National Cocoa Day With A Chocolate Tiramisu

National Cocoa DayA hot cup of cocoa is the same as a hot cup of chocolate. Today December 13th according to National Day Calendar, it is National  Cocoa Day. What a great month to have such a day, as the day are getting colder, and a cup of hot cocoa seems the hot beverage to recognize. Even more so, that it is a wintry windy and rainy morning outside at the moment.

National Day Calendar notes that in their research on this day, they were unable to find the creator of National Cocoa Day.

But hey, what a great excuse to make a Chocolate Tiramisu, while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate or hot cocoa. If you enjoy the traditional tiramisu prepared with espresso, you’ll excite your taste buds with a chocolate tiramisu!

Here is what you will need to prepare your own Chocolate Tiramisu, while enjoying a nice cup of hot chocolate.

Chocolate Tiramisu

1¾ cup heavy cream, divided

1  cup coconut sugar or granulated sugar

16 ounces mascarpone cheese

¼ tsp. Himalayan salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped

24-30 lady fingers

2 cups prepared hot chocolate, strong, cooled to room temperature

With an electric mixer, beat whipping cream with sugar on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

Mix in salt, vanilla, and mascarpone cheese until combined.

Using a pastry bag, pipe a small amount of the cream mixture into the bottoms of 6 – 10 to 12 ounce dessert glasses.

Break lady fingers into pieces first, so they fit, then dip in hot chocolate and place in a single layer over cream mixture. Pipe in some more cream mixture, repeating layers, ending with the cream mixture.

Top with a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder, and top with shaved dark chocolate or real chocolate sprinkles.

Enjoy at room temperature or chilled.

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Organic Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad

Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad

It is said, but cannot be proven, that the orange carrot was cultivated in the 17th century by Dutch growers. It is thought that the carrot was cultivated orange as a tribute to William of Orange, who led the the struggle for Dutch independence.

Whatever the origin of the orange carrot, the Long Orange Dutch carrot, first written about in 1721, is the forebear of the orange Horn carrot varieties so abundant at supermarkets today.

History states the first mention of growing carrots was in Iran. Carrots cultivated before 1721 were of different colors, like purple, red, yellow and white. The orange carrot we buy today is crossed from the later two colors, yellow and white.

It is note worthy, the nutritional benefits of rainbow carrots. Four (4) ounces or 1/2 a cup has 157% of the daily value of vitamin-A, 14% of the daily need of vitamin-C, 337 mg of potassium, and 3% of the daily need of calcium, and iron. Four ounces also have about 3 grams of fiber.

Our featured recipe is prepared using wild organic rainbow carrots. It is a simple and delicious salad. Fast and easy to make. Our featured salad, Organic Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad will need the following.

Organic Rainbow Carrots and Spinach Salad

2 cups cooked organic rainbow carrots, sliced

3-4 cups baby spinach

1/4 cup Asiago cheese, shredded

Ginger syrup

Olive oil

Caribbean Spiced Rubbed Beef Rib SteakWash and slice carrots, but do not peel. Place into a steamer basket over boiling water and steam, about 5 minutes. Cool and set aside.

Plate spinach on a large salad plate. Top with cooled carrots. Drizzle ginger syrup over vegetables, then drizzle olive oil. Top with cheese.

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We enjoyed the salad with a Caribbean Spiced Rubbed Beef Rib Steak and slices of olive bread.

 

 

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Improve Your Health in the Kitchen Not the Medicine Cabinet

 

Improve Your Health in the Kitchen Not the Medicine Cabinet

When we don’t feel good, most of us might turn to the medicine cabinet. As it may have pain relievers for sore muscles or a headache, stomach ache, fever or even diarrhea. The medicine cabinet and what it may offer to you in times of failing health is only temporary.

Why not look to your kitchen to relieve your aches and pains? Are we crazy asking that question, you may say. There is only food in the kitchen. That is the point. Our health is dependent on what we are eating.

When you choose to start living a healthier lifestyle and look for alternative ways to better your health, have you ever considered what the kitchen has to offer you in this respect?

There are particular food ingredients, and there are many of them that have positive health benefits, that are actually good for your aches and pains.

What are they, you are asking?  They are herbs and spices.

Here are a few of those healthy spices and what they can do for you.

Cayenne Pepper – This is known as a spice with a zing to it. Many spicy dishes contain cayenne pepper, and for this reason some shy away from eating it.

