Milk Tea: My Favorite of All Beverages

Cold, sweet, aromatic milk tea

Many years ago now, I was thirsty while shopping in a Japanese grocery store (in Columbus, Ohio – I miss it there, sometimes). I took a look in the refrigerated case and there, beckoning, was some beverage I’d never seen before: Milk tea. I take my hot tea with just milk, so I was intrigued. I picked it up, and I’ve never looked back. Since buying smallish imported bottles got expensive fairly quickly, I decided to try to make my own milk tea at home.

I’ve been doing this for about 10 years occasionally, but in the past year or two, this has been a fairly regular afternoon beverage choice for me. I do love hot tea, but – especially when it’s nearly 80F in February – sometimes a nice, icy, cold drink option is preferable.

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Weekly Want-to-Bake List, February 19

I always see a ton of recipes I’d like to try while I’m working to keep my Pinterest boards useful for everyone and visiting other cooking blogs. You may have noticed a slight baking bent on my Instagram (and maybe even here) lately – it’s because I’ve managed to work baking back into my daily life, and I’m excited about it. So I’m going to start this series, which I’ll call the Weekly Want-to-Bake List – though I’m sure some savory dishes and maybe even drinks will find their way in. Think of it as a weekly roundup, just with a less-accurate name.

  • Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies, and almonds my favorite nut, so this almond snickerdoodle bread from Food52 looks completely amazing. Top of the list. Whoosh. It might even happen tonight.
  • Dinner tonight actually ended up being this Instant Pot potato-bacon-corn chowder. It was amazing. Seriously. I’m going to have some more, I think.
  • I still need to make eclairs for the King Arthur Flour dark chocolate eclair bakealong this month! They’re really not that intimidating, and they’re so delicious.
  • This lemon blueberry loaf from Jo Cooks is calling my name. I am in love with lemon-flavored baked goods right now.
  • The simple almond cake, from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi, via ambrosia baking, is one of the reasons I bought a giant bag of almond flour at Costco last week. I’ve made it before and Dorie’s right; I’m not sure how so few ingredients turn into something so utterly magical, but they do.
  • The challah from Smitten Kitchen, because, unbelievably, I haven’t yet baked it. (Challah is probably my favorite of all breads, and Deb one of my favorite of all bloggers.)
  • And, this weekend, a King Cake via The Kitchn, because somehow next Tuesday is Mardi Gras.

What’s on your baking or cooking wishlist this week? Come talk about it in our Facebook group!

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Simple Cream Scones: Family Tea Time

Tender cream scones are easier than you think! Make some to enjoy this afternoon.

I’ve been talking a lot this year about my plan to implement family tea time (or coffee hour; I really can’t decide what to call it). I wanted to get back in the habit of baking, and I also wanted a way for us to reset in mid- to late afternoon. Afternoon is kind of the worst. So I’ve been baking a lot, and it’s been making me happy. One of my favorite easy recipes is this one, for simple cream scones; it’s adapted from King Arthur Flour’s website.

Scones, if you’re not familiar, are kind of similar to lightly sweet (American) biscuits. They should be soft and tender, and are best eaten freshly warm out of the oven. I like mine with just the barest hint of sweetness, so that it’s not overkill when I top them with jam. (We stock up on Bonne Maman Quatre Fruits at Costco, when they have it.) I think scones with additions like blueberries or dried fruit or even, deliciously, chocolate chips, are a bit of a different matter; they should still be flaky but I don’t tend to split and top those, so sometimes I use a bit more sugar in the first place.

Cream scones (and all scones, really) are also dead simple to make. Truly. You only need one bowl, and you can turn the dough out directly onto the baking sheet – lined with parchment or a silicone mat (this is an affiliate link), of course – so there’s barely any washing up to do. I feel like I’m talking Britishly in this post. It’s not intentional. My three-year-old was telling me we needed to buy a picnic rug so I think we may all have had too much Peppa Pig as of late.

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Getting to Know Cilantro: Herbs and Spices 101

This is the first in a series about herbs and spices. We see them in recipes, but we often don’t know much about them! I originally started this series for a blog I had about ten years ago, but I’m updating it. This time, we’ll be getting to know cilantro. This post contains affiliate links – but not to I Hate Cilantro. They’re on their own.

I know that many people really strongly dislike cilantro. They think it tastes like soap. To those people, I apologize; cilantro is one of my favorite herbs and I eat it like it’s going out of style. It’s likely there will be many recipes posted here, especially as we move into the summer months, that feature its delicious floral citrusy flavor. I encourage you to try it in a few different applications, but if you really just hate it the way I hate oregano, you can find support at I Hate Cilantro.

Cilantro can be a love it or hate it flavor - which side are you on?

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