En route to visit the Great Buddha in Kamakura, Japan, the Ninja Baker stumbled upon Ebisu-Ya, a 200-year-old sweet shop. (The seller of traditional Japanese cakes is located on Kamachi Road.) Celebrating spring, many Ebisu-Ya treats incorporate sakura cherry blossoms. As well as sake rice wine!
Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines are where the masses go to celebrate the holidays in Japan. Japanese partake in water rituals at the entrance. The Ninja Baker's YouTube features Ryo Shimizu who demonstrates the ritual. (Ryo-san and I met on a TV set in LA where Japanese-English bilinguals were needed.)
In addition to respecting the rituals of the Buddhist and Shinto religions, my family attended church on Christmas and Easter. After the inspirational songs and sermon given by the Australian minister at St. Alban’s, we often headed over to the Tokyo American Club buffet. Petit four cakes and artistic ikebana floral arrangements were the pièce des résistances of the day.
Spring ushers in showers, flowers and a slew of goddesses who bring renewal to the world...For those of us who are domestic goddesses, closets are cleaned out and windows are flung open to welcome in a new season. Along with the physical cleaning, many of us allow cobwebs of old thinking to be cleared from our minds. Such as throwing out any fears surrounding cream roll-cake-making.
Roxana of HomeBaking.com, and the monthly #Chocolate Party may be a hostess with the “mostest” chocolate recipes on the web. Her March challenge to fellow food bloggers is to marry caramel and chocolate in one treat. In my mind that translates to a sweet that’s cute and petite. Why? In my hometown of Tokyo, caramels and chocolates come packaged as pretty little presents.So, keeping with tradition, I produced petite banana cakes packed with mini chocolate chips and iced with caramel.
Hello from the Land of Cherry Blossoms, "cho oishii"(super delicious) food and Hinamatsuri. Japan's Hinamatsuri, Doll's Festival is also known as Girls' Day. For the occasion, I've created The Ninja Baker's Cherry Blossom Crescents.
As March winds blow in Tokyo, many Japanese remind themselves that strong winds of February and March are simply the precursor to Spring. (春一番強い風) I like to think of it as a clearing of all that is old so the new can be born.
And being pushed by the wind down the streets of Tokyo made me laugh. But, it was also fun to think about this month's #BundtaMonth topic: The Tropics.
Super Bowl Sunday is here!
While Michael Oher, Baltimore Ravens' football star (and subject of the film) Blindside prepares for the big game with extra push-ups, his sister who is the co-owner of the Whimsy Cookie Company may be putting in overtime baking cookies for a Super Bowl party.
Along with other #SundaySupper food bloggers, I brought out my cheer-evoking Super Bowl recipes. In honor of the big-hearted Michael Oher and his adopted Tuohy family from Memphis, Tennessee, this Ninja Baker made Gluten-Free, Vegan Sweet Potato Cake Pops. Sweet potatoes are an important component of Southern cuisine and wildly popular in Japan.
I do believe you'll score big points with the Ninja Baker's Gluten-Free Vegan Sweet Potato Cake Pops.
24/7 news tickers feed us with reasons to shiver and quiver with fear.
Yes, it’s good to be aware and ready to take action.
But how about taking a break from tensing the muscles from fight or flight impulses and learning to whoop and holler with joy?
Even if it’s expressed quietly with “an inside voice.”
Many Japanese have mastered the art of joie de vivre by moon gazing.
And you can too by reading on
Farmers Markets are gaining popularity around the globe. From cosmopolitan cities in Japan to California beach towns and the Côte d'Azur in France, Farmers Markets are the food fashion of the season.
The Ninja Baker takes you on a tour of the Menton Market on the French Riviera. She also spotlights several unique twists on chocolate.
Growing up in Tokyo, while I was a Girl Scout, I missed the best part of being one - the cookies! (Something to do with clearing customs and maintaining freshness.) I did, however, receive an appreciation of Asian art, culture and food. Oh! And an expanded world-view. Hmmm, guess the sacrifice of cookies wasn’t so bad.