Hopping on the IHOP bandwagon

After several failed plans to try out IHOP, I was able to finally go to the restaurant after a morning run with my friends.


It was everyone’s first time so we spent quite some time to choose our orders. Some of us have been to the IHOP in the US so they’ve got expectations already. After internal debates if we’ll get french toast or pancakes, we got the best of both worlds in the Split Decision Breakfast.

Split Decision Breakfast
Split Decision Breakfast for the HUNGRY!

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Robinsons Place Manila: Christmas Kiddie Ball

One of the Christmas events at Robinsons Place Manila this December was the Kiddie Ball last December 14. It was a magical afternoon for kids as they came in their princess and prince costumes and enjoyed treats from Robinsons Place such as the Face Painting, Glitter Tattoo, Photobooth and also, cupcakes and cookies from Homemade Cupcakes by Grandma Ethel.

It was our second event at Robinsons Place and we had a blast with the Kiddie Christmas Ball. My friend, Rogeena and I setup a Winter Wonderland buffet table to align with the magical afternoon’s theme.

Continue reading “Robinsons Place Manila: Christmas Kiddie Ball”

Robinsons Place Manila: Kiddie Carnival

My mom has been baking for as long as I remember. Her specialty is the banana cake and as I grew older, I would be the one to research new recipes to try. These cupcakes are normally for family and friends’ consumption only as we would only make them on special occasions. We had an opportunity to share the little cuppies to others when my cousin got us as one of their suppliers in a 2-day weekend event at Robinsons Place Manila. We were hesitant to accept the 800 cupcake order at first but decided to take the plunge.

With the help of some friends, we were able to pull it all off! All 800 cupcakes (and more) were baked, frosted, delivered and displayed on time. We were also able to setup our kiddie carnival table complete with circus animals, carnival tickets and the crowd-favorite Ferris wheel.

The Kiddie Carnival event can be considered as our lucky “push”. After the event, cupcake orders poured in. We were able to join our first ever bazaar and another Robinsons event in December. And just like that, Homemade Cupcakes by Grandma Ethel was born. 🙂

Big Appetites Only: Surfin’ Ribs

In the 3 years that I’ve been regularly visiting my team in Cebu, almost always we have a go-to, famous ribs place at the Ayala Terraces for our ribs craving. So whenever I will have family or friends visiting with me, that’s where I would bring them.Only today did I experience another ribs place that might just top the other one. On the outskirts of Ayala, at Escario St. is Surfin’ Ribs. A humble, little restaurant that offers a huge slab of ribs for only Php169. A whopping 169 pesos! (about $4)

Surfin' Ribs
Entrance of Surfin’ Ribs

Continue reading “Big Appetites Only: Surfin’ Ribs”

Apple Squares and Cheesecake Brownies

One of my most used apps is the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner because of its nice interface and easy to follow recipes. Apart from my local recipe book, this app is next on my list of go-to kitchen best friend. With this app, I was able to discover two yummy recipes that received thumbs up from family and friends (of course, they don’t have a choice but to say it’s yummy, right? :))

I now have two dessert goodies that will be great for gifts, pasalubongs and  potluck mainstay. As they say, shared happiness is doubled happiness. So I’m sharing these recipes for double the fun and double the waistline 😛

Desserts Galore

Apple Squares


2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup chopped Granny Smith apple

1 cup finely chopped cashew nuts

2 tbsp white sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar with a wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture until just combined, then stir in the apples and nuts. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. In a cup or small bowl, stir together the remaining cinnamon and sugar; sprinkle over the top of the bars.

3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in preheated oven; finished bars should spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan, and cut into squares.


Chunky Cheesecake Brownies


2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup white sugar

4 eggs

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt


1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. Combine cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and 2 eggs in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth. Stir 2 cups chocolate chips into the cream cheese mixture. Set aside.

3. Microwave the remaining chocolate chips and the butter in high for 30 seconds. Mix together melted butter and chocolate chips. Microwave for another 10 seconds. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining sugar and eggs, then sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into chocolate until evenly blended.

4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the chocolate layer. Top with remaining chocolate mixture (this doesn’t need to completely cover the cream cheese layer). Using a knife, swirl the top chocolate layer into the cream cheese to make a marble pattern.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top is crinkled and edges pull away from sides of the pan. Cool thoroughly. Cut into squares.

Chunky Cheesecake Brownies
Chunky Cheesecake Brownies

Share and Enjoy! 🙂

Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs

Recently I’ve been experimenting more with the oven and trying out baked dishes. I stumbled upon a recipe that became an instant hit at home and even at the office. The slow baking time allows the pork to absorb all the flavors without drying out. It comes out oh so tender and moist  that it easily got everyone’s approval. So today I’ll share with you guys my most recent masterpiece. 🙂

Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs
Sweet and Spicy Pork Ribs

Serves 4 Prep Time 30 minutes plus marinating Cooking Time 2 hours 20 minutes


For the Marinade

1 1/2 kilos American pork ribs

1 tbsp salt

2 cups pineapple juice

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

8 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp grated ginger

2 pcs ground star anise

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg


For the Rub

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper


1. Make the marinade: Combine all ingredients in a small  bowl. Mix well and set aside.

2. Place ribs on a baking dish. Pour marinade over, making sure everything is well coated. Marinate for a 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

3. Preheat oven to 350F.

4. Make the rub: Combine all ingredients. Arrange the ribs on a baking dish, pour marinade over, and spread rub evenly over ribs.

5. Cover baking dish with foil. Bake for 2 hours in the preheated oven.

6. Take out the baking dish from the oven. Increase heat to 450F. Remove foil. Using the drippings from the bottom of the pan, baste the ribs all over. Bake again for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Transfer ribs to a serving platter. Pour drippings into a small saucepan and cook over high heat for around 5 minutes or until slightly thick. Pour glaze over ribs and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Serve with mashed potatoes and corn, if desired. 🙂


My First Recipe Scrapbook

Two of my long-time teammates in Cebu recently moved out of the project and we planned to give them tokens as a thank you for all their efforts. One of them loves to cook so we decided on a recipe book for her. Since I was in the mood for some scrapbooking time, I volunteered to create her recipe book instead of just buying something from the store. I collected recipes from the whole team – be it their favorite food with recipe from the internet or the specialty dish that they love to cook. After gathering their inputs, I was all set to make my very first recipe scrapbook.

I loved how it turned out and wanted the book for myself. Haha! I hope Kat will have the time to make the dishes that we shared in our little scrapbook. So, here’s our favorites…