Yesterday I got it in my head that I had to make some mochi with sweet bean paste. I love buying it from Asian shops in Auckland and there's something about the chalky texture of the glutinous rice outer layer that I am obsessed with. I checked out a few websites and read through some recipes then decided to have a go at it. Most recipes called for cooking the "dough" in the microwave but since I don't have one I opted for using the rice cooker. That was the beginning of the recipe failure. I soaked some adzuki beans overnight and started simmering them in the morning. I vaguely remember testing the beans before we left for the beach but they weren't cooked so I kept them simmering. In the rush to get 3 kids out the door with all of our beach gear, water, snacks, etc and pick up our friends in time to get to the beach for surf life saving, I completely blanked on the beans. Two and a half hours later as we were finally driving away from the beach I remembered about the beans. In a panic I telephoned whoever I could think of that might be able to rescue my house from the roaring flames I had pictured in my mind, only to be confronted with answer phone messages. Oh dear lord. I rushed back as quickly as I possibly could despite the car in front of me driving 60km the whole way to Leigh. Open the gate, unlock the front door, run upstairs and.......the beans had completely soaked up the water and were only just beginning to slightly burn on the bottom. Saved! And just in the nick of time. In my mind, the new kitchen was a smoldering mess and we would have to rebuild. Luck was seriously on my side yesterday....or guardian angles...or something. Anyway, on with the recipe. The sweet bean paste turned out a bit too sloppy. The dough was a bit tough (maybe a rice cooker is not similar to a microwave) and my sweet little mochi puffs were nowhere near as delicious as the ones I usually buy in the Asian shops. I had even added some matcha to the dough so it would be the green tea version. Perhaps mochi are best purchased and not made at home. On the way back from the beach as my house was almost catching on fire, we stopped at a courgette farm and picked up a carload of free "stock feed" courgettes. They were a bit too large to sell but the hadn't yet turned into marrow. With the leftover sweet bean filling I continued on my path of making weird healthy shit. This time I went for adzuki bean courgette brownies. Sounds disgusting right? I mixed the bean paste with some maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, almond milk and grated courgette. To this I added sieved cocoa, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Mix it all up and chuck it in the oven and voila, super healthy brownies. You won't believe that they actually taste amazing. Seriously. Tui had 2 for morning tea and I wasn't even worried about giving her too much "treat". Fill up with courgette and beans as much as you want kiddo! The mochi won't go to waste either; Gigi, the kid who hates everything actually loves them. Sweet as!