Posts Tagged ‘sugar’

Fruit Muffin Crumble Topping Recipe.

February 21, 2008

As promised in my previous post, here is the recipe I use for all my fruit muffins. It really brings so much more flavour and texture to the muffins. It is for anyone with a super-sweet tooth.

Fruit Muffin Crumble Topping Recipe (For 12 muffins)

Ingredients
3 tbsp of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup packed brown sugar (I prefer slightly course brown sugar)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions
1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together and mix it with your finger tips (as it is the coolest part of your hands and it will prevent the butter from melting too quickly). Mix till a crumble consistency is achieved.
2. Sprinkle over un-baked muffin, before placing muffins into the oven.
3. Enjoy a delicious muffin(s) with tea!

I also mentioned that I had my fair share of problems while baking muffins. My muffins would sometimes turn out like rocks and have large holes in them. I did the following to solve this.

  • I added less egg.
  • I added less liquids.
  • I avoid over-mixing my muffins by mixing the wet & dry ingredients with my hands, instead of a wooden spoon or electric mixer.

However, somehow my banana muffins always don’t turn out as well as I would like them to. They aren’t that moist. Any tips?

What If You Only Had These 12 Ingredients In Your Kitchen?

February 19, 2008

My previous helper did not cook at home and hence my kitchen always had too little ingredients for me to whip up any dish. However I always managed to get creative, sometimes with the help of additional items (a quick visit to my Shop & Save supermarket, a five minute walk away).

What would you cook if you only had these 12 ingredients in your kitchen? (Assuming in any reasonable amount)
1. Apples
2. Butter
3. Chicken Meat (Any part)
4. Chicken Eggs
5. Garlic
6. Fresh Mushrooms
7. Chocolate
8. Rice
9. Flour (Any type)
10. Herbs & Spices
11. Pasta (Any type)
12. Sugar

I would cook these two dishes:
1. Herbed Mushroom & Chicken Pasta
2. Apple Crumble

1. Herbed Mushroom & Chicken Pasta

Ingredients
Butter, Garlic, Mushrooms, Chicken, Herbs & Spices and Pasta

Directions
1. Marinate the chicken (cut into small pieces) with Herbs & Spices for an hour in the fridge before cooking.
2. Boil pasta till al dente with some salt – I’m assuming there’s always salt in the kitchen! 😉
3. Mince garlic and cook in butter till lightly browned.
4. Add in chicken and fry over low heat.
5. Add in sliced mushrooms and continue to mix till it softens.
6. Add more Herbs & Spices/Salt to taste.
7. Mix in the cooked pasta and serve.

2. Apple Crumble

Ingredients
Apples, Butter, Flour and Sugar

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 °C.
2. Slice and core the apples.
3. Rub flour, sugar and cubed butter together till it resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Place apples into a bowl and sprinkle over some sugar and incorporate it lightly with your hands.
5. Butter a baking dish and place apples in first, followed by the “breadcrumb-looking” crumble.
6. Bake in oven for 40 to 50 minutes until you see the apple browning and the crumble looking gorgeously golden brown.

I didn’t use any eggs or rice. As for the chocolate, I would probably eat it on its own at a later time. 🙂

What would you cook if you only had these 12 ingredients in your kitchen?

Is Saccharin a blessing or a curse?

February 11, 2008

Saccharin is an artificial sweetener or sugar substitute. It is one of the five approved sugar substitutes that have been approved for use in the United States of America.

A little history lesson here. There were health controversies that surrounded the meat-packing industry in 1906 that led to the implementation of the Pure Food and Drug Act in the same year. Just merely a year later in 1907, the United States Department of Agriculture began investigating saccharin and it had not ceased till today. This is evident when the Los Angeles Times reported today that Saccharin may lead to weight gain.

Here are the claims of the article (rats and humans were used in various experiments and observations):

– Rats on diets containing saccharin gained more weight than rats given glucose
– Saccharin appeared to break the physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories, driving the rats to overeat
– Diet soda may well be the reason behind people’s poor eating habits
Lyn M. Steffen claimed that people who drank diet sodas had a higher chance of becoming obese, than people who drank regular soda
– Food and beverage industries rejected that claim, stating that causes of obesity are multi-factorial (An increase in food portions & decrease in physical activity)

I particularly liked what Adam Drewnowski said at the end of the article:

“We now have studies showing that sugar calories are associated with obesity and the absence of sugar is associated with obesity. Pity those people trying to do something about obesity.”

There is also a survey done by the Calorie Control Council (in 1998) that showed an increase in people’s intake of sugar-free food and beverages. A 2007 survey (see article here) by the council found that the highest number of Americans in the past 15 years, 71 million, or 33% of the population, are currently on a diet.

When will this struggle ever end? My stand is to eat whatever your heart desires…only then will you cease all cravings for an extensive amount of soda or resort to diet soda… which most likely contains saccharin…which in turn might lead to obesity.

Saccharin is only a blessing to diabetics who cannot afford sugar and might want a sweet “treat” once in awhile. It is however a curse to the rest of us who consume it because it helps us in “dieting”. This totally takes out the gulit in me to reach out for another regular coke. 🙂 What do you think?