Wednesday, November 25, 2015

photo purging

i'm planning on posting quite a bit over the holiday weekend as i'm trying to clear off my desktop. (just got bagel-san, like, a week ago and she's already a digital mess.)

anyway, here's a bunch of not really related photos. fuji.

leff' bonito onigiri!

some waxed leaves stuck on an old nacho cheese jar.

my new earmuffs!

and peel enjoying a heated cat pad atop a bed of argyle.

sukiyaki night!

i have been threatening for a while to hot pot it up this winter. last night, leff and i made good on the promise by having sukiyaki night! 

here is an amazing recipe if you'd like to try it at your house. leff made the sukiyaki sauce from the linked recipe but we went with an instant dashi packet instead of going the whole kombu/bonito steeping route this time.  

let us now glory in the exquisiteness of american kobe beef.

what can i say, i am in love with marbling.

anyway, there is also veg in sukiyaki. here is our basket full.

bunashimeji, enoki and chanterelle mushrooms, napa cabbage, negi and mizuna. we didn't add tofu or noodles because we forgot/were too excited. because, you guessed it...beef.

i sometimes wonder if my 12 year stint as a vegetarian has heightened my appreciation of and desperate craving for beef. bah, who cares. just look at this hot pot once the veg is added.

leff and i ate tiny bowls of goodness

and kept adding more and more ingredients to the pot until we were left with an amazing boiled down sauce


we didn't add an egg to make zosui as we were STUFFED. next time.

next time.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

waxing maple leaves

while getting ready for "izakaya thanksgiving", i realized that perhaps some seasonal decoration might be nice. good thing we have a japanese maple or two.

to help preserve their color and shape, i placed them between two pieces of wax paper and then ironed them.

they are now lightly covered in wax and able to stand up fairly well.

i just wish the sun had still been out when i took that last photo because the leaves are just as vibrant as they were when i took them off the tree. ha!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

it's almost vacation time!

sadly, we aren't going anywhere fun when leff takes his vacation next week. conversely though, neither of us are making the slog back east so that is a definite plus! yay!

i've been testing out *even more* japanese dishes. here's the lid from that black futsu pumpkin(g) that i bought last month. i used it instead of kobocha to make this pumpkin salad.

branching out with the onigirazu. i made my standard spicy tuna salad ones but also made egg and cress, chicken salad and fried egg with pancetta, tomato, lettuce and cheese.

getting ready to use the new nabe pot!

and since it's dark here most of the goddamned time these days (ugggggggggggggggggh), i've been popping vitamin d like crazy and rigging up lights wherever i can.

30 days of night? yeah, basically. at least i can't *see* the salt water rednecks. haaaa :(

Saturday, November 14, 2015

popin cookin candy ramen!

given that i practically live on ramen and also that i am a huge fan of popin cookin sets, you can imagine how excited i was to find both of these things had been mashed up into a diy candy set. with added gyoza even!! how can you go wrong with candy gyoza? i swear, this kit is my favorite one from kracie to date.

as usual, there were quite a few components involved in construction. two powders, candy paste, filling, three molds and a piping bag D:  oh my god i suck at piping.............

i usually mess up when i have to set some of the ingredients aside. part of this is because the instructions are in kanji but mainly, it's due to my being impatient. this time though i got it right! two small blobs were set aside for pressing both a hard boiled egg and a fish cake slice!

the rest was smashed out into two circle shapes

then filled with candy pork and peas before being folded over onto itself in the gyoza mold. rargh!! so cute!!

my favorite part is always mixing powder into water. i don't know why, i just know it's super enjoyable to me. here is the brown powder that will eventually become....

candy soup stock!!!! i mean, there's even a facsimile of oil on top!! SO! COOL!

also cool, the yellow powder

which had much more substance.

this made sense as it was placed into THE PIPING BAG

and then used for both an egg yolk

and freaking RAMEN NOODLES!!!! LALKJFDSA (this kit, guys. i LOVE this kit!)

before i piped my noodles, i added some gyoza filling to my fish cake. kawaii desu ne?

okok, let's just get to the finished bits, yeah? here are my gyoza!

they tasted like bubblegum and were surprisingly not bad at all! but here...


i adore the way this looked. taste, it was like cold watery bubblegum. so, not the greatest but, you know, that's fine. just LOOK AT IT!




i even added candy peas.

matcha beer

when you watch a lot of "japanology plus" you start to get ideas. ideas like "hey! that matcha beer looked really good! i should make it!" 

so of course i did because i had 1) matcha 2) a matcha whisk and 3) a can of sapporo. want to some yourself? follow these steps:

put some matcha in a bowl. this is maybe a heaping teaspoon. adjust to taste.

add a enough beer to create some nasty looking bubbly mess.


here it is looking much nicer.

pour into a glass.

add more beer and kanpai!

granted, this looks like some st patrick's day weirdness but it certainly tastes more refined than dyed beer. it's all grassy and slightly bitter. probably best on a hot day but, hey, that's true of most beer. would drink again!

Friday, November 13, 2015

kushiage night

nothing is quite so delicious after a long, sodden week than kushiage.

if you'd like to make it yourself, tips + dip recipes can be found in this episode of "dining with the chef" (highly recommend) but it's basically just meat (shrimp, pork) and veg (pearl onions, sweet potato, eggplant, mushrooms) that's been skewered,  seasoned with salt and pepper then dipped in tempura batter and rolled in panko.

our veg before

and our meat and veg after being pankoed.

it's fried at approx 335 degrees F for 2-3 min for veg and maybe 5 min for meat.

and it is DELICIOUS!!

goes well with a bowl of cabbage (not pictured) and lots of sapporo. KANPAI!!