Thanksgiving in NY and Manila-Inspired Desserts

Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year. I am so happy I went home to NY for it. My family is bananas but I love them. Chris’ parents came down from Massachusetts to join in on the fun. We had two turkeys for Thanksgiving – we called one the lunch turkey, and the other, the dinner turkey (gluttony like whoa).

I love our Thanksgiving. It’s a mash up of traditional dishes such as yams, mashed potatoes and stuffing, and family favorites such as egg rolls and fried rice.

My sister and I goofing off right before we head to my Aunt’s house for the feasting:

The cutest Corgi in the world:

When I was in Manila, I had rice cake for the first time. The concept is simple – it’s just rice, coconut milk and brown sugar. It was delicious. Carb overload, but delicious nonetheless. It’s just the right amount of sweet and creamy.

Not a particularly sexy picture but trust me, it tastes good.

Rice (Biko) Cake
Makes 1 9″ x 13″ cake


  • 2 cups glutinous (sticky) rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 4 cups coconut milk 
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

*Make glutinous rice in a rice cooker or on a stove top. (I washed the rice twice before cooking.)
*In a large pot, combine light brown sugar, coconut milk, and salt over medium-high heat. Once the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat down low so it is simmering. Simmer until thick and stir frequently.
*Once rice is cooked, place it in the pot and continue to cook on low until most of the liquid evaporates.
*Pour into a 9″ x 13″ pan and spread evenly. Turn broiler on and broil for 2-3 minutes to caramelize the top.
*Let cool and serve at room temperature.

I also made a cassava cake – another thing I had in Manila (and probably overdosed on). Cassava is my latest obsession. Cassava is a white, starchy, root vegetable. Apparently, cassava can be toxic if not prepared properly because it contains toxins such as cyanide (weird, right?). Have no fear. The cassava I used is prepackaged and frozen.

Product of the Philippines!

You can find this in Asian supermarkets. The cassava cake I made was based on my Mom’s recipe. As with the rice cake, this is a very simple, easy recipe to pull together.

Cassava Cake
Makes 1 9″ x 13″ cake or 24 2″ x”2 mini-bars


  • 2 lbs of frozen grated cassava, defrosted
  • 1 14 oz can coconut milk 
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease pan with baking spray and set aside.
*Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
*Pour mixture into prepared pan. If baking in the 12-bar pan, bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until firm to the touch. If baking in 9″ x 13″ pan, you will need to bake the cake longer, about 50 to 60 minutes or until the cake is firm to the touch. Turn broiler on and broil for 2-3 minutes to caramelize the top.
*Let cool and serve at room temperature.



7 thoughts on “Thanksgiving in NY and Manila-Inspired Desserts

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