Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mango Mousse Cake

Store-bought Mango Mousse Cake

No, I didn't make this cake. (Again!) That's why it looks so nice. :P
I came back from work around 3 pm, and felt like a relaxing tea time at home. My choice was this light, fluffy mousse cake with a chervil leaf from my balcony garden on top ...

... and this refreshing iced tea with a mint leaf from my balcony garden.

Though not raining, it is depressingly cloudy outside. It's another humid and gloomy day in the rainy season here. This tea time was really a good idea. I'm glad that I took this shot of iced tea. .. It looks refreshing and makes me feel better on a day like this.


Friday, June 27, 2008

TLA #2 - Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!! -

Tanezaki Beach, near Urado bridge

Today I didn't have to work in the morning, so I was there (see above photo) all morning. Sorry the photo is not very good... it was taken with my cell phone camera. As you can see, the weather was pretty good, considering that this area is still in the rainy season.

And sorry! I forgot to blur this photo to hide the fish eyes. Hope you don't get put off too much. Anyway, I HAD TO take this photo for the record. ;) Yep, I'm happy. These are much better fish than the sardines I caught the other day, and with much, much less worry about the pollution. Yeah, great result! -- if only they were adult fish. :P Hahaha... Right. These were babies and could have been as small as the bait other anglers were using there this morning to catch big fish. I didn't return these babies to their parents but brought them home and ate them for lunch. See? The author of this blog is such a cold-blooded woman.

But in my defence, it is well known -- at least around here -- that deep-fried baby horse mackerels are such a delicacy. Just sprinkle with salt and pepper, then flour and deep-fry. Twice. Yes, you deep-fry them until slightly golden brown, take them out and drain the oil, and then put them back into the oil to deep-fry again until nicely golden brown. Oh, can you imagine how nice and crunchy they turn out to be? Even the bones and tails turn so crunchy and tasty!

And -- So SORRY! I forgot to take a photo of my deep-fried baby mackerels this time! I mean, ... there were only four of them and I didn't want them to turn cold and soggy, and from the first bite they tasted so good that I couldn't stop... :O


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Pinch of Salt Needed

Yogurt Banana Muffins

When I make a "healthier" version of muffins, using yogurt and vegetable oil instead of butter, I always add a pinch of salt even if the recipe does not call for it. Well, not always... because this time I didn't. I totally forgot about it.

It was a big mistake...


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chinese Takeout

Chinese Takeout (With Special Discount around 6:30 pm)

I've been really bad this weekend. I didn't cook, clean or do the dishes. The only chore I did was doing the laundry, just because I got soaked wet in the rain on Saturday evening. :P

What was I up to this weekend, neglecting the housework? Well, I worked Saturday morning and was just lazy for the rest of the day. Today I slept in, and spent the whole afternoon and evening being an extra in a movie. (Details here.)

It was a great experience, but certainly exhausting. Hence, this Chinese takeout. I had absolutely no energy left when the filming for the day was over.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

TLA #1 - Breaded and Deep-fried Sardines -

Breaded and Deep-fried Sardines

I went fishing today and caught 16 sardines. Yes, I love fishing, though I haven't been fishing for YEARS... since childhood. My dad used to fish a lot and he took me with him several times when I was an elementary school kid, and that was about all my fishing career. But I had been secretly dreaming about buying my own fishing rod and going fishing whenever I feel like it. And last month, I finally bought myself a fishing rod -- as a reward for going through a hard time.

I blurred this photo for those who do not think that sardines have cute eyes...

Because I don't live close to the beach now, going fishing always means 30 to 40 minutes bicycle-riding. Actually I'm not too crazy about that part, especially when I have to carry my fishing rod on my shoulder, but still that doesn't keep me from my new hobby. ;) So some residents of Kochi city have witnessed, in the past few weeks, a middle-aged woman coming to some popular fishing points in Kochi city by a squeaky old bicycle and feeding fish. Hahaha

Today I had a better luck and caught enough for my dinner. :D

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cloudberry Jam on Cheesecake

Japanese Cheesecake with Cloudberry Jam from Finland

Thank you sooooooooo much, dear readers, for letting me know how well cloudberry jam goes with cheesecake. I know -- only one person actually mentioned it, but I'm sure there were many, MANY others who were nodding enthusiastically in front of the display. I'm sure there were, because the combination is THIS GOOD! YUM!

Oh, this cheesecake? No, I didn't bake it. It was store-bought -- one of those affordable sweets from Japanese convenience stores. And though it was labeled "baked cheesecake," it looked so white and creamy that I thought it was a gelatin cheesecake. But I definitely loved this baked one. Yes, with this berry jam from the country of Muumipeikko (Moomin), it was ... Heavenly. Divine. Mmmmmmm...... :)

BTW, my favorite is Nuuskamuikkunen (Snufkin).


Monday, June 02, 2008

Spiced Lingonberry Cake -- Obachan's Version

Jams from Finland :)

I don’t know how many times I have repeated this on my blog, but blogging has truly broadened my horizons. Not only it has increased my culinary knowledge, but it gave me chances to taste some foods that I can never buy in this rural city in Japan, even by ordering online. This time it was these jams. I got these jams several weeks ago from someone in Finland who I came to know through blogging.

Spiced Lingonberry Cake - Obachan's Version -

Actually we do have lingonberries in northern part of Japan, and I have tasted lingonberry jam once before when a friend of mine gave me a tiny jar of it as a souvenir. I loved the jam very much, but it was such a small amount and it looked obviously expensive, so all I could do was spreading it very thinly on my toast several mornings. Using it for cooking/baking was totally out of question.

But this time, given this large jar of much tastier lingonberry jam from Finland, I felt no hesitation. ;) The night I received these jams, I made a dish which was sort of like mock “Swedish meatballs” and enjoyed it with generous amount of this lingonberry jam. (Sorry, no photos.) Maybe it was a strange idea to choose a Swedish dish to use the berry jam from Finland, but I really wanted to try the jam with some kind of meat, and when I googled for an idea, the combination of Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam looked like a must-have. Of course I didn’t have enough ingredients to make “real” Swedish meatballs, but even with my “mock” dish, I was able to find out how the jam goes well with meat. Mmmmmm.....

And this is my second attempt with the lingonberry jam. I adopted the recipe from this site (scroll down), and reduced it to half. I didn’t have sour cream and it was raining outside (meaning that I didn’t feel like going grocery shopping), I substituted it with yogurt and cottage cheese. So, again, my cake must have been pretty different from what it should be – perhaps much softer, fluffier and lighter-tasting. But I’m happy to say that I do love my “mock” spiced lingonberry cake very much. This sweet-n-tart cake was perfect for the tea time on this dull, rainy afternoon.

... Now what should I use the other kind of jam: cloudberry jam for? That is something I've never ever had before, and sooooooooo tasty! :D