Dina's Favorite Recipes

Easy Asian and Fusion recipes for everyday home cooking.

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Almond Pudding with Lychee

Ingredients 1/2 oz Agar Agar powder (plain gelatin powder) 6 cups (~3/4 liter) water 5 cups whole milk 2 cups evaporated milk 1  cup sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons almond essence 1 cup dark Jamaican rum (optional) Lychee for garnish   Method In a large pot,
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Autumn Apple Smoothie- Healthy Smoothies

Healthy Smoothies- Autumn Apple Smoothie What speaks more lusciously about autumn than sweet apples and spices? This healthy smoothies recipe results in a naturally sweet drink, making it perfect for breakfast time or an afternoon dessert. Talk about getting your day’s nutrients in one glass! If
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Avocado Ice Cream Sandwich

Avocado is hugely popular throughout Asia, predominantly as part of a dessert or milkshake. It’s no surprise then that several Asian countries produce avocado ice cream. It’s creamy, luscious and yes, you can actually taste avocado. While this ice cream is not available in western
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Baked Apple Cups

Apple pie is one of my all-time favorite desserts but I wanted a presentation and texture that was a unique offspring of the classic. Though this dessert takes a little effort and time, the end result will earn raves that will make it all worth
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Banana Bite Fritters aka Asian Fried Banana

Banana Bite Fritters aka Asian Fried Banana Every Asian nation seems to have its version of this classic dessert and who wouldn’t love warm bananas wrapped in a crisp exterior drizzled with sweet condensed milk? Here’s my twist on this ever popular banana fritter, aka
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Banana Coffee Ice Cream

Banana Coffee Ice Cream Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? In this case- have your ice cream and eat it! Using very ripe bananas in this recipe will give you a naturally sweet ice cream with ZERO added sugar! Yep-
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Basic Frozen Yogurt Recipe- Healthy Desserts

Basic Frozen Yogurt Recipe- Healthy Desserts Unlike when making ice cream, you might start with 4 cups of cream and milk and end up with 6 to 7 cups of ice cream because of churning and incorporating air into the mixture, when making frozen yogurt,
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Blueberry Chia Pops- Healthy Popsicle Recipes

Blueberry Chia Pops- Healthy Popsicle Recipes With hot summer months, everybody loves a cold, refreshing popsicle so I spend a lot of time developing healthy popsicle recipes. What better way to indulge in a treat than to have a popsicle made of all good-for-you ingredients
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Brandy Hot Chocolate

Brandy Hot Chocolate Ok, so I had a sip of this decadent brandy hot chocolate as a child. I didn’t know there was brandy in it and by the time my neck grew warm, my parents and grandparents were too late to stop me. Ok,
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Cantaloupe Popsicles- Best Healthy Desserts

Best Healthy Desserts- Cantaloupe Popsicles It’s important to note that in this recipe, I used this nifty little tool for popsicles called Zoku Classic Popsicle Maker. If you’re not familiar with Zoku, I strongly urge you to check them out as making popsicles will not
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Chilled Mango Custard with Chia Seeds

Chilled Mango Custard with Chia Seeds Few things in life give me as much pleasure as creating recipes that are both good for my parents and that they will fall in love with. Believe me, given their recent propensity towards sugar-laden desserts, this is no
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Chocolate Ice Cream with Red Wine Salt- Easy Desserts

Serves 8 medium sized scoops Ingredients 3 cups heavy cream 1 1/2 cup whole milk 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 cup fine cocoa powder (I prefer Tcho Cocoa) 1/2 teaspoon Red Wine Salt Method Place all the ingredients into an
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Chocolate Strawberry Popsicles- Healthy Popsicle Recipes

Chocolate Strawberry Popsicles- Healthy Popsicle Recipes For all of my healthy popsicle recipes, I used one of my favorite kitchen gadgets- the Zoku Popsicle Maker, which makes 3 regular sized popsicles. If you’re not familiar with Zoku popsicle makers, you should definitely check them out as they
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Coffee Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream Frosting

Coffee Cupcakes with Mocha Buttercream Frosting Coffee and Mocha are hugely popular flavors in Asian desserts, particularly in variations of cakes. Here, I take those same aromatic flavors to create robust Coffee Cupcakes paired with a decadent Mocha Buttercream Frosting where the balance of sweetness
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Crepes with Banana Flambe

Contrary to popular belief, crepes are actually very easy to make even in a pretty bare kitchen as long as you have a non-stick skillet and butter. It does require a bit of time but this is a dessert that never fails to wow people.
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Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake- Best Cheesecake Recipes

Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake- Best Cheesecake Recipes You love cheesecake? You love chocolate? This is one of the best cheesecake recipes you’ll ever come across! This easy chocolate cheesecake will have family and friends begging you to tell them where you bought it and you can
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Easy Almond Cake with Mango Buttercream Frosting

