Hungry brownie

A Filipina's kitchen journal

Peanut butter banana bread

Peanut butter banana bread with glaze -  Here was the scene last night: I have my glass of milk and a slice of this scrumptious and moist peanut butter banana bread on the dining table, with my laptop screen set on at the At&t website, and me waiting for the Apple iphone event.  I used to not care about all this new iphone release and pre-ordering at midnight and stuff – but since my contract was up and now am eligible for an upgrade I just had to do it.   My love for iphone started when I started hearing about facetime and imessage.  

Living in Seattle meant I had to rely on technology to keep in touch with my family back home in the Philippines.  These two iphone features made it possible for me to be available for my family –  and to be updated with whatever is going on with them.  My niece and I love to send photos of food we made and tease each other with it.  Click and send.  No hassle and best of all, free!  Now if i could just teleport a slice of this peanut butter bread to them then I will be completely sold on iphones forever. 

 The idea of adding peanut butter to my banana bread batter came to me when I ran out of Nutella to make these famous nutella banana bread.  I remember I stopped buying Nutella when I gained a lot of weight in a span of 3 months (yes, I blame you Nutella).  Luckily, we still have a bit of peanut butter left.  It added a nice subtle flavor to the banana bread and the glaze also added a bit of sweetness to it.  The glaze is completely optional of course, but maybe a little glaze wouldn’t hurt? – That right there is the reason why I am not losing weight. 

Peanut butter banana bread with glaze - hungrybrownie.comPeanut butter banana bread with glaze -  Peanut butter banana bread with glaze - hungrybrownie.comPeanut butter banana bread with glaze -

Peanut butter banana bread
Bring your banana bread to the next level by adding creamy peanut butter and glaze
Write a review
  1. 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  2. 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  3. 3 tbsp melted butter, cooled
  4. 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  5. 1/4 cup honey
  6. 1 egg
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  9. Pinch of salt
  10. 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  11. Optional: chopped nuts for topping
For the glaze
  1. 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  2. 1 tablespoon milk
  3. 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease with cooking spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together bananas, peanut butter and the next 7 ingredients.
  4. Stir in flour and mix until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for an hour, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  7. To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk and peanut butter in a bowl. Stir with a whisk and drizzle over banana bread.
  8. Top with walnuts or peanuts (optional)
Hungry brownie

baked ham and cheese bread rolls

Filipino ham and cheese bread rolls (baked) -

These baked ham and cheese bread rolls smell like home.  Almost.

Please don’t tell my Aunt, but these should deep fried golden.  I remember celebrating my cousin’s birthday and these were served on a platter as appetizers.  I was intrigued and curious – I have never had one before! I tried a piece and was immediately hooked! She had to make more because it was such a hit, especially to me.  After the party I asked her for the recipe and was surprised at how easy and simple it was to make some.  

Slices of bread are flatten with rolling pin, then stuffed with whatever you had in mind.  I opted for ham and cheese for this recipe but you can also use sausages or even bacon with cheese.  Each roll is then dipped into an egg mixture then coated with bread crumbs.  If you want to stick to how Filipinos do it in their kitchen, try deep frying the rolls until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels to remove as much oil as possible.  But if you prefer the healthier way, then baking them is the way to go! They might not yield the same golden crust like the  deep fried ones have but the taste will not suffer – plus they will be lighter!

Filipino ham and cheese bread rolls (baked) -

Filipino ham and cheese bread rolls (baked) - hungrybrownie.comFilipino ham and cheese bread rolls (baked) - hungrybrownie.comFilipino ham and cheese bread rolls (baked) - 

Ham and cheese bread rolls (baked)
Yields 6
these Filipino treats are perfect for a snack or appetizers for your small gathering - made healthy! Kids and adults alike will love these cheesy treats!
Write a review
  1. 6 slices bread, edges trimmed
  2. 6 slices cooked ham
  3. 6 strips of cheddar cheese
  4. 1 egg, beaten
  5. 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place a wire rack on a baking sheet then coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl for dipping. Set aside.
  4. Place panko bread crumbs on a separate shallow bowl. Set aside.
  5. Remove edges of each sliced bread and flatten with rolling pin.
  6. Layer ham and cheese on top of the flatten bread, then roll tightly with your hands.
  7. Dip the bread roll in egg, then bread crumbs, making sure it's fully coated.
  8. Repeat the same process until you go through all your bread slices.
  9. Place bread rolls on baking sheet with wire rack and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  11. Slice in half and serve while warm.
  12. Enjoy!
Hungry brownie
Filipino ham and cheese bread rolls (baked) -

Soft-center Chocolate espresso cakes

 Soft-center chocolate espresso cakes -

 I still cannot get over these blueberry muffins with crumb topping I made last week.  I grab one before heading out in the morning, and they always taste fresh like they were just out of the oven.  I am kinda sad that they’re gone now, but I can always make them again anytime I want! 

