Burrata on salad

Adapted from Joy Food Sunshine


  • 5 oz arugula mix
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup Fresh basil, torn in shreds
  • 8 oz Burrata cheese
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pinch salt and pepper


  1. Put all the dressing ingredients (balsamic, olive oil, honey, mustard, salt and pepper) in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside but do not chill.
  2. Place the arugula in a salad bowl
  3. Slice the tomatoes in half, and place them on top of the spring mix. Add the burrata cheese on top of this.
  4. Sprinkle sea salt and fresh black pepper on top of each burrata cheese round, to taste.
  5. Drizzle with your desired amount of dressing. Serve.

Jesse had never tried burrata before, whereas I considered it one of the great salad toppers. We picked up all of the ingredients from the Roosevelt Island Farmers’ Market, including good ($13 eek) burrata from Hoboken Farms, and used fresh basil from our basil plant.

Starbucks-copy strawberry overnight grains

Adapted from Kitchen Treaty and Life Made Sweeter


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 2 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup + more to taste if desired
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced toasted almonds*
  • 1/4 cup coconut chips


  1. Combine uncooked rolled / old-fashioned oats, milk / Greek yogurt and sweetener and spices if using.
  2. Scoop some of the oats into a bowl, mason jar or a resealable container.
  3. Slice or chop up some strawberries and layer over the oats.
  4. Spoon in the rest of the oats on top. Alternatively, you can just mix in the strawberries with the oats and just add everything into the jar or container all at once.
  5. Seal up the container and park it in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next morning, you can heat the glass jar up in the microwave for a hot breakfast or enjoy your overnight oats cold straight from the fridge. You can add more milk and any fun toppings of your choice.
  7. It should keep for 4-5 days.

To cook the quinoa or steel-cut oats:

  1. Add water to a large saucepan set over medium-low heat. Stir in the oats, quinoa, and salt. Cook on medium-low, uncovered, until the grains are just tender and the water has evaporated, 15-20 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in the coconut milk, chia seeds, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla. Taste and add additional sweetener if desired. Allow to cool, then pour into eight separate containers (about 1 cup per container). I like to use mason jars because they have lids + they’re sturdy and portable.

I didn’t have quinoa or steel-cut oats this time, but I loved the texture in the Starbucks version (shaved coconut might be harder to acquire, or pricy). I didn’t have almonds or fresh fruit either, maybe when it’s in season… I used some cow’s whole milk, but will try coconut milk next, if I cook the oats and quinoa together.


Royal milk tea

Adapted from Just One and Boba Tea Direct


  • Three-quarter cups full (150 milliliter) of regular tap water
  • Two full teaspoons of golden milk tea/black tea leaves (I used one bag of Tetley Classic)
  • Half a cup (120 milliliter) of whole milk (I used fresh half and half from a glass bottle)
  • 25 milliliter of fresh honey (or 10 grams granulated sugar)


  1. Pour the water into a small pot. Set the temperature to medium. Bring the water to the boil for one minute.
  2. Add the tea leaves into the boiling water and steep between thirty seconds to about one minute. Then, lower heat to a simmer for one minute and thirty seconds to about a full two minutes. **Do not let the tea simmer for more than two minutes, as it will become too bitter.
  3. Slowly pour in the milk into the pot. Allow the milk tea to come back to a full simmer. Do not go beyond boiling point as the milk will cook and curdle in high temperature, which will leave your milk tea lumpy. Turn the heat off.
  4. Warm your cup with hot water beforehand.
  5. Pour your tea into a cup, using a tea sieve to filter out tea leaves.
  6. Mix honey or sugar to your liking.

I was watching an episode of Meteor Garden when the hero changes his order from a cappuccino to Royal milk tea, to avoid drinking the same thing as his betrothed. It sounded delicious, so I looked it up, to find it was a Japanese drink: Roiyarumirukuti (ロイヤルミルクティー). Apparently “The Classic Blend is more of an “everyday” black tea” (FAQ), so next time I need to get the proper “British Blend is made from premium Kenyan and Assam teas” if I’m using Tetley tea bags.


“Recipes” for the perfect at-home pedicure


  • Epsom salts
  • tea tree oil
  • white vinegar
  • sugar
  • honey
  • peppermint
  • olive, coconut, or Argan oil
  • jojoba oil


  • a cuticle remover
  • cuticle pusher
  • a foot file
  • nail buffer
  • an orangewood stick
  • nail clippers
  • nail file


  1. Soak
  2. Exfoliate
  3. Trim and file
  4. Moisturize

To soak, add a tablespoon of white vinegar, a few spoonfuls of Epsom salts, and a few drops of tea tree oil in hot water, for 15 minutes. Dry feet.

To exfoliate, mix sugar/salt and honey and olive oil. Rub into skin for a minute. Wash off with warm water.

To trim, use the cuticle remover and nail clippers. To file, use the foot file and nail buffer and nail file. (Use a sturdy foot file and focus on the heels, balls of feet, and edges of toes.) Apply cuticle oil (lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, coconut or olive or Argan oil, and Vitamin E oil) to the skin around your nails.

To moisturize, some jojoba oil and a drop of tea tree oil (or rub a rich cream on your feet, top and bottom. Don’t forget your heels and cuticles. Calves optional.)

