Monday, May 20, 2013

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream!

I may just be going through an ice cream phase or I just haven't played with my ice cream machine for such a long time that I feel the need to abuse it this summer. I've already got several more experiments lined up (mango sorbet and sesame ice cream anyone?!). 

My ice cream quest continues! Actually I made this because my friend's birthday was a few days ago and we were meeting up for our usual movie plus lunch outing so I thought this year I'm going present her with some ice cream rather than cake. She gets a yummy treat and I get to play with my ice cream maker, 2 for 1!

I've tried making green tea ice cream once before but I don't remember much of what I did and I certainly don't remember what I put in it... so just staying on the safe side of things, I've decided to do some research and I fell upon Just One Cookbook which has exactly what I was looking for. Its also a great blog with loads of Japanese dishes, I can't wait to try some of the other stuff she has! What makes it even better is she's from Japan so she knows exactly what some of these dishes should taste like, ice cream included. Added plus, this was such an easy recipe to follow.

In reading her entry, I found out that authentic Matcha green tea ice cream should have a more powerful green tea flavor (almost bitter) than what we would normally see displayed in many ice creams which is on the sweeter side of things. It's also not suppose to be as creamy which in my mind just means less fat, so not a bad thing. In looking at the ingredients I don't think much creaminess was sacrificed. It tasted creamy enough for me! I love the deep flavor this ice cream gives me, the matcha flavor definitely shines through. I tend to like things less sweet so this was perfect! If you like your sweets, then I suggest using a little less matcha green tea powder. Without further a due, here is Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream:

Recipe taken from: Just One Cookbook: Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream
Makes approx 1 quart
**requires ice cream maker
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of half & half (or 1 cup milk, 1 cup heavy cream)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp matcha green tea powder (I bought mine at Lupicia but its seems like the product has changed since, so here is another option: Maeda-en)
  • Pinch of Salt
Procedures:
  1. In a medium sauce pan, whisk together green tea powder, half & half, sugar, and salt. Heat the mixture, stirring often, until hot but not boiling.
  2. Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl for cooling. Once it's completely cooled, refrigerate for approx 2 hours.
  3. Finish by transferring mixture into ice cream maker and churn for approx 20-25 minutes. Transfer into a container and freeze for at least 3 hours in the freezer before serving for best results.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Salted Caramel Ice Cream! The Bi-Rite Way!

It's finally happening! We are nearing the edge of spring and into summer and you know what that means, ice cream! I'm not a ice cream craze but I do like to enjoy a scoop here and there from time to time. I rarely buy ice cream for home, usually I buy 1 or 2 scoops from shops when I'm out with friends.  

The last time I was in San Francisco, my friends and I had stopped by Bi-Rite Creamery to get some of their infamous ice creams. While we were "patiently" waiting in line at 6pm in the middle of February because it's just that popular that there's still a line during winter (imagine summer!) we started browsing through their shelves of goodies/displays and found they had published a cookbook, Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, so naturally I started to thumb through it while we waited. 

After what seemed like centuries out in the cold air, it was finally our turn! I ordered a scoop of the salted caramel and a scoop of the coffee toffee. I was hooked! The salted caramel was by far the best I've ever tasted! Ever since then I've been silently craving. So I decided on a few things:
  1. I was going to buy their cookbook (worth the investment!)
  2. Their salted caramel ice cream would be the first recipe I try 
  3. Throw nutrition out the window (because otherwise I'd have to be hiking up 10 miles while eating it) and....
  4. sadly I have to wait a few months because logically speaking... it was still winter.
So in the months that came and went I kept my eyes peeled for who had the most affordable version of the cookbook. Top two places, Barnes & Nobles (online only) and Amazon (of course) both at about $15-$16. I missed my chance at $13 when I sat on it too long, so I ended up buying it at around $16, still a really good  price considering the retail price is $24.95. In the spirit of everything, I also bought small ice cream containers to put the ice cream in to give away to friends, can't bare all the calories! Rich, decadent, sweet, savory, its all too dangerous!

Now, time to make me some creamy frozen treats! I never made ice cream that involved cooking but yes, this involves cooking. I hope this recipe is the most difficult out of the bunch because it was a bit labor intensive. We all know I like my lazy ways but the things I do for good food! Let's just say making caramel is definitely not one of my favorite tasks, and making caramel next to a fire alarm is the cherry on top. At the end of it all, I've managed to reproduce a nice replica of Bi-Rite's Salt Caramel ice cream but not without some hiccups along the way... so let's walk through the process: recipe with commentary! This is my paraphrased version because typing all those long procedures is just too much effort (HA) but there are a few blogs out there that has the full word for word recipe from the cookbook (i.e. Serious Eats).

