Lemon ginger muesli

Lemon Ginger Muesli {gluten free, vegan}

August 23, 2015


Lemon ginger muesli

Lemon Ginger Muesli {gluten free, vegan}

August 23, 2015 | 10 Comments

I think one of my favorite things is a blank page. They’re filled with unseen imperfections but are still as inviting as clean, untouched snow. And that, my dear friends, is why I always look forward to the beginning of school. To me, being the high schooler that I am, they symbolize a new start more than any new year. The downsides to filling this invitingly barren canvas is obvious.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, school has already started in the middle of sunny August. It barely seems like the teachers are ready -either that or they’re just taking it easy on us for the first few days. I’m not buried under projects quite yet, but more personal goals; joining more clubs, perhaps being a bit more ambitious and outgoing compared to last year.

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But as you can imagine, school calls for getting up really early which no one likes to do. Especially when the sun is still resting its blazing little head (ok, not so little) on the other side of the planet but your alarm clock insists that you get out of bed. For me to actually roll out of my bed in the morning without clicking the snooze button 10 times and ending up late to school, I always need a little motivation.

Even though muesli is basically just raw oats soaked in milk with some fruit, it is amazing. Something about refrigerator cold milk with softened oats just does it for me. And ofc, I add fruit -lots and lots of fruit. A shredded apple becomes submerged in milk along with dried fruit the night before. It’s the beauty and simplicity that makes this breakfast so flawless.

The reminiscent crunchiness of the apple and the plump soaked dried fruit with the light, nearly melt in your mouth oats makes this irresistible. It makes me get out of bed and not hungry until nearly lunch time (and our lunch is pretty late considering we spend the whole morning climbing up and down stairs… but we do have a long time to eat). Healthy, fruity, and light. What else do you need for breakfast? (although, a croissant or two would def be delicious)

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This muesli is super customizable and you most certainly don’t have to use lemon and ginger if you don’t feel like it. This recipe also uses toasted flax for a little bit of healthy oils and a wonderful je ne sais quoi. Although, funny story… I could only find whole flax seeds in the pantry so I decided to toast them before sticking them in the food processor. Baaaaaaaad idea. Don’t ever try it. Apparently, whole flax seeds will behave like popcorn in a hot pan. Except they’re smaller and x100 harder to clean up. Long story short, they ended up jumping everywhere and half the flax seeds ended up on the floor and in the little crevices of the kitchen instead of in my breakfast bowl. Which needless to say, amused me 50% and annoyed me by 50%. Lesson learned.

Basically, this the complete opposite of those croissant dough recipes that I’ve been hailing down on you guys. All you have to do is mix a few ingredients together (most of which you can omit if you don’t have it/them) and the night before, just stuff everything into a jar, pour over milk and stuff it into the refrigerator. In the morning, spoon on some honey, yogurt and top with some fresh fruit and you’re good to go!

This lemon ginger muesli is 1000% A++++.


// To make the muesli, shred one apple. Place the shredded apple in a bowl with 1/2 cup of muesli mix. Add in enough milk {any kind or use apple/orange juice} to cover and place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, serve with fresh fruit and yogurt.
// If you don’t have some of the dried fruit or nuts/don’t like them, just fill the space up with what you do have (sunflower seeds, chopped dates, etc.). I like my ratio of oats to fruit/seeds/nuts to be 1:1 but you can easily make it to have more oats or fruit, etc.
// If you’re gluten free, make sure the oats are gluten free. If you’re vegan, sub the milk with a non animal milk (almond, rice, etc.) or juice. Use agave syrup or maple syrup instead of honey -and use vegan yogurt or just skip the yogurt, it’s just as delicious.

Lemon Ginger Muesli {gluten free, vegan}
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup cranberries
1/3 cup raisins
1 Β½ tsp fresh ginger
Zest from 1 lemon

Place the ground flax into a pan over medium heat. Toast until it smells nutty.

In a large bowl, combine the toasted flax with the rest of the ingredients

Pour into a jar and cover it with a lid. Store in a dry place.

To serve, follow the notes above.


Brown Butter Morning Buns-5

Brown Butter Morning Buns {a step by step guide with .gifs}

August 16, 2015 | 16 Comments

It feels hot -like sickly sweaty hot. The heat settles like fog, refusing to leave, ignoring objections that it’s being annoying, denying that it’s doing anything wrong. In a way, it was like little cat feet (get the allusion??). One feels lonely without it, but bothersome with it.

My desk is conveniently located so that I’m sitting across from the east facing window. I usually like to do stuff at my desk in the mornings. My window remains open, hoping to catch some waft of wind, but when it does, the curtain comes slapping me in the face. I dare not open my curtains to the sun. Come afternoon though, it becomes a nice haven, full of soft breezes and a warm, cool light and that is when I open my curtains to all that I’ve missed through the day.


