How to cook: Kiam Pung- A Chinese style Paella

Pork asado

  • Porkloin
  • Star anise
  • Soy sauce
  • Pepper
  • Sugar

Slice meat in strips and marinate in soy sauce, pepper, anise and sugar. Simmer until meat is tender and sauce is thick. Remove anise. Set aside.

Stir fried mongo sprouts (togue)

  • 1/2 kilo togue
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Salt+pepper to taste

Saute garlic and onion. Add togue and toss until half cooked. Set aside.

Sticky soy rice

  • Cooked rice
  • Oyster sauce
  • Soy sauce

Add oyster sauce and soy sauce to fried rice. Mix until combined.To assemble: Scoop rice in a bowl, then top with togue, asado, adobo peanuts and spring onions.

Lai cha o! 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

Pan-seared Salmon Bellies

Method: Wash and remove scales of salmon bellies. Season with salt + pepper and drizzle with lemon juice. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a grill pan until it is beginning to smoke, then put the salmon bellies, skin side down. Sear for 2 minutes each side. Do not overcook. 

Best enjoyed with buttered veggies with quail eggs and cream, called Veggie Pastel.

 Belly good!!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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

Banoffee…easy as 123! โ˜๏ธโœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘Œ

Craving for Banoffee pie? Just add a few more pesos to your budget, you can now make your favorite dessert at home! Head to your kitchen and make not just a slice but a whole pie for you and your family to enjoy! Nomnomnom!๐Ÿ˜‹


You’ll need:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 can condensed milk
Ripe bananas (lakatan)
Whipping cream
Chocolate bar shavings for topping

Here’s how:

1. Base: Melt butter in a pan or microwave oven. Set aside. In a bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in butter, mix using a spoon. Press crumb mixture on a pie plate or any deep dish. Bake for 10 mins at 350F. ๐Ÿ•™

2. Toffee caramel: Melt the butter and sugar into a non-stick saucepan over low heat, stirring all the time until the sugar has dissolved. Add the condensed milk and bring to a rapid boil for about a minute, stirring all the time for a thick golden caramel. Set aside.

3. To Assemble: Slice the bananas, arrange on top of base.


Spread the caramel over the bananas, cool and then chill for about 1 hour, until firm or until ready to serve.


Spoon whipped cream on top. Decorate with the remaining bananas and finish with the grated chocolate.


Elaine’s tips:
1. Make sure you boil the condensed milk for at least 1 minute to make a perfect caramel.
2. For perfect whipped cream every time: Make sure the cream is very cold. If you have time, chill the whisk (or beaters) and bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will help the cream whip quickly and will increase its volume.

Holidays and other special occasions are the perfect time to make fool-proof desserts. This recipe is simple but the taste is festive and delicious. When are you planning to make yours? Leave a comment below, I would love to know. ๐Ÿ’‹

Pink, Yellow and Bleu!

๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽถ I love the colors of Christmas time- red, green, blue, yellow and white. I love the colors of Christmas time…they make my day so happy and bright! ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ…๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽถ

An excerpt from one of the Christmas songs I grew up with, sung by my cousin Carissa Ching and composed by my Uncle Greg Ching, entitled Colors of Christmas from the album Smile in Every Prayer, produced and released some 20 years ago! โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’›

Colors of Christmas- they are bright, happy and yummy!…yes yummy!!! I see pink, yellow and the pursuit of delicousness, we can call it bleu! These are the colors of my Chicken Cordon Bleu ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’™

Chicken Cordon Bleu may sound complicated to do, but believe me…it’s not true! These fried breaded chicken breasts wrapped around a slice of ham and cheese is a great entrรฉe to your Christmas lunch or dinner menu!


It’s so easy! Here’s how:

Pound/ flatten whole chicken breast fillet to 1/4 inch thick or cut breast into half- if you want thicker chicken portions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Put cooked sweet ham and cheese slices on top and roll. Secure with a toothpick. Roll into flour, egg (seasoned with salt and pepper) and Japanese breadcrumbs. Repeat process if neccessary until chicken is fully coated.

Fry using a deep pan with cover. Make sure oil is hot enough before putting the chicken roll in. Then put fire in low heat and cover. Roll/flip chicken once in a while to make sure it is cooked through evenly. Breadcrumbs are easily browned/burned so you should watch closely to check.

Slice just before serving. Top with catsup, creamy white sauce or mushroom gravy! ๐Ÿ˜‹

White sauce: Melt together 1 stick of butter and 1 all purpose cream plus salt and white pepper to taste. If you want a cheesy sauce, add grated cheese (omit salt and pepper) and mix using a wire whisk.

Mushroom gravy: Melt 1/2 stick of butter, add 1 can of sliced button mushrooms including brine, 1 chicken cube and all purpose cream.

Drizzle sauce right before serving or serve on a separate bowl. Enjoy!!! ๐Ÿ˜‹


Elaine’s tip: Let chicken cool before slicing to avoid cheese oozing out of each slice. Use a serrated knife and carefully do a sawing motion when slicing to avoid deforming the roll.

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‘