Sunday, December 30, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
So, my Christmas project was successfully completed. A home-made Christmas tree, a small wreath (under the candle), and a fruitcake with icing.
My Christmas tree:
It didn't take too long to make this Christmas tree. It didn't turn out exactly the way I wanted, but doesn't look too terrible for the first try, don't you think? And every time I get close to the tree, the sweet smell of the spice cookies cheers me up. I love it! :)
This year I gave up on making some of my staples such as matcha cookies, jam thumbprints and big, soft ginger cookies. Other than the gingerbread people decorating the fake tree, I baked only two kinds of cookies: lemon sable and snickerdoodles (with my own tweaks. I turned them into orange snickerdoodles.).
I needed to spend about thirty minutes at Kochi Castle and Josei park to pick nuts for this small wreath. After taking the above photo, I used the wreath to decorate the candle. (See the top photo.)
Oh, I love the above shot soooo much. The idea of using this empty glass just popped up in my mind as soon as I started shooting cookie photos. Inspiration, ha? ;)
And my crazy invention, rum-amaretto fruitcake.
The icing of the cake consisted of almond paste and royal icing. How about that?
I liked this cake alright, but it could have been better, to be honest. I should have used more dried fruit.
Now I'm relaxing in my room, enjoying food and drink. So much has been happening lately and I have to take care of so many things. But for now, I don't want to do anything else but to enjoy this peaceful moment alone.
Let me thank you for all your support throughout the year. I had to go through a lot in 2007... a surgery, changing jobs and all ... I couldn't have survived without your warm comments and emails.
May all your holidays be filled with
love, happiness and special memories.
-- Merry Christmas --
Friday, December 21, 2007
You ought to see this!
Posted by obachan at 12/21/2007 03:56:00 PM
The bento shop that I have been working at is going to close on January 15th. What an exciting news to hear right before Christmas.
Posted by obachan at 12/21/2007 12:04:00 AM
Sunday, December 16, 2007
See? The baking fairy in me is whipping me to work hard.
I know. I have no creativity. I just stole the decoration ideas from the photos on photostock and allrecipes.
But wait! I do make (crazy?) inventions sometimes. The photo below is amaretto-rum fruitcake I baked yesterday. There was no such recipe on the net, so I picked this recipe and replaced the brandy with rum. I have no idea how it worked... :P At least, the cake smelled heavenly while in the oven and turned out...
... pretty OK, I think?
Now the cake is "aging" in my fridge.
For the Christmas of 2007, I don't think I can prepare a big dinner like I did in previous years. The reason is: No time and no money. I'm going to help dad with picking oranges on the 23rd and 24th, so there is no way I can fix a special meal in my apartment on the Christmas eve or Christmas day.
Instead, my Christmas project this year will consist of a) a homemade(?) Christmas tree decorated with gingerbread people, b) a fruitcake with tons of icing, and c) a tiny homemade wreath. It would be wonderful if these would be accompanied by a bottle of decent sparkling wine and a good-looking candle.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Posted by obachan at 12/13/2007 08:19:00 AM
Monday, December 10, 2007
Yes, I’m in. Again.
“Gourmet chef's hamper from Kochi, Japan”
Prize Code: AP10The package will include:
* Here are some recipes with Yuzu miso. Click on the photos. :)
(Click here to see how beautiful maple leaves are in Kochi now.)
Of course I'll include a rakugan recipe with step-by-step instructions and photos. :)
1. Go to the donation page at (http://www.firstgiving.com/menuforhope4)
The campaign runs from December 10th to 21st.
Posted by obachan at 12/10/2007 11:42:00 PM
Posted by obachan at 12/10/2007 11:12:00 AM
Condiment for Oden (Japanese hotchpotch)
Posted by obachan at 12/10/2007 11:11:00 AM
Furofuki Daikon (Simmered Daikon Radish)
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Chicken and Lettuce Pasta with Yuzu kosho
So today I tried out one of the yuzu kosho pasta recipes that I found on the net. Well, to be more precise, I combined two different recipes ('chicken and lettuce pasta with yuzu kosho' and 'Tuna cream yuzu kosho pasta') and added my own twist, too. Let me call this "chicken and lettuce cream pasta with yuzu kosho." Long name, ha? The ingredients were: chicken, lettuce, spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, heavy cream, salt, pepper and yuzu kosho.
The dish turned out better than I had expected. When I took the first bite of the pasta, I thought it was very light-tasting... almost close to being bland, even with the refreshing aroma of yuzu. (Maybe I added a little too much pasta cooking water. See how runny the sauce is in the photo?) But a pleasant kick of green chilli followed right after, and it made me want another bite, and one more... until the dish was finally empty! :D
And it went so well with sparkling rose wine.
Categories: Western-inspired, Japanese
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Tori dango (chicken meatball) Nabe
It was so darn cold here today. I bet more than 90% of Japanese had nabe dinner tonight.
Oh, I'm positive. ;)
This green stuff right next to the grated daikon radish is not wasabi. It is yuzu kosho, green chili paste flavored with yuzu zest. This condiment was not so popular 5 years ago, but thanks to a popular TV cooking show, it has become popular throughout Japan recently.
What's nice about yuzu kosho is that it has refreshing citrus flavor AND a spicy kick. That is why it is so versatile... Now many Japanese foodies use this condiment to spice up meat, poultry, fish, tofu, potato, noodles, tempura and even pasta dishes, not to mention various sauces and dressings. (Actually I was going to try out "tuna cream pasta with yuzu kosho" today, but it was so cold that I couldn't resist the temptation of nabe dish.)
Ahhh... I have to get up extremely early tomorrow morning to work at the bento shop... Sigh
Posted by obachan at 12/04/2007 11:41:00 PM