Chocolate-Date Cake Pudding



Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 250 grams, Dates (mashed)


Heat oven to 350°. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, dates and salt. With a fork, mix in milk, oil and vanilla. Spread the batter evenly in a lightly buttered 9-inch square baking pan. Combine brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa; sprinkle over the batter. Slowly pour boiling hot water over the batter and brown sugar-cocoa mixture. Bake chocolate pudding cake for 40 minutes. Let chocolate pudding cake stand for 5 minutes.

Top chocolate pudding cake with extra hot chocolate sauce, serve and enjoy with friends and family. J





Preparation and Cooking Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Medium
Serves: 6

3-4 pcs Eggplant – sliced in round shapes
3-4 pcs Zucchini – sliced in round shapes
1-2 pcs red, green, yellow Bell Peppers – cut into strips
Red onion
Tomatoes, diced and de-seeded
1 small can Tomato Paste
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Dried thyme
Grated parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat bottom and sides of a 1 ½ quart casserole dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil or with butter
2. Sauce: On a pan/skillet, sauté the onion, garlic and add Del Monte Tomato Paste until onion is translucent. Mix in the sliced tomatoes, dried thyme and add some water or vegetable broth. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Season the sliced eggplant, zucchini and bell peppers with salt, pepper and olive oil, set aside
4. On the coated casserole, arrange the seasoned vegetables as you desire.
5. Pour in the sauce onto the vegetables. Add some dried thyme and the cheese on top.
6. Baked in the oven for 30-45 minutes.
7. Served and enjoy with family and friends.

Fish Red Thai Curry



Preparation and Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 4


4 slices Fish Fillets, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 small pack Thai Red Curry
1 Red Bell Peppers
2 Red Chillies
1 can chopped Tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable Oil
1 cup Coconut Milk

1. Saute the onion, garlic and ginger until onion is translucent
2. Add in the Thai Red Curry and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add in 1 can of Del Monte Stewed Tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Pour in 1/2 cup of coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes
5. Add in the fish and chopped coriander and let the fish cook for about 6 minutes on medium heat. Season with salt, pepper and red chillies. Adjust to your preference.
6. Put on the lid for 2-3 minutes and serve with hot steamed rice.
7. Enjoy with family and friends. 🙂 

