Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Gluten Free Hoho Cake

Disclosure: The author of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review.  I was provided with the products mentioned  in exchange of my honest  opinion which may differ from yours.  

It is so nice that there are so many gluten-free products available nowadays in the market.  This is advantageous for those who has celiac disease or has gluten allergies.  Gluten free products is a great alternative for those who is struggling with inflammatory diseases.   For us who doesn't have those mentioned issues, it is  healthy to  incorporate gluten free products in our diet.  
I am very excited to have given the opportunity to work with  Boulder Brands.  They have  the  largest natural consumer packaged food companies in the United States such as Smart Balance, Earth Balance, Udis, eVol, Level Life, and Glutino.  I have worked with evol before and liked their products as well.  Now I got the chance to try Glutino products.  They sent me  three different flavors of pretzel chips, a pack of cookies, bread mix, and all purpose flour.
My husband and son  both love sweets, they have sweet tooth so the cookies is their first choice.   The cookies looks dry but you'll be surprised  of how  it tasts like  and it is not dry at all.
This pretzel chips has become their    official snack when reading their books.  I am thinking of making some Easter treat with this (if there would be left over lol).  
Having this sandwich   mix will give me a reason to dig out my bread machine and make  it.  I will   be  preparing this when my  children get off from school for Easter break this weekend.  
The  little pastry chef jumped on it and  wanted to try the gluten free all-purpose flour and  baked one of our favorite   dessert, a Hoho cake.  I will ,be posting the process in another post but for now, I will let this  photos talk.  
Here is the finished product our 9 year old   who love to bake. I was surprised that it tasted just like a regular  Hoho cake.  I was anticipating that it would taste different because  she used a different flour but it was  very good!
We also made  some cross hot buns during the Easter celebration.
Boulder Brands really hit the park in providing these healthy options of products.  If gluten free  product is what you are looking for, check out Boulder Brands, it's their  expertise!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Baked Chicken Wings with Sriracha, Ranch, and BBQ Sauce

Whenever I cook chicken, I always boil it first  because I save the  broth for  cooking something else.  With chicken wings, it makes it so soft that it makes the meat fall off the bones and my  family love  it that way.  I seldom fry nowadays  so after boiling the  wings I made this sauce.

Ingredients for the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup of ranch
  • 1 tbsp of sriracha
  • 1/2 cup of  Baby Ray's BBQ sauce.
  • 1 tsp of parley
  • 1/4 cup  grated parmesan cheese

  • Boil the chicken wings  into a pot with 6 cups of water.
  • Add salt and chicken cube in it.  
  • Take out the chicken after 20 minutes.
  • Mix all the ingredients for the sauce.  Coat the chicken individually with the sauce.
  • Arrange them in a  baking dish

  1.  Bake it for 20 minutes in 350 degrees oven.

 I love experimenting in the kitchen and this one of them.  I used to just fry the chicken  but since we are avoiding fried food, this is my solution. The photo above was taken when I first made this dish.  They liked it so much that they requested for it again after a couple of days.
 This time, I eliminated the   cheese from the  sauce and sprinkled  some sesame seeds  on top.  Scallion is great for garnishing any dish, it freshens it up.
 We ate it with  steamed rice and vegetable salad.
 The salad has carrots, bell peppers, apples, romaine lettuce, mini cucumbers, and almonds.
When I cook, it's either a hit or a miss but I guess my  eaters are already a fan  coz they seem to like  just about anything.  They are very honest too, when they don't like the dish, they don't  sugar coat it, they tell you right there and then lol.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

Squash and Tilapia Cooked in Coconut Milk

I talked to Mama a week ago  and I am feeling homesick.  Whenever I am feeling that way, I turn to food that reminds me of home, remind me of my family.  Squash is one vegetable that is very  affordable from where I grew up.  My Mother used to cook this for us when we were kids  with  crabs or other seafood and it was always a hit.  Having said that, I  bought an acorn squash from the store  a couple of days ago so I can cook it the way Mama used to.
 I only picked the smallest one because I wasn't sure if my lovelies would eat it with me.  Since I don't have crabs, I used the frozen tilapia I have to cook with it.  Below is the recipe:


  • Small size of  acorn or any kind of squash
  • 1 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
  • a small size of ginger root
  • 1 piece of  lemon grass
  • 1/2  onion
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 5 frozen tilapia fillets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a dash of cumin
  • scallion
  • 1 teaspoon of  crushed chili peper
  • Cut the squash in half.  Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and other soft tissue of the squash.  Peel the skin and slice them up into desired sizes,.  I usually slice it 1/2 thick.
  •  Open the can of coconut milk and pour it in the pan.
  • Add the onion, tomatoes, ginger, lemon grass, salt and pepper.  
  • Let the coconut boil then add the tilapia.  Let it cook for about 7 minutes then  remove  the tilapia from the  pan so that  when you  put the squash, the fish won't  break into pieces.
  • Cook the squash until it is tender, usually about 15 minutes or so depending on how thik you cut the  them.

