Friday, November 20, 2009

Pichi-Pichi or Cassava Kutsinta

Pichi-pichi is a very nice name for a dessert, isn't it? It's only now that I'm in Australia that I got acquainted with pichi-pichi. I know it as cassava kutsinta.
This recipe inspired me to make pichi-pichi today. Oh, and my sister Lhie (she lives in Sydney). She was going to make some and I said, I will make some as well so that we will have pichi-pichi together. She was the one who found the pichi-pichi recipe on the net and very kindly shared the link with me. Just looking at the recipe, I thought it would be very sweet for my taste buds so I did a bit of tweaking. And I used the ingredients that's available in our area. At the moment we are into pandan, so i made the one with the pandan flavoured. Lucky I still have some pandan essence from the supplies my sister brought over from Sydney, and also some I bought from Melbourne.
You might like to check this recipe, if you don't want to make pandan flavoured pichi-pichi.
450 g of frozen grated cassava
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp lye water
1/2 tsp pandan essence
dessicated coconut or freshly grated coconut
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix cassava, water and sugar thoroughly.
  2. Add the lye water and continue mixing.
  3. Add the pandan essence, and yes, continue mixing.
  4. Fill the moulds 3/4 full with the mixture.
  5. Steam between 25 to 45 minutes.
  6. Cool before removing from the moulds. Run a knife on the side of the moulds to remove them.
  7. Roll the pichi-pichi onto the grated coconut. I used dessicated coconut as we rarely see fresh coconut in our supermarket here.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Kutsinta - Pandan flavoured

I always loved kutsinta. In the Philippines, these delicacies were being sold with puto. They're favourite merienda/snack during mid-mornings or mid-afternoons. A person is roaming the streets with bilao on her head and shouting putoooooooo kutsintaaaaa. They are very tasty and they're very handy to buy as well because they're basically being sold on your doorstep. I wonder if they are still being sold that way? Those were the good old days.

Whenever there's some kutsinta at a party, I always attack them first. I was told they're very easy to cook, but I have always dreaded cooking/baking them. That was until I visited my friend Jing in Melbourne. She showed me how to cook them, and her recipe is the best I have tasted. So, I'm happy to share (with her permission, of course) it with you. And she very kindly gave me the moulds as well. Good to have a friend like Jing.

The only thing I have changed is using pandan essence, instead of the usual anato/achuete water. I cooked some with anato water, but my family and I prefer the pandan flavoured kutsinta. This recipe gave me the idea to cook pandan flavoured kutsinta.


3 ½ cups water
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 cup tapioca flour
½ tbsp lye water
1 tsp of pandan essence or Achuete/annatto water (mix 1 tsp of achuete powder to 4 tbsp of water)
Grated fresh coconut or Desiccated coconut


  1. Bring water and sugar to a gentle simmer until sugar dissolves. Let cool.
  2. Add to flour, mix thoroughly.
  3. Add lye water and mix well.
  4. Add the achuete water or the pandan essence if you are using that.
  5. Fill moulds ¾ full with the mixture.
  6. Steam for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Cool before removing from the moulds. Run a knife on the side of the moulds to remove them. Make sure that they are very very cold before you remove them from the mould. I was very excited to try some, and ended up ruining it, but still very tasty.
  8. Serve with grated coconut.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Beef Hamburger

Don't know what to eat for dinner? Craving one of those burgers? Well, crave no more. This recipe is so easy and so simple to make, you won't want to buy one of those burgers anymore, well maybe once in a while, you can buy some. LOL. But if you make your very own burgers, at least you know what you're putting there. This is how I make this simple recipe. This recipe is not concrete, you can add more ingredients or you can even omit some. It's up to you. This is just a guideline. Enjoy.


1 kilo minced beef
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 tsp of garlic powder or dried minced garlic or freshly minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
3 eggs
Cooking oil for frying


  1. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly, except the cooking oil.
  2. Shape them into hamburger patties as big or as small as you like.
  3. Fry them or bbq them as you desire. I fried them first, then put them under the grill.
  4. Serve them the way you like it. In a bun with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mushroom with mustard, mayonaise and tomato sauce, on a plate or even eat them with rice. Sky is the limit.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Chicken and Mushroom Curry

This dish is one of our favourites. It's a very simple yet very tasty dish. Whenever I cooked this one, guaranteeed, there won't be any left over. I always like a glass of wine with this one, my favourite accompaniment for this dish is crimson cabernet. I love my wine sweet.


