3 Ingredient Brownies



This one is super easy, too, and it is a huge hit with chocolate lovers. I have a couple of young friends here who are my regular guinea pigs and the tell me this is the best of the best of all my dessert efforts. Funny that it is also the easiest.


369 grams of Goya or other brand chocolate hazlenut spread. (This is a bit less than the small size jar sold here in Davao. Eat a couple spoonfuls -I like it as a dip for apple slices- or use it all and have even gooier brownies.)

2 medium eggs, beaten with a fork

1/2 cup of flour

Oil pans.  Combine all 3 ingredients, mix well.  Pour about 3/4 deep into oiled pans and bake in toaster oven for 15 minutes, or til you can insert a fork or bamboo skewer in center and it comes out clean. Do not over-bake.

In my toaster oven things get scorched on top so midway I put the toaster oven tray over the top of the pans to keep them from over-browning.

If you have a larger toaster oven than mine, use an 8×8 pan and bake 30-35 minutes. My oven can bake 6 cookies or cupcakes at a time, if the cupcake sized tins are touching.

I tried them with 1/2 peanut butter and half hazlenut one day when I was nearly out of the choco-butter. Too dry,  not sweet enough alone.  However, good sliced, toasted, and spread with jelly for tea/merienda.

I think they would have been amazing if I had mixed the peanut butter with choco syrup.


We are returning to the U.S. so my toaster oven baking days are drawing to a close. Oddly, what started as a frustration has ended with affection and I think I will miss it.


Posted in cookery, Davao Diary | 1 Response

Japanese Immigrants in the Philippines in WW2

“Pearl Harbor
A POINT OF AWARENESS – Preciosa S. Soliven (The Philippine Star) – January 5, 2017 – 12:00am
In solemn silence US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid commemorative wreaths at the USS Arizona Memorial, built over the remains of the sunken battleship USS Arizona, on December 27, 2016. This symbolic gesture honored the lives of the 2,400 men and women who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese forces in 1941. It has been 75 years but the pain and horror witnessed by those who survived remains unforgotten.

A day of infamy
The sneak attack on Pearl Harbor lasted four hours in the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. The unrelenting firepower pounded the US fleet moored there, but according to the memoirs of Commodore Ramon Alcaraz: “There was no attempt by the Japanese to land troops on Hawaii and seize control of that US territory. On the other hand, the enemy air attack on the Philippines the day of Dec. 8, proved decisive.”

“…Quickly, the enemy gained air supremacy over the Philippines and in five months, the country was overrun by Japanese forces.”

Japanese officers disguised as store keepers, gardeners or drivers
In 1934, Major General Frank Parker, then the commander in the Philippines, reported to Washington that Japanese immigrants continued to grow at an alarming rate. Most of them were men of military age – holding reserve commission in the Nipponese Army. The War Department shrugged. The newcomers lived quietly and were industrious people, working as storekeepers, photographers or servants.”

Only they weren’t really servants and shopkeepers, at least not all of them. This is a slice of WW2 I wasn’t ever told, and probably you weren’t, either.

Read the rest.

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Personal Space

What I noticed first off all about myself here in the PHilipppines is that I am clumsy and totally unaware of my surroundings, which means I bump into people and things and knock things over a lot.  It has gotten better because, I think, I spend more time on foot and less time in a vehicle, and more time in crowds than I used to.  You don’t need much awareness of where people are around you when you isolate yourself in private vehicles and personal bubbles a mile wide, and you have wide streets and clear sidewalks that nobody actually even uses.

On the other hand, it’s not that nobody ever bumps into anybody else here.  A teacher friend pointed out that for her, it’s automatic that you blurt out ‘excuse me’ or ‘I’m sorry,’ if you brush up against somebody else at all in public space.  And Filipinos don’t do that- not because they have no manners, but because it’s not bad manners to touch somebody accidentally in a crowd.  An apology is probably only warranted if you bump hard enough to really move them, or knock something over or step on somebody.  Just entering personal space, even to the point of touching, is not worth remarking on.

“Of course not,” laughs the Filipino friend listening to our conversation, “What on earth is personal space?  It’s not even a real thing.”

He knows what it is, of course, he is an astute observer of cross cultural interactions.

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Digital Cocaine

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Normalized Sin

You can now be banned on Twitter for using biologically correct pronouns and failing to participate in legitimizing mental illness.

Believing all women- 3 women have come forward and accused scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson of sexual misconduct, one accusation quite grievous.

