Sunday, June 16, 2013


How difficult was it to find a quick breakfast while I was on allergy free diet (from dairy, chicken eggs, and corn)? Very difficult!!! For one thing, I couldn't find any cereal without corn or corn derived ingredients. Yes, I found rice puff, but they tasted kinda plain.

In search for a quick breakfast idea, I found so many granola recipes. I tested out several recipes and decided to come up with one of my own. You can do the same too. If you are allergic to nuts, then omit the nuts in the recipe. Add what you can eat and omit what you cannot. Very simple, right?

The options to make granola are endless: nuts, seeds, dried fruits (raisins, dried apples, pineapples, apricot, cranberries, or mangoes), chocolate chips or chucks (add after granola is baked), coconut flakes or chips. Mix together dried pineapples, dried mangoes, and coconut flakes to make tropical granola. Be creative with your own granola.

4 to 6 servings

1 cup (3.5 oz) organic rolled oats (not quick oats)
1/2 cup (1.5 oz) sliced almonds
1/2 cup (1.8 oz) chopped cashews
1/2 cup (2.5 oz) raisins (Sun-Maid)
1/4 cup (1.2 oz) dried cranberries (Craisins)
1 Tablespoon flax meal
1 Tablespoon safflower oil
1/4 cup (2 oz) maple syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or a parchment paper.
  2. Measure and add all ingredients into a large bowl.
  3. Using a cleaned hand or a large spoon, toss all of the ingredients until mixed well.
  4. Pour and spread them into a prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Turn off the oven and leave the granola in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove the granola from the oven and let cool.
  8. Store the granola in a tight container for up to two weeks or in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. Enjoy the granola with milk, for ice cream toppings, for a nutritious snack, or give them to friends and family as presents.
Allergy Info: You can modified this granola recipe according to your allergy free diet.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Moon Pie

Brek and I weren't sure where Camden heard about moon pie. But he asked for one nearly every day. According to Wikipedia, moon pie is a pastry which consists of two round graham cracker cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center, dipped in a flavored coating. Basically, it's s'more with chocolate on the outer layers.

For the past month, I asked Camden what he wanted to eat for his afternoon snack, and his answer was always the same, "moon pie!" When I finally had the time to make maple syrup marshmallow, I decided to make some moon pie for his sweet tooth.

I only made 12 moon pies for this recipe. Feel free to make more for a big crowd. When making maple syrup marshmallow, I did end up with a lot of marshmallow. I made mini and regular marshmallow with the leftover.

Moon Pie
makes 12 or more
Maple Syrup Marshmallow (click for recipe)
24 rounded honey graham crackers (New Morning)
10 oz chocolate chips
2 teaspoons coconut oil
  1. Make the marshmallow according to my maple syrup marshmallow recipe.
  2. While marshmallow is whipping, cut the graham crackers into circles, using a 3 inch diameter rounded cookie cutter. Note: I set out the graham cracker on a sheet tray overnight to soften the texture. If time is limited, spray the graham crackers with water. Microwave them for 10 seconds. This method will also soften the texture. When the crackers are soft, cutting them with a cookie cutter will prevent them from breaking.
  3. Spoon the whipped marshmallow into the piping bag.
  4. Cut the tip of the piping bag.
  5. Pipe the marshmallow onto 12 graham crackers.
  6. Press the other 12 graham crackers on top of the marshmallows, making graham cracker sandwiches.
  7. Place the graham cracker sandwiches onto a sheet tray and put them in the freezer while preparing the chocolate.
  8. Place a non stick mat or parchment paper on the cookie tray. Set aside.
  9. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the coconut oil.
  10. Once the chocolate has melted, turn off the stove, leaving the bowl on top of the double boiler. Note: If the chocolate seems to set while making the moon pies, turn on the stove to warm the chocolate.
  11. Take out the graham cracker sandwiches from the freezer.
  12. Spear the marshmallow with a candy tool or a fork.
  13. Dip the graham cracker sandwich into the chocolate and be sure to coat all sides. Use a spoon to pour the melted chocolate on the sandwich if needed.
  14. Place the coated graham cracker sandwiches onto a prepared tray.
  15. Repeat step 12 to 14.
  16. Place the moon pies in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Ice Coffee

Can you imagine not having ice coffee for almost 4 years? While I was on Camden's allergy free diet, I really missed the instant ice coffee. The one that came in single serving pouch and all I had to do was mix the granulated instant coffee in a tall glass of milk and add ice cubes.

After Camden outgrew his food intolerant, I added the instant ice coffee to my grocery list. When I found the coffee I had over four years ago, I noticed the packaging changed. It looked pretty.

As a habit, I always read labels. So I went ahead and read the ingredients of this instant ice coffee. What the...!!! 13 ingredients listed and I was able to understand two of them: coffee and milk. The other ingredients were the things from a sci-fi script: dipotassium phosphate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, or silicon dioxide. What the hell was I drinking before I knew how to read labels? Forget the pretty packaging. This is insane.

I still had the ice coffee craving, so I decided to find the cleaned ingredients and make my own version. First, I found grounded coffee. Check. Then I found Organic Valley half and half. Check. But then I spotted their hazelnut flavor. It was the cleanest and best flavor half and half I found. Plus no guar gum.

After making many cups of ice coffee, my coffee maker bit the dust. I'm not really a coffee drinker, so I don't wanna spend money on another coffee maker. So I went back to many grocery stores and found 100% instant granulated coffee. Check.

After all of the dilemma I went through, I can now blog and add ice coffee to my list of something sweeter. Feeling adventurous? Crush the ice cubes using a blender or shave ice using the shave ice machine then add the coffee. Ohhh soooo gooood!!!

Ice Coffee
serves 3

1 1/2 cups (12 oz) water, divided
3 teaspoons instant granulated coffee (365)
1 cup (8 oz) hazelnut half and half (Organic Valley)
lotsa ice cubes
  1. In a microwavable cup, warm the 4 ounces of water, about 20 seconds.
  2. Add instant coffee and stir until dissolved.
  3. Pour the coffee into a bottle or a pitcher.
  4. Add the 9 ounces of water.
  5. Add the hazelnut half and half and stir until combine. Organic Valley hazelnut half and half is already sweetened with organic cane sugar. Taste the coffee before adding sugar or other sweetener.
  6. Fill the tall glass with ice cubes then add the coffee. Enjoy it on a hot day.
Allergy Info: My ice coffee recipe is free from or can be made without eggs, legumes (soy), wheat, and fish. To make it dairy, corn, or nut free, use dairy, corn or nut free milk and/or half and half. Then add the sweetener to your liking.