Tsokolate (Filipino Hot Chocolate)

Rich hot chocolate made with Tablea de Cacao

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Hot chocolate is one of my favorite drinks. But like milk, I could not drink it early in the morning if I am planning to go out or if it is a weekday. The thing is – any drink with rich milk content, cream or chocolate makes me a little dizzy and makes me feel that I want to sleep, but in fact, it can’t really make me fall asleep. My body is confusing me sometimes.

One of the best hot chocolate I have ever tried is the one made from Tablea de Cacao or simply Tableas when referred to many. Tableas are made from 100% pure cacao beans which are in thick disk/tablet-like form. Though it is called Tablea de Cacao, some are in the shape of balls. (Tablea means “tablet” in Spanish.) 

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The province of Batangas in the Philippines is the biggest producer of these rich chocolate tablets due to its tropic weather. What makes hot chocolate better when using Tablea de Cacao rather than the processed, powdered chocolate mixes is it will give you super rich chocolate flavor because it retains its butter/fat content even after grinding the cacao beans.

Traditionally, this hot chocolate drink uses something like a whisk called ‘Batirol‘ which is repeatedly rubbed back and forth using your both palms/hands to get a frothy top. But these days, if you want frothy drink, you can use a frother or anything froth-making tool. For me, it doesn’t matter.

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Now, back to the hot chocolate.

You can use all milk or half water/half milk. You can also control the number of chocolate to add to your liquid, depending on how rich you want your drink to be. I added little sugar at the end and I have tasted the most amazing hot chocolate in my world. 😀
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Tsokolate (Filipino Hot Chocolate)

  • Servings: 1 cup
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1-2 Tablea de Cacao
  • Sugar, to taste

Instructions: 

  1. In a small saucepan, place milk and water.
  2. When hot, add chocolate tablet and keep stirring until melted.
  3. Add sugar to taste.

Note: Alternatively, you can grate/chop your chocolate. Heat your liquid in the microwave and add grated/chopped chocolate and stir until melted.

Tablea de Cacao can be bought from Asian section at your grocery store (I just hope its available) or at Philippine Duty Free. 😛

I hope you all find this drink interesting and delicious. 🙂

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Thought of the Day

“Do good to people and good karma will come back to you. It may not be from the same people you’ve helped, but it will definitely find you.” 

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I wish you all a blessed weekend and don’t forget to make someone smile today, it’s a priceless feeling. ❤

Happy Fiesta Friday!

Sharing this at Fiesta Friday #109, hosted by the lovely Angie and Angie’s Angles for today are Josette and Lily. Come, link up & join the fun!  

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Strawberry Watermelon Infused Water

A nice, refreshing infused water. Perfect if you have extra watermelon and strawberries.

My sweet tooth doesn’t always want to eat something sweet. It does look for something nice, too. 🙂

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Well, I have to admit that I crave some naughty foods more than the nice ones. But when it comes to drinks, I prefer water than the sugary juices that can be bought from the store. Apart from plain water, there are times that I want my water to be pretty and healthy. Yep! You’ve read that correctly ‘Healthy’. 😀

Though, I don’t know if I could call this a recipe as this is super duper easy. Just dunk in those fruits and you’ll have an amazing infused water. Maybe we could call this an idea? Suggestion? Hmm, that could be. 😉

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So… what you have to do is prepare a dozen of strawberries (washed and cut into half), one cup cubed watermelon and 1/4 cup of washed mint leaves. Dunk them all in a container/pitcher with 6 cups of cold water. Let it sit inside the fridge for an hour or so and it’s ready.

I hope you all love this post and this drink. Happy partying and have a fun weekend!

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I am sharing this at Fiesta Friday #89, hosted by Angie. Thank you, Angie. Also, thanks to Mila and Kaila for co-hosting.


I am also sharing this at

Turn it Up Tuesday Link Party | Showcase Your Talent ThursdayKitchen Fun and Crafty Friday | Foodie FriDIY | Foodie Friends FridayRecipe of the Week | Happiness is HomemadeWhat’d You Do This Weekend?Totally Terrific Tuesday

Brown Sugar and Mint Limeade

A perfect drink not only during summer months, but also if you need something refreshing. 

