Hello Everyone! 2016 is coming to a close real soon and I would just like to take this opportunity to be thankful for what the past year has brought, not only for me, but for my family and my friends as well. Inevitably, life if not always perfect, it has its ups and downs, and for all the times where I felt down or put down but others, I can only say that – as cliché as this sounds – it has made me become a stronger person. I have been thrown under the bus countless of times by people around me and have had people say bad things about me behind my back – to all these people, you can go shove it where the sun don’t shine. You’ve made me realise how easy it can be for me to just shut you out because I don’t need that kind of toxicity in my life. Arrivederci.
Well, that escalated quickly haha! From being thankful to talking about the poisonous people is my life. Anyway, this will be the last recipe that I will be sharing on Amcarmen’s Kitchen for the year 2016. I hope that all my family, friends, and followers have had a good read and have cooked up a storm in their own kitchens with my recipes. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #amcarmensrecipes when you create a dish from my blog so I can share them on all my social media mediums. I will be back in February with a whole new concept to my recipes so please stay tuned! Yes, I will be taking a break in January as I have quite a full plate with work for the month and I might be able to spend time in the kitchen. I will also be planning content for Amcarmen’s Kitchen during my time off to ensure that everything runs smoothly for the upcoming year! Look out though for a post coming in mid-January as an introduction and hint to the recipes ahead for 2017!
Since Christmas passed not to long ago, I decided whip up these tasty raw vegan gingerbread balls as part of my ball-balls theme for December to keep with the Christmas-spirit.The only slight change I made to this recipe was replacing the buckwheat groats with more almonds just because I have no clue where to find buckwheat groats here in Brunei! Before we jump into the recipe for tonight, please check out the original recipe from Amanda over on Rawmanda.
PREP TIME 10 MINS| COOKING TIME —| SERVES 15 BALLS
1 & 1/4 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup buckwheat groats*
3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut sugar
*If you’re like me and can’t seem to find buckwheat groats at your local grocers, you can substitute 1/4 cup of buckwheat groats for 3 tablespoons of almond flour. Alternatively, for nut-free balls, you can substitute 1/4 cup of almond meal for 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of buckwheat groats.
Place all the ingredients, except for the coconut sugar and dates in a high-speed blender or food processor until you get a flour-like consistency from the ingredients.
Add half of the dates into the blender/food processor and pulse until well combined. Then add in the remaining dates until you have a uniform dough formed.
Scoop the dough out of the blender/food processor, at about a tablespoon in size, and roll it into a ball (or flatten with a rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to make desired shapes). Repeat for the remaining dough. Optional: Roll the balls into coconut sugar or sprinkle on top of cookies.
Share and enjoy as a light snack. Store the gingerbread balls or cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature for a 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for a week.
Hello Everyone! Hopefully tonight’s recipe will be able to get your brains going to have a guess on what the theme for December on Amcarmen’s Kitchen is. Like I said in the previous post, it may be obvious to some after this, or maybe you’ll have to wait until next week to make the connections. My best friend Jialing actually planted the idea in my head, and when I came up with the final theme, even she was excited to know that I’d be doing this for December. I’ll give you guys a slight clue – it definitely is Christmas-related.
Anyway, I’m going to keep tonight’s post short and only because I don’t have a long-winded back story to tell about who I came across these energy bites in the past and here I am having a go at my own version – because that isn’t the case here. I merely just browsed the World Wide Web in search for recipes that I could try out specifically for this month’s theme. I came across this recipe on Pinterest a while back, and I thought I’d give this one a go seeing as it is simple (that’s right, only 5 ingredients!) to make and deliciously energising indeed! Just a heads up, they may be a bit too sweet for some who are intolerant to anything sweet because of the dates, but nonetheless, they are pretty darn good! Check out the original recipe by Danae over on Recipe Runner.
