basil italian soda

basil italian soda | the thoughtful plateIt’s finally that time of year where I want to drink cold, bright, fizzy drinks in the afternoon (preferably outside, in the sun) instead of hot chocolate or coffee. Rejoice! :)

Watermelon lemonade will always be a favorite. Also cherry limeade. Iced coffee is great too, even if it isn’t fizzy. I’m looking forward to exploring even more fun flavors this spring/summer. Continue reading

hot chocolate for snowy days

hot chocolate | the thoughtful plateI don’t know if you’re aware of this, but a fairly decent portion of the US is covered in white right now. And white = snow = cold.

Enter: hot chocolate. While it can’t do anything about the snow, it certainly helps with the cold. Continue reading

i’m back! + chocolate almond milkshakes

IMG_5261Wow… I kind of fell off the blogging bandwagon for a while, didn’t I? I didn’t mean to do it. Life just kind of happened and suddenly I found myself at home for two months, where I happily soaked up every single minute spent in the places I love with people I love.

While away, I…

participated in the August Break photography challenge.
met a blogger friend in real life for the first time. (Check out her gorgeous new blog!)
hiked in Yosemite.
spent quite a few random days in the city.
shot senior photos for the first time.
tried to slow down and be aware of little details.

The blog break was simply a bi-product of so many lunches out (or hurried lunches in) and dinners out or at houses of friends, etc. It was nice. I don’t feel guilty. This little space has always been a natural reflection of my daily life through food, and I hope to keep it that way. Clearly, what it’s been reflecting recently is that I’ve been away, resting and recharging. (Kind of like when my phone battery gets really really low in the middle of the day and I have to go plug it in on the desk and go without it for a while.) I’m back now though, ready to go, and excited about the next few months and what they’ll bring. Continue reading

watermelon lemonade

IMG_5103-5Sorry for dropping off the face of the earth like that last week! I didn’t really… I was just traveling halfway across the country all weekend. My computer stayed stowed away in my backpack for three days while my brother and I took turns driving the almost 2000-mile route. When I wasn’t behind the wheel, I was either sleeping or endlessly scanning the radio for decent music (a lesson in futility). Anyways, I’m so glad to be here, and over the next few days I’ll be easing back in to school and blogging with the welcome additions of friends and swimming :) Now onto the reason we are all gathered here: watermelon lemonade! Continue reading

cherry limeade

cherry limeade | the thoughtful plateThe afternoon mood just naturally lends itself to sipping on something. In the winter, hot chocolate, cinnamon coffee, or hot tea do nicely. In the warmer months however, it needs to be something bright to (hopefully) match the sky. Continue reading

quick iced coffee + raw sugar simple syrup

 Happy Saturday! I’m popping in with a super quick post about my iced coffee method before I head into the kitchen to make some ice cream :)

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Too often iced coffee ends up tasting old and flat. I haven’t studied the science behind this; I just know that I like my coffee (hot or iced) to taste fresh. (I got this from my dad.)

I’ve tried the cold brew method once before, but it takes soooooo long. And when I decide I want iced coffee, I usually would prefer to be drinking it within ten minutes and not the next afternoon. Continue reading

new york egg creams

IMG_7104My friend, Ruth, and I have a standing date every Tuesday afternoon at Starbucks. A couple of weeks ago we decided to switch it up and do music (guitar/piano/violin) at her house every other week.

We could’ve just brewed coffee (because you have to drink something when you’re with a friend, right?), but yesterday we made New York Egg Creams. Neither of us had never tried one before, and that made it all the more fun. Who knows if we made it the true Brooklyn way (we probably didn’t)… there are so many differing opinions out there, but we thought they were really good! Continue reading

sparkling strawberry lime agua fresca

agua frescaThis year I have zero fun summer plans until the very last week of August. It’s the first year of my entire life that the definition of the word “summer” will not be “that time of year in which one spends 90% of their waking hours in the swimming pool”.

No, instead I’m going to be spending 90% of my waking hours studying (well let’s be honest, not quite 90%… studying just doesn’t have the same grip on me as swimming does).

To cope with this thing called adulthood (the period of one’s life in which they are not able to swim all summer long) and remind myself that it’s summer outside despite the fact that I’m inside studying human behavior and mental processes, I plan on making this agua fresca frequently. Continue reading

hot chocolate with salted caramel

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I suppose I should start this quick post (which is actually more of an idea than a recipe) with a few facts.

Fact #1: One of my favorite holiday drinks at Starbucks is the Salted Caramel Mocha.

Fact #2: I have a small jar of salted caramel leftover in the fridge from my apple tart a couple of weeks ago.

Fact #3: Due to the chillier-than-usual weather this month, my favorite afternoon snack has been a nice warming cup of hot chocolate, topped with fresh, lightly sweetened whipped cream.

Now that you know the facts, here’s the story:

Continue reading