With my muffin tin still out, I was on the hunt for recipes that are easy and worth it for an early grab-and-go breakfast foods.  These soft-center chocolate espresso cakes are exactly that – especially if your morning is on the sweeter side.   They have soft centers when served warm, but once at room temperature they are almost dense and fudge-like.   You can dress them up by serving with ice cream or whipped cream, but I honestly think they are perfect as it is! 

Another reason why they are good for breakfast? Espresso baby! Not overpowering though, just enough to have that “hint” of espresso in your cakes.  This recipe calls for instant espresso powder and I honestly have never used one before!  I panicked a little but managed to find one at my local whole foods.  I don’t normally shop there but I felt like this was a special case.  Anyway, I bought the Medaglia D’Oro at their coffee and tea isle.  From what I have read, espresso powders are as important as spices to bakers because they enhance the chocolate flavor in cakes, brownies and cookies –  and I must say I believe it after making this! 

Soft-center chocolate espresso cakes -

Soft-center chocolate espresso cakes -

Soft-center chocolate espresso cakes
Yields 6
Mini cakes with deep chocolate flavor (and a hint of espresso) with soft-centers when served warm.
Write a review
  1. 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the tin
  2. 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for tin
  3. 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  4. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 3 large eggs
  8. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan with simmering water. Make sure water is not touching the bowl. Stir until smooth and completely melted. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Grease a 6-cup regular muffin tin with butter. Dust with granulated sugar and tap out excess. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, and salt.
  4. Using an electric mixer or handheld mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is completely incorporated. Add flour and espresso mixture, and beat until well combined. Beat in vanilla and chocolate. Mix well.
  5. Spoon batter equally into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cakes no longer jiggle when tin is shaken.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!
Adapted from Martha Stewart cookbook
Adapted from Martha Stewart cookbook
Hungry brownie
Soft-center chocolate espresso cakes -

Blueberry muffins with crumb topping

Blueberry muffins with crumb topping **

I love blueberry muffins,  but blueberry muffins with crumb toppings – I love more.  

Berries are hard to come by in Manila.  You have to go to specialty groceries or farmer’s market to get a glimpse of them.  I know I wasn’t exposed to them when I was young, until I moved to the US and was amazed at boxes of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries lined up at a grocery store a few blocks away.  

My mom used to bring me home some cooking magazines and cookbook during one of her frequent travels to California.  I was always amazed at all those yummy-looking recipes, but felt so intimidated by the ingredient list you certainly cannot get so easily here in the Philippines.  I just ended up staring at the photos! 

 Blueberry muffins with crumb topping **

Blueberry muffins with crumb topping **

Blueberry muffins might be one of the basic things you can whip up in your kitchen, but to me this is all something new and exciting.  Especially when you carefully fold the fresh berries into the batter, just to let them wishfully explode inside the muffins while baking.  I used fresh blueberries for this recipe, but you may also use frozen ones if they are available.  

My favorite part is the topping! You get that sweet and crunchy top then moist bread filled with fresh blueberries.  I liked that it tasted better than the ones I get from a coffee shop, which means total success for me!

This recipe will yield 12 regular-sized muffins.  I love them best when warm out of the oven and with my morning coffee. 

Blueberry muffins with crumb topping **hungrybrownie.comBlueberry muffins with crumb topping **

Blueberry muffins with crumb topping
Fresh blueberry muffins topped with sugar and walnuts crumbs. Moist and will easily be a favorite!
Write a review
Crumb topping
  1. 1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  2. 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  3. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  4. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  1. 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1 cup granulated white sugar
  4. 2 large eggs
  5. 1 cup milk*
  6. 1/2 cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line 12-cup muffin pan with liners. Set aside.
  3. To make the crumb topping: Combine all ingredients ( walnuts, brown sugar, flour and butter ) in a small bowl using your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  4. To make the batter: In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (eggs, milk, canola oil and vanilla extract) until well combined. Mixture will be pale and yellow. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and white sugar) Mix until well combined.
  6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Gently mix just until well combined. Do not over mix!
  7. Gently fold in blueberries. The batter will be thick and lumpy.
  8. Scoop out batter into prepared muffin tins, filling almost to the top.
  9. Sprinkle crumb toppings evenly over each muffin. (about 1 tablespoon ne each muffin)
  10. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
  1. *Buttermilk is the preferred choice for moist(est) muffins. I used 2% regular milk.
  2. Best eaten the same day.
  3. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
  4. Can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Hungry brownie
Blueberry muffins with crumb topping **

