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En route to Dubai!

Just a quick update on my blog.
Right now I am at the airport waiting for boarding. Yes,  you guessed it right
I’m off to Dubai.

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I’ll be posting as much as I can. I seriously can’t wait to get a break from the past months.

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I’m very happy! So stay with me,  my Lovely People I’ll be in touch soon. Expect a lot of pictures. 🙂

Till next time Everyone! 🙂

Hanna.

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Summer Sweets! – Ice cream , sorbet and sherbet

Ice cream time!
Ice cream time!

Greetings to you All!

I’m back with more , this time sooner than expected …:)

As I’m currently based in London , talking or even thinking about summer is a delicate issue. Last week I realized we are already in July.  I didn’t really felt the summer so far but let’s keep the hope 🙂

Last week I wrote about Pavlova , this week I try to sort out the difference between Ice cream, sorbet and sherbet.

These “chilling” little sweeties are all on the market, but when you look at the packaging and try to decide what to have or take home it can be a bit overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, each of them are delicious but if you are on a diet or allergic to dairy and want to avoid animal fat , worth the time to investigate.

In all shapes and sizes
In all shapes and sizes

The difference between sorbet and sherbet is that sherbets contain milk or another fat making it similar to ice cream. Generally thought of as being fruit based, sorbets can be made with any ingredient. For instance, I have had wonderful chocolate sorbet as well as one made with champagne.

Sorbets are technically ices and are also referred to as granitas or ices (as in Italian ice). These were probably the first iced dessert, having been invented by the Asians and then introduced to the Middle East and Italy. Because of the icy nature of the recipe sorbets are generally more grainy in texture, where sherbets are creamy because of the added fat.

Happy hormones!
Happy hormones!

The smoothness of a sorbet is also dependent on the secondary ingredients because of how they can change the structure of the frozen recipe. More or less sugar or alcohol or even the amount of water will make a big difference in the texture of the recipe.

Commercial sorbets have about 100 calories in a half cup. Most of the calories comes from the sugar. Light ice creams are similar but are made with milk and will generally contain some fat in addition to the sugar. Choosing one of these as an occasional treat is a good part of a healthy diet.

Beige delights
Beige delights

Light ice creams are made in a number of ways. Until recently this was what we called “ice milk” when I was growing up and simply made with milk instead of cream (often with the addition of gelatin).
There are some processes now where the milk is super whipped and forms smaller fat globules that more closely resemble that in ice cream. There are also low sugar and sugar free versions marketed today.

Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. In some cases, artificial flavourings and colourings are used in addition to, or instead of, the natural ingredients. The mixture of chosen ingredients is stirred slowly while cooling, in order to incorporate air and to prevent large ice crystals from forming. The result is a smoothly textured semi-solid foam that is malleable and can be scooped.

Gelatoo , Gelatooo!
Gelatoo , Gelatooo!

You can say that ice cream is a type of gelato, but there still is a difference. More sugar in gelato, more butterfat (the percentage of fat in the milk/cream) in ice cream.

To summarize :
The main difference is in the ingredients used.

Ice cream is made with milk, cream, sugar, and eggs.

Sherbet is made with fruit juice/puree, sugar, water, and dairy (usually milk).

Sorbet is made with fruit juice/puree, sugar, and water (no dairy).

So chic... :)
So chic… 🙂

Well, there is more to these desserts, but I think I covered the basics , so now you can go and go wild in the closest Gelato bar or supermarket , whichever is closest 🙂

Keep up the good vibe my Dear Readers!

’till next time! 🙂

Hanna

xxx

Perky Pavlova

Hi to you All!

Summer Pavlova
Summer Pavlova

My life had kept away from my blogger commitment once again. When I started writing , I thought it’s going to be easy to find the time every week to share new ideas, information and stories with you my Dear Readers and Followers.

Life has its ways to surprise me unfortunately not in the best possible scenarios ,but changing a job and trying to relocate your entire being …. never been easy , so keep fingers crossed that everything works out soon.

