Category Archives: Snacks

Little Tea Sandwiches

Little Tea Sandwiches

I’ve always been fond of high-tea and everything that this particular dining experience brings to the table (I love using that phrase!) The sandwiches are the perfect combination of sweet & savory ingredients, along with unique pairings of exciting flavors. The little guys are stacked beautifully on a 3-tier tower and are accompanied by a pot of your favorite tea… who wouldn’t love this?!

With high-tea on my mind, I decided to make 3 of my favorite little tea sandwiches for a friend’s potluck picnic happening this weekend. The ingredients aren’t expensive and the preparation process was very simple so I don’t really have a “recipe” for you guys… but I do have this amazing list of 50 tea sandwiches to share with you!

Peanut Butter & Banana

whole wheat bread, sliced
banana, thinly sliced
creamy peanut butter – I liked to use Skippy 

Spread the peanut butter on one side of both slices of the bread, and pile on the banana slices (I go a little crazy here because I love banana, but feel free to do as much as you like). Close the sandwich and slice into 4 squares with, or without the crusts on.

Cucumber & Basil

white sandwich bread, sliced
english cucumbers, thinly sliced
fresh basil leaves
avocado, mashed
3 tsp whipped butter – I used a little more butter since I was making a larger quantity
parsley, fresh or dried
a couple of dashes of lime juice
garlic salt & pepper, to taste

In a small bowl combine the butter, avocado, parsley, garlic salt & pepper. Mix thoroughly to ensure all ingredients are incorporated well, into a smooth-ish spread. Apply the spread onto one side of both slices of bread, and layer the cucumber slices on. Sprinkle lightly with pepper and place the basil leaves on top. Close the sandwich and slice into 4 squares with, our without, the crusts on.

Ham & Brie

deli low sodium ham, thinly sliced – I prefer the Boars Head brand
brie, sliced length ways
dijon mustard
medium pretzel roll

Spread the dijon mustard on the inside of a split pretzel roll. Place one slice of brie on the bread, then pile the deli ham and close the sandwich. Slice into 5 pieces.

Serve each sandwich with your favorite cup of tea & enjoy!

Feeling Peckish

When I was little I used to get hungry a LOT, and the running joke in my family was that I needed to be fed every hour. At one point, my mum seriously thought I had parasites or some strange stomach virus that caused perpetual hunger. Omg, touch wood I don’t.

Now I would love to tell you that things have since changed and I eat like a regular person… alas, I cannot tell a lie.

My family, friends, and husband (oh! in-laws, too) know all too well that this beast of a stomach cannot be tamed… unless fed! Ha. It is beyond silly when I think about it, but I’ve just come to accept that food will always be a big part of my life, and ain’t nothing wrong with that. Also, it really doesn’t help that growing up in Hong Kong you are surrounded by a culture that, quite literally, lives to eat! A prime example is one of the first things a person asks in polite conversation – “leih sihk jo faahn mei ar?No prizes for guessing what my answer always is!

Anyway, because I am constantly peckish I very much enjoy snacking! These days it’s generally something on the boring healthier side: carrot sticks, sliced fruit, granola bars, etc. but I’m not gonna lie, it’s challenging to find something that will really satiate me.

Dude, when I’m in Hong Kong my snacking is on a whole’nother level… legit, it’s out of control.  Ja Leung, Ga Dan Zai, Yue Dan, Dan-Dan Mein, Calbee Hot & Spicy chips (aka. chili chips, holla!), Vita Lemon Tea, Hello Panda, Pocky, Pretz, Egg Tarts, McWings, that peanut butter waffle thing …ahh, I could literally go on forever. So now you can only imagine my dismay when I moved to the US  and had to say goodbye to all my “friends”…

Hello PandaAll of that changed the day someone introduced me to Super 88!  I must’ve squealed with delight because I had gone two loooong years without anything good to eat, in Providence. Then when I moved to NY, I was smart enough to realize that Chinatown was the place to be. Dim sum restaurants, Hong Kong supermarkets… even street food! It. was. great.

The same goes for living here in Arlington, VA. I quickly Yelped the local Asian grocery and the Indian store (can’t forget about the Haldirams!) so we would be all set. It’s a little bit of a journey to get out there, do your shopping and head back, but it’s totes worth it.

Just like most stories I like to tell, this one ends on a good note! I’m happy to tell you that snack time has been revived, and I’ll even say that it’s better now than ever… with a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

 

Cauliflower Cakes

I read a lot of food blogs, and one of my favorites is The Mixed Pickle by Tara & Lee. I met Tara back in 2011 when the husbo (my then fiancé) and I were doing our engagement photos in New York City. Tara is extremely talented, and she truly has an eye for composing beautiful photography.

Needless to say, the photos are one of the reasons why I enjoy reading The Mixed Pickle. Put that together with the fact that Tara & Lee are both huge foodies, and you’ve got some awesome-sauce stuff. Their recipes are so simple that anyone could follow them; whether you are a novice home cook or have been doing magic in the kitchen for years, you won’t be disappointed.

Tara is also a vegetarian, which means that all the recipes are meatless but they utilize some of the yummiest ingredients (paneer, brussel sprouts, etc.) so all you “I-don’t-eat-veggies” people have absolutely no excuse to be put off.

Here is my adaptation of their Broccoli and Cauliflower Fritters… the key word being ‘adaptation’.  If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I have a really bad habit of not following a recipe. That said, I didn’t have any broccoli, so I just used cauliflower and added some left over spinach into the mix.

Cauliflower Cakes

Cauliflower Cakes

1 small head of cauliflower
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup spinach
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp paprika
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
extra virgin olive oil cooking spray
salt & pepper (to taste)
sour cream (for serving)
sprig of cilantro (for serving)

Fill a 2-quart pot about half way with water and bring to a boil. Thoroughly wash the cauliflower, cut into florets; place into the pot, and blanch until just tender. Remove, rinse with cold water and leave to cool.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt and watch them sweat (read: cook until translucent – about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and toss in the spinach, until the leaves just begin to wilt – this will prevent the spinach from over cooking, which in turn creates that nasty ‘metallic’ taste.

The recipe calls for placing the cauliflower in the food processor along with the cooked onions, spinach & garlic, but I was too lazy to break out any fancy appliances, so I just roughly diced the cauliflower and tossed it in with the cooked ingredients.

Place the mixture in a bowl and add the egg, flour, paprika, and salt & pepper; mix thoroughly. Fold in the shredded cheese until all the ingredients are completely incorporated into a thick-ish batter.

Heat a 10″ sauté pan over medium heat and coat the pan with cooking spray. Spoon in about a 1/4-cup of the batter; you can do 3 – 4 at a time in pan of this size. Cook until golden brown and the batter holds its shape, took me about 7-8 minutes. Flip and cook for another 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

Finish with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika & cilantro.