Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chocolate mousse

Who doesn't love a chocolatey chocolate mousse?

Yes, I know... pls forgive me if I digress from my healthy posts of late... but actually, this is one of the "allowed" desserts on maintenance. Plus it is not so hard to make. although you really need to make sure the egg whites are whipped up pretty good.

You'll need:
5 ounces of dark chocolate (semi sweet or bittersweet)
4 egg whites
2 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp cointreau
you can find this in a supermarket aisle

melt the chocolate (I used a microwave but you can use a double boiler method.) -- microwave, heat on HIGH for 10 seconds, check if a little melted, heat for another 10 seconds and stir. keep repeating and checking till you melt all of the chocolate (I used chocolate buttons for easy measuring). -- why do it in 10 second bursts you ask? We have to be careful not to over heat the chocolate or it will become unusable

next, beat egg whites till soft peaks and sprinkle sugar and keep beating till you reach STIFF peaks (see picture) - this is when you lift up the beater and the meringue can stand (like a dairy queen blizzard)

beat the egg yolks with the orange zest and add the cointreau in a bowl ( I used mandarin oranges bec that was all I had)
the yolks are so orange!!!-- they are organic eggs!

Whisk the chocolate in the yolks and fold a spoonful of the white in the chocolate mixture. Slowly fold the whole chocolate mixture with the egg white (make sure you fold it gently... do not beat!)

pour the mix into your molds cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator - when ready to serve, garnish with shipped cream and orange zest.

This recipe is good for 4 servings.. just enough for a small get together or dinner party.

You can use different serving cups (ramekins, margarita glass, rum shots) - enjoy the pictures while I wipe the chocolate off my lips....!!!


Saturday, August 25, 2012


Having adopted a healthier lifestyle, I not consume copious amounts of yogurt. (1kilo tubs a week). Add to that my husband who is now also a yogurt freak like me and we can finish off 2 tubs a week.

One tub cost between 350-400 pesos ($8-10). So, since I was already experimenting on doing a lot of commercial stuff at home (sundried tomatoes, pesto... ketsup). I researched and found the EASIEST way to make home made yogurt.

You'll never believe how easy it is.

You'll need:

2 liters of milk (I use low fat or non fat)
1/2 cup of regular yogurt
1/4 cup non fat milk powder (if using.. can omit)
cooking thermometer
slow cooker

See? so EASY!!!!

1. place two liters of milk in your crockpot and set on high for 1-2 hours until it reaches 180C. (if you don't have a cooking thermometer, 2 hours is about ok)

2. turn off the heat. Let stand until the yogurt cools to about 110C (this for me takes about 1 hour). 110c is about "warm" when you put in your finger.

3. Mix non fat milk into the reserved yogurt and pour into the milk. Mix well.  Wrap the milk with the cheesecloth or towel and cover. Let stand 4 hours or more.

-- I usually do this at night. I start at 6pm (have dinner) and at 8pm, turn off the heat. 9pm put in the yogurt and wrap. I let it stand overnight and in the morning, I have yogurt!!-- chill in refrigerator for later use.

You can make GREEK style yogurt by straining the regular yogurt in a colander with cheesecloth and putting in the refrigerator.

The water that comes out is called WHEY. You can put it in a container and put into your smoothies. It's protein packed and boosts your immune system.

*I found the greek version better tasting than the non strained one, so I usually strain mine. All in all, it depends on your preference on how you will make your yogurt. The first time I made this, I strained half and kept the half "regular" and taste tested. You add fruits when you are going to eat it. 


PS-- will update with actual eating pic.. forgot to take picture at breakfast

PPS -- the yogurt is the "culture" and they will multiply to make more when you let it stand.. so generally you can still keep on making yogurt as long as you have 1/2 cup to add to your milk (it's a bacteria like yeast). Best is about 3-5 day old yogurt so that the bacteria is still fresh

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gluten free Vanilla cupcakes

Been into eating healthy these past few months. One of the things I want to delve into is eating GLUTEN FREE.

I have read about all the benefits of a GLUTEN FREE diet. 

So, I decided to buy some books and try it. One of them is THE GLUTEN FREE ALMOND FLOUR COOKBOOK by Elana Amsterdam. One thing about Almond flour is that is is low carbohydrate/high protein substitute for regular flour. )which is good because you don't get that insulin rush from carbs)

The recipe is pretty easy to make and I was actually not sure at the outcome. (more on that later)

One of the cons of eating healthier is that it COSTS a lot more for ingredients than regular "sinful" fare.
But when you are concerned with health, I think you have to  invest in your body.

VERY VANILLA CUPCAKES (with dairy free almond frosting)

2 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

preheat oven to 350F (180C). line muffin cups with paper liners

In a large bowl,whisk egg yolks until pale yellow with a handheld mixer, then whisk in grapeseed oil, agave nectar vanilla extract and lemon juice.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold in egg whites to yolk mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, salt and baking soda. Gently fold into the egg mixture. Scoop batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 20- 30 minutes till tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool in pan for 30 mins. Frost if desired.

*to complete the health option, I used an almond whipping cream I discovered when I attended WOLFEX.

The company that sells this also sells almond flour and whole nuts. FRUITTI NUTTI - tel : 9759689, 2340872.  almond flour is about P350/pack and this small 16 oz cream is P300 (expensive eh?)

you can get grapeseed oil in SNR or healthy options. Agave syrup (about 700/bottle) is also available in healthy options. I will try to substitute SPLENDA with the agave syrup and see how it goes. (will update later on)

grapeseed oil is lower in cholesterol and is a good substitute for butter while agave syrup has a lower glycemic index than honey or sugar

The cupcake itself did not rise up too much... maybe because of the lack of gluten. I suggest you fill the muffin cups more till the top. Taste wise, it was quite good! Also, the whipped topping was better as you keep it more in the refrigerator. It was kind of hard to whip to stiff peaks. I refrigerated it to stiffen it more and found it improved the taste too. (the first time I tried the topping, I found it too "almondy"). I haven't tried piping it though. Might do so in the next attempt.

