Monday, May 31, 2010

bo luc lac

While I was home (in Hawaii) last year, I read through several issues of "Saveur".

One issue, (April 2009) had an interesting recipe for "Bo Luc Lac" or "Vietnamese shaken beef" by the Slanted Door in San Francisco.

I've never had this, so I thought it would be interesting to make. I "jotted" down the recipe, which you can find online, here.

My "jotting" sometimes turns to a shorthand of sorts and in this case, I missed what or where to put the garlic that the recipe listed.

I also couldn't remember how this dish looked in the magazine, so instead turned this into a salad.

Here is what I did.

I marinated the meat like the recipe stated for about 6 hours.

I heated my pan with some oil and cooked the beef on one side for 3 minutes.

When it was time to flip it over, I added the minced garlic and half of the vinaigrette. I also added some chopped green onions.

At the end of the 2nd 3 minutes, I turned off the heat.

For my salad, I washed some green leaf, watercress, cilantro. I also added some carrots and cucumber. I drizzled the vinaigrette over the salad.

As part of the recipe, there is also a lime dipping sauce, I instead drizzled this sauce over the meat after I placed it atop the salad.

NOTES: I didn't know what tenderloin was in Japanese and instead bought a really cheap piece of beef....big mistake, there was lots of gristle and fat. Next time, I will buy a better piece.

Since I bought half a pound of meat, I made half the recipe of the marinade, vinaigrette and sauce.

I didn't have red onion or scallions so left them out.

I loved the flavors, the watercress gives it a spicy bite and the lime dipping sauce brightens everything.

I am not sure how authentic this dish is, but I'm making this again.

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

tea salon musica

Another place that has been on my "to try" list is Tea Salon Musica. We finally got around to trying it.

I had read several reviews of this place and was worried that smoking would be allowed in the salon, but to my surprise, they have banned it on Saturdays until 18:00 (whoo hoo!)

We ordered a sandwich set to share 1200 yen (about US$12), this came with the sandwich of your choice (Satoshi chose the BLT) and a pot of tea, which unfortunately was pre-set, "Pride of Sri Lanka", served hot.

The tea cozy was cute and was in the shape of an elephant.

Unlike the sandwiches at Kitahama Retro, this sandwich was "normal" sized. Satoshi liked the tea and sandwich. The tea was supposedly delicious with milk, but he had this straight.

The bacon wasn't crispy but was still delicious.
I ordered the scones to share 450 yen (about US$4.50) and an Earl Grey Iced Tea 480 yen (about US$4.80). I actually could have ordered the scones as a set (with tea for 800 yen about US$8), but would have had to drink the pre-set tea, "Pride of Sri Lanka". (The day was rather warm and on top of that, they don't allow you to order the tea with their sets to be iced.)

Kind of strict when it comes to the set menu (prix fixe) items.

I thought the Earl Grey was so-so, it was more smokey and not too citrusy. The scones were kind of on the dry side also. I think we should have gone with a cake (or two) instead.

If you want to eat pasta or other food items beside scones, sandwiches and cake, you should head to the back of the shop where they have a cafe called Cafe tous les Jours.

I'm not sure if smoking is banned during Saturdays here also, but I have heard that this cafe has jazz and piano performances in the evening.

Overall, we enjoyed the quiet atmosphere in the tea salon.

At the very front of the shop is where they sell their teas. Did you know that Tea Salon Musica was the very first in Japan to serve tea brewed in a tea pot? This was in 1952.

Now almost everywhere you go in Japan, tea is served in a tea pot.

One of their most famous items is their Dojima Breakfast tea. I didn't buy it on this day but will go back soon to get some.

I'm glad we got to try this place, and knowing that smoking is not allowed on Saturdays, I'm sure we'll be back.

Tea House Musica : this shop closed in 2013
1-4-4 Dojimahama (Aqua Dojima Bldg, Fontana Wing 3F)
Kita, Osaka
Phone: 06.6345.5414
Open: 11:00-22:00, Closed Sundays & Holidays

Cafe Tous les Jours (located at the back of Tea House Musica) : this shop closed in 2013
Phone: 06.6342.7886
Open: 11:30-14:30, 17:30-22:30

Saturday, May 29, 2010

foodie friday in nishinomiya

Yesterday Satoshi had the day off so for lunch we went to check out Awajishima Burger, which my blog friend, Rona highly recommended.

