Tiger Mochi Maker

One of the ladies at an ELB group I’m in mentioned a blogger making mochi like I did at the beginning of the year. Since I am making some that day, I figured I’ll just write about it too.

The holidays got a bit too busy to catch up with writing recipes (even though it was the perfect time as kitchens all over are definitely churning out yummy goodies non stop!). But I was able to snap photos (and videos!) along the way and I hope you’ll enjoy this read! Oh the beautiful chaos in the kitchen!

Mochi is traditionally eaten in Japan during New Year’s, it is added to soups like Ozoni, (made with chicken, vegetables and mochi) or Zenzai (sweet red bean soup with soft mochi pieces swimmimg around!) we also have kiri mochi, which is made from pounded sweet rice shaped into bars and dried. You toast them and dip in soy sauce. Yummy!! I like all those but I love stuffed mochi even more!

I had always used this brand of sweet rice so I’m not sure if there is any other brand out there. Filipino cuisine uses a sweet, sticky rice too but the appearance is different. These ones are almost round and the “malagkit” rice is more elongated. Not sure if they are interchangeable as I have both and never tried to replace one with another.

For my New Year’s mochi I start the process a day before I want to cook and pound the rice.

I use 10 cups of rice. This is the maximum amount this mochi maker can handle and since I’ll be bringing some over to my mom, I figured just make a big batch. You HAVE to use the rice measuring cup that came with the mochi maker. Do not lose it!

Wash the rice thoroughly, until water runs clear. To do this, you place the measured rice in a big bowl, fill with water and run your fingers through it. I try to gently rub the grains together too. Drain and refill the bowl. Do this several times. Then fill the bowl with water one last time. Soak for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight.

After soaking, drain the rice and place in a strainer for 30 minutes. This is important as you do not want the rice too wet which will make your mochi too soft.

Add 2 1/2 cups water in the base of the mochi maker. This amount corresponds to the amount of rice you’ll cook. There is a chart in the manual. Reminder that you HAVE to use the cup that came with the machine to measure both the rice and the water.

Next, attach the bowl, twisting to set it in place. Place the impeller in the bowl turning until it settles in.

Carefully place the drained rice to the bowl.

Level out the top if needed.

Place the plastic cover over the bowl.

Press “steam”. It will steam until the reservoir runs out of water. When it is done, the loud buzzer beep. Press “off”.

Remove cover, test rice for doneness. You should be able to crush it between two fingers.

Press “pound” and start a timer. This time, you DO NOT use the cover. It’ll take about 10-15 minutes. See the videos below to help you estimate the texture.

This is what the rice looks like in the beginning.

After a few minutes, a ball starts to form and the texture starts to look smoother.

In about 12 to 15 minutes, you would have a homogenous, smooth looking ball.

There should be no rice grains visible, just one smooth, white mass.

Sprinkle katakuriko (or cornstarch)on the cover or a clean board.

Invert the hot mochi onto the prepared surface.

Lift the hot bowl with pot holders and gently nudge all of the delicious mochi out of the bowl. Go ahead and taste some! I pinch a few pieces here and there and fill with an. See the last photo! Work (and eat!) quickly as this mochi hardens really fast.

You can roll them in the tray, sprinkling with katakuriko or cornstarch as needed.

Or you can transfer them into 2 gallon freezer bags, snipping both sealed ends so you can roll the mochi all the way to the corners.

Leave bag open after rolling to dry the mochi a little. I leave it for several hours, turning it over and loosening the plastic a couple of times. Then remove from bag, cut into pieces and let dry a few more hours.

Store these in the freezer as it will get moldy rather fast at room temperature.

To serve, toast the squares until puffed and toasty. I use my toaster oven for this but a oan on the stove is good too. Dip in lots of soy sauce and enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #85: Bodega Beans

I read an article about Bodega Beans a few weeks ago. Have you heard of it? It sounded quite delicious to me that I was planning to make it even before I was done reading the article.

Apparently it is a recipe for when you want a cheap but healthy meal with readily accessible ingredients. And nowadays, who doesn’t want that? It can be a wonderful side dish if anything!

According to the article, the most basic “recipe” is to sauté garlic and onions in a little olive oil, add a can of drained beans and any seasoning you like, drizzle with more olive oil and you’re done! A sprinkle of cheese is optional, then serve with rice or bread.

I did make it and it was absolutely delicious! I added a few spices to it but feel free to use any that you like or have!

