Thursday, October 31, 2019

curry mayo chicken stir fry

Tried a new recipe the other day...the original recipe uses pork, instead I used chicken.

Curry Mayo stir-fry...for 1 serving adapted from "Masakichi's Bento no hon"

80 grams protein (chicken, pork, beef, fish, tofu)
1 teaspoon oil
1/8 small pumpkin, de-seeded and cleaned, slice thinly
1 tablespoon sake (rice wine)

sauce: 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 tablespoon mayo
1/2 teaspoon shoyu (soy sauce)

1/2 teaspoon curry powder
salt pepper to taste

In a frying pan, add the oil and saute your protein until gets a little color, then take out of pan and set aside
In the same pan, cook the pumpkin until there is color on both sides.
Add the sake and cover to steam
When the pumpkin is cooked through, return the meat to the pan.
Add the sauce to the pan and cook until the mayonnaise turns clear.
Sprinkle the curry powder and add salt and pepper to taste

NOTES: This was fast, east and tasty! Am gonna try with other proteins.

p.s. we also got word that the sale of the house finalized, appreciate everyone that reached out to us...thank you for all your advice, support and good mojo!

p.p.s. have a safe Halloween if you are celebrating!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

my heart

One of the grapes that were in the container that I bought at the farmers market was this one called "my heart".

Can you see the heart shape? cute, yeah?!

This is a link to see a photo of the bunch.

These grapes were sweet and the outer skin was not bitter and was thin enough to eat (some varieties have bitter and thick outer skins).

I'm glad we got to try this.

Monday, October 28, 2019


Friday, Japan got hit with more rain from a typhoon that was passing to the right of us, so much more damage and flooding in areas that were already trying to recover...hoping with November coming up that typhoon season will truly be over.

On to today's post...

Sometimes our labels for fruits and vegetables have these QR codes...

I circled it in green and have an arrow pointing to it. (the other arrow is the farmer's and member number)

When you open the link from the QR code (which didn't work), it should take you to the Japan Agriculture (JA) site and show you the person who grew these ichijiku (figs).

Sometimes the labels do not have the QR code, just the picture of the person who grew the fruit/veg.

I think it is a nice way to "see" and appreciate the person who grew the fruits and veggies we eat.

Do the veggies/fruit you buy have these types of labels where you live?

Sunday, October 27, 2019

foodie saturday

Yesterday I went to check out the farmers market at the United Nations University.

I bought organic beets and carrots (love that both had the greens attached!)

Red cabbage and grapes.

So easy to overbuy!

They were also having a chocolate I picked up this dark chocolate blend by Ushio Chocolatl, which I've been wanting to try.

They are a bean to bar maker from Onomichi, Hiroshima.

Lunch was at a bakery I stumbled upon last week, Pain au Sourire.

I had their petit trio...pumpkin croquette, tuna walnut and sweet bean paste butter...delicious!

It was so warm that I had an iced coffee with lunch.

When I got home, I roasted the beets and carrots.

The greens I wilted in a non-stick pan.

I'll be back to shop at the farmers market & eat at the bakery!

Farmers Market at United Nations University
held every Saturday & Sunday

Pain au Sourire (2023: moved to another location)
1-4-6 Shibuya
Shibuya, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3406.3636
Closed Sunday, Monday
Hours: 8:00-20:00

Saturday, October 26, 2019

campagne loaf

Yesterday it rained was worried for the people affected by the flooding recently, hoping they won't have any more damage.

So sad, in some areas the water hasn't receded for over a week! some areas still don't have electricity or water...

Since it was raining (and super windy) I stayed indoors and decided to bake.

I tried making rolls with some everything seasoning on top.

Problem is that when I was getting the ingredients together, I ran out of flour (and butter)...

So I adlibbed...

Adding mochiko (rice flour) for the amount of flour I was short and olive oil for the butter.

After both proofings, the dough was sticky and hard to manage.

Since the dough was too hard to handle, I just baked it off as a "loaf".

The middle was thicker, so I think it was kind of "raw", when I cut it open.

Also, most of the seasoning looked like it burnt on!

So happy for the internet (love technology!) it told me what to do for undercooked bread...

I baked the pieces for about 10 more minutes.

It was a little dense but the crust was good!

Gonna restock on supplies after the rain stops, so I try making bread again.

Friday, October 25, 2019


Re-vamped the Italian Delight recipe, a baked pasta that my mom used to make.

Instead of putting it in the oven, I just put everything together in the frying pan that I sauteed the meat in.

I also added some diced pumpkin and spinach and sauteed it with the meat.

