This is my cookbook. I sold around 200 copies to friends and family. It was a great undertaking...a big time commitment. Why? To raise money for the American Cancer Society. I lost two very dear friends to cancer. When they passed, I went through a phase of guilt...of not doing enough, not being empathic enough, not being enough of a friend, of letting them down in some way. I love them both dearly and still tear whenever I think of each of them. They were my motivation.
But this cookbook became much more. In it I share a story of my (soon to be 95 year old) mom's first baking experience, baking cakes in bento containers (made of metal in the old days) in a makeshift oven on the stove top. Wanting to make this book personal, I could not help myself, to tuck in little notes here and there to 'talk' with the cook. It is a cook book filled with memories...the cake my son baked for my birthday, our family's favorite chicken recipe, a popo crepe that brings back memories of our papa, my Okinawan donuts that my two wee nephews were sneaking off with to catch fish!
My niece is saving 2 books for her kids in which I wrote inscriptions. I like that. My other niece shared with me that she reads it in the bathroom!! I like that too!!!
Here is how I made the Bear Bento Cake on the book cover ~~
To make the bear bento cakes, I started with store bought pound cake. A Japanese bento mold makes the bear face. Slice the cake the same height as the mold or if you have one with a 'face piece' like the one in the photo, slice the cake a bit thicker since you'll be pushing down on the cake to make the face impression.
Embellish the face as you please. For this bear, sprinkles adorn the face for eyes and nose with a little flower for added cuteness. Pink Japanese sugar candies create cheeks for the bear on the book cover.
Ohhhh...move over cupcakes!...The kids will have fun making their own bento cakes!
Think : Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Tea Parties ...
What to do with the leftover pound cake? Make bread pudding! Here's one recipe to try or do a search on pound cake bread pudding to find more.