About Me and My Family

Hello! Welcome to Manila Spoon! Thanks for dropping by.

I am Abby Raines, born in Manila, Philippines but currently residing in Hamden, CT, USA. I am a lawyer turned stay-at-home mom. I have two tots (William – 6 and Sophie – 3) and one very loving husband (Mark), from England, for whom I am very thankful to the Lord for. My life is truly wonderful because of them. The photo above was taken years ago but below here’s what we look like nowadays.

ManilaSpoon came into being due to my desire to have all my favorite recipes be compiled into one easy to access file. Having it all online not only makes it so convenient to find them (gone are the days of looking for the scraps of paper where I have written the recipes!); it is also a lot easier to share them with friends.

So how did my love for cooking begin? Not naturally. Not right away. Truth is, I had to learn to cook out of necessity. As anyone familiar with the Philippines would know, when you grow up with a maid, oftentimes you never learn the wonderful art of cooking. Back then, I always knew that when dinner’s on, the food would be ready at the table, often prepared by anyone in the house but me. I did dabble a bit on cooking after college but never really pursued it passionately.

However, when I got married and settled in the USA, I had to really learn how to cook. Otherwise, my hubby and I would have starved to death!
Thankfully, the kind folks who help us settle in Grand Rapids gave us a copy of an American cookbook as a welcome present. Perhaps they sensed our predicament. That began my love for cooking and anything that has to do with food.

I learned to cook initially by following recipes to the letter but, eventually and more extensively, through trial and error. The results of my culinary adventures are shown in manilaspoon.com, which is simply a collection of recipes which my family have tried and enjoyed through the years.

I love to blog because it’s my ‘creative therapy’ allowing me to put into words and pictures things I enjoy and have passion for. So I do hope you enjoy reading the posts as much as I enjoy writing them!

And after just over 6 years of blogging, I am happy to announce that we finally have our very own cookbook – RICE. NOODLES. YUM. (EVERYONE’S FAVORITE SOUTHEAST ASIAN DISHES). It’s got 75 delicious and authentic rice and noodle dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines, of course! I have travelled all over the region and attended cooking classes and learned from both chefs and cooks alike who generously shared with me their ways and techniques on how to cook the tastiest Asian  food! I promise you, these are tried and tested and really yummy recipes. It’s now on pre-order so make sure to grab your copy here or click on the photo below.


If you wish to follow the posts, do join our site and like us on Facebook. Thanks again for visiting!



  1. August 13, 2012 / 10:03 pm

    Hi, I really enjoy reading your blog. it is really great! Your recipes sound delicious and your photos are beautiful!

  2. August 14, 2012 / 1:36 am

    Thanks for dropping by! You are so kind! Glad to have discovered your lovely blog too!

  3. August 18, 2012 / 5:31 pm

    Nice to meet you! Found you on Blog Hop! Lovely family.

  4. August 18, 2012 / 8:28 pm

    Thanks for visiting! Glad to meet you as well!

  5. August 20, 2012 / 1:28 pm

    Hi Abby! So glad I found you at Ellen B Cookery's Blog Hop.
    I still need to read more about it and join in.
    I love finding fellow filipino bloggers esp. a fellow Michigander too.
    Love Holland!
    Just started following you.
    Visit me at http://www.theredapronscravings.com

  6. August 20, 2012 / 3:50 pm

    Thanks for dropping by Kabayan! Glad to meet you too! Now, at least that silly mistake led to something nice. 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

  7. November 4, 2012 / 1:25 am

    Hi Abby,

    First time here in your blog =) I enjoyed browsing around.

    • November 4, 2012 / 2:16 am

      Hello Peachkins! Thanks for stopping by! Glad to meet another Kababayan! 🙂

  8. November 16, 2012 / 5:37 pm

    Lovely family picture! Glad to meet you and nice to read a little more about you. 🙂

    • November 16, 2012 / 9:47 pm

      Hi Biren, thanks for stopping by Manila Spoon and spending some time here. So happy to have met you as well. Love the food in your blog too! So nice to see many Asian/cultural connections between us! 🙂

  9. November 21, 2012 / 7:22 pm

    Hi Abby,

    This is the first time I visited your site. Very nice food blog you got going here. May you have more success on what you're doing. Have a blessed holiday to you and your beautiful family.

    ~ ray ~

    • November 22, 2012 / 5:02 am

      Hi Ray! Thanks for your kind words! Glad to meet you and appreciate you stopping by!

  10. December 8, 2012 / 8:47 pm

    What a beautiful family! I am so glad we have connected on facebok. Lovely blog!

    • December 9, 2012 / 4:20 am

      Thanks, Marie for stopping by! Equally glad to have met you!

  11. December 12, 2012 / 5:54 pm

    Hi! Its Kristen from make the best of everything! I was just reading through your about me. I went to cross country camp at Hope College when I was in high school ( 12 years ago now). I love Holland. Such a pretty area!!!!

    • December 13, 2012 / 1:55 am

      Hi Kristen! Glad to meet you and what a small world! I know, Holland is a lovely town for sure. Of course, we love Hope College too! Thanks for stopping by!

  12. December 14, 2012 / 7:53 am

    You have a beautiful family and and beautiful photos. Just discovered you through Cynthia at What a Girl Likes to Eat blog. I'll have to explore your site to learn more, but I already like what I see. Good job on everything and Happy Holidays!

    • December 15, 2012 / 5:17 pm

      Thanks, Nancy! Glad to meet you as well. Happy you have discovered our little blog. Hope you enjoy your time here. Have a blessed holiday season too!

  13. December 24, 2012 / 9:52 am

    loved reading your blog! 🙂 Your family picture is lovely! and the food pics are so inviting!
    I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog during another internet search! 🙂

    Happy Holidays!


