5 Secrets to Save Your Mind & Money, #InMyKitchen

My 5 secrets to save your mind and money are crafted for Valentine's Day. The present tips are all simple and kitchen pantry staples. They also work for any other obligatory gift-giving season.

I'm delighted Maureen of OrgasmicChef.com peeked #InMyKitchen. And encouraged me to open up the doors and show and tell! In the process of tidying up for the event, the light bulb went on... Many of the items in my kitchen are perfect present material. So, thank you Maureen for hosting #InMyKitchen. (Perhaps I should've said 6 Secrets to Save Your Mind & Money. A visit to OrgasmicChef.com will reveal a treasure trove of zinger recipes!)

Seed Kitchen: Macrobiotic Magic, Madonna's Dessert & More, #Giveaway

Venice is a must for those who desire the complete Southern California experience. Rollerbladers and bicyclists glide on pathways paralleling the Pacific Ocean. In the sea, surfers in wetsuits frolic like dolphins in the waves.  On occasion Chef Eric Lechasseur, co-owner of Venice’s macrobiotic Seed Kitchen is one of the surfers…If he’s not prepping meals for Hollywood celebs or updating the macrobiotic menu for Seed Kitchen.

Seasons (as in Japanese cooking) are honored in macrobiotic food creation. Chef Eric traded in his cream-heavy French sauces for organic, healthy cooking when his wife, Sanae Suzuki (co-owner of Seed Kitchen) was diagnosed with cancer. Sanae is now cancer-free. She is, of course, a fan of her husband’s wholesome cuisine. You may also be a fan after a Seed Kitchen meal. You won’t be alone. Seed Kitchen cookbooks (on sale at the restaurant) are sprinkled with praise from stars. Madonna says, “Eric’s macro desserts are so indulgent, you would think they are sinful!”

Native Foods, A Vegan Celebration, Cookbook #Giveaway

2016 may be your lucky year. Especially if you win my giveaway of Native Foods Celebration Cookbook: Delicious Vegan Recipes to Celebrate Every Month of the Year.  (Scroll down for details.)

Of course, you are already lucky if you live in LA and live close to a Native Foods restaurant.  Even if you don't care about healthy eating, one bite into a Native Foods dinner or dessert may change your mind forever.

Gluten-Free Merry Christmas Cupcakes, #Glutino

Glutino generously sent me a package of their products. All opinions are my own.

Thanks to Glutino, everyone can enjoy a Merry Christmas. Gluten sensitive friends and family can now appreciate your sweet gifts from the kitchen. (Worse than lumps of coal in a Christmas stocking is dessert deprivation during this season of merriment. Right?)

My husband works on FOX TV’s Bones. For their Christmas party I made gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. And received rave reviews! After polite thank yous, mmm, I was continually asked, “Are you sure this is gluten-free?”

Santa Cookies, #SundaySupper

Santa Claus beckoned. Game face on, I approached the jolly man in the red suit. Securely seated on his velvet lap, I whispered my wishes. Cinnamon spices and pine cones scented the air with Christmas. The photographer’s camera flashed and the elf firmly escorted me off Santa’s lap. In a daze from the magical encounter, I’d grasp my Japanese nanny’s hand. Would Santa bring the desired dolly? My nanny, Kawaji-san, assured me with a sweet smile that all would be well. Sigh. Priorities of childhood have shifted. As they should.  Still, I want to believe that a Santa Clause – a benevolent grandfather - will bring presents and reward me for being good.

Pick up Happy, #Pretz

“Pick up happy. Pick up Pretz!” So goes the commercial for the popular Japanese savory snack stick.

Pretz is a newcomer on most American market snack aisles. But Japanese have munched on Pretz since 1962. The “lightly salted”  (asari shio) original version is found in US markets.  Hawaii is the exception. The 50th state has a pineapple flavor Pretz in their supermarkets. In Japan, Pretz comes roasted and dipped in soy sauce. A new sweet potato Pretz made its debut in August 2015.

Like its cousins Pocky and Pejoy, the Pretz biscuit snack is kid-friendly. No need to wash greasy, salty potato chip hands after snack time…One of many things to be grateful for when rushing to get Thanksgiving dinner on the table.  I enjoyed an early celebration this year. I giggled to see my nephew and his son, (my great-nephew) sneaking Pretz when they thought Auntie K wasn’t looking!

Gluten-Free Grateful Thanksgiving, #Glutino

Thanksgiving – a mostly gluten-free one – came early this year. Close family gathered around the table. We said Grace. Each person then shared memories of my mother. Mom crossed over a few weeks ago. She was born in Northern California. It’s fitting that 90 years later, the last stop on her Wimbledon tennis star adventures was Novato, California.

My six-year-old great-nephew, Ethan, summed it up best. When told of my mother’s passing, he asked his parents, “Did she meet her goal?” After hearing an affirmative answer, he said, “Well, that’s good.”

Cafe 212 Pier: Superfoods and Supernovas

Café 212 Pier: Superfoods and Supernovas

*Note: Superfoods are naturally vitamin laden and rich with minerals.

Imagine Christmas, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July all rolled up into one holiday. India’s days-long Diwali, the Festival of Lights is that kind of spectacular celebration. Goodness presides over Indian neighborhoods. At least for the month of November.

Thanks to Café 212 Pier owner, Roopinder Bhullar, Diwali is celebrated year-round in Santa Monica.

Pocky Halloween Cupcakes #Pocky #Giveaway


Spooks and black cats may soon alight upon your doorstep demanding a Halloween treat. Given the Star Wars revival, Stormtroopers and Princess Leias will also inevitably appear. (Probably a Trump or two, too!)Want to make the Halloween mini monsters happy? Present Japanese Pocky. Any flavor Pocky in the hands of a trick-or-treater will prompt huge smiles. Maybe even a “May the Force be with you” from the Star Wars gang.

歴史的にハロウィンはケルト人のお盆と考えられます。死亡した親戚は地球に遊びに来る祭りでした。 大抵のアメリカ人は歴史を忘れております。伝統的にアメリカでパーティーを開いて魔法使いとか黒猫の衣装を着ました。今も人気がある衣装ですが毎年新しい衣装とか面が出てきます。今年大統領になりたいトランプの面が確かによく売っております。子供の為にTrick or Treat?(いたずらか美味し物?)の伝統もあります。意味はお菓子をあげないと人自宅に卵を投げる、いたずらをすることです。ポッキーを上げると安全です。(笑う)ポッキーは本当に素晴らしいトリトです。どんな種類でも子供のTrick or Treatersイトリクオトリターズ)を喜べさせます。カップケーキの上にも飾ることができます。完璧な風蝶草にもなります。ハッピーなポッキーハロウィンを過ごして下さい。