 You can serve  it with steamed rice.  put some of the juice from the pan on top of the tilapia when you do the plating.
 Sprinkle the  scallions on top.
 My kids love  just about any kind of fish and this is the first time I cook it that way and glad that they liked it.  They are not sure about the squash as this is the first time I cook it with coconut milk.  I usually sautee the squash with some  sardines and they like it that way.
 When I cook with fish, I always make sure to add ginger or lemon juice to   somehow eliminate the fishy taste and it works great.  It also add another level of the flavor to the dish.
The lemon grass is just something that I love to use when cooking with coconut milk.  It is so good especially when you cook  chicken.  The smell is  just special.  BY the way, our rice looks greenish because I flavored it with pandan.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sweet Treat for Classmates

I posted my daughter's Key Lime Cupcakes on facebook and one of her former teachers commented to bring some in school. It inspired my little pastry chef to make another batch.
I put the ones she wants to give for the teachers  in these cupcake containers.
Then she put the rest in a big container to  bring for her classmates.
I am glad that my daughter is very interested in baking.  That is something I lack of interest with in the kitchen.  I love to cook but not to bake!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Chicken 15 Bean Soup Recipe

The beans is one of the most  nutritious food that you can eat that is high in protein.   According to the US Dry Bean Council, beans are naturally low in fat, are free of saturated fat and trans-fat, and are a cholesterol-free source of protein compared to meat-based proteins. Research shows that a diet including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease.  Because of its natural source of  antioxidants and phytochemicals, beans can reduce  the  risks of certain cancers, according to research.  You can read more about health benefits of beans here.
Anyway, I sawe thi  15 bean soup pack  at the store and thought of trying it since I love  beans.  Recipe below by Hurst's Hambeens.
  • 20 oz 15 bean soup
  • 1/2 to 1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1/2 to 1 lb smoked sausage, sliced (I did not add this to mine)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • Rinse the beans and put it in a large pot, cover with 8 cups of water.  Allow beans to soak overnight.  Drain the water after soaking  the beans.
  • Add 8 cups of fresh water.
  • Bring beans to a boilm reduce heat,  and simmer covered for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • After simmering the beans, in a large skillet, melt butter.  Saute the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and chicken over medium  heat for ten minutes.
  • After beans have simmered, add sauteed ingredients, sliced sausage and contents of seasoning packet to the beans.
  • Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes or until  beans are tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.

I am telling you, it is delicious.
We ate it with the scones that my daughter made. After I ate, I was ready to take a nap lol.
I also  baked some Reese's Peanut Butter and Chocolate rolls.  I love this kind of soup especially during winter season. It can really warms you up.  I am going to try the beef flavored one next time since my husband has been hinting for me to make another pot of this delicious   soup!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Rigatoni with Italian Sausage and Kale

I never thought I would like Kale.  I  should have tried it  when I first came here but never really enticed to do so since I wasn't familiar with it.  I read some raves  about how Kale is like a super food so I thought of trying it.  LO and behold, I love it now and  is a regular greens in my kitchen.  I love  putting it in soup, in noodles, and just about anything where I use spinach in a dish.  
 This one here, I tried to incorporate it in  making the rigatoni.  Below is a simple recipe of  what I made.
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 1 pack Rigatoni noodles
  • 1 medium size onion (chopped)
  • 1 large tomato sliced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (optional)

  • Boil  the rigatoni according to  direction from the box
  • Brown the Italian sausage into a skillet.  
  • Add the onion, tomatoes, and   kale.  Sprinkle salt and mix it all together.
  • When everything is cooked, add the  rigatoni and sprinkle some pepper and the cheese.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Reward for Drinking Water

When I met my husband, he wasn't fond of drinking water. He lived on  drinking sweet teat everyday.  Me on the other hand, I live on drinking water everyday.  I occasionally drink soda but that's very seldom.  I tried to influence my kid to drink water just like me but since their Dad does't like drinking water, it kind of turn their interest away from drinking it.  So I talked to my husband to change his  drinking habit, to slowly replace the  sweet tea with water and he did.  It helped him a lot in losing weight too.  So now, my kids  are starting to love water since all of us drinks it regularly now.  
 Anyway, last year, Nestle had a rewards program by point system  on drinking water.  When you buy  their  water, you can find codes in it and  you can  submit it to Nestle.  I did that and was able to accumulate points to redeem this soccer ball.
Not bad for drinking water eh?

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