This time , I’m strolling down memory lane and taking a dessert from Australia.

688d1cc172357e5b3de687e990bd31bfI spent almost 9 years in Sydney and got introduced to Pavlova very early on.
This is a sweet dish  but the history of it is quite interesting and a bit of a mystery.

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It has  a crisp crust and soft, light inside.

The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but formal research indicates New Zealand as the source.

72d3b27047cd61b09d30911e770d084eThe dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and with its simple recipe, is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals. It is a dessert most identified with the summer time, but is eaten all year round in many Australian and New Zealand homes.

The Australian website “Australian Flavour” gives the earlier date of 1926 for its creation, suggesting that Home Cookery for New Zealand, by Australian writer Emily Futter, contained a recipe for “Meringue with Fruit Filling”. This recipe was similar to today’s version of the dessert. It has been claimed that Bert Sachse created the dish at the Esplanade Hotel in Perth, Australia in 1935.

Easy Peach Melba Pavlova from Whipperberry recipe at TidyMom.netIn defense of his claim as inventor of the dish, a relative of Sachse’s wrote to Leach suggesting that Sachse may have accidentally dated the recipe incorrectly. Leach replied they would not find evidence for that “because it’s just not showing up in the cookbooks until really the 1940s in Australia.” (However, a 1937 issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly contains a “pavlova sweet cake” recipe.) A 1935 advertisement for a chromium ring used to prevent the dessert collapsing indicates that the term “pavlova cake” had some currency in Auckland at that time.Of such arguments, Matthew Evans, a restaurant critic for The Sydney Morning Herald, said that it was unlikely that a definitive answer about the pavlova’s origins would ever be found. “People have been doing meringue with cream for a long time, I don’t think Australia or New Zealand were the first to think of doing that.”

4f544685eb769fb1869472470da4cf8cThe first known recorded recipe named “pavlova” was published in the fifth Australian edition of Davis Dainty Dishes in 1926. However this “pavlova” recipe was not meringue based, but was instead a multi-coloured gelatine dish.

Pavlova is made by beating egg whites (and sometimes salt) to a very stiff consistency before folding in caster sugar, white vinegar, cornflour, and sometimes vanilla essence, and slow-baking the mixture, similarly to meringue.

Pavlova vs. Meringue

b814cace33b4997b358da2d95bcde31dThe major difference between the pavlova and a large meringue is the addition of cornflour, which results in the pavlova having a crisp and crunchy outer shell, and a soft, moist marshmallow-like centre, unlike meringue which is usually solid throughout. The consistency also makes the pavlova significantly more fragile than meringue. Because the Pavlova is notorious for deflating if exposed to cold air, when cooking is complete it is left in the oven to fully cool down before the oven door is opened.

4cb5ecd371424f799272f2ef8b0c0661Pavlova is traditionally decorated with a topping of whipped cream and fresh soft fruit such as kiwifruit, passion-fruit, and strawberries. Factory-made pavlovas can be purchased at supermarkets and decorated as desired. A commercial product is available that includes pre-mixed ingredients for baking the meringue shell, requiring only the addition of water and sugar.

Leftover decorated pavlova can be refrigerated overnight, but the dessert will absorb moisture and lose its crispness. Undecorated pavlova can be left overnight in the oven, or for several days in an airtight container, to be decorated when ready.

Here , I share a link to an Australian website , where you can find different types of Pavlova recipes .
You cannot go wrong with Pavlova 🙂

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/7271/classic+pavlova?ref=collections,pavlova-recipes

 

Romantic Rose Water

Cardamom and rose water kulfi
Cardamom and rose water kulfi

This week , I’m sort of revisiting my Iranian roots by discussing the  origin and different uses of Rose water. Nowadays it is more and more fashionable to use it , in perfumes , cooking , baking and different beautifying regimes.

