Friday, September 23, 2022

this and that

Did you watch the Queen’s funeral procession, it was so impressive! 

Watching the guards march also brought back memories of marching in parades for high school band and we had to step in the horse poop if it was in our path so as not to ruin our formation..ew

On Monday, it was a holiday, we were waiting for typhoon Nanmadol (#14) to pass, but since it was sunny out, we went down the street, even if it was krazy humid...

and came upon a tiny pocket park with all these higanbana (spider lilies)…so pretty!
I had bought this for lunch, but realized (just before cooking) it is the type that you eat as is without cooking it.

Note to self: read the label instead of buying it because of the cute packaging...sigh.
Umeshu update (month 3): the liquer is getting darker and all the ume have sunk to the bottom, shriveling and all the rock sugar has melted.

Today is another holiday, Autumn Equinox...

it is supposed to rain this weekend and it may also turn into another typhoon.
So, I went to pick up groceries yesterday so we won't have to go out.
I also tried this nikuman (manapua/meat bun) made by LIFE, a supermarket, this one only uses ingredients made in Japan.

It was delicious, though it could've used a little more filling.

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2022


One year ago, we were celebrating the Jugoya

Six years ago, we were making "dust"

Eleven years ago, we were visiting France

Sixteen years ago, we were trying gozasoro

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

portuguese "bean" soup

Made a small batch of Portuguese Bean soup with a couple of the only problem was that I couldn't find a can of kidney beans at the market I was at.
I ended up buying these kidney beans...50 grams.

This product is intended to be added to salads.

And this one with 5 beans and 5 grains...40 grams. 

Tastewise, the soup came out pretty close to what I've had at home.

I'm glad I got to make this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

everything flatbread crackers

Since I had everything seasoning on my mind, I wanted to make a cracker like the one I had bought this summer from Target.

Found a recipe in a crackers and dip cookbook that I have and tried it.

I subbed yogurt for sour cream.

The dough was super sticky and couldn't be kneaded nor rolled out like the instructions said

I suspect I need to cut back the amount of water since I used yogurt.

Next time I know.

Flavorwise it was delicious, but didn't come out crispy.

From the photo in the book, I envisioned lavosh, so these definitely needed to be thinner.

Will try this again.

ps Yesterday was a holiday…we also survived typhoon #14 (Nanmadol), lots of wind and rain, but we were lucky, Kyushu and other areas took the brunt of the storm.

Have a good week.

Monday, September 19, 2022

everything parmesan crusted potatoes

Saw someone's IG when I went down a Reel rabbit hole and came across these crusted parmesan potatoes.

Friday, Satoshi went out to drink with a friend, so I made myself one of these for my solo pupu party.

Adapted from a couple of online recipes.

Preheat the oven to 200C (400F)

Scrub the potato.

Cut it in half

Score the potato, but do not cut it all the way through.

On a parchment paper, put 1/2 a tablespoon of oil.

In a bowl, mix 1/2 tablespoon of parmesan, the "sandy" type, and 1/2 teaspoon of "everything" seasoning.

Put the cheese mixture onto the oil, mix it a little

Place the scored side of the potato onto the cheese oil  mixture

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

NOTES: so easy and so delicious.

Most recipes online make lots of these on a sheet pan in the oven, some use butter but this one used oil.

It probably doesn’t get as crispy but I like to use parchment whenever I bake so that I don't have to scrub anything afterwards.

If you don't like "everything" seasoning, use dried spices that you enjoy that match with parmesan cheese.

Friday, September 16, 2022

this and that

These Vietnamese coconut crackers...baked with mochiko, sugar, coconut and some oil...they kind of stick to my teeth but I like the coconut flavor.
This flyer was in our mailbox, a family is looking for their cat named "Fu" or "who"...depending on your pronunciation...either way, hope you find your way back to your family!

My non-smoking angels (building management) must’ve heard me, they finally put flyers in everyone’s mailbox to remind everyone to be more considerate when smoking....Which means “stop smoking on your lanai”…so stinky!

Also, thankful the neighbors on the floor beneath us moved, their door used to slam whenever they went in and out, sometimes the door would slam so hard that it would shake our front door and because most days it is very quiet, the noise from the door slamming would scare the "beep" out of me...

