All posts filed under: Cook

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Pancakes fill a special, special place in my heart. It’s soft, pillowy, much like the pillows I sleep on at night. Except better. Plus these ones carry extra flavors of lemon, ricotta, and blueberries. I’ve cooked traditional pancakes before, but ricotta pancakes make for an even softer, more moist and delicate texture. As for the blueberry compote, I had extra so I saved it to spread over toast the next morning. The trick to getting those web marks on pancake tops? Lots, and lots of butter. Oh, and best to eat these cake-style. Servings: 6 pancakes INGREDIENTS Pancakes 1 cup ricotta cheese 2 egg yolks ¾ cup milk ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons lemon zest 1 cup flour 1½ teaspoons baking powder Blueberry Compote 2 cups blueberries ½ cup sugar ½ cup water 1 tablespoon lemon juice  PREPARATION 1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, egg yolk, milk, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Whisk until smooth, then add flour and baking powder. Mix this until fully combined. 2. In a separate …

Strawberry Banana Frozen Yogurt

One of the most frequent after-dinner desserts we as a family grab is frozen yogurt. For those times ice cream and pancakes feel a tad much, we opt for this supposed healthy and guilt-free treat. Although I still consider store-bought frozen yogurt a treat because hey, there are few things that taste that good I’d label as “guilt-free.” But this homemade strawberry banana sweet might just be one! And it is positively healthy because it only calls for strawberries, banana, and plain yogurt. Most of the sweetness is owed to the bananas, and the combination of sweet and sour makes for a refreshing (and colorful) goody. I love it as an afternoon snack, but even more for those late-night nibbling. Enjoy! Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS 3 cups frozen strawberries 3 frozen bananas 2/3 cup plain yogurt Chopped fresh strawberries (optional) PREPARATION 1. Combine frozen fruit and yogurt in a food processor, blend until smooth. 2. Spread mixture onto an glass baking dish, and sprinkle on fresh strawberries. 3. Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours. …

Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms

Eggs are easily my favorite everyday go-to protein food, especially on those days I have no time to put together a proper meal. While on a regular day I would do the usual scramble or boil, I’d been wanting to put my colorful ramekins to good use. This recipe is straightforward, versatile, and can be made with an endless choice of ingredients and served for any time of day. Even better, it requires no chopping! I used frozen spinach (so great to have on-hand) and with white button mushrooms, I easily broke them into chunks with my fingers. The rest is a matter of layering the mushroom, spinach, and eggs. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper layer by layer. And to top it off, I used wax paper to cover the top surface to allow for steaming. We had this for last Sunday’s brunch for four and the only complaint I got was that I didn’t make enough. And my personal regret? Cheese. How did I not remember to put cheese? Servings: 4 …

Peanut Butter Banana Oat Blender Muffins

It’s no secret I’m obsessed with peanut butter, and bananas are a fruit I always have in my fridge. They make for such a quick and easy snack, and they are so sweet, creamy, and delicious. And the blend of peanut butter and banana is a beautiful thing, a matchless union. Muffins. Another favorite of mine. And while I love those oversized greasy ones you get at the store, I decided to make some of my own that are hearty and healthy (so I could eat more of it). Working with ingredients I already have in my kitchen, I also made good use of my trusty blender. So instead of whisking and mixing in seven different bowls, I took the shortcut of simply dumping all the ingredients into one blender. A word of caution: fill your blender starting with the wet ingredients, followed by the dry to prevent the machine from overworking. You can also add a splash of milk or water to help ease the sticky and thick batter. Blend everything expect for the …

Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Nut Breakfast Treat

Rise and shine! I woke up on this beautiful, sunny morning and the second thing on my mind: breakfast. The first thing would be my sleep position, something I’ve been modifying over the last few days to test and see whether changing sleep direction would improve sleep quality. And indeed it has! So instead of laying normally straight in the middle of my bed, I’ve been slumping diagonally. And for some reason, I’ve been waking up feeling more and more refreshed. Not only that, I figured this method helps maximize my use of the bed space! Anyway, back to breakfast. Something hearty, something sweet. Something that doesn’t involve a pan or fire. Nothing worse than leaving bananas go black and icky. So I decided to enjoy them before they do (and more importantly, before my brother gets to them). Naturally, peanut butter made the number one most deserving company to my sweet bananas, and as proven by the domino effect, as did chocolate sprinkles and chopped nuts! The first thing I did was to melt the …

