Saturday, November 23, 2013

I am alive. [Spiced Honey Tea + Pops]

One of my many tastings
This summer I had the wonderful opportunity of attending Savor the Central Coast. I had an amazing time sampling the food and wine. I must say I was glad that I wore a free flowing dress that did not restrict my belly. Nothing is worst than having your stomach constricted while you are trying to stuff yourself.

Morning Breakfast: wine, lemon, & Mexican cola

The JUICIEST tasting Strawberry Basil Popsicle

Near the end of the event when I was getting full and tired, I tried the most amazing fall drink. It's sweet, refreshing, and reminds me of the holidays. I immediately became obsessed and recreated it at home. It is best served iced, but you can enjoy it hot if you insist.



Spiced Honey Tea
Serves 1

Ingredients
220g water
1 gingerbread or pumpkin spice roobios tea bag
45g honey
75g warm water
25g lemon juice

Directions
  1. Boil water and steep tea for 8 - 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the honey and lemon into the warm water.
  3. Remove tea bag and combine the mixtures.
  4. Pour into a glass and add ice or allow to cool in the refrigerator before serving.

Popsicle Variation

Ingredients
220g water
1 pumpkin spiced teabag
45g honey
50g water
50g lemon juice
2-3 heaping TBSPS brown sugar, to taste

Directions
Bring water to boil, add tea bag for 10 minutes.
Warm up honey and water in microwave. Stir until dissolved.
Add lemon juice.
Dissolve brown sugar in hot tea. Mix everything together.
Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

Monday, July 15, 2013

How to Make a Single Serving Cup From Homemade Ice Cream. [a picture tutorial]



Who can resist a scoop of homemade ice cream? Not I. In fact, every time I have made salted caramel ice cream in the past, I had the hardest time stopping. Recently, I discovered a delicious strawberry ice cream recipe that I absolutely adore. To make it, follow the directions to make vanilla ice cream, but omit the vanilla bean. Take 1 lb of fresh strawberries and slice and dice into tiny pieces. Add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar (or more/less depending on how sweet the strawberries are), mix, and let it sit overnight in the fridge with the vanilla custard base. The next day, mash the strawberries with a potato masher until it's at the desired consistency. I don't like using the blender, because I enjoy my strawberry ice cream with texture. Mix the strawberries into the vanilla custard and freeze in ice cream maker.

Whenever I go to the grocery store, I have a tendency to purchase single serving ice cream flavors. I pondered and wondered if there was a way to make one portion sizes with homemade ice cream. With my stubborn ass, I figured out a way and you can follow along in this picture tutorial.

Materials: saran wrap, plastic hair ties, 2oz plastic sample/portion cups (aka jello shot cups)

Pour freshly churned ice cream into all the containers and leave in freezer while you attach the cover. First, Take saran wrap and place over top of container. Secondly, take a hair tie and stretch it over the opening.

Viola! A perfectly sealed container.

When you are ready to enjoy ice cream, simply peel off the saran wrap like the covering for the store brought ones.

Mmmm...enjoying my sweet treat.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Since you've been gone...[Mango Yogurt (Mango Lassi) Popsicles]

OH SNAP?! An update! What is my excuse? I have none. I simply stopped making this blog a priority. I also haven't been producing anything in the kitchen, which doesn't motivate me to update. However, this weekend is special...

My sister is on vacation and she has been begging me to update since my last post. She "claims" to be my biggest fan because she checks for updates daily. Excessive, no? I decided to finally update so when she returns home tomorrow, she'll have something to look forward too. I miss her dearly and I can't wait to catch up with her.

This is a simple summer frozen treat. My favorite kind of recipe. No effort, but results in big flavor. Let's get started...



Mango Yogurt (Mango Lassi) Popsicles
Makes 4 small popsicles

Note: This is a versatile recipe. I made 3 types of popsicles. (1) Only mango. (2) Mango with 1/4 cup plain yogurt for a mango lassi taste. (3) Alternating layers of mango with yogurt sweetened with honey. I didn't make mine very sweet since the mango was sweetened. I bought a can of sweetened Alphonso mango pulp from an Indian grocery store.