Saw this on someone's Instagram and it instantly transported me to my childhood...I had this exact same album! (now you know about how old I am)
Tokyo People: This lady with a sun umbrella...I thought no one was behind me and then all of a sudden I heard a voice...she was talking to someone on her bluetooth thingy...scared the "beep" out of me.
Feeling like this furry one...the heat and humidity are back and we also have 3 typhoons to the left, right and center of Japan…eep

It is looking like Japan will fully open soon, they just need to iron out the details...

Have a safe weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

sweet sour spareribs

Sunday, I was looking at some of the market's ads.

Since we needed rice, I chose a market that was having a sale.

They also advertised spareribs, so we picked that up as well.

This was the first time I used this recipe (I think), it was so easy and the meat was fall off the bone tender!

The amount of meat I used was a less than the recipe called for, but I made the full amount of gravy.

With some of the leftover gravy, I made ajitama.

The other night, I sauteed some lotus root in a little oil then added 3 tablespoons of the leftover gravy and cooked it until the gravy evaporated and caramelized the lotus ono!

Satoshi said I should use the leftover gravy for fried rice, so we'll try it that way too.

Here's the recipe if you'd like to make the spareribs.

From "Recipes Please"

2 pounds spareribs

3 tablespoons flour

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup oil


1.5 cups water

3/4 cup brown or white sugar

1/2 cup vinegar

1/4 cup shoyu

1/2 teaspoon salt

Coat spareribs with flour

Brown spareribs in heated oil

Add the browned spareribs to gravy and boil until tender, approxiamately 1.5 hours.

NOTES: I didn't use the amount of oil it called for and only sifted a little flour onto the ribs.

I brought the gravy up to a boil then simmered the ribs for the 1.5 hours turning the meat every so often because I used a shallow pan.

Luckily I made this early enough in the day so I was able to scrap off lots of the oil before dinner.

My cousin saw my post on Instagram and asked if I used Grandma's recipe, I think it is similar but not the one she used when she used to make this dish.

Our weather still isn't cool enough to be cooking like this but it was definitely comfort food.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

meister toganeya

So...we used some of the liver pate for banh mi and we ate one of the linguica with rice and egg.

For our pupu party one night, I used one of the chorizo with some fried potatoes and onions.

The chorizo had just enough heat but doesn't totally burn your mouth off.

Instead of making aioli for the potatoes, I used the bits from the everything cashews and added it to the ono!

With the corned beef, I made corned beef and cabbage.

It wasn't as salty as the canned type but was still very flavorful and tender.

We had the salami with crackers and a soft cheese spread that had chives and garlic in it.

The salami was aged and so melt in your mouth!

The white sausage I served as breakfast since I read online that the white sausages "should not hear the noon church bells chime"

I read that it should also be served with sweetened mustard, so I mixed grainy mustard with some honey.

The casing are also supposedly not eaten, so we cut a slit and "rolled" them out to eat.

The soft pretzel I bought from Himmel, a bakery in Oookayama.

We still have some of the linguica, chorizo, pate and white sausage left, so we'll be eating this in the coming weeks.

I would definitely order from this shop again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

the chocolates

The chocolates were delicious!

A mix of dark and milk chocolates filled with different things (I marked the chocolate map to remember which ones we tried)

Cafe cannele: milk chocolate, coffee & cinnamon

Praline noisette: dark chocolate, hazelnut praline and a little orange

Caramel Framboise: dark chocolate, caramel and raspberry

Kalamansi Banane: dark chocolate, kalamansi and banana

The citron: milk chocolate with earl grey tea and lemon

Praline pistache: dark chocolate, pistachio praline

Sel: milk chocolate and french salt
Tonka: dark chocolate, tonka beans

Miel: dark chocolate and honey

Orange jasmin: milk chocolate and jasmine tea

All were delicious with red wine and my favorite was the The citron

Thank you again H!

Monday, September 12, 2022

the screen doors

I mentioned that we needed to bring in our screen doors during the renovation...

I "thought" it would fit behind this kind of didn't...

The plastic bag that is made to fit the doors, is L-O-N-G and thick.
The doors itself barely made it into the room I envisioned us keeping them in.

We also labeled the doors so that we know where to put them back and which side was facing outside.

The door would already slam whenever the wind blew, so we've always had this tied.

With all the earthquakes we've been having lately, I hope this will also help the screen doors to stay upright.

Luckily, Satoshi's drawers have wheels, so he could move it a little so that the screen doors could kinda fit behind the door.

