Pears Poached in Agua de Jamaica

It’s pear season, and also almost time for Halloween. I’ve been thinking of poaching pears in agua de jamaica for a while, and I based my poaching liquid off my favorite recipe for the drink in Adrianna’s The Year of Cozy. Sadly, my local market was out of oranges (which Adrianna uses in her recipe), so I used grapefruit. Grapefruit turned out to be a fantastic choice for the poaching liquid, as its acidity compliments that of the hibiscus. I actually ended up drinking the leftover straining liquid with water and it was great… Anyways, here’s the recipe.


Serves two + 1 drink

  • 1/2 C Dried Hibiscus Flowers
  • 1 T Vanilla Extract
  • 2 T + 2 t Sugar
  • 1 1/2 C Water
  • 1/2 C Ruby Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 Peeled Pears
  • Ice Cream to Serve


  1. Mix together all the ingredients except the pears and ice cream. Bring them to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Put the peeled pears in and simmer for 25 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes.
  3. Let the pears cool in the liquid (at this point I ran to 7-Eleven for ice cream).
  4. You can drink the liquid after straining (I did this after adding water) or boil it down into a syrup for serving.
  5. Serve the poached pears with ice cream and enjoy!

Borage Lemonade

I really do love eating flowers. So when I saw a dried packet of unknown flowers in the spices section of the supermarket I bought it first and asked questions later. When I got home, most of the recipes I found online for borage required fresh flowers/plant parts, so they were out. However I also found that its supposed to taste like cucumber. My copy of The Lemonade Cookbook (my favorite source of salads) has cucumber lemonade, so I checked what they paired it with- mint. So I made a borage-mint simple syrup and mixed it with lemon juice and water.



Serves 6

For Borage-Mint Simple Syrup

1/2 C Water

1/2 C Sugar

3 T Dried Borage Flowers

1 T Dried Mint

For the Rest of the Lemonade

3 C Water

1/2 C Lemon Juice


  1. Mix together all of the simple syrup ingredients in a saucepan. Let simmer for 5 minutes until sugar is all dissolved. Let it cool for 10 minutes, and then strain out the flowers and mint.
  2. Mix it with the rest of the lemonade ingredients and enjoy.

Red Currant Lemonade


I love gutting food blogs. I read the whole blog from the very beginning to the end as quick as possible while filing interesting stuff into categories that I will later use to plan meals. I have 8 general categories of food bookmarks and even more subcategories. When reading earlier entries of Reiko’s Culinary Tribune I couldn’t always find the recipes. All her stuff looked so cool, so for the Red Currant Citrusade I made my own recipe.

Serves 15 People


For the Currant Sugar-Water

  • 1/2 C Frozen Red Currants
  • 1 C of Sugar
  • 1 C Water

For the Rest of the Lemonade

  • 6 C Water
  • 1 C Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 C of Rose Water


  1. Mix the ingredients of the currant sugar-water in a saucepan and heat on the stove until the currants are cooked through.
  2. Mash and put the currants through a strainer. Discard the currant skins but keep all the liquid and refrigerate until cool.
  3. Mix the water, lemon juice, rose water and currant sugar-water in a pitcher.
  4. Enjoy!

Raspberry & Gooseberry Crumble

My attempts to find green gooseberries became legendary/a long-running joke among my senior-year English class. Sadly, I ultimately failed, but I did find some jarred ones, which I used to make this crumble.




  • 1 1/2 C Jarred Gooseberries
  • 3 T Flour
  • 2 T Elderflower Syrup
  • 1 1/2 C Frozen Raspberries
  • 1 T Fresh Chopped Mint (loosely packed)
  • 6 T Honey


  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 C Almond Meal
  • 2 T Flour
  • 1/2 C Rolled Oats
  • 1 Pinch Salt
  • 4 T Butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F/190 °C.
  2. Mix together all the crust’s ingredients except the butter. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the try mix.
  3. Heat the honey and mint in a saucepan, turn off the heat when the honey becomes a lighter consistency.
  4. Mix the other filling ingredients together and then add the mint honey.
  5. Put the wet mixture in a baking dish (I used a 22 cm x 12 cm/9 in x 5 in metal one) and top with the crust mixture.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or so until the topping is crisped and the juices are bubbling.
  7. Enjoy!

#Nyanuary Dango with Black Tea Syrup for Nyanko Sensei

I’m participating in Fandom Foodie’s Nyanuary this month (more info here). The theme is cats and so I decided to make a treat for my favorite fictional cat of all, Nyanko Sensei, from Natsume Yuujinchou. Natsume Yuujinchou is one of my top anime/manga because of its calm atmosphere, stellar music, and excellent art.

Nyanko Sensei is always eating and he’s always begging Natsume to take him to the dango shop on the way home, so in honor of him, I made dango. The colors are meant to represent his white fur, orange fur, and red markings + collar (if you want grey you could experiment with black sesame). I used some rather untraditional flavors but I was overall happy with the result. I paired it with a tea syrup as Nyanko Sensei might drink tea, though he would most likely much prefer alcohol.


Makes 3 Skewers



  • 1/4 C + 2 T (Non-Glutinous) White Rice Flour
  • 1/4 C + 2 T Mochiko
  • 2 T Sugar
  • 1/3 C of Hot Water
  • 5 t Almond Extract
  • 1 t Elderflower Syrup
  • 5 t Orange Extract
  • Orange Food Coloring
  • Red Food Coloring

Black Tea Syrup (Adapted from Thirsty for Tea)

  • 5 t of Tangerine Black Tea Leaves (I used this)
  • 1/6 C Hot Water
  • 1 t of Almond Extract
  • 1/4 C Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 C White Sugar



  1. First make the tea syrup. Steep the tea leaves in the water until suitably dark and then strain them out.
  2. Mix the strained tea and sugars in a sauce pan and heat until the sugars are dissolved. Let the mixture cool
  3. Add the almond extract to the cooled mixture and then set it to the side until later.
  4. To begin making the dango, first whisk together all the dry ingredients. Bit by bit mix into the hot water to make the mixture cohesive.
  5. Break the dough into three parts. To the first part add the almond extract and red dye. To the second part add the orange extract and orange food coloring. To the third portion add the elderflower syrup. If one gets too wet, add more mochiko.
  6. Form each portion into three equally sized balls.
  7. Now it’s time to boil them. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. I did them separately out of fear the colors would mix. Drop a batch in the water, when a ball floats (about 10 minutes) remove it.
  8. Place the balls on the skewers like shown in the picture and then serve with the syrup
  9. Enjoy!

Orange Blossom & Tea Pastry Cream

I made these for a friend’s husband who can’t eat chocolate, unfortunately I forgot how badly caffeine affects him. My friend and I really enjoyed it in a crepe cake though!



  • ¼ C Potato Starch
  • ¾ C Baker’s Sugar
  • 2 C Milk (I used Nido & Water)
  • 2 Bags Orange Tea (I used OSULLOC Samdayeon Jeju Tangerine)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 T Unsalted Butter
  • 1 t Almond Extract
  • 1 t Orange Blossom Water


  1. Start heating the milk to a simmer.
  2. While you wait for it to simmer, mix together the potato starch, baker’s sugar, and egg yolks.
  3. Cut open the tea bags and pour their contents into the simmering milk. Turn off the heat and cover for 5 minutes).
  4. Strain the tea leaves out of the milk and then put the milk back in the pot.
  5. Mix the starchy-sugar mixture and the rest of ingredients (salt, unsalted butter, almond extract and orange blossom water) into the milk and turn the heat on low underneath. Mix it together until thickened to satisfaction.
  6. Put the pastry cream in another container and let chill.
  7. When chilled wrap it in a crepe use it as you would any other pastry cream.

Mini Pineapple Tartlets

I think these were probably inspired by looking at bolu bao (though these are NOT bolu bao) and wishing I could have some filled with pineapple. I added my beloved elderflower to the mix and made these.


Makes under 20.


For the filling

  •      10 oz/284 g (Drained) Crushed Fresh Pineapple
  •      ¼ C Elder Flower Syrup
  •      Dash of Salt
  •      1 T Flour

For the Crust

  •      5 T Salted Butter
  •      1 Egg
  •      2 ½ T Powdered Sugar
  •      ½ t Almond Extract
  •      1 ¼ (heaping) C Flour
  •      3 T Corn Starch


  1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F or 175°C.

Making the Filling

  1.     Mix together the (drained) crushed pineapple with the elder flower syrup, place the combined mixture in a sauce pan and cook until the majority of the liquid evaporates.
  2.     Add the dash of salt and flour into the mixture and combine. Cover and place this in the fridge until needed later.

Making the Crust

  1.     Use an electric mixer to mix the butter, egg, sugar, and almond extract together until well combined. Then add in the flour and corn starch and mix well.

Making the Tartlets

  1.     Take a tablespoon amount of dough and flatten in your palm, add in a teaspoon amount of filling. Cover the filling and smooth the dough into a rectangular prism shape. Repeat until there is no more dough or filling left.
  2.     Place the tartlets on a silpat and put it in the over for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip them after the 12 minutes has elapsed and cook for another 12 minutes.
  3.     Take them out of the oven and place them on a cooling tray.
  4.     Enjoy.

Elderflower/Honeysuckle Syrup

This is my great aunt’s recipe that she makes from the plants she grows in her garden in Switzerland. It is super delicious and I love cooking with elderflower syrup! Since I can’t get elderflowers where I live right now, I made a honeysuckle syrup which was also very good!


  • 15 Stemless Elderflowers or 30 Honeysuckle Flower Heads
  • 6 1/3 C/15 dL Boiling Water
  • 2 ib + 3.264 oz/1 kg Sugar
  • 4 oz/113 g Citric Acid
  • 1 Sliced Lemon


  1. Shake flowers to dislodge potential insects.
  2. Place in a jar with the lemon, hot water, sugar and citric acid.
  3. Let stand for two days and stir twice a day.
  4. Sieve until clear.
  5. Boil in a sauce pan and remove froth.
  6. Cool and serve in club soda or in whatever you like.