½ kilo of chicken thigh fillets, sliced
3 tbsp of cooking oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp of minced ginger (I used the one from the jar)
2 medium carrots, sliced
½ red capsicum, sliced
1 tsp curry powder or to taste
Dash of thai seasoning (optional)
1-2 tsp of fish sauce or to taste
Chillies (optional)
Button Mushrooms, as much or as little as you like, sliced
1 can of coconut milk. If using coconut cream, use only ½ a can. If you like it creamy, use the whole can


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan.
  2. Add and brown the garlic. Add the onions and ginger.
  3. Add the curry powder and thai seasoning, if using. Stir thoroughly.
  4. Add the chicken pieces, stir then season with fish sauce. Cover and cook the chicken for about 2 or 3 minutes.
  5. Add the carrots and capsicum. Stir and cook for another minute.
  6. Add the mushroom and mix it thoroughly.
  7. Add the coconut milk and the chillies. Add the chillies whole, if others don't like it spicy
  8. Let it boil. As soon as the mushroom is tender, it’s ready.
  9. Serve it with plain rice.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Minced Beef with baby Silver Beet

I cooked spaghetti tonight, and since I am not very fond of pasta, I put aside a bit of minced beef and cooked something separately for me. I was craving for something spicy but easy to cook and this was my dinner tonight. I still have heaps of silver beet in the garden, so I made use of the abundance of it. I only picked the baby ones so they're very very tender. That's the beauty of growing your very own vegetables, you can eat it when you want it and it's freshly picked.


1/2 kilo minced beef or pork
2 tbsp of cooking oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp of oyster sauce
A handful of baby silver beet from the garden or a bunch of bok choy/pechay
Chillies, chopped finely (optional)


  1. Sauté the garlic in the oil.
  2. Add the onions and cook until translucent
  3. Add the chillies, if you are using some
  4. Add the minced beef, cook until it changes in colour.
  5. Season with oyster sauce.
  6. Add the silver beet, stir until it’s wilted.
  7. Serve it with rice.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Spinach Pie/Silver Beet Pie

I have lots of silver beet in the garden and I gave some to a neighbour. He said that they really enjoyed it because it's not as strong as the silver beet one buys in the supermarket.

I asked how they cooked it, he said they made a pie with ricotta cheese. It so happened that I chatted with my sister and she said that her silver beets are really growing well. (I gave her the seeds.) She's also thinking of harvesting some and doing something with it. I said make a pie, and I proceeded to tell her about my neighbour and that I have given him a bag of silver beet again today, etc. etc. etc. Search for a recipe and I will search some too, I said to her. The wonders of the internet, in a few seconds, I found a recipe and pasted the link in our chat. She said, you bake it first and if it is nice, then I will bake it too. Sisters! So, here's the result of that pie. I tweaked it a bit, and I doubled the recipe because I have lots of silver beet, remember.

  • Ingredients:

    ½ - 1 cup of cooked rice
    2 sheets frozen, ready-rolled puff pastry, thawed
    1 bunch English spinach or silver beet, washed and shredded (chopped finely)
    2 -3 tbsp of olive oil
    1 small onion, finely chopped
    1 cup grated cheese
    1 – 2 rashers of bacon, chopped
    2 – 3 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 tbsp of milk


    Preheat oven to 220 C (200 C fan forced). Line a 23 cm pie dish with 1 sheet of pastry. I used a big rectangle pyrex dish and used 1 and ½ sheet to line the bottom. And the same amount of sheet to cover the top. I am not very good with pastry, so you can see where I put one on top of the other. lol
  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add the onions. Stir until translucent, then add the bacon.
  3. When the bacon is cooked (to your liking) add the spinach/silver beet to wilt it a bit.
  4. Keep stirring, then remove it from the heat.
  5. Cool it down a bit, or if you are like me, impatient that is, mix the cheese, rice and beaten eggs right away. Season it with salt and pepper. Watch your salt; remember the bacon and cheese have salt already.
  6. Spoon the mixture to you lined dish. Brush edges of pastry lightly with water.
    Top with remaining pastry. Press edges of pastry together.
  7. Brush pastry top with milk.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden and crisp.
  9. Serve hot or cold. In our case, it was served hot and there was no left over to know what it tastes like cold.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chili con Carne

