Matcha Lattes

IMG_3639I'm going to be honest with you guys. I really wanted to like matcha, a super refined green tea powder that's supposed to have great health benefits (and has become pretty trendy recently). It has so many anti-oxidants! It's so much less acidic than coffee! It's such a pretty color green! IMG_3632I made these lattes one afternoon looking for a caffeine fix, and I just...didn't like it at all. Maybe I needed to add more sweetener? Maybe I need to try a different brand of tea?

IMG_3634In any case, I still wanted to post this recipe for a couple of reasons: one, to show that even food bloggers fail at recipes. And two, to see if there are any matcha aficionados out there who have suggestions (also, I'm kind of obsessed with those handle-less mugs.) I'll be sticking to cappuccinos to get my caffeine fix for now, but I'm always on the lookout for new things to try.IMG_3636

Matcha Lattes (adapted very slightly from Bon Appetit, serves 2)

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

teaspoons matcha powder

2-4 tablespoons agave syrup

Bring almond milk to a simmer in a small pot over medium-high heat. Once milk has been heated, foam with a milk frother if desired.
Place 1 teaspoon matcha powder each in two heatproof cups. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup boiling water in each cup, then add 3/4 cup almond milk, tipping cup slightly to help create more foam. Whisk in agave syrup, adding more if desired.

Watermelon-Basil Agua Fresca

_MG_5007 _MG_5003When I studied abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico during high school I encountered many new things. It was the first time I had ever been away from home for more than a week, and the first time I had ever spent any time in a foreign country without my family. The experience shaped my love of travel, and, of course, food. Growing up in Minnesota, it was hard to find really authentic Mexican food (although, El Burrito Mercado in St. Paul is pretty fantastic), and I hadn't been exposed to much of it before I left for Cuernavaca. Apart from the amazing tacos and mole that my host mother made, one of the things I remember the most from that trip was when I tried aguas frescas for the first time. Horchata remains my favorite, but the other aguas, made from cantaloupe, pineapple, and of course, watermelon, are always the perfect accompaniment to spicy guacamole and burritos. I have seen multiple recipes and they always looked pretty simple, but I hadn't ever tried making them until last week found me with an excess of basil and watermelon. Simple as can be, and they went perfectly with the fried fish tacos I made that night.

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Watermelon-Basil Agua Fresca (adapted from Imbibe)

4 cups seedless watermelon, cut into 2-inch cubes

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1 cup water

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon sugar

Blend watermelon, basil and water on high for 1 minute, or until watermelon is crushed. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher, then stir in lime juice and sugar. Serve iced.