Brown Butter Morning Buns
Morning Buns

Brown Butter Morning Buns-2

I guess I’ll just have to find another morning activity other than reading. Or find a different place to do it.

This particular morning, I was reminded by a little bird that I still had 1/3 of a batch of brown butter croissant dough left lonely in the fridge. And since it was bright and early, what’s better than making some morning buns for breakie? Especially morning buns that are layered with brown butter, leaking aromas of orange and cinnamon, and covered in a thin crust of caramelized brown sugar…

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They’re good for a indulgent breakfast or a decadent afternoon dessert (of course, complemented by open windows and breezes πŸ˜€ ) That is, if they last into the afternoon. However by my predictions, these brown butter morning buns will not.


// I think they’re supposed to be rolled in cinnamon sugar afterwards, but I didn’t because they were sugary enough for me. But if you did want to do that, make sure the rolls are warm or the cinnamon sugar won’t stick. And cinnamon sugar is made by mixing cinnamon and sugar together (who would’ve guessed, right?), and I would mix about 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 tbsp cinnamon.
// In case you missed it (although I’m not sure I ever said it)

The croissant tutorial here can make 1 batch of brown butter croissants, 1 batch of pains au chocolat, and 1 batch of these morning buns!!!

Brown Butter Morning Buns

Brown Butter Morning Buns

1/3 cup brown sugar
zest from one orange
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/3 batch of brown butter croissant dough

Mix the brown sugar, orange zest, and cinnamon together. Set aside.

Roll the croissant dough out so that it approximately measures 12" by 9". Sprinkle on the brown sugar mixture and roll the dough up from the long end so that the log measures 12".

Take a piece of string (~3 ft long) and slide it 1 inch under the log. Pull the ends together so that it cuts the log into a 1 inch piece. Place it in a muffin tin/pan. Repeat until the log disappears :D

Let it rise until doubled in size (each roll should fill its muffin tin space), about 1-2 hrs. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Bake at 425 F for 12 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 F and bake for 10-13 more minutes, or until golden.


Brown Butter Pain au Chocolat-8

Brown Butter Pains au Chocolat {a step by step guide with .gifs} //pains au chocolat au beurre noisette

August 9, 2015 | 43 Comments

The English translation isn’t quite right for pain au chocolat… I mean, they’re translated into chocolate croissants but the croissants aren’t chocolate like a chocolate cake. They have little batons of chocolate in them, melty, sticky and utterly delicious. I guess we’ll just have to call them brown butter pains au chocolat. Some things just get lost in translation :/

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In all relevancy to this post, I just couldn’t resist listening to this song that a teacher told me about earlier… I regretted it later though because it’s that type of song that just gets stuck in your head and will. not. come. out. (fyi it’s in French and it’s called le petit pain au chocolat -how can you resist now?). merci bien madame…

Anyhow, let’s get back on topic shall we (were we ever on topic?) ?? Remember these croissants au beurre noisette ?(brown butter croissants… now i’m just either getting braggy on you or i’m practicing for french class -hush Anne stop talking!) If you don’t/haven’t seen them yet, I think you’d better take a look at those right now.

Done? Okeydokie.

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Well now you have to make these because the croissants only used up 1/3 of the dough. And also, who can resist brown butter and chocolate?! These brown butter pain au chocolat/brown butter chocolate croissants/pain au chocolat au beurre noisette are absolutely a+++. They’re flakey, flavorful, and so so pretty + adorable!!! The warm melty chocolate kinda oozes out and fills the little airy holes and the brown butter, ofc makes it the most flavorful croissant you’ll ever eat. In short, they’re utterly delicious so go go make them now!

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And we thought brown butter cookies were good…

p.s. Do they look like they have little faces to you?? Pains au chocolat has always looked like they have little tiny faces to me.


// Brown butter croissant recipe is here. The dough is cut into 3 pieces so that you can make ~10 croissants + 6 pains au chocolat + 12 of what’s coming up next week. Or you can do a combination of two of them. Or just single one out because you like it so much.
// You can melt chocolate to make little 3″ batons, use premade batons, or just chop chocolate and place it in a line.

Brown Butter Pain au Chocolat {a step by step guide with .gifs} //Pain au chocolat au beurre noisette

Brown Butter Pain au Chocolat {a step by step guide with .gifs} //Pain au chocolat au beurre noisette

1/3 of brown butter croissant dough -see notes
chocolate -see notes
1 egg

Roll out the croissant dough so that it measures ~6 in by 12 in. Trim the edges to expose the layers and then cut out 3 by 4 in rectangles.

Place chocolate along the shorter edge and roll up once. Add in some more chocolate and then roll it up fully.

Place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest until puffy and jiggles when shaken, about 2 hours. When you poke it, it should spring back a little but not all the way. It should not deflate :/

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Beat the egg and brush it on the croissants. Make sure you don't brush egg wash onto the exposed layers. Wait 5 minutes and brush it on again.

