Desserts · Uncategorized

Homemade PSL

I’m totally late to the pumpkin train but I thought I would give this a try. This quintessential autumn drink is made a variety of ways. I’ve seen some people make a healthy one with almond milk. Others use half and half. Still, others find that whole milk is best. Whichever method you like, essentially the process is still the same.

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You need pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. Then add in the vanilla extract and then the glorious coffee.

In the end, you get a pumpkin spice latte. However, I will warn against using too much pumpkin puree. Although using a lot of pumpkin makes sense as it is a PUMPKIN spice latte, I find that using too much makes your drink have this almost sour taste.

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Try out this recipe. If you like it, then you have found a new recipe to make during fall! If not, you can still run to Starbucks and earn some more points.

Happy Fall everyone!

Grace

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients

-1/2 a tablespoon of pumpkin puree

-1 tsp of pumpkin spice

-1 tablespoon of maple syrup

-2 tablespoons of half and half or creamer of your choice

-2 tablespoons of milk

-your coffee of choice

Directions

  1. Put the pumpkin puree in a pan with the pumpkin spice and cook it for 1 minute to get rid of the raw pumpkin flavor.
  2. Add in the maple syrup and let it cook for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add in the half and half or creamer and the milk and turn down the heat.
  4. Let the mixture simmer for about 1 minute.
  5. Brew your favorite coffee.
  6. Take the pumpkin mixture and blend it to create a foamy texture.
  7. Add it to your coffee and top it off with some pumpkin spice.

 

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Savory · Uncategorized

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

This post is almost against everything I stand for. I am a hardcore advocate for using fresh foods for recipes because they taste better and cook correctly. You don’t need to worry about cooking times or varying internal temperatures.

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Lemon Rosemary Chicken

With that said,… I made this recipe out of frozen chicken breasts. Honestly, there was nothing left in the fridge and hunger got the best of me. Though, I guess that the silver lining is that y’all have an easy recipe to test out at home.

The chicken ended up coming out juicy which I was very excited about. The key is to fully defrost the thing and to cook it slowly. This allows you to get the inside of the chicken to the desired temperature but also avoids the problem of making the exterior too dry. A big problem that I ran into in the past with frozen chicken (especially when I was hungry) was that I did not allow it the full time to defrost. The chicken then ended up cooking on the outside but was still FROZEN on the inside. Although looking back on these incidences and seeing that fully defrosting something is common sense, my mind does not listen to common sense under the influence of hunger. Can anyone relate or is it just me?

In the end, do as I say and not as I do. Please use fresh foods and don’t be hungry haha.

Sincerely,

Grace

Ingredients

– 2 frozen chicken breasts (fully thawed)

-2 lemon slices

-2 cloves of garlic

-2 tsp of rosemary

-olive oil for the pan

-salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Pat the chicken dry to remove excess moisture from thawing.
  2. Crush garlic and remove skins but do not mince
  3. Heat up pan with oil.
  4. Salt and pepper chicken and add rosemary.
  5. Place chicken in skillet (It should sizzle but do not let the olive oil smoke).
  6. After you see some color on your chicken, turn down the heat from medium-high to medium-low.
  7. Add garlic and lemon next to the chicken in the pan to let it infuse into the oil.
  8. After 1 minute, place the garlic and lemon on top of the chicken.
  9. Allow it to continue cooking until the inside is not pink. (Cooking time may vary depending on the size of your chicken pieces).
  10. Plate and serve.

 

Savory · Uncategorized

Tamagoyaki- Japanese Omelet

Finally! Here we go! Another recipe is here. Tamagoyaki is a Japanese omelet that is super delicious and tasty. In general, this dish can be consumed in the morning for breakfast along side a bowl of rice and some miso soup (which is a great probiotic by the way). I have also seen some Japanese izakyas (bars) serve this as well. In the case of bars, I do think that tamagoyaki goes well with sake or beer.

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One of my favorite aspects of this dish is that it is made from a very fine egg mixture. What I mean is that the egg is beaten very well. In some cases, I have also seen people take a sieve and strain the egg mixture to make sure it is extra fine. Unfortunately, when I took the pictures for this recipe, I did not strain the egg, but if you have the time, I would highly recommend doing that.

Another part of this recipe which I really enjoy is the flavor. The combination of mirin, sesame oil, and soy sauce creates a very different flavor than omelets that I am normally used to. The addition of Japanese mayo, sriracha, yakisoba sauce, and bonito contributes to a plethora of dimensions which makes this dish so interesting.

A thing to note is that most recipes for tamagoyaki do not use yakisoba sauce in the dish. However, I thought that the combination of yakisoba sauce and mayo fused together very will and produced a savory and creamy dimension to the egg.

Overall, I hope you try this recipe. It is very different, but if you like trying new things, then this recipe is the way to go.

P.S. I have also seen people add shredded mozzarella cheese and chasu (a melt-in-your-mouth pork that is used in ramen), and these will also add to this delectable dish.