The cheese does not get brown, but when you are hungry and want to eat right away, this is a fast way to get dinner on the table.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, October 24, 2019


Yesterday Mount Fuji has it first snow on its peak...according to the weather dude, the snow on Mount Fuji is 22 days late and 26 days late compared to last year.

Still nice to able to see Mount Fuji.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

pizzutello bianco

We recently tried these "pointy" grapes called Pizzutello Bianco which were grown in Yamanashi.

They were seedless, sweet and "crisp", when you bit into it there was a slight "snap".

Pricey but so good!

I'm glad we got to try this.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019


(Photo: field of cosmos) Back in May, we went to Hitachi Seaside Park to see their nemophila hillside.

Well, after the nemophila plants bloom and die, they uproot everything and plant kochia (bassia scoparia).

The kochia kind of look like green tunbleweed bushes and I've heard some also call them "broom plants" because when dried they look like brooms.

With the drop in temperatures, the green bushes turn reddish.

After seeing this on a news program many years ago, it was on our list "to see".

From Tennodai, it was a little over 2 hours to get to Hitachi Seaside Park.

Once there the weather was a little overcast with the sun peeking out here and there.

It was still impressive to see.

One area that we passed through on our way to Hitachi Seaside Park was Isozaki. Ibaraki is the second largest producer of sweet potato in Japan (I think the top producer is Kagoshima in Kyushu).

Fields and fields of sweet potatoes!

If you'd like to see a video I took from the train, please look here-- at about the 3 minute area I hope you'll be able to see all the harvested sweet potatoes!

It was exciting to see all those sweet potatoes from the train.

Like we did in May, we stopped at the Nakaminato area and walked to the fish market.

We had intended to eat at the conveyor belt sushi restaurant there, but the lines were krazy!

So we went back to the shop we ate at...Morita Suisan.

I ordered the same thing I did back in May and this time around Satoshi ordered the kaisen donburi too.

We were happy to get a table quickly and as always the food was delicious.

After lunch we walked around the town and stumbled upon this shop selling dried sweet potato called Daimaruya.

Inside, there were all sorts of dried sweet potato.

There was also a gelato shop that sold gelato made from different varieties of sweet potato.

Satoshi and I shared this double...left side is akaioimo (literally red large potato), which tasted more like pumpkin and right side was tamaotome (literally round maiden).

Both were delicious.

Kinmokusei (osmanthus) is this fragrance!

Autumn is starting here, hopefully we'll be able to see some fall colors which is forecast for the end of November.

We have a special holiday tomorrow as the new Emperor will be crowned.

Hope you have a nice week.

18-38 Shakamachi
Hitachinaka, Ibaraki
Phone: 029.263.7777
Hours: Mondays-Saturdays 10:00-17:00, Sundays-Holidays 9:00-17:00

Monday, October 21, 2019

foodie saturday

Saturday I went to check out the Coffee Festival being held at the United Nations University.

I am not too sure but think there were about 15 vendors there.

Most were from around Tokyo and parts of Japan, there were also some from Oregon.

You could buy a mini mug and tokens to taste different coffees.

Instead, I bought a cup of coffee by Oregon's Prince Coffee and a plain doughnut from Higuma Doughnuts.

I've been wanting to check out Higuma Doughnuts and this was a good way.

The plain doughnut wasn't sweet and delicious with the cup of coffee.

In another area was a farmers market, I look forward to coming back to buy veggies here.

Lunch was at Koe Lobby which I've previously written about here.

This time around I tried the daily salad and daily bread.

The salad was filled with slices of figs, apples, sweet potato and roasted turnips....loved the fruits with the proscuitto!

The breads were good too, all were heated or toasted. My favorites were the walnut and fig breads.

After lunch, I walked around and checked out Shibuya Stream.

This building has many eateries.

Since it was slightly humid, I stopped in to Lemonade by Lemonica and had their lemonade soda.

So refreshing!

Points if you can find me in the photo...

After Satoshi's German class, we met at JR Shinbashi to go towards Ibaraki.

We stayed at an area called Tennodai (which is in Chiba) and had dinner at a Chinese restaurant called Taizanippin.

Their menu is quite extensive.

We tried their pork with egg and veggies, chicken with black vinegar (sweet sour) and egg fried rice....everything was good!

The gyoza snob (Satoshi) says that their gyoza was good!

It was a nice start to our weekend adventure...

Lemonade by Lemonica
Shibuya Stream 1F
Shibuya, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6427.3588
Hours: 8:00-21:00

1-10-8 Shibasakidai
Abiko, Chiba
Phone: 04.7128.6115

Hotel Mark-1
1-9-14 Shibasakidai
Abiko, Chiba
Phone: 04.7186.1717

Friday, October 18, 2019


In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I had bought some baked items from Sugi-no-ki. This shop is super teeny.

