Friday, September 19, 2014

Frozen Strawberry Margarita



Strawberry Margarita  http://uTry.it

I know the weather is supposed to be cooled down by now.  Isn't it mid-September already?  I guess we really get to enjoy an extended summer in Southern California, year after year.  We've been getting closed to 100F degree in the previous week.  Every Friday evening, when it’s time to relax a little and to unwind the week, naturally, frozen treats and drinks come to my mind.  More specifically, frozen cocktails.  Let me present to you, my Friends, this refreshing Frozen Strawberry Margarita!

Strawberry Margarita  http://uTry.it

Not only that this cocktail is gorgeous to look at, it’s super refreshing as well.  It will definitely crunch your thirst at the very first sip, until the last.  Best of all, this cocktail is super easy to put together.  All you need to do is measure all the ingredients, add them into the blender and blend away until smooth.  So, grab your drink, hang out by the pool or back yard, put your legs up and relax.  You deserve a little cocktail and some quiet time after a whole week of hard work!

Strawberry Margarita  http://uTry.it

I hope you enjoy today’s recipe.  So, what is your favorite cocktail?  Please share yours in the comment below.  Stay tuned for more fun and easy recipes in the future posts.  Cheers!

Strawberry Margarita  http://uTry.it



Please drink responsibly.  Health and General Disclaimers.


Props used in this post:

Margarita Glassware Set (Please click here for more information)
Flower Coaster (Please click here to see similar product)
Silver Serving Tray (Please click here to see similar product)





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How to Cut a Watermelon, the Right Way

My kids love watermelon and we have plenty throughout the year, especially in the summer.  I always love to try different ways to cut and serve them.  In the pass, I simply cut them into triangles slices or cubes.  Or, cut the watermelon in half and serve it straight with spoons.  Of course, that can get a little messy and juices drip all over the place.  Until, I've learn the right way to cut the watermelon!  Alright, maybe there is no “right” or “wrong” way to cut a watermelon.  But, there’s certainly the messy way, verses the easy and fun way to cut and to serve watermelons. 

So, here’s how I do it now.  It’s life changing and I bet you won’t go back to any old ways that you've done after trying this quick and easy method.

1) I always wash and dry the skin of the melon before I cut.

2) With a sharp knife, cut the watermelon in half

3) Place the melon cut side down and cut vertical slices, about 1-inch thick.  Try to keep the melon in shape while you cut.

How to Cut a Watermelon, the Right Way   http://uTry.it

4) Then, turn the melon 90 degree, and cut vertically again, 1-inch apart to create the “square” patterns

5) You’re now ready to serve!  My Little Girl calls this a watermelon puzzle! Smarty pants!

6) My Little Boy calls these watermelon sticks, great description!

How to Cut a Watermelon, the Right Way   http://uTry.it

You can definitely play a puzzle game before eating.  I certainly love these watermelon sticks, they are so easy to eat and no mess at all.  I say they are pretty fun to serve for parties and gatherings as well.  I hope you’ll give this fun, quick and easy way of cutting watermelon a try.  If you do, please let me know how you like this new method!  Do you have a special way to cut yours?  Please share!  Stay tuned for more fun recipes and how-to in my future posts.  

How to Cut a Watermelon, the Right Way   http://uTry.it

Friday, September 12, 2014

How to Easily Diced a Mango with Step by Step Pictorial…inspired by a real life story!


I was having a dinner gathering with a family who just moved back to the States.  The wife’s profession in Hong Kong was a dietitian.  She shared with me a little incident, how she requested one of her subordinates to prepare some diced mangos for some kids.  Who knew, this subordinate diced the whole mango, with peels and all, just to save some time.  Or better yet, he had no clue on how to easily diced a mango, without peels!  And he even argued with reassured my friend that he “researched" on the internet, and that the skin is edible!  How clever!  He would rather spent time to do "research" on the  net, than to actually remove the mango peels!  So, boys and girls, please, I don’t think I would appreciate diced mango with peels, and I’m sure those kids would agree with me too!  So here we go! 

How to Easily Diced a Mango   http://uTry.it

First, place your mango vertically on a sturdy cutting board.  Insert the knife to cut through the mango along with the flat side of the seed. 

How to Easily Diced a Mango   http://uTry.it

Do the same on the other side of the seed and you’ll ended up with 3 sections as shown in the picture above.

How to Easily Diced a Mango   http://uTry.it

Next, score the flesh vertically and then horizontally without cutting through the skin.

How to Easily Diced a Mango   http://uTry.it

Last but not least, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and you've got diced mango, without peels! 

How to Easily Diced a Mango   http://uTry.it

Another way to diced up the mango is to spoon the whole section of the mango flesh out from the skin (see picture above).

How to Easily Diced a Mango   http://uTry.it

Then, you can easily dice it up on the board. Super simple and easy, right?  I hope no one serve little kids mango with peels in the future, edible or not.  Or better yet, hope no one thinks it’s alright to serve mango to kids with peels!  Thank you!  Oh, and for the diced mango, I made a refreshing mango salsa.  I’ll share the recipe with you in a future post.  Stay tuned!  

