KRAFTY KORNER: Merry • Happy





December is markedly here! Nights in SoCal are getting oh-so cold, so much so that it makes me feel that Jack Frost is nipping at my toes.

Time to pull out all those wintery layers to break that chill in the air. A gal’s got to be warm and toasty to shop. A mere 18 days until that jolly ol’ gent comes into town for the merriest time of the year!

A ceramic serving plate is wired to keep fried foods light and crispy. (Courtesy of Sente)

Shop ’til you drop! Great deals are out there. With this economy like it is, shoppers are being cleverly enticed into stores and to go online—tons of coupons, no shipping fees, no tax days, super-duper sale days, credit back via gift cards, crazy hours.

To get your creative on, give homemade a try! Everyone I know loves to receive gifts made from the heart. You name it, you can do it . . . from cards, photo albums and calendars to holiday ornaments, herb gardens, scarves, jewelry and goodies from the kitchen.

Cookies are a snap to do. Have a cookie-making get-together with a friend. Winning cookie recipes submitted to the L.A. Times are a terrific resource as well as church cookbooks.

The holiday shopping season for the Asian arts and crafts shows ends this weekend.

On Saturday in NoCal is the Kimochi Silver Bells Arts and Crafts Faire. This big event at St. Mary’s Cathedral in the Event Center draws vendors from throughout Cali.

Surprise that special someone who can’t get enough manju with their very own clock from Noriko Kuwabara of San Francisco. (Courtesy of Sente)

For a cool foodie gift, check out these manju, sushi, dim sum and donut clocks!

They’re crafted by someone who loves her foods, Noriko Kuwabara, a ceramics teacher and potter. She maxed out taking ceramics classes and got hired as a teacher for the Sharon Art Studio junior high school summer camp program.

Individual pieces are handmade with Fimo and Sculpey polymer clays. Baked in the oven, they get painted and coated before becoming a number.

Her business, Sente, marks 18 years as Kuwabara continues to sell Japanese pottery tools. Not one to sit on her laurels, her new challenge is serving plates with wire racks for Japanese fried foods, like tempura and katsu.

Locals, get moving on Sunday! A Time for Sharing Holiday Boutique is open for last-minute gifts for everyone on your list, all taking place at the Gardena Elks Lodge. This is it!

A good friend reminded me the other day, “You gotta feel the love!” That’s what the spirit of the holiday season is all about. May you gather with family and friends over great food and wine and . . . fa la la la la la la la la!

Sunday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
A Time for Sharing Christmas Boutique
Gardena Elks Lodge
1735 W. 162nd St., Gardena
310-329-5874, Stephanie Nakayama


Saturday, Dec. 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Kimochi’s Silver Bells Arts & Crafts Faire
The Event Center at St. Mary’s Cathedral
1111 Gough St., San Francisco
415-931-2294, Sakura Suzuki

Pecan Snowball Cookies

Buttery pecan snowballs decked out with pecans and powdered sugar make for yummy Santa treats after a hard day’s night. (Courtesy of T. Miyasaki)

Here is my adaptation of Suzanne Toji’s Pecan Snowball Cookies recipe in the Senshin Buddhist Temple Otoki Cookbook. There are other variations out there—Sandies, Mexican Teacakes and Russian Tea Cookies.

1 C butter, unsalted, softened
½ C sugar
2 t water
2 t vanilla
2 C flour
½ t salt
1 C pecans, chopped

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Cream butter and sugar. Add water and vanilla, mix well.

3) Blend in flour and salt, fold in chopped pecans (Trader Joe’s sells bagged chopped pecans).

4) Chill at least 2 hours.

5) Shape into one inch balls (try a 1-1/4” cookie scooper).

6) Bake on ungreased cookie sheets about 15-20 minutes, until very lightly browned (parchment paper works well).

7) Cool slightly on wire racks.

8) Roll in a large bowl filled with powdered sugar. When all are coated, double dip a second time.


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