Chocolate Avocado Mousse

I have never thought of utilising avocado in desserts. I have heard and tasted avocado smoothies before but in a mousse?

It is probably better to whip out the blender and whiz everything through to make it as smooth as possible. But I was after a chocolate hit and short of devouring half a block of chocolate, I mashed a smoothie, added some cocoa powder with a small hint of honey and sat down to enjoy my dessert.

I was hit with a smooth cocoa texture. This must be the easiest mousse ever to make. Hubby was so surprised that he ate more than half of it! 😦  Stealing my food again… :p

Chocolate Avocado Mousse 
1 avocado
2 tsp of cocoa powder
1/2 tsp of honey

Blend everything together. Serve with strawberries!

Photobucket

Steam Chicken with Chicken Essence

A simple steam chicken is often welcomed at dinner time. Comfort food can be easily done with simple ingredients. Having a few bottles of chicken essence left in my pantry, I wondered what it would be like to lightly marinate chicken with it and steam it. Surely it would create a lovely gravy?

True enough, it lifts the flavour of steam chicken. I added some goji berries and also enoki mushrooms to go along with it.

It’s funny how when the weather turns warmer, I like to experiment with more chinese dishes. Yes, I still adore my salads (since it is so simple to make), but there is something special about a nice stew, rendang, or bowl of herbal soup. This dish, is like the best of both worlds- herbal taste with steam chicken with a lovely gravy.

Steam Chicken with Chicken Essence 
600 grams of chicken thighs chopped
1 bottle of chicken essence
50 grams enoki mushrooms
handful of goji berries
garlic

Marinate chicken with chicken essence for 10 minutes. Place everything in a steam proof dish and steam for 15-20 minutes. Season with salt. Serve with veges.

Photobucket

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream

The classics of all classics. One of my favourite ice cream flavour since I was a kid. Who can resist a good cookies and cream ice cream? I mentioned before that I like my ice cream with a crunch. Oreos cookies and ice cream just seem like a perfect marriage.

Having an ice cream maker almost makes me feel like a kid again. Seeing the ice cream whiz into a lovely creamy blob. Crunching the oreos and mixing it into it. Anxiously waiting to see if it sets in the freezer… ah….

I took the plunge and made this without looking at any recipes. Surprise surprise, it turned out the way I love it.

Rubbing my hands in glee and wondering what other types of ice-cream can I make!

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream
1 cup of cream
1 cup of full cream milk
1/4 cup of organic coconut sugar (or sugar)
2 egg yolks
1 packet of oreos cookies crushed

Freeze ice cream bowl overnight.

In a saucepan, simmer cream, milk and sugar. When you can see some of the bubbles on the surface, pour egg yolk in slowly. Continue to whisk while you do this. Simmer till it coats the back of your spoon and you can draw a line across without the line closing in.

Cool and fridge it for 1 hr or so or cool it rapidly through freezer for 30 minutes.

Pour into ice cream maker and churn for 20 minutes. Add crush oreos in the last 5 minutes and let it churn. Freeze ice cream overnight.

Photobucket

Mini Pork Sliders with Bacon Guacamole

There are something very attractive about mini food. Having the word mini in front of any food title makes it looks much better too.

I made this for a quick lazy Sunday lunch one day (That’s another thing about keeping sane.. lazy lunches. How did we forget those?) and kept up with an idea about making bacon guacamole to go with it. Salty bacon, creamy avocado and spicy tabasco sauce makes it a very very delish side to go with any pork patties.

In fact, I think I can probably have the guacamole by the spoonful.

But just as good with mini pork sliders. 😉


Mini Pork Sliders with Bacon Guacamole (Serves 4)
500 grams pork mince
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 tsp of sesame oil
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of worchestershire sauce
1 egg
1 tablespoon of almond meal

Bacon Guacamole
1 rasher of bacon- lean bit. Grilled and chopped
1 tomato chopped
1 avocado mashed
1/4 lemon juiced
1/4 red onion chopped finely
as many drops of tabasco as you can take.

For the pork patties- mix everything together and marinate for 10-15 minutes. Make into shape of mini patties and pan fry both sides for 5-8 minutes each.

Guacamole- Mix it all up, season and taste.

Photobucket

Date and Chocolate Slice

What does a girl do when she craves chocolate….? She makes chocolate slice.  Better still, a slice that does not need baking.

I have been distracted lately. We moved to our new home and is finally feeling more settled in after…. 3 months. It has been a challenging year for hubby and I- it just seem that every month, there is a curveball thrown at us. Individual work situations, family,friends, house, business,  It’s life after all, and if it is all smooth sailing, it would have been too boring.

As Christians, we believe that God is testing us. Our faith, our commitment. Gosh, even our marriage. And there are moments that we falter, but mostly we stay strong and continue to march forward.

What do we do to keep ourselves sane?
We..
– cut back on our commitments and decide to stay grounded. Back to basics. Prayers, time together, simple dinners, routine.
– Precious alone time at the gym. The natural endorphins is much needed.
– For him, some alone time but getting involved in projects that he used to do but neglected to as we get busier.
– For me, a short trip to see my family. Grandma just had a knee re construction and it was very calming  and re assuring, just to see her. And on that note, she rocked. Totally. Strongest grandmother ever- walked after the 2nd day after the operation. My hero.
– For us, chats. and more chats.
– Surround ourselves with the positives. Be it friends, family or professionals.
– Chocolate.
– A dessert high in protein, low in sugar, filling and delicious.

