Honey Matcha (green tea) Ice Cream


After the wedding, Alex and I embarked on a two week trip to China and Japan. I don’t think I’ll talk much about China, as that was mostly a visit to see relatives rather than sightseeing. We traveled all around the JiangSu region, starting in Shanghai then going on to Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, and Nanjing. We did a lot of large banquets with family, so on our spare time we stuffed ourselves with pork buns, shaomai, and xiaolongbao :). And milk tea.

Japan served as our mini-moon. We decided not to go on our real honeymoon until next spring, and we’re going to New Zealand!! For now, after traipsing around China, we flew to Japan to truly vacation.

In Japan, we met up with my best friend R, and she opened our worlds to the wonderful foods of Japan. One of my favorites was matcha ice cream, made with real matcha, the powdered green tea of Japan. Let’s back track and I’ll explain why this is important. I’ve been looking for and trying matcha ice cream in the US, but there’s always been something wrong. Honestly, the green tea ice cream I’ve had in the States taste like vanilla ice cream with just a touch of green tea for color. I did not taste matcha green tea at all. When R brought us to a cute ice cream shop, I immediately knew which flavor I was going to get (I also chose peach and red bean. Incidentally, I also tasted pumpkin and tomato flavored ice cream. They were truly delicious, so watch out for a recipe once I hash that out!) The matcha ice cream in Japan is divine!! It’s a deep green and is a tad bittersweet, if you can imagine that. I could taste the matcha from the start, and there was no overpowering sweetness to mask the flavor of the tea.

I had received an ice cream maker as a gift, and I had to try and recreate matcha green tea. I’m very happy with the results. I love how the honey compliments the bittersweet matcha without overpowering its taste. Use quality matcha and don’t be shy in heaping that in! I’m already excited to re-make this!!!!

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Brussels Sprouts, quinoa, lentils, and a baked egg

quinoalentilbowl-2cover I will eat anything with baked egg, and when it’s placed in the middle of a dish without touching the sides, there’s the bonus of an easy cleanup. This is a simple, hassle-free weeknight recipe. It’s super healthy and incredibly flexible. This concoction is just something I decided to throw together. You can substitute any type of lentils, get rid of quinoa, add rice, or change up the spices. Adding curry or gram Marsala would actually be quite tasty, I’d imagine. For this dish, I never follow a recipe. You’ll see – it’s so simple and intuitive that you can just throw it together and pop it in the oven. In fact, I felt a little weird writing it out. Continue reading

Roasted Carrot and Tomato Cobbler


Topped with cornbread gruyère biscuits!! This combination of flavors is unbeatable. In fact, it’s going to be my go-to dish for potlucks. It’s summer, and I love potlucks. So expect more talk about potlucks. When I was renting a house back in Saint Louis, Alex and I hosted quite a few potlucks / barbecues, and it was a blast!! I miss that. In Boston, our apartment is a little too small to host a potluck. I’m not discouraged, though, because there are some great parks, perfect for a potluck picnic!

Oh also, where have I been these past three weeks? I got married!! Then the hubby and I took a two week trip to Asia, visiting family in China (JiangSu region) and my best friend in Japan. I love travelling. I am also very inspired by the Chinese and Japanese cuisine we consumed during our trip, more notably the Japanese food. We had sasshimi (of course), soba, udon, ramen with anchovy based broth, okonomiyaki, taiyaki, teppanyaki, to name a few… I love how clean, simple, and elegant Japanese food is. I think it will influence my cooking quite a bit. I will do a post soon about the various foods we ate.

For now, please do try this savory cobbler.

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Cong You Bing Jia Dan


Ok, who grew up eating these scallion pancakes? I did!!!! Every time we went out to a Chinese restaurant, my sister, my brother, and I would always insist on ordering scallion pancakes as appetizer. It didn’t matter that they were so easy to make and not worth the price (as our parents told us). The crispy, deliciously fragrant pancake was something I grew up with. When I finally developed an interest in cooking, this was one of the first dishes I tried out. Trust me, it’s easy, fun, and messy!!

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Chocolate Pistachio Orange Biscotti

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Biscotti. People call it the Italian cookie. Others say it’s heaven dipped in coffee. I say, let’s stop talking and just eat them. Biscotti means “twice cooked”. This is indeed the case for this cookie. The dough is formed into a loaf and cooked until it is set. While it’s fresh out of the oven, the loaf is chopped into biscotti pieces. Then, they are popped back into the oven to achieve that delicious crunchiness. They’re meant to be dry and crunchy – so you can imagine how great it would taste when dipped in coffee!

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Teriyaki Meatballs… with Apple

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Happy Father’s Day! Missing my wonderful, creative father, who inspired me to try new flavors in cooking. I can’t wait to see him in a week! Let’s celebrate Father’s Day with some teriyaki apple meatballs. You really can’t go wrong with these.

I made these for a potluck because I knew others were bringing potato salad, pasta, or fried rice. I was originally planning on an asparagus mint salad, but my procrastination forced me to look at other options. I’m actually having meatballs for bite-snacks during cocktail our at my wedding, and since my wedding is on my mind, naturally my thoughts beelined towards making meatballs for a gathering. With bits of Granny Smith apple in these pork and beef meatballs, these little guys are a great bite size snack for dinner parties or potlucks!

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Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl bread

chocolatecinnamonswirl-1coverDisclaimer: This is a decadent, not-so-healthy bread. You will use lots of butter in this: for the bread, the chocolate filling, and the cinnamon filling. Just do what I do: don’t think about it and concentrate on the end product :)

This weekend, I was ready to participate in Joy the Baker’s Baking Bootcamp. However, I realized I didn’t have any berries! I’d just driven back from Connecticut and had no desire to hop over to a grocery store to pick up berries. The berry swirl bread will have to wait for next week (the deadline is June 22nd, so I have time, right?), but I couldn’t stop staring at the beautiful braided bread. I mentioned I’m also obsessed with breads right now, didn’t I? What choice did I have? I had to make some sort of braided bread. I had a dark chocolate baking bar, cocoa powder, and cinnamon – the answer was obvious, really – a chocolate cinnamon swirl bread!!!

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