Christmas is coming! And for many of you, you are probably the designated chefs on that special day. You might also be entertaining from your home. I know it can be expensive and stressful but with these products from Daiso Japan, you can feel less stressed. Let's start!

These pans are huge! They can double as a serving piece too especially if you are serving lasagna or pasta. If you are bringing your food to another house, just cover with foil or cling wrap and you are all set. When the food is gone, just chuck it in the bin.


I hate washing dishes especially after a party. So, these Christmas themed plates and cups are my solution.

Don't forget the matching napkins!

You can use these cups to serve hot chocolate. Don't forget the whipped cream! 

You can put some cookies (above) in this cute Christmas house or candies (below) for the little ones. I also featured these candy dishes in my Halloween post here. 

Finally, don't stress about your table. Just add these adorable decorations and you are all set to have a Merry Christmas dinner. 

Happy shopping everyone! Get these before they run out! These are all available at Daiso Japan Shangri-La Mall but you can probably get them at your local Daiso Japan. 

Remember this dish? I had a few leftover ingredients and I was dying to try the 'invisible' stars. One afternoon, I was trying to figure out what to serve for lunch and thought this was the perfect time to try. If it's just my son and I, we usually opt for light dishes. This fits the bill perfectly. 

You need:

pasta cooked according to package directions

cooked shredded chicken

half a can of crushed tomatoes
olive oil
half a bag of frozen corn and carrots
some chopped celery
water or broth
tomato sauce
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning

Let's do this!

Heat some olive oil. Saute the garlic and onions. Add the celery. Let the veggies cook. Add the corn and carrots and let this cook for 2 minutes. Add the shredded chicken.  Add the crushed tomatoes. Let this simmer for 5 minutes.  

Add some water or broth and about half a cup to a cup of tomato sauce depending on how much pasta you are cooking. Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Add the cooked pasta and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving. I served this with some leftover bread sticks. 

We are not vegetarians but we regularly eat veggies. For this dinner though, I decided to skip the meat and just have a meaty mushroom wafflewich. 

You need:

sliced bread
a can of mushrooms
liquid seasoning
olive oil
salt and pepper
Spanish paprika

Let's do this!

Heat the olive oil in a pan. Saute the chopped garlic until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook until brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add Spanish paprika and about 2 shakes of liquid seasoning. Set aside.

When your waffle iron is hot, spread some butter on it to prevent the bread from sticking. Prepare the sandwich by putting 1-2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture on one slice and top with another. Pop in the waffle iron and cook until brown and the edges are crispy.

I served this with a warm potato and bean salad.

To make:

Boil some cut potatoes in water. I also blanched the cut green beans.

Heat some olive oil and butter in a pan. Add some chopped garlic and chopped red onions. Add the vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Top with some chopped spring onions. Serve with the wafflewich.

For dessert, I served some watermelon cubes.

This dinner was delicious! Everyone loved it. I will definitely make this again. I thought I'd go hungry around 10 pm but I remained full and had a very good night's sleep.

Sizzling tofu is one of our favorite dishes. Even my cousin likes it. Max's serves one of the best in town. I cannot recreate it but this is something close. 

You need:

tofu, cut into cubes and fried
chopped garlic
chopped red onions
red and green capsicums
liquid seasoning
oyster sauce
salt and pepper

Let's do this!

In a bowl, combine mayo, sugar and oyster sauce. Set aside. 

Heat oil in a wok. Add the garlic and onions. When they are cooked, add the capsicums. Add the tofu. Pour the mayo mixture over the tofu. Add a few dashes of liquid seasoning, the juice of one calamansi or a teaspoon of vinegar if you don't have calamansi and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a sizzling plate or in our case, just a regular plate and serve with rice. 

I also served some yakisoba to go with this dish. Landmark was having a special on Japanese noodles and Korean all around seasoning. I got my favorite yakisoba pack and just added vegetables that were available. I also added some of the Korean seasoning to make the noodles more flavorful. 

