Monday, July 18, 2011

Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies, Gianduja Pain D’Epices and Protecting Against Food Poisoning

Flat noodles and sautéed bean sprouts in chilli garlic tomato sauce
Food Diary (July 17, 2011)
Breakfast: Rolled oats with banana, sunflower seeds and flax seeds
Lunch: Flat noodles and sautéed bean sprouts in chilli garlic tomato sauce
Dinner:  Spanish eggplant spread with oat sourdough toast

The semolina blondie with chocolate hazelnut glaze was leftover from yesterday. I had it stored away in the freezer expecting to eat it much later. I didn't think I would give in after just a day. Well that's history now. Frozen blondies, brownies, cakes and cookies are awesome. So were the fresh warm cappuccino chocolate chip hazelnut cookies, even though it was a low fat version. The recipe is available here.

I find hot and sweet combination really appealing. My grandmother used to make hot sweet pickles with ingredients such as chilli or mango. They were really addictive and I could not stop eating it, no matter how hot it was. With a glass regularly posts interesting recipes for various hot and sweet condiments such as hot strawberry sauce and apricot and chilli jelly. These have been attracting my attention and finally today I set out to make hot strawberry sauce. There was one minor glitch, no fresh strawberries, chillies or chilli powder at home. Of course I didn't let such small technical issues get in my way, I still went ahead with full steam. I ended up making a quick and easy cheats version using ready made strawberry jam and hot sauce. It was awesome though probably not as good as the real deal. This incident reminded me of what Confucius said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." In my case it was more like "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a flat tire".

Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies

Today's Favourite Photo
Gianduja Pain D'Epices or Five Spices Sponge Cake

Today's Favourite Blog
Source: ABC News
ABC news has a useful article titled "How To Protect Yourself From Food Poisoning". Eating fresh produce carries risks but "the health benefits of eating fresh produce far outweigh the risk", says Dr. Keith R. Schneider, Associate Professor at the University of Florida. "You're much more likely to get sick from meat than you are from produce. You can find pathogens on poultry 50 percent of the time."

The key to avoiding food-borne illnesses is safe handling practices, says Dr. Francisco Diez, Professor at the University of Minnesota. "It's important to cook meat to the proper temperature," says Dr. Diez.

When it comes to fresh produce, there are certain types that may be more susceptible to pathogens. Here is Dr. Diez's list of top five at-risk produce:
1.      Sprouts: sprouts grow in wet, humid environments that make it easy for bacteria to thrive. Rinsing well may lower the bacteria count but not eliminate it. "If you're healthy, your immune system can fight off small amounts of pathogens," says Dr. Diez. He recommends those most susceptible to food-borne illness avoid sprouts, which includes children younger than 8, people older than 65, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. If you eat sprouts, keep them refrigerated between 35 and 40 degrees to curb bacteria growth.
2.      Lettuce: Though it's not exactly clear why it may be more susceptible to contamination, one explanation is that the textured surface of lettuce leaves makes it easier for microbial cells to attach compared to smoother leaves, such as cabbage. Remove the outer leaves on a head of lettuce before eating, and wash it thoroughly. You should submerge the entire head in a bowl of water and soak for a few minutes to loosen any soil, and run under regular water to help rinse away remaining particles.
3.      Tomatoes: tomatoes has been linked with regular but small outbreaks of salmonella, and experts aren't sure exactly why. "Some people argue that the tomatoes might have been pre-washed with contaminated water that then got into the produce," says Dr. Diez. If you're eating tomatoes raw, be sure to wash thoroughly in plain water and use a towel to help to wipe away any remaining bacteria. Also, don't buy tomatoes that are at all cut or bruised. When the skin of any vegetable is damaged, there's more of a chance for bacteria to get into the product, and then there is no way to eliminate it unless you cook it to ensure pathogens get killed.
4.      Melons: Melons have a rugged surface, and pathogens may be more easily trapped in nooks and crannies. Bacteria gets transferred inside the flesh by knives when people cut through the rind of unwashed melons. Be sure to thoroughly wash and scrub the outer surface with a soft produce brush.
5.      Spinach: spinach leaves' crinkly surface may make it more susceptible to bacteria. Submerge spinach leaves in water and dry with a paper towel before eating to reduce your risk of pathogens, or serve cooked.

