Japanese bento boxes are traditionally packed with lunch goodies. But with many of us juggle must-dos the moment our eyes flutter open. A to-go breakfast bento delivers a healthy solution to the morning rush....Especially when sweetened with Wish Farms strawberries and blueberries.
Little girls are made of, “Sugar, Spice and Everything Nice.” (According to a popular 19th century poem.) And so is my rendition of Southern Living’s sweet potato cakes. The White Chocolate Sweet Potato Pecan Topped Cakes I’ve made contain American sweet potatoes aka yams. (The ones with orange flesh typically served at Thanksgiving with dollops of melted marshmallows.)
The American yam has many fine merits. But the purple skinned Japanese Satsuma-imo sweet potato is my favorite. One American potato expert deemed the Japanese Satsuma-imo as “too sweet.” But that just supports my case: The Japanese potato is the sweetest, “bestest” one!
Japanese ninja are skilled in the art of stealth, secrecy and surprise. I’m wondering if Father Time is the original ninja. The arrival of the holiday season has caught me off guard. Thanksgiving is next week! AND Christmas trees sporting ornaments and tinsel line Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive. Thanksgiving may have to be a fend for yourself sort of affair. But, I did stop reeling from the dizzying blow and realization that Christmas is nearly here. I baked up a batch of ginger chocolate ninja cookies donned with Santa caps.
Dedicated to family like Tony Soprano, quick-witted as Dean Martin; fourth generation baker Buddy Valastro, the Cake Boss, keeps reinventing himself like crooner Tony Bennett. Even as the Cake Boss expands his sweet Carlo’s Bakery empire, the cakes, cookies, cannoli and lobster claws sold remain as classic as the tunes of Frank Sinatra.
Even before this Italian-American baker landed his own show on the TLC channel, I was a Cake Boss fan. Buddy would make appearances on the Food Network and I was awe-struck by his confidence. And his cake decorating ability! Flipping through bridal magazines, I would simply sigh as glossy page after page showed off lace, beading and draping work, which rivaled the haute couture wedding gowns!
With a wave of a wand and an exclamation of “bibbidi-bobbidi-boo”, a pumpkin is enchanted and Cinderella’s carriage appears. Cinderella is swept off to a ball and swept off her feet by Prince Charming. At the stroke of midnight, all the riches disappear. Cinderella appears fated to sweep cinders from the hearth for the rest of her life. But, our soon-to-be princess is sure that, “Even if your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.”
Time to lighten up! A decree to serve lighter fare at the virtual #SundaySupper table was issued. Before the onslaught of gobble, gobble (US Thanksgiving) goodies; before the deluge of Christmas and Chanukah desserts, this time of year warrants a sweet that offers delight but saves a few calories. Inspired by the many Japanese cheesecakes that call for tofu, I created the Skinny Ninja Cheesecake.
Halloween is creeping up on us fast! In a blink of an eye, many of us will be serving Thanksgiving turkey. (And scolding spouses to stop watching football in favor of family time. Not any spouses I know of course!) Soon after, snow may alight in time for Christmas in colder climates. Along with the fall leaves and flurries, the season ushers in holiday parties. I love the festive spirit of this time of year. It’s like we’re given an extra excuse to celebrate life! For greater ease during the holidays, I’ve prepared 5 Tricks to Tantalizing Treat Trays...And a giveaway!