Monthly Archives: November 2012

Chocolate Plum Cake

I like plum flavor and really ripe plums, but often the plums we get in the FFTY box are super hard, which I really dislike. This cake helped me solve that problem. The baking softened the plums right up, and the moist chocolate cake went very well with the fruit. I’ll definitely make this again!


  • 5 ripe medium plums
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind)
  • 1 tbsp coarse sugar, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease. Make sure there is overhang over the sides of the pan.
  2. Halve the plums and remove the pits.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light. Beat in cocoa powder, followed by egg and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth. Blend in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the milk. Add in half of the remaining flour mixture, followed by the rest of the milk, then add the last of the flour mixture. Stir only until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Batter will be fairly thick.
  5. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Arrange 8 of the plum halves around the outside of the pan, and place two at the center, pressing the plums cut side-up into the batter. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
  7. Cool completely in the pan, then lift the cake out (using the aluminum foil) to transfer it to a plate before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Serves 8-10.

–Recipe courtesy Baking Bites.


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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Okara-no-nimono (Traditional Simmered Okara Soup)

I had all sorts of leftover okara left when I made yuba, and I didn’t really want to make veggie burgers with it.   Also, I like to make traditional foods a bit more than some modern inventions. So this soup sounded like a good idea. A couple days earlier, I had roasted the okara in the oven to dry it before making this soup, but I sort of wish I had made it when the okara was more fresh. The taste was great but the consistency turned out extremely grainy. Unfortunately, I doubt I’ll have any okara sitting around any time soon, or I’d try it again!


  • 1 pound okara
  • 2 1/2 cups dashi soup stock
  • 4 dried hoshi-shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 carrot, thin strips
  • 1/4 leek OR whites of 1 bunch of green onions
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar OR 1 tablespoon fructose
  • 1 tablespoon sake or rice wine vinegar


  1. Soak shiitake mushroom in water for 30 minutes. Cut the mushroom and carrot into thin strips. Slice leeks into thin round shapes, or trim onions and split lengthwise.
  2. Put vegetable oil in a frying pan and saute okara, starting on high heat until thoroughly cooked, around 20 minutes. It likes to burn and stick, so stir it. It will look pretty dry when it’s finished.
  3. Meanwhile, put dashi soup stock, sake, sugar, and soy sauce in a pan, bring to a simmer.
  4. Add onion and shiitake mushroom strips to the dashi stock and simmer for a few minutes, until carrots are just tender. Add the soup to the frying pan and mix well.
  5. Garnish the bowls of creamy soup with some green onion rings or a shred of carrot.

Recipe courtesy Ellen’s Kitchen.

Tasty but grainy soup:

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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


Red Pepper Fritatta

This is a great way to use up eggs and peppers. Also, probably any soft cheese will do (burrata was wonderful)!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese [I used chunks of burrata instead]


  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mix in the parsley. Pour over the vegetables in the skillet, stir once, and crumble the cheese over the top.
  3. Transfer to oven and bake until the center is set, 18 to 20 minutes. Slide out of the skillet and cut into squares before serving warm or at room temperature.

–Recipe courtesy Sara Quessenberry, Real Simple magazine, December 2008.

Once again, forgot to take a photo before digging in!

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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Uncategorized