Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

Dessert | January 31, 2017 | By

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.#Welchs #WelchsChia #CollectiveBias

This yogurt mousse is an easy, lightened up dessert, delicately sweetened with Welch’s Chia Strawberry Fruit Spread.

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse, sweetened with Welch's strawberry chia fruit spread

Today I’m sharing with you a lightened up dessert that you can feel pretty good about eating. I mean, it’s not totally guilt free. It’s not like, sweetened with dates, and vegan (it’s actually quite far from vegan. sorrynotsorry). But it is simply made with ingredients that you can feel good about.

Do you have any New Years resolutions? I totally forgot this year. I don’t know, I’ve been busy, I guess! I never keep them anyways, and I’m pretty sure I just say the same thing every year. Exercise more, eat healthier, lose baby weight. Same ol’ same ol’. Unfortunately, I eat a lot of sweet things. I blog about food though, and mostly desserts! What can I do?

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

I suppose one step is to at least occasionally introduce you to desserts that are a little more on the healthier side, right? So that’s what I’m doing today. I think this would actually be a good Valentine’s dessert for someone who wants to keep things lighter. The yogurt mousse is an off-white, sliiiiightly leaning towards pink, and the topping is red. Pink(ish… okay fine, off-white) and red. Perfect.

First, that red stuff that I so artfully placed on top of the mousse. It’s Welch’s chia strawberry fruit spread. It’s like jam but… it uses chia seeds (700 seeds per serving!) to get that “jam” consistency. Cool huh? Chia seeds are super good for you, so it’s kind of a cheater way to get some extra goodness in your diet. The ingredient list is pretty simple, without any GMO’s, preservatives, artificial stuff, or high fructose corn syrup. You can read all about it at Welch’s. It also comes in their classic concord grape!

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

This mousse has no extra added sugar (note: there’s sugar in the spread), and it’s rather lightly sweetened. If you have a sweet tooth, just spoon a little more of the spread on top, to taste. Disclaimer though… it’s not low fat. It has cream in it, and I personally used full fat Greek yogurt in it. You can sub a lower fat Greek yogurt, but you gotta keep the cream.

Can I tell you something though? I don’t think high fat dairy products are necessarily bad for you. In moderation. I mean, I feel good about giving this to my kids, because I give them 2% or whole milk (per pediatrician instruction) and I always give them full fat Greek yogurt!

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

It’s such a light fluffy dessert that I actually found myself eating it for breakfast. I mean, follow along here…if you can have jam on toast of breakfast, and you can have yogurt with granola, then why can’t you have yogurt mousse that’s only sweetened with jam/fruit spread? RIGHT? Genius.

By the way, I picked up the chia spread at Walmart. It’s in the Jelly, PB, ketchup aisle. You know the one. I think I might go back and get the chia grape when I run out of the grape jelly I have in the fridge. Honestly, it’s about the baby steps when it comes to eating healthier. Grape spread with a bunch of chia seeds is an upgrade from just grape jelly. HEY! I’m fulfilling my New Years resolutions that I didn’t even make this year. Woohoo!

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

How’s this for an artsy little picture? My husband was helping me take pictures and he said, “Oooh! Why don’t we do one where… The spoon is vertical”. And there you have it, folks. Vertical spoon. What do you think? Totally artsy and cool? Or so awkward looking?

Anyways, I hope you will give this yogurt mousse a try! Feel free to mix it up by using other flavors as well! It’s quite versatile! And as I mentioned before, you can also switch up the fat contents of the dairy products (except the cream, cream is cream and you can’t whip milk). Have fun, I won’t tell anyone that you ate it for dessert and then breakfast the next morning!

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse, sweetened with Welch's chia strawberry fruit spread
Print

Strawberry Yogurt Mousse

This yogurt mousse is an easy, lightened up dessert, delicately sweetened with Welch's Chia Strawberry Spread.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients

  • 200 ml Greek yogurt I used full fat
  • 50 ml milk I used 1%
  • 100 ml whipping cream
  • 3 T Welch's chia strawberry fruit spread or jam of your choice
  • 2 T cold water
  • 1.5 t gelatin
  • mint for garnish
  • Welch's chia strawberry fruit spread/jam of choice for topping

Instructions

  1. Bloom the gelatin by sprinkling it over the cold water in a small container. Set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and the chia spread and heat until hot, but not simmering. Add the bloomed gelatin and stir in to melt. If milk gets separated/curdled, don't worry, it won't affect the final outcome. Set aside to cool down.

