Filipino Dessert: Biko

If you do not know already, I am half Filipino.  I was born in Cebu, Philippines, moved to the states when I was 3 years old, and have gone back to visit 3 times. Every time I go back I have to have biko. Biko is a Filipino dessert with a sticky, chewy and soft texture. It’s literally 3 ingredients minus the water and salt but we know they don’ count :).  If I can’t go back then I usually will ask my mom to make it for me.  But now as a grown adult, I’ve had to fend for myself. 😉 JK, love you mom! But since being on my own I have had these insatiable cravings for some delicious biko. So in an effort to be a self-sufficient adult, I called my mom for the recipe and made my own.  Her recipe is very similar to this one.

This recipe is great for potlucks and especially great for those crazy Filipino parties. If you have never been to a Filipino party and have the opportunity to go, never turn the invitation down. Its always a good time filled with great food and plenty of karaoke.

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Enjoy!

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the best sugar cookies you might ever make. ever.

this is a post of few words. mostly because these are the best sugar cookies in world and no one has ever turned down one (or two!) of these delicious little nuggets and i’m not kidding. they’re addicting. the recipe also makes a million of them, depending on what size cookie cutter you use. cutting the recipe in half is a wise decision, unless you want leftovers for daaaaays.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (Starbuck’s Copy Cat)

My Starbucks addiction has really gone crazy.  Let me tell you… they sell this Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffin that I just cannot resist. One of these paired with a skinny vanilla latte and I am one happy girl.

The only problem is that this delectable treat is only offered during the Fall season. Not to mention, Starbucks just switched bakeries so who knows if this muffin will ever come back.

No worries though! I am here to save the day! After some experimentation, I think I found something very close to the real thing.  In fact, I can’t tell the difference! Seriously.  I made one slight change by switching the pumpkin seeds for pecans.  It can be difficult to find pumpkin seeds and I wanted this recipe to be as easy as possible, plus, candied pecans are delicious.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin (Starbucks Copy Cat)
Makes: 12 muffins

Cream Cheese Filling
8 ounces of cream cheese
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp of vanilla

– mix with a mixer and set aside

1/2 cup of Candied Pecans (used this Recipe from Brown-Eyed Baker)

– chop large pecans in half, set aside.

The Dry
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 ground cloves
1/2 tsp all-spice
1 tsp salt

– measure and mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Set aside.

The Wet
3 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce

– with electric mixer, mix eggs, sugars & vanilla for 25 seconds. Add pumpkin, oil and applesauce, mix for 30 seconds.
– Stir in dry ingredients until just combined
– spoon into 12 muffin cups
– Dollop 2 tbsp of  cream cheese on top
– Evenly sprinkle pecans on top of muffins
– Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees or until tooth pick comes out clean when stuck into muffin part.
– Enjoy with my favorite At home Starbucks Iced Coffee

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Best Chocolate Chip Cookies EVER!

Ok check this out.  I have been slaving away, trying to find the absolutely most scrumptious chocolate chip cookie ever.  In truth, I am trying to rival those paradise bakery cookies that I love so much.  And holly freakin smokes,  I found just the recipe. Lightly crisp outside and chewy gooey center. Perfection.

I found this cookie in the NY Times.  The secrets to this cookie in my opinion are exact measurements using a scale, using 2 different flours and chilling the dough over night. YUM YUM YUM!

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies! Hands Down! @hellolizandsara.wordpress.com
Here’s the original recipe with just a few slight changes.

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons (8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar nbd)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1  bag of 60% cocoa chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli)
Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours (overnight is totally fine, who waits a full 24 hours?). Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Healthy Chai Tea Latte

So its MLK Day and many people have the privilege to celebrate this holiday with a day off from work.  This morning I am spending it relaxed in my bed, reading a good book and sipping on my own version of a Chai Tea Latte. AND….. drum roll please! It is:

Gluten Free
Caffeine Free
Low Fat
Sugar Free (optional)
Low Carb
Low Calorie
Lactose Free
Guilt Free
Make you want to dance in front of the mirror kind of free (again, optional)

Here it is ladies and gents,  you will want to drink this during the winter months everyday.  Seriously its that good.

Oh and guess what, its only 3 ingredients…Epic!

1 cup of Unsweetened Almond Milk
A pinch of Pumpkin Spice
Sweetener (your choice, I like Splenda)

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I put everything into a cup and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

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And viola! Its finished and delicious!

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Please let me know what you all think.  This is too good not to share.  Tell all your friends!

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chicken tortilla soup

every once in a while, i whip up something so dang good i can’t believe i cooked it.

friends, this is one of those times.

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check out the original recipe here.

The Mr. & I omit the tortilla strips, & serve it with quesadilla instead. and i’ll gladly admit that the crockpot has to be in my top 5 greatest inventions of all time. next to indoor plumbing, cell phones, Fraiser & mechanical pencils.

#delicious #comfortfood

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Cookie Crumble Banana Bread

BANANAS!

I had some pretty ripe bananas on my counter. So naturally, I made banana bread with them.  Look at these babies.

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My favorite recipe is one I threw together from reviewing several different recipes throughout the years.  This recipe is pretty close to the banana bread I would make back in college to comfort me during those all-nighters.

Hello freshman 15…or 50… whatever.

The best part about this banana bread is the cookie crumble I add to the top. It adds crunch and a sugar cookie sweetness. YUM!

banana bread recipe

Steps:

1. You will want to cream the butter and sugar together

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2. Add the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and mix some more. Then add the smashed banana. Stir some more.

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4.  Put all the dry (flour, baking soda, salt) in a bowl and mix with a whisk.

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5. Add to the wet ingredients and stir. Set Aside.

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6. Make Cookie Crumble by mixing all crumble ingredients (sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter) together with a fork.

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It should look like this.

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7. Pour batter into into 2 greased loaf pans and top with cookie crumble

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8. Put in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Stick a tooth pick in to make sure it does not come out with wet batter.  There maybe some crumbs and that’s ok. But if it comes out gloppy and wet. Keep baking.

And tada! You have Cookie Crumble Banana Bread! banana loaf

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This is so freaking good.

Let me know how you like!

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