Pack a punch – Almond cocoa energy squares

Almond cocoa energy squares
My ankle (which has been out of order on and off this whole year) is finally healing a little bit. Which means I can start running again. And even though I haven’t done more than 20 minutes on the treadmill and I’m not allowed to jump yet (I know. It’s catastrophic) I can make energy bars. These delicious little squares will satisfy your morning sweet tooth while giving you a full energy boost; they’re made of oats, which are a great source of slow-release energy and fiber.  Almonds, your classic super food (is there any body system they’re not good for?). Raisins, full of the good kinds of sugar to give you an up and which also help absorb vitamins and proteins, along with promoting a healthy digestive system. Flaxseed, also for great digestion but adding omega-3 and tons of other good side-effects such as fighting liver disease and lowering cholesterol. Cocoa powder, which is suspected of boosting endorphins and serotonin (aka, make you happy!) apart from being highly antioxidant. Wrap all of these up with some honey (which has, apart from all it’s other properties, been proven to increase athletic performance and reduce recovery time) and you get ultra healthy, sugar free bites of delicious fitness. I cut up mine small because I like bite-sized things, but feel free to turn these into bars to take on the go, or to add some protein powder! Read more for the recipe.

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Quick and yummy – Lime and black sesame cream cake

Black sesame and lime cream cake

Let me let you in on a little secret: my aunt makes the meanest margaritas out there. Her recipe, involving almost equal parts tequila, cointreau and sugar  is extremely popular with all guests, young and old, male and female. They’re incredibly yummy, and as I’ve already told you the alcohol ratio you might have guessed, also incredibly fun. So my mom had the brilliant idea to serve tons of margaritas during the wedding weekend and so proceeded to buy 35 kilos of limes. I’m not joking. Or exaggerating. She actually had 35 kilos of limes. Limes pack a punch. And so there’s absolutely no way she could’ve used all 35 kilos in three days… which means that we still have a fridge full of limes, even though I’ve had a party (in which I of course served margaritas) and baked two cakes involving limes since then. There’s just no way to go through them all! So I’m sharing with you one of the recipes that’s helping me put a dent in the never ending supply of limes around here: Lime and black sesame cream cake. It’s yummy, quick and not so heavy.  A dense texture but a light flavor, the sort that you use your fork to get together all the last crumbs in your plate. Topped with a simple lime-icing sugar glaze, it manages to use a grand total of 9 limes! (Which means if I bake about 55 of these I might finally finish the job before they go sour).  If you like sightly less sweet or for a more simple go-with-your-coffee look and taste, skip the icing and just dust it with a bit of icing sugar. Read more for the recipe, or if you’d like to suggest stuff I can do with limes, leave me a comment!

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Quick Treats – Baked cinnamon donuts

cinnamondonuts

If you’re a foodie like me you might relate to the both terrible and awesome experience that is visiting a cooking/gourmet store. Endless shelves of stuff that you dream of having in endless supply, molds to bake any cookie or cake imaginable, all sorts of decorations, appliances that keep you from crying as you dice onions (Ok that one doesn’t exist, but what are you waiting for inventors??) shiny new knives, bowls of every size, and every kind of spice under the sun. It’s sheer torture. The truth is you’d need a kitchen the size of a soccer stadium and a wallet the size of Bill Gates’ to be fully satisfied at such a place… but still, every time I walk out of there with even just a little bag, I feel like a kid with a brand new toy. And that’s exactly what I got, a brand new toy for making baked donuts, which are way better than regular donuts….only because they’re not fried. Its strange, but I’ve never been a fan of donuts. I think they’re just too oily, or maybe too thick…or something else entirely which I can’t exactly pinpoint. But what’s great about my new toy is that it makes medium sized donuts that don’t require tons of oil… and baked donut recipes abound in the blog-pinterest-foodgawkersphere! So the very next day from getting my toy, I found this awesome recipe at The Chic life, which will give you freshly baked donuts in under half an hour. Yup, that’s right. You can bake them pre-breakfast! Because nothing compares to having a just baked, quick, easy delicious treat to accompany your morning coffee. Read more for the recipe! Continue reading

