Monday, May 7, 2018

Pan-fried Chicken with Garlic and Lemon

Slice 2-3 chicken breasts lengthwise to make two thin slices each. 

Rub with:

1 clove finely grated garlic or garlic paste

Coat lightly with: 

flour mixed with salt and pepper

Heat in a frying pan:

1 T olive oil 
1 T butter

When hot, turn flame to medium low. Shake off excess flour and lay chicken in the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on one side, turn over and cook for 3 minutes on the other side. Cut the thickest one and make sure it is white (cooked) all the way through.

Put the chicken on a plate, and pour on one of the following sauces:

Sauce 1

¼ C lemon juice
2-3 T honey, to taste

Sauce 2

¼ C lemon juice
2 T water
¼ C honey 
A pinch of salt
1 T cornstarch - mixed with 3 T water until smooth

Heat lemon juice, water, honey, and salt. When very hot, add cornstarch mixed with water. Keep stirring until slightly thickened.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Bread Machine Prep

Bags of homemade bread mix stored in an airtight container.

My son and I have been take a few minutes after dinner once a month or so to prepare bags of bread mix. This has greatly simplified making bread and has had the added benefit of making it almost impossible to spill any flour outside of the bread pan when putting ingredients in the machine.

Each bag contains:

100 gm whole wheat bread flour
150 gm white bread flour
2 T* brown sugar
1 T milk powder
1 t salt

When it's time to put on some bread, put into the bread machine:

10-15 gm butter
180 ml cold water for regular bread or 170 ml cold water for sandwich bread
1 bag of flour mix
1 t dried yeast 

If your machine doesn't have a special place to put the yeast, make a shallow well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast there. The yeast should not touch the water. 

The finished product, with added sunflower seeds.
* If you are using Japanese measurements, 1 T is approximately 1 大さじ, 1 t is approximately 1 小さじ.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Spicy Garlic Pork

Marinate 500 grams of thinly sliced pork for 30 minutes in:

2 T light brown sugar
3 T soy sauce
2 T sesame oil
1-2 t tobanjan
(or other chili paste)
1 t minced ginger
¼ t ground pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced into thin crescents

Heat a little canola or other flavorless oil in a frying pan. Stir fry the meat and onions. (Cover and leave over a low flame for a couple minutes, if you like.) Turn up the fire and stir fry to darken the onions and evaporate most of the sauce. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Swiss Butter Cookies


½ C + 1 T butter

Set aside.

Whisk in a large bowl:

2 eggs

Blend into the eggs and beat until thick, about 10 minutes:

½ C + 2 T white sugar

Mix in:

the melted lukewarm butter
a smidgen of salt
(¼ t vanilla or lemon essence)

Fold in:

1½ t grated lemon rind (just the yellow part, not any white part. Don't forget to wash and dry the lemon first.)
2 C white flour

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Alternatively, you can freeze the dough in batches. Wrap each batch in plastic, then put in a ziplock freezer bag.

Preheat oven to 170C (325F).

Lightly flour a clean surface, your rolling pin, and the bottom of a cookie cutter. Roll dough into about ½ cm (¼ inch) thickness, cut with a cookie cutter. Place the cutouts on a thinly buttered sheet of parchment paper (or baking pan or cookie sheet.) Ball up the scraps and roll out again until you've used all the dough.

Spread the tops of cookie with egg yolk. Bake until golden at the edges, for 12-15 minutes. Cool for a minute on the sheet before moving them to a cooling rack.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Broccoli Sprouts

Day 1 
Soak 1-2 T broccoli seeds for about 10 hours.

Day 2 morning and evening
Drain, rinse with fresh water, drain.
Cover with gauze and a rubber band.
Place in a warm, dark place, like under the sink.
Day 3 morning and evening
Rinse with fresh water, drain. Repeat if the water seems cloudy.
Cover with gauze and a rubber band.
Put them back in the warm, dark place.
The fuzzy bits are roots, not mold.

Day 4 morning and evening
The same routine: rinse, drain, put back.

Day 5 morning
Rinse with fresh water, drain. Repeat if the water seems cloudy. 
By this time, your sprouts should be pretty good-sized. If you want, take some out and place them in sunlight for a couple hours to get nice and green to use that day. Return the rest to the cool, dark place, covered with gauze.
After sunshine
Day 5 evening
Rinse with fresh water, drain. Repeat once or twice. 

Day 6 morning
Rinse with fresh water, drain. Repeat once or twice. 
Place the jar in indirect sunlight for a couple hours, then cover and refrigerate. 


  • Broccoli sprouts take 4-6 days to grow.
  • Excess moisture is bad. The seeds should be damp, but not wet. Don't leave any water at the bottom of the jar after rinsing.
  • On day 2-3, when tiny roots appear, they will look fuzzy. That is not mold. If they get moldy, they will smell foul.
  • I rinse mine only morning and evening. Others suggest rinsing them 3-4 times a day. 
  • You can start eating them from about day 4. Just give them some indirect sunlight first to make them green. Direct sunshine might cook them.
  • You may want to start another batch on about day 4 in order to have a constant supply of fresh sprouts.
  • Store finished sprouts in a covered container in the refrigerator. Minimize moisture by removing the brown hulls.
  • 1 T of seeds seems to make about 3 cups of sprouts.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Corn on the Cob

Place an ear of corn, still in its husk, inside a plastic bag. Tie it loosely. Actually, you don't need to put it in a bag, as is works just fine.

