S’mores Cheesecake Cupcakes

Yay! It’s S’mores season and these cheesecakes are just in time – graham cracker crust, creamy and dreamy cheesecake filling, chocolate ganache and toasted marshmallows. These cheesecakes are in individual servings and they are super fantastic!

S'mores Cheesecake Cupcakes 2

I’ve been busy being Super Jhuls for the last few weekends.

I’ve been busy saving friends (a.k.a. ingredients) who liked to end their lives.

S'mores Cheesecake Cupcakes 5

You know that I have a habit of buying stuff in bulk, especially when they are on saleeee! I know you feel me. I’ve had plans for them, but suddenly I decided to do this Whole30 thing. Bye, chocolate chips, cookie butter, marshmallows and to all sweet stuff. But one day, a bag of marshmallow just fell off from who knows where. It’s like it is telling me to hurry and save them and its friends. So I got very busy thinking what to do. I just have few weeks left, I thought.

S'mores Cheesecake Cupcakes

So I did what I have to do and saved whatever I could.

First things to save: graham crackers and marshmallows. So what do I think of when I hear both? S’mores! S’mores! S’mores! So here goes S’mores Cheesecake Cupcakes…

S'mores Cheesecake Cupcakes 3

These mini cheesecakes have a graham cracker crust, cheesecake filling (of course), chocolate ganache and toasted marshmallows on the top. They are super creamy and rich, but you will not eat them everyday. I am telling you – they are super delicious!

I am sharing these with my friends at Fiesta Friday at this week’s amazing Fiesta Friday # 174.

S'mores Cheesecake Cupcakes

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the graham cracker crust:

  • 1 cup Graham cracker crumbs or 12 sheets of Graham crackers, finely grounded
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate ganache & topping:

  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 70 regular size marshmallows or 10 large marshmallows

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Fill 10 muffin pan holes with cupcake liners.
  2. In a small bowl, add graham crackers, sugar and melted butter. Mix well to incorporate. Take about 2 tbsp of the crust mixture and divide into the bottom of 10 cupcake liners. Press down. Set aside.
  3. In another bowl, add cream cheese and beat until fluffy. Add in sour cream and beat again. Add egg, sugar and vanilla extract; beat again just until combined.
  4. Taking about 2 ½ tbsp each, divide the cheesecake filling between the prepared crusts.
  5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cheesecake filling is set.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cheesecakes cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack to cool further.
  7. Place inside the fridge for about 3 hours or overnight. (I did mine overnight)

When ready to serve or just about an hour to serve,

  1. In a heatproof bowl, place semisweet chocolate chips and heavy cream.
  2. Melt in a microwave on low-medium heat while checking and mixing at 15 seconds interval. This can also be done over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the hot water.
  3. Let the ganache set a little before topping the cheesecakes.
  4. Place regular size marshmallows above the topping (or large marshmallows). Toast the marshmallows using a kitchen torch, making sure not to burn them.

Source recipe: Mini S’mores Cheesecakes by Crazy for Crust

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Tuna Salad with Harissa-Tahini Sauce

Simple tuna salad with harissa tahini sauce as the dressing – very easy to prepare and such a filling meal

My colleague and I had a short talk:

Colleague: Juju, what did you have for breakfast?

Me: I had canned tuna and boiled egg. 

Colleague: What? Canned tuna? Isn’t very heavy on your tummy?

Me: It was just one can of tuna. It’s not heavy on my tummy *while holding my tummy feeling very full*

Colleague: I admire you – you can eat one can of tuna early. 

Me: I can eat anything anytime of the day. 

After that talk, I thought that maybe it was heavy… or was it just a filling meal? Or is the feeling the same?

Ramadan has already started and with the low energy I am having during this month, I need to prepare meals that are quick and easy, but very filling like this tuna salad.

This tuna salad has few ingredients that you may already have on hand. I was feeling a little creative, so I thought of having harissa tahini sauce as the ‘dressing’. I am very much happy that it turned out really nice. This salad has the mixture of tuna in water, onion, tomato, jalapeño, salt, pepper then harissa tahini sauce. They can be enjoyed like that or your can add lettuce or any other veggies you’d love. You can also add pickled jalapeños or other pickled veggies. Pickle relish works well, too.

I am bringing this delicious salad at the amazing Fiesta Friday party, hosted by Angie. Our co-hosts for this week are Lindy and Paula.

