Re: Dark Chocolate + Peanut Butter Icing Cake Truffles

IMG_7288_edited.pngI’m not entirely sure what it is about peanut butter but I love that stuff! Crunchy, smooth, with chocolate, EVERYTHING! So of course I planned on making a peanut butter lover inspired recipe :). Coincidentally, my uncle made some tasty dark chocolate cake. Why not put them together? The dark chocolate compliments a subtle sweet taste from the peanut butter icing, while adding some ground cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract make these cake truffles a cohesive indulgent treat! Excuse the unusually large portions of these cake truffles. I love chocolate AND peanut butter…maybe a little too much haha

Ingredients:

  • chocolate cake
  • 1 cup peanut butter (I used unsweetened organic but you can use whatever you have at home)
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  • 6 tbsp. icing powder
  • 1 ½ bars (~15-20 oz.) dark chocolate
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • splash of vanilla extract (~1/4 tsp.)
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Procedure:

  1. Using the chocolate cake my uncle previously made, in a bowl I used my hand to crumble the cake; you can use a food processor by pulsing it gradually
  2. I combined the peanut butter with the salt, ground cinnamon and vanilla before adding 2 tablespoons of sifted icing powder
  3. Alternating between the icing powder and milk, I mixed the peanut butter well with a rubber spatula (or you can use a hand mixer); make sure that there are no icing sugar lumps!
  4. Once you’ve made your peanut butter icing, add the icing into the bowl that the crumbled cake is in
  5. Gently mix the peanut butter icing with the cake crumbs
  6. Then melt the dark chocolate using a small sauce pan or in the microwave (for 1-2 minutes, medium-high power) with 1 tablespoon of butter
  7. Once the chocolate is melted, set it aside. You can start making small ball with the peanut butter and chocolate cake crumble mixture
  8. When you’ve made all of the cake-peanut butter icing into balls, place them in a cookie sheet lines with parchment paper
  9. Using a spoon pour in some of the melted chocolate on top of the cake-peanut butter icing balls until there are coated. Do the same for all of the balls
  10. Chill the chocolate cake truffles in the fridge for at least 2 hours before eating; the dark chocolate coating should be hardened by then
  11. Enjoy!

The thin chocolate outer layer adds a nice texture contrast from the soft chocolate and peanut butter center. A seductively rich treat for Peanut Butter Lovers Day!

Give this recipe a try and let me know how it goes! I’m always open to suggestions and improvements. Feel free to leave a comment below 🙂

 

Always,

K

 

Re: Heart-BEET Pancakes

 

IMG_6995.pngOn my way from a long workday, my hungry self was daydreaming about a beet-apple smoothie I made the previous night. A few moments later, my imagination took over and thought of beet red heart shaped pancakes perfect for a Valentine’s Day brunch. Well, I came up with a quick recipe this morning!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2-1 red beet
  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. raw honey
  • ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Using a regular blender or a food processor, roughly grind the oatmeal (or you can buy/use ground oatmeal if you it’s available to you)
  2. Put the ground oatmeal in a medium size bowl then add the baking powder, ground cinnamon and all purpose flour
  3. Peel and dice the red beet then put it in the blender/food processor
  4. In the same blender/food processor, add the banana, vanilla extract, eggs, raw honey and water
  5. Blend away until all the ingredients are combined
  6. Gradually pour in the wet ingredients (beet mixture) with the dry (ground oatmeal mixture) ingredients
  7. Once the dry and wet ingredients are mixed together, add the melted butter
  8. To make the heart shape pancakes, I used a piping bag to make a heart shape OR you can also use a squeeze bottle OR a heart shape pancake mold
  9. Cook the pancakes in medium heat because they do tend to brown very easily
  10. Enjoy with some fresh fruits and more raw honey on the side!

A healthy and pretty brunch dish that will keep your sweetheart’s heart-beet beating! 😉 (see what I did there? Haha) Give it a try and let me know what you think! Share with us your comments and questions in the comments section below 🙂

 

Always,

K

Re: Is there room for broccoli in your Super Bowl feast?

If you haven’t been bombarded by enough ads, tweets and other Facebook statuses about the Super Bowl, you might not know that it’s happening this weekend. A much anticipated game by the ultimate football fans and the occasional half-time viewers, looking forward to performances from Queen B and Cold Play, and of course, the game. Super Bowl has also become another excuse to indulge in some not-so-healthy snacks all in the name of the game. Some chicken wings here, some chips & dips there, and some sandwiches and sliders right across. What if I told you that I came up with a fabulous AND healthier alternative to the average Super Bowl snacks using broccoli and spinach?

