Every time that I visit the Mitsuwa Marketplace in Edgewater, New Jersey, I have goals. I want to have a nice Japanese lunch (and it’s difficult to pick between the tendon bowl and the ramen). I want to do some grocery shopping. Finally, I want to select a few different types of Japanese candy to try. Preferably matcha flavored sweets. It can be especially difficult to know what exactly you are getting with some of the sweets if you can’t read Japanese. So I wanted to share a few of the treats that I’ve picked up over the course of several trips to Mitsuwa.
Usually sending my husband to the grocery store is a potential danger. We often joke he will be likely to return home with five different kinds of mustard. But the other month, when I was feeling under the weather and cuddled up on the sofa with our dog, my husband did well with the shopping. Really good. He came home with a box of Swedish oatmeal sandwich cookies. Gille‘s double chocolate crisps, to be specific. That is when I knew what cookie I wanted to make for this year’s Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Continue reading →
When we visited Munich over this past summer I had a list of places I wanted to see and foods I wanted to eat. Near the top of that list was a trip to Salzburg, Austria. Although I didn’t get to spend as much time in the city as I would have liked, I had priorities: do a little music shopping at Musikladen-Salzburg (traveling to Salzburg to buy Vienna-based Bilderbuch’s Schick Shock and Wanda’s Amore makes perfect sense to me…) and get Sacher Torte. And let me just say: mission accomplished. So naturally the first thing I wanted to bake when I returned home was that deliciously chocolate cake. And my dad’s birthday — he’s a good sport — made the perfect excuse. Continue reading →
I can’t even begin to express the delight I felt when I was browsing MeinCupcake.de’s online store and I saw that they offered a kit for making butter cookies with molded chocolate. Ever since I discovered Bahlsen’s Choco Leibniz from Germany and LU’s Petit écolier from France, I’ve been wanting to make these at home. But how? And, more importantly, what are they called?! At one point, my husband had wild plans to have a special mold made so that I could make them. Well, that problem is now solved: there’s a kit for that. Continue reading →
Biscotti: it’s another one you can chalk up to the I’ve Never Had It So I Will Make It category. And so I did. After eying the recipe as a possibility for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap I ended up putting the biscotti off. Instead, I made a double batch. I gave some to a friend. I took some into work for my coworkers. Of course, we kept a small amount for ourselves, too. Of course!
Every time I eat a cookie I bought at the store I feel slightly guilty. I could just as easily make cookies at home that would, probably, be healthier. Although a more appropriate way to phrase it might be “not as bad for me”. Plus homemade cookies are definitely tastier. But just like everything else, there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day. I finally found some time to try making homemade Milano cookies though. And while they’re not quite the same, they certainly disappeared quickly. Continue reading →
Late last year when I took a pastry class, I was introduced to The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard. I was impressed at the book’s layout. Each section teaches a basic skill or aspect of pastry and then offers recipes that are based off of that skill. For example, the ganache section offers recipes for making ice cream and a chocolate tart. I finally found some time to try one of the recipes and decided to make the chocolate tart first. Continue reading →
After my first experience making French macarons — in which I got about 50% success — I decided I wanted another go. They really weren’t that difficult to make and the possibility of flavor combinations seems endless. French macaron attempt #2: Matcha green tea French macarons with milk chocolate ganache. Didn’t take long to get me overly confident, now did it? Continue reading →
There are pluses and minuses of living in, seemingly, nowhere. There’s the quiet. There’s the privacy. There’s the fact that we are lucky enough to have enough of a yard to have space for a vegetable garden and the dog to run around and the ability to attract and see birds and other animals. But there are certain “special” things that we don’t have that I wish we did. For example, a bakery with more specialized and fancy pastries. With no easy access to French macarons, I was “forced” to try my hand at them. Continue reading →
I’ve never had gelato before. And since I don’t think I’ll be making a trip to Italy or Europe anytime before the summer ends, in my mind, the logical thing was to try making it myself. I’m not sure how good of an idea it really is but I figured I’m game since we have an ice cream maker (a total steal of a $6 end-of-the-year clearance at Target a couple years ago). But I couldn’t decide on if I wanted to make chocolate gelato or try something more unusual like tea-flavored. At my husband’s insistence I combined the flavors and thus Chocolate Irish Breakfast Tea gelato was born. Continue reading →
At some point after I started this blog and started baking on a semi-regular basis, my parents mentioned something I never knew. They had my grandfather’s handwritten recipe notebook. I knew he had been a baker when my dad was growing up but I had no idea that a notebook existed. In all honesty it’s not the Holy Grail of family heirlooms: it’s modest and simple. And somehow that seems just right. Because he was a baker by profession, with his own bakery in the late 1940s, all of the recipes are for production of very large quantities. My parents said they’d tried scaling down one of the recipes at one point but hadn’t had success. And being the daughter that I am, I ignored them and decided I could do better. Continue reading →
One of the things I enjoy about cooking and trying different recipes at home is being able to recreate a meal or an item that I had or imagine from somewhere else. It’s an easy way to change the atmosphere and forget the day job or whatever else is bothering me. That said, I’ve also just been really looking for a hot chocolate recipe that isn’t like those watery mixes you buy at the grocery store. We had been using Cortez Chocolate bars, which are definitely a tasty and cost effective option, but had difficulty getting all of the chocolate to melt. Then I found this recipe from David Lebovitz that swears to be authentic Parisian hot chocolate. Oui, oui? Now that’s an atmosphere I can embrace. Continue reading →