Categories
Food & Drink

Make Boba at Home with KassavaCo!

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Boba tea, or bubble tea, is a drink that originated in Taiwan and it’s usually tea based with tapioca balls (boba) added at the bottom. One of my faves, and a classic, is milk tea boba! With quarantine going on, I haven’t made a trip out to get boba so I was excited when I found out a couple of my sorority sisters started Kassava Co – premium boba tea kits that you can make at home!

How cute is their packaging? It’s a boba straw with little boba pearls falling out! They have two different flavor kits: black tea and green tea. I got to try out the Black Tea Boba Kit with Milk Base. The kit comes with 1 pack each of Boba, Powdered Milk Base, loose leaf Earl Grey Tea, loose leaf Assam Black tea, 6 boba straws, and 6 tea bags. It also came with a personally signed thank you card and a recipe card on how to make the boba tea with variations. I love the minimalist packaging and how you can tell the cardstock paper they used is high quality! You also have the option of getting kits without the milk tea base included. The kits are $30 each with the milk base and $27 each without it.

To make the boba, you boil the tapioca pearls for about 35 minutes, let it cool, then steep the tea. I mixed the tapioca pearls with brown sugar and scooped it into a cup. Then I added the milk base to the tea, added some sugar, mixed well with ice, and poured it over the boba. Boiling the boba is the longest part of the process, steeping the tea and putting it all together is pretty quick. I tried the Assam Black Tea first, then the Earl Grey. I personally prefer the Black Tea, but I love them both!

One thing I really like about making it at home is that I get to control the amount of sugar that goes in it because even the least sweet boba tea has a ton of sugar. The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the string on the tea bags wasn’t super easy to tie – I know, I know, it’s such a minor thing and didn’t affect making the tea. I have a cheap tea infuser like the one below and I preferred using that over the tea bags. I followed the recipe as it was on the card and it recommends 2 tablespoons of milk base, but I liked a little bit less.

Overall, I think it’s a great product and worth the cost. (And I swear I’m not being biased!) It seems like the kit will make 6 drinks (especially based on the number of tea bags and boba straws) and for $30 it’s about on par with buying a boba in store. I definitely like the convenience of not having to go all the way to the store and being able to control the amount of sugar in it. I also love that it’s an Asian-women founded business so I 100% support that! Would you try making homemade boba tea?

Categories
Dallas Dallas Eats Food & Drink Texas USA

Dallas Eats: Deep Ellum Pop-Up Sandoitchi

One of the things that I love about Dallas is the ever growing food scene. Having grown up in Hawai’i and having lived in LA, food has always been so important to me. I was worried when I moved to Dallas 5 years ago that there wouldn’t be a great food scene, but it turned out to be a happy surprise! There’s a lot of diversity – Asian, American, Italian, Mexican… I’m still exploring. The pop-up food scene in Dallas has been exploding, especially since COVID hit. Sandoitchi is one of the newest pop-ups and it’s become so exclusive it sells out within 30 minutes of their weekly pre-sale!

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Sandoitchi opens up it’s weekly pre-order on Sundays at 6 PM. The menu varies slightly from week to week (sometimes they have Hot Truffle Chicken Katsu, other times they don’t). They eve have a Wagyu Sando! They give you several options for pick-up times. You choose which sandwiches and sides you want and the date you want to pick it up. There’s only one option for a pick up location – the address they give is the same address as Niwa Japanese BBQ in Deep Ellum. The pick-up door is on the side of Niwa and is marked by a huge Sandoitchi sign.

MY EXPERIENCE

I had heard about Sandoitchi a few weeks ago on Instagram and had been wanting to try it, but it sold out so quick every week! I finally turned on notifications from their IG account and was able to get into pre-orders two Sundays ago. I ordered two Truffle Chicken Katsu Sandos and one Strawberry Matcha Cream Sando for pick up last Saturday. They gave me a pick up window from 12:30 PM – 2 PM, but I didn’t get an email confirmation that my order was ready for pick up until 1:30 PM. I was running late anyway, so I wasn’t able to make it over until close to 2.

I loved the chicken sando because it combines two things I love – chicken katsu and truffle! It wasn’t as amazing as I thought it would be, but I think it’s because it wasn’t hot when I ate it – I had to drive 30 min to pick it up and 30 min back home. Adam was not a fan, but he doesn’t like truffle anything so go figure. The strawberry matcha cream was so good! The matcha wasn’t overwhelming and the cream was the perfect sweetness for me.

THE VERDICT

Overall, I think it’s definitely worth a try. I’d love to try the Wagyu Sando but it’s a little out of budget – the menu last week had it at $55! I heard the pudding they have is really good, but it was sold out by the time I ordered. I’d also want to try the hot truffle sando, which wasn’t on the menu the week I ordered. I’m glad I finally got to try it, but I think I won’t be going back until they have a brick and mortar store so I can get my katsu sando fresh! Have you tried Sandoitchi or anything similar?

Categories
Food & Drink Recipes

#CookingRoxy: White Bolognese Fettuccine

My office sets up fun activities regularly, and since we’ve all been working from home, they setup a Zoom cooking session with one of the Food Network Chopped Champions, Chef Michelle! She taught us to make this White Bolognese Fettuccine in exactly an hour. Following along with a seasoned chef over zoom was challenging, but it tasted AMAZING! I didn’t have a recipe out in front of me so this is written from my memory.

White Bolognese Fettucine

Simple white bolognese fettuccine recipe.

  • ½ onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • thyme
  • sage
  • nutmeg
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 4 oz cremini mushrooms (1/2 box)
  • ½ C white wine
  • 1 C chicken broth
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • ½ lb ground beef
  • ½ C cream
  • 2 T flour
  • ½ stick butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 package fettucine pasta
  1. Dice onions and mushrooms.

  2. Heat oil and cook onions, mushrooms, and a few sprigs of thyme until onions are translucent.

  3. Add pork and beef and cook until browned. Drain meat in colander.

  4. Add white wine to deglaze pan and re-add meat. Add chicken broth cook on medium, stirring occasionally.

  5. In a small sauce pan, make a roux using the butter and flour. Melt butter and add flour whisking until thickened.

  6. Add cream to meat sauce. Mix in nutmeg and sage. Add in salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.

  7. Mix in roux and simmer.

  8. Cook fettuccine according to package directions.

  9. Drain pasta and incorporate with sauce. Plate, top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

If you’re a pasta connoisseur, you’ll notice that I’m using linguine instead of fettuccine – for some reason I couldn’t find any fettuccine at my local Kroger! Some of my colleagues used fresh fettuccine so I’ll have to try that the next time.

This was totally an excuse to use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven in Sea Salt again and I can’t say enough how much I LOVE cooking with this! These dutch ovens (or anything Le Creuset for that matter!) are so expensive, but even from just from a couple of uses, I think it’s totally worth it.

The boyfriend approved this recipe so we’ll probably put this into rotation whenever we’re craving pasta! If you’re not a fan of spicy, you can just eliminate the red pepper flakes. The chef also told us we could change the meat or make it vegetarian, any way you make it, I’m sure it’ll be delicious!

Categories
Food & Drink Recipes

#CookingRoxy: Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli Quinoa

Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Broccoli Quinoa

Easy and healthy chicken broccoli quinoa made in the Instant Pot.

  • 1/2 onion (diced)
  • 2 lb chicken breast (cubed)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 C quinoa
  • 4 C broccoli
  • 1.5 C chicken broth
  1. Mix salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and chicken breast together.

  2. Layer onions, chicken breast, quinoa, and broccoli in instant pot.

  3. Pour chicken broth over all ingredients.

  4. Close instant pot lid and turn to valve to sealing.

  5. Press manual pressure cooker button and set cook time to 2 minutes, high pressure.

  6. Do natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Finish with quick release.

  7. Open lid and mix all ingredients until incorporated, recover and let sit another 10 minutes.



ingredients all prepped and ready to go

Since we’ve been in quarantine for 5 – 6 weeks, I’ve been doing a lot more cooking, which is nice, considering I never had time during the work week with my schedule and commute to cook everyday/every other day. Another thing I’ve been meaning to do is resurrect this blog but every time I tried to do it, my laptop kept saying I’m out of space, my wordpress site was excruciatingly slow and all my plug-ins were outdated. Finally, I said fuck it, deleted 10 GBs of pictures from my computer, updated everything and decided to just freaking post – so here we are.

