Thursday, November 23, 2017

kinro kansha no hi

Untitled Today is Kinro Kansha no Hi, a national holiday that shows an appreciation for laborers and production, to me it is a combination of Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

Thinking of family and friends in the States and around the world too.

Hope you all have lots to eat and are able to spend some time with the special people in your lives.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

roi thai

Untitled Roi Thai is a brand that we have here for coconut milk.

Recently, as I was walking around Kaldi Coffee Farm (a shop that imports all sorts of foods), I noticed that they had an "instant" curry.

I picked up their Massaman, Green and Red.

Untitled Each box is 2 servings and you only need to cook the curry for a couple of minutes, so I precooked all the "stuff" I wanted to put in it...eggplant, red bell pepper, maitake and chicken.

We tried the green curry, because I thought "green" was not as hot as "red"...wrong.

It was super spicy!

But so good!

I'm glad we tried this, and the next time I put chicken, I think I'm gonna try putting in minced chicken instead of chicken wings, so it will cook through faster.

Monday, November 20, 2017

muroji & hasedera

Untitled Sunday, we were heading out to Nara when Satoshi who has a bad habit of walking in front of me, took me out and I landed "kerplat" on the pavement.

I usually have a chance to "deflect" him, but this time he came out of nowhere....luckily it happened right in front of our place, so we headed back upstairs for me to clean my wounds...

Both palms have teeny asphalt holes (try washing dishes, showering, even putting on skincare....sting!)...both my knees have chin has a bump (hope it won't turn black and blue) and my lip looks like I have a huge cold sore on it...

On top of that, my arms and legs are sore probably from trying to brace my least I didn't break anything and didn't need to go to the hospital...

Untitled Anyway, from our place to Muroji it is about an hour an 45 minutes by train to Muroguchiono station, then by bus another 10 minutes or so.

Luckily during this time of year they have extra buses running, so we were able to get onto one as soon as we arrived at the station.

You need to walk in a bit from the bus stop but there are some shops to look at along the way.

Untitled From the entrance to Okunoin (the farthest inside temple), you need to climb stairs...lots of them and they go pretty much straight up...

I took my time going up and held onto the skinny rails that were almost all along the way up.

I also took my time coming down as it is quite steep and didn't want to fall "again"....

Untitled Treat while we waited for the bus to come...a slightly warm, yomogi (mugwort) mochi filled with sweet bean paste.

Untitled Also during this time of year there is a bus that takes you directly from Muroji to Hasedera...luckily we were able to catch one of these...

The ride is about 50 minutes through winding roads.

Untitled Once at Hasedera, there is a huge staircase to walk up to the temple.

Untitled It is quite peaceful and beautiful from up top.

If you have some time, pay the extra 1000 yen to go inside and see the Eleven Faced Kannon, it is 10 meters tall (about 32 feet high). You can walk around it about mouth open drop jaw moment...

Untitled And from Hasedera to the station it is about a 30 minute walk.

We were glad to check out some of fall foliage, though the weather was overcast and cold.

It seems we've been thrown head first into winter...maybe those stink bugs really know something yeah?!

Have a good week!

Friday, November 17, 2017

ikeda castle ruins park

Untitled This morning was 4C (39F)...brr!

On my way to the market, I went to check out the Ikeda Castle Ruins Park.

Untitled There weren't too many trees that had changed colors.

Untitled But, I'm glad the ones that had were my height, so I could get close enough to get some shots.


Untitled There were quite a bit of fallen leaves too.


Untitled They also had kiku (chrysanthemum) on display too.

Rain in the forecast for tomorrow, hope you have a nice weekend.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Untitled Went to Saikoji today to check out the fall colors.

Only the leaves that the sunlight hit turned reddish.

Untitled The wind was strong and icy.

Untitled We're supposed to have year end temps tomorrow through the weekend...brr.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

thanks santa

thanks santa❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #シュトーレン #ロゼ #takibibakery #stollen #miraval #rosé #deananddeluca #osaka #japan #大阪 #latergram On Saturday, I saw these at Dean & Deluca and decided to pick them up...

Takibi Bakery's stollen and Miraval's Rosé.

