Update

I apologize for not posting recently.

I came down with a fever last monday and while I’m feeling better, I’ve been having fun playing catch up with all my work.  Since I work at a immigration law firm and the deadline to file H-1Bs is looming, I’ve been working pretty late, which leaves not a lot of time for baking.

I did however successfully make chocolate chip cookie shots a la Dominique Ansel, so hopefully I can find some time to sit down and write a blog post about that!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Valentine’s Day Desserts!

Hi Everyone!

I apologize for not posting consistently. I didn’t post anything last week, I don’t know what happened, but I hope posting three times this week somewhat makes up for it!  Ahaha so much for my New Year’s resolution to consistently blog. My excuse is that it’s the week before Valentine’s Day, which is when everyone wants to make chocolate-y desserts for their loved ones.

As you know, Valentine’s Day (Saturday!) is 3 days away, so I thought I would share some easy dessert recipes that sure to surprise and impress.  Now before you all roll your eyes, I know Valentine’s Day is corny as heck because it’s that one day of the year that you’re supposed to bring on the PDA in the form of chocolates, roses and teddy bears.  I know in Japan, Valentine’s Day is the day that girls offer chocolates to boys and confess their feelings, the boys reciprocate on March 14th, White Day.  In the U.S., it’s a little different.  Guys and girls both equally give and receive chocolates, flowers, etc. Though in my opinion, Valentine’s Day is should be everyday because it’s a day that celebrates love. Love for family, friends and significant others.  And let’s be honest, just because you’re super affectionate for one day of the year doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for the rest of the 364 days.  Now, I thought I would list my top five Valentine’s Day treats for you all, so that you have ample time to practice and prepare your sweet treats.  Now I understand that chocolate is very cliched, but I love chocolate, yes I am aware that about 85% of my blog is chocolate. I tried expanding my horizons, it didn’t work. But let’s be honest, who doesn’t like chocolate? Okay, there are probably some people, in which case you should get them that book they really wanted or take them out to the movies or make something that doesn’t include chocolate. But here, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite chocolate recipes that I think are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

今週末はバレンタインデー!バレンタインデーは日本では女性が男性に告白として手ずくりチョコや本命チョコなどをあげる日です。でも、アメリカとヨーロッパではバレンタインデーは男性も女性も、チョコや花ぬいぐるみなど様々な贈り物を、恋人や親しい人に贈ることがある日です。一般的、バレンタインデーは恋人の日ですけど、私はそうとは思っていません。バレンタインデーは私にとって様々な人(友達、家族、恋人)に「大好きだよ」っと伝える日だと思っています。今年は、皆んなのために私の一番大好きなチョコのレシピーを選んでリストしました。大好きな人に手作りのチョコが一番だと思います!

So let’s get started!

Molten Lava Cakes  (フォンダショコラ)

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I really love these cakes and they are so much simpler than they seem.  You can make the batter a few hours ahead of time and, bringing them to room temperature before you pop them in the oven, bake them right after your meal for a delicious dessert.  I like to serve it with some whipped cream and powdered sugar dusted on top, maybe add some berries for a pop of color.  You can garnish them with ice cream, caramel sauce, or eat it plain.  It’s delicious either way.

フォンダショコラ大好きです!ふわっとしたチョコケーキにとろけるチョコの中身。難しく見えるけど本当はとても簡単。ただ焼きすぎないように注意!焼き終わったらお皿に盛り付け、粉砂糖、チョコガナッシュやフルーツでデコレーションしてね!

Sweetheart Cookies(ハートクッキー)

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These are a Valentine’s tradition of sorts for me. I have been making these every year for the past five years? I know it’s not that long of a tradition, but I’ve decided that it’s going to be a Mimi tradition. They’re cute and sweet and perfect for all your loved ones (friends, family, etc.) You can make these with or without the chocolate dipping if you so wish.

私は、毎年このハートのクッキーを作っています。今年で5年目になると思います。このクッキーはとても可愛くて、いつも友達が喜んで食べています!チョコはつけなくていいけど、私はチョコが大好きだからいつもつけています!

