Category Archives: Recipes

Yaya Cion

By | Foodie, Recipes, Tributes | No Comments

Heart2Heart will not be complete without this woman who our family all loves! Yaya Cion was hired 48 years ago to be the Yaya of my Tita Tess who was only 2 years old. She went with the family to Italy when my Lolo Benny became Ambassador to the Vatican. She learned how to cook Italian food and until now we look forward to her yummy cooking. I ?? her even more when she always gives me baon to take home after the meal. Today she’s cooking me oatmeal for breakfast :-) Last Aug 15 ( Feast of the Assumption) she turned 78 :-) Happy birthday Yaya Cion WE LOVE YOU!


I caught her making pochero that morning.  The family sometimes makes her cook some of our favourite dishes.  She will just tell you the ingredients that she needs and when you ask her how much is her fee, she says “Ikaw ng bahala” :-)  I know that she does not really teach people her recipes but when I was talking to her that day, I told her that she has to teach them to someone and she said, ” Tinuturo ko sila pero hindi nila magaya” :-)


I discovered a secret thing she did while she was cooking pochero – I asked her what that thing was with the bone – apparently she put the Jamon bone!  She gets it from the leg of Jamon which my Lolo buys and serves for himself and for the family and she keeps the bone and uses it to flavour the pochero and maybe other dishes too :-)  yaya-cion-6.JPG

Ready to go!  Sauce will be on the side when it gets to the venueyaya-cion-7.JPG

I told you she always gives me baon!!!  She set aside a few pieces of pochero to take home!!  Oops I hope Tita Nena does not get mad – this was her Pochero :-)yaya-cion-8.JPG


The Biggest Bangus and Tilapia

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My friend Bambi is always so thoughtful!  She always shares and sends me her favourite foods and finds :-)  On her birthday, she even went to the house to drop off some fresh bangus and tilapia which she received as a birthday gift!!  She even shared with me her birthday gift!


And look how gigantic the bangus and tilapia are!!! I have never ever seen a bangus or tilapia as big as this big in my life!bangus-tilapia-2.jpeg

And here it is- I wanted to show how big the bangus was so I included Rissy in the photo :-) It’s even wider than her body :-)  I just followed Bambi’s instructions and we marinated it as daing na bangus with vinegar, black pepper and garlic then fried it.  It’s the frying that is challenging because you need a really big frying pan to fry this gigantic creature :-)


I shared one with my good friend Janet and this is how she did hers


How nice!!!! As usual!


This time the tilapiabangus-tilapia-6.jpgMarinated in Patis, calamansi and pepper then before steaming put butter in the head and in the inside of the fish


Suharto and Rina got one too and this is what they did with it.  They said they put brandy, black pepper and olives


Dad and Mom got one too and this is what the cook made :-)  Sweet and Sour bangus :-)

sweet and sour bangus


Bistro Pamana

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When Sari and Happy informed me about Bistro Pamana, I immediately invited myself over! :-)  And I am so glad I did!  I met a wonderful lady who has so much to share!!!!  Happy Ongpauco-Tiu.  Her real name is actually Happy Madonna Peace Ongpauco-Tiu :-)  

This pretty lady is amazing with so many many tips, creative ideas, recipes, and just so much HAPPINESS to share – just like her name :-)  Happy studied in CIA for her culinary background.  Happy has two sisters named Love and Sunshine :-)   

Bistro Pamana is a cafe version of the original Pamana in Tagaytay and Boracay.  Happy told me that she did this to cater to the office crowd and residents in Legaspi village. She took some dishes from the Pamana menu and added more unique dishes for the Bistro. I have not been yet to any Pamana so I cannot compare but I am sure it is good.  

Such a bright and HAPPY place to be in

I was overwhelmed as soon as I opened that door!  It’s like Happy had so much to share, even she did not know where to begin! haha :-)  Just this wall had so many stories to tell!!  It’s a good thing I had a notebook with me so I took down notes 

Happy’s Lola Mama Chit Evangelista started Barrio Fiesta in 1940 which has 38 branches.  These branches have been divided already among her 5 children by territory.  So Happy’s father, Rod Ongpauco runs and owns a few of the Barrio Fiestas.  He also has other food concepts aside from Barrio Fiesta which is his own creation – Singing Cooks atbp, Isdaan in Laguna, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija and Bakahan at Manukan! WOW! 

An interesting fact which I just found out now is that the dad of Happy is the one who invented CRISPY PATA!  The story behind it being – Daddy Rod would bring his friends to Barrio Fiesta after school and Mama Chit was telling him that they cannot keep feeding all his friends all the time :-)  So Daddy Rod looked in the kitchen and he saw some pig’s knuckles not being used so he fried those and served them to his friends, hence Crispy Pata was born and it is one of the dishes that made Barrio Fiesta famous :-)  

More stories to tell from generation to generation in all those frames!!!  Even stories are “Pamana”

There are so many restaurants opening and I am glad that there are still a few who believe in focusing on our very own.  After all, we are in the Philippines and we are Filipinos.  Many say that they don’t eat Filipino food because they can have it at home.  But our cooks can only make so much Filipino food – there is so much more to explore out there.  Call it fusion or just call it a unique way of presenting a Filipino dish – it is ours to be proud of.  Thank you Happy for being one of those.  I hope you can open up many many more branches and other Pinoy concepts! 

Aside from stories handed down, there are things handed down like cameras and irons :-)

This  is a wall for Happy’s Mom who is Liberty Ilagan, a famous actress.  By the way, Her sister’s name is Victory :-)  

And you will see – even beauty traits are handed down from generation to generation :-)  

Her contemporaries are Susan Roces, Amalia Fuentes and look who we found!  Senator Grace Poe! Cute :-)

This Happy is so star studded, her cousin is Janno Gibbs :-) The little boy in the photo 

The in laws of Happy – The Tiu Clan who total around 50.  Imagine how many more stories to tell from her other family! :-)  

Our view from our table :-)

Every single item on her menu has a story to tell!  It’s either a hand me down ( pamana ) recipe, Happy’s own creation, a recipe from a friend, etc etc.  So you can imagine the work that went into all this and how valuable and meaningful it is.  Heart2Heart is so happy that we can all try all these wonderful creations


Lemon grass iced tea


  Love the condiments tray!!!


That adobo flakes presentation is so cool!!! :-)  


  Lumpia Trio – Pamana has a lot of trios in the menu.  Lots of work and love that goes into every dish and  there is something for everyone!!  Happy uses molo wrapper for her lumpia because it is crispier than using the regular lumpia wrapper.  Household tip :-)


  Tiyan ng bangus at tofu sisig – healthy sisig though it has mayonnaise still :-)  That pork sisig with aligui looks and sounds so good too!!!!


  The Crispy Baby Pusit in Black ink is a recipe of Sari Jorge of 25 Mushroom Kitchen, a good friend of Happy and lucky for me, my friend too :-) 


  Happy loves bulalo so you will see a lot of bulalo in the menu!  Baked Bone Marrow with Adobo pate and toast 


  This is how you put it all together! SARAP! 


  Humba at Crispy Pao – Sarap! with that fried mantao  for only P 290.00


  Another trio – Three way adobo – three recipes from three Lolas :-)




  Happy made these set meals which are affordable and for sure masarap and it comes with everything already


  Bulalong Corned beef – Sarap sarap!!!!! All this in the photo for P 270.00 


  Sizzling Pancit Ivatan – A Basco heirloom dish from Nanay Victoria.  Their version of canton topped with egg and dried pork.  Mix it all together before eating :-)   


  Not only the British can have High Tea :-)  We have our own version called merienda with tsokolate :-) or iced tea.  Afternoon Tea Set – This is good for 2 to 3 for only P 380.00 !  How can you beat that?


