Category Archives: Recipes

Sushi Art- the art of eating sushi like peanuts

happy times.

I was craving for sushi the other day and thought of taking my friend Rysh out to dinner to a Japanese restaurant to satisfy the craving and to celebrate her birthday. Why not hit two birds with one stone right? We first thought of trying out ICHO at the Radisson on Sheikh Zayed Road but decided against it because we were both SOOO hungry and looking at their online menu, the prices were waaay above budget that I thought we might go home starving if we go and eat there. We thought of going somewhere close and since Frank hasn’t been to DIFC which was a 5 minute drive away, we all decided to go there and see which restaurant we could try out.

DIFC view from the Al fresco dining area on the second floor

DIFC had two Japanese restaurants in the vicinity. The first one was YO! Sushi, which was located on the second floor and had a beautiful view of the Gate building. It was quite chilly outside and Aria had a really bad cough so we decided to go to Sushi Art which was on the ground floor. It was the first time for both of us to try the place and the interiors boast of typical minimalist contemporary Japanese- with lots of wooden elements, black decor and japanese lanterns.

We ordered the Classic Black Box Platter which was basically a box with 54 pieces of Salmon, Tuna and Shrimp sushi ,Salmon Avocado spring rolls, Mango Rainbow rolls, Cheese Cucumber maki, Spicy Tuna maki, Spicy Tuna Gunkan, Salmon Avocado California rolls and Salmon roll, and an order of Mochi- which included 1 chocolate and 1 strawberry.

The sushi was so good that we couldn’t stop stuffing ourselves. I thought 27 pcs of sushi might be too much for both of us, but we found ourselves with an empty box less than an hour later. We ate them like they were peanuts. My personal favorite was the Spicy Tuna Gunkan and the Mango Rainbow Roll. As for the Mochi, I loved the chocolate flavored one (not a big surprise). I am not sure how mochi’s are suppose to be, but theirs was ice cream filled.

Ice cream filled mochi

I would definitely go back to try their other platter it’s a little bit more pricier, but if it’s as good as their classic box, it would be worth it!

Aria saying ‘where’s my sushi?!’

All pictures taken with Rysh’s iphone 5s.



Happy New Year friends!

I had no idea how I’d write my last post for 2013. I suck at summarizing. But here is my 2013 in a nutshell…


went crazy upcycling old jars

Got my replacement Silhouette Cameo… after a LOONG time! Thank you so much Silhouette America!
Adjusting to the whole motherhood thing was hard. Babies are really a handful!


How about letters for decorations?

My dad left Dubai for good.
Started with handlettering.

Won a dozen cupcakes from maison sucre
Helped my friend make her bridesmaids card


Peanut butter cream cake

Eraserheads gave a major concert here but I didn’t get to watch
Got hooked on Candy crush

Got to taste Jeff de Bruges for the first time
Husband decides to move to a ‘closetless’ room in Satwa

Broke my laptop. 😦

Still without a computer


my first successful tiramisu

Mom buys me a laptop.
Discovered the biggest pizza in Dubai!



Found success with CHEESECAKE!
Found a(n effective) working solution for our closet dilemma
Made matching dresses for me and Aria


Ground beef with beans and kangkong

Got a temp job for a month.
Dissapointed with my birthday Macarons from Knightsbridge café
Had my first kaya toast at Ya kun in Ibn Battuta with foodies and bloggers


the beautiful lamb chops from Bennigans

Haiyan (Yolanda) hits the Philippines and we all do as much as we can in every way we can
We remember Aria’s birth exactly a year after.
Got extended till April at work.

Aria’s first birthday party.

Hoping for a busier and more productive 2014! Happy New Year friends!

Nutella Swirl Cheesecake

Ok, so I’ve been  making a lot of cake lately. I have to say it is part of my excuse of feeling pregnant, which I am not. But Ive been having so many symptoms lately that I took a pregnancy test to confirm my fears. It turned out negative and so I went on my way. But I kept having unusual cravings, hyperacidity, aching back and nausea that after a few weeks, I took another test. which came out negative AGAIN! So I am just attributing all these ‘pregnancy feeling’ to being psychosomatic because people keep telling me that it is the perfect time for another baby.

