Make Your Children Eat Their a Cupcake! #SundaySupper

If you are a parent, you are the best authority on the subject of children and vegetables. But if you do need back pocket recipes for “one of those days”…You can make your children eat their vegetables in a cupcake!

You are probably aware that chocolate is a fantastic trickster. And chocolate cupcakes are the perfect hiding place for pumpkin. (Zucchini and spinach in brownies work well too.) The Great Pumpkin season is upon us in the US, so supermarkets sell pumpkin puree at reduced prices. Double win! Your child gets the nutritious value of vegetables and you save money!

If you can get your hands on Japanese miso, the protein-packed salty soybeans compliment the sweet chocolate. P.s. Skip the salt in a chocolate cupcake recipe if using Japanese miso. (For baking I’ve discovered white miso works the best.)

More good news: Pumpkin also works for yellow cake. 

Japanese Korean Tofu Sliders, #SundaySupper

Truth be told Japan and Korea have not always been the best of friends. But postwar generations have paved a way to forgiveness. Fascinations with the foods and songs of each other’s cultures have flourished with time. (Many Japanese also confess to addictions to Korean TV dramas.) As Shakespeare says, “What wound did ever heal but by degrees.”

Travel, besides time, also adds perspective and appreciation. So do imports. Living in the U.S. and traveling back to my home country of Japan, I’ve noticed more availability of American goods in Japan and vice-a-versa.

Here’s my gratitude list of imports into the USA:

From Japan:

  • Pokémon
  • Sailor Moon
  • Toyota and Honda Cars
  • Ramen
  • Sushi
  • Edamame
  • Miso
  • Tofu

Miso Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches, #SundaySupper

What follows is a synopsis of my Hollywood Blockbuster.

What’s the story about?
Miso Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Movie Titles for Your Consideration:
Please advise which title you’d pick.
Or create your own.

Mission Possible: Miso Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sandwiches
The Ninja Baker’s Kitchen of Peculiar Happenings
UnFrozen: A Tale of Temperamental Ice Cream and Broken Machines

Great movies (even mediocre ones) have:

Reward Your Star Student with an A-Plus Gluten-Free Bento, #Glutino

In the late 1970s, in the USA, fretting Mothers frantically figured out ways to create tasty gluten-free sandwiches for their children’s school lunches. Why? GMO (genetically modified organisms) wheat (and corn) were introduced to the American public. And made our children’s immune system sick and sensitive to products like wheat.

Side note 1: In places like Japan GMOs are banned.
Side note 2: In an experiment, it was discovered that animals instinctively avoided food with GMO.



Au Lac: The Vegan Vision of the Amazing Mai Ngyuen

A treacherous Vietnamese regime dictated escape. So, in the stealth of night, Mai Ngyuen and her current husband stowed away on a boat headed to America. A sister awaited their arrival in Texas. The food culture of her new homeland was a shock. “The serving of steak (for one) would feed an entire family in Vietnam.” Still, assimilation was important. So Main lined up for the steak lunches at the college cafeteria with her American classmates. Yet, Mai’s body rebelled. Soon she was praying to Buddha to heal her body wracked with illness... 1980年に、 MAI NGYUENさんはベトナムの厳しい政府から逃れるために、密航してアメリカにたどりつきました。そのとき、今のご主人も彼女とアメリカへ渡りました。彼女の姉がテキサスに住んでいたので、二人はそこで暮らし、学校に通いました。テキサスは肉料理で有名な州なので、毎日肉ばかりを食べて生活していました。そのため、彼女は病気になってしまいました。彼女は仏教を信仰していたので、大仏に祈り、仏教の教えに従って、肉を食べるのをやめました。すると、彼女はすぐに元気になりました。

Gluten-Free Banana Cream Pie, #Glutino #Giveaway

Glutino, a purveyor of gorgeous gluten-free products kindly gifted me with a box of goodies. Plus, a stash of coupons. Scroll down for the simple steps to win the coupons for free gluten-free Glutino yummies.

Ever wonder how we survived without the Internet? A touch of the fingertips to the keyboard…Voilà! We’re connected to the information highway.

These days I’m wondering how I survived without Glutino gluten-free baking mixes and flour. When bringing baked goods to any social gathering, someone always asks. “Is this gluten-free?” Is this just a California thing?

Japanese Peach Boy Ice Cream, #SundaySupper

Magic. Never leave home without it. A sprinkle of fairy dust on grim reality is healthy. Like fairytales, a sense of awe leaves the door open to a belief in possibility.

Okayama, a city slightly southeast of Osaka, celebrates Japanese children’s story hero, Momotaro. Momo in Japanese means peach. The Okayama region is rich in gorgeous peaches. But Momotaro is more than a mere mascot.

Manholes in Okayama are painted with scenes from the Momotaro story….The Peach Boy pictures are reminders to be brave, to believe that help can come from the most unexpected sources. You see, Momotaro, a boy born of a peach knows it is only right that he slay the demons taunting his beloved town. He sets out on his journey alone. But along the way he befriends a dog, a monkey and a pheasant. Team effort results in the downfall of the demons.

Japanese Matcha Green Tea Frosting and Dip

Steeped for centuries, matcha green tea is swirled into the culture of Japan. From sublime meditation to "sanji" (3 o’clock) snack time, green tea is present. Sailing in from China in (1191) in the satchel of Zen Buddhist monk, Eisai, the tea settled comfortably into Japanese society. The prominent monk’s PR may have helped to popularize matcha tea in Japan. Eisai allegedly declared, “matcha green tea is the elixir of the mortals.”

Matcha is said to focus one’s meditation. The samurai also drank green tea before battle. Modern day warriors in the Japanese workforce also down green tea daily. Special occasions and tea ceremonies feature matcha tea from Uji, Japan. (Between the ancient capitals of Japan - Kyoto and Nara.)

Besides the drink, matcha green tea brightens macarons, cakes, ice cream sundaes and soba noodles. If in Kyoto, Japan…Save room for dessert! 

Crossroads Kitchen: Love and Art Meet On A Vegan Plate, #Giveaway

What stirred Johannes Vermeer to paint his Girl with a Pearl Earring masterpiece? Why did Billy Joel compose Uptown Girl? Love. The same reason Crossroads Kitchen’s Chef Tal Ronnen took the vegan path and is now the maestro of exquisite plant-based cuisine. Wanting to impress a cute vegan girl in high school, young Chef Tal traded his steaks in for soybeans. His infatuation may not have turned into marriage. However, Chef Tal’s flair for turning veggies into haute cuisine certainly caught the eye of Oprah. (America’s beloved chat show host.) And no wonder. At Crossroads Kitchen, a cheese board with vegan Boursin and Brie served with dense nutty raisin bread had this writer swooning.