Posts tagged tea
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Pops
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

Ah, September. September is that awkward month where EVERYONE is coming down from a high of Labor Day Weekend and have pumpkin spice lattes pumping through their veins… but I’m over here still making popsicles and cold noodle salads because summer is actually just starting in the Bay Area. Hopefully… I’m looking out my window right now the sky is pretty grey and I’m looking for my sweater. I bet you a pudding pop that the Sun will come out and I’ll be all sweaty after my grocery store run this afternoon.

Before I rant about how I’ll be cooking recipes in a seasonal limbo this month, tell me how your LDW was! Reuben and I rarely plan to leave town during holiday weekends because we have a fear of holiday traffic and large groups of people trying to do the same thing… BUT we actually booked a weekend away without realizing that it was in fact Labor Day Weekend. Silly us. It worked out for us because it turns out not that many people know about Placerville, CA! We were looking for nature-y Airbnbs with a pool or access to water without the Lake Tahoe price tag or mass of people. So we found this lovely spot called Reverie Retreat complete with an insane pool, an edible garden, and some yurts! We stayed in the cottage though because I’m too much of a wuss to stay in a yurt right now.

It couldn’t have been more perfect. The mountains and views were like a Bob Ross painting, the pool was crisp, the rivers were chilly but refreshing and not too far, and the closest city was quirky and weird. We swam every day, got a little tan, watched a Reggae Dance Hall show and a Folky Bluegrass concert without even trying, ate the best coconut shrimp and hush puppies, and consumed enough chips and beer cheese for the rest of the year. I would say it was an A+++ weekend! We started looking at property around the area and day dreaming about having our own land with yurts and a garden. Could you imagine a mountain dumpling workshop?!!!! We will see…

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

Let’s get back to these pudding pops! These Spiced Hojicha Pudding Pops are going to help me transition during this weird season of Summer/Fall flip flopping. Popsicles are summery for obvious chilly reasons, but I feel like pudding pops are a great medium for bolder and deeper flavors. The creamy milky consistency is just calling for some spices to cut through the richness of the milk!

Hojicha is a roasted green tea. I love it so much! It’s nutty, smokey, toasty, and a little caramel-y. For people who say that tea is just not their thing and they must have coffee in the morning, I recommend giving hojicha a shot. It has a similar deep richness as a cup of coffee, especially if you brew it strong! When you add in a dash of cinnamon and cloves elevates all those cozy flavors even more!

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

How To Make Hojicha Pudding Pops

I’ve historically been a icy popsicle person because those recipes require almost no effort at all. But when I first started making pudding pops I realized that pretty much all popsicles are super easy to make! Pudding pops require maybe 1 extra step of cooking the milk to thicken the consistency, but that step only takes a few extra minutes! I also forgot how satisfying having creamy popsicle can be!

The step in making these Hojicha Pudding pops is infusing the tea with the milk. I use this method in all my tea based recipes. All you do is simmer the milk with the tea leaves to extract as much tea flavor as you can. In this case, we simmer the tea and milk for 5-7 minutes. The milk will have a nice caramel color to it. You then strain out the tea leaves and place the milk back in the pot to continue cooking with some cornstarch (as the thickener), some spices, and sugar. Once the mixture is thick you pour it into the molds and freeze until solid. THAT’S IT.

If you want to be extra fancy, you can drizzle on some chocolate and add a sprinkle of sea salt. I highly recommend this extra step because the bites with a big salt chuck are just soooooooo good!

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles
Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

These popsicles can keep in the freezer for a few weeks! Until freezer smell starts to creep in or until you invite some friends over and they disappear in a few minutes! I’m having some ladies come over tonight so the few pudding pops left in my freezer might be gone by tomorrow. I’m going to bake my first pumpkin thing today because I’m not a monster. I really do love Fall, I just wish our weather wasn’t so silly and crazy! Happy Fall and transitional popsicle making, friends!

Also! Below are some snaps from our sunny weekend : )

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Popsicles

Spiced Hojicha Pudding Pops

makes 10 - 3oz popsicles

materials:

3 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup loose leaf hojicha tea leaves
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup dark chocolate - optional
1 tsp coconut oil - optional
flakey sea salt - optional

steps:

  1. Add milk and tea leaves to sauce pan or medium pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Watch the milk because it has a tendency to boil over. Turn off the heat and pour the milk and tea mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a heat proof container. Discard the tea leaves.

  2. Add the tea infused milk back into the pot. Turn the heat onto medium low - barely simmering. Whisk together cornstarch and water and pour into the milk while continually whisking. Add spices and sugar. Whisk for an additional 3-4 minutes until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.

