Hot Chocolate Cream in Brownie Cups

Whipped cream mixed with instant hot chocolate in fudgy and delicious brownie cups, topped with toasted marshmallows

I’ve told myself not to get a bag of marshmallows when on the healthy lifestyle street. But I cannot shake up the thought of using my dying hot chocolate mix with whipped cream in brownie cups and I know they would be prettier (and yummier) when topped with toasted marshmallow. So I gave in.

The idea came from Burlap and Blue. I really loved the idea of cream cheese in the recipe, but I don’t think the girl inside me with a migraine would love it, so I skipped it (too sad!). Also, I didn’t have filo for cups or anything similar, so I’ve thought of brownie cups.

Sooooo……

Brownie cups. Whipped cream with hot chocolate mix (you can go level 10 naughtiness and add cream cheese!). Toasted marshmallows.

They all sound naughty and perfect for your cheat day! 😀 I always tell my friends that when I say I will be on a cheat day, I really mean it! Besides, these were made during my birthday last month. 😉

I don’t think I have to explain these pretty ones further. It’s pretty obvious – when you take a bite, you’ll have a taste of brownies (my favorite!), whipped cream with hot chocolate mix and toasted marshmallows. The addition of marshmallows can be skipped, but may I ask why?? I added colorful sprinkles coz what’s a birthday without happy sprinkles?? Pretty little treats!

 

Hot Chocolate Cream in Brownie Cups

  • Hot chocolate cream (recipe below)
  • Brownie cups (recipe below)
  • Marshmallows, toasted (optional)

For the hot chocolate cream:

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup whipping/heavy cream
  • 2 packets instant hot chocolate mix

Instructions

  1. Make sure that your bowl, beaters, and whipping/heavy cream are very cold.
  2. In your cold bowl, add in whipping/heavy cream. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Add in instant hot chocolate mix gently using a spatula.
  4. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

For the brownie cups: 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, vanilla and coffee mixture.
  3. Add in flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix using a spatula, making sure not to overmix them.
  4. Using a small ice cream scoop (or 1 tbsp), place in batter into the muffin hole over each mini Oreos.
  5. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until the top doesn’t look too glossy or mostly set.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and press the top of each brownie with the bottom of a small container or glass to create a well.
  7. Let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. When brownie cups have cooled completely, fill them with the hot chocolate cream.
  9. Chill in the fridge before serving and top with toasted marshmallows.

Note: For the sprinkles, I melted chocolate in a microwave and dunked the top edges of the brownie cups then I added sprinkles.

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Kalabasa Soup with Dried Fish

The Filipino ‘Ginataang Kalabasa’ (Squash with Coconut Milk) in its new form – more appealing, thus, picky eaters would finally love this (well, they should 😀 )

Pumpkin vs Squash. Which one is which? I’ve always had that question since I was a kid, but never really took it seriously. Then there’s my 9-year old nephew saying we are having a soup with pumpkin whenever he knows that we are having such dish.

Growing up, I know Kalabasa is squash. But just to avoid confusion (I am the one actually confused), I will call this one Kalabasa Soup.

Kalabasa Soup is a twist made on ‘Ginataang Kalabasa’ which is a soup made of Kalabasa cooked in coconut milk with spices. It is cooked in different variations from places to places. Some add chicken, shrimps and dried fish. In our home, we always use dried fish. Daing (da-ing) or Bulad (boo-lad) refers to a dried fish from the Philippines. Fish are dried by sun-drying and adding salt liberally after splitting up the fish in half and thoroughly cleaned. Bulad can be eaten as is after frying with rice and vinegar dipping sauce.

I am not a huge fan of fried Bulad, but I love it mixed with ‘Ginataang Kalabasa’

‘Ginataang Kalabasa’ looks like the photo below. My version is cooked with ginger, tomatoes, onions, Bulad and coconut milk. The addition of Bulad makes the dish so tasty. I always choose this over the ones with shrimps. Though I love the addition of Daing, I don’t eat it – I give it away (to people who would love it or to doggies).

