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Salted Banana Tart

Just like avocado banana can be tricky in terms of when to buy and when to use.

When I want to eat or use banana, I usually don’t have any or the ones I have are not ripe.

Then when I buy some, they quickly become ripe and dark and I don’t have any ideas to use them!

So my new strategy is that I go get banana only when I need it and buy the one that is perfectly ripe for what I want to use it for.

It’s not easy, and sometimes I have to check two or three different grocery stores just to find the right one.

I love this rustic crust.

It was filled with custard cream and then decorated with banana slices and blueberries.

A little trick to this tart is spkinkling a little bit of Kosher salt on the cream.

The custard cream and banana both have mild sweetness, and the salt brings out the sweetness well.

Maru Buns & Skinny Crescent Rolls

Bread-baking has become one of my favorite things to do the past few years.

Being able to create something this beautiful from really basic things like flour and salt still seems so magical to me.

These Maru (Maru means “round” in Japanese) buns are perfectly sweet and soft.

Of course, things do not always turn out exactly the way you expect.

These rolls were supposed to be a bit fatter, but I don’t mind this skinny look either.

Hand-Torn Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Once in a while I get craving for rich peanut sauce.

I had some leftover noodle dough from making lasagna, and I decided to use it to make this dish.

Instead of cutting the pasta with a knife, I hand-tore them.

Each piece is irregular and gives interesting look and texture, and the sauce seems to cling to the noodles better.

Spiced Chocolate Pudding

This pudding is very chocolaty but not heavy.

As a matter of fact, it’s so light that you can (and want to) keep eating, and before you know it the jar is empty!

My mother-in-law gave me these jars a while ago.

She said she was going to get rid of them but thought she would ask me first if I could use them for something.

At that time I didn’t have any specific idea, but I’m glad I kept them.

I liked the shape, and the pudding looks so good in these jars.

(The “WECK” lids are from other jars, but they fit well.)

I added a little cinnamon to the pudding only to create flavor depth rather than to add strong cinnamon flavor.

When you have a bite, you know there is something but cannot really pinpoint exactly what it is.

Orange Lentil Mushroom Lasagna

When I was making fresh pasta the other day, I had this thought, “Why not making lasagna sheets myself as well?”

So that’s what I did.

It was fun to make my own lasagna sheets, but it was also a bit of a struggle to boil large sheets (I didn’t make long strips but big sheets that could be the whole layer).

The lasagna turned out gorgeous!

This lasagna was made with homemade lasagna pasta, lentil-mushroom tomato sauce, bechamel sauce, and cheese on top; all plant-based.

I really loved the lentils in this lasagna.

If you add lentils to your lasagna, make sure you do NOT overcook them.

Having the right (not mushy) texture is the key.

Chocolate Cornets and Milk Cornets

I had wanted to make these cornets for a long time.

My mother gave me these when I was back in Japan a few years ago.

I’m so happy that I finally got around to it.

Aren’t these adorable?!

They are so soft, too.

I filled some with chocolate cream and the others with vegan condensed milk cream.

Both were delicious!!

Here is the truth about my first cornet-baking.

I definitely have to work on the shape-forming process.

But I kind of like this lack of uniformity.

Vanilla Cardamom Pancakes with Milk Butter and Strawberries

Pancake breakfast!

These gluten-free pancakes are packed with flavors.

Vanilla and cardamom are probably one of my favorite flavor combinations.

I used vegan milk butter (sweet), so I kept my strawberry sauce on the tart side to have the right balance.

Okay, it was a sweet breakfast.

But it was delicious and no complaints.

I finally told myself never to buy another plant when my cactus died.

But when I went to a store for herbs and saw this small plant that was sold for less than what would cost to buy the package, I couldn’t help.

I can also justify my decision because unlike other plants, you can use it while taking care of it.

Having said that, I’m putting my best effort, and so far it’s doing well.

Fettuccine Alfredo

I do keep dry pasta in the pantry, but whenever I have time I like to make fresh pasta.

Surprisingly it doesn’t take too much time to make pasta.

Since I’ve done it so many times, the process goes quite smoothly.

My vegan alfredo sauce was made with cashew nuts and cauliflower as the main ingredients.

Super creamy and delicious!

My husband said he cannot believe it doesn’t contain cream because it’s so rich.

Scallion Pancake Breakfast

Pancakes are great for breakfast.

But this morning I was in the mood for something savory.

So I decided to make pancakes, but a savory kind, scallion pancakes.

They were served with scrambled tofu and a mixture of arugula and spinach.

Hot and sweet Gochujang sauce.

Drizzled the sauce all over the plate.

Hijiki Curry Udon

The rule is that if you have curry and rice for dinner, the next day’s lunch is curry udon.

At least that was what I believed as a kid.

My mother was so good about this, and she accommodated this obsession of mine.

Now I am in charge in the kitchen, and this pattern continues.

This time I decided to add Hijiki seaweed to add some ocean flavor, and I really enjoyed it.