demystifying geng & chip

How about a little pick me up? by geng
June 8, 2009, 12:52 pm
Filed under: Food, General, Geng's corner

You would be surprised to know that our co-workers don’t even know that we have a blog.  It’s not a big deal really, there are just some things we prefer not to share with the people we work with.  So when my boss suggested to me that I should start a blog about our food and travel adventures after seeing our Philippine travel book, I almost laughed. And then she got serious, she said I should write for a magazine.  He he, funny that.  Ha ha ha… wait I’m still laughing. I finally said, “Yeah, if only I can write.” She said, “You should take writing classes then”.  Hmmm, now there’s an idea.

Wouldn’t that be an awesome job?  To be a travel or a food writer? I would just love to lead the life of Dorie Greenspan or Anthony Bourdain. Or maybe become a real blogger? I’ve seen many blogs that get sponsored ads because of interesting content and good writing. La Tartine Gourmande is a good example. I like the way she writes. I started reading her blog way before she started getting sponsors. Yeah *sigh*, if only. 

You see the problem is I have a funny way of writing. I write the way I talk. I also noticed that I’m punctuation mark happy. I love using commas, they’re my friend. I like them a lot so I sprinkle them all over the place.  I also like apostrophes and adding s’s where s’s don’t belong. I easily get confused with it’s vs. its and they’re vs. their.  I tend to switch from present to past tense and back and to tell you the truth I don’t really know how or why that happens. I guess because I tend to write long winded sentences in the beginning then it somehow loses its punch so then I forget what I started with and then it’s downhill from there. There’s a perfect example for you. Oh oh and I like to do the oxymoron thing, you know? I always contradict myself. But then I am also guilty of tautology. There’s a new word for you. Tautology.  It’s when you keep saying different words that effectively say the same thing twice. Basically, it is the opposite of oxymoron. I get redundant yeah, that’s it, redundant. Redundancy is my forte.  And I won’t even bring up spelling and grammar. Or do you say I won’t even bring spelling and grammar up?

Maybe being bilingual has something to do with it? Someone asked me once if I dream in Tagalog. Maybe I subconsciously think in Tagalog when I speak in English so my writing becomes a mishmash of the two? Sometimes I’d go back and read some of my previous entries and I cringe. Like oh my God what possessed me to publish that?  Is it too late to revise?  Well… the ship has sailed… the legion has crossed the Rubicon… Elvis has left the building so to speak. Oh well, you still love me right? Okay, I’m seriously questioning now why I started a blog. I need a little pick me up.


As far as a pick me up this is a sure thing!  Do you know that in Italian tiramisu literally means ‘pick me up’?

I’m over my not so great writing skills so let’s switch topic and talk tiramisu. I love this version of tiramisu. People tend to love me when I make this tiramisu. It’s true I’m not lying; people tell me how much they love me as soon as they take a bite of this out of this world tiramisu. Truth be told, the secret to this version of tiramisu is the top of the line ingredients. You can’t take a short cut here. Let me tell you why. It is already a shortcut.

When I was researching for recipes for tiramisu I’ve decided that I much prefer a light airy cheese filling rather than a custard zabaglione filling. This means…. are you ready for this? No egg yolks. I was really excited when I found this no bake recipe (unless you decide to bake your own ladyfingers) and thought this was a winner. Let me just say this again, since this is a no bake/egg less  tiramisu it is essential to get the best ingredients. You can’t sub anything like cream cheese for mascarpone, instant coffee to brewed coffee, or use generic cocoa powder. No sir I absolutely forbid it! Otherwise, it is not the same and you only have yourself to blame. So there!

This is, therefore, the obvious choice of dessert to prepare with an Italian dinner when we visited Dad and Mom Tomek in Monterey. I think they liked it. Yeah, I think they did! :)

(I have long since lost my source, if you happen to know please shoot me a comment so I can give them proper credit)

1 lb mascarpone cheese (I use Belgioso from the gourmet cheese section of the supermarket)
½ c granulated sugar
3 tbs rum, brandy or kahlua
1 c heavy whipping cream
cocoa powder (I use Ghirardelli)
double shot of espresso (Starbucks)
½ c coffee (Starbucks baby!)
shavings of unsweetened dark chocolate (Valrhona)
~30 or so pieces ladyfingers (about 2 packages, do not use the glazed ladyfingers)


1. Chill whipping cream and bowl. Mix coffee and espresso and chill.

2. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks.

