After creating entire meals for your lunch or dinner, it’s time to slow things down and recreate these quick recipes for your break time.
With limited dining options, many of us tried our hands in the kitchen when quarantine started. Whether it was recreating professional dishes, inventing a recipe, or even learning the basics, we enjoyed the process of whipping up delights for ourselves and for our loved ones. Despite the happiness, it is not a surprise when cooking fatigue settled in—and yes, it is an actual phenomenon. Some of us have become uninspired or are starting to lack the time and energy to exert effort in cooking. There are times when it is all about cooking for yourself or grabbing whatever ready-to-eat option there is from the fridge or pantry. So, if you are experiencing cooking fatigue but still want to eat something delicious, here are some quick recipes for snacks, canapes, and desserts you may want to try.
Founder of The Cacao Project and part of Forbes 30 under 30 in Asia this year, Chef Louise Mabulo shares this recipe for a Filipino sweet delight. The Maja Mais is a secret family recipe, but she is letting us try and make it for ourselves. The simplicity of the dessert allows us to tweak it for our palate and to find more creative ways to serve it. Louise suggests adding more cream and roasted coconuts to elevate the tropical profile. It’s a way to make it “even more decadent and sinful,” she says. “Why not if you’re eating it at home in the middle of the night?”
1 can of coconut cream
1 can of cream of corn (or substitute it with fresh corn and a 2/3 of cream)
1/4 cup coconut sugar
4 tbsp. cornstarch
2 packets of gelatin, dissolved in warm water
— Combine the coconut cream, corn, and sugar in a pot to warm the mixture and dissolve the sugar.
— Dissolve the cornstarch in some water to make a slurry, and incorporate it into the cream mixture. Stir to thicken.
— Add the dissolved gelatin into the cream mixture and gently stir it to evenly distribute the gelatin across the Maja mixture, making sure not to boil it.
— Pour the Maja into your desired mold, and allow to cool down and set.
— Once set, unmold the Maja (or leave in the ramekin if using a ramekin)
— Serve it up with salted caramel, whipped cream, white chocolate, and crushed biscuits.
When she is not working on her recipes, Louise loves trying other fellow chefs’ food—from Chef Tatung’s Sizzling bibingka to Chef Edward Mateo’s doughnuts, to Paul’s Cafe. If we ever find ourselves in Baguio, Louise highly recommends going to Camp John Hay for their Hot Chocolate Batriol and Tam-Awan Village’s Pure Ube Cake.
Sugpo con Mayonesa
One of the three women behind Locavore Kitchen & Drinks, Tin Magsaysay-Matic has always known how to prepare flavorful dishes. Back in her high school years, she and her sister Carla would invite friends over their house and the two would prepare their nibbles and drinks. Now, Tin still loves to host dinner parties and friends would always request Sugpo con Mayonesa from Locavore. So, she got inspired by it and created this new gambas dish.
500 grams of medium-sized shrimp
1 whole bar of butter about 250grams
— Sauté your garlic in butter.
— Add your mayo and aligue, making sure to season carefully.
— Add shrimp and dust with parsley.
— Serve with lightly toasted baguette or dump it on white rice.
Tin loves supporting her friends’ small businesses. These days, she orders from Carmen’s Best for their indulgent ice-cream with bestselling flavors like Coffee Almond Fudge and Malted Milk.
Salted Peanut Butter Cookies
The co-founder of Rojo Coffee, Jovy Acuzar, is the owner of Sigla Philippines as well, a brand promoting a healthy lifestyle. Jovy shares Sigla’s creative spin on the peanut butter cookies. The recipe came from the time she worked in Ovenly Bakery in Brooklyn and decided to modify the ingredients “to make [it] a little kinder to our bodies,” she says. It has become a favorite recipe for her family as it’s free of gluten and refined sugar, a sweet way to advocate healthy eating for her children.
1 and ½ cups of coconut sugar
1 and ½ cups of peanut butter
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Coarse sea salt or flakes for garnish
— To make it keto-friendly: use sugar-free peanut butter and replace the sugar component with 1 cup of sugar-free sweeteners such as stevia, xylitol, or erythritol.
— Preheat oven to 350 degree-Fahrenheit.
— In a medium bowl, whisk sugar, vanilla, and eggs until well combined.
— With your spatula, add peanut butter and mix until smooth.
— Using an ice-cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop the balls onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Top with a sprinkling of salt and bake for 10-12 minutes. It will look slightly browned and crisp at the edges once done.
— Let your cookies cool on the baking tray for 10 minutes, then serve!
Jovy has some go-to destinations that she fell in love with for their delicious food. Among them are Hello Stranger Manila, Likhang Harina for their sourdoughs, and Claudia’s Cookies.