This dish is another favourite in our household. Whenever I serve this at home, my husband's every second mouthful, he will say, "this is our favourite". I guess it's to rationalise his every big bite. He really loves this one. I don't make it very spicy, because they don't like it spicy. Just a hint of chili there. We still know it's chili, not that spicy. And yes, this is how I cook it, and there's only 4 of us eating it. Did I mention that it's a favourite in our household?


1 kilo minced beef
3 cans of red kidney beans
2 cans of peeled tomatoes (squash them or blend them)
1 cup of dry red wine (or thereabouts)
2 tablespoon of cooking oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 onion, chopped finely
1 red capsicum, diced finely
1-2 teaspoon of cumin powder
½ - 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
1-2 teaspoon of paprika
Salt to taste


  1. Sauté garlic in cooking oil
  2. When the garlic is slightly brown and aromatic, add the onions. Cook until translucent.
  3. Add the beef and stir until it changes colour.
  4. Add the wine. Let the wine evaporate.
  5. Add the capsicum, the spices and salt. Stir well.
  6. Add the kidney beans and tomatoes.
  7. Let simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. It should have a bit of sauce.
  8. Serve it with rice or corn chips. We usually have it with rice.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kalamay/Kalame Nasi/Reiskuchen

Kalamay or Kalame nasi in my dialect or as we call it in our house, Reiskuchen, is a favourite dish. The way I cook it is not very sweet, so it does not taste rich that you feel you had enough after just having a bite. It's even nicer the next day. When I was still in the Phillipines, we only cook this when there's fiesta or during Christmas or New Year. But now, I cook it whenever I have craving for it or when I have heaps of pinoy friends over. Although it's doubly popular with Aussie friends as well. But then again, all our aussie friends go GAGA about anything pinoy dish. I think, what makes this dish is the topping. It almost tastes like leche flan.
Remember, this is only a guideline. Cook it the way you want it. If you want it sweet, add more sugar. If you think it's very sweet, lessen the sugar.


1 kilo glutinous rice
1 cup brown sugar
1 400 ml can coconut cream
1 can water

  1. Wash the rice thoroughly.
  2. Put in a pot. Pour coconut cream plus water
  3. Mix well. Cook in a low heat, stir while cooking
  4. When the rice is almost cooked, stir in the sugar. Mix well.
  5. Transfer into a baking dish. I used a big pyrex dish. I usually spray the baking dish first before transferring the rice. The rice is not totally cooked yet, it should still be slightly liquidy.
  6. Level the rice then pour the topping.


¾ can to 1 can of coconut cream/milk
½ - 1 cup brown sugar (depending how sweet you like it)
½ cup condensed milk
2 – 3 eggs

Mix all the ingredients.

Bake in a moderate oven, 180 C for 45 minutes or until the topping is brown or burnt (however you like it -- I like mine slightly burnt on the edges. Yummy!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Chocolate Cake

Anything with chocolate is yummy. The peaches make this cake refreshing as well. You can also serve it with more cream if you like.


75 g unsalted butter, softened or margarine (I used margarine)
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup reduced-fat milk
Peaches to serve (from a can)


Preheat oven to 180 C or 160 C fan-forced. Grease a 22 cm fluted ring pan

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, eggs, flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and milk on low speed for 1 minute or until just combined. Increase speed to high. Beat for 2 minutes or until thick and creamy.
  2. Spoon mixture into pan. Smooth top. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  3. Remove from oven. Stand cake in pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  4. Place cake on a plate. Ice.


