Friday, October 28, 2011

Guest Post: by the Lovely Nami Chen

Hello readers of A Cup of Mai! I’m Nami and I am the author of Just One Cook Book, where I blog about quick and easy Japanese recipes. Mai has invited me to guest blog on her beautiful site and I’m really honored to be here as a guest, not a visitor!

I’ve been a big fan of A Cup of Mai since I found her blog. Her absolutely beautiful photography caught my attention and I simply adore everything about her site. She cooks delicious food and takes gorgeous pictures, and she has a good fashion and artistic talent which I am completely lack of. I love how Mai updated her master bedroom and how she cooks delicious spare ribs! You see what I mean?

Today I’m going to share one of the traditional and popular Japanese sweets called Dorayaki. It’s best described as a red bean filled pancake sandwich. If you are familiar with Japanese cartoon from the 70’s, you probably know this dessert from the anime character Doraemon who is crazy about Dorayaki. I grew up eating this treat often and it’s common to find packaged Dorayaki in Asian or Japanese grocery stores. However, it is easy to make at home and much more delicious if you make it from scratch. I’m sort of famous for not posting dessert recipes (or at least I think that way), but look, I made these yummy treats with no sweat. Hope you give this simple recipe a try and enjoy it. Thank you Mai for inviting me!
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 mins (+15 mins resting time)
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Yield: 8 Dorayaki
4 eggs
140g (2/3 cup) sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
160g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1-2 Tbsp. water
1 can Ogura-An (sweetened red bean paste)
2. Sift flour and baking powder into the bowl and mix. Keep in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
3. Stir in ½ Tbsp of water at a time to get the right consistency. It should be a little bit thicker than pancakes. If the batter is too thin, Dorayaki will be too flat and not fluffy.
4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan on medium-low to medium heat. Dip the paper towel in oil and coat the bottom of the pan with the oil. The pan should be slightly oiled but shouldn’t be visible. That’s the secret to get nice texture on the surface of Dorayaki. With a ladle, drop the batter from 1 foot above the pan to create 3 inch diameter “pancakes”. When you see the surface of batter starts to bubble, flip over and cook the other side. Transfer to a plate and cover up with damp towel to prevent from drying.
5. Make sandwich with red bean paste. Put more red bean paste in the center so the shape of Dorayaki will be curved (middle part should be higher). Quickly wrap them with saran wrap until you ready to serve.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yes, I've been a bad, bad blogger again.

Hi eveyone.
Sorry for the long delay since my last post, no visits to my favorites blogs.  I've been working a lot on top that I've been under the weather for almost a week.  Things are just starting to go back normal and I’m beginning to catch up with my blog so I’ll be back to check you all out soon.  Have a great day y'all!
A few snapshots

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dream Kitchens We Love

Hi, Iím Susi, a writer for Design Shuffle, a fabulous online community of design professionals and design lovers from around the world.  Stop by and browse tens of thousands of pics of interior design projects from Sydney to San Francisco.  I've been asked to guest blog about kitchens today and as a fellow food lover, I was happy to be invited to visit A Cup of Mai.

Dream kitchens are not only gorgeous to the eye, they also need to be functional for the chef of the house. I've picked eight beautiful kitchens that are dream kitchens I love because they combine both function and style.  What would be your dream kitchen? What elements could you not live without in your dream kitchen?  Here are the dream kitchens I love. Enjoy!
White Kitchen Design
A dream kitchen has not only ample storage and counter space but tons of natural light. Love the high ceilings and skylights in this kitchen.
Coastal Kitchen Design
The coastal color palette of this kitchen is gorgeous. Love the dove gray cabinet color against the sparkle of the polished nickel lighting. So dreamy.
Tobi Fairley Kitchen Design
This Tobi Fairley kitchen design has a dreamy array of patterns in subtle colors. Plus it has tons of seating for family dinners and just hanging out.
Modern and Traditional Kitchen Design
Love the blue gray green of the backsplash in this kitchen design. It complements the counter color so nicely.  This kitchen mixes modern and traditional into one dreamy space with an abundance of decorating ideas.
Storage Kitchen Design
Storage, storage and storage are dreamy in the kitchen. Love the island in this kitchen that has some open shelves as well as closed storage. Smart design.
Green Kitchen Design
This dream kitchen has gorgeous storage than feels like furniture. The bookcase for cookbooks is a dream for those of us who collect cookbooks. Love the green color too.
Detailed Kitchen Design
A dream kitchen is highly functional as well as pretty. This small kitchen has gorgeous finishes and details but it is the layout that maximizes the small footprint that makes it a dream kitchen...and it's filled with interesting kitchen design ideas.
Neutral Kitchen Design
Love the combination of open, glass front and closed storage in this kitchen.  You can highlight the pretty and hide the mess... perfect! [ Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 ]