Chorizo & ‘nduja three-cheese dip
As a food connoisseur, Ina Yulo-Stuve is never one to miss out on experimenting with ingredients. When there are house parties, she loves bringing her homemade dip to share with friends—and they are always a hit. This quarantine, she had a craving for a cheese and onion-based dip. With a ‘nduja and chorizo in her fridge, Ina prepared her bowls and set to concocting a new savory flavor.
8 oz cream cheese
2-3 onions, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
60-100 g Chorizo, chopped
‘Nduja (paste format)
160g Gruyere, grated
160g mature cheddar, grated
Teaspoon of cornflour
— Add onions in a pan on medium-high heat with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and soften.
— Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise in a small mixing bowl until softened and well-combined. Set aside.
— In a larger bowl, combine all of the grated Gruyere and ⅓ of the grated Cheddar. Sprinkle cornflour on top and toss to coat.
— Take the cooked onions, cream cheese-mayonnaise mixture, and chopped chorizo and combine them all in the large mixing bowl with the Gruyere and Cheddar cheese.
— Place mixture in an oven-proof bowl. Using a knife, spread a thin layer of ‘nduja paste on top. Finish off with a sprinkle of the remaining grated Cheddar.
— Place in 190 celsius-oven for 20 minutes until bubbling. Serve with tortilla chips.
Living in London has many perks for Ina and one of them is being a drive away from tasting sticky toffee pudding from Hawksmoor or a fried pork sandwich from Ta Ta Eatery. These are her go-to stores when she’s in the mood to try other flavorful desserts and snacks.
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Paleo Manila’s Signature Vanilla Chia Pudding
Owner of the first Paleo door-to-door meal plan delivery service, Genevieve Sobrepeña is a health advocate. Through Paleo Manila, she and her team produce food that is free of gluten, soy, grain, refined sugar legume, and GMO. Genevieve’s business partner, Trisha Lee, developed the recipe of the chia pudding. Each serving contains chia seeds that are high in protein, antioxidants, and fiber. Together with coconut milk, this recipe can help improve digestion, prevent fatigue, and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The overall taste and texture of the pudding rely on the choice of the mix-ins, allowing much freedom to tailor it to one’s palate.
24 g chia seeds
40 ml of coconut milk, can
85 ml of water
1 ml of vanilla extract
12g coconut sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
2g cocoa powder (add only for the chocolate version)
— Combine chia seeds, coconut milk, and water in a bowl.
— Stir in vanilla extract, coconut sugar, and cinnamon. Enjoy!
— For the chocolate version, mix in 2 grams of cocoa powder in a tablespoon of hot water, then combine it into the rest of the mixture.
— Some suggested toppings or mix-ins: fresh or dried fruits (e.g. bananas, strawberry, mango, peaches, blueberries, dried cranberries), granola, caramel sauce, nuts, seeds (e.g. pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds).
Basque Burnt Cheesecake
Since founding restaurants Poke Poke Manila and Locavore Kitchen x Drinks with husband Speedy, Alta Lyttle is habitually expanding her culinary knowledge and expertise. Recently, she mounted La Alta, a delivery service for her homecooked food. Among those you can order is her version of Basque Burnt Cheesecake. Alta traveled to San Sebastian, Spain, and studied in a prestigious culinary school. Here is where she learned the recipe from Donostia but added her take on it, maintaining the authenticity and melt-in-your-mouth texture of the cheesecake’s origins.
1 kilogram of cream cheese
7 medium eggs
400 grams of sugar
1 tbsp sugar
½ liter of cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
— Preheat oven to 230 degrees celsius.
— Break eggs into a bowl and beat well. Pour eggs into a large bowl with the cream cheese, and mix with a wooden spoon.
— Pour each of the components into the bowl, individually. Start with the sugar, then cream, then flour, and vanilla extract. Combine ingredients well with a wooden spoon and then use an immersion blender. Blend until smooth.
— Line a 7-inch cake pan with 2.5-inch sides with parchment paper. Be sure the paper carries about 3” above the pan, as the batter will rise in the oven while baking. Use scissors if necessary.
— Pour batter into the pan and place in the center of a sheet pan, and then into the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
— Remove cake from the oven and peel back the paper. Remove from the pan and turn upside-down onto a large plate. Let it slightly cool, before slicing. Enjoy!
When Alta, her husband, and five children crave for sweets, they head to Locavore for their Sizzling Pan de Sal with homemade mantecado sorbetes. They also visit Mary Grace for their Chocolate Truffle and Etxeko Manila for their Nut Truffle Cheesecake.