Tag Archives: matcha

And Now for Something Entirely Different: Moss in Japan

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Japan is apparently obsessed with moss.  And Moss is obsessed with Japan.   As a result, today’s guest blogger is Moss and today’s feature recipe is a Japanese Cheesecake.

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Moss varieties in the Ginkakuji garden, Kyoto, Japan (photo by Paul Mannix)

After sending out a call soliciting guest bloggers, one of the first to respond was Moss, our younger grandson.  Well, actually, come to think of it, it was Sara, our daughter, and mother to Moss.  She volunteered him.  Since we talked about Moss and green things last week, it seemed just right to position him as our second guest blogger.  Of course, it’s hard to follow David, our first guest blogger, who has about 60 more years of experience, but Moss is a tough cookie, so to speak – though the green snickerdoodles we made for him last week were very tender – certainly not tough.

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Moss, accomplished photo-shopper – as well as rock-climber and chef

Moss Collage Early Years

Yes, our grandson, Moss, is entirely different!  In a most wonderful way.  And here is his blog and the video that he and his friend Kira made:

Hi, my name is Moss. I’m 12,  almost 13 (my birthday is April 13). I love to rock climb and bake. I made this Japanese cheesecake because I’m going to Japan soon and I heard there’s a bakery which is known for their Japanese cheesecake (Rikuro). I saw a video and immediately I wanted to make it. The cake is soft and airy, and has a wonderful jiggle. Also this cheesecake is not really filling so one person could (i’m not saying they should) eat a whole cake by themselves. After I got asked to be a guest blogger, I went to my friend’s house with my camera and my tripod (given to me by my amazing grandparents) to do something better than make the cake and take pictures of it. I wanted to film it. Although the cheesecake didn’t turn out perfectly, it was still fun to make and I really think, whoever sees this should try to make this cake at least once.



Next – in his preparation for Japan – Moss made a Matcha Coconut Mochi Cake, following this recipe on Food 52.  If you’ve never had Mochi, be prepared to find it addictive.  It’s not too sweet and has a chewy texture unlike any other cake.  What a splendid way to use more of the matcha you bought for our Craftsman and Wolves Matcha Snickerdoodles!  Mochiko, the Sweet Rice flour we use is readily available in markets here in Northern California.  Moss suggests that you add an extra tablespoon of matcha to the cake – so 2T total.

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Moss’s Matcha Coconut Mochi Cake

And some follow-up questions from me for Moss:

What are your favorite music groups you listen to with those big headphones you wear all of the time?

I listen to the Gorillaz, I also listen to Tyler the Creator and finally Clairo.

What meal will you ask your mama to fix for your birthday?  Or, if you want to go out, Where do you want to go

I think I wanna go to A-16 because it has amazing pizza and sometimes we get see the people make the pizza in the woodfired oven if we sit at the counter.

What do you look forward to most at school each day?

My friends.    

Why are you going to Japan?

I’m going for my 7th grade graduation. I love the food (sushi, ramen etc.). I also want to see the Bamboo Forest in Kyoto.

Do you follow any food blogs – or have a favorite food video?

I follow many food blogs, like Tastemade and Tastemade Japan. I also follow the very best blog, Big Little Meals.

That’s our boy!

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Moss in his Michael-Pollan/Farmers’-Market mode at age 8: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants” – unless you’ve got a piece of cheesecake!

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It’s Not Easy Being Green

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It’s an Open-Up-Your-Taste-Buds-to-New-and-Exciting-Tastes Day at BigLittleMeals.com.  And it’s also an Isn’t-Spring-Wonderful Day.  The fires which devastated Sonoma in October are still a part of almost every conversation around here.  It’s mind-boggling how many people we meet who lost their homes.  The massive re-building has barely begun.  But re-birth in nature is already evident, as you can see in this gorgeous green field just above our little neighborhood.

While green seems to be just right in that field, green in food can be tricky.  Or as Kermit sang, “green is the color of spring.”  Yet, “it’s not easy being green.”  Actually, Andy looked a little green recently – while we were eating grilled oysters….see Andy’s Corner.

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 8.30.20 AMMoss (how apropos his name is for this topic 🙂 ) and Silas, our grandsons, have always liked Odwalla’s “Original Superfood Fruit Smoothie” and I’ve always winced at its color.  But when we went to Ixtapa, Mexico, for the first time a number of years ago, I fell in love with the new and different green drink we were served on the beach.  Well…maybe it was being on that beautiful Pacific beach, but I think I’d have loved the drink no matter what.  Jugo Verde – a name so much prettier than Original Superfood – and way more delicious too.

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Our version of Jugo Verde

Moss also loves Snickerdoodles and I’ve made them frequently in his honor.  Since I already had a tin of ground green tea (Matcha), when I saw a recipe for Matcha Snickerdoodles I was intrigued.  Even more intriguing was the fact that the recipe came from a patisserie in San Francisco which is in the same building as the office for Tacolicious.  The patisserie’s name? Craftsman & Wolves.

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The cookies, after baking, looked….well, kind of weird, to put it nicely.  But I’m now wondering whether there is something slightly addictive about matcha.  I’ve been sneaking these amazing and unusual cookies all morning long – and still haven’t gotten my fill.  They’re like perfect.  Not too sweet.  Kind of delicate.  And the flavor doesn’t resemble anything you’ve had before – in a very good way.

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Craftsman & Wolves’ Matcha Snickerdoodles

Ras el hanout may not be a spice mixture that you routinely have in your cupboard but it’s what makes the Watercress, Spinach and Chickpea Soup, a riff on a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, unique.  And if you don’t want to bother to make it (I actually did – a combination of at least 13 spices!) or buy it (Amazon, of course), you can substitute the easily-found Garam Masala spice mixture, making it more Indian than North African, but still delicious.

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Watercress, Spinach, and Chickpea Soup – before adding the yogurt

And one final green-ish new-ish thing to try: freekeh.  It’s a young, green wheat, high in protein and fiber – those things we want and need – that has been roasted.  Freekeh, which dates back to around the 13th century Middle East, is delicious…better than barley or quinoa IMHO.  I combined some cooked freekeh with slivered red and green cabbage and mango for a delicious, healthy salad, using one of Ottolenghi’s dressings.

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Cooked freekeh

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I got this from Amazon but some Whole Foods carry it

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