Passion Fruit and Lemon Water

中文菜谱: 百香果柠檬蜜饮

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Passion fruit has beautiful name in China.  We call it “fruit with a hundred fragrances”.  It is true.  Passion fruit deserves that name.  When you closely smell a passion fruit, you can pick up the scents from pineapple, mango, pomegranate, strawberry, lychee…and dozens of other tropical fruits.

It is indeed an amazing and delicious fruit.  Besides eating it with a spoon, I also love making all kinds of drinks with it.    I posted “Iced Tea with Passion Fruit and Berries ” before.  And we are making passion fruit and lemon water today. 

Ingredients:

2 passion fruits
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced
3 to 5 teaspoons honey (adjust the amount according to passion fruits’ tartness and personal taste)
2 cups of mineral water
ice cubes

Directions:

Cut the passion fruits open in the center.  Scoop out the flesh and add it to two glasses, along with thinly sliced lemon and honey.

Add half mineral water.  Stir with a spoon until honey dissolves.  Add ice cubes and remaining mineral water.

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Isn’t it easy and simple? 

You will have 2 wonderful and amazing delicious drinks in less than 2 minutes!

Passion fruits’ taste and flavor are delicate and refreshing, which makes it the perfect drink for summer. 

If you like tea, just replace mineral water with black tea.  It is very tasty too!

Iced Tea with Passion Fruit and Berries

I use 1 passion fruit for 2 glasses of ice tea.  It doesn’t show much in the photo.  But trust me, a sip of the tea, you can tell passion fruit is in the tea.  Its aroma is so strong, intense and unique that I can’t help falling in love with it the very first time I tasted it.

Igredients for ice tea: (serves two)

1 passion fruit
2 to 4 strawberries
1/2 lemon
2 to 3 black tea bags
8 to 10 blueberries
2 to 3 tablespoons raw honey (or adjust amount to personal preferences)
ice cubes
2 to 3 cups of water

Directions:

Boil the water in a small pot.  Remove from heat.  Add black tea bags.  Discard tea bags after 8 to 10 minutes. 

Add honey to the tea when it cools down to not too hot to touch.

Thinly slice lemon and strawberries.

With a sharp knife, cut passion fruit into halves.  

Scope the juice and flesh to two glasses.

Add lemon, strawberries, blue berries and ice.

Add black tea.

Stir and serve immediately.

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Boba Milk Tea with Black Sugar Syrup

中文菜谱:

黑糖鲜奶茶

Yes, we Asian people are totally obsessed with tea, milk tea and boba milk tea. Don’t get me start by counting the milk tea café on the streets in any big cities in China.  Chances are they might outnumber coffee shops and bars combined.

Tea choices in these cafes don’t always stay the same.  There are some hot trends once in a while.  For example, currently milk tea with black sugar syrup is more popular than other ones.

When I am too lazy to drive to China town, I DIY my own milk tea at home.  Trust me; it is so simple that even my husband can manage it! O(∩_∩)O~

The one from above is icy cold version.  And the one following is hot tea version.

For the tea:

10 g black tea leaves/ or 2 black tea bags
4 to 6 cups of water (or adjust water amount to taste)   

 

For black sugar syrup:

1/2 cup black sugar/ or really dark brown cane sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons water  

 

Other ingredients:

Black tapioca pearls (sold in any Asian grocery stores)
whole milk
water for cooking tapioca pearls

 

Directions:

Add black tea leaves to a French press  

Boil the water.  Remove from heat and let it to cool down for a couple minutes to probably around 195F/90C

Add water to the French press.

Add black sugar and water to a small thick sauce pan.  Cook over medium low heat until the mixture becomes syrupy.

It is really dark brown cane sugar and tastes like what we had back in childhood.

Cook the black tapioca pearls according to the directions on the package.  Cook in boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover with lid and leave the tapioca balls in hot water for another 2 to 3 minutes. 

Rinse tapioca pearls and drain well.  Add to a small bowl along with 2 to 3 teaspoons black sugar syrup.  Mix well with a spoon.