Bake at 425 F for 12 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 F and bake for 10-13 more minutes, or until golden.

They're best served freshly out of the oven, burn your fingers + tongue hot. Just kidding. But they are better warm.


Brown Butter Croissants-7

Brown Butter Croissants {a step by step .gif tutorial}

August 2, 2015 | 44 Comments

Quite frankly, I’ve grown tired of those recipes that European butter is the way to go. In most recipes, they claim that since it has a higher butter percentage, it’s more flavorful (which is probably true…) and in particular for croissants, it’s easier to work with (probably also true). Being a high school student though means that I don’t exactly have the money to buy butter that’s oh so special because it’s imported from Europe (fyi, it’s approximately 100% more, aka you’re paying twice the price compared to American butter which I totally do not get because aren’t U.S. produced stuff supposed to cost more?), nor do I have the time to search as of where to buy it.

Solution? Brown butter. I have a feeling that brown butter makes everything in the world better. Don’t like regular buttercream? Use brown butter and a sprinkle of salt. Blondies too boring? Brown some butter. πŸ˜€

Plus, I can nearly guarantee that they’re 150.999999999% better than regular croissants -and you can trust me on this. I’ve made croissants so many times, a lot of which I actually documented with bad photos (or bad croissants… :/). They’re so so so flavorful because they use brown butter instead of normal butter and dead flaky. πŸ˜‰

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Croissants are one of those things that feel complex and finicky, but actually aren’t. They’re time consuming, but not nearly as frustrating as macarons. All you have to do is make sure they have enough time to rest in the fridge or else they melt (kinda like moi during school). As a result, they’re hands off not hands on, which is both a plus and a minus, especially during summer. Work with them for too long and you’ll end up with buttered counter tops instead of buttery bread. BUT you do get to do a lot while they’re resting πŸ˜€

Anyhow, this recipe uses both brown butter and regular butter because part of the reason croissants puff up in the oven is that the water in the butter pushes the dough up and evaporates away, leaving holes in croissants like the one above (scroll up like 1.5 paragraphs :D). The 1:1 ratio of brown butter to not, results in a certain je ne sais quoi quality, but you can certainly brown more butter to intensify the flavor if you wish. I wouldn’t suggest browning all the butter though since browned butter is 100% butter and 0% water and the croissant probably wouldn’t puff as high.

Oh and I made .gifs because a recipe that’s like 10 pgs is kinda hard on the eyes. I’m exaggerrratttiinngggggg… But it is long. But no need to worry. πŸ˜€

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These brown butter croissants are so easy (never heard that before hum?) as long as you keep the dough cold. Plus, you can actually get like 1/2 the stuff done on your to do list while making croissants and end up with an enticing, nutty aroma floating and swirling around your house. They’re so flaky on the outside and splinter crumbs everywhere when bitten into (literately, my kitchen was covered with golden shards when I was photographing them -Mom was not happy). But the inside is incredibly soft and feathery light, filled with honeycomb like holes has a light hazelnutty scent in the best of ways. The flavor? Well, nothing short of astonishing -buttery and nutty at the same time.

p.s. Croissants are not actually as hard + time consuming as the notes + recipe make it seem. πŸ˜‰
p.p.s. 1/3 of the dough makes 10 croissants. I have recipes of what to do with the rest of the dough coming up in the following weeks πŸ˜€


// Keep the dough cold -as in very very cold. Freeze your rolling pin if you have to.
// If you want perfect croissants, it’s necessary to trim off the edges that are going to be folded in to avoid trapping the butter. But of course, it’s up to you. It’ll work fine without it, but it’s better if you do πŸ˜‰
// It’s good to follow the measurements given, but again, it’s optional. Don’t spend time trying to perfect the rectangle -chances are, you’ll just squish the precious layers. Oh but measurements aren’t exactly optional when you shape them πŸ˜€
// Brown at least 1/2 of the butter for flavor purposes, but you can brown more. But don’t brown all of it. Instructions to brown butter are in the recipe.
// Letting the dough rest for longer is harmless, but letting the dough rest for less time than specified is harmful. I made these over a few days just because of photography reasons (i.e. I could only actually catch the light that I wanted to for like 4 hours of the day to make .gifs… and the final croissants pictures were taken more or less in darkness), but it’s very possible to make them in one day.
// You can freeze the dough and let it come back to temp in the refrigerator for ~4 hrs if you’re planning on not doing anything with it for a whilllleee (i.e. >1 day).
// You can also freeze shaped croissants and let them rise at room temp. Or you can rise them for ~45 min at room temp and then stick them in the refrigerator overnight and bake them in the morning.
// Did I mention that you should keep the dough colllddd?
// Don’t overproof (you’ll end up with flat croissants) and don’t underproof (you’ll end up with a puddle of butter). A good way to check is lightly poking the croissant. It should come back about 1/2 way but not the whole way and not continue deflating.
// One more thing, don’t proof at a very high temperature (i.e. >85 F) or else you’ll end up with a tray full of butter and croissants without butter.
// Actually two… Since I included grams in this, it’s best if you use a scale and convert it to oz or stay in grams if you so prefer, but cups are actually really inaccurate (I know, I know…). So guess what? Use a scale. Or if you do use cups (against my advice…), just remember, in this dough it’s better for it to be stiffer -it’ll just be really hard to roll if you make it too stiff.
// Croissant tutorial inspired from here. Croissant recipe proportions adapted from here.