Apparently, this place is very popular, in fact, when we arrived at 11 (their opening time), they were already busy putting together several telephone orders.

The shop is very small, with seats for 6--max.

The counter was a bit too high for me to eat from but I made do.

I ordered the regular with bacon and cheese 500 yen + 100 yen + 100 yen (about US$7) and a side order of onion rings 150 yen (about US$1.50). This burger also came with grilled onions, lettuce and tomato and a teriyaki-type sauce.

The burger was huge, juicy. The bacon, thick and more like ham but with a little glaze on it.

At first, I was a bit overwhelmed by the size of it and didn't know how to go about eating it.

Definitely not someplace to eat at on your "first date" (be prepared to get sauce on your face).
Satoshi also ordered a regular (he was tempted to order the large but I talked him out of it) with an over easy egg and onion ring 500 yen + 100 yen + 100 yen (about US$7) and a side order of fries 150 yen (about US$1.50). This burger was massive! Satoshi also had a hard time eating it. The fries were a bit soft, would've enjoyed them more if they were crisp.

We both had bottled cokes 150 yen each (about US$1.50), it had been some time since we'd had soda, but it was fun drinking from the bottle.

The owner prides his burgers on Awajishima's (Awaji Island) beef as well as their onions and tomatoes. The buns are made daily and reminded me of sweet bread or brioche. I think the onion rings were also made from the Awaji Island onions (yum!).

The onions from Awaji Island are the best, sweet like Vidalia!

FYI: Awajishima (Awaji Island) is an island off of mainland Japan (Honshu) and is part of Hyogo prefecture.

These burgers were good, really messy but good! (Thanks for another great tip, Rona!)

When we left, the other 4 seats were filled and there were several people waiting outside.

We then checked out 808 Kitchen (around the corner), a grocer specializing in fruits and veggies.

I purchased a bag of red bell peppers grown in Kochi (a prefecture in Shikoku) for 150 yen (about US$1.50) (In my opinion, Kochi has the best red bell peppers, though they are usually small).
We were quite full but wanted to have a cup of coffee, so we walked back towards the Hankyu Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi station.

On the way we saw this SUV with Hamann written on it and a Mini with grey British flags on the side mirrors.

We stopped at Nishinomiya Gardens located next to the station and had lukewarm lattes with cute art at Cafe Bon...650 yen (about US$6.50) each.

Despite the lattes, it was a great day, lots of walking and lots of good food. Have a nice weekend.

Awajishima Burger (near the Nishinomiya Higashi-chiho Oroshishijo)
4-1 Ikeda-cho
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
Phone: 080.3036.4373
Closed Wednesdays, Open from 11:00-20:00

808 Kitchen
4-24 Ikeda-cho
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
Phone: 0798.37.1220

Cafe Bon
Nishinomiya Gardens 4F
14-2 Takamatsu-cho
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
Phone: 0798.61.0089
Open 11:00-23:00

Friday, May 28, 2010

okara patties

We've been trying to eat less meat during the week.

Here's an easy and healthy recipe that I used to make okara patties.

If you want to add some ground beef, you may want to use this recipe, but for this meatless version, this is what I did.

Okara Patties : Makes 6

120 grams okara (soy lees)
1/4 carrot, minced
2 pinches of dried hijiki (brown seaweed), reconstituted
part of an onion, minced
1 egg
grinds of pepper, to your liking
1 tablespoon oil

1 tablespoon shoyu
1 tablespoon mirin
slurry (some cornstarch diluted with water)

grated daikon
chopped green onion

Combine the okara, carrot, hijiki, onion, egg and pepper together.
Using a tablespoon, scoop and form 2 or 3-inch patties.

Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon oil and cook patties.
(I covered the pan and let it cook for 3 minutes, flipped them over and cooked for another 3 minutes).

After the patties are cooked through, remove and make the sauce.
Add the shoyu and mirin to the pan and swirl, add a little of the slurry until you get the consistency of the sauce you want. (I didn't make it too thick)

Spoon over patties and top with grated daikon and chopped green onions.

NOTES: The texture reminds me of corned beef hash patties with more potato than corned beef.

You can top it with the sauce above or catsup. We've also had it with tonkatsu sauce.

If you don't like crunching on half cooked carrots and onions (we like the crunch), you can sautee them to get them soft before adding them to the okara.