Truffles (トリフ)

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Do I even need to explain this one? These are great. You can customize them to fit each recipient’s desires: bourbon-infused, coffee-infused, dusted in cocoa powder or powdered sugar, rolled in chopped nuts or coated in tempered chocolate, use milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate…you get the gist. It’s simple, easy and can be prepped a few days before.  Just make sure that you store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

とても簡単なチョコトリフ。生クリームを電子レンジで溶かしてチョコに加える。1分たったらよく混ぜて冷蔵庫に一時間冷やす。チョコが固まったら、チョコを大さじに分けて丸める。丸めたチョコは刻んだナッツやココアパウダーコロコロ転がしまんべんなくトッピングをつけて出来上がり。溶かしたチョコにカルアやリキュールを入れてもとても美味しいよ!

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Chocolate Tarts (チョコタルト)

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Garnish with raspberries, cocoa powder, powdered sugar. These are so delicious and cute that they’re easy to plate and are sure to impress. Even better, you can make these with a microwave.  Make them a few days ahead of time and store in a airtight container for up to a week.  Who can say no to that delicious tartlett? Not me, that’s for sure.

チョコタルトも美味しいよ!サクッとしたタルトきじに生チョコはとてもよく会うよ。盛り付けにラスベリーや手作りホイップクリームが大好き!皆んなも喜んでくれると思うよ!

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Bacon Treats (犬用ベーコンクッキー)

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Okay, this one is not specifically for humans, but for our lovable furry four-legged friends and loves: dogs! Because why not show your pups some love with some home made bacon treats? Be warned, these smell really bacon-y and delicious and may make you want to try one. It will taste like a bland wheat biscuit and not at all like the bacon-y goodness that you were expecting.

大好きな犬に犬用ビスケットを作ってあげると絶対喜んでくれると思うよ!人も食べられるけどちょっと味が薄いからあまり美味しくないけどね(笑)

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Bacon Treats!

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As a dog lover, I always want my dogs to be healthy. Luckily for me, they are. Unluckily for me, they live with my parents in Tokyo, Japan. Luckily, I do get the chance to cuddle puppies since many of my friends have dogs. I’ve been dying to get a dog in New York, whether through adoption or fostering, but since I’m almost always at work, I didn’t think it would be fair to the dog.  Dogs (and pets in general) are, in my opinion more than pets. They are life companions. It takes a lot of responsibility to care for one. You have to feed them, walk them, play with them and to leave them at home all alone is not fair to them. Sure you could get a dog walker or a dog sitter, but I think to ensure that your dog stays happy, you have to take care of them.  I mean dogs live for at least 10 to 14 years depending on the breed (more if they’re healthy and treated well).

Donnie(ドニー)

Donnie(ドニー)

I’ve made these dog biscuits multiple times and all the dogs seem to enjoy them. I mean what’s not to like? They’re bacon treats! As someone who loves to bake, I also love baking for dogs because for me, baking for people is a way for me to show that I love them and I appreciate them, so why not do the same to our pets? I mean they love us unconditionally. Truly. I usually only see my dogs once a year now and every year my dad brings them to the airport and my dogs are so excited to see me that I can’t imagine ever leaving them again. But then because life happens, I’m sadly packing after a week or two while my dogs sneak into my baggage and stare at me with their sad puppy eyes. Ugh I miss them so much!!

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Lucy (ルーシー)

私は犬バカです。実家(東京)では、トイプードルを二匹(ドニーとルーシー)を飼っています。ニューヨークでも犬を飼いたいけど、仕事などでいつも忙しいので (朝の10時から夜の7時半までオフィスで働いています)犬は飼ってません。犬の世話にはいろんな責任がある(餌の時間、散歩、遊ぶ時間など)やっぱりいい飼い主になるため犬は一日常一人ぼっちにさせないほうがいいと思います。私の犬は家族みたいな存在をするので、やっぱり美味しい体にいいもの食べさせたいのです。だから今回のレシピーは犬用ベーコン味のビスケットを作りました。犬のためにおやつを作るのはもちろんとても簡単です。犬には砂糖や塩は良くないので、材料はとても少ないのです。

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So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-1 cup whole wheat flour

-1 egg

-3 tbsp bacon fat

-1/4 cup water

材料:

ー全粒粉  113 g (グラム)

ー卵 一つ

ーベーコンの油  大さじ三(ベーコンを焼いた後、残った油を瓶に入れて冷蔵庫に置いとくといろんな料理に使えます。例えば、キノコをベーコンの油でソテーするとベーコンの風味がついてとても美味しいよ!)

