Showing posts with label easy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label easy. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Spicy Pineapple Pepper Slaw


I'LL MAKE THIS QUICK....
cuz WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET...
this is a great salad on it's own, but perfect for tacos and the like.

SPICY PINEAPPLE SLAW
there are no specific measurements.
i make small batches of this all the time.  just use your taste buds.
a little of this and a little of that...
warning...this is pretty spicy

1st you need the Pickle Jalapenos i recently posted....
you will dress the salad with the juice and add some of the pickled jalapenos in...
1 small head of cabbage. 
 i usually use 1/2 heasd.  just depends on how much you are making.
diced pineapple
celery sliced thin might be nice...
cilantro
smoked black pepper
red pepper flakes
cumin
lime zest and or juice if you want

NOTE... SALT ONLY IF NEEDED and just before serving.  this will keep in the fridge, but if you salt it...it will weep and lose it's crunch factor.


i have also use nectarines, pineapple and shredded carrots...YUM !




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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Delicious Peanut Buttercream Frosting with Easy Chocolate Cake


all i can say is...

if you love PEANUT BUTTER

you'll love this cake.


 this "cake"post is all about the frosting.
the cake is good and super easy to throw together, but it definitely takes a back seat to this sweet savory smooth peanut butter buttercream frosting.
my friends were absolutely head over heals about this cake.  the aroma of peanut butter wafted though the air.  they were rolling there eyes before the first bite...  i even got called into the manager's office because of this cake.  my friend Jennifer said, "ah jules...i need to see you in the office for a moment..."   i thought i might have done something wrong or misplaced something important...
nope, she called me in because of this darn cake!
peanut butter frosting is a winner
i think i will try this frosting on the "Black Magic Cake" i made a few weeks ago...now that's a chocolate cake.  that would be a heavenly match.


ONE BOWL CHOCOLATE CAKE

FOR THE CAKE...
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp slat
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted about half way
3 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, room temp.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

preheat the oven to 325F.  grease a 9 inch round cake pan.  line with parchment.
sift flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.  add the butter, sour cream, milk, egg, vanilla and mini chips.  mix well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.  it's okay if the batter is a bit lumpy, but make sure there are no clumps of undissolved dry goods.  scrap into prepared pan.
bake for 30-35 minutes.  check after 25 minutes.  cake should be firm to the touch, skewer comes out clean and cake is just pulling away from the sides.  MINE WAS DONE IN 25 MINUTES with oven at 320F
cool on rack for a few minutes then unmold and cool completely.
i like to stick it in the fridge for a bit before cutting it in half for layering.



PEANUT BUTTER-CREAM FROSTING
aka Kathleen's Peanut Butter Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

place powdered sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  mix on medium-low speed until good and creamy, scraping down the sides as you work.  add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

NOTES...i have not worked with frosting a lot, but i found this one very forgiving.  as in...it was easy to work with and did not get stiff as i was playing around.  i could go back and fix the top, practice my swirls and work on the sides.  i'm learning as i go.
also...i baked the cake on a Tuesday, frosted the cake on Wednesday and took the full cake shot.  Thursday i shot the slice and served it Thursday afternoon.  my point IS...this can be made the day before and sit covered on the kitchen counter.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Vietnamese Coffee Jelly Dessert...easy


super easy, clean and tasty cool dessert for a summer party.

OR...just kick start your day,
maybe brighten a June gloom afternoon...

coffee jelly, or JELLO as we call it, is a popular dessert in Asia.  in Japan they serve it black, slightly sweetened in a cup...or sometimes offer it with ice cream or in milkshakes.  it's even served with student lunches in public schools.  this cute little easy dessert is Vietnamese inspired simply because it is a strong brewed coffee paired with a healthy spoonful of sweetened condensed milk.  my friend Cathy gave me some delicious coffee from her Mother's Pho restaurant (best Pho in Little Saigon)...so i thought i'd use that for this treat.  her preferred brand is Cafe La LLave.


Vietnamese coffee is usually very strong, brewed in a Phin Filter or can be made in a French press for larger quantity.  use a bold flavor...Cafe du Monde is popular with it's chicory flavor, but a nice French or Italian roast will do.  see my post on Vietnamese coffee HERE.

sweetened condensed milk...the most preferred Vietnamese brand would be the Longevity Gold Brand, but good old American Eagle Brand will be just fine.

NOTE about "jelly"...  quite often you will see jellys made with "agar agar", but i prefer the texture of good ol' jello.