Put it in the center of the microwave. Set the timer for 4 minutes, 30 seconds or so less if the corn is small. 

Use an oven mitt to remove the corn from the microwave. You might want to let it cool for a minute. Then, while holding the top, cut all the way through just above where the husks are attached. No need to remove the bag.

Pick up the corn by the top and gently shake. The corn will fall out of its husk, minus all silk.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Strawberry Cheesecake by Marianne

Marianne's beautiful Strawberry Cheesecake

A few notes about making cheesecake with fruit:
  • All ingredients need to be room temperature or you will have a lumpy cake.
  • The amount of sugar you add depends on the sweetness of the fruit you use.
  • You can make a coconut cheesecake by substituting both the fruit and sour cream with coconut cream (and adding a cup or so of coconut shavings or flakes). If you use sweetened coconut flakes, add less sugar.
  • The ratio between eggs/cream cheese/flour is really important. It is 1:1:1. This helps to keep your cake from cracking.
Preheat oven to180ºC (350ºF). Oil or line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Don't forget the sides.


In a food processor blend:

1½ sleeves of Graham crackers, animal crackers, or whatever you prefer. This should make about 2 cups of crumbs

Add and mix in processor or by hand until the mixture transforms to pea-sized lumps:

½ C butter

Place the crust into the pan and bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is golden.


While the crust is baking, blend:

32 ounces cream cheese (907 grams)
¼ C white sugar

In a standing mixer on the lowest possible setting (or mix it by hand), add and mix until smooth:

4 eggs
1 T of vanilla
1 C sour cream

Mix again at a low speed until it is well combined.


2 C puréed fruit—Mango, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, or whatever. Frozen fruit is fine (but make sure it is room temperature so it will purée smoothly). If the fruit is tart, add more sugar to taste. If your fruit is really sweet, omit the sugar.

Sift in and blend until smooth:

4 T flour

Pour the cheesecake into the cooled crust. Bang the cheesecake pan hard on the counter a few times to get the top of the cake even and to eliminate air bubbles.

Put a pan of water into the oven on a lower shelf. (I use a glass pie pan. If you only have one rack, wrap the springform pan in foil to keep it watertight and put the cake in the pan of water. No one wants a soggy crust.) 

Bake for 15 minutes at 180ºC (350ºF), then turn the oven down to 135ºC (275ºF)—or 120ºC (250ºF) if your oven runs hot. Bake for about 45-50 minutes. 

The key to a crack-free cheesecake is to first bake it in a hot oven and to be sure not to overcook it. To check if your cake is done, use an oven mitt to lightly jiggle the pan in the oven. If the cake is generally smooth and it has a slight jiggle to the center, it is done. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly ajar for 20 minutes. Then move the cake to a counter to cool for an hour. When you can pick it up with a bare hand, cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight.

About 2 hours before serving, take the cake out of the fridge and remove it from the pan. It should be firm enough that it easily slips out. Remove the parchment paper (if you used it). To get the paper off the bottom, place plastic wrap or parchment paper on top of the cake, put a plate on top of that, and turn it upside down. Peel the paper off the bottom crust, then place a serving plate on the base of the pan and flip it back over. Leave it in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Chickpea and Chicken Curry

This can also be made without chicken.

Heat in a frying pan:

1 T olive oil


1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
200-300 gm minced chicken

Stir fry and break up the chicken. As that cooks, add:

1 T curry powder
1 t chili powder

When chicken is cooked, add:

½ C water
½ t bouillon powder
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Stir around about, turn down fire and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until almost all the water has evaporated. Taste and then add salt and pepper. Be careful, as both bouillon and the chickpeas are already salty.

Serve over rice.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Simple Eggplant Salad

Mix together in a bowl:

1 t soy sauce
1 t apple cider vinegar
1 T olive oil
1 t lemon juice
1 t sesame oil
¼-½ t tobanjan (Chinese chili spice)
1 small clove garlic, finely minced (oroshi)
(1 t tahini)
½-1 t sugar, to taste
salt to taste


1 steamed Japanese eggplant, chopped

Chill and serve. Top with sesame seeds.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Kimchi Chicken

Slice thinly into bite-sized pieces:

1 large chicken breast (350 grams or so)

Marinate for 30 minutes in:

1 T sake
1 T cornstarch

Heat in a frying pan:

1-2 t sesame oil

When fragrant, add:

½ onion, sliced

Stir fry until the outside of the chicken becomes whitish, turn fire to low and add:

1 clove garlic, slivered

Stir fry gently until chicken is mostly cooked. Add:

200 grams chopped cabbage (or whatever)

Stir fry until soft. Add:

200 grams kimchi

Stir fry over a low fire for 3-5 minutes. Season with salt (and pepper), as needed. Serve over rice. Top with:

Chopped green onions (negi)