Paul Lowe’s Almond Buns

Paul Lowe's almond buns (from his new book Eat & Make) - photos by hungry brownie

I made these amazing almond buns from Paul Lowe’s new book (Sweet Paul Eat and Make: Charming Recipes and Kitchen Crafts You Will Love) while my husband was away for a work trip in Corning, NY – the land of Corningware! I fell in love with this book the minute I saw it at a bookstore while camping at Orca’s island.  The gorgeous photography on the cover and a sweet photo of Paul and his adorable pup, Lestat, made me grab the book at once and take it home with me.   (more…)

Pan fried tofu with teriyaki sauce

Pan fried tofu with teriyaki sauce (hungrybrownie)

This recipe for pan fried tofu with teriyaki sauce is starting to become a favorite tofu recipe of mine!

… aside from the tofu and pork rice bowl recipe I have been using if I have my mind set on having tofu for dinner.  I am a huge fan of m.e.a.t, and tofu will probably be my last choice if  it was sitting beside chicken and pork.  I try to eat healthy (keyword: try) as much as possible – stuffing vegetables into my plate and having fruits for dessert – but sometimes I crave meat so much I just want to run to our favorite burger spot and order a freakin’ burger!  (more…)

Rosemary chicken salad sandwich

Rosemary chicken salad sandwich //hungrybrownie//

In the Philippines, three of the most popular sandwich spreads are: egg, tuna and chicken.  We always have them on a picnic or road trips, because they are so easy to make and super tasty.  My mom’s chicken or tuna sandwich recipe is simple – combine shredded chicken with onions and mayonnaise, and you’re all set! Sometimes she would make a tub-full because my dad and I love to take them for lunch at school or at work.  

 They are also nice for an afternoon meryenda or snack.  I love to put lettuce in my sandwich to add crunch and they always tasted fresh and light to me whenever I add them.  The afternoon heat in Manila always had me craving for something cold and fresh, which is how I usually take my chicken sandwich.  With a nice bottle of coke and mangoes, my meryenda was something I always looked forward to after spending the whole day at school or at the hospital.  

Rosemary chicken salad sandwich //hungrybrownie//

I recently found this recipe for rosemary chicken salad sandwich at the cooking light magazine.  The recipe calls for fresh rosemary, almonds or walnuts, yogurt and dijon mustard.  I decided to step a foot outside of my comfort zone – the chicken, mayonnaise and onions only – and decided to try the recipe anyway.  The result was something I never expected.  For starters, I had never tried adding rosemary to my chicken sandwich before because, well, my mom didn’t teach me that way! I thought it was a nice addition to the mixture without being to overpowering.  

I also loved the addition of yogurt to equally mix with the mayonnaise, yielding a lighter version of this not-so light comfort food.  I have yet to try using yogurt alone, but for the meantime, I am enjoying this cold sandwich on a hot sunny day here in Seattle.  

Rosemary chicken salad sandwich //hungrybrownie//

Rosemary Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Adding rosemary to your usual chicken salad will make it less ordinary
Write a review
  1. 3 cups cooked and shredded chicken breast, or leftover roast chicken breast (about 3/4 pounds)
  2. 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  3. 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans
  4. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  5. 1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  6. 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  7. 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. 10 sliced whole-grain bread
  1. In a large bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients (from chicken breast to salt and pepepr), mix well to combine.
  2. Spread about 2/3 cups of chicken mixture onto the bread slices.
  3. Enjoy!
Adapted from The cooking light magazine
Hungry brownie
Rosemary chicken salad sandwich //hungrybrownie//

Nutella banana lumpia (egg roll)

Nutella Banana Lumpia (egg rolls) -

Apparently I am still high on that Filipino street food I had last Monday… and now I am having a turon-inspired Nutella banana lumpia (egg roll). 

When talking about street food in the Philippines, turon (too-ron) or banana lumpia will probably make the cut.  Turon?… is sweet! It is made with sliced bananas (preferably saba),  thinly slices of jackfruit,  and dusted with brown sugar, then rolled in lumpia wrappers (or egg roll wrappers) and deep fried to golden crisp.  You can usually find (or smell!) them selling on the side walk alongside banana cue (caramelized banana on a stick), catering to jeepney drivers and college students on their meryenda (snack) break.   They are cheap and so easy to make – you can whip up your own street food at home!

Nutella Banana Lumpia (egg rolls) - (more…)

Eating out: “Food and sh*t” June Pop-up


Forgive me for swearing, but you know how it is when you say “this is the sh*t” and it actually meant something really really good? That’s exactly how I felt when I went to try Food and sh*t’s monthly pop-up last Monday.  

