One-Ingredient Ice Cream

A problem every banana lover encounters is what to do with an excess of old, brown bananas. I find that brown bananas are a little bit too sweet to eat on their own so I usually try to make banana bread or banana bread muffins with them. I recently discovered another possibility, which is to freeze them and make my favorite treat…ice cream! Well, not real ice cream but the texture of frozen bananas is pretty close to the real thing.


Ice cream takes a lot of ingredients and effort to make on its own which is why this “ice cream” recipe is pretty amazing. All you need to do is blend a frozen banana in a food processor. I like to add some dark chocolate chips but you can get creative and blend in other things like Nutella. It’s an easy and healthy dessert that only takes seconds to make.


The bananas don’t necessarily have to be brown but the more brown they are, the more sweet the ice cream will be. Bananas are surprisingly very naturally sugary but nonetheless, the dessert is guilt-free. If you are ever craving ice cream, this super simple recipe will give you a quick fix. Maybe in the future I’ll learn to make ice cream from scratch, but for now I’ll stick with frozen bananas.


(makes 1 serving)

1 banana (preferably brown)
Dark chocolate chips (optional)

Peel banana and break into 3 chunks. Put in a plastic Ziploc bag and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Place frozen banana chunks (and chocolate) in a food processor. Blend until smooth. You may need to use a spoon to move the chunks around to blend better.


Roasted Vegetable Salad

I know summer isn’t completely over yet but I’ve already found a pretty good meatless dish for the Fall. It’s a light salad with roasted vegetables and is full of protein from baked chickpeas.


Salads often get a bad rep cause they remind people of “rabbit food” as my roommate likes to say. It can be hard to find a good balance of flavor and texture without adding too many unhealthy additives like croutons and creamy dressings. Our dining hall has a great salad station that students love, but it can get repetitive since it’s the only good salad bar on campus.


I’ve made this salad in my kitchen about 3 times this week and I’d say its a couple steps up from “rabbit food.” It has a lot of flavor and crunch and is very simple to make. You’ll need an oven for roasting the vegetables, but you could also use a toaster oven, stir-fry them, or steam the vegetables in a pot or microwave.


(serves 2)

1/3 butternut squash, diced into small cubes
1/3 head cauliflower
1 cup chickpeas
2 handfuls mixed salad greens
1/2+1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
olive oil
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut butternut squash into bite-sized cubes and cauliflower into small florets. Place veggies into a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp cumin, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown.

Drain chickpeas and pat dry. In another baking tray, toss chickpeas with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Coat evenly and roast for 30 minutes, also stirring once halfway through.

For the dressing, mix 2 tbsp olive oil with 2 tbsp lemon juice.

To assemble the salad, mix the greens with roasted vegetables and the dressing. Sprinkle on the chickpeas.

adapted from To Her Core

Summer Peach Pie


Before the summer comes to an end, I have a pretty peach pie recipe for you all. This summer, I was subletting an apartment in Georgetown, without many of my cooking/baking supplies. I still managed to cook a lot but never had the chance to bake, without necessities like flour, sugar, etc. Now that I’m back home for a bit, I immediately baked a fruit pie because, well, it’s summer!


When I think of summer, I think of peaches. At the farmers’ market, the smell of peaches is so aromatic and enticing that I always end up buying them. They are always¬† juicy and delicious; I don’t think I could ever get sick of them! In the past, I’ve made individual peach crumbles that are perfect to share with a few friends. Since we recently had a bunch of family friends over, I thought I’d try a peach pie this time.


Our family friend Ernie loves to cook and knows almost everything about cooking. I’m seriously surprised he’s not a chef. Whenever I’m home for break, he comes over with giant coolers full of supplies and my family and him cook together. Each time there is a different theme – we’ve had a pizza night where we learned how to make thin crust pizza, doughy pizza, pizza baked in the oven, and pizza baked in the grill. Another time we made different types of breads like French baguettes. This time, our theme was pies and burgers.