Brown Butter Croissants //Croissants au beurre noisette

Brown Butter Croissants //Croissants au beurre noisette

Roll in butter
1 1/2 cup butter
316 g (1 1/3 c) warm milk
5 g (2 1/2) tsp yeast
25 g (2 tbsp) sugar
536 g (3 1/4 c) flour
22 g (1 1/2 tbsp) butter
8 g (2 1/2 tbsp) salt
Egg wash
1 egg
To make the butterblock

Place half of the butter (3/4 c) in a saucepan over medium heat and let it boil while swirling the pan. It will splutter. When the spluttering stops or when the mixture takes a brown color, take it off the heat and pour into a bowl. Add in the rest of the butter and combine. Chill in the refrigerator until solid.

Fold a large piece of parchment paper over so that the square in the middle measures around 7.5" by 7.5". Spoon in the cold butter and fold the sides of the paper over. Using a rolling pin, roll the square so that it has an even thickness. Make sure the corners aren't missing butter. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least 1 hour.

To make the dough

Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and add the sugar. Wait for 5-10 minutes. It should become foamy and bubbly. If not, wait a little longer (~5 min) and check again. If it doesn't get bubbly, it means your yeast isn't alive, so use a different packet/jar of yeast and start over.

Work the butter and flour together into a very floury mixture. Add that mixture to the yeast one, along with the salt. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until tacky. Don't work for too long or else it'll be difficult to roll out.

Roll into a rough square. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Very very very lightly flour the work surface and roll the cold dough into a square that measures 9.75 inches. Unwrap the chilled butter block and place it in the center with the corners of the butter block touching the midpoint of each side. Take the corners of the dough and fold it over the butter block and pinch it closed.

Cover in plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

Take the dough out and roll the block into a rectangle, measuring roughly 21 in by 10.5 in.

Cut off the edge that you're going to fold in Fold into thirds and cover in plastic wrap again. Place in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.

Repeat this so that you fold it three times (i.e. 2 more to go).

Take the dough out after the third fold and cut into 3 pieces. Each piece will make ~10 croissants.

Roll one piece out and trim the edges so that it measures 7 inch by 13.5 inches. Mark 3 inch pieces on the long edge -you should have 4 3 inch sections and one 1.5 inch section. Starting on the other side, on the other long edge, measure 3 in pieces again -you should have 4 3 inch sections and one 1.5 inch section.

Using a ruler and the markings, cut triangles.

Stretch the triangle and roll into a croissant shape. Place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest until puffy and jiggles when shaken, about 2 hours. When you poke it, it should spring back a little but not all the way. It should not deflate :/

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Beat the egg and brush it on the croissants. Make sure you don't brush egg wash onto the exposed layers. Wait 5 minutes and brush it on again.

Bake at 425 F for 12 minutes. Lower the temperature to 375 F and bake for 10-13 more minutes, or until golden.

They're best served freshly out of the oven with jam and honey :D.


Lemon Strawberry Vertical Cake-8

Mini Lemon Strawberry Vertical Cake With Coconut

July 26, 2015 | 44 Comments

Something I really like about Asian bakeries is that their desserts are usually lightly sweetened and come less off as I can make this one at home, unlike their brightly colored and excessively sugar filled counterparts that fill the shelves normal bakeries. Among the racks full of plump rolls, flaky egg tarts, and other things, there are usually boxes full of thickly sliced, fluffy, Swiss rolls. It’s the slightest bit ironic.

The Asian style Swiss rolls tend to roll up cake a bit thicker and spread their filling a little thinner. I guess it’s a matter of preference. Either way, I think Swiss rolls would have to be one of my favorite cakes, passing layer cakes, cupcakes, and most other types of cakes. The thing is that they have a refreshing, fluffy and lightly sweetened whipped cream filling (and maybe fruit!) instead of >3 cups of frosting slathered on.

Lemon Strawberry Vertical Cake Collage2 Lemon Strawberry Vertical Cake-5 Lemon Strawberry Vertical Cake-9

Don’t get me wrong layer cakes are amazing and beautiful, but in my world, Swiss roll cakes pass layer cakes by a tenfold. Plus, I suck at frosting cakes and making it perfect and flawless Swiss rolls tend to be a lot less tedious than layer cakes. The only difficult part is that they like to crack and make the ‘roll’ not so roll-like.

