Matcha Popcorn with White Chocolate and Black Sesame Seeds

Happy October! My favorite month always starts off with a bang. Come the 1st day of October every year is my beautiful boy, MaQ's birthday! He is four years old today and officially a grown-up. He's still young at heart, but his demeanor is more calm nowadays. More gentleman-y. The hubby and I had plans for his birthday but unfortunately the New York weather is being extremely uncooperative, and will be raining for the next couple of days. All. Day. Long.  

photos + recipe by:  ©   Suzanne Spiegoski  

photos + recipe by: © Suzanne Spiegoski 

Matcha Popcorn with White Chocolate and Black Sesame Seeds

Ingredients:

4 ounces white chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon Japanese matcha green tea

1/2 cup popcorn kernels, popped (about 8 cups popped)

Black sesame seeds

Directions:

  1. Place white chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 15-second intervals, stirring between each one, until melted.

  2. Add matcha powder and stir until completely incorporated. Hello, green!

  3. Place the popcorn in a large bowl and drizzle with the white chocolate mixture, tossing as you go, until popcorn is evenly coated. Season with salt. Set popcorn in refrigerator until white-chocolate coating has firmed, about 10 minutes. Break up any clump and serve. Popcorn can be stored in the refrigerator overnight using Ziplock bag.

So you know what rainy days call for. Cooking times with Suz! :) Aside from MaQ's birthday being one of the reasons why I love October so much, I also am a big fan of Halloween. I decided to make 'Frankenstein' popcorn! This is matcha green tea incorporated into melted white chocolate and the best part, with the popcorn. Mmmmm... let's not forget the wonderful black sesame seeds. Its deep, rich flavor complements with the mild sweetness from the white chocolate, overall giving this dessert a well-balanced combination in taste. Tell me a kid who wouldn't want to try this popcorn - just look at that green color!  

Instead of venturing out in the rain for MaQ's birthday this weekend, we've postponed our plans and we'll be keeping it low key and just trying to recuperate from the crazy busy month we've had. The key is to try. ;) Everyone needs to recharge their batteries every now and then. I want to check out 'The People v. O.J. Simpson' TV show, munch on some 'Frankenstein' popcorn, nap, and munch down on more deliciousness I'll be cooking later. Chicken Jardinière anyone? Perfect for gloomy, dreary days like today.

Hope you have a nice weekend. Coming up Monday on the blog, I'll be sharing another outfit post featuring my most recent pieces of jewelry and a twist on the latest reverse/backwards shirt trend, where you any shirt that buttons down in the front; you switch it to the back. Playing a lot with masculine and feminine tones together lately. Stay tuned...

LOVE & XX'S,

FOLLOW MAQ + SUZ

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What's Your Spice?

Lately, my spice rack has been looking like a hot mess and the tiny little OCD in me had to rearrange it (Monica-style, naturally)! So I spent the morning carefully pouring in different spices and therefore, making a mess along the way! What a fragrant day it has been so far!

I wanted to discuss about some of my favorite spices I use in every day cooking. What I love about herbs & spices is it not only brings out flavors in other foods to make a dish a whole, but it's very healthy for you. You see, to me, in order to cook well, you really need to know your spices and flavors. It was like a mini-mental exercise re-familiarizing all the different spices, including some I don't use on a consistent basis. 

For example, I love, love, love the smell and flavor of star anise! It's bouquet is powerful and licorice-like, more pungent and stronger than regular anise . Sometimes called Chinese star anise, it should not be confused with Japanese star anise, which is highly toxic.

Star anise goes really well with pork and duck. It is very much contributed in Chinese cuisine, where ingredients are simmered for a long period in soy sauce, and star anise is nearly always added to beef and chicken dishes. Chinese stocks and soups usually contain the spice. This spice is also frequently used in Malaysian curries. It can also be added in fruit compotes and jams, pairs awesomely with tomatoes, and even braised beef dishes - I even use it when I make pickled red onion. Mm mm... the secret ingredient can elevate several dishes to a whole new level.

For everyday cooking, I always use s & p, and if I'm not going to use garlic cloves or actual onion, I'll turn to the powders for an easier substitute. As much as I love garlic, I don't always want to be smelling like one! I also regularly use dried herbs as well, which include rosemary, parsley, basil, bay leaves, and thyme. I incorporate many of these into potato dishes, poultry meats and roasted earthy vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and beets. If I'm making fajitas or tacos, I will never go without cumin. Did you know it stimulates appetite? Maybe that's why I always eat way too many tacos... you tricksters! ;)

Another spice essential in Asian cuisine is ginger. And I can never get enough of it. I make a really tasty beef & kale stir-fry using either freshly grated ginger root or ginger powder, as a substitute. I will have to share the stir-fry recipe! Ginger is a super aphrodisiac, and has an endless list of health benefits. It is most commonly known as a digestive aid. Hello, Ginger Ale! And of course, ginger is used to cleanse the palate in between different pieces of sushi.

What are your everyday spices? Do you have a particular favorite? Or perhaps, a really snazzy recipe with a unique ingredient you're dying to share? Well, come on aboard and let's hear it! Please like and share, and of course, comment below your favorite spice!

Have a spicerrific day! ;)

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz