Never Bored, Always Brilliant.


I didn’t welcome fall into my life until just about two weeks ago, when I started going off the deep-end on soups and pumpkin and all that other crap girls love, like Glade Apple Cinnamon candles for $2.50 at Target. There’s nothing like obliterating your palate by having a scented candle burning at the table. “The cinnamon neurotoxins are telling my body that it’s time for soup!” I recently exclaimed. And of course now it’s 80 degrees outside here in Oakland. 

And so I present to you: 

Slow-Cooker Cauliflower and Potato Soup with Bacon, Chives, and Sour Cream (Or: Loaded Baked Potato Soup)

Soups are pretty fool-proof and a good place to start if you’re new to cooking and waiting for your kitchen-literacy to kick in. Also good if you like eye-balling things, which is exactly what I did with this recipe. 

A quick note: as listed in the title, this is a slow-cooker recipe, so it is… hands-off. And slow. You could easily do this on the stovetop in a pot, though - I only did it in the slow-cooker because it was looking so neglected, sitting there in the corner.

baked potato soup


1 cup of caramelized onions (I had them left over)

1 cup of diced yellow onions 


2 cups of sauteed onions

2 sprigs thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

A few sprigs of parsley

1 whole clove of garlic

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 head of cauliflower, cut in large chunks

5-7 medium-sized yukon gold potatoes, peeled

I had a sweet potato so I peeled that and added it in with the over veggies, if not, add 1 more cup cauliflower or potatoes

4 carrots, scrubbed, unpeeled, cut in big chunks (you’re going to fish them out later)

4-6 cups of low-sodium vegetable stock

half-and-half or heavy cream or whole milk or non-dairy milk

salted butter

TOPPINGS (for two-ish servings):

2 strips of bacon

2 dollops of sour cream

2 tablespoons of fresh minced chives

freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese



Put everything in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours. When you open up the lid and sniff, you will wonder if you made a horrible mistake by cooking cauliflower for that long. Don’t worry, it’s fine! Drink a glass of wine or sparkling apple cider and forget about your worries.

Fish out the carrots, thyme & parsley if you can. Compost or discard those items. Let everything in the slow cooker cool for 10 minutes, and use an immersion blender to puree until smooth.

If you’re like me and don’t want to eat the same soup for 4 days, ladle about whatever you think you’re not going to eat of your now-smooth soup into manageable portions, and freeze. I like to use old salsa jars for this. Let the soup cool almost completely before you freeze and leave some space at the top (I learn the hard way). Label your jars or tupperware or ziploc bags with the date and contents. 

If you’re ready to eat some soup now, mince up some fresh chives and dice a strip of bacon per person and fry it up over medium heat until crisp, then drain over paper towels.

For the soup you are going to eat now, transfer however much you want into a medium-ish pot and heat. Taste it. Does it need something? What does it need? You’re not a soup whisperer. Probably a lot of salt. Start with 1/2 tsp at a time and stir well. Crack some white pepper into your vessel and breathe deeply. Never stop tasting.

Look at you, you wholesome soup goddess, you! Remember, 4 spoonfuls deep into a bowl of soup is really the moment of truth when it comes to seasoning. Are you gonna get salted out or are you going to stew in a sea of blandness? The margin of error is not as small as salad dressing but is not quite as wide as roasted potatoes, so keep that in mind. 

Then, pour some half-and-half (or milk type of your choice - I’m not particularly recommending non-dairy options here unless you’re using coconut or soy creamer — this soup really likes dairy) into your pot, taste again, take off heat immediately. Add a dab or two of butter. Per serving I’d say 2 tablespoons of half-and-half and 1/2 tablespoon of butter is good. You’re already such a saint for using cauliflower when you could have just used more of God’s golden bocce balls: potatoes. 

Serve in bowls, top with sour cream, chives, cheddar cheese, and bacon. Top with more salt and pepper if you want. I had a salad on the side because I just like saying soup and salad.

