Saturday, December 31, 2016

thank you!

How was your year?

Did you get to do all that you wanted to?

It was a krazy year with things happening around the world, including many natural disasters...

We were lucky to have a lot of travel adventures.

I hope 2017 will be filled with happy, healthy and peaceful days for everyone.

I am grateful for your comments and messages.

Thank you and talk to you again in 2017.

Friday, December 30, 2016

books 2016

A list of the books I read this year...hope to get through more books in 2017.

1. Jennifer L. Scott, "At Home with Madame Chic"
2. Laurie Colwin, "More Home Cooking"
3. Michael Booth, "Sushi and Beyond"
4. Sasha Martin, "Life from Scratch"
5. Bill Bryson, "The Lost Continent"
6. Jessica Soffer, "Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots"
7. Sarah McCoy, "The Baker's Daughter"

Did you read anything interesting this year? Please tell me in the comments.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

10 photos

I first posted 10 photos back in 2008 as part of a meme, now I do this every year as a way to look back on the year.

1. This Fishcake Tempura came close to the ikamenchi we tried in Aomori.

2. Super easy and tasty Watermelon Rind Pickles, is a great way to use all of the watermelon.

3. An adapted version of Mom's Okara Scones using dry okara.

4. Dashi, a dish from Yamagata has a nice array of veggies, perfect to beat the heat of summer.

5. Seed Studded Anzac Biscuits, a great version using lots of seeds.

6. Kinkan Conserva, a nice way to use kinkan (kumquat).

7. This version came close to recreating Smoked Ahi Dip

8. Japanese Veggie Soup with Ginger, a nice way to warm up with ginger and lots of veggies.

9. Spring Cabbage Shumai, a great way to eat more veggies while cutting out some carbs.

10. Spicy Pork, super easy to put together and great to have in the freezer for days you don't feel like cooking.

Lots of new adventures and was your year in the kitchen?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

oh em gee

The moment you notice algae growing on the bottom of your Brita water filter pitcher...

Then wonder how long it was there...

And how long you were drinking that water....eep!

Monday, December 26, 2016

past couple of days

Friday was a holiday, so Satoshi and I went to see a movie that he's been wanting to see.

Saturday, we worked on our nengajo (new year cards).

Every year Satoshi whines and groans while writing out his cards... (he has the most to send out)

Sunday was Christmas and it was nice to be able to spend the day together.

Usually, Satoshi has to run off to work if Christmas falls on a weekday...

I bought us some sake and umeshu (apricot wine) from Nanbubijin, a maker in Iwate Prefecture.

I like that this umeshu does not use any sugar, just ume and sake. Sometimes umeshu can be sickly sweet.

Dinner was by lamp as the light in our dining area burnt out...I guess we should've lit some candles, but with the air being so dry, I was afraid it would start a fire...eep!

We also had some cakes from Rocket.

I loved my Amao (type of strawberry) tarte while Satoshi enjoyed his Mont Blanc.

I hope your Christmas was a nice one...I'm busily doing o-soji (cleaning for the new year) so we can go holo-holo (gallavanting)...have a nice week!

Friday, December 23, 2016

happy holidays

I had an appointment in Honmachi the other day and most of trees along Midosuji were lit up.

It was nice to see some leaves still on the trees too.

Happy Holidays everyone!

p.s. Today is a National Holiday, the Emperor's birthday.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

strawberry jalapeno corn muffins

It's been awhile since I made dark beer chili and jalapeno corn muffins.

Over the summer, my brother had given me a jar of strawberry jalapeno jam and I was wondering how to use it...

Since the jalapeno corn muffins call for a dollop of jalapeno jam in each muffin, I tried using the strawberry version I had since I noticed that a couple of recipes for jalapeno jam includes sugar...

It was good.

A little sweet from the fruit but with a little kick from the jalapeno.

I'm glad I tried this.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

daily stuff

I'm still trying to get adjusted to the time difference...

Before I went to Hawaii, I had put a couple of Happy Camper Bagels into the freezer thinking we could eat it for the New Year...

It came in handy the day after coming back from Hawaii for breakfast.

I brought home a bottle of Wild Friends' Gingerbread Peanut Butter (reminds me of the Chai Peanut Butter from Big Spoon Roasters).

My aunty also gave us a bottle of Trader Joes' Pumpkin Spice Cookie Butter. (think of a thick pumpkin pie filling with crunchy cookies here and there...Thank you!)

We preferred the Gingerbread PB over the Pumpkin Spice...

I'm glad we got to try both.

Monday, December 19, 2016

when life throws you curves

At the end of November, my Dad had severe pneumonia AND some kind of infection.

