Matcha Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

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Heeeeeey. Is it mid August already?? Is it crazy that Halloween costumes are already starting to appear in stores? Time is moving way too fast while I’m here wanting to move like an elderly woman. Anyways, I’ve been trying to improve my diet because this summer body never appeared and the summer is practically over. If I start now, maybe it’ll be here by next summer.

For the past month or so, I’ve replaced my morning pastry with a small serving of chia seed pudding. To also give myself some energy, I’ve put matcha into the chia seed pudding. Although I love matcha, I kept the matcha flavor light to let the coconut from the coconut milk shine. I never though I’d actually enjoy a cup of chia seeds, but I must admit, I’ve enjoyed every bit of this matcha coconut chia seed pudding.

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This recipe makes two servings and goes great with any type of berry. I’ve been eating mine with raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries topped with slivered almonds. Make the chia seed pudding the night before and top it off the with fruit and slivered almonds when you’re ready to eat.

Matcha Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

3 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 C. light coconut milk
1 tsp. matcha powder
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 C. any fruit of your choice
slivered almonds

In a small bowl, combine chia seeds, coconut milk, matcha, honey, and vanilla extract. Mix until all ingredients are combined and matcha has been evenly mixed through. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

When ready to eat, divide the chia seed pudding into two small bowls and top with fruit and almonds.

Enjoy!

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Matcha White Chocolate Rice Crispies – MATCHA GIVEAWAY

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Are you as much of a matcha lover as I am?! Well, you’ve come to the right place! These matcha white chocolate rice crispies aren’t for the matcha noobs (no offense). Purposefully, a good amount of matcha powder is used and the bitterness of the matcha is balanced with the sweet white chocolate chips and a creaminess factor comes from both the matcha and white chocolate chips mixed with the marshmallow.

Now let’s talk about this matcha giveaway that’s happening. Motion Matcha is hosting this FABULOUS giveaway where you get ONE YEARS worth of matcha. That’s a matcha lovers dream come true. That’s kind of why you’re here right? So.. while you’re munching on these addicting matcha white chocolate rice crispies, go and enter this giveaway!

Before starting, make sure you have ALL ingredients handy as this will all come together in the blink of an eye. You’ll have to move quickly because you want to add everything as soon as the marshmallows melt. I’ve found that the less time you have the marshmallows over heat, the softer the marshmallows stay. Crunchy rice crispies that feel like you’ll crack a tooth while taking a bite is never pleasant.

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Matcha White Chocolate Rice Crispies
Servings: 9 large squares

1/2 C. (1 stick) of unsalted butter
1-10 oz. bag of marshmallows
2 Tbsp. matcha powder
1/2 C. white chocolate chips (I used ghiradelli)
5 C. rice crispy cereal

Things you’ll need:
One large pot
Parchment paper
8″x8″ pan
Wooden spoon or any large spoon

1. Line a 8″x8″ pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, melt the butter. Keep the butter over medium heat constantly stirring until the butter starts to smell nutty and turns into a caramel color. This is now browned butter (YUM).

3. Immediately add the marshmallows into the browned butter and constantly stir until all of the marshmallows have melted.

4. Turn off the stove and quickly add the matcha powder and stir incorporating the matcha powder with the marshmallow. At this stage, your pot of marshmallows should be ninja turtle green.

5. Pour in the white chocolate chips and rice crispy cereal into the pot. Using a wooden spoon, stir everything together until all the cereal is coated with the marshmallow mixture. Some of the white chocolate chips will have melted, but this is totally fine and you actually want that.

6. Pour everything into your lined baking pan and quickly push the mixture evenly into the pan (don’t forget the corners) so that the top is flat.

7. Let rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

These can be stored in a sealed tight container for up to three (3) days.

Cherry Frangipane Galette

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I know it’s a little late to be posting about cherries.. “C’mon Cheryl. It’s just about pumpkin season now.” I sort of misplaced my memory card while switching cameras and couldn’t get a hold of the pictures I took when this tart was actually made.

