Mango Mochi {recipe}

…or MMMango mochi as some would say!


lesson of the day: late night redbull & vodka gives me the motivation to blog…and book excursions in vegas and apparently makes my inner ADD come out!

since moving out and officially being on our OWN (scary, i know!) i’ve been forced to cook.  a lot.  too bad i haven’t been keeping up with the photography as well.

i’ve had my fair share of misses…but this hit was too good and easy to be overlooked!  and it also helped that i had awesome lighting in the kitchen that day!

let me start off by saying i don’t like mango.  but i do love mochi.  confession: at my local froyo place, i often fill my cup with more mochi than froyo!  what you don’t?  well you should try it one day.  really.   ok ok…back on track…red bull and i do not mix well.

and i lied a little bit in the title…maybe i should have called the recipe ‘passion fruit mango mochi’?  because the actual mochi is passion fruit flavor and the filling is mango.  whatever.  my nom nom. my rules. FOCUS!

in a nutshell:

  • we got invited to a luau themed 4th of july bbq.
  • mamma bear always told me that you should never show up empty handed to an event at someone’s house that you are invited to.
  • my OCD (ocd AND add?!  its quite the party over here!!) doesn’t like to stray far from the theme.
  • i had a can of passion fruit juice in my pantry that i was hoarding and frozen mangoes in the freezer (for the boy’s green juices).
  • i like bullet points.
  • a lot.

since we are double booked for the day (lucky us!), i needed something that was quick and simple to make.  mochi came to mind.


since i also have paranoia of my cooking not tasting good (and i like to self diagnose myself based on what i read on the internet…damn you webmd!) i decided to make a test batch yesterday afternoon.

they came out good according to the boy (see above note about the dislike of mango).



Mango Mochi {recipe}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen pieces

easy mango mochi recipe

What You'll Need

1 1/4 cup passion fruit juice
1 1/4 cup glutinous rice flour
cubed mangoes
cornstarch for dusting

What to Do

  1. add passion fruit juice and rice flour into a microwave safe bowl (i used a pyrex - makes cleanup much easier!)
  2. mix until combined
  3. cover tightly with plastic wrap
  4. microwave for 3 minutes on high
  5. carefully remove plastic wrap and stir - the center should be slightly liquidy and the edges stiffer
  6. cover again with plastic and microwave for another 2 minutes
  7. remove from microwave and stir. you should now have a 'dough'
  8. dust a cutting board with cornstarch and turn the dough out onto the board
  9. wait about 30sec - 1min until the dough is cool enough to handle (your fingertips will thank me)
  10. dust the top of the dough with cornstarch and form into a log
  11. cover loosely with plastic wrap (keep covered to prevent from drying out)
  12. cut off approximately 1.5 inch piece and form into a circle (make sure your hands are well starched so the dough doesn't stick)
  13. place some cubed mango in the center of the dough and pinch closed
  14. ENJOY!


feel free to change up the flavor of the mochi and fillings! the ratio is 1:1 for liquid to rice flour. i have used plain water, coconut milk, coffee, green tea and guava juice to replace the liquid portion of the recipe. if your liquid is not sweet, add 3-4 tablespoons of sugar to the mixture before microwaving. coffee mochi and nutella filling was an absolute hit! if your mango is not fully ripe, feel free to add a tablespoon of sugar to it and let it macerate. and be sure to drain some of the juices before filling the mochi so it won't get soggy!

important note – this is best made the same day that they will be eaten, otherwise the mochi might dry out and start to get hard.


till next time…toodles!



Week in Photos #12

Looks like I’m a little behind in posting!
At least I’ve still been snapping away! :)

I was walking around Costco during my weekly visit…and in addition to their usual sample offerings they had detergent samples!  Detergent, stain remover and brightener all in one little pod!  I brought it home and mom loved it!  So much so that she sent me back to buy her a container of them!  It makes it a lot easier she said so she doesn’t have to lift the giant bottle of detergent.

