Monday, January 9, 2012

Broas by Betsy's Cake Center


The first time I saw this on the store shelf at Betsy's Cake Center, I just knew that I am going to fall in  love with it. It looks so pretty, so delicate with its light lemon yellow color and its feather light dusting of powdered sugar. It does not look like any of the broas I grew up with, nor, after having a bite of it, do they taste like any of them.

Most broas I've tasted has the texture of a biscuit, dry, light, airy, a bit crispy. There is one that isn't which was nice and soft, but I could not remember which bakeshop sells them, and if they even sell those still. Betsy's broas is even softer. It is like a cross between a chiffon cake and a biscuit. It is pillow soft and is actually two pieces of broas stuck together by a thin layer of yummy buttercream.

A box of these broas containing a dozen is a definite steal at Php240. However, I think you can only get them in Malabon.

Betsy's Cake Center
Address: 10 J.P. Rizal Street, Tanong, Malabon City
Telephone: (02)281-1131

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pili Squares by Emma Lacson's Delicacies

Pili Squares

My mother got this box of pastry last December. It was maroon with bronze letterings on it. We were having quite a bit of sweets overload right around Christmas time, and after a while I would simply glaze over the newest box of pastry on the kitchen table and  would not even bother to open it. 

This one says "pili squares" on it. Me, I am not a big fan of pili nuts. (I was exposed to this particular nut very early, having a lot of family friends from the Bicol region who would bring them as pasalubong.) I find it overly greasy and no matter how fresh it may be, I think it has a rancid taste to it. I do not think I would even have tasted Emma Lacson's Delicacies' Pili Squares had my sister not remarked one afternoon that they were really good. So, after maybe two days since I saw it on the table, I tasted my first Pili Square. It was a eureka moment. I remember thinking to myself as I chewed on this molasses-colored pastry that my sister was right, it was indeed seriously good.

It has a paper-thin crust, which I think is a fabulous thing. It gives the pastry that sophisticated crackle with every bite. The rest of the pili square is super chewy (you really have to get your teeth into it) and surprisingly moist. And it is not too sweet. It is so easy to take bite after bite of it without noticing you've already consumed half of the box in under an hour.

What of my distate of pili nuts? If I didn't know it was pili in there, I would have thought they were pecans. Kudos to Ms. Emma Lacson for casting the pili nut in a completely new light for me.

Pili Squares Emma Lacson's Delicacies (Silay's Famous Family Recipes )
Address: 120 Rizal St., Silay City, Negros Occidental
Telephone: (034)495-5047

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What to do with that Leftover Roast Beef

Cheese Steaks

Hello 2012.

I had a lot on my plate during the holidays. You cannot imagine. (I suppose you can, judging from the utter lack of post in My Food Notebook for December and the lot of November of 2011.) I am slowly getting my bearings back though and, fingers crossed, I will be able to unload this tremendous backlog of delicious photos from my hard drive post by post.

What have I been doing?

Let's just say I'd been neck deep in food. Just like my hard drive, my fridge is just as bursting in leftovers and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out what to do with them. Well, I can think of a few things. Like what I did to the roast beef. Forget no-brainer roastbeef sandwiches, let's make us some cheesesteaks!

I found this recipe online and simply substituted slices of my leftover rib eye roast beef (see my recipe for roast beef here) for the uncooked rib eye called for. It turned out so good nobody would believe how outrageously easy it was to make.

Philly Cheese Steak


32 oz. thin sliced rib eye or eye roll steak
6 T soya bean oil
Cheese (we recommend Cheez Whiz®), but American or Provolone works fine
4 crusty Italian rolls
1 large Spanish onion

Optional: sweet green and red peppers sauteed in oil
Optional: mushrooms sauteed in oil


Heat an iron skillet or a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan and saute the onions to desired doneness. Remove the onions, then add the remaining oil and saute the slices of meat quickly on both sides.

While the meat is cooking, melt the Cheez Whiz® in a double boiler or in the microwave. Once the meat is done, place 8 oz. of the meat into the rolls. Add onions, and pour the Cheez Whiz® over top. Garnish with hot or fried sweet peppers, mushrooms and ketchup.

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