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Monday, July 18, 2011

Fun & Fizzy Ramune

Hello Kitties,

Today, I'm introducing the popular Japanese Summer staple, Ramune.
What exactly is Ramune? Well, for those that haven't caught on to this refreshing drink, Ramune soda is an oddly-enjoyable experience. Ramune was introduced in Kobe, Japan by Alexander Cameron Sim. It is widely recognized by it's Codd-neck bottle design. The bottles are made of glass and has a glass marble inside the top.
Ramune bottles can be a bit intimidating at first, because of the amount of force needed to push the marble down with a little plastic plug, that comes with the "cap". The real "cap" is however, the marble. Once you push firmly on the marble using the plastic device, you hear a loud "POP". It's like breaking into a bank that contains an ambrosial tonic. It takes a bit of practice to enjoy this beverage favorite, because of the marble pushing back on the flow. What I've discovered in my experience in opening the bottles, is that now, I look forward to hearing that "POP"!!!! It's quite fun, and it means that my taste buds are in for a real treat!
Ramune is a modern symbol of summer in Japan and is widely consumed during warm festivities, day and night. It is so popular that even Hello Kitty herself has her paws on the product.!

Ramune comes in a variety of palate-pleasing flavors. Flavors such as Original, Peach, & Lychee. Ramune also comes in "Not-So-Pleasing" sounding flavors such as Wasabi, Octopus, and Curry. I've never been able to try those crazy flavors, because, thankfully, I've never found them at my local Asian Grocery Store.
My favorite flavors would have to be Peach & Original. You can review these sodas on your own, although, Original, to me, tastes like a lighter cream soda flavor, but, others have they're own idea of what it tastes like.
Which ever flavors you choose, I'm fairly sure you'll find Ramune Sodas quite tasty.
Thank you all for reading!
Hearts & Bows,
X's & O's-----Spooky

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lychee Paradise

Hello Kitties, Summer is the season for fresh Lychees!
Lychee (pronounced: lee-chee), is one of my favorite fruits ever! This amazing fruit is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family. It is a tropical and subtropical fruit native to China, yet it is cultivated in many parts of the world--including Florida.
Lychee are odd-looking fruits that are about the size of a golf ball, and have a rough, bumpy textured, pinkish-red rind that is inedible, but when removed, it exposes a sweet, translucent, milky-white flesh. The flesh is glossy and somewhat similar to that of a grape.

The flavor of the lychee is to me, undescribable, yet if I had to, I would say something like a blend of sweet pear, apple, with soft flowery notes. I can even taste a subtle sweetness of grapefruit, but without the bitterness or sourness. It's one of a kind. Every time I take my first bite of the fragrant fruit, I just feel like my senses are alive and in heaven. Succulent and juicy, lychees always add a smile to my face.
If you ever have the opportunity to find fresh lychee fruit in your area (usually found in Asian Supermarkets), then grab some! You'll just have to taste them for yourself.
Before you head out to go searching for lychees, take some time to do a little research on how to pick out the best, ripened fruits, or just simply ask someone knowledgeable to help you.
What you do want to look for is the most vibrant pinkish-red rinds. Give them a slight squeeze to test for firmness. You don't want them to be too hard, nor too soft. Like Goldilocks, it has to be just right.
Brownish lychees are still okay, but you have to eat them right away. Also, the brown ones are so overly ripe that they are incredibly juicy, yet the flavor is lost and can even be bitter. You don't want these unless you're going to whip up a batch of Lychee Martinis.
*Just remember--the middle of these fruits have a big, brown pit, which you'll want to discard*
Whatever you do, just give Lychees a try. If you don't like them, at least you can say you tried something new.
When I bought my very first batch of fresh lychees, I peeled them and brought them into work for others to try. Some of the girls turned their noses up at them because they claimed that the fleshy fruit resembled "eyeballs", LOL!! But almost everyone that tried them (even the skeptics), thought the flavor was delicious!
If you aren't fortunate enough to find fresh lychees in your area, there are still plenty of other options, such as, lychee nuts (not really nuts, they are dried lychee), canned lychee, lychee drinks, jellies, candies, and even a fruit called Rambutans, (pictured below) which are similar to lychees and are closely related.
Here are some great lychee recipes I've found over the Internet.

