Monday, December 27, 2010

#267_My New Puto Bumbong Steamer

I bought this puto bumbong steamer around Christmas time
so I considered it as a Christmas present to myself.

People always talk about Puto bumbong around Christmas time, even Leah Salonga mentions "puto bumbong" in one of her Christmas songs. I came from Pangasinan which is considered the puto capital of the Philippines, (if there's such a thing), but unfortunately Puto Bumbong is not one of the many Puto varieties people make in that province. I've never sampled it in my whole entire life, so whenever i hear the word "Puto Bumbong", I wonder how it tastes like and how it's made, but never had any desire to learn how to make it until I purchased this odd-looking gadget. Although I didn't have a single clue on how to make it, I knew I can find out through the cyberspace and gosh, was I right! There's plenty of sources floating around out there.
I saw this particular recipe and procedure from YouTube

Soak 1 cup black rice and 2 cups glutinous rice in water with salt overnight then grind in a blender. Drain liquid using a cheesecloth.

this is how it looks after liquid has been extracted from the ground rice, the mixture became a solid mass.

to break them up, pass the mixture, little at a time, through a sieve or a grater.

The result will be this dry, powdery rice mixture called "galapong".
Ready to make the Puto Bumbong.

I followed all the instructions on how to use the steamer, wrapping the bamboo tubes or "bumbong" with some cloth to protect my fingers from getting burned, then I anxiously filled them with the "galapong". The water in the steamer was steaming. I turned the heat down so the water will just be gently boiling, I was ready!!! I then put the bamboo tubes in place.....anxiety, anxiety, yup my anxiety was building up!! Then something went awry: water leaked from around the seams of the steamer!!! water was all over the stove top. But in spite of the water leaking out from the steamer I was so determined to continued to steam the puto, wiping off the water on the stove as water kept coming out. From the instructions I got, the puto is supposed to steam in just a few minutes, but 15 minutes went by, then 30 minutes... only one tube produced a tiny steamed puto. I took this tiny puto onto a waiting piece of banana leaf sitting on the counter, slathered it with some butter as per instruction, and then sprinkled some grated coconuts and turbenado sugar.

I was not impressed by the taste at all. The puto itself was bland. No wonder from the video I watched on YouTube, the makers had to put all of those toppings on them.

At least now,I know how Puto Bumbong is made.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

#265_Ube Mochico Bibingka

Here's another super easy recipe idea...
very similar to the Mochico Bibingka recipe #53 click here,
with the addition of Ube Powder.

1 lb. glutinous rice flour (mochico is a brand)
1 can coconut cream
1 cup sugar
1 packet ube powder (purple yam powder)
1-1/2 cup water
1 jar macapuno
3 eggs, slightly beaten

Mix everything together then pour in a 9x13 greased baking pan and bake for 1 hour in a 350 degrees oven. If using non-stick or glass pan, bake in 325 degrees oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Let cool before slicing.

Note from MaMely:
When I made this batch I reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup, (sometimes I'm concerned about my sugar intake) but it was not a good idea, so I sprinkled some turbinado sugar on top of the baked bibingka and returned it in the oven to broil for a few minutes. I suggest to use the whole cup of sugar and not sprinkle sugar on top.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#264_Mango Upside Down Cake

Mango Upside Down Cake

I had used white cake mix out of the box to make this cake before I perfected making chiffon cake. The difference is huge not only in flavor, but also in texture. So if you want a quality upside down cake I highly recommend using any chiffon cake recipe you are already comfortable making, but if you don't have a recipe yet, here's a tried and true one: #210_Orange Chiffon Cake, click here.

Please don't be alarmed by the length of the recipe as I was. When I first saw the recipe from I thought it was too complicated so I didn't try making it for a while, then one day I got braved and decided to give it a try. It came out good the very first time. The second time I made it, the middle of the cake caved in. I know, it was discouraging, but because I knew how it turned out the first time, that experience didn't stop me from trying it again. The next hundred times after that were good. The only challenge in making chiffon cake is making meringue, which is quite tricky and requires a little practice, so don't give up if it didn't turn out good the first time; read up on making meringue if you're making it the very first time. Once perfected that process, making chiffon cake becomes easier.

This recipe makes three 8-inch round cakes or if you just want to make one or two of these, use the remaining batter to make Mamon, click here for the recipe,
Crema de Fruta or other cakes.

For 3 cakes using 8 inch round pans:

1/2 sticks butter per pan, melted
1/2 cups dark brown sugar per pan
2 fresh mangoes per pan, sliced or diced (or more, the better)
1 recipe of Orange Chiffon Cake, (click here for the recipe)

Pour melted butter in pans and evenly spread sugar over butter. Arrange sliced mangoes on top of sugar then pour the chiffon cake batter evenly between the 3 pans. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degrees oven for about 25-35 minutes or until cake is done.
To check if cake is done, insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean, then it is done. Avoid over baking it.
Let cake cool completely before inverting them onto serving plates.

