Friday, October 31, 2014

happy halloween

mosaichalloween Today is Halloween, hope you celebrate safely.

Satoshi has a drinking gathering with friends, so I'll be celebrating by myself...

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014


meh Over the weekend Satoshi and I shared the following two beers by Belhaven...oh em gee...just colored fizzy water with foam.

How can they even call this beer?!

meh Even more disappointing was their stout...just darker colored fizzy water with foam.

You know, I really don't like to post negative things, but this was bad.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014


@ aramaki rose park Sunday the weather was quite summery, I think the high was 25C!

We packed a spam musubi bento and went to check out the roses at Aramaki Rose Park.

Arriving close to 9:00, we had the whole place to ourselves. It was nice, no one smoking or talking loudly. Just peace and quiet.

As the tour buses of people arrived, we left and went home to figure out what to do about lunch...

at ITM airport, eating #lunch, pondering places to #travel to #osaka #japan We ended up hanging out at the Itami airport (which is nearby where we live)...just gazing at the planes, dreaming of places to travel to.

The airport also has a huge furniture/interior store, so we did a little window shopping...I think we may change our dining table soon...whoo!

The weather was the point of being, HOT! At least it wasn't humid.

What did you do on the weekend?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


beni imo tarte♡ #sweets #japan #osaka #sweetpotato I don't think I've ever told you about Anri's sweet potato tartes.

They actually make two kinds...this purple one and a yellow one.

I prefer the purple one because of the vibrant color.

Inside of their flaky crust is a custard which is topped with a huge dollop of sweet potato paste.

Perfect for an afternoon treat.

Monday, October 27, 2014

thanks for today

thanks for today! have a nice weekend :) #osaka #sunset #japan #nofilter The big condo next to our apartment is fixing itself up, so they have all sorts of netting and scaffolding around the complex.

That combined with another condo coming up using a huge crane makes for ugly sunset shots...

thanks for today! #sunset #osaka #japan So, I sometimes get out of the house during the sunset hour to get shots like this one...

thanks for today! #sunset #osaka #japan Or like this one...

I still think it is a nice way to thank "someone" for the day.

Have a nice week.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Came across these macarons at Lawson the other day. They are made by a Japanese confectioner, Fujiya.

The green one is filled with framboise (raspberry) cream and the pink one with pistachio cream.

I enjoyed the cream fillings tasted like the real deal.

Last month, Yoshimi gave me this yuzu macaron by Malebranche. It was filled with dark chocolate ganache.

So good! Thank you!

I'm glad I re-connected with macarons, it had been awhile since I had one, these reminded me how much I love them.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

on the lanai

About a month ago, I told you that I planted some brussels sprouts on the lanai...well, then there were these green aphid looking thingies.

I sprayed them with a chili pepper water mixture, but that didn't work.

I then added some dish soap and turned the nozzle to a harder stream and that seemed to work.

Until I saw these teeny fuzzy grey-beige-y worms...I had to put on my specs to get all of them off!

Not to mention I had to check on the plants every morning for almost a week...

And then I saw on television that the worms like to attack the plants at night, so I started to cover them.

I used the liners I have for my garbage basket in the sink, they are soft and made of poly-something-something but allow the plants to get air.

It seems to be working.

And then I brought the ranunculus indoors so that it could get some direct sunlight. Kinda looks like celery though...

It doesn't look like it but, the one in the pot on the left just started to sprout.

The kale (which also got attacked by the green aphid looking thingies) isn't doing to well, but the swiss chard and two types of parsley (italian and cilantro) are doing fine.

How is your garden doing?

Friday, October 24, 2014


The past Mondays have been total downers...dreary, grey, rainy.

2 of the 3 Mondays have been typhoon related too.

I've been hooked on this salad lately.

Slice purple cabbage, onions, red or yellow bell peppers.
Using a peeler make carrot ribbons.
And throw in lots of chopped curly or flat leaf parsley.

