Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lychee Green Tea + Routin 1883 Syrups

I'm a very lucky blogger. I know I haven't been blogging that often lately, but this space is something I can call my own and a place to share my loves with you guys. To all of my readers, you mean a lot to me and your kind comments mean even more! I'm even luckier to have been able to receive so many nice gifts from various companies.

The latest are these unbelievably unique syrups from Routin 1883. They kindly let me choose what flavors I wanted to try, and of course lychee had to be one of them! You all know how much I love tea, so lychee syrup in tea is just another form of heaven for me. I fell in love with speculoos about a year or so ago when I made a foodie trip to New York and tried the Wafels & Dinges truck. They had this speculoos spread that they served with their waffles that was just... divine. When I saw that Routin 1883 offered a speculoos flavor I knew I had to try it!

Aren't the bottles just lovely? Anyway Routin 1883 is a brand that hails from France that specializes in decadent and specialty syrups that you could add to almost anything. I like to use my lychee flavor in tea and the speculoos flavor in lattes but I'm just about sure I could add them to anything I'd like... and believe me, I will! These syrups are concentrated in flavor and add just the right amount of sweetness. 

If you're interested in trying some, grab some here!

Lychee Green Tea with Boba
Yields: 1 serving

1 1/2 cups water
1 jasmine green tea bag or 2 tsp. loose leaf jasmine green tea
1 oz. Routin 1883 lychee syrup
1/4 cup boba, cooked (optional)

Heat the water till almost boiling, either on top of a stove or in the microwave. Steep the tea, and immediately place in the refrigerator to cool for 15 - 30 minutes. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Pour in the syrup and cooled tea. Shake vigorously to cool, about 1 minute. Place the cooked boba in a tall glass. Strain the cooled tea mixture on top. Enjoy!

* Using a cocktail shaker is completely optional. You could plainly serve the tea over ice but I think shaking it makes it a bit more fun :)

Seriously, so delicious. I finished it in no time.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cheesy Quinoa Bowl

This is one of the easiest meals ever! And so uberly delicious. I am totally enamored with roasting veggies right now... because, well, almost anything tastes good when it's roasted. I guess the same concept that applies to frying food applies to roasting food, because it's worked for me! Seriously, any veggie roasted equals happy stomach for me, plus, I don't get why brussels sprouts get such a bad rap? They're so friggin' delicious, and they're so cute - like mini cabbages, which, basically they are!

Anyways, the quinoa is just a great base to any meal you'd want to cook. It's incredibly simple. All you do is cook the quinoa in your rice cooker, and it does all the work for you! No simmering over a pesky stove or stirring and all that jazz. After it's all cooked, just quickly sauté it up with some garlic and Parmesan and by gosh, it's so tasty. 

I top it with whatever I have at the moment, like above, I had some roasted brussels sprouts, I wilted down some spinach, and topped it with feta and pine nuts and it was so satisfying and so healthy! One of my favorite quick meals, honestly. But the possibilities are endless. As a side to some grilled salmon, or the base of a salad - use your imagination :)

Cheesy Quinoa Bowl
Yields: about 6 servings

For the quinoa:
2 cups cooked quinoa (I used 1/2 regular and 1/2 red quinoa)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup crumbled French feta cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsn. olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Optional toppings:
roasted veggies of any kind
sautéed spinach with garlic
poached egg
seared salmon
... the options are endless

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the quinoa and heat until warmed and the garlic flavor is fragrant throughout. Once warmed through, add the Parmesan and heat until it starts to melt, about 1 - 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the feta cheese and pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve under anything you'd like!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Massive Mixtape

First off, awesome music news! Apparently Arcade Fire is producing some new music for The Hunger Games movie and I'm stoked! It's like two of my major loves are combining to make the most beautiful baby ever!

I haven't posted music loves in a while, so, as always, here are some of my favorites from the past months:

washed out new theory (RAC remix)

the intro to this song is just insane, so gorgeous. and as always, RAC remixes are always a win.

sound remedy gives an old classic some new twisted kicks.

bingo players . l'amour

super fun electro song. kind of want to start robot dancing to it, although i'd do it horribly...