This tart was put together on one of those days where I felt like baking something, but was lazy AF. I didn’t feel like leaving the house to buy anything so I just opened up the refrigerator to see what I had to work with.  Half a bag of cherries, a lemon, butter, and a shit load of almonds.

I tend to make any excuse to make a dessert with Dorie Greenspan’s frangipane from her French Pear Tart recipe, cause it’s just that good and so darn easy. I ended up making a dough and the frangipane and by the time I got to the cherries, I already wanted to stick them back into the fridge and leave them there. Well, something came over me and I actually stood there pitting every single cherry then sprinkling some sugar over them. Then wah-lah. The finished product was a rustic cherry galette that not only was easy enough to make by a lazy person, but was crisp on the outside and not too sweet on the inside.

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Frangipane
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s French Pear Tart

6 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 C. Granulated sugar
3/4 C. Almond flour
2 tsp. All purspose flour
1 tsp. Corn starch
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 egg
2 tsp. Rum

In a food processor, combine butter and sugar until smooth. Add the almond flour, flour, corn starch and salt and pulse until combined. Add egg and run and pulse until well combined.

Remove from food processor into a covered bowl. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Dough
Adapted from Food52
1 C. Unsalted butter, cubed
2 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/4 C. Ice water

2 Tbsp. Melted butter
Sugar

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and salt. Add the cubed pieces of butter and incorporate into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or the back of a knife, until crumbs the size of peas start to form. Slowly add water and mix until the dough becomes one big ball. Cut the dough in half and saran wrap each separately. Put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

ASSEMBLY:

Put cherries into a large bowl and add the sugar and lemon zest. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 400F.

When you’re ready to use the dough, prepare your surface with a light dusting of flour. Lay the dough on the flour and roll into a circle until about 1/4 inch thick. The circle doesn’t have to be perfect.

Spoon half the frangipane onto the center of the circle and spread the frangipane into a thin layer, leaving about 2 inches of the dough edge free.

Drain the cherries from the juice and place the cherries on top of the frangipane.

Fold the edges of the dough inward, creating something that looks like a pizza crust.

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Brush on the melted butter onto the crust and sprinkle on the sugar.

Brush melted butter over the “crust” and sprinkle with sugar. Place the galette onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper. If you have a tart pan, place the galette into the tart pan prior to placing it onto the cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. When the galette is done baking, let the galette set on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring it onto a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it.

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Serve cold or my favorite, warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. YUM!

Chicken & Taro Eggrolls

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It’s been a really long week at both home and work and I’m SO glad I took some time to myself. When I say time to myself, I mean time in the kitchen. I don’t know about you, but my therapy is cooking or baking a completely new recipe I’ve never tried before. You have to concentrate a little more and pay attention to what you’re doing just in case the recipe comes out a success! It would be unfortunate to come up with a winner recipe then forget it.

When I was in school, while everyone went out for drinks after a midterm or final, I’d rush home to take a nap (since I was always pulling all-nighters). I’d roll out of bed when it was dark out then would make a run to the grocery store and would start baking the night away. That was how I relieved my stress. My housemates probably thought I was crazy, but they never complained! That meant there was always some type of snack during our breaks from studying.

I haven’t done anything tedious in the kitchen lately and at first I was sort of regretting thinking about making these egg rolls, but that regret quickly went away. Sitting at the table watching random YouTube videos and rolling a bunch of egg rolls was actually a breath of fresh air. It helped clear my mind and it felt just like those late night baking sessions during my college years.

Anyways, the Farmer’s Market near my work has a stand that sells a bunch of vegetables and other ingredients found in Asian cuisines that may be hard to find even in local Asian supermarkets. For example, they have ube, galangal, and mountain potato. I decided to pick up a couple of small taro and ended up making these chicken and taro egg rolls. They surprisingly came out well! The insides are very moist and soft from the taro and the outside is extremely crispy. Perfect snack for this Superbowl weekend!

