1 Banana Pancake

We are a household of 2, not counting the cat.  And thus I often end up with one lonely yellow, spotted banana.

( Who would want to count this ugly cat ? Look at that face. Stuff of nightmares!)Zeb

Back to the banana. It’s always perfectly ripe for baking but here is the dilemma. Try locating a recipe that uses 1, only 1, banana. At the minimum it’s 2. And then add to that something that uses 1 banana, and NO wheat.

Finally I found one. Mix one mashed banana well with 1 egg. Heat a frying pan with some butter, spoon the batter in. Cook like you would a pancake.20160713_110902

In my head I imagined something like the Bengali desert Malpua (The batter for malpua is prepared by crushing ripe bananas, adding flour and water. The mixture is sometimes delicately seasoned with cardamoms. It is deep fried in oil, and served hot.)

Hmmm yum and a perfect option for a carb free breakfast.


It could be me but it tastes just like..Egg…and Banana.20160713_111914

I also decided to spread some St Dalfour (no added sugar) Cherry Jam 20160713_111951

But then it tasted like Egg.Banana.Jam

At a pinch its not bad but not the answer I am looking for.

The quest for what to do with one spotty banana continues.



Eye Masks: Dr. Morita, Color Combos & Faith in Face

Kate Hudson and co. claim to do an ice compress first thing after they wake up. That gets rid of puffiness to give that wide awake look.

However I don’t have hand maidens waiting with a cup of tea and an ice pack so I do the next best thing. Buy eye masks, keep them in the fridge and paste on a pair as I make my morning cup of tea.

A practice that leads me to yet another quest, this time for the perfect eye mask. Something that will combat puffiness and make my eyes look fresh.

As Hongkies we are lucky because Sasa, Watson’s and Mannings are nearly wall-to-wall masks. All manner of Taiwanese, Korean & Japanese masks , but the challenge for me to is find one without alcohol. 

After walking around the stores, checking the ingredients with a magnifying glass (my eyes need all the help they can get) I locked down 3 brands without alcohol.

Faith in Face Eye Am Not Tired: I bought these from Mannings, a set of 4 for HKD 59.90, so not cheap. I kept them in the fridge and used them everyday. (for 4 days!)

Hygienic, easy to use packs containing lovely hydrogel mask that feel oh so cool first thing in the morning. Placebo effect or not, I did feel instantly awake and less puffy. But alas I will not re-purchase 😦  WHY ?


See the 5th ingredient there ? Grapefruit extract ? Thats the problem! Paraphrasing Paula Begoun/Beautypedia Citrus Paradisi Fruit Extract can cause a phototoxic reaction to leave skin discolored. Beware if listed middle of an ingredient list.

FaithinFace EYEThat’s the last thing one wants near one’s eyes! So Bye Bye, Eye…I am not Tired.

Lower down the list it does list Euphrasia Officinalis Extract which is a topical treatment for under-eye puffiness and dark circles. And it counteracts inflammation and reduces mucous drainage. 

DAMN you Grapefruit Extract !!!!!!

Colour Combos Q10 Lifting Eye MaskQ10Q10eyeThese are cotton sheets and come in packs of 10. Not too wet and stick well to the under -eye area.

This contains Hamamelis Virginia Leaf Extract (witch hazel which  means alcohol is added  during extraction ).

It also contains Q10 (Ubiquinone), last on the list. This ingredient is all manner of good for ageing skin and skin in general. However I can not get past the Witch Hazel on my delicate under eye area.

This I will NOT re-purchase because of this Witch Hazel. That is if I can get past the awful packaging!

Q10ingredientsThe packaging, while environmentally ‘friendlier’ , is a pain to use. All the masks stick together, your fingers contaminate all the packs are you are trying to pry singles off & by mistake I ended up using two for one eye because they stuck together so fast!

Dr Morita (Watsons and Sasa): This is a Taiwanese brand. A local HK girl told me that the latest rage in HK are Taiwanese face masks and every time they travel to Taiwan they buy bag loads. Anyway here these eye masks retail for HKD 39 each. Each box contains between 5-8 packs. I bought the Q10 (wonder ingredient) and Anti Wrinkle.

Yeah whatever I know.  Nothing rivals a surgeon’s scalpel, good sleep and a healthy lifestyle, but hydration and the TLC of a mask is always a feel good, right ?IMGP2892Each pair comes in an individual sachet and separate backing for each eye (landfill alert) but I prefer it to all the masks stuck together in a higgledy-piggledy mess like the Color Combos pack.IMGP28932016-07-10 12.24.49The Q10 sheets are cotton but almost transparent. Each pack contains a lot of serum and feel very wet. But not drippy wet.

The Anti Line Anti Wrinkle masks are rather odd shaped and took me a while to work out. Basically each piece lies under your eyes and then extends to either side of your nose (along the dreaded laugh lines)IMGP2894

Since the instructions are NOT in English I had to search helpful reviews written by Singaporean and Malaysians to figure out how long. 10-15 mins, everyday use, I believe.IMGP2896The ingredients are good and hydrating but I would use it every other day.

