Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies.

I like to give out homemade baked goods as presents for Christmas. I feel that it adds a “personal” touch! Of course!  This started when I was in college. I started out molding chocolates then moved on to actually baking pastries. 

So I was trying to come up with what I’ll be giving this year and this classic cookie with a twist came to mind.  Time to make a batch!

First off, if you want to bake these, make the dough in advance since it has to rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. 


It has a short baking time, so make sure to keep an eye on those cookies. Out of habit, I turn my tray halfway through the baking time.  

Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Cookies

  • Servings: 36 cookies
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170g              Butter, unsalted, softened
57g                Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup         Granulated Sugar
1 cup             Dark (or Light) Brown Sugar, packed
1 tsp              Vanilla Extract
2                     Eggs, large
2 1/4 cups    All Purpose Flour
1 tsp              Baking Soda
1 tsp              Salt
1 1/2cups      Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (more if you want!) I used semi sweet + white

1. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese.
2. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape the side of bowl from time to time.
3. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 10 seconds.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Then on low speed, add this to the creamed mixture.
6. Stir in the chocolate chips until just incorporated. Or fold it in by hand using a rubber spatula.
7. Cover the bowl in plastic film.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
8. When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 375F.
9. Line baking sheets with baking paper of silicon mats if you have them.
10. Drop 2 – 3 Tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. For even portions, I used a 2″ ice cream scooper.
11. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. It might look under baked, but that’s what you want to achieve. Crispy on the outside, semi soft in the middle.
12. Remove pans from the oven and let the cookies sit for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack.

* Chilling the dough will help in the baking. This guarantees that the cookies won’t spread too much during baking.
* The use of brown sugar when making cookies will result to chewier cookies while using only white sugar makes them crispier. Using both? Well, you’ll get the best of both worlds! :)

3-Day Ultimate Cleanse Detox Challenge.

This week, I decided to detox. I took the 3-day Ultimate Cleanse Program.  This is the most ideal for toxin flushing.

They offer three other programs that is suited for different lifestyles: Active Cleanse for gym buffs/athletes; Party Goer/Night Owl for those who party or work late; Skin & Mind Clarity for better focus and skin rejuvination.


15 Detox Juice Bottles (5 bottles per day)
6 Organic Teas (2 per day)
1 Thermal Bag
2 Eco Bags
1 Garden Fresh Salad

Working as a chef in this company has its perks – I get the juices [super] freshly pressed daily.  I only need to take home a couple of bottles for the morning intake before I go to work and then I get the rest of the bottles in the store where I am assigned for that day.

DAY 1:
 485 Calories. Started the day feeling all too tired from the traffic going home the night before. And I knew I wouldn’t have anything to eat for the next 3 days! :/

By mid-day I already felt so weak and sleepy and I desperately want to eat. Being around food all day is pure torture!

When I got home, I had to do a few chores then I slept like a baby until morning!

Overall, my first day wasn’t that bad. I was certainly close to giving up, but still pushed on. Cravings are normal, because that’s what my body was used to – eating! The abrupt change in diet is somewhat extreme, especially for a first timer.  Hated the taste of the teas, but I had no choice. :P

DAY 2: 575 Calories. Woke up not feeling hungry at all. Instead I felt lighter – or at least, not bloated.

Cravings were still there, but I want to finish the detox without “cheating”. So I kept myself busy so I wouldn’t give in to temptation.  Seeing my colleagues eat sumptuous food didn’t help either! Haha

My second day was okay. My body is getting used to not having any solid food intake. And yes, I still feel hungry and my stomach growls from time to time. I fought the urge and just drank water. I can feel the weight loss and my tummy feels so clean! 😊

DAY 3: 575 Calories. It’s my last day of detox. All I can think of is – I can finally eat tomorrow!! Hahaha Obviously in moderation from now on.

The week before my detox, I have a semi-strict diet of chicken, veggies, fish or seafood. I still eat white rice in moderation, but will switch to brown rice after my detox.

Anyway, today was easy. Craving is close to none. Sorry, but — my poop was weird. I can’t even believe that I still have anything to excrete since I haven’t been eating anything. I guess that’s all the toxins inside my body. :)

It was a good experience. I think everyone should do this at least once a month! I did shed a few pounds. The proof? My pants, which I had a hard time fitting in before, is now loose. No need to inhale deeply to be able to button my pants! Hahaha The only challenge after the detox is to keep a strict diet to continue to lose weight. With my schedule, I really don’t have time to go to the gym anymore, but I will definitely commit to doing simple exercises at home. :)

Magic Custard Cake.

