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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

626 Night Market 2014

I cannot wait for this weekend's OC Night Market, so I decided to celebrate by sharing my adventures from last month's 626 Night Market. I went last year and blogged about it, but this year was even more fun!

My mother decided to join me for a night, and I really enjoyed it. It's always nice to go to an event like this with someone new, because they will invariably try something completely different than you would normally. My mother especially is adventurous, and there's the added bonus of her being a much better photographer than me, especially for crowd shots.

I also went with the same buddy from the DTLA Night Market post, as well as Mr. Mochi on a different day. I have way too much fun at these events, sometimes when I'm full I just like sitting there and people-watching. Nearly everyone is having a blast, and watching people get excited over a special food is fun to watch.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bratwurst and Mashed Potatoes

I draw a lot of influence from my mother's cooking, and I don't think anyone is surprised by that. Who doesn't, for better or worse, learn from their family? Sometimes that means never learning to cook at all, but in my family, it means inheriting a whole lot of crazy.

One night it's oden or our family's unique version of Japanese curry, another night it might be pickled beet eggs and braunschweiger sandwiches. Sometimes it's both German American and Japanese American in the same meal. My family really owns its mixed roots, no more so than in its cooking.

This one is decidedly from the German American roots, and also born from my mother's busy work life. This was always a quick meal she could make at home for a fast weekday meal. She would prepare this in a snap on the electric griddle, served with a mountain of sauerkraut and some other veggies.

I make this one even faster by relying on ready-made mashed potatoes from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, as well borrowing my mother's tradition of buying sauerkraut in giant bags or hulking jars.

Recently I secured a promotion at work, and I've been just totally stressed out now that I'm in a management position. Coupled with a commute, I've been turning to a lot of my mother's go-to quick dinner ideas that I had as a kid.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DTLA Night Market 2014

Summer has been crazy. June, July, and now August are gone in a blur! I went to the OC Night Market, the DTLA Night Market, Anime Expo, Comic Con, the K-Town Night Market, and the original 626 Night Market. I'm happy to say that I managed not to gain any weight in July, and actually lost weight in June!

DLTA Night Market definitely was a cheat day for me. I went with one of my friends (Incidentally, she is a damn cool chick and introduced me to Shin-Sen-Gumi back in the day) and Mr. Mochi to brave the summer heat and see what downtown Los Angeles had to offer.

DLTA Night Market was much smaller than the other two night markets I've been to, there wasn't as much real estate for them to work with. A lot of the same vendors from the OC Night Market were there, so I am going to focus my post on the different things we tried!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Taberu Rayu Cucumbers (きゅうりの食べるラー油)

It's hot here in Southern California, and the drought is so bad I'm almost afraid to do dishes. Rather than relying on fast food, chips and dip while it's too hot to cook, I'm brainstorming healthier, faster, and cooler options for a busy cook.

Like with my Togarashi Zucchini, this is a dish that is a snap to make, and is a great busy weeknight side to serve with something else prepared just as fast or pre-made. Even better, this recipe is a chilled side, which for late summer is a great treat!

This almost isn't a recipe it's that easy, but that also makes it easy to double or triple. It is also a great example of how easy and versatile taberu rayu is: making a super-tasty and healthy veggie side dish in minutes. You can turn cucumbers into a savory spicy powerhouse side with very little effort.

If you want to prep this ahead, chop the cucumber ahead of time and dress right before serving, that way if any water leeches off the cucumber in the fridge, you can drain it before adding the taberu rayu.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Taberu Rayu (食べるラー油)

To explain what Taberu Rayu (食べるラー油) is, I really have to back up and explain what rayu is. Rayu is sesame oil that has been infused with chilies until it is a nice glowing orange-red. It is delicious mixed with vinegar and soy sauce as a dip for gyoza and often seen in ramen shops that serve dumplings.

Taberu Rayu, on the other hand, starts with that same hot chili oil base, but it has crunchy bits in it. Minced fried garlic, fried onion bits, sesame seeds, even bits of almonds are included for a chunky crunchy condiment that can be spooned or mixed into just about anything. On top of ramen, spooned on a bowl of plain rice, even outlandish ideas like putting it on ice cream have surfaced in Japan.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jalapeño Cheese Age-Gyoza (揚げ餃子 の ハラペーニョ チーズ)

Normally here in the United States, we'd call these "Jalapeño Cheese Wontons", but since these are inspired by Honda-ya's Cheese Age, I thought it appropriate to called them gyoza instead.

