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I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I do love my tea….particularly Milk Tea!  When we visit Hong Kong-style cafes or bubble tea establishments, one of the drinks I always like to try is their milk tea.  We started making our own milk tea at home and I thought I would blog about it because it tastes soo good!  It’s very creamy and soothing, and it’s a great way to start off the morning with a muffin or scone :)

This milk tea is very simple to whip up if you can find these two boxes of tea: “Lipton Yellow Label Tea" and "3:15 PM Milk Tea”.  Both contain tea bags (not loose tea or powders that dissolve in water), and we purchased them both at Walmart in the Asian aisle.  Using the “3:15 PM Milk Tea” alone gives kind of a watered-down effect, but once you add a bag of the “Lipton Yellow Label Tea”, it packs more of a punch and makes it taste like the Milk Tea that you order outside!

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We add two spoonfuls of sugar (of course adjust sweetness to your liking), 1 packet of the “3:15 PM Milk Tea” and 1 packet of the “Lipton Yellow Label Tea” to a mug.  Next we add boiling water, let it steep a bit, and then we’re done!

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Time to enjoy a nice hot cup of Milk Tea in the comfort of your own home!

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If you are unable to find the “3:15 PM Milk Tea”, you could always add evaporated or condensed milk to black tea to make your own milk tea from scratch.  And since the weather is warming up, you might want a more refreshing and cold drink- you could try making “Iced Milk Tea" by letting this tea cool down and then adding ice!  Remember to add less water in the beginning though as you want a more concentrated tea to begin with since the ice will dilute it further.  Or, you could put your milk tea in an ice bath like the picture below to prevent it from being diluted.  We thought the presentation of this milk tea was so unique when we tried it three years ago in a cafe in New York City’s Chinatown!

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Enjoy your Milk Tea, and let us know if you give this a try!

I wanted to share about this birthday cake that Ryan and I made for my sister recently!  My sister loves home cooking and my baked goods, so it was our pleasure baking a cake to help her celebrate!  I love trying out new recipes and I turned to one of my favourite baking sites, Bakerella, to see what cake recipes she had.  When I stumbled upon her “Red Velvet Cake”, I knew I had to give it a try since it seemed quick and easy to make!  Indeed it was, and it turned out really well as it was very moist and delicious combined with the cream cheese frosting.  As a last minute touch, we quickly went out to Michaels and bought some pink sugar pearls and icing flowers to decorate the cake and make it look more elegant!  My sister loved how it turned out :)  You can find Bakerella’s Red Velvet Cake recipe HERE!  Just adding a few decorations can really transform a cake from plain to pretty!

It’s been a while since I did a food-related post!  We recently discovered the best mango pudding recipe EVER and I had to share it with you all!  It’s from my friend Irene’s blog and it’s her mom’s “secret” recipe.  It tastes better than the mango pudding that you can get from dim sum restaurants and it was a huge hit over the weekend at our church luncheon when I made it!  It’s delicious served with evaporated milk :)  Check out the very easy mango pudding recipe HERE (along with pictures of Irene’s adorable daughters).  Thanks for sharing your recipe with us all, Irene and Auntie Mao!

It’s been a while since I did a food-related post!  We recently discovered the best mango pudding recipe EVER and I had to share it with you all!  It’s from my friend Irene’s blog and it’s her mom’s “secret” recipe.  It tastes better than the mango pudding that you can get from dim sum restaurants and it was a huge hit over the weekend at our church luncheon when I made it!  It’s delicious served with evaporated milk :)  Check out the very easy mango pudding recipe HERE (along with pictures of Irene’s adorable daughters).  Thanks for sharing your recipe with us all, Irene and Auntie Mao!

Lychee Frozen Yogurt Recipe

With the heat of the summer upon us, it’s the perfect time for ice cream and frozen yogurt!  Last year, I blogged about our frozen yogurt recipe here and how wonderful it is being able to make our own frozen yogurt whenever we want with our Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment.  We wanted to experiment with some different flavours, so we tried making a lychee frozen yogurt since lychee is so sweet, refreshing and light.  We’ve made this lychee frozen yogurt many times for our friends and family, and they all absolutely love it!  Some have asked for the recipe, so I thought I might as well blog about it!

Ryan and I got married in September 2010.  Our wedding photographers, Anthony & Rina of Infused Studios did some one year anniversary photoshoots with us in November - December 2011 (and hence very much pre-pregnancy!  By the way, today is the first day of my third trimester- exciting!!!).  They are a very creative team who like to push their boundaries, so they proposed doing a food-themed anniversary shoot centering around our favourite recipes.  They shot us prepping different meals, showcasing our life in our new house one year after our wedding!  They created a recipe book for us with beautiful images as well as narratives that we wrote on what life is like one year after getting married.  This book is such a great keepsake, and we are so thankful to have something so special to help commemorate our one year of marriage!  We included our lychee frozen yogurt recipe in our anniversary cookbook, so I thought I would share some images from the shoot with you all!

