Neiman Marcus Cookies

This recipe has been making the rounds for ages.  My aunt sent me the recipe a few months ago with a request that I try out the recipe and perfect making it, so that when I went home to Manila for a visit, I could bake the cookies for her.  I’ve been planning the cookie bake for ages, but have had other baking projects in the works.  But tonight was the night for the so-called Neiman Marcus cookies.

The recipe calls for nuts, and I chose to use 2 kinds: pecans and hazelnuts.  I didn’t add the Hershey bar shavings anymore because I felt that there were enough chocolate chip cookies for it to be oh-s0-chocolatey already.

Here’s the recipe, as I received it.  I halved the recipe and it yielded 50 cookies already!

NEIMAN-MARCUS COOKIES (Recipe may  be halved)Neiman Marcus Cookies
2 cups butter
24 oz. chocolate chips
4 cups  flour
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp.  salt
2 cups sugar
1 – 8 oz. Hershey Bar (grated)
5  cups blended oatmeal
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp.  vanilla
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)

Measure oatmeal,  and blend in a blender to a fine powder. Cream the butter and both  sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt,  baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey Bar, and nuts. Roll into balls, and place two inches apart on a cookie  sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112  cookies.


Banana cupcake

I was craving a banana cupcake (with peanut butter!) and, as luck would have it, I had just enough bananas to make up a batch of 12 cupcakes!

Sometimes, it’s the simple things that make me really happy.  And sometimes, it’s just a banana cupcake!

It’s the easiest cupcake recipe that makes the moistest of cupcakes!


  • 180g of plain flourBanana Cupcake
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 75ml vegetable oil (or softened butter if you want a more luxurious treat)


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C (180°C for fan ovens).
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix with a balloon whisk.  If you’re making a Christmas version of this recipe, you can add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of nutmeg.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix oil and sugar.  Mix until sugar granules appear to be smaller.  Add the egg and mix until the mixture is smooth.  Add the flour mixture in thirds.
  4. Mix in mashed bananas and stir until mashed bananas are well-distributed.  Scoop into a muffin pan lined with cupcake cases.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes.  The cupcakes are completely cooked when a toothpick is inserted in the centre of a cupcake and it comes out clean.
  6. Makes 12 cupcakes exactly.  I use an ice cream scooper to distribute the batter equally.


One of my favourite restaurants in London serves all-day breakfasts.  As a Filipino, breakfast is a very important meal.  We were raised to value breakfast.  I remember being continually scolded by my mother when I try to skip breakfast.  When I discovered the Breakfast Club, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  While they don’t have the traditional Filipino beef tapa or longganisa with garlic fried rice,  I am a fan of the full English breakfast and they have the best spread I’ve seen so far!  But they’re not limited to just English breakfasts.  They have Huevos Rancheros and a really good Chorizo Hashbrown plate.  They have the most amazing Eggs Benedict and their Green Eggs and Ham is dee-lish.  You also have a choice of the divine French toasts and amazing stacked pancakes.  But you do have the healthy option too, because they serve oats and fruity options as well.

If you’re ever in London, you must find a way to have a meal at the Breakfast Club at one of their locations.  The service is friendly and the food is amazing!  Worth every penny!  And mind you, you don’t have to shell out a lot of pennies to enjoy the HUGE breakfasts 🙂

Chorizo Hashbrowns by Breakfast Club


Chick pea-chorizo-pork stew

This recipe evolved because I missed the callos dish that my mom prepared for us.  Callos is made with beef tripe and has chorizo and red bell peppers and is served over rice.  When I moved to England, I didn’t know where to buy tripe because there weren’t any butchers that were close by and the bigger supermarkets didn’t have tripe on their shelves.  I had to figure out how to get my callos fix without having to buy tripe.  It was a brainwave when I remembered that oxtail is also used to make kare-kare (which is a peanut-based stew popular in the Philippines).  So I figured, if I used oxtail soup, then it would give me the taste of tripe.

This is an excellent soup for the winter months when you need something hearty and hot.  It can be served on rice or eaten on its own.  If you plan to not have it as a rice topping, I’d suggest adding another can of chick peas or a can of cannellini beans or red kidney beans to make it more substantial.  You can choose to add a spicy kick to it by adding either the cayenne pepper or the tabasco sauce.  I’ve been known to add both though.  It just adds a really comforting heat to the stew during the winter months.

