Bubble Milk Tea with Condensed Milk

中文菜谱:炼乳珍珠奶茶

DSC_2824 2 copy.jpg

Boba/ bubble milk tea is so widely popular in Asian countries that you can find hundreds of tea houses in big cities.  I notice that they are getting popular here in USA too.  More and more tea stores are opening and more cafes begin to serve milk tea too.

Ingredients:

250 ml water
8 to 12 g black tea leaves
60 ml milk
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
black tapioca pearls (available in most Asian grocery stores)
1/4 teaspoon honey
ice cubes

Directions:

Boil the black tapioca pearls according to the directions on its package.

Rinse cooked black tapioca pearls under running water for 5 seconds.  Drain well.  Transfer to a tall glass. Add honey; mix well.

My friend sends me some good black tea which she brought back from China. 

In another small stainless steel pot, add water.  Cook over medium high heat until it reaches about 90C.  Add black tea leaves and let it soak for 5 minutes.  Do not cook water until it boils.  If the water boils, it is too hot for make good tea.  Just allow it to cook down a couple minutes before adding black tea. 

Drain the tea.  Discard tea leaves.  Measure 150 ml black tea.  Set the rest aside.

Add about 1 cup of ice cubes and sweetened condensed milk to a shaker

DSC_2783 2 copy.jpg

Add 150ml black tea along with milk

 If you prefer stronger tea flavor, use a little bit more tea.

Cover with lid.  Shake vigorously for a slow count of 20.

See the thick milk foams over the top?  That is why we call it bubble milk tea O(∩_∩)O~

Pour into the glass.  Now you have a beautiful glass of bubble milk tea. 

Sweetened condensed milk can also be substituted with syrup.  I personally prefer condensed milk for its rich flavor.

DSC_2838 3 copy.jpg

Mulled Wine

中文版:

圣诞热红酒

During the Christmas / New Year holiday season, I made several batches of mulled wine.  It is quite tasty and festive, perfect for a layback afternoon by the fireplace.

Most alcohol has evaporated during cooking process, so even people who don’t usually drink can also enjoy it. O(∩_∩)O~ 

DSC_2034 2 copy.jpg

The recipe is originally adapted from Ina Garten’s mulled wine from foodnetwork: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/mulled-wine-recipe-1950801.  The original version requires more spices, a little too much for my taste.  So I do some minor changes according our preference.  Many thanks to Ina Garten! O(∩_∩)O~

 

Ingredients:

1/2 bottle red wine (I use merlot)
2 oranges
2 cups of apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons of honey
2 cloves

Directions:

Juice one orange and peel the other one.  Arrange orange peel in wine glasses for decoration and more flavors.

Add red wine, orange juice, apple cider, cinnamon, honey and cloves in a stainless steel pot.  Cook over medium high heat until it boils.  Reduce the heat to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

DSC_1857 2 copy.jpg

Divide the mulled wine between glasses with orange peels

Serve hot immediately

DSC_1999 2 copy.jpg

New Year’s Eve Hot Pot

中文版:元旦火锅

Hot pot is an amazing and authentic way for Chinese people to enjoy food and life.  It is available all year around in China, but it is more popular during winter times.  When cold weather comes, hot pot is not just comfort food, but also very functional.  The pot boils from beginning to the end of whole dinner time so that whatever you eat is always freshly cooked and piping hot. Who doesn’t want that?  O(∩_∩)O~ 

There are so many ways to do hot pot.  It can be as complicated as costing you a couple days to prepare its delicious broth; or it can also be as simple as just adding water to the pot.

I usually go with homemade broth.  Whenever I want to save some time or simply don’t feel like cooking, I buy hot pot kit from Asian grocery stores.

Pick any vegetable and meat you like.  Clean and chop them into small size for easier consumption and faster cooking.  We like thinly sliced beef and lamb, shrimps, Tofu, lotus root, bamboo shoots and snow pea tips. 

DSC_1427 2 copy.jpg
DSC_1434 2 copy.jpg

This is my go-to spicy hot pot broth base.

I usually prepare two kinds of broth.  One is spicy while the other is not so that everyone will be happy around the table.

DSC_1460 2 copy.jpg

Sichuan style dipping sauce usually includes minced garlic, cilantro, green onion, salt and a little bit of oyster sauce.

Everything is ready

Now let’s eat!

DSC_1557 2 copy.jpg
DSC_1590 2 copy.jpg

Happy New Year everyone O(_)O~

DSC_1609 copy.jpg

Smoked Cornish Hen with Five-spice Powder

中文:五香熏鸡

DSC_0066 2 copy.jpg

Since the day we got the new smoker earlier this year,  we've become obsessed trying different recipes smoking a variety kinds of meat O(∩_∩)O~ I did a smoked Cornish hen this time with a little bit of Asian twist in it.  It turns out gorgeous and quite tasty.  It might just  be our new favorite!

DSC_0080 2 copy.jpg

Ingredients:

1 Cornish hen
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1 to 2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 to 2 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups of water
salt to taste

 

Directions:

Add ground white pepper, rice cooking wine, sugar, soy sauce and salt to a medium bowl.  Whisk while slowly adding water to the bowl. 

Add Cornish hen.  Massage for a few seconds.  Cover with plastic wrap.

 Refrigerate overnight.  Flip the hen once or twice in between to marinate more evenly.

Preheat the smoker to 225 F/107 C

Add Cornish hen.  Smoke for about 3 hours or until it is golden brown.

I have to tell you this is one of most beautiful smoked chickens I have ever seen O(∩_∩)O~

DSC_0062 2 copy.jpg

A duck has been smoked before adding the Cornish hen to smoker.   Here is how to smoke a duck with sea salt and Sichuan peppercorns.