Check out how smooth our lychee frozen yogurt looks!

Placing a lychee perfectly ontop!

We were joking that this is always how we place lychees ontop of our frozen yogurt…don’t you?  ;)

We had a lot of good laughs on our multiple shoots for this anniversary cookbook.  Anthony and Rina have become very good friends with us!  It’s important to choose wedding photographers that you get along with since they will be spending so much time with you on your big day!

Here is the finished product with a cute little Spring Bunny in the back!  This is a very refreshing and light treat :) 

If you would like to try making some for yourself, here is the recipe!  It is very quick and easy to make.  Please refer to my previous frozen yogurt recipe blog post to see step-by-step photos and a description of what particular brand of yogurt we used HERE.

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Lychee Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Ingredients

- Two 650 g containers of Greek or Balkan yogurt

- 2 1/4 cups of sugar (adjust to your liking)

- 2 cans of lychee, drained and pureed

Directions

1.  Mix the yogurt and sugar together until the sugar has dissolved.  Mix in the pureed lychee.

2.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

3.  Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn for 30 minutes.

4.  Enjoy soft yogurt now or freeze for a couple hours or overnight.

5.  Add favourite toppings!

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Hope you enjoyed seeing some photos from our anniversary shoot!  Let me know if you will be trying out this recipe or if you have some other great frozen yogurt recipes- we are definitely interested in experimenting with different fruits and flavors!  Enjoy the summer :D

We’ve been absolutely loving this recipe for Fluffy Pancakes when we feel like whipping some up for breakfast, especially on a lazy weekend.  Who would’ve known that souring milk with vinegar was a substitute for buttermilk?  This is one of our favourite recipes since the pancakes turn out so very tall, fluffy, and delicious.  Growing up, we used to make pancakes from those boxed pancake mixes, but no more!  Making pancakes from scratch is super easy and all the ingredients are usually readily on hand.  Give this recipe a try here this weekend, and serve them with some fresh fruit and syrup :)

We’ve been absolutely loving this recipe for Fluffy Pancakes when we feel like whipping some up for breakfast, especially on a lazy weekend.  Who would’ve known that souring milk with vinegar was a substitute for buttermilk?  This is one of our favourite recipes since the pancakes turn out so very tall, fluffy, and delicious.  Growing up, we used to make pancakes from those boxed pancake mixes, but no more!  Making pancakes from scratch is super easy and all the ingredients are usually readily on hand.  Give this recipe a try here this weekend, and serve them with some fresh fruit and syrup :)

Best. Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ever.  As you know, I love baking, so I’m always on the hunt for new recipes.  You must try out this recipe by Alice of Savory Sweet Life.  The cookies turned out so moist, chewy and delicious, and everyone loved them!  Some people even commented that they tasted like the scrumptious cookies from “Cookies by George”. 
To prevent the cookies from coming out flat, be sure to cream the butter and sugars for three whole minutes on medium-high speed until it’s light and fluffy as Alice states in her troubleshooting section (she provides some other tips too).  I also used coarse sea salt instead of table salt as per her suggestion, which gave the cookies a nice flavor. Since these cookies were so big, the centres were chewy and moist :)  This will definitely be my go-to recipe when I’m craving some traditional chocolate chip cookies or if some friends are coming over!

Best. Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ever.  As you know, I love baking, so I’m always on the hunt for new recipes.  You must try out this recipe by Alice of Savory Sweet Life.  The cookies turned out so moist, chewy and delicious, and everyone loved them!  Some people even commented that they tasted like the scrumptious cookies from “Cookies by George”. 

To prevent the cookies from coming out flat, be sure to cream the butter and sugars for three whole minutes on medium-high speed until it’s light and fluffy as Alice states in her troubleshooting section (she provides some other tips too).  I also used coarse sea salt instead of table salt as per her suggestion, which gave the cookies a nice flavor. Since these cookies were so big, the centres were chewy and moist :)  This will definitely be my go-to recipe when I’m craving some traditional chocolate chip cookies or if some friends are coming over!

Layered Finger Jello Recipe

When I was a little girl, I remember always making a beeline for the jello if it was being served at potlucks or family dinners.  I particularly liked layered jello that was firm enough to be held in your hand (finger jello) compared to the jello eaten from a cup/bowl with a spoon.  My aunt was kind enough to give me the recipe she used since she knew how much I loved it!  These continue to be a popular treat at get-togethers for both kids and adults :)

I first dissolve gelatin and jello in boiling water.  Next, I add whipping cream which will rise to the top and add a creamy layer.  I know other recipes tend to use condensed milk for the creamy layer in jello, but I’ve always used whipping cream.

I pour the mixture into a pan and wait for it to cool before putting it in the fridge.  The whipping cream rises to the top after a few minutes.  I then let it set in the refrigerator for at least three hours (usually overnight).  This is how I typically prepare my jello: with two simple layers.  The result is an easy-to-make firm jello with a delicious creamy layer.