3. Put the cheese, sugar, and rum/brandy into a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Add more sugar or alcohol as desired. Fold in whipping cream to create cheese mixture.

4. Soak lady fingers in espresso for a couple seconds, rotating to coat all sides. Place lady fingers side by side on bottom of a 7×7 pan ( I used my round fruit bowl).

5. Put half the cheese mixture on lady fingers in pan. Smooth with a spatula or spoon. Sift cocoa powder liberally on surface of layer.

6. Apply second layer of lady fingers and remaining cheese. Sift cocoa powder and half of chocolate shavings. Or you can do three layers like I did.

7. Cover in plastic wrap and chill.

8. To serve, spoon to plates and sprinkle with remaining cocoa powder and decorate with chocolate shavings.

13 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I am glad you posted this. I am also a horrible writer. I write from my heart and not my head. I have long given up on trying to be somewhat gramatically correct. I’m not remotely perfect and I really don’t wish too. Maybe that is why I am an under-achiever and had a piss poor public school education. Or it is maybe the fact that I skipped school so much that if it wasn’t for a medical issue I may not have graduated. Oh well. If people can’t love you for your flaws then they were not meant to love you. I know for a fact you are far more educated than most native English speakers I know. So I hope to continue to read your blog with all your comas and tautology, I wouldn’t want it any other way. If you promise to look past my poor grammar skills and fluff:)

Comment by Karen

Karen, you’re too kind. Thank you so much. BTW, you’re not a horrible writer. And I love reading your blog. And you’re not an under achiever, hah! What you have accomplished as a mom and a military wife so far is already remarkable. The boys (yes including Mark) are living proof of that. And you’re still going and going and going. Like the energizer bunny. :)

Comment by geng

Your blog is absolutely adorable. I look forward to reading it.

Comment by Carmen

Thank you Carmen. You’re sweet. I’ll head over to your site too. :)

Comment by geng

O.K. Stop it right now. Say this 100 times…”I am a great writer”…. You are! (I use a lot of exclamation marks and commas, too! Ha!) I really enjoy your write-ups and your pictures are professional. The thing I like about your writing is your wit. You have a way with words. And, there are always spelling and grammer correction tools in many programs. As for the tiramisu…it was “pulisious”(what I said when I was a kid instead of “delicious”….
Also, a note to Karen… Say this 100 times “I am not dumb. I am an educated person. I speak and act as an educated person. I am a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, niece, friend, neighbor, cousin, and organizer. This is only some of the positive things I am, but who has time with all that I have to do to go on”. You two are too hard on yourselves. Snap out of it! Love you both! Mom Tomek (Aunt Carol)

Comment by Mom Tomek

Thanks Mom Tomek. You made my day. :)

Comment by geng

Hey, I never said I was dumb!;) I know that I am not. Especially when talking about 98% of the population. I just wish I took school more seriously and was more well read. I hopefully have a lifetime learn many new things. I guess as a stay at home mom I am always trying to validate my decsion to stay home with my children…even though deep down I know I am doing the right thing for my family. Thanks though! Geng you are now the new Dr. Phil blog! LOL!

Comment by Karen

I wish I took school seriously too. Instead of passing the courses by the hair of my chinny chin chin, he he. Seriously, one only has to look at your boys to see you made a great decision.

Dr. Phil? Oh my, the pressure is on.

Comment by geng

Wow that is over the top! giant spoon please :)

Comment by Jen

Geng – I am really glad you have gotten into baking. It is a lot of fun and enjoyment. Thanks for the Bread book for Father’s Day. Looks like there are lots of great recipes and tips for baking. Keep up the good work baking. Dad Tomek

Comment by Dad Tomek

Thanks Dad Tomek. I’m glad you like the book. Happy Father’s Day and happy baking.

Comment by geng

hey just wondering how many servings this recipe can make? thanks :D tiramisu looks awesome gonna try it sooon!

Comment by violet

Hi. This should serve 6-8 people. :)

Comment by geng

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