Category Archives: in the kitchen

all the food I make

Perfecting the Matcha Latte

I first started writing this post over two years ago, but sadly, was not able to perfect the matcha latte until now. There is definitely room for improvement, especially with my latte art skills, but I am finally satisfied with the end product.

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The main issues I faced were clumpy matcha, lackluster foam, and an absence of the vibrant green colour that adorns so many matcha lattes I’ve bought.  Continue reading Perfecting the Matcha Latte

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Orange Slice Latte

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After seeing photos of what appeared to be a latte with an orange slice floating around Instagram, I tried to decode how to make it. After scouring the internet, I found recipe for a coffee latte… but being me, I decided to try my hand at a tea latte version. Continue reading Orange Slice Latte

What to do with overripe fruits

I generally like my fruits on the first few days of ripeness, when they’re sweet yet still crisp. So what do you do when you have fruits that are past that point and are an over-sweet, mushy mess?

The classic answer has generally been to cook or bake them into food, and personally my family makes a lot of banana bread to deal with it, to the point that I was pretty tired of it.

My personal favourite ways to deal with overripe fruits are to make jam and smoothies. They’re both simple and can be easily adapted into different recipes to avoid the monotony of the banana bread answer. The best part is that the riper the fruit, the more delicious it is made into these items.

Making jam is honestly just cutting up the fruit and letting it cook over medium-low heat with as much or as little sugar as you desire. You can cook the fruits until they’re just soft and still chunky, or until it is almost liquefied. It does thicken up a little once cooled, and taste delicious on top of toast, ice cream, cakes, or even on its own.

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Now that it’s summertime and I want ice cream and popsicles the minute I step inside my house, I have started to freeze my overripe fruits to make a more healthy cold  treat. My absolute favourite blend at the moment is bananas, mangos, strawberries, and a cup of orange juice to blend it all together. If you use 100% orange juice, there is absolutely no added sugar (and no need to) and you’re getting 4 servings of fruits in one go.  When you use ripe fruits, it tastes exactly like the colourful fruit roll ups and brings me back to my childhood.

Those two ways are my current go-to methods to deal with overripe fruits – let me know your favourite ways to help your fruit avoid the bin.

 

 

Memorable Meals: 2

Life for the past 3.5 months of 2016 has been pretty crazy with lots of new beginnings and I’m finding it hard to make time to do all the things on my list. One thing I have been doing is eating lots of sweets and brunch, as you shall see below.

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Spontaneous trips for macarons to raise low spirits.

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A small taste of the student life again with Bernie’s Sunday buffet brunch.

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Finally, finally, FINALLY. The long-awaited devouring of Mrs. Biederhof’s blueberry buttermilk pancakes.

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One of the things I miss most about Hong Kong are the egg waffles. This is the Hong Kong style milk tea egg waffle with matcha ice cream – I just wish the waffles were a tad more eggy.

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I finally tried a new peanut butter cookie recipe. Light, airy, and so easy to polish off five in a row.

 

On a barley kick

For me, barley was a late discovery. I first tried it in a beef and barley stew they served over in Fort York (as a former Girl Guide, we camped in odd places), and I was intrigued by this chewy grain that was so superior to the rice I had daily.

Ever since I began cooking my own meals, I decided to venture out and try barley – I’ve made soup, salads, and eaten it as rice, and lately I’ve made some recipes I have really loved.

Barley tea

I have always loved the taste of barley tea but it is not so readily available in Canada, even in my local Asian grocery stores. So the only thing to do was make my own.

Roasting barley is a quick and easy process – just toast dry in a pan until they’re a golden brown, and store them away to brew another day, or brew a large batch that you can keep in the fridge. I followed the recipe from La Fuji Mama as I also had trouble finding unhulled barley.

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When I drank this hot, I found that the burnt flavour from the roasting process was quite strong, but virtually disappeared after it cooled in the fridge.

I love this as a cooling drink – especially for when you’ve had too much greasy food – this helps keep the inflammation/canker sores at bay.  Continue reading On a barley kick

Memorable Meals: 1

I want to highlight all the meals I’ve had in the last few weeks that have been memorable enough for me to want to go back and have them again.

Let’s begin with a drink. The Terroni Sour at Terroni is really an amaretto sour with a twist – the limonata makes this drink taste like candy. I recreated this at home and it is seriously so amazing.

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Cravings for karaage and takoyaki can now be filled at Moji Japanese Eatery in the Peachtree Plaza.

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Another memorable drink – the Tokyo Fog at Nohohon Tea Room. Matcha latte with vanilla is probably my favourite twist on matcha thus far.

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This meal was memorable because we were sitting inside shivering while eating our tacos. I think this is the first time I ever saw my breath while eating indoors… On the plus side, I managed to not make a mess, which is not an easy feat at Seven Lives.

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Taking it back home… cauliflower buffalo wings. I made this twice so far and its so delicious and satisfying. While making these, I keep thinking “what vegetable should we have with our wings?” before remembering that our wings are vegetables. Mind blown.

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Honey Vanilla Tea Latte

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My all-time favourite hot drink to get is the honey vanilla tea latte from Second Cup. I first discovered this drink during the Latte Tuesdays promotions while in school in the winter. After endless London Fogs and green tea lattes, my friend tried the new honey vanilla tea latte they were promoting and was hooked. I’m not the biggest lover of honey, so I was skeptical, but after trying it once, it’s really hard to go back to any other tea latte.

I’ve since then recommended this drink to anyone who listens and have only gotten positive reviews. So of course I had to try to recreate this latte at home.

What you’ll need

  • 1 serving of English Breakfast Tea (about 1 tsp of loose leaves)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • honey, to taste

As usual, many substitutions can be made – I do believe Second Cup’s version uses English Breakfast, but as they no longer officially advertise this drink, I can no longer verify that information. This latte works well with Earl Grey tea, orange pekoe, or virtually most simple black teas. If you are feeling luxurious, you may choose to use vanilla bean to flavour the tea. My cup is also larger than norm, so you may choose to scale this recipe up or down.

To prepare the tea

Brew a very concentrated cup of tea (I used about 1 cup of hot water for 1 tsp of loose leaves), and add the dash of vanilla extract.

Begin to froth milk – as someone washed my milk frother, batteries included, it has since ceased to operate and I use the whisk attachment on my hand mixer to achieve the same effect – and pour into the cup of tea. If you like your lattes hot, I suggest you warm the milk first; however, I find the cool milk makes the latte a perfect temperature to drink immediately so I usually skip this step. Then add a swirl of honey and enjoy!