Baked Sweet Potato Chips, A Healthy Alternative to Bagged Chips

No, I’m not a total hypocrite. I love bagged chips. Cheetos. Lays. Pringles. Cheese. Sour Cream. BBQ Chicken. Honey Mustard. The more yellow my fingers get, the bigger the gratification, and the more enduring the self-abhorrence (which usually comes way way way way, way after). And even though homemade chips are fun and rewarding to make, I make no promises (by which I mean I will most definitely not) to abandon those airy, let’s face it, half empty sacs of processed, genetically modified, artificially flavored shingle of saturated fat (along with the other family of fats) and of course, chemicals whose names we have never heard of and can’t pronounce. Nonetheless, homemade chips are fun and rewarding to make! Especially when they are a fun color like orange and purple! First, take your sweet potatoes and peel off the skin using a peeler. Rinse to clean as necessary. Next, take your big boy (or girl) knife and cut the sweet potatoes into thin slices. Next, prep the seasonings. Since I wanted a basic recipe, I simply used …

Healthy Breakfast Parfait

Parfait, meaning perfect in French, is originally a frozen dessert that dates back to as early as the 1800s. And although some of us enjoy dessert for breakfast (I know I eat chocolate cake for breakfast sometimes – if it’s there, you gotta eat it), our version of a parfait consists of milk, yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, granola, and optionally, peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles. A perfectly healthy breakfast food. Peanut butter? We’ll just say it’s healthy for its protein. Chocolate sprinkles? It’s dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is healthy, right? The key to this parfait is to make it the night or two nights before so the granola and oatmeal have had a chance to soak in the milk, allowing you to enjoy it soft the next morning. The other steps involve basically layering the different ingredients in medium-sized jars and then storing in the fridge overnight. This recipe is a no-brainer and takes no time at all (except for the part where your patience is tested overnight). Let’s get started! Fruits – I’m using some …

How to Keep Fruits and Veggies Fresh

Feel bad every time you have throw away your fruits and vegetables because you forgot about them? How can you keep your bananas from quickly turning bad? Fruits and veggies are perishables and need extra care when stored. Here’s a list of tips and tricks on how to care for your fruits and veggies! F R U I T S APPLES Store on a cool counter or shelf for up to 2 weeks. For longer storage, place in a cardboard box in the fridge. APRICOTS Store on a cool counter in room temperature or fridge if fully ripe. BANANAS Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster. Keep them on the counter, or in a basket with holes or openings to allow air to circulate. BERRIES Berries are fragile. When storing, be careful not to stack too many at once, a single layer if possible. A paper bag works well. Wash just before eating. CHERRIES Store in an airtight container. Wash just …

Breakfast Scones for Christmas Morning!

I like it simple. I go for the basics. Unless we’re talking about cable subscription. But with food recipes, even though I enjoy experimenting with crazy blends (consequently, making more mess than I like to admit and frequently coming up with unearthly, at times edible food), I try to keep things stress-free in the kitchen. When I’m done having a crack at the kiwi coulis-topped mandarin meringue and whatnot, I’m all about regrouping, and revisiting no-nonsense recipes I can always count on. Like this scone recipe, for example. A quick and easy recipe you can whip up in under 30 minutes. Scones are surprisingly very straightforward and simple to make. Want to try your hand at scones? Play around with this basic recipe! I used raisins for extra flavor and color, but you can always substitute them with blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and of course, chocolate chips (my first choice, except I could only find raisins in my pantry – but they turned out wonderful!). Scones can be the perfect treat for this holiday, especially that Christmas …

Mango Green Smoothie

One of my favorite things to do in the morning is make a smoothie. In fact, it is also one of my must-have breakfast items! Usually, I’d make a fruit smoothie consisting of some frozen fruits, yogurt, and honey. But since I am sure I don’t consume enough veggies, I decided to infuse my smoothie with some so I know I am at least consuming some greens in a day. For this recipe, I’m using Popeye’s favorite: green spinach. I came up with this recipe one morning when I was out of bread, out of cereal, and out of eggs. What I had on hand was some leftover baby spinach and frozen mangoes and bananas. So I decided to whip them up together. What resulted was a sweet, creamy, and of course healthy drink to fill me up! The great part about it? No precise measuring or fancy technique required! All you’re going to need are some spinach, frozen fruits (here I use a combination of banana dan mango), plain yogurt, iced water, and a dash of …