Izakaya Honda-ya is our go-to place for a cheap but satisfying night out. Late on a Monday or Tuesday normally doesn't draw a crowd, they don't mind us lingering and ordering sporadically throughout the evening.

One of our favorite indulgent dishes is their Cheese Age, which means "fried cheese" but is so much more and very crave-able.

Luckily for you, it's also very simple to make. With just four ingredients, and the ability to prep these ahead, these are a great party snack.

Age (pronounce ahh-gay) means "fried" in Japanese, so age-gyoza means simply "fried dumpling." I'm still working on my Japanese grammar and sentence structure, so feel free to correct me in the comments regarding the Japanese title.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Togarashi Zucchini

I like creating simple recipes that take little time or effort to make. Sure, sometimes I mix things up with a more-involved recipe, but most of the time my ideas are ludicrously simple.

Like most of you, I'm willing to wager, I've got a Pinterest full of very ambitious ideas I really just don't have time for. But they are inspiring, and I love browsing through and finding these bloggers who invest some serious time into creating amazing things.

This blog isn't one of the ambitious ones. But I'd like to think it's one of the real ones.

I work full-time in a very physically and emotionally draining career. When you've had to wrestle an aggressive 130lbs dog and euthanize someone's childhood friend within 20 minutes of clocking in to your shift, it's hard at the end of the day to want to prepare anything for dinner.

Most workdays, I have to have dinner done in less than 10 minutes (including clean-up) or it just won't happen. Especially when I get off work at 9:30pm and have to be back at 7:30am.

Therefore I rely a lot on easy-to-make entrees, pre-made sides, and fresh veggies that require no preparation in order to get things on the table fast. Here's one of my go-to sides that requires
little-to-no clean up and is healthy to boot!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Quail Egg Spam Sliders

It's been pretty hectic since I came back from Japan. I started teaching (registered veterinary technician classes) and it's amazing how the weeks can slip away from you. I can't believe it's almost July.

Though I'm glad things have slowed down a bit, because I have a lot of backlogged recipes to share with you, and I'm especially excited to bring you recipes from my trip to Japan! Plus this summer I have tons of events to share with you, from the plethora of night markets that abound to dancing through Obon matsuri season!

This recipe, however, certainly didn't come back with me from Japan. This is something born out of my love for SPAM and King's Hawaiian sweet rolls. You've already heard about my obsession with SPAM in multiple posts, but King's Hawaiian sweet rolls are another favorite of mine. My Japanese American side of the family always serves them at Thanksgiving, and I love making sliders with some sweet rolls, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry-orange relish at the dinner table.

No, I never grew out of playing with my food. Thanksgiving sweet roll sliders are amazing, though. Dunk them in gravy.

These sliders might be even better. Sunny-side-up quail eggs, crispy slices of SPAM, and gooey American cheese are sandwiched in a sweet roll and drizzled with raspberry sriracha sauce for an easy-to-make party dish that takes only one skillet to make. These puppies are sweet, salty, savory and spicy, all in one bite, with oozey egg yolk and crispy SPAM making for a great textural contrast.

These may sound crazy, or like they have too much going on, but take a leap of faith and try one.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

OC Night Market 2014

Last year, my favorite event I went to was 626 Night Market. I practically wassailed through the stalls, sampling foods from all over the world: Japanese takoyaki, Chinese bing tang hulu, Taiwanese bubble tea, and more hapa fusion food than you can imagine.

This year, the team behind the 626 Night Market got even more ambitious and brought the night market experience to Orange County in May.

I wanted to share my experience with you, because I am excited that their next stop in their smorgasbord is downtown Los Angeles this weekend, June 20th and 21st.

Since undoubtedly I talk way too much, I'll be doing small captions and mostly photos for this post, with a short bit at the end about my overall experience at the OC Night Market. All of the food posted was so good, I'm almost glad that the OC Night Market was only one weekend because I would get huge if they were regularly available all in one spot.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dami Sushi & Izakaya + GIVEAWAY!

Mr. Mochi and I recently went to a media tasting event for a new izakaya in Orange County, Dami Sushi and Izakaya. Since we love our local izakaya, where you can always grab a cold pint and perhaps a yakitori skewer or two, we were very excited to try another one close by.

