Month: March 2015

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Sakura means Spring | 桜満開

Full blossom of ‘sakura’ (cherry blossoms) means.. official ‘spring’ in Tokyo. Blossoms of sakura is seen everywhere in Tokyo as yesterday was officially announced as ‘Blossom in Full’. So if you are ever contemplating of visiting Japan, this is one of the best seasons to come as the sakura trees are just heavenly, just amazing to see so many flowers (with no leaves) blossoming from a tree. Mind you…..sakura does not last very long. If we find continued good weather above 20degrees or so, the flowers start to disintegrate. You will find sakura trees in temples, schools, landmarks, parks, etc…and picnics with booze underneath the tree is another festivity for alcohol and flower lovers.   東京の桜は満開。 今週はお天気がとてもいいらしいので、桜の下で宴会行事。多いみたいですね。上野公園は既にお隣りの中◯本土の観光客に乗っ取られていて大騒ぎで人と声でと、、あ〜風情が。 我家の裏手には神田川。 別の方向に歩いていけば善福寺川。 どちらの川沿いにも朝の犬の散歩道中に桜が見れるので近所で十分に桜が楽しめます。        

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Poppy…a blossom moment | ポピーの花

  The moment it blossoms… The moment any flower spread their wings, that moment has a special aura which makes me want to photograph the fine art of nature. The first poppy to blossom, looking proud to beat the rest still in hibernation. ポピーの花が開いた瞬間。 自然のディテールは人では作れない美しさに魅了され、その姿をカメラに納めたくなります。何故か最初の咲いたポピーは凛とほこらしげに見えます。          

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Bento Box | お弁当箱

Bento boxes apparently  seem to be spreading as an international word just like karaoke, kawaii and sushi, thanks to the French who felt the art in Japanese Packed Lunch Box – Bento Box. Yes indeed, Bento Boxes come in a variety of artful form, of course the Kyoto people make the most beautiful and also expensive lunch boxes which is fun to explore their way of combining the food. Mine is just a simple, everyday Mom’s sort of thing. Salted salmon and shiso leaf and thin sliced eggs over rice. It is just packed into a wooded Bento Box which we often bring when we go mountain climbing.   お花見の季節になると取り出す『木のお弁当箱』。 大したお弁当じゃございません。 この器に入れると美味しそうに見えるのはハイ!器のせいです。 ありがたい話です。    

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Spring Celebration Party | 春の祝賀会

Our Spring celebration party. Celebrating our newly born grandson. Celebrating our grandmother’s 96th birthday. Celebrating our niece’s birthday. And above all, celebrating and in gratitude to my husband’s health recovery. I thought I would bring in the ‘blossoms’ to our party menu……here it is. たくさんのお祝いが重なる『春』。 お姑さんの96歳の誕生日。 姪っ子の誕生日。 初孫の誕生。 そして何よりも、、主人の快気祝い。 春の彩り、春の花を食卓に取り入れたくてのメニューになりました。 作りながら、考えながら作った『バゲットとカンパーニュ』を下地に使ったカナッペ。 レシピよりも春の色彩や彩りをお楽しみください。 Using the bread of baguettes and campagne, these are small size canape breads. Since I’ve made so many variations types, like a freehand creative drawing….let you just enjoy the color and festive feel. This is a standard dish…mozzarella tomato with Italian ham. 定番の一口サイズ、、モッツァレラチーズとトマトと生ハム Roasted Paprika Flower(花パプリカ) Smoked Salmon with green peas and capers (スモークサーモンとグリーンピースとケーパズ) Pate Campagne with walnuts and rum soaked fig (パテ・カンパーニュ 胡桃とラム酒漬け無花果) 金沢からの産直。 今が旬の『のどぐろ棒鮨』『ズワイガニ棒鮨』『ぶり棒鮨』。 In celebrating our opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train), Tokyo – Kanazawa on March 14th; Nodoguro Sushi (Rosy Seabass) Zuwai Kani Sushi (Snow Crab) Buri Sushi  (Japanese Amberjack) From my favorite patisserie ‘Asterisque’, cake ordermade for this event. 大好きなパティシエ『アステリスク』のオーダーメイド・ケーキ。

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White Liver Pâté with Campagne | 白レバーパテと自家製カンパ–ニュ

