Whiskey Hot Sauce (And a Food Heroes Giveaway!)

ivoryhut Whiskey Hot Sauce

Update: Congratulations! Random winner was comment #5: Kristy. Send me an email at and let me know where to send your book! I know you’ll love it. It’s so wonderfully written. Thank you to everyone for playing!

Growing up, I was a wimp when it came to spice. Oh, I could ingest enough garlic to leave vapor trails and I’d pile the sauteed onions on my bistek Tagalog until you couldn’t see the beef underneath, but if I so much as half-bit into a whole peppercorn, I’d be fanning my mouth and asking for water. I couldn’t even tolerate our local banana catsup that was flavored ever-so-slightly with banana peppers.

A wimp. That’s what I was.

Finding my groove

Ivoryhut Adobe San Francisco Photography Getaway

Some weeks ago, I received an email from a lovely lady named Anne. (Yes, I already knew then that she’d be lovely.) She wrote to invite me to spend a day in San Francisco taking photographs of the sights, followed by a 3-hour Lightroom workshop with the amazing Julieanne Kost the following day. Oh, and Adobe was sponsoring the whole thing. She then so kindly remarked that she thought I might need the break.

Coming up for air

ivoryhut flowers

Yes, I know it’s been a while since I last put up a new post. While I absolutely love my homemade Nutella chips, that’s not the reason you’ve had to look at them for the past few weeks. Not entirely. (I do think they deserved the extended exposure anyway. Those cookies are good.)

Nutella Chip Cookies with Homemade Nutella Chips

ivoryhut nutella chip cookies

Last week, I innocently tweeted:

Dear Nutella: I really think you should start selling Nutella baking chips. Seriously. They would rock.

I don’t know what made me say that. Maybe because these Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies have been on my mind, and when I went to my cupboard to check if I had chocolate chips, I saw two jars of Nutella sitting right in front of the peanut butter. Or maybe it was simply because I happened to overhear someone else publicly declare their deep and abiding love for that irresistible hazelnut chocolate spread. (That happens a lot.)

Either way, I thought it would be really cool to bake chocolate chip cookies with Nutella baking chips. Apparently, many others thought it was a great idea as well.

One-Dish Dinners: Doable, Delicious Paella

ivoryhut Doable Delicious Paella Pam Anderson One-Dish Dinners
I wouldn’t exchange my childhood in the Philippines for anything. The whole family sat down to supper just about every night: my grandparents, mom, dad, and my two brothers. But every Sunday, all my mother’s brothers and their families would arrive in the afternoon and stay till late into the night. Those suppers were extra special. Sunday suppers meant not just fiesta-worthy food (and lots of it!); they also meant hide-and-seek or capture-the-flag games that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. Yes, Monday was a school day, but we didn’t care. We would have played until the sun came up if “the parents” let us. (They sometimes did.)

That was our Sunday, every week of the year. We also spent summers and school holidays together, and as if that weren’t enough, we even scheduled occasional mid-week slumber parties. Fifteen cousins in all and we were all each other’s best friends.

We still are.

about me

I write, cook, play music, and make pictures. Not necessarily in that order. I was born and raised in the Philippines, and it shows. That means I eat rice with every meal, love my cousins like my own siblings, and firmly believe that avocados are best eaten with cream and sugar.

If you want to learn more about me, here are 43 things I'd like to do. Here's a little something about my name, in case you were wondering. Here are some other places you'll find me:

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The Ivory Hut: My Quick and Easy Chicken Adobo

Chicken adobo is the Filipino dish most people are familiar with. Here's my quick and easy version that requires minimal prep work and only one pan. Perfect for busy weeknights.

The Ivory Hut: Homemade Nutella Baking Chips

Yes, I made my own chocolate chips. Nutella chocolate chips, to be exact. Then I made cookies. Lots of cookies.

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One summer night in 2010, our house burned to the ground and we lost everything we had. This is the story of what happened and how life and hope can always rise from ashes.