Dami Sushi and Izakaya in Buena Park, California, just had their grand opening and invited us to try some of their signature dishes. They also generously donated a $100 gift certificate that you can enter to win below!

I loved the decor and greenery everywhere!
I'm not a big decor person, but the first thing you'll think when you walk in is how cool this place looks. I love the mix of modern technology (the wall above the sushi bar changes color!) with rustic wood and fresh plants. The restaurant also manages to have great airflow, it's breezy in there without us needing a jacket. It also strikes an important balance between atmospheric izakaya lighting and the need for me to see my food. All of these pictures below were taken without any additional lighting, but Mr. Mochi commented that the atmosphere in Dami meant this place was going to be a surefire date place for us.

Especially once we tried the food.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kumquat Tofu Cheesecake

I'm sad winter is over and spring is soon to follow. I love winter because it means our citrus trees start producing, and from winter to the start of spring we get our crop of kumquats, oranges, and tangelos. This year, some unseasonable winds knocked down what remained of our kumquat crop, so I'm glad I got to make this cake for my mother's birthday before that happened!

Don't let the name scare you, this tofu cheesecake isn't a health food. However, it retains that creaminess that you love about cheesecake, while boasting a lot more protein than a traditional cheesecake. I bet you if you chose to stay mum about the fact it was packed with protein, your guests wouldn't even know it had tofu in it. It's also a bake-free cheesecake, which is great since we are having a serious heat wave here in Southern California.

If you don't have access to kumquats, you could serve this with no topping at all, or any fresh fruit that you choose. I think blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries would be a great topping choice! Of course, if you have any jars of kinkan no kanroni in your cupboard, you're good to go.

This recipe is adapted from recipes who use the metric system and different size cups, so while I converted the recipe, I also included some weights where applicable because it's more accurate.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Miss Mochi's Adventures Now Has a Facebook!

After over two years of blogging, I have finally decided to create a Facebook page for Miss Mochi's Adventures. At first it seemed unnecessary, not to mention more work for technologically-impaired me, but I have a lot of giveaways planned for this summer and I think it will make it a lot easier for everyone to enter!

Also, if you "like" my blog on Facebook, you will be able to see links to my blog posts as soon as I share them. In addition, I plan on sharing recipes and food news on my page from some of my favorite blogs and websites.

Please bear with me on getting Miss Moch's Adventures page full of fun recipes, pictures, and posts: Facebook has kindly informed me that there's a known issue where page posts are disappearing and reappearing at random. Already I've double posted something I thought had somehow been deleted!

To follow Miss Mochi's Adventures on Facebook, click here to check out the page and "Like" to follow!

The photo is a sneak peak on my recent travels in Japan! I went full-blown tourist and dressed up like a geisha (maiko) in Kyoto, and loved every second of it. My mother is in the foreground in the brown kimono, I'm right behind her in the black kimono. Photo credit goes to the Bro-Chi.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Cowboy Cookies

The older I get, the more picky I seem to get about my cookies. Even as a kid, I hated the Chips Ahoy chewy chocolate chip cookies, and most commercial cookies. Too sweet, too bland, not enough bitter chocolate taste, and a mushy texture. My favorite chocolate chip cookies were, and continue to be, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. They often have a saltiness that compliments the nutty oats and the bitter chocolate, and their texture is much improved with the grain added.

Of course, someone in ancient history had to make some sort of royal decree or conspiracy that all oatmeal cookies must have raisins instead of chocolate. I like raisins, but not in my oatmeal cookies. They make everything too sweet, and ruin the texture. Does anyone like oatmeal raisin cookies?

These cookies are sometimes made without coconut, and are very customizable. Feel free to experiment: white chocolate chips, toffee chunks, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or butterscotch chips (raisins only if you want to disappoint Miss Mochi and contribute to the conspiracy).

Friday, March 14, 2014

Tamago-Toji Spam Donburi (卵とじ スパム丼)

Unlike katsudon, this donburi does not have a place in Japanese culinary history, it's an original Miss Mochi creation.

This recipe came about when I happened to score a giant pack of low-sodium Spam from Costco and we only had one frozen pre-made tonkatsu left. Since Mr. Mochi is much more fond of pork chops than I am, I made him a katsudon while I decided what sort of rice bowl I should make. I decided to try a Spam and egg donburi, and it turned out so tasty I decided to share it with you.