Let the U23 Azkals Play: an Open Letter to the PSC and POC

Dear honorable Mr. Richie Garcia and honorable Mr. Peping Cojuangco,
Good day.
It has come to our attention that the Philippine Mens and Womens Football teams, as well as the Futsal squads, will no longer be permitted to join the Philippine delegation for the 2013 South East Asian Games in Myanmar.
We have been made to understand that your good offices only wish to send gold and silver medalist contenders to the Games, and that the Philippine delegation should not exceed 200 members. Considering the U23 team in 2011 finished last in their group, it is understandable that you would be hesitant to field the team.
But we urge you to reconsider your stand.
Firstly, the team (at least the Mens U23 Football team, as far as I know), already has sponsors. The POC and PSC will not need to shell out money to support this team. Bringing them to Myanmar will not deprive any other worthy athletes of any slots. It seems to make more sense to use the number 200 as a reference for athletes and teams which you will support financially. Those sports who have financial backing should not be a part of the 200.
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Secondly, there is great excitement and anticipation among Philippine sports fans for this team. There are no competitions scheduled for the senior Azkals squad until the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup. This is all we have for this year.
You infer that this team has no chance for a Silver or Gold medal. I must respectfully counter that argument in two ways.
Football is a strange and unpredictable game. That is just the nature of the sport, especially in a format such as the SEA Games, where there is a group stage followed by a knockout phase.
I like to call Football an underdog’s game. In 2011 Vietnam, one of the favorites, were unable to make the podium. In the 2012 Suzuki Cup Singapore, a major outsider, won the trophy.
No team can be guaranteed a Silver or Gold in Football. Not even Thailand, who have won SEA Games Football gold more times than any other ASEAN nation. Even if we improve drastically over the next few years, we cannot say a silver or gold is a shoo-in.
But having said that I must stress that this is a pretty darn good Football team. They may not be one of the favorites but no one will be taking them lightly.
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A few weeks ago our U23 team played its first real match, a friendly against Singapore’s U23 team. Many expected a blowout loss, especially since the game was in Singapore. Plus, several key players, namely Jeffrey Christiaens, OJ Porteria, Manny Ott, his brother Mike, Jason DeJong, Marwin Angeles, and Marvin Angeles were unable to make the trip because of club commitments.
To make matters worse, the coach, the vastly experienced Scotsman Brian Reid, was absent from the sidelines because he was busy coaching Global in the UFL.
And yet the Philippines, fielding many second-stringers, only lost the game 1-0. Incredible considering they had only recently been put together. On the other hand Singapore featured many experienced players, like the goalscorer Safuwan Baharuddin, and goalie Izwan Mahbud, who both were part of the senior Singapore team that won the 2012 Suzuki Cup.
The core of this Singapore U23 team is a club called LionsXII. The Football Association entered them in the Malaysian Super League, that country’s highest tier. Lions XII is on the verge of winning that competition.
It is important to note that our entire defense that day was born and raised in the Philippines and represents Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. Goalkeeper Patrick Deyto and right back Nathan Octavio are from Metro Manila, left back Ronnie Aguisanda is from Tuguegarao, Cagayan province, center back Boiboi Fernanndez is from Victorias, Negros Occidental, and the other centerback, Amani Aguinaldo, is a proud Davaoeno.
This team has massive potential. The holdovers from 2011 are two years older and wiser now. Other exciting new players are in the mix. A medal is a realistic goal.
The team will be better prepared, since there are plans for a training camp in Italy in August. Apart from mentoring from Reid, the boys are also receiving quality supplementary coaching from Nike Total Football, a company based in Japan. Other friendlies, including another game against Singapore, have been scheduled.
In 2011 preparations were hasty, and it showed on the pitch. This year things are different.
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You may not believe in this team’s chances, but hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of Pinoy Football fans think otherwise. So do the sponsors who are willing to stake millions on the squad.
The team’s number one fan, Dan Palami, says it best.
“To exclude a sport that is proving to be the fastest-growing sport in the country would be a tragedy. The Azkals are coming from back-to-back appearances in the Suzuki Cup, and are poised to claim the top spot in South East Asia in the FIFA rankings – a testament to the improvements made over the past years. And if we are not dipping into the PSC budget for this anyway, why hold back?”
“I have high hopes that our sports leaders are rational enough to see the big picture” he adds.
Palami is also correct on that point. We must think long-term. Maybe this team will not bring home the gold now. But these players will be our our senior Azkals going forward. They need to be tested in the crucible of international play for them to develop to their full potential. Joining the SEA Games is a vital part of the growth of our national team, and Football as a whole in this nation.
It has also been surmised that our withdrawal from Football is a way of punishing Myanmar for their egregious inclusion of obscure sports just to pad their chances of medalling. That is poor of the hosts, but when we do punish Myanmar in this way, our sportsmen also suffer collateral damage.
I beg and plead for you to let these fine young men (and women as well, if you include the womens teams), represent the nation in Myanmar. If they are denied this chance to bring glory to the country in a sport that Pinoys have fallen hard for, then our hearts will truly be broken.
Everybody loses by withdrawing them from the Myanmar SEA Games. The players lose, the coaches lose, the fans lose, the sponsors lose, even the game in the Philippines will lose. The PSC and POC also lose because the public’s faith in them will be greatly eroded. Even our opponents, denied one game each due to our absence, will lose.
Who wins when we leave them off the delegation? Nobody.
Mr. Garcia, it was a delight to finally meet you in the Hall of Fame launch. My father always speaks of you highly, as does everyone I talk to involved in sports here. Mr. Cojuangco, I have not had the pleasure of making your acquaintance but I can see by your long years of service that you have only the best interests of the nation at heart.
On behalf of the entire Philippine Football community I respectfully ask both of you to please allow our Football teams to play in Myanmar. For the sport, for the nation, for each and every one of us.


Bob Guerrero
Follow Bob on Twitter @bhobg333

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Brazil 2-1 Uruguay: Late Paulinho header books Confeds Cup final berth


Extra time appeared an inevitability in Belo Horizonte, with Edinson Cavani cancelling out Fred’s opener, but the Selecao No.18 would have the final say

By Mark Doyle

Paulinho popped up with a late winner as Brazil progressed to the Confederations Cup final with a hard-earned 2-1 victory over a gritty Uruguay side on Wednesday night.

An underwhelming game, which had featured a first-half penalty miss from Diego Forlan, appeared to be heading for extra time, with Edinson Cavani cancelling out Fred’s opener for the hosts.

However, Paulinho nodded home a Neymar corner with just four minutes of normal time remaining to send the Belo Horizonte crowd into ecstasy, and leave Uruguay heartbroken.

