we've been having fun making all sorts of stuff to eat around here lately. i guess that's not really anything new though, is it? we have tons of free time and all kinds of recipes that we find on social media - but i still haven't fallen into the trap of homemade sourdough. and it's not even like i don't have the ingredients for it, i just haven't really been that interested in it. huh.
you know what i AM always interested in, though? cake! one day, we just got hit with a craving for some shitty strawberry cake mix cake and so that's exactly what we made. i did make some cream cheese frosting from scratch for it though, so that makes it okay right? and i busted out some tools to play with some basic decorating, which was really fun. watching instagram reels on cake decorating is always inspiring even though we all know i really suck at it. see? whatever. it tasted pretty dang good.
my friend nanette posted about a mochi cake mix she'd found at trader joe's, which caught my attention because we have a nice supply of sweet rice flour in the house. i turned to my other friend google to find a recipe, and as i read through the first few hits it occurred to me that the ingredients sounded very familiar. most of the recipes were pretty much the same, and so i just picked one and made it. it was pretty simple - the sweet rice flour, sugar, eggs, coconut milk, a few other basics. then bake at 350 for an hour and cool completely before slicing and serving. and when i took my first bite i realized why it seemed so familiar...this mochi cake is basically the same thing as filipino bibingka. i was never a huge fan of bibingka growing up, but i can tell you that i love it now. i don't even have a decent picture of it because we were so busy gobbling it down.
the bean has been joining a small group of girls in her class for a weekly session led by one of her friends' moms, where they talk about things like friends and confidence and bullying and self care. it's been a really nice thing for them since they've been apart for a year now, and every time i go to pick her up at the end of the session i get a few minutes to chat with their parents as well. we decided to make some homemade treats for her to share, which gave me the chance to try out a couple of recipes i'd had bookmarked. the sugar cookie bars looked and tasted a lot like those frosted cookies you find in the bakery section at the grocery store, and the brownies are a copycat recipe for ones served at disneyland (which i don't actually remember seeing, but whatevs). both turned out delicious.
a trip to the japanese grocery store yielded the makings for a simple shabu shabu, which we were excited to try. i dug out our old fondue pot, poured in the soup base and tossed in some fresh asparagus. a little swish-swish with the chopsticks and we had ourselves a fun little meal on a cold rainy night.
of course, st. patrick's day was all about corned beef and cabbage.