Healthier Hashbrowns At Your Fingertips

Do you love hashbrowns? I do! I do! I do!
If only they were available for 24 hours and if only they don’t cost as much as they do, I would probably be munching on hashbrowns every blessed day.

A not so-close second to my top favorite potato list are french fries.I can eat them even if I am already full. I think the combination of salt and starch makes me crave them even if I know that fries aren’t the healthiest food in the world.

Good news to potato lovers like me. I just discovered a healthier version of hashbrowns. I am sooo getting a Noble Prize for this. You get the crispy-creamy combination but only using a tablespoon of butter instead of several cups of oil. My heart hearts me so! Whereas hashbrowns cost 25 pesos in fast food chains, I only spent 35 pesosesoses (cost of half a kilo of potato as of today), for 10 hashbrowns. But wait there is more. Lastly, no need to beat the 10AM cut-off for breakfast meals, because you can make hashbrowns anytime at the comfort of your own kitchen. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please sit down.

Oh wait, this standing ovation that I am picturing in my head is making me feel guilty. To be 100% honest, the original¬† idea is not actually mine. A reader of Cook’s Illustrated shared in the Quick Tips section of the magazine that she knows someone who makes hashbrown using a secret kitchen appliance, the waffle maker. Yup! I looked for recipes online but the ones that I found were too complicated. I don’t have time to dry my grated potatoes nor am I willing to go out to buy several seasonings.

Without further ado….. here is my waffle hashbrown recipe…

Continue reading “Healthier Hashbrowns At Your Fingertips”

Aki's Preschool Years · Food · Learning Through Play · My Favorite Posts · Personal Finance

Aki’s Summer Project: The Ice Candy Store


Yes, I may have lost my blogging mojo but I am logged on to WordPress now because Aki’s summer project is just so cute not to share.


So tell me is this sooooo cute or is this so cuuuuuute?


Honestly, if you assign a peso value to the effort in buying the ingredients, the creativity to come up with new flavors, the labor that we put it in to make these babies , and not to mention, the electricity and freezer space, the measly 20 bucks that we earn on a good day is not worth all the hassle. But, seeing Aki beaming with pride every time he makes a sale, is beyond priceless.


Aside from the value of hardwork, we also hope that through this project, Aki will master addition and subtraction.


Continue reading “Aki’s Summer Project: The Ice Candy Store”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

What’s Cooking? What’s Blanching?

Once I have the time, I will blog about these dishes that I whipped up in my kitchen

Crepe with Cookie Butter filling. I have a good excuse for the green color. I did not want to go out just to get the 2 tablespoons of butter for this recipe. The closest that I had to butter was buttercream frosting from Aki’s dinosaur cake.And that black thing is not bagoong. That is ganache from Franco’s birthday cake last August. Please don’t judge me for making the most out of our leftovers ūüėõ
Chelsea’s Graham Balls.


My Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies


Poached Fish. Since we are pretending to watch our weight, I have been trying out new ways to cook.


Here is something from our pre-diet days — Philly Cheesesteak. We are now fans of caramelized onions.


Speaking of healthy, I would like to share a cooking method that I discovered lately — Blanching. There are so many reasons why you should try blanching. It is fast and easy. It preserves the flavor, texture and nutrients. I learned from a very reliable source, the home TV shopping channel, that when you boil your veggies, the nutrients are transferred to the water. If you want to get all the nutrients, you have to eat the veggie and drink all of the soup. When veggies are overcooked, their nutritional value also diminishes. Continue reading “What’s Cooking? What’s Blanching?”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Tomato Sauce from Scratch

Speaking of church, check out my latest finds from the fruit and veggie section of our parish Sunday market:

Malunggat Fruit, Sigarilyas and Olokon

My favorite find though are these oh so cute native tomatoes. They only cost 40 pesos per kilo. Don’t they look like little pumpkins? They are tastier and juicier than the usual tomato.


Using these babies, I made pasta sauce from scratch

It was so good that I only remembered to take a picture when there were only a few spoonfuls left.

It was so good that I only remembered to take a picture when there were only a few spoonfuls left.

