Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kamite Sister's Latin Dance Party

Here are some pics of the event we attended the other evening.  The Kamite Sisters organized this "dance party" for all their dance students to perform what they've learned.  You can imagine the kids went bezerk with excitement.  We added 2 princesses to our 6 (not so princessy offspring) & ended up with a van load of 8 excited kids taking turns singing their school anthems at the top of their lungs, starving for snackies & desperate to know the real question we all want to know in life "ARE WE THERE YEEEEEET?"

 So yeah, we got there, & here's a few pics of how it went (stole some pics off of the Dancing Sister's blog, tx):
Hanging out in the dressing room, talking about important childhood issues no doubt.
Getting beautified!
Everyone including a super-dandy-coordinated-husband-of-friendliness-&-love learning some samba moves from the teachers. 
A terribly excited Hunter watching everyone dance
Ryan & Nattie
Laner & Keith
Drinking ungodly amounts of juice for which they paid for dearly by doing the famous "I-gotta-go-pee-dance" & I practiced my old faithful dance better known as "how-many-kids-can-you-ferry-to-the-bathroom-in-an-hour". 
Kids & their dance teachers.  Some suspiciously tired looking smiles there.  All in all it was a great memorable evening.  And just for future reference if all 8 kids ask you if you if they can take off their shoes & socks in the van after a long sweaty day of dancing around......JUST SAY NO!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Am I serious.?.......course I am!

I'm dedicating this one to a dear Chris-in-law.  No doubt if you can tell me what this is on sight then you (like) me have a pure understanding at the simple intricacies that make the world go roun' n' roun'!  What I'm talking 'bout of course, is good ol' fashion chicken cracklin'. 

Now I'm not gonna beat around the bush here, there are plenty of people who would be totally grossed out by this but I'm gonna have to at least give it a shout.  A friend of mine watching me de-skin chicken once told me that in China they chop chicken skins & deep fry them for snackies.  Now, you know & I know in the back of our little kitchen brains that cracklin' is an actual dish people make & eat but the thought of actually eating chicken skin for the sake of chicken skin always leaves me feeling a little, how do you say......gross.  But being the genius that I am (AKA, perpetual kitchen grazing munchie) tried & decided that it was indeed fantastic.

Now, why Chris?  When we lived together & I'd be making chicken he'd weasle his way into the kitchen & beg me to make him a batch of these crunchies for him to snack on.  Like seriously beg, in a whiny little way, and I of course would give in.  (Model SIL, I know)

But gotta try it.  There are only 3 rules here:

-  Slice the skin into thin 1 cm strips (nothing worse than actually getting chewy fat)
- Put a little oil in the pan for starters, though most of the grease will come from the drippings
- Make sure your pan is not too hot & preferably in a cast iron skillet (to keep the heat at a regulated temp, I got me a tiny little one)
- Salt, serve & eat when they've just cooled enough to get that CRUNCH going! 

So stone me, puritans if you must. But I gotta tell you, if you know someone who gripes & whines about "chicken fat", slip them a batch of these & then point your finger & laugh as they sit there munching away & you tell them what it is.

Go forth, brave cooks!  Come on now, I know secretly that picture of those shiny, crispy, salt crystal covered babies look totally eatable.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Face care: Oatmeal & Almond scrub

Well, if you know me I'm sure you saw this one coming. Having shamelessly tomboyed my way through the phase of my "girlyness" where you obsess about everything facial & beauty related I've just started to find some fun in making my own products in the kitchen. It would stand to reason if you're an aspiring cook with lots of ingredients in the kitchen that you'll find a lot of good ways to bash & mash things up to benefit your skin. Plus there's something very generic to making something from scratch that's useful & beautifying. So I may post more of these if you like or I may just get lost into my very own giant pile of dirty dishes and forget I have a face at all.

