Sunday, March 25, 2012

Banana Milk Shake Smoothie with a Speculoos Twist

A refreshing drink to try this spring, Banana Milk Shake Smoothie with a Speculoos twist, don’t worry because it’s easy to make. Follow recipe below.

Makes 2 (1 cup) thick milkshakes

  • 1 small ripe banana, slice into cube
  • 1/4 cup Speculoos Spread1-1/2 cups low fat vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Combine banana and Speculoos Spread in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth consistency is achieved, scraping down sides of blender if needed.
  3. Add yogurt, milk and cinnamon together and blend again until smooth.

For a thicker milkshake, cut the banana into thin slices and freeze until firm. When blending with Speculoos Spread, scrape down sides of blender several times until banana and spread are well blended and very thick. Increase milk to 1/2 cup or more until you finally get your desired consistency.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Speculoos Spread Cookie Tartlet Recipe

Another great recipe that you can try for your kids and family Specuoloos spread cookie tartlets. Follow the directions below and don’t forget to share!


Yields: 6 servings
1 egg, at room temperature
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/8 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
1 clove, ground to a fine powder
1 tablespoon candied ginger, finely chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 tablespoons molasses
¼ cup slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
8 tablespoons brown sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
3 tablespoons Speculoos spread


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Making cookie dough:
In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar for about 5-6 minutes. You'll get a pale, yellow foam and the texture of the egg will be thicker. Add the spices and molasses.
In another mixing bowl, cream 8 tablespoons butter with the brown sugar (whisk using a stand-mixer to get as much air as possible into the butter). Add the egg mixture, the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and salt), the almonds and candied ginger. Mix until the cookie dough is formed. Do NOT over-mix. Transfer the dough into a bowl. Plastic wrap it and chill the dough in the refrigerator until firm. It will take at least 15-20 minutes to firm up.

Making cookie tartlets:
Line 6 non-stick mini-cake pans (see tips) with squares of parchment paper. Place 3 cookie scoops of the chilled cookie dough into each prepared cake mold. Flour your fingers before touching the cookie dough and gently press into the bottom and sides of the cake pan. Prick the dough with a fork.
You'll have a little left-over cookie dough. Simply bake the cookie dough along with the other cake pans and use it as garnish.
Bake for about 12-13 minutes. Remove from the oven and press the center of the cookie using a smaller-sized cake pan (see tips). Let them cool down completely to room temperature before unmolding. They will harden and get firm as they cool down.
Crush the left-over cookie into a coarse texture. Set aside.

For the speculoos filling:
Using a hand-held mixer, whip the mascarpone to soften it. Add the condensed milk  and beat until the texture is smooth and creamy. Divide the filling into 2 bowls. Add the speculoos spread into one bowl and stir well. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold (once or twice) the speculoos mixture into the other bowl. You want to create a marbling design.

Assembly time:
Spoon 3 tablespoons filling in each cookie tartlet. Let the filling set in the refrigerator.
When you're ready to serve, sprinkle the crushed cookie over the filling.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cold, Flu, and Allergy Treatments

Making your body healthy is a tough job but. Every year, millions of people use over-the-counter (OTC) products to relieve nasal stuffiness and congestion, sneezing, runny noses, sore throat, and cough. The common causes of these symptoms include the viruses that cause the common cold, influenza virus, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), and sinus infections (sinusitis). Viral infections can also cause headache, body aches, fatigue, and sometimes fever. Hay fever symptoms can also include itchy eyes, nose, and throat, and watery eyes. To prevent these diseases we should regularly wash our hands and of course take the right medicine for us.

Here are some facts about over the counter medicine that you should know:

  • ·        Antibiotics have no effect on viruses, which are the cause of colds. However, bacterial infections that can follow viral infections, for example, infections of the ears and sinuses, may be treated with antibiotics.

  • ·        Nasal decongestants are chemicals (for example, pseudoephedrine, oxymetazoline, etc.) that narrow the blood vessels in the nose, thereby preventing fluid from leaking and the lining from swelling. These can be used for short-term relief in older children and adults.

  • ·        Analgesic/antipyretic medications are often sold in combination with other ingredient(s) to treat cold/flu/allergy symptoms.

  • ·        Antihistamines are commonly used to block the histamine effect that causes the symptoms of an allergic reaction. "First generation" antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) have been in use longer, are less expensive, and are more sedating (prone to cause drowsiness) than the newer, "second generation" antihistamines (fexofenidine [Allegra], loratidine [Claritin], etc.), which have minimal sedative effects.

  • ·        OTC antihistamines frequently are combined with a nasal decongestant and sometimes also with a cough suppressant or an analgesic. Generally, antihistamine preparations are not effective for cold symptoms.

  • ·        Codeine and hydrocodone are narcotic oral cough suppressants that require a doctor's prescription. Dextromethorphan (Tussin P) is an oral cough suppressant that is available OTC.

  • ·        Guaifenesin (Robitussin, Mucinex) is an oral expectorant that is believed to increase the leaking of fluid out of the lung tissue and into the airways.

NOTE: This is not a medical advice, Please see your doctor before taking any Over the Counter Medication.