PS- I used 1/3 of the above box when I did the cupcakes, so the 16 oz one might yield you 3 batches worth of topping for cupcakes in this post.

PPS - these tasted better the next day after I baked them.!! moist and chewy! Most important is that I did not gain weight from eating TWO of them!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The IDEAL choice?

I HAVE arrived. Or, maybe it just feels like it since I was invited (as an"official" food blogger) to a launch of a sweetener.

This was at WOLFEX (world food expo) that was being held at SMX CONVENTION CENTER

I did a post on my other blog about it. see HERE

The launch was scheduled at 2pm and I arrived early so I can get to walk around and take pictures of the various booths. (there were tons) and can I say, the food was oh, so tempting!

The actual launch was delayed and we finally were able to go int about 2:30pm. My friend Lorraine was the host and we got to take some souvenir photos.

IDEAL is actually tauted as a NO CALORIE sweetener. One thing I noticed is that they have a BROWN sugar variety and a CONFECTIONARY sugar one. (hmmm!!!!)

This concept actually was very interesting since I DO bake a lot and would love to have a no sugar alternative for my frostings and cookies.

Durting the launch, they actually had PENK CHENG (the famous cake baker) talk about how she used the product, making blueberry streusel, teriyaki chicken and a mint orange tea. One of the other concerns about the product is how ARTIFICIAL was it?? --- the answer? - it is actually made from 99% plant sugars called XYLITOL. This was good to hear since we would like most of the thing we put into our body to be as natural as you can get.

Safe for pregnant women and children too! (this is getting better and better!)

Pretty hyped up about the product by the end of the launch and I was willing to spend some serious MOOLAH to buy the big bags of it to test at home....


Going to the booth, I was informed the product was NOT YET available and the stocks would be arriving (sometime) soon. ( wah wah wah.....)

To tell you the truth? It was a BIG letdown. My opinion so far? The company (re)launched it too soon. In launching, you should be ready for people to test it, buy it (I have YET to see it in stores)....

The company itself answered most of the questions of the audience who attended. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating right? or should I say, the baking... and I have yet to get my hands on the most prized one that I want to try... the confectionary variety!!!!

OH WELL, I still have my SPLENDA!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Parmesan Chicken

Sorry if the pictures don't do this dish justice. Can I say this was delicious? Yeah it was. Juicy too!
I was having friends over for lunch and I thought of trying this recipe I got from my BON APPETIT cookbook (w/c I can say, is really superb!)


3 cups white breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or cheddar)
6 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
4 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
1  cups butter
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
24 drumsticks

Preheat oven 350f/180c
Butter or spray with non stick a rummed baking sheet
Combine breadcrumbs, parsley, onion powder, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper in a large bowl

Melt butter in small saucepan . Remove from heat. Add mustard and whisk to blend.

Brush drumstick with butter mustard mixture , roll in breadcrumb mixture coating drumsticks
Arrange in baking sheets

Bake until golden and cooked through about 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature

I didn't have time to take a picture of the inside but boy... was it really juicy. smelled divine as it was cooking too. I served it with the the basil pasta I made and whopper lunch!! I guess the breading and the roasting kindda kept it really moist (compared to if you fried it)

The parmesan taste really gave it a kick (although parmesan is expensive)- you can substitute with cheddar I guess but I don't know if it will taste the same. Save the parmesan for special occasions to WOW your mother in law or something... hahaha.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Migliori coffee maker

I admit, I am a HUGE coffee drinker. I love to drink coffee that I ordered a refurbished Delonghi machine from ebay (after much much searching) and had it shipped (it was 1/4 the price of a new one).

The Delonghi machine is quite large (I get a lot of milage since I use it everyday and you can put both beans and ground coffee in it). In the office, it would be impossible to manage (too big and expensive)

Good thing a friend offered me this MIGLIORI (also italian made). The price was cheaper than other pod based machines I have encountered

One thing I like about it, it's small (check). User friendly (check) and the pods are not so expensive (check). I can serve my customers coffee. !--- you can see I bought paper cups (not styrofoam)

The pods are also environmentally friendly (you can compost them, as what I do with my coffee grounds at home) and they are not package in foil.

One of the deterrents in buying a "pod" based coffee machine for me is the availability of the pods. Some you have to buy from abroad (imagine having a machine with no pods) and buying pods that cost 40 pesos each ($0.98). This one however, got me at.... Philippine barako (yep, they have local pods) and the price is, at the most 30 pesos for the hazelnut one. For the office, I think this is a good buy since I usually get my coffee from Mcdonalds at 25 pesos per cup (and this is DRIP coffee..not expresso)

see the froth...  (ooh yeaaah)

TIP: I can get TWO cups of coffee from one pod.. (it still has froth the second time you use the pod).. also, you can put teabags on the machine and get  tea too!!!

This machine also comes with a milk steamer (I don't have a fridge in the office so I don't use this). The flavors I like are the french roast and the hazelnut. (really aromatic!)

The Philippine coffee pods will be available within the month I was told and I can't wait to try it.

If anyone is interested, they can do a DEMO in your home or office. call (0932) 857 0462.
For the pods, they can deliver to you if you order 1500 worth. (you don't have to search high and low for it)

disclaimer: I don"t own any part of this company... I am just reviewing it..