Casa Poniente's Penne Al Telefono

If you grew up eating in Cibo just like me, I am sure you've ordered this popular penne dish! It's one of our family favorites together with the classic Spinaci dip. My husband craves for it once in a while so I have tried making it a couple of times before but was not too happy with the result. Last week, I decided to re-create it once again and this time I think I finally got it. It's not exactly like Cibo's but it's my unique version that was a complete hit to my whole family! That's what's important after all!  I decided to give it a twist by adding cream cheese which made the consistency creamier and a notch richer and kesong puti instead of mozarella ( I honestly did not find mozarella in the grocery that day so I just decided to substitute and it worked out so well!). 

I got a lot of requests to post the recipe so here it is....



3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 can of whole tomatoes/crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup all purpose cream
2 tbsp. of cream cheese
1/2 cup of kesong puti, diced
salt and pepper
1/3 cup of chicken stock
a bunch of fresh basil, chopped

250 grams of penne pasta


1. Cook the penne al dente (see directions in the packaging- this may vary depending on the brand that you get!) I always undercook the pasta because when I mis it with the heated sauce it still cooks a little bit more. I hate soggy and soft noodles so I always make sure it's just al dente.
2. Drain and toss with a little olive oil. Set aside.
3. Heat the pan and sweat the garlic.
4. Add the whole tomatoes and chicken stock and cook for about 15-20 minutes til it gets a little thick. Gently crush the tomatoes with your wooden spoon if you use the whole tomatoes.
5. Season with salt and pepper
6. Add in the cream cheese and all purpose cream and let simmer for about 2 minutes.
7. Toss the cooked penne into the pan and add in the cubed kesong puti.
8. Mix for about a minute and turn off heat. The kesong puti will melt and become stringy *yum*
9. Transfer into a serving bowl/plate and top with chopped fresh basil.

I served the pasta with my tried and tested Casa Poniente Pollo Iberico  and got a thumbs up for both! 

Buon Appetito,


RAW LASAGNA : A Refreshing Take On An Old Time Fave!

I have been recently experimenting on RAW VEGAN recipes and re-doing some of my family's favorite meals with fresh ingredients and one of the most recent one I did was a RAW LASAGNA. My hubby J loves lasagna and always craves for it so I thought of adding a twist and serving it in a unique and more importantly healthier way... RAW! Weird? Maybe... but let me tell you that the outcome was pretty Uh-mazing! We both surprisingly enjoyed it (and the hubby is never easy to please!). Sharing with all of you the recipe experiment I did;


2 medium sized zuchinni
1/2 cup of raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/8 cup of water
1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes
2 fresh tomatoes
1/2 tsp. of dried thyme

Zucchini "Noodles"

1. Use a mandoline slicer or knife to slice the zucchini into really thin strips. You can soak it with a little olive oil and salt while making the sauces. Easy, right?

Cashew "Cheese" - as the white sauce

Place the cashews, garlic, water, lemon juice and some salt/pepper in a food processor and blend accordingly until it achieves a creamy cheesy consistency. Place aside.

Tomato Sauce

Place the sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, some olive oil and thyme in a food processor and blend until it becomes a smooth paste. If it becomes too dry or sticky, add a little water to thin it out. Place aside.

 And now the FUN part :  Assembly Time!

Alternately layer the thin slices of zuchinni and the two sauces (I made mine just 3 layers and it was perfect!).

Enjoy and dig in immediately! Bon Appetit!

love and light,


Oil Pulling : Make It Your Daily Habit!

I have committed to this habit for almost two years now and I swear by it. This ancient practice has numerous health benefits plus a really big BONUS...it actually whitens your teeth in the process! Best part is that it is ridiculously easy to do! Read on...

OIL PULLING  is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for oral health and detoxification. It involves the use of pure oils as agents for pulling harmful bacteria, fungus, and other organisms out of the mouth, teeth, gums and even throat.

How To Oil Pull

The most effective oil pulling is done by placing around a tablespoon of cold pressed organic coconut oil/sesame oil/olive oil into the mouth and swishing the it around the mouth for approximately 10-15 minutes and then spitting it out.

Other oils such as extra virgin cold pressed  coconut, sunflower and olive oil have been used, although sesame oil is considered one of the best oils for this practice. I recommend alternating oils every couple of days to get the full benefit. Putting high quality organic oils into the mouth has a multi-effect outcome.

First, the oils mix with the saliva, turning it into a thin, white liquid. Lipids in the oils begin to pull out toxins from the saliva. As the oil is swished around the mouth, teeth, gums and tongue, the oil continues to absorb toxins, and usually ends up turning thick and viscous and white. Once the oil has reached this consistency, it is spit out before the toxins are reabsorbed.

What Does Oil Pulling Do?

Multiple scientific studies show the efficacy of oil pulling therapy. One study shows that oil pulling can boost overall oral health. Specifically, using sesame oil for instance as an oral health agent helps to reduce the amount of S. mutans (germ) count in both teeth plaque and mouth saliva. Scientists believe that the lipids in the oil both pull out bacteria, as well as stop bacterial from sticking to the walls of the oral cavity.

Oil pulling may also increase saponification in the mouth, creating a soapy environment that cleanses the mouth as vegetable fat is an emulsifier by nature. Most interesting is perhaps the ability of oil to cleanse out harmful bacteria, as well as reduce fungal overgrowth. These oils also possibly help in cellular restructuring, and are related to the proper functioning of the lymph nodes and other internal organs.


Other possible benefits of oil pulling for oral health include:

Overall strengthening of the teeth and gums and jaws
Prevention of diseases of the gums and mouth, such as cavities and gingivitis
Prevention for bad breath
Potential holistic remedy for bleeding gums
Prevention of dryness of the lips, mouth and throat
Possible holistic treatment for TMJ and general soreness in the jaw area

Benefits Beyond the Mouth?

Ancient Ayurvedic health practitioners believed that oil pulling could reduce more than just diseases of the mouth and throat. Today, many holistic practitioners tout its use for a variety of health concerns. 

It is believed that these oils help the lymphatic system of the body as harmful bacteria are removed and beneficial microflora are given with a healthy environment to flourish. Because of this holistic perspective, oil pulling has been used as a preventative health measure for many other conditions.

Other possible benefits of oil pulling for overall health include:

Migraine headache relief
Correcting hormone imbalances
Reducing inflammation of arthritis
May help with gastro-enteritis
Aids in the reduction of eczema
May reduce symptoms of bronchitis
Helps support normal kidney function
May help reduce sinus congestion
Some people report improved vision
Helps reduce insomnia
Reduced hangover after alcohol consumption
Aids in reducing pain
Reduces the symptoms of allergies
Helps detoxify the body of harmful metals and organisms

I personally use Virgin coconut oil or I buy Indigo Baby's Gargoyle which they sell at their online store and every Sunday in the Legazpi market. They sell it for Php 280.00 for the 200 ml bottle. I actually gave them out as gifts last Christmas as seen in the photo below. I wanted to spread the knowledge about this practice. I hope all my friends and family are still on it! *wink*

smile (it's a FRIDAY!),