VIETNAMESE COFFEE JELLY DESSERT

COFFEE JELLY...jello

1/2 cup cold strong coffee
1 1/4 cup very hot STRONG coffee
2 packet plain gelatin
sweeten or flavor coffee to your liking
put the gelatin into the 1/2 cup cold coffee, wait 5 minutes for gelatin to "bloom".  heat 1 1/4 cups strong coffee to almost boil and pour into cold mixture.  stir to completely dissolve/combine.  lightly, i say lightly spray a square or rectangle vessel of choice.  choose a vessel that will make it easy to cube.  refrigerate until firm and set....a few hours.
NOTE...these measurements (1 3/4 cups liquid) make a wiggly jello texture, but DOES cut into cubes.  i thought this ratio was a perfect texture for this particular dessert, but if you want it just a bit more firm, cut the liquid to 1 1/2 cups total.

TO ASSEMBLE...
cut the jello into 1/2 inch cubes, set aside 
1-2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk at the bottom of cup
put cubes in cup with the condensed milk
whipped cream of choice for topping
cocoa powder for sprinkle
chocolate covered espresso beans to garnish

NOTE...in the morning i like my "jelly treat" a little less sugary.  try a thick vanilla or chocolate protein shake with the coffee jelly cubes.  it's definitely not "Vietnamese" style...BUT it IS a quick fun protein  pick-me-up.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Low cal.-Low Fat, Moist Delicious Cupcakes...too easy


are you really serious about that BIKINI ? 

go to the gym 4 times a week ?

eat fish and vegetables EVERY DAY ?

give up on all the sweets ???

NO...but you might want to consider some alternatives...

BEWARE...that swimsuit will be moving to the front of the closet before you know it.


DIET SODA CUPCAKES
original found everywhere on google, but i like Skinnytastes blog
makes 18 "good size" cupcakes at about 100 calories each...

1 box cake mix
for this one i used the sugar free vanilla cake mix
10oz diet soda. i used diet ginger ale
2 egg whites, slightly beaten

preheat oven according to cake mix
spray muffin tins (these stick to paper cups)
OR...i  like to use silicon muffin cups, then put them in paper cups after cooled.  i HATE it when some of my cupcake sticks to the paper!

mix eggs, cake mix and soda
pour into cupcake cups of choice... 3/4 full
bake as directed on the box.
let cool completely and add icing...SPARINGLY

ICING
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla or lemon extract
1-2 Tbsp milk of choice
add only enough milk to get icing consistency.  if it's too thin add powdered sugar...too thick? add a little more milk.
put into a small freezer baggie and cut the tip for an easy throw away piping bag.  you probably will not use all the icing (icing equals more sugar...equals more calories).  save in the fridge in the piping baggie for the next batch you will be making soon.

NUTRITION (approx,) PER 18 CUPCAKES
without icing...82 cal...19.4g carbs...1.7g protein...2.3g fat...0 sugar
with icing (if using ALL the icing), i'm guessing....110 cals, 26g carbs and 6g sugars

use the icing sparingly and they will be about 100 cals each for a good size cupcake.

go ahead, eat 2 !

BY THE WAY....the flavor combinations are endless...chocolate cake with diet cherry soda, 7 up with lemon cake, pineapple ginger ale (shown here),  cream soda with vanilla cake,  diet chocolate soda with chocolate cake(shown here)?...
you get the idea...

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Banana Pancake Experiment

Banana Oat Protein Pancake

i have temporarily lifted my ban on the BANANA.

i was so fascinated by this wacky recipe below that i had to put my negative feelings aside and brave "the banana".

Wacky Banana Pancake

you might have come across this strange pancake recipe on PINTEREST

BANANA EGG PANCAKES
(or..."100% Natural Pancakes")
found on Pinterest by Bogilates

1 ripe banana and 2 eggs, a dash of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla.
"blend" (or mash and mix) it up and prepare as you would regular pancakes...HUH ?!
the recipe called for a RIPE banana so i even waited a few days for the banana to get good and ripe...EWE!  only after making them did i decide to watch the U-Tube video of "Blogilates" making the pancakes.  her banana was just a regular yellow banana.  not all spotted like my "ripe" banana...maybe that's why these seemed so soggy and flat?... was my banana too ripe?  was my banana too small?  i'll never know because i don't think i'll try these again...well, maybe i'll give it one more shot to be fair.
i'm no quitter. 
don't be discouraged by MY experience...these were OK right off the pan, but were a bit soggy and just tasted like an egg crepe with wet banana...not so appealing.

