Friday, November 1, 2019

Cheesy Cornbread Muffins for a Snacky Weekend

Autumn is almost away and the days are getting darker and much, much colder - at least in the part of the world I am living. The body is getting tired and we need more often small energy snacks to keep up walking through the day.
For those longing for a power snack but afraid there is not enough time for baking it ourselves, I'm bringing you just another easy muffin recipe, made of cornflour, cheese - lots of it, milk and...many more easy ingredients. It's ready in less than one hour and fills your breakfast, dinner and lunch, plus the short snack breaks with a lot of healthy energy.

Ingredients
1 cup cornflour
15 gr. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 full tablespoon cooking oil
3 medium-sized eggs
2/3 cup milk, at the room temperature
11 pigeonheart tomatoes, cut in quarters
1 full cup shredded cheese


Directions
Heat the oven art 250C, at least 15 minutes before starting the baking. Add the ingredients, one by one, while whisking them well. Let the composition to rest for a couple of minutes, then pour it into 12 muffin papercups. 
Bake it for around 20 minutes or until ready. I've personally preferred them a bit crispy on the top, therefore I've kept it for almost 30 minutes. Your muffins are ready!


Serves: 12 crunchy tasty cornbread muffins
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 20-30 minutes

Bon Appétit!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Product Review: ISANA Automatic Face Cleaning Brush

One small kid, several jobs, several blogs, lots of things to do in just 24 days. My mother always used to say that regardless how busy you are, you should never neglect your face. You better wake up at 5am twice the week to have a mask than spend one month or more completely neglecting yourself. I was not necessarily a well-behaved kid, listening to what my mother say, but her face was always good looking, regardless the age and the life hardships and illnesses she went through. 
In her memory, I am trying to keep up with my self-care, beauty rituals, either by using a face mask - twice the week, or by trying to get some treatments - once in a while - or practicing some healthy beauty tips. Of course nothing compares to the professional knowledge of a beauty practician, but as for now, my investments are better done in other areas therefore I am doing a lot of things by myself, using beauticians' advices and family lessons.
Face cleansing is very important as it is the basis of a healthy skin. It eliminates those dead cells and add a healthy touch to your face. I religiously remove my makeup every day, but in the last year I feel that I need some more serious treatment, which includes deep peeling and a treatment to add more vitality to my skin.
Therefore, when once I've seen ISANA Face Cleaning Brush, I decided to go for it in a second. As it costs under 15$ -  with batteries included - it does not include a high investment risk. It comes in a box, with a small bag to keep the product between uses, with three different brushes: silicon, normal and smooth. The product is small so it does not take too much storage space. The instruction booklet is written in a couple of languages - among which Hungarian, Turkish, German and Polish, but - unfortunatelly - no English. 
I am using it for already one month and very happy with the result. My skin looks healthier and I feel less guilty for not taking time off for my beauty routine. I have a small beauty parlor in my home and I can happily live with that.
The normal and silicone brush applies to all types of skin, while the smooth one is recommended for special types. I have a normal type of skin and I happily and successfully used the three of them. It works. The normal brush is recommended for intensive cleaning, the smooth one for gentle cleaning, while the silicon is good for peeling and deep cleaning. 
You can use it in several ways. Either on a wet skin or after using special face cleaning products, applied either directly on the brush or on the face. 
The automatic system has two speeds and a cycle lasts around 60 seconds. Every minutes it stops automatically. I personally used it for maximum 3 cycles. More than that it might provoke iritation or hurt. I've used it through circular movements on the cheeks, forehead, nase and chin. A couple of seconds - less than 30 - for each of this side is enough. 
After you are done, you can apply your usual daily creams. 
The brushes should be cleaned following every use and dried with a clean cloth. You need to be careful to not use it close to the eyes and, as in the case of all such products, keep them away from children. 
It is very easy to use - practically I do it early in the morning, with one hand, while the other hand is busy preparing the coffee and the breakfast. It makes it a good beauty care product for the time when too busy for scheduling an appointment at the beauty salon.  