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For a lack of a better term, I’m calling this dish ‘Frinachos’. Why? Because if fries and nachos had a baby, it would taste like this! Hands down.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 broccoli florets
  • handful of spinach
  • lime
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
  • dried basil
  • honey
  • mayo
  • 1 red chili pepper (or any kind of chili you want to use, e.g. jalapeño, Thai green chili, etc.)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • fries (you can by frozen)
  • dried basil
  • 2 roughly diced tomatoes
  • cheese (optional)

 

Procedure:

  1. Preheat you oven to the appropriate temperature to BAKE your fries
  2. Get some parchment paper and line your pan
  3. Add as much fries you want to use for the recipe. Spread the fries out in on the pan to make sure that you get those golden brown crispy bits
  4. Bake the fries, again, according to the time recommended on the instructions on the bag
  5. While your fries are baking away, you can start making your guacamole
  6. Start by blending the spinach, broccoli florets, red chili, minced garlic, lime juice, olive oil (~2-3 tbsp.), salt and pepper together. The consistency doesn’t have to be like a pesto, but close to it
  7. In your mortar and pestle (if it’s big enough or your can use a medium size bowl), pour in the blended broccoli-spinach mixture
  8. Open then dice the avocadoes before putting it in the mortar and pestle with the broccoli-spinach mixture
  9. Using the pestle (the thing you use to mash), mash and mix the avocado and broccoli-spinach mixture together. It’s totally cool if there are some small avocado chunks, you just want to make sure that the avocado is mixed well with the broccoli-spinach mixture
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste then you can now set aside your guacamole
  11. Check you fries in the oven and shake them a bit to get an even colour and crisp
  12. Next you need to make the honey garlic aioli by simply combining the honey, chopped fresh garlic, dried basil, mayo, salt and pepper in a small bowl (Tip: I like using the pestle when mixing because it grinds the fresh garlic at the same time, releasing more flavour into the aioli)
  13. Then take out the fries (of course lightly salt them) and place them on a plate
  14. Put all of the components together by first adding spoonful of guacamoles, sprinkling some diced tomatoes around, then finish off by drizzling some of the honey garlic aioli
  15. (Optional) You can also crumble some queso fresco or cheddar cheese on top

 

Now, I know you might be wondering if you/they would be able to taste the spinach and broccoli in there but I promise, you and whoever else is trying this dish will NOT. You can also just serve the guacamole with broccoli and spinach with some whole grain chips! Give this recipe a try and share with us your experiences J Feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

Always,

K

 

 

Cheese Board Basics for the Holidays!

With school out and work finishing up for the holidays, it’s the perfect time to have a fun filled party! Meat & cheese boards are awesome for small or larger gatherings, even on a tight budget. Here are a few of my tips on putting together a fabulous board.

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  1. How many people are attending your party? Whether you are making or buying dishes make sure you have an idea of how many people are going to be there. You don’t want to have less food than you need; at least with having more food, people can always bring some home if they want to
  2. Picking cheese. There are so many different options for the types of cheeses you can have on your board. Some blue cheese, Brie, Gouda, Camembert, cheddar, are just a few options for you to choose from. But before you do, make sure that you get a chance to actually taste the cheese before buying it. For example, I am not a big fan of strong blue cheese (or most blue cheeses to be honest) so I won’t put a big chunk of it on the plate. Of course, if you know that some of your guests love a particular kind of cheese or have previously recommended a cheese, why not give it a try? An alternative to my personal favourite, Fromager d’Affinois, is President’s Choice Double Cream Brie. They taste very similar but not quite, and the P.C. option is on sale right now!
  3. Bread or crackers? You can have one or both options. Though some cheeses do taste better with a nicely toasted piece of baguette. For example, I find that Brie tastes beautifully with a toasted bread and a little freshly ground black pepper. Simple and tasty! On a different note, there are many kinds of crackers you can use instead of the bread. I like using Triscuit’s olive oil, rosemary and black pepper flavoured crackers. The herbs and the salt from the crackers taste well with Gouda, some aged white cheddar or even with goat cheese and a dollop of pesto
  4. Serving plate/board. I present my cheese platters usually on a clean solid [wood/bamboo] cutting board. It makes it feel a little rustic and approachable to me. You can use other serving plates, though make sure that it is a flat plate and that it is big enough for the amount of food you’re putting on it
  5. Finishing touches. Slices of fruits, some grapes (still on their branches), fresh herbs, pitted olives, jam and so on. You can use all or some of them depending on how much cheese you want to use and bread. Remember, the star of the boards are the cheeses, the other food items should help elevate the flavours not up stage it. To add a little holiday twist, try using some cranberry jelly. It adds a nice tartness, sweetness and a pop of colour on the board!

Now all you need is a bottle of red or white wine or some hot apple cider. Enjoy!

Which kinds of cheeses are you having for your holiday dinner party? Leave a comment below for questions and suggestions! 🙂

 

 

Always,

K