Also, I have never understood why people say to roll the cake up, unroll it, and then fill it. It’ll crack when you roll it up and even if it doesn’t, it will inevitably crack when you unroll it and then roll it back up. Nooooooo I do not have it in me to deal with such stress.

My suspicion has been that the recipes I used didn’t create moist cakes. These cakes are usually made from sponge cake like batter (because eggs = elasticity), but they can’t do it all alone. The moistness from the water would quickly evaporate because these are cooked with such a high surface area. As a result, oil should be used to make this cake super moist and bendable. It’s always scared me to develop a sponge like cake recipe though because beaten egg whites just seem so so fragile. I shouldn’t have been so worried.

This recipe is roughly adapted from here. Her method of making the cake was certainly surprising, intrepidly whisking the egg yolks into the beaten egg whites and then whisking in some more flour and finally folding in the oil. But her recipe + method works so so well that I couldn’t help to be amazed. I’ve converted it into cups, tbsp, and tsp (because cake isn’t an exact science…) and changed a few things and now it’s even better πŸ˜€

I mean, this recipe requires no rolling of the cake before spreading on the fillings, and it will not crack!!! If you folded it back and forth like it was a piece of paper it would probably still not break! Even though I made my cake thinner (because I didn’t have quite the size of baking pan she had), it’s still absolutely fantastic.

Okay anyhow, so I just waxed poetic about Swiss roll cakes for most of this post, but where’s the part when I actually get on subject??? Well, I’ve actually been quite on subject for most of this since vertical cakes are made kinda like swiss roll cakes except you orient them like a layer cake, with the circular part on the bottom and you frost it.

Ugggg frosting. Yeah you have to frost it. And since my apparent dislike for frosting is obvious, and my ability for frosting cakes is limited, I spread on a very very very very very thin layer of frosting, only enough to get the coconut to stick. Oh yeah and I rolled it in coconut to cover up my frosting mistakes which is actually one of the most genius ideas ever and I really should do it more often.

Oh I also suck at cutting cakes so… There’s another reason…

Lemon Strawberry Vertical Cake-7Lemon Strawberry Vertical Cake-2 Lemon Strawberry Vertical Cake Lemon Strawberry Vertical Cake Collage

So this cake? Its minimalist decorations do not give away the ultimate surprise on the inside. A freaking beautiful cake that’s striped instead of stacked, it is soft with bright hints of lemon and a creamy, fluffy inside with lightly sweetened whipped cream and thinly sliced strawberries. The frosting adds a superb sweetness with little bits of salt to contrast the rest of the cake and the coconut brings everything together delightfully. πŸ˜€


// You can make this into a full sized cake by doubling the recipe and rolling all 4 slices together.
// Coconut whipped cream also works well in place of the whipped cream. Recipe here.

Mini Lemon Strawberry Vertical Cake With Coconut
For the cake
5 eggs separated
1/3 cup sugar
Zest from one lemon
1/3 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup oil
For the filling
3/4 cups cream
2-3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup sliced strawberries
For the frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
shredded coconut, as needed

Preheat the oven to 390 F and line + grease a large baking pan (mine was around 13-16").

Whip the egg whites in a bowl until foamy. Gradually add in the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.

Add in the lemon zest along with one egg yolk. Whisk until combined. Add in the rest of the egg yolks, one by one, whisking to combine after each addition.

Sift and whisk the flour and salt in three batches. Fold in the oil.

Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until fluffy and golden.

Let it cool. Meanwhile, breat the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Adjust the consistency by adding in a tablespoon or two of milk.

Whip the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form.

Take the cooled cake and trim off the edges. Cut it in half long ways (or as my elementary teacher would say, "hot dog style" :D). Place the sliced strawberries on both of the strips of cake and spread on the whipped cream.

Starting from the short side, roll one of the strips into a log and then place it on the short side of the other strip. Roll it up to form a cake.

Place it on a surface so that one of the circular sides is on the bottom. Frost the cake thinly and press on the coconut.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.



Apple Nectarine Popsicles

July 19, 2015 | 12 Comments

I am one of those people that believe peaches and nectarines should be kept strictly separate. I’ve always considered the nectarine to be an abomination to its fuzzy, juicy cousin even though the only difference is a mutation of the fuzzy gene. πŸ˜€

So why are these made with nectarines? Simple. We only had nectarines in the house and I can’t drive yet. Plus, it’s sooooo hot outside so I’m staying inside like a hermit.




Pro tip: apples + nectarines do not make a pleasant color -as you can probably tell from these pictures. Oh and also hot days are not ideal for photographing things that melllltttttt.


Anyways, these popsicles taste like apple and nectarines (duh) but are also laced with cinnamon which makes it taste like autumn in july (although, I did see some christmas decorations at Hobby Lobby the other day so maybe I’m not actually that out of season :D). Oh these are also so very refreshing and since they’re mostly composed of fruit, I can eat all of them right?