I grew up only familiar with two seasons – hot and cold/rainy days. Is it still Summer? Or is it Fall? Nonetheless, this drink is super awesome anytime of the year.

Brown Sugar and Mint Limeade by The Not So Creative Cook 1

I love iced tea a lot. I don’t make my own. I always get powdered one. I can finish one liter in one sitting. Maybe even more than that.

When I made this drink, I didn’t expect the look to be like this. I expect it something more than the source recipe’s look. But sometimes, beautiful results comes out unexpectedly. This drink is somewhat near to iced tea with a hint of lime – not too sweet, the balance is just right and perfect.

Brown Sugar and Mint Limeade by The Not So Creative Cook 2

Brown Sugar and Mint Limeade

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 5 medium sized lime, juiced
  • 20 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 Lime, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Add the water in a pitcher. Add the brown sugar, and the juice from 5 limes and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add mint leaves and chill for 2 hours.  (Optional: blend them together for beautiful mint specks) or you can let it sit in the fridge overnight for strong mint flavor. Be sure to remove it before serving as the leaves turn brown in color.
  3. Optional: before serving, rub a wedge of line around the rim of your serving glasses. Place brown sugar in a small plate and turn the serving glasses upside down and dip it in the sugar until rim is completely coated.
  4. Add ice to the pitcher or serving glasses upon serving and garnish with mint leaves and sliced limes or wedges.

Source recipe: Brown Sugar and Mint Limeade by Coupon Clicking Cook

This is what you call a ‘beatiful disaster’ – I was a little upset (okay, not little) I was super upset when I saw that the color is too dark. Maybe I should have used light brown sugar, I thought.  But it’s awesome how this turned to my new favorite drink. 😀

I hope you try this and let me know what you think. 😉

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This is a scheduled post. Thank you for linking up this post to this week’s FF, Elaine. xx 
I am sharing this at Fiesta Friday #85, hosted by the Amazing Angie. Thank you, Angie, and thank you co-hosts.


I am also sharing this at

Sunday Sweets | Showcase Your Talent Thursday | Foodie FriDIY | Friday Favorites | Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday | Foodie Friends Friday Daily Dish | Happiness is Homemade | Melt in Your Mouth Monday | Munching Mondays | Totally Terrific Tuesday | Weekend Bites | Recipe of the Week | What’d You Do This Weekend?Turn it Up Tuesday Link Party |

Watermelon Lemonade

A refreshing, yet very easy to make drink – perfect for summer. 

Watermelon Lemonade - The Not So Creative Cook 2
Don’t you just love the bubbles? This is after the lemonade has gone through the blender.

Weather these days are becoming hotter and hotter… And there are things you want to keep you sane including having a refreshing drink. In my case, I always go for very cold water. With lots of ice? Oh, yes! I am not fond of making my own drink – I always get store-bought ones if I want some. Finally, I realized that making your drinks at home is super easy.

I love Watermelons, but only if they are in drink form. I also love lemonade, but I love them with something else. I had Watermelon and few lemons sitting in the fridge. I am not an expert in making drinks, so I had to look up recipes. Some requires more fruits than what I have on hand. Lucky me, I have found a great recipe.

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Watermelon Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 4 cups of watermelon, cubed and seeds removed
  • About 20 fresh mint leaves (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Make simple sugar syrup: Heat ¾ cup water with ¾ cup sugar. Cook until sugar is dissolved (about 3-5 minutes). Let cool to room temperature. Add two cups of cold water. Set aside. (Alternatively, you can boil water using a water heater and add it to the sugar and stir until dissolved. Cool to room temperature before adding cold water.)
  2. Puree the watermelon until well blended. Strain the liquid using a strainer. Mix the strained liquid with the sugar syrup + cold water mixture. (If using mint leaves, you can put the mixture back to the blender and pulse until you get specks of mint leaves.)
  3. Serve with ice cubes.

 

Source recipe: Watermelon Lemonade by The Big Giant Food Basket

Note: Honey can be used a sweetener.

