Month: April 2015

Organic Granola Delight | グラノーラ デライト

The cravings for the crunchiness and the flavor of the mixed spices of Granolas are one of my addictive foods. I often wonder why? but they say food traces the memory in your childhood days so I guess it is from my Irish days when I was an adolescent…way back when? On top of my remaining brain memory chips, the reassurance of  ‘’branded healthy food’’ during my Californian days definitely doubles the addiction level – no gluten, no sugar equals good food. Here is recipe which is not so dry and crumbly amongst my numerous granola recipes which I encountered at ‘food 52’ site. It is like a thin cake like texture but be assure – NO flour and sugar added but composed with all natural ingredients. A long holiday period called Golden Week is coming up in Japan. April 29th, May 3-6th is a national holiday. This Granola may just be a good snack for munchies for a long car travel or outdoor activity. Organic Granola Delight Recipe – The Wet Ingredients 75g coconut …

Homemade ‘Baguettes’ | 自家製バゲット

I’ve been meaning to put up this baguette recipe post for a long long time but since I personally am constantly evolving to improve my ‘baguette’ techniques, I have never come to a point to post this with confidence and assurance. I’ve been constantly making ‘baguettes’ (French breads) since god knows…..probably a decade by now but I cannot seem to solve just one problem which bothers me. My current agenda it for the coupe crum to open (curl back) as like a thin mountain like ridge (skin rolling back) like in this picture. I can only detect the reason to be with the steam which I have to manually insert with our gas oven at home, but I also think the shaping process may also play a vital role in the perfect of baguette making. Anyway, making French breads and baguettes is one of my addictions. The taste of baguettes differ enormously with the selection of bread flour which come in handy to home bakers at Japanese web sites for bread makers. Being able to …

Wild edible plants ‘SANSAI’ | 山菜の季節

After a long cold winter comes spring and it’s fruit to loom. Flowers blossom and wild plants start to emerge from hibernation. SANSAI – edible wild plants are symbolic signs of spring for the Japanese, embedded deep in our DNA telling us ‘spring is here!’, a turnover to a new season. These natural grown – SANSAI are from my dearest small sister who lives in the countryside at the foot of the Japanese Southern Alps, gifted with wild plants around her garden – more so an enormous mountainous garden. 田舎で暮らす我妹からの春のお便りです。 東京より一ヶ月ばかり遅く、春の到来。 裏山で山菜や竹の子を収穫して頂きました。 毎年これが届くのを首を長くして待っていて、気がつくと一緒に掘ったのは『アッ!』という間に数年たっています。特に今年はまだ主人の療養期間なので山の斜面を長靴と桑でという分けにはいかず、、来年は是非是非行きたいなぁ〜と思うのです。 アルプスの麓で取れた山菜は綺麗な空気を大自然の恵み。 大切に丁寧にお料理をして食べます。 Bamboo shoots, shamrock like okogi, kogomi-the curled fern heads, warabi-the actual ferns and naturally grown shitake mushrooms. おこぎ こごみ(これは最近東京でも見かけますね) わらび(妹が丁寧に灰アク抜き、束ねておくってくれました) ワラビの穂先は『地元では目が悪くなる』と信じられていて、穂先の(カールした)芽を摘むのが風習だそうです。 Boiling the ‘Bamboo Shoots’ The NUKA(rice bran) is used to extract the froth from the ‘Bamboo Shoot’ when boiling. Peeling bamboo shoots are like peeling onions, never know where to stop….but I would peel off the coarse and hard skin and chop off the head before it goes into the boiling pan for over (less than) one hour. Without …

Creative Chinese Cuisine Kogetsu |中華会席 古月

Located in a quite residential area, behind the Nezu Shrine is a rare French type of Chinese cuisine. Even I will not be able to relocate the restaurant without printing an access map or rotating my google map on my smartphone (lol) but it is worth trying and the effort is guaranteed priceless. Most Chinese restaurants sell by their volume and speed but when you reach a certain age……(oops, not disclosing my age yet) the appreciation of well selected healthy food and stimulating to the eye is more a value than more so the stomach. So if you are one of my group of people…..be sure to remember this restaurant if you every think of Chinese Herbal Seasonal Food, French Style and very creative. The restaurant if a renovated old house…not sure but I am certain it goes back well to the 40s or 50s. The old tatami rooms are renovated into private secluded rooms so it serves well for a private gathering even with children or babies. It may look similar to a luxurious …

