Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Asian Style Stir Fried Green Beans

        I can't believe how the past two weeks of November flew. With the Bake Sale for the Philippines, parent teacher conferences, kids' increased homework and sudden influx of laundry brought about by the crazy Jersey weather, everything seemed to be in the Urgent list.  Then came yesterday's Thanksgiving Feast for Child #3.  Yes, it's already Thanksgiving week people! 

      For those who are still wondering what dishes to make for the big feast, I have this very easy, unique and of course delicious recipe for string beans.  Since this is not the traditional one that is loaded with cream, bread crumbs and fats, you and your guests will be happy to have extra room for dessert.  Who doesn't like that? 

       The shrimp paste needed for this recipe is readily available at any Asian store.  A jar is usually less than $3.  If this is the first time you will use it, don't get scared with the smell. Straight out the the bottle, this ingredient is really pungent and salty.  Once it hits the oil though, it will bring out a nice earthy flavor.  Watch out!  It is really concentrated so a little goes a long way. 

        Expecting a big crowd?  Just double the recipe and the result is still awesome.  Since this side dish is fine at room temperature, you can easily make it ahead of time as well.

          I'm sure most of us are grocery rushing already, I will not be keeping you.  Happy Thanksgiving Tuesday my friends.

- Roz                    


2 24 oz bags green beans (about 2 lbs)
8 big cloves of garlic sliced
1/2 cup sliced red onions
2 tsp. shrimp paste
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 tsp. canola or corn oil (you can also use bacon grease for extra flavor)
1 tsp. chili flakes
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. water or broth

1. In a big pan or wok if you have it, preheat the oil until it is almost smoking.
2. Saute garlic, red onions and shrimp paste for about 1 minute.
3. Add the green beans, black pepper, chili flakes and water.
4. Stir fry until the green beans are tender.  Depending on the freshness of the green beans, it will be about 7- 10 minutes.  Make sure to keep on stirring for even cooking.  Make sure not to over cook.
5. Once the beans reached your preferred tenderness. Turn off heat and drizzle the lemon juice.
6. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bake Sale for Typhoon Haiyan Survivors in the Philippines

        Bake sales and food allergies don't usually go together.  In fact, that combination is one of a food allergy mom's worse nightmares.  Ah! That dreaded table of scrumptious treats paired with stares of longing never fail to break a mother's heart.
             Last weekend though, I learned a very important lesson from my children. They taught me that food allergies cannot stop them from doing something that is close to their hearts.  When they heard about the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, without any hesitation, they said "Let's do a bake sale to raise money for the people affected! We'll bake something that even those with food allergies like us can buy."
            The idea sounded great.  If they would actually do it, seriously, I'm not sure.  To test whether this is something they would really do, I told them, I will give them the spot of Jaydemia (my jewelry business) at the craft show the next day if they would help bake and clean up the house.  All four were excited. 

            The first hour went well.  In fact, it was fun and amusing because whatever I say, they follow without any complaints or arguments.  After the third batch of  the Pumpkin Oat Muffins came out of the oven, I realized that these kids are quite serious with the challenge. When was the last time a batch of muffins lasted untouched for more than two hours in our home?   Never until last Saturday!  

               When I told them that the more goodies we bake, the more money we can make, they became extra eager to be involved.  My oldest hand washed dishes and measuring utensils like crazy without any word.  Child # 2  and #3 kept on asking what they will do next.  Even Child #4 was able to keep the living room floor clean!  

             The following day, the girls who promised to sell the baked goods, woke up at 6 am so that they could set up at the craft show before 8 am.  They worked for the full 8 hours and only took a few minutes of break to eat lunch, making sure that one of them will be available to man the table.   I kept my distance and gave them full control of their table.  Unless they ask for help (giving change for big bills), I just observed.  Honestly, I was totally amazed on how they've handled the bake sale. They shared stories about their previous trip to the Philippines and even their food allergies. 

