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Tofu Corn Triangles
豆腐とコーンの三角揚げ

There are so many things you can do with wonton wrappers.

But if you don’t know what to do, fry them!

Doesn’t everyone say anything fried tastes good?

These triangles were stuffed with a mixture of tofu, corn, ginger, and garlic.

I typically deep-fry something like these, but this time I “shallow-fried” them, with less oil.

They still turned out nice and crunchy.

Since there is no raw meat inside, it doesn’t take too long to cook these triangles.

I served them with store-bought sweet chili sauce.

Such a tasty snack!

Pumpkin Rolls
南瓜パン

Technically these may have to be called “squash” rolls, because I used this Red Kuri Squash.

I love lining up these little guys.

They look so cute.

I always like to keep several kinds of nuts or seeds in the house, and this time of the year I almost always have pumpkin seeds around.

Seeds and nuts make a great snack.

Just out of the oven.

These rolls taste the best when just out of the oven and still nice and warm.

They keep the color well, outside and inside.

Look at this beautiful bright orange color.

When I was taking the pictures, I didn’t notice at that time, but later when I was editing them, I realized that each roll had a silly face!

These were delicious when eaten with my homemade vegan butter.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Bruschetta with Tomato and Corn
ブルスケッタ、トマト&コーン

We had a couple of new friends over for a happy hour on Friday.

I thought it would be a good opportunity to come up with tasty but easy-to-make appetizers/snacks that are 100% plant-based.

Of course in Minnesota at 5 o’clock it’s already too dark for me to take pictures, so this was our brunch from some of the happy hour snack leftover the next day.

Over the years I’ve learned that it’s okay to get some help from stores and you don’t have to make everything yourself.

Our local grocery store has a fantastic olive bar and I got some various kinds of olives.

Dried fruits and roasted nuts are other things that I also like to serve as a snack.

But there are pre-made or straight-from-the-store items that I do not care for, and hummus is one of them.

Hummus tastes so much better when it’s freshly made at home.

The center of my happy hour table was the bruschetta.

This one is the tomato-olive-basil version.

For the happy hour snack, I cut them into smaller pieces so that it was easier to eat.

This was my original, corn-radish-mustard-dill version with curried cashew cream on top.

I liked them both, but the corn version is a bit unique and I was proud of the creation.

I love hummus, and this is definitely one of my favorite ways to eat fresh veggies.

A secret to my delicious hummus is adding a little sugar, which I believe gives the “umami” you can’t resist.

This turned out to be a tasty brunch, and it was a good way to clear out the fridge.

I think I’m slowly getting better at entertaining, serving the food that I’m satisfied with, and not getting stressed out.

It takes trials and errors, but a Friday happy hour is a good way to start with as it’s less pressure (vs. dinner).

Red Kuri Squash
赤皮栗南瓜

I’m always so fascinated by all different types of squash and pumpkins.

This time of the year I go to the farmer’s market hoping to find some interesting squash.

And I did find a really cool one!

This had a name tag, “Red Kuri Squash”.

It was my first encounter with this kind of squash and I was very excited.

As you can see, the meat as well as the skin is bright orange.

When I did a quick search I found out that I do not need to peel the skin, so I kept it on.

I simply cooked it with soy based broth.

This is one of my favorite ways to cook squash, particularly the ones that originated in Japan; based on the name I’m pretty sure that red kuri squash is originally from Japan.

This is a wonderful way to enjoy this beautiful fall season.

Red Kuri Cooked in Soy Broth adapted from this recipe (Japanese)

About 1/3 red kuri squash, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon sake
1.5 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1. Place squash pieces in a single layer in a pan.
2. Sprinkle sugar over the squash. Wait for a half hour to one hour until the squash gives out water (or sweats).
3. Add water and sake. Boil and then turn down to low heat. Add soy sauce and continue to cook covered over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or so until the squash is cooked through. Check occasionally to prevent the squash from burning as it’s cooked with a small amount of liquid.

Happy squash season everyone!

Ginger Tofu Dumplings
生姜豆腐ダンプリング

Terry and I are both huge dumpling lovers.

You can use really anything as filling, but this time I decided to go for tofu as a base.

I then added a few more ingredients, minced ginger, garlic, and cooked and chopped cabbage.

I was going to use regular pot-sticker wrappers, but then I noticed that I had some egg roll wrappers in my freezer, and I thought it would be fun to experiment with them.

Dumplings are much easier to make than most people assume.

Especially when you use this large-sized wrappers, the process goes really quick.

I get my side dish ready.

Aren’t they beautiful?

I cooked them in boiling water.

I was afraid that the filling might come out while cooking, but it stayed inside, and I was relieved.

Generously drizzle sesame soy sauce (sesame oil, soy sauce, maple syrup, white vinegar, garlic chili paste) and then sprinkle sesame seeds and scallion.

This was a big hit at our house.

Can’t wait to make these again.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Pumpkin Spice Muffin Tops
パンプキンスパイスマフィントップ

This was my first time to make muffin tops, but it was so much fun!

Elaine is so right about muffin tops (lol).

They are the best.

The flavor?

Pumpkin spice, of course.

I didn’t follow any specific recipe, so I was a bit worried, but they turned out great!

The texture is just like those muffin tops.

They can go into these cool treat bags, too, if you feel generous enough to share (lol).

But wait!

How about drizzling spice mocha icing over them.

Delicious!!

Crunchy at the bottom and soft and moist inside.

Did somebody say “Halloween”?

I’m not very organized or prepared when it comes to events, but as a food blogger I feel I can’t miss this one.

The decoration is minimum this year (well, the bats were hand-crafted a few years ago), but it’s still fun to participate in this event even in a small way.

Pumpkin Spice Muffin Tops with Spice Mocha Icing

muffin tops
– 1 tablespoon flax seed meal
– 2.5 tablespoons water
– 1/4 cup soy milk
– 1 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
– a little over 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup cooked and pureed pumpkin (I used red kuri squash)
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

spice mocha icing
– 1/2 cup powdered sugar
– soy milk
– coffee granule (dissolved in a small amount of boiling water)
– cinnamon
– ground ginger

chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 420F.
2. Combine all the ingredients.
3. Use a small ice cream scoop and drop scoops (makes about 18 muffin tops) on a parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for about 10~12 minutes until baked through.
5. Make icing. Add soy milk and coffee slowly until it achieves the preferred consistency. Add spices. Mix well.
6. Drizzle icing over muffin tops. Sprinkle walnuts.

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