"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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Baking & Cooking

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake

Pardon the lack of art in my photo...

My MIL always makes strawberry shortcake around this time of the year (or even during winter; she just thaws her frozen strawberries). This is the first time I ever attempted making my own. The shortcake is more crumbly and sweeter than hers (hers is like that of scones), but I kinda prefer this one. My older son also likes it better. My younger son, who used to pass up on strawberry shortcakes during family gatherings, felt obliged to eat what I handed to him. I was surprised he actually ate everything and said it was good! My hubby usually just eats the strawberries and whipped cream, leaving behind about 75% of the shortcake, but this time, he ate about 80% of my shortcake. I think I will stick to this recipe for my own tradition-building. (I hope my children will someday remember to look into this website for their favorite recipes.)

I had two quarts of hulled and sliced strawberries freshly picked from my MIL's garden. I sprinkled about 2 cups of sugar and let stand while I prepare the rest. Even though I had two cans of prepared whipped cream, I had to use a homemade one to complement the freshness of the strawberries...nothing beats that! And while some would prefer to use angel food cake for this, I love the old-fashioned biscuit-type shortcake (ain't that what a shortcake is supposed to be???)

Ingredients for the shortcake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk

Heat oven to 450°. Grease an 8-inch round layer-cake pan. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening with pastry blender or 2 forks until crumbly. Stir in milk until just blended. Pat dough into prepared pan; bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Ingredients for homemade whipped cream:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar (approximate only)

Before you even start on the strawberries and shortcake, chill your mixing bowl and whisk/beater in the freezer. The cold temp helps prevent making butter out of your whipped cream (especially helpful in the summer time).
Start whisking on low going to high, and when starting to form peaks, add the sugar gradually. Stop when firm peaks form.

To assemble:

Divide the shortcake into 8. Slice horizontally. Put some strawberries in between the two halves of the shortcake. Add whipped cream on top of the upper slice. Top with more strawberries and syrup.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Macapuno (Coconut sport strings) Ice Cream

I looked for a recipe for coconut ice cream just to get an idea of how I should tweak it to make it more coconut-ty. Got the original recipe from allrecipes.com and below is my revised recipe.

Before I made this, I asked my MIL and SIL to try the macapuno. They were surprised to find that coconut can be so tender!!! They are used to coconut being chewy, and they are not really a big fan of coconut. But I think I have converted them...Will let them taste this one as soon as I get the time to bring them some.

My husband, as usual, was so-so with the macapuno. He still prefers the Old-fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream, which I made earlier, for our celebration of July 4th.

A note to Debbie:
My sis in Pinas could not find a sorbetero willing to share the recipe for dirty ice cream. I hope you will give this one a try. My Pinay friends definitely rave over this.


1 cup coconut premium milk (I use Thai brand)
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 (14-oz) cans cream of coconut (I use Lopez brand; available in the alcohol section of Hannaford)
3 cups heavy cream
1 jar of macapuno (coconut sport strings; available at Asian/Filipino stores)
Buko pandan flavor (optional)


Buko Pandan Essence


1. Scald milk and coconut milk plus salt over low heat.
2. Remove from heat and add heavy cream and cream of coconut.
3. Chill for at least 4 hours.
4. Freeze using an ice cream maker. (Mine is Rival.)
5. When done, immediately stir in macapuno. (Optional: Add several drops of buko pandan. That's the greenish ice cream in the picture. Personally, I like the plain one.)
6. Freeze overnight. (You might have to stir every 30 minutes or so for the first 4 hours to make sure the macapuno is distributed evenly.)
7. Optional garnishings: additional macapuno, kaong, or nata de coco (available in Asian stores).

Thursday, July 03, 2008

My Bibingka Cake was featured on GMA-7's 100% Pinoy (Fusion Desserts)

I seldom blog nowadays (I feel guilty about it) because I have been very busy, especially in the most recent months with a skin allergy that I have been suffering from for two months now (better now and almost back to normal), plus the recent change in work (from rehab dept to ER).

But recently I was contacted by Ces because GMA-7 wanted to feature my fusion dessert bibingka cake on their 100% Pinoy segment on Fusion Desserts (they needed a foodblogger based in Manila to re-create my recipe as well, and Ces asked for my permission. Needless to say, it did not really take a lot of convincing on her part. I was thrilled, and ChefCK, who agreed to appear on the TV in re-creating my recipe, is a Culinary Institute of America graduate and is going to open a school in the Philippines. I am just honored!

Here's a youtube video of the said segment:

Thanks to Ces, ChefCK, and GMA-7!

Now that I have made this post, this reminds me that I have not actually posted about publications that have also featured my online kusina. Thanks to Catherine Bolandrina of planetphilippines for featuring me on the 09-14-07 issue of Planet Philippines; the article was entitled "Pinay Can Cook!"

Another publication that got interested was Hannaford's "fresh" Magazine, which they publish every two months and which shoppers could get for free with purchases of at least $25. I "got" their attention when I joined a contest for recipes using any of their "Inspirations" line-up (I did not win, but they got interested as to how I, a Filipina, was adapting in an American kitchen, especially in a rural area where the nearest Filipino/Asian store is a two-hour drive). The article appeared on the May-June 2007 issue under the segment "Food Lover's Favorite", and was entitled "When in Maine..." with a photo insert that mistakenly featured the face of a friend who was with me in the photo that I submitted (I did not bother to correct them). My recipes featured were the beef pares, spinach-haddock laing, and leche flan (links are from the hannaford website). I have not featured my laing on my blog, but I submitted the recipe per their request. They changed some ingredients in the recipes they asked for, with my permission, for them to re-create the recipes to what they thought tailored more to the American palates, and which would also reflect more their healthy approach to food (e.g., changing the premium coconut milk to a light one). Some of my co-workers back in the rehab department saw this article and said, "I did not know you were that popular!" I almost choked! Some of my newfound online friends also got in touch with me through email because of this article.

Now I wonder if I will have additional visitors to my site because of this??? Well, I gotta post more often! But I am foreseeing more posts on quick-fix types of meals, using more of ready mixes (they are my best friends nowadays).

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