Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding via It's Jou Life //

Magnolia Bakery’s Delectable Banana Pudding // Recipe

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe via It's Jou Life Blog //

The dessert that left a sweet handprint on my heart. After coming back from our New York trip, first on our list was to make that fluffy, yet ooey-gooey Banana Pudding dessert from Magnolia Bakery. Although this easy recipe doesn’t involve baking, this dessert does require some planning. One of the beginning steps involves at least 4 hours (or overnight) for the pudding to firm and 30 minutes as the last step to set the dish. Just make sure to read this recipe from beginning to end before inviting your guests over for dessert night.

Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding

Makes 12 servings


1 1/2 cups water

2/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

3 cups heavy cream

1 (12-ounce) box vanilla wafers

4 bananas, sliced


Mix together the water, pudding mix, and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight until it sets up.

Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Working in thirds, fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well incorporated.

In a trifle bowl, layer vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding mixture; continue until you’ve used up all the pudding mixture. Refrigerate for at least another 30 minutes before serving.

Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding via It's Jou Life //

The first layer of fluffy pudding goodness, sliced bananas and Nilla wafers

Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding via It's Jou Life // Bakery's Banana Pudding via It's Jou Life // Bakery's Banana Pudding via It's Jou Life //

This recipe is exclusive from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook by Jennifer Appel and Allysa Torey. Photograph copyright © 2016 by Jennifer Jou.




Lion’s Head Meatballs, Chinese Food // recipe

 Lion's Head Meatball Recipe via It's Jou Life Blog // 4

A favorite dish of mine from childhood, it’s perfect comfort food for a cold winter night and surprisingly easy to make. It’s traditionally made with fatty ground pork, but I opted for ground turkey. The dish is sort of a stew but lighter: The meatballs, greens, and a little broth are all spooned over rice noodles. It’s commonly known as lion’s head meatballs, because the wavy greens or noodles ringing the meatballs look like…a lion’s mane? In Chinese, they’re called shih tzu tou, so maybe they’re really supposed to look like little shih tzu lapdog heads. Even if they are taxonomically ambiguous, they are inarguably tasty and incredibly easy to make.


1 lb ground pork (I opted for ground turkey)

1 C chopped scallions

2 T soy sauce

1 T sugar

1 T Shaoxing wine

1 T minced garlic

1 T minced fresh ginger

1 t kosher salt

1/2 t sesame oil

1 egg

2 T cornstarch

Neutral oil

1 lb napa cabbage or bok choy, leaves separated, chopped if desired

2 C chicken broth

White pepper

Cooked rice noodles or rice, for serving


  1. Put the pork in a large bowl and break it up with your hands. Add the scallions, soy sauce, sugar, wine, garlic, ginger, salt, and sesame oil and work the mixture to combine. Add the egg and cornstarch and vigorously mix, picking up and slapping the mixture back into the bowl a few times to create a tacky texture. Roll the meat into eight 2-inch balls. (Note: Keep in mind if you opted for ground turkey, instead of pork, it doesn’t hold its shape as well. Be gentle when forming the 2-inch balls and searing them in the pan. Don’t worry, it’ll taste just as delicious)
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven and add enough meatballs to fit comfortably in a single layer. Sear them until browned all over, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with any remaining meatballs. Remove the pan from the heat and wipe out the pan.
  3. Line the pan with the cabbage or bok choy, arrange the meatballs in a snug single layer on top, and add broth to come within 1/4 inch of the tops of the meatballs. Cover the pot and set over medium heat. Gently simmer until the greens are tender and the meatballs are cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve over rice noodles or with steamed rice.

Lion's Head Meatball Recipe via It's Jou Life Blog //'s Head Meatball Recipe via It's Jou Life Blog //'s Head Meatball Recipe via It's Jou Life Blog // recipe is exclusive from LUCKY PEACH PRESENTS 101 EASY ASIAN RECIPES. Copyright © 2015 by Peter Meehan. Photograph copyright © 2016 by Jennifer Jou

Healthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via Its Jou Life Blog //

recipe // walnut and date cocoa energy balls

Healthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via Its Jou Life Blog //

Lately I find myself getting hungry between meals at work, rushing to workout classes and running errands. These healthy walnut + date cocoa balls have been a staple in my every day. It not only provides protein and energy to get me through my long days, but also hits my sweet tooth cravings–guilt-free. Best of all, it’s so easy to make.

Walnut and Date Cocoa Energy Balls

Prep: 15 minutes

Yields: Approx. 19, depending on size


1 cup raw walnuts (or ½ cup raw walnuts and ½ cup raw almonds)

1 cup firmly packed pitted dates (slightly softened)

2 T goji berries (optional)

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Optional: dash of ground cinnamon, raw honey


  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor, and process until extremely fine. Tip: If the dates were in the fridge, let it soften in room-temperature for about 15 min. Not required though. I just find it blends and have a more favorable texture if slightly softened.
  2. Taste mixture. Tip: If the mixture isn’t sweet or on the dry/crumbly side, add a few drizzles of raw honey. Process again.
  3. Shape into 1” balls. Tip: I like to use a mini ice cream scooper and then roll between my palms.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Good for about a week.

