Japan 2016 Travel Journal, Part 2 Kyoto

Japan 2016 Travel Journal, Part 2 Kyoto

  Kyoto is one of my favorite sightseeing destinations in Japan. Throughout my life, I’ve had the privilege of visiting this beautiful city a few times, but because I’ve visited at such different stages in my life, it felt familiar, yet also new each time. (Sorry, some of the images are large and may load slowly; I forgot to compress them!) My younger experiences included visits when I was in early elementary school, followed...

Read More

I Am Back! Japan 2016 Travel Journal, Part 1 Arriving in Osaka

I Am Back! Japan 2016 Travel Journal, Part 1 Arriving in Osaka

It’s been over a year since I last shared anything on my personal blog, and it’s also been a year since I was last in Japan. I thought I’d kickstart my blog by sharing a few pictures from our travels to Kyoto and Tokyo this spring. I also have several pictures from last year’s trip to Japan in spring 2015 that I’ve wanted to share for more than a year now, but somehow time just kept slipping away. Maybe I’ll...

Read More

Happy Girls Day! Hinamatsuri Party Ideas 2015

Happy Girls Day! Hinamatsuri Party Ideas 2015

  Happy Japanese Girls’ Day! Today, March 3rd, is Hinamatsuri, also known as Girls’ Day or Doll Festival. Since Bebe was born, this Japanese holiday is one that we celebrate annually in my family, and is something my daughter looks forward to each year. Many years in my childhood, my Mom would host Hinamatsuri parties for me and a handful of my friends, and now I in turn have the pleasure of doing the same for my...

Read More

The Magic of Kinako (Roasted Soy Bean Flour)

The Magic of Kinako (Roasted Soy Bean Flour)

As a kid, one of my favorite Japanese foods was sweetened kinako, or roasted soy bean flour. Of course, back then, I had no clue as to what the dry, golden brown, powdery flour-like substance called kinako was, other than the fact that my mom said it was made from soy, but to me, it was magical. It was the most delicious food ever, especially when my mom dusted fresh warm mochi with sweetened kinako. The sugary sweetness of the kinako, combined...

Read More

Slow Cooker Recipe for Kuromame (Sweet Black Soy Beans)

Slow Cooker Recipe for Kuromame (Sweet Black Soy Beans)

  Last year, my mom taught me a new osechi ryori (traditional food for celebrating Japanese New Year) dish that she learned from a friend of hers: kuromame, or sweet black soy beans cooked in the slow cooker. [Photo Credit: Hideki Ueha] This slow cooker recipe is a life saver, given I’ve burned my share of kuromame batches by forgetting about the beans simmering on the stove. The beans need to simmer for a while in order to achieve the...

Read More

Crispy Sweet Red Bean Dumplings

Crispy Sweet Red Bean Dumplings

It’s hard to believe 2014 is coming to a close and Christmas already came and went. I know it’s been awhile since I shared anything on my blog here, but believe it or not I had a post ready for Thanksgiving, and then again one for Christmas. The only problem is that I wasn’t able to find the photos I took of my food.  So those posts have been saved until my archiving (and technology), backup, and memory (laptop’s not...

Read More

Carmel Apples & Happy Halloween!

Carmel Apples & Happy Halloween!

Caramel… oozing all over crisp sweet apples. That’s exactly how I like my caramel apples. Last year, Bebe and I made these caramel apples for a Halloween party and honestly, these were just as fun to make as they were to eat. Unfortunately, this year the “Halloween Crunch” (which can be likened to the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year holiday crunch) really snuck up on us. Instead of making these fun caramel apples again,...

Read More

Spicy Konnyaku

Spicy Konnyaku

Konnyaku, is the Japanese term for the root vegetable (plant) or yam cake, also known as konjac, konjak, konjaku, devil’s tongue, or elephant yam. To me, konnyaku is a vegetable that was as common as broccoli at our family’s dinner table when I was growing up. It’s also a favorite of mine. I loved it, even before I knew what I was eating. I just accepted it as “konnyaku”, a Japanese food that my Mom cooked, and it...

Read More