Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bibingka ~ Spryte Style

More Filipino food for my kidlets!

Bibingka is a sweet custardy rice cake.

I know I called this Bibingka... but I think it's really kinda like Bibingka with a Biko topping. Maybe someone more familiar with Filipino Cuisine can help me out!


Bibingka ~ Spryte Style
1 C granulated sugar
1/4 C butter
3 eggs, beaten
1 C milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 C mochiko (sweet rice flour - you can get it at the Asian market)
1 TBLS baking powder

1/2 C thick coconut milk
1 TBLS mochiko (sweet rice flour)
7 oz (1/2 - 14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 egg yolks
1 TBLS grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix sugar and melted butter.
Add eggs and mix until blended with sugar mixture.
Add milk and vanilla. Mix.
Add sweet rice flour and baking powder.
Mix well.
Pour into a 8x8-inch pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

When cake comes out of the oven, start making the topping.
Mix coconut milk with the mochiko.
Add sweetened condensed milk and cook over medium heat till thick.
Whisk in the egg yolks.
Return to heat and cook 5 minutes more.
Pour over baked bibingka.
Sprinkle with the grated cheese and broil till golden brown.


Mix sugar and melted butter.

Add beaten eggs and mix until blended with sugar mixture.

Add milk and vanilla. Mix.

Time for the mochiko, sweet rice flour.

I have to go to the Asian market for mochiko, but maybe you have a better local grocery store.

Mix in the flour.

Pour into baking dish.

I had no idea how cheap and easy to find banana leaves are. If you have them, line the baking dish with a banana leaf. I'll definitely be trying that next time.

Bake at 350F for 35 - 45 minutes.

When you take the Bibingka out of the oven, it's time to make the topping.

You need coconut milk.

I find that no matter how hard I shake the can, you really can't get it all mixed back together.

So I dump/scrape it out into a bowl and whisk it back together, then measure out how much I need.

In a saucepan, mix the coconut milk with the mochiko. Add the sweetened condensed milk and cook over medium heat until thickened.

Whisk in the egg yolks and cook for 5 more minutes.
It will get thicker.

Pour topping over warm cake.

Spread evenly, and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

I only put cheese on half because everyone doesn't like it with cheese.

Now under the broiler until the cheese is melty and golden brown.

This is wicked moist and rich. I serve it in small pieces.


I try to make this at least once or twice a year for Tawny. She really loves it!

So any readers familiar with Filipino food? Would you call this Bibingka or maybe just Spryte's Custardy Rice Cake?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mexican Brownies

As promised, Mexican Brownies!

At the Ocho de Mayo Party, I wanted to try something new... but not too difficult. Last year I made Flan. It tasted great, but had a weird mouth-feel. Instead of experimenting with that more, I decided Mexican Brownies would be pretty easy... and they were!

After searching the interwebs for awhile, I settled on FoodTV's Aaron Sanchez's Mexican Brownies. It has a 5-star rating and lots of good reviews.


Mexican Brownies
1 C butter, plus more for greasing
2 C sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 C good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground Mexican cinnamon (canela)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a 13x9 baking dish with parchment paper and either rub butter papers to grease or spray with cooking spray.

Melt butter over medium-low heat; do not boil. Remove pan from heat and let cool slightly. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the saucepan and mix well.

Add cocoa, flour, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and baking powder and mix well; until smooth.

Spread into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the middle comes out with fudgy crumbs.

Cool on rack.



There are no step-by-step pictures with this one either. It was a really busy night!

I had planned to add some finely chopped dark chocolate to the brownies. But when I started baking them I realized I only had about half of the cocoa powder needed. I balanced it out with dark cocoa powder, so I didn't have to make another trip to the store. But I decided to omit the dark chocolate, which the recipe didn't call for anyway!

These came out really good. I think I would have liked them better if there had been a little more heat in the background. I think about half of the people who tried them got a little heat and the other half didn't.

I didn't want melt-your-face-off hot... but something a little noticeable. I didn't notice the heat. Maybe it was the addition of the dark cocoa. Or maybe I just needed more cayenne.

This is definitely a keeper! If you like your brownies fudgy... definitely try these!!


Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


So I had my Ocho (Cinco) de Mayo Party on Saturday.

Since I had margaritas & sangria & Mexican beer, I decided I wanted a special drink for the younglings too. They usually just end up with soda and juice boxes and water... nothing special or fun about that.

So I was trying to think of something good and came up with Horchata. It seemed like a popular drink when I was living in Southern California, although I'd never tried it. I started looking up recipes. Horchata is Cinnamon Rice Milk. And many descriptions called it creamy... but many also called it refreshing. To me, the two words don't seem able to describe the same thing. Was I ever wrong!

All of the recipes were wicked easy and very similar to each other. This is what I put together. The hardest part was waiting, since it has to 'soak' in the fridge overnight.


