Mochi Cupcakes with Azuki filling

mochi cupcakeSome of you might have seen this mochi cupcake recipe before.  I shared it back in 2007 on my old blog.  Have I really been blogging for that long?! But I digress, this cupcake recipe is one of my favorites so I’m sharing it again.  Make this recipe for a dessert, a snack, or even breakfast.
mochi cupcake 3The two ingredients that make this recipe unique are mochiko (rice flour)  and an (sweet azuki bean paste).  The mochi gives the cupcakes a more chewy texture and the “an” adds a subtle sweetness.  I usually purchase the mochiko at my local supermarket. I purchase the “an” at the Japanese grocery store. You can also find both these ingredients for purchase online.

Mochi Cupcakes with Azuki Filling Recipe Yields 24 cupcakes


3 Eggs
1 16oz box of mochiko (pictured above)
1 Cup of sugar
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
3/4 Cup vegetable oil
1 17.6oz Bag of sweet an paste (pictured above) – I use about 1/2 to 1/3 of the bag.

Poppy seeds for sprinkling and cooking spray


1.  Preheat oven to 375.  Spray the inside of the cupcake liners with cooking spray.  Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl mix wet ingredients: eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and sugar.

3.  In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients: mochiko and baking powder.

4.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Mix until smooth.  This is easy to do by hand.

5.  Fill cupcake liners 1/4 way up with batter.

6.  Place about 1 Tablespoon (or less) of “an” on top of batter in each liner.  I recommend cutting the corner of the bag off and squeezing out the “an”.  It doesn’t have to be exactly a tablespoon.

7.  Cover up “an” with batter so your cupcake liners are about 3/4 full.  Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

8.  Bake cupcakes for 25 – 30 minutes.

The cupcakes are best up to three days.  After the third day, the texture starts to change.  Store in an air tight container.

mochi cupcake 2

Back to School Bento Boxes

kawaii bento boxesIt’s that time again where I have to start thinking about packed lunches. We’ve gone back and forth between bento boxes and standard lunch boxes. In the end, I like the bento boxes the best. They eliminate the need for plastic bags. Plus, my children aren’t into sandwiches so a variety of compartments filled with food appeals to them.

We already have our bento boxes for the school year and they’re not nearly as cool as the ones pictured above.  But if you’re in the market for a bento box, here are some of my favorites.

1. Retro Fridge Bento Box – This gives new meaning to “mini fridge”.

2. Kokeshi Girl Bento – If you’re looking for something a little more traditional.

3. Book Bento Box – The perfect bento for your little book-worm.

4. Bento Doll house – Kawaii!

5. Pokemon Ball - For the Pokemon fan.

Fun With Washi Giveaway!

Fun With WashiToday is the official release date for Fun With Washi! It sneaked up on me so quickly. Between school registration, orthodontist appointments, and moving into a new house, I almost forgot! So in honor of the release date, I’m hosting a giveaway for one signed copy of the book.  Details below.

Fun With Washi by Jessica OkuiTo enter, please share what you like or would like to make with washi tape. One entry per household. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you win. The last day to enter the giveaway is Tuesday, August 26, 2014. I’ll announce the winner Wedensday, August 27, 2014 on this post. If I do not hear back from the winner after two weeks, I will choose a new winner.  Contest open to everyone, international friends welcome.

To see more projects from Fun With Washi, click here and then click on the picture of the book to the left.

Contest Closed

Congratulations to Anna who is the winner of the Fun With Washi giveaway!

We Bought a House in the Bay Area!

new houseAfter two years of hunting and bidding, we purchased a house in the Bay Area, CA!  If you’re wondering why it took two years, all I can say is the real estate market here is very competitive.  You can read an article about it here if you’re interested.  But all those weekends of open houses are over and I can finally breathe.  I’m still moving into our new home which is why I was away for a couple of weeks.  Pictured above and listed below are a few things I’m enjoying about our new place.

1. Skylights – Our home has two skylights, one in the kitchen and one in the family room.

2. A loft – My children have been enjoying throwing paper airplanes from the loft.

3. Fig tree – we have one fig tree and the fruit is just starting to ripen.  I see lots of fig recipes in my future.

4.  Kitchen tile – I love the color of the teal tile back splash in the kitchen.

Motion Silhouette: A book illustrated with shadows

motion silhouette bookThere are so many reasons I’m fond of the book Motion Silhouette: the paper cuttings, the shadow illustrations, the ability for the reader to manipulate the images.  Everything about it is absolutely magical.  The authors who dreamed up Motion Silhouette are Megumi Kajiwara and Tatsuhiko Niijima.  The storybook is designed with paper silhouettes that create shadow illustrations on the pages via a light source.  Take a look at the video below to see how the book works.

motion silhouette book 2If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of this book, you can email the author for more information.  You’ll find all the information on the “about” page.  To see more pictures from the book, visit the Motion Silhouette site.

via Spoon and Tamago

Fun With Washi by Jessica Okui
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in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight - Proverbs 3:6