Takuan is pickled radish commonly seen garnishing Japanese meals. It’s the bright yellow, crunchy, sweet, salty tsukemono (Japanese pickle) that is accompanying most bento, in sushi rolls, or even just on top of plain freshly cooked rice.
The bright yellow color is traditionally from turmeric, but commercially produced takuan gets its neon yellow color from food coloring.
I usually just buy takuan from Tokyo Central or Mitsuwa but I had been super busy lately that I just didn’t want to drive the 20 miles or so to get one.
I happen to have all the ingredients for a quick daikon pickle so I decided that I’ll make it one day after work and let it sit in the fridge, picking out a piece whenever I want to eat some.
The first time I tried to make takuan, I dried the daikon first before pickling but that was too much work and didn’t turn out quite as I wanted it to.
This recipe just involves salting the sliced daikon, rinsing and squeezing it of excess water, then placing it in a jar with the sugar/vinegar mixture. That’s it!!!
A note though that if you let this sit for a couple of days or so, it tastes so much better! I try to do double or triple the recipe so that I’ll have enough to last that long! 😊
We had the 2021-2022 season’s last MLSNext game in Temecula, California yesterday so after the game ended, we ventured back to one of our favorite places to go whenever we are in the area: Downtown Temecula!
We love eating at Mad Madeleine’s Grill, checking out Old Town Sweet shop, Temecula Valley Cheese company, the antique stores that dot the street, the Lavender Company, and the Temecula Olive Oil Company.
There are numerous other bars and drinking spots that line the main street, wine tasting booths and local breweries, so there’s something for basically everyone.
Yesterday, I saw a small jar of Green olive and almond tapenade at the Olive oil store and it got me curious as I had been preparing and devouring a lot of charcuterie boards quite often lately.
I was going to buy a few items but the lines were just too long, and I think they were rearranging the store as a few employees were by the entrance and talking about where to put the ladder…which was at the time smack in the middle if the store…🤷♀️
So I made a mental note of it and somehow just never forgot about it.
Everything fell into place this morning as I went to the grocery store and somehow passed by the olives! Got a can of green olives and hoped it’s all I will need. Will have to improvise otherwise!
I made it quite thick and “scoopable”, but feel free to thin it out with more olive oil if you prefer a thinner consistency.
Serve with crackers, bread, veggies, or thin out with more olive oil to use to top pasta, pork chops, mushrooms…use your imagination! I bake bread regularly and I think I can roll the dough up with some of this spread in between for a delicious olive tepenade loaf!
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1 (6 oz.) can Green Ripe olives, drained
1/4 cup chopped celery stalks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked sea salt
2 – 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. In the bowl of a small food processor, finely chop the almonds. I used my kitchen aid 3.5 cup food processor and it worked perfectly with the amount of ingredients.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil.
3. Process until finely chopped and throughly blended.
4. Pour in enough olive oil to loosen up the mixture and pulse for a couple of seconds more.
4. Transfer to a serving bowl or a jar with a lid if serving later.
I love Fall! It gets a bit cooler here in Southern California during the last few months of the year (specially at night!) and it’s the perfect time for everything pumpkin, apples, soups, stews, and chili!
So here is the recipe that I made to look like my favorite Starbucks Pumpkin Bread. I usually buy a slice or two when we are on the road and stop by Starbucks. I like it as the seeds on top gives it another layer of texture and the bread itself is moist and flavorful. And totally perfect with coffee!
As I was trying to figure the ingredients while eating one, I can definitely taste the cloves over any other spices. So, even though I give you a range to use half the amount, I always make it with the full 2 teaspoon of cloves.
This is the very reason I make my own food, because I can tailor it to how I like it. I also happen to like pepitas so I just covered the top of the batter with pumpkin seeds until I do not see the batter anymore. You can definitely use less, or omit it completely if you do not like it.
This recipe uses oil instead of butter as I always have enough oil in the pantry, but sometimes just a pat of butter in the fridge. It is also so that the pumpkin and the flavor of the spices shine through.