I felt a bit pressured knowing that the woman standing by the register was watching what I was putting on my tray.

I ended up purchasing their waguri (Japanese chestnut) muffin, waguri brioche and a wheat roll.

We had these for breakfast today.

Everything was delicious...the brioche was a bit disappointing with only a few pieces of chestnut in it, the roll was moist and delicious with a little butter, the muffin was my favorite, with a lot of chestnut in it.

I noticed on social media that this shop also sells stollen, so I'll be back!

We are expecting some more rain this weekend, which is predicted to hamper recovery and clean up in the areas affected by the recent typhoon.

Hope the weather is better where you are!

1-25-1 Higashi Gotanda
Shinagawa, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6325.5192
Closed Mondays and the 1st Tuesday
Hours: 11:00-19:00

Thursday, October 17, 2019


The place that I go for rehab is closed on Thursdays (I'm getting my shoulder treated), so I try to go galavanting on these days.

This week, I went to Gotanda, which is at one end of our train line.

I first bought some baked goods from Sugi-no-ki which we'll try tomorrow for breakfast.

As I was waiting at the traffic light to make my way to Les Cacaos, I noticed a woman standing close by with several large paper shopping bags filled with boxes.

On the boxes said 7025 Franklin Avenue...which reminded me that I had bookmarked that I stopped in for lunch.

This shop is "fancy" but they serve burgers and was fun watching the guys in the kitchen "do their thing".

Cutting sandwich towers with precision.

Another frying up burgers on the griddle.

Towers of paper boxes for take out orders.

The delivery staff running in and out.

The shop was only open half an hour and they were doing steady business with their take out orders.

I ordered the 1/4 pound chili cheese burger.

The bun was toasted, cheese oozy and the chili could have been spicier.

I enjoyed this and look forward to coming back to try other items on their menu.

After lunch, I went across to Les Cacaos, a chocolate shop.

The chocolatier/owner worked under Pierre Marcolini.

I purchased the fig orange chocolate cake, pistachio cherry cake, speculoos cookie and dark chocolate cookie.

The cookies are thick and crisp.

The cakes are moist.

Everything was delicious.

I look forward to going back to try their cakes from their showcase.

The weather has been grey, cold, drizzly.

I hope the weather is sunny where you are.

7025 Frankline Avenue
3-15-18 Higashi Gotanda
Shinagawa, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3441.5028
Closed Tuesdays
Hours: Mondays 11:00-15:00, Wednesdays-Saturdays 11:00-21:00, Sundays 11:00-18:00

Les Cacaos
2-19-2 Higashi Gotanda
Shinagawa, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6450.2493
Closed Tuesdays
Hours: 11:00-19:00

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

yakiimo season

It's yakiimo (roasted sweet potato) season.

This variety was Benitenshi, which we tried earlier this year, was 198 yen (plus tax).

The flesh was super sweet with a natural sugar coating from the roasting.

What are you enjoying these days?

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

ginza ranzu

After the typhoon passed on Sunday, Satoshi cleaned up the lanai and we got out and about.

Unfortunately not a lot of places were open.

Luckily the shopping mall nearby was opening at 13:00, so we stopped in to Ginza Ranzu, a tiny coffee shop for something sweet and to wait until the stores opened.

Satoshi ordered the mini chestnut parfait (you can kind of see it in the photo).

I ordered the chocolate parfait and was surprised with this huge thing!

This place was quite pricey...not sure if we'll be back, but I'm glad we checked out this place.

The weather was so summery and warm after that typhoon...this really hit the spot.

The news footage of the damage to some areas of Tokyo as well as Northern Honshu are sad and krazy!

Sending good thoughts to everyone in the affected areas and hoping they will be able to get back to their daily routines soon.

Ginza Ranzu
Kamata Sunrise
7-51-12 Nishikamata
Ota, Tokyo
Phone: 03.3737.7585
Hours: 9:00-21:00

Sunday, October 13, 2019


We are fine. (sunrise this morning)

Many of the rivers around Tokyo as well as other prefectures overflowed.

Residents near these areas were evacuated, the damage near these rivers were pretty severe.

News footage shows the damage throughout Japan.

We have sun today and the temps are supposed to go to 29C (84F)...rain to return tomorrow.

Thank you for checking up on us.

We had lots of rain and krazy winds, but we were lucky.

No loss of power or any damage.

Praying for those in the affected areas, hoping they will be able to get back to their daily routines soon.

Take care everyone!

Friday, October 11, 2019

typhoon hagibis

Typhoon Hagibis (or Number 19 as Japan calls it) is making its way towards Japan and is supposed to make landfall on Saturday.