In any case I'm itching to share it, so here's how we roll. If you don't have a mortar & pestle like this (got it at Ikea) you can always use the Japanese type or blender even? Grab a tbsp or 2 of oatmeal & a few almonds. Bash it all up. If you want a face scrub leave it a little more coarse, if you want a face mask keep grinding it till it's powdery.
Now here' the part where you can add your liquid. I usually use milk but when my skin is really dry I use EV olive oil or grapeseed oil. Pour the liquid slowly cuz' it goes from goopy spread to runny difficult to use mess pretty quickly. If I u do add too much liquid & don't want to bother mashing up anymore oats, u can do what I always do & add sugar to thicken it up again.

So there you go. Wet your face & either use it as a scrub or leave on your face for a5-10 min as a mask. If you're using a mask console your children that you do not indeed have leprosy. Rinse off & finish your face off with some toner & moisturizer. You'll see that you're skin will be ridiculously soft & good looking.

And if you have any left over...don't forget to grab yourself an unsuspecting husband or wandering neighbor on the street & treat them to a good facial exfoliater. You may not want to exfoliate more than 2 times a week (of course it depends on your skin type) but too much of a good thing can leave you with skin stripped of natural oils and looking dull & dry. Ewww! Grosso!

So that's it for today, lovely followers. Hope you're making your "last soups" of the season before spring comes around.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Gaijin Friendly Hijiki Salad & Anchovy Dressing

In each of my pregnancies I would more often than not turn up to be anemic & have fantastically dramatic kitchen/ofuro/jam-packed-train fainting spells so when it comes to hijiki it usually reminds me a little too much of being a substitute for iron supplements.  Along with spinach & liver of course.  I've only eaten it in the usual way simmered with thinly chopped abura-dofu, carrots, konyaku & soybeans.

I found this recipe in my "Harumi's Home Cooking" cookbook and finally tried it out.  I think it's the perfect introduction to hijiki for anyone whose never tasted it & therapeutic for anyone who has bad memories of gritty smooshy black goop.  It's so basic that when you think about it, all it really is comprised of is tossing a salad with hijiki.  And the dressing is one that I'd definitely make for any other salad, thankfully all my kids love anchovies too.  Here's the basic recipe:

10-20 grams of dried hijiki
a variety of vegitables, lettuce, celery, carrots, cucumbers & onions to taste

Anchovy Dressing:

10g anchovy fillets
2 tbsp sunflower/veg oil
1 tbsp wine vinegar
a little sugar (I put in a few pinches)
1 teaspoon soysauce

Soak the hijiki seaweed in warm water for about 10 min.  Drain well and dry.  Cut into short pieces if they are too long.  Cut the vegetables into thin strips, soak them in cold water for 5 min. drain & pat dry.
Mince anchovy and mix it with the other ingredients for the dressing.  Mix the hijiki and cut vegetables and put on a serving dish.  Pour over the anchovy dressing just before eating. 

That's all I got, "ON TO THE THEATER!!!"

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Crunchy Munchie!

I'm not gonna get whiny about it or anything but seriously, if you ever feel like you're salad is just missing that "something" to make it something other than an obligatory food group, I'll tell you what I personally feel that something is.  Ready?

All you need is CRUNCH!!!

Not kidding, if I had to choose between dressing & crunch. Close race, but I'd go for the crunch.  I mean that really is what makes salad so boring, is the "samey-ness" of it all.  Everything is sort of chewy and fiberous and before you know it you start feeling like the "Nom-nom-nom hamster".  And if you're thinking, "well, veggies are crunchy, aren't they?", forget it, must be an oil filled crunchiness.

Isn't that just what the world needs more of?  All we need is crunch.....and oil!  Do you feeeeeeel me?  (metaphorically)

 And if you're gonna whine to me about how you have nothing in your kitchen that's crunchy.  To that I say, "YOU LIE!!!".  Check it out:

- Nuts & seeds like: pecans, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds
(roast them up in a dry skillet till theu're just the tiniest brown, letm cool before chopping & serving)
 - Croutons: use old bread, chop it/rip it, throw it in a bowl, drizzle a little EV olive oil, salt & dried spices, throwm' on some tinfoil in the grill or toaster & TADA!!  Croutons!!  And we can't leave out the mother of all Lebanese salads Fattoush with grilled/toasted day old pita or flat bread. 
 - Bacon: fry it & crumble it up....I'm telling you if you're in a kitchen crisis, there's almost NOTHING bacon won't fix.  Or in a jiff I'm sure no one will squirm about commercial bacon bits.
 - Bread crumbs: if you make Chicken Parmeasan or Penguin Chicken & have left over bread crumbs, throw them in a bowl
 - Potato chips?  SURELY without question! My DH has a special love for chips so I constantly & without question raid his stash for some extra crunch.  The chips in the pic are those lovely spicy "karamucho" chips.  But how good are tortilla chips too? Heck, I'm willing to try sembe or kakinotane.
 - Don't forget the fried renkon chippies too.
- And we're not even wading into the "meats" territory because you can take any grilled, bbqed or fried meat or fish & top your salad with it and you're ready to rumble.

I mean it's really all a mind game, isn't it?.  Because the truth is we'd probably all just rather down the bowl of crunch rather than eat our serving of salad....I literally make twice as much salad if I'm gonna add something like pecans & bacon to it.

Well, that's it for now.  Hope you get inspired to ransack your pantry & dig out some salad worthy CRUNCH!!!!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

On the horizon.....

Moyashi Spring rolls
Fresh spring rolls
Banana fritters in coconut batter
Macha ice cream
Nottingham coffee biscuits

Any suggestions of what I should tackle first? 

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Carrot Spice Muffins

I started to feel like an impostor cook so yesterday I grabbed a cookbook & threw together these muffins for my kiddies. If you want an indication that your kids haven't had a home made baked snack in awhile observe how long they are willing to stand in front of the oven & count down the seconds till it's finished baking. Mine, stood there for 7 minutes counting it down......grim!

So, this recipe come from my reliable source Dorie Greenspan, I've even tagged all the recipes of hers that I've covered so far on this blog. They are generally WINNERS! So take heed. And here's the recipe for the muffins(changes I made in blue):

2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c light brown sugar (I only had brown sugar so I used a little less than 2/3 cup of sugar total)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c flavorless oil, such as canola, safflower or corn
2 large eggs
3/4 whole milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c shredded carrots
1/2 c shredded sweetened coconut (I didn't have these so I upped my carrots to 1 1/2 c)
1/3 c moist, plump currents or raisins
1/3 c pecans or walnuts, toasted, cooled & chopped

Center rack in the oven & preheat the oven to 375f (180c) grease 12 molds in a regular size muffin pan, or 6 jumbo muffin tins.

In a large bowl whisk together dry ingredients. In a large glass measuring cup of bowl whisk oil, eggs, milk & vanilla extract together until well combined. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients & with a whisk or rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don't worry about being thorough -- a few lumps are better than overmixing the batter. Stir in the carrots, coconuts, currants & nuts. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake for about 20 min, or until a think knife inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from it's mold.
Note: These muffins are great warm but taste even better when they're given a little time to cool. Like many sweet spices the flavor intensifies with time. Best eaten the day they are made but if you keep them overnight, give them a toss into the oven for a few min, or split in the toaster.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And Goliath Said.......

"Who Will fight Meeeeeeeee?!"

When I say that I am assaulted by this one on a regular basis, I am not kidding. His sister slept with a stuffed dog last night, he had a plastic power drill & hammer.
God save us all --- Everyone!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Of foodies & such!!

Howdy ho! This weather has not been conducive to productivity, unless you count the work it takes to hunt down a fluffy blankie & make a warm drink to curl up on the couch & drink while watching old movies, so I've been putting off putting up something.

I've actually accumulated 5 new cookbooks in the last 2 month period & haven't even had time to go through them all.....just so many hours in the day & it's much to easy to just fly by the seat of your pants down the slippery slope of "daily bubble n' squeak" meals. I'd have to say about 99% of my cooking is just off the top of my head. Which seems a lot less like the magical improv & more & more like the bits of splintered broomstick that attack Mikey Mouse after he hacked them to death with the axe.

