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Grandma K’s Ice Cream Sandwiches
グランマKのアイスクリームサンド

I’m not a huge cookie fan, and I’m not a huge ice cream fan either.

However, there is something about ice cream cookie sandwich that gets my attention.

I wasn’t 100% sure, but my husband said his grandma K’s molasses cookies would be perfect for ice cream sandwiches.

So I went along.

I love molasses!

Grandma K’s molasses cookie recipe is so easy to follow.

Once you melt V-butter (original recipe calls for shortening) in a pan, you just add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

Roll it into small balls and coat each ball with sugar.

Usually I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to cooking and baking, and I accept and even appreciate irregularity.

But this time I weighed each ball to make sure they maintain the same size, mostly because they were made to be turned into ice cream sandwiches.

Last time I made these cookies, I skipped this process, but this time I decided to flatten the cookies.

It was so worth, mostly because this brought a huge smile to my husband.

He said now they were exactly like his grandma’s.

(I thought that’s what he said last time too. (lol))

I could have taken a little break here, but I kept going because I already had ice cream to go with my cookies.

My vegan Instagram “friend” said it was the best vegan vanilla ice cream, so I had to try it.

This is the Whole Foods brand.

You can definitely see vanilla beans, which is pretty cool.

She was right.

The ice cream was delicious.

And the ice cream sandwiches turned out awesome!

The cookies are on the soft/chewy side, which makes the perfect cookies for ice cream sandwiches, because they do not become rock hard when frozen.

Happy Father’s Day
父の日ありがとう

Our family got together at my brother-in-law’s house for the father’s day celebration today.

Since my brother-in-law was cooking burgers and hot dogs, the rest of the members brought side dishes.

These are the things I brought…

Lemony Garbanzo Farro Salad.

Veggies.

As usual.

I’ve learned that people (well, at least our family) eat more when veggies are served separately like this (vs. mixed together in a big bowl).

When I heard my little nephew, Carter, asking his mother to get him broccoli and cucumber, I couldn’t help smiling.

This is my new thing.

Dressing in a jar.

I learned making dressing in a jar from Ms. Ree by watching her show.

This is absolutely genius.

You can mix all the ingredients by simply shaking it.

Also it’s easy to bring to a potluck because you can close the lid tight.

Grandma Kiel’s molasses cookies.

It was great to see everyone today, especially my father-in-law for a good reason.

I’m so glad that he is healthy, active, and enjoying his retirement so much.

My father-in-law and my father are the two most active men I know, and I think it’s awesome.

It Had To Be You Tiramisu Parfait
あなたじゃなくては。ティラミスパフェ

I like tiramisu.

And I like parfait.

Why not put the two together!

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, right?!

Coffee jelly jewelry.

When you mash it with a fork, it becomes so pretty and shiny, just like coffee-colored diamonds!

Cashew “mascarpone” cream.

Super creamy and yum.

And homemade V-cake sponge.

It was cubed and then soaked up sweet coffee syrup.

Then it’s all we need.

Love the Trader Joe’s design.

Just looking at it makes me smile.

Tomato Lover’s Avocado Toast
トマト好きのアボカドトースト

I usually do not do grocery shopping at Costco because most of their packages are too big for our household of two.

But sometimes I forget that there are only two people in our house and one of them does not even like avocado (although this has been changing lately!), and grab a large bag of avocados.

When you find yourself in such a situation, you’ll make avocado toast!

This is a tomato lover’s avocado toast plate.

This one is with green salsa.

This is with green tomato chutney.

And this one is with fresh multi-colored mini tomatoes.

By the way, these tomatoes are from Costco, too…

Happy Thursday everyone!

Here is one more thing that came home with me from my last trip to Costco.

The cherries must be in the season right now.

They are so sweet and delicious!

Unfortunately (or fortunately?!), I’m the primary consumer of the cherries, too, though…

Monkey Tacos
モンキータコス

Just saying “Monkey Tacos” makes me smile!

It’s fun!

I read somewhere that if you give a funny name to a veggie dish at school cafeteria, kids will eat more veggies.

(Unfortunately, this trick did not work on my husband, who is not a big fan of banana.)  🙁

Toasted tortillas, sunflower butter, and banana slices are the base.

But after that you can go free-style.