I hope you like this recipe as much as my family does. It makes 2 big loaves so that you have enough to share with those near and dear. Happy Fall my dears!!
Toffee Cookies….the first time I read about this I can totally imagine it would taste delicious!
I had been reading up on the Swedish tradition – Fika – and everything that goes with it. I started with Kanelbullar, of course, as cinnamon rolls are a favorite in our home.
Next up are these cookies. I love chocolate chip cookies but am always up to try something new, specially when it is traditionally eaten with COFFEE!
This cookie did call for an unusual pair of ingredients, vanilla sugar and Tumma Siirappi, a dark syrup used in Swedish baking. Off to the internet I went searching for a local source of these items. Of course, I can’t find it. I then tried searching for a seller that would ship it to me. And I found one, luckily!
It took a few weeks after receiving the syrups and sugar before I found time to try making the cookies. They were absolutely worth the wait!
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons Dan Sukker “Tumma Siirappi”dark syrup
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
Homemade Vanilla Sugar: You can use a new vanilla pod or one that you’ve already scraped off the seeds from. Just place the pod into a container of granulated sugar and let it sit for a week or so. Stir occasionally. And there you have homemade vanilla sugar!
*I ordered the dark syrup – Dan Sukker Tumma Siirappi – and vanilla sugar, from Al Johnsons Swedish Restaurant and Butik (https://aljohnsonsshop.com). It tastes mildly of molasses and honey but not quite the same. I highly recommend trying the real syrup before substituting something else. My son said the cookies remind him of really good cookie dough, while my coworker insists on tasting ginger in the cookie….and I really think the syrup played a part in those flavor profiles.
1. Line 2 large baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.
2. In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter,
3. And granulated sugar.
4. Beat in vanilla,
5. egg yolk,
6. and dark syrup until blended.
7. Add in the flour,
8. baking soda,
9. and salt and beat until well mixed.
10. Cover the bowl and refrigerate about 30 minutes or until firm enough to divide into 6 equal parts to roll into logs.
11. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375F.
12. Roll each part into a log about 9 – 10 inches long on the prepared baking sheets, 3 per sheet.
13. Leave at least a 2 – 3 inch space between the logs as they will spread quite a bit.
14. Bake logs for about 12 – 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
15. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. If the logs have touched each other during baking, take a long sharp knife and gently push them back, keeping them oval.
16. While still warm, and using a long sharp knife, cut the logs into diagonal slices about an inch apart. After cutting, remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
This cake is still lemon flavored, as we have some really good, fragrant lemons in the backyard right now. For this recipe though, I make use of the lemon juice as well as the zest. Double lemon goodness!
The sun was out when I was preparing the batter so I got out the #SunOven to bake it in. I had nowhere to be so I just enjoyed preparing this cake and being in the moment instead of rushing because I had to be somewhere soon.
Have you ever seen a Swedish Cinnamon Bun? I mean, we love the cinnamon buns/sticky buns I regularly make(with raisins and pecans!), but Kanelbullar is like a little, round, braided babka. It is just so pretty that I vowed to make it at home one day so we can have/eat/devour as much as I want.
I bought a couple of “Fika” cookbooks to figure out how to make it and learned along the way that “fika” is the essential coffee break that Swedish people take. A time to reconnect with friends, or a little “me” time, over coffee and some little snack. I do wish we take our breaks as seriously as they did. They have a lot of little delicious looking morsels to go with coffee and I do intend to bake my way through both cookbooks.
An instagram account I follow, The Invy Baker, makes these buns regularly for sale and I was always wishing he lived close by so that I could just order some every weekend morning.
I ordered the Pearl Sugar needed to top these beauty online since I couldn’t find it locally. After the sugar came it took me a the usual few more months to find time to actually make it. Time is always short, unfortunately!
As for making the sugar stick, I used maple syrup/pancake syrup instead of eggwash as I figured I will sprinkle the sugar after baking so that I’m sure it’ll retain the crunch and I just love maple syrup. I also added the ground almonds since the recipe posted by The Invy Baker had some in the filling.
First off, Happy Birthday to my beautiful mom!!!! Found time to type this up to greet her here with a cake delicious enough to be served on a birthday!