Well, here are some pics anyway of the little nibbles that did inspire me. Hope they make your rumbly in your tumbly this fine freezing day. got me, I'm a sellout. Had me a little snackie at the good old "bucks". I've always been a sucker for cinnamon rolls.
My offspring just about turned into collective "Popeyes" after eating this sauted spinach, an ungodly amount. I dare you, put this before a spinach hating whiner & see if they don't change their mind. The secret I will share: crumbled bacon, bacon drippings mixed with melted butter to saute it in. Salt & pepper. And if you don't live with a shroom hater like I do (cough-cough) then throw in a few of those too. Turn off the heat BEFORE it's fully wilted.

This was the one recipe I DID follow. I wanted to make a Chocolate mousse for a handsome French friend of ours who broke his poor arm. I found this recipe on the blog of the master of dessert, David Lebovitz. And he took to following none other than Julia Child's recipe for French Chocolate mousse, lemmie just say.......Oh-mai-Kyaaaaaaaaa! I loved it. Wish I used even darker chocolate though. This also turned out to be my excuse of a Valentines snackie for my DH. (I'm not much for Valentines Hooplah)
Oh, Brother! Double WOW!! My DH came home with these on Valentines day. He tried to pass it off as something he got for me. (heh, that lasted for about 5 seconds) A coworker of his gave them to him. When I saw the box & the perfect little squares I had a sneaking little suspicion that I was gonna be in taste bud Nirvana.
Kyaaaaaaa! There was one person that I wanted to share this with & that would be you, Elaina!

These little matcha dust covered matcha truffles turned out to be melty, bitter & sweet chunks of cacao butter induced love! In the middle of each of these squares were some little crunchy bits of popped mugi, and a plump azuki bean. I even lost my mind & cut up one into little bits & sprinkled it onto some Lady Borden Vanilla Ice Cream dancing on my tippie toes in my imaginary twinkly slippers. DOUBLE WIN!!!

Well, that's it fellas. I'm sorry if this blog has been a little dry & pathetic of late. Hope you'll forgive me. I'm on the threshhold of sending Mr. Travster to school & on the doorstep of my 4 year old Lefty Carmichael's insatiable desire to be educated at every possible opportunity. (How do you turn away a little girl crying over not being able to complete writing the alphabet cuz' she needs your "heeeeeeelp" when you're making dinner? Or begging you to give her a sponge & cleaning supplied so she can clean the toilet)

Not to mention my 2 year old is acting up again something awful. His great desire to be a somewhat deranged "tool weilding" meanie is really too much to bear at times. Do you remember that Richard Scary Dictionary with the little kitten named "Babykins" who walks around with a wrench or hammer all day long terrorizing his family.........this is the face of he!! can just tell from looking at him that he's a total bluffing evil door. So till I get things under a bit more control........Hope I'll be seeing you around these parts!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sing with me now......"All is Vaaaaaniiiiityyyyyy"

Spring is around the corner.

Shed the drab & get on with the color.

-- In case you're wondering....I never went through that phase as a teenager where I slathered on make up of many colors so I'm comin' into my own now!!

Anyone into the nitty gritty. It's light green on the inner eye, light blue on the outer, liquid black liner along the lash line covered by a dark mossy green shadow. Light blue on the bottom. White on the upper brow.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Chicken Katsu

Now now, don't go stoning me....I'm not going to tell you how to make chicken katsu. But I have to say that the gigantic-ness of my success in making it last night was really just too good to not at least post a picture of.

I know it's a simple meal, I know it's deep fried, I know that people slather, tonkatsu sauce, mayo & what have you all over it but frankly I just didn't have the energy to be healthy. OK?

So what am I saying about chicken katsu? Well probably nothing you don't know but I'll say it anyway:

- Soak your chicken in a mixture of sake, shoyu & mirin for at least 2 hours ( I soaked mine for 8)

- Go through the pain of coating with FLOUR before egg & breadcrumbs. And if you want to practice fully letting your "control-freakish-ness" go, let your 2 & 4 year olds "help" you do this.