Easy Almond Cake with Mango Buttercream Frosting It’s no secret that I have an obsession with incorporating fresh fruits into desserts, finding interesting ways however I can. This light and easy Almond cake is so addictive with its moist texture and fragrant aroma. Pairing it
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Easy Banana Flambe with Coconut Ice Cream

Easy Banana Flambe with Coconut Ice Cream Here’s what I’ve learned from years of entertaining at home- you have to have basic ingredients on hand at home at all times and you’ll never be in trouble with unexpected guests or a difficult dessert that went
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Easy Blueberry Scones- So Much Better Than A Muffin

Easy Blueberry Scones When I think of England, I think of scones and the truly fantastic bakeries over there have long held secret recipes that are a little more complex than I’m willing to tackle for those times when I just feel like simple homemade
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Espresso Bean Ice Cream

Makes ~ 5 to 6 cups Ingredients 3 cups heavy cream 1 1/2 cups whole milk 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 3/4 cup espresso (at room temp or cold) 1 teaspoon ground coffee beans (use dark roast ground for espresso) + for sprinkling
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Fig & Paneer Pizza- Best Fusion Recipes

Best Fusion Recipes- Fig & Paneer Pizza This recipe is borrowed from my friend Monica Bhide, who is a highly successful cookbook author and speaker. Monica is one of the kindest, most talented people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and her recipes have won
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Fresh Apple Butter

Makes 1 medium sized Mason jar Ingredients 4 large red apples, peeled, cored and chopped into bite sized chunks 2 tablespoons butter Fresh juice of 1 ½ lemon (~6 tablespoons) ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground cloves ¾ teaspoon all-spice ½ cup brown sugar
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Fresh Strawberry Buttercream Cupcake

It happens to me every summer without fail- a warm afternoon rolls around where restlessness sets in and nothing sits right. And then I realize that all I want to do is be in the kitchen and create something outrageously yummy. Here is one of
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Frozen Cantaloupe in Strawberry Wine

While this is no doubt a fantastic fruit recipe for summertime, it’s also great year round as a palate cleanser or healthy, light dessert. Incredibly easy to make, the natural sweetness of the fruits and vibrant colors make this a gorgeous dessert that will impress
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Healthy Chocolate Milkshake

Healthy Chocolate Milkshake I’ve always strongly believed in listening to our body’s natural cravings and satisfying them properly to avoid unhealthy binges. About a week before “that time of the month” I often find myself craving chocolate and milk- a signal that my body is
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Iced Mocha- Healthy Coffee Drinks

Iced Mocha- Healthy Coffee Drinks  Unbeknownst to many people, Mocha is not actually the blended coffee drink (typically with chocolate and milk) that has become ubiquitous across America and Asia. Mocha is in fact a type of coffee bean with a characteristic bold and slightly
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Kahlua Chocolate Brownie

Makes 1 Round 6-inch (2 inch depth) Cake Ingredients ½ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking powder 1 cup white sugar 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted, at room temperature + extra for greasing the baking
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Layered Coconut Cake- Best Coconut Cake Recipe

Layered Coconut Cake- Best Coconut Cake Recipe This is the best coconut recipe derived from memories of a cake my mother used to buy for my sister and I when we were kids in Southeast Asia. The layered cake was perfectly moist laden with layer upon layer
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Lemon Bundt Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

Makes 1 8-inch Bundt Cake Ingredients 2 sticks (1/2 lb, 225 grams) + for greasing unsalted butter at room temperature 2 cups sugar 4 eggs at room temperature 3 cups all purpose flour + 2 tablespoons for dusting 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
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Lime Mint Sorbet Popsicles

Lime Mint Sorbet Popsicles The first time I made these for family and friends, they went crazy over these lollipop sized bursts of juiciness. It’s tangy, refreshing and minty with a tinge of savory. It’s summer dessert perfection and a respite from any warm day.
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Lychee Creamsicles- Easy Popsicle Recipes

Lychee Creamsicles- Easy Popsicle Recipes There’s nothing quite like the delicious burst of juicy lychees, especially during hot summer months. This past year I’ve become obsessed with creating healthy and easy popsicle recipes to make eating dessert guilt-free. This is one of my very favorite easy
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Lychee Ice Cream- Easy Ice Cream Recipes

Lychee Ice Cream- Easy Ice Cream Recipes One of my all time favorite summer fruits is lychee, that sweet, aromatic fruit from Asia with a slightly rough reddish exterior. Since childhood Lychee Ice Cream has been a staple in my family’s household, a delicious, naturally
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Lychee Watermelon Granita