Disclaimer: this is not advice from me, I have merely summarized the article. Unfortunately I have no expertise in this area other than regurgitating what I read! If you wash your hands properly before eating chicken sashimi and get food poisoning, don't blame me, blame the chicken.


  1. Scary! All the stuff that goes in a "fresh" salad. Prepared at home should be fine. It's those at the restaurants and fast food places I'm worried about. I've seen those kids prepare coleslaw and salads just by slicing up a whole cabbage or lettuce. Makes you wonder how the dirt in between gets cleaned. I'd blame the folks preparing them, not the chicken :D

  2. oh wow those chocolate hazelnut cookies look delightful!!!

  3. Hmmm! I have never had "cappuccino" cookies! This one really caught my attention! I'd love to try... I love coffee taste! Love flat noodles, too. Delicious!

  4. Fabuolous flavors come together in those cookies

  5. Those are great tips for food poisoning prevention, I agree cooking meat in certain temperature is the key, but sometimes you want them rare or it is served rare.

  6. I always put things in my freezer with the intention of saving them for later. but when those things are baked goods or extra frosting, I usually just end up eating them the next day also!

  7. Pain d'epice! It's like you read my mind, but that's an upcoming blogpost for me ;)

  8. Excellent post today...great info on food born illnesses. The cappuccino cookies AND the 5 Spices Sponge cake both look incredible :)

  9. I need some coffee cookies now ;-) Hot and sweet...a very appetizing combination.

  10. Those cookies look divine and I want that flat noodle dish now!

  11. Love it all- the cookies are killing me and I love the tips at the end. I have never thought to combine cappuccino with choc and hazelnut but it sounds amazing, too amazing in fact that I would end up eating them all!

  12. Great post! Informative food tips. The cookies look divine, really nice flavors in there.

  13. Mr. Three-Cookies, thank you for such a kind description of my blog and so many links! I am very happy you share my fondness of the combination of hot and sweet. Your strawberry hot sauce preparation made me laugh! I am sure though it was delicious. Fresh strawberries are only necessary when you want to make long-term preserves. Using jam was a proof of your big creativity!
    Otherwise, your capuccino cookies sound yummy!!!

  14. Those are really yummy sounding cookies!

  15. delicious meld of flavors in those cookies.
    your tips remind us that it is best to buy local whenever possible--you support your community, and lessen the chance of eating contaminants.

  16. Since I normally have a cookie with a caffeine hit, I think these possibly just saved me 15 minutes of queuing up for a latte. Winner.

  17. Can you send me some of those cookies? :D

  18. i love your sense of humor- it always comes through in your last section. love it. if you don't wash your hands and eat chicken sashimi, don't blame me blame the chicken. should probably blame the salmonella NOT the chicken- it wasn't the chicken's fault for salmonella being vicious.


  19. Those cookies are a hands down winner - very scary about the food poisoning though!

  20. I adore the sound of these cookies- please may I have one? Or two? Actually, if you could post me the lot, I'd be ever so grateful...!

  21. The cookies sound gorgeous...Thank you for all the information about raw food...Growing up in India, we were always taught to not eat salad anywhere unless you could trust the source (big scare of water contamination). Even today, I soak all raw veg and salad in salted water before I eat or cook...Very scary...Thank you for all the information...

  22. OK, looks like it's time to go eat lunch now. All of these photos are making me so hungry! I love the combination of flavors in those cookies. Who needs coffee? I can just eat one of these cookies with sugar and caffeine, and that will be sure to get my day started. :)

  23. The cookies and sponge cake look so good!

  24. ping: it is scary but then the risk is low. Eating chicken sashimi – I would also blame the person eating it:) That was unfair of me to blame the poor chicken but as humans we like to blame others and in this case the chicken was the most attractive target:)

    Hannah: looking forward to the upcoming blogpost

    Sissi: you are most welcome, thanks for the inspiration and ideas.

    tori: good to know, I suppose these cookies can also be targeted at the busy consumer:)

    Tiffany and Kate: unfortunately after I took the photo all the cookies mysteriously disappeared!

    Laural: I agree, it was not fair of me to blame the poor chicken