Category Archives: Desserts

Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini brownies
Zucchini brownies! Vegetables in disguise. The chunks are chocolate chips, not zucchini.

I recently posted about a very traditional brownie recipe that was amazing.  But the only reason I made it was because I was dying of curiosity about a brownie recipe using zucchini, but I had none.  Zucchini?  In brownies?  Sounds awful…and I had to try it!

Finally I got my hands on some zucchini. Continue reading Zucchini Brownies

Homemade Funfetti Cake

Funfetti cake
Now I wish I still had some of this cake left…

My husband and I have birthdays very close together, so each year we share a birthday cake.  We alternate years between my cake (yellow + chocolate frosting) and his cake (funfetti + Rainbow Chip frosting).  This year was a funfetti year.

Last funfetti year I went hardcore and decided to make all of it, even the Rainbow Chip icing, from scratch.  As it turns out for a few years Rainbow Chip icing was actually discontinued!

I was relieved that it’s back and I decided to just go commercial on the frosting…except I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Ok fine!  Everything from scratch it is.  Continue reading Homemade Funfetti Cake

King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownies

Brownie
The holy grail of brownies?

In cooking there are a few things that end up like an Arthurian grail quest of cooking.  The big one is, of course, chocolate chip cookies.  But close behind is the ideal brownie.  Everyone has their opinion on the chewy vs. cakelike, nuts vs. no nuts, edge vs. middle piece, etc. I’m in the chewy, middle piece, and nuts are anathema camp.

Continue reading King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownies

Anko, a.k.a. Mysterious Sweetened Beans

Tsubu an
The finished tsubu an

Sweet beans?  Sounds a little weird maybe if you’re used to beans being only used in savory dishes.  My first introduction to sweetened red bean was at the house of a friend from Taiwan and my thought was “…sweet beans?  Yuck, no thanks.”  But I eventually learned how delicious they can be and now I’m a big fan of anko, also known by the rather unattractive name of “red bean paste.” Continue reading Anko, a.k.a. Mysterious Sweetened Beans

Halloween party food!

Halloween table
Halloween table

My absolute favorite holiday is Halloween, but the past few years the crazy Halloween parties of the past haven’t been happening.  So this year I decided to have my own.  I had a few friends over for Halloween-themed snacks and then we watched part of The Addams Family, Troll, and all of Evil Dead.  I was hoping for more classic monster movies, but they were all certainly appropriate to theme! Continue reading Halloween party food!

Grapefruit Pound Cake

Grapefruit cake
A finished slice of the cake

The other day my husband did the grocery shopping for me and brought home a grapefruit.  While I love grapefruit, it’s not something I eat very often and it’s been languishing in the fridge.  Fortunately, I have been struck by a sweet tooth nearly continuously lately and have been trolling in the internet for small cake recipes far more than I should. Continue reading Grapefruit Pound Cake

But I shouldn’t…

Mini cake
It’s tricky to see the scale of it, but it’s only four inches across.

When it comes to personality, I’m a planner, I don’t like risks, and I’m extremely organized.  If that sounds not very fun, that’s sometimes true!  One thing I’ve noticed is that I often have a long list of things I feel should do, although no one expects me to do them except for me.

The past month or so I’ve been trying an experiment of anti-should.  If I feel I should do something, but I don’t really want to, I don’t.  If I feel I really shouldn’t do a thing, but I want to, I give it a try.  Continue reading But I shouldn’t…

Tiramisu cupcakes

Tiramisu cupcake
Tiramisu cupcake!

I began studying Japanese in 2000 and one thing I heard as a recent-ish current event about Japan was that there was a craze for tiramisu.  A lot of my information about cutting edge Japan was influenced by books about Japanese culture written in the early 90s or late 80s when Japan was a big mysterious deal.  Lots of business etiquette, flashy hair bands, street fashion, and tiramisu.  Turns out tiramisu really hit its peak of chicness in Japan in 1991, so my information was more than a little behind the times and the hair-band-and-street-fashion scene was pretty drastically different when I went there a few years later in 2003. Continue reading Tiramisu cupcakes

Lime-blueberry bars – Limefest pt. 2

Lime blueberry bars
A lime bar in the wild
Cornmeal dough
Mixing the cornmeal dough

As I mentioned in my first exciting post about Limefest, I have a very small piece of land and a lime tree on it that grows honest to goodness fruit.  This year I made a lot of lime-related dishes, but still was left with about ten limes that I didn’t know what to do with.  So I juiced the limes, resulting in about 3/4 of a cup of lime juice.  I tossed it in a glass jar and then into the freezer.  Limes on demand.

A while ago I stumbled onto this recipe for lime bars with blueberry glaze and I was immediately mesmerized.  (I suspect I did something like googling “things to do with limes.”) Continue reading Lime-blueberry bars – Limefest pt. 2