(more free downloads available at their soundcloud)

when is hood internet bad? answer: never. they never fail to mash hip hop and indie together to create more melodic beats. 

kishi bashi . bright whites

makes me so happy, i picture myself road tripping with the windows down in a sundress with some sweet tea in my hand!

reminds me a lot of nujabes. if you don't know nujabes, get to know him. and if you like him, then listen to this song. my perfect kind of rap song, one with soul and a great melody.

tyga rack city

so diiiiirty, in a good way! and much too catchy not to post.

the middle east blood

if this sounds familiar it's because you watched 'crazy stupid love.' i just love that movie... and ryan gosling... and ryan gosling's glorious body. oops got off point, but anyway, this song is amazing.

one of my favorite house music youngsters. lately, everything he's been releasing has been on fire. i didn't originally like madonna's new song, but nicky managed to breathe new life to it and i can now say i love it so.

something has got to be in that swedish water, because lately, everything i love seems to hail from sweden (i.e. miike snow, avicii, jens lekman, lykke li, plus tons more). anyway i heard this song while shopping and i knew i had to have it. amazing remix.

a.trak x jay z x kanye west . where my money at?

this trio couldn't do any better. ny swag on steroids. 

deadmau5 . closer

not officially released but when i heard this song on his soundcloud, i instantaneously loved it. the sampling in it is amazing and i just love the chill mood.

i am OBSESSED with this song. such a great song to sing along to. usher's voice is insanely sexy.

teen daze watch over me

it's so funny, my taste in music. i love everything from hard rap, to banging electro to songs like this. just chill, gorgeous tones and something to listen to on a rainy day.

i think it's so awesome that i used to watch drake on degrassi when i was younger and now i listen to him rap... how crazy is that?! still cannot get over it, but anyway i just love listening to drake rap. he can rap to me all he likes!

fareoh . facepaint

an upcoming house producer that i'd like to see a lot more of in the future. this song just makes me happy, it's so uplifting!

segal . vessel

(more free downloads on his soundcloud)

segal produces the score for skins UK and seriously, he's made some of the most beautiful instrumentals to accompany the most dramatic and heartfelt moments of the show that whenever i re-listen to his music, it just takes me back! i love when you can feel the emotion in a song.

boys noize & erol alkan . lemonade (gesaffelstein remix)

i am such a big fan of gesaffelstein! totally dark and french and twisted, in a techno/ electro way. boys noize is also awesome, saw him live when i didn't really know much about his music, but was pleasantly surprised when it urged me to dance all night long.

how can this combination not be good? so much talent in one song, really, it's insanity.

grouplove . tongue tied

grouplove = pure dance-y fun! hopefully seeing them live soon?!

(more free downloads on their soundcloud)

how cute are these girls?! they make some of my favorite mash-ups and this song is amaaaaazing. seriously, have i mentioned that rap mashed over gorgeous melodies is like... my favorite thing EVER? cause they are and this is a fine example of that.

lana del rey . diet mountain dew

hey, i'm a fan of lana, no matter the drama surrounding her. i like her songs no matter how weird her snl performances are and how plumped her lips are haha

loz contreras . break you down ft. sanna

oh my gosh. sooooo beautiful. really, so freaking beautiful it makes me wanna cry!

mac miller . knock knock

throwback! sampling can do a lot for a song, see above example.

nujabes . tsurugi no mai

oh, just ANOTHER gorgeous nujabes song. always love for nujabes. rest in peace jun seba. 

i think r3hab has cornered the market on awesome pop-y remixes. for reals.

sleeping at last . turning page

yes, i watched the twilight trilogy. yes, i'm one of those. on another note, the soundtrack for the movies are awesome, and this song is one of my favorites. something so pretty, i'd consider using it at my wedding.

we are knights . tears

just another great driving song; indie chill.

so excited for the new miike snow! wheeeeeeeeee. but anyway, wolfgang gartner is another house love of mine. just massive, massive tracks.

really liking the piano in this! awesome vocals, awesome track.

NOTE: links are to separate sites where you can download listed songs, or if no free downloads are available, links are to where you can stream the music, and if you like it, purchase it! 

*all images gathered from google images, and further edited by me*