2014 Has Been A Hoot! Thank You One and All

On January 13, 2014 I stared at the glowing, blank page of my laptop. Do I dare? My fingers began to type, as if by magic. Without a clue as to what I was doing, or what would become of it, Rosemarie’s Kitchen was born. By the blogging world standards, it’s not a huge, runaway hit. But then, I didn’t create Rosemarie’s Kitchen to become “famous”. I simply wanted a place to share my recipe collection and perhaps a few memories along the way. I yearned for an outlet beyond Facebook, and blogging, although a little scary, seemed the right fit for me. What I hadn’t anticipated at the start of this journey was that I would discover a more personal view into the world around me. Blogging connects people who might otherwise never meet in an exchange of ideas, customs and traditions – be it faith, family or nationality. The people I have “met” along the way are wonderful – creative, delightful and insightful. I have learned much from them.  Thank you all for this wonderful experience. It’s been a hoot. One that I hope will continue.

Since mine is a cooking blog, as 2014 draws to a close, I thought it would be nice to post a few links to recipes I’ve shared with you this past year. Of all the recipes I’ve shared; these have been the “tops” among readers in their respective categories. Hope you enjoy a second look . . .

***** APPETIZERS *****

The Importance of Sunny Pepperoni Pie

This was an original creation, inspired by Sunny Spinach Pie. I created the Sunny Pepperoni Pie for my dear, sweet brother. I’m glad to see it was well received.

The Deviled Egg You Say!

jan 2013 024

A collection of Deviled Egg Recipes and ideas to inspire you. Sometime I make these just because . . .

Christmas Party Potato Platter with Fresh Dill and Red Caviar

Christmas Potato Platter

Perfect for Christmas Time with their Red and Green thing going on. Gold Caviar could be used at other times of the year, as well as Black Caviar. These are yummy delicious.

Filipino Egg Rolls – Lumpia


Serve as an appetizer, as part of the “main” event for an Asian Inspired meal or on their own – these meat and veggie packed rolls are awesome.



French Beef and Red Wine Stew on Garlic Mashed Potatoes

french beef stew mashed potatoes

This stew is more along the lines of a French Beef Burgundy dish. It fills the kitchen with an intoxicating aroma of wine and the potatoes that accompany this stew are heavenly.

Country Ribs with Golden Eagle Barbecue Sauce

Pork - Country Ribs Golden Eagle Barbecue Sauce

Another “original” recipe from my kitchen to yours, adapted from an old family recipe on Hubby’s side. The peppery-smoked flavor is perfect for summertime barbecued ribs.

Southern “Fried” Oven Chicken – No Lie!!

Fried chicken

This “fried” chicken is cooked in the oven. It’s crispy on the outside, moist and flavorful on the inside. Perfect for Sunday Dinner. We like it with mashed potatoes, corn and fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits. Nothin’ like Southern Cookin’.

Filet Mignon in Red Wine Reduction Sauce with Tarragon-Garlic Butter

Filet Mignon in Red Wine Reduction Sauce with Garlic Butter

All I can say is Oh My Good! The reduction sauce is sensational, the garlic butter an added kiss of flavor. These grilled steaks are beyond delicious. Serve with a baked potato or garlic mashed and a vegetable such as asparagus in a tarragon cream sauce, you’d swear you’re dining at a 5-Star restaurant without the 5-Star price tag.



Smokey Pan Seared Asparagus

Asparagus - pan seared

These smokey, pan-seared asparagus need no sauce. Kiddo wasn’t a fan of asparagus, until he sampled these yummy tips. The flavor is wonderful. I promise!

Haricots verts à l’étouffée (Stewed Green Beans)

Stewed Green Beans

These green beans are “stewed” in a little butter, with garlic and thin slices of shallots. Like all things French, they are beyond delicious.

Filipino Pancit with Chicken, Pork & Shrimp


Another Filipino favorite. Pancit can be a meal all on its own, or the perfect side to just about any Asian/Pacific Island dish. Every family has their own take on Pancit, and this is mine.

Roasted Red Rosemary Potatoes

Roasted - Rosemary Red Blist Potatoes (2)

My all-time favorite to serve with Chicken Marsala or other Italian inspired dishes as well as most American favorites such as roast chicken for Sunday Supper.


***** SWEET ENDINGS *****

Best Pineapple-Up-Side-Down Cake that Ever Came out of a Box


The beauty of Pineapple Up-Side-Down cake is that it is the perfect “finish” for a picnic, great for outdoor entertaining on a warm spring day. Try using a mixture of red and green cherries for a holiday “touch” with your Christmas Ham. It is bursting with flavor, yet moist beyond belief.

Maria Luisa’s Leche Flan


My mom’s Lecha Flan was always in demand at family gatherings. I can’t remember an Easter Table without it. This Spanish Dessert is popular with Filipinos. I’m proud to carry on the tradition.

Fresh Berry Trifle – A colorful Summertime Dessert

Berry Trifle

This dessert is so creamy, so refreshing and oh so pretty. While I made mine with blueberries and strawberries, any mixture of berries would go well. When in season, we like to pick some wild blackberries to add to this summertime treat.

French Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Filling and Fresh Berry Basket

French Vanilla Cake with Blueberry Filling and Fresh Fruit Basket

This yummy, sweet cake is filled with a slightly tart blueberry filling, both complimenting and offsetting the sweetness of the cake and Almond-Butter Cream frosting. This is a cake with the grownups in mind.


As 2014 draws to a close and we turn our attentions to the coming New Year, I leave you now with one more Irish blessing, in honor of my dear, sweet Dad.