Ingredients
1 cup mango pulp, sweetened
2 tsp lemon juice
3 TBSP water
2 tsp rum or tequila (optional)

Directions
  1. Mix mango pulp, lemon juice, water, and rum/tequila until smooth. (If you wish to make mango lassi popsicles, add in 1/4 cup plain yogurt. Add more sugar to taste if you have a sweet tooth.) 
  2. Pour into molds and allow it to freeze overnight!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Black Sesame is Good for Your Hair. [Black Sesame Ladyfingers]

I went on a lovely hike with my family this past weekend. I couldn't resist taking this beautiful shot on our way back home.


Since my last post, I have been craving for black sesame ice cream and I was planning to make some this weekend. However, I woke up Saturday morning and decided it was too cold to make a trip to buy heavy whipping cream. I still wanted black sesame so I made black sesame ladyfingers.



Oh my gawd. I definitely stumbled onto something wonderful. Theses are intense tiny bite size snacks that taste great by themselves or dipped in a latte. These would also make a wonderful base for a black sesame tiramisu. New idea brewing? We'll see...



Black Sesame Ladyfingers
basic recipe adapted from Joy of Baking

Makes 16

Ingredients
1 egg, separated
9g sugar
14g black sesame seeds
dash of vanilla extract
pinch of cream of tartar
12g sugar
22g cake flour

Directions
  1. Toast and grind black sesame seeds using a mortar/pestle until it is a fine powder and oil is being secreted. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  3. Beat yolk and 9g sugar until thick and pale. Add vanilla and black sesame until mixed.
  4. Whip egg white until foamy, add cream of tartar. Continue whipping until soft peaks are formed and gradually add sugar. Continue whipping until thick and glossy (firm peaks).
  5. Sift flour on top of yolk mix. Add 1/3 of egg whites. Gently fold until incorporated. Add another 1/3 and fold. Add last 1/3 and fold. 
  6. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pipe ladyfingers into 3/4 inch by 3 inches sizes. Space them 1 inch apart. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges and still spongy to the touch.
  8. Let it cool for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet then move the ladyfingers to cool on the cooling rack. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dessert for Two #5 - [Black Sesame Dessert/Paste (芝麻糊)]

I hate this time of the year. The cold temperatures, dry skin, chapped lips, and the need to wear many layers to stay warm. The funny part? It doesn't even snow here. Yes, San Franciscans are spoiled by the weather. We complain when it's the low 40s or when it's the high 70s. If the world suddenly ended, we would die first because of our inability to handle temperature changes.

Oh, and I'm sick again with a cough. The kids I work with need to stop being germ factories. Luckily when I get sick, I don't experience severe symptoms unlike my fiance. He managed to catch my bug and he had the chills, sweats, fever, swollen gums, and sore limbs. He was out for a good 30 hours before he woke up again. I made him chicken soup to compensate...


While I was shivering away at my desk working on lesson plans for the week, I had a sudden craving for a warm dessert, specifically black sesame paste. Ever since my mom purchased a package of black sesame powder, I've been itching to use it in a dessert.


Black Sesame Dessert/Paste (芝麻糊)
loosely adapted from taozheng

Serves 2

Note: Hsin Tung Yang is the brand of black sesame powder I use. You can also grind your own powder by lightly toasting black sesame over low heat until fragrant and then using a mortar/pestle to grind until it's a fine powder and the natural oil appears. I prefer my desserts less sweet, but feel free to increase the sugar up to 2 Tablespoons.

Ingredients
36g (6 TBSP) black sesame powder
10g (2 TBSP) glutinous rice flour
16g (1 heaping TBSP) white granulated sugar
220g (1 cup) water

Directions
  1. If using prepackaged sesame powder, give it a quick run through the mortar and pestle until the natural oils are secreted. This will make the dessert more aromatic.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a small pot.
  3. Turn the heat on medium low and stir constantly to prevent burning. When the mixture thickens and bubbles, it's finished. It will take approximately 5 minutes or less. If the sesame paste is too thick, add a couple tablespoons of water and continue to stir until the paste is hot again. 
  4. Spoon into two bowls and serve.



Monday, December 24, 2012

It's Christmas Already? [Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies]


I hate and love the month of December. I hate the month of December, because it's the craziest time of the year for teachers. First of all, the month is only 3 weeks long, because we have winter break so I have to cram all the holiday surprises and crafts that I want to expose to the children. In addition to keeping up with the curriculum, I have to find time to go Christmas shopping and to use a weekend to make holiday cookies for the parents. Usually, that's enough craziness for me, but this year, my body decided to take a dive and get sick the week before the break. I was fighting a sore throat, a cough, and runny nose while trying to run class. Worst week ever.

However, I survived and I can finally enjoy the holiday spirit and desserts. My sweet tooth seriously gets out of hand this time of the year. I indulge in some chocolate, toffee, or some other form of sweets every single day.

In general,  I can't stand holiday sugar or butter cookies, but give me a chocolatey chewy cookie with the essence of peppermint and I'm there. This is my idea of a holiday cookie that warms the soul during the chilly winter months. These are so good that my sister devoured nearly a whole batch by herself and requested another batch to be made a couple weeks later.


Chocolate Peppermint Bark Cookies

Note: For a classic double chocolate cookie, replace peppermint extract with 1 tsp vanilla extract and peppermint bark with dark chocolate chunks.

Ingredients
1 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 oz (1/3 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1.85 oz (1/4 cup) butter
0.05 oz (1/2 TBSP) instant espresso
4 oz (1/2 cup + 2 TBSP) white granulated sugar
1 egg
0.25 oz (1 1/2 TBSP) cocoa powder
2.0 oz (1/2 cup) flour
0.05 oz (1/4 tsp) baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp peppermint extract
2.5 oz (1/2 cup) chopped peppermint bark

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate chips, and butter in 30 seconds intervals in the microwave. Remember to stir after every interval. Stop when smooth. Add espresso and set aside to cool down.
  3. Beat sugar and egg until thick and pale yellow.
  4. Stir in cooled chocolate mixture and peppermint extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  6. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet batter. Fold in peppermint bark.
  7. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until puffed and the top is cracked. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Simplicity [Oil and Vinegar Slaw]

Because of the holidays, I've been tweaking and looking forward to the weekends for baking fun and sharing my joy with friends and family. I finally figured out the path of this blog, which I didn't have when I first started. I'm going to go back to simplicity. Straight to the point without all the frills and mimicry I've been subjecting myself too. I don't need the DSLR that I thought I needed to be "popular."

I am a minimalist in life so why shouldn't I apply what I am to my online personality as well? The reason I loved to blog was to share what I learned from recipes and the happiness I felt from feeding others. For the last 2 and a half years, I spent more time taking photos trying to copy and match other popular food bloggers. My personality wasn't in it. I was simply replicating. Now I am ready to blog my way: the simple way without the bells and whistle. What better way to start than a simple oil and vinegar slaw.


Oil and Vinegar Slaw

Note: This is simple, but the flavor goes great in sandwiches. It cuts the grease in heavier meats. I made mine with a turkey patty seasoned with smokey BBQ spice rub and a bit of whole grain dijon mustard on toast.

Ingredients
1/2 head of a small cabbage, sliced thinly
4 TBSP white vinegar
1 TBSP canola oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt

Directions
  1. Mix white vinegar, oil, black pepper, sugar, and salt.
  2. Pour over sliced cabbage and mix.
  3. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Mix every 3 or 4 hours to redistribute the sauce.
  4. Enjoy! Feel free to add more pepper or salt to taste.


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