Brazil looked weighed down by the almost tangible sense of expectancy among a partisan crowd packed into the Estadio Mineirao.

However, even the significant pressure the hosts were under could not explain precisely why Selecao centre-half David Luiz took leave of his senses and elected to haul Diego Lugano to the floor as the pair jostled for position at a corner 14 minutes in.

Luiz’s stupidity really should have resulted in Uruguay taking the lead, but Forlan squandered the opportunity to score against the country in which he plies his trade, the Internacional attacker seeing his low spot kick turned around the post by Julio Cesar.

That fine stop drew a thunderous roar from the crowd but, in truth, they were given little else to cheer about during a desperately fractious opening quarter in Belo Horizonte.

Hulk worked himself into a fantastic position just before the half-hour mark, after a neat one-two with Neymar, but the Zenit forward ballooned his effort over the bar.

Brazil’s mounting frustration then threatened to get the better of them, with Luiz Gustavo picking up a deserved booking for following through on Cristian Rodriguez, but they made a crucial breakthrough just before the interval.

Paulinho picked out Neymar’s clever run in behind the Uruguay defence with a measured chip into the area and the Brazil No.10 controlled the ball on his chest before flicking it goalwards. Fernando Muslera saved well with his outstretched left arm but Fred was on hand to slice home the rebound with the aid of his shin. It was a fittingly scrappy opener, given what had gone before.

Uruguay replied in somewhat similar circumstances just three minutes into the second half, with Thiago Silva – of all players – inexplicably passing the ball straight to Cavani, after a game of pinball in the Brazilian box. The in-demand Napoli striker took a quick touch before beating Julio Cesar with a low strike into the far left corner.

Uruguay very nearly went ahead midway through the second period through a Luis Suarez header that was deflected just over, before Fred flashed a spectacular – but wayward – volley that never looked likely to trouble Muslera.

With both sides horribly devoid of ideas, extra time appeared inevitable, but man of the match Paulinho rose at the back post to meet Neymar’s deep corner and beat Muslera with a fine downward header to put the hosts into Sunday’s tournament decider.

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Spain-Italy Preview: Confederations Cup

Spain-Italy Preview: La Roja hoping to repeat Euro 2012 victory against Azzurri

The World Cup champions will be keen to add the Confederations Cup to their burgeoning trophy cabinet, but Cesare Prandelli is expected to switch tactics to avenge the Kiev defeat

By Tom Webber

Spain v Tahiti: Group B - FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil

Spain will be hoping for a repeat of their Euro 2012 final victory over a weakened Italy team when they meet at the Castelao in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup.

BET:                  £5                 £10                 £20                 £50                 £100              RETURNS: Spain £13.60 Draw £47.50 Italy £80.00 Bet365

Vicente del Bosque is expected to select Iker Casillas to start in goal despite using all three goalkeepers already in the tournament. However, Roberto Soldado and Cesc Fabregas are doubts for the meeting after sitting out training on Monday. Fernando Torres is favourite to start ahead of the Valencia striker while Juan Mata and David Silva will be in contention to replace the Barcelona star.

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli is expected to use a three-man defence following injuries to Mario Balotelli and Ignazio Abate, neither of whom will feature again in the competition. 

Alberto Gilardino will therefore start in attack while Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Pirlo will return from suspension and injury respectively to form the heart of midfield. Christian Maggio and Emanuele Giaccherini will begin the game as wing-backs, wide of an all-Juventus back line.

  • Spain secured back-to-back European Championship titles when they trounced Italy 4-0 in the final of Euro 2012.
  • Fernando Torres (pictured, right) is currently the highest scoring player in the competition with five goals in three games.
  • La Roja are the tournament’s most prolific team with 15 goals in three fixtures, though 10 of those came against minnows Tahiti.
  • Italy hold the upper hand in previous meetings between the two nations’s with 10 wins to Spain’s nine in their 31 previous meetings.
  • The Azzurri have already improved upon their performance in the 2009 edition of the Confederations Cup where they were eliminated in the group stage.
  • Italy have only defeated Spain once in their previous eight encounters. That triumph came August 2011 when goals from Riccardo Montolivo and Alberto Aquilani secured a 2-1 win.
  • Gianluigi Buffon will move to within four appearances of joining Fabio Cannavaro as the nation’s highest-capped player with 136 outings.

