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The Birthday cake!

Yesterday I showed you my Birthday Dinner.  You may have wondered, “But what about the cake!”

Well, of course.  There was cake.  Wanna see?

Blueberry Shirley cake 2

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim, when she grew up, never had any birthday cakes.  In fact, her parents were so ashamed to have a girl as their firstborn child, that they never even celebrated her birthday – until she was 50 years old!

To Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim a birthday cake is not about indulging in sweets for the sake of it, but it is a symbol of all the sweetness in life for the coming year!  So of course we want a good cake!

Now, since we are all focused on healthy foods, we try to make healthy birthday cakes as well.  Especially diabetes friendly ones, since some Jung Suwon warriors have diabetes.  Did you know that there is no such thing as a “Diabetes Diet?”  One doctor pointed out that what diabetics should eat is what everyone should eat – it’s simply a healthy and balanced diet!

Now, how can you have a healthy cake?  Isn’t that a contradiction right there?  Not necessarily.  There are a few requirements of course to make it healthy.  For this blog, it has to be gluten free.  It also needs to be low in carbs and reasonable in fat content.

My go-to cake, ever since I went gluten free 4 years ago, has been “Shirley cake.”  You can find this genious recipe here, right on Shirley’s Blog “Gluten free easily.” It’s pure genious because no matter what I have ever added to this cake recipe, it always, and I mean always, has come out perfect!

Shirley cake with Chestnuts

It’s of course gluten free, so that’s covered. But what about carbohydrate content?  On first look I was worried.  I mean, after all, it’s a pound cake.  But after I found this nifty little tool on the internet, a recipe calculator, I found out that one slice only has 12 grams of carbohydrates per slice, and only 134 calories.  (Now to be honest, who can ever stick to that serving size….. that wouldn’t be me….)  Also, I have very successfully substituted half of the gluten free flour with almond flour, and that would lower the carb load considerably.

Birthday cake

Still, you get the point.  So, yes, Shirley cake is practically a health food!  :)

Since Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim‘s birthday was February 2nd, and since she was out of town for this, we’ll celebrate upon her return, and guess what cake I’ll be making!

 

 

 

 

My Birthday Dinner

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Today was my 58th Birthday, and this is what I had for dinner.  Looks delicious and I can vouch for it that it sure was!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has encouraged all of us Jung Suwon warriors to focus on our health this year, and that of course starts with a healthy diet.

This above warrior feast has all the good stuff in it – a mixture of veggies: brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, garlic, red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers and mushrooms.  Of course you can use a medley of whatever you have on hand, or whatever you like.

I started by sauteing the tofu with the onions and garlic first, added some gluten-free soy sauce, and added the rest of the veggies.  I added a little water too, and covered and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then topped it with 2 very fresh eggs and covered until the eggs were done – in this case done meant still a little runny inside.

If you either can’t have tofu or simply don’t like it, you could easily substitute boneless chicken for it, just make sure you cook it all the way through.  Or, to change it all up, you could use any meat you have left over from another meal.

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has been encouraging my self-imposed weight loss – I set a new Year goal to get back down to 130 lbs, my ideal weight – and I enjoyed this meal without rice – although it would have been superb with some brown rice, or even noodles, for sure.

Go ahead and try it out – let me know if you like it!

 

 

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The beauty of this great tasting dish is that it takes only a few minutes to prepare, and is very healthy!  It is low calorie and low carbohydrates, and happens to be gluten free.

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has been focusing on healthy meals, especially those that can be prepared with minimal efforts, because who has time for a lot of cooking?

To prevent us from falling back on just stopping by a fast food place or grab other ready prepared foods (that are often full of unhealthy fats, have too many carbs and are otherwise not optimal choices) Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim is constantly coming up with wonderful dishes that not only taste good but also please the eyes!

For this particular dish, start with a medium sized frying pan, and cover about 1/2 inch high with chicken or beef broth; or water seasoned with garlic and ginger if you don’t have broth on hand.  Add some gluten free soy sauce – how much depends on how strong a taste you like – and let simmer and soak in.  Add some red pepper flakes, amount will depend on how spicy you can handle.  Add a small handful of sliced onion, small handful of broccoli, mushrooms and spinach.  Add an egg or two and let is set – and you are done and ready to enjoy!  You can eat this with brown rice, or plain.

For the year 2016, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has asked her students, and all her friends to please focus on good health, and to this end, she has been creating many new recipes!  Stay in tune!

HE CAN DO, SHE CAN DO, WHY NOT ME!

 

 

New Beginnings

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It’s been a couple of years since I have come to this spot and shared some great food creations with you.  It’s not that there hasn’t been any new food in my life, but that wonderful life things have kept happening and there simply wasn’t any time to do any  writing to do these special meals justice.

But Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has been coming up with a myriad of healthy and very tasty breakfast, lunch and dinner meals that just blow the mind. Maybe we can even talk her into putting it all together into a cook book!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has a very unique cooking style as you might remember. She goes by Ki energy, and will put together whatever works best for the people she cooks.  The above dinner was a spur of the moment kind of dinner, naturally gluten free, and some of the most delicious and healthy creation ever.

Not only did it taste heavenly, it was also very healthy, full of protein, vitamins, fiber and all the good stuff.  There was lots of ginger and garlic in the sauce, and it was made creamy by the addition of ground yucca, another of Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim‘s additions.

Because this dish is naturally low in carbohydrates it is great for diabetics and those that want to reduce their carb intake.

I will get you the basic recipe tomorrow.  For now I just wanted to let you all know – this blog is alive and well and will supply you with great new recipes!

