Vietnamese Popsicles

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Wow. I’m sorry I promised that I would post this vietnamese coffee popsicles and even though it’s super easy to make, I never got around to writing the post.  Anyway, these popsicles are delicious. I like how the sweetness of the condensed milk is tempered by the coffee.  I used a homemade cold brew, as I heard the coffee is stronger that way and it was really simple.  Just let some coarsely ground coffee beans in some cold water and let it sit for at least 24 to 48 hours.  Well, don’t let the fact that summer is ending stop you. Make these popsicles and hold onto summer for the next couple of days!

なんかこのレシピを早く皆んなに教えたかってけどすごく遅くなちゃったw。このベトナムコーヒーのアイスキャンデーはとても美味しいよ。コンデンスミルクの甘さがコーヒーと良くあって暑い時にいいおやつだよ。コーヒーは簡単に作りました。コーヒー豆をひいて水に24時間つけます。夏はもうすぐ終わるけど、まだアイスキャンデーを作る時間はあるよ!

Ingredients:

-1/4 cup condensed milk

-1 cup coffee

 

材料:

-コンデンスミルク(60 ml)

-コーヒー (150 ml)

 

Directions:

  1. Mix together the condensed milk and coffee together in a pourable container like a liquid measuring cup.
  2. Pour the mixture into the popsicle molds.
  3. Chill in the freezer until frozen about 4-8 hours.

作り方:

  1. コンデンスミルク、コーヒーを混ぜます。
  2. 混ぜた物をアイスキャンデーの型にいれ、冷凍します。

And that’s about it! Popsicles are super fun to make, I’ll try to make some more popsicles before it gets too cold.

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Birds Nest Treats!

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Easter is coming up!

Make these super easy, super cute birds nest treats.  It takes only 3 ingredients (broken pretzels, chocolate, and cadbury mini eggs) and it takes no more than 30 minutes to assemble.  Confession: I made them while watching Unbreakable Kimmy. That’s how easy they are! To keep them cute and uniform, I used a round circle cookie cutter to keep the pretzels from sliding around everywhere.

春っぽいおやつを作りました。この可愛い小鳥の巣みたいなおやつはとても簡単です。チョコを溶かし、割れたプレッツェルを加えて混ぜます。チョコプレッツェルをワックスペーパーに乗せて、卵見たいなキャンデーやチョコを乗せる。レシピは、英語だけど下のリンクをクリックするとNYU Spoonと言う大学生様の料理サイトにあります。ニューヨーク大学に通ってた時私は、このサイトでよくブログを書いていました!

Head over to NYU Spoon for the complete recipe here!

Green Tea Icebox Cake

 

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Icebox cake. It’s a two-ingredient, no-fuss dessert. What makes it even better? There’s no need for an oven, so your already overheated kitchen won’t get any hotter. Now icebox cake shouldn’t be confused with ice cream cake. Icebox cake is literally cookies and whipped cream layered together and left to meld to create the perfect combination of cookies and cream. It’s ridiculously easy to personalize too. Whether you want flavored whipped cream or plain, store-bought wafer cookies or homemade ones, a big cake or little individual stacks, it’s all up to you! So this summer, cool off with some icebox cakes with all your friends! You’ll be glad you did!

In this version, I made green tea whipped cream and used these thin sesame cookies that a coworker brought in.  Some similar ones are the Japanese Harvest cookies, which you can probably find in your nearest Japanese grocery store (like Mitsuwa).  I also decided to make individual stacks instead of a entire cake, so I didn’t need as many wafer cookies.

Ingredients: 

-10-15 thin wafer cookies
-1 pint heavy cream
-3 tbsp matcha powder
 

Directions:

  1. Prepare your wafer cookies, whether you’re making them from scratch or simply taking them out of the box.
  2. Add the matcha powder to the heavy cream.
  3. Whip your heavy cream with a electric mixer (or by hand) into soft peaks.
  4. On a thin wafer, drop a dollop of whipped cream and gently top with another cookie. Pressing down gently so the whipped cream spreads.
  5. Repeat dolloping cream and topping with another cookie until you have about 5 or 6 layers. Any taller and it might fall (though if you want to make a lo cake, then simply keep stacking until it nearly topples before placing the stack on it’s side and adding more cookies).
  6. Place in the freezer and allow to firm up, about 3 hours or overnight.

You can also use a 9 inch spring form pan to make a giant cake if you want. I made a chocolate mocha ice box cake, which you can check out here!