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Brazil-Uruguay Betting Preview: Expect goals thanks to Neymar & Suarez

The Confederations Cup hosts face an explosive Uruguay side and our tipster is backing plenty of goalbound strikes

Brazil meet Uruguay on Wednesday evening for a place in the final of the Confederations Cup. Despite public unrest on the streets of Rio, the national team have been unfazed by these actions, cruising through the tournament so far. The Selecao face a Uruguay side with plenty of attacking options, so expect a fiery game with goals dominating proceedings. 

Brazil come into this match after overcoming a tricky encounter against Italy. Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men had cruised through their opening two games, beating Japan and Mexico, but Italy, despite missing key men, cause the hosts problems before eventually winning the match 4-2 and topping the group. 

Paddy Power price Brazil as heavy favourites for the match at4/11 (1.36) to progress through in 90 minutes. 

Uruguay were drawn against the world and European champions in their group, so it’s no surprise they qualified for the semi finals in second place. 

Oscar Tabarez’s men had a tough start against Spain, eventually losing 2-1, before a Diego Forlan goal saw them edge past Nigeria while Tahiti offered little resistance. The Celeste are a long 8/1 (9.00) to cause an upset tonight and send the hosts out of the competition within 90 minutes. Paddy Power also price the draw at 4/1 (5.00).

With the likes of Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan leading the line for Uruguay, with Abel Hernandez in the ranks, it’s no surprise to see they haven’t struggled for goals in the competition. 

With Brazil netting an impressive nine goals in three matches against solid opposition, the both teams to score bet with Paddy Power at 8/11 (1.73) looks like a sure bet worth backing.

For those looking for more value, Paddy Power have a special offer on which looks very appealing.

The firm have priced both Luis Suarez and Neymar to score in 90 minutes at 7/1 (8.00). Considering Suarez has scored four goals in his last four matches for Uruguay and Neymar has netted in his last three games for Brazil, this bet is certainly worth investing in.

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Tofu-Salmon Bite



Preparation and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Serve: 4-6

2 blocks of Tofu
1 slice Salmon Fillet, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 slice Watermelon
1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper
Vegetable Oil
Garlic, minced

1. Cook the tofu in simmering water for 3 minutes. Place on ice bath and set aside. 
2. Sear the salmon in a pan, 4 minutes each side. Set aside.
3. Slice the tofu into cubes of 1×1 inch size.
4. Slice the watermelon into 1x1x0.5 inches size. 
5. In a pan, saute the garlic until golden brown and add in the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
6. Now, arrange all ingredients together on top of each other. Tofu, Salmon, Watermelon and Spinach on top. 
7. Drizzle lemon on each bite and serve. 
8. Enjoy. 

Best for cocktail parties. 🙂 

Mussels Spanish Style



Preparation and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 4-6

1/2 kilo Mussels – cleaned
1 small can Pimiento, sliced in to strips
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Saffron
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 cup Dry White Wine
1 small can Garbanzos
Coriander or Parsely
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

1. Saute the garlic until golden brown and paprika and add in the cleaned mussels. Put the lid on and let it cook for 5 minutes or until the mussels are open. Remove the ones that did not open and throw away. 
2. Add in the garbanzos, pimiento and the dry white wine. Simmer for another 3 minutes. 
3. Add in the saffron and coriander or parsley. 
4.. Season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for another 2 minutes. Adjust the seasoning according to your liking. 
5. Serve and enjoy. 

Assorted Maki



Preparation and Cooking Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 6

1 cup Japanese Rice
1 tablespoon Mirin or Sushi Vinegar
Japanese Mayonnaise
Nori or Sushi Wrap
1 Mango
1 Avocado
1 Cucumber
Crab Sticks – take off the plastic wrap
Sesame Oil
Sesame Seeds

1. Cook the Japanese Rice and add in the Mirin while cooking. 
2. Mise en place. Cut the mango, avocado and cucumber into strips. Set aside.
3. Blanch the crab sticks and shrimp for 5 minutes in a simmering water. Place on an ice bath to stop cooking process for 2 minutes. Devein or peel off the shrimps leaving the tail covered. Set aside. 
4. Fry the beaten egg in sesame oil. Slice into strips, set aside. 
5. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan until golden brown. Set aside. 
6. Once the rice is warm. You can now start a variety of your maki rolls. 
7. Place the nori on a sushi mat. Add in the rice. Arrange the fillings you wish to have. Then roll. 
8. Slice the maki rolls from end to end leaving a smooth ends on both sides. Then into half and quarters. Or depending on the size as you wish. 
9. Serve with a mixture of soy, lime and wasabi. Enjoy.