The traditional way of serving this (in our home) is –  just eat with rice (lots of rice!!!!) and fried fish (I even fry an egg to go with this – why not?). I always mash the Kalabasa like a kid and mix it with my rice.

You may (???) wonder why I am serving this in a different form.

Kalabasa is such a favorite – kids and adults, but there are people (even adults – why??) that when this is cooked with visible veggies (coz some adds spinach, eggplants, string beans, and so on), they would only go for the soup (the coconut milk part). What’s good in that?? Eat veggies, people!

So the thought came to my mind where streets are always busy – make ‘Ginataang Kalabasa’ more appealing and easier to eat for kids and picky eater adults, too.

This may look different from the one I grew up eating but tastes exactly the same. At the end of the day, the picky eaters – kids and adults – would definitely love this. I know that, for sure. And I know that I did a good job in serving this dish in its new form.

I am taking this with me at Fiesta Friday # 198. Thank you to our ladies this week, Aunt Juju, Liz and Angie. Happy Fiesta Friday, lovely people, and have a fantastic weekend!

Kalabasa Soup with Dried Fish

Ingredients:

  • Cooking oil
  • 3 fat garlic, minced
  • 2 thumb size ginger, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 Bulad (or any dried fish, or fresh shrimps-cleaned)
  • 3 cups Kalabasa/Calabaza (or Butternut Squash), sliced into 1×1 cubes
  • 4 cups coconut milk (I used fresh, but canned is fine)
  • Spring onions, sliced
  • Salt, to taste (if using dried fish, be careful in adding salt as the fish is already salty)

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add cooking oil.
  2. When the oil is hot enough, add in garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add in onions and tomatoes and cook until soft.
  4. Add in Bulad (or whatever you are using) and Kalabasa.
  5. Add in part (3/4) of the coconut milk and let the Kalabasa cook until tender. This will take 5-7minutes.
  6. Add the remaining coconut milk and let simmer for another minute.
  7. Turn off the heat and add sliced spring onions. (This gives additional flavor, too) Season with salt, if needed.
  8. When the dish has slightly cooled down, remove the Daing (you can shred the consumable parts and eat with the dish later, or discard if you want) and place the cooked dish in the food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth and pureed.
  9. Serve this according to your liking: can be served like a traditional soup with a slice of bread (haven’t tried, but I know it will work) or with rice and another fried fish (can be fried mackerel or anything you like).

Notes: If using chicken, shrimp or meat, you may need to add bouillon cubes to enhance the flavor.

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{Whole30} Skillet Cauliflower “Arroz” Con Pollo

Chicken and cauliflower rice dish with kalamata olives cooked in fire-roasted chopped tomatoes and seasoned with sazon seasoning. 

It is really fun exploring cauliflower rice recipes. I never knew you can enjoy cauliflower rice in so many ways – from the plain fried rice to adding various flavors like Mexican or Spanish flavors. This time, I made this delicious Spanish style cauliflower rice. It is seasoned with Sazon seasoning.  It is with chicken, too. So you’ll have a whole meal.

The chicken is cooked first with fire-roasted chopped tomatoes and sazon seasoning. When the chicken is done, riced cauliflower is added to the skillet along with kalamata olives (or green olives) and a small quantity of brine. The brine from the olives gives saltiness and a unique flavor to the dish as well so you might want to watch the salt when you adjust your seasoning.

Gina, the author of Skinny Taste, used tomato paste and green olives. I used fire-roasted chopped tomatoes and kalamata olives coz they were the ones available in the kitchen. I also made Gina’s sazon seasoning which is made of coriander, cumin, annatto powder, garlic powder, salt and oregano. Everything blended perfectly!

I am taking this with me at Fiesta Friday # 198. Thank you to our ladies this week, Aunt Juju, Liz and Angie. Happy Fiesta Friday, lovely people, and have a fantastic weekend!

