Sarah is back!!!

Long absence…long story.  Good news is…Sarah is back!!!

Will be posting more recipes soon…so glad to see folks still viewing my pages.

Making tonite my Firm Enough Bread Pudding…have to take care of stale Costco dinner rolls.  Might as well, enjoy them…

Even bringing one 9 x 13 pan to work…am sure the ladies will appreciate.





Pinning on Pinterest

It’s the next best thing to food blogging…it’s pinning on Pinterest.

Meaning, pinning your interests.   Plain and simple visually interesting images you find around the web (“must-try” recipes or creative food ideas, absolutely divine wedding flower arrangements and fondant cakes, room redecorating ideas, even board or folder which I labeled “Bare Essentials” of snapshots of the hunky gorgeous DTWS’ semi-finalist “I can’t have enough of him” William Levy) that you can share and get repinned by other Pinterest users.  It’s another social media network really, but much easier than blogging.

I love  Pinterest, I started boards (themes) like…Beginners’ Fondant Cakes, Philippine Cakes, I like this Food Ideal (just so many really fantastic gathered images of “cool” food preparations, and just to name a few — making cupcakes using a box of cake mix that tastes like done from scratch, cake decorating using wilton tip 1M for lovely bold and big roses on cupcakes and layer cakes, using a tip to hollow out a cupcake, and even adding baked spaghetti in garlic bread).   And it is so much fun browsing pinboards created by other pinterest users…it is pinning and repinning …and then grinning too!  Check out  (and follow too) all my boards at   Don’t miss out on this fun and easy social networking, it is even easier than tweeting and texting.

My current stats:

71 Boards

2,002 Pins



826 Following

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A Valentine “Food for Thought”

Saw this in and loved it….just making it a fun message and giving it more personality — it’s love month, might as well fall in love again (with Food!).
always has a heart;   string along.
You’re such a cute  , Will you to me belong?
You’ve been the of my eye, You know how much I care;
So  get together, We’d make a perfect   .

Now, something’s sure to  to prove you can’t be ;
So, if you   all for me let’s let our  meet.
Don’t  my hopes and dreams now,   my honey, dear;
Or tears will fill ‘s eyes, While lends an ear.

I’ll shop and say, Your dreams are mine.
I’ll work and share my , So be my .


Carrot   potato      peas     lettuce     turnip    Cabbage    tulips    sweet corn   cauliflower  apple     Green beans    parsley  celery  valentine    tomato  pear  Bee  squash  beet

Partying in the New Year Got Me a New Cookware Set

I got to ring in the new year with a ballroom full of new faces as well as familiar faces  — it was Glamour Look’s New Year’s Eve Party.  And they picked Mardi Gras for the theme, so there were beads (in varying sizes, haha,and I actually wore the biggest beads around my neck!),  and there were masks too.

Thought I’d skip this hosting chore for 2 reasons:  I was rehearsing my song numbers and had problems with the high notes (still recovering from a bout with unwelcomed respiratory intrusions for over 2 weeks) and I didn’t get my “mandatory 8-hour sleep” before a performance as my hubby Glenn was coughing loudly the night before.  But after much thinking, I decided to do it, it was a commitment.  I really didn’t have to perform my songs…I could just be the crazy “host of the night”, really crazy.

Well, there was another problem though.  We got to Pheasant Run Resort where the party was held and when we were about to check in car for valet, I was missing my garment bag.   So we had to go back again to the house and wasted another 1 1/2 hours of gas and time, oh no, really!

We apologized to the Glamour Look organizers Glenn and Edwin and it was time for my “make-over” courtesy of Glenn Rivera…with heavy eye lashes and even airbrush foundation finish.  I was feeling “Glamorous”…it’s party time indeed….it’s New Year party time.

By 8 pm, eager crowd slowly moved their way to their assigned tables and opening remarks and prayers followed.  By the time the soup was served, I was introduced to be the host of the evening.  The plan was for me to sing first, then do my spiel and do another song.  It didn’t happen, ouch…my CD backing tracks won’t play, really really!  Looked like a night full of unexpected twists and turns.   Gotta do what I had to do…on with the show and the rest of the program…somehow the lady DJ got the plugs right and the music played on.   Oh the crowd was really enthusiastic…kids and adults enjoyed the chicken dinner.  And I enjoyed my “adult” adlibs with all (yes all!) the gorgeous men inside the ballroom — ha ha, you know, whatever Sarah wants, Sarah gets!   Somehow my voice was in full throttle as the night progressed, I thought I could belt out my songs.   And I did…oh thanks God, I got to sing my signature songs…What A Difference A Day Makes and Whatever Sarah Wants.

