Meatballs, who doesn’t love them?

Meatballs are versatile, kid-friendly, affordable and delicious. They were known for appetizers but later on enjoyed as part of the main dishes. My kids love them with rice or with spaghetti in tomato meat sauce.

There are lots of versions all over the world. You may use ground pork, beef, chicken or veal, depends which one you prefer. My recipe uses ground beef sirloin and ground lean pork. I added bread crumbs and egg to the usual recipe. They are more than just binders and fillers, they enhance flavor and tenderness.

The exciting taste and the vibrant colors will perfectly fit your holiday table. 12 festive giant meatballs are ready in 30 minutes or less! Happy cooking! ๐Ÿ˜Š



1/4 kilo ground sirloin

1/4 kilo ground lean pork
salt and ground pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 big onion, grated
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 large egg
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Cooking oil for deep frying

Marinara sauce:
Tomatoes, diced
Italian style tomato sauce
1 handful fresh basil leaves
Sliced onions for toppings
Olive oil for sauteeing

How to:

Combine all ingredients for meatballs. Use a light hand when combining ingredients and forming meatballs for tender, juicy results. Use a medium-sized ice cream scooper to measure. Heat oil for deep frying, drop meatballs carefully. Cook until outside are slightly toasted. Drain on paper towel. Set aside.


In a frying pan, saute sliced onions in olive oil until caramelized. Set aside.


Marinara sauce: Saute garlic and diced tomatoes in olive oil. Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until reduced and thickened. Add chopped basil leaves.

Dip and roll meatballs into sauce. Top with caramelized onions and chopped basil leaves. Serve warm or on a sizzling plate. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ’‹


Elaine’s tips:

1. Grating the garlic and onion instead of chopping, helps it cook through instead of staying crunchy and raw-tasting.
2. Substitute for worcestershire sauce can be a mixture of soy sauce, white vinegar, sugar and hot sauce.
3. Use a small heavy sauce pan in deep frying so you’ll need less oil rather than using a wide-mouthed frying pan.
4. Instead of using a thong when scooping out cooked meatballs from the fryer, use a slotted ladle in order to keep their perfect round shape. Meatballs tend to crumble when hot.

*Special thanks to my daughter Jiann for the snapshots! ๐Ÿ’ž

High Pie! โœ‹

Hi everyone! Thank you for stopping by my kitchen. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I know everyday is a struggle on what to cook for our family. Needless to say, we need to budget and plan our trips to the supermarket. Everyday with no fail, we need to search for the best resources to run our household and raise our family. And, if we can squeeze a bit of fun in between, we can end our days with a happy sigh and a grateful heart.๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ

Cooking is fun and stress-free if we have our ingredients on hand or easy to find. I wanna share with you an easy to prepare, an okay make-ahead meal and a dish that has it all. There’s protein from the chicken and mushrooms, creaminess from the milk and butter of the gravy, carbs from the mashed potatoes and of course heaven from the cheese! All these in one spoonful. Now give me a high pie!!! โœ‹


Shepherd or cottage pie is a type of savory pie, a classic British dish and is usually made with ground meat, minced veggies and mashed potatoes as crust. The name “cottage pie” was first used at the end of the 18th century. It was around that time that the poorer people of Great Britain, people who lived in cottages in the country, started using potatoes as an everyday food. If it is made with lamb it is usually called “shepherd’s pie”. But the options are endless, we can use any meat we prefer and add our favorite veggies. In my recipe I used chicken breast fillet because it cooks in no time. I kept it really simple and I know you can never go wrong with it.

You’ll need:

Chicken breast fillet strips
Minced garlic
Soy sauce
Black pepper
Sliced mushrooms in can
All purpose cream
Evaporated milk
Quickmelt cheese
Olive oil

How to:

In a skillet, marinate chicken in garlic, soysauce and black pepper for 15 mins. Add water just enough to cover the chicken. Simmer until chicken is cooked. Add mushrooms including brine, a dab of butter and all purpose cream. Stir and continue cooking until gravy has thicken. Set aside. Peel and slice potatoes in cubes. Put them in a casserole with water then sprinkle with salt to taste. Boil until tender. Drain. Using the same hot casserole, mash potatoes using 2 forks, if a masher is unavailable. Add milk and butter, few tablespoons at a time, stir and mash until creamy and fluffy.

