Sunday, December 23, 2012

Baking on a rainy day...

It's been raining in the bay area for about 2 days in a row and I'm kind of getting tired of it already. However, what better way to use your time in the house besides doing laundry or sprucing up your home to get ready for the holidays?

Well, it's baking time for me! When I use to live in the Philippines, My sister and I get so excited to eat these filipino delicacies, they only come out during Christmas time. My grandmother's house was so close to the church that after we would be done with church, we were so excited to buy & eat these desserts, one being "bibingka" (pronounced: bee-bee-ing-ka) which is Rice cake and two "puto-bum-bong" (which is a steamed glutinous rice (puto) cooked in bamboo (bumbong).

For today, I will be sharing this very easy dish. There are so many variations of this Bibingka, there are some that have coconut milk, salted eggs etc. This dessert is often eaten mid-afternoon with tea or right after dinner. I have a thing for "mochi" (japanese rice cake made with glutinous rice). So, the consistency of my bibingka will be like that, this is not a cake consistency bibingka. Either way, you will love this dessert!

So let's get to the ingredients:

1 box Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour
3 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 stick melted margarine or butter
4 eggs beaten
1 Tbsp of margarine or butter (to spread on the baking dish)
9 x 13 baking pyrex glass dish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Crack the eggs and by using a fork, beat then until completely mixed. Set aside
3. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter in 30 second increments until the butter is melted but not burned!
4. Grab pyrex dish, and spread the 1 tbsp of butter, NOT the melted butter that you just did in Step  3.
5. In a deep bowl, Pour the milk, beaten eggs, baking powder and sugar. Mix completely with a whisk.
6. Then, Add the whole box of Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour in the mixture and stir until mixed.

7. After mixing it, pour the mixture in the buttered 9 x 13 pyrex dish and place in the oven. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350 deg F. 

The Bibingka will pretty much make it's debut (it will smell really good) in your home after about 30 minutes or so and you will be tempted to pull this out, but don't! Let it bake in the oven the full 50 minutes please.

8. Once you noticed the edges and the middle is starting to turn golden brown, you can pull it out and let it rest on a cooling rack for a good 15 minutes. You will notice that when it comes out from the oven, it's "poofed" in appearance, it will go down and settle. 

I tend to eat the corners first, that's just me though. I usually have to fight for it between my husband and I! anyway, hope you bake this one day and give it a try. Let me know what you think! 


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

GlassBlock Light Display

Happy Holidays! I apologize for not being on here as much as I wanted too. Been busy with son's school activities and work.. typical day for me.
I've been trying to add more crafts on this blog but I just can't seem to find the right time to do it. Speaking of Crafts, I was given this as a Christmas Gift and I was totally blown away by how pretty it was! It's a Glass Block/lights display! (not really sure what would you call it?) BUT it's super creative and beautiful!
I was a little afraid that it will heat up, but to my surprise, the block is warm but it does not get too warm that it will burn (then we may have to call the Fire department for that matter -lol). You can also add other lights (colored), the one that was given to me, had just steady clear white lights, it does not matter, I love it!

If you attempt to do this craft, here is what you'll need is what I was told:

strand lights that will fit into the block - probably 10-15 inches
bow maker, or you can simply make one
Glue Gun
Christmas ornaments
Wired Ribbon (Any colored ribbon)
Glass Blocks ( Home Depot has it sold with 4-5 in a package)
Diamond Cutter

I don't have any step by step pictures to show you, but just passing along instructions from what I gathered from the person who gave it to me:

1. Start with the diamond cutter. Cut a round circle to have enough space to have the lights enter the block.
2. Take the ribbon and wrap it (like a cross), then hot glue it
3. Make the bigger ribbon (refer to instructions manual) on top by using a ribbon maker, once you got the size and it's done, hot glue that on top of the (crossed ribbon)
4. To add trinkets, take any colored christmas ornaments and hot glue them as well.
5. Lastly, insert your lights and the plug left out so you can insert that to the wall outlet
6. Once completed, plug it into the wall and there you have it! A Glass/Block Light Display

Here's the information on the creators of this: 
Mollie & Michael Broussard

that's the small hole to insert the lights

isn't that beautiful? 

here it is, under my christmas tree!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What to do with Empty Jars?

Yes, we all have it in our kitchen whether it be empty spaghetti bottles, water bottle, baby jars and your wondering what to do with them? California is really big on recycling things so what better way to do so by recycling those bottles and turn them into beautiful art!

I was suppose to show you a craft that you can do with your kids in this post but I realized I was missing a couple of things needed to complete it, I was going to make a snow globe but that will be for another post, sorry about that!

In the meantime, I'm sharing some ideas on what to do with those empty jars you have at home instead of throwing them back in the recycle bin!

I've gathered some of my favorite ones:

Silouhette Jars from
Glowing Firefly Jars from
Vintage Photo Jar from

Chalk Jar from diycraftyprojects

Polka Dot Jar/Luminary from
Floating candles
Decoupage Jars

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Crowd Pleaser: Sushi Bake

Yes, you heard that right SUSHI BAKE.

I was first introduced to this delicious dish when I attended my son's kindergarten potluck last year. I saw kids and parents just diving for this one after the other. I was curious to see what it taste like and I was so lucky to even had one!

After trying it, I went on a hunt in the parish hall to see who brought that Sushi Bake!