Azalea Festival at Nezu Shrine | 根津神社のつつじ祭り

The cherry blossoms did not last long this year as of every year; our expectations never fulfilled with our nation flower which is of their nature – sudden bloom and quickly feather away. However immediately after the cherry blossoms the ‘Azalea’ starts to bloom.  Nezu Jinja in the metropolitan district of Tokyo is well known for it’s ‘Azalea Festival’ and is quite a remarkable site. Over 3000 different azaleas are grown along one side of a slope garden, the festival period from April 11 ~ May 6th. Our visit was on April 18th. Since the weather has been quite odd lately, it was not yet in full bloom however it was enough to see the spectacular variety of Azelea, which we call it Tsutuji in Japanese. Nezu Jinja (Shrine) is also a very old shrine worth visiting if ever in Tokyo.   根津神社のつつじ祭りが開催中です。 我々が行った18日は午前中はまだ肌寒くつつじもまだ五分咲きかな?と歩いて昼食から戻って通過したら一気に七分咲きになっていました。ここ数日、寒暖の差が激しいので桜と同じつつじも様子を見ながら、、でももう今週末あたりは満開を迎えるのではないでしょうか。 根津神社も古き由緒ある神社でお散歩するするのにはおすすめの神社です。 歴史を感じます。 ツツジの中にはそびえたつ、古木もなかなかのパワースポットに感じます。 ひっきりなしの観光客で賑わっていた鳥居の道。シャッターチャンスがなさそうだったのでカメラを横道にふると、、ラッキーに後光さしてくれました。なんかとても縁起物を頂いた気分です。 (all photos shot with an iphone 6)

Almond Danish Loaf | アーモンド デニッシュ ローフ

Although ‘Danish’ has always been one of my favorite breads, I’ve really not have not come up with a great recipe which works for all.  What works for me is that it is – relatively easy to make, flaky but still retains the bread-like softness, not over-crispy, hidden presence of butter yet with a good buttery flavor. But this is – I think! – is a great recipe which seem to work as my basis of my Danish pastries. This loaf is a ‘Almond Cream Danish Loaf’ with a little bit of roasted walnuts intertwined into the loaf. I would think that the sweetness is too subtle to a lot of the ‘western’ readers, but we – majority of Japanese tend to prefer the subtle taste which includes the dolce-sweetness as well. I will be coming up with various Danish Pastries (in due course) which I hope will extend as using this as not only as a sweet bread but for appetizers and party hor dourves.   これだぁ!!!という『デニッシュ ペストリー』の生地のレシピになかなか出会えず、著名なベーカリーシェフ達のレシピを使ったり、いろいろ長年すぎました。この前、えっ、と思うレシピに遭遇したので作ってみたらこれは美味しいじゃないですか。 私の求めていたレシピは ①サクサク ②サクサクながらもパンの生地が感じる ③バターを感じずにもバターの香りがする ④何層にもなっている皮が脂っこくない ⑤そうかと言って、、安いパンのように湿ったデニッシュの様にはしたくない そんな贅沢を考えながら、ちょっと(かなり)満足できるレシピに出会えました。 …

Homemade Cragel (Crogel?) |クロワッサンとベーグルの1/2 クレーゲル

As one of my readers has requested my homemade version of the cragel (crogel?), in all due respect to the original creators of the cragel, I will put up the recipe for bread/donut and croissant lovers. Cragel is a half and half mixture of croissant, danish and bagel.  It is hard to describe but surely a one of kind – a hybrid bread, quite challenging to make but the result is enormous for break makers. My original recipe is a recipe combination of my croissant, danish and bagel so I hope I am not offending the originators. My version is yet a working progress ..but it works for me.  If some may prefer a more buttery texture…..there is yet room for modification to your own liking. If anyone tries our this recipe, leave me a comment in return or better suggestions if any. 去年数回作った『クレーゲル』(クローゲル?)』。 ニューヨークで発祥し、一躍有名になりましたがなかなかレシピが見つからず自己流。海外の読者、数人から是非レシピをアップしてほしいという要請が届き、、えぇぇ、、いいのかなぁ〜 自己流だけど、、と思いながらの投稿です。まだまだ改造中のレシピです。 いざ作ってみるとなかなか、パン制作としては快く手間がかかる『クレーゲル』(クローゲル?)』ですが、もし作った方がいたら是非コメントを頂けると嬉しいです。   In the works… Cragel (Crogel?) Recipe – < DANISH PASTRY > Bread Flour (70%) 210g Cake Flour (30%) 90g Salt (1.5%) 4.5g Sugar (10%) 30g Dry Yeast (2%) …

today’s …Bento Box | 今日のお弁当箱

Fried rice with ketchup, bacon and chopped onions wrapped around in egg. We call this ‘Omu-Rice’ which is sort of Jan-glish (Japanese & English combined) of ‘Omelet Rice’.  ‘Omu-Rice’ is probably one of among favorite western foods of my husband’s generation (1940s group).   久しぶりにお弁当にオムライス。 え〜 昔は頻繁作っていたけど、、ちょっと戸惑いながら、、しかし覚えているものですね。主人は大〜好き。洋食到来時代、とってもポピュラーな食べ物だったのね。 フワフワ卵焼きにデミグラスソースがつけば、、高級感倍層するんだけどね。お弁当なので簡単にちゃ、ちゃ、、が大切。