My biggest pet peeve in recipe posts is how annoying it is to scroll through this suuuuper long rambling post before I finally get to the recipe card so the new and improved #CookingRoxy posts are just gonna have the recipe up front with all the extra pics after.



We’ve been eating a lot of chicken breasts and I’ve gotten tired of the usual baked cilantro lime chicken breast, remembered that there’s some quinoa sitting in the pantry so I literally pinterested ‘chicken broccoli quinoa’ but the only thing I could find was ‘cheesy chicken broccoli quinoa’. We’re trying to keep it healthy so I really just removed from the cheese. This was so quick and easy to make – literally just threw everything in the IP and let it go. The recipe makes approximately 4 servings, but I would definitely double it next time to have more leftovers. I have a 3 qt Instant Pot – pictured below – so if you have a 6 qt Instant Pot, it would definitely fit more.

I’ve found it much easier to prep everything and throw it in, but to each his (or her) own. Layer everything in order that it’s listed in the ingredients list.

onions first
Mix the chicken breast with all the spices.
layer it on top of the onions
Layer the quinoa on the chicken
broccoli over the quinoa (I only had 2 cups but you can definitely add more)
lastly, put chicken broth over everything

Once all the ingredients are in there, set the Instant Pot to 2 min, High Pressure and let it go! (Don’t forget to make sure the valve is set to sealing!) It will take about 10 min for it to get to high pressure, but once it beeps, let it sit for another 10 minutes before setting the valve to Quick Release. Uncover the pot, mix everything up and let it set for another 10 minutes to make sure all the quinoa is cooked and you’re ready to eat! I like to top it off with some Tabasco since I like it spicy, but it’s all up to you.

Healthy Chicken Brocoli Quinoa
Categories
Dallas Dallas Eats Food & Drink Texas

Dallas Eats: Iron Cactus [DTD]

One of the things I love about Dallas is all the different restaurants. There’s a ton of great old restaurants and always a bunch of new restaurants popping up, it can be hard to pick a place!

Iron Cactus in Downtown Dallas was nice enough to host a dinner for two and I definitely left full and satisfied. I used to work in Downtown Dallas so I was surprised I had never seen or heard of it before! If you’re familiar with the DTD area, it’s located next to The Joule across the street from the big eyeball. But, enough with the words, all we foodies care about is the food!

We got a preset 3 course menu that we could choose from that featured their new appetizers, the Lobster Tacos and Ahi Tuna Ceviche. We even got a drink to go with dinner.

Chips and Salsa to start off. One salsa was warm and the other was cold. I think i liked the warm salsa better.

The manager came out and brought us a complimentary sample of another appetizer, the Picadillo Purses. This was amazing and probably my favorite thing from the night even though they were mini sizes. I’d honestly come back just for this.

Of the two appetizers we got to try, the Lobster Tacos were my favorite. Ceviche was okay, but I tend to be a snob about any raw fish dish since I’m from Hawai’i.

The Lobster Tacos

Ahi Tuna Ceviche

Since it was a Mexican restaurant, you know I had to get a margarita! I tried this Mango Habanero Margarita which I LOVED! Our server warned me that it was super spicy, but I love me some spicy and I thought it was perfect.

I tried to the fried Fish Tacos because Fish Tacos! These things are HUGE, I only finished one. It’s a giant piece of fish with cabbage, cotija cheese, and other yummy things.


A tried the Chile Relleno Rustico. I had a bite and it was pretty good.

Another pic of the Fish Tacos!

Both desserts were AMAZING! We got the Tres Leches Cake and Mexican Chocolate Torte.

.

My favorite was definitely the chocolate torte. It comes with a scoop of ice cream, it’s like chewy chocolate goodness. I’m drooling thinking about it.

Overall, it was a great experience. The service was great, our server was super nice and attentive, and the food – especially the dessert – was amazing. I definitely would come again even if it’s just to get a full size of the Picadillo Purses.

