Monday, September 24, 2012

Chocolate Nut Butter Banana Muffins

Costco, or the " Hundred-dollar store" as I like to call it, has amazing deals, yes?

Bananas for example, you get something like 10 bananas for a little over a dollar. Of course, when you bought them you had every intention of eating them on a daily basis ( for the potassium, you know) and were confident the rest of your family would join in, making sure the bananas disappeared in a matter of days.

.....Except you didn't and they didn't, and now you are left with a pile of bananas similar to this:

I had begun to doubt my baking abilities. Recently, my baking experiments were not coming out up to par, I think the latest one could be best described as an unintentional Pake ( See, Drop Dead Diva).  But, thankfully, I've redeemed myself -- even without eggs at my disposal I managed to create a winner today :)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
 3 tbsp flax seed, opened with a few tablespoons of water
2 cups banana
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoon baking powder
10 squares trader joes dark chocolate ( lb)
1/3 cup sour cream


  • Preheat oven to 360F
  • Mix dry ingredients and set aside
  • Cream together butter, peanut butter, almond butter, vanilla  and sugar until soft and creamy
  • Add eggs, or in my case the egg replacement ( flax seed meal + water) and vanilla extract
  • Now add the bananas.... cream until nice and smooth
  • Add half of the dry ingredients, then the sour cream
  • Add the second half of the dry ingredients
  • fold in chocolate (chips)
  • Bake for 25 minutes

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just some backyard grilling...

Almost everything is better homemade, right? 

Its a warm summer day but there is just enough of a gentle breeze to take the outdoors from bearable to pleasant. My sister's boyfriend was kind enough to spending the entire day at our place, keeping us company while our parents had to spend the day at the doctors.... and he's one of those guys who has a healthy appetite.

First, my sister suggested ordering pizza, but I wouldn't have it. We had all the ingredients at home to make a decent meal. All I had to do was say  " homemade hamburgers?" and the kids forgot all about the pizza. 

I prepped the ground meat with onion powder ( I prefer fresh grated onions, but sis vetoed it and I wasn't in the mood to argue), salt, pepper, teriyaki, and a dollop of ketchup.  In the meantime, I got a pan of onions caramelizing with a bit of turbinado sugar and olive oil.

Served on a grilled whole wheat bun with homemade thousand island dressing, caramelized onion, mixed greens and cheddar cheese --accompanied by homemade oven baked fries. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Brunch: Breakfast Potatoes and Cheesy Scrambled Eggs


There is nothing I love more than cooking for loved ones and witnessing the smile of contentment on their faces after their first bite. 

My cousins from northern California have been spending the last week with us and we decided to culminate their visit with a trip to Disneyland, where else? lol 
Three sisters in the sweltering California heat on the Jungle Cruise

My sis and I

Sisters + Cousin

Somehow, after a 20 hour day at ( or enroute) to Disneyland, I woke up in the morning while the rest of the family was in sweet slumber and quietly left for Sunday Mass. Wouldn't you know, just as I got home, the sleeping beauties had just awoken and were groggily fumbling around the kitchen searching for sustenance. 

After a quick look in the pantry and fridge I decided to make breakfast potatoes and cheesy scrambled eggs. 

Disclaimer/Reminder: I don't cook from recipes and I almost never measure the ingredients I use to make my meals, but I can tell you the ingredients and provide general direction.

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs 
  • Organic Brown Eggs
  • A splash of Milk
  • 1/3 Asiago, 1/3 Cheddar, 1/3 Mozzarella
  • Salt and Pepper 
To get soft fluffy scrambled eggs you must be patient and cook them on a medium low heat, stirring occasionally.