We tried Takibi Bakery's stollen a couple of years ago.

And I first heard about the rosé from Rowena over the summer.

D & D also had a blanc made by Miraval, but the price for that one was a little too pricey.

Looking forward to trying the rosé with Christmas Eve dinner and having the stollen for several breakfasts in December.

Monday, November 13, 2017


Untitled Earlier this morning I went to Sanshikisaido. I love this street.

Untitled This year the leaves changed quickly, our mornings have been in the 40s(F)...brr while warming up by lunchtime, which is perfect for the leaves to change colors.


IMG_2692 Click on this photo to see a short video that I shot.

Untitled It is supposed to rain tomorrow, so I hope to get out later this week on more walks to see more fall foliage.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

winter rainbow gratin

adapted version of @heidijswanson ‘s winter rainbow gratin❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #heidiswanson #supernaturalcooking #winterrainbow #gratin #sweetpotato #eggplant #carrot #purpleonion #swisschard #kale #maitake #radish #osaka #japan #野菜 #薩摩芋 #なす #人参 #スイスシャード #ケール The other day, I was looking for a way to use some sweet potato and finally got around to trying a recipe from Heidi Swanson's "Super Natural Cooking".

Winter Rainbow Gratin adapted from "Super Natural Cooking" 2 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 sweet potato, about 8 inches long, washed and cut into cubes
1/2 large carrot, peeled and cut into cubes
1/4 purple onion, cut into cubes
1/2 package of maitake, broken apart into strips by hand
1 small round eggplant, cut into cubes
sprinkle of dry okara
sprinkle of parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Saute veggies in olive oil over medium heat for about 15 minutes.
Heat oven to 375F (190C).
Transfer veggies to greased casserole dish or saute in an ovenproof skillet.
Sprinkle dry okara and cheese.
Bake for about 40 minutes.

NOTES: Her gratin has no white sauce which seemed more of a hash to me.

Her recipe calls for some potato and breadcrumbs but I used all sweet potato and replaced the breadcrumbs with dry okara.

It also calls for some apple or pear but I left it out.

Next time I make this, I will put it into a larger baking dish, so that everything can crisp up more.

Satoshi also enjoyed this dish.

I am glad I tried this and hope to try this with some apple next time.

on the way to the market❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #秋 #紅葉 #箕面 #大阪 #桜の木 #autumn #fallfoliage #minoo #osaka #latergram #cherrytree #nofilter p.s. the temps have dropped quite a bit especially in the mornings and evenings, so some of the leaves seem to be earlier than normal...

Friday, November 10, 2017

panya focaccia

Untitled I'm not sure how I found out about this place, but I finally got to check Panya Focaccia out the other day.

Apparently the owner used to own an Italian restaurant, but the star of his restaurant was his house made focaccia.

So, he closed up his restaurant and started selling focaccia topped with all sorts of keema curry.

Untitled Filled with sweet bean paste and butter.

Untitled Apple and gorgonzola.

I loved how the bottom had a nice crisp crust and the focaccia itself was soft and kinda fluffy.

I don't always come to this area, but will be back when I am.

Panya Focaccia
1-2-4 Higashiobase
Higashinari, Osaka
Phone: 06.7505.9919
Hours: 11:00-17:00 (earlier if they run out)
Closed Sundays

Thursday, November 09, 2017


Untitled It takes about an hour and a half from where we live to Tondabayashi.

Apparently this area has a lot of preserved homes. In most regions, the preserved homes are "just for show", but in this case, most of the homes are being lived in.

Untitled One preserved home is the Tanaka family home and it is currently used as a community center.

Untitled Most of the preserved homes in this area are one-story as they were not allowed to build higher than that back then.

Untitled It was nice exploring all the little alleyways and roadways.

Untitled Mid-morning snack was from Yasu, a tiny bakery.

They are apparently known for their cream filled bread, but were already sold out at 10:00...

Satoshi had their mentaiko (spicy pollack roe) bread (right) while I had their cream cheese anpan (sweet bean paste and cream cheese) (left).

We also stopped at Koshoji, where they were having a Pokemon Go convention of sorts outside...sigh.