After making it a few times on the stove, I made it in the ELB for you guys! You can prepare rice in the small nesting bowl and you’re all set for a yummy meal!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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I like to add crispy bacon to my bodega beans as my son doesn’t like beans but loves bacon…so beans with bacon is acceptable to him. 😊

Just place the bacon strips in a clean skillet, let the oil render out and brown till crisp. Crumble when cool.

Ingredients:

Bacon, browned and drained, optional but highly recommended

1 tablespoon minced onions

2 tablespoons chopped carrots

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cumin, paprika, sazon todo, as desired

1 tablespoon chopped celery

1 can beans, rinsed and drained (garbanzo, pinto, red bean, black bean, any will do)

2 tablespoons olive oil or 1 tablespoon each bacon grease and olive oil, more as needed

Parmesan cheese, optional

Avocado slices, optional

Chopped cilantro, optional

Chili pepper flakes, optional

Procedure:

1. Place onions in the big ELB bowl.

2. Add some carrots,

3. Salt, pepper, garlic powder and any other seasoning you like. I love adding a couple of shakes of cumin.

4. Chopped celery,

5. The can of drained beans,

6. Crumbled cooked bacon,

7. Mix everything together. Add the olive oil or bacon grease and olive oil mix. Cover the bowl with foil and place in the ELB base.

* you can place 2 ELB cups of rice, rinsed and drained with 2 ELB cups water to the little nesting bowl to round out your meal!*

8. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

9. Carefully open the ELB and mix the contents. Serve hot with rice, bread, cheese, chopped cilantro, and/or avocado if desired. Sprinkle with chili pepper flakes if you want a little spice.

10. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #84: Pistachio Mochi

A lovely variation to the previously posted recipe for Banana Cream Mochi https://athomewiththeresa.com/2021/01/11/electric-lunchbox-83-banana-cream-pudding-mochi/

After this experiment, I can say now that you can use any flavor pudding you like to make whatever flavor chichi dango you like! I am looking at chocolate 😋 but am still wondering if it’ll be chocolatey enough…one day I’ll try it!

The meantime, try this Pistachio version. Mildly flavored but yummy nonetheless! Pretty light green color too!

The pudding mix I got had little pieces of pistachio nuts in it. It was delicious but be careful if you have allergies in your household like we do.

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup mochiko rice flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon Pistachio flavored Instant Pudding

1/2 cup water

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste

Katakuriko (potato starch) or kinako (roasted soybean flour)

3 ELB cup water to steam

Procedure:

1. Spray the medium or large ELB bowl with nonstick spray.

2. In a bowl, place rice flour,

3. Sugar,

4. Pistachio pudding mix. Mix.

5. Pour in water,

6. and mix until blended.

7. Pour mixture into the prepared bowl.

8. Cover with foil and place in the ELB base. Pour 3 ELB cups of water to the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

9. In the meantime, dust a plate with some katakuriko (potato stach), or corn starch.

10. Carefully open the ELB and check the mochi. It should look like it is pulling away from the sides of the bowl, and looks a little dry and set in the middle. Pour off any pooled water.

11. Run a knife along the edges to loosen the mochi. Invert onto the prepared plate and gently nudge it out using a rubber or silicone spatula.

12. Dust tops with more katakuriko or cornstarch.

13. Cut into bite sized pieces and roll in more katakuriko.

14. Cool completely and enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #83: Banana Cream Mochi

I didn’t realize a lot of you like Mochi as much as I do! Because of that, I’ll feature a few more Mochi recipes so you guys can make it at home!

These are called Chichi Dango, flavored little pieces of chewy, yummy, rice-based Japanese sweets. It is made with sweet rice flour, sugar, water, pudding mix powder, and vanilla. After done, it will be super sticky so you roll it in kinako, which is toasted soy bean flour. If that is not available, use katakuriko – potato starch. If you still don’t have that, you can use tapioca or cornstarch.

I found some banana cream flavored instant pudding mix so I used that for this recipe. I hope you like this!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup mochico rice flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon instant banana cream pudding and pie filling

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

1/4 cup kinako, katakuriko, tapioca starch or cornstarch

Procedure:

1. Spray bowl with nonstick spray.

2. In a bowl, place mochiko,

3. sugar,

4. Banana cream flavored instant pudding mix,

5. water,

6. and vanilla paste.

7. Mix well until blended completely.

8. Pour mixture into prepared bowl. Cover with foil and place in the ELB. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

9. Carefully open the ELB and check if the mochi is pulling from the edges and top looks dry. Sprinkle the top lightly with kinako or katakuriko .