Look a good eye cream and an ice compress can do just as well, but let’s face it for the lazy slapping on a cool eye mask from the fridge is easiest. Though given the ‘landfill’ factor of packaging I probably wouldn’t do it too frequently.20160710_10372120160710_103738

I have see another brand of eye masks at Sweetmay Hong Kong- Sweetmay carries Korean brands.

(Sneak Peek:20160704_15110620160704_151159) I am currently researching it’s ingredient list and  if they get an all clear, I will buy it once the Dr. Moritas are over.

My verdict ? Unfortunately the Faith in Face Eye I am not Tired felt the best. Maybe the hydrogel mask format retains the cool from the refrigerator better and longer working to give that slight compression under the eye. But alas the Grapefruit extract 😦

Coconut Flour Muffins

NB: All measures are American. I baked in a Whirlpool Microwave Convection oven20160705_171907

Don’t be scared by how they look. Out of all the Coconut flour bakes I have made these turned out the best.20160705_174306

While I don’t take credit for the recipe, it’s a Pintrest thing, the reason I decided to post about these muffins is because the recipe definitely needs some adjustment.20160705_173719

The recipe calls for 3 eggs, but I found that makes it a bit too eggy so the next time I am planning to use 2 eggs + 1 egg substitue (baking soda+vinegar or applesauce)

It asks for 1/4 spoon of salt but that made it too salty so next time a pinch. No measuring spoon, just a pinch and be done with it.

In-spite of the muffins turning out pretty yum they were a bit soggy. Now coconut flour is like a sponge and gobbles up liquid, so the recipe asks you to add water in order to maintain a batter consistency.

While this is an important step you will have to be the best judge of that given your current kitchen/baking conditions.

I use Bob’s RedMill Coconut flour.

I had freshly washed blue berries (that were still wet) and then I mashed them roughly so they got even more wet with the water and juice.

And though I used only 2 tablespoons of water, given the above blue berry situation 1 tablespoon will suffice in the future. The batter should not too wet.

As for the sugar and butter, as with ALL baking, I either leave sugar out completely or cut both sugar and butter by half.

And while the recipe didn’t ask for it I sprinkled semi-dark chocolate chips once the muffin batter was in the pan. Those gave it the additional butter and sugar hence above mentioned sugar-butter step can definitely be reduced.

Am excited to try part 2 as soon as I am done consuming current batch.

Husband who appreciates all my culinary attempts has run away from them, crying.  He wants good old self raising white flour. So these muffins- ALL MINE!





Indian Kitchen Industry: DIY Face Packs

I love face masks. Sheet or out of a tub. I have several posts dedicated to them. Korean Sheet mask, Bliss Multi-faceted Anti Aging, Aspirin Mask, Face Mask Smack DownWallowing in Face Masks and Cleansers & Face Masks

But my fav one right now is the one I make at home.

Look I am no DIY diva, in-fact I hate DIY. (Why DIY when someone else can do it for you ?)  But at the same time I am still on the hunt for that magical face pack that will, instantly, turn me into Daenerys Targaryen. You know plump faced and clear skinned.daenarys-1024

On a recent visit by a friend from India, we started chatting face masks and about the Indian kitchen industry that is DIY face packs!  Every home has it’s pet recipe.

It took me back to my own childhood. Every Sunday Ma would mix up a paste of besan (chickpea flour) & water and smear it on my face as a cleanser.

(Let dry then start to lightly rub it off. It will yank off your facial fuzz so be careful, while lightly exfoliating.  Then wash it off. I don’t need to tell you how soft your skin feels.)

She told me about her little ritual of DIY yogurt-honey-lime juice face pack. I liked how her skin looked, so one boring Saturday afternoon I decided to try the face pack, with a slight variation. Ditched the lime juice for the turmeric.2016-06-23 10.49.16

Turmeric the wonder spice. We consume it for almost ALL meals and Hindu brides and grooms would be no where without the Turmeric ‘bathing’ ceremony the morning of the wedding!

Turmeric bathing ceremony (gaye holud)  that, atleast for Bengalis, turns into complete mayhem where everyone, EVERYONE gets doused with the turmeric paste. We all look like yellow ghosts.

So Turmeric is an old friend. Swapping the lime juice ( a bit scared of it frankly) for turmeric was a safe bet for me. I have a small-ish face so 1 tsp of plain yogurt, half tsp of honey and pinch of turmeric is enough for my face and bit of my neck.

I keep it anywhere between 15 mins to 20 mins. As you wash it off you will feel tiny granules against your skin as you rub-wash it off. That’s normal.

I love how it feels on, and how my skin feels after I have washed it off.

Being Indian the yellow of the turmeric is not a problem for my skin tone. It appears to brighten the skin rather than staining it yellow. But be careful on how much  you want to mix in depending on your own skin tone.

For more information on 3 of my favourite face pack ingredients Besan, Yogurt & Turmeric, check out this website

And other websites: BesanYogurt & Turmeric

NB: my skin is normal, blemish and hassle free.