Back to my cheesecake, I made another batch for friends who are celebrating their birthday on almost the same dates since they loved the initial one so much. I used the same recipe as the last time and added some walnuts and swirled the nutella right after pouring on top of the crust.

mini cake

It didn’t come out perfectly. I think I put too much nutella… Oh well, it was still good anyway. Now I have to work on asthetics.

Speaking of baking, I made a chocolate mouse cake last week using chocolate tablea from the Philippines. Tabléas (or tableyas) are pure cacao beans that are dried, roasted, ground and then formed into tablets traditionally used in the Philippines to make hot chocolate (source: Surprisingly everyone loved it! The sad thing is, I didn’t take any picture of it. I’ll try to whip up another batch some time soon. I used leftover chocolate cake as a base, crumbled it up and added cream cheese and chocolate fudge. Anyhow, I’ll try to remake it soon.

Cake love <3!




Ground Beef with Beans and Kangkong

Growing up, I remember my mom cooking a version of this entree often. It was one of my favorite vegetable dishes.

Now, it is one of the dishes I cook often. Not only is it tasty and healthy (because there are veggies :)) but also because it is as easy as a pie. It can also be cooked as a side dish by removing the ground beef. You know what would be better? Preparing this with ground pork. yummhumm.

I made a variation of this adding kangkong (swamp cabbage or water spinach) and this is what I am going to be blogging about.

Ground beef with beans and kangkong


vegetable oil
1 whole onion chopped
4 cloves garlic
450 g ground beef/pork
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
4 tablespoons soy sauce (adjust to taste)
250 g green beans washed, trimmed and chopped into 1 in pieces
a bunch of kangkong
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp brown sugar (optional for added flavor)
Prep your veggies. Seperate the kangkong leaves from the stalk
Preheat your pan over medium-low heat. Add the vegetable oil and add the onion when hot. Stir and cook the onions until they start to turn translucent on the edges.
Add the garlic and stir for about a minute.
Bump up the heat to medium and add the ground beef. Stir to break up and brown.
Add the oyster sauce and soy sauce. Stir.
Add the green beans and kangkong stalk and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook covered for about 3 minutes or until the greens are cooked through but still firm.
Add the kangkong leaves on top and cover for 1 minute.
Serve on top of steamed rice.

Finally! A working cheesecake recipe!

If you have been following my blog for quite some time, you might know that I have wanted to make cheesecake for ages. I have had a lot of failed recipes and documented one here that I made for my own birthday. But finally I have succeeded in making one that didn’t require a lot of complicated ingredients.

It was supposed to be a nutella swirl cheesecake, but I overmixed it that it became just a nutella cheesecake. However, I am still a happy girl.

I did not get to take a good picture of it. I shared the entire cheesecake with some friends and kept a slice fo rtaking pictures later. But when I finally had the time, I found my cheesecake half eaten. I was so mad and knew it was Frank who impolitely ate my slice.

Nutella Cheesecake


For the crust

ingredients… nutella not in the picture
5 packets graham crackers (3 sheets each. I used the chocolate graham ones)
3 tbsp butter (or more, if the mixture becomes too dry, add more butter)
3 tbsp castor sugar
For the batter
450 g  Cream Cheese, softened. I used Kiri cream cheese and it worked really well.
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/2 tsp.  vanilla
3 eggs
3 tbsp nutella
Preheat oven to 160.
Crush the graham crackers in a mill. Mix butter and castor sugar.
Pack the bottom of your pan with the mix. It should be firm and not loose. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. I used a spring form pan and lined it with wax paper for easy removal later.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended. Add eggs; beat just until blended. Add the nutella. If you want to make a swirl, pour into crust first and then add nutella carefully that you do not disturb the bottom. Swirl with a toothpick.

Place into the oven and wait for 40 minutes.

hate waiting
so does Aria… atleast she got to taste some batter!