  2. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold in the yogurt, and add the milk/chia spread mixture (should no longer be hot to the touch). Stir until fully combined, and ladle into individual containers. Cool in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.

  3. Before serving, spoon some extra chia spread on top, to taste, and garnish with mint. 

 

 

 

 

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Salmon Gratin

Main | January 27, 2017 | By

This salmon gratin with broccoli and mushrooms is a healthy, nutritious, weeknight meal that your family will love! 

Salmon Gratin- a healthy and nutritious weeknight dinner!

Salmon Gratin- a healthy and nutritious weeknight dinner!

Gratin is a French dish… originally. But strangely enough, it’s really popular in Japan!

So Japan does this thing where… they take things from other countries and then go crazy with it. Liiiiike have you ever had Japanese crepes? Oh baby. And how about cars? Any type of electronic device? Yeah, Japan is all about taking things from other countries and making it better.

You might not think gratin, which is basically any dish that has either a cheese or breadcrumb (or both) topping that gets browned in the oven, would be very Japanese. But, it’s just one of those things that took off, and now it’s a typical weeknight meal.

I thought it was a popular dish in America, since I grew up eating it, but turns out it’s actually not so common. My husband had never heard of it before, which made me realize… I had eaten it because my Japanese mother made it as a Japanese dish, not an American one.

Salmon Gratin- a healthy and nutritious weeknight dinner!

Weird. I mean, doesn’t it just seem so… American? A white sauce, cheese, bread… a lot of times it’ll have potatoes or pasta in it… It seems so American! Well, I guess we DO eat scalloped potatoes a lot here. But there just isn’t the variation that you see in Japan.

The recipe I’m sharing with you is a healthy salmon gratin, with lots of vitamins and nutrients! It’s packed with salmon, mushrooms, broccoli, and onion! If broccoli and mushrooms aren’t your thing, you can substitute other veggies in there. Just make sure you cook or steam them first. The oven stage is just to melt the cheese and brown the top.

This gratin is easy to prepare, and SUCH a comfort food. Not to mention, if you make it in the individual dishes, it’s kind of a fun presentation. Of course, if you don’t have individual gratin dishes, you can make it in a bigger dish and just scoop it onto a plate!

Salmon Gratin- a healthy and nutritious weeknight dinner!

 

Look at thaaaat. Mmmsalmonyumyumyum.

Salmon Gratin- a healthy and nutritious weeknight dinner!
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Salmon Gratin

This salmon gratin with broccoli and mushrooms is a healthy, nutritious, weeknight meal that your family will love! 

Course dinner, Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 6-8 oz salmon fillets skin removed
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 oz crimini mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 400 ml milk
  • 3 T butter
  • 6 T all purpose flour
  • salt to taste
  • mozzarella or white cheese blend

Instructions

  1. Make the white sauce: combine the thinly sliced onion and flour. Heat a skillet over low heat and add the butter. Add the onion and cook until no longer powdery and white. Add the milk a little bit at a time, stirring well after each addition. Once the milk is added, continue to stir until thickened. Salt to taste.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the broccoli florets into bite sized pieces and either boil in salted water, microwave and salt, or steam and salt. Cut salmon fillets into bitesized pieces and salt. Cut mushrooms into quarters (or in half, or in sixths according to size) Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat and brown the salmon pieces. Remove salmon and saute and salt the mushrooms. 

  3. Put the broccoli, mushrooms, and salmon into either individual gratin dishes or a casserole dish. Pour white sauce on top and lightly stir to help bring pieces to the top. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and cook in oven until melted. Do a quick pass under the broiler to brown the top more, if desired. 

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Mebae "&" magazine, February edition (Japanese). 

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Maui- Top 5 local sweets you HAVE to try

Dessert | January 24, 2017 | By

Maui- Top 5 local sweets you HAVE to try

Can’t make it to Maui anytime soon? Tide yourself over with my Chocolate Haupia Pie, Pumpkin Mochi, or Mochiko Chicken recipes!

Ahhh, Maui. Beautiful paradise. At the beginning of January, my husband, kids and I went to visit family in Maui. While we were there, I decided to contact and visit my favorite places to get sweets! I also got to go to a couple of new places, based on recommendations from local friends and family. THESE are the places you need to go to get your sweet fix on Maui!

