Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Cooking ABC: March 1st half

Just a quick post before I take Libby for a 4km power-walk around the Gaien. It’s 9:30am and it’s gorgeous outside. I’ve already finished doing 50 minutes of pilates and had breakfast. Life is good.

Ok, without further ado, I present to you the things I made so far this month. First, a typical Japanese home-cooked meal with a spring theme (春のおとずれ):

Clockwise from the bottom: rice cooked with various ingredients (五目炊き込みご飯), yellow tail cooked with Japanese radish (鰤と大根の煮物), yomogi rice ball topped with red bean paste and bean powder(あずきときな粉のよもぎ白玉), miso soup with clam(あさりの味噌汁). I never knew that daikon (Japanese radish) could taste so good after being boiled with fish. I must try this recipe at home too while yellow tails are in season.

For my first bread lesson, I made this Almond butter bread.

The look is very deceiving because you would expect it to be sweet seeing all the almond slices and powdered sugar on top, but it tastes just like regular butter rolls and you need to eat it with jam. My taste-tester Anna had the same comment.

I then made this strawberry mousse cake for which I am very proud of.

I am not a fan of mousse cake, or any kind of mousse for that matter, but this cake made me look at mousse in a whole different way. In the past, my impression of mousse is a thick creamy glob. Not so with this cake. It’s airy and light (at least in taste) and delightful to eat. Jason enjoyed it tremendously and was very impressed with the look of it. My friend Tomoko, who also didn’t like mousse before said she’s a changed woman too. And Robbee practically inhaled the slice in under one second (did he get a good taste at all?).

Here’s a sliced shot for your drooling/viewing pleasure. (Look at the layers!)

In addition to finding my love of mousse cakes, I am now also a fan of pound cakes. Who says they have to be dense and heavy?

This humble pineapple pound cake tastes better on the next day after it’s aged a little and had the chance to soak in all the pineapple and coconut flavors. However, the pineapple slices dried out a little bit and didn’t look as plump and juicy the next day. (the photo was taken on the first day).

Then yesterday, I made these butter rolls.

Cute little things aren’t they? Jason, who normally doesn’t even touch butter rolls in restaurants, did me a favor by tasting one and liking it. Still not a big fan, he said they were better than he expected (is that a compliment?) I must confess that I prefer crusty rolls to butter ones, but I found these quite nice and chewy. Just don’t think I’ll be making them at home any time soon.

So that’s it for now. Gotta hurry and finish my workout so Libby and I can have a picnic lunch in Yoyogi park, and maybe stop by Pierre Herme on the way back to get another one of his divine creations.


Jessica said...

Wow Lynn, your baked goods look so perfect! How did you get the tops to be smooth and evenly browned?

Lynn said...

Thanks Jessica! Yes, perfection is what I'm striving for ;oP

For the pineapple cake, we had to tent it half way through so it doesn't burn, and the butter rolls just came out that way. I think the turntable inside the oven ensures even baking.

Rachel said...

Lynn, can I please watch you making bread one day so I can see how your rolls and loaves always looks so flawless (I promise I won't get in your way!)?

I find Jason't comments quite hilarious in the face of your gorgeous creations, Lynn--boy, he is seriously a tough critic, huh. I think at the end of every food post, you should have a regular feature in bold: "Jason's comments."

Lynn said...

Actually, I haven't attempted to recreate any of the baked goods at home yet, but your coming over could be an incentive to start. I learned this really messy way of kneading the dough which requires a very clean counter: part of the reason I am trying to re-organize my kitchen so I can clear out one section of the counter to have no clutter on top.

Hsin said...

Perfection to behold - Jason is a lucky man. Danny still talks about the dinner he had at your place. You see, I've been experimenting with some new dishes for dinner and they haven't been successful, so it always comes back down to "You have to get some pointers from Lynn". I keep trying to impress on him that his bar (ie, you) is too high for me!!

Lynn said...

But I have failed experiments in my kitchen all the time! Tell him to be patient and give constructive criticism.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynn, this is Cathy or should I say Anonymous again. I saw your strawberry mousse cake and I think it really looked fabulous. I have been looking for a great strawberry mousse recipe but I just can't find a nice one. Can I request you to please post the recipe soon and I will surely be very happy. Thank You