Huge thanks to Iron Cactus for hosting dinner! This really was my honest opinion about the place. 🙂

Categories
Food & Drink Recipes

#CookingRoxy: Baked Teriyaki Salmon

I’d definitely say cooking and baking is one of my hobbies, but most days I’m too lazy to do it so I try to meal prep for the week so I’m not eating a ton of junk food or takeout all the time. I’ve been getting a lot of messages and positive feedback on my Instagram for my #CookingRoxy stories. I like doing them in stories because they’re overly simplified and I don’t have to make sure every pic / boomerang is insta worthy so I apologize now for the low quality photos! I’ll try to take better ones next time.

I get most of my recipes from Pinterest but I always end up modifying them. For this Teriyaki Salmon recipe I combined two recipes that I found – one used way too much honey and the other had too many extra ingredients I wasn’t sure about (rice vinegar and sesame oil for teriyaki?! wut?! – so I just did my thing and I’m happy with how it came out.

Just a few side notes on this one – it’s probably a Hawai’i thing, but I prefer using Aloha Shoyu soy sauce, especially for marinades. I definitely used the stainless steel garlic press from my Amazon Prime Day haul and it’s so much better than my last garlic press! Anyway, hope you enjoy. 🙂



love this garlic press!

Ingredients

  • 3 salmon filets
  • 1/3 C low sodium soy sauce (I prefer Aloha Shoyu )
  • 1/3 C honey
  • black pepper
  • red pepper
  • minced garlic cloves

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Mix all marinade ingredients.
  3. Add salmon and marinate for 15 – 20 minutes (in fridge or not).
  4. Place salmon filets on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Eat!

Step 2: Whisk marinade ingredients together

Step 3: Marinate salmon 15 – 20 mins



Let me know if you tried this recipe!

Categories
Dallas Eats Food & Drink

ICENY Dallas


 

I don’t know about you, but to meet it feels like there’s always some new food trend or other breaking out on the scene. Sometimes those Facebook videos look mouthwatering, other times I’m thinking why would you do that? but to each his own and the foodie in me won’t completely knock it til I try it. Rolled ice cream is one of those trends. Rolled ice cream originated in Thailand a few years back and seems like it hit the US pretty hard in the last year or so. I’ve been wanting to try it out, but to be completely honest, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth! But I saw the COMING SOON signs hung up outside of I CE NY‘s new Uptown Dallas location and knew I had to check it out once it opened.

 




 


 

I CE NY is a franchise rolled ice cream shop that obviously started in New York and spread across the U.S. Located in a strip mall on the corner of McKinney Ave and Boll St, I personally would miss it if I didn’t know it was there. The shop itself is cute – once you walk in, the cash registers are located to your left and you can see 3 big steel grills lined up behind the plexi glass. There’s several concoctions to choose from on the menu, or you can be rebellious and opt to customize. All the combos in the pre-made menu are $7 each, which comes out to $8 and some change with tax. My only gripe about their menu is that there’s no nuts! No peanuts, almonds or anything.


 

I ended up getting the Milk Tea and subbed one of the ingredients for mochi balls. According to the menu, it should’ve came with cookie straws but I didn’t get any. 🙁 Overall, it’s a pretty cool concept – the cream is poured over those freezing steel grills, mashed with any ingredients and then rolled up before getting put into a cup. The ice cream itself is nothing spectacular, but if you love ice cream, I don’t see why you wouldn’t like it. I don’t think I’d be a regular just because of cost and I don’t have a sweet tooth in general but the next time I get a huge ice cream craving, I just might walk over.

 

I CE NY (Uptown Dallas)

2633 McKinney Ave #170

Dallas, TX 75204

www.icenyicecream.com
@icenydallas

Categories
Food & Drink Recipes

Spinach & Feta Turkey Burger + Feta Fries

I’d definitely say I’m a foodie – I love eating out and trying new restaurants – but I secretly like playing chef at home. The kitchen is everything at home and I’ve actually picked my last three apartments because of the kitchen! It’s funny because I’m actually really self conscious about my cooking so you know I really care about you if I cook for you. I get the majority of my recipes from Pinterest but I do have a few cookbooks at home – like the Greek cookbook I pulled this tzatziki recipe from.

 

My latest experiment were these Spinach & Feta Turkey Burgers and Feta Fries. I made enough with this recipe to have lunch at work for a few days! Next time I redo these, I’d definitely add more salt to the burgers and less garlic to the tzatziki. The brioche buns I just got from my local Whole Foods.

