All posts tagged: cook

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 …

Homemade Chocolate Almond Butter Recipe

Who doesn’t love peanut butter? Well, I guess some people don’t. Well, guess what? That’s just wrong! What did peanut butter ever do to you that you could not like it? Peanut butter is seriously one of THE best foods in the world (for me, at least). It is literally a lifesaver. Have you seen the news where the one main thing people store in case of emergency or disaster is peanut butter? I’m serious. That’s because it’s full of protein and fat, so it fills you up. It’s also versatile – great on bread, with jelly, with apples and bananas, shakes, as a sauce, and even as is (as is meaning take your biggest spoon that’ll fit into a peanut butter jar, scoop, and eat). Although peanut butter is a delish tank-filler, I don’t know that the household blue-capped Skippy kind is actually healthy. It’s probably not. So I decided to try to make my own. But with almonds instead. And chocolate. Dark chocolate. I figured without all the other “extras” they put into …

Cucina in Italia: Making Gnocchi al Pomodoro, The Sure Italian Nonna Way

Just so we are clear on how much I love pasta, besides loving it with the red, white, black, pink, green, and all the medley of sauces out there, I enjoy it as is too. And I mean, no sauce. Plain pasta appeals to me. Believe it or not. Believe it. In fact, when I cook pasta, I usually make way too much pasta (read my tips on Cooking The Perfect Pasta) and end up with no sauce to pair. But it never goes to waste. And it never will. So when I heard the words “gnocchi,” “Italian granny,” and “come,” I didn’t need to hear the rest of the sentence. I came. Today’s Cucina in Italia session was hosted by the IIC (Istituto Italiano di Cultura) Jakarta, jointly led by the talented and spirited Cecilia and Alessandro, and get this: Cecilia’s nonna (granny) and zia (auntie) all the way in Italy via the unflagging support of our good friend Skype. And by the way, Nonna and Zia were as excited as we were about gnocchi, although with regards to …

Orange Almond Chocolate Chip Cake

There are few things I love more than a good banana bread. Actually, there are many, but let’s just say banana bread fits somewhere at the top of the list. Today, banana bread was on my mind so I headed for the kitchen. No bananas in sight. As I was about to give up and leave, there sat 5 beautiful oranges, just hanging out. And I thought, okay oranges, let’s turn you into a cake! I love a good taste, but I also love a good crunch. So I decided to throw in a bunch of almonds (a whole lot of them, actually). Here’s to give you an idea of how much almond was involved. I’ve never used so much in my life before. And then some chocolate chips. My excuse? I got one. They were, too, just hanging around. And you know how I feel about moping.  So here’s the ingredients list, and keep reading for a step-by-step guide: Wet ingredients: 1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick) 2 tbsp grated orange zest 1/2 cup white sugar (I used …

The Ultimate Basic Chocolate Chip Cookies

COOKIES! And chocolate chips. None of those raisin or fruit nonsense (sorry, I don’t actually mind raisins or fruits in general; I just do now). Here’s a step-by-step recipe on how to make the simplest most decadent chocolate chip cookies WITHOUT the use of a mixer. May I repeat: you do not need an electric mixer to make these cookies. Yay! That means no extra mess and fewer dishes to wash. All you need are your handy hands and a few simple tools. Here goes! INGREDIENTS: 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 large egg 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips Note: the amounts of chocolate chips can be doubled for extra decadent cookies! Preheat the oven to 170C. Start with very soft butter in a bowl. Use a spatula to soften the butter. Add the white sugar and brown sugar to the butter. Blend thoroughly. Blend for about …