US Internet Shopping from the Philippines




Lani of Chibong Chika Lakwatcha ATBP posted a comment on my previous post about the fish frying pan I got from Ebay.  She noted the difficulties of making purchases from Ebay  as a resident of the Philippines.  Those difficulties will extend to other US internet shopping sites including Amazon, Barnes & Noble or the bigger retailers like Target, Old Navy, Pottery Barn, Walmart , etc.  Then there are the gourmet shops like for everything Spanish you can think of – even Jamon Iberico that was previously banned in the US.  Oh and there are the  kitchen equipment/supplies stores some other food blogs have featured and which you may have checked out in the past.

First of all, most sellers only ship to a US address.  If they ship worldwide, then shipping costs could be prohibitive.  Another problem, until recently anyway, was opening a Paypal account.  Things are moving in the right direction for Philippine shoppers however.  Paypal is now providing some service to Philippine residents. Please check out this post from Yugatech’s blog which has more details about what Paypal offers.  So, one hurdle down…what’s the next?  Shipping.  Well, there’s a perfectly legitimate way for you to receive purchases you yourself made through US internet shopping sites without begging your relatives living here to help you out. Continue reading “US Internet Shopping from the Philippines”

Homemade Maple Walnut Ice Cream



I finally made it! My first homemade ice cream.  It’s based on Haagen Dazs’s Black Walnut ice cream I previously posted about.  In that post, I noted how the flavor was like regular walnut with strong maple overtones.  Even with black walnuts so rare, I knew this flavor could be replicated somehow using maple syrup and regular walnuts.  It was just a matter of getting down to the task.

My ice cream maker was bought months ago when Spouse and I went on a shopping spree the last Boxing Day, which I also posted about here.  Thing was, it was winter when I got it and ice cream was not in the radar of things I wanted to experiment with. Summer has finally come and it’s the perfect time to take the ice cream maker out of storage. Continue reading “Homemade Maple Walnut Ice Cream”

Cheese Slicer



This was a Christmas gift from Stepson.  I’ve used it a lot since it came to me, all-wrapped up in pretty Christmas wrap about 4 years ago.  The base is made of natural marble and the slicing gizmo is nothing but taut wire.  It comes with a spare wire all ready to be fitted to the handle.

You never realize how miserable a job cutting cheese can be until you’ve used one of these things.  I doubt I can ever go back to slicing cheese with a knife ever again!

Pie Paraphernalia

Here are my indispensible pie making gadgets. There’s more but the others don’t work as good as these.

I have two rolling pins. The black one is teflon-coated and was acquired last Thanksgiving when I was at Younger Sister’s. I forgot to take my rolling pin, the regular wooden one on the left of the photo, and Spouse had to run to Wal*Mart to get me a new one since my sister didn’t have one. She’s not exactly a pie maker or baker…but she has all the great gadgets for making the best, quivery leche flan and a mean paella. Continue reading “Pie Paraphernalia”



This is not your classic French mandolin, it’s from Pampered Chef, a company created by a housewife from Chicago in 1980.  They produce a  full-range of quality kitchen equipment, gadgets that work, and so many more things every homemaker will find some use for.

The company calls this mandolin the Ultimate Slice & Grate.  It retails for about $45.00.  I got mine at about half that price, it was on sale about three years ago.  I had an enterprising officemate who also sold cosmetics and health-related products and she introduced me to this manufacturer.  I have no regrets at all buying this, along with some other Pampered Chef gizmos like their citrus peeler, scrapers and pie crust shields. Continue reading “Mandolin”

Practical Kitchen Gadgets

Aside from my Adjust-a-Cup measuring cup, these three other gadgets have become indispensible in my kitchen.  Yes, you can live without them and I have.  But once you start using them, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without.

In the photo is the round and flat meat tenderizer with a hard  ceramic handle – way better than those meat-beating devices with spikes. I also use it for crushing breadcrumbs and nuts.  A great tool is always something with multiple uses.

Behind it is the Microplane lemon zester which also works great for hard spices like nutmeg. My sister got me hooked on this gadget.  She makes great leche flan and uses this quite a lot for zesting lime.  I have to admit, it works better than any zester you will ever come across in your life.  And since this gadget started out as a woodworking tool, you can bet it will last a long time.

Then there’s the meat thermometer.  You know how disappointing it is to roast a whole chicken in your oven, being careful to follow cooking instructions – only to find the inner thigh bone is still bloody.  With a meat thermometer, you don’t have to guess.  Just follow the recommended temperatures for roasting meats and poultry and you have the perfect dinner.  Don’t spoil that roast, don’t play with your family’s health…get a meat thermometer…it doesn’t cost much.