Monday, November 30, 2015

dagashi 2.0

regular readers might remember that we procured our first dagashi pack way back in july. wow, am i ever overdue in writing about dagashi 2.0!  

this packet came from a different online retailer and had a pretty good variety. two savories, seven sweets!

first up is kyabetsu tarĊ! i think this means "cabbage taro"? but there's no cabbage in it. there is also not any frog in it. or anyone named taro for that matter. whatever! they are DELICIOUS and slightly flecked with seaweed!

they are so good, in fact, that i caught leff trying to sneak some.

the good news is that we can get a large pack of these at uwajimaya!

also at uwajimaya UMAIBO! (that is where we got our 30 pack of the pizza flavored ones.) this was the third flavor of umaibo that we had tried and it remains my favorite to date. teriyaki!

honestly though, if you see umaibo, do yourself a favor and pick it up. you can't go wrong with these corn sticks.

if you know me, you KNOW i love candy cigarettes.  (remember the time leff and i went to wayne's candy in memphis and i bought TWO CASES of the blasted things?! haha, i do. fondly!) guess what guess what!! *this* dagashi pack had CANDY CIGS! and WHOA!! they were citrus flavored instead of chalky weird!

not gonna' lie to you, i pretty much ate that whole pack myself. which is why i wasn't upset that leff tried the grape sucker dipping thing.

i mean, it's similar to fun dip or lik-m-aid or what have you except no, not at all because this tasted good. the sucker was very faintly grape flavored and the sugar dip only intensified that taste.

there is no way that a north american candy company could produce something that subtle. trust me.

but on to kuppy ramune! the candy that looks so adorable you...feel sinister??

weird thing about kuppy ramune-- they taste like disappointing nothing chalk unless you bite them and then they are delightfully subtle fruit. so strange! i honestly hated them at first until i figured out how to eat them.

not so with the mini sours though! hells yes! another slightly citrus candy that is not too tart. leff found them to be a little bland though.

that's fine. he can hate the candy i love. whatever. (XD) it just means that he had the candy coated cola gum entirely to himself.

japanese gum, guys. the flavor is always so good and it lasts forever. not your 2 seconds of brilliance and then fade like fruit stripe and its ilk. no, this gum abides.

while we're still on the topic of gum, feast your eyes on this lovely packet of orange flavored stuff.

i mean, it was delicious. i also saw it at the checkout at uwajimaya so i'm kind of excited to pick up some more.

the last candy in our dagashi pack was "hollow ducks". you would think, if you have experience with certs or life savers, that these would be solid and last forever. alas, you would also be wrong (which you might have ascertained from the term "hollow ducks". how astute you are! XD)

to be honest, i don't remember much about these as far as flavor goes. they were similar to the kuppy ramune in that they made more sense once they were bitten. it was interesting that they just...dissolved once they were broken. nice surprise though.

so, yes! dagashi packs are still one of my favorite ways to kill a foggy, cold, dreadful pnw evening! i have a feeling that we might receive dagashi 3.0 as a holiday present in the very near future. if that is the case, i'll post about it as soon as we've eaten it. (dagshi 1.0 is still available to read here.)

stag beetle cookie

while watching "beetle queen conquers tokyo", i got this overwhelming urge to eat a chocolate stag beetle cookie. 

don't ask, just go with it.  i certainly did.

i'm thinking this would be a good idea for halloween. and, hey, when i unpack my baking tools after we move, maybe i can make some more impressive looking ones next year! (#filesawayforhalloweenparty)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

oden breakfast

all this week i've been singing "cause you can/and you will/and you HOT pot but that is my issue and not yours. 

it does mean that you're getting to see even more pictures of our nabe pot though! this time it's holding ODEN!! WOOOOO!!

i have been dying to eat this since the pictures of oden at konbini started popping up in my feedreader.

it. is. SO. GOOD!!! i esp liked the daikon that had been sitting in oden broth overnight. ahhhhh it is heaven!

clouseau kept thinking that he would like some but he was wrong. (he loves bonito flakes but not dashi stock). too bad, little cat/more for me!

Friday, November 27, 2015

shabu shabu!

remember that time that leff, rhys and i got shabu shabu? well, now when rhys visits, we will just make it at home.

that's right! today was shabu shabu day!! here are the veg and meat that we used.

i'll give you quick visual instructions but if you want written directions, pick up a copy of ono and salat's book as that is the recipe we used.

anyway, this whole delicious hot pot starts with kombu.

then softened mung bean noodles.

add veg.

add water.

bring to a boil!

then simmer.

now the fun part....MEAT!!!

if you can't get shabu shabu beef and/or pork, you can flatten out meat between sheets of plastic wrap until it is thin enough to cook quickly in boiling broth. i think this is the "dining with the chef" that demonstrates that technique. if it's not, sorry.

anyway! here is some of the beef!!!

and also pork!!

to say that i was internally screaming UMAI and also OISHII is not even doing this justice. shabu shabu is fucking amazing and one of my most favorite dishes in the world. please try this yourself if you can. even if you go out to do so. it is so, SOOO, so delicious.

tomorrow...ODEN!!! i am so glad that we are having hot pot!! :D

even more photo purging

finally finished eating all of the dagashi pack 2.0 but haven't written the post yet. so, if you're waiting for that, please feast your eyes on the 30 pack of pizza umaibo that we picked up the other day. 

umaibo makes me crazy happy. so does this smooshy but tasty guava cake i whipped up yesterday.

 as much as i loathe the term, "self care" is at the forefront this winter. so! for arthritis and stress, it is home sento all the way.

see also: matcha lattes, hojicha, barbara pym books, each and every claire harman book, japan stuff channel, japan retro vending machine, deco cookie, himitsu no kenmin show, vitamin d and b12 pills, korean face masks and hanging out with fujiko.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

more pics in case you need to look at something on thanksgiving

kimbro dropped by last night for a thanksgiving eve dinner. i made peking chicken just to see if i could.

fuck yes, i could. XD

earlier this week, leff and i hiked it to uwajimaya where i found the bambi sake that i have been looking for for EONS!

it was nice. mild. vanilla-ish? i was really only in it for the glass though.

also at uwajimaya, hello kitty soy sauce. i kept a bottle of it in my cart for a bit before deciding that i didn't need it.

they still had lots in stock at the time of writing if you are interested.

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.