Note from MaMely:If you want thicker cake, you can use two 9-inch pans, 3 inches high, or you can experiment with different pan sizes.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

#263_Melting Moments Cookies with a Twist

Almond Melting Moments Cookies

These cookies live up to their name as they literally melt in your mouth.
They are super easy to make and the recipe calls for just a few ingredients.

I got the recipe from my favorite site,

In the original recipe, each cookie is rolled in powdered sugar. I omitted that procedure, instead I topped each cookie with a slice of almond.

Here's how I did it:

After mixing the dough, I formed them into 1 inch balls.

While the dough was still soft, I made slight indentations on each cookie
then placed a slice of almond on top.
I put them in the fridge for at least 3o minutes before
baking them in a pre-heated 350 degrees oven for 12 minutes.

Let them cool on wire racks.

Note from MaMely:
You can substitute almond extract for the vanilla extract, but use a little less.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#262_Pepalukluk Manuk or Pinaupong Manuk

Another fan of PinoyAmericanFavoriteRecipes on FaceBook, Virgie,
shared a recipe for
"Pepalukluk Manuk" or "Pinaupong Manok".
Follow the thread on BBQ Chicken Or "Inasal na Manok"

Here's the Pepalukluk Manuk recipe: (Pinaupong Manok)

1 whole chicken
5 cloves garlic (mashed)
sea salt or any coarse salt
1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
More canola oil for frying later

Rinse chicken and pat it dry. Rub with salt inside and out.
Heat oil in Dutch oven or any pot that is deep enough to put a whole chicken. Add garlic and salt to hot oil. Add chicken. Cover the pot and put temperature to low. Cook until chicken is tender (about 45 minutes) but not falling off the bone. Take out from the pot and cut up the chicken. Fry in hot canola oil. Serve with steamed Jasmine rice or brown rice if you are health conscious.

Virginia Ganzon Rodriguez wrote
at 6:33pm on February 7th, 2010
Ms. Mely, I have recipes at
if you want to check out some of my recipes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Hope you all have a very wonderful
Thanksgiving Day
with your
and friends
loved ones.

Monday, November 22, 2010

#261_Homemade Croutons for Turkey Stuffing or Dressing

What exactly are Croutons?
Croutons refer to small, crisped pieces of bread that were sautéed or baked to remove moisture. Croutons are used as a garnish and sometimes to add seasoning to dishes as well.There are several dishes that are typically served with croutons. Soup is one of these. Salad is another. Croutons may also form an ingredient of a bread stuffing.
In simple homemaker words, croutons are bread that are cubed and dried, plain or seasoned.

How to make Croutons

for Turkey dressing or stuffing

Store-bought French Bread

Making croutons is real easy. Use day old bread such as French bread, baguettes or your home made loaf of bread. Slice the bread into about 5/8-inch thickness and spread some butter on each slice. Season with garlic salt if preferred. Cut these pieces into cubes.

Spread the cubed bread on a shallow baking sheet and bake in a
pre-heated low temp oven, 275 degrees,
until the bread cubes are dry and crisp, about 25-45 minutes.

Turkey Dressing with Italian Sausage

Recipe #42, click here

Notes from MaMely:

1) time for drying bread cubes varies depending on the amount and size of the cubed bread on the baking sheet. Start testing the cubes after 25 minutes of baking and go from there. You want your bread cubes to be dry and crisp.

2) If using pre-sliced sandwich bread, cube the bread into same thickness as the slices.

3) I use homemade Garlic Butter on the bread slices, which gives the croutons simple but wonderful flavor.

For Garlic Butter recipe click here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

#260_Different Ways to Make Gravy

Gravy over mashed potatoes is like "icing on a cake". Without gravy, the mashed potatoes would taste bland. It is therefore important to have good gravy to totally enjoy your mashed potatoes. For those who are intimidated to make gravy, or making gravy the first time, I'm posting a number of simple ways and ideas to prepare them. Usually, recipes for gravy starts with "first make a roux". I made the procedures as simple as possible by eliminating making a roux for beginners' sake. Some people might think this is not a good idea, but hey, these gravies taste as good as the kind made with roux, believe me.

Restaurant-style white gravy
made with the
Universal Sauce
and Chicken Bouillon.

Universal sauce is a powder mix for making gravies and sauces.

Option 1:
3 tablespoons Universal Sauce Mix
1/2 teaspoon bouillon powder
1 cup cold water
Here's an easy option for making a gravy without using any drippings that is as good as the kind served at some fancy restaurants. It is very simple and super, super easy to make. Just mix the Universal Sauce Mix and the Chicken Bouillon powder in a sauce pan, dissolve in a cup of cold water then cook over medium high heat stirring until it is smooth and thickened. Season with freshly cracked black pepper. Serve warm over hot mashed potatoes (or biscuits). This gravy taste so good, your family will think you ordered it from a famous and expensive restaurant.
Happy Thanksgiving Day!!