// You can use peaches or nectarines.
// It’s not necessary to strain the pureed fruit, but I did it for the sake of photography reasons. It does result in a smoother popsicle though πŸ˜€
// If your apple wasn’t hugggeee, I suggest you use two. Mine was nearly the size of a personal watermelon (an exaggeration, but you get the idea). I think it received too much fertilizer.

Apple Nectarine Popsicles
4 nectarines, cored
1 big apple, cored
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp maple syrup

Put the nectarines, apple, and lemon juice into a food processor or blender and blend until no big chunks are left. Strain through a cheesecloth if desired.

Mix in the condensed milk, cinnamon, and maple syrup and taste. If it's too sour, add in a tablespoon or two more of either condensed milk or maple syrup.

Pour into 4 popsicle molds.

Freeze until solid.


Cinnamon Buns-16

Cinnamon Roll Bostock {vegan, gluten free}

July 12, 2015 | 18 Comments

Okay I’m losing track of the days -too normal during the summer because no school!!!

This recipe is basically a twist from the ole almond croissant. So why bostock? I have absolutely no idea… But apparently, it’s a thing. And for a food item to be named bostock and for people to still try it, it has to be pretty good right?

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So let me tell ya, this is goood. It’s got a freaking cinnamon roll for goodness sakes! I used a swedish cinnamon bun so when you slice it open, it’s so swirlyyyyy. Then you squeeze on some orange juice because you’re too lazy to make a syrup, stack on a smooth almondy cream, and sprinkle on almonds and sugar. Oh gawhd…

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All this results in a cinnamony bun with almond and orange flavorings. Heck yeah it’s better than doing it with a buttery croissant!

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-Make sure you use ingredients that follow your dietary restrictions (aka don’t yell at me because I said it was gluten free even though not all cinnamon rolls are gluten free -you can use a gluten free cinnamon roll!)

Cinnamon Roll Bostock {vegan, gluten free}
2 cinnamon rolls, sliced in half
juice from half an orange
1 tbsp milk (cow's, almond, rice, etc.)
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
pinch of salt
sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Spread the orange juice on top of the cinnamon rolls.

Mix the milk, almond butter, sugar, coconut oil, and the pinch of salt together until smooth.

Spread it on top of the cinnamon rolls and sprinkle on the sliced almonds and sugar.

Bake for 12 minutes or until the almonds are golden.


horchata bubble tea-21

Horchata Bubble Tea with Ginger Infused Bubbles!!!!

July 5, 2015 | 20 Comments

Bubble tea horchata? Horchata with bubbles??? I really have no idea what to name this drink. I mean it’s horchata with bubbles from bubble tea but there’s no tea in this! And horchata bubble drink just makes it sound like some artificial mysterious liquid. 😐

Either way in my opinion makes this humble drink sound so exotic! Horchata is a mexican drink that’s perfect for summer because you can stuff it with ice cubes and it’ll still be so so delicious. It’s made with rice (and sometimes almonds) to create a frothy, cold, creamy drink which is so easy it’s unbelievable. I mean, come on I’m 15 and I made it in about 15 minutes (not counting the resting period but counting the clean up time {cause I’m a crazy teenager who takes forever to clean up so you can assume that 90% of the time was taken up by washing dishes})

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Anywho, I don’t know what’s so deliciously intriguing about the chewy tapioca bubbles, but they’re seriously the bomb dot com. If you haven’t tried it because chewing on stuff while drinking on a drink doesn’t sound pleasant, get over it and try something new!!!! Since they’re relatively tasteless, I made a syrup with brown sugar and GINNNGGERRR because cinnamon + ginger just seem to go together (fyi there’s cinnamon in horchata). πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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So yeah, go make this NOW!!! It’s summer so if you’re like me, you’re sitting at home just waiting for the perfect excuse to go make something in the kitchen. If you’re not, this drink is creamy, refreshing and CINNAMONY + GINGERY it’s so very refreshing on a hot summer day (but if it’s cold where you live right now, i’m soooo sorry). :(

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P.S. How to make ice cubes without an ice cube tray

If you don’t have an ice cube tray nor do you have a refrigerator that makes ice, you can make ice by filling a mini muffin tin with water and sticking it in the refrigerator!

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-Bubbles are available at pretty much any Asian supermarket, sold under the name ‘boba.’ I really don’t know the difference between bubble and boba :/
-Alternatively, you can use the directions on the package for the boba since there are so many different kinds with different cooking times (i’m talking about the 5 min ones and the reg ones).
-Instead of using boiling water for the rice and letting it rest for 2 hours, you can use room temp water and let the rice soak overnight.
-You can add tea to this since it’s basically sweetened rice milk with cinnamon.

