More rice please…

May 2nd, 2011

This is a family favorite. This savory, spicy and warm food is traditionally served with steamed rice. Most people here in America call it a Filipino style beef stew which they often eat it with bread or served in a bread bowl.

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Beef Calderetta

2-3 lbs beef round, cut into cubes
2 medium-sized potatoes, quartered
1 tsp peppercorn, crushed
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 c. dark soy sauce
1/4 c. olive oil
1 c. onion, sliced
1 big can organic diced tomato (Trader Joe’s brand works well)
2 large red bell pepper, cut into eighths
1 small can of green peas
2 pcs bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried chili peppers

Marinate beef in dark soy sauce, peppercorn and garlic for at least 2 hours.  Fry pieces of beef and potato in olive oil and set aside. In the same pot, saute onion and cook  for about 1 minute. Add beef and the marinade, diced tomato, dried chili peppers, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer until meat is tender (about an hour). Add the potato, green peas and red bell pepper.  Continue cooking for about 10 minutes.

Gina’s Spanana Spaghetti Sauce

April 6th, 2011

This is one of my most dependable comfort dishes.  When I feel homesick or, just crave a little Jollibee, I grab the spam and banana sauce and make… Spanana Spaghetti.

1 large yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can spam cut in cubes
16 oz. banana sauce
¼ cup water
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 small can Vienna sausage
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg) Philadelphia cream cheese, cubed

Saute onion and garlic for 2 minutes.  Add spam and cook for 3 minutes then add Vienna sausage and cook for 1 minute. Add banana sauce, tomato paste, cream cheese and water. Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 to 12 minutes until sauce is well blended and heated through.

Cook spaghetti noodle as directed on package. Pour spaghetti sauce over the noodle and top with Parmesan.

Summer Fruit Delight

September 2nd, 2010

“Watermelon” Gazpacho

1 large heirloom red tomato, pureed

1 serrano chile- cut in half

3 cups cubed fresh watermelon

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp minced red onion

1 cucumber -peeled, seeded, chopped

2 tbsp minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish

kosher salt and freshly ground back pepper

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup diced avocado for garnish (optional)


In a blender, puree the tomato, chile and the 2 cups of watermelon. Pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse. Add the onion, cucumber and dill and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour into chilled bowls and sprinkles with minced fresh dill, feta and remaining watermelon cut in small cubes. Served 6


Summer Chilled Soup!!!

July 26th, 2010

“Tomato, Cucumber and Pepper” Gazpacho

6 small heirloom tomatoes -cut in half

1 cucumber -peeled, seeded, chopped

6  sweet mini peppers- cut in half

1 small jalapeno pepper-seeded

1 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken  broth

handful of sweet Thai basil

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


ground white pepper

For Garnish:

Finely chop sweet basil and garlic. Blend  into olive oil and mix well.

Blend first 5 ingredients in the blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add  salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. Chill for 4 hours to 12 hours. Garnish with chopped  basil and garlic in olive oil and garlic butter croutons (optional) before serving.  Serve 6


Refresh your summer!!!

July 1st, 2010

” Fresh Green” Gazpacho

1 cucumber; peeled, seeded, chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 small shallots, cut in half

1 green bell pepper; seeded, chopped

1 cup chopped lettuce

1 tbsp fresh or dried dill

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 cup vegetable or chicken  broth

1 small avocado, peel and pit removed, chopped

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp vodka


ground white pepper

For Garnish:

1 small avocado cut into cube

handful of cilantro, chopped

non fat Greek yogurt

Blend first 10 ingredients in the blender or food processor until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add lemon juice, vodka, salt and pepper to taste and stir gently. Chill for 4 hours to 12 hours. Garnish with chopped cilantro,  avocado and non fat yogurt on top before serving.  Serve 6


Manenok’s beef satay!!!

April 21st, 2010

Every time I eat at a Thai restaurant…I have to have chicken satay with peanut sauce. Lately, I crave different styles of satay and came up with this delicious Manenok’s beef satay!!!

1 head garlic crushed

1 tsp. ground black pepper

½ cup vinegar

½ catchup

½ cup brown sugar

½ tsp salt

¼ cup dark soy sauce

2 ½ lbs beef tenderloin or skirt steak cut in 1′ cubes

Marinade beef by combining first 7 ingredients together overnight in the refrigerator. Skewer beef pieces in bamboo sticks. Broil over charcoal. Served with sate sauce and cucumber pickles or papaya pickles.

Sate Sauce

¼ cup coconut cream

1 cup peanut butter

2 tsp curry paste

1 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. sriracha hot chili sauce

2 tsp. hoisin sauce

1 tsp sugar

Mix all ingredients in small sauce pan, heat and stir frequently for 5 minutes in medium low heat.

Spam Musubi (Onigiri / sushi)

April 21st, 2010

Whenever I drink sake I think of sushi rolls. This recipe is an easy way for me to have homemade sushi!!!

Spam & Avocado Musubi (Onigiri)

sliced spam
su-meshi (sushi rice)
nori (seaweed wrapper)
shichimi (“7 spice”)
sliced avocado

Grill spam slices, quickly at high heat
Lightly dust with shichimi
Lay spam on small square of lightly packed su-meshi
Topped with sliced avocado

Wrap with a single layer of nori.

(Serve with beer or cold sake… On a tropical island)

Finger licking good!!!

April 19th, 2010

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

1 cup fresh crab meat

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

pinch of  salt, pepper and garlic powder

10 white mushrooms caps

1/2 cup bread crumbs

Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the crab meat, cream cheese, parsley, green onions and parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Stuff the mushroom caps with the mixture and top with bread crumbs. Spray the tops with nonstick spray to help them brown. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the filling is hot and melted.

Chicken Aphrodite…funny name for tasty meal!!!

April 11th, 2010

I don’t really like chicken breast because it tends to dry out every time I cook it. However, this tangy, savory & flavorful recipe works well and it has become one of my favorites when it comes to chicken breasts!!!

4 thinly slice chicken breast




1tblsp olive oil

1tbsp butter (optional)

1small sliced tomato

1/2 lemon slice thinly

2tbsp capers

juice of ½ lemon

3/4 cup dry white wine

½ cup fresh crumble feta cheese

Salt and pepper 4 chicken breasts and then dredge in flour.

In a frying pan, heat 1tbsp olive oil and 1tbsp butter.

In a medium high heat, brown chicken on both sides until thoroughly cooked (set aside).

In the same pan, saute tomato for about 2 minutes, add sliced lemon & capers and cook for another minute then add lemon juice & wine. Removed from the heat immediately after it boils.

Add crumbled feta cheese and stir until thickened.

Arrange each chicken breast on four dinner plates over brown rice or polenta and top with sauce.


Cassava Cake: Save room or be sorry!!!

January 28th, 2010

This is a favorite among family & friends. It always makes the meal’s end more festive… sumptuous even! Paired with a good cup of coffee or tea and you’re that much closer to heaven!

Preheat oven to 375 degree


½ can condensed milk

½ can coconut cream (don’t shake can when opening use the thick part on the top only)

2 cups macapuno

Mix well and put aside.


1/2 can condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

1 can coconut cream

1 1/2 cup macapuno (preferably anahaw brand)

1 tbsp vanilla

2 pack grated cassava (preferably anahaw brand)

Mix all together and pour into greased with butter baking pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Spread topping evenly and broil on low heat for 15 minutes until golden brown.