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. 🙂


Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine

I’ve been very busy that I didn’t even notice the last photo challenge I did was outdated and not from last Friday’s. So I was pleasantly surprised to see this week’s delayed photo challenge: Mine.

There are a lot of things I’d like to call mine but this collection is the largest I have and one of my favorites. The ultimate goal is to be able to try cooking all of the recipes in these Yummy books. This is my Yummy cookbook collection, ready for all my experiments. 🙂

My Yummy Cookbook Collection

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…



Asian at Home

Whenever I encounter a recipe that requires special asian ingredients, I would normally balk away. I guess it’s mainly because I feel “hindi sulit” to buy something expensive and not use it regularly. But after experiencing Teriyaki Boy’s Tofu Steak and seeing a similar recipe in my latest Yummy book, I got the guts to finally made the big asian food leap.

One rainy night, I went to a nearby Japanese/Korean supermarket and purchased my first ever Sake and Mirin. Expensive, yes. But looks like I’ll be using them frequently. Sarap kasi! 🙂

Asian Cooking Ingredients

Sake and Mirin. The Gods for Asian Cooking.

Having completed my ingredients, I ventured into a new adventure and tried this.

Crunchy Tofu

Crunchy Tofu Steak and Mushrooms

Crunchy Tofu Steak and Mushrooms


500g firm tofu block, drained and sliced into 16 squares

3/4 cup flour, seasoned with 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten with 2 tbsp milk or water

1 1/2 cups Japanese breadcrumbs

oil for deep-frying

For the mushroom sauce

3 tbsp sake

3 tbsp mirin

1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp oil

1/2 cup chopped onions

2 tsp minced garlic

2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms (I used oyster)

1/2 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1/2 tbsp water

salt and pepper to taste

1. Dredge tofu squares in flour, dip in egg, then coat with breadcrumbs. Deep-fry in hot oil until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

2. Make the mushroom sauce: Combine sake, mirin, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. In a frying pan, melt butter and heat the oil. Saute the onions then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Over high heat, add mushrooms and cook until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and mix well. Add the dissolved conrstarch and let mixture thicken slightly. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

4. Arrange tofu squares in serving dish then pour the mushroom sauce on top.

Mushrooms for Power Up!

When I was a kid, the Super Mario game was extremely popular. I still remember how Mario will become big and powerful whenever he eats the mushrooms along the game. I wasn’t a fan of mushrooms really and was actually surprised how often I’ve been incorporating mushrooms in our dishes recently. For the past weeks, these cans have been  a mainstay in our pantry and in at least 1 dish weekly:

Jolly mushrooms

The mushrooms add some oomph to our menu and I like the creaminess that I get from using the cream of mushroom. These are my go-to ingredients for that easy and fast dish that I have to prepare when I’m pressed for time.

Grilled Dory in Fettuccine Mushroom Sauce

Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Set aside.

Saute a small, chopped onion and 2-3 cloves minced garlic and add some chopped shiitake mushrooms.  Add in one can of Cream of Mushroom sauce. Simmer for about 5 mins.

Separately, rub cream dory with salt and pepper. Grill for 5-7 mins each side in griller.

Mix in  the cream of mushroom sauce to the fettuccine then top with grilled dory and some chopped parsley.


Porklets in Mushroom Sauce

Porklets in Mushroom Sauce

In medium heat, saute 1 small chopped onions and 3-4 cloves garlic. Add 1/2k of pork, cut into small cubes. Cook the pork until it turn a light brown color.

Pour in 1 can of cream of mushroom soup then add water according to package directions. Add 2 small potatoes cut into cubes. Simmer for 7-10mins. Add 1 carrot cut into cubes and simmer for a few more minutes.

Serve hot with rice.

Ham and Cheese Mini Wraps

In line with trying to give Yui different varieties of food, we ventured into the classic ham and cheese. Unfortunately, she seems to have developed a dislike for eggs and cheese. Funny how she’s followed her Tita Gabe’s dislike for cheese and Tito Colwyn’s aversion to eggs. Despite this, Yui still enjoyed eating these mini wraps – by dissecting the wrap and eating just the ham and some tortilla. Good thing that the other “kids” in the office enjoyed these. We’re off to find other food adventures but in the meantime, here’s our easy Ham and Cheese Mini Wraps.

ham and cheese mini wraps

Makes about 10-12 mini wraps

4 medium-sized tortilla

4 slices sweet ham

2-3 tbsp cream cheese

1 tbsp finely chopped onions

1. Mix the chopped onions with the cream cheese.

2. In a skillet, heat the tortillas and set aside. Then cook the ham (I just sort of grilled the ham in the pan without adding any oil).

3. To prepare the wraps, place 1 slice of ham in the tortilla then top with some cream cheese in the middle. Roll the tortilla and cut into 2-3 bite-size pieces.

Tuna Pesto Spread

Mondays are Daddy Bunny’s merienda schedule. It’s that time when he’s to bring in the merienda for his group at the office. We try to make different foods such as carbonara, pesto pasta or our experiment Mac n chiz whiz. Last Monday, he brought this tuna pesto spread that we experimented. Daddy loved it when he did a taste test at home but we’re not sure how it will fare in the office. Fortunately, it was a big hit in the office! Simut sarap talaga. And as one of Daddy Bunny’s officemates said: “It’s refreshing!”

Tuna Pesto Spread

Makes about 10 sandwiches.


1 can of Century tuna flakes in oil (original)

1 can of Century tuna (spicy)

1 medium white onions, chopped

1 200g Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise

4-5 tbsp. Pesto sauce

 Mix together all ingredients in a bowl or directly in a lunch box. Viola! You’ve got something to satisfy your afternoon hunger.

Tuna Pizza

We try to give healthy food to Yui and banned junk foods from the house (we allow her a few whenever there are out of town trips though). It’s a good thing that Yui eats vegetables and fruits so food fights are not usual in the household. It can be quite challenging to find healthy snacks though. We normally rely on butter cookies, sky flakes and cereals such as Koko Krunch, Honey Stars and Milo. But would sometimes make snacks ourselves.

This Tuna Pizza is simple enough to make and is also loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Tuna Pizza

Tuna Pizza Recipe

Store-bought Pizza dough

1 can Century Tuna flakes in oil, drained

1 small red bell pepper, julienned

1 small onion, sliced

1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

1 small pouch of Quick-easy sweet pizza sauce


1. Pre-heat oven.

2. Prepare the toppings in the pizza dough, put in pizza sauce, tuna flakes, onions, bell pepper and top with cheese.

3. Bake for about 10 – 15 minutes until crust is crisp.

4. Enjoy!