Strawberry Matcha Lattes

Crafting drinks is NOT my forte. I’m not even going to lie. Some people make gorgeous and unique drinks. I usually drool over my friend Marjorie’s drinks on Instagram. (FOLLOW HER! Homegirl is so adorable and so sweet!) Otherwise, I’ll pay half of my month’s rent for something pretty elsewhere, beit a gorgeously adorned drink from a hip cocktail bar that has Cuban cigar smoke erupting from it, or a CDB & collegen-infused turmeric latte with an activated charcoal palm tree stenciled on top.

Yet, I try. And practice makes perfect, I suppose.

I may not have the steady hand and skills of those that make gorgeous layered drinks at some of NYC’s top matcha spots, but nuts to a perfectly layered appearance. We’re all imperfect in some way, aren’t we? (Too philosophical? Ha!) What matters is that the taste of this drink is absolute perfection! Like…DAMN. The earthy matcha melds with the sun-dappled strawberries to make a drink that is refreshing and fulfilling.

While I try to go the dairy-free route as much as possible, I’ll just say this: This latte tastes the best with whole milk! (Insert an exponential amount of Drool emojis here.🀀)

Also, shout out to Tossware! I’ve been using their high quality BPA-free PET / rPET polymer tumblers for quite some time. (You’ve seen them in a previous recipe, Sparkling Apple Ginger Mocktails!) Believe me, they’ve come in handy when I’ve had quality over. They are easy to recycle, and I’ve even kept some and use them as regular glassware! Thank you – again! – for providing me this wonderful product for testing purposes. ✌️

Strawberry Matcha Lattes
(Adapted from the Cin, Cin, Let’s Eat! recipe for Strawberry Matcha Lattes)
(Makes 2 12-ounce cup servings)

Ingredients:

– 2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
– 3 tablespoons water (for strawberry sauce)
– 1/2 cup boiling water (for matcha)
– 2 tsp matcha powder
– 1 cup milk of choice (Please see Before We Get Started…)
– Ice (optional)

Before We Get Started:

– I tested this recipe in two 12-ounce short glasses. I found that roughly 3 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1/4 cup matcha tea filled up one 12-ounce glass. Depending on the type of glassware you are drinking this latte from, feel free to adjust these measurements as you see fit, e.g. adding more milk. I did test one of these cups with some ice…but I only had two ice cubes, so I had little to work with. Ha! Directions on adding optional ice cubes are in Step #3.

– Feel free to add sweetener of choice to this drink, but I prefer to keep it free of added sugars, as the strawberries are sweet enough. If trying to keep this as low-sugar as possible, opt for unsweetened non-dairy milks.

– If you want to make the strawberry sauce en masse for future use, double (or triple! Quadruple!) this recipe and store in an airtight container – in your fridge – for up to one week.

Directions:

1.) In a medium saucepan, combine strawberries and 3 tablespoons of water over medium-high heat. Allow strawberries to cook and break down for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 10 minutes, then add to food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature, or place in fridge to cool.

2.) When ready to assemble latte, bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Add matcha powder and whisk with bamboo matcha whisk – or a regular whisk – until dissolved.

3.) To assemble drink, add 3 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce to the bottom of the glass. If adding ice cubes, add to glass. Slowly pour milk over the strawberry sauce. Slowly top milk with matcha. Slowly consume! πŸ˜†

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That Time My Camera Was Under Quarantine, And Other Musings

Let me tell you: It’s very frustrating to work on a burgeoning food web site when one of your most important tools is under a temporary quarentine. I am currently undergoing an unwanted, yet common, New York City nightmare: BEDBUG EXTERMINATION. I’m so pleased that it didn’t happen between six years and three apartments in Manhattan, but I’m not so pleased that it finally happened at all. (Haaa.) We’re clean, but them lil’ critters sure don’t discriminate. Bedbug extermination goes in phases: You get the first spray, then you have to wait at least a week before another spray, because the first spray only kills the adults, not the eggs. You need to wait for the eggs to hatch to kill the rest of ’em. Last Wednesday was Spray #1, and this Saturday morning was Spray #2, and hopefully the last one. (Cross your fingers! I want to take my life out of plastic bags!) Both my roommates and our dog are out of town for the weekend, so I waited out the fumes by myself for the three hours at one of my favorite neighborhood spots: Indian Road Cafe. I drank a Matcha Latte and ate a Basil Meyer Lemon Tart that made me want to scream like Sally Albright at Katz’s.