When you want to use up your frozen soup, re-heat it and add the dairy products then. The soup keeps longer and better in the freezer without them.

Leveling up a commoner’s soup: you can push your soup through a fine-mesh sieve once it’s pureed and get the kind of soup people rave about at restaurants, but it does tend to leave a lot of vegetable pulp and matter behind. 

Oh! And follow us on Facebook, we post over there sometimes too. 




Vlisco Funky Grooves Collection 2012

Black Girls Killing It Shop BGKI NOW



Vlisco Funky Grooves Collection 2012

Black Girls Killing It Shop BGKI NOW

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.
Washington Irving (via thefashionatelier)


I remember a couple of Christmas and New Year days in my childhood, and those were spent visiting houses of other grandparents, aunts and uncles and even friends of my mother’s. And every single house I had gone to accompanied by my mother or aunt or grandmother, I was always handed a platito…


A Story about Deviled Eggs + Recipe

My god, is there anything finer than a perfect deviled egg? Well, yeah, probably. There are probably a lot of things better than a deviled egg, but deviled eggs are my kryptonite. My idea of a perfect lunch involves sitting at a picnic table with my friends and family and eat anywhere from 6 to 12 deviled eggs, a handful of salty potato chips,  a pitcher of minty iced black tea, and people’s babies running around and face-planting adorably on grass like dorks. Obviously my calling as a southern woman was totally missed, but I can make a decent deviled egg and hold my bourbon (mostly), so I guess I’ll give myself a pat on the back for that.

I’ll never forget standing in my Santa Cruz kitchen at night (pictured above) with my dear roomfriends Allison and Morgan, and Allison’s boyfriend Brent. We kept adding tablespoon after tablespoon of Nayonnaise and mustard, and dashes of smoked paprika and cayenne, with little to no noticeable effect. “What…” Allison screwed up her eyes in contemplation, pursing her lips — I swear this was a cute affectation — she looked like she was solving a complex world problem, which at the time, it certainly was — “if we added TRUFFLE OIL?” She scurried over to the pantry we all shared and brandished a bottle of something swank, and with a final pinch of salt did something magic, making smooth yellow-gold filling for the delicate white ships of egg white halves.

We stood in the kitchen and pounded ‘em, hard.

Since then, I have realized you can get to the same point if you add more extra virgin olive oil and salt of any sort, but I still can’t read a mean piece about how truffle oil is for newbs and idiots who can’t just buy $70 worth of real truffles without getting a little defensive. Real world problems, guys. Gettin’ miffed all over again at editorial pieces concerning experiences that nobody else remembers that was pretty inconsequential to our 20-something existence.

The Recipe

Your basic recipe involves hard-boiling the eggs so they’re not green (put eggs in cold water, bring to boil, put the lid on and turn off the heat and leave for 20 min), taking them out, letting them cool or dunking them in ice water if you’re impatient.

To peel hard boiled eggs, I roll them on a paper towel with medium pressure then pick off the shells. Sometimes this is effortless and other times I curse the chicken gods, Bawk-Bawk and Bubbles the Fighting Japanese Cock (another story for later on Bubbles).  Then I cut them in half and take out the yolks, put them in a bowl with an indeterminate amount of dijon mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and sometimes lemon juice or lemon zest, and mush until things are very very smooth. I’m sorry I don’t have quantities for these, I do it based on sight and on taste. So basically I leave the salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil for last additions based on the consistency and taste of the egg yolks with the mayo and mustard.

If you like a fancy piping, put the filling in a ziploc bag and cut off the tip and load up the egg white halves. If you just want to get these in your face and fast, spoon the filling in. Snip chives over ‘em and dust with smoked paprika or regular paprika. 


Model of the Day, Tsanna Latouche


Model of the Day, Tsanna Latouche


GASP!! I cooked. I hate cooking. But I wanted a specific meal so I had to cook/reheat it. (Taken with Instagram)

GASP!!! lol!


