Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Scrumptious and Healthy Berrynana Orangape Smoothie

Want a smoothie but scared of the fat? No fear! Have a satisfying and rich one while getting your morning protein and fruit.

Scrumptious and Healthy Berrynana Orangape Shake  
Total time: 5-7 minutes Serving size: 1 cup/8 oz
Looks creamy? Tastes like it too. Thank you banana and protein! 

Ingredients (in whatever proportion unless specified) 
  • Strawberry 
  • Banana 
  • Orange juice
  • Grape juice 
  • Protein Powder (preferably 1 tablespoon, or according to package directions) *My protein powder is vanilla flavored, but if your brand does not have flavoring, add a teensy drop of vanilla extract*
  • A blender/smoothy maker 
Cut all fruit into small pieces so that your blender can puree them easily. You don't want to have fruit chunks floating in your drink. Put them inside blender cup, add orange juice, add grape juice, and protein powder. I like to shake my cup a bit to let the powder distribute more easily. Blend to desired consistency. Open your container and smell. Taste. Add honey if you want to sweeten it more. Enjoy. 

Eat your fruits and save your figure!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Autumn: Park Hawthorn Harvest

First of all, I hope everyone has made through Hurricane Irene safely and peacefully on the Eastern US Coast and I offer my sincerest condolences to those who haven't. It was pretty tame in NYC, with naught much but some flooding but luckily, since I live in the suburbs on higher ground, there wasn't any flooding-just a few uprooted trees in the park here and there.

Speaking of the park-last Friday, the last sunny day we had before the tropical storm hit, I went for a walk, wondering how many trees would be struck down by the predicted fierce winds. Along the way, I saw some delicious looking berries. Since childhood, I have always LOVED foraging! In my early business mindset, I imagined that I could sell these berries for money, just like a farm child and be able to earn my own allowance. It didn't occur to me that perhaps other people could just go and pick the fruit themselves. Now, older, more mature, and an aspiring foodie (I hope), I just picked them simply because they taste distinctly different from store brought produce, and hey, free food. Who don't want free food? So whatever is edible, I pick. I pick dandelion leaves (salads) in spring, blackberries in the summer (raw or jam), and wild garlic (allium chrysanthum) and even to the extent of enduring the vile stench of the ginko fruit to harvest the inner nut, which has very high nutritional value and great health benefits. *Ignores stares from neighbors and passerby*  But I have never eaten wild hawthorn-I always had to buy them from the health food store, and not at a cheap price either...

Although I didn't know what they were, I boldly took some to take home to try. Actually, around 1 lb, in fact. At home, after washing them properly, they tasted absolutely wonderful. They were delicately sweet, with a touch of fruity tartness. It tasted apple-like in fact. Judging from the seeds, I identified them as a type of hawthorn berry-completely edible and in fact, is very beneficial to your health. It was a lucky and tasty catch! However, this is not advised to do by yourself if you don't know about wild berries, and I know better than to try something like this again. Eat smart.  

How to Wash 
Simply just pour berries into a large bowl, remove leaves and stem, and gently scrub them with your fingers in bunches. Rinse 3-5 times to wash out dust/dirt.
 Enjoy them the way they are or add them to yogurt and salads. You may store them in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Yum! A delightful and health snack!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Marriage of Nutella and Butterbeer

I couldn't find a Nutella Butterbeer recipe anywhere on the web, so I decided to make it myself, and also a new version of butterbeer without relying too much on heavy cream... I use a lot of whole milk, which is actually only 3-4% fat... It should taste like caramel, milk, and nutella added together. I usually work with an almost-empty refrigerator, so I don't have fancy ingredients usually. If you don't like Nutella, just try the recipe without it and tell me how it is!

Cookievision's Super Easy (Nutella) Butterbeer Recipe
Takes around 15 minutes. Serves one or two, depending on amount of milk added.
  • butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • sugar, 1/4 cup
  • whole milk (lots of it!)
  • vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • nutella 1 tablespoon (optional)
  • whipped cream (optional)
NOTE: Assemble all ingredients beforehand because this is a really fast recipe and sugar burns fast.
In a saucepan, heat sugar on moderately high heat. May add a small splash of water to help sugar cook more evenly and not burn. Quickly stir with spoon until sugar just stops boiling. You should have a brownish liquid. Add butter and vanilla extract to the pan and stir until butter melts. Turn to low heat. Add milk (one or two cups) and stir vigorously until well mixed. You may add more milk if you wish, if it is too sweet. Also add the nutella if you wish, and stir until mixture is well blended. Pour into mugs. Drink as is or serve with whipped cream on the top and a sprinkle of cinammon.To store, put in refrigerator and reheat as you wish. Keeps for 1-2 days.