Make sure to use the small round type of taro and not the large ones that are of an oblong shape. The small taro are more dense and tight while the large taro are more starchy like. Think of a waxy potato vs. a russet potato. Another tip is to make sure to wrap the egg rolls tightly. Wrapping them loosely allows for the oil to seep into and stay in the egg roll making them become very greasy and soggy!

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TARO & CHICKEN EGG ROLLS

1 medium sized taro, grated
1 lb. ground chicken
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 egg, beaten

1 pack spring roll wrappers, defrosted. (I used the square shaped wrappers)
1 egg, slightly beaten

canola oil for frying

1. combine all of the ingredients except for the spring rolls wrappers and the lightly beaten egg. Mix all of the ingredients together until everything is evenly combined. Cover and set into the refrigerator for an hour or up to 1 day.

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2. When you’re ready to wrap your egg rolls, open your defrosted spring roll wrappers and separate each wrapper. Set a damp sheet of paper towel over them to make sure they don’t dry out.

3. a. Place a spring roll wrapper in from of you so that it shapes a diamond.
b. Using a spoon, place a generous tablespoon of the meat and taro mixture onto the bottom third of the diamond and form the meat into a log shape.
c. Fold in the left and right sides of the diamond partially covering the meat the fold the bottom point of the diamond up and continue rolling upwards like a burrito. Make sure to keep the rolling tight!
d. Using your finger, wet the top tip of the diamond with some of the lightly beaten egg and finish rolling upwards sealing the egg roll.

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4. After rolling all of the egg rolls, you can either fry them now or place them in the freezer for later. If freezing, make sure to keep all of the egg rolls in a single layer on some type of baking sheet and partially freeze them before throwing them all into one container. This keeps the egg rolls from freezing into one large egg roll.

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5. When ready to fry, heat a medium sized pot of oil, about 3 inches deep, to 375 F. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, use the chopstick method. Dip a wooden chopstick or wooden spoon into the oil. When bubbles rise from the wood, your oil is hot enough!

6. Fry eggrolls for about 8 minutes or until they’re golden brown. I like mine extra crispy so I keep them in for longer. Don’t overcrowd the pot by putting tons of egg rolls in at once. This will bring the temperature of the oil down and your egg rolls won’t be crisp.
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7. Take the egg rolls out and lay them onto a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

Enjoy!

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Baked Peaches with Ice Cream

 

A super last minute dinner was planned and as usual, I was in charge of dessert. I started to panic a little because all I could think about were desserts that took two hours to make and I refused to pick up a premade cake from the grocery store. I went to the grocery store anyway and nervously paced up and down the aisles desperately trying to come up with a quick idea. As I stood in the middle of the produce section, my eyes landed on a mountain of beautiful peaches.  The hamster in my head started running on its wheel and the ideas started rolling in.

Peaches. Brown sugar. Cinnamon. Butter. ICE CREAM.

I know summer is officially over, but this needed to be posted before peaches fell off of the face of the planet and don’t appear again until next year. Baked peaches and ice cream are the easiest, but tastiest dessert or snack you can prepare. As the peaches bake, the brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and juice of the peach combine together and when you drop that scoop of cold ice cream onto the warm peach, something magical happens. Small bits of crunchy thin cookies add a wonderful texture and is the perfect cherry on top.

The best thing about this recipe is that there’s no measuring involved!

Baked Peaches & Ice Cream
Servings: 8

4 large firm but ripe peaches, halved with pit removed
Unsalted Butter
Brown Sugar
Cinnamon
Your favorite vanilla ice cream
Your favorite butter shortbread cookies

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Wash peaches, cut them in half and remove the pit. Using a spoon, remove the bitter red parts that hold the pit. Place flesh side up in a pan.

Place small dabs of butter onto the peaches and press a light amount of brown sugar onto the surface of the flesh of the peaches. You don’t need much sugar as the sugar from the peach is already sweet. Lightly sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until peaches become soft.