This one was the berry-berry version: strawberries and blueberries.

And this one was the sunshine version: mango and nectarine.

Love fresh fruit.

Make sure you add fresh mint, cilantro, and jalapeno slices.

Well, these are tacos after all.

And surprisingly, these add awesome freshness to my monkey tacos.

Lasagna Soup with V-Sausage and Nutty Parm
ラザニアスープ

When I discovered something called “Lasagna Soup” exists, I had to try it.

Freshly cooked lasagna sheets were cut into smaller pieces.

My homemade V-sausage was perfect to accompany the lasagna pasta.

Does it look tasty or what?

My nutty parm was made with the recipe from this book (slightly modified).

This soup was absolutely delicious, and I loved it.

Whoever came up with the idea is genius!

By the way, this is one of my recent favorite shirts to wear.

I bought it at Target, but I only recently learned that it is one of their new clothing brands, called “Who What Wear”.

I did notice that Target’s clothing section has gotten a face-lift lately, and I find myself looking at clothes at Target definitely more often than before.

I wore this gingham blouse with puffy sleeves in this post as well.

Almond Jelly Flowers
アーモンドのお花寒天

Although I don’t use gelatin anymore, jelly is something I can still make and enjoy.

What do I use?

I use Japanese agar powder.

Agar is made of algae, and I’ve seen some people write it smells/tastes seaweed.

I’ve only used Japanese products, and they’ve NEVER smelled or tasted seaweed.

The texture is very different from jelly made of gelatin.

It’s less elastic and gummy, and cleaner and lighter, which I prefer personally.

I made my jelly flowers almond-flavored (almond milk and almond extract), and served them in strawberry soup.

Sweet, refreshing, and makes a light yet satisfying dessert.

I’m a sucker for the Target Dollar Spot (or Bullseye’s Playground).

Whenever I go to Target I have to check out the section because I often find the cutest things, often for props.

These adorable strawberry-themed items were only 1 dollar each!

Love the retro-looking colors and designs.

Go Local! V-Egg Salad Sandwich
ローカルがいいね、Vエッグサラダサンド

I got beautiful whole grain English muffins from a co-op store.

While I was at the store, something caught my eye.

“Minnesota Local”.

Since we changed our diet and now pay so much more attention to what food we buy, certain key words get my attention, like vegan, plant-based, no preservatives, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, organic…

And “local” is also one of them.

Well, it’s actually a big one for me.

This green tomato chutney was produced by Urban Roots, a local organization that help “youth interns to develop leadership, entrepreneurial, and life skills” through their Market Garden, Conservation, and Cook Fresh Programs.

This is how I built this sandwich.

First, tomato and onion slices.

Spinach.

And then crunchy tempeh.

They look pretty awesome already at this point.

But wait.

It gets even better.

A heap of V-egg salad goes next.

Left-over V-egg salad goes into my pretty Pioneer Woman cup to be stored and enjoyed later.

Now here is the main supporting actor!

Green tomato chutney from Urban Roots.

I love when the producer lists the ingredients up front, not in small print hiding in the back.

This always means that the maker is proud of their product!

And I liked what I saw.

They apparently create wonderful flavors.

The tomato chutney was a GREAT addition to this sandwich.

The only other thing I need is a glass of home cold-brewed coffee.

Pot Sticker Combo Meal
食堂餃子ランチセット

Combo meals are nothing new in the U.S.

But typical combo meals you get in Japan look a bit different.

Instead of fries and soda, you typically get rice and soup (and maybe some kind of small veggie dish) that accompany the main dish.

And this is the kind of lunch option I often wish we had here.

My pot stickers were cooked beautifully.

Love the nonstick griddle.

It’s big and cooks a lot of pot stickers at once.

Garlic black pepper scallion soup.

Pea and corn fried rice.

Having a lot of plates on the table always makes me happy.

But it also usually means that you get a balanced meal.

Morel Galette
あみがさたけガレット

Galette is one of my favorite things to make.

I think I like the “free-style” type of crust.

I got these beautiful morel mushrooms the other day.

Interestingly, there is this pizzeria in our neighborhood which sells pints of morels this time every year.

And I never miss the opportunity.

I was already loving this even before putting it in the oven.

The galette turned out great!

We devoured it.

My husband liked it so much that he has been asking me to make this again already.