 

Spinach & Feta Turkey Burger

 

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 oz feta cheese
  • 1/4 C chopped spinach
  • 1 lb ground turkey

 

  1. Mix eggs, garlic, feta cheese,k spinach, and turkey until well combined; form into 5 patties
  2. Pan fry until cooked or grill 15 – 20 min

 

I might have cut the fries a little thin because I like my fries crispy, but I kind of wished that I cut them thicker. That or just deep fried them like a fatty!

 

Feta Fries

 

  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 potato
  • black pepper
  • 1/8 C olive oil
  • 1/8 C feta

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Peel potatoes and cut into fries
  3. Add potatoes, olive oil, garlic powder, and oregano
  4. Mix until fries are well coated
  5. Lay evenly on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes
  6. Flip fries, place back in oven and bake for 10 min
  7. Remove and sprinkle with feta

 

The recipe I used for Tzatziki I got from this recipe book I bought at a bookstore in Santorini. I thought Tzatziki was a sauce, but it’s actually listed under “Salads”! Either way, I love me some tzatziki!

 

 

Tzatziki

 

  • 8 oz greek yogurt
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 tbsp olive old
  • 1 T vinegar
  • salt and pepper

 

  1. Grate and drain cucumber well
  2. Mix yogurt and cucumber in a bowl, add garlic
  3. Pour in olive oil and vinegar alternating mixing with a mixer
  4. Season to taste and serve

Categories
Coffee Dallas Dallas Eats Destination Food & Drink Texas USA

Starbucks Reserve | Uptown Dallas

 

Anyone who knows me knows how much of a Starbucks aficionado I am. I’ve been a gold card member for years and have a pretty hefty Starbucks city mug and tumblr collection, but that’ll all have to share another time. So when I heard there was a Starbucks Reserve opening in Uptown Dallas – and within walking distance! – I was all over it.

 




 

 

A Starbucks Reserve is a craft coffee bar – basically a fancy hipster Starbucks. The flagship reserve store is located in Seattle, of course, but reserve shops are popping up all over the U.S. They have all the typical Starbucks drinks but feature the small lot coffees and fancy brews like nitro cold brew, clover coffee, siphon, etc. They also serve floats and affogato, though I’m not sure about the food menu.

 

 

The Uptown Dallas location is nestled on the corner of McKinney and Olive in the appropriately named 20 floor building. When I moved to Uptown a few months ago, I knew they were building a Starbucks there but had no idea it was going to be a reserve. If you blink too quickly, you might miss it because the infamous siren logo is nowhere to be found.

 

 

Once you walk in, you’ll notice the bar equipped with all kinds of brewing gadgets and the reserve coffees on display. The seating area is wide and open with tons of space and outlets to plug in. Everything from the chalkboard menu to the food display screams hipster minimalist and if I’m being completely honest, the millennial in me totally loves it.

 

 

From what I hear, this particular Reserve store opened at the end of June 2017. I’ve been three times since I heard about it and I don’t know if it’s the atmosphere, but I like being there more than a regular Starbucks and I love how the special coffee menu changes. The first time I went, I went with a friend just to check it out. I’m a sucker for nitro anything (love me some nitro Guinness) so I tried the Nitro Cold Brew and you know I had to get the Classic Affogato! Normally I’m not a fan of Starbie’s cold brew, but I love it in nitro form. I don’t have a big sweet tooth, but the Affogato was really good.

 

The second time I went I tried the Iced Hazelnut Bianco Latte – a house-made hazelnut-praline-infused milk combined with small-lot espresso. I really liked the hazelnut-praline flavor but the infused milk just really sweet. I even tried it with an extra shot, but it’s just too much for me. Maybe if they toned it down a little, I might actually like it more than my favorite, the light caramel extra shot Macchiato.

 

The third time I went, I tried the Nitro Cascara Cloud Cold Brew. If you don’t know, cascara is the dried skin of coffee cherries. I’m definitely a fan of their Cascara Latte, so this was right up my alley. I’m thinking I’m going to be a regular here, although there are a few coffee shops in the area I haven’t checked out yet!

 

Overall, love the store, love the concept, and of course, love the coffee. There is much coffee to be had at this Reserve store. Although the notorious green siren is MIA, I totally approve of the reserve logo. I mean how cute are these cups? #starbuckshoe