Peanut Butter and Jelly Stuffed French Toast

August 28, 2016

Peanut Butter and Jelly Stuffed French Toast

Last week was my first week being back at work, and this coming week will be the first full week of school for my students. One of the quintessential back-to-school food has got to be the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (Does anybody else get Peanut Butter Jelly Time stuck in their head anytime they think about PB&J?)

To celebrate the beginning of a new school year (or really, to treat myself for getting through the first week of work) I decided to make a peanut butter and jelly stuffed french toast. I hadn’t had a PB&J or french toast in a while, and being indecisive, I decided to have both!

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Lemon Rolls

August 21, 2016

Lemon Rolls

Oh boy, it’s been so long since I last posted. I was in Vancouver visiting Tristan’s family and I’ve abandoned my blog for over a month. But I’m back! And since I’m avoiding going through all the photos I took on my trip (we’re talking over 900 photos) I’m back to blogging with a bread recipe.

I recently found bags of Meyer lemons sold at my local supermarket. I rarely see Meyer lemons sold in Japan so I grabbed two bags, a total of 12 lemons, with nothing particular in mind. With Kobe being 96.8°F (36°C) and ridiculously humid, I wanted something that doesn’t take long in the oven or something that can be made without turning on my oven. When I gave Tristan the option of no-bake lemon cheesecake or sticky lemon rolls, he chose the latter. These lemon rolls are fluffy, buttery, perfectly sweet with a bright sunny flavor from the lemons.

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Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake

July 14, 2016

Banana Upside Down Cake

Right now I’m enjoying my summer vacation in beautiful Vancouver with Tristan’s grandparents. Right before we left Japan, I made this banana coconut upside down cake to bring to my parents’ place. I was supposed to post this recipe over the weekend but with cleaning and packing, I completely lost track of time.

I have to be honest, the coconut flavor in this banana coconut upside down cake is very subtle, if at all noticeable. I added canned coconut milk as well as coconut milk powder and coconut rum to compensate for the lack of coconut extract but the banana took over almost all of the coconut flavor. Still, it was a delightful dessert!

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Raspberry Not-So-Red-Velvet Cupcakes

July 3, 2016

raspberry red velvet cupcakes

Happy Fourth of July! Independence Day isn’t a holiday here in Japan so I’ll be spending the day at work, but I did enjoy a barbecue at my parents’ place tonight. I feel a little guilty posting this recipe for raspberry cupcakes since I didn’t save any to share with my parents… Does that make me a terrible daughter? Probably.

Honestly, I never understood the hype for red velvet cakes and cupcakes. It’s not vanilla cake, not quite chocolate cake, and they’re stuffed with food coloring. I really want to like red velvet but I can’t get over the unnecessary food coloring. That’s when I thought of using raspberries to add color. I’ve used freeze-dried raspberries pulverized in a food processor in the batter. The result is a very moist cupcake that tastes like both chocolate and raspberry, but the color isn’t red enough, in my opinion, to classify as red velvet. To compensate for the lack of red in the cupcake, I sprinkled some freeze-dried raspberries on top as a garnish. These raspberry not-so-red-velvet cupcakes are the perfect dessert to bring to your Fourth of July get-together!

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Blueberry Cream Cheese Doughnuts

June 27, 2016

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Canada Day is coming up this Friday! Who’s started planning? I’m not Canadian, but dating one makes me an honorary Canadian, yes?

I think most of us immediately think of maple syrup when we hear Canada. In an effort to make something non-maple, I googled Canadian foods and ended up finding out that Canada is the second largest producer and exporter of blueberries in the world! Who knew?

These blueberry cream cheese doughnuts are super fluffy with a creamy, tangy blueberry filling with a nod to the maple leaf.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

June 20, 2016

chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

Happy Father’s Day to all dads, dads-to-be, as well as grandpas out there!

I’ve made some chocolate peanut butter cupcakes this year to celebrate Father’s Day. Last year I made something similar but topped with chopped peanuts and salted pretzels, but the pretzels turned stale after a while from the moisture of the frosting. This year, I topped the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes with chopped salted peanuts and melted chocolate. And they’re so dang good!

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Rocky Road Cookies

June 12, 2016

rocky road cookies

The past two weeks have been unusually busy and social for me. I was really busy at work with the school year coming to an end, I had a celebratory dinner with co-workers, and I went to Tokyo to attend my commencement ceremony. I’m finally done with my Masters! As excited as I am about being finished with both work and my studies, it’s been an exhausting couple of weeks. I had a lot of fun but I’m definitely a homebody and need some quiet alone time.

As per usual, I was in charge of dessert for the dinner with co-workers and brought these giant rocky road cookies. They’re adapted from a Milk Bar recipe, and they’re divine. They have crispy edges, a chewy and fudgy center, crunchy walnuts, and stringy marshmallows. They’re much bigger than the cookies I usually make, but before you know it, you’ll have eaten half the entire batch.

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Mango with Sticky Rice (Khao Niao Mamuang)

May 30, 2016

Mango with Sticky Rice (Khao Niao Mamuang)

Two summers ago, I went to Phuket with Tristan. It was my first vacation with him. In fact, it was my first vacation ever. Up until then, I’d been to different countries for volleyball and softball tournaments in high school, but there was very little time given for sightseeing. I’d also gone to a couple states in the U.S. visiting relatives, but let’s face it, going around visiting relatives is no vacation.

One of the best things about the hotel we stayed at in Thailand was the breakfast buffet. My favorite was the bite-size portions of coconut sticky rice topped with a cube of mango. I had never had mango with sticky rice, or khao niao mamuang, before but I became obsessed. I kept eating multiples of these every morning, along with fried rice and noodles and ended up gaining about 4lbs (2kgs) during my week in Phuket.

One of the nights we spent in Phuket, we went to the hotel restaurant and I  ordered a full portion of mango with sticky rice. We had to bite our tongues to stop ourselves from laughing when the waitress came and said, “Manko rice?”

You see, manko in Japanese is a slang for vagina.

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Honey Almond Gouda Cheesecake

May 22, 2016

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I originally planned to top these gouda cheesecakes with a red wine syrup, since May 25th is National Wine Day. But when I tasted the cheesecake on its own, I realized that it needs something much sweeter than the red wine syrup to balance the salty gouda.

Topping the gouda cheesecakes with honey and almonds, they no longer contain red wine, but they’re the perfect dessert to accompany your glass of wine on Wine Day. Continue Reading…

Strawberry and Blueberry Tart with a Corn Cookie Crust

May 16, 2016

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It’s finally warm outside! So warm I’ve had to bust out my short sleeves. I’ve been trying not to take them out too early because then I wouldn’t have anything else to wear in the summer (my boss probably wouldn’t appreciate me coming in to work wearing short shorts in August). With the warmer weather, I’ve been finding myself craving more fruit and fruit juices than usual. I love cold fruit in the spring and summer months! One of them being strawberries. I prefer my strawberries nice and chilled in the fridge. (Anyone else? Just me?)

Although the combination of strawberries and blueberries slightly reminds me of the 4th of July, I was in the mood for a refreshing tart topped with lots of juicy strawberries and blueberries. This tart is perfect for when you have guests over or you need something to bring to your next dinner party. It’ll no doubt impress anyone you present this to!

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