Food and sh*t is a Filipino food pop-up event every 3rd Monday of the month at Inay’s Asian Pacific Cuisine (Beacon hill, Seattle) made possible by famous Seattle-based rapper George Quibuyen (aka Prometheus Brown of the Blue Scholars) and his wife Chera Amlag.  They started doing this last year and basically you can reserve a table for dinner and experience Filipino cuisine personally cooked and prepared by the couple.  Seating is limited and reservations are a must for some of their events. 

Last month’s event, called Luzviminda, was a wandering away from familiar Filipino dishes and was more focused on the rustic foods of the countryside.  They served kinilaw (ceviche),  fried pancit, inasal pork BBQ ribs, kambing caldereta and cassava cake.  These foods were inspired by their recent trip to the Philippines –  away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, and into the regions where everything is as local as it can get. 


This month’s event, called Kalsada (means “street”in english), is a look at Filipino street foods.  Instead of the usual “dining in” with reservations, they have set up grills and serving tables outside the restaurant and it was a first come, first serve basis – showing street food is anything but fancy.  The set up was: you get in line and wait to order.  Menu cards were given to specify your order then hand it to the ladies at the register, pay for your food, then wait in sidelines and witness your food being prepared.  


Tacos: Pork Sisig, Bangus Sisig, Tofu Sisig, Chicken Sisig, Portugese Sausage 

Salmon Fishballs, Balut 

Taho, Puto at Kutsinta, Ube Cheesecake 


Outside Set up


Prometheus brown


Salmon fish balls station


Sisig tacos $8, Salmon fish balls $5

Chera's Hood-Famous Ube Cheesecake - Food and Sh*t

Chera’s Hood-Famous Ube Cheesecake $6

 My husband and I tried their pork, chicken and portugese sausage sisig tacos with red cabbage slaw, scallions and calamansi.  Oh man, these would be perfect with a San Miguel beer! They were so tasty with more than enough meat in each bite – the only downside was we wished we ordered more.  

We also tried Salmon fish balls and Chera’s hood-famous ube cheesecake.  Both were spectacular – especially the ube cheesecake, which I devoured in less than 2 minutes.  The ube taste is very distinct which left me feeling homesick for this purple-colored goodness sold in forms of ice cream in the Philippines.  

I seriously cannot wait for their next event.  They most certainly established a following who, at least some of them, are brave enough to tackle Filipino cuisine and it’s intrinsic taste.  I felt so accomplished whenever I see my husband, who is American, enjoying sizzling sisig and chicken adobo, and showing his much love for our local beer (San Miguel).  Thanks to Geo and his wife Chera, I can enjoy the foods I was surrounded with when I was growing up in little old Manila – even for just a day. 


Food and Sh*t instagram

If you are in Seattle and would like to experience this project, please head over to Food and Sh*t’s website for details on their next event.  

Have you been to one of their pop-ups? What was your favorite food? Please share! Thank you! 

Chocolate zucchini cake (no butter)

Chocolate zucchini cake (no butter) -

I was hesitant at first – but I went ahead and bought zucchinis at the supermarket to make this chocolate zucchini cake.   Sorry but this would be my very first attempt on a chocolate cake – with zucchinis.  

Maybe the word chocolate got me going.  I have this insane addiction to Goldilock’s chocolate cake roll in the Philippines and I honestly think I can have the whole roll to myself – femininity aside.  Think moist, chocolate and chocolate glaze and you will get what I mean.  Sadly, when I moved to Seattle, lady Goldilocks was nowhere to be found.  It was a blessing in disguise since I proved to myself that I can breathe and live normally without that chocolate roll.  I resorted to making my own chocolate goodies to satisfy  the evil tooth and I came across this recipe for a chocolate cake – with zucchinis.  At first I was really, really hesitant.  It was beyond uncertainty on my part, but I am so glad I set that aside and made the cake.  It was the “very moist” decision I have ever made. 

Oh, and butter was replaced with unsweetened apple sauce.  Honestly though, this is a chocolate cake so the word “light” will mean nothing, but throwing a couple of calories out the window can help a little bit, as long as the taste won’t be sacrificed of course.  My favorite part of making this cake are the chocolate chips – sprinkling them on top of the baked cake, baking it for another 5 minutes, then spreading the softened/almost melted chocolate chips to form an even glaze.  I put the leftovers in the fridge, and the next day the chocolate glaze hardened a little bit and it gave a crunchy start followed by the “still very moist” cake.  I am in heaven right now. 

Chocolate zucchini cake (no butter) -