However, if you want to be extra fancy, you can add another layer.  You have to be careful that the original layer has completely set before adding the next liquid layer.  Otherwise, the two layers will mix, and there won’t be a differentiation in colour!  And so, I let the blue layer warm up a little bit by taking it out of the refrigerator for a couple of minutes and then wait till the red mixture has completely cooled just to be safe.  This way, there is not such a stark contrast in temperature between the two.

After adding the red layer…

And after all the layers have set, the jello is ready to be served and cut into squares:

Don’t the layers look great?

I served them on my three-tiered platter with the blue facing up on the bottom, red facing up in the middle, and a mixture of both on the top!

Here is the recipe I use to make delicious layered finger jello:

Ingredients:

  • 3 packets gelatin (1 packet = 1 tbsp of gelatin)
  • 3 small boxes of jello (85 g)
  • 3 1/4 boiling water
  • 1 cup whipping cream

1.  Dissolve the gelatin and jello into the boiling water.

2.  Add the whipping cream.  Mix well.

3.  Pour into pan.  Let set for at least 3 hours.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!  And to add another layer, you simply repeat the steps after the first layer has set (you can have the second layer with or without whipping cream.  In this case, I did not add whipping cream to the second layer).  This jello would also be great for special occasions and holidays with so many colour combinations available (e.g. red and green for Christmas).  Give this recipe a try- it’s sure to be a hit!

Chocolate Banana Bread

I love discovering new blogs whether they’re crochet, fashion, craft, baking or food-related.  As soon as I found Alice’s “Savory Sweet Life”, I scoured her site and found so many delicious recipes I wanted to try.  I love Alice’s writing style and beautiful, crisp photos.  Alice is a busy mom of three who started her blog as a creative outlet and an expression of all that she loves: food, photography, and sharing with others.  It’s always interesting hearing how people start their blogs and share their passions and interests with the world!

One of her recipes that immediately jumped out at me was her “Chocolate Banana Bread with Sour Cream and Chocolate Chips" recipe listed under her “Best Recipes of 2009”.  I thought it sounded like a good twist on the traditional banana bread (which we frequently bake), and I already had most of the ingredients at home.  I just had to go out and buy some bananas and sour cream!  I love using sour cream in cakes since it makes them extra moist.  Find the recipe here.

The batter is all ready to go into the oven!

And here’s the cake one hour later!  Mmm…you could smell the chocolatey-ness :)

And now to cut a slice of the moist, rich chocolate banana bread…

Instead of baking your traditional chocolate cake or banana bread, why not combine the two and give this “Chocolate Banana Bread" a try.  It’ll certainly satisfy any chocolate cravings you may have!  I can’t wait to try Alice’s other recipes…everything looks so delicious :)

Frozen Yogurt Recipe

Whenever I go to California or New York, I always have to stop by Pinkberry to get my frozen yogurt fix.  I’ve tried other frozen yogurt places (although I’ve yet to try Yogurtland), but Pinkberry is still my favourite!

Toppings, toppings and more toppings…

On this particular visit, I tried their lychee yogurt with strawberries, mango, and mochi!  Oh, how I love the chewiness of mochi :)

I was soo ecstatic when Ryan and I started making our own frozen yogurt after we got the ice cream maker attachment for the Kitchen-Aid mixer.  It tastes pretty darn similar, and it’s a whole lot cheaper!  Now I can have delicious frozen yogurt whenever I want :)  It’s always a hit when we have guests over!

I start off with Greek/Balkan-style yogurt because it is creamer and thicker than normal yogurt.  This is the exact brand that I like to use (purchased from Safeway).

You mix sugar and vanilla extract into the yogurt and refrigerate for one hour.

Then your pour the yogurt into the ice cream maker and churn for 30 mins. 

Next, you pour it into a container (I like to use a flat one so it’s easier to scoop later on) and freeze it for a few hours.  You can actually start eating the yogurt right away if you like it soft, but I like it when it’s firmer.

This is what it looks like after a few hours or overnight, all ready to be scooped!

And now to add our favourite fruits :)  I need to figure out how to make mochi to complete this delicious dessert!

Here is my recipe, adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.

Recipe: Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients:

- Two 650 g containers of Greek or Balkan style yogurt

- 2 1/4 cups of sugar (adjust to your liking- we like our yogurt sweet!)

- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (be sure to use real vs. imitation)

Directions:

1. Mix the yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract together until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. Pour mixture into ice cream maker and churn for 30 mins.

4. Enjoy soft yogurt now or freeze for a couple of hours or overnight.

5. Add favourite toppings!

It is so simple to make homemade vanilla frozen yogurt, and you can add so many toppings, from fresh fruits to delicious chocolate chips.  I know I’ll be getting a lot of use out of my ice cream maker as the summer approaches- I can’t wait to try different flavours!

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