You could also add cooked beans like edamame (soy beans) or konnyaku (devil's tongue jelly).

If you make the patties smaller, they are great in bento (boxed lunch).

Thursday, May 27, 2010

eating the rainbow

Lately for our dinners we've been trying to eat more of the "rainbow". Here is a dish that I made trying to re-create something we had at a chinese restaurant. The original dish had chicken, onion and eggplant, but I nixed the meat and made it with only veggies. My sauce was a little more savory than what we ate, but Satoshi liked this. If you'd like to try it, here are the portions for the sauce, use your favorite veggies. To give you an idea of just how much veggies I used, I'll list them up. 1 small eggplant 1/2 zucchini 1/2 carrot 1/4 white onion 1/2 red bell pepper Miso Stir-fry sauce : for 2 2 tablespoons miso 1 teaspoon sugar 1 tablespoon mirin 1 tablespoon sake 1/2 teaspoon tobanjan (chili paste) Combine well, so that the miso is dissolved into sauce. After sauteeing the veggies of your choice in some sesame oil, add the sauce. Serve with rice. Here are a couple more dishes we've been eating as part of the "rainbow". Nicoise style salad. Potato, beans, some grains (wheatberry & pearl barley), some marinated olives (unfortunately not Nicoise) and an anchovy vinaigrette with dill. A variation on the fragrant chickpea salad that I usually make. This time around I didn't have flat leaf parsley and added a can of corn. The weather here has been rainy, sometimes cool, sometimes humid. The weather guys have not announced the rainy season starting for Kansai yet (I think) but I believe it has.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

kitahama retro

I had been wanting to check out Kitahama Retro for some time now. This past Saturday, we got the chance.

This building built in 1912, was originally bought by a businessman who fell in love with the building. He quit his original job and sold his house in order to finance the upkeep of the building. (or something like that)

In 1997, the building was refurbished into a cafe. Though very small, it has a very homey atmosphere.

In this business area, this building is very "short" in comparison to the skyscrapers and office buildings around it, and has a flavor all its own.

Satoshi and I got there just as they were opening and ordered two sandwich sets 1600 yen (about US$16) each for lunch.

The set comes with the sandwich of your choice and tea of your choice.

Satoshi chose the mixed sandwich, this came with an omlette, some ham, cucumber, potato salad and lettuce layered into a sandwich.

For his tea, he chose a fragrant apple tea.
For my sandwich set, I chose the BLT. I liked the bacon even though it wasn't crispy.

Since the weather was very humid and sunny, I chose a tea with lemon. And with lemon it came! I was quite surprised that they gave me so many slices. Very puckery but refreshing.

These sandwiches were really filling!

After our orders came, we noticed other tables ordering the Afternoon Tea set 2100 yen (about US$21)...this comes with your choice of cake, 2 scones and some finger sandwiches.

In fact, we saw a table of 4 ladies order 4 AT sets and split their cakes 4 ways (you go ladies!)

We definitely should have ordered something like that! (Next time for sure.)

And as we left, there was already a line waiting for seating.

Kitahama Retro
1-1-26 Kitahama
Chuo, Osaka
Phone: 06.6223.5858
Weekdays: 11:00-21:30
Weekends/Holidays: 11:00-19:00

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

culture shock

One day last week, Satoshi and I were walking back from lunch and we saw the most bizarre thing.

A policeman pulled someone off to the side as the car came down the ramp of the freeway.

Now, while this does not sound unusual, it was the way this policeman decided to pull the car off to the side that freaked us out.

As we were walking past the off-ramp, the policeman ran out to the middle of three lanes and started holding out his hands and blowing his whistle.

The car barely noticed the policeman and all the while the policeman was tooting his whistle, and trying to stop the car with his hands out in front of him.

Finally at about a foot before hitting the policeman, the car pulled off to the side of the road.

We were watching all of this and thinking WT?

Amazingly the policeman wasn't hurt, but we thought this method was quite primitive and wondered why he wasn't working with another policeman.

NOTES: (Most policemen patrol on mopeds or bicycles around the neighborhood, the ones on motorcycles are mostly seen on the freeways.)

Monday, May 24, 2010

a little sleuthing

Sometimes I take a picture of a plant or flower and wonder what it is afterwards.

Having grown up in Hawaii, there are a lot of plants and flowers in Japan that I've never seen before.