This is a slow-cook recipe but it is definitely worth the wait!

Inspired by a tweet from Daphne Oseña Paez, requesting that I share the recipe, I challenged myself to weigh ingredients and approximate amounts.  So here goes(…nothing?!?)!

Chick pea-chorizo-pork stewIngredients:

  • 1 kilo belly pork cut into cubes
  • 226 grams of chorizo, cut into 1/4 inch disks
  • 2 400g cans of chopped tomato
  • 1 400g can of Heinz Oxtail soup
  • 1 400g can of chickpeas (or 240g of dried chickpeas soaked in water overnight to soften)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 600g potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 large white onions,
  • 3 heaping teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 pork stock cubes
  • 1 litre water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 2 teaspoons tabasco sauce, optional


  1. Heat the olive oil in a stock pot on medium heat.  Add the chorizo disks and fry until they crips around the edges.  When the chorizo oil turns the bottom of the pan slightly red, add the onions.  Reduce the heat slightly  Once the onions are softened and slightly translucent, add the garlic sautee for 2 minutes (approximately).
  2. Add the pork and sautee for about 15 minutes, until fat in the pork belly cubes have rendered slightly and the flesh has lost its pink colour.  Add chopped tomatoes, oxtail soup, pork stock cubes, 500 ml of the water and spices.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, making sure the pork pieces and chorizo don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Once the stock begins to boil, reduce heat to allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Increase heat again, to add potatoes and chick peas and remaining water.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  It’s at this point that I add either 1 heaping teaspoon of cayenne pepper or 2 teaspoons of tabasco sauce for a kick.  You don’t have to add both if you don’t want it to be too spicy. Bring to a slow boil and reduce heat and allow to slow cook for a further hour, or until the pork is tender.
  5. This will serve 4-6 greedy people if served as an all-in-one meal or 8-10 if served over a bowl of rice.

Weekend Pudding: Applesauce Cake

I brought applesauce cakes to work once because someone at work had given me cooking apples. Since I got the apples for free, I thought it was only fair for me to share.

I’ve been using this recipe for ages so I know it’s fool-proof.  That’s why I feel confident sharing this recipe.  This cake batter can be used as a base for any cake with fruit.  This works well with bananas (you only have to add 3-4 mashed overripe bananas).  You can replace the apples in this recipe with 2 cups of chopped pineapples as well.  To make the recipe more festive (for the holidays), add 2 teaspoons nutmeg to the flour mixture in the cake.

Applesauce Cake, August 2011Ingredients:


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup full cream milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Applesauce mixture

  • 2-3 medium-sized cooking apples,peeled, cored and diced finely
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.  Grease 2 loaf pans.
  2. To make the applesauce mixture, combine ingredients in a saucepan, making sure everything is well-incorporated.
  3. Over a low heat, bring to a slow boil.  When sauce has thickened, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Mix flour, baking soda and salt together.  Either sift, if required, or mix using a wire whisk.  Set aside.
  5. Cream butter and sugar together.  Once butter has turned smooth and fluffy, add eggs, one at a time. making sure everything is well-incorporated.  Add the vanilla.
  6. Fold in flour mixture, adding 1/4 of the mixture each time.  Alternate adding the flour mixture with adding the milk, also a 1/4 portions at a time.  Add the applesauce mixture and make sure everything is well-combined.
  7. Pour into pans and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans and cooling completely on wire racks.
  9. Wrap in cling film and store at room temperature for up to 5 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Weekend Pudding: Amaretto Cake

This was made on Something For The Weekend before the show went off air.  Angela Hartnett was filling in for Simon Rimmer as the resident chef.  I wanted to try this because months ago, I bought a bag of amaretti biscuits from Gunton’s.  It has been there ever since!  When I saw this recipe, I thought it would be a great way to use the biscuits (before they go past their best before date!).  I have a few tweaks planned for it, but it’s come out quite beautifully, if I may say so myself 🙂

The recipe is on the BBC website 🙂  And if you look at the photo featured on the BBC website and you look at my attempt at the cake, I think I may have done a super job!  Haha!

Something For The Weekend: Angela Hartnett's Amaretto Cake