FUN EXPERIMENT
might be great for the kids to try...
HEALTHY, gluten and dairy free...
BUT definitely not your delicious fluffy pancakes.

nutrition facts (approx.)
per cake, 7 in batch
calories...35.5g,   protein...1.9g,  carbs...4g,  fat...1.5g,  fiber...1/2g 


ON THE OTHER HAND...
here's the one i came up with that was pretty darn good...healthy, still gluten and dairy free, low fat and carb, yet very satisfying with a little maple syrup and fresh berries...sorry no sliced banana for me.

BANANA OAT PROTEIN PANCAKES
make approx. six 3 1/2 inch pancakes

1 banana
2 large eggs
1/4 cup raw oats
1/3 scoop protein powder.  i use Jay Robb Vanilla Whey
1/2-3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sweetener of choice...i used Stevia "cup for cup"
...or to taste

put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and oats are not as visible.
let rest for 20-25 minutes to let the oats soak in.
prepare as you would regular pancakes.  3-4 inch cakes

nutrition facts (approx.)
each pancake (6)
60 calories,   4g...PROTEIN.  7g...carbs  1.8g...fat, 1g...fiber

Monday, February 11, 2013

Super Easy Lemon Curd in the Vitamix


some people are sweet and tart
some people are deep and dark
some people are on the fence...?

BUT this dessert ?..... 'til death do us part.

please excuse my attempt at Valentine's poetry, but someone has to get a bit sappy around here.    Valentine's Day is all about cards, flowers, chocolates and desserts of any kind, but in my books it's yet another FREE-DAY of all treats coming my way.

this one is super easy to whip up.  the lemon curd takes minutes and you can make some delicious truffles ahead of time.  i have quite a few truffle recipes to browse if you go to the search bar in the right column.  OR in a pinch...just go out and buy some at your favorite chocolatier.
IMPORTANT NOTE...you must use a high powered blender such as a Vitamix or maybe a Blendtec.


5 minutes prep
5 minutes blend
wait for it to set...OR DON'T

try not to lick the container with sharp blade until your tongue falls off.

photo sitting in the car...lolololl.

so easy i made it in the garage !...
let me explain...i was all "mise en place" in the kitchen, but "someone" wanted to watch football in the kitchen with his lunch.  my Vitamix and i moved to the garage.

done in 5 minutes !


EASY LEMON CURD in the VITAMIX
recipe from the VITAMIX CREATE book
i found the recipe through Holly at"A Baker's House"on Pinterest...a fabulous blog with delicious goodies galore.

1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
zest from 3 Meyer lemons
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 vanilla bean scraped

put juice, zest, eggs, sugar and salt in the blender starting on variable #1...slowly increase to #10.  let it rip for 5 minutes.  lower speed to #3.  remove small lid cap and add butter and vanilla bean scrapings.  blend for 30 more seconds.  remove, strain through fine mesh strainer, let come to room temp. and refrigerate for a few hours.  will keep in the fridge for at least a week.

NOTE...this has a light and airy texture.  not like regular curd that seems to be a bit more heavy like pudding.  i do not think it will hold it's shape if using in a large lemon tart and cutting perfect slices.  maybe it's best for individual tartletts....or maybe i will play with the ingredient amounts...a little less juice perhaps ?
oh just go ahead and spread it on anything...ENJOY

IT'S REALLY FINGER LICKIN' GOOD !!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Reese's and Chocolate Fudge ICE CREAM Cake


ICE CREAM CAKE...

NO...not COLD Ice Cream Cake...

this is CAKE MADE with ICE CREAM !

2 ingredients...
ice cream and self rising flour
THAT'S IT !!!


are the grand-kids, nieces and nephews still here for the holidays?
are you running out of things to do ?
does Nana and Grand need a break ?

well, this is a must try.
this is too weird.  it doesn't seem like it would work...but it DOES !!!

a beautiful bready-cake bakes up from soften ice cream and some self-rising flour.
i didn't believe it so obviously i HAD to try it.

get the kids in the car, go buy some fabulous ice cream, come home and whip up this easy peasy cake.  you'll all have fun, they will be amazed and you'll be the "hero" !

it's a "win win situation"


 TWO INGREDIENT ICE CREAM CAKE
adapted from Kirbie's Cravings

3 cups ice cream, softened.
2 1/4 cups SELF RISING flour

add fun extras...

for the cake shown here i used 31 Flavors Dark Chocolate Fudge ice cream and Reese's peanut butter cups cut into small pieces.  a "bold" flavored ice cream works best. for instance... plain chocolate would be a bit...well..."plain".