Remove from oven and let it cool before removing from the pan. I made the mistake of removing it while it’s so hot so I made cracks(so many mistakes! I am such a rookie!). I actually returned it to the pan, coz I was afraid it would fall apart. Another rookie mistake. But I read you should let it cool in the oven. Let it cool. Don’t get too excited.

still looked good! 🙂
hehe returned it.

Serve chilled.

We made taho!!! – silken tofu in brown sugar syrup

If you were a kid in Manila during the 80’s (or maybe even the 90’s), you probably were one of those who looked forward to mr. mangtataho (taho vendor) in the mornings to get your early ration of the delicacy. When I went back to Manila for university, I never got the chance to hear the vendor shouting ‘taho!’. Not even once. Fortunately, there was one on campus near the gate where I could satisfy my cravings.

There are a couple of Pinoy restaurants/cafeterias in Dubai that serves taho. But the servings are so small and the price too high that I opt to not buy one. So when one of my friends told me about making your own, I immediately jumped on the idea and bought the ingredients as soon as I came across silken tofu.

It was also very fortunate that my favorite supermarket baqer mohebi (who always has AED 1 bargains) sold the silken tofu for guess how much? 1 AED! So I bought several and made sure I shared with the kids who lived in our villa.


– Silken tofu
– Brown sugar
– Tapioca pearls (optional) or sago pearls
– water

  1. Pour 4 cups of water in a cooking pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Put-in the tapioca pearls and cook for 40 minutes in medium heat. For sago cook for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and mix well.
  4. Turn off the heat and let the tapioca pearls sit  until cool.
  5. In a saucepan pour-in 1/2 cup of water and add 1 cup of brown sugar once the water starts to boil.
  6. Mix well and simmer for 1 minute
  7. Transfer the silken tofu in a container and microwave on high for a minute.
  8. Top the silken tofu with the cooked tapioca pearls and sweet syrup.

Recipe adapted from panlasang pinoy

Tiramisu without the mascarpone

I had been planning to make tiramisu for quite a while now but never had the opportunity due to Aria’s constant need to be attached to my hips. I bought the savoiardi balocco lady fingers on sale at Baqer Mohebi in Bur Dubai for 3 bucks for a pack of 20. Now these things usually cost around AED 15 so I snatched 2 packs with the thought that I would be making tiramisu soon. It took around 2 months before I made them and they were a day expired when I did. I thought it was okay since it was just a day. Nobody got sick after eating it anyway so I guess it’s all good in the hood. And mind you, it was pretty good.

I didn’t have any mascarpone cheese on hand. Those things are expensive. And I am the queen of substitutes (self proclaimed) so I decided to substitute the mascarpone with cream cheese, heavy cream and a tablespoon of lemon juice. I got the tiramisu recipe from the bag of lady fingers so I decided to share it here. I skipped the alcohol and its still as good.


36 Balocco Ladyfingers
5 egg yolks
1 whipped egg white
150 grams sugar
12 coffee-cups (I used brewed coffee without sugar from Bo’s cafe)
1 small glass of liquor of your choice (I skipped this)
powdered plain cocoa

Mascarpone Cheese subsititute

450 g (816oz) package cream chees
118 ml (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
Combine all mascarpone cheese substitute ingredients. Set aside.
Beat the egg yolks together with sugar in a bowl until you obtain a frothy mixture; stir in the cheese and mix carefully. Add the whipped egg white and then the liquor. Mix well into a smooth cream. In a baking dish, spread a layer of cream, soak the ladyfingers in coffee, turning them on both sides, and then line them on top of the cream. Pour a second layer of cream onto the ladyfingers and then arrange more ladyfingers soaked in coffee. Top with another layer of cream, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Using a sieve, sprinkle the powdered cocoa generously over the cream. Put into the refrigerator for at least two hours. The “Tiramisu” is at it’s best of your prepare it one day in advance.
My only set back was that the lady fingers were just too wet. I read from online forums that it would be ideal to not soak but brush the lady fingers with coffee.
too much coffee at the bottom that I had to drain it.
coffee beans from Bo’s Coffee

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