Salted Caramel Ice Cream by Bi-Rite Creamery, recipe has been paraphrased
Makes approx 1 quart 
**requires ice cream maker   
***commentary/tips given in orange
Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cup of heavy cream @ room temp (I used 2 cups because it got a bit too sweet for me)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I may cut this back next time)
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks 
Procedures:
Caramel:
  1. Scoop out 1/2 cup of sugar from 3/4 cup stock, and in 2 tbsp intervals over med-high heat in a medium saucepan, stir in sugar until it becomes completely melted and reaches a mahogany color. Remove from heat if necessary: my caramel started smoking because it melted faster than I can put in...you can always continue the melting process by turning up the heat again later but don't burn the sugar!
  2. Once the color consistency is reached, remove from heat and slowly pour in cream and stir concurrently until its completely mixed. Be careful of hot steam or splashes. Neither hot steam or splashes occurred for me, I guess when the recipe calls for room temperature cream there's a reason. My caramel turned almost rock hard the instant I added the cream. Almost anticlimactic considering I was all geared up for HOT steam that never happened. If you've manage to pull off what I did, no fear, just turn the stove back on to a low-med and stir until the caramel is melted and incorporated back into solution. Don't let it boil, just heat until its warm enough to melt the caramel.
Base:
  1. Once the caramel is smooth, stir in milk along with salt over med-high heat. Reduce to medium once it begins to shimmer. Since I had to remelt my caramel, starting at medium heat will already bring the milk/caramel mix into a shimmer.
  2. In a heat proof bowl, whisk yolk to break them up and then whisk in remain sugar (1/4 cup), set aside. I suggest doing this step at the very beginning. I don't know why this was placed so late in the steps of things. 
  3. While the milk/caramel mixture is still hot, scoop out 1/2 cup of the cream mix and while whisking the eggs constantly, add cream to bowl with yolks. Repeat with another 1/2 cup of cream.
  4. Back to the saucepan with the cream mix, while stirring the cream mix, slowly pour the egg-cream mix back into the saucepan.
  5. Cook over med-high heat, stirring constantly, until thickens. Approx 1-2 more minutes. Once it begins to thicken a little, it happens very fast before its completely done. Make sure you keep stirring, the mixture is prone to burning. I saw little flakes of black and immediately remove from heat. Once burnt, you can never go back.
  6. Take the thick cream and strain it through a fine mesh into a clean container. Then place container in an ice water bath to help cool it down, stirring occassionally. Once completely cooled, remove from bath, cover and refrigerated for 2 hours or overnight. I used a regular strainer to strain the mixture and I also didn't use an ice water bath but just ended up cooling it using the freezer. Once it was warm rather than hot, I stuck it in the freezer for 5-10 minute intervals stirring in between. Once it became cool, I put in the fridge for 2 hours
Freezing:
  1. Finish by pouring into ice cream maker and freeze via instructions given by your ice cream maker. In the original recipe, it just says to follow the ice cream makers instructions on the freezing process but seeing how I misplaced the instructions for my machine, I churned it for about 25-30 minutes.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Cake Mix Fudge Cookies!

Getting new kitchen related goodies is like opening presents on Christmas morning! I don't know why I get so excited, but I do! I love when I have new or better tools to work with in the kitchen. I bet if I inventoried my stock, it'd be worth more than everything else I own. I guess if I was to get robbed (knock on wood that never happens) my most valuable possessions are probably all located in the kitchen. 

Recently I realized how handy it would be to have full size graters for cheeses, zesting, etc because having a tiny one makes things a bit difficult... and messy. A previous coworker of mine bought me a nifty set of those multipurpose tools which included things like a zester, grater, egg separator, etc. Though its been super helpful, its been a bit cumbersome to clean and because its so small, it tends to drop stuff everywhere. Given that, I've been thinking about upgrading to a full size version. As luck would have it, when I was at Costco the other day, that is exactly what I fell upon. I love browsing kitchen stuff in stores. Either I add onto my ever growing wish list or I find something on my wish list for a steal. In this case I found a steal! 3 full size Kitchen Aid graters for only $9.97! I've been eying ones at places like Marshalls, TJMaxx, Ross, etc for good quality graters at a more affordable price and so far, they've all been sitting around $8. Here I got 3 for less than $10! That's $3 each! Just in case anyone is confused I didn't buy 3 of the same graters, the 3 graters are different sizes, from fine grating to course grates. Of all the things from that shopping trip, I was most excited about the graters. My mom looked at me like I was a little crazy...