My parents were raving about this new sushi place they found in Bensonhurst…mainly because it is one of those ‘all you can eat’ type of places but you are not limited to ordering just sushi – you can order small dishes of cooked foods and appetizers as well!  It sounded like a place similar to where we went in Toronto so we decided to give it a shot.  It was only okayyyyy…concept is there…delivery is not!  And the wait was ridiculous!  I did appreciate that they had 5 different types of tobiko though! :)

Mutant apple???  Sometimes I bring an apple into work for breakfast.  I always cut up the apple at home…this apple didn’t turn brown after being exposed to the air for 2+ hours!  I got distracted and called away for something and left it out in the open…expecting to come back to a yucky brown oxidized apple, I was shocked!  Apple was Fuji if you were wondering!

I had to run to the mall after work one day to pick up a gift for Fi (who turned 2 on 3/26!) and as I was walking towards the build a bear store I passed by this in the mall….can we say EXCITED!?  Lets just hope that the sales girls aren’t as annoying as the ones in the city!

On a recent obscenely warm day for March I decided to go the liquid lunch route…and it helped that I had a $5 birthday credit on my RedMango card!  :)  So this cost me a whopping $2.15!  :)

And here’s a sneak peek at FiFi’s cake!!


Morimoto {Restaurant Review}

If you were to ask the boy what his favorite restaurant in the city is chances are he would say Morimoto’s.  Over the years we’ve been to the NYC location at least half a dozen times and have no plans on stopping our (almost) annual visits.   When Pear’s birthday rolled around, we decided to take him there to celebrate.

We arrived about 30 minutes early for our reservation and were given the option of hanging out at the bar or being seated right away since they had tables open. We chose the latter and were whisked away to a table right in front of the open kitchen!

Once seated, we ordered some drinks to start off with.  I can’t find the drink menu online so here’s what I can vaguely remember of it…
Pear chose a martini with sake and calpico as the base.  Slightly citrus-y…light and refreshing!

I chose another sake based drink.  It appeared to be a twist on a mojito.  Completely opposite of what I usually order…this drink was sweet and fruity, but not overwhelmingly so.  I was again reminded why I don’t like muddled drinks…I like my drinks to be clean and crisp.  Here I found myself quietly spitting out pieces of mint leaves into my napkin.  I don’t think I’d order this again, but I would recommend it. 
I almost forgot about the boy’s “drink”.  He decided to order a pot of tea.  When he asked the waiter about the selections the waiter rattled off a pretty long list and the oolong sparked his interest.  One pot of peach oolong tea on the way!  I tried a sip and thought it had more fruit flavor than tea.  But the boy seemed to like it enough.  Later on during the meal the waiter came over to ask if he’d like the pot to be refreshed with hot water.  The boy happily obliged.

Now onto the food!
The boy’s goal is to eventually try everything on the menu here.  I have faith that we eventually will if we keep up our somewhat frequent visits!  Its hard to try different things though when we clearly have our favorites.

One of the appetizers we have to order every time we come is the spicy king crab – tobanjan aioli, micro cilantro.
The price of this dish has gone up over the years.  It now comes in at a hefty $34 – I think the first time we had this years ago it was about $29.  But in our opinion, worth its price!  This dish seems simple enough to replicate at home – crab legs with a spicy mayo sauce mixed with some tobiko and lightly heated through.  Morimoto executes this dish so well and we love it so much that we prefer to just have it here instead of attempting it at home.

Pear thought the lamb carpaccio looked interesting and decided to give it a try.

I don’t eat raw but the boys seemed to enjoy the dish.  Lamb carpaccio – shiso buds, scallion-ginger dressing

The final appetizer we decided on was the tempura calamari salad – white miso dressing, crispy shallots. We’ve ordered this salad quite a few times in the past as well.  Another dish on our favorites list!  Crispy calamari, field greens, light and tangy dressing…delish!

In between the appetizer and entree course, we decided to have some sushi.  We knew that we’d be bordering dangerously on full by the time our entrees arrived, but how can you go to Morimoto’s and not get some sushi?!  Especially since we were seated right in front of the bar!

Soft shell crab roll –
deep fried soft shell crab, asparagus, tobiko, avocado, scallion, spicy sauce.  This was the first time we ordered this and most likely won’t be the last!  I could have done without the avocado and found that the end pieces were extremely hard to eat because of the size, but in the end we all gave it a thumbs up!