We had to stop ourselves from eating so that the hubby can still have some leftovers for baon the next day. Fast and delicious.

This was supposed to be a soup dish but the macaroni just sucked up all the liquid. Anyway, this was still a really good dish that we all enjoyed. This is especially great on cold, rainy nights. 

You need:

corned beef
frozen corn and carrots
Italian seasoning
potato soup
tomato soup
salt and pepper
1/2 cup water

Let's do this!

Cook the pasta according to package directions. 

In another pot, melt butter. Saute chopped garlic and onions. Add the corned beef and cook until dry. Add the corn and carrots and the ham. Add the Italian seasoning. 

Add the potato and tomato soups plus the water. Cook until the mixture simmers. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni. Mix well and enjoy with your favorite bread. 

I served this with some bread sticks.

Eating dinner with my son's cars

I bought a bunch of kangkong without knowing what to do with it. When it came time for me to cook the bitter gourd, I knew exactly what to do with it. 

This is a very easy and quick dish that you can whip up for a snack or side dish. 

You need:

kangkong, stalks discarded. Just use the leaves
equal parts cornstarch and flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
salt and pepper
ice cold water

Let's do this!

Make the batter by combining the ingredients. 

Pat the leaves dry. Dredge the leaves in the batter and fry in hot oil. Serve with a garlic-mayo dip. 

For the garlic mayo dip, finely chop one clove of garlic and mix with mayo. Season with salt, pepper and a bit of Spanish paprika. 

I served this with some ampalaya or bitter gourd sauteed with pink salmon.

To make this, I just sauteed some chopped garlic, onions and tomatoes in oil. Add the canned pink salmon and cook for 1 minute. Add the prepared bitter gourd. Saute for a minute. Add some water. Season with salt, pepper and fish sauce. I also added a pinch of Magic Sarap. I then added 2 beaten eggs and let everything cook. 

This is a light but very filling meal. I thought I'd go hungry after an hour but I remained full the rest of the night. 

Please don't serve the tuna wraps with the soup as the sandwich spread in the wraps contradict with the taste of the soup and gives it a bitter aftertaste. You can serve the soup with crackers or bread sticks instead.

For the broccoli soup:

special equipment - blender

1 broccoli head
chopped onion 
chopped garlic
half a chicken cube
 or you can use chicken stock in place of the cube and water
grated cheddar cheese
salt and white pepper to taste

Lets's do this!

Blanch the broccoli in boiling water until they become a vibrant green then set aside. 

In a soup pot, heat the oil and butter. Saute the garlic and onions. Don't put a lot of garlic as it will make the soup bitter. 

Add the broccoli. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of flour and mix until there is no more flour aroma. 

Pour the stock and cook until the flour has dissolved and the broccoli has cooked. Transfer to a blender and blitz.

Pour the soup back to the pot and add grated cheese and cream. Season with salt and pepper. 

This is a pre-packaged mix of power greens such as kale, spinach, etc. I just made the dressing by combining olive oil, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a jar. Shake until mixed thoroughly and pour on the salad. 

As for the tuna wraps, combine one can of tuna (liquid removed), chopped onions, sandwich spread, salt and pepper. Spread some over a tortilla and top with a few apple slices. Fold and serve. 

I have posted several versions of afritada here in my blog over the years but I can say that this is the simplest but most delicious one yet.

Afritada is a local chicken dish that consists of potatoes, carrots and tomato sauce.

The key to the deliciousness of this dish are the freshness of the ingredients and patience...lots of it.

You need:

chicken cut into serving pieces
onions chopped
carrots, cut into chunks
potatoes, cut into chunks
red capsicums, sliced
tomato sauce
white sugar
salt and pepper

Let's do this!

Saute the garlic and onions in oil. Add the capsicums. Add the chicken and cook until light brown. Add the potatoes and carrots. Saute for one minute and then add the tomato sauce and water. Season with sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes. Check every ten minutes to ensure that there is still enough liquid in the pot. Add some more water if needed. Taste before serving and adjust seasonings accordingly. Let the dish rest for 3 minutes and serve with lots and lots of rice. My husband had to stop himself from eating so that he can have the leftovers for the next day's baon. My son also loved this.