Option 2:
1 cup cold water
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon chicken Bouillon
1 teaspoon ground sage

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

freshly cracked black pepper

If you don't have the
Universal Sauce mix, you can just use a bouillon powder and flour. Combine flour, bouillon powder, ground sage and poultry seasoning in a sauce pan. Whisk in cold water until flour is dissolved; cook over medium high heat stirring constantly until smooth and thickened. Season with freshly cracked black pepper. Serve over hot mashed potatoes.


1) you can definitely use bouillon cube, just dissolve it in very hot water then combine with the dissolved flour. Please remember that flour won't dissolve in hot liquid.

Gobble, Gobble!!!

Option 3: if all else fails....

1 can
Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can chicken broth
will do the trick.
If you don't have bouillon cube or powder, open a can cream of chicken soup; pour it in a bowl and stir in a can of broth. Heat it up in microwave (or on the stove). Season with freshly- cracked black pepper. Serve over hot mashed potatoes.

x x x x x x x x x x x

Here's a recipe for
MaMely's Home Made Turkey Gravy

This gravy might require more work than the 3 options above, but
it is worth all your efforts because this gravy is so impressive
even without using the roux that your family and guest will declare you
the "gravy queen" at the dinner table. Go for the crown ladies!

(These measurements are all approximates)
5 cups turkey broth
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 ribs celery, coarsely sliced
2 tsp salt
turkey drippings

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1 cup cold water

1 tsp Season All or any brand of seasoned salt

1 tsp garlic powder
Freshly milled black pepper

First, make broth:
Put the turkey giblets, heart and neck in a large pot. Cover with about 5 cups of cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat, skimming off the fat or foam. When there are no more of the gunks floating, put in the onion and celery, and about 2 tsp salt. Turn down heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for about an hour. Discard the meat and veggies and put the broth thru a sieve to get a clear broth.

Put back the clear broth into the pot and whisk in some turkey drippings,
Season All or seasoned salt and garlic powder, then continue to simmer for about 30 minutes; turn the heat up to medium high and bring the broth to rolling boil. Dissolve about 1/3 cup flour in a half a cup of cold water. Slowly pour this mixture into the boiling broth, stirring vigorously (wire whisk is best) until the gravy is smooth and thickened or a desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle some freshly cracked black pepper.

Take the pan off the stove, but keep the gravy warm in a gravy warmer, until ready to serve.

take the discarded celery and onions and the liver and processed in a food processor, (or use blender) then combine it with the simmering gravy. Now you have some delicious home made gravy that your family will be thankful for.

For Mashed Potato recipe #43 click here.

Notes from MaMely:
1) Take out the liver after 20 minutes of simmering.
2) If gravy is thick, thin it out by adding more broth.
3) If you want to try making the roux, (pronounced "roo") here's how to make it:
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a pan, then add about 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour. Using a wire whisk, whisk constantly until there are no more lumps and the mixture is thickened and color is like peanut butter. Be patient though because this processes takes a while, and be careful not to burn this mixture otherwise your gravy will taste bitter. If you have some drippings, use it instead of butter. Now you have the roux.
To the roux, while stirring, gradually add hot broth, turkey drippings, ground sage, Season All and the ground (or blended) celery and onions; continue to simmer until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle some freshly cracked black pepper.
Not too bad after all!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

#259_Mrs Johnson's Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Mrs Johnson's Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I tweaked Mrs Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie original recipe,
by modifying some of the ingredients, thereby
making the cookies somewhat different.
So now this modified version of the recipe belongs to me, hence,
Mrs Johnson's.

Here's the original
Mrs Fields recipe:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla until very smooth and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a food processor, blend oatmeal until fine. Add to flour mixture.
  4. Stir butter mixture into flour/oatmeal mixture. Blend well.
  5. Add chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir until blended. Roll into golf balls size and bake for 8-10 minutes. You do not want to over bake these.

.......and here's Mrs. Johnson's

I used some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and a Hershey bar
instead of chocolate chips morsels

Coarsely chopped candy bars

I used half butter and half shortening.

Here's the changes I made:
1) Reduced the white sugar to 1/2 cup since the peanut butter cups are too sweet already.
2) I used 1/2 cup cold butter and 1/2 cup butter-flavored Crisco shortening
3) I replaced the chocolate chips with 2 cups chopped candy bars.
4) Toasted the walnuts in 350 degrees oven for 8 minutes
5) I only used 1/2 cup ground oats
6) Chilled the dough before baking.