- SET your coated chicken for an hour or more in the fridge to let the crumbs adhere to the egg wash (ewww......I hate saying that, dreadful pictures arise) But this you MUST do! It'll keep the crust stuck beautifully to the chicken through the whole frying, handling, & cutting process.

And lastly of course........


Thank you my friends!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ol' Harry Rock Cakes: English Teatime Recipes

Made these cute little Rock Cakes/Scones today they're my idea of a perfect Teatime accompaniment. I've found myself with a new taste for candied orange rind so these little babies hit the spot. Here's the recipe as I used it. The actual recipe uses weight for the measurements which, if you have a kitchen scale, is great. I personally prefer it. But I just changed it all to cups. I've only changed a few things like a little wholewheat flour for texture, shortening along with the butter, & cut the sugar back by 1/2.

The little "explain" about the name says:

"These traditional roughly-formed "rock-like" buns are named after the isolated chalk stacks near Studland on the Dorset coast."

(recipe called for 2 c "self raising flour" so I just made up the difference with salt & leavening agents)
1 3/4 c all purpose & 1/4 c whole wheat
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt)

1/2 tsp mixed spice (I just sorta improvised using nutmeg/clove/ginger)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c butter (the recipe measured it in weight which was 115g, so I had about 1/4 of that be shortening)
1/2 c light brown sugar (recipe called for demerara sugar/raw cane)
1/2 c mixed dried fruit (suggests: currents, sultanas, mixed peel, glace cherries etc..) I used candied orange peel & cranberries
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1 medium egg
2 tbsp milk

Put flour, salt baking powder/soda, spices in bowl, rub butter into dry ingr till mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Stir in sugar, mixewd dried friut & lemon rind. Add egg & milk & combine with dry to from a crumbly dough (don't worry it'll seem too dry at first) Form into 10-12 rough heaps (I love rustic cooking, it's makes us poor persons who have no time to cook seem incredibly cool) on GREASED baking tray. Bake for 20 min in 180c oven till lightly browned. Cool on baking tray for 5 minutes before moving to wire rack till cool. Best eaten on the day. But they also freeze well.

Well, friends if you've gotten this far then pray tell me. Whats new about this post?

If you've figured it can thank my brah, Mas! He is the man & I am the proverbial NEWB!

Honest to God, if you come to my blog to harass me about photography or talk numbers & tactical photo-taking I shall stuff a scone in your mouth & tell you that I haven't time for such nonsense. Then of course secretly be on my itouch searching "what means ISO?" on google.

Wish me luck w/ my, as yet unnamed, sleek black baby & if you got any friendly advice just remember, if knew as much about cooking as I do about cameras I'd be blogging to you now about my exploits in scrambled egg making.

So, till you ring my doorbell for a free dinner hand out & lecture on my phototaking blunders-- hope you have a good one.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Northamptonshire Seed Cake: English Teatime Cakes

My Good Friend Mr. McNair got me a few new cookbooks for my birthday. Two of these were cute little English cookbooks, one called: Traditional Puddings the other is English Teatime Recipes (Traditonal Cakes from around the Shires)

They're both done with the cutest little water color paintings on each page & recipes with names like: Kentish Cob-nut Cake, Yorkshire Sticky Parkins. I was so tickled with these downright homey sounding little treats. So I finally got around to making one the other day. It's so easy you gotta try it. The combination of caraway seeds & freshly ground nutmeg was just too good. Here's the recipe if you wanna try it. It says:

"A plain cake flavored with nutmeg & caraway seeds, traditionally served at sheep shearing time."

Northamptonshire Seed Cake:

- 8 oz butter (it's 230 g. of butter but one 200g block is fine. 1 cup)
- 8 oz sugar (about 1 cup, but it's waaaay to much so I cut it down to 1/2 a cup)
- 4 eggs
- 8 oz flour (230 g. flour, or 2 cups of flour)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp caraway seeds

Set oven to 350F (180c) Grease a 8 inch round cake tin. Cream butter & sugar & butter in a bowl till light & fluffy. Place eggs in a bowl & set over a saucepan of hot water & whisk until fluffy, whisk into the butter mixture. Sift the flour, b. powder together & nutmeg & fold into the egg/butter mixture. Add caraway seeds & combine well. Turn into the prepared tin & smooth over the top. Bake for 1 1/2 hr covering the top with a piece of kitchen foil if it appears to be browning too quickly. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Renkon Chips

Ooooh-la-la. Renkon is very much one of my favorite little veggie treats. I put up one recipe for Japanese simmered renkon ages ago. But recently I tried making renkon chips & it was so easy I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't try it sooner. Tooo easy, gotsa try it!