Want to see more kitchen inspiration? Head on over to Design Shuffle where you'll find inspiration from Boston interior designers, San Francisco interior designers and more! Pin It

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blueberry-Banana Smoothie

Here's my round two of using blueberries.  A simple, healthy, refreshing smoothie.  This makes a great breakfast on the go or after a workout.  Easy to make, and just plain delicious!
blueberry-banana smoothie-2
Printable Recipe
1 fresh banana, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries or frozen
6 ounces plain nonfat yogurt
3/4 cup soy milk ( almond mild, 2% milk) more or less to taste
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 cup ice cubes ( optional)
Serves 2
Put all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.  Pour into glasses and serve.
blueberry-banana smoothie
New facebook fan page for A Cup of Mai! Follow my facebook for more personal look into my  life <<here>>
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Blueberry Coffee Cake Muffins adapted from Ina Garten

OMG you guys I have just made the best blueberry muffins ever! I can't get enough of these.  They have the best flavor and  texture of any muffin I have ever tasted and let me tell you, being a bakeaholic, I've tasted my fair share of muffins.  But something about this recent batch was amazing.  They had big juicy blueberries, buttery flavor, ultra moist cake like texture even after five days later. (Seriously!) Blueberry muffins are my husband's favorite, I have to make these again for him.
Printable Recipe here.

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PS: Thank you so much for all the lovely comments on my previous post.  Hope you all had a lovely weekend and that your week get offs to a great start! Pin It

Friday, October 7, 2011


Less than a month.  Even as I type it part of me I can't believe it.  John and I will be married 4 years this November.  October 30th we will have been together 7 years as a couple.  I can't wait to celebrate our anniversary next month but until then, I thought I share something personal with you all our engagement photos. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
How long have you been with your sweetie?  Who's single and ready to mingle?!
Thanks for visiting and have a delightful weekend everyone.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Figs, Brie and Prosciutto Flat Bread

Well its hard to believe another September has come and gone, but it has.  Over the weekend John and I went to Costco as I walking into the fruits aisle I spotted a huge box of fresh figs for only $6.  I knew I had to get some right away.  Last night for dinner we did fig flat bread pizza and boy it was so good! A deliciously delightful combination of luscious fruit and tangy, creamy cheese that you will never want to stop eating. This would make for a great little appetizer to bring along to a dinner,  or wine party.
figs flatbread5
Figs flatbread
Printable Recipe
1 pizza dough or store bought
corn meal for dusting
brie cheese
4 prosciutto slices
2 tablespoons fig jam
6 fresh figs, sliced into 1/8 inch rings
a handful of  baby arugula
extra virgin olive oil
drizzle of honey

For the best results I would use a pizza stone in a 450F degree, preheated oven or grill. 
Roll out pizza dough to 1/4" thick, rectangle to fit baking sheet.  Which has been dusted with corn meal.   Pierce dough with fork all over so it will not bubble up.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven spread fig jam over dough.  Add thin slices of brie and strips of prosciutto.  Cut figs into 1/8" rings and sprinkle on top of prosciutto.  Drizzle olive oil all over.
Place in oven and bake for  another 7-10 minutes until dough is nice and golden but not burnt.  Slide onto a cutting board and top with baby arugula, drizzle with honey and serve warm. 
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Bon appetit! Pin It

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dreaming of Prada and Vuitton

I am in the market for a new tote bag and considering a Prada Saffiano Lux Tote.  I haven't buy any new bag for almost 4 years. (except for the RM mini mac hehe) I can't choose between grey, caramel, or black.  Your honest opinions please?

me @ Neiman Marcus

I've been lusting after this Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM for a very long time too....

Which one would you choose?
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