This past weekend I was feeling a little lazy and originally I started out wanting to make some chocolate peanut butter cake truffles and upon reading the back of the box of cake mix, I found a picture of fudge cookies made from cake mix. Intrigued I went to look it up online. Given my state of laziness, this was the perfect recipe to get my bake on and minimal efforts! Thank you Duncan Hines for a lazy bake day, I called these lazy baker's cookies and my dad chuckled.


From Dungan Hines: Devil's Food Fudge Cookies
Makes approx 36 cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1 box of Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
 Procedures:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine eggs, cake mix, and oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir thoroughly and then add in walnuts and chocolate chips, stir until incorporated. Mixture will be somewhat stiff. Form into 1 1/4 balls (approx 36) and place about 2 in apart on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Be careful not to over bake. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer onto cooling rack. Store in an air tight container.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Creamy Chipotle Shrimp Pasta!

A happy Mother's day to all the moms and moms to be! Hope you all had a wonderful time with your loved ones this weekend!

How did I celebrate with my mom? With what I do best of course, food! Nothing like a home cooked meal where she doesn't have to lift a finger... well okay, she kind of did but that's because my family is composed of picky eaters... if its not Asian, they glaze on it... so even though my dish was good... because it wasn't the usual, it didn't fill them. The usual is boring and I refuse to be boring and mom being the mom, lifted the finger to cook some side things for the rest of the family. Unlike everyone else, she eats just about anything. Probably where I got that from, thank goodness! I would be so miserable if I was a picky eater...there's no logic in that statement because if I were one, I wouldn't know the difference but from my current perspective, I'd hate to be a picky eater. I have my very strong opinion about picky eaters....but since some of my friends are picky eaters, I will refrain from those comments. Bottom line, at least try before giving the food the death sentence, you can't judge a book by its cover and you can't judge food by its looks (or people for that matter).

So aside from food what else did my mom get from me? Cash. After years of trying to find the "right" gift for birthdays and holidays, it turns out, she's better at finding herself the right gift. She may not be a picky eater but she is definitely a picky gift receiver (is that even a word??). She notes she likes something, so you think you're solid if you bought it, wrong. I've returned so many things she's mentioned she "liked" and now I've finally realized it saves us both time to just let her pick out her gift at her own time. Money is best form of gift giving. Honestly, I'd prefer money over presents, though its always a nice surprise to receive presents, I'm not picky about things like that but money is always a safe bet. Some people get insulted when given money because that supposedly shows how little the other person knows them... but hey they might not know what kind of things a person likes but doesn't mean they don't know the person. Just because someone can't figure out what shoe and shoe size you are means nothing. They might be that same person to shows up at your door with a hot cup of soup when your sick or a funny movie when you're down. Gift giving is relative, its lifelong gestures that matter. 

I'm one of those people that don't really care for days like valentines or anniversaries, etc. Those ONE day celebrations. Sure, lets do something nice but my version of nice isn't a fancy dinner party, it can be two people hanging out in each others' company. Why do we need that ONE day to be super nice to each other... what about the rest of the year!? To me it'll be even more special if someone picked a random day out of the calendar to be extra special just because. That to me shows more thought and care. Who doesn't know its Valentine's Day or whatnot....its only marked on every calendar and even for those of us who don't care...a small part of us do to some degree...even a little bit, but now if it was a random day and you have no idea, now that's special and a surprise!

I'm getting further and further away from the topic at hand... back to food and back to mother's day. In efforts to celebrate, I decided to bare the cooking duties for dinner so I made a relatively safe dish that the entire family can enjoy (my picky family that is) and it came out pretty well. Creamy tomato based pasta sauce with a touch of chipotle heat and tender shrimps to balance everything out. Not my best work in photos but hungry family is not a patient family. I snapped a few quick ones and then it was like feeding piranhas! 


Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • Approx 28 shrimps, peeled
  • 1 tbsp flour (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Approx 14oz pasta of choice (angel hair recommended)
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped or minced
  • 5 -6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 chipotle pepper, cut into small pieces/smashed
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2-3 bunches of green onion
  • ½ to 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ to 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Procedures:
    1. Cook pasta via package instructions, drain, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and seasoning, and set aside.
    2. Heat a little bit of olive oil in a large skillet. Cook shrimp over medium-high heat searing both sides. Flavor as needed with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Remove from heat when it’s about 80% cooked and set aside.
    3. Heat some olive oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic, onions, shallots, chipotle pepper, and tomatoes and cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender. Stir in flour, wine, sugar, and cream and bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue for another 5 more minutes. Complete by stirring in parmesan cheese.
    4. Coat the cooked and drained pasta with ½ the amount of sauce, then top with shrimp and remaining sauce. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese if needed.
 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bacon Jalapeno Cheddar Stuffed Pugliese!

Recently I find writing about personal experiences/opinions/outlooks a bit more invigorating than just sharing a recipe. I'm still sharing a recipe but at the same time, its like story telling. It's almost like stories or discussions you'd be able to have at a dinner table. 

Well since I'd can't be at everyone's dinner table, sharing these stories here will be a nice way to imagine being at a dinner table with everyone and me sharing my side and view of the world. Thank you to all those who take the time to read through my elaborate entries about life and all its entities!

So the other day while I was waiting in line at Marshalls, because that's where you find all sorts of little treasures, there was a mother and her son in front of me. Kids being the impatient little people that they are, the son wanders to a display pile and points it out to his mom that this "toy" looked fun. He runs back to the line and says "mommy,  go look at it, I'll hold your place, go" and his mom laughs and go to look at the toy (looked like a slip and slide) and then comes back and tells him, "no, its not that fun." Now at this point, most kids would start screaming and kicking, but this little guy, he was awesome! He simply replied "okay, I guess its not that fun, but its okay AND I saved your spot in line!" So adorable! Now this was a VERY long line so I was with them for a while and all this time, he never complained and everytime before he wanted to go see something, he'd ask his mom if he can go see. She'd let him and so forth. Finally we got to what seems like the end of the tunnel and he sees a random marvel toy set laying around and shows his mom, I didn't catch all of what he said because by then I was spacing out... but I did catch the end where I had to smile. He noted to his mom this toy was for 4 year olds (not realizing its 4+) 
so his mom asks him: "How old are you?"
Son: "I'm five!
Mom: "That's right, so this toy is not for you"
Son: "Yah! Its for a four year old! Okay, I don't need this"
No tantrum, nothing. Isn't that great!? Its so rare to see....kids of today are so fortunate and they don't even know it! It bugs me every time I see a kid throwing a fit because they don't get what they want...if they only knew what it was like to not be able to get anything at all. 

My brother and I did, we didn't throw tantrums, we didn't whine, and we certainly didn't kick and scream because we knew we can try all we want but the matter of the fact is, we were poor and its not going to happen, not to mention we have Asian parents who were NOT afraid to use forms of discipline. We only got a couple of toys throughout the year, usually birthdays and Christmas. We use to play this game called "if we could buy any toy which one would you pick?" while we waited for our mom to do her grocery shopping and we'd drool at all the toys in the toy aisle. That was life, we'd imagine what toy we'd have and how we'd play with them. Video games, you can forget about it. Movies, I think we owned less than 10 movies by the time I was in high school. We'd play with anything, gave us both quite the creative/imaginative minds. I didn't even know what watching TV was like before college. I had 3 channels growing up, ABC, PBS, FOX, and some other super fussy channels that probably shouldn't count but if the angle of the antenna was just right, we'd be able to get some cartoons off of it. We spent most of the time drawing and reading books from the library because those things were free. I remembered the first time we discovered the library. It was like a whole new experience. There were movies and CDs you can borrow, old but we had so many movies/cds on our "we will watch/listen to you one day list" who cares! So many books! We'd come home with stacks of them, at least 10+ each and the following week, we'd have 90% of them read. We loved our books. Probably because it was like traveling to loads of different places, experiencing, and seeing things we otherwise wouldn't be able to. Still love to escape into my books.... 
 