It is supposed to be bigger (and stronger) than the one that hit Chiba Prefecture last month.

It is the start of a 3-day weekend here but we are staying put and hoping for the best.

Crossing fingers we don't lose power.

Hoping you have a nice weekend where you are.

Thursday, October 10, 2019


Yesterday, I went to the Yoyogi area.

There was a bagel shop that I wanted to check out, but I didn't check their website and they were!

So I went across the street to 365 nichi (days) and picked up some items to try.

The croquant chocolat (left) is their most popular...a chocolate bread filled with some chocolate ganache and chocolate puffs

Randonnee (top right) which means to mountain climb in French...the bread is rye filled with all sorts of "stuff"...

Scone (bottom right)...plain filled with oats

We'll be trying the randonnee and scone for breakfast today.

The croquant chocolate was so good!

I also went to Minimal to try their chocolate mont blanc.

Phyllo wrapped chocolate chestnut tarte topped with chocolate chestnut ice cream and a chocolate cream.

There was also a chocolate wine sauce and nibs on the plate.

Delicious with some black coffee.

Afterwards I walked to Shibuya and picked up this Viennoise Tuna sandwich from Viron.

The weather was sunny and warm but not totally blazing.

There are many more places I want to check out in this area, I'll be back.

365 nichi
1-6-12 Tomigaya (moved to 1-2-8 Tomigaya)
Shibuya, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6804.7357
Hours: 7:00-19:00

2-1-9 Tomigaya
Shibuya, Tokyo
Phone: 03.6322.9998
Hours: 11:30-19:00

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

this and that

There is construction happening all over Tokyo so that they will have more hotels and such for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Our station is also getting a facelift.

This is what it looked like last November.

This is what it looks like now.

Hopefully they will make it in time for the Olympics.

First time for me to see red bartlett pears at the market.

Hoping they will be sweet.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019


Sunday we went to Kawasaki to run some errands and have lunch.

We tried Solah Spices Tokyo.

Apparently Solah means 16 in Hindi.

Satoshi ordered their aigake curry...2 curries served with rice.

This was their dal and keema.

The curry is also served with a small salad.

I ordered the BBQ chicken with Autumn veggies Keema curry.

This was tandoori chicken on a stick served with a small salad and keema curry.

Flavorful and delicious.

The chicken was tender and moist too.

We want to come back to try their curries with naan.

After lunch we stopped into Krispy Kreme for coffee and shared this black cat doughnut filled with marron (chestnut) creme.

The filling was meh.

I'm glad the doughnut wasn't overly sweet.

Solah Spices Tokyo Azalea Shop
26-2-2017 Kawasaki-ekimae Honcho
Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Phone: 050.3463.6062
Hours: 11:00-23:00
Closed when Azalea is

Krispy Kreme
26-1 Ekimae Honcho (Atre 1F)
Kawasaki, Kanagawa
Phone: 044.223.1690
Hours: 8:00-22:30
Closed when Atre is

Monday, October 07, 2019

devil craft & some good news

Saturday, I met up with a friend from Hawaii, Kurt.

He actually lives in Tokyo, and we've met up before.

I thought I wrote about it, but guess I didn't.

Anyway, this time around, we met up at Devil Craft, a craft beer and pizza shop in Jiyugaoka.

We ordered the chili fries (with jalapenos)...I had envisioned "stick" type of fries, these were waffle cut.

The chili had a nice kick...Kurt ate the jalapenos...

I ordered Devil Craft's Berry Bang Bang which was super fruity, a little sour...I enjoyed this.

I also thought it was cool that they filled the glass "above" the 200 mililiter line!

Devil Craft is also known for their Chicago-style pizzas...this one was the Devil Works...a deep dish with all sorts of toppings.

This had lots of tomatoes, olives, spinach and Italian sausage...delicious.

I also tried the Graham Cracker Porter by Denver Beer.

This was super!

They have several locations with different items on tap, I wouldn't mind trying other beers...Thanks for meeting up Kurt!

As for some good news...the scaffolding has come off "that condo"...

And from the very far end of our lanai...we could see Mount Fuji!

Not a full view like we had before, but better than nothing!

It was kind of eerie seeing someone on the lanai on "that condo"...probably looking at Mount Fuji too.

Mount Fuji doesn't have any snow on the peak...yet...

Hopefully the weather will cool down soon!

Have a good week!

Devil Craft
2-12-18 Jiyugaoka
Meguro, Tokyo
Phone: 03.5726.9072
Closed Mondays-Tuesdays
Hours: Wednesdays-Fridays 17:00-19:00 (Happy Hour), 20:00-22:30
Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays 14:00-17:00 (Happy Hour), 18:00-22:30