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This lemonade is super awesome – it’s a bit lemon-y, but that’s lemonade, yeah? Of course, you can adjust the measurements according to your taste. I added some mint leaves to the source recipe. I just love mint and I love the specks of mint in the lemonade…

Watermelon Lemonade - The Not So Creative Cook

And I know all of you would agree with me – having this drink when you are at the beach is perfect, yes? Just sharing a photo from my recent Eid Holiday.

A little blurry, though.
A little blurry, though.
One of most beautiful things.
One of most beautiful things.

I hope you enjoy your weekend. Happy partying! Thank you for spending time with me today.

PS: Anyone of you having problem with WordPress recipe shortcode??

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I am sharing this at Fiesta Friday #78, hosted by the Amazing Angie, co-hosted by Aunt Juju and Petra.


I am also sharing this refreshing drink at:

Saucy Saturdays | Recipe of the Week | Happiness is Homemade | Melt in Your Mouth MondayWhat’d You Do This Weekend? | Tasty Tuesdays | Totally Terrific Tuesday | Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday | Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party | Foodie FriDIY | Showcase Your Talent Thursday | Cook Blog Share

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Looking for some summer drink?

Cloudy Watermelon and Mint Cooler

thenotsocreativecook-WatermelonAndMint

Minty Peach Lemonade

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Instant Hot Chocolate Mix

I will tell you something about me and hot chocolate.

I met different forms of chocolate drinks when I was a child – instant chocolate mix, ready-to-drink chocolate drink… you name it. I loved all of them… but when I was growing up, I realized that there’s something much better – hot chocolate made from real chocolate with milk, marshmallows and cream.

I proposed my undying love to hot chocolate. There are times it doesn’t hurt me, but most of the time, it hurts me.

You ask why? …because like cream cheese, I feel a little dizzy after drinking a cup of hot chocolate. Well, I think it’s not the chocolate mix itself but the milk (milk, hot or cold, makes me dizzy). Nonetheless, I still drink hot chocolate. Who could resist a good cup of hot chocolate? 😀

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Hot chocolate is one of the things I’ve always loved. Who doesn’t love a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows (with cream)? Who? Who?

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I was thinking of making a hot chocolate drink for one (yeah, only for me) 😀 but I changed my mind in the last minute and decided to make instant hot chocolate mix instead.

I’ve seen so many instant hot chocolate mixes but nothing has captured my heart. I’ve seen so many recipes, but I think I am looking for something something. What I know is hot chocolate mixes are made up of cocoa powder, sugar and even powdered milk. I wanted something I could not figure out.

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And then one night, I was watching YouTube and saw Laura Vitale’s video of instant hot chocolate mix. I thought it was just another common hot chocolate mix. I didn’t want to watch or see anymore recipe, but because it’s Laura, I did watch the video.

And BAM! I saw what I was looking for – an addition of grated chocolate and espresso powder.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 oz 70% cacao chocolate (I used Lindt), grated
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp of cornstarch

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, place everything and give it a good mix.
  2. Transfer to an air-tight container.
  3. When ready to drink, heat 1 cup of milk (or 1/2 cup water + 1/2 milk) in a microwave or over a stove. Add 2 1/2 heaping tbsp of hot chocolate mix.
  4. Transfer your hot chocolate into a mug and top marshmallow if desired.

Recipe from Laura Vitale.

I found the addition of grated chocolate a brilliant idea. I really love this hot chocolate mix – it’s chocolately rich and not overly sweet.

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And what’s good way to enjoy hot chocolate than to add mini marshmallows and candy cane. 😀

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I saw a box of candy canes at the mall and I took it especially for this hot chocolate. 😀

Now, I’m coming to bring you this delicious, comforting hot chocolate drink. I hope you enjoy this. 😉

Sharing this at Fiesta Friday #46 hosted by the genius Angie, co-hosted by Aunt Juju and Margy.

