Monday, February 15, 2010

Mom's Miso Soup

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My mom made the best miso soup, and it is a simple recipe that comes together quickly. The key is in the dashi soup stock which comes in dry form in a small bottle or box at a Japanese market. Here's a great photo of my parents from the 1950's at our Seattle home.

4 cups dashi soup stock
1/2 to 1 block tofu, rinsed and cut into 1/2" cubes
4 T miso
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup green onions, chopped

Make the dashi soup stock according to the package directions, adding water, then add the miso to the broth. Bring to a boil. Add tofu and simmer for a few minutes until the tofu is heated. Do not overboil. Top with green onions. Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Almond Fudge Shortbread Cookies

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These cookies are a wonderful almond fudge over a delicate, flaky, buttery crust. You will want to cut the pieces small as they are very rich. These will surely satisfy your sweet tooth and craving for chocolate. Totally satisfying! This recipe comes from

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups flour
1, 12-oz pkg semisweet chocolate chips
1, 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup nuts, toasted, sliced or chopped (almonds, walnuts, pecans - any kind)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9x2" baking pan. Beat the butter, powdered sugar and salt in a large bowl until blended. Add the flour and mix well. Press into the bottom of the greased baking pan. Bake 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Right before the end of the baking time, melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat until the chips are melted. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract. Spread evenly over the shortbread. Sprinkle nuts on top and press down firmly. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours until firm. Store covered at room temperature. Cut into 36 bars.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Betty's Lemon Bars

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Betty's luscious little lemon bars are delectably sweet, tart and a perfect ending to an enjoyable night with Derrick, Betty and friends. The shortbread crust holds a light lemon custard filling, topped with powdered sugar.  You will love this recipe.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 whole egg plus 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 T lemon juice

Butter and flour a 9x13x2" pan.  Heat oven to 350 degrees; use rack at center position.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.  Beat butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 min.  Add whole egg, egg yolk and vanilla to butter mixture and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.  Add flour and mix on low until incorporated, about 1 min.  Press into an even layer on to the baking pan.  In a separate bowl, place cream cheese and 2 cups of powdered sugar (reserve 1/4 cup and set aside) and mix on medium speed until smooth.  Add 2 eggs and lemon juice and mix until blended.  Pour into pan and spread to an even layer.  Bake for 30 min. until puffy and golden brown.  Let cool.  Sift 1/4 cup remaining powdered sugar on top.  Cut into bars.  Makes 24.

Monday, February 8, 2010

James' Fresh Seafood Pasta

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James Yuasa made the most delicious seafood pasta while he and Betty vacationed with the Olschefski's, Kihara's and us on Hilton Head Island, SC. This recipe is tasty, quick and simple. It is versatile in the many combinations of seafood and pasta that could be mixed and matched -- truly flavorful, memorable and a crowd-pleaser. You can use whatever combination of fresh seafood you wish.

1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground pork or Jimmy Dean's sausage
1 can of chopped clams, including juice
1/2 - 1 cup white wine
Salmon, halibut or cod (use a firm fish)
Scallops or crab
Fresh clams
Salt and pepper to taste
Cornstarch, mixed in a little water
Pasta, any kind, cooked according to package directions
Parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh chopped basil or fresh cilantro - as garnish

Saute the garlic, onions and ground pork. Drain the grease. Add the canned clams and its juice. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Add the fish and cook for 10 min. Stir gently, so you do not break apart the fish. Thicken with a little cornstarch mixed in water. Add the shrimp, scallops and crab, then the clams last, as clams will only take a few minutes to cook. Season to taste, but usually the seafood has enough salt. Serve over any type of cooked pasta. Add grated parmesan cheese. Top with fresh basil or cilantro.

Here are the Hilton Head golfers enjoying a sunny day on the island.