Harry Snape (not slash)

After watching the last Harry Potter film in a while, a big what-if came up to my mind. 

What if Lily and Snape married?
Seeing the angsty relationship between Lily Evans (Harry Potter's mom) and Severus Snape (a Death Eater turned Order of Phoenix member) portrayed in such a heartbreaking fashion (kudos to Alan Rickman!) I couldn't help feeling quite disappointed that Lily never got to see the good in Severus and also that Lily Potter and James Potter's relationship really lacked sustenance and realism. How does someone she despised as a bully for most of her life suddenly become the love of her life? How does someone like Snape whom she befriended for most of her life suddenly become hated just because he called her something insulting? He did apologize afterwards and she should have accepted it, because he was angry and humilated and wasn't in his right mind... just because of a fight that James Potter conjured up. I really think that if Lily just stuck to Snape, his great love for her would have caused him to give up becoming a Death Eater-because even becoming that was part of his plan to seem powerful, sexy, and awesome to Lily. If she flat-out told him that she would like him as a force of good, I think he actually has a chance of living a happier life...
Anyway, I just love Heathcliff-type characters, so dark, brooding, and tragically romantic ^^ 
I had lots of fun morphing pics to see how Harry Snape  looks like:

No wands pointed dangerously at you either...

 Instead of 

And look like this when he grows up
Rather James-ish! Snape might not be happy about this... but he has Lily's eyes more so than Harry Potter...

 But there would be a dramatically different story (with no Voldemort trying to take his life probably?) if Lily actually got married to Severus... I still ship them nonetheless...
Tell me what you think!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cookievision's Impromptu Veggie and Tofu Pasta with Side Dish

I wanted three cheese pasta, but had only 1 cheese and some veggies. 
This ain't authentic. Its my invention.
Prep + Cooking Time: 1 hr 15 min  
Serves 4 people. Hungry ones ;D 
4 teaspoons olive pomace oil (or vegetable oil or any oil suited for frying)
6 cloves garlic, finely minced (may add more or less depending on taste)
1 small onion, diced (may add more or less depending on taste)
1/2 cup carrot, chopped 
1 green pepper
2 squares chinese dry tofu (dougan), in medium-thick slices 
Chinese dry tofu and one type of hot pepper

1 can tomato puree (or your favorite pasta sauce)
1 1/2 teaspoon rotisserie chicken seasoning
1 tablespoon butter
1 lb pasta
Whole milk, heavy cream, or cream cheese (depending on how creamy you want your sauce to be)
2 slices American cheese
sugar and salt to taste
2 fresh hot peppers (optional)
Chinkiang black rice vinegar (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large nonreactive saucepan, heat oil and butter on medium heat. 
When oil gets warm, add onion, garlic, carrot and stir with spatula.
When onion becomes slightly translucent, add rotisserie chicken seasoning and stir .
Add tomato puree or pasta sauce, or both. Stir. 
When sauce starts to boil a little, add sugar and salt to taste. Add green pepper. Turn to medium-low heat to prevent sauce from flying out pot. Stir.
Add tofu slices. Turn to low heat. Stir.
If you wish, add cream cheese. Stir.
Add American cheese slice. Stir until it disappears. Add another.
Turn off heat. Add milk/heavy cream to desired creaminess. Stir sauce.
Combine the pasta with the sauce in the pot. Mix thoroughly with spatula.

Optional side dish
Slice hot peppers into small pieces. Be careful to not touch the inner white part, because that's where the capsaicin is. The capsaicin is the chemical that makes peppers hot. Your hand will feel painful for a few hours afterward if you do. Mix with chinkiang black rice vinegar. This side dish will tone down the richness of the pasta sauce.

