Monday, September 13, 2010

Pain au chocolat bread pudding

Before I came to Seattle, I was not into baking. I started baking out of boredom. I didn't know anyone in Seattle and I needed to find something to do until my husband (then fiancé) came home. One day I discovered the Food Network and before I knew it I had started cooking and baking. Thank you Giada, Michael, and Ina!

I always thought baking was not for me. I am neither detailed oriented nor patient and I was sure they were prerequisites for baking. However, I discovered that a lot of recipes in America use cups, mesuring spoons, and sticks of butter instead of measuring an exact amount on a scale. I liked that a lot. I also discovered a whole class of desserts that do not need to be decorated beautifully such as banana bread, muffins, and apple crumbles to name a few (believe it or not I had never eaten these desserts in Japan!). Usually referred to as 'rustic desserts' they are easy to make and taught me how fun baking can be!

Now back to watching TV. One day on the Food Network show Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, the host, Michael, was making a pain au chocolat bread pudding dessert. It looked fabulous and easy to make. With those two necessary ingredients in hand I was immediately printing out the recipe from and running to my nearby grocery store to fill up on everything else. You may be wondering, is it really delicious and easy to make? Oh yes, it was yummy and so easy my husband could bake it!

You can get the recipe here.

I don't know why but the Fall season makes me want to cook and bake more, especially rustic foods and desserts. This year Fall arrived in Seattle sooner than I expected triggering my need to bake. I decided to make the pain au chocolat bread pudding again, why not? This is a great recipe for a weekend brunch too. I love the cozy feeling at home, eating a late breakfast with my family while slow Jazz plays in the background sipping one of my husbands lattes, mmmm. I hope you can try this recipe someday too, and have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Hi there,

I need to apologize for not updating my blog in such a long time. I have a good excuse though. I got pregnant and my morning sickness had been horrible. I did not feel like cooking or baking for a very long time. Now that I am 5 months along I feel much better and I can start to cook and bake again. However, my taste buds have not been normal lately, pregnancy still has its grip on me.

It has been frustrating that not only can I not cook, I also cannot enjoy food like I used to. I crave strange and unhealthy things. I typically am turned off by McDonald's and I don't drink soda, preferring instead tea or coffee. However, while I was suffering from morning sickness, I craved a McDonald's cheeseburger, french fries, and a coke. I tried to stop myself from eating and drinking them but I gave in 3 times and ordered a happy meal late one night. My husband gave me a hard time quoting Food Inc. Yes honey, I know all about it but I could not help it. I was powerless.

Again I apologize and thank you for patience waiting for my blog update. I hope to do a better job blogging until my 2nd child comes in February, 2011. After number two is born, I might dissapear for a while again.

Today I want to introduce a Japanese food again. It is called Tonkatsu.

Tonkatsu is a breaded deep fried pork. It is very simple and you can use leftovers and make 2 other dishes.

Tonkatsu Recipe:


  • 1 1/2 lb pork loin or pork tenderloin cut in 1 inch thickness (I prefer tenderloin but I could only find normal pork loin today)

  • 3 eggs

  • flour

  • panko (Japanese bread crmubs)

  • salt and pepper

  • oil for deep frying

How to make:

  1. Tenderize the pork by pounding, adding salt and pepper generousely all over

  2. Dust with flour, coat in an egg mix, and finally coat them with Panko. Dust, dip, dip.

  3. Deep fry them until they are cooked (and be careful - we're working with pork)

I eat them with tonkatsu sauce which you can get in most asian grocery stores.

The next day I used the leftovers to make a sandwich. Typically deep fried leftovers are soggy and unappetizing, but tonkatsu is a bit different. I warmed up the tonkatsu in a microwave and coated them with tonkatsu sauce, generously. Butter (and mayo if you want) the sandwich bread and add lettuce and tonkatsu and voila, my lunch! In Japan this is a popular sandwhich called "Katsu-sando".

Looking for another idea? Try this.

I made Donburi by using leftover tonkatsu. In Japan it is called "Katsu-don".

Here is the recipe of Katsu-don:


  • 4 tonkatsu (or more)

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 3-4 eggs

  • 500 ml dashi (or just water)

  • 4 tbs sugar

  • 4 tbs sake

  • 1-2 tbs mirin

  • 6 tbs soy sauce

    • How to make:

      1. In a deep pan, mix dashi, sugar, sake, mirin, soysauce

      2. As soon as the mixture boils turn down the heat to medium and add thinly sliced yellow onion, cook

      3. Once the onions are soft add tonkatsu and cook for 5 min or so to heat up the tonkatsu

      4. Finally pour mixed eggs all over and without touching let the eggs cook but not until they are cooked completely and hard - I stop when the eggs are still soft

      5. Put all over warm rice and enjoy!

      I generally don't like to deep fry at home beacuse I am stuck with left over oil and a house that smells like deep fried oil. But tonkatsu can be so versatile, it is worth it. I hope you think so too. Enjoy!