Hugs and puppies,

Mimi

 

King’s Cake

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Mardi Gras or “fat tuesday” is coming up and while we, New Yorkers, may not have the magical parades, flashy beads and overall drunken debauchery as some places. We can still definitely join in the festivities right? And nothing says fat tuesday like King’s Cake. Traditionally there’s a small plastic baby hidden in the cake and whoever finds it is crowned king for the night. However, to escape potential choking hazards, I thought it best to replace the plastic baby with a whole almond. But if you really want to go for it, you can find them at party supply stores or buy them off amazon. You can make the pastry from scratch or use ready made pastry such as canned crescent rolls. I used the canned crescent rolls for a quick time friendly recipe, but I think I’m going to try and make the dough from scratch next time. The colors purple, green and yellow symbolize faith, justice and power respectively.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:
Filling
-4 ounces cream cheese (half a block)
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 cup raisins, soaked and patted dry
-1/2 cup pecan halves
Cake
-2 cans of refrigerated crescent rolls
or
-1 packets yeast
-1/2 cup milk
-1/3 cup warm water
-2 tbsp butter
-1/4 cup white sugar
-1 egg
-3/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
-2 3/4 cups AP flour
Icing
-1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
-3 to 4 tbspn milk
-1 tsp pure vanilla
-Purple, green, and yellow sanding sugar*

*you can find these at Broadway Panhandler or NY Cake or Williams Sonoma
 
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a baking sheet with non stick spray. Soak the raisins in hot water for about 15 minutes and pat dry.Chop the pecans into smaller pieces and set aside.
  2. Mix together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the raisins and pecans into the cream cheese mixture and set aside.
  3. Unroll the crescent doughs and layer them on top of each other without tearing them into triangles. Roll out the dough, pressing them together into one single sheet about 1/8 of an inch thick.
  4. Spread the filling around in the center and place the almond or the plastic baby wherever you like. Taking the edge closest to you, roll the dough away, until you get a log. Press the seams together and transfer to the baking sheet. Pinch the ends together to make a circle. It should look somewhat like extremely large bagel.
  5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. While the cake bakes, make the glaze by whisking together the milk, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  7. Drizzle it over the cooled cake and sprinkle the colored sanding sugar over the top.

I actually prefer the french version of King’s Cake called a Gateau de Rois. Maybe I’ll make that next time. I grew up eating this version and I like it much better. The recipe was adapted from this one at Allrecipes.

*I realized AFTER I baked it, that I should have braided the dough so it would look much nicer. I guess that’s what I’ll do next time?

Boxed Mac and Cheese, 5 Different Ways

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Mac and Cheese is a pretty big staple in my life for numerous reasons 1) it’s super easy to make, 2) it takes 10 minutes tops and 3) it fits right in the college student budget. But eating mac and cheese on it’s own can get pretty boring. Here’s my 5 ways to spruce up your mac and cheese without dropping serious cash by going to places like S’MAC. All you’re going to need is a box of mac and cheese and a few extra ingredients.

1. Sweet Red Pepper Mac and Cheese

DSC_8708Prepare the mac and cheese according to the box instructions. Dice some bell peppers into bit size pieces. Once the mac and cheese is ready, toss it with the bell peppers. The red bell pepper will give your mac and cheese a sweet, juicy crunch as well as some vitamin B6, K, A, C, and E! What better way to enjoy mac and cheese than to add something healthy to somewhat balance out your meal? I definitely want to add in some sausage to this and make it a sausage and peppers mac and cheese.

2. Bacon and Mushroom Mac and Cheese

DSC_8705Prepare the mac and cheese according to the box. While the the macaroni is boiling, slice up some bacon and mushrooms into bite size pieces. Cook the bacon on medium high heat until nice and crispy (about 5 to 6 minutes). Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and quickly cook the mushrooms. Salt and pepper your mushrooms and cook on medium heat until tender (about 3 to 4 minutes). Toss the bacon and mushrooms with the prepared mac and cheese. The bacon adds a saltier, meaty tang to your mac and honestly, why say no to bacon?

3. Gruyere Cheese and Tomato Mac and Cheese

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While you’re preparing your mac and cheese, grab some shredded gruyere cheese and a tomato. Dice the tomato into bite sized pieces. When cutting a tomato, it’s best to use a serrated knife so you don;t end up with a pulpy mess. Mix the shredded gruyere with the mac while it’s still warm (it’s probably best to not use the cheese package in this one) and add in the tomatoes. Gruyere and tomatoes always go really well together. The juiciness of the tomato cuts the gruyere and keeps it from being too sharp, but doesn’t completely over power it (you can definitely use this combo for a grilled cheese too!)

4. The Four Cheese

DSC_8711If you like really cheesy mac than this one is for you. Simply go to Trader Joe’s and buy the mixed cheese pack (I used the Mexican mix which had American Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Queso Blanco and Asadero cheese). Prepare the mac and cheese according to the box and while the noodles are still warm, mix in the cheeses. Easy, simple and oh so very cheesy

5. The Faux Hamburger Helper

DSC_8699As the title for this one suggests, you’re just going to mix some cooked ground beef into this mac and cheese. While you boil the macaroni noodles, simply cook the ground beef until it’s no longer red in a pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Dice some onions and caramelize them (cook them on low heat until nice and brown) in another pan. Once the mac and cheese is prepared, add in the beef and onions and mix until incorporated. It’s like eating a burger, but instead of a bun you have mac and cheese!

I hope you have some fun with these recipes! Comment below if you have any favorite mac and cheese recipes, I’d love to hear what you guys like!

Hugs and Puppies!

Mimi

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

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I think everyone needs to have this in their repertoire. Anyone who loves chocolate and has a microwave. But most importantly, all college students. It’s fast, it’s easy and it doesn’t even require an oven. Like it says in the title, it takes only 5 minutes and it can be easily customizable to your own tastes. This recipe comes in really handy during midterms or finals week (during which I add instant espresso powder) or if you just need a break and a sugar-y, sweet pick-me-up. To make this vegan-friendly, simply replace the egg with half a mashed banana and the milk for soy or almond milk. If chocolate’s not your favorite flavor, than just take out the cocoa powder. So grab a mug or two, the ingredients and head on over to the microwave!

Ingredients:

4 tbsp flour
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp chocolate chips (optional)
 

Directions:

1. Mix together the dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl

2. Add in the wet ingredients, mix to combine. Make sure there are no lumps of flour.

3. If you’re using chocolate chips, fold them into the batter

4. Pour into a large mug or two medium sized mugs

5. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes. The center should still look a little wet, otherwise you’ll overcook it and it’ll be rubbery.

Additionally, you can pour some batter into the mug, add a dollop of Nutella and pour in the rest of the batter to make a lava cake-like mug cake and dust with powdered sugar or berries or marshmallows to give it a little extra oomph! I like to make some whipped cream (maybe spike it with some honey liquor or rum) and take the cake out of the mug and make a mini layer cake.

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Home sweet Madrid!

Well after saying goodbye to Patrick, I went off on my whirlwind spring break visiting friends in Brussels, shopping in Milan (but not really), wandering around Frankfurt, lying on the beaches of Kos/Kefalos, and taking in the history of Rome. It was absolutely amazing and tiring. I learned a lot from my experience one: I’m not a multiple countries in one week traveller. I realized I like to take my time in each place I visit. But it was extremely fun! Stay tuned for blog posts about each city/country soon!

What was also amazing was coming back to find that I’ve been nominated for yet another blog! Now that’s pretty cool! I’ve been nominated, thanks to the wonderful and amazing Tina, you really should check out her blog, for the 7 by 7 link award!

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And now for the acceptance speech! 7 random facts about yourself; List 7 of my posts in 7 categories. Nominate 7 more bloggers.

7 Random  Facts about myself:

-While I’m having a blast in Madrid, I’m really homesick for NYC and Tokyo

-I am easily distracted by dogs

-Sometimes I like to chase pigeons…just for fun

-My friends have a mental book of Mimi-isms, aka quotes of the random things I say

-I aspire to go to culinary school (more focused on pastry or bread), but I’m really nervous

-I have a sweet tooth, but it depends on the sweet. (Does that make sense?)

-When I travel, I become the asian(Japanese)  stereotype and take photos of everything, but I hate being surrounded by tourists

7 posts in 7 categories:

Most Chocolate-y: Killer chocolate cheesecake 

Most challenging: My class at the Cordon Bleu

Most loved: Lemon Bars

Nerdiest baked good: Pi day Pies

On Traveling: The Layover, Mimi and Pat style

Most time taken to prepare: Roasted Guinea Fowl and Buttermilk Biscuits

Easiest recipe: Sweetheart cookies

 

7 More bloggers:

My Sweet Addict

The Ranting Chef

Carmelized Sarcasm

Sweet Little Thang

Fae’s Twist and Tango

Handle the Heat

Hungry at Midnight

And that’s all for today! So go check out these awesome blogs and well stay tuned for more travel posts! I also just got an instagram, Miyoreos, so if you’d like to see more travel pics or just photos of my food, check it out!