Friday, October 12, 2012

Chunky Choco-Chocnut Frappe

Getting your kid(s) to eat fruits and veggies is every parent's dilemma. Fool them once maybe twice, making it a healthy habit is a taller order. Fortunately for me, my soon-to-be 8 year old has a well-seasoned palette, enjoying healthy/nutritious dishes like pesto pasta, ampalaya (bitter gourd) omelette, minestrone soup (minus the beans), and most fruits available locally (apples, bananas, grapes, etc). My wife and I make it a point to make our dishes "creative", sneaking-in the healthy stuff either as an infused ingredient, sauce or as a garnish. We are also conscious not to define the dishes literally, at least not now, given a child's vast imagination in general. Case in point LENGUA (ox tongue) with mushroom sauce, which kiddo perceives to be "roast beef" is a dinner staple in our household.

For this new post, inspiration was drawn on healthy drinks easily prepared and served in the confines of one's abode - saving you time, cash and best of all the unnecessary calories. Ripe banana is "sneaked in" not only to add a healthy dimension to it,  but to provide added flavor, stabilized body and mouthfeel as well. Proud to mention that the finished product will be used as a Yuletide Signature Drink of a Five-Star Hotel starting next month, with a catchier name to it compared to mine.

Ingredients for a 16-ounce drink:

3 tablespoons (approximately 50 grams) Far Skyes Vanilla Frappe Powder Base
Double Shot Espresso (approximately 60ml), I'm using Boyd's Premium Roast Arabica
10ml Stasero Hazelnut Syrup
1 Ripe Banana
3 pieces Chocnut OR Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
10ml Stasero Dark Chocolate Sauce (for garnish)


Step 1 In a Blender dissolve 3 tsablespoons Far Skyes Vanilla Frappe Base with 2-shots espresso and 10ml Stasero Hazelnut Syrup

Step 2 Add 2 pieces Chocnut and 1 ripe banana and blend for 5-10 seconds

Step 3 Fill a 16-ounce tall glass with ice; pour into blender and blend until crushed & smooth

Step 4 Pour into tall glass and let your creative juices flow by garnishing with Dark Chocolate Sauce, and 1 Chocnut (I topped my drink with steamed milk froth and poured the Chocnut on top of it). Serve and enjoy!!!

Now who says delicious and healthy can't intertwine?! Happy Thanksgiving to all!

so easy to make even an almost 8-year old can do it!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Coffee Review: Trader Joe's JOE Coffee

Those who've been to this cool food and beverage mecca, with branches all over the US of A, are aware that one hour is not enough to scour for affordable gourmet eats! The perennial economic conflict of HIGH QUALITY vis-a-vis LOW PRICE is stabilized in TRADER JOE's, as all items on the shelves are rigorously tried and tested to pass their strict standard.

For almost a decade I've been a regular, yet it was only during this trip in April that I tried purchasing their coffee beans, both as a gift to family back home and for my personal consumption too. But with luggage space as a major constraint, I had to select the safest pick...

so many to choose from yet so little luggage space

TRADER JOE'S  JOE COFFEE, as indicated in the hip nitrogen flushed can (reminiscent of the Planters Cheese Balls/Curls packaging many loved circa '80s) is 100% Arabica Whole-Bean coffee, medium roast. This particular blend is a "safe choice," catering to a wide audience as far as flavor profile, balance, low acidity and body.

My initial sip indicate subtle hints of caramel, with an earthy/woodsy afternote. Quite ideal as an everyday cuppa joe, or a morning wake-me-upper. Nothing euphoric to write home about,  yet with its cost effective price of $4.99 per 14-ounce can, how can you go wrong?!