Also sharing this at Foodie Fridays, Time to Sparkle, Sweet and Savoury Sundays, Tasty Tuesdays, Showcase Your Talent

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Minty Peach Lemonade

Before I begin with my hopefully not too wordy post, I want to thank my possible volunteers for the guest post. I appreciate you all and I know that it takes effort from your side, so THANK YOU! As for the order on publishing the guest post, it will be like ‘first in, first out’. So whoever sends me the email for the guest post first, you will be the first one to go live. I think that would be fair enough for the guests. 😉 Of course, I will tell you when it is when I’m done scheduling everything.

If you have missed the story on why I am asking for volunteers for the guest post, it is because I might be away from the computer. The requirements – no pork or alcohol (or anything related). And the deadline for submission is on August 23rd… so volunteers can still email me. Please take note that in case CONFIRMED volunteers will be more than 10, the others’ post will be published by October, which is my birth month, so you could still offer me your guest post as birthday gift. 😀 Am I selfish to ask everyone to do a guest post for me? 😛

IF YOU STILL WANT TO BE MY GUEST and you did not meet the deadline, that will be great as well. I will still publish your guest post. If you’re game to be my guest, drop me an email. 😉

And now, it’s time for FF#29…

Get your swimwear ready as we will be partying at the pool today…

Right, Selma?

Um, Selma?

Aren’t you here yet?

Okay…

I guess I’ll be alone co-hosting for the time being.

Oh, no!! YOU ARE ALREADY HERE, AND ANGIE, TOO!! That would be fun!!! 😀 😀 😀

Yes, I am co-hosting again with the super amazing and beautiful Selma. I really don’t think this woman needs an introduction at all. But, if it happens that you are new, come and give Selma a visit at Selma’s Table.

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(New to Fiesta? Click the image below for the guidelines.)

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As always, thank you, Angiefor creating this amazing party!!

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Please bear with me and calm me down when I am on hyper mode. But, I don’t think I will be – I did not even bring sweets with me. 😥 If I will be bouncy and hyper today due to the sugar overload, maybe I will be thrown into the pool… and that is not good. And because I will behave (ehem!) today, I’ll be just right here – giving everyone a glass of this… and hide some of the sweets

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When Selma emailed me about co-hosting FF#29 with her, I immediately gave her [email] a big green. 😀 Felt so excited, eh? And we agreed about the pool party, which of course, approved by our super creative, amazing, talented [and everything] host, Angie. I think Angie hit up the gym so she could look best at her swimwear. Ooopss! Am I even allowed to say that?

Back to my excitement, I realized that my recipe posts don’t always go along with the weather. So for today’s party, I have decided to go with the weather. I was so excited to make this – checked the recipe multiple times, making sure that I don’t miss anything.

Aside from the fruits, I have the other ingredients. I made a mental list for the fruits and bought them.

And it’s time to make the drink…

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MINTY PEACH LEMONADE Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed mint leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 peaches, washed, pits removed and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot with medium-high heat, combine 3/4 cup water and sugar. Bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add mint leaves and leave them with the syrup until it has cooled down.
  3. In a blender, place chunks of peaces and pulse until pureed.
  4. Place the pureed peaches in a strainer over a bowl and using the back of the spoon, push down the pureed peaches (about 1 cup). Discard solid parts.
  5. Remove now the mint leaves from the syrup and discard.
  6. In a pitcher, add in mint syrup, peach puree, lemon juice and 2 cups water.
  7. Refrigerate until chilled or can be served with ice.

Source recipe: Five Heart Home

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See? A perfect summer drink – refreshing! Now, grab a glass (or two) and let the party start!! 😀

Happy FF#29!

Enjoy the party and have an amazing weekend to everyone!! 

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Not too wordy post, huh? I don’t think it is. 😛

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Oats and Black Tea Fruit Smoothie

I am not talking about the movie. I am talking about a real Hunger Games.

I have to remind myself every single time that losing weight doesn’t mean starving yourself. But, there are times that I am so upset that I have not lost any pound in a week. Then again, I have to slap my face to be reminded that I have to change the term ‘losing weight’ to ‘eating healthy’

This month is supposed to be the last month of this diet thing. For the second month, I lost 3kg. I struggled more as I cut the carbs off during the weekdays (at least most of the weekdays) and less than a cup on weekends. I can’t completely cut it on my diet as I still crave for it from time to time.