I await your feedback.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ja Myung Go Ep 14 RECAP *spoilers*

I will start recapping from 14 on because this is where the adult characters show up.
Story up to now:
2 girls were born in Han-controlled Nakrang Territory to General Choi Li on the same day, approximately the same time. An imperial oracle told the emperor that these two girls will bring disaster to his kingdom, so he would need to kill them. Choi Li is unfortunately assigned with the task of killing his own daughters. Choi Li has two wives, therefore the children born would be half siblings. One wife, Wang Jasil, is beautiful, cunning and ambitious, a femme fatale type of character who will go to any length to save her daughter, even seducing the oracle to change his prediction to labeling her daughter as the princess of salvation while the other daughter would be the princess of destruction. The other wife of Choi Li is Mo Haso, who is elegant, virtuous, and kind, and due to Wang Jasil's scheme, she was forced to kill her child, but was unsuccessful due to fate, and she sent her child down a river in a boat to Shandong, China, where she becomes part of a circus troupe and grows up without knowing of her true identity.  Later on, Choi Li and his brother in-law Wang Goeng overthrow the Han from Nakrang and establish the Kingdom of Nakrang, where a power struggle ensues and ends with Wang Goeng's murder.Choi Li becomes king. Queen Wang Jasil's daughter, Princess Lahee, is his heir apparent. In Goguryeo, Prince Hodong, meanwhile, suffered a troubled childhood where from a young age, he had to fight against his step-mother, Queen Maeseolsu, who wanted to kill him so that she could produce a heir to the throne and give more power to the Biryuna tribe of her father. He had to survive multiple murderous attempts by his step-mom and, to protect himself, becomes a master swordsman and statesman from a young age.
Prince Hodong, who by now is a young adult, is absolutely furious when he hears Queen Maeseolsu has a child.  
I decided to start my drama recaps from here because this is the part where the story truly develops. This drama gives a REALLY LONG INTRO (13 episodes) about the history of the characters, which might be a reason some viewers gave up watching. However, I felt like the childhood scenes gave more depth to the character, and when the adult versions were finally introduced, I felt like they were my old friends. So if you want to get to the good parts, you should probably just watch from episode 14 onwards...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Jyamyummy eye candy ;-) aka Ja Myung Go Stills

To me, the addiction of watching dramas springs from mostly 2 sources: the ingenuity of the plot and the hotness of the characters, but not necessarily in that order. I'm a fangirl and proud of it. Usually, dramas usually meet one of the standards, and sometimes, neither.Ja Myung Go (2009) is one that, surprisingly, satisfies both qualities. 
I came across this fusion saguek drama when I was looking for something off the beaten path. This is probably one of the most underrated hi-budget dramas there was. It never got its chance to shine, with ratings while it was currently airing peaking at around 10% at the most. It was also cut from around 50 episodes to only 39 because it was owned by Queen Seon Deok. It was beaten by other popular dramas such as Queen Seon Deok, which came out around the time it was airing.
Early warning. This is a tragedy so if you can't tolerate sad endings, don't watch. But most sagueks have sad endings...
This centers on the tragic korean folktale of the love story between Prince Hodong of Goguryeo and the sister Princesses Lahee and Jamyung of Nakrang.
Every character, except for Park Min Young(Sungkyunkwan Scandal), is completely new to me. 
The stills: Wouldn't you want to see how this plays out also? I have to say Prince Hodong is pure eyecandy.
The Pictures that Started this all....
Hotness incarnate.


Park Min Young as Princess LaHee of Nakrang, the wife(unconfirmed, will watch later) of Prince Hodong of Goguryeo
She reminds me of chili peppers, just saying...

Entrees: The Main Dishes/Characters 
Princess Ja Myung  (Lahee's sister and Hodong's True lover...) portrayed by Jung Ryeo Won
I think the headpiece is a bit overdone....

Prince Hodong (Goguryeo) portrayed by Jung Kyung Ho
Hodong. Nuff said.

Dessert: A Combo!!

Menage a Trois anyone? Just kidding...o_o

Stills mean a lot to me. I watch mainly for a good plot and hot actors ;-)
I know this drama doesn't center in on food much at all, but aren't the actors delicious enough? O_O
I use too much food analogies.... but oh well, fangirls have a cannibalistic streak ;-p
Recaps to come.