Shabu Shabu (Japanese Hot Pot)

shabu shabu

Shabu shabu (Japanese hot pot) is one of my favorite ways to eat beef.  The key is to get beef sliced thin enough… Japanese markets often have Shabu Shabu sliced beef for sale.  You can also find thin sliced meat at Korean and Chinese markets.  If you have a home slicer, it helps if the [...]

Mini Apple Pies & Tarts


I love “mini” treats.  Mini-cakes, mini-candy bars… it’s all good.  So I thought it would be cute to make some mini apple pies.  What could be more fun to eat than mini-pies? My main dilemma was how to make them – what pan do I use to make these mini pies?  I already had cupcake/muffin [...]

Cake Ball Truffles

Vanilla Cake Ball Truffles

So apparently “cake balls” or “cake pops” are a new American dessert trend right now… everyone is making them, and some people (like Bakerella) are making some really extraordinary designs.  I decided it was time to jump on the bandwagon, and give cake balls a try. Cake Ball truffles are sooooo good – I can’t [...]

Banana Rum Cake

Banana Rum Cake

So here’s a spin off of the tried and true, delicious Caribbean Rum Cake… the Banana Rum Banana Cake!  When I found banana flavored Malibu Rum at the market, I felt like I hit the jackpot. The cake portion is flavored with the banana rum (banana Malibu) and mashed bananas, and once finished, soaked in [...]

Potato Chip & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies with salty bits of potato chips...

Salty and sweet… sometimes the two go together amazingly!  When I was a kid, I remember dipping hot McDonald’s french fries into my chocolate milkshake – yum!  People used to look at me strangely when I did that, but it didn’t matter… These cookies are one of my favorites – salty and sweet, with just [...]

Mika’s Lemon Cream Chiffon Cake

Lemon Cream Chiffon Cake

I love this lemon cake!  It’s light and tart with a subtle sweetness… perfect after a heavy meal, or on a hot day.  I would say, on my scale of cake cravings, this one is a definite 9 out of 10 for me.    The lemon curd/whipped cream topping really makes this cake out of [...]

Nanaimo Bars – a delicious no-bake Canadian bar cookie!

Nanaimo Bars

Up until about 2 weeks ago, I had never heard of Nanaimo Bars.  When I heard the name, my mind conjured up the taste of chocolate ice cream Eskimo Bars.. but Nanaimo Bars are nothing like that.  What are they exactly? A Nanaimo Bar is a 3-layered bar cookie, originating from the city of Nanaimo, [...]

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Orange Creamsicle Cookies

Does anyone remember Orange Creamsicle Popsicles from the ice cream truck?  Back in the day when ice cream trucks roamed the suburbs, we used to run outside and flag down the ice cream truck (which was always playing a never ending xylophone loop of “How much is that doggy in the window?“) and buy Orange Creamsicles with [...]

Mika’s Favorite Brownies

Mika's favorite brownies

I’ve tried many brownie recipes in my life… but this one is my all time favorite.  Why?  The texture is chewy and gooey – with a paper thin meringue-like coating on the top.  Also, the recipe uses standard pantry ingredients that I almost always have on hand… unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate chips.  I like [...]

Yam Neua (Thai Spicy Beef Salad)

Yam Neua (Thai Spicy Beef Salad)

One of my favorite Thai dishes is Yam Neua (a.k.a. “Spicy Beef Salad”).  I guess I was spoiled when I lived in the Los Feliz/Silverlake area of Los Angeles many years back…  Being that close to Thai town, it was always possible to get excellent Thai food, even later than 2am.  Now that we live [...]