Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Green Milk Tea Bubble Drink

While at the Asian grocery store I decided to pick up a package of tapioca pearls and eventually think of a dessert to use with it. I was watching Sandra Lee's Semi Homemade and the theme was Asian food. At the end of her show she made a bubble drink but with...get this...vodka! No way jose I thought! haha So I remembered I had a package of tapioca I could use to make my own bubble drink...sans vodka. My favorite summer drink is a bubble milk tea from Maria's Hong Kong restaurant in Rockville, MD. Since the weather is getting warmer around here I thought I'd make it today.

If you're not familiar with what bubble tea it's a colorful blend of sweetened tea or juice with sweetened cooked tapioca pearls or coconut jelly and often a creamy addition or flavoring syrup or powder. The bubble teas you usually get at the store are big black pearls but I only had the small ones on hand. This would be great to prepare for a summertime bbq that's refreshing and your guests will love!

Prepare the green tea or any tea of your choice

4 cups water
Green tea, any brand
  1. Boil the water and steep 5 bags of green tea
  2. Let cool
How to cook bubble tea tapioca pearls

2 1/2 cups or approximately 6-10 servings
Use shorter cooking time if you plan to refrigerate the pearls several days

1 cup large black or white tapioca pearls
6-8 cups water
  1. Never use less than 6 cups of water for each one cup of dry tapioca pearls. 8 or 10 to one is better.
  2. Most people like the pearls a little soft on the outside but a bit chewy. If you like your pearls tender all the way through, measure them, then cover with water and soak them for a few hours before draining and cooking.
  3. Bring the cooking water to a vigorous boil in a large pot.
  4. Stir in the tapioca pearls slowly, so they do not stick together or sink into a clump. The tapioca pearls will soon rise to float in the water.
  5. As soon as they float, boil covered for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the tapioca pearls. Stir two or three times during cooking.
  6. Turn the heat off and let the tapioca sit in the cooking water for another 25 minutes. Stir two or three times during soaking.
  7. Rinse the cooked tapioca pearls in tap water until the water runs clear and drain.
  8. Cover with bubble tea sugar syrup or brown sugar syrup, stir to coat. Refrigerate covered if not used right away; they will keep three or four days before they get too mushy.
  9. When you want some bubble tea, boil a cup of water and warm some refrigerated tapioca pearls for about 3-5 minutes. Then stir into the drink. Enjoy!

How to make bubble tea sugar syrup

This syrup is used BOTH to cover the cooked tapioca pearls and to sweeten the freshly made drink. Use all white sugar to flavor pearls for delicate fruit flavors and green tea drinks.
Use 1-2 tablespoons syrup for each 16 ounce serving.

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups water
  1. Mix sugar and water in a large pot.
  2. Cook at medium to high heat.
  3. As soon as the sugar dissolves and the mixture boils remove from heat.
  4. Let cool and refrigerate or serve.
Pearl Bubble Milk Tea

This is the classic bubble tea drink. The most popular flavors are black tea and green jasmine tea. The cream may be omitted.

3/4 cup strong tea base 

2 tablespoons creamy ingredient 
(milk, creamer, etc.)
1 tablespoon bubble tea sugar syrup

1 cup ice
3 to 4 tablespoons cooked Bubble Tea Tapioca Pearls
  1. Put tea, creamy ingredient and bubble tea sugar syrup in shaker and mix well.
  2. Add in ice, cover shaker and shake for a nice froth.
  3. Add tapioca pearls to the glass, and pour your drink over. Stir and enjoy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cooking Lesson Round 1 - Southwestern Stuffed Mushrooms

I somehow convinced my friend, Randi, to do a cooking lesson with me. She is a vegetarian and doesn't cook that often. We're going to be cooking a vegetarian dish once a month and will be featured on this blog. Here we go!

Randi loves portobello mushrooms but has never cooked with them before. I found this recipe on Mommie Cooks! website that features a southwestern stuffed mushroom. We opted out the chicken and cilantro but if you like those ingredients go ahead and add them in. This recipe looked very easy for Randi to follow and delicious as well.

Southwestern Stuffed Portobelo Mushrooms


6 Portobello Mushrooms, Stems Removed
6 Tbsp Olive Oil (about 1 Tbsp for each mushroom)
1 Tbsp Butter
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Coriander
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Bell Pepper, Chopped (whichever color you prefer)
3/4 Cup Corn
3 Oz Fresh Spinach, Roughly Chopped
1 Tomato, Chopped
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Lime, Juiced
1 Small Bunch Cilantro, Chopped
2 Green Onions, Chopped
6 Ounces Cheddar Cheese, Shredded


  • Brush the portobello mushrooms with olive oil and let them bake in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 5 minutes.
  • Heat up the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat and add in the chopped pepper and corn. 
  • Add in the cumin, coriander, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and salt.
  • Cook another minute or two until the peppers are tender.
  • Add in the spinach and stir it a few times until it wilts.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add in the tomato, sour cream, lime juice, cilantro, and green onions.
  • Add the mixture to each of the six mushrooms and top with cheese.
  • Bake the finished mushrooms in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lulu's Redo Chocolate Chip Cookie

So I decided to take a twist on the chocolate chip cookie and this is what I came up with. Its healthier than your average cookie. Its soft and chewy, and well, its yummy too.

1.25 cups white all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 bag of Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
2 bananas
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 oz plan Greek yoghurt
2 oz canola oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
So first preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then mash the bananas and mix well with the sugar, yoghurt, oil, and vanilla. Once completely mixed, add all the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips. Once well mixed and the chips. This recipe makes 12 LAGRE cookies. Spoon the batter on a cookie sheet (not greased) and bake for 10 minutes. All the cookies to cool down and enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pretzel Dogs!

Sports game nights in our household usually entails beer, snacks, and pretzel dogs. The Caps game was on tonight, so I thought the perfect dinner would be this. Unfortunately the Caps lost, but I won in making these. Don't get intimidated by the name and I know it seems easier to go buy these at the store but you guys won't be disappointed!

Makes 8 bun size pretzel dogs
Adapted from A Dash of Sass
Adapted from Alton Brown’s Homemade Soft Pretzels

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 package dry active yeast
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 cups water
2 tablespoons baking soda (this is what makes the pretzel crisp)
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Pretzel salt (or kosher salt), for topping

  • Combine the warm water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is foamy and begins to smell of yeast.
  • Add the flour and butter to the yeast mixture. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and, on medium-low speed, combine the mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and appears shiny, roughly 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray (or lightly grease with vegetable oil) and place dough in greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Place bowl in a warm area (near the oven, perhaps) and let dough rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, bring the 3 cups of water and the baking soda to a roiling boil.
  • Place the dough on a greased surface, and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long rope, roughly 12 inches long. Carefully wrap each piece around a half hot dog. Pinch the ends together to seal the dough. 
    • Alternatively, to make regular pretzels, shape the rope into a U shape, cross the ends over each other and fold the twisted ends back onto the bottom of the U. Again, pinch the dough together to form a seal. Place each shaped pretzel on the parchment lined baking sheet.
  • Boil the shaped pretzels and pretzel dogs, one at a time, in the baking soda water for 30 seconds each. Using a flat spatula, remove each pretzel dog from the water and place it on a drying rack to allow any extra baking soda mixture to drip off.
  • Place the boiled pretzel dogs back on the parchment lined baking sheets.
  • Brush with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle with pretzel or kosher salt.
  • Bake until golden brown, roughly 14 to 15 minutes. Transfer pretzel dogs to a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving. Serve with a variety of mustards.