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice

Soft and fluffy ice plus delicious house made syrups equals perfection.

Hands down, this is the best shave ice you can get on Maui (I’d say the world, but I haven’t actually tried shave ice all around the world, so, you know…). I had my first Ululani shave ice experience about 5 years ago, and my world was changed. Never again could I enjoy shave ice that was icy. It needed to be fluffy. No more store bought syrup after I tasted their handmade recipes. Really, it’s their fault that I’m such a shave ice snob now. By the way, don’t go calling it shaveD ice, or people will know you’re a tourist! Shave ice, guys. Shave ice.

So what makes Ululani’s so special? I got to speak with David Yamashiro who, with his wife Ululani, turned a small side business into a shave ice empire! He told me about several things that make them stand out. First, their ice- soft and fluffy… not icy, not crunchy, just… fluffy! It’s unlike any snow cone you can get on the mainland, I promise.

Second, the syrups. Now, I’m not really a fan of store bought fruit syrups, and this is where Ululani’s really shines. They hand make all of their syrups, and many of their fruit flavors are made with fresh fruit puree. As a matter of fact, their mango syrup is 33% pureed mango, wow! Their goal when they first opened shop is to make “every flavor exceptional” and, my favorite, they wanted their flavors to be “punch-you-in-the-mouth”.

Haleakala, Sunset beach (back left), and their new “crackseed” line (right)

The third thing that makes Ululani’s special, is their commitment to customer satisfaction. “If we heard it once, we make note of it, if we heard it twice, we addressed it… Everything that we do is based on feedback.” Over the course of eight years on Maui, they have tweaked, improved, and perfected the art of shave ice. By the way, the reason there are holes in the ice? Well, it’s to help the syrup reach alllll of the ice. Something they started doing after feedback about the bottom ice not having flavor. Like I said, perfecting their trade.

Oh, and can I say one more awesome thing that I learned from David during my visit? They use Roselani ice cream at the bottom of their shave ice (ice cream on the bottom is typical for Hawaiian style shave ice. Optional, but why wouldn’t you???) but there are three tiers of quality that Roselani sells: economy, premium, and gourmet. Guess which one Ululani’s uses? Yup, the gourmet. And their mochi topping is fresh from Maui Specialty Chocolates (more on that below)! Mmm, quality ingredients=amazing end product!

By the way, we tried the Haleakala (leche, coconut) topped with toasted coconut, the Sunset beach (mango, guava, passion orange), my personal go-to combo of almond, lychee, melona with a snow-cap and topped with mochi, and we got a sneak peak at their new flavors from the “crackseed store” line (li hing mui, pickled mango, wet lemon peel). The last one is all about local flavors and is so unique. I’ve never tasted shave ice like that, and it was delicious! As a matter of fact, they were all amazing!

Tasaka Guri Guri

Gail (right) and her cousin Kelly (left). Guri Guri is 100% family owned and operated!

Located in the non-descript Maui mall (not to be confused with the Kaahumanu mall), Tasaka Guri Guri is a place I have to visit every time I visit Maui, no exceptions. I got to speak with Gail, who is the great granddaughter of the founder of Maui’s Guri Guri. Guri Guri has been around for over 100 years (!!!!!!) and they’ve somehow managed to keep their recipe a family secret! As a matter of fact, she and her sister are the only ones (besides a retired uncle) who know the secret recipe. How cool is that?

So what is Guri Guri? Well, that’s hard to explain. It’s kind of sherbet-y, but it’s not sherbet because there is dairy in it. It’s not ice cream… “you just gotta try it”, says Gail. And when you try it, make sure you try at least a scoop of each. Although, you’ll probably wish you got the four scoop.

Super scooping technique. So fast, the camera could barely catch it.

There are two flavors. Just two. Strawberry and pineapple. “Have you guys ever thought of expanding the number of flavors?”, a question I’m surely not the first to ask. But, “we just like to keep things simple”. Fair enough. Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right?

By the way, my mom came to Maui for my wedding, and she tried Guri Guri and loved it (obviously), and tried to recreate it at home. The result? Less than stellar. “We see people put their recipes in local cookbooks and things? And we look at it and it’s like, no… not even close”. So if you see a recipe online that says it’s JUST LIKE GURI GURI!!! Well, sorry, it’s probably not. Only Gail and her sister can make Guri Guri so just stop trying and come back to Maui if you want some more.

Anyways, you really have to try this Maui classic.