Step 1) Fill a pan with about 1/2 inch of frying oil & heat
Step 2) Using a mandolin (the straight edge grater thingie) grate off a peeled renkon straight into the hot oil. Spread them out so they brown evenly.
Step 3) Using a pair of cooking hashi, pullm out onto a paper towel lined dish when they're just starting to get golden. (in about 1-1 1/2 min) A little bonus is you won't have to flipm when frying, they're so thin they'll fry up nicely.
Step 4) Salt & munch the num nums!

And if you're a OCD like me about some things cooking related. Go crazy loading them onto your single hashi as you pullm' out of the oil till you have a nice little row of fried "wagon wheels" (as my daddyo would say).


Now, I'm not kidding when I say that the first time I made these I did about 4 massive renkon pieces and had a huge bowl full of chips that got COMPLETELY devoured at the dinner table. With requests to make more for snack and the approving "smirky smirk whilst hogging the last of the bowl" from my DH.

Some ideas of how you can incorporate them:
- Add to salad for crunch
- Add it onto your tower of tofu toppings
- Sprinkle them on your hot udon
- They're a totally cute garnish for a fancy dinner dish.

Well, that's all I can think of for now......
Go forth & deep fry!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mad for Breakfast

If I were to open a restraunt or cafe it would be a breakfast joint. My DH doesn't seem to think that making an "all day breakfast" restaurant would really fly. Esp here in Japan.

This here is a breakfast that I made in a whirlwind. I don't often wake up with the urge to make something "big" but this day was different. I ran down to the kitchen & made a pretty classic whirlwind mess in the kitchen. Best breakfast creations for me have been made at breakneck speed.

The buscuits were "wing-ed" or "wung"?? I used shortening & a little butter & loved the flaky but buttery texture. Added tbsp of poppy seeds & roughly chopped cranberries.

Ohh....also, wanna ask you what are your thoughts on "apples n'onions"? If you've read the "Little House on the Prairie" books you couldn't help but be affected by the Pioneer Midwestern cooking style. I know I have, things like cornmeal, bacon & maple syrup just make me happy in my soul.

Well, the apples n'onions are just simply sauted in a cast iron skillet with butter on a low heat till they're caramelizing. Added some chopped pecans & salt/pepper. It has the sweet & savory hint of a reminder of stuffing.

Hoping to make tonjiru before the weather is too warm for it. See you at my place, bring a bowl.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

MORE PICTURES: Filler Inners......just because

It's not that I don't want to tell you about my terribly routine days, as I'm sure you're dying to hear all about it, but as mother's (I've heard) often do, I've become inundated with everything "offspring" related. Everything from my 4 yr old's new found spiritual contemplations "Daddy, did God make himself??", to my 6 year old's increasingly alarming experimental behavior "What? I just thought if I stood on the laundry basket then hung over the edge of the balcony that I could see the kids come home from school". Not to mention I'm now juggling 4 days of kids attending school & 2 days of home-school. (Only leaving 1 day to Napoleon-ish drunken weeping regarding lost worlds & other dribble )

All that aside, the desire to hibernate has overtaken me & most of my kitchen related activity has been sparse & half-baked. I'm even drinking my coffee black now cuz' I just can't be bothered with all the extra add-on's. It's fantastic really.

Does that mean I'm packing up shop & moving on to elementary knitting? Hardly! I swear if you give me a partridge & a pear tree (or either, as you see fit) I'll spring to life again & scheme a mighty scheme to make wine poached pears & lemon, laurel & rosemary stuffed partridge baked in a parmasean bread dough crust. don't take much, I'm inspired already!