Oh, how I love fried fish and we have been eating tilapia for a few weeks now. Well, once a week, that is as I am allergic to seafood for the time being. My allergies are seasonal.  This is another version of my crispy fried tilapia which you saw in this post. This one features kid-friendly sweet and sour sauce.  By the way, I totally forgot to take a photo of the sauce but you know how it looks like.

You need:

tilapia fillets, sliced into kid-friendly pieces
salt and pepper
sliced carrots 
sliced red capsicums

For the sweet and sour sauce
1 small pack of pineapple tidbits (you can also use the crushed version which was what I originally wanted but it was out-of-stock)
1/4c water
2T brown sugar
1T banana ketchup
1T soy sauce
salt to taste
3T vinegar
cornstarch slurry (1T cornstarch dissolved in a little bit of water)

Let's do this!

Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Fry until crispy. Drain on paper towels.

In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients including the pineapple syrup except for the cornstarch slurry. Heat until bubbly for 5 minutes and then add the slurry. 

I promise you. This will be a hit with everyone!

This is a very simple dish that you can whip up in no time. It can be a bit expensive nowadays if you are living in Manila as shrimps and broccoli prices have gone up.

You need:

one small can of mushrooms
shrimps, peeled and deveined with tails intact
grated ginger
half a chicken cube and some water
soy sauce
oyster sauce
cornstarch slurry (dissolve 1T cornstarch in a little water

Let's do this! 

Wok on. Saute the garlic in a little oil. Add the ginger then the mushrooms followed by the broccoli. When the broccoli are almost cooked, add the shrimps. Pour the water and chicken cube. Season with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Adjust seasonings. When the mixture is cooked, add the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. My son loved this and he ate a lot! Serve with rice. This will also be good to serve with some fried chicken. 

I love fish and I love Pompano! However, I only enjoy fried fish so most of our fish dishes are like this. However, I needed some sauce to go with this one. Check it out.

You need:

9T sugar
6T soy sauce
6T water
1T sinigang mix
ground pepper

Let's do this!

Season the fish with salt and pepper. Fry. In a separate sauce pan, mix the sugar, soy sauce, water and sinigang mix together. Heat just until the sauce thickens a bit. 

This would have been great with some vegetables on the side but we ran out. You can also top this with some chopped spring onions or crunchy fried shallots as mentioned in the original recipe from

I found a recipe for stove top granola in Yummy magazine and thought I'd try it. Of course, I changed the recipe again to suit my taste.

You need:

2.5  cups rolled oats
1/2t salt
macadamias (or any nut you want)
olive oil
your choice of dried fruits (I used cranberries, mangoes and coconuts) 

Let's do this!

Mix the oats, salt and nuts in a bowl. On a non-stick pan, heat the oil and honey just until the honey starts to bubble. Add the oat mixture and mix well so everything is coated with honey and olive oil. I used a lot of honey because I like honey. 

Transfer the mixture to a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. I didn't have any so I used my trusty glass casserole which my husband broke the other day (sob..). I covered it with parchment paper. I added the dried fruits and let this cool. I transferred them to my Ball jars after cooling. I top this with yogurt and my breakfast is solved.

My only comment on this recipe is it's tricky to make granola using a pan and a stove as I couldn't cook the oats evenly. Some were too chewy and the clumped up portions were hard. I'll try this again with an oven. Oh, and you really need a big tray so that they won't stick together. 

Hey, guys! Sorry I've been away for so long. I went back and forth the hospital for some checkups and tests. I'm okay and I'm back.

Today, let's talk about these corned beef turnovers and how easy they are to make.

You need:

one can corned beef
sliced onions
pastry sheets
egg wash

Let's do this!

Saute the onions. Add the corned beef and cook. Meanwhile, prepare the pastry sheet. Mine was already pre-cut into squares. Let the corned beef cool for a while. 