Continue reading “Tomato Sauce from Scratch”

Food · Memoirs of a Mummy · My Party-Folio

DIY Ice Cream Sundae Bar

We had the most fun beating the heat a couple of weekends ago mega thanks to our mini ice cream party. Aki and I left the house early to buy toppings. On our way to the grocery, we stopped by at each of his friends’ house and invited Justin, Gabbie and Vincent for an afternoon of ice cream at our house.¬† The kids were definitely psyched! I told them to be at our place at 3:30PM. They arrived at 2:30!

The secret to a fun ice cream party are toppings topping toppings! I was planning to make hot chocolate fudge but since the guests came early and were eager to start, I decided to forego the fudge.

The toppings: graham crackers,crushed Hi-ro cookies, white chocolate Knick Knacks (a surprise hit with the kids), Chocnut, chocolate chip cookies and Nips.


Don’t you just love the colors? My Tita Ming got these colorful Ikea bowls, plates, cups and utensils for only 1 pound per pack.

I could have done a much better job at taking pre-party photos but the kids just could not stop eating my toppings.



For the ice cream, we got 2 flavors – chocolate and cookies & cream.

Continue reading “DIY Ice Cream Sundae Bar”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Light and Creamy Carbonara

Here is one of the last things I cooked before deciding to ban red meat from my diet. Being a pesatarian was supposed to be a form of penance and thanksgiving. My original plan was to try it during the Christmas season. I thought it will take much will power to stop stuffing myself with the holiday ham. But no, the transition was easy. And Ate Rache, who introduced me to the idea, is right. I feel lighter and calmer. According to her, when pigs and cows are being killed or start sensing that they are next, they release stress toxins or something that are passed on to us when we eat their meat. Franco laughed at me when I shared this to him but I think there is some truth to it. It has been a month since I started this new diet and I have no plans of going back to my old meaty days for now.


Anyhoot, here is a creamy but cream-less recipe of carbonara.

About 8 slices of chopped bacon (I asked Ate Doring to buy the smallest and cheapest pack. She got me one from Pampanga’s Best)

1/2 cup water

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup of cheddar cheese, grated

3 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

Salt and pepper to taste

Spaghetti (I used .40 kg pasta from Del Monte)

Continue reading “Light and Creamy Carbonara”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Ode to our Favorite Lumpiang Shanghai

Recently, Franco and I made a pact to be more mindful of what and how much we eat. We made several attempts in the past to monitor our diet. Some attempts were more successful than the others. This time I think we are really serious. I saw my husband last Wednesday eat salad for the first time since we got married. One of the staples that we are saying goodbye to is our favorite lumpiang shanghai. We always have stock of  prepared lumpia in our freezer.


One recipe yields more or less 35 pieces. It is very convenient. No thawing required and hot crispy lumpia is ready in 10 minutes or so. But since we are limiting our intake of anything fried, good bye, dear lumpiang shanghai for now!

Ate Doring got the recipe from my sister-in-law Mae.


1/3 ground pork
1 small carrot, grated
1 tablespoon flour
1 small onion, grated
1 egg
1/2 of a bar of cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Lumpia Wrappers, cut into half circles
Continue reading “Ode to our Favorite Lumpiang Shanghai”

Food · Franco's Wife

Where to Eat in Betterliving: Greek Taverna

Franco and I are always excited to try new restos here in Betterliving. Our current favorite date place is Greek Taverna. I discovered it one late Friday night when I had to take the shuttle the goes around Merville, Moonwalk, Multinational Village before heading to SM Bicutan. Since we discovered it early this month, we have eaten in Greek Taverna thrice. That’s a lot considering we hardly eat out. This hole-in-a-wall resto stands out in an area more know for vulcanizing shops. If you are coming from SM Bicutan, it is just a couple of meters after Chateau Elyssee. With its electric blue and white colors, this place is hard to miss.

Here is what we ate on our first date there

Taramasolata (cod caviar) with pita
Gemista (oven baked stuffed bell peppers with rice, ground beef, served with roasted lemon potatoes and Greek salad)
PhP 270


Pork Gyros with chips
PhP 270

Continue reading “Where to Eat in Betterliving: Greek Taverna”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Homemade Chocnut Ice Cream

Happy Friday!!