Skillet Cauliflower “Arroz” Con Pollo

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole legs (you can use 4 chicken thighs or 4 drumstick), skin on, bone in
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red bellpepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can / 400 ml fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sazon seasoning
  • 300 g riced cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted + 1 tbsp brine

Instructions:

  1. Wash and pat dry chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a non-stick skillet (or cast iron) over medium-high heat, add a small amount of olive oil.
  3. Brown the chicken for 5 minutes on each side. Remove and transfer to a plate for later.
  4. On the same skillet over low-medium heat, add the remaining olive oil.
  5. Sauté garlic, onion, bell pepper and parsley until fragrant.
  6. Add in fire-roasted chopped tomatoes and sazon seasoning. Put back the chicken in the skillet and cook on low heat for 30-45 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through cooking. (If the sauce gets dry, add 1 tbsp of water at a time.)
  7. When the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken again and transfer to a plate.
  8. Add the riced cauliflower to the skillet along with the olives and brine, and cook for 5-8 minutes or until riced cauliflower is cooked. Adjust seasoning if required.
  9. Turn off the heat and return back the chicken to the skillet on top of the cooked riced cauliflower.
  10. Garnish with parsley.

Source recipe: Skillet Cauliflower “Arroz” Con Pollo by Skinny Taste

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Ube Ensaymada

Filipino sweet bread with ube jam filling, topped with butter or margarine and sugar – perfect for your coffee

When you have tried making your own Ube Jam, making Ube Ensaymada is a must. Well, at least for me.

Ensaymada is a Filipino sweet bread with ube jam filling. It is in spiral form with margarine (or butter) and sugar topping. Other variations use buttercream for topping and with lots of cheese. I love my Ensaymada with just margarine and sugar topping just what my Mom used to take home when coming home from work. We enjoy Ensaymada with coffee or soda.

Ensaymada can be made without filling, but I enjoy it with filling. Ube Ensaymada is made by dividing the whole dough into individual or smaller portions. Each is flattened to add the ube jam filling and rolled into a log (like what you’d do with cinnamon rolls). Don’t you go greedy on the ube jam filling – they’ll be ruining your logs! The log is shaped into a spiral. You now wait for the shaped dough to double in size and you’re ready to bake. The baked Ensaymadas, when lightly cooled down, are brushed with softened butter and top with white sugar. You can also use margarine instead of butter for the topping – that’s what I know some bakeries use.

These are so good! The bread is soft. The ube jam filling is perfect and that butter and sugar topping is amazing! The only thing you have to keep in mind – if you’ll top all of the baked ensaymada with butter and sugar, it is best to consume them the same day. The bread stayed soft until the next day, but the butter and sugar mixture slightly melted. In this case, margarine is my best choice coz the margarine I use holds its shape. I just didn’t have margarine during this time. I enjoyed these with black coffee – ahhhh, they were really delicious!

I hope you’ll have a chance to try and make these. I am sharing these with my buddies at Fiesta Friday # 197. Thank you to our ladies this week Laurena, Trupti and Angie. Happy Fiesta Friday, lovely people, and have a fantastic weekend!

Ube Ensaymada

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk, warm (120°F – 130°F)
  • 1 egg yolk, for egg wash

For the filling:

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar

Instructions:

For the dough & filling:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer with dough hook attachment, combine 4 1/2 cups flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt.
  2. With the motor running on low speed, add in melted butter, eggs and warm milk.
  3. Increase the speed to medium. When the dough is slowly coming together (about 5 minutes), add in the remaining 1/2 cup flour. (This is to ensure that you don’t add too much flour to your dough that will give you a dense bread.)
  4. Let knead for 7-10 minutes or until dough forms into a ball or not sticky. (Sometimes, you don’t get the dough to shape into a ball. When the dough is not sticky, it is ready.)
  5. Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling wrap or towel and keep in a warm place for one hour or until doubled in size.
  6. Meanwhile, you can now make your filling. Warm up your ube jam in a microwave to soften up a bit, about 30 seconds. Add in butter and mix until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
  7. When the dough has doubled in size, take it to your highly floured work surface.
  8. Divide the dough weighing 60 grams each. (I had 20 balls x 60 grams)
  9. Flatten each with a rolling pin until you form a long cylindrical shape (about 7-8 inches long). Place ube jam-butter mixture (like you are making cinnamon rolls) and roll from the long part of the dough until you form a rope. Seal the edges by pinching them together. Shape your rope into coils, making sure to tuck the end underneath.
  10. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, loosely cover with a towel and let rise again until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  11. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  12. When ready, brush the top of the dough with egg wash.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
  14. Let the ensaymada cool down a bit then transfer to a wire rack.

