Contributed by Shobee Dayrit

It has been 17 years since I came to the United States and now I am a mom of two. My eldest just left for college and the other is in 8th grade. I work full time in a neurosurgery center while balancing being a mom and wife and blogging while on my days off.

When I was growing up, my family had this tradition of cooking meals that symbolize prosperity for the coming year, and I am trying to inculcate that to my children. Although, they think it is just for fun.

My blog, www.theskinnypot.com, is about easy and simple Filipino recipes for busy moms. During the holidays, especially the New Year, I have these three go-to recipes that I can rely on.

Bibingka Bisaya by Shobee Dayrit

Bibingka Bisaya

Giving a nod to bringing SWEETNESS to life ahead, I make this Bibingka Bisaya. This dessert is made of rice flour, cooked rice and coconut milk. It is round which represents money, and sweetness to bring harmony.

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups rice flour
2 cans, 13. 5 fl oz coconut milk (2/3 cup to mix with the cooked rice, 1 cup mix with the rice flour, left over for latik)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cooked rice (put in a blender with 2/3 cup of coconut milk)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
1 tsp coconut oil or any cooking oil
Wilted banana leaf, cut in circles

Instructions

Prepare the banana leaves:
Using a 5-inch round bowl as pattern, cut leaves into and line in a medium-sized muffin pan. Set aside.

Prepare the yeast:
Mix yeast with 1/4 cup of warm water, add a pinch of sugar and let stand until bubble forms.

Bibingka batter:

1. Prepare the cooked rice and 2/3 cup coconut mixture by blending them on high. Set aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl, add the rice flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk and stir to mix and add 1 can coconut milk. Stir until there are no lumps.

3. Add in the blended cooked rice with coconut milk to the bowl Add the fermented yeast and mix to incorporate. Cover bowl with cling warp and let sit for 30 minutes.

4. When ready, stir batter gently and pour1/3 cup batter into the lined pan and bake at pre heated oven 375 F for 30 minutes, or until Bibingka is cooked through ( insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake and see if there is no batter stick to it.) I usually start checking 20 minutes into baking.

For the latik:

1. Put the coconut milk leftover in medium-sized saucepan and mix with ½ cup sugar. Cook in a low heat until it will be thick in consistency.

2. Brush the latik on the cooked Bibingka, and broil on high for 5 minutes OR LOWER. Broil until the top is gently charred.

Note: While broiling, watch it. OR YOU’LL BURN YOUR BIBINGKA.

Filipino spaghetti by Shobee Dayrit

Filipino-Style Spaghetti

You can cook this spaghetti in less than 30 minutes. I make this for our New Year’s meal for a long and healthy life ahead.

Ingredients

1 1/2-2 lbs ground pork or beef
5-7 cloves garlic (minced)
1 medium onion (minced/chopped)
20 pcs hotdog (sliced diagonally)
32 oz spaghetti sauce (I use Hunts brand- Four Cheese)
1 small can (6 oz) tomato paste
4 small bottles of banana ketchup (I use UFC tamis anghang banana ketchup) or Jufran
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp cooking oil
5 tbsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste
grated cheese

Instructions

1. Heat the cooking oil and in the garlic and saute’ for a minute. Add in the onion and saute’ until transparent. Add the ground beef and cook through (you can tell if it is not pink any more.Add the fish sauce and hot dog. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste, ketchup and sugar. Cook for a few minutes until sauce is thick.

2. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Serve with spaghetti noodles topped with cheese.

Note: This recipe was adapted from Pinoy Cooking recipe

Leche Flan by Shobee Dayrit

3-ingredient (no bubbles) Filipino Leche Flan

It’s super easy to make. Don’t be intimidated with this. It is a crowd pleaser. This dessert is made with egg yolks, condensed milk and evaporated milk. It is soft, fluffy and sweet.

Nothing represents unity for family than this dessert.

Ingredients

1 12 fl oz can evaporated milk
1 14 fl oz can low fat condensed milk
10 egg yolks separated from the white
For the caramel
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water

Instructions

Prepare your steamer by pouring about 6 to 8 cups of water and let the water boil before steaming the Leche Flan.

For the caramel

Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Let it boil until the sugar has melted. Turn off heat and pour and divide the caramel into 2 6-inch round mold. I used a 6-inch cake pan in this.

For the Leche Flan

Mix the evaporated milk, condensed milk and egg in a medium sized bowl. When the mixture is mix thoroughly, divide and pour into the 2 prepared mold. Make sure that the caramel is cool, you do not want to cook your egg yolk. Cover the mold with tin foil and steam for 40 minutes to an hour.

For more recipes, visit www.theskinnypot.com.

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