ー水 60 ml

Directions:

  1. Melt the bacon fat until it is all liquid.  Add in the water and egg and stir to combine.
  2. Mix in the whole wheat flour until a soft dough is formed.  Feel free to add more flour if the dough is too wet or more water if the dough is too stiff.  It should be soft and malleable, but not sticky.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Roll out the dough to about 1/2 an inch thick and using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out the dough.  Place the treats about 1 inch apart (they will not expand).
  5. Depending on the treat size, bake for 10 to 20 minutes (10 minutes for smaller treats that are about 1 inch long, 20 minutes for larger treats that are about 4 inches long) or until slightly browned.
  6. Turn the oven off, flip the treats and let them sit in the oven to crisp.

作り方:

  1. ベーコンの油を溶かして卵と水でかき混ぜる。
  2. 全粒粉を加え、よくかき混ぜる。
  3. オーブンを175ºCにセットし、天板にオーブン用のシートを敷く。
  4. きじを1.5センチの太さに伸ばし、型で抜き10分から20分焼く。焼く時間はクッキーの大きさによります。小さいクッキー(約1.5センチ)は10分、大きいクッキー(約4センチ)は20分。
  5. 焼きあがったら、オーブンを消し、クッキーをひっくり返しオーブンの中に戻す。オーブンが冷えるまでクッキーを入れとくとカリッと仕上がります(約30分)。

 

Let me know how your dogs enjoy these cookies!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Sunday Morning French Toast

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So this recipe is a little late. I mean it’s only Tuesday night. But I thought that I would share this recipe in case you want to surprise someone with breakfast in bed or because you want to celebrate that tomorrow is hump day, which means you’re halfway to the weekend. I used to make french toast a lot when I was living in Japan. I don’t know why, but it was something I had at least once a month. French toast is actually really great. You’re supposed to use bread that’s a few days old and dry. The harder the better. This is because as you soak the bread in the french toast custard, the bread softens.  If you already have fresh soft bread it ends up breaking when you try to cook it. What I like about french toast is that it’s pretty versatile and despite the name it’s actually pretty easy and depending on how you cook it, you can make it a really lazy sunday breakfast. You’re probably rolling your eyes, but let me explain.  You can mix the custard and soak the bread overnight in an oven proof dish. Then you pop it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes at 350ºF depending on how much french toast you’re making and you’re done.  Though for this recipe, since I was only making enough for two, I just threw it together in the morning and then cooked it in a pan.

Also, I’ve decided to help with my Japanese, I’ll be posting my recipes in both Japanese and English. Let’s see where this experiment takes us!

今日から、レシピを日本語と英語で書くことにしました。私は、日本人だけど小さいころインターの学校に通っていたので日本語が苦手なのです。そこで、日本語の勉強として、日本語でブログを書く事にしました。ちょっと変な日本語で恥ずかしいけど頑張ります!

このフレンチトーストレシピーは日曜日の朝にぴったり!今日はまだ火曜日だからちょっと遅いけど(笑)私は、小さいころよくフレンチトーストを食べてました。なんか豪華に見えるけど、フレンチトーストって本当はそんなに豪華ではありません。ちょっと硬くなったパンを牛乳と卵に浸して柔らかくしてからフライパンで焼く。時間は底しかかるかもしれないけど本当は簡単だよ!もっと簡単にしたかったら、パンを牛乳と卵を寝てる間に浸して、朝になったら175度 (ºC)のオーブンで25分から30分ぐらい焼く。簡単でしょ?:)

So let’s get started!

