Sunday, April 20, 2014

flowers for easter

IMG_6115 It's Easter today. While we don't celebrate this, I wanted to share with you some flowers that I've seen on walks...Shibazakura (phlox). This is great for landscaping.

IMG_6138 Tokiwa Mansaku (Loropetalum Chinense). This one grow really tall but when I saw it they had cut it to hedge size...pretty!

IMG_6162 Kikumomo (Amygdalus Persica)...This particular tree was just filled with blossoms, so bright!

IMG_6206 Nanohana (Rapeseed)

I found these alongside the Minoo River...really brightened up the area.

IMG_6203 Not sure what type of flower this one is.

But I like how it droops down with lots of flowers on the stem.

IMG_6225 Yaezakura, a type of sakura (cherry blossom).

This double cherry blossom blooms after the Someiyoshi, the main type of cherry blossom, love the pom-poms.

IMG_6242 And lastly, some freesia from our lanai.

I think this year we've had more freesia than in the past.

I hope you all have a great week ahead!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

moulin du calanquet

IMG_6186 My host brother's wife recently gave us this bottle of preserves by Moulin du Calanquet, a maker of different condiments in Provence.

She said it could be used for meat and cheese.

I looked at the bottle and it is made from cherries and balsamic vinegar.

We enjoyed it with steak and some brie.

It was a little tart but we liked it.

Thank you!

Friday, April 18, 2014

roca's red vegetable pickles

DSC06180 With the rest of the red cabbage, I tried this recipe in Roca's other book, "Roca no Bento".

The recipe says it serves 2, we don't usually eat that much pickles in one sitting, so it seemed a like a lot to me.

Red Vegetable Pickles from "Roca no Bento" serves 2

160 grams red cabbage
1 bay leaf
1.5 tablespoons vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Rinse and cut the red cabbage into small pieces
Add the cabbage to a resealable bag, add the seasonings.
Remove as much air as possible and let sit for at least an hour.

IMG_6200 NOTES: this was so easy to put together and it tastes like the Japanese cole slaw that I've made before.

We had a little of it the other morning, nice and crunchy! Satoshi said he liked it because it reminded him of sauerkraut.

The sausage we had tasted like portuguese sausage too, whoo!

I transferred the pickles from the resealable bag to a jar. The notes of the recipe also say you can use regular cabbage for this too.

I'll definitely make this one again.

It's Friday here, I hope you all have a nice Easter and a nice weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

roca's kiriboshi daikon mustard salad

IMG_6185 My impression of kiriboshi daikon isn't a very good one. Most times when you get it at the sozai-ya (pre-made food shop) or when it is in a bento, the daikon is limp, not a very nice texture.

On top of that, the color is brown because it is simmered in shoyu (soy sauce) and other ingredients.

So, when I spotted this colorful salad in Roca's book, I had to try it.

I'd never cooked with kiriboshi daikon, so using this was a first for me.

Kiriboshi daikon is daikon that is sliced and then dried. These days a lot of housewives are cutting and drying their own veggies. By drying them, the veggies are supposed to retain a lot of their nutrients as well as a lot of their flavor.

I also think that by drying them, you can keep them in your pantry for off-season cooking.

When I opened the package of kiriboshi daikon, the aroma of daikon was really strong. The texture looked like the paper that gets stuck in the shredder...

Kiriboshi Daikon Mustard Salad from "Roca no Teishoku" : serves 2

20 grams kiriboshi daikon
hot water
2 teaspoons shoyu (soy sauce)
1.5 tablespoons vinegar
25 grams onion (about 1/8 of an onion)
15 grams red cabbage (about 1 leaf)
20 grams carrot (about 3 centimeters)
30 grams Japanese cucumber (about 1/3 of a cucumber)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise or your favorite oil
grainy mustard

Rinse the kiriboshi daikon and then pour enough hot water over it to cover it and let it rehydrate.
Let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
While you are waiting for the daikon to rehydrate, get the rest of the salad ready.

Thinly slice the onion, cabbage and cucumber.
Julienne the carrot.
In a container, put the onion, cabbage, cucumber and carrot.
Sprinkle the salt, mix with your hands and let sit.

After 20 minutes, drain the water from the daikon and squeeze gently (you don't want it totally dry).
While the daikon is still warm, add the shoyu and vinegar, mix and let cool.
After about 30 minutes to an hour, the daikon should be cooled and the other veggies will have released some of their water.
Drain the water from the veggies.

Add the daikon with its "sauce" to the veggies.
Add a little grainy mustard, I used about 1/2 teaspoon, and the mayo.
Mix well and then chill.

NOTES: The daikon is so crunchy! In fact, everything in this salad is. We enjoyed this several times already. I am definitely making this again!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


IMG_6073 A little list of things I've been drinking lately...

This tea fruit soda at Corridor. Sweetened tea syrup is added to a glass with fresh fruits and then topped off with club soda. I want to re-create this one.

IMG_6085 Smirnoff's Ice Green Apple.

This one reminded me of a Jolly Rancher's candy, but more on the sour side...

IMG_6096 Bacardi's Strawberry Daiquiri...meh, this one was way too sweet.

IMG_6117 Bacardi's Mojito...I don't think I've acutally had a mojito before, I didn't care for this for some reason.

IMG_6168 Minoh Beer's O-saru IPA, a fruity IPA with a little bitter finish.

This one was created for an event that they participated in. Love the label!

IMG_6176 Otoko Ume Sour, this one really smelled like ume and was a bit on the salty side.

Guess with the warmer weather I've been craving fizzy drinks. How about you?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

azzurro verdura

IMG_6092 We tried Azzurro Verdura the other week.

Since Grand Front Osaka opened last year, we've avoided this place because there was always too many people.

Things have sort of calmed down a bit, so we've been slowly checking different places out.

Satoshi and I both ordered the daily pasta lunch.

Our meal started off with a l-o-n-g plate of appetizers for each person...delicious!

After taking the photo this way, I realized I should've done a panoramic one so that you could see all the different appetizers.

IMG_6093 It is after this that our meal kinda went downhill.

Our pastas was a spring cabbage meat sauce. And while it looks really delicious, this was way too salty!

It was so difficult to finish. For us, it is pretty rare for us to walk out on a meal or complain (unless there are bugs in the dish...)

I would go back to try other items on their menu, but am scared that everything will also be oversalted...

Azzurro Verdura
Grand Front Osaka North Building 6F

Monday, April 14, 2014


IMG_6130 I recently revisited a few Circo D'oro

This time around I had their affogato...470 yen. Hot espresso is poured over vanilla gelato.

The owner let me pull my own espresso. Well, actually he had to help me, their machine is a Fiorenzato and it is a lever type of espresso machine. The lever is super tight because of the spring inside.

Count to 5 and release slowly...out comes your shots of espresso.

It was a cool experience and the affogato was nice too.

IMG_6133 I went back to Boulangerie Goût. This time I bought their earl grey cream bread...which was good but got smashed in my bag.

A brioche type of bread filled with earl grey cream and topped with tons of macadamias.

IMG_6134 Their cinnamon roll. I love how they packed it, the topping was a cinnamon flavored cream cheese frosting.

Satoshi and I shared both of these for breakfast one day.

IMG_6171 And this past Saturday, I went back to The City Bakery.

I had actually wanted to go to All Day Coffee, but they didn't open until 10:00.

This time around I had their cinnamon apple biscuit and the sesame azuki good!

Have you been revisiting some of your favorite eateries?