For the topping:

  1. In a bowl, spacious enough to fit the ensaymada, add in sugar.
  2. Brush the cooled ensaymada with softened butter (or margarine) and dunk the top on the white sugar to coat the top. You can also sprinkle the white sugar instead.

Note: Ensaymada is delicious until the next day, but they won’t be as soft. If planning to keep some for later, leave them without the topping coz the topping will somehow melt. You can heat the leftover (without topping) in a preheated oven for about 5 minutes. Let them cool down a bit before adding topping. You can also reheat using a microwave for 15 seconds, making sure to consume immediately.

Dough recipe is from Panlasang Pinoy

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Ube Jam

Ube Halaya or Ube Jam is a jam or dessert made from purple yam. It is a mixture of coconut milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk. This can be enjoyed as a filling for bread, can be mixed with ice cream, donuts and can be even eaten as a dessert.

I am a person who loves doing all things I can all by myself, especially when it is related to anything kitchen or food. Trust issues? I don’t know. Maybe I am afraid that I’ll not be 100% satisfied at the end. But there are times that I need to trust and be satisfied, especially when I don’t trust myself or if I am feeling lost. You know what I mean?

I love ube since I was a child – ice cream, cake, bread, everything ube. I never realized that I have never seen a fresh ube. Or maybe I just don’t pay attention when me and my Mom used to go to the market. So when the vendor said, “This is ube – the one you use for ube jam.“, I didn’t argue. I trust the vendor way more than I trust myself.

Then I found out that not all ube are created equal. I was hesitant to use the ube at the beginning, but I told myself that I will never know the result if I don’t try.

It turned out I got the right one, I guess. The ube jam is so perfect – the texture, the flavor. It is not complicated to make the jam, but you have to keep in mind the words ‘stirring constantly’. Now, you know what I mean. 😀

I used freshly boiled ube, as you can see. I grated ube when enough to handle. The grated ube is then mixed with coconut milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk. Since the color of the mixture is light, I added ube extract and also to enhance the flavor. IT WAS SO GOOD! I kept eating the jam even before I transferred it to the jar. The muscle pain is worth it!

This ube jam can be used as a filling for bread, for making ice cream, donuts and a lot more. It can also be eaten as a dessert when cold.

I am taking this with me at Fiesta Friday # 197. Thank you to our ladies this week Laurena, Trupti and Angie.

Ube Jam

  • Difficulty: easy, needs patience
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 250 g ube (purple yam), cooked and grated (see notes)
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 150 ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 185 ml evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1-2 tsp ube extract (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a deep and thick pot over low-medium heat, add butter and wait until melted.
  2. Add grated cooked ube and coconut milk. Cook while stirring constantly for 15 minutes.
  3. Cool the mixture for about 10 minutes and transfer to a blender. Add evaporated milk to loosen the mixture and for easy blending. Pulse until mixture is smooth.
  4. Return back the mixture to the pot. Add condensed milk and sugar.
  5. If using, add ube extract until the desired color is achieved. (I used ube extract coz the freshly cooked and grated ube didn’t possess the color I wanted. Also, it added a nice flavor to the jam.)
  6. Over low heat, stir the mixture constantly for about 15-25 minutes or until desired thickness. Keep in mind that the mixture will thicken more while cooling. (I did mine for about 15 minutes as I want mine to be spreadable.)
  7. Let the mixture cool down before transferring to a sterilized jar (for longer life).

Source recipe: Ube Halaya (Purple Yam Jam) by Foxy Folksy

Notes:

  • I used fresh yam. I boiled them unpeeled. Then, I peeled and grated when enough to handle. Of course, you can use frozen ube. See Bebs’ post.
  • This recipe made about 2 cups (500 ml) of ube jam.
  • It lasted for 2 weeks inside my fridge.

