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Archive for March 2011

Have you heard about all of the wild things they put in good old fashioned {commercial} brands of yogurt? Some contain high fructose corn syrup; others have pork-derived gelatin. If you’ve visited this blog before, you know I’m absolutely against the addition (and creation of) high fructose corn syrup in anything. Additionally, foods with swine are not halal (permissible).

That said, over the years I’ve begun to make a lot of foods myself, including yogurt. Flavored yogurts are absolutely delicious, but homemade varieties sometimes just don’t have that added sweetness you might be after if you’re just mixing fruit and yogurt in a blender. I’ve found a great way to get that creamy, delciously sweet taste by preparing a fruit syrup ahead of time.

In this recipe, I’ve used sour cherries because they are currently in season. I bought them fresh and decided to eat some and make syrup out of the others. You could do the same with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or other fruits you think would taste delicious in a yogurt. I’ve recently made a gooseberry jam in a similar way. I just might be adding it to my yogurt very soon…

If you’ve never made syrup before, my advice is to take your time. Cooking times may vary. When I first followed a recipe for syrup, mine was still quite liquid for much longer than the recipe directed. If that happens to you, just continue to cook on low. Insha’allah, it will become thicker. If you’ve taken your eye off the prize for a while and have a thicker outcome, don’t despair. Just turn off the heat, allow it to cool and add it to your yogurt, anyway. Have fun. Experiment. Enjoy.

Sour Cherry Syrup Ingredients

2 cups cherries, pitted and stems removed
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
juice of 1-2 freshly squeezed lemons*
1 1/4 cups turbinado sugar or raw cane sugar


To a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the cherries, lemon zest and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.
Cook on medium for 15 minutes. Add the sugar and stir. Continue to cook until the mixture is the desired consistency of a syrup, about 10 additional minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To Make the Sour Cherry Yogurt

Top yogurt with syrup for a dessert that looks like a strawberry sundae! Blend the syrup completely into the yogurt for a lovely sour cherry flavored yogurt– without the high fructose corn syrup or gelatin.


Ever been in a pinch for a quick appetizer or dish to take to an event or someone’s home?

I had a meeting over with the awesome folks at Crescent Foods and decided I wanted to bring something. Last time it was my banana blueberry loaf, but this time I wanted to bring someting savory so I decided on this super quick appetizer.

I used what was on hand: fresh herbs, multi-grain bread, cream cheese, mozzarella (or my homemade yogurt cheese ) & a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil.

Easy. Quick. Healthy. Halal.

What’s your idea for a quick and healthy appetizer? Do share!Serves 20


2 cups spring salad mix

10 pieces whole grain bread, toasted

8-10 roasted garlic cloves

4 ounces cream cheese

¼ pound fresh mozzarella

40 whole pieces sun dried tomatoes in olive oil

40 anchovy filets, optional

Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Extra virgin olive oil


Clean, dry and place the spring salad mix all over the serving platter.

Toast the bread and cut into quarters. Rub a bit of roasted garlic on each piece.

Slice the mozzarella into thin pieces. Spread the cream cheese on each piece. Next, add one small slice of mozzarella to each piece.

Shake off any excess oil and place a sun dried tomato on top of each slice of mozzarella. Add anchovy filet, if desired.

Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and finish with a drizzle of oil. Hold each piece down with a toothpick in the center of the tomato.

WordPress Takes SXSW.

This is an excellent dish for those vegetarians who enjoy seafood, it is easy to prepare and cook. Serves approximately 4 persons, taking..

This is an excellent dish for those vegetarians who enjoy seafood, it is easy to prepare and cook. Serves approximately 4 persons, taking 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.
300g or 12 oz of fresh squid

50g or 2 oz of Mushrooms

100g 2 oz of brocilli

50g or 2 oz of bamboo shoots

50g or 2 oz of carrot

2 chilli

2 pieces of ginger

30ml or 2 tbsp of low sodium salt

45ml or 3 tbsp of black vinegar

30ml or 2 tbsp of cornstarch, white sesame oil
Cooking Instructions

Cut mushrooms to half and slice carrot. Cut brocilli at the stem into small pieces and blanch with salt water. Slice the corn bamboo shoots and blanch and lastly shredd the chilli. Heat about 5ml of vegetable oil in a wok, santé the ginger sliced. Add chilli, vegetarian squid, mushrooms, brocilli, corn bamboo shoots, carrot and fry for about 10 minutes. Add the sodium salt, black vinegar and cornstarch into the wok and fry for a further 10 minutes.

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