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Suman in Honor of Grandma Eva {#recipesfromtheheart}

Today's event - #recipesfromtheheart - is being hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen of Juanita's Cocina. They teamed up with their blogger friends to help raise awareness and support for Cancer and Hospice today in memory of Kim's dad. We encourage everyone to read the posts and share their own experiences with cancer. We also would like to encourage everyone to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society, the American Cancer Society and also to the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. Hospice was a key element during Kim's father's battle with cancer. They made it possible for Kim to care for him at home. So please show your support and donate if you can. You can also contact your local Hospice and donate directly to them if you wish. A little goes a long way! 

This will be a long, but worthwhile post. 
When a blogger - Kim - in one of my cooking groups posted that she was hosting a cancer awareness blogging event in honor of her dad who passed away in 2007 from cancer, I was definitely in.

I lost my Grandma Eva when I was 15 and I was living with her and my grandfather during the week at the time. So, I watched her deteriorate from a vivacious, gregarious, loving woman as cancer riddled her body. She had complained of backaches and doctors gave her the equivalent of Advil until one day the tumor pressed up against her spinal cord and she couldn't walk. She never walked again. When they removed the tumor, it was the size of a grapefruit. She endured radiation and chemo therapy. Her beautiful hair, that was always dyed black and perfectly coiffed, disappeared and so did her smile.

But this post is not to wallow; it is to remember. I was her only grandchild and I was, admittedly, spoiled. She lavished me with dolls and frilly dresses, though I was a tom-boy. I think she hoped that I would gain interest in Barbies if there were more of them. I remember she bought me the latest and greatest Barbie Malibu Beach House one Christmas. I promptly removed the kidney-shaped, pink pool and used it as a pot to make a witches' brew with some poisonous berries.

No witches' brew today. Today, I'm sharing how to make suman, a Filipino sweet rice cake steamed in banana leaves. My Grandma Eva would be proud and, I hope, think that it was just as good as hers.

Step One: Soak 3 C kuhuho rose rice (or any sticky rice) in warm water for at least 6 hours. I soaked mine overnight.

Step Two: Drain and cook the rice in 3 C coconut milk until soft and sticky. Stir in 1 C young coconut. For some reason, the jar I bought at the Filipino store was translated as "gelatinous mutant coconut." Yuck...on the name. Yum...on the taste.

Step Three: Let the rice cool and cut your thawed banana leaves into 4" pieces and 6" pieces. Once the rice is cool, place rice in the center of the 4" piece, folding in the sides and rolling the leaf tightly to form a roll. It's okay if the leaf splits a little bit; you'll be double-rolling it in the 6" piece next.

Repeat the rolling process inside the larger piece. 

Step Fourplace the rolled packets into the top of a steamer.Steam over simmering water for an hour.

Step Five: Cool and enjoy!

You know how scents can bring back memories? The aroma of steaming banana leaves reminds me of my grandmothers, both of them. Maybe I'll be making this more often. And the taste...that sweet rice imparted with the slightly smoky, distinct flavor of banana leaves...incredible!

Here I am, a couple of years ago, wearing one of Grandma Eva's - gaudy - beaded Filipino tops for an international event at the boys' school. My grandmother certainly loved her bling.

Here are the other blogposts...
Chili Verde by Juanita's Cocina
S'Mores Brownies in Jars by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Dark Chocolate and Orange Muffins by The Dutch Baker's Daughter
Boston Cream Pie by Pass The Sushi
My Fathers Day Recipe Round Up by Curry and Comfort
Tropical Smoothie by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
Mini Gugelhupf by Masala Herb
Spicy Beef Sliders by Katie's Cucina
Thai Red Curry Soup by Damn Delicious
Suman (Sweet Rice in Banana Leaves) by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Fresh Vegetable Salad by White Lights on Wednesday
Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Sundae by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Honey Beer Bread by Hungry Couple
Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Pancakes by The Spiffy Cookie
Cookies and Cream Brownies by Cooking in Stilettos
Blueberry Lemon Cake by Roxana's Home Baking
Angel Cake by Ninja Baking

A Great Giveaway...
If you want to expand your kitchen, you’re going to need the right tools. The KitchenAid® Stand Mixer is perfect for all your kitchen adventures, and then some. 

Win an Artisan® Series KitchenAid®  Stand Mixer in the colour of your choice (there are 26 to choose from) as well as the Ice Cream Maker attachment. A sweet choice for all,  this creative attachment features the largest ice cream bowl capacity in the industry. Prepare 2 quarts of ice cream, sorbet, gelato or other frozen desserts. This summer is the perfect time to experience how the KitchenAid Stand Mixer is so much more than a baking tool!”

Visit and click on the “More than a Mixer” tab to explore all 12 attachments available for the KitchenAid® Stand Mixer. 

We are giving away 1 Artisan Series KitchenAid Stand Mixer and 1 Ice Cream Attachment to 1 lucky reader. The winner will get to choose from 12 colours so they can match their own kitchen. Giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. residents ONLY! Winner will be drawn on June 22 at 12 a.m. (Est) and will be announced live during the pinchatlive event. They will also be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. Bonus prizes of 1 Vanilla Infused Gift Box Set, 1 Lemon Infused Gift Box Set and a $30 Amazon Gift Card will be drawn randomly during the pinchatlive. Winner needs to respond during the event to win. Bonus pinchatlive giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. residents only.

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A PinterestLive Chat...
We are hosting a pinchatlive event on Saturday June 22 at 2 pm EST. The event will be live on G+ and also on Pinterest. You can join us by following along on G+ Hangouts on Air, and also by following the Pinterest Board #recipesfromtheheart. The winner of the KitchenAid Stand Mixer and Ice Cream Attachment will be announced live. There are bonus prizes up for grabs during the pinchatlive for those who participate in it. We're giving away 1 Vanilla Infused Box Set, 1 Lemon Infused Box Set and a $30 Amazon Gift Card. So make sure you join us for this event!


  1. Hi Camilla!

    Such a sad story about your grandmother... =(
    You look gorgeous in her top, it goes so well with your hairdo too.

    I had heard of suman before from my philipino friends, but until now I still hadn't tried it out. I really do want though! We have a few banana trees here so ingredients isn't the problem. Thanks fro sharing your story and the great recipe!

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Helene. If you try the recipe, I'd love to hear how it goes.

  2. Beautiful tribute to your grandma. This recipe is very new to me and looks / sounds amazing.

  3. I'm certain your grandma Eva is smiling down on your from heaven. What a perfect dish to honor her memory.

    1. Thank you, Liz. I enjoyed serving it and telling my boys stories about their great-grandmother.

  4. Nice to meet your Camilla. :) I'm honored to be apart of such a important event thanks to Jen and Kim. :) I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother... it's such a terrible loss. Thank you for sharing your beautiful suman recipe with us. :)

    1. Thanks, Ramona! It was a great event. I'm just now making my way through the list.

  5. Your photo with your boys and your Grandma Eva's beaded top radiates love. Undoubtedly the suman is tasty and filled with love, too =) Very much appreciate the instructional photos, Camilla.

  6. Such a beautiful post. I can almost smell those banana leaves!

  7. Very touching story about your Grandmother. I have similar happy memories of mine. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  8. Thank you so much for joining us Camilla. It's an honour to have you. I really appreciate you sharing your story about your grandmother with us. And this recipe is absolutely perfect. I need to try this. It looks delicious. I love the photo of you in the dress, it's really gorgeous.

  9. So sorry to hear about your loss, thank you for sharing your story. Love the pictures though!
    I have never heard of suman before, the flavors sound wonderful!


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