Spicy tuna roll – chopped tuna, scallion, spicy sauce.  Unlike our local Japanese restaurants, the spicy tuna roll here does not consist of pulverized fish drowning in a heavy sauce.  The tuna here is chunked in fairly large pieces and lightly dressed in the spicy sauce.  The boys enjoyed the roll from what I could tell!  The boy commented that you can actually taste the fish instead of it being overwhelmed by sauce.

Onto the entrees!

The last time we were here the boy ordered the surf & turf – wagy filet & hamachi ribbons, herbed potatoes, crushed citrus & avocado (prepared tableside)  He was so floored by the potatoes he decided that he had to have it again!  The dish arrives with the surf portion prepared tableside.  The waiter quickly dresses the avocado and hamachi with a citrus dressing and tosses it together.  I tried a piece of the boy’s steak and it was good.  But I’m not a huge red meat eater so I don’t have the same appreciation as he does for it.  As a sidenote…the last time the boy ordered this dish we both fell in love with the potatoes.  We couldn’t pinpoint the spice that was in them so we asked the waiter what it was.  He said he’ll be right back…we had assumed that he went to ask the kitchen.  Instead, he returned with a slip of paper printed with all of the ingredients in the dish!  <the spice was star anise by the way!>
One thing that was different this time around was that they used baby potatoes instead of fingerlings like last time.  However the potatoes were just as tender and good!

Pear ordered the braised black cod – ginger-soy reduction.  Nothing bad to say about this dish!  Moist, flaky, YUM!

The last few times we’ve been here I’ve ordered the same dish.  Because it is THAT good!  I guess I’d consider it my favorite!  Seafood ‘toban yaki’ – half shell lobster, king crab, mussel, clam, diver scallop, red miso-sake broth.   Gosh…where do I start?  Hmm…well how about not using the word gosh again?  The term toban yaki loosely translates to ‘roast on a ceramic plate’.  Morimoto executes this perfectly!  The miso broth is gently flavored with all of the juices from the seafood.  That broth…oh how I love that broth!  I usually order a side of rice so that I could spoon the broth over and eat it!  In my experience though, almost every time the scallop has been overcooked. :-(  But that’s ok because I can never finish the dish anyway!  Now this is something I need to learn how to replicate myself at home!

The carnage.

To pretend to be healthy we ordered a side of the Chinese broccoli.  I would definitely pass on these next time.  They were weak.  Limp, greasy and bland!  I dredged them through my miso broth and it helped bring them back to life a little bit…but overall not worth it.

We were all too full to even think about ordering dessert!  Again, Morimoto did not disappoint!  Almost everything was done perfectly and presented beautifully.  We WILL be back!


Toronto Part 2

Day 3

Since we were in Toronto we figured we should do the touristy thing so we woke up early and headed to the CN tower.  Breakfast was a quickie – just some bao’s from a random chinese bakery the day before.  Luckily our hotel was within walking distance to the tower.  We got the full package, minus the movie option.
The boy is terrified of heights so he made sure he was securely tucked into the middle of the elevator on our way up!  The CN Tower wasn’t too impressive…or particularly exciting in my opinion…But it was one of those things that we had to do since we were there.

The views from the top of Lake Ontario was pretty nice.  They told us that on clear days you can almost see straight across!  I’m sure this would have been gorgeous at night as well, but one admission was more than enough for me 😉
Shortly after we got back from the trip, I saw that the CN Tower was  unveiling a new attraction…one that allows you to take a walk on the OUTSIDE of the pod!  I’m going to have to pass on that one!

Once we were done with the CN Tower, we decided to head over to Eaton Center.   What’s in Eaton Center you ask?  Why La Senza of course!  :)
I discovered La Senza last year  when we went to Montreal.  <insert tangent> I managed to pack FIVE sports bras and ZERO regular ones for the trip…smart, huh?  So after I realized my mistake, I quickly went online to check out where the nearest Victoria’s Secret was.  Apparently there aren’t any in Montreal!  Mild panic attack aside, the boy suggested that I just wait it out since we were going to go exploring the next day  and I might find a store when we walk around.  As luck has it, we passed by La Senza.  I didn’t know what kind of store it was at first, nor did I know the prices, etc.  All I knew was that I saw bras and undies in the window so I was going in!  Its been a love affair ever since! <end tangent>
I was ecstatic when I found that there was a location for La Senza near our hotel!  So I made sure to schedule some time in for it on this trip!  To my pleasant surprise, turns out they were having a sale when we were there!  Score! :)


