Welcome to The Republic of Tea

Ginger Peach Tea Mussels and Shrimp

A long time ago, friends highly recommended two dollar boxes filled with 30 bags of green tea. It was the trendy, recently discovered (in Western culture) ingredient. Everyone was talking about all its health benefits, such as weight loss, clear skin, detox and low cholesterol. It cures (fill in your health problem here). Back then, I drank a cup in the morning and another cup in the afternoon. Then, one day as I was strolling in the health food store, I picked up a nicely designed steel can of 50 green tea in unbleached bags (free of unnecessary tags, strings and staples). As a designer, I was immediately attracted to the packaging. The label had all the buzz words demonstrating good citizenry in the world: organic, The People’s Green Tea and social good activities. The first sip was refreshing. The second sip I threw the cheap green tea boxes away. The third sip, I wanted to learn more about tea inspired by The Republic of Tea.

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Plum Cardamon Chicken Wings

Plum Cardamon Chicken Wings

Plum Cardamon Chicken Wings

What to do with plums left over from those last days of summer? I wouldn’t recommend serving them fresh, because they’re not quite their best anymore. However, here’s a sauce making best use of those late season, mealy plums for chicken wings or using as a dip for French fries. Where to serve them? It’s the start of another football season, and sports parties always have chicken wings. Meanwhile, my excitement for fall is because of the new television shows. This season, I’m watching Scandal and Boardwalk Empire. Read more

A Super Bowl Menu with Roast Red Pepper Chili Buffalo Wings and Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip

Roast Red Pepper Chili Buffalo Wings marinated in Beer

The commercials, half-time shows and spending time with friends are a few reasons why I like Super Bowl weekends. With the sport’s masculine influence, most menus are quick, gooey, greasy and salty. Here are a few vintage recipes ideas to serve at your Super Bowl party, including a new recipe for Roast Red Pepper Chili Buffalo Wings. Read more

Red Bean Salsa Nachos with Avocado Yogurt

Red Bean Salsa Nachos with Avocado Yogurt

Let’s hope your New Year’s resolution includes a game plan for a gradual lifestyle change for the better. February is probably the first true challenge of maintaining healthy goals. The football weekends leading to Superbowl are exciting events to spend with friends and family. Such celebratory events have unhealthy nibbles, bites and treats. Who’s winning?

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Sweet and Savory Chocolate Dipped Crackers with a Creamy Cheese

Sweet and Savory Chocolate Dipped Crackers

Gojee.com is having a potluck party. My dish is simple: Crackers and cheese. That’s it. It’s best to keep it simple, instead of introducing a complex dish. Of course, everyone’s dish is going to be superbly unique. It’s not a competition, but it’s necessary to try my best. After all, we drool and glaze at each other photographs. This time, we’re tasting the creation.

My idea starts with a simple recipe: Crackers. They literally take 30 minutes from prep to serving. That’s the same amount of time it takes to buy crackers at a store. These aren’t basic flour and butter crackers, for they’re “whatever’s in my pantry” flavor. I started by adding lemon to the basic recipe. Then I changed the recipe to include cornmeal and chili spices. Lastly, rosemary and wheat are classically paired together. I’m proud of my quick creation. However, there’s a little encouraging voice in my mind to push this plain cracker idea further. Read more