Horchata Bubble Tea with Ginger Infused Bubbles!!!!
For the bubbles
1/2 cup uncooked boba
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
3 coins of ginger
For the horchata
1/3 cup rice
boiling water
2 cups water
1/4-1/2 cup condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Boil an inch or two of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour the uncooked boba into the boiling water. Stir and let boil for 10-25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Add water as needed. The boba is ready when they're black and when eaten, either have a tiny, tiny hard uncooked dot in the middle, or are completely cooked through (aka not hard anywhere when chewed). Let sit in the hot water for 20 minutes. Drain the cooked boba and put it in a bowl.

Boil the brown sugar, 1/2 cup water, and ginger together until the sugar is fully dissolved. Pour over the boba and add enough water to just reach the top of the bubbles.

For the horchata, pour the rice into a small bowl and add in some boiling water -enough to cover the rice by 2 inches at least. Let the mixture rest for 2 hours.

Line a bowl with some cheese cloth.

Drain the rice and place it in a food processor or blender. Add in the water, 1/4 cup condensed milk, and cinnamon. Pulse until the mixture is grainy -for about 2-3 minutes. Pour over the cheese cloth, gather up the edges of the cloth and squeeze out the liquid. Chill in the refrigerator.

To assemble, put some bubbles in a glass, add some ice and pour over the chilled horchata! I also like to top with some cinnamon, but that's completely optional.



How to make meringues + Eton Mess with Balsamic Strawberries and Blueberries {gluten free}

June 28, 2015 | 22 Comments

Okay, so I decided to make something festive for like the second time, and it turned out to be a 4th of July eton mess. Get the irony? Or is it patriotically unacceptable to have a British dessert on a day in which we declared independence from Britain?

I mean, you don’t have to mention it’s a British dessert. It can just be the most delicious, decadent and fluffy dessert ever. How can it not be? This ridiculously easy and refreshing dessert is composed of meringues, whipped cream, and FRUIT!!!! Specifically, balsamic strawberries and blueberries. If you’re sticking your nose in the air right now, thinking vinegar + strawberries??? that has to be the most disgusting combo ever!, you stand corrected. Trust.



Anywho, meringues are the best things ever. Like really. My perfect one is always going to be crispy all over, but sometimes, it might be slightly chewy in the middle (for that liittttttlllee change in texture, ya know?). Oh and it has to be white. A bit tinted to hit that they were cooked, maybe. But never NEVER in the whole wide world will they be YELLOW or BROWN. No no NO!!!!

Oh and they have to be smooth too. As in the meringue when piped out, should be perfectly smooth and creamy. It should not look curdled. 😐

Meringue Process



Okay, so back to the eton mess. Since they’re made of three components that don’t exactly have to be mixed together for this fail-proof recipe to work, I took this opportunity and LAYERED everything. Yaaaassssss. No regrets.




What could be better on a hot summer day? Even if you don’t make this for the 4th of July, it’s absolutely wonderful anytime! The whipped cream is lightly sweetened and dotted with sweet, crunchy meringues, juicy strawberries, and plump blueberries. The strawberries macerated in the balsamic vinegar really develops more flavor and it doesn’t taste like you put in vinegar at all! I dunno what happens, but the flavor kinda mellows and it’s absolutely the best thang ever. So go! Try it!




-The meringues get soggy after being left out in a humid environment. As a result, they’re best eaten shortly after/day of and keep them in a dry location (I always keep mine in the oven). If they do become sticky and weepy, stick them back in the oven, turn on the heat for the lowest it’ll go and keep it in there for 5 – 15 minutes.
-Any fruit works just fine. I did blueberries + strawberries because it’s what is in season (plus 4th of July!).
-I didn’t put the blueberries in the balsamic vinegar -they were added when layering. You can, however, add in the blueberries with the strawberries to macerate.
-You don’t have to stick the fruit in balsamic vinegar if you don’t want to.
-This is best assembled up to an hour before, or else the meringues get soggy and it kinda beats the purpose of meringues.

4th of July Eton Mess with Balsamic Strawberries and Blueberries

4th of July Eton Mess with Balsamic Strawberries and Blueberries

1 ΒΎ cups strawberries
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup blueberries
3 egg whites
Β½ cup granulated sugar
ΒΌ cup powdered sugar
Whipped Cream
1 cup whipped cream
3-4 tbsp powdered sugar

For the balsamic strawberries (and blueberries), mix all the ingredients together and let it sit for at least 4 hours at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 200 F.

Whip the egg whites. When they become foamy, slowly pour in the granulated sugar while continuously whipping them. Keep whipping until stiff peaks form. Fold in the powdered sugar until fully incorporated. The egg whites should still be pretty stiff.

Pipe rounds onto a parchment sheet.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and let them rest for 30 minutes without taking them out of the oven.

For the whipped cream, whip all the ingredients for the whipped cream together until soft peaks form.