Maui Specialty Chocolates

Their most popular item, peanut butter milk chocolate mochi, with their chocolate ganache mochi (my personal favorite)

I had been eating Maui Specialty Chocolates since the first time I visited Maui back in 2009… I just didn’t know it. All I knew was that there was peanut butter chocolate mochi and it was delicious. Any mochi lovers out there? You HAVE to go eat the mochi at Maui Specialty Chocolates. While I was in there taking some pictures, a few customers walk in and one of the guys said, “Dude, the mochi here is SO soft, you have to try it.” Which basically sums it all up.

I talked to Tony, who started Maui Specialty Chocolates with his wife Valerie. Although, as he told me, “She does it all. She just makes me work here”. Hehe. They’ve been in business for 27 years, and their recipes and chocolate blends (top secret, by the way) are all created by Valerie. She went to the Culinary Institute of America, so she has a solid background in sweets making.

This is how they started. She’d make chocolates for holiday gifting and people would keep coming back asking her if they could get an extra box to give to so-and-so, or… maybe just for themselves. And the business started because, and I quote, “they’d say, you should sell it! And so hey, let’s sell it”. So beautifully simple, I love it.

Their new Himalayan salted dark chocolate was also delish!

They started selling mochi about 10-11 years ago, and it’s since become their most popular item. The secret to success? The sooooft mochi. It’s so soft, and then there’s crunchy peanut butter chocolate inside, or if you get the chocolate ganache, then… well, there’s chocolate ganache inside (bonus! The chocolate ganache one is wrapped in chocolate mochi!).

Something they want people to know? Well, they make everything themselves, and they ONLY sell it at the store. Don’t try to find it off-island, and don’t think you can find it at a local grocery store. Nope, you have to go to the store. So exclusive! And make sure to go early! When I was there right at opening, there were several customers coming in and buying multiple boxes of the mochi. First come first served!

Oh, and remember the mochi topping at Ululani’s that I mentioned? Made fresh every morning by Maui Specialty Chocolates.

I love this quote on their About Us, “the goal of Maui Specialty Chocolates has never been to sell the most chocolates but to make the best chocolates possible using the finest chocolates and freshest ingredients”. It’s so refreshing when businesses truly focus on quality over making money. You can really feel the love and passion these two have for their shop.

Maui Pie

Mango strawberry pie is their best selling dessert pie!

Now here’s an inspiring story. A girl grows up in a pie shop. Okay that sounds weird. What I’m saying is that her parents owned a pie shop and she spent a lot of time there. She grows up and thinks, I don’t want to do what my parents did. I’m going to do my own thing… so she goes into the corporate scene, realizes the corporate grind sucks, and comes back to… you guessed it, baking pies!

Maui Pie was opened about a year and a half ago, in July 2015 by Kellee and Ryan. They are both from Michigan, but always loved, loved, LOVED Maui. They visited several times over the course of 10 years, and always felt so sad when they had to leave. When they got married, two and half years ago, they decided, yeah, let’s move to Maui. So, 6 months later, they were in Maui, and 6 months after that? Maui Pie was opened.

I mean, everyone has dreams, but how many people just get up and go DO what they want to do? I think it’s awesome! They’re still new but are quickly growing, and feel confident that they have now staked their place in Maui. They love being active in their community, and are always looking for ways to give back. I mean, these guys are so super nice, I’m really glad I got to chat with Kellee! I felt personally inspired to go after my dreams!

Lilikoi cream pie on the left, their best selling chicken pot pie on the right. Both amazing.

Anyways, back to the food. Their most popular sweet pie is their mango strawberry. And yes, it was delicious. I also tried their lilikoi (passion fruit) cream pie. Like key-lime, but better. Their pies are “grandma-approved” and don’t use any preservatives, fillers, gels, etc. Basically their pillars are sugar, butter, flour. Good, good, good. I am generally not a huge fan of pie crusts, but the crusts on Maui Pie pies completely changed my mind. If pie crust were always that good, well, I’d be eating pies a lot more.

Need something savory to balance the sweet? Their most popular item in the store is actually their chicken pot pie. And yes, I tried that too and it was delicious. Flaky flaky crust.

My sister-in-law told me I just had to try Maui Pie out, and I’m so glad I did! By the way, my lifelong dream is to just get up and move to Japan. On our drive home I told my husband, “can we be like Maui Pie and just get up and move to Japan, please?” But apparently it’s not that easy. So he says… we’ll see.

Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop

Their famous banana cream pie! The outdoor seating area was so cute!

When I asked for recommendations of where I should go eat, I kept hearing that I needed to check out Leoda’s and try their cream pie. So, even though I’m not a huge banana cream pie fan, I had to give it a try (guess who is now a banana cream pie fan? This girl). It’s on the way to Lahaina, so it would be a great place to stop by if you are going to do a day trip out there.

Leoda’s just celebrated their 5th year in business, but the company that owns it has been in Maui for a long time. They started off with Old Lahaina Luau 30 years ago and have since added Aloha Mixed Plate, Star Noodle (we went there for dinner… get the brussel sprouts. TRUST ME), and then Leoda’s. Leoda is actually the mother of one of the owners, and she grew up in Olowalu, which is where the shop is located. So basically, the shop is a homage to her. Cool huh?

The number one thing you should know about Leoda’s? 90%… yes NINETY percent of their ingredients are sourced on Maui. I mean, Maui is a tiny little island. I don’t know how they do it, but apparently they do, so, great! Locally sourced means fresh, in season, and delicious! As an example, their sauerkraut is made in store using local Kula cabbage. They tinkered with the recipe for 3 months to perfect it. It’s amazing what can happen when chefs are given the freedom to experiment, be creative, and really work out recipes, to bring the very best product to us, the customers!

Loved the interior of this shop, too!

Leoda’s most popular sweet item is their banana cream pie, which is what everyone was telling me I needed to try. However, the staff favorite is, hands-down, the key lime pie. So, I tried both. Which one is better? Well, what are you in the mood for? Light, fluffy, creamy banana cream pie? Or tart, rich, smooth key lime? I don’t know, they were both amazing. I’d recommend getting both.

While you’re at it? Get their Reuben sandwich. I didn’t have the opportunity to try it, because of some time constraints, but I was just dying over the description of it. They make their corned beef in house by brining it for three days and smoking it. They make their own sauerkraut and thousand island dressing (which is 100x better than the stuff you can get at the store). And apparently it’s ah-mazing. I don’t doubt it at all.

I really liked the feel of Leoda’s. The interior is really cute, and it would be a great place to have lunch, and of course, pie!

 

So there you have it, my top 5 recommendations for Maui sweets! Do you have any favorites that aren’t mentioned here? Let me know below in the comments!

 

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Chocolate Stovetop Cake with Pomegranate Cream

Dessert | January 19, 2017 | By

This stovetop cake with pomegranate cream is easy to make and you don’t need an oven! Chocolate and pomegranate come together to make a rich but fresh dessert.

Stovetop Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream

So I just came back from a trip to Maui to visit my husband’s family. I haven’t posted in TWO WEEKS! Which I guess isn’t that long, but by the end of the trip I was itching to get back into the kitchen and make something.

The day I got back from Maui, I went to the store to restock the kitchen and came across some pomegranate arils. I usually am not a huge pomegranate eater since they are a tad expensive (especially when they are just the arils), but something stopped me from walking away that day. I thought, I just flew for almost an entire day with three little kids, so I should treat myself. So into the basket they went. And then I added a container of pomegranate juice, because I had a dessert idea brewing in my mind…

Stovetop Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream

Aren’t pomegranate arils just beautiful? I knew I wanted to pair that rich ruby color with chocolate, to make a perfect Valentine’s day dessert… although this could work any time of the year. I mean, fruit and chocolate. Can’t go wrong.

This cake is extra special because it’s made SANS OVEN! So, yes, basically it’s kind of sort of a pancake cake, but, not really. It’s a cake, and it’s made in a pan, but it doesn’t have the texture, bite, or flavor of a pancake. It’s much better!

Stovetop Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream

It’s easy to make. You mix up the batter, and then you cut out a parchment paper to fit in the bottom of your skillet (I used my 9 inch). You heat it over medium low, pour some batter, throw on the lid, and let it cook through. Peel off, repeat. I used the one piece of paper for all my layers. Then, to make it pretty, I used my big round cookie cutter. It’s a little over 5 inches in diameter, so actually, it’s probably not for cookies… I wonder what it’s for?

You can choose to make your cake whatever diameter you want. Just make sure you pour bigger than the diameter of the round cutter you are using. Smaller diameter means more layers and a taller cake. Don’t get too crazy or you’ll get the leaning tower of cake!