Healthy Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life Walnut + Date Cocoa Energy Balls via It's Jou Life

Day 6 // Turn Your Sandwich into a Salad | Birchbox Challenge

Skipping the bread doesn’t have to mean bland leafy greens leaving you hungry. This recipe for a tuna egg salad features creamy ingredients that are protein-rich and low on guilt.

Tuna Egg Salad with Avocado


1 can tuna (in water)

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 medium Haas avocado, cubed

2 boiled eggs

1/8 tsp kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

6 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2 T Goddess dressing (I prefer Trader Joes’ Goddess Dressing)


1. In a mixing bowl, combine tuna, sliced cherry tomatoes, cubed avocados, cubed boiled eggs and salt.

2. Toss in the chopped romaine lettuce and dressing and mix gently.

About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Make sure to also enter for their daily prize giveaways. Let’s do this together!

{ recipe } summer favorite eats | 4-ingredient avocado + tofu + tomato salad

{ recipe } summer favorite eats | 4-ingredient avocado + tofu + tomato salad via itsjoulife -

Summer may be coming to an end, but the heat remains. This is another favorite summertime dish that doesn’t involve stove top cooking. My mother used to make this for me all the time. It’s a refreshing dish that satisfies taste, nutrition and ease. Best of all, the cherry tomatoes are from our garden.

4-ingredient Avocado + Tofu + Tomato Salad (and Soy Paste)

Serves: 3 to 4

Prep: 10 minutes


1 ripe avocado, cubed

10 ounces of soft tofu, cubed

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

3 tablespoons of Soy Paste

1 tablespoon of sesame oil (optional)


  1. Gently layer the avocado, tofu, tomatoes in a glass bowl.
  2. Mix the soy paste and sesame oil until well combined. Drizzle over everything.

{ recipe } summer favorite eats | 4-ingredient avocado + tofu + tomato salad via itsjoulife -

{ recipe } 3-ingredient pumpkin + peanut butter dog treats

3-Ingredient whole wheat peanut butter pumpkin dog cookies via itsjoulife blog -…ter-dog-treats/ ‎My pup is just like me. We love to snack and eat delectable treats. When it comes to food for Bentley, I always try to look for delicious, wholesome and healthy ingredients. It’s three simple ingredients–just whole wheat flour, pumpkin and peanut butter. These dog-friendly treats already have Bentley’s paw of approval! (I even had a cookie or two) My friend gifted me these dapper Fred’s Munchstaches cookie cutters.

3-Ingredient Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Treats


1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter

1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree, canned

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I use a Silpat and it works perfectly.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter and pumpkin. Stir in the flour 1/4 cup at a time just until dough is no longer sticky.
  3. Roll the dough out to 1/4″ thick. Tip: I align two chopsticks, one on each side of the flattened dough (in parallel) as a guide. A chopstick’s diameter is about 1/4″. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the dough, then place on the prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipe from kevin {&} amanda blog.

3-Ingredient whole wheat peanut butter pumpkin dog cookies via itsjoulife blog -…ter-dog-treats/ ‎3-Ingredient whole wheat peanut butter pumpkin dog cookies via itsjoulife blog -…ter-dog-treats/ ‎

3-Ingredient whole wheat peanut butter pumpkin dog cookies via itsjoulife blog -…ter-dog-treats/ ‎

3-Ingredient whole wheat peanut butter pumpkin dog cookies via itsjoulife blog -…ter-dog-treats/ ‎3-Ingredient whole wheat peanut butter pumpkin dog cookies via itsjoulife blog -…ter-dog-treats/ ‎

3-Ingredient whole wheat peanut butter pumpkin dog cookies via itsjoulife blog -…ter-dog-treats/ ‎


{ recipe } summer favorite eats | easy peanut noodles

{ recipe } summer favorite eats | easy peanut noodles via itsjoulife -…peanut-noodles/ ‎

The warm summer weather calls for cool and refreshing dishes. Eating cold peanut noodles has been a childhood favorite. This dish is quick and easy and can easily be tailored to the season’s vegetables or what you like. I prefer to eat this dish with carrots, cucumbers, shredded rotisserie chicken and slice egg sheet, but others can top it off with broccoli, asparagus, bell peppers or toasted peanuts. You just chop, pour, mix and enjoy!