Mrs Johnson's recipe
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped candy bars
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
1) Toast walnuts in pre-heated 350 degrees oven for about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2) Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3) Cut cold butter into small cubes then cream together with shortening and sugars with a hand-held electric mixer until smooth. Stir in eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth and fluffy
4) In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a food processor, grind the oats until fine then add to flour mixture.
5) Stir butter mixture into flour/oatmeal mixture until well blended.
6) Add the chopped candy bars and walnuts. Stir until all ingredients are just blended.
7) Refrigerate dough to chill for at least an hour.
8) Roll chilled dough into golf ball size. Bake for 8-10 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degrees oven.
9) Cool cookies on wire racks.

There's one caveat:
These cookies are highly addictive!!
if you know you can't stop
after 5 pieces, better not make these cookies....
Second thought: awww, make them anyway
and share them with your friends.

#258_ Waldorf Salad

Waldorf Salad

Here's one way to use up your Fall harvest or bumper crop of apples. It is super easy to make and goes well with any dish on any occasion.

According to Wikipedia, this salad was first created between 1893 and 1896 at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City (the precursor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, which opened in 1931).

Oscar Tschirky, who was the Waldorf's maître d'hôtel is widely credited with creating the recipe. The original recipe did not contain nuts, but they had been added by the time the recipe appeared in the Rector Cook Book in 1928.

Here's my version of this salad:
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 cup seedless grapes, halved
3 medium size sweet apples such as Braeburn or Fuji

4 tbsp mayo (or more if prefer)
1 tbsp juice of lime or lemon
1 tsp sugar

1) Toast nuts in a preheated 350 degrees oven for about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2) Make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice, mayo and sugar together
3) Wash, core and dice apples, tossing them into the dressing as you dice or slice them to prevent the apples from getting discolored
4) Mix in the grapes and and celery and stir lightly just to blend everything together.
5) Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving
6) Stir in the walnuts before serving

Notes from MaMely:
1) This recipe serves 2-3, but recipe can be doubled or tripled easily.
2) Raisins can be substituted for grapes or you can add both
3) Serve cold on bed of lettuce

Sunday, November 7, 2010

#257_Very Moist Apple Cake

When neighbors give you apples.....
make this moist and delicious
Apple Cake

I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light, but I tweaked it a little bit by adding some ground cloves and walnuts and used butter instead of margarine. I also increased the amount of ground cinnamon and glazed the cake with apricot jam after taking it out of the oven. This recipe is a must try.

Here's my modified version....


1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup stick butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples (about 2 large)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°
Beat 1-1/2 cups sugar, butter, vanilla, and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 4 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking powder, ground cloves, 1 tsp ground cinnamon and salt. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon. Take 2 tbsp cinnamon mixture and combine it with the apple in a bowl, and stir this (apple) mixture and nuts into the batter. Pour batter into an 8-inch spring form pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon mixture.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack, and cut using a serrated knife.

Note: You can also make this cake in a 9-inch square cake pan or a 9-inch spring form pan and adjust baking time.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

#256_My First Ever "Special Occasion" Cake to Make

Since my sisters in New Zealand have been making beautiful cakes
for birthdays, anniversaries, special events, etc.
I've always wanted to try my hands at making one
just like their cakes too,
but there have not been any special occasion
for me to make one until early this month,
then I finally had the opportunity to make one for my
friend's daughter for her engagement party.

The cake is a Carrot Cake (recipe # 137).
Bottom cake is 12 inches and has two layers,
while top tier is 8 inches and has 3 layers,
frosted with cream cheese frosting.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

#255_Gourmet TunaFish Sandwich

Turn a canned tuna fish into a
Gourmet Tuna Fish Sandwich

Here's how to make this sandwich:

Sandwich Filling:
1/2 cup chopped Italian marinated vegetables
1 can (7oz) tuna in water, drained
4 Tbs mayonnaise
2 Tbs. mustard
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl

To assemble the sandwiches you need:

2 submarine rolls
lettuce leaves
1 tomato, sliced
6 pieces Pimiento Stuffed Olives, sliced into rings
1/4 cup Deli-Sliced Pepper Rings
4 slices Havarti cheese

1) Split the bread in half lengthwise
2) Place some lettuce leaves on each bottom half of bread
3) Spread tuna mixture on top of lettuce leaves.
4) Spread the Stuffed Olives on top of the tuna mixture
5) Arrange Deli-Sliced Pepper Rings on top of the Stuffed Olives
6) Arrange sliced tomatoes on top of the Deli-Sliced Pepper Rings
7) Top each sandwich with 2 slices of Havarti cheese
8) Place the top half of bread on top of each sandwich.


For grilled tuna sandwich, click here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

#254_Cakes by Melita & Melinda

Cheryl on her 20th birthday

All of my sisters' cakes on this page are decorated with fresh flowers
such as roses and orchids
except of course the one with fresh strawberries.
Check out more pictures of their cakes here.
and here.

Mother dear on her 83rd birthday