S’More Brownies, #FWConf13

The vast velvet skies studded with stars, which glimmered over Meadow Mountain Girl Scout Camp in Colorado, accentuated the vast distance between my rustic reality and the comforts of home. I longed to see the flashing neon signs of Ginza, to hear the joy-filled chants of men carrying mini Shinto shrines (called mikoshi) down the street during the summer festival season, and to smell the sizzling soy sauce-drenched yakitori skewered chicken...There is one memory, however, from my Girl Scout Camping days, which made the whole experience worthwhile – S’Mores!

Mini Baked Alaska, #Chocolate Party

As a child didn’t the adults in your life ask, “What do you want to be and do when you’re a grownup?”

How did you reply? I dreamed of being a royal princess. Whenever the ever-so genteel Crown Princess Michiko (now the Empress of Japan) appeared on television, my heart ached to embody such grace and enjoy such luxury. The yearning was exacerbated the day I was served Baked Alaska at the Imperial Hotel…
 

Black & White Vintage Cakes

Excited to be a part of this formidable group of ladies called The Cake Slice Bakers, I took on this month’s assignment of baking a Black & White Cake from Vintage Cakes cookbook.  (Variations of shapes e.g. cupcakes, Bundt cakes are allowed.) Suddenly, popping up on Facebook were previews of fellow contributors’ completely professional cakes! This confirmed my suspicion that I was part of an elite group. Gulp....When faced with performance anxiety...

Slightly Sophisticated PB & J Cake, #DessertChallenge

Sheryl, The Lady Behind the Curtain, peeked out to whisper the theme of June’s dessert challenge that was to be kept secret until today. I leaned in and heard strawberries and raspberries. Hmm, fruits that are rife on French influenced Japanese tarts. The berries are always artistically displayed and almost always on white flour and sugar laden pastries.

The strawberries and raspberries I employed for the task of the challenge were placed on a slightly healthier foundation. I love white refined sugar but to benefit the well-being of family and friends, I opted for...

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