A donburi is simply a plain rice bowl with toppings, designed as a complete meal. Here in Southern California, Flame Broiler is probably the most popular chain, as well as of course Yoshinoya, which is an amazingly old fast food chain, founded in 1899. Apparently these quick and tasty meals have stood the test of time, because here in 2014 I am obsessed.

I've made a Spam donburi before, and in that post I rambled a bit about all the variations that could be made. You can make a donburi topping out of anything, and I believe the possibilities are endless. I could probably do a Spam donburi month, and still have plenty of ideas at the end of it.

Hey, that is a pretty good idea! Maybe for May?

Until then, here's the latest iteration of Spam donburi.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Another food truck that satisfies my love of hapa food: Dogzilla. I am always on a quest to try every crazy mash-up of Asian American cuisine Orange County has to offer. Kimchee quesadillas? Hell yes. Japanese hot dogs? I'm there! Red bean waffle sandwiches? You better believe I even dragged my friends there.

So when I first saw Dogzilla in a Best Buy parking lot, I knew I had to pounce on this one. Unlike a lot of the food trucks I'm in love with, Dogzilla is actually based in Irvine, rather than in L.A. county. And it offers up tasty treats to rival them too.

Dogzilla's tagline, "Not Your Typical Wieners" totally fits because you won't find any mustard or ketchup on their deluxe dogs. Instead, they rely on Japanese flavorings and Hawaiian stand-bys for their unique hot dogs. This isn't exclusive to Dogzilla, the hapa hot dog can be found at places like the Tokyo Doggie Style food truck in LA, Asia Dog in NYC, and Japadog in NYC and Vancouver. I even make a version at home (and why I haven't blogged about this? Fail!).

However trendy, I happen to really love the execution of Dogzilla's hot dogs. Rather than using a normal hot dog bun, they use King's Hawaiian hot dog buns. You can get a fried egg with a gloriously runny yolk on any dog. Their Garlic Fries feature freshly minced garlic rather than garlic powder, making my breath possibly radioactive but I could care less about that when they taste this good.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ramen Crispy Treats

I've already posted on how much I love ramen. Mr. Mochi gets downright spiritual after finishing a bowl at Shin-Sen-Gumi. It appeals to me on the most basic levels; ramen is soul food. I see ramen as a hangover cure, rainy-day friend; a pick-me-up piping hot broth with slurp-able noodles that never fails to make you feel better.

Plus ramen is so customizable. A poached egg, some green onions, toasted nori, just about everything is free game. You can even peruse the vast amount of ramen hacks, where the instant ramen is taken to new heights of crazy and creativeness. I love creating my own weird combinations with premade food, like my KFC kare donburi, so I think that's why I have a soft spot for ramen hacks.

I had to try this one when I heard about it. After all, ramen hacks are usually savory, so any ramen dessert had to be tried. Especially since I knew these would make great gifts for Valentine's Day. Without further ado, I introduce you to Ramen Crispy Treats. Just like rice crispy treats, but use dry ramen.

If you use 4 packs of noodles, it will be like the picture, but I found I liked it with more marshmallow to ramen and made it again with only 3 packs, but they definitely were messier to eat as they were on the gooey-er side. Feel free to use whatever mix-ins tickle your fancy: M&Ms, chocolate chips, pecans, etc, would all be amazing. These treats will be denser than rice crispy treats, and nuttier tasting, but I surprisingly really enjoyed them. For decorating for Valentine's Day, I think some Valentine's edition Reeses Pieces or M&Ms would be very cute, or even some heart-shaped sprinkles!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Fruit Sando (フルーツサンド)

Today is the second anniversary of my very first blog post here at Miss Mochi's Adventures. I'm still wrapping my head around that fact. Do me a favor and don't look back too far, some of the pictures definitely need updating! I'm still not very confident in my photography skills, but anyone can see I've made a big improvement.

The very first recipe I posted for this blog was ichigo daifuku mochi, so in celebration I decided to post another recipe involving strawberries. This one garnered a lot of interest when I mentioned it in my katsu sando post, after all, who here in the states has heard of a fruit and cream-filled sandwich?