Easy Peasy Apple Muffins Recipe

Apples are one of the main ingredients of a successful Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) table. You can bake them, or just slice them and dip them in the honey, turn them into kugel or...do whatever you want with them. Everything is accepted because...it's Rosh Hashanah. 
This year, I was very comfy with not cooking non-stop for days - or even weeks. I wanted to make things as simple as possible and bring love and happiness to an otherwise traditional table, instead of tired faces. Because muffins are a very loved baking item in our household, I had the idea to have them with apples. You have tradition, and little cakes and an easy baking process and not too many ingredients. Eff it! Ready, steady go!

Ingredients

1 cup white flour
8 gr. baking powder
2/3 cup white sugar
10 gr. vanilla sugar
4 medium-sized apples, finelly shredded
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions

Heat the oven at 250C, preferably at least 10 minutes before starting the baking.
Add the ingredients, one by one and mix well to have a homogenous composition.
Pour the content into the muffin papers.
Bake them until ready.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12

Bon Appétit!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Easy Tempura Meatballs Recipe


I am not a big expert in meatballs and practically only did it a couple of times. It has to do mostly with the aesthethical part of the process, when mysteriously, my almost perfectly rolled balls are breaking into small little pieces while in the boiling oil. If they are bigger, they end up looking like hamburgers with no clear resemblance with the ping pong little balls that are, according to my experienced friends, so easy to shape. It might be a matter of ingredients, experience and patience, and I am well aware that I have significant minuses.
Last week, I had a craving for homemade meatballs and as my cravings were bigger than my reluctance, they won over. But, as usual, although I followed a classical recipe, I added some special unique ingredients hoping that, if they don't look good at least they taste good.
The experience was not bad, in both in terms of taste and looks some improvements were made. The choice of ingredients was inspired and my table guests appreciated not only the effort, but also the final result. The choice of tempura flour instead of normal flour or crumbs was a neutral one, as it did not affected at all the taste and it succedeed to bind together all the ingredients as a smooth glue.
Therefore, I am happy to share the recipe and the inspiration.

Ingredients
400 gr. minced chicken meat
1 tablespoon salt - as usual, kosher salt is always recommended
1 tablespoon za'atar
1/4 onion, minced
1 cup tempura flour
3 small eggs, beaten
1 cup cooking oil -for cooking

Directions

In a pan, heat the oil at 250C, at least 15 minutes before starting the cooking.
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients, for a couple of minutes until you have an homogenous paste.
Start rollingsmall balls and let them to rest for a little while.
Add them in the boiling oil - not all of them at a time. It depends how wide is your pan, but I preferred to do only 4-5 at once. It leave more space for frying.
When ready, let the meatballs on a kitchen paper for draining the oil.
That's all!

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 25 medium-sized meatballs

Bon Appétit!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

'Burma Superstar'

Burmese cuisine is hard to find in Europe. Personally, altough considering myself both well-travelled and well-feed, with experience in various diverse kitchen from around the world, I can't remember one single Burmese restaurant. Otherwise, I would have know a little bit about this cuisine, before starting to read Burma Superstar.
Therefore, I've read this book as a non-fiction one, more than as an account about the menu served in Oakland's restaurant with the same name. A foodie fix in the area for decades, with affiliates inaugurated in other destinations across the USA, Burma Superstar mixes the gourmet inspiration with the basic ingredients of the meals - most of them street food - served in this part of the world.
A popular neighbourhood restaurant is able to reflect in its menu the culinary Asian melting pot. Which is a good news, especially for those aiming at reproducing those recipes at home, as you can easily find ingredients in the various Asian/Indian stores from across the world. You can easily find the spices and the sauces - oyster or Sriracha - the oils and the specific oils and the rice, the special spinach. The only thing I am not sure I can find is the laphet - the tea, used not only for the brewed drink, but usually in salads or as a dried snack. Something I might be interested to find and try out more about soon.
But besides the laphet, there are many more recipes to try, like various curries and salads, dish and dried lentils or samosas. The list of the ingredients is long and it might take a time until getting used to the flavors but adding them to the recipe is easier than expected. You only have to add them to the pan and learn how much time you need to mix them until you obtain a completely new taste out of all the diverse flavors. Beware, the Burmese cuisine is using generous amounts of oil.
The book introduces Burma/Myanmar not only as a food destination but also scatters various political and historical references - mostly Wikipedia style, neutral and not necessarily critical, but for someone finding out about this country it can be a steady beginning.
What I've found a bit under my usual visual standards was the photography, but when it comes to visual representations, everything at a great extent is relative. I love the kind of photography which completes and beautifies the writing and makes the wording attractive which was not the case here.
Personally, I would not hurry up to prepare any recipe at home until I will eventually have a taste of the professionally prepared one. For the sake of the authenticity, I need to figure out first how my personal creation should taste like. But I am so looking forward to it.

Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Banana (with) Bread for Breakfast

Nothing compares to be than starting the day with a heavy, delicious breakfast. During the week or in the weekend, I always appreciate a rich selection of ingredients and a very diverse range of treats. 
Breakfast is holy for me, and besides the coffee, I cannot properly start the day without a good taste of it. I remember how many summers ago, as I had a job that required to be in the office between 7.30 and 8.00, I was up as early as 5 am in order to prepare everything I needed for my breakfast. And people who know me in real life are pretty aware how much I appreciate the long morning sleep.
As I moved countries and new ingredients and products entered - or exited - my life, my breakfast list also changed. I added cereals, fruits, I reduced the amount of meat. When I travel and I enjoy the pleasure of a ready made breakfast, I might add even some spoons of pasta. Brunches are my favorites too, especially if they start at 9am and finish around 13.00. Yes, because I also love to have long breakfasts, for at least one hour, while I am reading my latest emails, planning the day, updating the news. This is my kind of meditation. 
As usual, I am always open to new ideas and inspiration. And as in the last months, I had to eat a lot of honey - more about this in a next post, maybe - I wanted to combine the honey with some other ingredients to produce even a higher sugar overload. 
I had a look in the fridge and in the pantry and decided for the following combination: slices of banana, a generos layer of honey and a spread of black sesame seeds on the top. The basis: toasted white bread.
The preparation takes maximum 10 minutes - if goes faster if you are not lazy and you are a fast person as me. It's full of energy and it also has an interesting combination of tastes - I particularly loved the balance brought by the black sesame. 
All I needed for a successful start into the day!

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Body Shaming Comes in All Sizes

A couple of days ago, a lady with an impressive following on Instagram posted a picture of herself in bodysuit. In a couple of minutes, comments - very few really friendly - started to flow: she was accused that she is too slim, she might be a counter-example for teenagers changing their mind about self-acceptance, she might be anorexic and sick etc. 
The decision to show your body publicly is indeed very personal and always involves the risk of being the target of various comments, more or less laudatory. After all, regardless of your size and measurements, there will always be people that will not be happy with the way you look because in fact they are unhappy with their own personality, bodies and ways of being. 
Apparently, there is hard to make everyone happy and you - as a human being or a people included in the category of 'influencers' - cannot change this very human unhappy condition. My point is that even people who are very slim and underweight can be as often targeted as those fighting with a weight problem. I know this from my own experience. 
Although I have my own history of eating disorders - that I will maybe talk more about one day - there is also a genetic structure that I inherited. All the women in my family were slim and I am slim too. I do work with a nutritionist that advices me on a regular basis about what are the best foods and ingredients I need to have regularly on my diet. I do sports of all kinds and I according to my MD, I am perfectly fine. This is the most important thing: to be healthy and in a good shape, regardless of your weight. As long as your medical condition is fine, you don't have to worry and it is no one's business to check on you. But apparently, people rarely find serious hobbies to get themselves busy with, unless it concerns other people.
Another story, also collected from Instagram, was about a very big fashion and lifestyle influencer who dared to go out on the street without makeup. A lady commented to her daughter that without makeup, the influencer was not worth to look at. Just because someone does not look the way it shows in the beautiful glamorous pictures does disqualify that person as a human deem to walk the streets without being bothered by such comments? 
Probably, only more education and self-awareness can finally help people to accept the others the way they are, because they ended up not asking themselves to be more than they are.