• Thursday , 12 July 2018
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Amusing Maria

How does a woman who throws out a Kabocha Squash – with a knife still stuck in it – end up writing about food?


Hi! Welcome to Amusing Maria, where you’ll find simple and easy-to-follow recipes, travel guides and occasional stories about life.

The recipes here in Amusing Maria are often inspired by food from the Philippines.  I’ve always loved cooking since I was a child. Unfortunately, my interest in learning more about food was put  on hold.  My family led me to focus on a career in the healthcare field so spending time in the kitchen and honing my culinary skills was not a priority. We also had a helper who cooked our meals for us. I rarely saw my mom or dad in the kitchen except for parties when relatives or friends would request my parents’ Habichuelas, Kare-Kare, or  Kilawin.  My only connection to the food world was through cooking shows.

About the Kabocha Squash…

It’s a true story.  I had just moved to rural Arkansas in 2003 and was still adjusting to my new independence. I had no idea that a squash was so tough to cut! I pushed the knife in and then it wouldn’t move. It got stuck.  So, I threw the squash in the trash, including the knife. Hungry, home sick, alone and craving for Filipino Food – this is not the combination I would recommend for a novice cook.

Here are some stories about why squash makes me emotional: Stir Fried Kabocha Squash and String Beans and Chayote Squash Breakdown


It wasn’t until 2013 that I realized that I still love to cook and create recipes.  I also found a new interest in Filipino Food aside from just eating it.  I wanted to know the ingredients, techniques, history, and why it is so crave-worthy delicious.


If I were to rank my creative interests, it would be like this:

  • Cooking
  • Developing Recipes
  • Playing the Piano
  • Writing
  • Baking

The last two items are essential to a food website but there it is, writing and baking are last on the list.  I rarely bake and if I do, the recipe would have to be dummy proof.  On the upside, my need to make things simple and easier helped in developing a recipe that uses a favorite Filipino Dessert ingredient: Ube or Purple Yam. You can find the recipe for Easy Ube Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Icing here.



My writing skills are hit or miss. I am a good english conversationalist but that’s not enough to be a good writer.  The recipes, narratives, and travel guides would not be possible without an editor.  I’m lucky that I’m married to one. Find out more about him here.

Thank you for visiting Amusing Maria! I hope my recipes, stories, and travels will inspire you.


Want to know more?

I would love to connect with you @amusingmaria on Instagram and Twitter where you’ll find updates about current interests and happenings on Amusing Maria such as:


We’re starting our own organic vegetable garden!  It will be challenging since we’re not gardeners and we have a resident groundhog who just had a baby.  We’d like to keep these voracious vegetable garden eaters around instead of trapping them.  Let’s see what happens during harvest time.


The Yuri on Ice soundtrack was so moving that I started to play the piano again after 15 years. I’m only a Level 3 pianist and it’s been tough since the piano sheet I chose to study is Level 9.  It’s been a year and three months and I’m still working on it.

Still working on this piano piece! It’s been a year and three months!

Programs and TV Shows:

Ainori-Asian Journey and Terrace House
I’m mostly watching something in Japanese if I’m not cooking or writing.  My best friends, after years of trying, had successfully convinced me to watch an anime.  I was hooked during the first scene of Attack on Titan. There’s so much creativity and work put in an anime that the artwork alone is enough to keep me watching.  Somehow, this interest in Japanese culture had me watching more Japanese movies and TV shows.

Lost in Space
The relationship between Will and the Robot is so interesting.  I can’t wait for the next season.

Below Deck
Boats, Water, Drama.  Hey, after watching subdued Japanese reality shows, I need some good American entertainment.

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