Monthly Archives: October 2014

Yoghurt House Style Pancake

Yoghurt House Style Pancake

I found a draft that I never published from the Philippines…. What a nice find as I had actually forgotten about these pancakes!

When we went to Sagada, a small town way up in the Mountain Province, we ate quite frequently at an amazing restaurant called The Yoghurt House. It is famous for its homemade yogurt. One of the delicious meals we had there was called the “Hikers Delight” breakfast. It consisted of a pancake wrapped around a banana and yogurt with strawberry topping and a side of fried eggs and toast. Recently I have been making this at home and I really think it is a more nutritious way of eating pancakes. I’ve also added granola to the top or inside of the pancake wrap, or oatmeal to the pancake batter to add fiber and nutrients.

I’ve used plain and strawberry yogurt, both are delicious. I’m considering trying different fruit fillings as well. Give it a try next time you make pancakes- I don’t even put syrup on top – which is why it makes this a healthier alternative for me- a syrup lover who usually goes overboard. You are getting some sugar from the banana (and possibly yogurt if you use a sweetened type) but at least these are not empty calories instead they offer nutrients, probiotics and added protein!

Here is what it looked like at The Yogurt House:

Yogurt pancake


And just for fun here are a few fun peeks of the town of Sagada:

This is Sagada. Nestled way way up in the beautiful Cordillera mountains, Sagada is a beautiful little town with lots of tourist and historical charm bounding with  natural beauty.


Sagada View


Sagada is only about 140 miles from Baguio but the roads are so narrow and mountainous that it takes 5-6 hours by public (non-airconditioned) bus.  Lots of dramamine, nausea, beautiful scenery, cows and a few very horrific “rest areas” later…. our massive bus got to cross this part of the road made up of wooden planks with this warning:


road sign


In the Mountain Province people ride on the tops of jeepneys, busses.. really any type of moving transportation.  I caught this picture from the porch of our hotel room one morning. Apparently the drivers don’t mind people riding on the roof but keep your feet off their cab!




And just a friendly reminder from the tourist office of Sagada:


Say No to drugs





Simple sour Asian Soup

Simple sour Asian Soup

When we lived in the Philippines, we adopted a few “family” members. One was Lindsey whom we taught with, lived next door to and did life with for 10 months.   One way we forged a family was by eating dinner together almost every night for 10 months straight. Cooking dinner for 2 hasn’t quite been the same since.  Lindsey is an excellent cook and one of her signature meals was this soup which I am calling “Simple sour Asian soup.” She picked up the idea from a soup she had while living in Cambodia. One thing you should know about Lindsey is that she has an amazing sense of smell and taste.  She can taste/smell something and pick out exactly what flavors are present.  You can see one of our super cute family photos to the left. 🙂

I am calling this ‘simple sour Asian soup’ because Asia has many versions of sour soups. This is not exactly like any of those but a more basic version from which you could create many different things.  I like it in this simplistic form though. If you are looking for something with a bit more pizazz you could look into Tom Yum (Thailand) or Sinigang (Philippines).  What makes this soup sour is tamarind.  I had never heard of tamarind before I left America but apparently it is used all over the world: Africa, Asia, Mexico and the Caribbean. It is quite an unusual fruit. I was able to play with fresh tamarind while in the Philippines. Here is a picture:

TamarindWhen you buy fresh tamarind, it is a hard brown bean pod.  You soak it in hot water then take the outer pod off. Inside the pod is the soft sour flesh and a seed. You scrape the fleshy part off and use that.  It is very tart!

Today, living in America, I am using tamarind bullion from an Asian grocery. Although I would probably be using the bullion if I lived in Asia too. (It’s just easier.)

Here’s how to make the soup:


1 head bok choy

1 medium onion

3-5 cloves of garlic

2-4 stalks of green onion

1-3 tamarind bullion cubes

1 stalk lemongrass

1 cup white rice

optional vegetable or chicken broth



Dice a medium onion and 3-5 cloves of garlic

Wash and roughly chop bok choy leaves and stalk.

Saute the onion and garlic in oil and toward the end add the bok choy stalk and diced green onion.

Add 5-8 cups of water or vegetable broth and 1-3 tamarind bullion cubes. I add one at a time until it reached the level of sour that I wanted.

Add lemongrass. (leave as large pieces so you can remove it at the end)

Add leaves of bok choy.

Simmer for 20min. – 90min.

Make rice and serve soup over rice.

Sour Soup


The bok choy I got at the farmer’s market this week is hilariously large. So I had to share a picture of it. We’ve had a lot of rain so I’m hoping that is why this is so large and not that it’s pumped with fertilizer. Either way it was $2 and I’ll be making 2 large meals with it this week. So I’ll take it!

monster bok choy


PoPcOrN! with fresh thyme, salt and pepper


Fresh popcorn! Popped fresh on the stove in a little coconut oil, topped off with Himalayan pink salt. My favorite movie  night snack.  Not many people make fresh popcorn these days but it is so much healthier than microwavable for many reasons and it is super easy! 😀  Give it a try and try out this savory fresh herb version if you have herbs on hand.


2-4 TBSP virgin organic coconut oil

1/8 cup popcorn kernels

1/2 TBSP fresh thyme leaves (or herb of your choice)

1 TBSP virgin organic coconut oil and 1 TBSP butter (or oil of your choice)

In a heavy bottom pot with a good sealing lid, melt 2-4 TBSP coconut oil on med-high. You need enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Put 3 kernels in with the oil while heating with the lid on. Once these 3 kernels have popped, the oil is hot enough, add the rest of the popcorn. Turn heat down to medium heat.  Pick up the pot from the stove and give it a good shake/swirl about once every minute. Be sure to hold the lid on while you do this. I use pot holders and put my thumbs over the lid while I shake.  When the popping stops or is very very slow, remove from heat and pour out into a large bowl.


In a small skillet melt oil/butter with fresh herbs and heat for a few minutes on a med-low heat. Pour this mixture over the popcorn and mix.  When I make the plain version of this I just pour a few tablespoons of straight coconut oil over the popcorn and add salt.  So tasty!