My first encounter with rose water was many years ago in Turkey on a family holiday. Then I found it weird and it tasted like soap…oops! Ah, children! 🙂

But now as I’m older I can feel the true aroma better and enjoy it as it meant to be.

Rose bath
Rose bath

Rose water was first produced by Muslim chemists in the medieval Islamic world through the distillation of roses, for use in the drinking and perfumery industries.

Since ancient times, roses have been used medicinally, nutritionally, and as a source of perfume. The ancient Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians considered large public rose gardens to be as important as crop lands such as orchards and wheat fields.

Rose perfumes are made from rose oil, also called attar of roses, which is a mixture of volatile essential oils obtained by steam-distilling the crushed petals of roses, a process first developed in Iran (Persia). Rose water is a by-product of this process. It has been suggested that the Persian polymath Avicenna discovered how to make rose water in the tenth century.

Rose tea
Rose tea

Edible versions

Rose water has a very distinctive flavour and is used heavily in Persian and Middle east cuisine—especially in sweets such as nougat, raahat and baklava. For example, rose water is used to give some types of Turkish delight their distinctive flavours.

In Iran, it is also added to tea, ice cream, cookies and other sweets in small quantities, and in the Arab world, Pakistan and India it is used to flavour milk and dairy-based dishes such as rice pudding. It is also a key ingredient in sweet lassi, a drink made from yogurt, sugar and various fruit juices, and is also used to make jallab. In Malaysia and Singapore, rose water is mixed with milk, sugar and pink food colouring to make a sweet drink called bandung. Rose water is frequently used as a halal substitute for red wine and other alcohols in cooking.

Rose bath-salts
Rose bath-salts

Marzipan has long been flavoured with rose water. Marzipan originated in the Middle East and arrived in Western Europe by the Middle Ages; it continues to be served as a snack. American and European bakers enjoyed the floral flavouring of rose water in their baking until the 19th century when vanilla flavouring became popular.

In parts of the Middle East, rose water is commonly added to lemonade with mint.

Cosmetic and medicinal use

Rose water is a usual component of perfume. A rose water ointment is occasionally used as an emollient, and rose water is sometimes used in cosmetics such as cold creams.

Medicinal use , Ayurveda: In India, rose water is used as eye drops to clear them. Some people in India also use rose water as spray applied directly to the face for natural fragrance and moisturizer, especially during winters. It is also used in Indian sweets and other food preparations (particularly gulab jamun). Rose water is often sprinkled in Indian weddings to welcome guests.

Rose petals
Rose petals

Religious uses

Rose water is used as a perfume in religious ceremonies (Hindu, Muslim and Zoroastrian). Water used to clean the Kaaba, the Qibla for Muslims located in Mecca, combines Zamzam water with rose water as an additive.
Rose water is used in some Hindu rituals as well. Rose water also figures in Christianity, particularly in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I think we can all agree on the fact that Rose water has endless uses… use it inside and out it will benefit you.

For some of us , it might take time to get use to the taste, but I think if we use the right amount and we got the right recipe , simply cannot go wrong.

Lemonade with mint and rose water
Lemonade with mint and rose water

I experimented with rose water , by adding sugar to it and pouring it on ice cream and panna cotta, it was fantastic.

I will look for other alternatives to try with Rose water… maybe adding it to my bath water! 😀

I hope you will all try it!

Bye now!

Hanna

Charming Chia (seeds)

 

Chia Seed Pudding , with pomegranate and pistachios...Perfect!
Chia Seed Pudding , with pomegranate and kiwi…Perfect!

As you all know it by now, I’m not a huge fan of veggies. I know , they are important to have my health in order, so that’s why I always try to find new ways to add some fiber and nutrition to my diet, but in the way it won’t taste or feels like I’m eating grass or something too green! 🙂

In my previous post , I wrote about kale and its wonderful properties. Now I’ve found Chia Seeds.