10. Using a sturdy rubber or silicone spatula, run it around the edges of the mochi and then run it under to release it from the bowl. Invert onto a plate sprinkled with kinako or katakuriko.

11. Sprinkle top with more kinako or katakuriko.

12. Using a plastic knife, cut the mochi into bite sized pieces.

13. Dust with more kinako or katakuriko to prevent them from sticking to each other.

14. Serve and enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #82: Tuna Casserole

I love this dish and I had been making it forever. Tuna, creamy sauce, pasta, some vegetables…it’s perfectly easy to make, healthy, using mostly pantry stable ingredients that you probably already have on hand….what’s not to love?

So today, I’m sharing how to make it in the ELB! I figured if I can make it in the ELB, I can have just one bowl to clean after I devour this! Easy to make, easy clean up too! Winner!

Of course, you can use whatever vegetables you want in this dish, only peas, only carrots, no mushrooms…feel free to add or remove as you wish! Make it your own!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1 cup egg noodles

3/4 cup water

1/2 tablespoon dried onions, or 2 tablespoons fresh, minced

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup frozen peas or mixed vegetables

1/2 can tuna, packed in water or oil, drained

1/2 cup condensed cream of mushroom soup

2-3 pieces of white mushrooms, diced

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Procedure:

1. In the large ELB bowl, place the egg noodles and pour water in.

2. Add the onions,

3. The cheese,

4. The frozen peas or mixed vegetables,

5. Mushrooms,

6. Condensed cream of mushroom soup,

5. And the tuna.

8. Mix them together gently, being careful to leave the noodles at the bottom.

9. Top with the other 1/4 cup cheese, cover with foil and set on the ELB base.

10. Place 2 ELB cups of water in the base, cover and let steam until done, about 35 minutes.

11. Carefully open the ELB and check the noodles for doneness. If not done, add 1/2 to 1 ELB cup water to the base and steam until done.

12. Stir the contents carefully and serve hot! Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Bombs

Happy 4th day of the New Year!

So have you had a Hot Chocolate Bomb yet? I didn’t realize how popular these things are!

These are fun little spheres (my molds were 2 1/2 inches) made of chocolate, candy coating, or butterscotch chips, and filled with hot chocolate mix and marshmallows. I also made some filled with French Vanilla Latte, Mocha, and Caramel Macchiato flavored coffees.

You place the beautifully decorated ball in a mug big enough to hold it, pour HOT milk (or hot water for the coffee ones), and watch as the magic happens – the shell melts, usually turns over in the cup, and reveals the marshmallows and chocolate mixture (or flavored coffee) inside. Stir then enjoy!

I made some to give as gifts before the holidays and got several orders that I had to keep buying the ingredients to make it. And the stores kept running out of the brand I use so I had to keep going to several places to find them! They were worth it though as everyone is so happy when they get it.

So here…in case you want to try your hand at making these, are my step by step instructions!

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These are everything you need (plus a lot of marshmallows!!!) to make hot chocolate bombs.

Chocolate chips, candy coating, or flavored baking chips

Instant hot chocolate/cocoa mix (I like the brands I photographed above, but use any you like!)

Mini marshmallows

Sprinkles, crushed candy canes, edible metallic sprays, any candy or cookie decoration you want

Chocolate melting pot or a microwave safe bowl

Sphere molds

1. I started by melting a bag of chocolate in my chocolate melting pot. I also tried in the microwave – use full power at 30 second increments until the chocolate gets soft looking and shiny.

2. Stir to melt thoroughly.

3. Place about s tablespoon of melted chocolate in each cavity of the mold.

4. Using the back of a spoon, carefully coat the inside of the cavity with the melted chocolate. Make sure you try to coat evenly, and cover all visibly thin areas.

5. Refrigerate until it sets, about 30 minutes.

6. Carefully unmold each chocolate and place on a dish or plate.

7. To even out the edges, heat a small plate for about 1-2 minutes in the microwave and quickly invert 1 chocolate shell on the plate. When it starts melting the edges, twist and return to the plate. Repeat with remaining chocolate pieces.

8. Fill half of the shells with the hot chocolate mixture.

9. And top with a lot of marshmallows.

10. Reheat the small plate, around 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. One by one, invert the unfilled shells on to the plate, let it melt the edges slightly then twist the shell onto the filled shells. Run your finger through the crease and make sure to seal it together. You do not want hot chocolate powder coming out of the ball.