The Japanese definitely treat bread and sandwiches differently than we do. They don't balk at strange sweet sandwich fillings, because they don't have a long standing history of savory sandwiches like we do. Fruit and cream sandwiches as well as other sweet sandwiches like chestnut cream are on the convenience store shelf right along with ham and cheese. And if you think about it, we certainly have sweet sandwiches that are immensely popular: PB+J anyone? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are so ubiquitous that they have an acronym in popular use! No one would think twice if you made a peanut butter and banana sandwich, or a peanut butter sandwich with some strawberry slices thrown in.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Setsubun and Ehomaki Recipe!

Today is the day before spring begins according to the lunisolar calendar. On February 3rd, the Japanese celebrate Setsubun, celebrating the start of spring. Setsubun no Hi (節分の日), also known as the Bean-Throwing Festival, celebrates the start of a new year according to the lunar calendar. So several things are done to bring good luck to the coming year, as well as chase away the demons of the old year.

First, is the ritual of mamemaki (節分), which literally translates as bean-throwing, to drive away bad luck and demons (called oni). Usually someone in the family will dress up as a oni and people will stand at the doorway and throw soybeans at the door until the oni retreats. We had way too much fun throwing soybeans at Oni-Tiara, who in turn had way too much fun eating the soybeans.

So now that you've driven out the bad luck and oni (and in our case, attracted a begging pooch), you now eat some soybeans yourself to invite good luck in. Traditionally you eat as many soybeans as your age (Tiara should have stopped at seven beans) but I ended up snacking on them while I wrote this post, so I'm either extra lucky, or more probably, just fatter.

Another ritual is eating ehomaki, a makizuki sushi roll that is completely uncut, and contains 7 different ingredients for good luck. You're supposed to eat it in complete silence while facing a special auspicious direction that changes every year, for instance 2014 the lucky direction is east-northeast.

Now, even if you don't want to eat a whole sushi roll in complete silence, ehomaki are very tasty! They are actually just uncut futomaki, or fat sushi rolls, but it is kinda fun to eat them uncut like a giant sushi burrito. Maki-san at JustHungry has some great ideas for nontraditional ehomaki fillings on this page, as well as the most traditional fillings.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dorilocos: Tostilocos with Doritos

This all started when my coworker shared with me her secret to a happy marriage: on Sundays, she would share a plate of Nacho Cheese Doritos with her husband while they watched television. They always have them served like papitas preparadas, sprinkled in hot sauce and lime juice but with Doritos instead of potato chips. She brought in this snack on a busy day at the office, and offered me a bite.

I was hooked, line and sinker. I have a huge affinity for antojitos, literally "little cravings" or Mexican street food. Except my cravings certainly aren't little by any stretch of the imagination. I've waxed poetic about downtown Los Angeles and the influence of Mexican street food with my L.A. Street Dog post. The same coworker that inspired this recipe was the catalyst for my chile mango candies when she brought in vero mango lollipops. I even used Mexican chocolate and dried chiles for my Christmas gift of caramels.

Now the Doritos are amazingly delicious served the way my coworker introduced me, with lime juice and Valentina hot sauce. But the idea that was planted in my head was something a little more epic: tostilocos with Doritos, or as I named them, Dorilocos.

Tostilocos are a newer antojitos to hit the street food scene. Tostilocos were spawned in border towns like Tijuana around the 1990s, a crazy mixture of salty, sweet, and sour. It's one of those dishes that on paper sound ridiculous, only making sense when you try it yourself. Cucumber, jicama, pickled pork skin (called cueritos), Japanese-style peanuts, hot sauce, chamoy sauce, and even tamarind chewy candies are poured on top of Tostitos chips for a dish that is aptly named loco or "crazy." Here in Orange County, you can find tostilocos at fruit juice shops, or even at swap meets.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reito Mikan (冷凍みかん)

Exciting news! I am visiting Japan this spring! I can't wait to share the experience on my blog! This is my first time visiting, so I am absolutely thrilled to finally be going! It's going to be a bit of a budget trip, so expect a lot of pictures of 7-11 bento boxes.

One of the places I will be visiting is my family's ancestral home on Shikoku (四国). Shikoku is the smallest of the four major islands of Japan, and is considered the most rural. Most tourists never set foot there, I guess you could say it's kinda like visiting Wyoming instead of New York here in the states.

Within Shikoku, I will be heading specifically to Ehime Prefecture's Yawatahama city. Ehime Prefecture (愛媛県) is the largest producer of citrus in Japan and Yawatahama (八幡浜市) is especially known for its citrus as well as its harbor.