Easy Peanut Noodles

Serves: 4 to 6

Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 15 minutes | Ready: 25 minutes


12 ounce pack of noodles (I like these Nanka Seimen Futonaga Udon Japanese noodles)


1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/4 cup hot water

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce


1 medium-sized cucumber, julienne

1 medium-sized carrot, julienne

Optional: 2 cups shredded chicken (I use rotisserie chicken)

Optional: 1 cup sliced egg sheet


  1. Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water until done. Rinse in cold water to prevent the starchy noodles from sticking.
  2. Dressing: Place the peanut butter in a large measuring cup and place in the microwave to soften for 10 seconds. Combine in soy sauce, rice vinegar, fresh ginger, sesame oil, hot water, Sriracha. (Dressing should be thick, but pourable)
  3. Place the noodles in a large bowl and pour dressing. Toss.
  4. Serve dressed noodles in bowls and top with cucumbers, carrots (and chicken and egg).



{ recipe } Zucchini Bread

zucchini bread recipe via it's jou life

zucchini bread recipe via it's jou life

loaded with zucchini, pistachios, dates

zucchini bread recipe via it's jou life zucchini bread was first inspired by a memorable breakfast muffin I tried at True Food Kitchen. I took some of those favorite ingredients (pistachios + dates) and incorporated it into this basic zucchini recipe found on The * means I’ve altered the recipe. The original recipe called for 2 1/4 cups of sugar. I felt it was overly sweet since I added dates. That is why I cut down the recipe to 1/4 cup of sugar. In the summer time we incorporate our home grown zucchini into this bread and it makes such a difference.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cups white sugar*

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped pistachios*

1 cup chopped pitted dates*


1.            Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

2.            Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

3.            Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini, pistachios and dates until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

4.            Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Note: After two days, make sure you refrigerate  the bread. The natural sugars in the dates may get gooey. Don’t worry, it’s safe to eat.

{ recipe } zucchini, bacon, and goat cheese quiche

With summer here, our garden is flourishing with seasonal fruits and vegetables. We have a fridge drawer full of zucchini and cucumbers and an abundance of various tomato varieties. So this past weekend the Jou Test Kitchen opened up again and sampled various recipes to incorporate our organic produce. We brought our dishes (Zucchini, Bacon and Goat Cheese Quiche; Taiwanese Sesame Cucumbers; Heirloom and Burrata Salad; Heirloom Tomatoes on Grilled Rustic Bread) to a friend’s place for dinner.

We followed an Epicurious quiche recipe and loved it so much, we made another one the following day.

zucchini, bacon, cheese quiche recipe via it's jou life blog, bacon, cheese quiche recipe via it's jou life blog

Photos, L-R: Romulo Yanes via, Jennifer’s iPhone

Zucchini, Bacon and Goat Cheese Quiche

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 main-course servings

Active Time: 20 min

Total Time: 50 min (not including cooling)


1 (9-inch) refrigerated pie dough round (from a 15-oz package)

1/4 lb sliced bacon, coarsely chopped

2 medium zucchini (3/4 lb total), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup whole milk

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 large eggs

2 oz Gruyère, coarsely grated (1 cup) – We used goat cheese instead

Special equipment: a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F.

Fit pie dough into pie plate and lightly prick all over. Bake according to package instructions, then transfer crust in pie plate to a rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.

While crust bakes, cook bacon in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until just crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate, reserving fat in skillet.

Add zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon salt to fat in skillet and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until zucchini is tender and starting to brown, about 5 minutes, then transfer with slotted spoon to a plate.

Heat cream, milk, pepper, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 1- to 2-quart saucepan until mixture reaches a bare simmer, then remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs in a large heatproof bowl, then gradually whisk in hot cream mixture until combined. Stir in bacon, zucchini, and cheese and pour into piecrust. Bake until filling is just set, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer quiche in pan to rack to cool slightly, about 20 minutes. © Condé Nast Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.

{ jou eats } tender greens, santa monica

I’ve been a fan since its original West LA location in Culver City and this Santa Monica TG is the bee’s knees. Not only is it blocks away from Santa Monica beach and 3rd Street Promenade, this location is bright, clean and has a LA-worthy outdoor seating patio.

The Happy Vegan – makes a Happy Tummy out of me. The salad has even sparked a LA Times recipe article and a cult following for health-conscious eaters. (I’ll link the recipe link below) It has fresh, leafy romaine greens surrounded by mounds of their signature quad mini salads (Farro Wheat Salad with cranberry & hazelnuts, Bulgar Wheat Tabbouleh salad, Quinoa Salad with cucumber & beets and Green Hummus). Be Daring! Try making the Happy Vegan recipe.

Roasted Veggies – Perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, and carrots.
Rustic Chicken Soup – delicious and comforting chicken soup filled with chunks of potato, carrot, celery, leeks and thyme.

This is always my go-to dining spot when I’m near 3rd Street Promenade. Come on a sunny day, sit in the outdoor patio area and enjoy the weather and deliciously healthy food.

tender greens' happy vegan. favorite! via greens' rustic chicken soup via food art ! via