After my little shopping excursion, we worked up quite an appetite so we headed over to St. Lawrence Market to grab some lunch.  I would best describe it as a hybrid between Fulton Fish Market and Chelsea Market in nyc.  As we walked by the stalls, I wished we had a kitchen so we could actually

Passing by one of the main subway hubs in downtown Toronto:

We were determined to relax on this vacation so after an afternoon nap, it was time to decide where to go for dinner.  (People weren’t kidding when they said that all you do in Tornto is EAT!)  When looking up places to go, I came across a place called Go For Tea.  It looked trendy but not too fancy, and their reviews were pretty decent so off we went!  One of the deciding factors here was one of their drinks.  It was called Very Mango Mango Slush.  A giant cup of mango slushie….and instead of tapioca, there was star shaped mango jelly!  I HAD to witness it for myself!  (I don’t like mango so I made the boy try it!)

Our time in Toronto lapsed over the last week of Lent…I am pretty good about remembering not to eat meat on Fridays during Lent. Usually I’ll just slip up once or twice in the beginning.  So I’m not sure what happened this time around!  I don’t really eat read meat.  And I NEVER order it off the menu.  But for some reason the beef peppersteak sounded really appealing to me that night…so I ordered it.  GO FIGURE.

CN Tower $65.62
Lunch $22
La Senza $111
Souvenirs $79
Snacks from St Lawrence Market $18
Penny Press $2
Dinner $55


Day 4

Saturday was our last real day in town so we decided to take it easy.  And by easy I mean completely oversleeping!  No thanks to the black out shades that the Westin has in their rooms…When we finally woke up (around 1pm!) and opened the shades we found that it was miserable out.  Snow, sleet, rain!  By the time we finally got ready it was early afternoon…and we were pretty overdue for lunch!  Since it was so late, we headed over to Queen’s Quay and grabbed lunch there.


Partially since the weather was miserable and partially because we were all still a bit tired, an executive decision was made that we’d just hang out at the hotel for the rest of day until dinner time.  Before we knew it, a few hours had passed by and it was once again time to decide where to have dinner.  Going on the recommendation of a friend who had been in Toronto the month prior visiting family, we looked up a Japanese restaurant called Matsuda  It was an all you can eat style place, however they had sushi as well as several cooked items on the menu.  All of the servings were given in hors d’oeuvre portions so you didn’t have to worry about trying the fried rice and not having enough room for a handroll…The rice was literally three spoonfuls and the handrolls were about the same size as a regular piece of nigiri sushi!  The only problem was that because we had such a late start to the day, we ended up heading to dinner quite late too.  When we got to the restaurant we found out they would be closing in less than an hour so we had to hurry and place our orders.



Lunch $25
Ice Cream $5
Dinner $60


Day 5

Our flight wasn’t until 9pm that night so I requested a late checkout from the front desk to which they obliged.  The plan was to just hang out in the hotel and grab lunch from the gyro place next door and relax a bit more.  Crossing the border and driving back to the airport was pretty uneventful.  When we rented the car we pre-purchased a full tank of gas so we wouldn’t have to go searching for a gas station when we returned the car.  I think it was one of the wiser decisions we made on the trip!  Granted gas was a premium and they charged us $80 for it…it was snowing pretty hard on the drive back so going off track to find gas would have been a pain!  Since we had more than 1/4 tank left towards the end stretch of the drive andddd since it was snowing we turned on the AWD to use up some of the gas.  Oh, and for uh..our safety 😉

Since we were in Buffalo, one of the places we wanted to go to was Anchor Bar.  We totally cheated and just went to their airport location instead of the real deal.  I can’t really remember what we ordered but we tried a few things and shared.  The meal ended with bleu cheese sauce, my Chanel bag, a very mortified waitress, and some items on our bill being comped.  Not taking the next day off from work was a pretty big mistake.  By the time I got home, unpacked, and got ready for bed it was way past my normal Sunday night bedtime!

I’m glad we got to check off Toronto from our list of places to go.  It just sucks that the weather at Niagara Falls was so bad!