Buckwheat Banana Pancakes Recipe

Olive + Wisteria

These last few weeks have been a complete and total whirlwind! With two portfolios due, a mass of school assignments, extracurricular activities and a vacation thrown right in the middle, I’ve had almost no time to myself. Fortunately, it’s starting to wind down (thank God!). 

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Cheat Day? More Like a Cheat Year.

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The Orange Cucumber

I chuckle to myself when I past by the produce section in my grocery store. I normally wouldn’t even be in the general vicinity of fruits and vegetables, but it is my only route to the candy isle.

I cannot lie about my pass, however. I used to eat my veggies. A proud mother I made her: There were no peas or carrots left on my plate.


What happened? Well, I am not sure. I remember being on diet. 30 days in and I was rolling. I then decided that I’ll allow myself to have a cheat day, since, you know, using food as an reward system is beneficial to your wellbeing.

I remember that day well. I start it off with a snickers bar. I then realized how much better it tasted than all the other crap I eating. It was eye opening. I mean, it was mouth opening…

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How to Grill A Perfect Steak

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Recounts, Reflections, and Other Writings

It’s March, which means multiple things. March Madness is about to begin (finally), spring break is on the horizon, and the weather is warming up. Or… staying warm since we never had a real winter this year. With warmer weather comes the inspiration to be outside with nature, and what better way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors than caking your hands in the remnants of charcoal and coating your being with the scent of smoke?

Grilling is an art and takes more than just practice to perfect. There are multiple steps that don’t even include the meat. If you want the most tender, most flavorful steak, the majority of your time will be in preparation and not in actually having the meat on the grill.

What you will need:

  • Anywhere from 2-3 hours
  • A charcoal grill
  • Woodchips (recommended, not required)
  • A bowl or plastic container
  • Gallon-sized freezer bag
  • Olive oil
  • Steak seasoning…

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Nutella Stuffed Pancakes Recipe

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Lorna Robertson

Pancakes make up a large part of my diet. Whether they are thin crepes dusted with sugar and spritzed with lemon, small and squat scotch pancakes with fresh berries and syrup or big fat and American style filled with juicy blueberries – I’ll take the lot. Quite why you’d want to reserve pancakes for just one day is beyond me! These little beauties came about after the remains of a jar of Nutella called to me in a way that only Nutella can. While Nutella smothered on top of a pancake is a glorious thing – an oozing centre is the ultimate indulgence. I’ve flavoured mine with orange zest and vanilla but they work just as well plain.

Ingredients
Makes four large pancakes or eight small
400 self raising flour
100g caster sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3 large eggs
1 orange
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
150ml whole milk

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What is Detox and Do We Need It?

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Wellnessista

Detox diets appear to be pretty popular these days, people spend tons of money on detox teas and supplements, while others make money selling them. It is also an extremely controversial topic, with one side of people implementing detox diets in their lifestyles and other side rejecting all things detox. Which side is right and which is wrong? What is a detox? And ultimately, do we need a detox?

The truth is there is no right or wrong. There is such thing as a detox and it works to some extent, but given the right circumstances, detox is not necessary. So let’s discuss it all below.

What is a Detox?

Detox is a term used to describe the removal of toxins from the body, either natural or induced. It can mean a diet rich in foods that support natural detoxification, or a supplement that works that way. Detoxification can also…

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Happy National Pastry Day!!! – Tell us what’s your favorite pastry?

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 George eating an Eclair out of the Garbage

 

Chocolate Mousse Pie Recipe

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Instructions

For the chocolate cookie crust:

  • Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  • Place the cookies in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until the pieces are about the size of peas. Stop the motor, add the melted butter, and continue to process until the crumbs are fine, about the size of coarsely ground coffee (you will need 1 1/2 cups). (Alternatively, place the cookies in a resealable plastic bag, press out the air, and seal. Using a rolling pin, smash into uniform fine crumbs. Transfer to a medium bowl, add the melted butter, and mix until evenly combined.)
  • Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and, using the bottom of a cup or your fingers, press firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Bake until fragrant, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before making the filling, about 40 minutes.

