Just a little somethin’ to end your evening on a sweet note!

I’ve never had panettone until my family and I received one during the holiday.  It is quite good with a nice cup of tea or coffee; but all the while, I’ve received a few suggestions that it is also great for making bread pudding and french toasts.  Although I’m not a fan of both, I figured, why not give it a go since I still had a generous half portion left for the eating…

It was National Baklava Day last Monday and ever since then I started craving for some.  Normally I’m not an avid fan of Baklava.  I’ve probably eaten it trice in my life–from a party, from a homemade version that my cousin made, and when my son made some a couple of years ago.  I guess I find it just too sweet and nutty.  I’ve thought about this particular recipe long and hard…how can I enjoy baklava without it being too sweet?

The other day I purchased sweet potatoes with the mind-set of making baked potato fries, BUT I really wanted to do something different; and quite honestly, something that will satisfy my sweet tooth, as well!  So I perused through the world-wide web and voilà! I stumbled upon a profoundly challenging recipe…to make my first flan, and hopefully the first of many!

Well today hubby and I ate in for lunch.  I was in such a cooking mood since last night.  For lunch I made pork chops & eggs, a real easy, delicious recipe that I will share soon.  The best part however, was made last night and served for lunch today…A surprise dessert for hubby.

I can’t say that these are the best brownies I’ve ever made…because honestly, I don’t even consider myself a baker. However, it’s one of those afternoons when I am twirling my thumbs for something to do in the kitchen.

Summer truly is a great season to take advantage of the organic fruits that mother nature has intended for us to enjoy come harvest time. Hubby and I are lucky enough to have inherited a quaint orchard in the backyard of our new home. There are approximately 20 fruit trees consisting of apples, apricots, figs, pears, plums, and a full-grown pepper tree, as well. We also have some wild grapes, which pollinated from the winery next door, that have spread throughout the premise of the garden. Here are a few pictures I took, some trees of which I’ve marked ‘Not sure’ because I can’t tell them apart from peaches to apricots whilst they are still green. Enjoy!

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I think my Filipino peers would agree that Tahô, a staple snack in the Philippines brings out the childhood in all of us. I remember this street food dessert as early as 8 years of age. Street vendors would walk around the neighborhood holding two aluminum buckets (The larger bucket carries the tofu base; the smaller bucket holds the arnibal and sago pearls.) that hang on each end of a yoke and carried securely on their shoulder and yelling out “TAHOOOO”–much like the ice cream truck vendors driving around with a looping, cheerful melody that somehow screams out, “ICE CREAM” is coming your way! Come and get some…

I got up early today to pick some flowers from our garden for my hubby on Father’s Day.  Who says fathers’ can’t enjoy nature’s beauty, as well?

For tonight’s Father’s Day dinner, I’ve decided to make steak, and for dessert…lavender and honey is the theme of choice.

Meanwhile, I want to take this opportunity to wish those who are, to those yet-to-be, to those whose love ones have passed on…husband, father, grandfather, uncles, brothers, and friends.  Have a wonderful father’s day celebration…

It is the simplicity of French food, or in this case, French dessert that makes it ideal for re-creating at home.  Here’s my creation using my two favorite things, blueberries…and edible flowers. Bon Appétit…

Sometimes we can all use a little bit of butterscotch and perhaps a few drizzle of caramel in our lives, right?  Mix this together, along with a few other heartwarming ingredients and place it in a cast-iron skillet …My friends, you’ll have yourself a heart pouncing, whirlwind of a dessert in no time flat!

Okay, who doesn’t love brownies?  Specially these sticky-finger ones that also stick to your teeth when eating them…hehe…just don’t smile afterwards (or during)!  Was on a little baking frenzy yesterday, so here we are!  Bet yeah can’t have just one 😉 Served warm, these not-too-sweet brownies are also great à la mode.–gcc

Tres leches” is Spanish for “three milks.”  The cakes that bear this name are sponge cakes that are literally soaked in three types of milk: sweetened condensed, evaporated and half-and-half [for this recipe].  However, whole milk or heavy cream can also be used, depending on your preference.  These cakes are also topped simply with a homemade sweetened whipped cream and maraschino cherries.

Ever since I spotted a tiny little kitchen gadget–doughnut cutter from Williams-Sonoma, I have had the inkling to make doughnuts at home! On a similar note, last week we ventured to a shopping center and luckily enough, I spotted a Williams-Sonoma store. Once in, one of the first things that came to mind, of course, was that inevitable doughnut cutter that has been lingering back and forth in my WS ‘shopping cart’ online. CONSIDERING that it is always best seeing, touching, and experiencing things ‘in-person’, I was beside myself when I finally purchase the doughnut cutter, along with a ‘few’ other little items, that will eventually join the gaggle of gadgets already situated in our kitchen drawer.

With my favorite recipe books lined up and food writing class as we speak, I  am off to a good start for the new year!  Speaking of which, as I hone in on my Filipino roots, although I don’t practice most, I still like to partake in learning about our traditions, customs and superstitions.  In matters of food, part of our customary tradition, or superstition, if you may, in preparation for New Year’s Eve is to have twelve (12) round fruits, each to signify a month of the year. Ideally, twelve different round fruits such as clementines, cantaloupe, grapes, grapefruits, oranges, watermelon–but as it can be challenging to gather all things round and fruity, some of the fruits end up being non-circular such as mangoes, apples or the like.  As for me, well, I grabbed one bag of clementines which had at least 12 in a bag, so I was good to go…