Just perfect!

I came across this recipe months ago, but didn’t have a chance to make until now.  Last week, I was so excited to bake it that even if I was tired from work, I happily took out my mixer and started whipping the eggs.

Sadly though, I made the biggest mistake by putting it on the second/lower shelf.  I didn’t expect it to rise as much and stick to the upper tray.  What a disaster!  It tasted delish just the same, although I didn’t get the “layering” that I was aiming for.

Today, a week after that disaster, I made this again just in time for Don’s homecoming.  He was away on business for 2 weeks and I want to give him something special when he comes home. And I am happy to report that everything went great this time around! :)  All smiles for me! Yay! Continue reading

In Mourning.

Almost a month ago, my friend told me he had stage 4 cancer.  I was waiting for him to say I’ve been been pranked, but he was serious.

I told him I’d visit him and I never thought that it would be for the last time. He was obviously weak, but he put on a brave face.  He hugged me very tightly and I was trying to hold back my tears.  He went to the province to be with his family the day after we saw each other.  His family came home from the US the following days.

After much debate with his family, he agreed to get a second opinion and possibly get treatment, which his first doctor said would only aggravate the cancer.

Yesterday, his brother posted an update on Facebook saying he was comatose.  And that was the first thing I read when I woke up.  Saddened and heartbroken with this news, I tried to stay positive and said a little prayer for him.

Today, August 3, is his birthday.  I checked my phone half awake, and the first thing I saw was he had already passed away.  My heart sank.  I prayed that he’d be with God’s presence now.  No more pain.

Bench, thank you for being a part of my life. You have served your purpose and left a great legacy in your career and your peers.  You will always be in my heart.  I love you.

My Worst Online Shopping Experience.

In my years of experience in online shopping, I have not encountered “bogus” sellers.  Until now.  Well, it’s not really bogus, but it was close to that.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 20: I bought clothes for our dogs via @arfarflove.  I chose 10 clothes in total.  I paid as soon as I finalized my orders, all in either Medium or Large in size.  The seller said she’ll have it picked up by courier the same day and I might receive it the next day.

THURSDAY, MAY 21: As soon as I got home from work, I asked the receptionist if they received a package for me and true enough, it was delivered as promised.  However, upon closer inspection, I only got 8 pieces and one of those was the wrong design.

I sent a message to the seller and she said she would immediately rectify the mistake and will send the missing items the next day.  So I waited again. Continue reading

Recovery Bowls. Recover Your Goals. 

Two weeks ago, I was asked by my boss to come up with “recovery meals” or after workout food.  This should also feature the Quinoa, which we already have in the menu.

I initially presented 5 dishes to them and they picked 3 of those.

Last week, I cooked the 3 that they chose in preparation for its photoshoot.  And that was a tiring night! More tiring than when I presented the 5 dishes! Yes, I had all day to prepare, but plating food in a semi big bowl with limited ingredients – that was the biggest challenge!  Good thing I had the help of Samantha and Euvy. 😄

Here’s the ad:

* The Greek Salad (left) is a recipe made by the owner.

One Down, Sixty Seven More To Go.

I renewed my WordPress subscription today! Last week, I asked Don if I should renew my subscription and he said, “You should. That’s a good hobby of yours.” Blogging, he meant.

I was having second thoughts coz I haven’t been posting lately due to very busy schedules — not exaggerating.  Somehow I’m attached to blogging, but I also don’t want to spend and not be able to fully commit to it.

Anyway, enough about that! Here’s the real story.

2 weeks ago, Don gave me a 2000-piece puzzle that I wanted, but haven’t bought yet. This will eventually be displayed in the kitchen, I told him.

I started putting the pieces together the night he gave it to me and that occupied my time at night when I get home from work. Usually spending 2-3 hours at a time.

My goal was to finish it in a total of 24 hours!

When the workers finished doing their work at home, I spent my free time cleaning, decorating and organizing, so the puzzle was untouched for at least 3 days. By this time, I was only down to about 200 pieces, the hard pieces, the almost identical looking pieces that I was dreading to accomplish. And because they were almost identical with each other, putting it together became harder and I was getting impatient.  I would give up after 30 minutes or 1 hour of trying.  Hahaha That was the main reason why it took longer than my initial goal of 24 hours, shorter if possible.  But I am happy that I only extended 1 hour: finished in 25 hours total.


Now that it’s finished, I can scratch off this item listed on my Bucket List. I even surpassed my goal of 1000 pieces! Haha I totally forgot that I had this listed as a goal. :)

I made a flipagram to show you my journey. =P