Untitled Inside the temple grounds though, it was super peaceful and quiet.

Untitled Lunch was at Cafe Rosa.

Satoshi went with the gutsu-gutsu (onomatopoeia for scalding) curry udon.

Untitled While I went with the goro-goro (onomatopoeia for chunks of) beef suji (muscle/nerf) curry.

Untitled I loved how there was an outer door before actually being able to enter the house.

Untitled And the cute planter boxes that looked more like frames.

Untitled We also had some coffee at Heizo.

The art shop, Konjyaku no tamatebako, next door was amazing too. Intricate kiri-e (pictures cut out of paper)

It was nice seeing all the different shops and we were amazed at how quiet and laid back this area was.

There are other areas nearby that Satoshi wants to check out, so we'll be back.

10-12 Tondabayashi-cho
Tondabayashi, Osaka
Phone: 0721.25.8026
Hours: 8:00-18:00
Closed Mondays

Cafe Rosa
123-6 Tondabayashi-cho
Tondabayashi, Osaka
Phone: 080.1468.4180
Closed Wednesdays
Hours: 7:00-17:30

123-39 Tondabayashi-cho
Tondabayashi, Osaka
Phone: 090.5461.9150
Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays
Hours: 10:00-18:00

Wednesday, November 08, 2017


As I mentioned previously, Friday was a National holiday, Culture Day.

We started out early and visited the family grave.

Afterwards, we went to Kyoto Station to pick out some bento for lunch.

Since MIL can't really get out and about (without assistance), MIL had requested bento from the department store for lunch.

She said that a friend raved about the delicious bento at the department stores.

Untitled I picked out one of the most expensive bento for her.

She is still quite independent, so it isn't very often we get to do things for her and since she requested a bento from the department store, I thought we should go all out.

The bento I chose was a two layered one, from Harise. Apparently this shop has been in business since 1659?!

I think she enjoyed trying all the different items.

Untitled Satoshi went with a sushi bento.

Untitled While I went with a yakiniku bento.

culture day...after visiting MIL, hubs went to get culture at the museum, I went to coffee culture @dripanddropcoffeesupply ❤︎ ・ ・ ・ #cultureday #kyoto #japan #dripanddropcoffeesupply #coffee #珈琲 #ドリップアンドドロップ #京都 #文化の日 #latergram After we visited with MIL, it was still quite early in the afternoon, so Satoshi went back to the museum (there is an exhibit that runs over 4 periods, so he's been going almost every weekend).

And I spent some time at Drip & Drop Coffee Supply.

Located in the basement of the Piece Hostel, they have good coffee and sweets.

They also have free wifi, but their connection isn't too great (at least it wasn't for me).

Anyway, I'm glad we got to do a lot and spend some time with MIL.

Drip & Drop Coffee Supply
located in basement of Piece Hostel
531 Asakura-cho
Nakagyo, Kyoto
Phone: 075.231.7222
Hours: 11;00-22;00

Tuesday, November 07, 2017


Untitled Umezono, a wagashi (Japanese sweet) shop that has been in operation since 1927, recently opened a cafe in the Teramachi area.

I happened to stumble on it when I ran an errand for Satoshi last Thursday.

I loved the dark colored wood and vintage glass windows, being a weekday, it was fairly empty, had a nice quiet atmosphere and no smoking too.

Untitled I had their Hanatenshin, an assortment of different sweets.

Top row: matcha warabi mochi (jelly made from bracken starch coated with green tea powder), chestnut cooked in a sweet sauce, kinako warabi mochi (jelly made from bracken starch coated with soy bean powder), dollop of sweet bean paste topped with a matcha cookie

Bottom row: Dorayaki (pancake filled with sweet bean paste and almonds), mitarashi dango (soft dumplings coated with a shoyu based sauce)

I hope to come back to try other items on their menu...I'll be back.

Umezono Teramachi
526 Tensei Teramae
Nakagyo, Kyoto
Phone: 075.211.1235
Hours: 10:30-19:30

Monday, November 06, 2017

foodie stamps

Untitled It's that time of year cards and foodie stamps.

This year's stamps are cute...dango and taiyaki.

Gotta get working on our cards soon...