To assemble, put creamy chicken in a big or individual serving baking dishes, then spread mashed potatoes on top. Cover with grated or sliced cheese, drizzle with olive oil.


Bake until golden brown and bubbly.


If you enjoy this recipe and this test kitchen, please be sure to share your good news with us and others. I welcome your comments, as well as your own recipes and kitchen tips. As our test kitchen grows and reaches a lot of households, I hope to provide an even stronger community of support, reflection, and shared blessings. Greetings of peace and love to you all.๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’ž

Roasted Citrus Chicken

Hello everyone! I hope you all had an exciting weekend with your family. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Meal time is family time. We should spend more time with our family in the dining table than spending hours tied to the stove. ๐Ÿ••๐Ÿ•–๐Ÿ•—

To help you with a quick and easy meal, I am suggesting you to try this roasted chicken recipe with bursting flavors of citrus fruits. ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ‹ So if you have a hectic schedule all week through, this is the recipe you can run to when your tummies are grumbling and you only have a short time to prepare. Huge flavors than can be done in a hurry! ๐Ÿ‘

Roasted Citrus Chicken


Among all the roasted chicken recipes I’ve tried, this one is my family’s favorite…and the easiest too! I serve this with cabbage slaw, buttered corn kernels or mashed potatoes. ๐Ÿด๐Ÿ‘Œ If you have left over marinate/basting sauce, put over low heat and use as gravy. I hope you’ll like it! ๐Ÿด๐Ÿ˜‹

Thank you for visiting my kitchen. Youโ€™ve read this far โ€“ donโ€™t forget to follow me for more hassle-free recipes and cooking tips. Happy Monday! Happy cooking! ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’‹

Update: Add rosemary or thyme for a more flavorful roast! Yum! 

Elaine’s note: Lemons, limes and oranges will stay fresh kept at room temperature, away from exposure to sunlight, for about one week. If you will not be using them within this time period, you can store them in the refrigerator crisper where they will keep for a longer period of time.

How to cook: Baked Crispy Pata (Pork Leg)

Everyone loves crispy pata, but think of it in a baked-not-fried option…no oil since it is cooked in the oven plus there are no splatters to worry about either…oh what a perfect culinary pleasure!!!๐Ÿ‘Œ

How do you cook crispy pata with less guilt? Here’s how:


1 whole pata
Bay leaves
Freshly cracked peppercorns
Fish sauce or salt to taste
Cane vinegar

Start by boiling pata in a strong tasting brine using the ingredients mentioned above then simmer for an hour or until fork tender. Drain and wipe off excess liquid using paper towel. Bake at 250 degrees celcius for 45 minutes. Cooking time depends on the size of your meat and your oven’s temperature setting, so continue baking until skin is evenly browned and crisp.๐Ÿ˜‹


It is crunchy on the outside and tender juicy inside, just as good as fried, promise! You have to try this recipe to believe. You may never go back to frying your favorites again.

Elaine’s note: Fork tender means your fork should be able to slip in like butter, and you should be able to easily tear a piece of the meat away from the rest of the braise.๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’‹

If you enjoy this recipe and this test kitchen, please be sure to share your good news with us and others. I welcome your comments, as well as your own recipes and kitchen tips. As our test kitchen grows and reaches a lot of households, I hope to provide an even stronger community of support, reflection, and shared blessings. Greetings of peace and love to you all.๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’ž

The Chinoy (Chinese-Pinoy) in Me

Hello family and friends from all over the world. Welcome to my small kitchen. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Do you love spring rolls or egg rolls (fried or fresh lumpia) as much as I do? My mama makes the best lumpia! She makes sure she gets my Papa’s and all of us her children’s two thumbs up, (a total of 16 thumbs) everytime! My Chinese grandmother (my dear Amah, Ng Meh) cooked lots of delicious and authentic Chinese cuisine that we all loved. My Filipina grandmother (my dear Lola Fely) had her own spotlight in the kitchen too. My Mama wants us to taste the best of both worlds. Now, it’s my time to make my own family experience the flavors of different generations combine into new forms to make traditional food of the past, present and future.

