Thursday, May 13, 2010

~*~*~* Passion-Orange Sparkling Drink *~*~*~

In celebration of warmer weather, pre/post-finals relaxation, and overall refreshment, here's a sparkling juice drink "recipe" (I like to think of it more as, "guidelines").

Serving size: 1 glass (but easily adjustable!)

-1 orange, room-temperature
-passion fruit syrup
-cold carbonated water (Calistoga, San Pellegrino, club soda, etc.)
-ice (optional, but definitely nice if you have it)

  1. Juice the orange.  Be impressed by how little juice is contained in that entire orange.
  2. Pour carbonated water into a glass until 2/3 - 3/4 full (this depends on how large your glass is).
  3. Pour in your fresh-squeezed orange juice.  Be amused by how it fizzes.
  4. Add in a couple spoonfuls of passion fruit syrup.  Stir a few times, to make sure everything's nicely mixed.  Taste, then adjust sweetness and passion fruit flavor by adding a little more at a time until desired sweetness/passion is reached.

-If you want to make A LOT of this, it's probably most practical to just buy some (not from concentrate) orange juice.
-The proportion of carbonated water to juice is approximately 3:1.  That means the final drink is 75% fizzy water, 25% OJ.  If you're inaccurate like me, err on the side of more juice, less water.
-The reason temperature is specified for the orange and carbonated water (under ingredients)!  Sort of.  I remember reading somewhere that you get the more juice out of citrus fruits when they are at room temperature than when they are cold from the fridge (there's some scientific reason, I can't articulate it).  For the carbonated water, it comes down to gas laws: the colder it is, the more gas will dissolve into the liquid (something to do with molecular motion, I think...hey, chem was a long time ago..).  The converse is also true: the warmer it is, the less gas will be dissolved in the liquid.  This is why soda is so much more awesome cold.  Essentially, for maximum fizziness, refrigerate carbonated beverages.
-I got the idea for this combo from a can of juice concentrate, haha...
-Orange juice + Sprite/7-up is also a most excellent combo. :3

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mini Strawberry Tarts

Peter came over and since he lacks any kitchen accoutrements at his dorm, we decided to satisfy his cravings for some home cooking. We had some fresh strawberries on hand, time, and a hankering for sugar. Since we were waiting for food to be delivered (from ATE Comfort, super yummy and cheap in the San Diego area) He called his mommy, and she gave us a pastry crust recipe. I googled and found a custard recipe. Good teamwork.

Tart Crust
  • 1 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 T Sugar
  • 1/4 t orange peel (optional)
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 T Water
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • handful chocolate chips
  1. Mix dry ingredients together
  2. Cut butter into dry ingredients
  3. Add water and vanilla
  4. Mix until holds together
  5. Refrigerate for ~20 minutes until cold
  6. Divide up dough into 6 equal parts. Press dough ball into muffin pan with fingers. Push to cover bottom and sides. Try to make it an even thickness ~1/4 in.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. You might want to check after 10 minutes.
  8. Put chocolate on bottom while still warm. Spread chocolate out on bottom when melted.
Strawberry Filling
  • 1.5 cups fresh strawberries
  • 3 T sugar
  1. Cut strawberries into slices
  2. Sprinkle sugar on top, and mix
Custard Sauce
  • 1 c Milk
  • 1/4 c Sugar
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • Ice
  1. Heat milk and sugar until simmering, without stirring.
  2. Take off heat, add slowly to beaten egg yolks
  3. Return to burner, and let mixture thicken until coats back of spoon. Be careful not to overheat and cook the egg.
  4. Take off heat and stir over ice until cool
  5. Place in fridge until cold,
Tart Assembly:
  1. Wait until the tart shells are cooled off.
  2. Spoon a bit of custard into the bottom of each shell.
  3. Assemble strawberry slices on top. If you can do it artfully congratuations, if you can't it's still yummy.
Makes 6 mini strawberry tarts.

You'll probably have a lot of leftover custard, mmm. Put on ice cream, dessert, or your spoon.