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Carrot and Dates Cake

You have to try this Carrot and Dates Cake – super moist, the texture is perfect, not too sweet. Of course, it is super delicious! The addition of caramel in the cake makes this cake extraordinary.

I have seen so many recipes that use carrots for baking. The reviews are all good when it comes to the texture and how moist the baked good is. I didn’t try and I never thought of trying – maybe I don’t trust myself enough to like such thing.

Yes, it took me a long time to try it and I am insane for not trying sooner.

Dates happened – dates that need to be used. Again.

I was looking for ways on how to use up my remaining dates and I bumped into this recipe. The first issue was the use of carrots. I was like ‘I am not going to put carrots in my cake! Period!‘ Then I found something really interesting – the use of caramel in the cake. So I set aside my carrot issues and here is it…

When I took the first bite, I asked myself, ‘Where have you been all this time and it took you too long to bake with carrots??‘ I didn’t have the answer. Ahhh, the regrets!

The cake was so moist. The texture was perfect, especially the edges. Ahhh, I know you’d argue who gets the edges. Well, I got the other end. The cake was insanely good – not too sweet. Overall, the cake was beyond perfection!

One challenge you’ll face? You’ll have second thoughts if you’ll share or not!

I used fewer dates and more cashews. Jane, the author of A Little Bit of Spice, provided step-by-step pictures that make the recipe very easy to follow.

I am sharing this superb cake at Fiesta Friday #196. I am co-hosting this week’s party with Antonia. And of course, our lovely Angie will be here, too. I hope you join this amazing party and don’t forget to include the Fiesta Friday link in your post. Please visit and talk to each other. Happy Fiesta Friday!

Carrot and Dates Cake

Ingredients

For the caramel:

  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup hot water

For the cake:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup dates, pitted & chopped
  • ¾ cup cashews (or walnuts), toasted and chopped
  • ¾ cup canola oil (or any light-tasting oil)
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Instructions:

For the caramel:

  1. In a dry thick bottomed pan, add in sugar and melt sugar over medium heat, swirling the pan if necessary to melt the sugar evenly.
  2. When the sugar is dark amber in color, add in hot water. Be careful as it will bubble up.
  3. Remove from the pan from the heat once the caramel is ready and set aside to cool down.

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease or line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, add in your chopped dates plus toasted and chopped cashews. Add about a tbsp or two of the flour mixture and coat them. This will prevent the dates and nuts from sticking to the bottom. Set aside.
  4. Also, in another bowl, mix very well eggs, sugar, oil, cooled caramel and vanilla.
  5. Add in grated carrots and mix well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, making sure not to overmix.
  7. Then add the flour-coated dates and nuts. Mix until just combined.
  8. Pour this batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Let cool completely before removing from the pan.
  10. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Source recipe: Carrot and Dates Cake by A Little Bit of Spice

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{Whole30} Tahini-Marinated Chicken with Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Chicken thighs served with garlicky tahini sauce along with refreshing cucumber and tomato salad. This can be paired with rice, couscous or riced cauliflower, or even with pita bread.

When I crave for something to eat, it is brownies most of the time. Surprisingly, I badly craved for anything with garlic and tahini. If you know me well, you already know how much I love dishes with tahini.

I was thinking of making this Garlicky Tahini Chicken from our beloved Selma, but this one is so good with bread and I can’t consume bread when Whole30 is on. I asked for my BFF’s help. Google, of course!😆 And I settled on this recipe. Chicken thighs, cucumber and tomato salad, plus a tahini sauce that sounds close to shawarma (I just guessed that).

It turned out I was right. The taste of the tahini sauce is very close to shawarma. It is too good! The source recipe asked to grill the chicken, but I am too lazy to do that. I used the oven, instead, and I kept the chicken skin. The chicken and the sauce are so perfect together! I was almost tempted to finish the whole thing! The cucumber and tomato salad is simply delicious! The mint gives a refreshing flavor to the dish. I was right to serve this with cauliflower rice. Everything is perfect! Apart from cauliflower rice, this can be paired with rice and couscous. The chicken can be chopped up, too, and make as a filling for pita bread along with the salad and the sauce. And oh, I won’t judge you if you get greedy on the sauce.😉

I am also taking this at Fiesta Friday #196, where me and Antonia are co-hosting. Thanks for the party, Angie!

Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber and Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless chicken thighs (skinless, if preferred)

For the chicken marinade:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp grated onion
  • Salt, to taste

For the tomato and cucumber salad:

  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1 cup firm and ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt, to taste

To serve, you can have rice, cauliflower rice or couscous

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry chicken thighs. You can remove or keep the skin. I like mine with skin. Place in a bowl or ziplock bag. Set aside.
  2. Combine all the chicken marinade. (Do a taste test and adjust accordingly.) Pour 3/4 of the mixture into the bowl/ziplock bag with chicken. Mix to coat the chicken thoroughly. Keep in the fridge overnight to marinate and develop more flavor. Reserve the remaining tahini mixture and keep in the fridge.
  3. When ready to cook, remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and discard the marinade. Sprinkle chicken with salt. Roast at 400F for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. (You can also grill the chicken thighs 4-5 minutes on each side.)
  4. When chicken thighs are cooked, let them rest while you are making the salad.

For the tomato and cucumber salad:

  1. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and give it a good mix.

Serve your chicken thighs with your choice of rice. Place desired amount of salad and drizzle the chicken thighs with the remaining tahini mixture. The chicken can be chopped up, too, and make as a filling for pita bread along with the salad and the sauce.

Source recipe: Tahini-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Cucumber and Tomato Salad

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Hot Chocolate Cookies

Cookies flavored with instant hot chocolate with marshmallows and espresso chocolate chunks. Thin and chewy. Perfect with milk, hot chocolate or coffee. 

It is that time of the year again – a time to clean up the pantry. Not literally clean like general cleaning, but getting rid of the stuff that are close to their expiry date.

Hot chocolate mix.

Yeah, I know. How come I let hot chocolate mix stayed in the pantry for too long? I don’t know. Maybe I completely forgot about them knowing that I couldn’t indulge them during Whole30?

And I did general cleaning, literally this time. And found packets of instant hot chocolate mix. I ran to Google for help.

After bumping into many recipes, this one caught my attention. I just changed some of the ingredients to use what I had on hand.

So imagine this – cookies flavored with hot chocolate with gooey marshmallow and espresso chocolate chunks. I used espresso chocolate coz that’s what I had. I must say that the cookies turned out pretty amazing – they are slightly thin and chewy. Even a friend who doesn’t love cookies *insert rolling eyes*, loved these.

I am bringing these at Fiesta Friday #195. Thanks to Angie and our co-hosts, Monika and Sandhya.

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 packets of instant hot chocolate mix (I used Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Mocha, 31g each)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks (you can also use chocolate chips, I used espresso chocolate)
  • 3/4 cup regular size marshmallows

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix flour, hot chocolate mixm salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, softened butter, white and light brown sugar. Beat until pale in color. Add in egg and vanilla, and beat again until just combined.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Add in chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips).
  5. Cover bowl with cling film and keep in the fridge for an hour to firm up.
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop, take out cookie dough mixture and flatten, enough to enclose 2-3 regular size marshmallows. Make sure that no marshmallows peeking so they wont stick to the parchment paper when baking. Repeat until you finish all the dough. Place dough with marshmallows inside in a baking pan with parchment paper. Keep in the fridge for another hour or up to overnight. (I kept my unbaked cookie dough balls in the fridge overnight to develop more flavor)
  7. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper.
  8. Place cookie dough balls in the prepared baking sheet with the balls 2 inches apart from each other.
  9. Bake for 10-14 minutes. Let stay in the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. (I tried baking for 10 minutes and I got soft cookies and 14 minutes gave me super chewy cookies which I really loved. Every oven is different so watch your cookies. They will continue to cook as they cool down.)

Note: Using a small ice cream scoop, I made 24 cookies.

Source recipe: Hot Chocolate Cookies by The Girl Who Ate Everything

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{Whole30} Baba Ganoush with Roasted Garlic

This version of middle-eastern eggplant dip is made with roasted garlic which gives a hint of sweetness to the dip. Perfect with cucumbers and carrots. You know what? This is also perfect with roasted veggies to enjoy as a ‘salad’. 