  3. Pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup and allow to slightly cool for 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid - about 4 hours.

optional decoration step:

  1. Melt chocolate and coconut oil over a double boiler until smooth. Or melt in the microwave in 15 second increments, mixing in between. It’s important to only microwave in 15 second increments so the chocolate doesn’t burn.

  2. Remove the pudding pops out of the molds and place on a parchment paper line baking tray.

  3. Drizzle the chocolate over the pudding pops and sprinkle with flakey sea salt. Place pudding pops back in the freezer to firm up or until ready to enjoy.


Labor+Day+Weekend+2019+-+Eat+Cho+Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Labor Day Weekend 2019 - Eat Cho Food
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte
Cho Best Matcha Latte

Hey there! How has your week been?? I've been taking things slowly lately. After a few really hectic weeks, my body just needed a major reset. Over the weekend, Reuben and I lived our best homebody lives. We finished Queer Eye in a day, caught up on the craziness of West World, and made pizza (Reuben made it while I melted on the couch). Speaking of couches! We did manage to leave the house for some fresh air and some West Elm research. Our TV watching spot is about to get a nice upgrade! Oh, and we also went over to our good friend's parent's house for a beautiful dinner party full of cheese, clams, and Polly Ann Ice Cream. It was the best! It's always so nice to have someone else prepare an great meal for you. Alex's parents have a house in the Inner Richmond, so not to far from us, and it is the most beautiful place. If you dream of the ideal San Francisco home, this is it. Bright, sunny, breezy, charming, and with a backyard full of plums and other tasty things. I wonder if they would let me move in??

The weekend was everything that I needed it to be. Calming. I feel like with all the travel and craziness over the last 6 weeks, I've fallen out of my daily rhythms. Since I typically have a bunch of things happening at the same time, whether that's balancing work with blogging or the handful of other side hustles or just managing to make dinner most nights, I need daily rituals to help ground me. For a solid 5 months I was really good at getting up early enough to make myself breakfast and a matcha latte. I'm not a waking up person... but once I'm awake I'm a morning person... if that makes sense. I always look forward to the morning so I could plate a pretty bowl of yogurt and whiz up a frothy and warming matcha latte. Those 15 minutes of calm and focusing on one simple task helped me set myself off on the right foot each morning. I've finally started getting back into that rhythm this week. Well not this morning, because I had to wake up at 4am to drive 1 hour for a 6am meeting... 6am meetings should be illegal, right??! But other than this morning and some sick vibes I've somehow combatted, I'm feeling good. 

Good thing too, because I need to get back into the kitchen and share some real food with you guys and not just popsicles and matcha lattes! This matcha latte is the best though. I promise! I posted an iced matcha latte recipe about a year ago and honestly, you can ignore that recipe lol. I've learned a lot about matcha and how I like to make own matcha latte at home over the past year. When I first had matcha, it tasted like seaweed to me... but eventually I got over that or maybe I've found better tasting matcha since them. If you're looking to purchase matcha powder I highly recommend Mizuba Tea Co. or Ippodo. I currently have Mizuba Culinary Organic Matcha in my kitchen and I really love it. The color is super bright green and the flavor is strong. I like to buy culinary grade matcha because I can bake with it too. You really shouldn't waste ceremonial grade matcha on baked goods. If you do buy it, make sure to store your matcha in a dark place, otherwise the sun with cause your matcha to turn a little pale green grey. I learned that the hard way!

My secret ingredient to Cho Best Matcha Latte is vanilla infused agave syrup. I've had many coffee shop matcha lattes, but the best one I've ever had was from this random coffee shop up in Tahoe. I can't even tell you the name of it right now. But I asked them what they put in theirs because it just tasted so unbelievably good. Sweet but not too sweet. The matcha flavor was strong and not diluted from too much milk or water. And there was an interesting flavor I just couldn't put my finger on. The coffee shop told me they used vanilla agave syrup! Such a good idea! Infusing the vanilla bean pod in the agave gives it a really beautiful, light, and almost floral vanilla flavor to the latte. It also works great in regular old coffee! I tried it this morning. Coconut butter is another secret ingredient I've picked up. It adds a really lovely coconut flavor and also helps make the latte extra thick and frothy without all the extra milk! I sometimes add collagen protein powder or maca powder for some extra health points, but you can experiment with whatever you like! Add a little dash of pumpkin pie spice in when October comes along.

