Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Strawberry Fan Cookies with Lemon Glaze

I`ve been pretty inspired by all fancy sugar cookie decorations I have been seeing on Instagram lately. But, I`m lazy when it comes to baking sometimes... I know from experience how time-consuming decorating sugar cookies can take, thus, deterring me from actually making them. One day...

These cookies aren`t exactly sugar cookies, more like butter cookies, but you make them in a similar way. You cream together butter, sugar, flour. Let the dough chill, then you roll out and cut out shapes. Luckily, there`s no need to make 50 different shades of royal icing to make these cookies look cute. After you cut out the shapes, you place a little dollop of strawberry jam in the middle and fold up the two bottom sides together to seal, kind of like a flower bouquet! I was gonna called them strawberry bouquets too, but decided to keep the original recipe name instead.

I actually made these cookies for Mother`s Day since they looked like mini flower bouquets to me. My mom also loves lemon flavored desserts, so I added the lemon glaze to give a little acidic punch to each bite!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Green Tea Crunch Ice Cream

I don`t think Southern California has decided what weather it wants to feel like for the past months. It`ll be cold and gloomy for 2 weeks, then hot and sunny the next week. Well, I guess it doesn`t matter to me, because when it comes to ice cream, I always help myself to some.

On a whim I decided to finally buy the Jeni`s Splendid Ice Cream At Home book. You know how there are days, okay, for me, there are many days, where I just feel like buying something. I`m sure it`s unhealthy, but it is what it is. Some days, I want to buy large size milk tea boba. Others, I want to buy cookbooks.

Anyway, Jeni's recently opened a location in Los Angeles and I`ve been dying to go. I have yet to go since it`s over an hour drive away from me. One day I decided to go before dropping my sister off at UCLA, but sometimes the world is mean, and the shop was closed because they had a recall. Oh well, I guess I will just stick to making her amazing ice creams at home! (It has reopened now, though!)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Baked Coffee Cake French Toast

I`m going to start this off with the fact that my dad loved this. He said it twice in the span of an hour. Did you know how happy I was when he said this?! VERY. My dad bakes and likes sweets, but he rarely likes anything I bake because it`s too sweet for his liking. Whenever any of my parents say they like something I make, I always take note.

So, I don`t know if this applies to other Asian families, but in my Chinese-mixed-Vietnamese family, compliments aren`t given frequently. Sure, there are some, such as when my sisters and I get straight "A"s in school or land a job, but it`s gotta be of some importance you know? Especially, my dad, who doesn`t compliment often. When he said this baked French toast was good, he didn`t say it looking at me, but at the food! Although, I must say, as the years have gone by since our childhood, this has changed. My mom and dad praises pretty often now. I bet it`s because they missed my sisters and I while we were in college! They even praise my parallel parking skills. Haha!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Strawberry Apple Crumble Pie

I must confess, I made these pies for Pi day back in March. And I`m posting them in May. Normally, I feel too lazy to bake pie for Pi day, but when I found out this year was extra special because it was 3.1415 (this year added to the irrational number perfectly!), I knew I had to bake pie!

It was a coincidence that I had fresh strawberries and thought I would make some strawberry and apple pies! Since I decided at the last minute to bake a pie for Pi day, I didn`t want to worry about chilling pie dough and then roll it out...so I used Joy's recipe for a crust that you make and simply press into the pie pan. Honestly, I have been meaning to try the crust recipe since I got her book years ago. Better late than never!

Even though I made these for Pi day, they`ll be great for the upcoming Memorial weekend! And definitely for the 4th of July. If you`re attending a BBQ or potluck event, pies are great for sharing. The fruit filling brings out a great summer vibe.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Berry Syrup for Berry Milk + Strawberry Lemonade

I guess I have been on a kick to recreate things I eat lately because this post came about when I bought berry milk from a little shop and it blew my mind. I realize it`s not really anything new...I mean flavored milk like strawberry, banana, and melon milk are pretty darn popular. It just never occurred to make them at home!

This little shop was a drinks and ice cream shop. At first, I was like, um, I`m not paying $4 for strawberry or berry milk...but I didn`t want anything else from their menu so I went for the berry milk. After a few sips I just knew I had to make this or else I would have to spend $4 each time I wanted some, which quite frankly, is every single day.

It actually took me awhile to perfect it. I mean, each time I made the berry milk, it tasted good, but not excellent. Life`s too short not to eat excellent food, right? Fed up that I couldn`t make it amazing, I went back to the shop and bought a bottle of strawberry milk. I let my mom try it because it was so good and she was like, "It seems like they added sweetened condensed milk!" My eyeballs grew big. It made sense though. It was a Vietnamese store and Vietnamese iced coffee is known for having condensed milk instead of milk and sugar! I rushed to make it immediately. It helped that I already had the berry syrup made!