When Aya was pregnant with Ellie, she was looking for a good healthy filling breakfast. She never really had much time to spend fussing on breakfast in the morning either. Then we came across a few chocolate breakfast shakes that put oatmeal in a blender with some frozen bananas. Wow, quick, easy, and filling. But we wanted to add some extra “pow” to it. So we added flaxseed meal, chia seeds, and a bunch of other buzzworthy super foods.

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It was day one of summer break. Saturday morning. Ellie came to my bedside at 6am fully dressed and said, “Daddy, can I watch a show while I cook breakfast?”


Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! (HAPPY NEW YEAR!)


We started our New Year’s Celebration on New Year’s Eve with a soba noodle dinner. I’ve been told that it’s a tradition to have soba noodles on New Year’s Eve and udon noodles for New Year’s dinner. The long noodles represent longevity and a long prosperous year to come. Also, soba noodles easily break. This can represent any misfortune you’ve experienced throughout the year, that it can now break and you can let it go.

Continue reading “Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! (HAPPY NEW YEAR!)”

Buckwheat Pancakes


I’ve heard about the benefits of buckwheat flour, but other than having Japanese soba noodles, I never had anything with buckwheat before. My mom was telling me about buckwheat pancakes her aunt used to make her as a kid that she loved, so I thought I’d give them a try.

These pancakes had great texture, were light and fluffy, but definitely had a distinct flavor. They were heartier and earthier, but in a different way from wholewheat flour pancakes. If you are familiar with some of the Japanese black sesame desserts, that’s really what the flavor reminded me most of. We enjoyed the added zip it provided to the pancakes.

Another thing I didn’t know is that buckwheat isn’t technically a wheat or grass, making it gluten free.

I’ll definitely try using this in other baked goods to see how they are. But until then, I see this becoming a regular for pancakes in our house.


Buckwheat Pancakes

(I used almond milk instead of regular milk)



Dairy Free Banana Pancakes

2013_03_01aI make pancakes with soy milk all the time. We rarely have cows milk in the house anymore. We made the switch a few years ago. We like the soy milk taste a lot better. And when Ellie stopped nursing, she had cow’s milk for a little bit, but then she stopped drinking it. Now she likes soy milk much better instead. But I’ve never made pancakes with no eggs.

After I did a quick search for recipes I noticed they all seemed roughly the same as regular pancakes recipes, just leaving out the egg. I noticed this one from Milk Free Mom had a mashed banana in place of the egg. Her pictures looked really good too, so I opted to try this one.

While I was making these I was a little iffy on them. They felt different, and sounded different when I flipped them. [thud] I thought maybe they’d be too dry and hard. But when we ate them, they were moist and fluffy with just a hint of banana flavor. There was a slight  difference in texture to “normal” pancakes, but not in a negative way. It didn’t diminish my pancake eating experience at all and I didn’t feel like I was compromising. Ellie couldn’t tell the difference and just gobbled them up. I wonder if the same recipe would work using apple sauce or pumkpin puree instead of the banana? Maybe I’ll give those a try.


Dairy Free Banana Pancakes

Changes I made:

I used 1/2 cup all purpose floor, and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. And instead of 2/3 cup soy milk, I used 1 full cup.