But actually, you should embrace it and use it more often. It’s known to increase your fat burning metabolism so you help shed pounds by as much as 25%. It also is an anti-inflammatory spice, reducing pain.

Garlic - Improve Your Health in the Kitchen Not the Medicine Cabinet Ginger Ginger is known for its ability to help with nausea, but can also calm an aching stomach, as well as reduce acid reflux.

Cinnamon – This is an excellent spice to help aid the bowls with diarrhea attacks and an upset stomach. It coats and sooths the stomach and digestive lining.

Garlic – Garlic can help keep lower cholesterol levels and it can decrease your blood pressure. Garlic is also an anti-inflammatory, relieving pain.

Allspice - Improve Your Health in the Kitchen Not the Medicine Cabinet

 

Allspice – Allspice is a natural stimulant that can help relieve problems in the stomach with indigestion and gas. It works much like cinnamon, coating and soothing the digestive lining, relieving pain and inflammation.

Mustard – This is an excellent spice for those who suffer from respiratory problems.  It’s another stimulant that is a helpful aid in squashing respiratory ailments.

Peppermint - Improve Your Health in the Kitchen Not the Medicine Cabinet Peppermint – This is a pleasure-filled spice that is tasty and helps with insomnia.  As an added benefit, it can help with digestive disorders and also bouts of tension.

Turmeric – This is an antioxidant that defends against free radicals.  It is a great anti-inflammatory and reduces pain throughout the body.

Herbs and spices are more commonly known as methods used to liven up our food. What most don’t realize is that there are certain spices that actually help you lead a healthy life while making your food taste good.

The next time you’re planning your dinner menu, think to yourself, “What can I be doing for my health when I spice up our favorite recipes tonight?”

 

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Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Sirloins and Accompanying Side Dishes

Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Sirloins

The buffalo are a native animal to the North American continent, including Canada and the United States. Buffalo roamed in the millions over 200 years ago. But with the migration of settlers from the east coast of the United States or known territory back in the mid-1880’s, the buffalo began to dwindle in numbers.

As transportation had advanced from horse and wagon to the building of the rail road that connected the east coast with the growing population of the west, and with the ease of travel on the train, more people would immigrate.

The problem that arose, is the migration of the buffalo during certain times of the year, and the train and its tracks would pass along the same path as the buffalo. For what ever reason they had, the United States Congress gave the railroad permission to shot at the roaming buffalo as the train moved down the track through the Midwest on to the West Coast.

The buffalo fell by the thousands and their carcasses would lye there to only rot. There fur and meat would benefit no one as it had for the native people for thousands of years, who only killed the buffalo when in need of food and clothing.

Nothing went to waist when the natives hunted the buffalo, as it did when the then migrating American’s shot them dead where they were stampeding. By the 1860’s it was estimated that only 1000 Bison or buffalo was roaming the Central Plains of then know territories of the growing United States. By 1872 the Bison was protected by a proclamation of Congress of the USA.

The buffalo numbers have grown to only about 30,000 as of the estimation in 2010. 500,000 live on private lands and ranches in the Central Plains and Midwest of the now United States of America.

Buffalo is now raised for slaughter to market as a food staple. They are not feed the same diet as the traditional cow, but a diet that is normal to buffalo as they move about and graze the land.

With that, we come to our featured recipe: Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Sirloins and Accompanying Side Dishes.

Let’s start with the side dish recipes first, Steamed Carrots and Peas with Fresh Ginger, and here’s how to make this simple side dish:

Recipe for Steamed Carrots and Peas with Fresh GingerCarrots and peas are always a great addition to a meat dish, but because our main course plated is marinated with teriyaki, and to stay with the Asian theme, we added the ginger to the vegetables.

Our next side dish is also an Asian tradition, Chopped Asian Salad. Here is to prepare it starting with the dressing.

ingredients for dressing - Asian Chopped Salad

Mix the almond butter and all of the other liquid ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

chopped vegetables for Chopped Asian SaladThe salad ingredients will need:

2 medium carrots, shredded

1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded

3 scallions, chopped

2 celery stalks, diced

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Prepare the vegetables and mix together with the slivered almonds in a large salad bowl. Form a hole in the center of the salad, and pour the dressing the center and mix into the salad until well coated.

Now for the main course: Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Sirloins.