No Bake- Date and Chocolate Slice 
5 Merdjool dates-pitted and chopped
1/4 cup of almond butter- make your own or cheat like me..from a jar.
2 tablespoon of dark cocoa or cacao powder
Chopped pieces of roasted cashews

Mix it all up. Press onto brownie tray. Freeze for 30 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.

Photobucket

Bacon Creamy Cauliflower Soup

I am a big fan of pea and ham soup. The lentils, bacon, smoky flavour of the bones….it is just a hearty and flavoursome soup. Using smoked bacon bones, I managed to re-create a version of this, using just cauliflower and bacon.

Despite the title, I did not use any cream. There is no need for it. I have no idea how superb this simple vegetable that I use so regularly for stir fries can be made into creamy soups, mash and even a “rice” (by blending it). The texture and flexibility of this down to earth vegetable deserves to be acknowledged.

So as I heat up my soup, and have it on my desk… someone from the other end of the office commented “I feel like having pea and ham soup. Must be the delicious smell coming from the other end of the office”- I smiled and tucked in. Yes, it smelt like it, it tastes like it but I think… and I am a tad basis here, that it is even nicer than the original version.

Bacon Creamy Cauliflower Soup (serves around 6-8)
4 pieces of smoked bacon bones
250 grams smoked lean bacon dance
2 huge heads of cauliflower diced
1 bunch of celery
2 big red onions chopped
2 litres of chicken stock

saute onion in your biggest pot (or like me, use two pots). Add smoked bones and bacon. Once brown, remove as much bacon as you can from the pot. Add all the veges and stock. Simmer for around 20-30 minutes. Blitz the soup up. Then add back the bacon. Simmer for 5 minutes and serve hot.

Photobucket

Mini Flourless Chocolate Cake

Elana’s Pantry  is a good source of inspiration for me when it comes to healthy day to day recipes. This one caught my eye early one, but I never had the chance to make it till recently.

I’m not sure if this is my ultimate favourite chocolate cake- but I love the dense and rich flavour. It’s simple and quick to whip up. Perfect for a quick chocolate cake fix.

Mini Flourless Chocolate Cake  (Makes around 7 mini cakes)
150 grams of dark chocolate melted (I used a combination of lindt 70% dark choc and passionfruit)
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs
2 tsp of espresso coffee

1/2 cup of almond flour
2 tablespoon of coconut flour
2 tsp of coconut sugar (or honey)
1/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat Oven 180C.

Met chocolate in 2×30 seconds bursts in the microwave. Stir and add coconut oil. Whisk vanilla essence, coffee and eggs.

In another bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, salt, coconut sugar or honey. Mix Well.

Spoon in grease or lined 9 by 9 tray or use mini loaf tray like me.

Photobucket

Coconut Almond Walnut Granola

This is one of our favourite breakfasts at the moment. It’s full of antioxidants, good fats and keeps you full for longer. I like mine with yogurt, while hubs like his with almond milk.

I like to see breakfast as a meal to arm us for the day. The calm before the storm perhaps. There is just something about a good breakfast that makes the day so much nicer, and much more special.

While we are not eliminating grains altogether (read paleo for more information), we do try to limit it. This is a good alternative, and perhaps to us, a even better alternative to the usual oat based granola or muesli.

Coconut Almond Walnut Granola 
1 cup of coconut flakes or chips
1/4 cup of coconut oil
1.5 cup of almonds
1.5 cup of walnuts
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of mixed spice

(try experimenting it with macadamias, pepitas and sunflower seeds)

Preheat oven to 160 C. In a bowl, mix everything together. Pour to baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes to 30 minutes – or as brown as you like it to be.

Photobucket

Coffee Hazelnut Ice-cream

Did you hear? It’s spring!! The sun is out, the birds are chirping and the wildflowers are blooming.  To celebrate, I made ice-cream. Ok, I lied. I will probably make ice-cream anyway regardless of rain, shine, snow, hail..etc as long as I have electricity, milk, cream and eggs.

I do have a soft spot for coffee ice-cream. Especially one with a crunch. I adapted this from my past experience of making ice-cream and by including some of my favourite ingredients- such as espresso beans covered with dark chocolate. Kinda like Coffee Bean Black Forest ice blended with a crunch. While I did not add glace cherries in this, I preferred hazelnuts for the added crunch and texture.

The result was a creamy chocolatey ice-cream with a nice bite to it.

Oh, I love my ice-cream machine.

Coffee Hazelnut Ice-cream
1.5 cup of milk
1.5 cup of cream
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup of sugar
4 tsp of espresso coffee powder (I used instant)
200 grams of espresso bean coated with dark chocolate chopped and smashed
60 grams of hazelnuts chopped

Freeze ice cream bowl as directed.

In a saucepan, heat up milk, cream and sugar. Stir till it coats the back of your spoon. Slowly add whisk egg yolk. Keep cooking till it coats the back of the spoon, with a line drawn through it, the line should still stay. Dissolve coffee into the milk mixture. Fridge it till cold.

Churn in ice-cream machine till nearly done. Add the crushed espresso beans and hazelnuts. Churn till it fold through and freeze till ice-cream is smooth and creamy.

Photobucket