Slowly, but summer is here , so we an experiment with salads, puddings and smoothies . The great thing is that we can ALL , add Chia Seeds to ALL of the above  mentioned. YAY!

Raw Black Chia
Raw Black Chia

Ohh, little wonders! It is the perfect way of eating healthy , but still enjoying it.

Nowadays, chia is becoming better known as a great source of healthy omega-3 fats and fiber, and it’s an easy food to add to your diet.

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala, and history suggests it was a very important food crop for the Aztecs. It’s remained in regular use in its native countries, but was largely unknown in North America until researcher Wayne Coates began studying chia as an alternative crop for farmers in northern Argentina about 29 years ago.

Benefits
Benefits

Coates started his work on chia in 1991, and since then has become an advocate of the tiny seed’s health benefits. The human trials are limited —as is often the case with food research— but the anecdotal evidence of chia’s positive health effects include boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding digestion, and lowering cholesterol.

 

Coconut-Chia Pudding
Coconut-Chia Pudding

The little seed — which comes in either white or a dark brown and black colour — also has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and is a great source of healthy omega-3 fats. As an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled, while flax seeds have to be ground before consumption in order to access their health benefits for example.
When you’re buying chia, both the white and black seeds are good choices, but Coates warns to make sure you’re getting a good quality product by avoiding either red seeds (immature chia seeds), or black seeds that are smaller than regular chia seeds (weed seeds). Coates sells the seeds himself, but they are available from many different health food stores and supermarkets.

So once you’ve got your seeds, how to you add them to your diet? “The easiest way is to add it to everything and anything,” Coates says.

The seeds are tasteless so they won’t affect the flavor profile of your food, which makes them easy to integrate into your meals. They can be sprinkled whole on top of salads or toast or added milled to smoothies, and even add them to ice cream.

Very good reasons to add Chia Seeds to your diet ASAP:
What is Chia?
What is Chia?

Antioxidants

Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer. The high antioxidant profile also helps them have a long shelf life. They last almost two years without refrigeration.

Minerals

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.

Satiety

Satiety is the feeling of being full and satisfied, which helps lower food cravings between meals. The combination of protein, fiber and the gelling action of chia seeds when mixed with liquids all contribute to their satiating effects.

Gluten-Free

Chia seeds contain no gluten or grains. Therefore, all of the nutritional benefits of chia seeds can be obtained on a gluten-free diet.

Amazingly filling!
Amazingly filling!

Egg Replacer

The outer layer of chia seeds swells when mixed with liquids to form a gel. This can used in place of eggs to lower cholesterol and increase the nutrient content of foods and baked goods. To make the egg replacement, mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 15 minutes.

Can Be Digested Whole

Unlike flax-seed, which are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and minerals, chia seeds do not need to be ground in order to obtain their nutrient or egg- replacement benefits.

Dyslipidemia

A study published in the “British Journal of Nutrition” showed that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower triglycerides and cholesterol levels while increasing HDL or “good” cholesterol. The study also found that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, such as corn oil, the ALA was able to prevent high triglyceride levels and reduce central obesity.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Chia seeds can play an important role in regulating insulin levels. They can reduce insulin resistance and decrease abnormally high levels of insulin in the blood.

 

Easy and “Must-Try” recipes with Chia Seeds:

31 easy and delicious recipes:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/healthy-and-delicious-chia-seed-recipes

Kid-friendly ways to add more fibers to our little-one’s diet:

http://wellnessmama.com/4981/10-uses-for-chia-seeds/

And one more website for luck :

http://noshon.it/blog/2013/08/10-must-make-recipes-using-chia-seeds/

Blueberry and Chia Combo
Blueberry and Chia Combo

There you have it! If you are still in the group of “non-believers” , try to add it to a smoothie at first… you won’t regret it for sure!

If anyone finds new recipes and more info, please let me know!

Please try my Charming new friend Chia! 🙂

Till next time everyone! 🙂

Hanna