Saturday, June 30, 2012

Honey-Cinnamon Crepes with Honey Yogurt n Berries

I barely have breakfast on the weekdays, except for 2+ cups of coffee and then when 11 a.m. comes, I found myself starving for food!   I know that a lot of us are juggling every morning this way since we have to get on the road trying not to be late at work and choose not to get up of bed early…bad idea!   

Waking up this Saturday morning, I wanted to treat myself (and a hubby, of course!) something light and healthy for breakfast that takes little time to prepare so I could sit down and enjoy a nice morning breeze of Summer.  So, I made crepes.

Making French crepes for breakfast is very easy. Just whip up a batter follow a simple recipe or change it into something healthier in your own version and slightly add whatever flavor you like such as honey, OJ or lemon juice, vanilla, rum, or spices and you are ready to go. As for the fillings, you decide!

Even though, I have learned, that French people do not really have crepes for breakfast and I am Thai, but that doesn't mean I can’t have crapes for breakfast, right? C’mon it’s Saturday and I just wanted to enjoy my weekend!

What you need:  for 2

1/2 cup all pp flour
3/4 cup milk
1 egg white beaten
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A few drops vanilla extract
Cooking spray for cooking
Powdered sugar
Blueberry, raspberry, or any of your favorite fruit

The filling:
1 cup non-fat Greek yogurt  or plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
- Mix them together and set it aside

The Crepes:

- Whisk all the ingredients together until very well blended
- On medium-high heat, spray a pan with a cooking spray and pour over the batter into the pan for about 2-3 tablespoon depends on how big you want for the crepe size and swirl the pan around to make the crepe and cook it on both sides until it turns lightly brown
- Serve immediately with yogurt honey and berries with slightly dusting of powdered sugar


Monday, June 25, 2012

Fruit Salad with Creamy Yogurt Dressing

It’s depressing not to have a full time job but having to work part-time only in the morning is actually working out very well for me because I still have time to do some cooking and try on new recipes! Sometimes I’ve got carried away with the new exciting recipes I found on the net and in the magazines and when I start to cook, I always end up with too much food to eat when there are actually only 2 people live in this household. And lately, I have been making a lot of dessert since the hubby has always asked for it, and the result? I’ve gained weights! Yeah, let’s blame him! It’s always easier to blame somebody else, right? Hehehe….(^o^)

So, today I’m being a good girl trying to get back on my track and thinking of making my usual smoothie for lunch, but I really want something more refreshing than that.  So, I look around in my kitchen and see some oranges and kiwi…hmmm…I’m going to make a fruit salad with, of course, yogurt dressing! 

Basically, you can use any fruit you have or like but I just want to share with you the yogurt dressing that I make, it’s so creamy yummy refreshing with the sweetness from fresh squeeze orange juice and a bit of honey.   It would be too rude not to share, right!  But first, I need to go pick some blackberries that still have some left in the backyard (last crop!) and when I come back, we shall have some fun! 
what you need:
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
3 medium orange, cut into segments
1/3 cup fresh squeeze orange juice from the 3 orange above
2 medium Kiwi, thinly cut crosswise or whatever shape you like
A few berries – blackberry, raspberry, or strawberry
2 tbsp non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp honey

- Whisk together the yogurt, honey, orange juice, and zest to blend well and pour over your lovely fruit salad.  Chill the fruit salad a little before serving for the best result.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pork-sh'room Meatballs with Spicy Tamarind Sauce

I love making appetizer as it’s more fun than making big meals ( I've said that before on my other post, didn’t I?).   And today is a fun day to make something yummy and tasty.   I find myself, as usual, making these pork meatballs from scratch with no recipe by start adding things into it.  Adding chopped mushroom into lean ground pork is my later decision because I want something lighter for the app than just the pork meat.  And then I start to add an egg and corn starch (or you can use either one) and used the panko bread crumbs for the coating before deep frying them (you can also mix the panko into the meatballs instead of coating them, the panko will give the meatballs more solid consistency, but I find that coating the meatballs with the panko will make the meatballs more crunchy on the outside and still moist and juicy on the inside after they are cooked).    

For the spicy tamarind sauce, I made it before and I thought it would be perfect for these meatballs, however, you can use a store bought Thai sweet chili sauce for the dipping.  It tastes great!    The recipe below for the spicy tamarind sauce, I used 2 tablespoons of chili garlic sauce and it turned out to be really hot.  So, be careful before adding it too much.  But if you like the heat, go for it!