Meat and ingredients to make Peach Teriyaki Buffalo SirloinsYou will need about 40 ounces of buffalo sirloins or about 3 pounds of meat. 3 medium peaches or 2 large ones, peeled and pitted. 1/4 cup of organic local honey, and 3 tablespoons of teriyaki.

Salt (preferably Himalayan salt) and pepper both sides of the sirloins and place them into a zip-lock bag or large bowl.

puree ingredients to marinade buffalo sirloinsPlace peeled and pitted peaches into a food processor along with the honey and teriyaki sauce, and puree. Next pour into the bag or over the meat if you are using a bowl and mix in well. Let the meat marinade at least 1 hour.

You can either choice to broil or BBQ your marinaded buffalo sirloin steaks. During the cooking process, use the marinade to baste the meat as you turn it. Cook sirloins to 160 degrees internal temperature and enjoy meat that is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Your body will thank you for it!!

Plate the buffalo sirloins, add the side dish of Chopped Asian Salad:

Chopped Asian SaladSteamed Carrots and Peas with Fresh Ginger:

vegetable side dish with Peach Teriyaki Buffalo SirloinsEnjoy your Peach Teriyaki Buffalo Sirloins and Accompanying Side Dishes…

Peach Teriyaki Buffalo SirloinsNeed some dessert ideas, link here and see what Splendid Recipes and More has to offer: Desserts.

 

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Peach and Pecan Cake

Peach Pecan Cake

This dessert is delectable, and will bring a bang to your palate and satisfaction to your tummy. There is no added white or whole wheat flour to this cake., but rather ginger snap cookies, processed in to crumbs.

Ginger is beneficial for many things. Ginger has been studied and reported as having positive results for people who suffer from insomnia and nightmares caused by anxiety. The study was published in 2010 stating, “Positive results have shown that ginger binds to some serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects overall mood and anxiety levels”.

Ginger is also good for cold and flu prevention and treatment, migraine relief, menstrual cramp relief for women, as well as prevention of diabetic nephropathy or kidney damage. Ginger also aides in the digestion processes.

As good as this dessert my be, and it has ginger in it, you will not get any of the above mentioned results. Ginger snap cookies only have a less than 2% ginger root in the cookie. I am not really sure how they even get away with calling them ginger snap cookies!!

But if you wish for the results of what fresh ginger root can do for your health, then purchase it on your next grocery shopping day.

For more information about fresh ginger root, read this article: Benefits of Ginger.

Now for our featured recipe: Peach and Pecan Cake and here is what you will need:

Ingredients for Peach Pecan cake

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup half-and-half
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup gingersnap crumbs
1 (6-ounce) package almond brickle chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 (16-ounce) can sliced peaches, well drained and chopped (not shown on cutting board)
Whipping cream to garnish (optional)

Picture of 9 - inch Square Pan and Parchment Paper

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Next line the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, and set aside.

Picture of Chop Peaches and Process Ginger Snap Cookies

Next open the can of peaches and drain off the juice. Empty the can of peaches and chop them into one inch pieces and place them in a medium bowl and set aside. Place the ginger snap cookies in a food processor and process them to almost flour like texture, then pour the crumbs into a small bowl and set aside.

Picture of Processing Cream Cheese, Brown Sugar and Eggs

Now add room temperature cream cheese and sugar to a food processor and process until well blended and creamy. Next add eggs, one at a time, mixing in after each addition.

Picture of Vanilla and Half & Half

Blend in half-and-half and vanilla.

Picture of Cookie Crumbs, Toffee, Pecans and Coconut

Add ginger crumbs, toffee chips, pecans and coconut, and process on mix for thirty seconds.

Picture of Mix in Peaches

Pour mixture into a large bowl and stir in chopped peaches.

Picture of Pouring Cake and Placing into Oven

Next pour cake mixture into the 9 – inch square prepared pan. Place the cake into the heated oven and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until center is firm (checking with a knife, insert and should come out clean) and edges are golden brown.

Peach Pecan Cake

Plate and serve warm or chilled. Garnish with peach slices whipped cream, and mint or basil, if desired.

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Shrimp and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

Shrimp and Snap Pea Str-Fry

Prepare a meal in a snap with this super fresh stir-fry. Stir-frying is one of the fastest ways to prepare dinner. Small cuts of food or bite sized foods cook up in no time when tossed into a hot pan.

We even went a step further with this stir-fry, we topped it with lemon zest and shavings of fresh ginger root. Ginger is great for digestion, reduces pain and inflammation, and wards off some cancers.

