OK, I’m hardly the best cook in the world, but there’s a small handful of recipes I’ve managed to follow and get great results with! So, if you’re like me (or even if you aren’t ;)), I thought I’d share these with you just for fun (and also because I’ve had many people ask me about them from time to time, and I thought it’d be nice to collect them in one single spot).

So, enjoy!

Milk Chai

This recipe will make about 2 cups.  The tea leaves can be steeped again one more time before they start losing flavour:

– 2 teaspoons of loose leaf black tea (I use Assam tea, but any black tea will do)
– 2 teaspoons of chai masala (we bought it already prepped, but you can make your own by following this recipe:

Chai masala:
* 4 star anise pods
* 4 teaspoons green cardamom pods
* 4 teaspoons black peppercorns
* 1 crushed cinnamon stick (not cassia)
* 1 teaspoon cloves
* 1 tablespoon ground ginger
In a dry skillet, combine star anise pods, green cardamom pods, black peppercorns, crushed cinnamon stick, and cloves. Stir in ground ginger. Store in cool, dark place. )

– 2 cups of water
– 2 cups of milk
– 2 tablespoons of sugar (or to taste)
– 3-4 teaspoons each of nutmeg and ground cinnamon (or to taste). You can also use allspice instead to replace the nutmeg and cinnamon, though.

Pour the water and the loose leaf teas in a pot and bring it to a boil on medium heat. Bring the heat down to medium low and pour the sugar. Add the milk and wait for it to heat up a bit. Then add the spices (nutmeg and cinnamon or the allspice). Let it sit for a bit on medium low to low heat. To serve, you will need a strainer to hold the loose leaf tea.

Note: the first time I drank this tea it gave me the jitters! If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want to try decaf black tea.

Green Tea Milkshake

2 tbsps honey
2 tbsps powder green tea (matcha)
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1 cup of milk

Blend all ingredients and serve 🙂

Broccoli Salad (from Aunt Janet)

3-4 slices of bacon
1 head of fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of white sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, onion and raisins. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise. Pour over broccoli mixture and toss until well mixed. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Before serving, toss salad with crumbled bacon and sunflower seeds.

Arepas (recipe below copied from Venezuelan Foods and Drinks)

2 cups of Harina P.A.N. flour (or your choice of pre-cooked corn flour — make sure it’s pre-cooked!)
2 1/2 cups of water (I use milk)
A pinch of salt

Place two cups of flour in a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix through with clean dry hands. Measure two cups of warm water and pour onto flour. Knead together the flour and water with your hands until the mixture is thoroughly blended and there are no grainy lumps. If the is too soggy and sticks to your fingers add more flour. If it is too dry add water. The perfect dough should roll easily into a large ball without cracking. Break off a fistful of the dough and roll it into a ball in your hands. Then pat it and turn it in your hands until its about half an inch thick and about 3-4 inches across. It should have the classic flying saucer shape now. Make the rest of the arepas you want to cook. If any dough is left over wrap it in plastic – to keep in the moisture – and place in fridge. It will keep for three to four days. Heat a little oil in a heavy frying pan or griddle and when hot add the arepas, as many as will comfortably fit in the pan. The idea is to give the arepas a crunchy exterior (“una cara”, literally “a face”, as they say in Venezuela) so don’t turn the heat up too high. When the arepas are brown on one side turn them over. The whole process should not take longer than 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. When arepas have been browned, reduce oven to 200 degrees, place arepas on a baking tray at the top of the oven for 15-20 minutes. When ready they should sound hollow when tapped with a knife. Serve with butter and grated cheese, scrambled eggs, black beans, ham, hot sauce and anything else you want to fill them with. The trick is to make an incision in the arepa – slicing through the middle but not going all the way – and then open it up like a pocket for the filling.

Mushroom Bisque with tarragon (thanks Aunt Mara!)

3/4 lbs (750 g) of mushrooms
1 tbsp butter or margarine
4 tbsp minced onion
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 ml) hot chicken stock
2 cups of milk (can do 1 cup of milk, and 1 cup of cream)
2 tsp dried tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste

Thinly slice 4 mushroom caps and set aside; coarsely chop remaining mushrooms (if using food processor, use on-off turns). In saucepan, melt margarine over medium heat; add onion and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes, stirring often; sprinkle with flour and stir until mixed. Whisk in hot chicken stock and bring to boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and add milk, tarragon, and reserved sliced mushrooms; simmer, uncovered, for 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings of 3/4 cup/175 ml each

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup

* 1 tsp sesame or peanut oil (if you have it; if not, any oil will do)
* 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx 300 g or 2/3 lb.)
* 1 can coconut milk (398 ml or 14oz)
* 1 can of chicken broth
* Zest of half a lemon
* Zest of half a lime
* Juice of one lime
* 1 tsp dried chili peppers
* 1 tbsp fresh ginger
* 3 green onions, thinly chopped (only the white and light green parts)
* 1 tbsp brown sugar (optional)

Cut the chicken into small strips. Sautée the strips in oil at medium high, in a stove-top fry pan, until they’re no longer pink. Warm coconut milk in a medium-sized sauce pan, then add the can of chicken broth. Add zest of half a lemon and half a lime, the dried chili peppers, ginger, green onion and brown sugar. Add the chicken strips to the sauce pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer on low temperature for about 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Do not eat the ginger; fish it out before serving.