Ernie shook his head when he saw that we had bought ready-made pie crusts in a box and immediately taught me a flawless pie crust recipe instead. The recipe is actually so simple and makes all the difference in the end; I think I’ve almost been converted to homemade crusts. Of course, college students don’t always have the time for homemade crusts so if you use store-bought crusts I won’t judge ūüėõ


The pie turned out so beautiful in the end that I was reluctant to cut into it. But when I tasted the pie, I quickly forgot about its appearance. The peaches were so soft and juicy, while the crust was flaky and buttery – the perfect contrast. I know most people take off the skin of their fruits when baking them in pies but I left the peach skin on and it actually gave the pie a little bit more texture.



Crust (makes 1)
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed6 tbsp cold water
1 egg white
dash of salt

Pie Filling
6-7 yellow peaches
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 3 tbsp flour1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon


(this is for 1 crust – I made two crusts separately but you could also double the ingredients to make both at once)

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and butter. Mix together with a pastry blender. (If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use two butter knives, one in each hand, and slice the dough with both knives in an x shape.) Mix until small pea-sized balls of dough form.

Sprinkle two tablespoons of cold water in and then mix with a fork or wooden spoon. Repeat two more times.

Using your hands, form the dough into a ball. You should see tiny chunks of butter in it, which is a good sign. Press the dough on a surface so into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap.

Place in fridge for 30 minutes to chill.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut peaches into slices and mix with lemon juice, sugar, and flour. Set aside.

Take out one pie crust and roll on a lightly floured surface and place in a 10-inch pie plate. Add 1/3 of the peach mix. Sprinkle 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon. Sprinkle on 1 tbsp of flour. Repeat with another 1/3 of the peach mix and then the other 1/3.

Roll out the other pie crust and cover over the plate. Trim off excess crust and pinch the two crusts together to form a seam. Cut a few slits on the top and brush a beaten egg white on top.

Sprinkle granulated sugar and cinnamon on top.

Bake for approximately 1 hour, until bubbly.

adapted from NY Times

Nutella Strawberry Pizza

Now that it’s summer, the warm weather and additional free time make it more appealing for me to get up early on Saturday mornings and walk to the farmers’ market. Every time I go, I have a blast buying fresh produce, nibbling on some treats for breakfast, and “window-shopping” through all the stands. Of the various items I bought last week were a carton of fresh strawberries. They were tiny, round little berries unlike the ones in grocery stores – just like they should be.


Feeling in a creative mood, I made Nutella pizza. Nutella, pizza, and fruit…how could that combination possibly go wrong? It ended up tasting more like a flat bread, probably because I had baked the dough first without the toppings. My friend Sydney had made the pizza dough for a little pizza party we had. Making homemade pizza with friends is always fun. Roll some dough, buy some toppings, and everyone can make their own personalized pizza, or one giant one to share!


This weekend, I’ll be moving to Georgetown for the summer since I’ll be working just outside of DC. I love the Georgetown area because of all the shops and restaurants and the neighborhood is beautiful. Hopefully there will be a farmers’ market close to me while I’m there!



Pizza dough
1/4 cup Nutella
Handful of strawberries


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Take out leftover pizza dough or store-bought pizza dough. If you don’t have any, here is a simple recipe.

Roll dough on a lightly floured surface into the shape of a circle, about 1/4-1/2 inch thick.

Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Spread as much Nutella as desired in the center and arrange sliced strawberries on top.


Asian Honey Garlic Noodles

Sometimes All the time I crave Asian food. However, I don’t usually cook Asian dishes because they require ingredients specifically for Asian cuisine that can only be found in specialty Asian supermarkets. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the small grocery store across the street had ingredients like mirin (cooking rice wine). Mirin is an essential Japanese condiment that is used to bring out strong flavors. Besides using it in these noodles, I’ve also made salmon with it and am next going to try using it on chicken.


I adapted this recipe from Dennis the Prescott, one of my favorite food Instagrammers. His photos are all incredibly drool-worthy and I’ve wanted to make all of his dishes, especially this one. The recipe is just for the noodles but I also baked Honey soy sauce chicken thighs to go along with it.


These noodles are a quick and easy dish that are guaranteed to satisfy a craving for Asian food. Of course, they’re nothing compared to my mom’s homemade dumplings but they’ll have to do until I visit home in the summer!



