Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Coffee is great and tea is even better, but I think we can all agree that when December rolls around there’s a hot beverage that smokes all the other competition – ’tis the season for hot cocoa!

Personally I’m a fan of anything chocolate all year round, so the influx of creamy sweet drinks topped with whipped cream leading up to Christmas is welcome in my books. This year we wanted to come up with something a little bit extra to sweeten our cocoa creation – a mix of all of our favourite beverages in one! What does that mean? Matcha, coffee, sugar and cocoa all meet to form the most perfect holiday beverage, finished with a touch of peppermint to up the festive flavour!

Scroll down for the full recipe!

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What you’ll need //

1/3 cup coffee beans
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons Matcha Ninja 100% Raw Organic Matcha
3-4 tablespoons cane sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
2-3 drops organic mint extract (our favourite is from The Spice Trader)
1 cup non-dairy milk
Coconut whipped cream
Sprinkles for garnish (we used Edible Gold Stars)

Recipe //
Makes 2 mugs

Grind the coffee beans into a coarse grind and boil water. We used this Turkish Handmade Coffee Grinder it’s perfect for just 1-2 cups!

In a small dish mix equal parts cocoa powder, matcha powder, sweetener and hot water, whisk with a Bamboo Matcha Whisk until it resembles a thin paste or syrup. Add 2-3 drops mint extract.

Heat up the milk in a small pot on the stove or use a frother, (add a bit of sugar to the milk for an extra indulgent treat).

In a Gold Bodum French Press combine coffee grinds and 2 cups boiling water (about half the french press) and allow to steep for 5-6 mins. Add the syrup mixture to the bottom of each mug and fill the mug halfway with hot coffee. Top off the mugs with warm milk and coconut whipped cream, garnish with sprinkles and you’re ready to serve!

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Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Happy National Iced Tea Day!

There’s nothing Jo and I love more than creating fun tea-infused recipes (after all, we met working at a tea shop), so it was evident we needed to come up with something special for this very important holiday.

After much deliberation, we decided to celebrate with a Mint Matcha Iced lattes, one of our favourite ways to say good morning back in our tea shop days. With steeped Teapigs Marrakesh Mint Green Tea, Organic Matcha, A splash of vanilla almond milk, and a teaspoon of agave, this simple bevvie is refreshing, healthy, and just the right amount of sweet. Try it in the morning as the perfect pick-me-up, or paired with your favourite sweet treat after dinner.

Cheers to one of our favourite “holidays” of the whole year!

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Ingredients //

4 Teapigs Marrakesh Mint teabags
1/2 tsp Teapigs organic matcha powder
Ice
6oz Vanilla almond milk
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish

Recipe //

1. Steep 2 teabags per glass (make sure your glasses are heat-safe) in 4oz boiling water, steep for 2-3 mins and remove the teabags. Alternatively you can cold steep the teabags overnight in the fridge.

2. Measure 1/2 tsp of matcha into a small bowl and slowly add the boiling water (for the best taste let the water cool down a bit). Stir using a matcha whisk until its frothy on top and add it to your green tea concentrates.

3. Fill the cups up with ice and top them off with milk and a sprig of mint. Serve immediately for ultimate refreshment!

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This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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So, I’m going to be real with you here: I really do NOT like St. Patrick’s Day. North America has a way of making special occasions as cheesy as possible, and St. Patrick’s day is truly the most damaged victim in my books. Bright green beer and drunken partiers falling down all over the streets? No thank you!

That said, there are a few facets of March 17th that I can still get down with- the increased number of kisses (whether you’re Irish or not it seems) is definitely a plus, and of course there’s all the luck floating around. Rainbows! Four Leaf Clovers! Pots of Gold! You know what this is all adding up to? The most pastel of all things loosely Irish- Lucky Charms of course!

We’ve been experimenting with infusing our own cereal milk for awhile, but recently our good friends at Kitten and The Bear shared their secret method with us, and it really took things to a new level. Instead of messing around with a beer recipe we turned to Matcha, our favourite green (much healthier) beverage, and set out to create the perfect Lucky Charm infused green tea latte on this end of the rainbow.