How to Easily Diced a Mango   http://uTry.it

Monday, September 8, 2014

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival with Festive Macarons (中秋節快樂 + 中秋馬卡龍!)

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival with Festive Macarons (中秋節快樂 + 中秋馬卡龍!)   http://uTry.it

Today, September 8th, is the Mid-Autumn Festival!  The Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the Moon Festival or 中秋節 in Chinese.   It’s a popular harvest festival celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese, dating back over 3,000 years.  The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is usually around mid to late September in the Gregorian calendar.   The moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.  Unfortunately, I’m not a big fan of the traditional Mooncake.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival with Festive Macarons (中秋節快樂 + 中秋馬卡龍!)   http://uTry.it

Fortunately, I’m a big fan of French Macarons, and love playing with my food!  So, I made these Mid-Autumn Macaron (中秋馬卡龍), to celebrate the occasion.  I decorated these Macarons with the traditional Mooncake decoration patters and wordings such as these and these, with a little melted dark chocolate.    

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival with Festive Macarons (中秋節快樂 + 中秋馬卡龍!)   http://uTry.it

Thank you so much for stopping by and hope you like these Mid-Autumn Macarons.  I wish you all a Happy Mid-Autumn Festival, 中秋節快樂 and 人月兩團圓.  As this is the time to gather with the family and loved ones to enjoy the beautiful full moon and each other’s company.

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival with Festive Macarons (中秋節快樂 + 中秋馬卡龍!)   http://uTry.it

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti


Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti  http://uTry.it

Do you love biscotti?  I’m definitely a big fan.  When you make your own, you can simply add any ingredients that you like to these handy-dandy little twice baked cookies.  For my choice of “additional ingredients”, I usually love a combination of nuts, for some crunch; and dried fruit, for a little sweetness and chewiness, in them.  I love this pistachio and apricot combination a lot.  But you can use almonds, hazelnuts, dried cranberries, or orange candied peels, etc.  They sky is the limit!

Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti  http://uTry.it

Biscotti were originated from Italy.  The word biscotti means twice baked, as you’ll find out from my pictorial and recipe below.  Since they are baked twice, they are usually quite crunchy and to the dryer side of cookies.  That’s why they have a longer shelf live and perfect for dipping, my favorite part!  You can dip them in coffee, tea, milk, etc, or pretty much anything that your heart desired.  I love that these cookies are not overly sweet and they are perfectly sized for afternoon tea.

Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti  http://uTry.it

Ready to see how I made them?  Please follow me to the kitchen!

1) In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the sugar, butter, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and salt until light and fluffy.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder together. 
3) Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. 
4) Turn mixer to low, add the flour mixture slowly until just combined.

Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti  http://uTry.it

5) Add in the pistachios and apricots until just combined.
6) Slightly flour both hands, transfer the dough onto the silpat lined baking sheet.  Form the dough into 2 equal sized logs.  Approximately 12-inch in length and 3-inch in width. With a pastry brush, brush egg white on both logs.  Bake for 35 minutes or until light golden on the edges. Let it cool on a wiring rack for 30 minutes.
7) Transfer the log onto the cutting board. With a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 3/4-inch thick slices.
8) Return biscotti to the same baking sheet, arrange the biscotti cut side down. Bake the biscotti for another 15 minutes or until they are pale golden. Transfer the biscotti to a wiring rack and let them cool completely.  Once cooled, store biscotti in air tight containers.


Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti  http://uTry.it

Super simple, isn't it?  I love that one batch stays fresh and last for a while.  Of course, I’m sure you’ll be the block’s favorite person if you share some with your neighbors.  They packaged and traveled well, too!  So, they also make perfect homemade gifts when the holiday rolls around.  Hey, it’ll be here sooner than you know!

Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti  http://uTry.it

I hope you enjoy today’s recipe and pictorial.  If you love biscotti and would like to try other flavors, check out the links below for more options.  If you like the props and tools I used in this post, check out the links at the end of the post.  Until next time, take care.


 Mocha Hazelnut Biscotti                     Lavender Biscotti                  

Mocha Hazelnut Biscotti                 Lavender Biscotti



  Chocolate Dipped Almond Biscotti

   Bittersweet Chocolate Dipped Almond Biscotti




Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti  http://uTry.it


Props and Tools used in this post:

Wood Print Photography Backdrop (Click here to see similar product)
European-Style Ceramic Tea Set (Click here to see similar product)
Elegant Teaspoons (Click here to see similar product)
KitchenAid Stand Mixer (Click here for more information)
Silicone Pastry Brush (click here to see similar product)
Calphalon Nonstick 2-Piece Baking Sheet Set (Click her for more information)
Small Metal Bucket in Turquoise (Click here to see similar product)