If there is a sign with the name of the plant or flower, then I usually use that info to find out more information.

But if there is no sign, then I resort to the internet.

I love the internet because I can search online, though most times it is hit or miss. Nowadays you can search through photos online too. I like this method as I can compare my photo with the ones online.

Anyway, the other day I had taken a picture of this tree in Nakanoshima.

The flowers were so fragrant that every time the wind blew you would get a whiff of the citrusy aroma.

I looked online to see if I could find the Japanese or English name for the tree, but after many hours, came up empty.

Then by some miracle, I looked up the name of the bridge which I took the photo!

The bridge is called Sendan no Ki-bashi (Chinaberry tree bridge). The scientific name for the tree is Melia Azedarach.

Who would've thought they would name the bridge after the tree?

The bridge was originally made of wood but washed away in a flood (in 1885) then re-built (I think several times).

I think it was in 1937 that they decided to change the wood bridge to metal.

Though the bridge is short in length, at one end of the bridge there are several of the original posts used to mark the bridge during different eras and are located under a very large Chinaberry tree.

There is also a relief of the Chinaberry tree on one of the original posts, this design is also worked into the railings along the sides of the bridge.

At the other end of the bridge is another Chinaberry tree, but this one is shorter so the flowers were just the right height for me to get a close-up of them.

I'm glad I was able to find out more about this tree and bridge.

Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Sometimes I get cravings for inarizushi (cone sushi). I love the sweet/salty combination of the aburage (fried tofu pouches) that the seasoned rice is put into.

You can find many sozai (pre-made foods) on the food floor of any department store. But if you go into supermarkets, they also sell sozai, a little cheaper than department stores too.

For this particular lunch from the supermarket, I had inarizushi, some fried fish, seasoned asparagus and tea.

Actually, I bought double the amount so I could have this for lunch for two days. Another nice thing about buying sozai from a supermarket or sozai-ya (shop which sells only pre-made foods), is that you can get small or large portions.

Department stores do sell small portions but usually they start weighing their foods from 100 grams, and almost nothing is less than 300 yen/100 grams, whereas the sozai-ya in my shopping arcade sells some items for 98 yen/100 grams.

On another day, I made egg salad filling, a toasted piece of walnut raisin bread, some cornichon (small pickles) and leftover carrot salad with iced tea.

What have you been having for lunch?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

japanese restaurant: kakomi

Yesterday, the sun came out and I met up with my friend, Kazumi for lunch.

She had heard nice things about the Japanese restaurant located in the basement area of the Hotel Elsereine. The hotel, as well as the restaurants, opened up about a month ago.

This was the first time I've asked if it was okay to take photos, though sitting at the counter in front of the chef, I felt it was kinda necessary.

Our lunch started off with a clam steamed in rice wine and served with a tomato gelee.

Next came the sashimi course. Besides a delicious piece of cherry smoked hamo (pike conger) and fresh hamachi (yellowtail), this course had an interesting item, graptopetalum paraguayense or grapara leaf as the Japanese like to call it.

I recently saw this on television and this succulent is apparently edible. My mom has tons of this plant in her garden. It tasted like watery celery.

Next came an assortment of various little bites. I particularly enjoyed the tsukune (minced chicken meatball) topped with Tasmanian seed mustard.

We also had some tai kamameshi (rice cooked in a clay pot with snapper, fish stock and burdock root) and this delicious pea soup, Japanese style, topped with sea eel.

For dessert I chose the apple ice cream with salt and pepper tuile. This was refreshing and delicious.

Kazumi had the custard pudding. We loved how it was served in the egg.

Lunch ended with a nice cup of coffee. (This photo doesn't do the cup justice, it was a nice pale blue.) I particularly liked the cup that it was served in, though the head chef had mentioned that he had some complaints about it not being practical to drink from.

We had a nice time and the food was very delicious. (Thank you for a great day Kazumi!)

Japanese Restaurant Kakomi
1-5-25 Dojima (Hotel Elsereine B1)
Kita, Osaka
Phone: 06.6136.3135
Closed Sundays
Open 11:30-14:00, 17:30-22:00

Friday, May 21, 2010

on a walk

The weather had been rainy for the past couple of days, so I haven't been able to get out and about, I thought I should share some photos I took on a walk awhile back.

Sansho--Japanese pepper plant. The Chinese sichuan pepper is related, though I think the Chinese use it dried while I think the Japanese grind up the fresh pods.