Tuna Salad with Harissa-Tahini Sauce

tuna-salad-with-harissa-tahini-dressing-1

Ingredients:

  • 2 canned tuna in water, drained
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp jalapenos, seeds removed and chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • chopped pickled veggies (optional)
  • Harissa-tahini sauce (recipe below, optional)
  • Lettuce, to serve (or you can pick any salad veggies you like

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, mix drained tuna, chopped onions, tomatoes and jalapenos. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
  2. Serve with harissa-tahini sauce and leaves/veggies of your choice.
For the harissa-tahini sauce:
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3-4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Warm water
  • 1 tsp harrisa paste
  • Salt, to taste
  1.  In a bowl, place tahini sauce. Start off by adding 3 tbsp lemon juice. Add water until desired consistency. Add in harissa paste (you can reduce the quantity or add more). Add salt. Do a taste test and adjust according to your preference. I love mine lemony, a little salty and not too thick and runny… and with a bit of kick from the harissa.

Thank you so much and I hope you enjoy! 

Happy Fiesta Friday and Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the holy month. 

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Quick Teriyaki Ground Beef

Ground beef with homemade teriyaki sauce – perfect pair for that white rice on your lunch box. 

I am at work today and I feel REALLY sleepy.

It’s not that I haven’t had enough sleep. I slept for 7 hours last night.  I am getting about 6-7 hours of sleep every night. Or is it not enough?

I guess it is just very difficult to convince yourself to get up during work days. Well, except for pay day! 😀 Can you feel me?

During these times, the only thing that could make my time move is write down my  activities for the coming weekend. I always end up writing too many that makes me regret after getting too exhausted. Same story the last time, eh? Yeah! Welcome to my life!

When I end up writing too many clothes to iron (don’t ask, I love ironing clothes), I choose quick and easy recipes. But when you make your own sauce, is it considered quick and easy?? I am feeling confused now. Anyway, the reasons of making my own teriyaki sauce: (1) for me, the store-bought ones are too salty; (2) I want a sauce which I can control the thickness or thinness; and (3) I want to use the remaining sauce for something else. I ended up following Deborah’s Homemade Teriyaki Sauce and it was amazing – I could drink the sauce itself. 😀 Good thing about this  sauce is you can make it ahead of time, keep inside the fridge even for two weeks. When want to make something teriyaki, just get out that amazing sauce and you’re ready. That’s when the quick one comes in. And that’s when this quick teriyaki ground beef enters the story.

I was looking for something easy and quick for the lunch box and ground beef recipes came to mind. I love sweet stuff… that’s the teriyaki sauce. Combine them together with onion, garlic and ginger – fabulous, fabulous recipe! Just add salt and pepper before taking out from the flame and you have something delicious to top your white rice!

…and that was two days ago! Good thing that today is Friday and you know that Friday is not a boring day and no reason to be sleepy at all since I am partying with all you and I have a fun job to do – that is co-hosting this week’s Fiesta Friday # 172 with an amazing friend Su @ Su’s Healthy Living. Well, if you still haven’t met her, it is best to head on to her blog to see her lovely recipes.

Please do join us by clicking the image below and do not forget to mention in your post that you are linking up to Fiesta Friday party so you can be selected for the feature. And please, please be nice and polite by saying “hi” to our host, Angie, to your co-hosts and to some (if not all) party goers. Besides, this is a party. So bring out that chatter in you. 😉

Teriyaki Ground Beef

This recipe is good for 2-3 servings. Double the recipe if desired.

Ingredients:

  • 250g ground beef
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (recipe below)*
  • Spring onions, sliced, to garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a skillet, saute garlic, onions and ginger in oil.
  2. Add ground beef while breaking into smaller pieces. Cook for 7 minutes.
  3. Add in teriyaki sauce and cook for another 3 minutes. Adjust seasoning if required.
  4. Serve with hot white rice and garnish with spring onions.

Note:

You can use store-bought teriyaki sauce and adjust the seasoning at the near end of cooking. 

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce:

(adapted from Deborah @ Taste and Tell Blog)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • ¼ + 1 tbsp cup soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp honey
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
  • ½ tsp ground ginger

For the cornstarch slurry:

  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water, room temperature

Instructions

  1. In saucepan with medium heat, combine everything except for the ingredients for cornstarch slurry. Cook just until heated.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and ¼ cup water. Stir until dissolved. Add this mixture to the saucepan.
  3. Cook until you reach your desired thickness.
  4. Adjust seasoning if needed.

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{Whole30} Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

A one-pan dish that’s absolutely going to be a hit. This can be eaten as is, as a salad or with tortillas. The choice is endless. 

