brewing up in my head and I'm so excited to bring them to life.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My First Award

What a wonderful surprise!
I just found out right that Ate Jerosha gave me an award...
I never really thought that I would receive an award from blogging but here it is...
You can't imagine how happy I am today for receiving my first one. :D
Thanks so much, Ate Jerosha!

I'm now passing this on to fantastic bloggers I keep following everyday single time I log in to :

For the "Beautiful Blogger" award, the nominated needs to:
~ Thank the person who nominated you and make link to their blog.
~ Copy the award and paste it to your blog.
~ Pass this award on to fantastic bloggers you have discovered.
~ Contact your nominations and let them now they've won.

Pancakes, Barbeque and Graduation Cuppies

Yesterday, after the Mongo cooler, I also tried to make pancakes from scratch. I got a recipe online[now I'm too tired to look it up] and yeah, it was about 65% of a success. Hihihi... I didn't follow the recipe ingredients accurately and decided to pull a stunt by not following the instructions. I didn't have to please anybody but myself anyway so I suffered my own consequences. :) It tastes like pancakes but it was not that light and it didn't 'bubble up' that much in the pan. I added chocolate sauce [sweetened cocoa powder+water].

Last night though, we had a candlelit barbeque dinner under the moonlight. We wanted to go to Burgos St. to eat barbeque there but we just couldn't so we made our own barbeque place, in the comfort of our home. I sliced up the meat and made the marinade and sauce but my mom cooked them. I was really filled to the brim last night.

Here's a lousy shot.
[I got too excited to munch on the meat that I got too lazy to take a more presentable shot]

And this is what I've been busy with today.
Pretty ain't it?
It's for my niece, Rai, who's graduating today from kindergarten today.
Her mom ordered it for her. :D

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mongo Cooler Adventure

It's summer here and it's uberly hot... Feels like the country is turning into a barren desert with the El Nino Phenomenon bugging us day after day. It's killing the crops and fish even the farm animals! Oh well, not everything though[just exaggerating a little] but those that aren't tough enough would really die from the heat we are experiencing here right now. It, thus, isn't safe to be out at mid-day. Knowing this keeps me inside the house 'til sunset since I currently do not have a day job. Being idle at times makes me think of going on adventures... mostly gastronomic ones. :) So written below is one of them.

Today, the main ingredient is Mongo a.k.a. Mung beans. We had it for lunch[the guisado type with squash and malunggay leaves]. I set aside about a cup of it so I could put it in the fridge, add milk and sugar and munch it while it's cold. It makes a pretty good and healthy snack. Here goes the adventure. I was wondering how it would taste like as a shake so I took the blender and shoved the mongos in. I poured about a tablespoon each of milk, sugar and cocoa powder. I added some ice[about 4-5 cubes] and blended the mixture until smooth enough. So there goes. It was really simple and it tasted good. The downside though is that it felt gritty and powdery[not a very pleasant sensation]. To be honest, I told myself that I should have sticked to the snack I was talking about. I finished my 'adventuristic' drink anyway. It somehow cooled my system.

notice the pretty flowers...
[we have lots of those at our yard.]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies

My brother Jovan asked me to make some cookies for him the other night. We were supposed to get the box mix for brownies and crinkles but I didn't want to cheat on myself so I told him that I'll make from scratch. And last night, I pushed through. I didn't make brownies nor crinkles but decided on a recipe at Bakeat350 that I have been eyeing for like weeks already. The recipe was the one she used as last-minute valentine cookies that looked like scrabble pieces as they were squares. I used a heart cutter for my version and also did away with the icing decoration. I wanted to but didn't have the time. Just in perfect timing did my nieces come for a visit and took their share of the cookies.
These were the ones at Bakeat350.

The cookies were chocolate flavored but I used sweetened native cocoa[Tableya] powder instead of dutch-processed cocoa and cut one-fourth of the sugar needed. The cookies were great for me even without icing... They cracked though but it didn't really matter.

Here's a copy of the recipe.

Chocolate Cut-Out Cookies
{modified from Cookie Craft}

2 & 1/2 c. all-purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 c. dutch-process cocoa (natural is OK, too)
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 c. unsalted butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour,cocoa, espresso powder and salt; set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light an fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.

In 3 additions, add the flour mixture at low speed. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured and cocoa-ed surface. (I mixed the 2 of these, then spread on my rolling surface, on my rolling pin, and used it to dip my cookie cutters.)

Cut the cookies with a square cutter, then divide into smaller squares, if necessary, using a bench scraper.

Freeze cut cookies five minutes.

Bake 8 minutes. Let cool completely.

With white royal icing and a #4 (or so) plain tip, pipe the x's and o's.

With red icing and a #3 or #4 tip, pipe hearts on some of the cookies.

Let the icing dry (overnight is fine).

Mix equal parts meringue powder and water. Brush onto piped designs with a small paintbrush and sprinkle on sanding sugar. Shake off the excess.