May there always be work for your hands to do,
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine warm on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Maria Luisa’s Leche Flan

1935 del Gallego FamilyMaria Luisa was born in the Philippines on April 10 during the 1930s. She was the second to the youngest of sixteen children.  (All the girls were named Maria, for the Blessed Virgin Mary, and were known by their middle names as a means of distinction).

Don Juan del GallegoHer father; Don Juan, (I kid you not) was a strapping young Spaniard who jumped ship in the Philippines during the Spanish-American war.  He arrived in a foreign land without a penny to his name, and there he build an empire.  As a small child, Maria Luisa knew a fairytale life of privilege.

pacoThen the Japanese invaded the Philippines during World War II, and her world was turned up-side-down.  Her family fled their beloved home in Manila and remained in hiding until the end of the war. Upon their return, they were shocked to see the devastation of Manila, but were relieved to discover that their beautiful home remained untouched in a sea of debris.

1952 Mary Lou del Gallego FarleyAs the girl grew into a young woman, she lived in a beautiful mansion, with a staff of servants to do her bidding.  The tragedy of war faded. Maria Luisa could have lived a life of the privilege.  But that was not what the universe had in mind for her.

1953 Jim FarleyThere are two versions of how fate played out.  According to Maria, her family hosted a gala event in their home. Since American diplomats were in attendance; an Airman from Clark’s Air Force Base was assigned the task of insuring their safety. It was a young GI from Oklahoma by the name of Jim who was assigned guard duty.  Maria thought he was a handsome man so she invited him in, but he refused. Feeling sorry for him, standing at attention near the grand entrance, she brought him a plate of food and kept him company.  The sparks between them began to fly.  As fate would have it, Jim and Maria were set up on a blind date – she with a buddy of Jim’s, he with a girlfriend of Maria’s.  Neither felt an attraction to their respective dates, obviously drawn to one another.  It took Jim a little while to work up the courage to ask Maria out.  As she recalls, “He drew circles on the ground with his foot and couldn’t even look at me as he asked me for a date.”  Jim recalls a slightly different tale. It was a blind date alright, that much they agree.  However; Jim’s story of their first encounter begins with the blind date.  He maintains that he was not the GI she had graciously fed on the veranda that first night.  Jim is certain that Maria has him confused with another of the many GIs buzzing around Paco, her family home.  No matter, they met and fell in love.

386763_2744521050607_171081305_nAt that time, it wasn’t easy for a GI to marry.  Permission needed to be granted.  It was the unwritten policy of the military to ship a soldier out if he asked for permission to marry a non-American while stationed in a foreign land. Jim’s commanding office  rather liked the young couple and suggested that they rush the nuptials without waiting for the required permission. And so it was that they married in secret.  Jim was shipped stateside shortly after the wedding.  Once discharged from the service, Jim sent for Maria and they settled in California’s central valley.  Maria gave up everything she knew to marry the handsome GI from Oklahoma.  She settled in to her new life and became known by her Americanized name, Mary Lou.

1955 Mary Lou Farley & Rosemarie Farley Malin (1)Mary Lou knew little of the domestic duties of a wife.  She had grown up in a world where servants had cleaned the home, cooked the meals and cared for the children.  She learned to do all the “domestic duties” of a wife without the assistance of a staff.  Mary Lou became a wonderful cook and gracious hostess in her own right.

Her signature dessert was Leche Flan. Whenever I attend a pot luck family gathering of my Filipino clan, the most requested dish is my mom’s Leche Flan. Everyone agrees, Tita Mary Lou’s Leche Flan is the best! Not only is the flan itself decadent, rich and creamy, but Mary Lou’s trademark signature was the wonderful meringue topping, lightly browned under the broiler. To this day, I serve my mom’s flan with pride. Her recipe has remained unchanged, which speaks volumes in my book. Why mess with perfection?

Maria Luisa’s Leche Flan

  • Ingredients – Caramel Sauce
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Water

Melt 1 cup of sugar over medium-high heat while stirring constantly to prevent sugar from burning. Continue to cook until all the sugar has melted and is a nice golden-amber color. Pour caramel sauce into the bottom of a large baking tin. Allow sugar to cool slightly before proceeding.

Note: You will need a flan pan OR large Tin from a canned ham. The thin walls of the ham tin are ideal for making flans. I have had mine for over 30 years. My family knows not to mess with or toss out that old ham tin!

  • Ingredients – Custard Flan
  • 20 Egg Yolks
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Large Cans Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Cup Half & Half

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Fill a large casserole pan about a quarter of the way with water to create a bath. Set aside.

Beat Egg yolks slightly with a fork in a medium size bowl. Add vanilla and sugar, set aside. Scald evaporated milk and half & half in a large, heavy bottomed pan. Pour in egg mixture. Mix slowly while stirring constantly. Once mixed; remove from heat. Mixture should only remain on heat for about 1 ½ minutes – DO NOT allow eggs to cook.

For the ultimate smoothness of the flan, CAREFULLY ladle the mix through a sieve into caramel-glazed baking pan. Cover with foil and bake in a bath for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes or until firmly set and done in the middle.

Let custard cool in the pan for 1 hour. Invert onto oven-proof serving dish. Pour any remaining caramel from pan onto custard.

  • Ingredients – Meringue Topping
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Beat together ingredients for meringue topping with an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Top custard with meringue and lightly brown under broiler before serving. May be served at room temperature or cold.

UPDATE: Wondering what to do with the leftover egg whites? Check out what Mia over at Russian Filipino Kitchen has come up with – Sauteed Green Beans With Bacon and Egg Whites