What you need:

10 oz lean ground pork
1 cup mushroom finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger, finely grated
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 cups canola oil for frying

- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, except the panko
- Make a ball from the pork mixture into your desired size; I make each ball from 2 tbsp pork mixture and make about 14 balls
- Coat each of the pork meat ball with the panko bread crumbs until the mixture is gone, and then chill the meatballs in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes
- Set the oil on the medium-high heat at the frying temperature at 375’F
- Fry the meatballs in batches, try not to overcrowd the pan, may be 3-4 for each batch depending on the size of the meatballs and fry about 3-5 minutes
- Serve immediately with the tamarind sauce

Spicy Tamarind Sauce

1 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup tamarind juice ( 1 tbsp tamarind paste + 2 tbsp water)
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce  
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water = corn starch water

- Add water and sugar in the small saucepan over medium-low heat
- Add chili garlic sauce, salt and tamarind juice, stir until all the sugar is dissolved
- Add corn starch water to thicken the sauce, turn off the heat and add chopped cilantro
- Make about 1 ¼ cup


Monday, June 18, 2012

Manicotti and Asparagus with Simplified Bolognese Sauce

Manicotti is tube-like pasta that I think it would be so much fun to cook with and I’ve been meaning to make a dish with manicotti for a while but didn’t really have a chance to do it. So, I decided to make my own easy-lazy version of Bolognese sauce over manicotti filled with blanched asparagus. Since the original Bolognese sauce is cooked with the combination of ground meat – pork, beef and veal and use pancetta to flavor the sauce, milk is also added; and all day simmering is the key of this sauce, my version of this easy-lazy Bolognese sauce takes under an hour from the start to finish and no milk added. Surprisingly, it turns out to be one really good and satisfying dish (approved by my hubby) with the healthier version – less carb from pasta and more of the yummy goodness from the asparagus and the other fresh ingredients. 

So, would you come along taking a short cut with me? 
Yumm... -^_^-

What you need:
12 oz fresh asparagus cut off the woody parts
4 tubes manicotti pasta
200g ground pork meat
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup finely chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can/8 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh or dried oregano
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese
*mini bell pepper is optional

- cook manicotti in a medium  pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt until they are well done, about 7 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water and set aside
- blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 3-5 minutes and quickly remove when they turn bright green using tongs or a slotted spoon into a bowl of ice water to preserve the bright green color
- Insert about 4-5 spears of asparagus into the middle tube-like of cooked manicotti, set aside


- add the olive oil into a large sauce pan over medium-high heat
- add chopped red onion and stir for a few minute then add garlic, grated carrot and stir another 3-4 minutes
- add ground pork meat, and cook to brown them for about 7-10 minutes
- add tomato sauce, chopped fresh oregano, and red wine, stir well to combine all the flavors
- add salt and ground black pepper to taste
- reduce the heat and simmer for another 20-25 minutes
 - turn off the heat and add chopped fresh basil
- pour the sauce over manicotti filled asparagus and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
*garnish with thin slice of mini sweet bell pepper is optional


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Baked Egg Breakfast

Eating breakfast is not my usual morning, except for the weekend when I really have time to make something.  The hubby wants scramble eggs but I’m thinking of baked eggs so I cook them both ways, scramble eggs for the hubby; baked eggs for myself.  Instead of adding 2 eggs in the same ramekin, I decide to make 1 egg in each ramekin since I will throw something else into it so it won’t be too overcrowded or too much in a small dish.  And I was right, I ate one and it was just enough to keep my tummy happy for hours.  

What you need:

2 large eggs
4 slices cooked turkey bacon, chopped
2 tbsp finely grated mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp green onion, finely chopped
Few thinly slice of red and yellow mini bell pepper
4 tbsp milk
14 leaves baby spinach
Tiny bit pinch of salt and ground black pepper
cooking spray 

  • Spray each ramekin with cooking spray and arrange 7 baby spinach leaves in each ramekin 
  • Crack an egg on top of the baby spinach 
  • Add chopped bacon, green onion, bell pepper slices, and cheese 
  • Add 2 tbsp milk into each ramekin 
  • Add a dash of ground black pepper and salt (if the bacon is already salty, skip the salt) 
  • Bake at 375’F for 10-12 minutes or until the eggs are just set 
  • Serve immediately


Monday, June 11, 2012

Moo-Pad-Khing / Fresh Ginger-Pork Stir-Fried

Do you like ginger?   I LOVE ginger!   Ginger has enormous health benefits in helping your digestive system working with ease. For instance, if you were bloated after eating big meals that would probably take hours to digest, I’d suggest you to drink some hot Lemon Ginger tea. It will help you breathe easier, trust me!

This is another popular Thai dish that can be found everywhere in Thailand either on the road side street food or in high-end restaurants.  The most popular meat to make this dish is chicken; however, it can also be made with chicken liver, pork or pork liver, beef, and seafood and sometime firm tofu is used for those who are vegetarian, as well as the wood-ear mushrooms are usually used but you can use any mushroom you like.   The key is fresh ginger, lots of them, the more the better!    Young ginger is originally used for this dish because young ginger has less heat than the older one which is also more fibrous.

But I’d say, use fresh ginger, either young or old if you don’t mind the heat, they taste the same when it’s done, which is tastes a-w-e-s-o-m-e!