Shikoku island in brown*
I find it slightly hilarious that my Japanese side of the family lives there, since I hail from Orange County, CA and grew up surrounded by a citrus grove.

One of their biggest crops is mikan (蜜柑 or みかん) also known as the satsuma mandarin. These diminutive fruits resemble clementines (marketed here as "Cuties") in their small size, but their bumpy loose skin with large pores make the mikan look more rustic. I love these seedless wonders, especially their lack of pith and easy-to-peel skin.

So until I finally set foot in the Land of the Rising Sun, I'll be trying to share some Shikoku specialties! First up is a fun quick snack, reito/reitou mikan, which is actually popular all over Japan. There's even a crazy song about reito mikan.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Katsu Sando (カツサンド)

I know that Japanese cuisine is famous for it's use of unadulterated white rice. Donburi, onigiri, curry rice all use plain white rice. At nearly every meal, white rice is a star player.

However, the Japanese do eat bread, especially in modern times. They even make sandwiches very similar to ours, albeit with some Japanese flair, called "sando" (サンド). Some popular fillings include egg salad or ham, but you may be surprised to see even varieties like fruit sandwiches.

Marukai's Katsu Sando
The best bread for making a sando is shokupan (食パン), which is a soft pillowy bread that is slightly sweet, and manages to be soft while still having a very tight grain that has some stretch and spring to it. Honestly it's kinda like the mochi version of sandwich slices, soft but stretchy. I also like it because it's perfectly square, and you can get it cut thick. I used it in my Milk Toast post; I like it in this recipe because it doesn't compress down into nothingness like regular sliced bread here in America will, but if you don't have access to shokupan and don't feel like baking, I have some alternatives and suggestions for you down below.

Here's a hearty sando using tonkatsu, one which is a snap to make if you make a whole bunch of tonkatsu at once and freeze the extras. This is also good for those of you who don't have a rice cooker, or you too have your own version of Mr. Mochi breathing down your neck while you edit a blog post. (Hence the less than stellar photography, and I actually only had some pretty wimpy cheap white bread around.)

Monday, January 13, 2014

So-su (ソース)

So-su is the Japanese version of Worcestershire sauce, most people here in the states probably know this as "Tonkatsu Sauce" or even just "Bulldog Sauce" as a proprietary eponym (definition). I've heard that it is most similar to HP sauce or A1 Steak Sauce. I haven't tried either of those so I can't personally vouch for those claims. However, it kinda makes sense that HP sauce would be similar, because all of so-su is derived from British influence on Japanese cuisine. Japanese Worcestershire sauce is consider "youshoku" or an item of western-influenced cuisine cuisine.

Where do you usually find so-su? On top of okonomiyaki, tonkatsu, Japanese-style hamburger, yakisoba, and takoyaki, to name a few.

There's actually several different types of so-su, based on how thick it is. "Usuta so-su" is thinnest and most similar to the Worcestershire sauce that the British invent and Americans are familiar with, and the "tokuno or tonkatsu so-su" is very thick and is sweeter and less tangy than the usuta variety. The third is "chuno so-su" which is almost like a blend of the two styles: viscosity in between the other two styles, with a mix of tanginess and fruity sweetness. The type most familiar around the world would be the thickest sauce, the tonkatsu sauce.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mexican Chocolate Chile Caramels

I don't really do New Year's resolutions, the whole "new year, new me" doesn't really hold with a person who would rather go back in time.

But I am trying to floss more, so there's something.

Mr. Mochi was kind enough to let me pick out my Christmas gift this year. I normally hate this practice, because I love surprises and I think gift giving is an art. But he wanted to get me a Le Creuset french oven but didn't want to get the wrong size.

I'm way too practical to let him spend the money on buying one at full retail, so I found a used one on eBay. After all, my favorite color is orange and it's not exactly the most popular color, so I had a hunch there's some clueless bride who got a giant heavy pot in neon orange for her wedding and has no clue what to do with it.

It's a little more beat up than I would like, nothing major but I'm a food blogger: that pot is going to have a lot of close-ups. However I'm proud to say we got the deal of a century.

Yes, I haggled for my own Christmas gift.

Speaking of Christmas gifts, once this baby arrived I couldn't help breaking it in by making a recipe that requires some even heating, so I made some caramels for Christmas gift-giving of my own: Mexican Chocolate Chile Caramels.