OKAY SO
I finger-tested too hard.

Make Chai Bread in Your Rice-Cooker

One thing that I made all the time in Japan for which I haven’t really written recipes is rice-cooker cakes and breads. Steamed breads have a lovely texture, and using the rice cooker is a great alternative for baking in your tiny moven.

Rice-Cooker Chai Bread | I'll Make It Myself! 3

Be warned, though–not all rice-cooker cookbooks are created equal. One of the books I used to own called for 3/4 of a egg once, which…yeah. That was also the cookbook that insisted that melon pan could be easily made in a rice cooker, which was a lie. But this chai-spiced steamed bread? This is a classic.
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Tofu and wheat gluten skewers (Tofu to namafu no dengaku おとうふと生麩の田楽) in two flavors: sesame with miso glaze, mugwort (yomogi, よもぎ) with yuzu glaze

Crying a Thousand Beautiful Tears into my Tofu

On my business trip, I had an overnight in Kyoto, and my coworker and I stopped to get lunch at Kyoto Station before going to our hotel. While I’m partial to the “solid tofu”(katatôfu [堅豆腐]) of the Kaga region, I also love Kyoto’s yuba (ゆば, 湯葉), the “tofu skin” and didn’t want to leave the city without eating some. We stopped at Kyotofu Fujino (京豆富「不二乃)」, the Kyoto JR Station’s location of Kyotofu Fujino (note the different kanji: 京とうふ藤野) and ordered a set lunch.

And then proceeded to weep into our tofu.

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Episode  5: AT-AT Walkers made of gingerbread

Star Wars Gingerbread

Sheraton Gingerbread 2015 | I'll Make It Myself! 12
Episode 5: AT-AT Walkers made of gingerbread

Silly name aside, if you’re a geek in Seattle this holiday season, you must check out the Sheraton Hotel’s annual (and free) gingerbread village “May the Holidays Be With You.” That’s right, Star Wars-themed gingerbread to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Here’s some photos I took last weekend!

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Favorite Pumpkin Beers 2015

Snatch up the last of those pumpkin beers, because it’s time for the annual pumpkin beer list (and some talk about hate crimes, queer folks, and mental health).

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Please note that I do not purchase beers from breweries with misogynist names, labels, or ads. (If you see a beer on this list that is from a problematic brewer, please let me know–sometimes I mess up and forget who is on the “NOPE” list.) This year, I did not include anything from Elysian because they were bought out by InBev/Budweiser. Read more about that here.

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“Seattle Sweeties” Campaign Predictably Compares Women to Food, Detracts from Cause

I desperately wanted to like “Seattle Sweeties,” Cupcake Royale’s line of cupcakes benefiting Runway to Freedom and Mary’s Place, NPOs that work with homeless women and survivors of domestic violence to help. I love cupcakes almost as much as I love overthrowing the patriarchy. Yet the campaign’s language, in trying to empower women, only manages to reduce them to food terms, objects for consumption.

Seattle Sweeties Cupcakes, including Choco latte, caramel delight, chai cinnamon, vanilla dream, lemon blossom, and banana cream. Copyright Cupcake Royale.
Seattle Sweeties Cupcakes, including Choco latte, caramel delight, chai cinnamon, vanilla dream, lemon blossom, and banana cream. Copyright Cupcake Royale.

Angela Garbes nailed it in The Stranger with “Cupcake Royale’s ‘Seattle Sweeties’ Series Benefits a Great Cause, But Its Marketing Campaign Is a Very Bad Idea”:

Continue reading “Seattle Sweeties” Campaign Predictably Compares Women to Food, Detracts from Cause

Soba Apple Muffins | I'll Make It Myself! 1

Buckwheat (Soba) Apple Muffins

Inspired by the fall flavors of Nagano, this muffin combines buckwheat (soba) flour (soba ko, そば粉) with juicy apples for a moist but not-too-sweet (and non-pumpkin-spice) fall breakfast.

I bought my soba flour (why does buckwheat flour sound so weird?) in bulk at Whole Foods in Seattle, but you can also get it from King Arthur Flour or Bob’s Red Mill, which are usually sold in US grocery stores. In Japan, it’s easy to find in most grocery stores. This is a recipe you should be able to make easily in either country.

See notes for Japanese ingredient list and for instructions on how to make cake flour.

Soba Apple Muffins | I'll Make It Myself! 1

Continue reading Buckwheat (Soba) Apple Muffins

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts   キャンペーン 2

Halloween in Japan (2015): Krispy Kreme’s “Mad for Monsters” Campaign

And more doughnuts! (For the post on Misudo, click here.)

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts キャンペーン

Krispy Kreme’s “Mad for Monsters” campaign features four types of doughnuts: Spider Chocolate Custard (スパイダーチョコカスタード), a custard-filled doughnut with a spiderweb design in chocolate icing; Caramel Halloween Jack (キャラメルハロウィーンジャック), a caramel-custard-filled doughnut with a jack-o-lantern design; Maple Milk Franken (メプルミルクフランケン), a square doughnut with a Frankenstein’s monster design and filled with maple custard; and Purple Potato Monster (ムラサキイモモンスター), a yeast ring with purple-sweet-potato icing and three cereal “eyes.”

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I might have screamed a little. They’re just so cute.

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I tried the Caramel Pumpkin Jack and really enjoyed it. The caramel custard is fairly sweet and dense (it is custard, after all).

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My doughnut!

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Next time: every. damn. bakery.