Then it was all dancing….I even got to participate in the line dance “Cupid Shuffle”…oh I loved it … it was a fun dance…moving to the right, moving to the left, with kicking and swaying too!   Even the loud teens were having a blast…and J-Lo would looked overdressed compared to the teenager girls with their tight short dresses…the lads were all smiling, mmm.

We stayed till after countdown and the 40” inch TV was raffled off.   It was a long night….but Glenn, the Glamour Look organized surprised me with a new Cookware Set!   Now my new year has just begun!

Holidays = Parties = Food Bonanza = Good Eats

“Happy days are here again” — i was really referring to”happy tummy”.  Expect an abundance of mouth-watering foods at Filipino holiday parties…so the host always presumes you skipped a meal and ready to indulge, to dive in


Party 1 – The Pink Brunch:  All dressed up in shades of pink and the theme this time was “native” and each one brought yummy Philippine foods.


Party 2 – Maricel’s Xmas Party


Party 3: Rudy’s 70 th Birthday (Rudy and whole Family flew in from Florida and was given this surprise b-day party).  Also included some snapshots of kids during the unwrapping of Christmas gifts.

No Turkey Post (not even a turkey leftover recipe)

Not a fan of turkey, roast or fried or steamed…so Jenny-O will never be a friend to me.  I’ve tasted some good, some bad roast turkey in the past — which all needed a good helping of stuffings and cranberry sauce.  What’s turkey with the stuffing and cranberry sauce…BLAND.   I know, I know, I’d be getting some hate comments if I say one more bad thing about turkey.  Actually, here’s my confession.

Glenn’s sister, Gayle,  baked her turkey for 6 hours in the oven…and that spelled YUM to me.  I enjoyed turkey for the first time, it was moist inside, but crispy outside — so good.

So let me just tell you what the family had for Thanksgiving at Gayle’s.  We started with mixed greens — her homemade vinaigrette (she found the recipe online) was perfectly balanced and paired well with the greens.  Then we all had bowls after bowls of the best ever Butternut Squash Soup she cooked for hours in the crockpot.  The soup was velvety-smooth and so flavorful with the addition of cream cheese at the end (I love, love, love it!)…Gayle used a stick blender to really puree all the ingredients.   You really could pour the soup in a cup or a mug and drink it, bottoms-up.

With my “throwed-style” dinner rolls (Glenn ate 3 rolls while driving to Gayle’s house) getting some good attention as well, the conversation was at bare minimum…it was nice, nice, nice.  I love to eat, than converse, at the dinner table.  Gayle placed slices of turkey and it was time to dig-in and enjoy it with a sweet potato casserole (no marsmallow topping, instead sugared walnuts filled up the top part of the casserole, it was grand.

Then it was time to taste my dessert offerings…brought my red velvet custard cake (baked in a bundt pan) and a black-bottom pie.   Gayle loves everything flan…and she loved the cake.  Gayle’s 2 sons enjoyed the pie…and they both gave the pie a 2 thumbs-up.  You see the black-bottom pie recipe in my next post.

So for me, I have no turkey leftover to deal with…and that’s enough to say,  “Thanks for all the great food!”.   Hope you had a good one as well.

‘Tis The Holiday Baking Season

I really don’t mind spending countless hours, alone, in my kitchen making my Christmas goodies for family and friends.  I should have started this project in November yet, but I did some traveling.   And with that “almost-winter” traveling, there’s a price to pay…climate changes and voila, “bugs” easily overpowered my body defenses.  Oh no!  Oh yes, poor me.  Rest, drink plenty of fluids, and heed the doctor’s advice — no baking, lol!

The very moment I won over the “bugs” a la Petra Kvitova garnering almost all the awards of the tennis season (now you know I am addicted to pro women’s tennis matches), I must, do my best to complete the giveaway treats first in 2 days, package them and ship without delay.   2 days to do:  coconut macaroons, mango bars, Ube crinkles, brownie butter bites, mamon tostado and food for the Gods, really, really!  I would have loved to add more to my array of 2011 holiday sweets, but I just didn’t want to get overwhelmed and get sick again.

Food for the Gods

This is one very popular Christmas bakery item with Filipinos.   A date and nut bar with lots of extras — molasses or honey (I add both), coarsely chopped walnuts, chopped pitted dates, and a nice booze addition of brandy (I didn’t happen to have one so I use Brugal’s Anejo rum).   The secret to making this moist and chewy:  Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 300 F for 30 to 45 minutes or until completely baked.  Back home, they wrap the bars first in gold-colored aluminum foil and then in cellophane.  Would be lots to do, so I just opted to wrap in cellophane.  Trimmed edges to fit in the cellophane squares…and glad to enjoy them later, oh sooo chewy…what a treat!