His breathing was kind of shallow and when I face-timed with my brother (love technology!), he wasn't sure "which way" things would go.

One thing I learned when my mom was sick was that we should "hope for the best and also prepare for the worst".

So last week, with Satoshi's understanding, I was able to fly to Hawaii.

I am relieved that my Dad was moved from the hospital into a skilled nursing facility yesterday.

And I hope that he will continue to get stronger, maybe even get some of his mobility back.

I appreciate all of your emails and concerns.

I am flying out today, be well everyone.

Friday, December 09, 2016


I've always thought that the reason people with kaki trees left kaki (persimmon) on the trees were because...a)they didn't eat them, b)grew tired of them or c)just couldn't reach them.

The other day, the weather dude taught me something new...kimorigaki (key-mow-ree-gah-key).

Kimorigaki is when you pick the amount of kaki that you will eat and share the rest with the birds/deer/monkeys/wild boars/bears (yup, there are all these wild animals in Japan) by leaving it on the tree...

So the next time you see a kaki tree with some persimmon still on it, you'll know why.

Cool, yeah?!

p.s. Just wanted to let you know that it will be quiet here as I go to Hawaii for an emergency...have a nice weekend, be well and hope to talk to you soon!

Thursday, December 08, 2016


Saturday, the weather was really sunny so the ginkgo leaves were really golden. (Photo taken at Horikoshi Shrine)

Monday, the golden color was deeper but still very pretty.

I think the fall colors will soon be over.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

morning glass coffee

Morning Glass Coffee recently opened a shop in Osaka.

I've only been to the one in Manoa once, but that was awhile ago.

I remember the Manoa location being quite cozy, so I was surprised when I visited the one in Osaka on Monday.

This place was really spacious!

Prices are relatively the same as the Manoa menu.

I tried the Mac and Cheese Pancakes with Bacon...1000 yen + 200 yen (bacon)

Added a cup of their coffee of the day...450 yen

Kinda pricey, but it was nice to have crispy bacon.

I'll be back whenever I am in the area to try their sandwiches and/or their breakfast menu.

Morning Glass Coffee + Cafe
3-2-14 Azuchimachi
Chuo, Osaka
Phone: 06.6484.7002
Hours: Monday-Saturday 7:30-20:00, Sunday 8:00-15:00

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

lilo coffee

We tried Lilo Coffee recently.

Their system to ordering was a bit confusing, but in the end we ordered cups of Brazil and East Timor...350 yen (tax included) each.

I love how they give profiles of each coffee they serve.

Satoshi thought his cup of coffee (Brazil) was a bit lukewarm, while I enjoyed my cup (East Timor).

I'll be back.

Lilo Coffee
1-10-28 Nishi-Shinsaibashi
Chuo, Osaka
Phone: 06.6227.8666
Hours: Wednesday 13:00-23:00
Other days: 11:00-23:00

Monday, December 05, 2016

grill bon

I've had Grill Bon bookmarked for a long time. It's the beef katsu sandwich that made me bookmark them.

Finally, we got to try them on Saturday.

We arrived 10 minutes before opening and there were already 6 people ahead of us.

The shop is teeny.

3 counter seats, and 3 tables for 4.

Their lunch service is only 2 hours, so you should try to get there as early as possible.

Satoshi tried their beef katsu curry.

Tender beef is fried then cooked in their curry sauce...1800 yen (plus tax).

If you want rice, it is a separate order and they only have one size...200 yen (plus tax).

I ordered the beef katsu sandwich...1800 yen (plus tax).

Everything is cooked to order, so be prepared to wait.

Also, if you don't have 4 people in your party, be prepared to share your table with others.

The sandwich was a little larger than the one I had at Harijyu Grill.

Though Grill Bon's could use less karashi (Japanese mustard)*cough*

We want to try other items on their menu and hope to come back to this area soon.

Grill Bon
1-17-17 Ebisu Higashi
Naniwa, Osaka
Phone: 06.6632.3765
Lunch: 12:00-14:00, Dinner 17:00-20:00
Closed: every 6th, 16th, 26th

Friday, December 02, 2016

okara chicken fingers

Was craving mochiko chicken, but wanted to use the dry okara that I have, so I marinated some chicken breast in the wet ingredients for mochiko chicken, then just before frying, I coated each piece with some dry okara.

I didn't deep fry, just pan fried, so am wondering if this may be the reason the outside didn't turn out crisp.

Still, it was a nice way to cut some carbs and soothe my mochiko chicken craving.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

a terre

We recently tried Patisserie A Terre's stollen.

It has marzipan in it and I enjoyed all the different dried fruits in it too.

They'll be moving soon, so I look forward to seeing their new shop.