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The Best Japanese Milk Bread Recipe

Japanese Milk Bread

My discovery of The Best Japanese Milk Recipe** all started with me wanting to make Japanese egg salad sandwich with Japanese mayonnaise and a fun way of presenting the sandwich (when cut in half, you see a cross-section of an egg). Why not also bake Japanese Milk Bread then, I thought!? 

Never having even tried Japanese Milk Bread, but hearing quite a bit of praise for it, I googled for a recipe and found Caroline's Cooking blog. I followed Caroline's recipe exactly and was stunned at the results. My friends were too. The bread was so pillowy and slightly sweet and smelled divine. The sandwich did not disappoint either.

**This is The Best recipe because it's the only one I've baked and have no need for another one.

Egg Salad Sandwich

I don't know if anyone is even reading this, but if you are, please leave a comment and tell me the latest new recipe you tried!


What To Do With Roasted Carrots: Hummus and Lentil Bowl with Feta and Pistachios

A few months ago I went to Ann Arbor, Michigan and discovered Lafayette Avenue Ceramics in a cute store. I immediately bought one of their speckled plates and have been using it ever since.

The other color of Lafayette Avenue Ceramics beautiful pieces I loved was dark blue. Today I'd like to share two recipes/ideas I created in collaboration with Lafayette Avenue Ceramics featuring roasted carrots, feta, and pistachios. The colors pop on the two beautiful pieces I received for our collaboration. You'll be seeing these quite a bit on my instagram

Note: I roasted carrots at 425F with olive oil, salt, pepper and turmeric for about 25 minutes. The carrots for the hummus were diced; the carrots for the bowl were quartered in length.

Roasted Carrot Hummus With Feta & Pistachios

Roasted Carrot Hummus With Feta & Pistachios


1/2 pound roasted carrots

1 cup chickpeas

3 tablespoons tahini

3-5 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 garlic clove, smashed

salt & pepper to taste

garnishes: crumbled feta, chopped pistachios, togarashi, chili oil


1. Puree all ingredients but garnishes in a food processor. Put into a shallow bowl. Top with garnishes.

Roasted Carrot Hummus With Feta & Pistachios

Roasted Carrots & Lentil Bowl With Feta, Pistachios & Cilantro



cooked French lentils

roasted carrots

crumbled feta

chopped pistachios


chili oil


Make a bowl ;)

Roasted Carrots & Lentil Bowl With Feta, Pistachios & Cilantro

Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. This is a barter post :)


Cooking Inspirations: What I've Been Cooking and Baking

And so it's the weekend again! I thought I'd share with you a few of my latest inspirations for cooking and baking.

First up, Marnely's Vegan Tofu Bolognese: such an easy to follow and satisfying recipe. I had seconds and thirds the first time I made it. Bonus points: Marnely is a friend (and I really hope we meet in real life one day). The leftovers are great on top of white beans.

Vegan Tofu Bolognese with Pasta

Next up, Joan Nathan's challah, but with chopped crystallized ginger on the inside and a combination of black and white sesame seeds and sugar in the raw on the outside. This was by far one of the best challah recipes

I made half the recipe and then divided it into 2: one round, one regular topped with za'atar. I'll definitely be making this recipe again and again.

Thanks Jenna for inspiring me!

The confetti plate is from one of my favorite businesses: Felt and Fat

Round challah for Rosh Hashannah

And finally, Olive Oil, Honey, and Apple Cake from Pickled Plum. I literally googled those terms and found the recipe: easy to follow, gorgeous, and something fun for Rosh Hashana or any fall day. I served mine with vanilla ice cream and powdered sugar.

Apple Cake with Ice Cream


Quick And Easy Borsch Recipe

Vegetarian beet soup in a large pot with bowls

Let's get one thing straight: there's no t in borsch.

Ok, I feel better now :0

Here's a Quick And Easy Borsch Recipe you can whip up in less than 45 minutes (all the while practicing your dicing skills) and eat either hot or cold because it's completely vegan (that is until you add mayonnaise or sour cream).

Quick And Easy Borsch Recipe

Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled, diced

2 Russet potatoes, peeled, diced (larger than the other vegetables)

2 medium beets, peeled, diced

salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon tomato paste


1/2 small cabbage, thinly sliced

toppingsmayonnaise or sour cream, parsley or dill, and toast


1. In a large soup pot, I used Le Creuset, heat olive oil. Add onions and carrots and saute for 5 minutes.

2. Add potatoes and saute for 3 more minutes.

3. Add beets, salt and pepper, and tomato paste, stir to combine and saute for 5 minutes.

4. Add enough water to cover everything by 1 to 2 inches depending on how thick you'll want your borsch to be. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender.

5. Add cabbage, bring the mixture back to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Serve with mayonnaise or sour cream, parsley or dill, and toast.

The soup will only get better as it sits in the refrigerator. 


Meatless Monday: Ricotta Toasts With Mango & Honeyed Pistachios

MRicotta Toasts With Mango & Honeyed Pistachios

Ricotta Toasts With Mango & Honeyed Pistachios are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or a snack, and are especially great for Meatless Monday.

I was inspired by an instagram post from Adeena Sussman, but changed a few things (as is pretty typical of me). 

Ricotta Toasts With Mango & Honeyed Pistachios

Serves 1


1/4 cup smoked honey (use 3 tablespoons for pistachios and the rest as a drizzle)

2 tablespoons salted roasted pistachios, chopped

red pepper flakes to taste

2 slices of bread, toasted

1/4-1/3 cup ricotta, drained slightly 

1 mango, peeled, "cheeks" cut off and thinly sliced


1. In a small pan heat the honey. Add pistachios and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a bubble and cook for about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to parchment paper and allow to cool. Break into pieces.