preheat 350F.  and prepare a 9x5 loaf pan with butter or spray.  i always like to make a parchment sling as well for easy removal.
in a large bowl mix the "softened" ice cream and the flour.  my ice cream was just softened, like "soft serve"...not runny melted.  original recipe suggested a wooden spoon.  i used my Kitchen Aid mixer.  mix until no chunks of ice cream or clumps of flour are visible.  mix in Reese's carefully by hand.  pour into prepared loaf tin and bake for 55-60 minutes or until tooth pick come out clean

NOTE...choose a sweet bold flavored ice cream and add some candy extras in to make this more of a dessert cake....or whip up a fun flavored frosting.  on it's own it is a good loaf cake...not too sweet, but perfect for a breakfast treat.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie...Gluten and Guilt Free


chocolate and pumpkin...a delicious pair


GLUTEN AND GUILT FREE 

super easy to make, no crust to deal with, diet friendly, can, should, be made ahead of time and leftovers are fabulous for breakfast or healthy treat with a little vanilla greek yogurt and fresh berries.
a chocolate dessert that's low calorie, full of protein and low-fat...a healthy end to a over stuffed Thanksgiving throw-down or for a great early start to a big "Black-Friday" shopping day.

would you rather have this or some dumb ol' protein bar...?

here are the nutrition facts 
10 pie slices and 2 small ramekins...12 servings total
(made with sugar substitute and 3 scoops pro. powder)

protein...11g
carbs...6g
fat...2g
calories... 83



CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN PIE...gluten and guilt free
ORIGINAL "Protein Pumpkin Pie" recipe found at Habits of Contradiction.
and my recent version of Protein Pumpkin Pie seen HERE

preheat oven to 350 F.
prepare LARGE pyrex pie dish and 2 small ramekins or an 11 x 7 glass pyrex with non stick spray.

2 cups pumpkin puree...(not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup non fat or low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup non fat milk
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar substitute.(plus a little more to taste.
don't be afraid to taste the batter for sweetness when done mixing. add more if needed
i use Zsweet.   real sugar would probably be fine.  i have not tried it. 
2-3 scoops protein powder.....you might want to start with 2. 
i use 2 choc. scoops and 1 vanilla scoop Jay Robb Whey Protein Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp espresso powder
4 Tbsp good cocoa powder...generous tablespoons, but not heaping

combine dry ingredients in a small bowl, set aside.
blend cottage cheese, eggs and 1/2 cup milk until smooth.  add remaining milk and 1 cup pumpkin...blend until very smooth. 
add remaining  pumpkin and blend until very smooth.  add dry ingredients slowly to prevent clumps.  i use an immersion blender and work it through the batter very well.   you do not want to see any lumps of pumpkin, clumps of dry ingredients or bits of cottage cheese.  there is no gluten or flour so this can be well mixed.
NOTE...i don't think a regular stand mixer will do the job.  maybe a blender, but as i said...i use a stick blender.

pour into prepared cooking vessel of choice.  gently knock a few times on a surface to release any air pockets.  decorate with a few pecans as you see fit.  bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center looks firm.  the whole thing should rise a little and puff up.  the edges will brown a bit.  do not be alarmed.  it will deflate and fall into a normal looking pie.  let the pie rest to room temperature and then refrigerate.

  serve chilled or room temperature with a drizzle of chocolate and whipped cream,...or as noted above, i like it for breakfast or snack with vanilla greek yogurt and fresh berries.


can be made in individual ramekins.  this happened out of necessity so i don't know the exact cooking time.  i had over-flow from the LARGE pie dish.  these are probably 7-8 oz ramekins shown here.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Protein Pumpkin Pie. Low carb and gluten free


yes, you are correct...

it IS topped with Brown Sugar Bacon Candy
and spicy pecans.
but...it IS a Protein Pumpkin Pie

and bacon IS protein...right ?...

i bet this is the best low carb, low fat, GLUTEN FREE, protein packed Pumpkin Pie you will ever taste.  i've been making it for 3-4 years and eat it for breakfast all the time...
and who doesn't love a little BACON CANDY...

GLUTEN FREE DOESN'T MEAN GLUTTON FREE



it's Fall...it's cold and it's pie time.
AND it's pumpkin time.
if you're anything like me...maybe not, but...
 after the big Thanksgiving throw down, i just can't fathom eating one more thing...i like a huge piece of MOM's pumpkin pie the next morning, chilled with a little vanilla greek yogurt and fresh berries.
i'll hide a piece in the back of the fridge just to insure i get my breakfast pie.
my mother does make a mean pumpkin pie and i do indulge in the real thing, crust and all...once a year,

BUT...i have this delicious protein packed pumpkin pie all year 'round.  i stock up on pumpkin around this time and make it just about once a month.



i usually bake it in this 11x7 glass pyrex dish and get 12 servings.  it's easier to store in the fridge.  it keeps for a week and i can usually polish it off by then with a little help from eager friends.
for presentation purposes i used a LARGE pyrex glass pie dish with 2 small ramekins for overflow.  (both versions are shown in photos)



nutrition facts look like this...12 servings
88 cals...11g protein...6.5g carbs...2.4g fat...2g fiber...

can you believe it !!!???