For the dressing I used this marinade recipe:
9 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
lemon slices

NOTES: I juice the lemon and then slice the lemon thin to add to the salad. The puckery taste of this and the colors have really been brightening up those gloomy days.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

miel sweet

I came across this sweet potato at Crazy Pantry recently.

It is called Miel Sweet and is grown in Kochi, Shikoku.

Miel is French for "honey" but this sweet potato isn't sugar sweet.

I like the bright yellow color of the flesh when cooked.

It doesn't taste any different from any sweet potato I've had, but I'm glad we got to try this.

I made a small batch of this salad with it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

okonomiyaki hiro

I think it has been over ten years since I've eaten at Okonomiyaki Hiro.

This tiny shop is one of the first places Satoshi brought me to, to have okonomiyaki when we moved to Japan. (I'm glad they are still in business!)

My friend, Greg is visiting Japan with his mom. I'm glad he had some time to meet up.

Since Satoshi also knows Greg, we all had dinner together last night.

Gyoza, yakisoba, okonomiyaki and lots of beer.

Hope they had enough to eat. It was nice meeting Greg's mom and I hope they enjoy the rest of their stay.

Okonomiyaki Hiro
11-10 Toganocho Swiss Building 1F
Kita, Osaka
Phone: 06.6314.2328
Hours: 17:30-3:00
Mondays to Saturdays, closed Sundays

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

curry mustard sweet potato salad

Super easy recipe inspired by a similar salad that I had while eating at add:painduce.

Steam a sweet potato until it is soft but not mushy.

Make the dressing while you are waiting for the sweet potato to cook...

1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of grainy mustard
some mayo (about 1 tablespoon)

After the sweet potato is cooked, cut it into cubes while it is still hot (be careful!)
Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar over the cubes and let the sweet potato cool a bit.

Then mix the sweet potato with the dressing and chill before serving.

NOTES: my curry powder had salt in it, so I didn't add any more. This was really easy and tasty...I'm making this again.

Monday, October 20, 2014

sunday dinner

With the salts that we received from Kirk, we tried them with dinner yesterday.

Kirk mentioned that the habanero salt was good with steak, so that is what I served. A-5 Kagoshima kuroge wagyu ichibo (top side).

I wasn't too sure what to serve the uni (sea urchin) salt with, but after tasting it, I thought it might be nice to dip seafood into it.

So I pan seared some scallops. Since I didn't season the scallops before searing them, the uni salt gave the scallops a nice ocean-y flavor.

And we dipped our steak into the habanero salt...boy, did it have a nice after burn (cough!).

The fried ika (squid) and fried shrimp I picked up at the market so these were already pre-seasoned. We ate them as is.

For veggies we had some kiriboshi daikon mustard salad.

and washed everything down with this Italian Collesi Amberata. This amber ale was a little fruity and with 7.5% alcohol content had a nice kick.

This beer is unpasteurized and naturally fermented in the bottle. They suggest you serve this with grilled meat so this was perfect with my menu.

I'll keep experimenting with these infused salts. Do you use infused salts? Write how you use them in the comments. We both enjoyed our first try of these salts...Thanks again Kirk!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

foodie saturday in namba

Yesterday, after Satoshi's German class, we finally got to meet up with Kirk of mmm-yoso and "the Missus".

Rewind to June, when I was planning to go back to Hawaii for the summer, I emailed Kirk to see if he would be there at the same time.

He replied that they were instead thinking of visiting Japan in the Fall...whoo!

Fast forward to last week Monday...we had plans to meet up but Typhoon Vongfong had other intentions.

And so yesterday, we finally got a chance to meet up.

Having read Kirk's blog for many years and then meeting up in person, it wasn't like we were meeting for the first time, there weren't many silent moments, just lots of conversation and lots of laughter.

At first we had planned to check out a cheesecake cafe, but the line was krazy, so instead we sat along the Dotombori river with coffees and chatted for awhile.

Then as the sun started to set, we decided to eat something and found ourselves at Kushikatsu Gokakuya.