It always bugged me a little when people gave me grief me about not having watched a certain movie/show or knowing a certain singer/actor or going to a certain place or not have eaten at a certain restaurant, its not like I wanted to not try those things, we simply didn't have the money. So little people realize that having just enough money will go a long way. Sure you're not Bill Gates, but at the same time, you get to enjoy the little things in life that is often very overlooked like being able to eat out once in a while. Being able to go to the movies. Owning a video game counsel. Having cable. New furniture. Living in a home that you can call your home and is permanently yours. The small things... my point is, people often overlook these simple things and they complain about what they don't have and what they need. Instead we should all take a look at what we do have and how lucky we are to have those things. There are people out there far less fortunate. If we are fortunate to have our health, our family and their health, a roof over our heads, and food to fill ourselves, in essences that's all we really need. Everything else is a luxury and we shouldn't be discontent when things we want don't go our way, we're forgetting the bigger picture. I always hated the fact we were so poor growing up but now that I've grown, I love the perspective it has given me. We should all appreciate a little more and need a little less. That's not to say don't go and enjoy life if you can afford to, do it! Just keep in mind that by being able to do those things, we are already very lucky.

Nowadays I definitely appreciate being able to travel, experience, fuel my hobbies, and catch up on all the little things I missed out growing up. So to conclude this detailed account of a blip of my life, here is my newest experiment: bacon jalapeno cheddar stuffed pugliese!



Inspired by Hasselback Garlic Cheesy Bread
Ingredients:
  • 1 small loaf of pugliese bread (or bread loaf of choice)
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, diced
  • 2 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano flakes
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil flakes
  • Garlic olive oil
  • ½ cup jalapeno cheddar cheese (or cheese of choice) shredded

Procedures:
  1. In a small sauté pan, sauté the bacon, shallots, and jalapenos together and set aside to cool.
  2. Take the loaf of bread and slice the bread into ½ inch – 1 inch slices but only ¾ of the way down. Do not cut through.
  3. Mix basil flasks, oregano, thyme, and paprika together to make an herb mix.
  4. Brush some olive oil in between the slices and sprinkle in a pinch of herb seasoning in between the slices.
  5. Mix ¼ cup of the cheese with the bacon mix. Make sure bacon mix is completely cooled so the cheese doesn’t melt
  6. Stuff the bacon cheese mix in between the bread slices but leaving a little room so you can top it off with just cheese on top (with the leftover ¼ cup cheese)
  7. Brush olive oil on the top of the loaf and sprinkle on herbs.
  8. Bake in oven at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until bread is light golden brown/slightly crispy and cheese is completely melted.
 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Very Berry Pudding

Calories. A simple word with a simple definition and yet people are obsess with it! Should calories really be the obsession or rather the underlying problem is something else?

What is a Calorie? A Calorie is actually a kilocalorie which is a unit of heat used to measure the amount of energy provided by the food you eat. That is it. Just a measurement of how much energy your food will provide you with. It doesn't tell us what components make up a certain food/meal, it doesn't tell us if what we are eating is good for our bodies, it doesn't tell us anything other than energy levels. Yet when we eat or shop we often find ourselves pouring over the amount of calories a certain food has...well what about everything else?? 

One thing that drives me crazy is when people's only concern for a meal is the amount calories certain food contains and not about nutrition. If you're concerned about calories then you should be just as concerned about nutrition too. Those two go hand in hand, otherwise why should you even bother counting calories or what not. In the end, if you're body is not getting what it needs, whatever you were trying to achieve with the calorie count will have either negative affects in the long run or no effects at all.

Nutrition is a topic I hold dear to my heart because I spent so much time with it in college, almost became a Nutritionist at one point, so it really bothers me when people concerned with calorie counting don't care about nutrition. 

Carbs are bad.... no they are not! Your brain, one of the most important parts of the body, the center in which controls everything, guess what, it only takes energy from carbohydrates. Carbs are only "bad" when you don't eat the right ones. People who don't eat carbs are actually harming themselves (and their brains). Don't generalize, but be aware of the different types of carbohydrates, simple vs complex, and which one you're eating/should be eating. Candy = simple = bad because yes the body will still get what it wants from it but its not enough. Like taking a shower once a month, does it help, yes(!) but is it enough, not really so by that definition, taking a shower only once a month is bad but the shower itself isn't, distinction. So eating just simple carbs are bad and it gives carbs a bad name because most people don't distinguish.