Because my first attempt at making homemade ice cream was such a success, I was inspired to make another one. This time, I wanted to create my own ice cream flavor. I chose something that was close to my heart, something I grew up eating. It was either Chocnut or Haw Flakes. Since Haw Flakes are hard to come by nowadays, Chocnut was the way to go. Would you believe that I had to go to 5 sari-sari stores just to find my precious Chocnut bars? Are they not in demand anymore? I don’t know with other kids but for the kid in my house, there is no other better chocolate than Chocnut.

Aaaaaaand here is how I made my epic chocnut ice cream.


Unlike with the chocolate ice cream I made, this time I used heavy cream. Look for the canned Nestle cream if you need one. I measured 1 1/4 cup cream, placed it in bowl, transferred the bowl and the whisk inside the ref and let it chill for a couple of minutes while I measured the other ingredients. This was not part of the original recipe. I was just too lazy to bring out the mixer to whip the cream. I read somewhere that to make whipped cream, make sure the bowl and whisk are cool. I thought I’d give it a try. At some point,¬† when my joints were already painful, I regretted not using a mixer. Whisking by hand for 2 minutes-5 minutes while pretending you are as fast as the fastest setting on your mixer,¬† is no joke.

In a microwave-able bowl, put 1/2 cup condensed milk, 3 tablespoons chocolate chips and 1/4 cup¬† sour cream. Of course that is not what I did.¬† First, I rejoiced because I discovered that the left over cream in the can makes exactly 1/4 cup. I thought I read in Maggie’s or Sha’s blogs¬† that you can make sour cream by adding acid to cream. Wrong! That applies only to buttermilk. It was too late when I realized that vinegar and cream do not make sour cream. Haha. And I was too lazy to go out of the house for just 1/4 cup sour cream. Then, to my “sour cream”, I added the condensed milk and chocolate chips. The original recipe calls for white chocolate but I did not have that and yes was too lazy and cheap to buy some. It was here that I remembered that my microwave gave up on us a couple of days ago. RIP, dear microwave. You served us well for 4 years. I went to my neighbor and used their microwave. According to the recipe, microwave the mixture for 1.5 minutes to melt the chocolate, stopping every 30-45 seconds to mix. But because my sweet little baby niece Rya is so cute, I forgot the time. When I checked on my milk mixture, half of it already spilled. Oh well, nothing new. I went back to the cookbook. I read the recipe again and learned that the sour cream was not supposed to be heated and that I need vanilla extract which I also did not have. Continue reading “Homemade Chocnut Ice Cream”

Food · Mrs. Monologues

Breaded Porkchop with Teriyaki Sauce


Good morning!

It is been a while since I last posted. I do have a good excuse. I have been reflecting, reflecting on so many things. My life. My family. My goals. My job. The future. The people who helped me get to where I am now. Aki. Franco. Emily. Money. Haaaay.

Anyhoo, my favorite celebrity chef is Chef Boy Logro. Isn’t he the most entertaining celebrity in GMA-7? I love his energy on TV. I love how his recipes seem so effortless. I was delighted to find out that he now has his own food magazine. This recipe came from the vol. 2 no. 3 issue. Call me fanatical and biased but this porkchop is one of the bestest that I have ever tasted. The pork was full of flavor and very moist. The breading was very crunchy, just the way Aki and I like it.¬† It was so good that I almost ate half of a porkchop even before dinner was officially served. And the sauce was surprisingly easy. We had a lot of leftover teriyaki sauce which we later used as base sauce for a couple of veggies dishes.


1/2 kilo porkchop
1/2 cup oyster sauce
Oil for frying

Marinate the porkchop in the oyster sauce for 15 minutes.
Beat the eggs. Dip the porkchops in a bowl of beaten eggs. Cover thoroughly with Japanese breadcrumbs.
Fry each side of the chops for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with teriyaki sauce and steaming hot rice.
Continue reading “Breaded Porkchop with Teriyaki Sauce”