Gazing at the pictured strawberry shortcake on the back of the Bisquick box (sent in a care package to Tokyo from my grandmother, Nona, in Colorado) I marveled as a kid at the American concoction. The biscuit heaped with mounds of cream and topped with strawberries was certainly different looking from the delicate strawberry shortcake slices sold in Japanese pâtisseries.
Ever feel like the new kid on the block at work, school or in cyberspace? You don’t know anybody. And nobody sits with you at lunch. You continue on with your work because that is your calling. But it’s lonely. Then, one day, a girl from the popular crowd appears and invites you to share a sandwich. Some might call this person an angel. In honor of the popular food blogger angel who reached out to me, I’ve baked up mini angel food cakes and topped them with mandarin orange cream. So who is this lovely friend?
Read on and find out
After the traditional formal visit to the temple with family on New Year’s Day; on January 2nd, many females trade their kimono for blue jeans and join the throngs at trendy boutiques and department stores where good fortune fukubukuro bags await. To make way for 2013 merchandise, inventory from 2012 is sold at half price in sealed bags imprinted with the ?Chinese character for Good Fortune. (As well as characters for male?, female?, and child ?.) The chic spots in town sell out quickly. Sisters and girlfriends are blessings at this time because the more in the group, the better trades and exchanges of items from the bags. Of course, venues catering to men also sell fukubukuro bags. Typically though the shoppers are women. (No surprise for anyone living on planet earth, right?)
The Ninja Baker’s bucket list includes another trip to Tokyo where I can partake in this exciting Japanese shopping adventure. In the meantime, to commemorate this fun occasion, I’ve fashioned my own good fortune: Japanese-Style Ninja Baker sealed crescent roll Pockets of Prosperity. Want to join the fun? Well, then, please read on.
At the stroke of midnight, gigantic temple bells reverberate in every neighborhood on the last day of the year. During my time in Tokyo, the sound struck an awe-filled sense of the sacred. In most households, December 31st is when simple fare like toshi-koshi soba (New Year’s Eve buckwheat noodles) are served.
Many make a simple cucumber roll at home or order one at Japanese restaurants. But for Christmas, why not add a bit of benishoga red pickled ginger? It brightens up the white rice and adds a bit of tang to the neutral Japanese cucumber. Ready to give it a try?
In addition to my appetizer how-to, you'll also find a list of recipes from stellar bakers, cooks and food bloggers who contribute to the weekly Twitter event with the hashtag #SundaySupper on Sundays at 7p.m. ET.