Another secret tip for making Cho Best Matcha Latte is using a blender! Don't be ashamed. It's is like a million times faster than whisking it by hand, frothing your own milk, and then artfully combining everything. I love my quiet mornings. But I don't have hours to spend at home doing it all at a snail's pace. While my water kettle is boiling, I prepare everything else in the cup of my immersion blender, and then whiz it up for a minute once my hot water is ready. It's crazy easy. You can save the matcha whisk for a special occasion or if you want to fit in a morning arm work out.

I hope you get the chance to make Cho Best Matcha Latte soon! And I hope it brings you as much calm and joy as it brings me : )

*** Also happy birthday to Reuben's Mom today!!! and happy birthday Cho Momma tomorrow!!!!! Yay, Moms!


Cho Best Matcha Latte

makes one 12oz latte

latte materials:

1/2 cup warm milk
1 cup just boiled water
1 tsp matcha powder
1 tbsp coconut butter
1 tsp vanilla infused agave syrup (see recipe below)
* you could also use honey

vanilla infused agave materials:

1 vanilla bean pod
2 cups agave

vanilla infused agave syrup:

Split the vanilla bean with a sharp knife lengthwise, careful to not cut the pod all the way through. Scrape out the vanilla "caviar" and mix with agave. Place the scraped bean pod in the agave as well. Seal up the jar and allow the vanilla bean to infuse for at least 24 hours. Remove the pod after 3 days and store the agave in a cool dry place.

hot matcha latte:

Combine warm milk, just boiled water, matcha powder, coconut butter, and vanilla agave in a blender or vessel for an immersion blender. Blend for 1 minute until frothy. Pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

iced matcha:

Combine hot milk, matcha, and agave in a blender or vessel for an immersion blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Pour over ice and add in milk.

Cho Best Matcha Latte
Jasmine Milk Tea with Brown Sugar Boba
Jasmine Milk Tea with Brown Sugar Boba

I have a shorty post for you this week. There is a bit too much life happening and not enough time to fit everything thing at the moment. I'm leaving for LA tomorrow! And then I'll be meeting up with my friends in the desert for best friend Jeff's bachelor party! In between now and my flight to LA I need to pack, do my freaking taxes, make sure Reuben has food for the weekend, get some real work done, and pick up my inflatable pineapple inner tube. Getting the inflatable pineapple and finishing my taxes are obviously top priority. Please send me good luck and lots of thai food.

Gosh, I really need a boba tea. I often think about the day when I won't have the luxury of living a few short minutes away from a great boba tea place. It's going to be tough, but I will be ready! Making your boba tea is actually pretty easy. Plus you feel lot better drinking it knowing what you're actually putting in the tea. The biggest thing for me is being able to control how much sugar I put in my tea. I always order 30% sweet at the tea shops and I find it still plenty sweet. It makes me sort of grossed out thinking about how much sugar 100% sweet is.

Do you have a go to milk tea flavor? For me it's either classic black milk tea, taro, or jasmine! Jasmine is a really light and beautifully floral tea. Perfect for spring. My family always ordered chrysanthemum tea when we went out for dim sum, it has a really similar floral flavor. When I was a kid I would pour myself a little cup of tea, add an entire packet of sugar in the cup, and wait for it to cool throughout the whole meal. Once we finished all our food I would have a cup of chilled and super sweet tea. It was awesome. My brother and my little cousins followed my lead obviously. So I guess you could say I was obsessed with my sweetened tea drinks from the very beginning.


Jasmine Milk Tea with Brown Sugar Boba

makes 2 - 4 milk teas

for jasmine milk tea:

2 jasmine tea bags
2 cups just boiled water
perfered dairy
ice

for brown sugar boba:

1/2 cup dried boba
4 cup water + 3/4 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar

1. Prepare your boba first. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Add dried boba to the boiling water, cover the pot, and boil for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, keep covered, and let the boba sit in the hot water for an additional 3 minutes. Remove boba from water and place in a heat proof jar. 

2. Start making your brown sugar simple syrup by boiling 3/4 cup water. Add in the brown sugar and whisk until dissolved. Remove simple syrup from the heat and allow to slightly cool for 2 minutes. Carefully pour the simple syrup over the boba balls. Allow the balls to soak in the simple syrup for at least 30 minutes.

3. Steep 2 jasmine tea bags in 2 cups of just boiled water for 8 minutes. Discard teabags. Pour 1 cup of tea in a steel shaker with some ice, desired amount of your preferred diary, and a tablespoon of the brown sugar syrup. Give it a quick shake to mix.

4. Pour milk tea over a glass of ice and sweetened boba. Enjoy!

Jasmine Milk Tea with Brown Sugar Boba