"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

Please use this search engine or the labels at the lower left side to look for a recipe. Thanks!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Torta Mamon Cebuano

The photo above and the recipe below are courtesy of my online/fb friend Leslie Ruelan (I did have the same recipe shared to me long ago by another online friend/ED nurse Glenn A. through email he sent me, but he did not have photos, and I lost my photos of it when I made them. They are so good!).  Thanks for these generous people who were willing to pass on recipes handed to them through generations. I never really heard of torta cebuana until I met friends online. Just a reminder for those who do not know what to do with the egg whites, turn them into lengua de gato or sans rival (both recipes available in this kusina).


1 c sugar
10 egg yolks
1/2 c water
1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
3 c all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. anise powder
1/2 c butter, melted
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 can 300 ml. condensed milk

1.) boil sugar and water for 5 mins. to make a syrup. Set aside to cool.
2.) combine flour and anise powder in a bowl.
3.) pour in melted butter, prepared syrup, oil, condensed milk and egg yolks
4.) stir using mixer until smooth
5.) sift in baking powder
6.) pour into wax paper-lined torta molds and
7.) bake at 350F for 22 mins. or until inserted toothpick comes out clean
8.) brush the top with margarine and sprinkle with refined sugar; enjoy with prepared syrup.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lukban Hardinera

Please welcome Jun Avila as my guest blogger for this post...Everything below is his own words...I got his permission to share this recipe. While I am too busy at the moment, I figure I'd post recipes shared by my online friends (with their permission, of course!) and probably blog about some gadgets of mine.  Bookmark it for your next handaan with your Pinoy friends because this one sure sounds like a winner!

WHILE most meat loaves have ground meat as base, there’s a kind of meat loaf in Lucban that instead uses diced pork. Called hardinera, it’s unique in other ways as well. For one thing, it’s cooked in a llanera, an oval pan commonly used for leche flan. For another, it is not baked in an oven, like most meat loaves, but is instead steamed.

What also makes it different is the garnishing of hard-boiled eggs, bell pepper strips and pineapple slices that go into the bottom of the pan. When inverted onto a serving platter, these garnishings form a colorful topping. The beaten raw eggs poured into the llanera form a coating that gives the hardinera the look of an aspic.


¼ c cooking oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 kilo pork kasim, diced into cubes
(See tips.)
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1-2 c pork broth (See tips.)
1 c tomato sauce
1 c finely diced sweet mixed pickles or pickle relish
½ c diced frankfurters
1/3 c raisins
1 c canned pineapple tidbits, well drained
1 small can red pimiento, drained and diced
1 85-g can liver spread (1/3 c)
½ c grated Cheddar cheese
1 c bread crumbs
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
3-4 canned pineapple slices, each cut into 3-4 pieces
1 small green bell pepper, cut into fine strips
1 small red bell pepper, cut into fine strips
3 uncooked eggs

Grease 3-4 small llaneras and line with banana leaves or with nonstick baking paper. Set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan and sauté onions and garlic about one minute (do not let garlic burn).

Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil and add pork. Season with salt and pepper and stir-cook pork until brown.

Pour in pork broth and tomato sauce and simmer until pork is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, mix together pickles, frankfurters, raisins, pineapple tidbits, red pimiento, liver spread, cheddar cheese and bread crumbs. Add the cooked pork. Do not include the sauce in which it was cooked. (See tips.) Mix until well combined.

Arrange slices of hard-boiled eggs, pineapple, and green and red pepper strips on the bottom of the prepared llaneras. Beat the 3 eggs and pour into llaneras, dividing equally. Spoon the pork mixture equally among the llaneras, pressing top to smoothen.

Cover tops of llaneras with foil and steam in a large steamer for about 45 minutes or until firm. If the four llaneras do not fit into the steamer, cook them in batches (two at a time).

To serve: Run a spatula or the dull edge of a knife along the sides of llaneras to loosen the jardinera. Invert onto a serving platter and tap llaneras lightly to release the jardinera. Remove llaneras and peel off banana leaves or baking paper before serving.


Llaneras are small, oval-shaped aluminum pans often used for making leche flan. This recipe makes enough to fill four small llaneras.

