Latest Blog Posts

Latest Blog Posts

Mandarin Orange Tart, #SundaySupper, National #MoscatoDay

Soft-skinned and seedless, easy to peel and a pleasure to eat, Japanese Mandarin oranges are generally referred to as mikan. Like wines the differences in seasons and subtleties are honored.  Natsu (summer) mikan, fuyu (winter) mikan and haru (spring) mikan are some of the names for Mandarin oranges. The Satsuma mikan was the first Mandarin exported to the U.S. The Chinese characters / Japanese kanji for mikan (??) mean honey citrus... Read More

4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cherry Chip Cookies, #SundaySupper

American peanut butter symbolizes comfort for me. I always spied a jar in my grandmother, Nona’s pantry on summer visits to Colorado. At age five I learned English from my cousin Sarah in Colorado. I remember Nona hovering with a plate of peanut butter topped graham crackers. An Elementary & Delicious Equation: Peanut butter + Sugar + Eggs + Cherry Chips = Scrumptious Cookies!  Later, Dick, Jane, Spot... Read More

Easy Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

America's chocolate covered bacon concoction is an indication of intense chocolate love.  But the U.S. does not come close to matching Japan’s love affair with the cacao bean. In Japan, chocolate fans enjoy chocolate with: Azuki red beans Chestnuts Green tea / Matcha Mocha Sour plum soda Sweet potato Soy beans (Edamame) Shrimp chips coated in chocolate. An array... Read More

Easter Basket Cupcakes, #SundaySupper

Once upon a sunshiny Easter day in Tokyo this fledgling Ninja Baker was invited to an Easter egg hunt for the first (and last) time. The party was held at the home of a rich American man whose garden luxuriously stretched in all directions. (On an island such as Japan, property is a premium.) The Ninja Baker...waiting for her Easter basket.   Parents were asked to help hide the Easter eggs. My father was put in charge of... Read More

Coconut Cake, #The Cake Slice Bakers

The Cake Slice Bakers are a group of bakers from around the world. We vote on a recipe and then bake the sweet from the same cookbook every month. Our current book is Carole Walter's Great Cakes. This month's sweet assignment? Coconut Cake!   Coconut Layer Cake was this month’s Cake Slice Baker’s challenge.  Layer cakes are grand. Especially coconut ones. Yet, the image of a coconut layer cake... Read More

Cinnamon Coffee Meringue Cookies, #Creative Cookie Exchange

Courtesy of the Internet, current news appears with lightening speed. Images and information whoosh into our computers in nanoseconds. But nature needs time when nurturing true learning. When mastering the cuisine of another culture or a new baking technique, permission to make baby step progress is crucial. Letting go of the expectation of perfect results is required for peace of mind. At least for this Ninja Baker. How... Read More

Bee-Bim Bop Sushi Rolls, #SundaySupper

Who is your role model? Newbery Medal winning author (and former food journalist) Linda Sue Park is one of mine. Her bestselling books are an artful glimpse into Korean culture. The pages of her novels for middle graders and young adults sing with insights into humanity. She also turns a phrase like no other in books like A Single Shard.   (At age 4 she won a poetry contest in a magazine with her haiku submission!) Bee-bim Bop!... Read More

#FitTeaDetox, $500 Target Gift Card Giveaway

This post is sponsored by FitTea who is giving away a $500 dollar Target gift card. (Scroll down for details.) All opinions are my own.  FitTea's slogan is "Give us a few weeks and we'll give you a new waistline." Usually my eyes will roll when I see promises of promos for slimmer bodies. As one who modeled in Tokyo, I am all too aware of what it takes to squeeze into a smaller dress size. However, the critic... Read More

Sesame Sake Brownies

Sesame seeds and sake wine are kissing cousins in a Japanese bento lunch box. Salted salmon (or other center piece protein) are often zapped with sake wine. A bed of rice dotted with black sesame seeds typically snuggles next to the fish. I tossed sesame seeds and sake together with everyone’s best friend – chocolate! Why? Chocolate makes everything better.   Sesame Sake Brownies drizzled with... Read More