Stovetop Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream

Stovetop Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Cream
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Chocolate Stovetop Cake with Pomegranate Cream

This stovetop cake is easy to make and you don't need an oven! Chocolate and pomegranate come together to make a rich but fresh dessert.

Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 4 large eggs
  • 90 g cake flour
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 100 g sugar
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 2 T milk
  • 1/2 t vanilla optional
  • Parchment paper
  • Large round (cookie) cutter 5 inch diameter, or whatever size you want to use

Pomegranate Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T powdered sugar
  • 1 cup 100% pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 t vanilla or 1/2 t, to taste
  • 1 T cold water optional
  • 1 t gelatin optional
  • pomegranate arils for garnish

Instructions

  1. Take one cup of pomegranate juice and heat in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Allow to simmer away until it reduces to about 1/4 cup. Place in a container and allow to cool while making the cake.

  2. Place eggs in warm-hot water bath while you measure out your other ingredients. Sift together the cake flour and cocoa powder. Combine milk with butter and melt. Crack warm eggs into large mixing bowl and beat with hand mixer until slightly frothy. Add in the sugar and beat until light and fluffy and tripled-quadrupled in size. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the eggs and fold in. Add 1/3 of the butter mixture and fold in. Repeat until all the ingredients are combined. If adding vanilla, add with the last bit of butter. 

  3. Heat a 9-inch (or whatever size you are using) skillet over medium low heat. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the skillet and place on the skillet while heating. Using a ladle, scoop the batter onto the parchment paper and use the bottom of the ladle to spread it out a little. The batter should be about 5mm in thickness. Make sure your diameter is larger than the diameter of the round cutter you will be using to cut it. Place lid on skillet and cook through. This should take anywhere from a couple of minutes to 6 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back when poked in the middle and doesn't stick to your finger. Using tongs, remove the parchment paper and peel the cake off and set aside. Repeat with the remaining batter. Using the round cutter, cut out the circle and discard (read: eat) the outer scraps. Set aside. 

  4. Place 1 cup heavy whipping cream in a large bowl and add the powdered sugar. Whip the cream until medium peaks form. Add the reduced pomegranate syrup and vanilla, and whip until stiff peaks form. Make sure not to overwhip, or your cream will start turning into butter and won't be smooth and shiny.

    Optional: For a firmer cream that tastes the same, sprinkle 1 t of gelatin over 1 T of cold water and allow to bloom for a few minutes, while initially whipping the cream. When you add the pomegranate syrup, heat the gelatin in the microwave for about 5 seconds. Watch closely. You want it to melt, but not boil! While whipping the cream and pomegranate, drizzle in the melted gelatin. This will result in a cream that will hold up better to multiple layers, and won't gush out the sides when slicing the cake. 

  5. Spread a layer of pomegranate cream over each layer of cake and stack. The amount you use per layer will depend on the diameter of cake. On the top layer, add some more cream, and garnish with pomegranate arils. Refrigerate to set the cream.

Recipe Notes

Stovetop cake idea from Orange Page Cookbook- はじめてのお菓子

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Belgian Liege Waffles

Breakfast, Dessert, Snacks | January 5, 2017 | By

Belgian liege waffles are made with a raised yeast dough, and filled with pieces of Belgian pearl sugar. 

Belgian liege waffles

Regular waffles are good. However, my husband makes them too often, so I’m in this perpetual “sick of them” stage. Same with pancakes. Seriously, it’s Saturday morning and my husband says, “I think I’m going to make pancakes”, and I say, “Please noooo moooooore pancaaaaakes I’m so tired of themmmmm”. I’m so ungrateful, right?

Pancakes and waffles are so easy to whip up, so it’s his go-to special weekend breakfast. But we have a special special waffle that we make on very special occasions. It’s way better than a normal waffle. So much so, that you can’t really even compare the two.
Liege waffles

Liege. waffles. Made with a yeast dough, filled with Belgian pearl sugar that caramelizes and crisps up as you waffle iron it. Not to mention the butter that goes into it… yum. It’s seriously our favorite sweet breakfast, and that’s why we had it as our very first meal of 2017. Start the year off right!

These waffles aren’t the kind you can just whip together and have on the table in twenty minutes. These take a little love and patience. But good things are worth the wait. You gotta sit there for thirty minutes, letting the yeast rise. Otherwise, though, it’s quite straightforward to make.

