Four Seasons Ice Pops

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Your Ate Anafe was more nervous than I was when she saw you slicing those strawberries. I wanted to introduce to you guys the Four Seasons Drink I usually get in Chinese banquets. They charge really high prices when it comes to the shakes because restaurants put a big mark-up on drinks. You’ll understand when you get older. So the lesson here is – do not order beverages in restaurants unless someone else is paying (your mama & dada excluded)! And I hope you don’t realize that when we are really pressed for a shake, we buy at the nearest fruit shake stall and bring them into the restaurant. Teehee.

Back to the Four Seasons, to cut the story short, it represents 4 fruits in season, blended together with crushed ice and sugar syrup. When it isn’t watered down with a lot of ice, the shake is so rich and refreshing- a dessert in itself. So make use of those ice pop molds (ice candy plastic tubes will do). Use honey, coco sugar or agave nectar for lower glycemic level (your mama is sugar-impaired). Thing is, I think you’re the only ones who have ice pops at least twice a day. This is fine. It takes your mind off ‘hang hang’ noodles for a few days.

Honey Nut Granola

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See those glorious bits of dried cranberries, raisins, dark chocolate chips,  rolled oats and meaty walnuts that were sprinkled with generous amounts of cinnamon, some salt, then smothered in honey, olive oil and a smidgen of coco sugar prior to baking to a crisp, giving it a dark tan.  And kids, I usually add a banana and drown everything in cold milk.  This makes up my breakfast.  I’m not afraid to admit, I do it all over again in the afternoons. Your dad has it with yogurt (yeah, this is home-made too) and some milk, no ripe bananas because he likes them unripe (yeah, I know!)

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As my very first post, I’d like to let you guys know that I’m not the organic-type of nazi mom.  I still would want to expose you to some of the junk of this world, only to build up your immune system as the earth gets polluted by the second.  BUT, I would like to try displaying some prowess in DIY(ing) difficult-looking dishes and processed food at home, increasing its nutrition points simply because I love you. Your health and well-being are my utmost priority!  I don’t want to be lazy (nor should you). I am ‘chicken’ most of the time but my lurking through the internet has given me a boost of confidence in whipping up things like Mille Crepe Cake, Chicken Tandoori, Naan bread and Vietnamese Spring Rolls.  Yes, it CAN be done. Things made from home taste soooo much better not only because of the fresh ingredients used, it’s the hard work and effort put into them.    

Max, I know you don’t like granola in general. Lily, I know you like my granola (we even argued whether it’s called coco crunch or granola). I have some hits and misses. But the times that you hug me out of the blue and thank me for cooking a certain dish, that drives me to cook more. Thank you guys for pushing me to do better.  How can I forget S.  The time you said, “Sarap, parang nasa carinderia ako.” I took that as a compliment. I was able to achieve the objective of the brief (to recreate healthy versions of carinderia dishes)! I’d like to leave a recipe of the granola. But because I’m technically-challenged, for now may I advise you to visit http://www.joyofbaking.com for its great version of Honey Nut granola.