I really like this time of year, because we can leave the sliding door open a little for ventilation, but since we cannot use the screen doors, I'll need to watch to make sure no crows or other "creatures" come indoors.

Have a good week! 

Friday, September 09, 2022

this and that

Most days this week it's been rainy, super warm, super humid and super gloomy because of the effects of a typhoon, Hinnamnor (number 11) that hovered over Okinawa for almost 3 or 4 days?!

To keep cool, I tried this Godiva chocolate frappe from Family Mart...super chocolatey with lots of chocolate bits in it...430 yen (tax included)

Bomboloni from Bakery Alice...I thought bomboloni is supposed to have custard in it?...180 yen (tax included)

Was disappointed that this didn't, it was just a donut made from brioche dough which was tasty but I was kinda looking forward to the custard.

Ji Pai flavored chips...Ji Pai is a Taiwanese street food, a huge flat piece of fried chicken.

These chips made by Yamayoshi was 5 spiced chicken ono!

I think there are places in Harajuku and/or Shin-Okubo maybe even nearby that sell Ji Pai...hope to try the real thing one day.

Keema Curry chips by Calbee another ono flavor.

Not too spicy, just lots of beefy curry flavor

And yet another good flavor were these Spicy Korean Nori flavored chips by Calbee.

Sesame oil, nori and chili...mmm!
My host mom sent us some Shine Muscat on Wednesday (thank you!).

I think the variety is different from the one Satoshi bought because the orbs are smaller.

The yen has taken off and was 144?! Krazy.

Japan's daily case numbers have dropped significantly...hoping it is because they are truly decreasing and not because of the "new counting system".

The new rules for entering Japan started Wednesday... go through travel agent, sign an affidavit, get visa, make sure you’ve had at least 3 vaccinations, welcome to Japan...still hoping Japan will fully open soon.

Have a safe weekend. 

Thursday, September 08, 2022

vanilla beans

The weather is not cool, but I’ve been craving chocolate.

Vanilla Beans is a chocolate maker that has shops all around Kanagawa Prefecture and one shop in Tokyo.

I tried their No 25, bitter chocolate ganache covered with chocolate and then sandwiched between two chocolate cookies.

So rich.

Perfect with coffee or wine...348 yen (tax included).
I understand that they have a cafe in Yokohama, but these days I try to take out as much as possible, so I look forward to trying their chocolate desserts in the future.

Vanilla Beans

26-2 Ekimae Honcho, Kawasaki Azalea

Kawasaki, Kanagawa

Phone: 044.201.7891

Hours: 10:00-21:00, open when Kawasaki Azalea is

Wednesday, September 07, 2022

les cacaos

Satoshi's friend H, recently sent us this box of chocolates as a thank you.

It is from Les Cacaos, which we've tried in the past.

We have never tried their bon bons, so I am looking forward to trying these
I love that it comes with a "chocolate map".

Thank you H!

Tuesday, September 06, 2022

creamed shrimp

It's definitely not soup weather here (yet), but Satoshi and I had a conversation the other day and it got me to thinking about my mom's creamed shrimp.

I couldn't remember exactly if my mom made creamed shrimp with a can of cream of mushroom soup as some of my local cookbooks do.

Also, I couldn't remember if she added a little curry powder, but do remember she used to make curry from scratch so it was yellowish.

I don't have anything written down from her, so I guess I'll never know.

Anyway, I thought I had a can of cream of mushroom soup, but didn't so I had to wing it when I made creamed chicken with some leftover poached chicken.

It came out soupy because I didn't correctly make the roux.

And then over the weekend, since shrimp was on sale, I decided to try making creamed shrimp without the curry powder.

After eating both...I am pretty sure she did not use cream of mushroom soup and made her creamed shrimp from scratch.

She used to also use frozen veggies and put in hard boiled eggs...will try again when the weather gets colder..I need to work on my roux game, came out lumpy…

As for the reno: the company doing the renovations gave us a memo saying that we didn't have to move our tv antenna (because the owner does not want to pay), and that if we cannot get any reception, they are not responsible...sigh

So...the scaffolding is almost up and now and is so close to the antenna that every time someone walks on the scaffolding, it disrupts the reception...eep!

We also got a memo about the lanai screen doors...they need to be indoors by the 14th...I figured out where we can store them, will show you when we bring the doors indoors.

How are you doing?