Liege waffles

I’m gonna be honest, this recipe is adapted from the back of the box of Belgian pearl sugar. I won’t take any credit for creativity here… I just want to spread the love of liege waffles. Anyways, I increased the yeast a tad, by preference, and halved the recipe. If you make a full recipe you WILL eat it all and that’s very very dangerous. I think half a batch is a perfect amount for 3-4 people to share.

Also, PLEASE please please don’t try and make this without Belgian pearl sugar. It just can’t be made without it. It really can’t. It’s what makes the whole thing work. You can buy it on Amazon here: Lars’ Own Belgian Pearl Sugar 8 Ounces (Pack of 2) (affiliate link, at no extra cost to you).

Liege waffles

Feel free to top these with things like nutella, whipped cream, maple syrup, chocolate sauce, fruit compote, whateeeever you want! But can I be honest? My favorite way to eat them is plain, MAYBE with a little whipped cream.

Belgian liege waffles
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Belgian Liege Waffles

Belgian liege waffles are made with a raised yeast dough, and filled with pieces of Belgian pearl sugar.

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 7 waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 t instant dry yeast
  • 6 T lukewarm milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 4 oz Belgian pearl sugar or less, to taste

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm milk in a small container and let sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, place the flour in large bowl, add the softened butter, and combine using your hand. Add egg, salt, vanilla, and mix together. Add in the yeast and milk and mix to fully combine. The dough will be quite sticky and messy. 

  2. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise (about 30 minutes). Add the Belgian sugar and knead in until evenly distributed. Divide into approximately 3 ounce balls (to make about 7 total), and bake in a heated waffle iron (I did level 5 out of 6 on mine, but your temp will vary according to the make/model of the waffle iron). 

Recipe Notes

Adapted from the recipe on the back of the Lars' Own Belgian Pearl Sugar (affiliate link, at no extra cost to you).

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Baked Soy Sauce Sticky Wings

Main, Side Dish | January 2, 2017 | By

These soy sauce sticky wings are baked, but SO crispy, with a sweet and salty glaze. 

Baked soy sauce sticky wings

Baked soy sauce sticky wings

I didn’t eat my first wings until college. I’m not even kidding! I grew up in America and I never ever had wings! My mom is anti having bones in chicken, so I just never had the opportunity to eat it. My husband introduced me to wings when we were dating, and I haven’t looked back since.

Well, no, that’s not completely true. My first few times eating it I was apprehensive, because… there are BONES in this chicken and I am picking meat off the BONES, whaaaat?! But then I got over it, because it’s so delicious.

Baked soy sauce sticky wings

Anyways, I don’t really like to fry food when I don’t have to because, while delicious, it’s kind of a lot of work! I’ve fried wings before and they turn out… okay. Not as crispy as I would like. So, whoda thought that BAKING wings can make super super crispy yummy wings?! I discovered the recipe on The Cookful and now it’s my go to method for making wings!

The glaze is a simple but delicious combo of soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Soy sauce and sugar is seriously one of my favorite combinations (remember these gnocchi mochi?), and you basically can’t go wrong with it. Unless you burn the glaze. That would be very wrong.

Baked soy sauce sticky wings

So, one thing to note… baking wings takes time! BUT let’s not forget that it’s hands off time. You just pop it in the oven, and there’s one temperature change. That’s it! No slaving over hot oil! If you haven’t tried baking wings yet, you HAVE to give it a try!

Baked soy sauce sticky wings
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Baked Soy Sauce Sticky Wings

These wings are baked, but SUPER crispy, and tossed in an irresistible soy sauce-sugar glaze.  

Course dinner
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 20 wings

Ingredients

  • 2 lb chicken wings
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 4 T soy sauce
  • 3 T sugar
  • drizzle sesame oil to taste
  • sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place a cooking rack in a sheet pan. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with 1 T baking powder (not soda!!!) to evenly coat. Place the wings on the cooking rack, and bake for 30 minutes. Then, without opening the oven, turn the heat up to 425 degrees F. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until they are crispy and golden. 

  2. When wings are done, or just about done, start making the glaze. In a small saucepan, heat the soy sauce and sugar over medium heat and stir until sugar is completely melted. Allow the mixture to simmer and thicken, about 5 minutes, and add a drizzle of sesame oil, to taste. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the wings. Serve topped with sesame seeds!

Recipe Notes

Baking wings recipe from: The Cookful.

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