Archive for » February, 2012 «

Saging is Banana — its Scientific Name and Nutritional Facts

Saging or Banana is a herbaceous plant which produces fruit. It belongs to the genus Musa and having different edible species like Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. It grows from 10 to 26 feet.

Saging is Banana

Saging is Banana

Saging or Banana is good source of potassium. In fact this fruit has been very loved and mostly picked by sports-minded people. Its potassium content also helps reduce risks of having cardiovascular problems. Bananas also has helped lower gastric ulcer diseases through its milk secretions which helps suppress acid secretions in the stomach.

Banana also has high contents of pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber, also called a hydrocolloid, that helps proper digestion and movement of the gastrointestinal tract or digestive system.

Saging or Banana is also  a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin C, dietary fibers and manganese.

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Cheap Car Hire for Vacation

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In as early as now, my family has been planning already a good place to have our summer vacation with the two kids, Didong and Didang. My mom is so excited looking forward for the two kids’ first flight – first ride on an airplane.

The very first thing that I was thinking of making a reservation now is the best place for accommodation and to find cheap car hire services.

Cheap Car Hire for VacationWhere to find Cheap Car Hire Services?

Even though my place, my apartment, could welcome as many family members as I wanted to, I am worried if they will be comfortable in staying here. The apartment might be too small — be crowded, if we all will stay in my room to sleep during the night. Yes, the apartment has three rooms but all these are occupied by my other housemates. So even how big the building per se, my room isn’t enough for us to take our deepest sleep or to have our rest. That is why, I need to find best place for us to stay aside from my place.

Another thing is I need to find cheap car hire deals and services which could smoothly cater us in almost but not all tourist destinations that we wanted to visit. It is much convenient to have rent a car so that if we have a number of baggage especially those for the kids, we can just bring them all inside the car. We can also have our foods and drinks, as plenty as we could prepare, if we have a spacious food cargo and just put it in the compartment of the car.

These are just some points that I am thinking as of now before Summer vacation hits. Now, I need to finalize these all.

Category: Vacation  Tags:  One Comment

Vegetarian/Vegan Chocolate Recipes for Valentines Day

I have shared two (2) chocolate recipes for Valentines Day in my previous post. Today, I will share again another sets of Chocolate Recipes but this time, these will be special, Vegetarian/Vegan Chocolate Recipes for Valentines Day.

Check these Vegetarian/Vegan Chocolate Recipes for Valentines Day below (recipes excerpted from Vegan Family):

1. Fantastic (very rich) Chocolate Cake

1 and a half cups unbleached white flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
half a cup of mixed, chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
half a cup cold water or soy milk
half a cup of orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vinegar

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift dry ingredients into 8″ square or 9″ round baking pan. Mix liquids (except vinegar) and whisk into dry. When batter is smooth, add vinegar and stir quickly, until it is evenly distributed. Put it in the oven, don’t let it stand around (that has something to do with the vinegar) Bake for 25-30 minutes…or longer until done. This cake is great served with Provamel’s soya dream (cream like). Pictured on right with a chocolate “butter” icing (blob of marg, bit of icing sugar, spoon of cocoa, all creamed together) and sprinkled with flaky vegan hot chocolate or whizzers chocolate beans.

A steamed pud with sauce variation sent to us by Bracken: put broken up chocolate bar pieces in the bottom of a microwavable basin and put the chocolate cake mixture on top. Microwave for 2-4 minutes depending on oven.

2. Choc, Fruit and Nut Cookies

This recipe makes about 40 small (2 inch/6cm) cookies

150g/5oz/three quarter cup caster sugar
150g/5 oz/three quarter cup vegan margarine
5 tablespoons of soya milk
300g/10 oz/1and a half cups of plain flour
teaspoon vanilla extract (or according to pack instructions)
a handful each of: chocolate chips, chopped nuts and raisins.

Preheat oven to 200C/400F and grease cookie sheets. Cream together the sugar and marg. Mix in the soya milk and vanilla and then the flour. The mixing of the flour is best done with your hands (messy but fun!). Add the choc, nuts and raisins and mix well. You should have a workable dough (add more flour if it’s too wet or more soya milk if too dry and doesn’t hold together well). Roll out on a floured board (to just under 1 cm thick) and cut into cookies. Lay on cookie sheets and bake for about 10 minutes for soft bake cookies or a little longer for dryer, crunchy ones.

Variations: Leave out the choc, nuts and fruit and half dip the cooled cookies in chocolate – choccy biscuits! Crushed Whizzers chocolate beans are a colourful replacement for chocolate chips. They can also be pressed all over the top prior to baking. Plain cookies with a handful of sesame seeds or desiccated coconut added into the dough are delicious. Plain cookies with a square of chocolate pressed onto them before baking work well too.

Chocolate Recipes for Valentine’s Day

Since I can’t prepare lots of foods — bake cake or even toast and have my own chocolate preparations at home this coming Valentine’s day, I’ll just share to you some of the chocolate recipes that I wanted to realize this Valentine’s day.

Chocolate Recipes for Valentine's Day

image from countryliving.com

1. Chocolate Crackle Cookies (Recipe from 6 romantic chocolate recipes for Valentine’s Day)

  • 1 cup almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup sugar plus more for rolling
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ tablespoons brandy
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • Sifted powdered sugar for rolling

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulverize almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar until very fine. Put into a mixing bowl and sift flour and baking powder over. Mix together.
  2. In a heat-proof bowl over simmering water, melt bittersweet chocolate and butter. Stir in brandy. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and ¼ cup sugar until mixture forms a ribbon, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the melted chocolate and the almond-and- flour mixture. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours or until firm.
  4. Before baking, preheat oven to 325 degrees. Fill a small bowl with granulated sugar. Fill another small bowl with sifted powdered sugar.
  5. Roll cookie dough into 1-inch balls. Roll a few at a time in granulated sugar to coat them, then roll them in the powdered sugar. Set them on parchment-lined baking sheets for even baking. When the cookies are done they will have cracks in their white shells and they will be firm on the edges, but still soft in the center. Do not over-bake.

2. Homemade Chocolate Bark (Recipe from Country Living — Chocolate Bark)

  • Chocolate (milk or semi-sweet)
  • Classic Toppings: Dried fruits such as apricots, raisins, candied orange peel, cranberries, and cherries. Toasted nuts including hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, and pistachios.
  • Contemporary Toppings: Caramelized cocoa nibs, cereal, candied ginger, and dried fruits such as pineapple, blueberries, and strawberries. Toasted pumpkin seeds and pine nuts.

Directions

  1. Line a chilled baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour warm (not hot), melted chocolate into the prepared pan.
  2. Spread the chocolate evenly to about 1?8 inch thick using a small offset spatula. Sprinkle toppings on the chocolate and place in the freezer to set, approximately 20 minutes.
  3. For even-sized pieces, cut up bark before it sets completely. If you like a more rustic look, allow the bark to harden completely before breaking it up into pieces. Store in a cool, dry place.