If llaneras are not available, you can use loaf pans. The recipe can probably fill two loaf pans.

The pork should be diced into pieces slightly smaller than that used for menudo.

To make pork broth: boil one pork broth cube (or one pork bouillon cube) in 2 c water until cube dissolves. Use as per direction above.

Instead of pork broth, you can use plain water.

If desired, use the broth and the tomato sauce in which the pork was tenderized as sauce: Simmer in a small saucepan. Dissolve 1 tbsp cornstarch in ¼ c water and pour into sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper and liquid seasoning. Simmer until slightly thick. Add one to 2 tbsp butter and heat until butter dissolves. Serve with the hardinera.

Drain the canned pineapple tidbits and the canned pineapple slices very well so mixture doesn’t become soggy.

Thanks for sharing this recipe, Jun!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Banoffee Pie

This is a recipe shared by one of kusina's reader, Joy C.  I am using photos she submitted for the slideshow.

Thanks to Joy C. for this recipe and the photos!


1 pack graham crackers (crushed); you can use less  if you want
nuts of your choice (Joy used chopped almonds)
1/2 cup butter, melted
5 or more pieces of ripe bananas, sliced into discs
1-1/2 cup whipping cream (depends on how much you want)
1/4 cup sugar or use more according to your taste, added to whipped cream towards the end of whipping
1 can (pressure-cooked) dulce de leche to serve as toffee
optional: chocolate shavings (you can buy this in small packages in the baking section)


Crush graham crackers either by using a chopped or food processor (best) or placing in a ziploc bag and crushing with rolling pin.

Mix crushed graham, nuts and butter then press onto a springform pan.  Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until the crust hardens.

Pour the dulce de leche/toffee on top then chill again.

Whip the cream and add sugar to taste.

Distribute sliced bananas on top of the toffee then top with the whipped cream.

Garnish with chocolate shavings if desired.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Reader's Gallery #14

This is long overdue!!! Lowiela Ellen sent me these photos of mamon late last year, with the following email.

hello manang,

i tried your special mamon yesterday and tasted so good!!!!though the first batch was just too short in the oven so the 2nd batch i do it bit longer...

tried also the leche flan using whole eggs but was not able to take photo it turned out also perfect with the 2nd batch and so so the first batch but was own mistake and learned from it!!!

thank you manang!!!!

Thanks, Lowiela, and sorry for this delayed posting...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Butter Spritz Cookies

My new favorite spritz cookies because they are easy enough to press out the cookie press, bakes for 6-8 minutes only, tender enough for me, great-tasting, and easily slides off the traditional aluminum (non-insulated pan using a little nudge by a brownie spatula. Most of all, hubby does not really notice the difference from the first two recipes (or so he says).

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salst
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1-1/3 cups confectioners sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Sift together the flour and salt; set aside.
Cream together the softened butter and sugar. Mix in egg yolks, almond and vanilla extracts. Blend in dry ingredients. Fill cookie press and shoot cookies 1.5" apart on ungreased aluminum non-insulated cookie sheet. You may decorate with sprinkles or sugar before baking.
Bake 6-8 minutes until slightly golden brown at the edges.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Chocolate Oat Cookies

I got this recipe (original name Double Chocolate Oat Cookies) from a booklet sampling of favorite brand recipes. However, when I made this the first time, I found it too soft/gooey, although very good. So the second time I made it, I used the one on the internet, but that gave me very tough and dry cookies. So this time, I resorted back to the first one I used, but I doubled the amount of oats (which makes it healthier, doesn't it? Ok, ok, at least I have less guilt with this choco-laden recipe), and I got the consistency and taste that I expected.

Kids and hubby love these cookies, and so do I.

2 cups swemisweet chocolate chips, divided in two
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all purpose-flour
1-1/2 cup Quaker Oats (quick or old-fashioned, uncooked)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (optional)

Heat oven to 375° F. Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in small saucepan; set aside.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
Stir in melted chocolate, egg, and vanilla.
Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix this with the liquid ingredients.
Stir ini remaining chocolate chips.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto parchment sheet placed on cookie sheets (I used a cookie scoop).
Bake 8-10 minutes or just until set (Do not overbake. Centers should look soft.)
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Store tightly covered.

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