GASP!! I cooked. I hate cooking. But I wanted a specific meal so I had to cook/reheat it. (Taken with Instagram)

GASP!!! lol!

Chorizo, I bid you…adieu.
My stomach.
Found an excuse to eat sour cream for breakfast. #winning

Found an excuse to eat sour cream for breakfast. #winning


A TRIP THROUGH MY EYES :  Home Grown Exotic Edibles

My dear friend Laura (+follow) started this brilliant project where anyone is encouraged to share and post an image accompanied by a story that narrates, reflects or describes something about their hometown/country, local/native culture, customs and traditions or a sentiment that best represents you, where you are or what you see in your part of the world. 

She encourages everyone with a camera, who takes their own original photography (food, abstract, landscape, urban, inanimate subjects, etc) and is willing to share a great story. 

For my first contribution, and since I am quite known as “the food blog girl” around here, I decided to post the local and exotic fruits of my country, the Philippines. I took this photographs last year when I travelled far south of this country. 

As you all can see most local fruits we have here looks a lot different, weird even ugly in their appearances compared to globally known western fruits. And I assure you all that not a fruit in these photos tastes and smells awful, their looks might be ugly but all tastes great specially when they are in season and at the peek of ripeness. 

First PhotoSet Clockwise: Dalanghita (or green tangerine) this citrus is much similar to a tangerine, clementine and mandarine orange, and when it is ripe it does not changes its colour into orange but stays green to yellow green. Chico (brown leathery thin skin fruit) is a fruit that is a cross between a soft pear (grainy in texture) and persimmon. Rambutan (red golf ball size furry fruit) tastes like a combination of lychee and red grape. Atis (sugar-apple) I can only compare the taste of it like that of a sweet vanilla-banana custard. Philippine Mangoes I said this before and I’ll continue saying it again… the variety of mangoes cultivated and grown here are undoubtedly the best in the world when it comes to taste, texture, succulence and genuinely sweet pleasant smell. And if anyone argues with me about this, I will always be ready to face any judge to defend our mango’s honour. Papaya, here almost anyone who has a backyard and can accommodate fruit tress and vegetable crops almost always have a papaya tree at the back of their house, I mean I do have a papaya tree planted in a plantbox at the side of my front yard. And the best part is, because papaya trees can be planted anywhere, most are organically grown. 

Second PhotoSet Clockwise: Guyabano (Soursop, green fruit with dull thorns all over its skin) When I was a kid, my grandmother always bought this fruit whenever it is in season and what she did was extract the juice and fine pulp of this fruit, add sugar and ice and serve it as juice to me and my brother. This fruit, when ripe is very pleasant tasting with a glorious tang (sourness) and is refreshing as a drink. Lanzones is the light and brown fruit that are clusted in its branches like that of grapes. It is widely cultivated in the southern provinces of the Philippines. This fruit is sectioned like a citrus fruit but the taste is a cross between a lychee and longan. This is actually one of my favourite fruits to have as a snack. Fresh Young Coconuts (Buko), here fresh young coconuts are much more preferred than mature coconuts. The meat of fresh young coconuts are tender, delicate, light and sweet and is either mixed in a fruit salad or scraped into strands and incorporated in its own water/liquid and served as a refreshment.  It is actually a common practice here that when a foreigner steps on the soil of most of this country’s provinces, he/she is always welcomed with a whole coconut, capped off on top and with a straw (inserted into the thin exposed flesh) to sip the juice or fresh coconut water inside. Pineapple grown in the south of this country are prized for its insane sweetness and juiciness that international food companies like Dole and Del Monte imports their pineapples from here.


All Photographs © Jeannie Maristela 2011-2012 

[To participate in this project, please tag your post/contribution with the tracked tag #a trip through my eyes and /or #Sunday Project. For further information please read this post Sunday Project : A Trip Through My Eyes