Scroll down for recipe

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Ingredients //

Lucky Charms (separate some marshmallows for the rim and topping)
2.5 cups of soy milk (or alternative of your choice)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Matcha powder (ideally pre-sweetened, like this)
6oz boiling water
Thick liquid honey (optional)

Recipe //

To make the cereal milk:

(Makes 2 lattes)
You’ll need about 45 mins for this step.

1. Pick out the majority of marshmallows from a box of lucky charms and set aside.

2. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the cereal sans marshmallows (it’s okay if a few sneak in!) onto a cookie sheet.

3. Toast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 mins until the cereal starts to brown.

4. In a medium size bowl add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, boil a small amount of water to dissolve the mixture.

5. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of milk alternative (we used soy) and add it to the bowl.

6. Add your toasted cereal, stir and allow to steep in the fridge for 30 mins.

7. After the 30 mins transfer into another bowl using a sifter to collect cereal. You may need to strain multiple times to collect all the cereal dust.

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To make the latte:

1. Rim the glass with your collected marshmallows! We used liquid honey as an adhesive.

2. Use 1 tablespoon of Matcha per cup, whisk with approx. 6oz water below boiling until frothy. Add to rimmed glass.

3. Heat your cereal milk on the stove and whisk until frothy, or use the steamer on your espresso machine if you have one. Fill the other half of your glass and top off with foam!

4. Garnish with smashed up marshmallows and serve!

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Some of you may already know this, but Johanna and I originally met working together at a small family-owned tea shop. During our down time after we’d restocked the shelves and dusted off the canisters we’d get together in the cafe and experiment with tasty new tea creations, like bubbling tea pops and milky cake-like tea lattes. We were lucky enough to have a Vitamix to play with as well, so we started inventing tea-infused milkshakes and smoothies, which is how we came up with this minty gem.

Infused with organic peppermint extract and matcha powder (aka. Japanese stone ground green tea), this smoothie comes out like a peppermint milkshake, and we can pretty much promise it will become your new favourite morning treat!

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Ingredients //

2 T organic matcha powder
2 t organic mint extract (we used one from The Spice Trader)
2 T agave syrup or honey (optional)
2 cups vanilla almond milk
2 frozen bananas
1/2 of an avocado
fresh mint for garnish

Instructions //

Add Ingredients and blend (We used our new Vitamix!)

(Yields 2 smoothies)

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Guess what? The Toronto Japanese Film Fest starts in just a few days! To celebrate, I’ve been coming up with all sorts of fun movie night recipes, playing around with some of my favourite flavours like green tea, and trying to get my hands on some sakura extract!

I’m feeling super inspired by the incredible films I’ve been able to pre-screen so far, and I wanted to make something influenced in some way by Japanese food, but also a movie night classic. I actually came up with this recipe ages ago when I worked at a local tea shop, but I never quite perfected the measurements, so I gave it another shot. I think it perfectly suits the occasion, don’t you?

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Ingredients

1/2 cup Organic popcorn kernels
2 Tb Canola oil
2 tsp Kosher Salt
2 Tb Sweetened Matcha Powder

Method

Pour about two tablespoons of oil into a heavy bottomed pot, and heat on the stovetop over medium-high. Drop one kernel of popcorn in, and once it pops, drop in the rest, remove the pot from the heat, and shake until everything has popped! (You can use microwave popcorn too, but I like the classic route personally)

Once your popcorn is fully popped, remove it from the pot and put it into a large paper bag (the bigger the better). Sprinkle the salt and matcha onto the popcorn in small portions (don’t dump it all in at once!), and shake the bag like crazy! Continue adding and shaking until your satisfied with the sweet and salty flavour. The listed measurements are what I think works best, but it’s really up to you!

That’s it! Pour your green tea popcorn into a bowl (or a bag if you’re taking it to-go), brew yourself up a cuppa tea (I went with Sloane’s Cherry Blossom Sencha), and tune into to your favourite Japanese film!

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The Toronto Japanese Film Festival will run from June 12-27th, and showcase 18 new films. To get tickets, directions, and read about the films, visit their website!

*This post is sponsored by the Toronto Japanese Film Festival, but I only accept partnerships and sponsors when I feel that they’re in line with my values and interests. If you think your brand might work with Random Acts of Pastel, please send me an email with some information about yourself!*