1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
4 cloves finely sliced garlic
1 tablespoon honey
500g chow mein noodles
1 bunch green onions (scallions) chopped
1 tbsp. finely diced ginger
1 lime
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, honey and sesame seeds. Whisk to combine.

Cook noodles for a couple minutes until firm, but slightly softened.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan or wok on high heat. Add noodles and ginger, and stirfry for a couple minutes. Add sauce, and cook for about 1 minute, making sure that the noodles are completely coated in sauce. Add scallions, juice of 1 lime, and toss to combine.

adapted from Dennis the Prescott

Dijon Pumpkin Spice Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are one of those foods everyone hates as a kid but then loves as they grow older. I know I used to avoid them at all costs because of their bitter taste and because all my friends hated them. Now, I absolutely love them. My favorite way to cook them is with bacon, which I taught to my cooking class in the beginning of the year. I’ve also tried them roasted with cinnamon but they ended up being too dry for my liking. This recipe, however, solves that problem.


My friend Keri, who is on the Spoon University at Hopkins team with me, is actually the creator of this amazing recipe. When she first mentioned “pumpkin spice” and “Brussels sprouts” in the same sentence I was a little thrown off. I usually associate pumpkin spice with fancy Starbucks lattes and Fall desserts but never would I have imagined to combine it with a vegetable. So of course, I had to try it and see for myself.


One bite of these sprouts and I knew this was my new favorite recipe for these veggies. The flavor was so complex, delicious, and new that I was completely blown away. The sweetness from the spice and maple syrup perfectly counters the bitter sprouts and the spiciness of the Dijon mustard ties it all together. I bet even the little kid version of myself would approve.



2 ¬Ĺ¬†cups Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
¬Ĺ teaspoon +¬†¬ľ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¬ľ¬†cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons chopped pecans (optional)
¬ľ cup cranberries (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Trim Brussels sprouts and cut in half lengthwise.  (Make sure sprouts are patted dry so they will get soggy when cooking).

In a medium bowl, mix sprouts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.

Bake for 25 minutes or until edges start to brown.

While they’re baking, whisk together Dijon, maple syrup, and remain olive oil and pumpkin pie spice.

Take sprouts out of the oven and drizzle the mixture over the sprouts. Add optional nuts or dried fruit and bake for another 10 minutes.

Blackberry Brie Bites

Brie is awesome. Its ooey-gooey creaminess makes us melt with delight as we spread it on crackers at dinner parties. But it can be spread on much more than crackers. For a light snack in the Spring or Summer, try making these blackberry brie bites. It’s the perfect combination of a burst of fruit and cheese, wrapped in a buttery, flaky blanket.


These are perfect crowd-pleasers for parties, meetings, or just for fun. They are literally bite-sized so they won’t make a mess but enough to¬†impress your friends and leave them wanting more. Of course, they’re best served warm, right after you take them out of the oven. If they do get cold, you can simply warm them up in the microwave and get the same taste.


I spontaneously made these after school one day because I had leftover brie and wanted to bake it in with puff pastry. These are actually very similar to the¬†Cuban Guava Pastries¬†I made last year, which were made using guava paste and cream cheese. There are soo many variations of puff pastry+fruit+cheese.¬†Next time, I’ll try using other fruits like figs and maybe add some honey!



(makes 16)

1 pkg puff pastry, thawed
1 quart blackberries
5 oz brie cheese, cut into cubes
3-4 tbsps blackberry jam
1 egg, for egg wash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the thawed puff pastry into equal squares.

Place a cube of brie in the middle of a square, spoon 1/4 teaspoon of jam onto it, and place blackberry on top. Fold two opposite corners into the middle and pinch corners together. Then, pinch the other two corners to meet in the middle so all 4 corners come together. Repeat for each square.

Beat the egg until mixed. Brush egg wash on the outer parts of puff pastry surface.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Crockpot Turkey Meatballs

Last summer I made these Easy Turkey Meatballs¬†that I thought were incredible. They had only a few ingredients and all I had to do was bake¬†them. They were so simple and perfect for times when I was in a rush or didn’t have a lot of time for preparation. However, I recently discovered¬†an even better way to make turkey meatballs that also isn’t time consuming but have¬†much more flavor.