Brownie Butter Squares or Bites

Baked butter cookie dough for the first layer and then spread “boxed brownie” batter on top of slightly cooled butter cookie layer and baked again.  You can use your favorite butter cookie recipe and just keep an eye on baking time so as not to burn the cookie layers.   To cut them in squares, use a chef’s knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry before cutting.

Coconut Macaroons

This is a Filipino-style coconut macaroons, not the French macarons or the American macaroons using only eggwhites.  Loaded with extras:  butter, sweetened condensed milk and grated cheddar cheese.  Small muffin pans lined with paper cups (available online from craft stores) are used.   For a nice finish, you may also drizzle chocolate glaze on top.  I sometimes flavor my macaroons with pandan.

Mango Bars

This is one of my favorite Christmas treats.  Philippine dried mangoes and peanuts are sprinkled all over the baked shortbread crust before spreading the delicious brown sugar topping.   Use an electric knife to cut these into squares and then wrap in cellophane.

Mamon Tostado (Toasted Sponge Cake)

This is really biscotti Philippine-style, it is twice-baked…but instead of baking a butter cake, a sponge cake with melted butter added is baked.   I use the Goldilock’s clone mamon recipe that you can obtain online.   For the orange and lemon extracts, only use Nielsen Massey flavoring extracts that you can buy from King Arthur Flour Company (from time to time, the company announces free shipping, so keep an eye on it.  I love free shipping!).

Ube Crinkles

If you don’t care much about ube (purple yam), then bake instead chocolate crinkles.   Recipe formulation is pretty simple, just like a cookie dough that you chill first for about half an hour and then form into balls using a small ice cream scooper.  Careful not to overbake these yummy cookies.   A pack of Ube powder (available from Oriental stores) is added to the crinkles dough for that authentic Ube flavor.   Ube color is difficult to achieve without adding more violet food color (either powder or liquid) .

And these Christmas goodies are traveling as I post this to — Sugarland (Texas), Las Vegas (Nevada) and San Francisco (Calif).   Status: Shipped (my job’s done!).

And  lastly, one simple tip to remember —  Make sure cookies are cooled completely before wrapping or packaging them.

No Fruitcakes mentioned — really!


Tito Joe’s Calamansi Tree

Oh what a delight!….Tito Joe’s Calamansi Tree is bearing lots of “almost-ready-for-picking” calamansi (or Philippine lemon), may not be as big and heavy as local lemons, but each calamansi is packing a good sour and tart-y flavor to sweet treats or savory dishes.

Bistek (Filipino Beefsteak) is simply divine with calamansi, I know beef slices are a bit costly these days, but I wouldn’t mind shopping a pack just to enjoy calamansi….and it brings hundreds of good memories back home.  I also flavor my sponge cake for an exciting Calamansi sponge loaf.

But for me, hot tea with calamansi or sweetened calamansi juice is simply the best!  I can’t wait to come home after a taping with dozens of calamansi.   I’m counting days…am gonna have some calamansi soon….and I think I’m gonna make me a calamansi pie this time!

July 4th at the Rebellos

I hate summer outdoor parties — if ever I’m forced to attend, you’d find me staying indoors watching TV instead.   But yesterday’s July 4th BBQ party at the Rebellos (Tito Gerry and Tita Ellie) was simply perfect.   Not much traffic driving to their place (took us an hour to get to Franklin Park).   Clouds and little breeze were celebrating with us — no sun-protection lotions needed, no electric fans and somehow mosquitoes weren’t disturbed with all the celebration noises.

As soon as the grill was fired and Tita Millete’s 24-hour marinated pork belly were laid out, everyone was ready for “good eats”.    It was all about the bbq — pampano (fish), shrimps and pork, with some diced fresh tomatoes, chopped onion, vinegar dips (with garlic) — and boy, no forks and spoons this time, so casual, so Filipino, so much FUN.

And when it was time for dessert — Chocolate fountain (with fresh strawberries and large marshmallows), Selecta-brand Ube and Mango Ice cream and Halo-halo (shaved ice with all the wonderful goodies: leche flan, ube haleya, sweetened beans, and macapuno, evaporated milk, omg!).

I think this is my favorite holiday from now on — casual dress, no gifts to bring, no special party foods to make.   It’s 4th of July — and it’s a party, baby!