11. Drizzle with more melted chocolate (be sure it is not too hot otherwise it can melt your chocolate ball) and top with sprinkles, peppermint candies, cookie crumbs, etc!

12. You can also spray them with edible metallic spray to make it look really pretty!

13. Ta-da! Enjoy!

Below are some videos we took while preparing these hot chocolate balls!

This was mine! White chocolate peppermint hot chocolate!
This was my son’s!

Electric Lunchbox #81: Daifukumochi or Daifuku

Happy New Year’s Day my friends!

Here’s to hoping 2021 will behave and allow us to go back and do what we used to do – enjoy life with people that matter, get together with family, eat together, and travel all over collecting memories to cherish forever.

Back to food…and ELB…today I will show you how to make one of my favorite sweets in the ELB.

Daifukumochi or daifuku (literally “great luck”), is a Japanese sweet made from sweet rice flour. It is formed into a round mochi then stuffed with sweet filling, most commonly anko, sweetened red bean paste made from azuki beans and sugar. Daifuku is a popular wagashi in Japan, and often served with green tea.

I made this in the ELB since mochi is traditionally served for New Year in Japan. The actual mochi for New Year’s is a block of pounded sweet rice, which cannot be made in the ELB. I do have a mochi maker, it cooks the soaked rice and pounds it perfectly so you don’t have to. All I do is pat it into a rectangle and slice. Then eat, of course! 😊

This sweet mochi is served all year round as a snack. I love eating it and I can finish a package of 6 in one sitting. It’s that good! Or bad….

You can also wrap a clean, dry, fresh strawberry with the red bean paste before wrapping in the mochi. That is a real treat specially if the strawberry is ripe and sweet.

I hope you enjoy this little Japanese dessert/snack! I tried to make it real easy using readily available ingredients. 😊

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup mochiko rice flour

2 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Pinch salt

1/2 cup water

Katakuriko (Potato starch), for dusting

1/4 cup red bean paste

3 ELB cups water for the base

Procedure:

1. Place the rice flour in the large ELB bowl.

2. Add the sugar and salt next.

3. Pour in water.

4. Slowly stir the mixture.

5. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes thick and well blended.

6. Cover the bowl with foil and place the bowl in the ELB base. Pour 3 ELB cups of water in the base, cover and let steam until done, about 1 hour.

7. In the meantime, pour some katakuriko (potato starch) in a plate and set aside.

8. Roll up a tablespoon or so of red bean paste into balls. Make 4 of these. Set aside.

9. When the ELB shuts off, carefully open it and drain any liquid on top of the mochi.

10. While hot, divide the mochi into 4 pieces using a butter knife. D

11. Dust your fingers with katakuriko.

12. Working quickly, while the mixture is hot, scrape 1 portion of the mochi into your hands and stretch it out a little.

13. Place 1 red bean paste ball in the middle and pull edges over, pinching to seal. Roll into a ball, dusting with katakuriko as needed.

*I was rushing to leave when I made this so apologies for the irregular shapes. It took me less than 5 minutes from the time I took the mochi from the ELB to taking this final photo. I might re do the photo when I get another chance to make these leisurely *

14. Give the mochi one final roll in the katakuriko, place on a serving dish, and devour!

Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake

I made this cake for my friend’s birthday as she requested a chocolate cake for our potluck (of course, that was pre-COVID-19).

This is super easy to prepare, totally delicious, can be frosted or left as is, dusted with powdered sugar or coated in a chocolate or vanilla glaze.

I drizzled it with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with a lot of sprinkles, to reflect my friend Mae’s fun, playful, childish personality.

INGREDIENTS

For the cake

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup espresso or strong coffee
  • ¼ cup cream or whole milk

For the ganache

  • 3 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream

Procedure:

1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Generously spray a 10 cup bundt pan with nonstick spray which also contains flour. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, beat sugar and eggs using a hand mixer, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. Add oil, vanilla, and sour cream. Blend well.

4. In a bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5. In another bowl, mix together espresso and milk.

6. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, blend well. Add half of the liquid ingredients next, then blend well. Continue adding dry and wet ingredients alternately, blending well before adding the next.

7. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for around 35 to 40 minutes. Test by piercing with a skewer, it should come out clean.

8. Let cake cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Invert cake onto a serving dish and cool completely.

9. For the Ganache: melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl using 30 second increments until shiny and soft. Stir until smooth. Add cream and stir until combined. Pour over cooled cake. Sprinkle with desired topping.

10. Enjoy!

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