Tamagoyaki-Japanese Omelet Recipe

Ingredients:

-3 large eggs

-1 tablespoon of mirin

-1 tablespoon of soy sauce

-1 tsp of sesame oil

-2 tsp of bonito flakes

-Japanese mayonnaise (to taste)

-Sriracha (to taste)

-1 tablespoon Yakisoba sauce (drizzle)

-green onions to garnish

Directions

1. Crack eggs into a medium size metal bowl.

2. Whisk egg along with mirin, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

3. Chop green onion and set aside.

4. Heat up a skillet and spray with a nonstick baking/cooking spray.

5. Spread a thin layer of egg and let it bubble up and cook.

6. Once the egg looks semi-cooked (30 seconds), roll up the egg with a spatula.

7. Add another layer of egg, connecting the rolled up egg to the new layer.

8. Once the next layer is semi cooked, roll it into the other layer.

9. Continue the process until you have used all of the egg mixture.

10. Garnish with bonito flakes, mayo, sriracha, yakisoba sauce, and green onions.

Desserts · Uncategorized

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins

These were inspired by my commutes to LA, studying for the GRE, training for a suicide hotline, and working out my arms. Hope you enjoy!

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins
Photo credit: Grace Nguyen

These muffins are a little crunchy on top but soft on the bottom. They are totally healthy yet satisfy that sweet tooth at the same time. If you would like to amp them up a little more, you can sprinkle a little brown sugar on top before baking. However, I opted for no sugar this time.

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:

-1 tsp baking soda

-1 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1 cup of oats

-1 cup of flour

-3/4 of maple syrup

-4 tablespoons of coconut oil (not melted)

-2 ripe bananas

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees F.
  2. Mash the bananas in a bowl
  3. Mix all of the ingredients together.
  4. Sprinkle extra oats on top.
  5. Place in the oven for 8 minutes.
  6. At 8 minutes, lower the temperature to 350 degrees.
  7. Finish baking for 10 minutes.
  8. Take out of the oven and let them sit.

 

Desserts · Uncategorized

Orange Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Hello all!

This orange rosemary olive oil cake sounds different but it is seriously an amazing combination. All of the components from the flavors to the texture complement each other so well that everyone in your family is sure to love it!

Flavors: I love the combination of citrus and herbs. There is a tasteful balance that is both sophisticated and delicious. However, finding the right balance for your aromatics can be tricky. Too much citrus can be detract from the sweetness in the dessert and make it unpleasant. On the other hand, too many herbs can be overwhelming and can create the  feeling of having a perfume store in your mouth. Luckily, that’s not the case with this cake. In addition, the olive oil adds another dimension that is subtle yet interesting and palatable. The danger with using olive oil in a cake is that it can seem oily and just weird but, in the right proportions, it can definitely elevate the flavor factor of a cake.

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Photo credit: Grace Nguyen

If you would like to amp up the sophistication even further, try adding a little alcohol. In this particular recipe, I use Grand Marnier. Adding a tablespoon of the liqueur enhances the orange essence in the cake and creates depth in the flavor. Now I am not saying that booze = sophistication. I do believe that too much alcohol in your cake can ruin it and make it seem like a college party in the manifestation of a cake. Just keep it classy and your cake will be classy as well.

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Photo credit: Grace Nguyen

In terms of texture, this is a delicately spongy and moist cake. I used a combination of Greek yogurt and olive oil which allows the cake to be soft, moist, and not gritty. Also, the flour used is cake flour which gives a softer bite to the cake. However, the best part comes a couple days after when the cake is STILL moist. Yes, it stays soft and moist throughout the week. Now you don’t have to eat the whole cake at once although I don’t suggest that anyway.

All together, the flavors and texture make it a perfect treat for a tea party, after a meal, or for any occasion. I hope you enjoy the recipe and, again, please let me know what you think so I can improve the recipe and make more!

This recipe is the first installment of my dessert series where I will be concocting a variety of yummy treats. Stay tuned for more next week!

Best,

Gracie

Orange Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients:

– 1 tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary

-2 tsp of vanilla extract

-2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier

-2 large eggs

-3 medium sized oranges

-3/4 cup of olive oil

-1 tsp of baking soda

-1/2 tsp of baking powder

-3/4 cup of Greek yogurt

-1 cup of granulated sugar

-1 1/2 cup of cake flour

-1/4 cup of powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the oranges. You can also use orange juice from the carton. Use a 3/4 cup of orange juice.
  3. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and rosemary. Whisk together to break up any clumps.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, orange juice, granulated sugar, and olive oil.
  5. Crack in the eggs and whisk.
  6. Add in the Grand Marnier and vanilla extract.
  7. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well.
  8. Spray your cake pan with a non-stick spray and pour in your mixture.
  9. Cover the cake with tin foil but do not allow the foil to touch the top of the cake. This will prevent burning.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clear.
  11. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  12. Sift powdered sugar on top and serve.