Spoon the tapioca pearls to a tall glass.  Add more syrup if desired.

Frother 1/2 cup whole milk with the steam wand from an espresso machine

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Add black tea to the glass, and then frothered milk.  Drizzle some syrup on the top.

Refrigerate any leftover black tea. 

To make the icy cold version, add freshly cooked tapioca pearls, black sugar syrup, ice cubes, milk.  Stir with a jumbo straw for boba

Add black tea and ice cubes.

Add milk

Stir and serve.  It is such a nice treat in a hot summer day!O(∩_∩)O~

Mango Orange Smoothie

中文菜谱: 芒果甜橙smoothie

Summer in Texas comes a lot earlier and faster than I thought.  The temperature bumps up from seventies to eighties, and then to nineties in merely a couple weeks.  It looks like we are going to enjoy all kinds of icy drinks for a really long time.

Mango and orange go really great together.  The combination is refreshing and very tropical-like.  

Ingredients:

1 ripe ataulfo mango
1 sweet orange
1/2 cup ice cubes
water as needed
1 to 2 teaspoons honey (optional)

Directions:

Peel mango and orange.  Cut into small cubes.

Add mango and orange, along with ice and water, to Vitamix  

The fruits are super sweet this time, so I leave out the honey.

Turn on Vitamix.  Blend on high speed until smoothie is smooth and silky.

Pour into a tall glass 

You have a glass of 100% pure fruit smoothie and 100% deliciousness!  O(∩_∩)O~

Homemade Black Sweet Rice Wine

中文菜谱:

黑糯米甜酒酿

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It is a very traditional and common for Chinese people to make sweet rice wine at home.  But it is not really the clear-colored high alcohol content version of “rice wine” you are thinking.  It is non-distilled, very sweet, and more dessert like.

The most common one is made with pure white sweet rice.  Sometime people add different ingredients to make variations too.  This time I add black sweet rice.  After fermentation, it becomes a gorgeous deep purple color.

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Ingredients:

1 cup of sweet rice
1 cup of black sweet rice
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of rice wine starter/ yeast, finely ground
cold boiled water
more water for rice cooking

Directions:

Cook the sweet rice and black sweet rice separately.  I use Zojirushi Micom stainless steel 3 cups rice cooker

Sweet rice absorbs less water than regular white rice.  So use a little bit less water when cooking sweet rice.  And I use “quick” setting.

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The reason I cook two kinds of sweet rice separately is that I want them to keep their own colors. 

Wait for two different rice to be cooked and cooled down; add them to a large bowl; and mix gently with a spatula. 

Sweet rice can be very sticky when cooled down.  That is where cold boiled water comes in. 

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Rice wine starter/yeast is very popular and common in Asian countries.  You should be able to buy it from any Asian grocery stores.  They are usually sold in a small plastic package which contains two round rice yeast balls.  Smash and grind them into fine white powder before adding them to sweet rice.

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Sprinkle sweet rice mixture with rice wine starter/ yeast powder.  Gently mix everything together again.  

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Pat the rice flat, leaving a one-inch hole in the center.  The hole is totally operational.  You don’t have to do it.  It is just a lot easier to observe how much rice wine coming out the rice through that hole in the center.  

Cover with lid or plastic wrap.  Store it in warm dry place for 2 to 3 days. 

At the end of fermentation time, you can test if sweet rice wine is ready or not by its taste.  Sweetness is how we tell.  The sweeter, the better.  If you get blank taste, just put it back, wait for another day, and taste again.

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Sweet rice wine can be served immediately when it is completely fermented, and yes, both liquid and the rice part.  My favorite way is to refrigerate it overnight and serve it cold. 

In my hometown, people used to make pickle vegetables with sweet rice wine in old times.  But fewer and fewer families are still doing so.  Vinegar is quicker and less labor intensive. 

Sweet rice wine can be served cold and hot.  Cooking it with sweet rice cake balls is another classic way to enjoy it. 

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