Tag Archives: summer

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake 

Baking is one of my favourite things to do. But when it’s so hot outside, even the most devoted baker needs a break ! So I made these no bake cheesecake jars the other day. They are creamy, chocolaty, yummy and super easy to do ! 

As a food blogger, I am constantly looking for props that I can use without spending too much. Plates, cups, cutlery, baking tools, towels, etc. So, kitchenware stores, thrift stores, dollar stores and garage sales have become my favourite places to hang out. And I get super excited when I can reuse or recycle ! It’s like doing a makeover ! These cute little jars were containers of some petit pot yoghurts that I bought. They are perfect for individual desserts ! My only complain…..they’re too petit ! Cause these cheesecakes are so delicious and one is not enough !  

Makes about 8 servings

  • 12-15 graham crackers (or other cookies of choice)
  • 45 g unsalted butter,melted 
  • 120 g semi-sweet or dark chocolate, plus more for garnish 
  • 200 g cream cheese 
  • 120 g icing sugar, sifted  
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • 240 mL cold heavy whipping cream 
  1. Crush graham crackers into crumbs and mix in melted butter 
  2. Spoon into containers, press down gently and refrigerate for later use 
  3. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave, cool slightly 
  4. Place one small mixing bowl in the freezer for about 20 minutes (for making whipped cream)
  5. In another mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth
  6. Add in melted chocolate, set aside
  7. In the cold mixing bowl, beat 120 mL of the cream until medium peak 
  8. Gently fold into the chocolate cream cheese until just combined 
  9. Spoon or pipe on top of graham cracker base (refrigerate if not serving right away)
  10. Just before serving, whip remaining cream to garnish, top with chopped chocolate 

Blueberry Galette 

Can’t believe summer is half-way through already ! I have been really busy, driving the kids around to different activities, keeping them occupied. If you are a parent, you would know, summer is actually busier than school days ! But they are having so much fun…..swimming, trampoline park, bowling, sleep over…..Although I am exhausted at the end of the day, seeing their happy faces makes it all worth it. Hey, kids are supposed to sleep in, play lots and eat lots during the summer, right ? With all the activities, meal times for us may not always be as regular and as healthy as I’d like. To balance that out, I make sure I stock lots of fruits at home. Luckily my kids are not picky eaters and love the summer fruits…blueberries, cherries, watermelon, peaches, etc.  And of course I use them to make desserts, like this blueberry galette. It’s basically a rustic blueberry pie and you don’t need to worry about making the crust neat and tidy. It makes a perfect summer dessert with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream !

Makes one galette

For the crust 

  • 90 g unsalted butter (cut into small pieces and chilled)
  • 100 mL ice-cold water
  • 200 g cake and pastry flour, sifted
  • 15 g granulated sugar
  • 2.5 g salt

For the filling 

  • 200 g fresh blueberries 
  • 30 g granulated sugar 
  • 7.5 mL lemon juice 
  • Zest of 1/2 small lemon 
  • 7.5 g cornstarch 
  • 10 g graham cracker crumbs 
  1. To make the crust, combine flour,sugar and salt
  2. Rub in chilled butter with hands until resemble coarse crumbs, there should be pea-sized lumps of butter
  3. Add cold water and mix until dough just starting to form
  4. Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and press dough together (Do not knead)
  5. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight (I actually doubled the amount of ingredients and kept half of the dough in the freezer for later) 
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F 
  7. Gently mix blueberries with sugar,lemon juice, lemon zest and cornstarch 
  8. Let sit for about 10 minutes 
  9. Roll dough out to about 0.5 cm in thickness 
  10. Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs in the middle leaving about 5 cm from the edge, the crumbs help to prevent a soggy crust 
  11. Spoon filling on top  
  12. Fold and pleat edges over part of the filling
  13. Brush edges with water and sprinkle with vanilla sugar or granulated sugar 
  14. Bake for about 60 minutes until golden and filling is bubbling (you can cover it with aluminium foil for the last 15 to 20 minutes to prevent crust from getting too brown)
  15. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream 

Peanut Butter Nice Cream Sandwiches

Summer is always busy for me….working, driving the kids, getting together with friends and relatives, etc. But it seems like everything I do revolve around food or desserts…..snacks, lunches, picnics, BBQ’s. Making something that are easy and healthy would be great when I am running a tight schedule. These Peanut Butter Nice Cream Sandwiches are super simple and most of us probably have all the ingredients at home already. Nice cream is a much healthier alternative to ice cream using frozen bananas. I added peanut butter, but there are many variations you can do, like cocoa powder, chocolate chips, berries, nuts, etc. You can also use other cookies or crackers for the sandwiches. Don’t think that you have to compromise on taste by making a healthier dessert because they are really really yummy ! They didn’t last long at all in my house !

