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)


– 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.


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˜†


Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze

I have a major culinary quest in life.

I am trying to perfect the perfect donut glaze.

I just can’t get it!

I’m talking about good thick glazes like the kind you’d get on a donut from Underwest Donuts, Doughnut Plant, The Doughnut Project, or any of the top notch donut spots in NYC.


For me, I am a baked donut gal when I’m at home; I’d love to make some yeasty fried donuts, but I am so attached to my donut pan! Cake donuts don’t take glazes as well as fried donuts, due to their porousness. It’ll go on thick, but seemingly sink in. Not to say I mind that extra sugary goodness leaching into my treats…


I was a pretty basic glaze girl for a while – I’d mix confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk for my main base – but that doesn’t do as well with the cake donuts, as aforementioned. It certainly glazes them, but I wanted something to really coat them. I’ve been experimenting with other ingredients, such as butter and condensed sweetened milk. I’ve been finding that butter may be that trick up my sleeve I’ve been waiting for! I’ve found this glaze works better with cake donuts, and I’ve started to get that consistency I’m working towards; not perfect, but it’s progress.


As I continue to tinker, I must say I’m satisfied with how this matcha glaze came out. I wish I could have gotten a more even coating for these photos – the dilemma of the food blogger – but all that matters to me is that they taste great, and the chocolate and matcha make for a cozy and slightly earthy match. It’s a great donut for the autumn when apple cider donut penetration is getting the best of you. Ha!


NOTE: This recipe is part of a contest for Kiss Me Organics! PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK TO VOTE for me in their contest for best matcha-based recipe! Spread the word! Thank you to Kiss Me Organics and Pure Taste for the complimentary matcha and the opportunity to develop this awesome recipe!

Chocolate Donuts with Matcha Glaze
(Makes 6 donuts)


– 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
– 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/8 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
– 1 large egg
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Matcha Glaze:

– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
– 2 teaspoons matcha tea powder, leveled off (I used Kiss Me Organics Culinary Grade Matcha)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
– 3 tablespoons milk (dairy or non-dairy)

Before We Get Started…

– When glazing donuts, set a cooling rack over a piece of scrap paper, parchment paper, cookie sheet, et al, to catch any glaze drips for an easier clean-up!


1.) Preheat oven to 350Β°F. Lightly grease the inside of the donut pan’s cavities. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar, and salt. In a separate small bowl, whisk together egg, oil, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir / fold to combine.

3.) Transfer mixture to a pastry bag or a gallon-sized seal-top plastic bag; if using plastic bag, cut off small corner to pipe out mixture. Evenly pipe mixture into cavities of donut pan.

4.) Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place pan on cooling rack for 15 minutes; carefully remove donuts from pan and allow to continue cooling on cooling rack.

5.) Once donuts are room temperature, melt butter and allow to cool slightly, 2 – 3 minutes. Add matcha and vanilla and mix until combined. Place confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Add in butter matcha mixture and stir to combine. Add in milk, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until combined. Carefully dip one side of a donut into the glaze and place on cooling rack to drip dry, glaze side up. Allow glaze to set and dry for at least 30 minutes.


matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

Matcha Custard Pie

Maybe I’m missing my calling in life by not picking up a famous cookbook and chronicling my way through it. Someone’s already done Julia Childs, so there goes that idea. Maybe can bleach my hair, spike it, put sunglasses on the back of my head, and work my way through Guy Fieri’s “Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It“.

Uhhhh, no, the appeal of that disappeared too fast. Ha!

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

It’s not often that I post a recipe on this blog that came from someone else first, verbatim. Though I prefer to develop my own recipes for this blog, I’ve found great recipes and, with credit given to their respective creators, adjusted them to give them my own personal twist. This time, I decided to straight-up make a pie I’ve been wanting to make for ages, if only to save me on a long voyage to Gowanas. (Ugh…I hate transferring from the A to the F/G. Haaa.) Four & Twenty Blackbirds is an amazing pie shop in Brooklyn which I’ve been to a few times. I haven’t been there since 2012, and I have been itching for a trip down there, long trip be damned! It’s a cozy yet popular little spot to go to, and their pies are truly amazing. Recently, I saw a lot of people on Instagram post photos of their Matcha Custard Pie, and it looked amazing! Though green tea usually turns this supertaster’s tastebuds off, matcha, to my surprise, is a flavor I honestly enjoy and indulge in quite often.

I had a friend coming to my place to spend the night recently, and my inner hostess said, “I better bake something for her arrival!”

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

Admittedly, I cut a few corners – namely, buying a pre-made pie crust at Whole Foods – because I did not have the time that day to make my own crust. Hell, I’ll admit, I usually buy the pie crust you can roll out into your pie tin – one of my favorite cooking shortcuts of all time – but the Whole Foods at Columbus and 97th didn’t have any in stock when I went. (Damn them!) However, I loaded up on ample eggs and heavy cream while I was there, with the newest tin of matcha at my apartment ready to be broken into.

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

The process was surprisingly easy! I par-baked my pie crust, though, as you can tell from the photos, it did pull away on the sides a bit. The amount of custard I made ended up exceeded the amount of space in the pie crust; this recipe definitely will work better in a deeper pie tin. This was a great lesson in living and learning as you bake! However, the end result, while not as gorgeous as anything I’ve seen at the shop itself or on Instagram, had a wonderfully creamy flavor that had me swooning! For those that might be turned off by the occasional sharp or grassy flavor of matcha, this pie may be a great (re)introduction to it! It’s not overwhelmingly sweet either, the sugar and cream marrying beautifully to mellow out the often sharp flavor of the matcha.

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

It’s a wonderful pie to start the spring out with. DO IT.

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

Matcha Custard Pie
(Recipe from Four & Twenty Blackbirds Cafe, via Food52)


– 2/3 cup granulated sugar
– 1 & 1/2 tablespoons flour
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons Ippodo Matcha powder
– 1/2 (8 tablespoons) cup butter, melted
– 3 whole eggs
– 1 egg yolk
– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 pie crust of choice (pre-made or your own recipe)

(Please note that some of the verbiage in the directions is taken verbatim from Food52.)

1.) At least two hours prior to baking, par-bake your pie crust. (If using a pre-made crust, follow directions on package for how to par-bake. If making homemade crust, please use these directions.)

2.) Preheat the oven to 325Β° F. Position oven rack in center of oven.

3.) In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, and matcha powder. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir in the melted butter, then the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix briskly until the filling is thin and light colored. Stir in the heavy cream, followed by the vanilla extract.

4.) Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag directly into the pie shell; if you are uncomfortable doing this, strain filling through a fine-mesh sieve , cheesecloth, or nut milk bag into a large bowl, then pour contents of bowl into the pie shell. Be careful not to overfill! Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, about to 35 minutes into baking. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed slightly and the center is no longer liquid but still wobbles slightly.

5.) Remove pie from oven. Allow pie to cool completely on a wire rack, 3 to 4 hours. Slice and serve. The pie will keep refrigerated for 1 week or at room temperature for 1 day.

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.


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™‚