The name "kushikatsu" are fried foods on a stick, "gokakuya"..."gokaku" means to pass an exam and "ya" is shop. This shop is kind of like a lucky place for students studying for exams.

They even have a stick called "gokaku kushi" which has a piece of beef, pork and chicken and is supposedly good luck...which I found out about afterwards while researching for this post.

As I read off most of the menu for Kirk and the Missus to choose from, Satoshi was in-charge of yelling our order to the cooks.

We started off with enoki wrapped with bacon, quail eggs, red ginger, horumon (pork innards), tan (tongue) and "big" kushikatsu, some karaage (fried chicken), pickled cucumber, and wasabi tako (octopus).

The missus loved the sauce...

Gokakuya's sauce is their own special blend, a little sweet and tangy. The panko they use to bread the different food items is fine and gives the outer coating its crunch and keeps things light when fried.

In Osaka, remember when eating double dipping!

Next up, "big" shrimp & whale....

um, we all decided that we tried whale and can now cross it off our bucket lists...(if you are curious, it tastes like the "dark part" of a fish).

Last up, fried chicken skins so light and crisp, addicting!

We had a great time, I hope Kirk and the missus enjoyed themselves and had enough to eat.

I hope they come back to Japan soon! (I can't believe with all the travelling they have done that this was their first trip to Japan!)

Oh, and they were so nice to bring us these gourmet salts that are made in San Diego, by Salt Farm. We'll have to try them soon.

It was so nice to meet up, lots of eating, lots of talking...Thank you Kirk and the Missus!

Kushikatsu Gokakuya (Sennichi-mae Honten)
1-7-5 Dotombori
Chuo, Osaka
Phone: 06.6214.4194
Hours: Mondays-Fridays 15:00-23:00
Saturdays, Sundays & Holidays 11:00-23:00

Saturday, October 18, 2014


I started to dip into my "stash" of snacks that I brought back from Hawaii...Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Oreos.

Chocolate and peanut butter cream center...such a wonderful combo!

And the mini version...these are filled with peanut butter cream only but still nice.

What have you been snacking on these days?

Friday, October 17, 2014

cafe komachi

Awhile back, I had lunch at Cafe Komachi. This cafe is right across the street from the JR Morinomiya station.

I had their daily lunch, all sorts of veggies, chicken, rice and miso soup...1030 yen with an iced coffee.

They had many seats and I like that this cafe was no smoking.

The food was delicious, and I liked the assortment of dishes...I'll be back.

Cafe Komachi
1-14-1 Morinomiya Chuo, 2F
Chuo-ku, Osaka
Phone: 06.6945.0831
Open daily 11:00-21:00

Thursday, October 16, 2014


IMG_8433 The other day, Satoshi and I were walking past a lot that was being cleared.

I noticed that they were using the old tatami mats as a cover for the ground for the bulldozer to go over.

When I asked Satoshi why they do that, he wasn't sure, but said "probably so that they don't damage the ground".

With all the rain that has been falling lately, a heavy machine like a bulldozer would definitely get stuck in the mud.

Interesting, yeah?!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


I saw this beer on Tabera (Japan's foodie Instagram) and when I saw it at a upscale market, I decided to check an import market near our area.

They had the beer and it was a little cheaper than the upscale market's price...whoo!

At 750 mililiters this amount was similar to a bottle of wine...The name of the beer, Inedit, means "never been done" in Spanish. Created by Ferran Adrià of El Bulli in 2008, he wanted a beer to "accompany and compliment modern gastromy".

This beer has some spices like coriander, liquorice and orange peel.

The little booklet that comes with the bottle suggest foods like starters, salads, fatty fish...citrus, that is what I served.

kale chips and roasted cauliflowers, both tossed in a lemon balsamic dressing before roasting.

It was the first time making kale chips for me, I liked the crunchiness of the kale!

Caciocavallo, a cheese that reminded us of mozzarella, that is made in Hokkaido.

I've been wanting to try this cheese for some time, I'm glad we got to. So good melted!