Breakfast Potatoes

  • Russet Potatoes
  • Parsley
  • Green Onion
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh  Tomato
Coat the bottom of a nonstick pan with a thin layer of olive oil and preheat. Next, wash and cube the russet potatoes -- add them to the pan. Cover the potatoes with a glass lid and let it cook on medium high, stirring occasionally, while you prep the rest of the ingredients. Wash the herbs and tomato, finely dice them and set them aside. Once the potatoes are fully cooked and crispy add the remaining ingredients and let it cook for another 30 seconds or so. ( I like the herbs to stay fresh)

My cousin, the happy customer

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Sunny side up egg + Avocado Toast + Red Onions 

...Not kissing anyone today! lol

Monday, September 3, 2012

White Bean and Potato Salad

White Bean and Potato Salad
This one is easy enough. Perfect for a warm spring or summers day. Note: I prefer to stay away from canned/proccessed products whenever I can so I chose to boil the white kidney beans myself after having soaked them in water for 24 hours.
Russet potatos, boiled
White Kidney Beans, soaked for 24 hours then boiled
Red onion
Fresh Dill
Salt, Pepper
Olive oil
Fresh lemon juice

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Potato Leek Soup

This Potato Leek soup came out to be amazingly delicious.
    3 Leeks 
    Extra Light Olive Oil, 3 tbsp 
    Butter, unsalted, 2 tbsp 
    Potato, raw, 4 cup diced (
    Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, 4 cups
    Garlic, 3 cloves
    Celery, raw, 2 stalk, small 
    Heavy Whipping Cream, 4 tbsp
    Sea Salt
    Fresh Cracked Pepper
    1 pinch TJ 21 season salute
    Optional: 1/4 cup Gouda, 2 Tbpn Parmesan
    1) Make sure to cut and wash the leek well, it tends to hide dirt.
    2) In a large soup pan, add diced leeks, garlic, celery, olive oil, butter and seasonings
    3) Sautee on medium till the kitchen smells great and the leeks has softened.
    4) remove one cup of the mixture and set aside
    5) Add 4 cups of peeled diced potatoes and 4 cups of organic chicken broth
    6) Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are cooked
    7) transfer soup to a blender and blend
    8) Return it to the pot, add the reserve leeks and the whipping cream
    9) Can be served with a garnish of cheese if you'd like

    Serving Size: 11- 1 cup servings
    Nutrition(w/ cheese): 
    149 calories, 9 grams fat, 14 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 3 gram protein 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Raw Vegan Breakfast

Raw. Vegan. Pure..... and very filling.

1 small banana sliced
1/4 cup old fashioned oats, uncooked
1/8 cup kashi crunch
1/4 cup Silk Vanilla Coconut milk
1 small apple diced, 
2 tablespoon wheat bran
1 table spoon hemp seeds 
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
The dry ingredients will begin to absorb the coconut milk and the fruit adds crunch and sweetness. 
It's simply heaven in a bowl... in fact I think it may be how I start the day tomorrow -- with a bowl of heaven :)
(I'm sappy, I know. Gotta love the creative license) 

Friday, August 31, 2012

I think I've ruined Chinese take-out for myself

Kung Pao Chicken
I used my recipe found here . Somehow, it seemed even better this time around.  My little sister gave it a 9/10 ... the deduction becuase she found it a bit on the spicy side for her taste.
Orange Chicken ( Sauteed, not Fried)
I chose to recreate the classic "orange chicken" without frying the chicken in fat. Instead I quickly sauteed it, then simmered it in my homemade sauce. 
The sauce is similar to the kung pao sauce used above. However it differs in that I added orange zest and fresh squeezed orange juice. As the sauce and chicken simmer together the flavor not only intensifies but the chicken absorbs the flavor.
My little sister gave this one a 10/10. 
I officially cannot enjoy either of the above meals from a restaurant any longer -- i tried. But I always say homemade is much better than restaurant food becuase I control the ingredients, the quality and the methods. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Yes, it has been a while since I've posted regarding food. It just isn't occupying as much of my attention as it used to. There are a few more priorities in life I need to address before I can resort back to one of my luxurious hobbies of cooking/baking.
Just like the title suggests -- simple and satisfying.
First sautee the onions until they are translucent. Then add sliced garlic, mini bell peppers, and mushroom. Finally, add the green beans and sautee for a couple minutes. You can serve it at this point if you like your veggies on the crisper side. However, if you like them " well done" allocate 1 part white wine to 2 parts broth.  ( ie: 1/8 cup white wine and a 1/4 cup broth). Add the wine and let it sizzle and dance for a moment, then add the broth and cover the pan. Allow it to simmer for another 10 minutes on low heat.
Serve over a bed of white rice. I think it would work great on top of a baked potato as well!

Inspiration: Tiramisu

Layers of coffee cake infused with a brandy caramel sauce and heightened by a marscapone creme filling