Stray sanding sugar REALLY shows up on these cookies, so use a dry paintbrush to remove the excess.

different views of the cookies
[weren't as brown as the ones of Bakeat350... maybe because of the type of cocoa used.]

here are the girls, Rai and Zoie taking their share...
[Sad to say, Zoie didn't like it that much. We really can't please everyone, can we?]

I must say, I'm such a Bakeat350 fan.
Head over to her page and feast your eyes.

Julie and Julia [Another Addition to My Favorites]

I have a whole ton of favorites that sometimes I just can't remember everything anymore...
This one though, is something worth keeping in mind.

On my brother's graduation party, our eldest cousin Michelle, lent part of her DVD collection and prodded me to watch one of the DVD's about cooking. I don't think I've heard about it before though but when told that it was something I am quite passionate about, I decided to give it a try. I watched it with my sister Jackie. That night, I've decided to add it to my favorites. It's entitled Julie and Julia starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams.

I've been teary-eyed at many parts of the movie because a number if not most of the scenes were heartwarming. I love the idea that they were so passionate about cooking and that Julie was a blogger too like me who wanted to do something that she can lose herself into aside from her day job. I also love the fact that both of them somehow had a lot of similarities other than their names like having a wonderful husband, never giving up and even the down moments when surely something else would pick their mood up. It was really a fun movie to watch and I'm willing to watch it over and over again...

Paul Child: [to Julia] You are the butter to my bread, you are the breath to my life.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Celebrations and Firsts

Whew! I'm so glad to be back to posting. This, I believe is going to be jam-packed. Our internet connection was down for days, you see. Sooooooooooooo..........

My brother, Jovan, arrived from Bacolod City last Friday for a family celebration and we are more than happy to have him around. I always love making excuses to bake and this occasion is the perfect excuse! hahaha:D So I did whip up something with the use of my magic microwave[again]and made a special upsized[this time] version of the chocolate mug cake.

I've also read about cooked frosting and that it is [as they say] the best frosting for chocolate cake so I decided to go for it the first time. I didn't make much as it was just a test so I downsized the recipe to one-fourth.[I know, right? I do a lot upsizing or downsizing of recipes to fit my needs.]

Texture-wise and taste wise, the chocolate cake was in its best form... doesn't feel "microwavey" at all. And the frosting? I don't know if I did it right because it's kinda runny but it tasted good.

On to some photo-sharing...
view from the top



Jovan cutting his cake

view from our dining table


Back to the celebration I was talking about, yeah, it was quite a big one. It's my other brother Jonathan's graduation from college. Yeah, three out of the four Tan siblings are already out of school[in a good way]. Only one left, our baby girl [she's 18] Jackie. :D So the celebration made me really think of building a cupcake tower for the first time. Nothing really fancy, just a simple one to grace the table aside from the cake. Hence, I was really busy the whole day since my parents had to join him in the school festivities. I helped in setting up the tables, chairs, food and the venue. By the way, I used cake boards and old milk cans for the tower, covered them in blue and black cartolina[paper] and glued them with Mighty Bond. I was really a little scared that the tower will tip but I was really glad it stood sturdy[though a little wobbly when moved] the whole time.

So here's another photosharing...
here goes... that's Jonatz right there with his sweets. :D
[i didn't make the cake... that's BQ's]

here I am
basking in my stressed 'glossy' look. hahaha :D
[it's worth the time and energy ain't it?]

By the way, that day, a very good news came to me.
I love it! :D

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sweet Escape

Okay... so I've been complaining... It's been really hot these days[as I say time and time again].
Makes me wanna crave for something sweet and cold at the same time. My baby oven is still in the repair shop and I so miss it every time. I don't know when I'm gonna get it back but I really wish I will soon. Back to my craving, well there's no better way to satisfy it than making a concoction... and here's what I came up with.

I used the Magic Chocolate Mug Cake recipe but downsized it to half. You can imagine how little the measures are already but the serving is just right [for me]. The mug cake I made days ago, I shared with my family. This one, I ate alone. :D I made use of a small bowl too instead of a coffee mug and cooked it on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds instead of 2:30. I also used just the egg yolk instead of one whole egg. When cooked, I let it cool a bit and transferred it to a small plate/saucer. I then topped it with leftover Double Dutch ice cream from last night and ate it all away.

So here are the evidences:

mmmm... look at the ice cream melting away... :P

sorry for the bubbles but well, that's how it is when the ice cream melts. [i think]
i loved the texture of this one.

I didn't really know what I was going to call it thus the title...
It tasted more like brownies than cake but it was yummy... really yummy. :D

Monday, March 8, 2010

Never Say Die!

[outdoor shot]

It's been almost a week since I have last posted..

Well today, I feel sad because my oven broke. I don't know what happened but it just won't heat up. We have to bring it back to the store soon to get it fixed.