For the chocolate mousse:

  • Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Place the chopped chocolate and 1/4 cup of the cream in a large heatproof bowl. (Place the remaining cream back in the refrigerator until ready to use.) Nest the bowl over the saucepan, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula, until smooth and combined with the cream. Remove the bowl from the saucepan, wipe any moisture from the bottom of it, and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (make sure the bowl and whisk have no trace of oil or fat on them, or the whites won’t whip properly). Mix on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute; transfer to a medium bowl and set aside. (Alternatively, you can whip the whites by hand in a large bowl for about 3 minutes.)
  • Clean and dry the whisk attachment and mixer bowl. Place the remaining 3/4 cup of cream in the bowl and whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. (Alternatively, you can whisk the cream by hand in a large bowl for about 3 minutes.)
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold half of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate, then gently stir in the rest (try not to deflate the whipped cream). Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate-cream mixture just until there are no longer large blobs of whipped cream or egg white (do not overmix). Spoon the mousse into the cooled pie crust and smooth it into an even layer. Refrigerate uncovered until set, at least 2 hours.

For the whipped cream:

  1. 
When ready to serve, place the bowl of the stand mixer and the whisk attachment in the freezer for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, and cream to the bowl and whisk on high speed until medium peaks form, about 1 to 2 minutes. (Alternatively, you can whisk the cream by hand in a large chilled bowl for about 3 to 4 minutes.) Spread or decoratively pipe the whipped cream from a pastry bag evenly over the pie.
  2. To garnish, hold the piece of chocolate with a paper towel in one hand and use a vegetable peeler to shave the desired amount over the top of the pie.

Credit: Chow

Happy Cake Day!!! – Almost-Famous Molten Chocolate Cake

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Almost-Famous Molten Chocolate Cake

ALMOST-FAMOUS MOLTEN CHOCOLATE CAKE

Ingredients

For the Cakes:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 tablespoons melted, 4 tablespoons at room temperature)

1/2 cup natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder, plus more for dusting

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/3 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the Fillings and Toppings:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Caramel sauce, for drizzling

1 pint vanilla ice cream

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Make the cakes: Brush four 1 1/4-cup brioche molds (or use 10-ounce ramekins or jumbo muffin cups) with the 2 tablespoons melted butter. Dust the molds with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Bring the milk and 3/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat; set aside.

Combine the vegetable oil, 4 tablespoons room-temperature butter and the sugar in a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl and beater as needed. Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and the vanilla; beat 1 minute on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl. Add 1 egg and beat 1 minute on medium-low speed, then add the remaining egg and beat 1 more minute.

With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the flour mixture, then the hot milk mixture. Finish mixing the batter with a rubber spatula until combined. Divide the batter evenly among the molds, filling each slightly more than three-quarters of the way.

Transfer the molds to a baking sheet and bake until the tops of the cakes are domed and the centers are just barely set, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack; let the cakes cool until they pull away from the molds, about 30 minutes.

How To Assemble the Cake:

Make the Filling: Microwave the chocolate, cream, butter and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate starts to melt, 1 minute, 30 seconds. Let sit 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Reheat before using, if necessary.

Use the tip of a paring knife to gently loosen the cakes from the molds, then invert the cakes onto a cutting board.

Use the knife to cut a 1 1/2-inch circle on the top of each cake, cutting almost to the bottom.

Hollow out the cake with a spoon; save the scraps. Wrap the cakes with plastic wrap and microwave until steaming, 1 minute.

Drizzle plates with caramel, then unwrap the cakes and place on top. Pour about 3 tablespoons filling into each cake.

Plug the hole with a cake scrap. Save or discard any remaining scraps.

Top each cake with a scoop of ice cream. Spoon more chocolate sauce on top, spreading it thin so it hardens into a shell.