I also made some fragrant chickpea salad.

And I marinated some sliced onions with some sliced lemon, vinegar, sugar and olive oil. I steamed some asparagus and topped it with some smoked salmon, the sliced onions and drizzled a little of the vinaigrette.

They suggest you serve this in a white wine glass.

Different to drink beer this way, but with all the different foods, the fruity notes really matched the foods, so good!

We also had some bread laden with two types of olives.

I'm glad we got a chance to try this!

p.s. I've started using Instagram again, please follow us if your are interested!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

we're fine

So, typhoon Vongfong has passed us or as the Japanese call it Typhoon #19.

It was a good thing that Satoshi had the day off yesterday because of National Holiday. JR West shut down most of their trains at 16:00, though most of the private lines ran as usual.

Still, we stayed in all day...well, there was a point where Satoshi thought we could go out to have lunch, but after getting ready and walking a couple of feet from home, the wind picked up and it started to technically we stayed in all day.

One thing we did was bring in ALL the plants from the lanai. Usually I leave a couple of the bigger plants outside, but this typhoon sounded like it was going to be a doozy.

The winds and rain picked up at about 9-ish at night and pretty much didn't stop until morning.

Usually these typhoons break up and turn into storms, but this one is still a typhoon and making its way up the coast of Honshu.

Hope the rest of Northern Honshu and Hokkaido will be okay.

Take care everyone!

Monday, October 13, 2014

craft beer picnic

Saturday after Satoshi's German class, we grabbed something light for lunch, then headed to Nakanoshima Park to check out the Craft Beer Picnic.

There were about 13 booths and about 50 different beers from around Japan.

Even though there was a typhoon approaching, it was good to see everyone out and about.

For 1000 yen, you can buy "Drink & Food". You receive 10 tickets valued at 100 yen a piece. If you want to buy a 270 mililiter cup of beer you can use 4 tickets, or you can just use the tickets for foods.

For another 1000 yen, you can buy "Picnic Beer" tickets. You receive 4 tickets for 4-150 mililiter cups of beer, a paper tray, and a ticket to borrow a mat.

We bought one of each ticket.

I started off with Ise Kadoya's Stout (Mie prefecture) while Satoshi tried Shiga Kogen's African IPA.

Both were delicious!

For something to snack on, we bought this currywurst...600 yen.

Even though I like the snap of sausages in Japan, I like that the guy cut these up for us, it was easier to eat! That bread that came with it was good for mopping up that homemade sauce.

We also bought a large cup of chips...200 yen.

And a small bag of popcorn...200 yen.

Next I tried Dotombori's Osaka Dark Ale and Satoshi tried Tazawako's Pilsner (Akita prefecture)

Both of Satoshi's beers were really fruity!

A little bigger than the World Craft Beer Tasting event, we thought this event was nice too.

I hope we can check out more of these types of events in the future.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

blood moon

Did you get to see the blood moon? We did.

Before that though...there was a beautiful sunset.

Satoshi and I had dinner at Amaranti.

We had dinner here before.

He ordered a glass of wine, I think 700 yen for this was a rip-off.

I think their portions of food got noticeably less while their prices have gone up...I don't think we'll be back here.

At least we got to see the blood moon.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

rogue beers

I recently found several Rogue beers at an import store.

These are their 355 mililiter bottles, perfect for one.

I like how Rogue's website gives suggestions as to what foods to pair them with.

Dead Guy Ale is supposedly good with spicy and pork, so I tried this with a Thai bento.

It had a little bitter ending to it but I enjoyed this pairing.

The Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout is supposedly good with Seafood, Beef, Dessert and Cheese.

So I tried it with a maguro avocado salad, some beef pâté and other nibbles along with a slice of cheese cake....loved this!

Hazelnut Brown Nectar is supposedly good with beef, pork.

I had this with some renkon pork patties, but found that it matched more with this....

Caramel ice cream.

The beer was a bit too nutty for me, but matched caramel ice cream perfectly.

What have you been enjoying these days?