     What you need:
  • 1 lb pork meat, thin sliced
  • 3/4 cup fresh ginger, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red + yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and sliced (add more if you like it hot!)
  • 1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushroom, chopped
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 3 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper

How to:

  • Set the sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the oil
  • When the oil is a little bit sizzling hot, add chopped garlic, make a quick stir and then add the pork meat, stir to cook
  • When the meat is thoroughly cooked, add soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and water, stir
  • Add all the vegetables, except the green onion, and continue cooking for about 3 - 4 minutes - try not to overcook the veggies
  • Turn off the heat add green onion and a big dash of ground white pepper
  • Serve immediately with cooked brown rice or Jasmine rice as you desired 


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blackberry Honey-Yogurt Pops...

I know… you might probably don’t want to see any more of blackberry but I promise that this will be my last post about them (I have a lot left and I've already freeze them!).  After this, we can try something else that’s really yummy!  These Popsicle are just too good not to share… sharing is caring, right?, especially when the weather is getting hotter here in July and only thing I think about is something sweet and cold – like ice-cream or these awesome Popsicles –  to cool me down a little!  

These Popsicles are made special with the mix of honey and yogurt and when you take a bite, you can actually detect a hint from honey that will make you go… wow ….that is heavenly sweet!   ^__^   

What you need:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh blackberry
3 tbsp honey
1/2 not-fat plain yogurt
2 tbsp lemon juice

- Make a simple syrup by adding sugar and water and heat them up over low heat just for the sugar is - dissolve, and let it completely cool down
- Blend everything together until it turns frothy and then pour into 8 – 2-oz Popsicles. 
- Freeze them at least 8 hours or overnight before serving



Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Luscious Blackberry Smoothie

 It’s funny that I have nothing to say because the following pictures said it all.   
So, let’s try the world-healthiest smoothie…   in my definition, BTW!   ^___^

1/4 cup fresh blackberries
1/4 cup orange juice
6 oz non-fat plain yogurt (or you can you banana)
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup crushed ice

: blend everything all together until smooth and frothy


Friday, June 1, 2012

Blackberry-Mint Lemonade

Just as last post I was talking about how much of blackberries I have and I will be posting some recipes cooking with blackberry. However, if I don’t have any ideas, no time, too busy, or just lazy, I might have to pack them up and freeze them, again, yes again! I still have some frozen berries in my freezer! 

So, this blackberry-mint lemonade was just my last minutes idea since my original idea was to just make lemonade, so, I thought, let’s put some berries…and mints! Yeah! Here it is…the prettiest pink lemonade I’ve ever made! It’s so good and so refreshing that I will definitely make it again and again and again and again!

This recipe makes 1 big pitcher:

4 cups filtered water
1/2 cup fresh blackberry
1 cup sugar
1cup water
1/2 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice
5 sprigs fresh mint or about 1/2 cup mint leaves
1 medium lemon thinly sliced

- over the medium-low heat, add 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a small saucepan to make simple syrup, as soon as the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat
- add the berries and some of mint leaves into the warm syrup and use a the back of spoon to mashing the berries and mints and let the mixture stand for a few minutes to blend the flavor
- pour the berry mixture through a fine sieve directly into a pitcher, and discard the seeds
- add lemon juice and 4 cups of filtered water, add the rest of mint leaves and lemon slices into a pitcher, stir well, and chill
- serve over ice cube or crushed ice as you desired… with the additional garnish with a few berries, mint leaf, and lemon slice!



Blackberry Mousse

This time of every year by the end of May, my blackberries, I planted in the back yard years ago, are gradually ripened almost at the same time.  The hubby and I’ve been picking them just about every day which he loves to eat them with the cereal in the morning or just eat them fresh, he does that while he’s picking them… no wash and he doesn’t really care!  And I love making the blackberry smoothie with non-fat yogurt and a liltle bit of honey….hmm… talking about my body is now loaded with super-healthy antioxidant I get from the berries make me feel really… really good!     ~__^

Oh well, since there will be plenty of blackberries, I will have to do something with them, right?  And you will see that I will probably be posting a few dessert recipes that I’ve come up with the blackberries I have.    So, let’s start with blackberry moose - a luxurious dessert that is so light and so easy to make.    
But first, let’s make the sauce.

Blackberry sauce:   make about 2 1/2cups

3 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 orange- fresh squeeze- juice + zest

- Add everything in the medium saucepan over medium heat and cook and keep stirring for about 20 minutes or until all the blackberries are broken down into small bit
- pour the warm berries through a fine sieve using a spatula to push all the liquid out, discard the seeds
 -pour the sauce into a clean jar and chill in the refrigerator

The mousse:   

3/4 cup blackberry sauce (recipe above)
1 small package (2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
3 tbsp cold water
1 large egg white
¾ cup heavy cream

- dissolve the gelatin with water and then mix it with the blackberry sauce, set aside
- with the electric mixture, beat the egg white until firm peaks form, and fold in the blackberry sauce using spatula until no streaks of white remain
- in another bowl, beat the heavy cream until softly whipped and then fold in the berry mixture
- divide the mousse among dessert glasses and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours  
- pour the blackberry sauce on the top of the mousse and garnish with a few fresh blackberries before serving… 


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