All fats are not created equal. There are 2 types of fatty acids: unsaturated (where the carbon atoms of the fatty acid chain contains double bonds) and saturated (single bond links). We like to, and should, have more unsaturated fatty acids in our system because our body can break those down easier. Within the unsaturated (double bonded carbons) fatty acids department they are further broken down to 2 groups: polyunsaturated fats (multiple double bonds) or monounsaturated fats (1 double bond) which within these 2 groups there are a number of possible combination of positions in which the double bonds occur making each different position of a double bond a slightly different unsaturated fat and each different one would have their individual structure and function. If you've lost me with all this science talk, let me just give you an example, Omega-3 fatty acids vs Omega -6, both are monounsaturated fatty acid but they are different because the double bond for Omega -3 is located at the third carbon in the chain and Omega-6's double bond is located at the 6th carbon in the chain therefore making these 2 fatty acids different in structure and function. Take away message, find out what your body needs in terms of fatty acids and distinguish between the good and bad ones. Though fats should be limited, we still need them.

***what about trans fat and why are they bad?? Trans fat are a type of unsaturated fat that has an even more stable carbon double bond, meaning its even harder to break down. Double bonds have 2 configurations, Cis- and Trans- and hence the name Trans fat. Naturally occurring trans fats are rare and for the most part, trans fat has been a human manipulation of the more common cis transformation of fatty acids found in vegetable oil to attempt to stabilize fats into a solid form aka hydrogenating oils aka margarine. There's a much more elaborate process to what margarine is and how its made, etc. Basically its trans-fat in a stick. Side note: just because something says zero grams trans fat doesn't mean its true, there are loopholes around the nutrition label, be cautious and read the ingredient list. Hydrogenate anything will yield some sort of trans fat. 

Its all about the protein!! Yes but...there's more. I can't deny proteins are great, they are the building blocks of life! However, did you know if you consume too much protein what happens to it? It gets converted to fats and store away in your body for future use as energy. Yup I said fat, your extra unused protein will be turned into fat and store away. Too much of a good thing is bad.

Vitamins and minerals are best when eaten, consumed from your food and not a pill. Foods have more than one vitamin/mineral, it has other nutrients and more often than not, those nutrients in the food will help vitamin/mineral absorption into your body. Just taking supplements will work but will the body take it in as readily? Perhaps or perhaps not but why do you think a tablet of vitamin C has 800% of what your body needs in one pill?? The body does not store extra vitamins and minerals, so 800% is not going to stay. 800% is because without the other supplementing nutrients that usually aids in its absorption (when eaten in food form) the pill will just have to pump loads of vitamin C into the body hoping that something will stick. 

and... I am in no way providing expert advice but rather sharing some often missed insights surrounding the complicated world of healthy eating. There's more than meets the eyes and ears and everyone's body works in a different way but at least knowing some pieces of the puzzle will make it easier to put the rest of the puzzle together.

Why all of a sudden with all the nutrition rampage...well because its irritating that there is such a stress on calories and not on nutrition. Nutrition first, calories second. If you're going to eat something, be aware and not guilty. Everything in moderation and you'll be fine. If you want to enjoy a small scoop of ice cream go for it! If you want to have that ice cold beer, enjoy it! If you want to have a cranberry vodka, drink it! Why should calories play a part at all. If you must be bad, enjoy the best of it!! Its when you're eating that entire pint of ice cream in one sitting or drinking a 12 pack or finishing a handle of vodka that then we'd have problems. If you're worried about calories then just don't eat or drink it, no calories at all. None of those things are nutritionally beneficial anyways, eating it will cause more harm than not. If you're going out for a drink...you're about to ingest a depressant! How is that not more serious than 20 more calories!? If the depressant part can be ignored, so can the calories, just enjoy it!

Make good choices, eat in moderation and exercise, and calorie counting is only supplemental, a small part to a bigger picture. 

Now having the big picture in mind, here is a little treat I whipped up that will fill your sweet tooth and help your body get some vitamins and minerals, my Very Berry Pudding! I made it the same as I did with my mango pudding recipe but replaced the mango with strawberries and blackberries instead. Tangy but sweet at the same time. Its a little mousse -like which was not what I expected but good all the same.


Makes 4-5 servings
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ cup of strawberries
  • 1 cup of blackberries
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 envelop of gelatin
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
Procedures:
    1. Puree strawberries and ½ cup blackberries together in a blender, set aside.
    2. Save remaining ½ cup blackberries to put on the bottom of the pudding
    3. Mix gelatin in hot water until it dissolves, let it stand for 3 minutes
    4. Add in sugar and mix until sugar is dissolved, then add in evaporated milk and berry puree. Mix until well incorporated
    5. Chill overnight in the refrigerator