Hot tropical days are perfect for indulging in this sinless fruity dessert. Lychee Watermelon Granita is incredibly easy to prepare and is a huge hit with children and adults. There are two versions of this non-fat, low calorie granite; one for kids and one for
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Mango Coconut Ice Cream- Easy Ice Cream Recipes

Mango Coconut Ice Cream- Easy Ice Cream Recipes Like most other Asian countries, Thailand integrates a lot of fruit into its national desserts. Mango is of course one of Thailand’s greatest exports. Numerous types of the juicy fruit abound in Thailand. For easy ice cream
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Mango with Sticky Rice

Serves 4 Ingredients 2 cups cooked sticky rice 1 1/2 cups coconut milk 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 teaspoons sugar 1 large ripe mango peeled and sliced Method In a small pot, bring the coconut milk to boil on high heat. Add the salt and sugar,
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Mini Frozen Chocolate Banana Skewers

Remember childhood days spent at carnivals or fairs? One of my favorite parts of going to a place like Disneyland was getting the frozen banana popsicles. Here’s my twist on that childhood favorite, replacing milk chocolate with a healthier but no less yummy rendition of
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Pandan Crepes with Raspberry Glaze- Asian Desserts

Pandan Crepes with Raspberry Glaze- Asian Desserts These delicately flavored crepes find their origins in the tropical islands of Indonesia, where the Pandan plant’s vibrant and aromatic leaves are widely used in Asian desserts. Pandan leaves have a gentle but distinctive scent and flavor, often
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Pandan Cupcakes with Lychee Buttercream Frosting

Pandan Cupcakes with Lychee Buttercream Frosting If you’re familiar with Southeast Asian desserts, you might have heard of an ingredient called Pandan- an aromatic green leaf that lends a distinctive flavor and sweet scent. When I think of Pandan I automatically think of Indonesia and
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Peach Ice Cream- Easy Summer Desserts

Peach Ice Cream- Easy Summer Desserts I’ve had a peach tree a few times in my life in different homes and few things remind me of warm summer days more than fresh ripe peaches plucked from a tree. My favorite easy summer desserts are those
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Pomegranate Greek Yogurt Pops- Healthy Desserts

Pomegranate Greek Yogurt Pops- Healthy Desserts Makes 6 medium-sized Popsicles or 4 Large Popsicles (the large is about the same size as supermarket bought popsicles) Ingredients 1 cup non-fat Greek Yogurt 1 cup raspberries 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds ( you can substitute with raspberries or strawberries) 2 tablespoons honey (optional-
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Real Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream This ice cream flavor used to be one of my favorites as a child until I grew up and realized what awful ingredients big name ice cream brands put into it. Remember that weird green hue? It certainly wasn’t from
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Rose Young Coconut

Rose Young Coconut- Popular Asian Drinks Asia is well known for exotic cocktails and tropical drinks, many of which use coconuts. With the simple addition of one key ingredient, fresh young coconut is transformed into a refreshing, tropical dessert drink. This recipe works well for
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Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate Saketini- Chocolate Cocktails

Salted Caramel & Dark Chocolate Saketini- Chocolate Cocktails For those of you who adore chocolate and the divine combination with salted caramel, this easy chocolate saketini is for you. I use ZERO sugar in the actual cocktail to avoid an overly sweet concoction, instead allowing for the
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Thai Donuts

I’ve had the blessing to travel throughout Thailand extensively and in all those years, I have never encountered a dessert called Thai donuts. In the 21st century though, in Thai restaurants across the United States there emerged this interesting concoction that restaurant owners dubbed ‘Thai
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Tri-Color Popsicle

Tri Color Popsicles It doesn’t get more refreshing, delicious or healthier than this easy fruit popsicle. Perfect for hot summer days when your body craves hydration, a touch of sweetness and something cold. With zero added sugar, your body will love the natural sweetness of
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Tropical Fruit Cheesecake

This smooth, creamy cheesecake and crumbly graham cracker crust is a smashing party favorite with its abundance of fresh, tropical fruits. Personally, I don’t think heavy, creamy cheesecake pairs with anything better than absolutely fresh berries and fruits of all kinds. The slight acidity of
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Tropical Fruit with Sugar Salt Dip

Not big on heavy sweets and chocolates, Asian desserts have a large spotlight on fresh fruits whether in baked goods or in their raw form. This recipe is so easy it’s error-proof. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity though. The combination of fresh tropical fruits
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Vanilla Nutella Ice Cream Sandwich

Being a kid in Asia meant having access to all kinds of yummy desserts and snacks. The first time I had this Vanilla Nutella ice cream sandwich was in Southeast Asia, from a roaming street vendor. Hearing ice cream sandwich conjured images of the thin,
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