One morning before class, I quickly formed the meatballs and plopped them into the crockpot. There wasn’t any need to turn on the stove and I only had to use one big bowl. I let the meatballs¬†cook in the sauce all day and when I came back, they were ready to be devoured by a very hungry and tired student.


These meatballs were soooo tender, they basically¬†melted in my mouth. They definitely had much more flavor and if I had more time, I would have added more herbs and garlic as well. My friends all tried some and were surprised by how it was as if “the sauce was cooked into the meat.” Of course, all credit goes to the crockpot


makes 20-24

20 oz (1.3 lb) ground turkey breast
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg
salt and pepper

28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, cheese, and egg.

Form into small meatballs

Pour tomatoes into crockpot and add parsley.

Drop meatballs into the sauce. Cover and set crockpot to low, 4 to 6 hrs.

adapted from Skinny Taste

Ricotta Pancakes with Strawberry Compote

Last week I bought my first-ever tub of ricotta cheese. Although I can’t say I’m a die-hard fan of cheese, I do always have various selections of cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, and a shredded cheese mix) stocked in my fridge. I’m not too familiar with ricotta but I’ve browsed through countless recipes for¬†sweets and desserts that use this famous Italian cheese.

So why did I suddenly decide to purchase ricotta? Well, to make the fluffiest pancakes ever. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pancakes but it’s about time I take a break from my favorite Greek yogurt pancakes and try something new. Greek yogurt pancakes are thick and chewy, but ricotta pancakes are quite different. They’re melt-in-your-mouth pillows of brunch-y happiness that make you wonder why you don’t have pancakes every day. Seriously, they’re SO¬†fluffy.


Since I wanted to incorporate¬†some fruit, I made my own strawberry compote by heating up strawberries in a small pot until they broke down into the consistency of a chunky sauce. The tanginess of the strawberries was undeniably satisfying¬†and paired beautifully with the ricotta pancakes. It was my first time making a fruit compote and mine was probably one of the most simplified versions: just fruit and water. The best part was…not having to add extra sugar :)


(makes 10-12)

3 cups fresh strawberries, de-stemmed and chopped in halves
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
3 large eggs, separated into whites and yolk
1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

Heat up chopped strawberries in a small pot on medium-low. Add water. Stir occasionally as they begin to sizzle and add more water for a thinner sauce.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

In a separate large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, milk, and ricotta.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients into the bowl with wet ingredients.

Beat egg whites using a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the pancake batter.

Heat a pan to medium-high. Spoon 1/4 cup batter at a time onto the pan. When the pancake starts bubbling, flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.

Serve with warm strawberry compote and/or maple syrup.

adapted from Food and Wine 

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

It’s officially March and we finally had a snow day. After multiple incidences of having our high hopes for a snow day being crushed, we had not one, but TWO snow days in a row here in Baltimore. The thrill of having a day with no classes propelled me to bake something and I wanted¬†that¬†‘something’ to be healthy.


My good friend Jeana came back to school from winter break with several Ziploc gallon bags stuffed with baked apple chips. She shared them with a bunch of friends in class and we were all immediately hooked. Her mom uses a dehydrator to make large batches of chips, without adding anything else! This inspired me to make my own version of healthy chips with sweet potatoes, that have been lying around in my pantry waiting to be put to use.


I love sweet potatoes Рnot only are they delicious, they can also be cooked in a variety of ways and are good for you. They are rich in vitamins and minerals but are most well-known for having many carotenoids, which explains their orange color. These carotenoids improve vision as well as increase immunity to disease, such as cancer. What more can you ask for in a simple, yummy, and addicting snack?!



2 large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper.

Rinse and dry sweet potatoes. Slice them thinly with a mandolin or sharp knife. In a large bowl, toss with olive oil and salt. Place on parchment paper (they don’t have to be very spread out since they shrink in the oven).

Bake for 10 minutes. Flip chips over and bake for another 10 minutes. Watch closely towards the end. Take out the browning chips, which are usually the smaller ones.

Let the chips cool for 5-10 minutes so they crisp up. If they are still moist/chewy then you can put them in the oven again for 1-2 minutes.

Repeat with remaining sweet potato slices.


adapted from The Minimalist Baker