skip the fat-free option

Sometimes eating fat-free could be risking your health. According to an article from Woman’s Day, you may not want to choose fat free options for these items: Salad Dressing While fat-free dressings are lower in calories than fat-based dressings, they block absorption of fruits’ and veggies’ nutrients, like carotenoids which protect your body’s cells. According to the study, dressings with monounsaturated fats (from canola and olive oil, for instance) boosted the absorption of the veggies’ carotenoids. Dressings made with polyunsaturated fat (from soybean oil) and saturated fat (from plain old butter) helped absorption, too, but it takes more dressing to … Continue reading skip the fat-free option

flex for the mussels, extend for the donuts

for my friend’s birthday, she chose flex mussels to celebrate. we started with the day’s specialty with fried oysters and pork belly. yum! then we chose the main meal: mussels! there were over 20 broths to choose from and a difficult choice it was! after much deliberation we each chose one: – funghi with wild mushrooms, double smoked bacon, garlic and cream – the mexican with chipotle adobo, chorizo and calimari – san danielle with prosciutto, caramelized onion, white wine, garlic – bruschetta with san marzano tomatoes, lobster, marinated tomato and crutons i loved the bruschetta mussels the most. the … Continue reading flex for the mussels, extend for the donuts

absorb the radiance

after dinner we came to Radiance Tea House & Books for dessert. we tried: Assorted Mochi Platter with 6 pieces of mochi: red bean, green tea, peanut, sesame, taro and mango mochi served with a tasting cup of dessert coffee drink Green Tea Scone with homemade green tea scone with whipped cream and homemade strawberry glaze Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich with choice of cookie and and ice cream flavors the mochi was quite tender and delicious but the inside of mango and green tea mochi was flavored jelly, perhaps Americanized for non Asian customers. the ice cream sandwich was ok – … Continue reading absorb the radiance

journey to the center of the cookie

once in a while, i love a big warm soft chewy chocolate chip cookie and trader joe’s journey to the center of the cookie is all of that in one. coming in a frozen pack of two these jumbo cookies have to be nuked for 65 seconds and then it is chocolate gooey goodness! it’s a BIG cookie so you have to share it with someone – hopefully with someone with equal passion for soft warm chocolatey goodness! be careful about two things – one, you can’t eat it when it’s hard – definitely not out of the package. also, … Continue reading journey to the center of the cookie

how to make healthier cookies

i rarely bake but when i do, i like to substitute healthier ingredients when i can. here are some tricks of the trade for making healthier Christmas cookies: Tip 1: Cut Back on Butter Try substituting canola oil for at least some of the butter in your recipe or try recipes that call for fat replacements which can be anything from fruit purees to reduced-fat dairy products like low-fat milk or buttermilk. Tip 2: Use Some Whole-Wheat Flour If a recipe calls for all-purpose flour, I swap out half of it for white whole-wheat flour. White whole-wheat flour for baking … Continue reading how to make healthier cookies

pumpkin spice cupcakes with orange meringue buttercream

i was so excited about the gingerbread cupcake with mango meringue buttercream i made last month that i was looking for an excuse to make the meringue buttercream again. when i saw this recipe for this pumpkin spice cupcake, i had to try it. the original recipe called for an orange sour cream frosting so i substituted it for an orange meringue buttercream. again, the buttercream was ridiculously good – it was hard to resist licking off all of the buttercream on each cupcake! but the orange flavor did go hand-in-hand with the pumpkin spice cupcake. yum! PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES Cupcake Ingredients … Continue reading pumpkin spice cupcakes with orange meringue buttercream

gingerbread cupcake with mango meringue buttercream

i been wanting to make bobby flay’s gingerbread cupcakes with caramelized mango buttercream since i saw the cupcake throwdown on his show last year. but when i read the recipe, the richness of the ingredients held me back. so i finally took a stab at modifying the ingredients a little to make it slightly healthier. so here is my version of bobby flay’s gingerbread cupcakes with a meringue buttercream from with some fresh mangos. GINGERBREAD CUPCAKE Cupcake Ingredients 1-3/4 cups 100% whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda a pinch of sea salt 1 tablespoon ground ginger … Continue reading gingerbread cupcake with mango meringue buttercream

hk: kee wah bakery

we arrive early to the airport to leave hong kong so we took turns to walk around the airport. a popular shop that many people went into and were purchasing mass quantities was at kee wah bakery. since i love bread and baked goods, i went in to see what the excitement was about – and what excitement it was! from cookies and biscuits – to – breads and shortcake – to – rice cakes and moon cakes … there were so many to choose from! they were also nicely packaged, perfect for buying for friends as gifts, as it … Continue reading hk: kee wah bakery

you’re such a meatball – and i love it!

you know how sometimes you have a taste in your mouth and you just have to satiate it? i had a hankering for meatballs the other day and luckily i knew exactly where i wanted to go: a place JUST for meatballs. i read about the meatball shop quite a while ago and i never forgot about it. i’m glad i didn’t! the shop does not disappoint. using a dry erase menu and dry erase markers (reusable and smart!), you choose: what kind of meat (beef, spicy pork, chicken, vegetable or the day’s special which happened to be lamb) what kind of … Continue reading you’re such a meatball – and i love it!

sprinkle your cupcakes with joy

there’s was a lot of buzz going on when sprinkles opened in nyc in may and it has not died down. i finally went when i was walking by the neighborhood and i will be back! looking like sprinkles falling from the sky, the cute store on the upper east side is designed with catchy bold dots of colors inside and out. it just looks fun and inviting – as it should be – you’re gonna have some cupcakes! when you enter, you are welcome to a display with three rows of cupcakes – which flavor to choose! for my first … Continue reading sprinkle your cupcakes with joy

charm city cakes + harry potter = explosive cakes

it has been a beautiful cake relationship between charm city cakes and harry potter. now that the last movie is coming out, the team pulled out all the stops for perhaps the last cake for the franchise. * this week, Charm City Cakes recreated a half-destroyed Hogwarts castle cake for the New York premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” “It’s got over 120 LED lights on it that are all on different circuits so they’re blinking at different moments, so it looks like it’s on fire, and then it’s got smoke machines that go through it, so smoke … Continue reading charm city cakes + harry potter = explosive cakes