A Photo Journal of Wuzhen

A couple of weekends ago, my friends and I took a trip to Wuzhen, China. Wuzhen is a historic water town in the Zhejiang province. I had no idea what to expect when I went to Wuzhen. I had done some research online and it seemed like a pretty cool place. However, I wouldn’t necessarily label Wuzhen as a water town. There is a river that runs through the town and you can take a boat tour to see the different parts of the town, but you can just walk around the town and not take a boat at all. We decided to walk through the town instead of taking a boat. Nonetheless, the town beautiful. It’s filled with many historic houses and even some exhibits.

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The New Better My Veggies

Welcome to the new Better My Veggies! I’m excited to launch the new version of my old blog. I loved my old blog, but it was definitely time for a change. I wanted this new version to reflect where I am in a life and where I hope to go.

I am very proud of what Better My Veggies has become. It was the first time I had created a platform that allowed me to express myself. I found that to important while living abroad. Through the blog, I have discovered that I love writing, especially when it involves writing about cooking, travel and fitness.

I want to keep this short and let my posts to speak for themselves. So, check them out, share them, follow my blog and tell me what you think!

 

 

 

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No Cream Caramel Sauce

Caramel sauce is bittersweet. It can be simple to make, but it can also be difficult if you do not have the right ingredients. I found this out while making the Mini Icebox Pies. My friend brought home some extra whipping cream, and I placed it in the fridge for about an hour so that it could cool. Well, while making the whip cream, I noticed that it began to curdle. I freaked out a little bit and got a little frustrated. I strained out the curdles, and whipped it twice more. It began to separate again so I knew something was wrong. After doing some research, I discovered that the cream had began to separate into curdles and I was making butter. At first I thought ” WOW! I am making butter!”. Then I thought “Crap! I am making butter not whip cream.” The grocery store was closed, so I had to make lemons into lemonade, or curdled cream into butter. After a few minutes, of pacing around the kitchen, I decided that I should make a milk based caramel sauce.

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The sauce turned out better than I expected, and it was very delicious. The only suggestion I would give is to make sure you use good butter. The only butter that is available in my town is yellow, unsalted butter from New Zealand. This kind of butter is very different from the white butter I used back in the United States. I used a mixture of that and the butter I accidently created. It was still sweet and very good, but there was a little bit of a difference in taste from a normal caramel sauce.

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***I consulted Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Caramel Sauce recipe when I was making my version of caramel sauce. It was pretty easy to follow and I highly suggest using it if you want to try to make your own caramel sauce.***

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No Cream Caramel Sauce
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No Cream Caramel Sauce
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Ingredients
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
Servings:
Instructions
  1. On medium-low heat, warm the sugar in a saucepan. The sugar will form clumps, but continue to warm the sugar until it is a brown in color. To prevent the sugar from being burned, make sure to consistently stir the sugar while it is warming in the pan. This part of the process can take up to seven minutes.
  2. Next, add in the butter and allow it to melt.
  3. Then add the milk . Stir the milk into the sugar and butter mixture. Allow it to boil for one minute.
  4. After the caramel has boiled for one minute, take the pan off of the stove top and stir in the salt.
  5. Before serving, allow the caramel to cool for about five minutes.
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Simple Mango, Coconut and Banana Smoothie Pops

Now that it’s getting warmer outside, I can finally make sweet treats that aren’t warm. One of my favorite warm weather desserts are popsicles. You can make any juice or smoothie into a popsicle.

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I love drinking smoothies because they are so filling and it’s the perfect way to try different foods, especially when you are traveling or living abroad. As I mentioned in my previous post, there has been more fresh produce at the supermarket. One of the fruits that has been looking great and tempts me every time I walk by are the mangos. Whenever I go to the supermarket, they look perfect so of course I have to buy a couple.

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Mango and Banana Smoothie Pops
Print Recipe
These smoothie pops are refreshing and sweet. They are a perfect treat during the warm months.
Servings
6 pops
Servings
6 pops
Mango and Banana Smoothie Pops
Print Recipe
These smoothie pops are refreshing and sweet. They are a perfect treat during the warm months.
Servings
6 pops
Servings
6 pops
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons simple syrup
Servings: pops
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine the mango, banana, coconut milk and simple syrup. Blend until smooth.
  2. Evenly disperse the smoothie into your popsicle container. Depending on the size of the container, you may have some smoothie leftover.
  3. Freeze for up to two hours. Allow the pops to thaw for a couple of minutes before serving.
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Mini Icebox Pies

A few weeks ago, I promised my students that I would make them some food, because they had been so well behaved and consistently participated in class. I kept my promise and made them Mini Icebox Pies. Most of them are familiar with some foods from the United States, but I wanted to introduce them to something new. Personally, I really like Icebox Pies. They are so easy to make, and barely take anytime. After doing some research, I thought it would be nice to make them a smaller version of this pie.

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The making of these sweet treats was quite an endeavor. First of all, I had to make fifty of them. I didn’t really think about that when I first offered to make them food, but I really like my students, so it was worth it. Also, I didn’t consider the fact that I was going to have to whip enough cream to fill fifty cups. Lastly, I had to improvise some ingredients, because some of the ingredients, such as graham crackers, are not available in my town. Overall, it was an experience.

 

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Mini Icebox Pies
Print Recipe
Mini Icebox Pies
Print Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1-2 boxes semi-sweet crackers you can use graham crackers or something similar.
  • 3 cartons heavy whipping cream
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter melted
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Whip the heavy whipping cream, either by hand or with a mixer, until small peaks are formed. Gradually add in the sugar and the cinnamon. Mix for thirty seconds. Then, place the whip cream in the fridge.
  2. Next, finely grind the graham crackers in a food processor. Take most of the crackers, set some of the crackers to the side as a topping, and place them in a bowl.
  3. Then, add the butter and thoroughly mix both of the ingredients.
  4. To assemble the pie, place a little over a tablespoon of the cracker and butter mixture at the bottom of the cup. Next, press the crackers down until they are flat. Then, add two tablespoons of whip cream. Finally, top the whip cream with a sprinkle of the leftover crackers.
  5. Place the pies in the freezer for two hours and then serve.
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