Hi guys! Before I jump into these delicious lychee shiso (sake) popsicles, I want to share a couple of news to break:
Lychee, shiso, and raspberries seem like a really weird combo. Aside from how beautiful they unite as a trio, I love how tart raspberries balance out citrus flowery lychees and St Germain.
Chop up the shiso leaves into desired thickness.
Thinly slice the lemon
Stir 1 tbsp of sake with 1 tbsp St-Germain in a large cup or cocktail shaker as the base. Then pour in about 1/4 C of the lychee syrup. Mix well.
Add in a few sprigs of shiso leaves and lemon slices.
Pour into popsicle molds and top with 1-2 raspberries.
Freeze for at least 10 hours. Enjoy!
Honestly, it scares me how fast summer has been passing by and that sadly, nothing has really been set for my wedding yet (sigh, all of this pressure and pain of planning from across the country)… but I do hope that your summer is going just as great as mine, and as sweet and fun as these lychee shiso popsicles. Have fun with all the concoctions you can make out of these (don’t think you’re limited to raspberries!) And oh – if you don’t have a cocktail shaker, mixing the ingredients in a large cup would suffice. And feel free to omit/add more booze 😉 (I particularly love St Germain and this sake I brought back from Kyoto)
I’m not sure how to tell you guys how heavenly and fun this strawberry tart was to make and how delicious it was at every step of the making and especially at the end. I’ve always been nervous preparing dough because of my huge fails with croissants and pretzels (sorry no fails page up yet) but this pie crust recipe was a sure keeper after reading all the tips. If you’d like to prepare the same flaky buttery crust that I had, I’d advise you to chill the butter in the freezer for at least 10-15 minutes, use a very sharp knife to chop it up, and use cold water. To chill the water, put the water in the freezer for a few minutes until ready to use. Seriously, kneading and rolling the dough in my hands felt like I was getting my hands massaged.
In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Remove the excess.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Remove any excess with scissors or a knife.
Prick the crust a few times with a fork and add a few pie weights to secure the pie crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Allow it to cool to touch before assembling the pie or tart.
Did you also know that strawberries and balsamic vinegar complement each other PERFECTLY? I can’t express how much I love pairing them together. You can read more about balsamic vinegar and how to use it here.
I added this creamy soft citrus mascarpone filling underneath to enhance the fusion of the two even more and to celebrate the refreshing flavors of spring (and soon, summer) I was a bit worried if all of these flavors are too much, but my cousin, who’s a huge foodie and came back to visit us from Seattle – LOVED IT. My mom shrugged me off for getting a bit carried away all morning preparing the pie crust and making a (little) mess in the kitchen…but my cousin, uncle, aunt, and mom loved it so much at our family gathering, that even though they were full, they each plated themselves with another slice. I not only had a whole family’s stamp of approval for this, but my coworkers who had my second tart loved it that they complimented me while I was working at my desk. I’m so thankful that I have this glorious tart recipe for my gatherings. It’s been a kickass week, really. And I’m ordering my apron for my film gig with AutoCAD. Life is pretty rad right now. Thank you friends for all that love and support!
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the mascarpone, sugar and cream until light and fluffy, about a minute, pausing to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Beat in the orange zest and vanilla extract. Scrape filling into cooled crust, smoothing it evenly to the edges with a spoon.
Wash the strawberries, slice them into desired thicknesses, and carefully mix them into the sugar. Let them soak for about 10 minutes.
If you don’t have balsamic glaze, pour 1/4 C balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer until thick and syrupy, about 4 minutes; it should still swirl in the pan. If too thick, simply add another teaspoon of balsamic, stir, and remove from the heat.
Assemble the tart by spreading the citrus mascarpone cream evenly throughout the (cooled) tart. Evenly spread the strawberries evenly over as layers, then drizzle the balsamic glaze over and serve.
I had no idea how to mix a cocktail, but my architect friend introduced me to this badass diagrammatic cocktail book and I’ve always been inspired watching my cool older friends and bartender friends in Tokyo entertain me by shaking up cocktails. You know, that sexy cluck cluck cluck just before they serve you a refreshing beverage. Hands down, I miss the Moscow Mules Yuki used to pour for me after a long day of work in his underground bar cave.
I think women who do it right look damn sexy, especially if they’re hustlin’ with 2-3 drinks at a cool party. As much as I aspire to be one of these hot women, I definitely didn’t look that hot making these…because I’m such a noob and had to Youtube everything as I made them. Anyway, I hope I’ll get there someday. Practice makes perfect. Thank God my mom (nor anyone else) saw me, that summer’s coming, and I bought this awesome insulated cocktail shaker from Williams Sonoma and jigger from Surfas. Yes mom, those are my excuses to practice.
Firstly, in making cocktails, aside from getting a cocktail shaker, I highly recommend using a jigger. A jigger is that metal thingamabob bartenders use as a measuring tool for mixing drinks. Thanks Youtube for teaching me how to mix cocktails.
Slice the watermelon in half, then quarters. Using one quarter, cut out 1/2″ x 1/2″ cubes. Freeze these cubes for about 2-3 hours.
Meanwhile, place the remaining watermelon chunks and ice into a large blender with ice and blend until pureed into juice.
To make margaritas, add 1 C watermelon juice, 1 tbsp lime juice, 1-2 tbsp agave syrup, 1 jigger of gin and a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously to combine. Sample a small amount and adjust flavor as needed, adding more watermelon juice for sweetness, lime juice for acidity, or tequila for booziness.
To salt the wine glass, pour some salt on a dish, encircle the rim of the cup with some gin, flip over the cup over the salt.
Pour the shaken cocktail into the wine glass, add the watermelon ice cubes, garnish with a sprig of mint and/or lime and serve immediately.
Since it WAS hot a few weekends ago and my mom was out of the country, I figured to take over (my parents’) house and throw a one woman party with cocktails. Originally, my girlfriends Tania and Christine were supposed to come over to make cocktails together and talk about…. stuff… with some happy beats, but my schedule tightened and I felt like for the sake of getting my photography done as quickly as possible, I must focus and concentrate by myself to get the job done. Anyway, as stressed out as I was lately, nothing is more fun than drinking on the job, right?
I had no idea how to mix a cocktail, but I’ve always been inspired seeing my friends entertain their guests by shaking up some jazz. I think women who do it right look damn sexy, but I sure didn’t because I was such a noob. Anyway, I hope I’ll get there someday. I hope I can mix more cocktails for ya guys 😉 Yep, practice makes perfect. Thanks Youtube for teaching me how to mix cocktails. I definitely want to bust out more, so I’ll take any recommendations!
Ok, and BIG NEWS. AutoCAD is going to fly down to film me 06/20 in my own kitchen. I guess I’ll buy an apron for that…. 😉 This has truly been an amazing week.