Ingredients (材料): For two (二人分)

-2 eggs (卵 二つ)

-1/2 cup milk (牛乳 100ml)

-1 tsp vanilla (バニラ 小さじ一)

-4 slices of challah bread  (パン 4枚)

-Pinch of salt (塩 ひとつまみ)

-1 tsp honey (はちみつ 小さじ一)

-Powdered sugar  (粉砂糖)

-Fruits for garnish (フルーツ)

-Maple Syrup (マープルシロップ)

-Butter (バター)

Directions:

  1. In a rimmed dish that comfortable fits all slices of bread, mix together the eggs, milk, vanilla and honey.
  2. Place the bread in the egg mixture and let it sit for a few minutes before flipping. You want the bread to soak up as much of the mixture as possible.
  3. Heat a frying pan and melt a small pat of butter over medium high heat. Place the soaked bread in the pan. Don’t crowd the pan though. I find that cooking the bread 2 slices at a time makes it easier to flip. Cover the pan with a tightly fitted lid and let it cook for a 3 to 5 minutes or until the underside is a golden brown.
  4. Remove the lid and flip the bread. Replace the lid and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes or until the other side is golden brown.
  5. Remove the french toast from the plate and garnish with powdered sugar, fruits, and maple syrup!

作り方:

  1. バット(パンが全部入る大きさの器)に卵、牛乳、バニラとはちみつをかき混ぜる。
  2. パンを卵と牛乳に良く浸す。五分たったらひっくり返して良く両面を卵と牛乳に浸す。
  3. フライパンを中火で温めバター小さじを溶かす。パン二枚をフライパンに入れふたをかけてパンが3分から5分焼く。
  4. パンをひっくり返し、またふたをかけて2分から4分焼く。
  5. 皿に盛り付け粉砂糖をふりかけ、マプルシロップまたはフルーツをかけてお召し上がれ!

You can definitely make different kinds of French toast, by adding instant coffee to the egg mixture for a little caffeine kick or sprinkling the toast with sugar and toasting it under the broiler for a hard sugar crust. The possibilities are endless!

フレンチトーストの週類は色々あるよ!卵と牛乳にインスタントコーヒーやシナモンを加えると美味しいよ!

またね!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Chocolate Swirl Meringues

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So this week’s recipe is actually a spin on a previous meringue recipe that I did last year. I had some left over ganache and a lot of egg whites since I had just made a pair of pear tarts for a friend’s birthday.  What is one to do with leftover egg whites? True, I could’ve tried my hand at french macarons, but I didn’t have almond flour and I didn’t really feel like blending up the almonds that I had, sifting it, blending it again and then sifting it to make them. Okay I was just really lazy. So I made these chocolate swirl meringues.  I found that I love piping the meringues so that they come out looking pretty, but I also found that having just one baking sheet means that half of the meringue batter doesn’t get cooked for an hour and utterly deflates.I guess I have to go check out my neighborhood restaurant supply store soon! Though if you take the slightly deflated meringues and sandwich some raspberry jam, they make delicious and quite impressive treats.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-2 egg whites*
-1/4 tsp cream of tartar
-pinch of salt
-1/2 cup sugar
-Chocolate ganache
 
*Use the leftover yolks for pate sucree for a pear tart or mini chocolate pecan pies! 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the egg whites with a electric mixture until frothy.
  3. Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat until soft peaks form.  Lift the beaters straight out of the bowl, the tops of the egg whites should droop over.
  4. With the mixer on high, beat in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
  5. After you add in the sugar, beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
  6. Add the chocolate ganache and fold the meringue. I wanted to get streaks of chocolate and white meringue, but I ended up overfolding a bit…
  7. Spoon or pipe the meringue onto the baking sheets about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.  Then turn off the oven and let the meringues sit in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.  For chewier centers, pull them out of the oven after 15 minutes.
  9. Let the meringues cool and peel them from the parchment paper.

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Store in an air tight container with layers of parchment paper or pop them in a bowl and eat right away.  I layered the deflated meringues (flatter ones) with raspberry jam and rolled them in sprinkles for a quick mini birthday treat for my friend.  I think she enjoyed them :)

Hugs and puppies!