  Happy chooses each and every container and plating for each dish.  She buys they herself just like the bottles for the hot chocolate and her tea cups :-)  It’s all in the details and the touches.  It also reflects on the kind of person Happy is – very detailed and very creative


  Sari made sure I tried the Ginumis with panucha ice cream ( homemade by Happy ) – SUPER SARAP!!!!!!!! I have never tasted anything like it! I am dreaming of this everyday :-)  


and remembering the two lovely ladies I dined with – Happy and Sari :-)- and all the food we ate that afternoon!  Hoping to see more of the two of them here at Heart2Heart 


  Happy’s opening team!!  She can’t live without them :-)  Vangie – 13 years of service, Myla 3 years, Gemma 20 years of service and used to work for her Dad and Josh 9 years of service.  Happy was an entrepreneur very early on!  After college she put up World Tops in Timog and another branch in Katipunan which was rice toppings.  It did so well she got back her money in 6 months!  The 2nd venture she had was Bento Box in 2001 which has 2 branches.  Then she has Hawaiian BBQ in Boracay and Tagaytay, I Love Backyard BBQ in Boracay, Pamana in Tagaytay and Boracay, Slim at Home, Happy Carts and her Boutique Hotel with 7 rooms in Tagaytay! For a total of 8 Restaurant concepts, a slimming service, happy carts and a hotel!  WHEW!  Aside from that she has 3 cute little boys and a husband who she cooks for and takes care of!  What a wonder woman!   


 Click below to visit her website


By the entrance are some bottled pinoy food items 


Bistro Pamana – 106 Perea street, Greenbelt Mansion, Legaspi Village

Telephone # 815-1823


Home Cooking in London

By | Foodie, Recipes, Travel | No Comments

I am so glad we had a lot of home cooking in London :-) It’s worth it to rent a flat in London than stay in a hotel.  Another advantage is you can cook :-)  Too expensive to eat out all the time :-)  

Of course we have Mom’s inherited adobo recipe from Lola Glecy.  Good comfort food whenever hungry and craving for Pinoy food


Chistorra chorizo from the Borough Market :-)  cooked for breakfast and fried rice made out of the chorizo oil


 Spaghetti Bolognese made by my sister in law, Margs!! So yummy!!!!  I need to ask for the recipe!  She makes this for the kids, but I am the one eating it :-)


Yum!!! So easy to cook!! Just fry straight from the freezer.  Fried is better than baked


Foie gras from Borough Market :-)


Interruption.  Mom’s sign in the dining room :-)


This is my recipe!  It has to be simple :-)  I just bought all the ingredients and put them all together :-)  I love it that you can buy the meringue in nice shapes already and abundance of fresh mixed berries are valuable to me even if in Europe or in the States its relatively cheap compared to buying it here in Manila


Raclette Yum 😉


Duck A L’Orange from Marks and Spencer was good :-) Just follow heating instructions


Carbonara again for the kids by Mommy Margs


Carbonara by Mom which uses pancetta 


This was the trout we caught in Bibury Trout Farm in the Cotswolds!! Mom made it into Sinigang.  She bought the sinigang mix and bagoong in the Filipino store in Earls Court.  The Dagupan Bagoong is so good!!!!  Where can we buy that here???


pan fried fish fillet with capers



Kids in the Kitchen at 25 Mushrooms Kitchen

By | For kids, Recipes, Summer | No Comments

I am so glad they have classes now for kids.  Javier used to join 25 Mushrooms before and he enjoyed it.  I am sure other kids will enjoy too so now there are kids classes for the summer!!!

Summer cooking program? 25 Mushrooms Kitchen offers fun cooking classes for kids ages 6-12years.

Call 6314822/09178272525 NOW!

Limited slots available.

P4000 for 4 days HANDS ON course

third batch : May 19,23, 26, 30 



Cheesy Cheesesticks

By | Cheese, Recipes | One Comment

Cheesesticks is a household favorite ever since we were kids.  We would serve it to friends when they would come over simple because it is easy and fast to make!  We also all love it in the family.  So through time, I have managed to experiment and make different kinds.  I will share one of the ways which I hope you will like too :-) It’s the cheesier version of a cheesestick :-)