1 ½ cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 -3 tablespoon of milk, warmed

Sift icing sugar and cocoa. Add milk. Mix until smooth. Pour icing over cooked cake. Decorate with peaches or berries.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pandesal using the bread maker

Pandesal is a breakfast favourite, eaten by itself or with a bit of cheese or butter, it's simply divine. I remember when I was still a very young girl living with my grandparents in the province of Apalit, Pampanga, my grandpa and I used to wake up at 4 in the morning so that we were one of the first if not the first to get pandesal from the store where it's being delivered. And yes, they will still be very hot then and the store smells of freshly baked bread. We get 2 pesos worth, and that will be 20 pieces of pandesal then, and the sizes of the pandesal is about 5 or 6 inches long. Yup, they were only 10 centavos a piece during that time. And no, that wasn't in the 60's ... it was in the 70's. I'm not that old. Last time we went back to the Philippines (1997), I used to send my hubby to the nearest bakery and asked him to buy pandesal. That time, not only they're 1 peso a piece, they're only 2 inches long and mostly air inside. Oh bring back the 70's ... LOL. Now with the help of a bread maker, I can make my very own pandesal. I have tried so many recipes, and this is the one I prefer the most.


2 cups lukewarm water
½ cup shortening or cooking oil
1 ½ fine salt
½ cup white sugar
6 cups plain flour
3 tsp dry yeast
2 eggs (optional)


Preheat oven to 220 C. Reduce to 190 C (180 C fan forced oven) when you put in Pandesal.

  1. Place ingredients in baking pan in order listed or according to your manufacturer’s machine. Insert baking pan and close lid.
  2. Program your machine to dough cycle. Press START
  3. When the cycle stops, I usually leave the dough in the bread maker for another hour or so until the dough doubles in size. Sometimes, if I forget, it’s almost coming out of the bread maker. Alternatively, remove the dough from your bread maker and put it in a much bigger bowl (lightly greased) cover it with cling wrap and leave in a warm place to rise until it doubles in size.
  4. Remove the dough from the bread maker, punch out the air then roll out on a floured board, into a 1 ½ diameter strips.
  5. Cover with bread crumbs. Let rise for another 15 minutes
  6. Cut into 1 ½ inch pieces, roll them into some more bread crumbs.
  7. Arrange on a slightly greased baking sheet, cut side up.
  8. Sprinkle with more bread crumbs. Let rise for another 30 minutes or until it doubles again in bulk.
  9. Bake in a pre-heated oven.
  10. Bake until slightly brown, about 15 – 20 minutes.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Thanks to the original poster of this recipe, Virgina Rodriguez. I found her recipe quite a while back, and tried it and found the taste so close to the mamon I remembered. I just tweaked her recipe a little bit by adding a few drops of orange extract and lessening the amount of sugar.


6 eggs (separate yolk from white)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup white sugar
1 cup cake flour (replace 2 tablespoons of plain flour with 2 tablespoons of corn flour/starch if you haven’t got cake flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Few drops of orange or lemon extract (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Spray mamon moulds (you can use regular muffin pans if you don't have moulds)

  1. Sift cake flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside
  2. In a separate large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until very foamy like meringue but not stiff
  3. Add sugar gradually and continue beating
  4. Add vanilla, orange extract (if using) and vegetable oil
  5. Add egg yolks one at a time and continue beating
  6. Using a spatula, fold the cake flour and baking powder and continue mixing
  7. Spray moulds or line muffin pans with paper cups and pour mixture about 2/3 full
  8. Bake in a preheated 180 degree C (350 F) oven for approximately 12-15 minutes or until golden brown (160 C for fan forced oven)

Banana Muffins

These muffins are very easy to make. Enjoy them with a cuppa. A great way to use up those very soft bananas you have lying around your breakfast table.


125 g butter or margarine
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs
2 cups self raising flour
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approximately 2 large bananas)
1/3 cup natural yoghurt (I used 1 small tub of whatever yoghurt I have. The recipe is very forgiving)
1 cup chopped nuts (pecan, walnuts, hazelnuts or combinations)
1 cup sultanas (I also tried 1 cup of chopped prunes)


  1. Cream butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
  2. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition
  3. Add flour alternately with the combined mashed banana and yoghurt.
  4. Stir through Nuts and Sultanas, mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour in the prepared muffin pans (spray your muffin pans or line them with paper cups)
  6. Bake in a moderate oven, 180 C or 160 C for fan forced oven, for 12 – 15 minutes