So, here are some more December pictures, in case you're bored tonight. Ciao for now! Gimmie a shout, all you silent foodie fans....I know you're hungry. Come by & bring something to add to dinner. Till then, observe more of my DECEMBER:

I spent Christmas dinner recooping. NEXT YEAR--- Elaina & Chala make dinner. So let it be written......Turkey & potato fritatta with micro-arugula & feta salad. (3nd best thing about Christmas left overs)2nd best thing about Christmas left overs: massive amounts of left over whip cream to slather on pretty much everything you come in contact with. In this case Tripple berry galette.
1st place for Christmas left over bonus. Chilli Turkey & bean soup with garlic toast fried crisp with turkey drippings for dipping. more shot of the turkey, if you please. If you make this for me, we may end up with a case of elopement, go ahead I dare you.

Cute turkey sanwich in potato buscuit, not a bad little lunchie-munchie. Kids love it.
about 4 gallons of brine for 2 turkeys for my pals at Noda. Cooked one in a convection oven & one in my electric oven. If you can believe it, the one in the electric was the winner of the night as far as being succlently juicy. Cracked & hauled all the kids to a breakfast buffet at Coco's. (if you didn't know already, I'm really not a fan of "tabehodais" at all)yeeeeeaah, see?
But I have to hand it to them, the crossants were fresh, flakey & buttery.

My sweetest 4 year old, gave me a wonderful break when she declared for her birthday "You know Mom, you don't have to decorate my cake with a picture, as long as it's a strawberry shortcake, it's OK" That was so great, that I'm not even slightly ashamed to say this was my very first "typical Japanese" strawberry shortcake. I could barely eat one small piece. Good God! Sorry, this is NOT the cake for me.

Not the best pic, but I totally "winged it" for Mr. McNair's birthday. He wanted a "cream-based" pie. So I made this: "White chocolate, egg-nog spiked pie, with whipped cream & caramel sauce"
I was pretty tickled with the result. The white choco doubled the creaminess of an already lush custard pie with both fresh vanilla beans & freshly grated nutmeg & cloves, the alcohol was brandy & rum, wanted to give it enough of a taste.

That's it for pics, ppl. HUGS & LOVE, eat hearty!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Christmas Day pics 2#

Happy 2010 to youes!

I've been off my computer for awhile now & been busy with "winter break" and all it entails. If you have kids you know this means that at the end of it all I can say with St. Paul the appostle, "And though I bestow all my time to go ice-skating, visiting, sleepover-ing, kite-flying, arcade gaming, stay up late making obentos & special snackies, ----- and have not done even ONE item of laundry or cleaning ------ I am nothing short of a large pile of denial.

And just for good measure I'll have you know that I have pronounced my good friend & uber-huge-footed friend Mark to be a regular "saver of my bakery"!! My DH & I had 48 hours of child free hanging out. Grabbed a hotel room in our old haunts and had a fabulous time doing as little as humanly possible.

We came home to a pristinly clean house & only one child with a self-inflicted black eye..."WHO? ME??"

Yeah, you know it.

So anyway, great times. But now I'm getting back into the game! And if you must know, I'm checking out my newly acquired massivonious of an ass the size of a small prefecture and alarmed -- not at the size of it.....but the fact that I'm instead focusing on the fact that there must be people who find big butts attractive.......right? Sadly the only thing that ever motivated me to exercise in life has been the proscpect of grunting forth spawn otherwise I counted upon my alien-like metabolism to take care of the rest. Gotta get some answers!

Well, lets do those pics already, Huh? Can't promise when I'll actually get around to posting about food again. So love & hugs to you till next time. Ciao!

Notice I was not invited to the party of pretty ladies pictures. I was excommed for my habitual foolish faces to the kitchen forever!
Now that's a Purrty Mama!

Waitin' for prezzies after one too many tootsie rolls for one child apparently.
Girls getting a typing game from Auntie Nina!
Ban IS the man!
Pictionary is SERIOUS business and the persons you want on your team are Nina & Mas!
Ah, yes I did some cooking too!