Vegan Fig Upside-Down Skillet Cake

This cake is an upside-down cake made with figs in a cast-iron skillet, and it’s vegan. Cooking in with cast iron wasn’t on my 2016 goals list, but I’m really enjoying branching out and learning new skills, like cleaning and caring for the cast-iron collection C brought with them when we moved in together. Caramelized figs, chewy edges, and a moist crumb made this cake a hit with vegans and non-vegans alike.

Apricot-Sage Cream Scones

These last weeks have not been good for breakfast. Life has been rather rough, and it’s brought on a depression that leaves me weak-armed and unwilling to consume anything but smoothies and soup. But it’s autumn, and we should have nice things to eat. Scones are easy, and sage doesn’t have to be just for stuffing turkeys…

Fig-Almond Muffins (Dairy-Free)

More muffins! These fig-almond muffins are perfect for autumn. If you’re looking for a break from all the cinnamon and pumpkin products, try one of these!

Whole-Wheat Blueberry-Lavender Muffins

It’s only now, right at the end of berry season here in the Pacific Northwest, that I’ve gotten this recipe to where I want it. For some reason, The Joy of Cooking‘s whole-wheat-muffin base recipe only called for 2 tablespoons of butter when the non-whole-wheat recipe calls for 4-8. Trust me, you need that “extra” butter….

The Rosette of Versailles: Apple Custard Tart with Walnut Crust

I offered to bring tarts to a dear friend’s family Thanksgiving and found this recipe as I was considering my repertoire. Also, geeky-dessert talk: I’m a huge fan of Ikeda Riyoko’s The Rose of Versailles (Beru Bara) fan*, so how could I pass up the tarte bouquet de roses? This tart looks and tastes elegant: the freshness…

Fresh Mango Salsa

A nice bright salsa to end the summer (never mind it’s been over for a month). This recipe is very simple, and I love the way the flavors and textures work together. I like to serve this with homemade tortillas (or rice or quinoa), avocados, and roasted kabocha tossed with cumin and cayenne.

Hot Weather, Cool Kitchen: Overnight Oats

There are two import foods I can’t live without: peanut butter and oats. Let’s talk about oats–I’ll get to the peanut butter later. Sometimes I buy Quaker Oats in bulk from online import stores; sometimes I buy Alishan or Alara jumbo organic oats at Diamond in Omicho Market; sometimes I get Nisshoku oatmeal from the…

Spiced Persimmon Cake

桃栗三年柿八年 (momo kuri sannen kaki hachinen): it takes time to reap the fruit of one’s actions (lit. [It takes] three years for [planted] peach and chestnut trees, eight for persimmons [to bear fruit]) (ことわざ学習室) In late autumn and early winter (mid-Nov. to New Year), Omicho Market is awash in reds and oranges: strawberries, crabs, mikan,…

Tricks of the Trade: Oatmeal Banana Bread

Although this site is called I’ll Make it Myself!, a lot of the baking I do is less recreating restaurant meals I liked and more reinventing recipes to make them healthier and to make them work in a Japanese kitchen. Health-wise, my philosophy with baking is that almost any bread can be made over with…

Mangosteens and the Allergy Hipster

“Are those plums? Wait, what’s a マンゴ…ス..チ…ン?” “Oh, mangosteens!”  “Do you think it’s safe for me to eat?” Ask me about my various strange allergies and I will give you a Cyrano-esque list of jokes I’ve thought up to make myself feel better. One of these is that I am a food allergy hipster–I was…