— lab@56

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanuts and I have a lot of good memories. My best friend growing up was a huge fan of Snoopy and I got sucked into the world of Snoopy. She and I even went to Snoopy themed Halloween parties. My best memory of all time actually comes from “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” That’s the movie that was playing when Mad Scientist and I officially got engaged. It was at the Corn Maze in Upstate NY. They were running a series of outdoor movie nights. Kids of all ages surrounded fire pits with extra long marshmallow roasting sticks and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate in hands while they keenly watched the movie after a long day at the corn maze & good pumpkin picking. It was fairly chilly evening in mid-October, yet utterly romantic.

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Asparagus Cheddar Focaccia

I’ve been trying to perfect my bread baking skills for a few months. I still am not satisfied with sandwich breads, but I think I finally am able to say that I got the basics covered now. For me, baking with the yeast was really intimidating. I’ve done breads on and off, and they were great as they were “home-made” but an attractive magic word of “home-made” did not make me feel any better than how they came out. Mad Scientist’s been honest with the outcome and kindly called some of my previous creations “Rocks.” He was right. I think I never was eager enough to get good at it.

But let me show you the reason why I wanted to perfect my bread baking. (below)

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Green Tea Tapioca Pudding

I came to really appreciate the green tea when I moved to New York, about 17 years ago. Drinking a hot cup of green tea meant nothing to me growing up as it was always there, and it’s sad for me to admit that as I’m Japanese. My grandfather used to serve me a hot cup of tea with Japanese sweets that were pretty intricate while he was kneading the soba noodle dough. It came with the warning – not to touch the dough until ready. I used to ignore his words and poke the soft yet neatly rounded dough while he was not looking. And I loved it. Then 3 o’clock tea time with my grandmother, with my favorite Japanese sponge cake, Kasutera (or Castella). Some times, you have to be far away (physically) to realize what’s important and appreciate what you grew up with; the green tea for me happens to be one of them.

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