Before bed, apply foot lotion, then add some socks, and hop into bed.

Links: Real SimpleWomen’s Health, Cosmo.

Crispy pan-seared salmon fillet

Adapted from Food Network and Serious Eats and Damn Delicious


  • cornstarch
  • soy sauce
  • a pinch of raw sugar, if you have it
  • minced ginger
  • minced garlic
  • honey
  • .785 lbs (350 g) salmon fillet
  • sriracha sauce


  1. Mix the marinade, and marinate salmon for 30 minutes or more in a glass bowl.
  2. Bring the salmon to room temperature 10 minutes before cooking.
  3. Warm a large nonstick skillet with olive oil/butter over medium-low heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
  4. Raise the heat to medium-high until oil is shimmering. Place the salmon, skin-side up in the pan. Press firmly in place for 10 seconds, using the back of a flexible fish spatula, to prevent the skin from buckling. Cook until golden brown on 1 side, pressing gently on back of fillets occasionally to ensure good contact with skin, until skin releases easily from pan, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over with a spatula, and cook until it feels firm to the touch and the skin is crisp if desired, about 3 minutes more.
  5. The skin can be served or removed easily with a knife or spoon.
  6. Transfer to a plate and serve as desired.

We served it with rice and spinach, but I would have really liked it with some broccoli and roasted potatoes. Also we removed the skin, but it browned beautifully.


Green berry smoothie


Adapted from Diethood

1-1/2 cups halved strawberries
1 banana
1/2- cup plain yogurt (I used Lifeway pomegranate kefir)
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crushed ice
2 cups torn kale leaves , packed (I used baby spinach)
1 green apple , quartered (optional)
1 banana
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I use Stonyfield Organic whole milk)
1/4 cup coconut/soy milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup crushed ice

Freeze strawberries and 1 banana for 20 minutes. During that time, blend the kale, 1 banana, yogurt, honey, and ice until smooth and creamy. Divide into four portions and freeze for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, blend frozen strawberries, banana, yogurt, honey, and ice until creamy and smooth. Pour strawberry smoothie over kale and serve immediately.

Summertime means looking for cold, fresh, in-season recipes. This hits all the right spots for breakfast and a sweet treat. Plus, spinach has iron for us anemics!



“Recipes” for DIY at-home facial

  1. Exfoliate
  2. Steam
  3. Mask
  4. Tone
  5. Moisturize

To exfoliate, mix sugar and honey and olive oil. Rub into skin for a minute. Wash off.

Steam for 10-15 minutes.

To masque, use a clay mask (oily skin) or mix plain yogurt with turmeric (and mashed banana if you have a overripe one). Leave on for 5 minutes. Use a cleanser to remove the mask.

To tone, mix diluted apple cider vinegar with witch hazel and a drop of tea tree oil. Wipe off with some cotton.

To moisturize, some jojoba oil and a drop of tea tree oil. Spot treat acne before bed.

Some other suggestions: Reader’s Digest

Berry smoothie


peanut butter creaminess on top

Adapted from Food Network Kitchen

8 ounces (225 g) fresh/frozen mixed berries (I had fresh strawberries)
2 spoonfuls of peanut butter (no bananas!)
3/4 cup (175 mL) plain yogurt, whole milk
1 cup (235 mL) almond milk
1/4 cup (60 mL) cranberry juice
1 – 2 spoonfuls of honey

I would add ground flax seed and a handful of spinach if I had any. I could have added a spoonful of chia seeds, or chopped frozen bananas, or some cooked oatmeal if I wanted a thicker smoothie. Optional: Add 1/2 cup coconut water. I might try hemp, hazelnut, coconut or rice milk to substitute in the future!


Strawberry chia jam


Fresh  out of the pot

Adapted from Nadia Lim

2 cups strawberries, frozen
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp chia seeds
splash of vanilla extract (optional)
splash of water
splash of lemon juice

Mix all ingredients except chia seeds. Cook in a small pot over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir until thickened, breaking up the fruit. Sweeten to taste. Add the chia seeds and stir for a minute. Let jam cool slightly, then transfer to heatproof, sterilized jars (I adore Bonne Maman preserves, so I always save up their jars). Cover and let cool completely. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.

IMAG1293After looking up all of those interesting ways to use chia seeds, I became fascinated with this simple recipes. Only berries and sugar and chia seeds are essential, but I had the rest in the pantry, so hey, why not? All the little chia seeds look like strawberry seeds in the photo! I thought the vanilla flavouring unnecessary, so I wouldn’t add it next time. And it wasn’t overly sweet, as most jams are — a nice change!


Chia seed pudding, part II

IMG_2689Adapted from Wellness Mama retry of this

2 cups almond-coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder


sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon

Whisk all ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight. Eat with fresh fruit in the morning.


pre-almond topped

I wanted to try a chia seed recipe without using yogurt, because I love my yogurt, but I wanted to use up the almond milk before it expires (one week after opening, according to the label).

So I layered 3 spoonfuls of chia pudding with 2 spoonfuls of whole milk plain yogurt. Added chopped strawberries and toasted chopped almonds and a spoonful of jam to finish. This made enough chia pudding for six (small) servings.