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This photo looks like spring! 

What does this all have to do with my camera?

Well, the ol’ girl and her lenses have been tied up in thick plastic bags until the extermination mist has settled, the bugs have gone to Heaven (or Hell, hopefully), and our apartment isn’t a total war zone anymore. It really sucks when you have so many recipes developed and you’re itching to both cook and photograph them. Oooh, my camera. My baby! I miss her so! She’s so close, yet, so far away.

Here’s hoping that, next week, we are joyously reunited.

In the meantime, many cool things have happened while I’ve been sans Canon.

– I have been developing a couple new recipes and, in test runs, they’ve turned out well! I’m going to have a zucchini noodle dish coming up in a future entry, and you’ll surely love it…as long as you love peas, too! (And why wouldn’t you?) I also have a simple yet filling three ingredient pancake recipe that has saved me on many mornings at work. File it under “Makes Multiple Breakfast For Your Work Week”. YES!

– I am a photographer, but my preferred subjects are easily posable and always edible. People? I can not do that. “Pose this way”? “Smile this way”? “Look this way”? This are all phrases that scare me half to death. How photographers deal with people is beyond me, especially antsy people like me that are constantly feeling like their hair is out of place, their lip gloss isn’t pink enough, or they aren’t looking in the right direction. (Okay, you could even call me a “spaz” if you must. Ha!) Well, I praise Krystal Balzer and her photography! She’s a friend of mine that works at the same hospital department as me, and she also has a wonderful photography business. We recently had a photo shoot at one of my other favorite local spots, Darling Coffee. I wanted some professional photos of me for this site, LinkedIn, et al. The lighting was perfect that evening, the mint verbena tea was delicious, and she took some amazing shots of me. I’m not lying: I got a little teary-eyed when she sent me the sneak peek. (I’m an emotional gal, sometimes!) It was just what I wanted!

krystal photo sneak peek

My eyes are really this color. #truthbombsdropping 

I can’t wait to share more shots in a few weeks; in the meantime, please check out Krystal Balzer Photography. This girl is wicked talented, and she has an excellent photographic style.

– I made my way to Wassail with my two dearest friends and fellow foodies, Lori and Hilary. I am a huge fan of hard ciders, and I loved them before they got so recently popular. (I need to stake my claim. Heh.) I have an admittedly odd allergy to Brewer’s Yeast, and drinking beer or eating it as a supplement in food makes me physically ill. (Fun, eh?) This led me to being introduced to Woodchuck Cider in my later college years, and I never looked back! When I heard that the folks behind the Queens Kickshaw were going to open this spot in the Lower East Side, I counted down the days as if it was about to be Christmas. The gals and I shared some ciders and small plates, and it was a great experience! From fancy bottles over $100 to various draughts representing various countries and continents, I could not have asked for a more enjoyable Happy Hour! I had a tart yet lightly sweet pint of Hidden Star from Slyboro Cider House, and I would definitely recommend it to both the cider novice and the cider connoisseur.

ciders wassail

A typical Instagrammed Happy Hour. 

As another week begins, I look forward to more recipe development, spring-like temperatures, Peruvian Chicken at Flor de Mayo, my freshman year roommate’s wedding on Friday, exploring interesting food options in New Haven, Connecticut, and finally reuniting with my camera so I can feel a little more creatively whole again.

Have a wonderful week, and continue to seek satiation, y’all! πŸ™‚