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Sunflower Butter Biscoff Ice Cream
ひまわりバタービスコフアイスクリーム

This is the BEST ice cream I’ve ever eaten.

It’s ridiculously good.

My husband has been making ice cream quite regularly the past several months.

This was rather created by accident.

He wanted to make peanut butter ice cream, but we were out of peanut butter.

So he decided to do with sunflower seed butter which we happened to have in the fridge.

I am so thankful this happened because otherwise we would never have known how awesomely sunflower seed butter works for ice cream.

Adding Biscoff cookies was the last minute decision as well.

And that was one of the best last-minute decisions!

It was almost “meant-to-be.”

It’s a little heaven in a bowl, if you ask me…

Get Lucky Green Bowl
ラッキーグリーンボウル

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I am celebrating with this awesome green bowl this year.

Very straight forward.

All green veggies (arugula, cabbage, okra, broccoli, and peas) and spinach rice.

Served with cilantro mayo.

How are you celebrating?

I also made Triple Green Mini Doughnut Sandwiches.

Green juice is in the doughnuts and icing, and spinach is in the cream cheese frosting.

Are you eating or drinking anything green?

Hearty Udon Noodle Soup
ほっこりすき煮うどん

Okay.

I know I’ve been talking about spring on it way for a while.

But this week it really finally feels like spring is coming VERY SOON.

The weather forecast says we are going to have temperature finally above 50!!

So excited.

However, today it’s still below 32F in the Twin Cities, and this hearty noodle soup is very appropriate.

Various vegetables (Napa cabbage, carrots scallion, etc.), tofu, and seitan meat were slowly cooked in soy sauce based slightly sweet broth.

For this particular dish thick chewy Udon noodle is a great choice.

You can always enjoy this without noodles like soup as well.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Oni-Monster Manju
鬼・鬼嫁・緑鬼まんじゅう

Manju is a general term for traditional Japanese confection.

This particular manju is called “Oni Manju.”

Oni is a supernatural fictional demon that often appears in traditional Japanese folk tales.

Why this has the name “oni” is unknown, but the rough look seems to have something to do with it.

The typical Oni Manju is a sticky base with chunks of Japanese sweet potatoes.

This time I decided to make a few different versions.

One with dry cranberries and walnuts in addition to potatoes.

The other is the same as the one above, but the base was Matcha flavored.

This was a perfect hearty snack.

Garlic Herb “Ticken” Sandwich
ガーリックハーブ“ティキン”サンドイッチ

When I received a food request from my hubby that is not “Swedish Meatball” I do accept it (lol).

(He says “Swedish Meatball” too many times, and sadly it is often dismissed…)

He wanted a sandwich with some kind of chicken-like meat and lingonberry.

So this is what I came up with.

When I want a really firm texture that will resemble that of chicken, I like to use a specific tofu from Trader Joe’s.

I forgot to take a picture before I took the tofu out, but at least you can see the package.

This is super firm, and my husband really likes it when I cook it like chicken.

Doesn’t it look good?

For the bread I used vegan croissants from my favorite local vegan bakery/Bodega, Eureka Compass Vegan Food.

Homemade vegan Swiss cheese also gets recruited to the sandwich.

Vegan croissant, garlic herb “ticken,” homemade vegan Swiss cheese, arugula, homemade vegan mayo, and lingonberry jam.

The jam is from World Market.

They recently changed their label, and it’s very pretty.

Orange Panzanella
オレンジ・パンツァネッラ

It was many man years ago when I learned about panzanella for the first time.

That was when one of my then favorite TV chefs, Michael Chiarello, was making it.

I was initially skeptical about using bread for salad like this, but when I actually tried it, I fell in love.

I forgot about it for many years, and then the other day I wanted something light yet satisfying for lunch, and the idea came to me.

Panzanella is typically made with tomatoes, but I experimented a little bit with this one.

I had delicious Cara Cara oranges, and they were absolutely perfect!

Homemade hard crusted bread, Cara Cara oranges, red grapes, arugula, and red onion.

The dressing was made with olive salad, capers, mustard, and maple syrup.

Rum Chocolate Mousse Pie Sandwich
ラム酒チョコレートムース・パイサンド

I had a pastry sheet I needed to use up quickly.

I was in a mood for something sweet, and I came up with this.

The main ingredient of the mousse is avocado!

It works wonderfully.

A couple of avocados were blended with rum, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and coffee.

So delicious!

Mapo Tofu Ramen
麻婆豆腐ラーメン

I love Mapo Tofu, and I love ramen.

So this is a no-brainer for me!

The soup was made with slightly burned and caramelized onions and garlic, water, Kombu seaweed, soy sauce, salt, sugar, and hot pepper flakes (picture above).

The main ingredients of the “meat” part of this “Mapo” were tempeh and mushrooms.

This definitely has a kick to it, but is also super flavorful!

Super delicious!!

Spring Matcha Oatmeal
春の抹茶オートミール

Oatmeal is one of my favorite weekday breakfast choices.

I usually don’t have time to do anything fancy, but on weekends I like to have a little fun.

This one is oatmeal cooked in strong Matcha, and then served with almond milk, Kuro-mame (Japanese black beans), toasted coconut flakes, freeze-dried strawberries, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

I like these freeze-dried fruits from Trader Joe’s.

They are so handy.

Isn’t it pretty?

Cardamom Orange Mocha Marble Muffins
カルダモンオレンジモカマーブルマフィン

You get a food idea, and you picture what the end result should look like.

But it always doesn’t work out that way.

I just bought a bag of Cara Cara oranges which are my favorite orange.

They looked pretty good before baking already.

These turned out exactly what I hoped they would!

(And it doesn’t happen too often when it comes to baking.)

I kept the sweetness minimum, so you can really enjoy the flavors but no overpowering sweetness.

Delicious with my homemade vegan butter.