#SundaySupper

Chocolate Toffee Cookies, #5Ingredients, #SundaySupper

Some things like chocolate and Hello Kitty are worth the price tag, don’t you think? Seriously, after a visit today to the Japanese American National Museum, I am in awe of how the universe rewards those who strive to bring goodness into our world. 

Shintaro Tsuji, the man responsible for the worldwide explosion of Hello Kitty, drew me to his photo with his kind smile.  His expression was one of sweet contentment. (Of course, life would be wonderful as a billionaire!)
 

Cheese Bread, #SundaySupper

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Abraham Lincoln

Who is the biggest influence in your life today?

As Mother’s Day approaches, memories from days past pop into my mind. My birth mother, the Wimbledon tennis star, was more focused on smashing balls over the net than perfecting her potatoes. Yet, on my summer visits to her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she managed to scramble the best eggs in the world. I swore it was the sour cream that made the eggs extra delicious. Today I think the breakfast-for-dinner meal was satisfying because Mom made it.

The banana bread made by my stepmother, Barbara, was spectacular, too. I grew up with Barbara, an actress (with an eye for exquisite antiques) in Tokyo. As she was constantly booking jobs, her baking time in the kitchen was curtailed. However, I have fond memories of Barbara slicing cheese and nibbling on crackers as she regaled Dad and me with tales from her glamorous day. I don’t think Barbara would describe her work as glamorous. But it sure beat trying to solve algebra problems!

Lemon Yuzu Cookies, #SundaySupper

Once Upon A Time, in ancient Japan, an aromatic Asian citron named Yuzu-chan swayed in the breeze. Contemplating the sliver of crescent moon, the fruit thought of its Chinese ancestors. Many of Yuzu-chan’s family survived the trip via the Korean Peninsula. However, as in all journeys, there was great loss. Some seedlings did not survive. But as moonlight bounced on the tree branch where Yuzu-chan was nestled, he nearly burst with citrus pride. Thanks to those who’d survived the challenging journey, Japanese were now appreciating the wonders of yuzu. Condiments with yuzu zest and chili peppers provided fire on the tongue. Japanese confections were kissed by the presence of yuzu and brought many sighs of contentment.

The gentle wind rocked Yuzu-chan, the crickets sang a sleepy-time lullaby. As the moon slid behind a cloud like a paper-thin Japanese sliding door; Yuzu-chan dreamed of the day he and his family would adventure abroad and share the wonders of yuzu.

Gluten-Free Donuts, #SundaySupper

I nibbled the Ninja Baker’s adaptation of a BabyCakes gluten-free donut. Deeeelicious! Whew! Substituting banana for applesauce along with a few other Ninja tweaks made for one scrumptious gluten-free donut. Dare I say it? I do believe my gluten-free donut was better than a regular cake donut! Added bonus: My gluten-free donuts are also vegan!

Today’s #SundaySupper chat at Twitter is all about recipes using beans. (Scroll down to see your invite to the virtual dinner table.) So, Erin McKenna’s BabyCakes gluten-free cake donut recipe, which requires garbanzo bean flour, fit the bill. To honor the beanirific #SundaySupper theme, I also added vanilla bean paste.

Dipping my gluten-free donuts into rose-colored candy melts, a few musings about the humble bean stirred…

Imitation Game Guinness Brownies, #SundaySupper

Did you see The Imitation Game?  Pour in a heavy dose of suspense; sprinkle in intrigue; introduce a quirky mathematician and unlikely love-interests. Toss the elements into England’s Bletchley Park (code breaker headquarters) during WWII. After 114 minutes in the movie theatre, you may see why The Imitation Game is nominated for eight Oscars. Without leaking spoiler alerts, a conversation about love at the local pub prompts a major turning point in The Imitation Game. Although much of the excitement is enhanced by Hollywood; solving riddles, finding solutions with friends while sharing a pint of Guinness reads true to life.

One of the many Hollywoodized features includes...

Heart Healthy Salmon Bento, #SundaySupper

Japanese bento lunch boxes l are budget-savers. Beautifully crafted bentos are often on sale hours before closing in department store basements in Japan. The artistic mosaics of foods arranged in accordance with the season are also available for a reasonable price on bullet train rides and station kiosks.) Still, bento boxes like brown bags when homemade are inevitably infused with an invaluable ingredient – love.

Chocolate Pocky Cake, #SundaySupper

Dorothy clicks her ruby red slippers and declares three-times: “There’s no place like home.” Magically, the little girl and her dog, Toto are transported back to safety and comfort. Do you ever wish you could click your heels and go back in time?  When challenged with the unfamiliar, foods singing of childhood memories do seem to beckon this Ninja Baker.

Japanese Pocky is one of those foods for me. You know the skinny cookie/biscuit stick dipped in classic chocolate or strawberry cream or green tea matcha? In my hometown of Tokyo, Pocky is the perfect snack for transporting on the train. The chocolate topping melts in your mouth, not on your hands. (Yes, Pocky could be the M & Ms of the cookie family.) Plus, who can beat the combo of chocolate and cookies in one bite?

Chicken Ramen Mini Casseroles, #SundaySupper

Ramen. The Japanese noodles are everywhere. First I thought LA’s love affair with ramen was exclusive to this City of Angels. However, after traveling across this (mostly) great United (sometimes) States of America, I see Japanese ramen noodles nodding hello from the Asian aisles in supermarkets in even the sleepiest seaside towns.

America’s welcome of the ubiquitous Japanese ramen makes sense. Ramen is a DIY fast food. Ripping open a package of ramen is a relief for a multi-tasking mom or for the college student burning the midnight oil. Plus, like any do-it-yourself project, the crafter has the power to decorate ramen noodles with whatever topping is desired.

Rum Glazed Cookie Cream Buns, #SundaySupper

Drunk on the joys of the season, I created Rum Glazed Cookie Cream Buns. Doughnut textured buns stuffed with cookie cream, smothered with rum glaze and topped with Japanese cookie crumbles, Rum Glazed Cookie Cream Buns are this Ninja Baker’s celebration of Christmastime dessert! The recipe is adapted from Pillsbury Bake-Off finalist, Megan Beimer’s winning Chocolate Doughnut Poppers. Her beauties are crammed with...

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