"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Monday, January 24, 2005

Mix-In-A-Jar by my Boys

I registered my boys in the After-School Program, which runs in seasons (different line up of types of activities for each season). During the Holidays last year, I enrolled them in the "Mixes In A Jar Crafts". Here's a photo of their products. Since both of them are enrolled, we got to try one and preserve the other at least until the collection was completed.

These are, from left to right, all the mixes that they have prepared:

Cranberry Raisin Bread

Hot Cocoa

small Hot Cocoa (different recipe)

M&M Cookies

Friendship Soup

So far, we have tried the hot cocoa, the Friendship Soup and the M&M Cookies.

M&M Cookies

Since these were meant for the Holidays, the M&M chocolate candies were coated in red and green colors.


For the quart jar:

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups M&M chocolate candies

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

For the preparation, to be written on the gift tag, available here):

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 beaten egg

1 tsp vanilla


For the jar:

Mix together flour, soda, and baking powder. Layer sugar, M&M candies and flour mix in 1 quart canning jars. Be sure to pack firmly.

Add fabric, ribbon and gift tag to jar.

For the preparation:

Empty jar of cookie mix into mixing bowl, blend thoroughly.

Add 1/2 cup butter or margarin, softened, 1 beaten egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix until completely blended.

Roll into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Nake at 375 degrees until edges are lightly browned, about 12 to 14 minutes.

Right after baking these cookies (as in piping hot and very soft), my husband was so eager to have one. Despite almost burning his fingers and tongue, he could not wait for the cookies to cool down first.

Friendship Soup

This is like a combination of stew and rice porridge, with the addition of beans. Hearty and healthy, this is a novelty for both me and my husband, and I can't believe it is an American recipe! I have been making dishes converting leftover mac & cheese into revised version of the Filipino sopas, which my husband has jokingly commented looked like a dish for swine (sarap batukan). This looked worse, and I admit, it does seem like "kanin-baboy." But I am open for new things, so I cooked it. It has a taste characteristically Italian, and it went very well with biscuits.


For the jar:

1/2 cup dry split peas

1/3 cup beef bouillon granules

1/4 cup pearl barley

1/3 cup dry lentils

1/4 cup dried minced onion

2 tsp Italian Seasoning

1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice

1/2 cup tri-colored pasta

1/2 cup alphabet macaroni

Layer ingredients in jar and put lid and cover on.

Additional ingredients for preparation:

1 lb hamburg

1 can tomato sauce (4-0z)

1 can diced tomatoes (28-oz)

4 qt (8 cups) water


In a large saucepan, brown hamburg and drain.

Carefully remove macaroni from top of jar and set aside. Add water, tomatoes, tomato sauce and soup mix. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add the macaroni. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until beans are tender.

Yields 4 to 5 quarts, so I prepared this for a weekend lunch when we had my nephew and niece with us.

Hot Cocoa Mix

We have been enjoying these jars of hot cocoa. It goes well with the cold season.


2 cups powdered milk

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer

1/4 tsp salt

miniature marshmallows, optional


Combine all ingredients and layer with marshmallows in quart jar. Makes about 4 cups osf hot cocoa mix.

For preparation:

Add 2-3 tbsps to a mug of hot water.


I am documenting these for future reference. Those that we deem really good we might try to prepare next holiday season. It is a creative, enjoyable and frugal way for the children to prepare their gifts for relatives. Other ideas can be found at this website and some more here. (I found it when I was looking for the Preparation instructions for the M&M cookies because both boys forgot to attach a gift tag. I am sure my MIL and SILs will appreciate these.


  1. This is a great idea, manang! I may copy you and save this for the kid's gift giving next year.

    How are you doing up there? Are you snowed in? Hope you're all staying warm :-)

  2. I like the Friendship Soup...mukhang kaya ko ng gawin yun. :)

  3. Manang, those M&M cookies are so beautiful!

    Ha ha ha! natawa ako sa komento ni hubby mo manang, kambal yata ng asawa ko sya ^_^ ...oh yes, when I first saw them soups here with rice and odd ingredients (para sa pinoy) I thought, HUH?

    btw, to answer your question about double creme = I honestly do not know, so I just stick to the creme the supermarket offers

  4. Hi JMom,

    I revised my post to include a link to a good resource on such gift tags. If the situation permits, I might volunteer to participate in the After-School Program and I will use this resource for ideas.

    Doc Emer,

    Kayang-kaya mo yan. Very healthy naman kaya pag nagustuhan mo, baka maituro mo pa yung recipe sa mga patients mo.


    Haha! Na-realize ko nga nun kung ano ang nararamdaman ni hubby pag nakikita nya yung plato ko na ang rice lumalangoy sa soup, at halo-halo ang veggies, potatoes and meat. I am slowly accepting his typical reaction to things he is not used to, and he is slowly learning to be less harsh in his comments to avoid hurting my feelings. CAn you believe that when we attended the all-Filipino Christmas Party, he actually had the courage to try Dinuguan (feeling adventurous daw sya), which to him looked like Chocolate Stew (hehe, hindi ako nag-feed nun ha...talaga palang ganon ang appearance sa kanila).


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