Not often do I come across ‘white (chicken) liver’ at my regular and favorite poultry shop. The white chicken liver is a very smooth liver, not too strong of a liver smell so some who detest liver due to the strong and distinctive taste can often eat my homemade ‘white liver pâté‘. Of course the recipe can be used for regular liver pâtés but always use the really fresh livers when homemade so at least it will stay fresh for some time in the fridge. It may come to a surprise to some people, even to my many friends who made the same comment – gee, didn’t know that liver pâté was so easy to make. Yes! it is. Give it a try and you will never be buying liver pâté off the shelf with lots and lots of preservatives. The liver pâté goes extremely well with the campagne breads. (my homemade campagnes are seasame/assorted seeds, plain, walnuts and cranberry and currants.) なかなか手に入りにく『白レバー(チキン)』ですが、手に入った時は必ずパテ分を頂いて『白レバーパテ』にします。雑味がなくて、とっても滑らかで、レバーの臭みも少なく、、レバーが苦手という人もこのこのレバーパテは絶品!と言って食べてくれる人も多く。 また、レバーパテは自家製は難しいと思っている人が多く、、こんなに簡単で美味しいのならと言ってくれる友人も。自家製は冷蔵庫で1週間程度の日持ちかも知れませんが防腐剤固めされているパテは買えなくなるのは間違いなしです。是非、お近くの鶏肉屋さんで手に入ったら作ってみてください〜。決して難しくはありませんぬ。 パテーの際は是非、、カンパーニュとワインで。 White Liver Pate Recipe – 200g White Liver (chicken) 1 …

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Fondant au chocolat for 3.14 White Day

After Valentines Day, comes White Day 3.14 here in Japan. It has become a big event subsequent to Valentines Day, which I think is ‘commercialism’ created by the chocolate companies. Ah, well. Since our lovely daughters gave my husband a sweet Valentines gift, this a ‘White Chocolate Fondant au chocolat’ which is a sort of a cupcake size chocolate gateau with melting soft white chocolate inside a cupcake. I will put up the recipe later in due course.    

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Commemorating 3.11 | ‘Spring’ is just around the corner

Our tiny front garden tells us that ‘Spring’ is just around the corner. New life, new buds, new leaves; commemorating my thoughts to all lives lost from the 3.11 earthquake disaster. We will not forget but for the loved ones left behind, life does go on just like our little loved garden. 我家の小さなお庭から春のお便りです。 まだまだ寒い日が続きますが春はもう間近のようです。

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Red Shrimp Bisque | 赤海老のビスク

March is here and I wanted to make something very ‘springy’…. A warm ‘Red Shrimp Bisque’ is my first recipe to hit the March 1st blog which is not hard to make – it comes in 2 stages but it is worth the effort….it is guaranteed very very tasty so if you see a fresh ‘red shrimp’ consider making into a bisque and you evening dinner over candlelight will surely make you feel like you’re in a French Bistro. 春になり、、 何かとっても彩りがいいもの、、 春らしいものを作りたくて、、 新鮮な赤海老から思いついたのがこの『赤海老のビスク』。 2段階の調理法ですが出汁がとってもきいていて、自然な甘さがあるビスクに仕上がります。レシピを見て、面倒くさい〜と思うかも知れませんが、、、材料はとっても手に入りやすく、、カジュアルフレンチの気分味わえる一品です。 『ビスク』と『キャンドルライトディナー』で間違いなく、ロマンチックな週末の夜、、、いかがですか。 This is the first broth, the ‘jus’. 最初の出汁の『ジュ』です。 Lot of shrimps… My homemade campagne breads. (From the left – Campagne with walnuts, Campagne with cranberry and raisins, Plain Camagne) 自家製のカンパーニュです。(左から胡桃入りのカンパーニュ、クランベリーとレーズン入りのカンパ、プレーンカンパローフ) My homemade ‘croque-monsieur’ with grilled bell peppers, grilled petite tomatoes underline with hummus (chickpea pate) and shredded cheese; made with the above campagne bread. カンパーニュのパンをクロックムッシュに変身させました。 チーズの下に隠れてしまいましたが、ひよこ豆のパテのに焼いたパプリカ、プチトマトをトッピングし、トロけるチーズで焼成。 Red Shrimp Bisque Recipe – For the ‘jus’ – 300g Whole Red Shrimp 90g (1/2 small) Chopped Onions 50g (1/4 middle) Chopped Carrots 50g (1/4) Chopped Celery 80g Canned Diced Tomato 60g Tomato Paste …