Anyhoo... it was a good thing i made another attempt[never say die!] at Moringa/Malunggay Cupcakes last night. That way, I discovered that my pet[oven] is sick... Ooooooooo it makes me feel bad.. really really.

Anyway, I have already made my own recipe of the cupcakes and this is the first recipe I will share. Yey! Here it is.

Joanna's Moringa/Malunggay Cupcake
(Makes 24 cupcakes)

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup blended Moringa/Malunggay leaves
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F.
2. Blend the leaves. Add about half a tablespoon of water when blending.
3. Sift dry ingredients together.
4. Cream butter and sugar.
5. Beat in eggs one at a time.
6. Add blended leaves.
7. Pour milk alternately with the dry ingredients and beat until throughly incorporated.
8. Add vanilla.
9. Pour batter in lined cupcake pans.
10. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
11. Cool and enjoy with or without frosting. :D

i topped it with seven-minute frosting/boiled frosting.

took a bite.
look at its beautiful shade of green. :)

*Since my oven broke, I resorted to microwaving them instead. Though it wasn't totally safe, I had to do it because I wouldn't want to waste those beauties... I just stood on standby at a safe distance on the ready to pull the plugs anytime something went wrong inside. Well, needless to say, nothing bad happened. Thank God.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cake Pop [My version]

I've read about this idea a lot of times before [the most popular ones(I think) coming from Bakerella] and I have been wanting to try them myself. Yesterday, my mom and I were getting some groceries for our household and the idea of making some cake pops got into my mind.

For my first try, I grabbed a box of Goya Dark Mints. The chocolate need not be expensive, I think. :) We also bought some cupcakes [I used 3] at a local bakery just for the sake of trying out.I didn't have time to bake because it was night time already, you see. In lieu of cream cheese frosting or buttercream, I used 2 tbsp of Milo dissolved in 2 tbsp water to hold them together. I rolled the cupcake and Milo mixture into balls and I didn't put them in the freezer anymore. The mint chocolates were then melted in the microwave and I dipped the cake balls in them. I put them in the fridge for the molten chocolate to set and got them out a few minutes after to finally taste them. I didn't have some lollipop sticks so I used toothpicks instead.

Though I made just a few, it was enough dessert for our family. I passed them around and they loved the pops! yey! :D

the Goya Dark Mint box

they look more like truffles on a stick, don't they? :)

I tried cutting one in half so you'll see what's inside.
[hope it's clear enough]

In a slightly different note, I also had chocolatey breakfast toast and a cup of Milo this morning :))

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

cake & champagne

I've been itching to get my hands on the pc yesterday to write about this but didn't get a chance.

notice our rusty GI fence and grills. :D

Yeeeeeey! It finally rained yesterday! I'm so happy. I took some photos because I've been really ecstatic about it. All my ranting about the heat was tamed after seeing our dry soil dampened and the plants quenching their thirst for much needed water. Now it's back to sunny again and I am soooo expecting a hot day. I might be staying inside this house the whole day[as usual. :)]

Anyhoo... I'd also like to share that I had a fun time the evening of March 1. My parents were invited to an intimate birthday dinner party and my pop couldn't come so I went in his place with my mom. It was my mom's friend's birthday and it was a gathering of moms in gradeschool... mostly moms of Jackie's classmates.

Well I went there mostly for the food. Yep, there was lechon[oops! no photo] and some veggie, meat and fish dishes...

but of course my favorite was dessert time with Ramirez chocolate cake and authentic French champagne. I also had a taste of Red wine but I didn't like it that much. I also didn't get to take a photo of it.

Ramirez chocolate cake
[i wasn't really impressed with the way this cake was decorated(I know they've done better) but I still loved the cake.]

my [demure] slice :D
[taste-wise, this cake is good but I've tasted better choc cakes.]

my share of champagne
[the taste is quite stronger than the ones i've tasted before.]

but bringing them together made my night anyway.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Braving the Heat

It's 5pm right now and the sun is still out... not like it's something new here but the heat is really almost unbearable these days[El Nino Phenomenon] and today I guess marks the beginning of the summer season. I had no plans of going out today until I remembered that I still had to submit those documents that I should have submitted last Friday. I got really sick back then with my tummy ache and matching colds. I'm still suffering from colds until now. I don't get it but everytime it gets too hot for me, I suffer from colds. :) I thought my sense of smell got back already but now, I still can't smell a thing.

Back to my apps, I'm done submitting the documents already. I did brave the heat and went out at around 3pm. If it's hot now that it's already 5, how much more at 3? Upon arrival to the hospital, I wasn't immediately allowed to come in so I stayed outside in the shade. Waiting seemed to increased the agony of wallowing in the heat. Anyway, after giving her the documents, the supervisor/head nurse told me to just wait for a form of communication from the hospital.

I really hope the wait won't be too long. Anyhooooo, I think I'll just be waiting for orders and exploring new recipes to make use of my time. :)