Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I've packed pounds since I moved to CA. The culprit? Haagen-Dazs Dulce De Leche Ice Cream, Cheetos Flamin Hot with Lime, In-N-Out Burger, Snickers and all other junk food that I rarely eat in the Philippines. Plus I was excited with Mexican food! I love Chile Relleno, who can resist gooey cheese oozing out of mildly hot green pepper smothered with tomato sauce? or Beef Machaca with refried beans? I was sure overwhelmed by the variety of Mexican dishes readily available all over town (when I was in the Philippines, the closest to Mexican I ate was Taco Bell..haha) Anyway, I'm going to be a bridesmaid this September and I need to lose weight fast! I started using our treadmill and step climber and focused on eating healthy. It's always easier to watch what you eat when you prepare your own meals, but my husband wants to eat out from time to time. Last Saturday, we went out to have dinner at Claim Jumper. Since I am trying (very hard) to lose unwanted fat, I restrained myself from ordering baby back ribs and split California Citrus Salad with Frank and had a small cup of Clam Chowder. The salad was so refreshing, it has candied pecan, mandarin oranges, green onions, dried cranberries, crumbled blue cheese on a bed of chopped iceberg lettuce. The Clam Chowder was pretty good but I personally think BJ's clam chowder is far more superior. All in all the dinner was good, I left feeling satisfied and not bursting full.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I didn't really like sushi. The thought of eating raw fish makes me cringe, when I go to Japanese restaurants I usually just order tonkatsu or tempura. Once in a while I get California roll, but all of us know that it has crab meat or imitation crab meat, not raw fish. My husband on the other hand loves sushi and sashimi. He always go to Hana Sushi before we got married. I think he used to eat there about three times a week. When I came in the picture, eating out became less and less because I like to cook. One night he persuaded me to go there and he ordered sushi rolls. Amber roll, Mexican roll and Asparagus roll. I thought I'm not going to like it but I was so wrong. It was so awesome, like heaven in your mouth! He even got me to try abalone sashimi. I still don't like sashimi but the sushi rolls, that's a different story. Now I love Hana Sushi. They have an impressive selection, the staff is friendly, and they have generous portions. Of course sushi is always overpriced but the size are decent and the taste is superb.


When we crave for burger we go to In-N-Out, even though they have limited choices their burger patty is the best. You can tell that you are getting 100% beefy goodness with every bite. Anyway, last night I wanted a burger. Instead of going to In-N-Out, we decided (or I decided) to go to Carl's Jr. instead and make use of the buy 1 get 1 coupons they regularly send in the mail. I wanted to try their Jalapeno burger so off we go. We got two jalapeno burger combos for only $7.82 (what a cheap dinner..haha). The burger looks so appealing with a thick patty, jalapeno, 2 slices of cheese, 2 slices of tomatoes, onions and lettuce. The condiments taste good but you can't deny the weird taste of the patty. My guess is that it's 30% beef and 70% extenders. I don't think I'm ever gonna use those coupons again. I'll stick to In-N-Out and their old fashioned burger.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Nothing beats the Beef Noodle Soup during the winter. I'm so happy that my husband loves Asian food. One of our favorite restaurants is this quaint family-owned Vietnamese joint on Los Alamos. Their prices are reasonable and their food are oh sooo fresh. I always order #10 which is Pho Bo, noodle soup with slices of rare steak and beef brisket. Always on the side are crunchy bean sprouts, jalapenos, lemon wedges and my favorite asian mint. I'll add some sriracha sauce and hoisin to get that sweet spicy taste. We tried other Vietnamese restaurants around the area but Pho Hoa is number 1 for us.


When I learned how to bake, the first thing I made from scratch is banana-walnut bread. I often make it now to salvage over ripe bananas. The recipe from http://www.foodnetwork.com/ is so good. The banana bread turned out yummy and moist.


1 1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine salt
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces

  1. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl, set aside
  2. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together.
  3. Lightly brush a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with butter.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  6. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter, mixing until incorporated.
  7. Add the bananas, the mixture will appear to be curdled.
  8. With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture. Fold in the nuts.
  9. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
  10. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  11. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack.
  12. Wrap in plastic wrap. Best if served the next day.


Our furniture store is just across the parking lot of Los Cabos Mexican Grill so we usually eat there for lunch. They have lots of great Mexican food and I can say that here in Murrieta, Los Cabos Mexican cuisine reigns supreme.Among my favorites are their Chile Relleno and Beef Machaca but the top on my list is their grilled chicken salad! The greens are crisp, the chicken is tender and juicy, the tortilla strips are crunchy. Every bite of this salad is like an explosion of flavors. You can choose whatever dressing you like, I prefer ranch mixed with their house salsa. It's superb. I can eat it everyday and not get tired of it. Plus I think it's healthy except for the ranch dressing.haha


Last December, I made Lasagna for the potluck party and it was a hit! I have always loved Greenwich Lasagna Supreme but this lasagna recipe I found on http://www.cooks.com/ definitely beats that commercial pasta. Home cooking really is the best!

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp beef bouillon granules
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs beaten
8 oz pkg lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
4 oz pkg pepperoni slices
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Cook beef and onion in a heavy skillet until meat is browned.
  2. Stir in tomato sauce and the next 6 ingredients.
    Cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream and eggs.
  4. Spoon a small amount of meat sauce into a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
  5. Layer with half each of lasagna noodles, meat sauce, cheese mixture, pepperoni and mozzarella.
  6. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.
  7. Cover and bake in 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan then serve.


My tita Liz always had sans rival during the holidays. I remember me and my cousins going to my grandma's house opening their refrigerator and getting slices of sans rival. As a kid, I never really thought about the implications of eating loads of butter. All I knew was that it tasted good and I can't get enough of that buttery goodness. I have always wanted to make sans rival, so I searched the web for a decent recipe. It was tedious and man, the amount of butter needed gave me second thoughts. Anyway, after the first bite all the thoughts about calories melted away. Here is a copy of the recipe I used from http://www.allrecipes.com/

for the meringue
12 eggwhites
2 cups white sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
4 cups chopped cashew nuts or slivered almonds

for the filling
1 lb butter softened
12 eggyolks
2 cups white sugar
1 cup water
2 tbsps dark rum

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line 4 8x12-inch pan with parchment paper
  2. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle with cream of tartar. Gradually add 2 cups of white sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold in 2 cups chopped nuts. Divide meringue between the 4 pans and spread evenly to edges
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove the meringue from the baking pans while still hot; allow to cool. When cool trim edges so that all 4 meringue layers are uniformly shaped. Set aside.
  4. To make buttercream filling: In a large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. In a separate large bowl, whip egg yolks until thick and lemon colored.
  5. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and heat to 270-290 degrees F, or until a small amount of syrup dropped into cold water forms hard but pliable threads. Add the hot syrup in a thin stream to the beaten egg yolks, while beating at high speed. Beat in the whipped butter until smooth. Beat in rum.
  6. On one layer of meringue, spread approximately 1/4 of the buttercream evenly to edges. Repeat layers until all is used. Smooth sides with spatula. Sprinkle top with 2 cups chopped cashew. Freeze until solid.