To assemble, roughly crush some of the meringues into a serving glass and drop in some whole ones also. Add a layer of whipped cream, then the fruit. Repeat until the glass is full. Top with some crushed meringues.


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Black Forest {gateau} Doughnuts + How to Pit Cherries!

June 21, 2015 | 42 Comments

Hey friends!!!

Is summer supposed to be a blur? ‘Cause nearly half of it is already and I can hardly believe it. I still have this whole list of stuff to do but then again, I only expected to get 10% of it done anyhow… :/

Okay, so I’ve been working on this doughnut recipe for the past few days. Ya’ll know how crazy against frying I am. I mean, I will probs do anything to the dough before frying it. I’m a baker (aka I use the oven), and the stove scares me like nothing else. Don’t even talk about the crazy hot oil that completely goes NUTS if so much as a droplet of water gets in.

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But guys! I slayed that fear and fried these doughnuts. I could’ve easily just baked some cake doughnuts (after all, these are supposed to be based off of a black forest cake), but I wanted them to be doughnuts, not just a single layer of cake with a hole in the middle.

And then I spent half a day deciding whether to make a regular dough or a chocolate dough for these doughnuts. I decided on chocolate (as you can probs see by the pics), which was absolutely amazing. It’s substantial yet extremely fluffy and slightly bitter (from the cocoa powder) yet sweet enough (espesh with the glaze). Since this is inspired by black forest cakes, I made a whipped cream filling and folded in a cherries cooked in red wine instead of kirsch because I didn’t feel like asking my parents to buy alcohol. :/

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OH the cherry mixture could have easily been replaced by maraschino cherries, but I happen to absolutely despise their bright red color and sickeningly artificial flavoring. They DO NOT taste like real cherries… ug… Rant over.

These doughnuts turned out to be fluffy and chocolaty, with the perfect ratio of slightly bitter to sweet. The whipped cream melts in your mouth with the amazing flavor of cherries (I think you can probs still taste the red wine, but idk… never tasted red wine, because I’m 15 :/) The glaze + chocolate shavings give it a little crunch to add to all that fluffiness.

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-Don’t be scared by the lonnnngggggg recipe. It’s really easy and comes together reasonably quickly (as compared to a 3 layer cake).
-If you just want an yeasted chocolate doughnut, without the glaze and all that tasty stuff, I would suggest adding another 2 tbsp of sugar to the dough, just to make it sweeter.
-Everything but the whipped cream can be assembled ahead of time. In fact, the cherries actually taste better after being marinated for a day or two.

Black Forest {cake/gateau} Doughnuts + How to Pit Cherries!
Chocolate Doughnut Dough
1/2 c milk
1 tbsp yeast
Β½ c bread flour
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
ΒΌ cup sugar
2 Β½ c flour
1/3 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter. softened
1 tsp vanilla
ΒΌ tsp baking soda
Doughnut Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp milk
pinch of salt
Red Wine Cherries
1 cup cherries
3 tbsp red wine
Juice from 6 key limes (1-2 reg lime)
ΒΌ cup sugar
Whipped Cream
1 cup cream
2-3 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Chocolate Ganache
1/2 c chocolate
1/4 cup hot cream
To Top
chocolate shavings
whole cherries {from the cherry red wine mixture, if desired}
For the Components

For the dough, combine the milk, yeast and 1/2 cup of bread flour in a large bowl. Let rest for 30 minutes. Add in the rest of the ingredients for the dough. Mix and knead until you get a smooth dough. Let rise for 1 hour. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to be a thickness of 1/2 - 1/4 inch and cut out ~3 inch circles. I used a mason jar lid. Let rise for 30 minutes.

Heat some oil in a saucepan over medium heat. There should be at least 1.5 inch of oil in the pan. When a chopstick stuck in the oil causes bubbles to go up, the oil is hot enough. Turn the heat down to medium low and drop in the risen rounds of dough. Fry for 2-3 minutes on the first side and then 1-2 minutes on the second. Place on a plate with paper towels and let cool.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar with the salt and add in the milk one tablespoon at a time until the glaze is thick and liquidy.

For the cherries in red wine, pit the cherries for the red wine cherries. Here's how you pit cherries.

With a pastry tip:

With a knife:

Combine the pitted cherries, wine, lime juice, and sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid in the pan thickens slightly. Let cool.

For the whipped cream, whip the cream ingredients until the mixture forms soft peaks.

For the chocolate ganache, combine the chocolate and cream. Wait for 1 minute and mix until smooth. Let cool until to a spreadable consistency.

To Assemble

Dip the doughnuts into the glaze mixture. Let dry.

Meanwhile, combine the whipped cream and the cherry mixture. Stuff it into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.

Fill the doughnuts with the mixture in the pastry bag.

Spread on a layer of chocolate ganache. Sprinkle on chocolate shavings. Top with a dollop of the whipped cream mixture and a cherry.