If you are increasing your omega-3 in your diet, shrimp is a great choice with .29 grams per a 3 ounce serving.

Our featured recipe is – Shrimp and Snap Pea Stir-Fry – and here is what you will need.

2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed

1 can of sliced water chestnuts, drain

12-16 ounces large shrimp, cooked

1/4 cup garlic and green onion teriyaki sauce (your favorite brand; we use Kikkoman)

2 cups cooked wild rice and red barely

1 cup organic chicken broth

cooking rise

Pour 1 cup of water and 1 cup of organic chicken broth into a medium sauce pan, add rice and bring to a boil on high heat.

Once boiling lower heat to low to simmer for 45 minutes. What we do so the rise will not be soggy after cooking it, is place a dry clean towel over mouth of pot and place the lid over the towel. As the water evaporates and rises to the lid water forms again only to fall back over the cooking rice.

With the towel in place, it will hold the vapor not allowing it to fall back over the rice. The rice is always 100% guaranteed  to be fluffy.

When rice is done remove towel, fluff with a fork and set aside.

washing snap peas

 

Meantime, wash and trim the Snap Peas and set aside. Next, open the can of water chestnuts, drain off  liquid and set aside.

preparing and stir-frying Shrimp and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

Next place a large frying pan or a wok if you have one over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When heated add 1/8 cup of the stir fry sauce. Place peas and chestnuts into pan and stir-fry until snap peas turn a bright green in color. Place into a medium bowel and set aside.

Using the same pan, add the shrimp and remaining 1/8 cup of stir-fry sauce. Stir-fry until shrimp is more oblique in color than orange. Add back the vegetables to shrimp and stir-fry 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

close up of Shrimp and Snap Pea Str-Fry

Spoon some rice on to a dinner plate, spoon some shrimp stir-fry over rice and serve. As we stated before hand, we topped the stir-fry with lemon zest and shavings of fresh ginger root. Enjoy the wonderful flavors of this splendid stir-fry.

 

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Ginger Chicken and Pineapple Salad

Ginger Chicken and Pineapple Salad

Do you know what carotenoid‘s are, and they do for you? They are antioxidants that make vitamin A, reduce inflammation in the body, and also protect your heart, help with pre-mature aging, and they are great for savaging free radicals. Most of the carotenoid’s offer ample cancer prevention.

There are over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. There are only two vegetables, will actually fruits that have 2/3 of these carotenoids in their flesh. They are tomatoes and sweet bell peppers.

Bell peppers have been found to be a valuable source for healthy skin, as well as giving elasticity to your collagen, because of the sulfur compounds they contain.

As for the ginger root it contains vitamins A, C, E, B-complex, and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, zinc, calcium, beta-carotene and high in potassium. Because of these trace minerals found in this little root, it is good for muscle function, circulation, and cardiovascular care.

Our featured recipe contains red and yellow sweet peppers, plus ginger root, and this is what you need to prepare it:

ingredients for Ginger Chicken and Pineapple salad

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tbsp. ginger, fresh grated

2 gloves, elephant garlic minced

¼ white onion, sliced into 5 rings

1 red pepper, cut julienned

1 yellow pepper, cut julienned

6 pineapple rings, about ¼ of a fresh pineapple; cut ½ inch thick and diced

Preheat oven 350 degrees

 

cooking instructions for Ginger Chicken and Pineapple Salad

Cook the chicken till it is oblique, no longer pink and is 165 degrees internal temperature. You can choice to BBQ, broil, or bake the chicken breasts.

The illustrations 1 and 2 of this image is not on a BBQ grill, but being cooked in a Pro Nu Wave counter top oven.

After shredding chicken, set aside.

sliced red and yellow caspsicum peppers

In a large salad bowl mix ginger, garlic, onion slices and peppers; making sure to incorporate well after each addition. Next mix in diced pineapple; add cooled shredded chicken. Pour balsamic vinegar onto chicken mixture and mix in well. Just to let you know this is a cold chicken salad.

 

cutting cilantro with kitchen shears

It’s optional to sprinkle fresh chopped cilantro over the salad. You could also use parsley if you want, though it doesn’t add or have the distinct flavor that cilantro has. Here we are using kitchen shears to cut cilantro into small pieces and spread out over the salad.

Ginger Chicken and Pineapple Salad

Plate, serve and enjoy!!

 

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