Sheet Pan Fajita 3

I love reading anything about zodiac signs, especially my zodiac sign, Libra. As a Libran, I always try my best to stay in between. I always try my best to be fair and balanced. I am not sure if I am successful at other things, but when it comes to take a rest or be an energizer bunny, I will disagree. I am a person who likes to do everything at once and take a break when I have checked off everything on the list. When I get too exhausted, I always promise myself that I would take a break and relax on the next weekend. The next day, I do my list. Again, I complain that I am too tired and make promises to myself. And you know what’s next… The cycle always like that…

When my life gets a little complicated like that, which is most of the time, I always go for easy recipes like this one:

Sheet Pan Fajita 4

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas is one easiest recipe I have enjoyed during the first month of Whole30. You just throw everything in a bowl, transfer to the sheet pan and roast. You can even combine everything in a sheet pan to remove that bowl from your sink. I have cooked this few times and I have enjoyed this alone and as a salad. The dressing? Do I have to answer that? Can you guess? 😀

Sheet Pan Fajita 1

Yes, tahini-harissa sauce! Oh, my! I don’t think I’ll get fed up of that sauce! The chicken fajitas is super delicious as is, but with that sauce, I am in heaven!

I hope you’d try this and will enjoy as much as I did.

I am sharing this delicious and healthy meal with my friends at Fiesta Friday #171. No co-hosts for this week so please let us leave comments on everyone’s posts. 😉 And come back to vote. Happy Fiesta Friday!!

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken breast, sliced into ½ inch thickness
  • 1 of each yellow, red and green bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp EV olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly grounded black pepper
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika*
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • Lime, to drizzle and garnish
  • Fresh coriander, to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Prepare a baking sheet greased with olive oil spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except lime and coriander. Give it a good mix.
  3. Place in the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Roast for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. (Optional: After roasting, broil for about 2 minutes to get those chicken and veggies a perfect char-color)
  5. Squeeze lime juice and garnish with coriander just before digging in.

Note:

I served this with salad, but this can be enjoyed with warm tortillas and all the fix-ins you love. I was following the Whole30 rules, so no to tortillas.

Source recipe: Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas by No. 2 Pencil

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Homemade Mayonnaise

Homemade mayonnaise is not as complicated as you thought. It is really easy to make, super smooth and delicious. It’s healthier than the store-bought ones. 

There’s nothing more delicious than a homemade mayonnaise.

I’ve been telling myself to make mayonnaise at home. I’ve read reviews about failures and being upset about it. Oh, wait… I’ve tried making garlic mayonnaise myself long, long ago and it was a bad idea. After that, I’ve deleted the idea of homemade mayonnaise from my system.

Following Whole30 rules changed everything. I had two choices – read labels of all jars of mayonnaise from the store to see if there is something Whole30 compliant or make my own. I chose the second one. According to the tips I’ve read when you want to make your own mayonnaise, you have to bear in mind these two – use good quality extra light olive oil and you have to pour the olive oil thru the food processor’s mouth VERY slowly (that’s when you are using food processor). I don’t have a problem with the first one. The second one? I thought it was very boring. I needed something to do while pouring the oil, but I thought I need to focus. Okay, I took the boring job.

It was indeed a boring job, but the result was fantastic. The mayonnaise came out really smooth and delicious. I never missed the usual mayonnaise I am getting from the store. Apart from it’s delicious, it’s also healthier than store-bought ones.

I hope my Fiesta Friday Friends would love this one as I am taking this to this week’s Fiesta Friday #170, a party created by our lovely Angie. Our co-hosts this week are Monika and Sue.

Homemade Mayonnaise

Whole30 Mayonnaise

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup extra light olive oil, divided (I used this brand)
  • 1 egg, room temperature and good one
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In your food processor, combine egg, ¼ cup extra light olive oil, mustard powder and salt. Mix well.
  2. Turn on the food processor on the lowest speed. While it is running, very slowly drizzle 1 cup of extra light olive oil. This may take some time, but it works.
  3. After adding all remaining oil and the mixture has emulsified, remove the blade from the food processor. Add lemon juice one at a time and gently mix with a spoon. (Please note that while adding lemon juice, the mixture becomes thinner.)

Source recipe: Whole 30 Mayo

Enjoy your weekend, people! Happy Fiesta Friday!💃🏻

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Chocolate Tablea Cake

Moist and soft chocolate cake made with tablea powder, filled with sweet custard filling and topped with slightly bitter chocolate frosting

Chocolate Tablea Cake 3

There are two reasons why I don’t make cakes often.

