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6 Easy Japanese Mochi Recipes For Beginners

6 Easy Japanese Mochi Recipes For Beginners

Mochiko is a popular Japanese rice cake which has made its mark all over the world. Traditionally, it was made to celebrate the Japanese New Year but now it is eaten throughout the twelve months. It is a versatile eating dish and can be made in various shapes and sizes.
Basic Traditional Mochiko
The most basic mochi is also the easiest to make. You start off by placing that red bean paste you’ve made into an aluminum foil. Place this foil wrapped bean paste in the freezer and leave it there for three hours. Now, mix in the green tea powder and sweet rice flour along with the water and sugar. You need to keep stirring it till it is smooth and once it gets to that point wrap it in plastic. You then want to heat the mixture in the microwave for more than a few minutes and cut the stuff into small pieces on a word surface covered in cornstarch. That’s your basic mochi.
1. Chocolate Mochiko
If you want a chocolate flavoured mochi, you need to use one fourth cup chocolate chips in the melted state and stir it into the mochi batter before you start preparing it. After mixing mochiko with sugar in a bowl, one should add water to it and make sure that the mixture is watery. Then it should be covered with a plastic wrap and placed inside a microwaveable dish. It should be microwaved at a high temperature for approximately 4 minutes and subsequently you have to take off the plastic wrap. Make sure that it is gets cold before you cut and serve it to your guests.
2. Green Tea Extract Mochiko
In an aluminum foil, red bean paste needs to be wrapped and put in the freezer for a minimum of 3 hours. Green tea powder (a form of green tea extract) should be mixed well with sweet rice flour preferably in a ceramic bowl or a microwave friendly dish. Sugar needs to be added to the mixture after it is stirred thoroughly in water. Afterwards the bowl should be covered with a plastic wrap and the rice flour mixture should be cooked in the microwave for about three and a half minutes. Meanwhile the red bean paste needs to be divided into 8 equal balls and kept aside. Make sure that you stir the rice flour mixture and heat it for another 30 seconds. Make use of cornstarch while dusting the surface you are preparing to work upon. Try rolling the balls in the size of 2 table spoons and after flattening the mochi ball, a chilled red bean paste ball should be placed in the centre. After pinching the mochi on top of the red bean paste, add cornstarch and keep the mochi seam side in a paper muffin liner so that it doesn’t stick itself.
3. Sweet Mochiko
If you are interested in preparing sweet mochiko, then you should mix it with water in a bowl which is heat proof. Keep on adding water so that it doesn’t become dry. Now comes the steaming part. You need to steam it in a bowl by placing it inside the steamer for about 20 minutes. Then the steamed mochi should be shifted into a pot and cooked with 2/3 cups of sugar at medium heat. After the sugar dissolves fully, add another round of sugar(1/3rd) and mix it thoroughly. Be careful while melting the sugar; you do not want your dish to burn. In a while, take out the hot mochi from the pot and put it in a sheet pan which needs to be dusted with cornstarch. Shape the mochi dough in any form you like.
4. Butter Mochiko
Are you sick of having chocolate mochi? Want to try something new? How about butter mochis! For this you need to make sure that your oven is reheated up to 350 degrees. Take a 9×13″ pan and put some oil in it. Keep aside the mixture of sweet rice flour, baking powder and sugar. Now mix the beaten eggs and vanilla extract together until it becomes a smooth paste. After that, add the butter and milk; both evaporated and coconut and heat it at a low temperature. Now mix all the ingredients together and bake for about an hour. After cooling it on a wire rack, take the help of a knife and cut it into small and equal pieces. Your butter mochis are ready to be eaten.
5. Pumpkin mochiko
Pumpkin mochiko is another alternative if you are tired of the chocolate and plain ones. What you need here is pure pumpkin, a filling of pumpkin pie and condensed milk which is sweetened. The preparation is same as the butter mochi and after combining the dry and wet ingredients together, you need to take two pie dishes, grease them and pour the mochi batter into both evenly. Don’t take it out till the edges turn golden brown. This would take around 45 minutes. Afterwards allow the mochi to cool itself; this will take 2-3 hours and then cut it with a knife and have it!
6. Mochi cookies
It sound appealing and those of you who want to try it out as a snack should follow this method. First you mix all the ingredients (egg, butter and cream) and leave aside the mochi and matcha powder. After stirring the mixture, add in the matcha powder until it reaches an uniform green color and stir it. Add the mochi pieces too. Now make mochi balls of size one inch diameter wise and place them on the cookie sheet. Bake them for 10-12 minutes and after they the edges turn into a golden brown , take them out and wait till they cool down before serving them on a platter.

Featured photo credit: Mochi at Berry Freeze/Rich Moffitt via flickr.com

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Mike Dawson

International Trade with Healthy Living Style

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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