PROTEIN PUMPKIN PIE...GLUTEN FREE
(check your protein powder for gluten)
i found the recipe four years ago at Habits of Contradiction and have been making it ever since.
please check out the original and start from there if you'd like...i have tweaked it just a little bit.

2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup low fat or non fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup non fat milk
1/2 cup regular milk
2 large eggs (i have used egg-beaters, but like real eggs better)
1/2 cup sugar substitute (or real sugar)...i like Zsweet.  much better than Splenda
2-3 scoops vanilla whey protein powder.
note... you might want to start with 2, but i use 3 scoops Jay Rob Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maple extract...optional
12 pecans for the top

preheat oven to 350F.
spray LARGE pie dish and 2 small ramekins  or rectangular 11x7 glass pyrex dish.

blend cottage cheese, eggs and 1/2 of the milk until smooth...until you can not detect any cottage cheese specks (SEE IMPORTANT NOTE BELOW).  add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth...VERY SMOOTH.  there is NO FLOUR so you don't have to worry about over mixing.
pour into sprayed cooking dish of choice, decorate with pecans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until middle is set and solid.  it should not jiggle at all
NOTE...(photo below) do not worry if the sides brown a little and the whole thing PUFFS UP.  it will deflate and settle.  this is a hard pie to "over-bake".
above is an example of extreme puff-age...not to worry, it will deflate if this happens
IMPORTANT NOTE...blending is key with this recipe.  i use an immersion blender (above photo).  i don't think i've tried a blender.  i bet it would work, but it might get to aerated...like mousse.  who knows...maybe something else delicious.  i will say that a regular mixer will not work.  you want smooth as silk texture.

BY THE WAY...this pie can definitely be made ahead of time.
please ENJOY some PIE !!!





Sunday, August 5, 2012

Easy Hock Terrine


what to do with big beautiful UGLY ham hock...?

break it down, tear it apart, smash it in to a loaf tin...

call it charcuterie !...



hi peoples...
sorry, "writers block"...
ha...how apropos.  a block for a block.

maybe that's why i have 23 drafts with photos and recipes waiting for some fabulous intelligent description...hmmm...intelligent just ain't gonna happen.

SO...this is a "WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET" kind of post.
hence, this is more of an idea rather than a recipe.

while shopping at one of my favorite Asian markets, H Mart, i came across a beautiful fresh already cooked ham hock...displayed much like a supermarket might display it's fresh roasted chickens. it was still warm and pliable so i snatched the best looking one up and brought it home.  with a fridge over flowing with food ready to eat i thought what am i gonna do with this big hunk o' hock ?!

i know...i'll make a terrine.

HOW EASY IS THAT !?


of course you can cook your own ham hock and do the same thing, but that takes hours....and ingredients.

ham hocks, much like trotters (aka pig feet) have a lot of good sticky collagen.  this is what makes for good glue in a terrine.  no gelatin needed.

INSTRUCTIONS
all of the following should be done with a warm pliable cooked hock...cool enough to touch and work with.
remove the skin in one piece, if possible.  this makes a nice outer layer and helps hold everything together.  tear apart the meat and tendons.  remove any bones and cartilage.  chunks can be large, but better long and thin instead of fat chunks.  add a little hot water (broth if you have some) maybe start with 1/2 cup to get some of the juices flowing.  SEASONING IS KEY...taste your filling.  maybe add some chopped scallions, chinese five spice, garlic or onion powder, cumin?...salt and pepper!  terrines are something that need extra flavor.
find a vessel that will work well.  i use a small loaf pan.  spray the inside lightly then line with plastic wrap.  leave over hang on all sides.  cut the skin in strips and layer the bottom.  then start packing the goods in...evenly dispersing the meat, fat, tendons and odd bits and pieces.  everything must go in so that it will hold together, but you can discard any unwanted dark ugly veins.
pour what juices you have left over the top and let it sink in.cover with hang over plastic wrap and press down hard with something flat that fits the top of the meat.  you don't want any air pockets.  place in fridge with a weights on top.  your terrine should be ready in a few hours.

voila...you have made a terrine.
pretty enough for any charcuterie platter.
serve chilled, sliced thin.
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