    • December 24, 2012 / 1:53 pm

      Hi Ashima! So lovely to meet you too and glad you found us. Hope you enjoy Manila Spoon! Merry Christmas too!

  14. January 15, 2013 / 4:37 am

    Dear Abby,

    You have a wonderful website and more than that you have a lovely family. God bless you and your family.

    Thanks for stopping by my page.


    • January 17, 2013 / 3:31 am

      Thanks, Rogers! Glad you came and visited us too!

  15. January 18, 2013 / 3:49 pm

    Hi Abby, I just found your blog through someone's post of FB, the name of your blog caught my eye since my great-grandfather was from the Philippines too I wanted to try some recipes from my ancestors. By reading your page I also found that you live in Mi, and so do I, lol..what a small world. I'm in Detroit. I just started blogging a few months ago and would love for you to stop by my blog and check it out and give me any suggestions on food photography love yours! I now subscribed to your blog and I'm following on GFC! Have a great weekend!

    • January 23, 2013 / 2:05 am

      Thanks, Lizy! What a small world! Glad you came by and thanks for joining us! Will check out your blog after this.

  16. April 7, 2013 / 11:27 pm

    Lovely to meet you, Abby. Glad to find your Manila food blog. I look forward to your recipes ! Mabuhay!

    • April 10, 2013 / 3:22 am

      Thanks, Betty! So delighted that you stopped by. Lovely to meet you, too!

  17. May 3, 2013 / 11:31 am

    You really have a wonderful site, but beyond that you sure is blessed to have a wonderful family! I just started following you. Love your recipe's they are all "manyaman/masarap/delicious". 🙂


    • May 23, 2013 / 1:34 pm

      Thanks, Tina! That's so very sweet of you. So glad you found us. Welcome to Manila Spoon!

  18. May 20, 2013 / 5:12 pm

    very nice to meet you. Looking forward to read more of your posts

    • September 10, 2013 / 3:47 pm

      A pleasure to meet you too Dixya! Welcom to Manila Spoon. 🙂

  19. May 22, 2013 / 2:34 am

    Hello. I found your blog through the Portia Alumni link c/o Florence. 🙂 Glad to find your blog and a fellow-blogger sis. 🙂
    I wish you the best. 🙂

    • May 23, 2013 / 1:36 pm

      Thanks, sis Imelda! Yay! So happy we connected. So glad to meet you.

  20. May 23, 2013 / 12:51 am

    I am enjoying your blog, Abby. Your recipes look delicious and your photos are lovely. I learned about your blog through Florence post in the sorority page. I am glad to meet a fellow blogger sis. 🙂 I am from batch 88-B. I hope you win.

    • May 23, 2013 / 1:39 pm

      Thanks, dear sis! How wonderful to connect with you this way and so happy to know that another sis blogs too. Yay! Will be checking your blog in a bit. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and for your support too! I am batch mates with Marose – 93-B, I believe. 🙂

  21. May 29, 2013 / 3:14 am

    I'm very much excited to taste all your stuff when you visit us again here in the Philippines. Hoping to see you soon!!!!

    • September 10, 2013 / 3:48 pm

      Please enjoy the recipes and yes, I can't wait to come back for a visit! 🙂

  22. Anonymous
    September 10, 2013 / 5:44 am

    i want a manila spoon! or 2. 🙂

  23. September 10, 2013 / 3:48 pm

    Thanks, please enjoy the site. 🙂

  24. November 4, 2013 / 4:26 pm

    Hi Abby,
    I found your blog via internet search for Filipino food pics. Thank you for sharing! The recipes and food pics look yummy!


  25. November 4, 2013 / 4:30 pm

    Hi Abby!
    I found your blog via internet search for Filipino food pics. Thank you for sharing! The recipes and food pics look yummy!


    • November 7, 2013 / 3:49 pm

      Thanks, Dagmar! So glad you found us. Hope you find the site helpful and visit us often.

  26. November 27, 2013 / 6:20 pm

    Hi! I found you just looking and blog hopping :o) Nice to "meet" you here. I noticed on your sidebar the comment of the Avocado milkshakes :o) (My mom is from the Philiipines and married my dad who was stationed there while in the Air Force. I have grown children and one sweet grandbaby, so many years have passed ;o) Hope you get a chance to stop by my "place" in blogland. If you do, please let me know by leaving a comment.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    (My husband's family are all from Hawaii…thus the Aloha…he is the only one of his siblings that had joined the military and then has not lived there since…although we do love the islands, we are living now where all our children's spouses are from…here in Kentucky.)

  27. Racquel
    July 24, 2015 / 1:06 am

    Glad to find your site! Thanks for sharing your great recipes!

  28. November 20, 2015 / 5:40 pm

    Your blog is informative and beautiful without being pretentious. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your "about me" story and am glad that you (eventually) discovered your passion for cooking. I found your blog when Googling an "upside down cranberry cake" which I'm planning to make for this Thanksgiving. I'm a huge dessert and pastry nerd yet I've never heard of upside down cranberry cake until now… go figure. I'm looking forward to following you on this blog and on Instagram. You have a beautiful family, handsome hubby, and absolutely adorable kids. Have a peaceful, loving Thanksgiving. -DW

    • January 4, 2016 / 5:05 pm

      Thank you for your very kind words DW! Appreciate your support!

  29. February 6, 2017 / 3:24 pm

    Hi Abby, I love your website specially the personal touch of this about page. Let me help you generate more followers by sharing your adobo recipes on my 8,000+ fans at http://www.facebook.com/adoborecipes. God bless you more and your family.

    • February 7, 2017 / 2:41 am

      Thank you very much!