Makes 12 sandwiches  

  • 4 ripe bananas 
  • 100 g smooth peanut butter 
  • 30 mL milk (or you can use almond or coconut milk) 
  • 24 squares graham crackers 
  • 60 g melted chocolate for drizzling (optional)
  1. Peel and cut banana into small pieces 
  2. Freeze for 3-4 hours or overnight 
  3. Lay half of the graham crackers on a square or rectangular pan lined with parchment paper 
  4. In a food processor or blender, blend together frozen bananas, peanut butter and milk until smooth 
  5. Spoon on top of graham crackers in pan, smooth evenly with a spatula 
  6. Arrange the other graham crackers on top
  7. Freeze until set 
  8. Cut into squares and top with melted chocolate or other toppings as desired 

Strawberry Sherbet 

My son used to be a picky eater when he was little and was very reluctant to try new things. Meal time was a real challenge back then. Luckily, he would never say no to fruits, especially strawberries and blueberries. He is now 12 years old, not as picky as before, eats more than me, almost as tall as I am and still loves his berries. Strawberries are in season right now and he can easily eat half to one pound a day ! I love fresh strawberries, they taste yummy as a fruit but can also be used for many desserts. With the warmer weather finally showing up, I brought out my ice cream maker and made this strawberry sherbet. Sherbet is like a cousin of sorbet. Sorbet is mainly made with fruit juice and sugar without any dairy. On the other hand, milk or cream is added to sherbet. Its texture is in between a sorbet and an ice cream. So if you are craving for a cool treat, but don’t want something too rich, a sherbet will be perfect. And this recipe is approved by the strawberry fan in my house ! 

Makes about 1 L

  • 800 g fresh strawberries (after washed and hulled)
  • 120 g granulated sugar (adjust according to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 250 mL milk 
  • 15 mL lemon juice 
  1. Blend all ingredients together and press mixture through a fine strainer with a spatula   
  2. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight 
  3. Pour into an ice-cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions 

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can pour the mixture in a shallow tray, cover and put in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight; then break the frozen mixture into large chunks and blend again until smooth. 

Ice Cream Machine that I used 

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Cuisinart ICE-21C Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker

You can get this ice cream machine through the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item. 

Banana Milkshake (Vegan and Dairy-free)

This is probably the simplest recipe I have ever made.  It has just 2 ingredients !  I often make myself a banana smoothie after my morning run. It’s delicious, satisfying and very healthy. The past week has been quite hot, even in the morning. Not that I am complaining about the good weather, but when the temperature is up, I do get more tired after I run and I would be soaking wet.  So to quench my thirst and “refuel” myself, I turned my smoothie into an even cooler treat…. a milkshake ! I simply freeze the bananas before blending, how easy is that !

Makes about 2 servings

  • 4 ripe bananas 
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used vanilla-flavoured almond milk, you can use unsweetened if preferred)
  1. Peel and cut bananas into small pieces, put in freezer for about 3 hours or overnight
  2. Blend frozen bananas and almond milk together until smooth, serve immediately 

Banana Milkshake

 

Bran Frozen Yoghurt Cups

During the summer, when my kids are at home, they are always hungry, especially my son. I feel like I am feeding him constantly ! So, I like healthy snacks that are easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time. This recipe is really simple, even the kids can do it ! You probably already have all the ingredients at home and what I’ve made is very basic. You can choose your cereal, yoghurt and fruits. I am sure the kids would enjoy making and eating them ! I eat them after my workouts too !

Makes about 12 mini cups 

  • 50 g bran flakes 
  • 1 tablespoon honey (depends how sweet your cereal is)
  • 1+1/2 tablespoons melted coconut oil 
  • 250 g vanilla-flavoured Greek yoghurt 
  • 50-100 g fresh or frozen fruits (I used fresh strawberries, blueberries and kiwi)
  1. Crush bran flakes into small pieces 
  2. Mix in honey and coconut oil 
  3. Spoon about 1-2 teaspoons into each small silicone cup and press down firmly to form base 
  4. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes to harden
  5. Spoon in yoghurt, then top with fresh fruits
  6. Freeze until set

 

 

Iced Coffee Popsicles 

For a lot of people, summer is a relaxing season, but if you are a mom, you would know, summer can be very busy too! For the last few weeks, I have been driving my kids to swimming and other activities almost every day, trying to keep them active and occupied….so they don’t spend too much time in front of the computer ! It’s busy, but they’ve been having a good time. For me, many days, by the afternoon, I am pooped ! And I need my afternoon “fuel” to keep me going, which is usually a light snack and a cup of iced coffee.  It was so hot the last few days, so I decided to transform my “fuel” into popsicles ! Oh, and I found a bottle of Kahlua in my fridge so I added some extra boost ! Sorry kids, you can’t have these, but you know what ?  When mom is cool, everything is cool ! 

Makes about 8-10 popsicles 

  • 1/2 cup hot brewed coffee 
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk 
  • 3/4 cup whole milk 
  • 3/4 cup half and half cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (optional)
  • 60 g semi-sweet or dark chocolate, melted (optional for drizzles) 
  1. Mix hot coffee and condensed milk together
  2. Add all other ingredients except the melted chocolate, stir until blended 
  3. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until set, about 4 hours 
  4. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired 

Iced Coffee Popsicles