Blackberry Frozen Yogurt with Lychees  (Recipe from
makes about 2 servings. you will have left over frozen yogurt.
2 cups plain yogurt, I used low fat.
1 ½ cups blackberries either fresh or thawed from frozen
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice, optional
a 20 oz can of lychees in syrup
Drain the lychees and gently pat them dry. Place the drained lychees in the fridge till you are ready to use them.
Place a sieve or strainer over a vessel. Place a double layer of cheese cloth over the strainer. Put the yogurt in the cheese cloth. Gather and tie the ends of the cheese cloth to form a bundle. Put the yogurt bundle with the strainer and vessel in the fridge. We want most the liquid from the yogurt to drain. This will take about 2 hours.
In the meanwhile, puree the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice in a blender. Push the blackberry mixture through a sieve or strainer. Discard the seeds in the strainer.
When the yogurt has drained, return it to the blender along with the strained blackberry mixture. Blend till everything is combined well. Taste the mixture and adjust sugar if needed.
If you have an ice cream maker, process the yogurt blackberry mixture according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
For creamy frozen yogurt without an ice cream maker:If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still make creamy frozen yogurt. Pour the blackberry yogurt mixture into a shallow dish, cover the dish, and place in the freezer. Freeze for about 2 hours until the yogurt is half frozen.
Now Scrape the yogurt and put it back in the blender. Blend until smooth. Return the mixture to the dish, cover, and freeze again. Let the yogurt freeze another 2 hours. Scrape up the yogurt and blend again. Repeat the freeze-blend-freeze process 3 times. This will result in creamy frozen yogurt without an ice cream maker!
To serve, fill a serving dish with ice cubes. Remove the drained lychees from the fridge. Arrange the lychees, hole-side up, over the ice. Place the frozen yogurt in a zip lock bag, and snip the end of the bag. Pipe the yogurt into the lychees. Serve immediately.
NotesIf your lychees aren’t firm enough to stand up straight or hold the frozen yogurt, freeze the lychees for about 30 minutes. This will make them firm enough to hold their shape and easier for you to pipe in the yogurt.
If you decide to place the lychees on a bed of ice, make sure you serve the dish immediately. Otherwise the ice will melt and your lychees will drown.
An easier method – simply chop up the lychees and top the frozen yogurt with the chopped lychees.

Lychee Saketini (unfiltered)
This lychee saketini recipe combines lychee juice with unfiltered sake, which possesses a sweet, floral note that complements the sweetness of the lychee.
Servings: 2 glasses

You'll  Need:
2 fl oz vodka
4 fl oz unfiltered sake
4 fl oz lychee juice
Lychee nuts for garnish

Fill a shaker two thirds full of ice. Add vodka, unfiltered sake, and lychee juice. Shake vigorously. Serve in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lychee nut.

Coconut and Lychee Sorbet:
You'll Need:
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups chilled fresh or well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 3/4 cups chilled lychee juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1. Bring the water, sugar, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
2. Transfer the sugar syrup to a small bowl and refrigerate, tightly covered, for at least 1 hour, until thoroughly chilled, or for up to 2 days.
3. Whisk together the coconut milk and lychee juice in a large glass measure or bowl. Whisk in the chilled syrup and lime juice. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. (The sorbet is best served on the day it is made.)
4. Spoon the sorbet into serving bowls or glasses to serve.

Lychee-Rose Cupcakes with Raspberry Meringue Buttercream
Found this recipe from Darjeeling Dreams. Find this recipe here
I will find more Lychee goodies to share with all of you later my Kittens,
Hearts & Bows,
X's & O's-----Spooky Von Sweets

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summertime Copy Cat Drink Recipe: Taco Bell's Limeade Sparkler *EDITED*

*Edited* I just wanted to let all my Kitties know that this recipe is from and it's easy and very delicious too! Thank you for an amazingly refreshing drink recipe! Hello Kitties,
   I know it's been a while since we last spoke, but my brain has been on overload of thinking about new content for  Super Kawaii Me! So, I've been thinking a lot about Summer, and it is a very Hot Summer here in Florida this year! In order for me to stay cool, I occasionally go to Taco Bell and order an Ice-cold Limeade Sparkler. The only problems I personally have with this is that A) the Limeade is usually smaller than I'd like, plus, no free refills, and B) they are expensive! I think they are around $2.99 here. So, I found a much better solution to these problems, a perfect Copy Cat Recipe that costs around the same price, but you get more bang for your buck! Enjoy either a Traditional Limeade or Cherry-Limeade Sparkler right in your very own home.

Limeade Sparkler:

You'll need:

~Sierra Mist, Sprite, or 7UP *(Sierra Mist is recommended because this is what TB uses)*
~Frozen Limeade concentrate, thawed.*(If you'd like to make Cherry Limeade, use the frozen     Cherry Limeade concentrate)* 
~Lime (cut into quarters)

Fill a cup/glass with ice. (The ice is what keeps the limeade at the bottom of the cup and produces the TB look. If you just use cold Soda without ice, the drink will not taste exactly the same.)
Put 2 to 4 ounces of your choice limeade concentrate in the bottom of the glass, depending on how strong you want the lime flavor, and how big your glass is.
Fill to top of the glass with Sierra Mist. Add a lime quarter for garnish, or just squeeze the juice into your drink. Serve and Enjoy!!!!! Yummy and Super Refreshing.

*For an Adult Version: add a shot of rum or tequila, but Please drink responsibly.*

That's all for right now Kittens,

Hearts & Bows,
X's & O's------Spooky Von Sweets