Chocolate Toffee Cookies, #5Ingredients, #SundaySupper

Some things like chocolate and Hello Kitty are worth the price tag, don’t you think? Seriously, after a visit today to the Japanese American National Museum, I am in awe of how the universe rewards those who strive to bring goodness into our world. 

Shintaro Tsuji, the man responsible for the worldwide explosion of Hello Kitty, drew me to his photo with his kind smile.  His expression was one of sweet contentment. (Of course, life would be wonderful as a billionaire!)
 

3 Gluten-Free and Divinely Decadent Cakes, #Glutino #Giveaway

Celebrations call for cakes, right? To celebrate my third Glutino Giveaway, I created 3 Gluten-Free and Divinely Decadent Cakes. The recipes are simple and the results are splendid. While friends admire your cakes, you may even find yourself saying, “It was nothing.” You will be telling the truth! For a minimum of effort, you’ll get maximum dessert excellence. Warning: Be prepared to assure your friends and family, “Yes! The cakes are really gluten-free!”

Pink Chocolate Marble Cake with Fresh Strawberry Frosting, #TheCakeSliceBakers

Plump, pretty strawberries sway me to their side every time. Japan, my home country, is the world’s biggest consumer of dessert strawberries. This Ninja Baker couldn’t fathom saying no to those gorgeous fruit gems. (Childhood influences are indelible, aren’t they?) So, I plucked the Strawberry Mousse Cake option for this month’s Cake Slice Bakers presentation. Time, however, slipped through my hands. Resigned to my fate, I chose the Chocolate Marble Cake recipe. However, I stole the fresh strawberry frosting from the Strawberry Mousse Cake to top off my Pink Chocolate Marble Cake.

Cheese Bread, #SundaySupper

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Abraham Lincoln

Who is the biggest influence in your life today?

As Mother’s Day approaches, memories from days past pop into my mind. My birth mother, the Wimbledon tennis star, was more focused on smashing balls over the net than perfecting her potatoes. Yet, on my summer visits to her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she managed to scramble the best eggs in the world. I swore it was the sour cream that made the eggs extra delicious. Today I think the breakfast-for-dinner meal was satisfying because Mom made it.

The banana bread made by my stepmother, Barbara, was spectacular, too. I grew up with Barbara, an actress (with an eye for exquisite antiques) in Tokyo. As she was constantly booking jobs, her baking time in the kitchen was curtailed. However, I have fond memories of Barbara slicing cheese and nibbling on crackers as she regaled Dad and me with tales from her glamorous day. I don’t think Barbara would describe her work as glamorous. But it sure beat trying to solve algebra problems!

Chocolate Kisses and Strawberry Hugs Cupcakes, #Pejoy #Pocky #Giveaway

Kisses and Hugs to you! As a thank you to new and longtime NinjaBaker.com readers, I’m giving away popular Japanese snacks: Chocolate Pejoy, Matcha Pejoy and Strawberry Pocky. (Thank you to the makers of Pejoy and Pocky for making this giveaway possible.) Scroll down for the giveaway details…But, stop! See the easy Pocky and Pejoy tips and recipes below so you’ll know exactly how to use your scrumptious prizes.

Green Tea Honeysuckle Minis, #TheCakeSliceBakers

Surprise! The Ninja Baker chose the one Asian accented recipe in Southern Living’s The Southern Cake Book. After all, Japanese food and language were all this Ninja Baker knew until age 5. Tokyo was my hometown until age 18. So, yes, when one of the recipes up for experimentation, I mean baking, for this month’s Cake Slice Bakers was Green Tea Honeysuckle Cake, there was no waffling. But, seriously, who knew that besides sweet tea, Southerners have a thing for green tea?

From trying other green tea matcha recipes penned by foreigners, I suspected that more matcha was required. I’m blonde and probably not allowed to use that word. So...

Lemon Yuzu Cookies, #SundaySupper

Once Upon A Time, in ancient Japan, an aromatic Asian citron named Yuzu-chan swayed in the breeze. Contemplating the sliver of crescent moon, the fruit thought of its Chinese ancestors. Many of Yuzu-chan’s family survived the trip via the Korean Peninsula. However, as in all journeys, there was great loss. Some seedlings did not survive. But as moonlight bounced on the tree branch where Yuzu-chan was nestled, he nearly burst with citrus pride. Thanks to those who’d survived the challenging journey, Japanese were now appreciating the wonders of yuzu. Condiments with yuzu zest and chili peppers provided fire on the tongue. Japanese confections were kissed by the presence of yuzu and brought many sighs of contentment.

The gentle wind rocked Yuzu-chan, the crickets sang a sleepy-time lullaby. As the moon slid behind a cloud like a paper-thin Japanese sliding door; Yuzu-chan dreamed of the day he and his family would adventure abroad and share the wonders of yuzu.

Sunshine Cake, #SundaySupper

Ninja Baker Philosophy 101:  S-t-r-e-t-c-h. Get creative with those Easter / Passover / Sunday Supper leftovers. But don’t skimp on dessert! Especially if it’s a Sunshine Cake. (Scroll down for the easy-peasy recipe.)

Bring on the heaps of whipped cream, chocolate, cookies and cupcakes! That’s what I’d like to do…One tiny complication; this Ninja Baker is doomed to diabetic consequences if dessert is not consumed responsibly. So, whilst walking the tightrope of balancing sugar levels, I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen. Good news: I’ve got sunny reports from efforts in the Ninja Baker kitchen. This post features the stellar Sunshine Cake...

3 Easy Gluten-Free On The Go Kid-Friendly Breakfasts, #Glutino#Giveaway

I’ve created 3 Easy Gluten-Free On The Go Kid-Friendly Breakfasts so your schedule can be freed up to cuddle those close to you. And, yes, to free up a bit of time for that pampering you’ve been putting off. So, no more excuses. Make the 3 Easy Gluten-Free On The Go Kid-Friendly Breakfasts and skip off guilt-free to the day spa or to that mani-pedi or to the time-out on the couch to watch the Days of our Lives!  

Plum Wine Cake, #TheCakeSliceBakers

With the arrival of spring across the Northern Hemisphere, Japanese plum wine is spot on for sipping or pouring into cake. In Japan, flowering plums precede its more famous sakura cherry blossom cousin. Plum blossom viewing parties also commenced long before the idea of a cherry blossom viewing party came into fruition. The change in popularity occurred about the time political allegiances transpired. (When the capital of Japan moved from Nara to Kyoto. The current capital of Japan is Tokyo.) However, the Japanese plum blossom was never banished.

Plum blossoms may currently take second place to the cherry blossom in terms of popularity. But, Japanese plum blossom festivals and parties are sprinkled throughout Japan. The flower and fruit of the Japanese plum blossom continue to thrive in Japanese culture and cuisine.

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