You can also replace the chicken for rice noodles, or shrimp, or just have it “bare.” It’s still really good 🙂

Easy Meatballs

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tbsp. basil
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl combine egg, water, bread crumbs, onion, spices, salt and pepper and combine. Add ground beef, broken into chunks, and mush with your hands to combine. Form into meatballs about 1″ in diameter. Fry in a little butter or oil until brown. Shake skillet constantly to keep meatballs round. Place meatballs on a broiler pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes until meatballs are no longer pink in center. Cool and freeze, or when baked, use in your favorite recipe.

Peanut Butter Pasta

Dry pasta (enough for 2 people)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup soy milk or coconut milk (or more water)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp steak sauce or vegan worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne (more if you like it spicy)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3-4 cups veggies (broccoli, bell peppers, edamame, carrots, peas, corn, etc), cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the peanut butter, hot water, and milk (soy, coconut, rice – if using) until smooth. Stir in the soy sauce, steak sauce/worcestershire, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper. When pasta is almost done, add vegetables and cook for another couple of minutes. Drain and return to pot. Pour in the peanut sauce and toss well. Garnish with chopped nuts, if using.

Banana Bread Recipe

3 or 4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter (can be replaced with yogurt)
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.


*1 15oz can of chick peas, drained
*2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
*Juice of 1 lemon
*1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
* 4 tablespoons of tahini
*2 tablespoons of olive oil

Blend all ingredients, Add a little water to get nice creamy consistency.

Rice Pudding (thanks Mom!)

*3 cups of milk
*1 1/2 cups of rice (or just make ratio 2 milk : 1 rice)
*1 can of condensed milk
*1-2 cinnamon sticks
*Ground cinnamon to taste
*1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Put milk and cinnamon sticks in a pot over medium temperature; add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until it starts to boil (note: because I used basmati rice and it’s harder than regular rice, I cook it prior to this first step). Let it boil for a few minutes, then lower the heat to a simmer and stir occasionally until it starts to thicken (not too thick!). Add the condensed milk and vanilla. Let it sit (stir every so often so it won’t stick). Make sure the rice grains are soft enough before adding condensed milk; if not, let it boil a bit longer (you may need to add more milk). Don’t let the rice dry too much! Serve with some ground cinnammon on top to taste.

Mint Oreo Brownies (thanks Vera!)
(note: if you can’t find mint oreos, it’s just as tasty with regular ones 🙂 ).

-1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
-1/3 cup cocoa powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 cup (2 sticks) butter (cut into pieces)
-6 oz chopped unsweetened chocolate
-2 cups sugar
-3 cups roughly chopped mint oreos (about 18)
-4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, and grease lightly. In a medium-large saucepan over low heat, melt together butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally. Whisk in sugar, salt and vanilla, then turn off heat. Whisk in eggs one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in flour and cocoa powder until mixture is uniform. Stir in peppermint oreo cookies and pour batter into prepared pan. Crush 3-4 additional cookies finely and sprinkle on top of batter, if desired. Bake for about 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs, but not coated with batter. Cool brownies in pan for about 20 minutes, then lift brownies in the foil out of the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

6 Responses to Recipes!

  1. Lui says:

    We are bread nuts so we’ll have to try the banana bread, for sure. I also hope to try the Chai, but it may have to wait another few weeks. 😉

    • adriana says:

      the chai is a nice fall or winter drink; at least that’s how I feel about it.

      And yeah, the banana bread is super easy to make and very tasty! You can add nuts, berries, etc. to it if you want to as well 🙂

  2. Lui says:

    Oh! Meatballs, that sounds good! As do some of the other new recipes you’ve added. If you have any kid friendly vegetarian recipe I’d love to try those as well!

    • adriana says:

      Would the peanut butter pasta be considered kid friendly? (barring any peanut allergies of course). That one’s meat free…

  3. JITH says:

    Chai Masala or “Masla (Te ) ” Sinhalese for Tea- great after a chilli hot
    curry – the first mouthful feels like you added fuel to flames but clears
    the mucus lining and amazingly the Chillie hotness vanishes.

    Try doing a Sri Lankan roadside tea kiosk style – ” a yard of tea ”
    – after making boiling hot pot of milk tea – pour into a cup hold up high
    in one hand and pour into another cup held a yard below in the other hand –
    reverse the process a few time – makes the tea frothy and a cooled down.

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