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Health Benefits of Eating Nuts – Cashews can help Depression

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  • Nuts and seeds are rich in energy and nutrients. Nuts nutrition loaded with excellent source of monounsaturated-fatty acids (MUF) such as oleic and palmitoleic acids, which help to lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol.” Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in MUF to prevent coronary artery disease, strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
  • They are rich source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like Linoleic acid, a-Linolenic acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic acid, Docosahexonic acid Research studies have suggested that n-3 or ?-3 fats by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action help to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers. Omega-3 fatty acids also offer some benefits in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and in cases of Schizophrenia, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Nuts and seeds are the storehouse of health benefiting poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidants such as carotenes, resveratrol, lutein, cryptoxanthin, etc. These compounds have been found to offer protection against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and viral/fungal infections. Studies suggests that resveratrol in peanuts reduces stroke risk by alterating molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels, reducing their susceptibility to vascular damage through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure) and increased production of the vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide.
  • Nuts nutrition is complete in the sense that in addition to calories, and vitamins, they are rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, fluoride and selenium. Manganeseis a co-factor for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Fluoride is a component of bones and teeth and plays important role in prevention of dental caries.
  • They contain very good levels of vitamin-E, a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E is required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin; thus, protecting it from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • Nuts nutrition provides many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. These vitamins are essential for optimum health and well-being.

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Two handfuls of cashews is the therapeutic equivalent of a prescription dose of Prozac. Inside you, the essential amino acid L-tryptophan is broken down into anxiety-reducing, snooze-inducing niacin. Even more important, tryptophan is also made into serotonin, one of your body’s most important neurotransmitters.

Serotonin gives a feeling of well-being and mellowness, or as the Australians would say, “no worries.” This is such a profound effect that Prozac, Paxil and similar antidepressants usually either mimic serotonin or artificially keep the body’s own serotonin levels high. You can do the same thing with your food. And no one can tell us that beans, peas, cheese, nuts and wheat germ are toxic if you eat a lot of them!

Plenty of carbohydrates (starches) in your meals help tryptophan get to where it does the most good: in your brain. In order to cross the blood-brain barrier to get in, carbos are required. So cheese and crackers provides a better effect than the cheese standing alone. An egg or two on toast is better than just the egg. Beans, peas, and nuts already contain carbohydrate, so you are all set there.

Credit: Nutrition and You

Sweet Honey Baklava Recipe

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Baklava-Recipe-16

This honey baklava is flaky, crisp and tender and I love that it isn’t overly sweet. It’s basically a party in your mouth. I am a huge fan of baklava and this is the BEST baklava recipe I have ever tried. Hands down. You will love the hint of mellow lemony flavor which offsets the sweetness and compliments the cinnamon. It’s truly delicious. Store-bought baklava has nothing on this and trust me, I’ve been around the block when shopping for baklava!

Any baklava is a little tedious to make, but I’ve shared all of my best tips and advise to ensure you are successful in making yours. You will love that this recipe can be made several days in advance of your shindig and keeps beautifully at room temperature for at least a week.

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) pkg phyllo dough; thawed according to package instructions
2 sticks (1/2 lb) melted unsalted Butter
1 lb (about 4 cups or 3 3/4 cups chopped) walnuts, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon?)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey
Melted chocolate chips & chopped walnuts for garnish, optional.

Directions:

1. Thaw phyllo dough according to package instructions (this is best done overnight in the fridge, then place it on the counter for 1 hour before starting your recipe to bring it to room temp).
2. Trim phyllo dough to fit your baking sheet. My phyllo dough package had 2 rolls with with a total of 40 sheets that measured 9×14 so I had to trim them slightly. You can trim one stack at a time then cover with a damp towel to keep from drying out.
3. Butter the bottom and sides of a 13×9 non-stick baking pan.

Check out the rest of the recipe at Nastaha’s Kitchen