The Japanese also use the leaves to decorate and season foods.

Wild poppies in an empty lot. Too bad I didn't catch them when there were more blooms.

Most cherry trees that bloom in Spring do not produce fruit. But lately I've been noticing that there are some that do have fruit.

I've never seen the fruit from these trees in the markets but have seen them on neighbor's trees.

Unlike this tree, most have netting around it so that the birds do not get at the fruit.

I hope the bad weather will stop soon so that I can get out of the house for more walks.

Hope you have a good weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

things I'm liking (and disliking)

Just wanted to share some things I'm liking and disliking. Starting with the disliking...

Hanabatake Bokujo's Nama Caramel Chocolate Ice cream....meh, this didn't have much chocolate nor caramel flavor.

Moving on to liking...

The moon on Sunday was just a sliver but it looked like it was "winking" or "smiling".

Anchor's Liberty Ale (6% alcohol)...this beer smelled fruity but was quite bitter.

Perfect with spicy Chinese chicken wings.

The weather is warming up here.

I had some iced tea at La Marina de Bourbon with lunch the other day.

The tea was called Cerise (cherry). I was afraid that the cherry flavor would be more like maraschino or fake tasting, but it was actually quite natural tasting.

It went nicely with the apple and camembert sandwich I had there. (UPDATE: 2011 this restaurant is now closed)

Since I love Earl Grey tea, I bought two types recently.

One was Fortnum & Mason's Earl Grey Classic. This tea was more black tea flavor than citrus flavor.

The other was Mariage Frères' Earl Grey Imperial.

This tea was bright in flavor. I like this one over the F & M version.

The last photo is of a sparrow, who sat on our lanai for quite some time contemplating something. (I thought he was cute, I liked him)

What he decided? To poop on the perch where he was sitting...(I didn't like him)

What are you liking (disliking)?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


What would the possibility be of seeing a Lamborghini in Japan?

Sure, Mercedes, BMWs and other luxurious cars can be seen almost daily, but a Lamborghini? Sightings would be slim, I would think.

So, you could understand what a commotion 3 of them together made.

Sitting inside of Starbucks the other day, you could hear the revving of their engines (to get attention I assumed) as they made their way down the street. One guy even drove his Lamborghini with the door up in the air.

They apparently decided to stop into Starbucks but couldn't find enough parking for their 3 cars (ahem...actually the whole street is no parking!)

They then stopped all traffic in both directions and made illegal u-turns to park across the street from Starbucks.

One foreigner on a bicycle passing by almost fell off taking a double take.

No cops came to give them tickets nor tow them away. In fact, I've never seen a tow truck here in Osaka.

They ended up staying for over an hour, their cars untouched but very ogled.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

another "rosey" & foodie weekend

The weekend was beautiful. Sunny with a slight breeze at times.

Saturday, Satoshi had his German class so we went to Umeda early and checked out Boulangerie Takagi, which I wrote about here.

Luckily it wasn't too crazy inside the shop and we were able to pick out some items for lunch.

Satoshi chose a bread with salmorejo (chilled spanish tomato soup) with egg and some bacon on top (top left). He also chose a shrimp and bacon tartine (top right). There was also an egg, tomato and ham sandwich, but that was apparently eaten so fast that the camera missed taking its photo.

I chose the apple galette (bottom right) and a Sebastian style shrimp and bacon sandwich (bottom left).

I am not too sure what "sebastian style" is but there were marinated (sweet/sour) veggies in the sandwich which reminded me of banh mi (vietnamese sandwich).

We sat in the shade near Nakanoshima and enjoyed everything we got, it was also nice to people watch.

After lunch, we walked around the Nakanoshima Rose Garden.

We've visited this garden (pre-blog) and I must say they have really made this place nice. When we visited before, there were many homeless people here and there and it was kind of a scary place to visit.

Now there is grass and many rose bushes, just a nice place to hang out.

I was amazed at all the different varieties of roses too, like this one called "Edgar Degas", each flower on the same plant was a different color.

I love how most of the rose names are "positive" like "love", "peace" or of people like "Princess Aiko" (the daughter of the Japan Prince).

Somehow looking at all the bridges that cross the Tosabori river and Dojima river around Nakanoshima Rose Garden reminded me of Paris (though we've only visited Paris for a day--pre-blog).

