Chocolate Matcha Swirl, #BundtaMonth

Matcha is the elite member of the green tea family. Shizuoka, southwest of Tokyo (an hour away by train) and Uji on the southern island of Kyushu are two areas famous for choice green tea leaves.

For this month’s swirl-in-a-Bundt theme, I twirled chocolate matcha into a bona fide Southern belle of a pound cake. The recipe is from Kim Nelson of South Carolina's famed Daisy Cakes shop.

Savory #MuffinMonday

Olives in muffins? Did I read the e-mail from our Muffin Monday fearless leader right? Yup. Olives were the theme for this week. Hmm. I’m not a huge olive fan. I associate olives with martinis, salad bars and Popeye’s girlfriend, Olive Oil. (I first saw the cartoon in Japanese. It was fun to travel to the States during summer vacation and experience Popeye’s different English inflection.) So, I was stumped…. 

Japanese Picnic Bento Box, #SundaySupper

Summer in Japan is sweltering hot. Fans work overtime. Shutters are thrown wide open. The occasional breeze will set off the sounds of the furin garden wind chimes. Light and lovely, it’s as if fairies are making music.

Sounds of rain tap dancing on rooftops are a frequent occurrence in June. The good news is that all that water encourages gorgeous flowers to flourish. So, in July and August, to escape the hot indoors and to enjoy the flora offered by a myriad of parks, families take their Sunday Supper in the great outdoors.

Almond Cookies & Orange Cake Bon Bons, #Baked with Love

One Sunday morning (circa age 9), I tiptoed downstairs to the kitchen and baked a surprise coffee cake out of Betty Crocker cookbook for children. The scents of baking butter, sugar and spice were enchanting. More magical still were the smiles on the faces of my family.

To this day I see baking as a tangible means of expressing care. So, when my friend, Jeanne threw a potluck party for fellow dance classmates, I was delighted to bake for her Asian theme buffet. My contributions of Chinese Almond Cookies and the Ninja Baker’s Orange Cake Bon Bons were a hit.

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