Top with your favorite vanilla ice cream. (I used cookie butter ice cream from Trader Joes and it was DELICIOUS).
Take a few of your favorite shortbread cookies ad crush them into small pieces. Sprinkle on top of the ice cream.

Oh yeahhhhhh, look at that deliciousess. Now it’s time to dig in!

Guava Jam and Lemon Pinwheel Cookies

My oh my, it’s already half way through February?! I can’t believe how quickly January flew by. I’ve been meaning to do a post on cookies from Christmas, but didn’t get around to doing so. To tell you the truth, the only thing I enjoy about cookies is eating them. I usually let someone else do the baking since my cookies rarely come out the way I imagine them to be.

Baking cookies is not my forte, but blowing the dust off of the cookie sheets once a year for Christmas is an exception. Aya, Christine, and I exchanged cookies for Christmas and I was quite impressed with all of the cookies that were made!

Just to name a few, Aya made some delicious speculoos cookies with a variety of shortbreads and Christine made mouthwatering rosemary shortbreads and really chocolatey peppermint brownie cookies. I swear, I was cookie wasted that entire week and didn’t mind it one bit. A couple of leggings might have been purchased at the end of the week..

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Along with the pecan bars that were previously posted, I included these pinwheel cookies in my cookie box. I’m too lazy to roll out dough then use a cookie cutter to cut every single cookie out and was a little short on time, so I was looking around for shortbreads that could be refrigerated then sliced and baked on the spot. A few people asked for the recipe, so here is the original. I took this recipe and added lemon zest and juice into the cookie batter and spread a layer of guava jam in between instead of strawberry.

Guava Jam and Lemon Pinwheel Cookies
Adapted from tutti-dulci
Yields: 60 cookies

3 C. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2/3 C. guava jam, warmed until spreadable
Turbinado sugar

1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl or mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice until the combined.
4. Add flour and beat until just combined.
5. Divide the dough in half and form two thick disks. Wrap each disk in seran wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
6. When the dough has chilled, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle and until about 1/4 inch thick.
7. Spread a thin layer of guava jam over the dough, leaving an inch on the edge closest and further from you.
8. Tightly roll the dough into a log starting from the edge closest to you. Repeat with the other disk.
9. Wrap in seran wrap and chill overnight.
10. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper of silpat.
11. Start slicing 1/4 inch slices from one side of the log to the other.
12. Dip each slice in turbinado sugar and place on a cookie sheet one inch apart from each other.
13. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the bottom edge is very lightly brown.
14. Let sit for a couple of minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack.
15. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Chewy Pecan Bars

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays with their loved ones and eating lots of delicious foods. With all of the potlucks with friends and family lately, this holiday season has sure been filled with plates of yummy foods. It’s time to start going back to the gym! I’m still quite burnt out from all of the Thanksgiving cooking and holiday cookie baking that making a very easy dessert for Christmas was a must. I decided on making these pecan bars. They’re so chewy, buttery, stress free, and simple to make. Chocolate can be drizzled over the top to make them look fancy or even dipped.

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Chewy Pecan Bars
Servings: about 24 3″x2″ pieces
Sweet Society

Crust:

1 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. brown sugar, packed
2-2/3 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

Topping:

1/2 C. unsalted butter
1 C. light brown sugar, packed
1/3 C. honey
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
2 C. chopped roasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line a 9″x13″ pan with foil or parchment letting a couple inches hang over the sides.

In a large bowl or mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough becomes crumbly.

Pour the dough out into the pan and firmly press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

In a medium pot, melt the butter and add the sugar, honey, and heavy cream. Evenly stir so everything gets combined. Continue to stir until the mixture starts to simmer. Turn the heat off and pour the pecans into the mixture.

When the crust is done, immediately pour the pecan mixture into the pan and evenly distribute it over the crust. Bake for another 20 minutes.

Allow the pecan bars to fully cool down before pulling out of the pan. Taking it out of the pan while still hot will cause the pecan bars to fall apart.

Cut into desired size.