Original Filipino lumpia uses heart of a coconut tree (ubod). Our recipe uses mongo sprouts (togue) and other veggies readily available in the market, stir fried, wrapped and rolled in a homemade egg wrapper, drizzled with thick peanut-garlic sauce and topped with lots of crushed peanuts!

Did I hear you say, YUM? Then you must give this recipe a try. ๐Ÿ˜Š


LUMPIA SARIWA (Vegetable Egg Rolls with Peanut-Garlic Sauce)


Ingredients :
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1-1/4 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oil

Beat eggs until frothy. Dilute cornstarch and flour with water. Add cornstarch-flour solution, salt and oil to eggs. Mix well. Heat a nonstick pan on medium low heat. Brush with a little cooking oil. Give a quick stir then pour batter into pan using a small laddle. Tilt the pan in a rotating manner to spread the batter evenly to make a thin pancake-like wrapper. Cook until the sides separate from the pan. Repeat procedure for all the batter. Monitor the heat. The skillet is too hot if bubbles appear on the wrapper while cooking, maintain the low temperature. Makes about 15 wrappers.


1 head medium size cabbage
2 big carrots
2 bunches of green beans
1/2 kilo mongo sprouts
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium size red onion, chopped
Fish sauce to taste
Black pepper
Vegetable oil
Sesame oil

Chop cabbage, carrots and green beans in thin strips. Set aside. Saute garlic and onion in vegetable oil. Toss in veggies one kind at a time starting with carrots, toss then add cabbage, next beans and lastly the mongo sprouts. Season with fish sauce and pepper to taste. Toss well until cooked. Drizzle some sesame oil. Turn off heat. Drain using a colander, collect the drippings.


Put the collected drippings of veggie stir fry in a heavy saucepan. Add about 3 cups water, soy sauce to taste, dash of pepper, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 cup peanut butter (omit sugar if using sweetened peanut butter) and crushed garlic. Taste must be in a sweet, salty, peanutty and garlicky balance. Thicken using cornstarch slurry.

READY TO WRAP & ROLL: Wrap veggies and roll, pour sauce on top then sprinkle with crushed peanuts. Eat as many as you can! Enjoy as much as I do! ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ‘Œ

Elaine’s note: To thicken a sauce or soup, you need to make a cornstarch slurry, which is a mixture of equal parts cornstarch and water. Dilute cornstarch in water then pour slowly into your sauce over low heat while mixing using a wire whisk. ๐Ÿ‘

My beefy goodness!

“I miss your tapa!”, my craving hubby said yesterday. So, just like a fairy godwifey,ย I whipped up his favorite breakfast meal..tapsilog! Egg, fried rice and everything nice! A beefy goodness on a plate .๐Ÿ’–

His wish is my command… Tada!!!



If you’re a tapa fan like us, you might want to try my version. ๐Ÿ‘Œย 


Elaine’s Beef Tapa

ย You’ll need:

  • thinly sliced sirloin or cut into strips
  • soy sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • lots of minced garlic
  • cooking oil
  • sugar
  • salt


Marinate beef in soy sauce, pepper and a handful of garlic (one handful for every kilo of meat), reserving some for frying later. Leave for 30 minutes. Add a little water and put on low heat, simmer until tender. Drain and set aside. Heat some oil then saute left over garlic, before it nearly turns to light golden brown, add beef and toss until seared. Sprinkle one big pinch of sugar and another big pinch of salt then toss again. Repeat sprinkling of sugar and salt for 3 times or less depending upon your desired tapa taste. Yum, yum yum!


Elaine’s note: You can prepare and tenderize beef days ahead as long as you will store it in the fridge in an airtight container together with the broth/brine to keep it tender and juicy. Drain just right before frying them. ๐Ÿ‘ Enjoy!