PREP TIME 15 MINS| COOKING TIME —| MAKES 12 BALLS
1/2 cup dried cranberries (unsweetened if you want them to be paleo)
1/2 cup medjool dates (about 6-7 dates), roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw almonds (or almond meal)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Using a high-speed blender or a food processor, pulse the almonds and cashews and almonds until they are finely ground, but be careful as to not turn them into nut butter.
Add in all the remaining ingredients to the blender or food processor and blend/pulse until everything starts to come together. When needed, scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor several times, and then add up to 2 tablespoons of water to the blended mixture. You may need to remove the mixture from the blender or food processor and place it into a bowl, mashing it together with your hands or a spatula.
Form the mixture into approximately 12 balls at about a tablespoon each.
Store the energy bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy as a snack when you feel that afternoon slump starting to kick in!
Hello Everyone! So today’s recipe was inspired by a video I watched on YouTube from one of my favourite channels SORTED Food. This recipe is by far one of my new Christmas favourites and spot on because this year for Christmas planned on decorating our Christmas Tree with food items! We strung some popcorn and wrapping them around our tree. We have candy canes, Ferrero Rochers, Lindt chocolate, and sugar cookie wreaths lined up as our ornaments:
I actually completely forgot about this recipe for Stained Glass Cookies until the night before Jialing and I had planned to make the cookies. It’s a good thing that we picked up the Turkey I preordered yesterday which meant that I could also pick up some boiled candy for this recipe! But I mean, does Australia have something against boiled sweets? Or did they just sell out or something? I swear I could not find any form of boiled sweets at the local supermarkets other than soothers or lozenges. Lucky for me that Woolies stocked their own home brand fruity sweets. But even so, the bag of candy only had 4 green sweets and half of the bag was filled with yellow sweets. So I ended up crushing some of the yellow with the green and added a few drops of green food colouring to it.
Initially I had planned to make my gingerbread cookies again for the tree, and since I have all the ingredients ready for some gingerbread making, I decided to do a little twist on their recipe and make Gingerbread Stained Glass Cookies. Do check out the original recipe on their main channel: Stained Glass Cookie Decorations, or if you want to see a step-by-step write-up version of the recipe, check it out on their website: SORTED Food.
The first batch of cookies turned out to be a massive fail that they only deserved a before picture. Can’t even bare the look of the result after. Lesson learned? Don’t bake these stained glass cookies with raising agents in them – just don’t. I think you may have a picture in your head how these first batch of cookies turned out:
PREP TIME 30 MINS| COOKING TIME 12 MINS| MAKES 2 DOZEN
2 cups plain flour (plus 1/2 cup additional for rolling, if needed)
85g unsalted butter, softened
1 large free range egg
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses (or honey in my case)
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp ground dry ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Boiled Sweets (Hard Candy)
Preheat oven to 200C. Add the unsalted butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle at medium-high speed until smooth; about 5 to 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, dry ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Whisk to blend and then set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, molasses (or honey), and lemon juice.
When the butter and sugar mixture is smooth, lower the speed of the mixer and add the wet ingredients. Then gently fold the dry ingredients until a dough starts to form.
Divide the cookie dough in half. Wrap each half with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes. This step will make it easier to finish rolling out the dough when it has chilled. It will also mean you only have half of the dough getting warm as you roll it.
Lightly flour a flat surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the first half of the dough about 1/2-inch thick. Lightly flour the cookie cutter(s) and cut out your desired cookie shapes. Cut another shape out of the centre of each cookie and transfer the cookies to a lined baking tray.
Chop up some boiled fruit sweets with a knife or by bashing them with a rolling pin whilst still in their wrappers, keeping the different colours separate. Sprinkle the chopped sweets into the hole in the centre of the cookies and bake them for 12 minutes.
Leave to cool until completely cold before removing them from the lined baking tray. Ice them however you wish and thread a ribbon through the hole to hang your decorations. For these cookies, I made a simple vanilla icing to decorate with and edible silver balls.