First, because it is time consuming for me as I have only one round baking pan. The scene is I always wait for the first layer to be done and cooled a little before I can place the next layer inside the oven. I know I can buy another round pan, but I don’t want to (read: exploding kitchen cupboards).

Second, I am bad at decorating cakes. If I do insist on decorating a cake, I always end up either laughing or disappointed at how my cake looks like.

The first chocolate cake I have made was filled with chocolate and I placed large marshmallows on the center edges that they looked like teeth. You know what I mean? The next ones were amazing because I just topped them with the lonely chocolate frosting. The recent one, though, I am not sure to feel disappointed or not.

My blog turned 4 on April 23 and I felt that I needed to make up for last year’s forgotten blogiversary. I’ve thought of making a chocolate cake topped with chocolate decorations and candles. You can say that it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to be.

Chocolate Tablea Cake 1

I made a mistake in the batter itself – the batter was full of lumps. It looked like cookies and cream. Let me blame the evaporated milk: it did not tell me that I need to warm it. The cake turned our perfect, though. I was relived. I slept and decided to give myself a break and make the filling and frosting the next day. The texture of the filling was okay, but I placed the full frosting on top of the bottom layer which caused the first layer to slide a bit when sliced. And that’s me overdoing things… again! Let me give you a good reason: I don’t want to have filling leftover. Accepted? The chocolate frosting did not bring a lot of trouble. I just ran out of evaporated milk and so lazy to buy another can, so I just wished everything will be fine. Hmm, the chocolate decoration almost took my sanity away! I am sure I made a terrible mistake that they melted when I was holding them to place on top of the cake. What did I do wrong? No clue!

I was hesitant to share this, but the taste was really nice. The cake is soft. The custard filling is sweet, but the chocolate frosting balances everything. So I must say that the taste is perfect! It is just so upsetting that the photos can’t do justice to how I loved the cake! I used tablea powder for the cake and forsting, but cocoa powder could be used, too. Tableas are made from 100% pure cacao beans which are in thick disk/tablet-like form.

Chocolate Tablea Cake 2

I hope you will still enjoy this cake and spend the belated celebration with me. Also, let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been with me since the beginning and whom I’ve met along the way. I’ve made really good friends. So my blog will be one of the things I could be proud of! Now, forget the outer appearance of this cake and just enjoy a slice or two.

I am taking this over Fiesta Friday #170, a party created by our lovely Angie. Our co-hosts this week are Monika and Sue.

Chocolate Tablea Cake

  • Difficulty: easy, needs patience
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Chocolate Tablea Cake 3

For the cake:

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ tablea powder*
  • 1 cup evaporated milk*
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g butter, unsalted and softened at room temperature
  • 2 ½ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

Instructions:

If you are using tablea disks, place about 8-10 disks in a coffee grinder and grind until fine. You can also use cocoa powder.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 8 inches round baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom and spray with nonstick spray.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and powdered tablea in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a heatproof jug, add evaporated milk. Microwave for 30 seconds or just until warmed up. Mix in water and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, add butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Alternately add dry and liquid ingredients starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until no lumps, but don’t overmix.
  5. Divide into prepared pans bake for 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Remove from the oven and let stay in the pan for 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before filling and frosting.

For the custard filling:

Ingredients:

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp flour

Instructions:

  1. In a thick saucepan, add all ingredients. Cook in a low fire while constantly stirring. This may take a while – please be patient.
  2. Cook until desired spreading consistency is achieved.
  3. Set aside to cool. (Please note that the filling thickens as it cools.)

For the chocolate frosting:

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup tablea powder or cocoa powder or mixed
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 tbsp butter, unsalted

Instructions:

  1. In another saucepan, mix all ingredients (except butter) until no lumps.
  2. Cook in a low fire while constantly stirring until desired consistency is achieved.
  3. Just before removing the pan from the fire, add in 1 tbsp of butter.
  4. Cool before frosting the cake.

To assemble the cake:

  1. Take the bottom layer of your cake to your work surface/turning table.
  2. Add custard filling on top of the bottom layer and evenly spread.
  3. Top the custard filling with the second and last layer of the cake.
  4. Cover the cake with the chocolate frosting. The cake can be fully covered or make it as a naked cake, depending on how you like it.

Notes:

Please make sure to warm your evaporated milk. I had mine straight from the store to the bowl. My batter was full of lumps. 

You can make your cake the night before frosting and filling. Do not stack them or they will be difficult to separate. Place them on a separate plate and cover with plastic wrap. Just make sure to cool them completely before covering. Keep them at room temperature. 

Source recipe: Chocolate Tablea Cake

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