Your cup of tea – Pear-cinnamon muffins

pearmuffins1

It’s rainy season (or hurricane season if you count the last three days) around here. Which means it’s tea time with a book season. Which in turn means it’s muffin, pound cake, cookies, crumpets and any other pastry you like to have with your tea season. (I’m actually lying. Cookie season is year round) And when you add to the weather tons of gifts of fruit because your friends who own fruit trees have way too much of it, you end up with muffins everyday. Assorted, too. Apple, banana, figs, or in this case, pears. This recipe will give you a simple, homey, spice-y and full of pear little cake. Made all the better by a creamy vanilla glaze, which has become my favorite when glazing fluffy baked goods. (like here) So, if you’re feeling like a quick treat to accompany you rainy afternoon, go and read more for the recipe!

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Crispy rounds of deliciousness – Nutella thins

crispy nutella thin cookies

So I know it hasn’t been that long since I rambled about nutella. And I know that the last time I didn’t just use nutella once in the same recipe, nor twice. It was three times (Yes, because how else would you get nutella cupcakes stuffed with ferreros and nutella frosting?). And yet here I am with another recipe. Our love for each other isn’t special, I know a lot of people out there share the same passion for chocolate-y spread. Our love isn’t secret, I’ve been known to eat spoonfuls of the stuff in front of small crowds. It isn’t fleeting either, I have always loved it and always will. It isn’t moderate…and I don’t need to explain that bit. The one thing our love is, is delicious. Because yes. That’s what nutella is and there’s no amount of elaborate words I or anyone else could say to explain it better. So why not channel that delicious love into a thin, crispy cookie? The kind you put on a scoop of vanilla (or chocolate) ice cream. The kind you store in a tin and when you open it you say “only one” but they’re so thin and crispy that you end up having three (or four). Yes, that kind of cookie. Because apart from being delicious, nutella is so incredibly versatile. From creamy to crispy and all the colors in the rainbow in between. So here’s another recipe for all you nutella nuts (no pun intended) out there. Read more to find it. Continue reading

Going green – Creamy lettuce and basil soup

Creamy lettuce and basil soup

About a monday a month my mother decides she’s going to have a lifestyle change and become green and healthy, so she buys about 5 heads of lettuce, a case of eggs, yogurt, and nothing else. She then proceeds to eat the yogurt and stash the lettuce in the bottom most drawer of the fridge, along with her lifestyle change, which typically results in 4 1/2 heads of lettuce rotting and going to waste. Enter me, with a fresh bunch of basil, to reuse, reuse and recyle. Or actually, just use. (unless you count the extra space in the fridge as reducing) And by use I mean turning those green crunchy leaves into a delicious, light, creamy, peppery lettuce soup. The kind of soup that goes great before any meal and in any weather. And also the kind of soup you can make in about 15 minutes, and repeat the recipe with any kind of lettuce you have leftover, or even add spinach, or broccoli leaves, or kale, or any other green leafy stuff you have lying around which is nearing its expiration date. Because it’s green, easy and delicious! So if you also find yourself with tons of leaves in your fridge, why don’t you go and read more for the recipe?

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Get your healthy on – Cherry tomato and cottage cheese tartines

cherrycottage1

This isn’t an actual recipe..I think. At least I don’t think something as easy to make as this can be called a recipe…it’s more of a putting together of ingredients. But since it’s something I eat almost twice a week, every week, and it’s beyond delicious, I thought I might as well share it with the rest of the world (I’ve shared it with my friends and they’ve also gotten on the twice a week wagon). The reasons for its greatness are as follows:
1) It’s incredibly healthy: cottage cheese, tons of proteins for when you don’t really want to have egg whites for breakfast again. Low in fat and high in calcium.
2) It’s delicious: sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, strong olive oil, pepper and crusty bread. Feeling mediterranean yet?
3) Couldn’t be easier or quicker to make: Just pile everything on top of each other.
See?
And if you happen to have a cherry tomato plant in full production (as I do…yay! ) then you’ll want to make this even more. Especially when basil at the supermarket costs about 40 cents (or 6 pesos) for a huge, fresh, aromatic, bunch. So go on and get your delicious healthy on!

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