Mochi…Nailed It! Carrie (and her twin sister) tackle the Destination Cooking Challenge for #StayCaytoFarAway

Full disclosure: I’m not much of a cook – never have been. In my 20’s I horrified my roommates by attempting to make brownies with hot chocolate mix instead of cocoa powder and molasses instead of brown sugar. Needless to say, I knew this challenge would be a bit of a long-shot for me.

Soliciting the help of my twin…

While brainstorming with my dad, he suggested I solicit the help of my twin sister Annie. I thought this was a great idea for a few reasons. For one, she’s actually a very talented and creative cook whose creations always impress at holidays. Secondly, she’s the one who introduced me to my Destination Cooking Challenge feature dish- Japanese mochi ice cream. (Without ever traveling to Asia herself, she’s always somehow found Asian desserts fascinating and would swing by the Asian grocery store for treats like this when we lived together in our 20’s.) Thirdly, I knew I would feel more natural on camera talking with my twin than I would talking to myself.

Choosing mochi ice cream…

Just before this corona pandemic started, I spent a few days in Tokyo. Japan has so many incredible dishes and any visit inevitably becomes a food-tour – at least for Drew and I.

Part of the appeal however is the absolute novelty of each thing we tried. Unfortunately novelty and achievability have very little overlap, especially for someone as novice at cooking as I.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the short ingredient list and manageable instructions for mochi ice cream, however. Only one non-generic ingredient and everything else seemed pretty simple. With the chocolate mochi from a Japanese 7-11 in my very recent memory and a recipe in my Pinterest, I felt confident.

Have you ever seen Netflix’s fail-fantastic show Nailed It? Well…Annie and I definitely Nailed it… take a look.


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Carrie Yoder spent ~5 years as a digital nomad with her husband Drew managing their points and miles travel blog, “Travel Is Free”. Now she shares her content management and design skills with others, including Frequent Miler.

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