I’m willing to wait and see what turns up, but one aspect of his own explanation is just a little bit bizarre.  A woman accuses him of groping under her dress without her consent, and he explains he was merely looking to see if the planet Pluto was included on a tattoo of the solar system she had running up her arm, so it  “was simply a search under the covered part of her shoulder of the sleeveless dress.”  You know another way he could have found out if Pluto was included on a tattoo on a total stranger’s arm?  Asking.  Just asking.    Do I care that much? If he raped the woman, I do care. I want to know. I want him punished if it happened. The rape accusation (from his college days) should be handled as a crime, which would begin by the victim properly reporting it and then an investigation. Until then, I don’t have enough information to have an opinion other than there isn’t enough information.

Meanwhile, I mostly I am amused by all those on the left rediscovering the principles of innocent until proven guilty and lamenting what the Me-Too movement has become and how these types of not really assault accusations are going to harm real victims.  You don’t say.

But also, it’s still kinda creepy that he didn’t think he needed to ask a woman before moving her sleeve and poking his fingers on the tattoo on her shoulder under her dress and we should all just understand he just gets excited over cosmic bling but he’s sorry she was bothered and he wants us to know he only just now heard about it 9 years later, as though the action of slipping his fingers under her dress to slide her sleeveless dress around enough that he could see and touch a possible tattoo of Pluto is otherwise perfect normal thing to do to a stranger.  There’s a lot of subtle ‘but the woman’ digs in his apologies and defenses, but whatever. Me Too has been weaponized by the left and it won’t stop until their weapon misfires in their hands, so maybe this will be that moment.

What?  No, I don’t believe it, either.

Moving on, we all know Hollywood is a sordid, dirty little place behind the scenes. They knew it even better than we did, which is the real reason child rapist Roman Polanski has been supported and defended for decades, and it’s the real reason the pornographic filming of the onscreen assault of a teenaged actress by Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris were acclaimed as great art.  The actress had made public the fact that she was not told in advance details of the scene and that she felt humiliated and raped by the director- Bertolucci- and Brando.  But nobody paid much attention to that until ten years later when the Bertolucci said the same thing and justified it because ‘he needed to be free’ to pursue his creative dream, and “because he wanted her onscreen humiliation and rage to be real. “I wanted Maria to feel, not to act,” he said.”

Read this  while keeping in mind that these people have spent decades deliberately transforming our culture, normalizing what should have been appalling and disturbing, and we have flocked to their products for more (here’s an excerpt):

“Phillips says Les Moonves, then the head of Warner Bros. television just as its shows Friends and ER were becoming blockbusters, grabbed her and forced her to perform oral sex when she met with him to seek an appointment with a casting director. She fled the office. Then she had to decide whether to say something, which would brand her a “troublemaker.” If so, nothing good would happen. She’d be ushered out to pursue the career opportunities at Denny’s, and another young honey would take her place.

“Nobody knows anything” was the Hollywood mantra popularized by the late screenwriter William Goldman. Yet in a town that does nothing more assiduously than it does gossip, we’re expected to believe nobody knew anything about what was happening in Les Moonves’s office, and in Harvey Weinstein’s, and in Bryan Singer’s? It beggars belief. They knew. They all knew. The men knew. The women knew. The potted plants certainly knew. Nobody said anything. They didn’t want to jeopardize their next gig. “Nobody says anything” is more like it. It’s show-merta. “Hollywood mafia” isn’t a joke anymore: These acts alleged by so many actresses are crimes. This was a systematic criminal enterprise in which untold numbers of people either abetted felonies or did not report them, with money clawed away from publicly traded corporations repeatedly used to buy silence.

When you see a lot of movies and TV shows, you do a lot of wondering about what happened behind the scenes. Why did that actress get so many parts? Why did this one rise so quickly? Why did that one disappear? Wasn’t that nude scene gratuitous? Put on the magical sunglasses and you see the ugliness.”

Read the rest.

There’s also Open Secrets, a documentary exposing the culture of pedophilia in Hollywood.  Speaking of normalizing:  “This is not a terrible thing unless you think it is. It’s just something that happens to you in your life.”  Michael Harrah, founder and former chair of the SAG-AFTRA Young Performers Committee, speaking of sexual crimes against children in Hollywood.  Read more here.

Woe to us, who have called good evil good and good evil for so long, and normalized it in the pursuit of a fraudulent form of happiness and mere entertainment.

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