Category Archives: brunch

Sunday Morning Brunch & Panda

So, last weekend, I met up with my old co-workers for a bagel brunch….

I baked fresh home-made bagels: sun-dried tomato, olive and jalapeno.

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and visited the Smithsonian Zoo to see Bao Bao, who was leaving 😦

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We will miss you, Bao Bao!

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Cranberry Friands

I really enjoyed my Cherry Friands.

A lot.

I have been eagerly awaiting the Cherry season so I can make them again with fresh cherries.

Meanwhile, I decided to try some Cranberry Friands, mostly  following this recipe. It makes 12 friands and here’s how I made mine.

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Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp baking power
1 stick butter
5 egg whites
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/2 cup coconut flakes
2 tbsp white chocolate bits
a handful of slivered almonds (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 360 degrees F. Prepare two muffin tins.

In a bowl mix together flour, almond meal, and baking powder. Whisk together egg whites, melted butter and sugar. Combine the two and mix well. Fold in cranberries, coconut flakes and chocolate bits. Mix well.

Scoop and add batter to muffin tins about 3/4 full. Sprinkle some slivered almonds and bake for 25 minutes.

Enjoy with a cuppa tea!

Fun with Chia

Since I discovered Chia pudding last fall,  it has soon become one of my favorite breakfast items. It’s healthy, easy and delicious, so what’s not to like?

My basic recipe is given below along with some topping choices I have tried.

Servings: 2

Prep time 5 minutes. Total Time: 2-4 hours or overnight.

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1-2 tsp maple syrup
dash of lemon juice (optional)
toppings as desired, see below for some I have tried.

Mix all three ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Refrigerate. Mix after two hours again.

Serve with fresh fruit and nuts.

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Fresh blueberries, banana and walnuts chia.

kumquatchia

Home made granola, kumquat and roasted pumpkin seeds.

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Cherry almond delight or add some dark chocolate chips and make it a Cherry Garcia!

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Berry walnut crunch

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Tropical paradise with mango, coconut and pistachio

Best of 2016

I slacked off in 2016. But that is understandable. My schedule was so busy, that I had less time to try new recipes. I did try some new, retried several old, and tasty recipes!

Here are some favorite recipes from 2016.

In January, I  kicked off the year,  with some another fun Black-eyed Peas and Collard Greens recipes. This one is a keeper!

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I even tried two roll recipes: Jalapeno, Scallion and Garlic  and Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno. Both were so delicious, that I continued to make them throughout the year!

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I attempted the 21-day beach body diet in early 2016, and here’s my version of Bulghur Wheat Upma, designed to meet the container requirement (Disclaimer: I am not a certified Beach Body coach, so use at your own discretion!)

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Another fun recipe in February from the beach body diet was the Brown Rice Paella.

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March was all about Cauliflower Nirvana. Period!

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Come April, I put all else aside for a two week vacation down under. What an incredible trip!

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May is always, typically about Cherries.

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I also experimented with other recipes like Mango Coconut Scones

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And learnt to make Bagels… Sun Dried Tomato and Jalapeno bagels, of course 🙂

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Summertime, to beat the heat, I experimented with many Popsicle recipes, many of them with mango or cherries: my two favorite fruits.

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I maintained a scant patio garden this summer, which was plagued by over zealous squirrels. The most exciting vegetable from my patio garden this year  was zucchini!

August was about Savory Sun-dried Tomato Kalamata Olive and Jalapeno bread.

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Two fun recipes from September included, plunging into Cauliflower Rice and Stir Fried Vegetables.

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And these delicious Cherry Friands!

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And another variation of the Quinoa Bisibele Bath.

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October, I found Mango Chia Pudding, and it was terrific. It has fast become my go-to breakfast items!

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November was incredibly busy. Come December, I did try the Tian.

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But, December is all about the holidays… about Airplane Cookies!

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Have a very Happy New Year!

Hope to see you back here next year!

Quick Lunch Series: Cauliflower Fried Rice

I have been meaning to make Cauliflower Fried Rice since I saw this Coconut and Lime Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe and this one.  Although, I had a cauliflower at home and could make the rice from scratch, I found a bag at Trader Joes and this is how I ended making my dish.

friedrice

Ingredients:

2 cups cauliflower rice
1/4 cup lite coconut milk
some lemon juice (optional)
1 cup mix vegetables – I used shredded carrot, corn, peas, red pepper sliced, broccoli florets and sliced red onion
1-2 tsp chili oil with crushed red pepper
1 tsp coconut oil
drizzle of soy sauce
salt to taste

Heat the coconut oil in a pan. Add the cauliflower rice and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add coconut milk, lemon juice and cook on for 8-10 minutes or unitl the liquid evaporates and the rice is cooked.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan add the red chili oil and stir fry the vegetables on medium high for 5-10 minutes until lightly browned. Season with salt, red crushed pepper, and a drizzle of soy sauce. Mix in the cauliflower rice and serve warm.

It turned out delicious! It looks very much like brown rice, but once you taste it, it was pleasantly tasteful. Especially being cooked in coconut milk gives it extra flavor.

Makes 3-4 servings.

Sun Dried Tomato and Jalapeno Bagel

Okay, I admit, I have never eaten this combination ever.

Except this past weekend. If you know me, you know this is my favorite combination.

Every time we headed out of town back in CA,  we loved to pick up assorted bagels and cream cheese: Jalapeno, Sun dried tomato, blue berry, strawberry and more. California bakeries also were renowned for assorted cream cheese and assorted bagels.

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But, I have never come across a Jalapeno and Sun dried bagel. Until recently. My recipe is loosely based on this one.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup warm water
2 tsp active yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sugar
2 jalapenos, minced (de-seeded, optional)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked and sliced
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour

Pre- heat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine warm water, yeast, salt and 1 tablespoon sugar. Add flour, jalapenos; mix into a ball.

Knead for 10 to 12 minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until dough is stiff. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Divide into 6 equal pieces and form into balls. Punch a hole in middle with floured finger and gently pull to enlarge hole to 2 inches.

Place bagels on greased baking sheet; cover with tea towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oven to broil. Prepare water bath and put it on to boil.

After bagels have risen for 20 minutes, broil for 1 1⁄2 minutes on each side.

Once water bath is boiling, reduce heat. Place bagels, 3 at a time, in water for 1 1⁄2 minutes, turning after 45 seconds.

Drain and place on greased baking sheet. If desired, brush with egg wash (beat egg with 1 tablespoon water).

Bake at 400°F for 18 to 20 minutes.

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Enjoy warm with your favorite cream cheese!

Fun with Amaranth

Amaranth leaves are found  in abundance in the Tropics and growing up, I loved dal, tamarind stews, and yogurt stews made with them. It was only a few years ago, I started to use Amaranth grain or flour.

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Amaranth is not really a grain, but a seed. It is highly nutritious, packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.

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Here are some delicious recipes with this seed, flour or leaves that I posted previously:

Amaranth Grain Uttappam

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Amaranth Leaves cooked two ways

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Amaranth Dosa

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Amaranth Orange Cardamon Loaf

Amaranth Pumpkin Loaf

Amaranth Upma

The last few years I have been trying to grow Amaranth and Red Sorrel leaves in my patio garden, and it is challenging as well as highly rewarding!

Links:

Green
Patio Garden: Slow & Steady
Amaranth Plant
Amaranth Grain Nutrition
Health Benefits of Amaranth