           At the end of the day, they were able to sell everything and even had some orders and pledges.  After learning that were able to sell more than $250 that day, the girls decided to continue accepting orders for the holidays to reach their Goal of $1,000 donation for the typhoon survivors. 

          All proceeds of the bake sale will be donated to:

1. The Association of Bantayanons in America, Inc. (A 501.c3 organization based in the US whose members are from Bantayan Islands.) 
    *  I have been supporting this group's livelihood projects even before the calamity.

2. De La Salle University Philippines Disaster Relief Program. (Here's the direct donation link)
    * My Alma Mater! I used to be part of the group's volunteers during my college days.   

         As of this posting, the total money we have raised including orders and pledges is now $578.00

          I have to say, I was really surprised how the kids have made their food restrictions a plus instead of a hindrance.  Not only are they doing something for people 8,000 miles away, they are proudly advocating food allergies here in our town. 

           There's so much I wanted to write but our little oven is calling me.  To end up, I'll borrow my girls' line ---- "Will you help?"

- Roz               

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Can't Get Enough Pumpkin Oat Muffins

      Ah, it's that time of the year again.  Orange is definitely the new black!  Okay people I'm not referring to the show.  In fact, I've never seen it at all even though we have a Netflix subscription.

       What I'm talking about here is the wonderful vegetable called pumpkin.  From coffee to soups to decorations, this fall must have is definitely all over the place. I don't know about your kids but in our home, pumpkin has taken over the top spot from chocolate.  Is that even possible? Looks like it.
      With so many asking for pumpkin recipes, I decided to share with you my secret Pumpkin Oat muffin recipe.  (I hope you all can keep a secret.) You will notice that it only requires one cup of pumpkin puree. I know what you're thinking.  What to do with the leftover puree?  Don't worry I assure you, one batch or even two will enough for everyone. My kids are devouring it like crazy.  I barely can keep up with the baking!

         Guess what?  Even my kids' friends who don't have food allergies love it. Give this gluten free, vegan treat a try this holiday season.  I'm sure your non food allergy friends and family will enjoy it too.

- Roz


1 cup oat flour (I make my own using Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt (finely ground)
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
1/4 cup oil (I used Organic Virgin Coconut Oil )
2 Tbs. flax meal
6 Tbs. lukewarm water
1 cup sugar (I used Organic Coconut Sugar )
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup non dairy milk (I used flax milk.  You can also use coconut or rice milk)
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners or grease with oil.
2. Prepare flax goo by combining the flax meal and water.  Set it aside for at least 5 minutes before using.
3. In a small bowl, make "buttermilk" by adding the vinegar to the non dairy milk. Mix and set aside.
4. Except for the sugar, whisk all the dry ingredients. 
5. With the mixer running, cream the oil and sugar.
6. Add the flax good and pumpkin puree.  Mix well.
7. In 3 batches, alternately add the dry ingredients and non dairy "buttermilk" to the pumpkin mix.
8. Scoop into prepared muffin pan.  Make sure each cavity is only 2/3 full.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Use the toothpick test --- the toothpick comes out clean.
10. Let it cool in the muffin tins for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling wire rack.
11. Top with powdered sugar for a festive look.

Makes about 18 standard sized muffins.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday Freebies - Gluten Free Dessert Ebooks

         It's the day after Trick or Treating.  If your food allergy loved one made it without any bad reactions, Congratulations!  For those who don't have any food restrictions like me, don't get carried away with all the goodies ok.  It's just the start of the celebration marathon. 

         Speaking of holidays, did you know that those candies or chocolates you have on hand are excellent additions to desserts?  A basic cake or cookie recipe can become extra special  and uniquely yours by just adding some of those candy bars. You can chop them and add some to the batter, use as toppings or even melted for a gooey drizzle.  What's even sweeter is that no one knows you didn't  buy your secret ingredients. Wink!
         Need some ideas?  Check out what I found for you today.  Three gluten free ebooks filled with basic dessert recipes. Just add some chocolates or candies and I'm sure you can make each recipe more decadent.   
- Roz  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...