I mean, that totally got my attention! Italian food is one of the best food in the world, hands down, but did you know they actually have a breakfast cake? As in a cake traditionally eaten for breakfast?? 😋 The few Italians I know who grew up in Italy remember eating a citrusy cake for breakfast. Must be so nice!
I can’t wait to try this as when I mentioned it to my son, he was equally excited to try it too. He said “why can’t WE eat cake for breakfast too?” And I told him I’ll make sure we will have it for breakfast one day!
Focaccia, specially when fresh from the oven, is one of my favorite things to eat! The topping can be as simple as rosemary and smoked sea salt, or elaborate with za’atar seasoning, olive oil, tomatoes, mint leaves, and cucumbers! 😋
I also tried focaccia with salty, dry cured olives and sun dried tomatoes on it. And to make my son happy – ones with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and lots of pepperoni!
Feel free to top it anyway you like! That’s the fun part of making your own food!
My usual sourdough focaccia (https://athomewiththeresa.com/2021/06/09/sourdough-focaccia/) takes about 8 1/2 hours from start to finish if you used an active sourdough starter, but a bit longer if it is made with a dormant starter. I usually follow the timeline I typed up, preparing it after breakfast and baking either before or after dinnertime.
I got a few requests for an easier, faster recipe. And I totally get it! There is never enough hours in a day! So after a couple of weekends trying to make an easier focaccia recipe without compromising the taste, here we are! It still takes a bit of time, but you need time to allow the dough to develop flavors by slow fermentation.
This recipe makes use of instant yeast and can be done in a little less than 6 hours of mostly hands free time. I use a brand called SAF instant yeast, see photo below.
You’ll just mix everything together until it forms a shaggy dough and set it aside, covered, for about 4 hours. Then, you’ll transfer the dough into a generously greased pan and set it aside for about an hour. After which it’ll be drizzled with more olive oil, dimpled all over, and topped with whatever topping you like. Then it’s going to be baked for 20-25 minutes. Ta-da! Delicious, crisp, and super soft focaccia!
You can also get this ready at night: prepare the dough before dinner, let it sit on the counter while you eat and clean up and let it rest overnight in the fridge. Take out the next day, transfer to an oiled pan, let rise until doubled(about 2 hours or so) and bake. Or reverse it, preparing it in the morning and baking it at dinner time.
You likely have all the ingredients needed as this is a very simple recipe: flour, yeast, sugar, water, olive oil, salt and rosemary(or whatever you like) for extra flavor.
I usually make 2 pans at a time to make better use of the oven’s heat. If you like to do that too, just double this recipe and divide the dough into two 13”x9” pans. Bake times and temperature remain the same.
Whatever else you like(pickled jalapeño and cheddar, mozzarella and pepperoni, olives, etc)
1. In a large bowl (specially if you’re doubling the recipe), mix together the water, yeast, and sugar.
2. Add the olive oil and give it a stir.
3. Pour in the flour and salt. I use a Danish whisk to mix everything together until you have a rough dough. As long as there is no dry patches of flour, you’re good. *Remember, we do not need to knead this dough!
4. Cover the bowl and set aside for about 4 hours. I use a clean shower cap to cover the bowl – it’s reusable unlike a sheet of plastic wrap. The dough should double in size in this time.
5. In the meantime, grease a 13”x9” pan with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Smear it all over the bottom and sides of the pan.
6. Pull the dough in from the sides of the bowl using a spatula and transfer into the prepared pan. Touch the greased pan with your finger tips to pick up some oil, and gently stretch the dough to cover the bottom of the pan.
7. Cover the pan and let dough rise 45 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled in size.
8. Preheat the oven to 450F about 20 minutes before second proofing is over.
9. Uncover the dough and drizzle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Using your fingertips, poke the dough multiple times, touching the bottom of the pan each time. The oil will pool into the little grooves you created.
10. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves and smoked sea salt. This is my favorite topping. Feel free to use what you have or what you like!
11. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.
12. Remove to a wire rack to cool slightly. Enjoy warm!