Put about a tablespoon of corned beef on a pastry sheet. Brush the sides with egg wash (egg + 1T water and beat) or just a beaten egg and fold or cover with another sheet if you are using a thin sheet. 

Press the edges with a fork to seal them real good. Put holes on top of each turnover so that the steam can escape while cooking. I also brushed the tops with some more egg wash. Pop in the oven until the turnovers are cooked. 

I pulled out a few of these whenever I was running late for breakfast. Keep some in the fridge and just reheat for emergency meals.

I wanted to cook some steaks but you know how expensive they are here. Also, I needed something that my son could chew so the solution is breakfast steaks.

This meal is very easy to cook. 

You need:

breakfast steaks
salt and pepper
fried eggs
equal parts vinegar and sugar
shredded cabbage and carrots

Let's do this!

In a saucepan, heat the sugar and vinegar just until the sugar dissolves. Add the carrots and cabbage. Set aside. 

Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a non-stick pan, melt some butter and fry the beef quickly. Do not overcook as they will toughen up. 

Serve with rice and fried eggs. In just 10 minutes (minus the prep), you will have a satisfying dinner that your family will enjoy. 

First off, if you like liver in your menudo, skip this post. I don't eat innards. However, if you want a "healthier" menudo, please keep reading.

You all know I suck at Filipino dishes so this was a super win for me. I know menudo is such a simple dish but I always mess it up. I really liked this version and my family gave it the thumbs up too. I hope you find this delicious as well.

Oh, and I added quail eggs too. I really like the taste of eggs and tomato sauce. You can skip it if you don't like eggs or if you find it weird to be included in the recipe but I highly recommend that you taste it first. 

You need:

pork, menudo cut. I used about half a kilo
boiled quail eggs
soy sauce 
calamansi juice
pressed garlic (I hate chopping so I use a garlic press)
chopped onion
tomato sauce
brown sugar
bay leaf
cut potatoes
cut carrots
red capsicums
salt and pepper

Let's do this!

Marinate the pork in calamansi juice and soy sauce for one hour. Put it in the fridge.

Wok on. Fry the potatoes and carrots until slightly brown. Fry the marinated pork until brown. Set aside. 

In the same pan, saute the garlic, onions and capsicums. Add the pork (juice and all), carrots and potatoes. Add the bay leaf.

Add the tomato sauce, water, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture boil and then lower heat. 

Let this simmer for 20-25 minutes. Keep checking as the liquid might dry up. If it does, just add water. Do a taste check before turning the heat off. Add the boiled quail eggs. Adjust seasonings as required. Serve with lots and lots of rice!

There are nights when I am so inspired to cook dinner. Here is an example of one of those nights. Let's talk about the crispy tilapia strips first. I have a love-hate relationship with tilapia ever since I got one that tasted of gilik. It's hard to translate that word but the taste was awful. 

Anyhoo, if you'd like to try this dish, read on. 

You need:

tilapia fillets
salt and pepper

Let's do this!

Season the fillets with salt and pepper and dredge in cornstarch. Fry. 

I served the fish with this sauce:

Finely chop some garlic and onions. Place in a bowl and mix with equal parts vinegar and soy sauce. Add some salt and pepper. I also added some sugar because I was looking for a sweet hit. 

I served these with crispy adobo flakes. You can see the whole smorgasbord down below. 

As you all may know, I dread making breakfast on weekdays. I just can't relax. Everything is so hurried. Weekends are a different story. I look forward to cooking breakfast on Saturday mornings. 

This breakfast is composed of danggit, homemade longganisa and corned beef. 

I also served some chopped salted eggs and cucumber achara. 

Hey, guys! Sorry I've been in and out lately. I've been working on a post for my mommy blog and it turned out to be a really long one that needed my full attention. 

Anyway, I found these two photos in my archive. These were my cousins' baon. The one on top are sliced pears and homemade longganisa

This one is a simple saute of beans and canned mackerel. This is a really good combo as we like sweet and salty. The meal is also complete as it has veggies, seafood, protein and fruits.