Lemon Coconut Loaf Cake, #TheCakeSliceBakers

Life is not always a slice of cake. Right? How do you turn lemons into lemonade?

Meditation works to shift perspective.  Here are a few highly recommended resources for finding serenity in the storm.
 

Meditation works to shift perspective.  Here are a few highly recommended resources for finding serenity in the storm.

Hay House Radio
Head Space
Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness

Gluten-Free Almond Joy Cupcakes, #SundaySupper

Joy! Chocolate Almond Joy! Ah, that coveted American candy bar with the luscious coating of chocolate over coconut and almonds.

In Japan, Almond Joy slipped into my hands on 3 occasions.

  • A military connection sneaked the Almond Joy off base and into my hands.
  • A stop at Guam (an American territory) en route to our Christmas holiday on Saipan. (One of the Micronesian Islands.)
  • Summer vacation in the States.

Living in health conscious California, the Almond Joy combo still seduces the senses. Bravo to you if you disdain rich chocolate...Or abhor chocolate mingling in your mouth with crunchy almonds and coconut flakes. 

Japanese Moon Gazing Potatoes, #FoodieExtravaganza

Pausing between clouds
the moon rests
in the eyes of its beholders

~17th Century Haiku Master, Matsuo Basho
(Translated by Michael R. Burch)

Moon gazing is a Japanese tradition, which predates rice cultivation. Traditionally, the full moon is admired on the 15th night of the 8th month. (Lunar calendar time. Translation: September 27, 2015.)  Noshing on snacks to accompany moon gazing is also a tradition.

Japanese Cherry Blossom Brownies and 10 Tips on How-To Get Drunk with Happiness, #IsabelsBirthdayBash

What makes life happy? Cherry blossoms, chocolate, friends and family. Okay, not all family 100% of the time! Still, family systems can provide tremendous love and support.

Isabel Laessig is the CEO of the expanding Sunday Supper empire. Isabel’s #SundaySupper Twitter chat is designed to entice families to gather around the dinner table. Everyone is encouraged to share family recipes and stories. Isabel’s blog, Family Foodie, focuses on food filled with love. Every recipe is accompanied by an anecdote about family. Meet Isabel in person and the love of family is palpable. Sampling treats at Isabel’s Food & Wine Conference in Florida is fantastic fun. But so is meeting Isabel!

3 Pocky Chocolate Truffles and Bananas Foster Ice Cream, #Pocky

The Big Easy is the birthplace of beignet donuts, bluesy jazz and Bananas Foster. New Orleans’ oldest neighborhood, the French Quarter, is home to Brennan’s Restaurant; the spot where the first rum-soaked banana sizzled and smoked in the 1950s.  After a tumble in an alcoholic flame, the bananas were enjoyed over vanilla ice cream. Bananas Foster was so delectable that word of the dessert spread like wildfire through the states. Bananas Flambéed rummy bananas accompanied by ice cream brought many smiles to citizens of the USA in the 1950s.

1950s Japan saw its citizens enjoying caramels, ice cream and cookies courtesy of Ezaki-Glico. (One of Japan’s oldest candy manufacturers.) Pocky – a chocolate covered biscuit stick - popped up a decade later. Once again, dessert deliciousness could not be contained. Japanese Pocky was exported abroad. Although pockets of the USA are not aware of Pocky yet, all who have tasted the chocolate coated biscuit Pocky are fans.

Lemon and Japanese Yuzu Custard Cakes, #TheCakeSliceBakers

Playing peek-a-boo with my memory today…Japanese plum blossoms splash purple-pink color onto a stark parking structure; a pitter-patter of rain sings on traditional roofs in Tokyo (courtesy of the Periscope app.) And thanks to a formidable group of online gal pals aka The Cake Slice Bakers, a pucker of Japanese yuzu citrus scintillates my palate.

The Cake Slice Bakers are a group of bakers from around the world. Laura of Baking in Pyjamas and Anabel of Oven Delights lead the charge to conquer a new challenge every month...Currently, we are presented with the opportunity to bake one of four preselected recipes from The Southern Cake Book. 

Land of Milk and Honey Muffins, #TwelveLoaves

Even if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, doesn’t the Land of Milk and Honey sound luscious? According to Bible and Talmud experts, The Land of Milk and Honey is a metaphor for Israel, the Promised Land and fertile fields.

The holy books of mainstream religions tend to be pretty thick, right? But the idea of a Land of Milk and Honey has survived and seared into our consciousness. Maybe the idea has survived because we all need the promise of a better day. The motive to create a more wonderful world for ourselves is a mighty reason to get up in the morning. And we'll keep moving (whether Moses is with us or not) as long as we have a happy place or another plateau we want or need to reach.

I’d be delighted if you’d share what the Land of Milk and Honey means to you.  While you contemplate, the idea, I do highly recommend nibbling on Land of Milk and Honey Muffins

No-Churn Reese's Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream, #FoodieExtravaganza

Do you believe in angels? Many Americans according to a 2011 CBS poll do believe in angels.  (Let me know if you find anything more current.) Clouds, feathers and birdsongs remind me of angels. Nature lifts me to an ethereal element. It’s like a heavenly intervention for my busy mind  - an endless worry world revolving around SEOs and social media ratings.

How does peace whisper to you? I’m always open to picking up serenity tips. (Especially ones that work!)

Japanese American 4th of July Cupcakes, #Glutino #Giveaway

One of my first jobs in LA upon arrival from Tokyo was a seating hostess at a prestigious Japanese restaurant. I stood at the front with the cashier. My nimble with coins and credit cards colleague was a native Californian. Her parents were born and raised in Japan. As assimilation into America was important, speaking, reading and writing English were encouraged. My cashier friend did pick up snippets of Japanese phrases at home. Her mates and work at school, however, required English. When Japanese customers walked into the restaurant, they’d ask my colleague a question. She’d turn to me and I’d answer. The situation did produce some comical moments.

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