1 3/4 C long grain white rice (uncooked)
2 cinnamon sticks
7 C water
3/4 C milk
1/2 C sugar
1 TBLS vanilla

Place rice, cinnamon sticks and about 2 cups of water in blender.
No cooking for this recipe =)
Blend until rice and cinnamon sticks are roughly ground. Add remaining water and blend some more.
Pour into a pitcher and let it soak in the refrigerator overnight.
Strain out rice and cinnamon sticks (you can save this for rice pudding).
Add milk, sugar and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
Serve over ice.

I don't really have any step by step pictures for this, because I was crazy busy and just wanted to go to bed by the time I was getting this ready for the fridge.

The next morning, strain out the rice & cinnamon sticks.

I poured it through a sieve.

Then stir milk, sugar and vanilla into the liquid.

That's it!! How easy is that??

Hunter, one of my youngest (and cutest) party guests, gave the BEST review a hostess could ask for!

She said, "It dances in my mouth and laughs all the way to my stomach!"

How great is that??!!!

Here's Hunter with her Horchata and a Mexican Brownie.
(Mexican Brownie recipe coming soon!)

This really was so refreshing! I was very pleasantly surprised with how yummy this was!

If you try it, I hope you like it! We did!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Huevos Rancheros ~ Three Ways

Hey... remember me??

Please forgive my recent absence. I've embarked on a new healthy lifestyle. I'm eating balanced healthy meals and exercising EVERY day! Some of my balanced healthy meals have been a major FAIL... others are tasty and delicious. But it takes a LOT more time and planning to be consistent. So, I think I finally have the healthy eating and exercising thing down. (I've lost over 30 pounds and 22 inches this year!) Yay me!

But I think I can finally get back to blogging!

So anyway... It's Cinco de Mayo!

I LOVE Cinco de Mayo!!

I really don't know anything about The Battle of Puebla, other than the Mexican Army beat the French. I just love Mexican food and tequila! Also it's my mother-in-law's birthday. (Happy Birthday Judy!) I wish it was my birthday! But then I wouldn't be an Aries... hmmm... nevermind... I'll just eat Mexican food and drink tequila on my birthday... but I never seem to do that, now that I think about it. Ok... that's why I try to always have a Cinco de Mayo party! Although technically it will be Ocho de Mayo this year.

Anyway... today is Huevos Rancheros... Three Ways!

The perfect way to get back to blogging on Cinco de Mayo!


First you'll need to make a Rancheros Sauce. It's wicked easy!

Rancheros Sauce
2 small yellow onions, diced
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 large jalapeno, diced
1 large can of diced tomatoes (about 3 cups)
1 TBLS fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp chile powder
1 big pinch cumin
a little veggie oil

Heat a little veggie oil in a skillet. Saute onions, garlic and jalapeno until tender. Add tomatoes. You can totally use fresh tomatoes, but I made this during the winter, in Pittsburgh and the tomatoes around here at that time of the year aren't very flavorful. Simmer that for a few minutes and add chile powder, cumin and cilantro. Simmer a few more minutes. Blend with a stick blender. I like it to still be a little chunky. But blend to your chunky preference.

That's it! Wicked easy, right?


Chop up the veggies.

And get them sauteing in a little bit of oil.

Add tomatoes and simmer a few minutes.

Add chile powder, cumin & cilantro and simmer a little more.

If it's too chunky, hit it with the stick blender a little. I gave it the smallest whir.

Now you have Rancheros Sauce!

It's time for Huevos Rancheros!

First I went classic.

Fry up a couple of Over-Easy Eggs.

Heat a couple of Corn Tortillas.

Add some heated Refried Beans.

Slide those beautiful Over-Easy Eggs on top of the Refried Beans.
(not sure what happened to the light here!)

Add some of that gorgeous Rancheros Sauce and some fresh Cilantro and breakfast is served!!

I had plenty of Rancheros Sauce, so the next day I put a Mexican spin on my Eggs in Purgatory.

Pour some of that lovely Rancheros Sauce into a ramekin.

Crack in a nice fresh egg.

Sprinkle with a little cheese.
Cojito would have been nice, but I only had Colby/Jack, so that's what I used.

Bake at 375F for about 10 minutes for a soft yolk.

And why exactly did I neglect to put cilantro on this??

Serve with warm corn tortilla wedges.


And on the the last version...

Huevos Rancheros Pizza!!

Thanks to Shane of Culinary Alchemist for the idea!

First you need pizza crust.

Make your own or use a prepared crust.

I used a prepared crust, because I had one.

Spread on some refried beans.

Some of that gorgeous Rancheros Sauce!

I made little wells in the sauce, then cracked in two eggs.

Sprinkled on some Colby/Jack Cheese.

Some fresh Cilantro

And into the oven until the eggs are set and the cheese is melty!

Breakfast for two!

I have to say, I loved all of the versions of Huevos Rancheros that I tried that week. But my favorite would have to be the pizza!!

I'd LOVE to have one of those right about now!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!