And yes, on the first day of 2014, I ate more compared with the last days. (Not too much!) Uhm, I don’t call it a cheat day but I felt a little guilty. I did not overeat but still – I am guilty, your honor! (How was your year starting, btw?) So, I gained the 1kg back. (Sigh!) But, that’s fine. I’ll just extend this diet thing until the end of February. (Whew!)

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The things that keep me going are smoothies (and fruits). I’ve learned that black tea and green tea are good for weight loss. Sometimes, I drink a cup or two in a day and there are times that I put a bag (I mean the powder only inside the bag!) of black tea or green tea in my smoothie. Yes! Yes! If others put protein powder, I put tea. 😀 I am not sure if they have the same effect when you drink it. The reason why I put it? It’s because I am just lazy to make a cup of tea. Also, this idea came from my sweet and lovely friend on Instagram, Maria Ro. (Click here if you want to check out my Intsagram account, too.)

This can be done with any combination of smoothie. And I also add oats to some of my smoothies.

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This time, I just put Raspberries, Grapes and Strawberries, plus oats, black tea and non-fat milk. 😉 And yes, ice cubes.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead!

Blueberries and Pineapple Smoothie

I just love the color of Blueberries when blended.

When I see Blueberries, it reminds of the Nightlock berries from The Hunger Games movie. In the movie, Nightlock (blueberry-like) are berries that are infamous for the lethal poisonous juices that are inside. It kills the person who eats it even before it reaches the stomach.

Okay, enough of the Nightlock berries and let’s proceed with the post…

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Of course, these Blueberries are edible and not poisonous. Blueberries are called the antioxidant super food. Like other berries, these indigo-colored berries have many health benefits. I may not love eating them as raw but I love to put them on smoothies.

Blueberries and Pineapple Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh Blueberries, washed
  • 1 cup fresh Pineapples, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 cup Greek/skimmed yogurt
  • 1/3 cup skimmed/soy milk
  • Ice cubes

Instructions:

Put everything in a blender and blend well. Transfer to a glass and drink immediately.

The ingredients are just are so simple but you’ll get loads of benefits from the two fruits used in this smoothie. Blueberries are anti-oxidants, provides cancer prevention, good for bladder and a lot more. On the other hand, Pineapples are good source of vitamin C, potassium and they are also high in fiber and low in calories.

Bananas, Grapes and Strawberries Smoothie

It’s been one month and one week since I started this diet thing. Lucky me, I’ve shed some pounds. The first week was great as I lost 4.5 pounds. The second and third week was the very upsetting times as I have not lost any. On the fourth week, I decided to cut the rice on my diet. I was actually taking a cup of rice in a day, so I guessed that will not have too much effect on my diet. But when I saw that I have not lost any pound in two weeks, I finally decided to remove it from my system. I was taking a cup of rice in a day, but now, only on weekends – still one cup and no cheat day. And I am having at least two liters of water per day.

The morning smoothie is still on-going and I am having oatmeal for breakfast, too… or sometimes, at dinner time when I am lazy to make one in the morning. I have tried the overnight oats but I think something went wrong, so I did not stick to that. 

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Among the smoothies I have tried, I can say that the combination of Bananas, Grapes and Strawberries is my top favorite. I can finish a glass or two. 😀

Bananas, Grapes and Strawberries Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 large ripe Bananas
  • 1 cup fresh Grapes*
  • 1 cup fresh Strawberries (stems removed and sliced into two)
  • Ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup skimmed milk/almond milk/soy milk

Instructions:

Put everything in a blender and blend well. Transfer to a glass and drink immediately. This will serve up to three people, depending on how much you can consume.

Notes:

  1. *Seeds can be removed if desired. As for my smoothie, I’d love to include the seeds.
  2. In this smoothie, you can also add yogurt. I just enjoy mine with the above ingredients.

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This diet thing will go on until the scale could put a smile on my face or until I give up. Well, hopefully, I can still manage until a few months. For one month and 1 week, I lost 6.6 pounds… it’s not that bad. 🙂 

I hope you try this smoothie and let me know what you think. Hope everyone is having a great day!