Satoshi went off to his class and I walked around window shopping and stopping into Ig Cafe for a decadent custard filled french toast.

After more walking, we met up at Yodobashi Camera, where we had dinner at Gyo Gyo. They were having a "sale" on most of their items.

I chose their Hokkai "don". A bowl filled with a little rice and LOTS of different seafood pieces (octopus, salmon roe, squid, sea urchin, crab leg, yellowtail, marinated mackerel, scallop, clam, northern shrimp)...1280 yen (about US$12.80). This came with chawan mushi (savory custard) and miso soup.

Satoshi chose the uni hotate & ikura don (sea urchin, scallop & salmon roe bowl)...1280 yen (about US$12.80). This also came with chawan mushi & miso soup.

This shop definitely had fresh seafood and great prices.
Sunday, I made us a breakfast bento and we headed to Aramaki Rose Garden. We've visited here in the past and love it.

Our breakfast bento had some egg with canned teriyaki saba rolled into it. Carrot salad, tsukemono (pickles) & grapefruit pieces.

I also made some musubi with different fillings.

On our "breakfast picnics" I usually brew some coffee and put it in a thermos.

I re-used this plastic container that originally had dressing in it and put some milk in it for my coffee. I also put a horeizai (miniature "blue ice") with it so it wouldn't spoil.

(To get the milk into the teeny container, I used my "spice funnel" a teeny little funnel which is used to put spices into jars (got this at the 100 yen store)).

The roses this year were a little shorter in height than in the past, I think the weird winter weather played a big part in it.

The light rose fragrance that wafted here and there was nice and we enjoyed getting out and about. Seeing these blooms especially on a beautiful day really brought out an inner sort of peace too.

For lunch, Satoshi said he wanted to eat gyoza (pot stickers), so we stopped at Ippudo for lunch.

I tried their "tsukemen". Unlike ramen, udon or soba where the noodles are already in the soup, tsukemen is where you dip your noodles into the soup and eat them.

This soup was fish based with half of a soft boiled egg, generous pieces of pork, green onions, & smashed up ika fry (a crunchy sweet/salty seafood snack). Though I finished my meal, this soup was too salty for my tastes.

Another great weekend for us, I hope yours was just as nice!

Monday, May 17, 2010

on fire

A couple of months back, I tried Mascot's curry paste. That particular time the spice level was medium.

This time, I tried "very spicy".

I sauteed some onion, added the water and mixed in the paste.

In another pan, I sauteed carrots, zucchini, red bell pepper, eringi. After the zucchini was cooked through, I added a rinsed can of corn and cooked just to heat through.

The spiciness of this curry is HOT! The heat starts at the back of your throat, working its way to your lips, making your nose run.

Even Satoshi noticed the difference in the spice level.

While this made for a great dinner on the nippy evenings we've been having, I think this level is too hot, and will probably go back to "medium" (though Satoshi says he likes the very spicy over the medium).

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Once Satoshi and I went to see the Phillies play and the weather was fahreezing!

Yet I saw many people walking around in thick coats and eating ice cream around the stadium.

At the time, I thought these people were crazy.

But nowadays, I can eat ice cream in fahreezing weather too. (though maybe not outside in the cold.)

This is the latest Haagen Dazs flavor here...cookies and green tea. The sweetness from the chocolate cookies balances out the bitterness of the green tea.

I would eat this again (even on a cold day).

Saturday, May 15, 2010


On Monday and Tuesday, the weather was cloudy and at times rainy.

The weather guys were saying that we may be having a cold snap over the next couple of days too...eep! And here I thought Spring/Summer was coming...

Since I didn't want to go out into the rain, I stayed indoors and baked some muffins for tea time.

It was my first time to "marble" them. I also added some dried cherries, but I should have also added some chocolate chips.

I should do that the next time.

In the end, there was a nip in the air until the end of the week. These were perfect for snack and breakfast.

Friday, May 14, 2010

sunshine in the mail

I recently entered a blog contest and won!

The package arrived on a rainy day and upon opening it up, brightened up my day.

I received this cute cover-up by Letarte, a swimwear company from Maui.

Will definitely be using this near the pool or ocean this summer or the next time we go somewhere warm.

If you want to find out about "all the modern island goodness of Hawai'i", especially regarding fashion & beauty, you should check out Hapa|Hale.

Thanks Hapa|Hale!