Do you remember me posting about the crazy food budget I was trying to do? Well, it was nearly successful until I ran out of tahini.

There are many stuff I need to have in my pantry, but I think, since I had my relationship with tahini, it is the most essential one. I did try my best to fit a certain food budget each in a week. First three weeks were completely fine. I’ve managed the headaches I had while thinking deeply what meals could I have within that certain amount. I had to divide meals into more than two meals. I was close to celebrating that finally, for the first time since I was born, I’ve learned how to manage a certain amount of money in a month. I was wrong.

It gone wrong when I started to look for a dip. I wanted hummus, but chickpeas are out of the Whole30 circle. I’ve thought of baba ganoush, which I also really love. It was saved in my system (that I would make it on the coming weekend), but later I found out that I ran out of tahini. I had to choose – whether to reboot my system (which I am 99.9% sure not possible) or to stop this insane food budget and get that bottle of tahini to make my tummy happy. As you can see, I choose that latter. I’ve told myself that I think I did well for the first three weeks and it’s time to celebrate. Three weeks sticking to the food budget? That was insane and I am glad I survived three weeks! Phew!

Baba ganoush is a Middle-eastern eggplant dip. This does not require a lot of effort, but it requires patience while waiting for the eggplants to be cooked and for them to cool down before peeling. After that, everything will be the food processor’s job. I’ve read different versions on how to make this and all of them used freshly minced/grated garlic. I’ve made the same at first, but I didn’t like the aftertaste of the garlic. Even after I brushed my teeth, my burp tasted garlic! Yuck! So the second time, I roasted a whole bulb of garlic while my eggplants are cooking and mixed the garlic with the rest of the ingredients and it was A-MA-ZING!

The roasted garlic gave a hint of sweetness to the dip and it was superb!! Baba ganoush and hummus are now having a battle – which one is better. I might try roasting the garlic the next time I make hummus and let’s see which one wins.

Baba ganoush stayed delicious for two days in my fridge. I enjoyed it with cucumber and carrots. I also tried adding cajun roasted sweet potatoes on top of the dip and I loved it, especially when you add harissa-tahini sauce. I could eat this everyday!

Have you tried making baba ganoush with roasted garlic? If not, why not try it? You will love it, I am sure.

I am sharing this at Fiesta Friday #195. Thanks to Angie and our co-hosts, Monika and Sandhya.

Whole30 Baba Ganoush with Roasted Garlic

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants, 600g in total
  • 6 tbsp tahini
  • 4-6 tbsp lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Roasted garlic, 2 whole bulbs (for roasting garlic, you will need: 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper, and aluminum foil)
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • Parsley, to garnish
  • olive oil, to drizzle the baba ganoush
  • Salt, to taste
  • Chili powder, to serve (I used kashmiri chili powder)

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry the eggplants. Pierce them using a fork and apply a thin amount of olive oil in each.
  2. Turn on the stove top to low-medium and place the eggplants above and cook until soft, making sure to turn them to make sure that they are evenly cooked.
  3. While eggplants are cooking, preheat the oven to 400F. Cut off the head of the garlic bulb, making sure that cloves are exposed. Place in aluminum foil. Pour olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Close the aluminum foil and place in larger baking pan. Roast for 25-35 minutes or until garlic is soft when pressed. (Your house will smell amazing!) When done, remove from the foil and let cool, Squeeze out the garlic from their skins and set aside until ready to use.
  4. When eggplants are done, transfer to a bowl and cover with a plate for 5 minutes. (This is to further steam the eggplants) Remove the lid and let cool down. (I used a portable mini fan to cool them down coz I was very impatient.)
  5. Peel off the eggplants and place the flesh into the food processor.
  6. Add in chopped parsley, tahini, cumin, roasted garlic, olive oil and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
  7. Add in lemon and salt according to liking.
  8. Transfer to a serving plate.
  9. Garnish with parsley, paprika or chili powder.

Note: This can be eaten right away or can be kept in the fridge.

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