Friday, April 8, 2016

Las Vegas Dinner at Blossom and Japanese Mochi Ice Cream

We celebrated my birthday (March 26th) dinner at Blossom a Chinese Restaurant in the Aria Resort.  The meal, service and ambiance was simply wonderful all around.  We started our meal with Tempura String Beans and BBQ Back Ribs.  For our main course we shared Chicken Breast with Lemon Sauce, Beef Tenderloin with Portabell Mushrooms served with a Black Pepper Sauce and Steamed Jasmine Rice.  For dessert we shared Mandarin Ginger Chocolate Creme Brulee and as a special treat our waiter also served us our first sampling of Green Tea and Mango Japanese Mochi Ice Cream.  What a wonderful treat!  We both totally loved the Mochi Ice Cream and he shared that we should be able to find it locally at our favorite Oriental Market.  He confessed that whenever he would purchase Mochi Ice Cream that he would end up eating it all in one sitting as it was so tasty he had no self control.

Fast forward to our return to Boise and my hunt for Japanese Mochi Ice Cream.  I visited two local Oriental Markets and neither had it in stock and could not tell me when they might have it again.  Since neither offered to take my name or to special order the Mochi I resorted to looking for a recipe to make my own Mochi.  I did find several recipes and although it looks a bit time consuming I figured I could consider making some as a last resort.  As luck would have it one of the recipes I uncovered in my search actually mentioned that you could purchase Mochi Ice Cream at Costco and Trader Joe's.  What!?!  Since I was going to be downtown on Wednesday I called Trader Joe's (the recipe was posted in 2014 and I was not sure if either still carried it) and sure enough they carry Mochi Ice Cream year round and in 4 flavors.  I felt like I had won the lottery!  I took an ice chest (it was almost 80 degrees out and I had to drive back across town) with me to my conference and when it was finished I drove over to Joe's.  Low and behold there in the freezer case was the treat I was craving.  And the real unexpected surprise was that it only cost $3.49 per box of 6.  In Las Vegas 3 pieces of Mochi were priced at $12.00.  I spent $13.96 for 24 pieces of Mochi Ice Cream.  A total bargain in my book after the sticker shock of Las Vegas restaurant pricing!

If you have never had Mochi Ice Cream before (and I highly recommend you sample some at least once in your life) Mochi Ice Cream is a confection made from Japanese Mochi (pounded sticky rice) with an ice cream filling.   The ice cream flavors the confection while the Mochi adds sweetness and texture.  The four flavors that Trader Joe's carries are mango, chocolate, strawberry and green tea.  I have not made it to Costco yet to see if they have it in stock but at least I have an inexpensive source now for an unusual and refreshing treat.  


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