2. Slather toasts with ricotta, add a layer of sliced mango, top with honeyed pistachios, and drizzle with a bit more honey. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for extra heat.





Avocado Toast With Roasted Tomatoes

Avocado Toast With Roasted Tomatoes on a plate and a little flower and iced coffee

If your tomatoes aren't as ripe and sweet as you want them, roast them, and then top your avocado toast with them!

Avocado Toast With Roasted Tomatoes
olive oil
cherry or grape tomatoes
two slices of bread, toasted
1 avocado, smashed

1) Preheat the oven to 425F with a baking sheet inside.
2) Add tomatoes to the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt. Roast for 25 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan.
3) Spread smashed avocado on toasted bread, top with roasted tomatoes, and sprinkle with a bit more salt. 


Mango Tomato Cherry Salsa Recipe

Mango Tomato Cherry Salsa with chips

Mango Tomato Cherry Salsa

1 mango, peeled, diced

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1 cup cherries, pitted, chopped

1 tablespoon minced jalapeno (I used one I grew on my windowsill!)

salt to taste

1-2 tablespoons lime juice

2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

chips to serve

Shout out to my new Felt & Fat bowls I received as a gift from the company after being their super fan!!!


Cherry Oat Bars With Frozen Yogurt And Pistachios

Cherry and oats bar dessert on a plate topped with frozen yogurt and pistachios

Cherry Oat Bars With Frozen Yogurt And Pistachios is a perfect dessert to bring to a last minute get together because one of the lessons my parents taught is to never show up empty handed.

Last week I was invited to a get together with a few neighborhood girls, but had zero desire to go grocery shopping: I had cherries in the freezer and a large bag of oats, and so I searched for cherry and oats recipe. That's how I landed on Copycat Starbucks Michigan Cherry Oat Bars from Sandra of Dash of Sanity (who can't use some sanity!?).

Surprisingly, and luckily, I had all the necessary ingredients other than quick oats. I ended up using regular oats, adding orange zest to the filling and then topping cooled and cut bars with frozen yogurt and chopped roasted and salted pistachios.

The recipe was so easy to follow and left my condo smelling sweet and fragrant. Speaking of sweet, I highly recommend cutting the brown sugar to 2/3 cups from a full cup.

To make the frozen yogurt, I took 2% yogurt, put it into a small container and put it in the freezer. After an hour I fork'ed the yogurt and put it back into the freezer. Repeat a few times.

These were a HUGE success!!! You can easily make these bars with any type of berries or stone fruit or even apples. I bet they'll be stellar with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips under the filling. 

Please don't use canned filling: fresh one takes just a few minutes to make.


How To Make Creme Brulee In A Pressure Cooker

2 mini creme brulee desserts in Le Creuset with blueberries

A few weekends ago I made my first ever dessert in a pressure cooker and my first ever creme brulee all thanks to a review copy of Lauren Keating's Instant Pot Cookbook For Beginners

I've had my pressure cooker for at least 3 years, but have only used it for savory recipes. The idea of making a dessert in a pressure cooker, especially in the hot summer months, was enticing. I was also curious whether Lauren's simple recipe would be as good as the dessert I occasionally order in restaurants. It was!!!

In fact, the dessert was so great, I'm glad I only made a third of the recipe (enough for 2 portions) and shared one with a friend: otherwise I'd eat it all in just a few days. Since then, I've ordered a professional torch to brulee the sugar directly instead of putting the mini desserts under the broiler.

Lauren's book covers the basics of pressure cooking and provides recipes for each meal of the day, dessert included.

Reprinted with permission.

Cooking creme brulee under pressure ensures it comes out perfectly creamy and evenly cooked every time. Be sure to plan ahead, since this will need to chill for at least 4 hours before serving. 

Creme Brulee

Serves 6


6 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 4 1/2 teaspoons, for topping

6 large egg yolks

2 cups heavy (whipping) cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 6 tablespoons of sugar and the egg yolks. While whisking constantly, add the cream, vanilla, and salt. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.

2. Divide and fill six 6-ounce ramekins three-fourths full and then remove any air bubbles with the back of a spoon. Cover each ramekin tightly with aluminum foil.

3. Set the trivet in the inner pot and pour in 1 cup of water. Place 4 ramekins on the trivet and stack the remaining 2 on top.

4. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Set the pressure valve to seal and cook for 10 minutes on manual low pressure. When the time is up, allow for 15-minutes natural release of pressure; then quick release any remaining pressure.

5. Carefully transfer the ramekins to a baking sheet and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

6. Spread 3/4 teaspoon of sugar evenly on top of each cooked creme brulee. Use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar and make a crispy top. Let them sit for 5 minutes before serving. 


How To Make Ricotta At Home: Naan & Ricotta

Flatbread with ricotta, tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and cilantro on a board

This weekend I decided to bake a lemon cake with chocolate frosting and had about 3 cups of milk left. I stopped drinking coffee, and even when I did, I used half & half. I rarely drink milk, and wasn't inclined to drink whole milk the recipe called for. What to do....?

Ricotta! That's what I should make with the milk, I decided. And so I did. And then I spread it on leftover toasted naan and added cucumbers, tomatoes, white onion, salt, olive oil, cilantro and sambar.

Homemade Ricotta

Approximate Ingredients for about 2 portions

3 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon salt

juice of 1/2 lemon


1. Heat the milk with salt to 185 degrees.

2. Pour in lemon juice and gently stir for 15 seconds.

3. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, then carefully strain through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth.

4. Tie the cheesecloth and hang it on a spoon to drain some of the liquid.

Naan & Ricotta Flatbread

1. Spread homemade ricotta on toasted naan

2. Add diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions

3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, sambar powder, and cilantro.