I finally found that person (thanks Pia!) whom I immediately asked for the recipe. She was not hesitant to share the recipe where she got it from but she was right, it is very easy to prepare and make.

The ingredients in the Sushi Bake can be changed from time to time depending on the type of crowd you'll be in, like for example, some may not like tobiko (fish roe eggs) or baby shrimp. You can definitely change it up (for filipino breakfast plate lovers, try spam and eggs!).

To see another version of this sushi bake, you can visit my co-worker's blog at

For this particular Sushi Bake that I'm posting, you will need:

Sushi Wrappers (flavored or Non-flavored) - I used non-flavored
1/2 cup mayonnaise or japanese mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
3-4 cups of chopped imitation crab (which I used) OR 3 cans of real crab in water (drained)
1 bottle of Furikake seasoning
Cooked White rice

1. Preheat Oven to 375.
2. Chop the imitation crab
3. Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream together like so :

4. Next, spread the cooked rice all over your 13 x 9 pyrex dish, pat it down with your rice spoon. I usually like to have more of the crab mixture and less rice, so I probably made the height of the rice about 1/2 inch (that's just how our family likes it).
5. Take your crab mixture and pour that over the cooked rice, making sure it's evenly spread across the rice.
6. Next, take your Furikake seasoning, and as for me, I like to start pouring (the whole bottle) starting from the sides but it's up to you really! I just wanted to make sure that the corners are taken care of :-) I have a tendency to start with corners when I bake (ex. brownies).
7. Place the prepared pyrex dish in the oven. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes.

8. While the sushi bake is in the oven, open your Nori Sushi Wrapper and grab one sheet. With scissors, cut and make 4 squares (as shown below) set aside:

9. Your probably already smelling the smoked aroma from the furikake seasoning by now! Ok, time to pull out the sushi bake (after 20 minutes have passed or your timer has told you). You can cool it for about 10 minutes but I really don't wait for that (lol).

10. Take a tablespoon and place it in the wrapper, fold it and then .. well, you have to try this recipe and let me know what you think!

This is definitely a CROWD PLEASER!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner (Quiche)

I know this sounds crazy, my family sometimes eats breakfast for dinner on some days where in we all just get that craving for eggs, ham, pancakes and orange juice. I Love, Love (did I say Love?) breakfast! I personally was not a big quiche fan since my parents never really introduced it to me growing up.

My parents always made my sister and I..well what else? fried eggs, spam and fried rice! (notice the lovely word "fried") constantly?
My mom was a baker back home in the philippines but she only concentrated on making cupcakes & cakes, so she never really tried making a Quiche let alone introducing it to my sister and I.

I fell in love with Quiche's as it's the most easiest dish to prepare and also you can try different ingredients in it! Sort of an "All in one" kind of a dish. As long as the important (yummy) ingredients are in the Quiche, I can guarantee you, it will turn out as delicious as the one you get at high end markets.
My Quiche is semi-homemade as I'm a working mom and trying to incorporate less steps to any recipe really helps me alot.

Like I said, you can Add anything to a Quiche, in this case, I made a Vegetarian dish since I did not have any bacon on hand (sad face), if you do try the bacon, just fry it or bake it, then chop it up and just add it to your mixture.

Ok, here we go, this is what you'll need to prepare this dish:

*Recipe calls for 2 pies*

1 stick butter
1 whole large (or 2 medium onions), Thinly sliced
2 cups of white mushroom, washed and sliced
2 whole ready made Pie Crust ( I used Marie Calendar's), Thaw the Frozen Pie Crust about 20 mins
1 can quartered Artichoke hearts, drained
7 whole eggs
1-1/2 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups of grated swiss cheese ( I did not have this on hand, so I used sharp cheddar)
Optional: Fresh Chives or Fresh Parsley

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

                                                        2. Chop the mushrooms like so:

                                                           3. Thinly slice the onions:

4. In a skillet, melt the butter:

                                 5. Add the onions, cook for about 2-3 minutes until translucent

6. Add the chopped mushrooms to the onion, butter mixture, Season w/ Salt & Pepper and cook for another 10 minutes, set aside

7. Add the Artichokes into the mixture:

8. Crack the eggs into a bowl

9. Add the heavy cream and using a whisk, slowly whisk the mixture

  10. Grate the cheese, I prefer a whole block of cheese to grate vs. a pre-packaged cheese ( the moisture is loss + you won't get that "stringy" effect) plus I can get my arm exercise too! After grating the cheese, Add this to the egg, heavy cream, artichoke, onion, mushroom mixture and using a fork, just slightly mix it until it's well incorporated.


                                           11. Once mixed, Pour the mixture in the pie crust:

As you can see, this recipe had enough for 2 pies, so I opted to make one that's crustless but because I only had 1 ready made pie in my freezer :-)

12. Place in the oven, and loosely cover it with foil. Let it bake for about 1 hour. If you see after an hour, the quiche is quite loose or jiggly, then place it back in the oven for a couple of more minutes.

And then, this will be the end result. Allow to cool and set for about 10-15 minutes and then slice them into wedges and voila! Doesn't the one with the Pie crust look good? You can slice them into wedges or like in our family, we sort of just get a fork and dig in.

    Happy Eating!

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Blog name

Hi Everyone,
As you can see I actually changed my blog name as after a couple of posts, I started realizing that baking and crafting is more what I do or more focused on.
If you can continue to follow me under the new name I'd appreciate it:

Thank you so much!