Last year, my former roommates & I took many trips down Sawtelle to get our boba fix, which often took up more time than we’d anticipate thanks to the magnificent beast that is LA traffic. I’d search the local Japanese grocery store for tapioca pearls to make boba in the comforts of our own apartment, but never found any. Since I’ve moved back to Orange County, I’ve finally found boba at a Japanese grocery store not too far from my home. So, now that my pantry is armed with a large bag of tapioca pearls, I’m posting two new boba recipes for you to be inspired to try new flavors or create your own boba at home. Tapioca pearls are surprisingly cheap as a pound of it will hover just under $5—which is generally how much a boba drink costs anyway—& you can make any type of tea you’ve got in your cupboard with some freshly brewed boba! Here’s hoping you’ll love these two new recipes & a bunch of pictures from Joshua Tree & Long Beach.
I’m currently on holiday with Josh in Florida as he settles into his new apartment for his new job & while I’m writing this in the comfort of a nicely air conditioned apartment, stepping outside into the Floridian heat for more than 5 minutes makes me wish I had one of these boba recipes in hand. These drinks are refreshing, naturally sweetened, & packed with antioxidants thanks to the usage of fresh fruits & tea!
Honeydew Green Tea Smoothie with Boba
Hopefully all of you have seen Disney’s Frozen at least twice by now so you’ll know who Olaf is. You know, that adorable little snowman with a carrot for a nose? Well, I may have been born in the spring, but my body prefers the winter. As I was walking around outside at night–Florida’s temperature doesn’t fluctuate throughout the day like it does in California, so when it’s hot outside at 3 PM it’s still going to be hot outside at 10 PM–with Josh, I couldn’t help but feel like I was Olaf in the summer. I yearned for Queen Elsa to pop up out of nowhere to give me a snow cloud to float over my head to prevent my body from further melting. Since I’m such a baby about the heat, I had to think of something refreshing to keep my complaints at a minimum & to keep from annoying Josh.
What did I imagine was in my hand while I was crying/melting on the inside? Why, a Mango Black Tea with Boba of course!
Mango Black Tea Smoothie with Boba
If you’ve never heard of “boba” before, maybe you’ve heard some of its other monikers such as bubble or pearl tea. Boba refers to the small tapioca balls that are commonly used in Asian desserts &/or drinks. Boba originated in Taiwan & comes in various sizes, shapes, & colors! It’s so loved amongst many Asian cultures that you’ll often find it in a Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, or Thai restaurant! I’m not the biggest fan of slushies as they tend to harden the chewiness of the boba, so I went with a nice smoothie recipe instead. Once you’ve found a package of tapioca balls in an Asian grocery store, you’ll find that making boba is so easy. Craving some regular milk tea instead of a smoothie? Use sweetened almond or coconut milk with some of your brewed tea & you’ve got yourself a tea shop quality boba drink!
Josh had this huge bucket-list of things to do in California before he left for Florida, so while he didn’t get everything checked off, it doesn’t mean he won’t be coming back to finish that list. Here are two things that were on his list: a snazzy event in Long Beach with food & live music & a camping trip to Joshua Tree.
Dinner in Long Beach
In my last post, I mentioned how I was really itching to take pictures of the night sky & I finally did! I did a bit of practice in my heavily light polluted backyard to get the hang of it, so I was completely excited to travel 168 miles from our friend Ben’s house in LA to an area with little light pollution. However, Ben & I did not anticipate the moon being so bright so we couldn’t photograph the Milky Way Galaxy very clearly. I forgot that the moon was a few days from its full moon phase so, we got some star pics, but they’re not as beautiful as we would’ve liked.
Fun story: as we were driving toward the Jumbo Rocks campsite after stopping by a 7-Eleven to grab firewood, something had brusquely interrupted the tranquility of our ride. Ben brought his girlfriend’s dog, Tiger Lily, with us & was adoring the way she was looking at his Google Maps on his phone as though she was an explorer. Maintaining equanimity, Ben announced that there was a large cockroach on his hand that was now creepily crawling about my car. Josh immediately pulled the car over while we all abandoned ship to find the critter. If you’ve got a bug-phobia & want nightmares for days, look up the pine sawyer beetle. It was about a good 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) long & disappeared from my car so it’s either under a seat waiting to attack or flew out while we were trying to figure out how to get it out. Be sure to check out the albums below to see more pictures of our adventures!