Strawberry Rosewater Smoothie

Ever since I bought a blender a few months ago, I haven't gone a day without using it. There were weeks when I bought so many bags of frozen blueberries that my favorite grocery store would run out. When I'm working from home, I'd make 2 or 3 smoothies a day. But, I guess, there are worse things to be addicted to.

Now that fresh berries are in season, the smoothie making has gone into overdrive. There is no time that's inappropriate. Sometimes I'd even make one at 11pm, to sip on the couch while reading a book or catching up on Mad Men. (Sorry, neighbors, for the extra-loudness of my blender.)

I mean, with fresh strawberries that look like these, how can you not?


Homemade Frappuccinos

I'm a creature of habit when it comes to some things. Like how I like my eggs to be cooked. (Sunny-side up with a runny yolk.) Or chocolate chip cookies. (This recipe is my go-to.) But not when it comes to my morning caffeine.

Some mornings I'll feel like black coffee, plain and simple. Other days, a single shot of expresso. Or a cappuccino. Aromatic single origin coffee from some new raved-about coffee shop can feel nice and decadent. Bodega coffee is perfectly fine too. From time to time, I'll just scrap the coffee thing altogether and do a green tea smoothie.

This week, my go-to morning beverage has been a homemade frappuccino. I don't know where this craving came from, actually. Maybe it was all those grocery shopping trips in the hot sun, which required me to lug home heavy bags while passing by a Starbucks and see all those people relaxing on the bench outside with their big frothy frappuccinos. And thinking, hey, I need one of those, but maybe I could make it better at home.


Green Tea Coconut Smoothies

I am on a green tea kick this week. In addition to my usual cold brew coffee in the morning, I've been sipping plenty of iced matcha lattes in the afternoon as a refresher. (My apartment has been getting really warm and stuffy this past week, even with the windows wide open.) Yesterday, I decided to deviate from the routine and make a green tea smoothie instead.

Or rather, a coconut green tea smoothie. I've started keeping a steady supply of coconut water in the fridge in addition to almond milk for blended drinks, and it's great on days when I'm in the mood for a lighter-than-usual smoothie.

Breakfast, Drinks, Recipes

Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie

I've been making smoothies non-stop these past few weeks. Maybe it's in anticipation of all the ripe late spring and summer fruits that will soon be in the markets. But lately my breakfasts have been looking more like the smoothie above instead of this or this. And that's a very good thing.

Until blueberries are in season, I'm making do with the the frozen kind. Frozen berries can often be too bland, so I was pretty happy to come across these, from Stahlbush Island Farms in Oregon. They're incredibly plump and tasty for frozen berries, plus the packaging is biodegradable to boot. Win win. 

Drinks, Recipes

Avocado and Coconut Smoothie

A few years ago I spent two weeks traveling through Vietnam and became hooked on a drink called sinh to bo, or Vietnamese avocado shake. When I got back to the US, I experimented with recreating the shake and wrote a recipe for my other blog Appetite for China.

Traditionally, Vietnamese avocado shake is made by mixing together mainly avocados and sweetened coconut, sometimes with a bit of ice and coconut milk added. As good as it tastes, the shake is also pretty thick and sweet, more of a spoonable dessert than a refreshing sip. So yesterday I decided to make lighter version of the avocado shake I loved from that summer.

Cocktails, Drinks, Recipes

Blood Orange Rosemary Gin Fizz

What do you do with a big bag of blood oranges hauled back from the market?

The choices are endless. With their sweet flavor with hints of berries and cherries, blood oranges naturally lend themselves to sweet and savory recipes. I could make a pound cake or muffins or a salad or sauce for chicken. But there's something to be said for just squeezing the heck out of them for a tall glass of juice. Or any refreshing drink.

Cocktails, Drinks, Recipes

Pink Gin

Some days, when I get back home after a long day of prepping for and teaching a class at night, I just want to collapse on the couch with a glass of wine. And inevitably of course, some days I get back home and realize I don't actually have any wine around the house.

Yesterday was one of those days. I got back home close to 10pm with a slice of pizza and just didn't feel like trekking back out again, especially in the wind and snow. So I did the next best thing: make myself a gin cocktail.