Thanks for sticking with me, I look forward to more happy bloggings!

 

 

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Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim’s apple trees have been producing like crazy this year!  They are wonderfully sweet, juicy, crisp apples that stand well on their own, and are fabulous in apple sauce, apple pie, coffee cakes and such.

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Now that the nice fall temperatures have been taking a break and scorching heat is upon us once more, Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has come up with this new, and most fabulously refreshing drink, that will make you think you are having liquid, chilled apple pie, except better, and all healthy and good for you!

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Here is what you do (after you picked the apples):

Into the blender container, put the following:

1/8 – 1/4 cup nuts – we use a good mixture of almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios, pine nuts and sometimes peanuts – feel free to use whatever you like, and can tolerate.  We use the same mixture used here.   If you cannot have nuts, we have successfully used all natural, gluten free protein powder

1/2 – 1 cup ice cubes

sprinkle of cinnamon or apple pie spice

2-3 apples, peeled (you can leave the peel on if you prefer)

depending on the sweetness of your apples, add maple syrup to your liking – you can use any sweetener you like, but we love the flavor, and love knowing it is all natural, pretty much straight out of the tree

add chilled water (although coconut milk also works well) – enough to the consistency of your liking – we typically make it more into a cold drink, but enjoy it as smoothie as well

And there you have it!  Enjoy and get energized!

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And as an extra bonus, do check out the story of the apple farmers in Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim’s book, “The Silent Master,” starting on page 127.  You will love it!

No leftovers!

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Sometimes it’s all in the presentation.

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim always puts great emphasis on the right presentation, whether that be food, or flowers, or a gift. When you want to show someone you really love them, you will probably cook with all your heart and set up a beautiful table and have candlelight….you wouldn’t just throw down a paper plate with a hamburger from a fast food place, right?  This presentation thing is the same with letters, resumes, cover letters and pretty much every aspect of life!

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So, in my last post I introduced you to one of my childhood favorites.  When I made a second batch (just purely for taking pictures, cough cough) I had made way too much of the filling.  Now, as I was looking at the bowl full of (albeit very delicious tasting) goop, I got all kinds of ideas what to do with it.

Remembering Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim‘s words, I realized that putting out that bowl of goop and telling people how great it tastes, just wouldn’t do.  I mean, look at the stuff!

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However, didn’t I say in my previous post that it should have the consistency of cake pops??  Oh yes!

So, you can guess what I did!  Go ahead, and to the same!  And if you really want to take this over the top, freeze this for a bit – and then enjoy this cool, new treat!

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Did you know that your environment will influence you, for good or bad?  If you happen to walk into a house where there is a lot of conflict – even if there is peace at that moment, that “conflict” energy will sooner or later get to you, one way or another.  This is what Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim has taught me, and she went to explain further that we also associate different foods with different qualities.  For example, Great Grandmaster Kim explains, if you were eating spaghetti when you got news that your sister just had that baby, you will most likely – consciously or subconsciously – associate spaghetti with “happy” and it will be a great time for you whenever you have it.

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Well, in my case, the above.  Punschkrapferl, as they are called in my native Austria.  It could be translated into something like punch cupcakes.  Growing up, when we were poor, being able to go to a pastry shop on a Sunday afternoon, and get one of those, was pure bliss.  It was heaven with a pink frosting.  It is, to this day, a reminder of happy, peaceful, childhood days.

I hadn’t had one in about 7 years, before I went gluten-free and was on a visit to Austria.  But ever since I found that “Perfect Pound cake” from Shirley, it has been on my mind to re-create these Punschkrapfen.  Last night was it!

First, either get some organic, apricot jam.  Or, make your own on the spot, as I did, from home-frozen apricots, a touch of honey, and some brandy.  Let it cook until nice and thick, and taste often :)  Quantities?  Well, maybe 3-4 cups fresh or frozen apricots, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup brandy.  Cook until thick, set aside.

For the cupcakes, I used a double quantity of Shirley’s pound cake, recipe here.  It really is the perfect building block for this!  Bake it in cupcake tins.

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Once done, let them cool off, and then cut them into thirds, like this:
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Take all the middle pieces, and mix them with the apricot jam until you have a consistency of cake pops, so, not too smushed up, still having some texture, but very very moist.  Add some brandy according to your taste buds, and add some chopped up walnuts, or hazelnuts.

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Punschkrapfen filling

Now, take some of the filling, and put it nicely on the bottom layer of the cupcake.  Be generous with the filling, make it at least 1 1/2 – 2 inches tall, then put the top on.  Repeat with all the cupcakes.  You may need to change the cupcake paper holders, to make it all look nice.

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Then, the frosting is the easy part.  If you are squeamish about regular powdered sugar and food coloring, feel free to use any substitute you can think of.  Please let me know too – would love to try!

Mix gluten-free powdered sugar with a small amount of brandy (or just water) and tiny amount of red food coloring, just enough to make it look bright pink.  Mix enough to get out any lumps, and then pour over the assembled Krapfen.

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Don’t you just want to grab one and bite into it?

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To make everyone happy, I covered some of these cupcakes in chocolate.  Completely untraditional, but still very good, and a concession to those that can’t do without.

And here you have it!

Great Grandmaster Tae Yun Kim says that of course we cannot go back in time and re-live even so much as a minute, but we sure can go back in our memories and re-create things that made us happy!

Note: all the food styling was done by my dear friend and fellow Jung Suwon warrior, Master Holly Chamberlain!

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