Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Thursday, December 31, 2009

tiger tiger burning bright


Happy New Year everyone.
Hope this one is better.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

well I tried

Last month I went insane and joined Daring Bakers while I was trying to move. I guess I was thinking once I got out of that other place it would be no problem.

Anyhow, the challenge for December was a made from scratch gingerbread house. I decided to use their recipe picked out from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas.

So here is how it went. We had to make our own pattern. I tried to go small since I don't have a lot of room here and it takes forever to decorate these things. Then mixing up the gingerbread was rather nice because of the spices.


Ground ginger, cinnamon and ground cloves. Smells and looks so nice! I then put the dough in the refridgerator thinking I would roll it out Christmas day. But that didn't happen because I was kept up all night by the person living over me playing dvds till after 2 am and then again all day Christmas day. I was not feeling well and was not up to standing for any period of time, sad to say.


So yesterday I tried to roll it out and the dough was hard so had to add water just to get it to this point. I cut out all the parts and had enough for extra parts. Good thing since not all baked the same. I think it was from having to knead it more to get it to the point of being able to roll it.

So I baked it up. Today I attempted the frosting. Since my hands are not doing the greatest thanks to all that moving and lack of PT, I couldn't pipe it. I used it mostly to hold the pieces together and stick on the cookies I bought to decorate.


Look it's standing! And the roof hasn't fallen off!


Knott's cookies on the roof, Trader Joe's shortbread on the front.


Trader Joe's Tiger cookies and Meiji mushrooms. At least the whole thing is edible.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Yes there is a Santa Claus


At least on the Christmas cake that was in that box.


Chocolate sponge cake with whip cream frosting, so good with those strawberries. From Italian Tomato bakery.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

so what's in the box?


Ahhhh, must wait till tomorrow!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

one of the few movies I remember watching this year

There is more to it than these clips. I think it is a nice way to remember a sweet person who was able to make her wish come true.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Moving takes so much out of you

And puts you through so much. Hard to get back into the swing of things. But I will try.


A mini set from MamMoth Bakery, so delicious! Now to try and figure out lighting in here, sigh.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

not enough time

But while I still have internet I wanted to post this link to some very creative Pullips and Dals!


I think Arisu in the kimono catches my eye. Such a nice variety of dolls, and I think some are the smaller ones? Tempting to go get one once I'm done moving just to see if she gets the creative juices flowing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's that time again

Despite having way too much to do, I still wanted to try the Washoku challenge this month. Definitely was a challenge, but hey, have to eat! The challenge post with everyone's entries will be up Monday or Tuesday at La Fuji Mama

So here is my attempt at Rolled Sushi Two Ways:


Made with sushi rice with unagi, cucumber and radish sprouts in the center. See, there was a reason for the unagi sauce in this photo!


I actually added a little unagi sauce to my soy sauce for dipping. Was really good.

I also left a few of the radish sprouts long on purpose. I find it adds a little interest to the way they look.


Close-up makes me hungry.

So despite needing one of those really expensive sushi knives, they turned out decently and more importantly, tasted really good!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Not bad at all

Oh my goodness, so tired from packing and moving. And more days of this sadly. Hoping it's all worth it.

But what I wanted to post was this blog entry I just read. Now I've seen a lot of misinformation about Geiko and Geisha on-line, but this is a really good brief explaination by someone who just recently was introduced to their world being hired to teach a few Maiko English. I think they did a nice job of hitting certain aspects and I like the viewpoint from someone not actually interested in that world.


I can say that I thought there was more regular education implimented for Maiko besides learning the arts. Not sure where to verify this. And that the Tea Houses get paid by the customers, a part goes to the restaurants that cater the events and the Geiko is paid her fee by the Tea House. Unless this also was changed.

I'm looking forward to the next part of this!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Pasta last night


Last night went from this...

to this!


Squash, onions, roma tomatoes, mushrooms and spices with a bit of cheese top Hello Kitty pasta. Hey, it's good pasta. I don't know where I got this recipe but have been making it for a few years. Squashes are in season and this is a great way to fill up when the weather starts getting cooler.

I'm thinking of entering this into the Presto Pasta Round-Up for the first time.
Presto Pasta Nights
Here's a link to the blog hosting this week's event
The Presto Pasta post should be up Friday!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bento challenge

bento yay

I decided to do a bento challenge. It was for Breast Cancer Awareness so had to have pink in it. I haven't made a bento in a while and I don't have a lot of foods at home but I thought I would see what I could do with what I have. Also wanted to have it be a bit more natural and less processed food.

So top tier has romaine with home-made thousand island dressing made with light mayo. Bottom is rice with miso wild alaskan salmon and bits of pickled radish. I have to say it turned out more tasty than I thought and am so happy I got a few decent photos too!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

From the land of insomnia

Okay, attempted a cooking challenge last night even though I was dead tired. Haven't slept much in a week but did a little better last night. So the challenge was to cook at least two vinegar based things from the Washoku cookbook by Elizabeth Andon. Now I love this cookbook because after having experienced a few authentic Japanese meals I realized there is something more to real Japanese cooking. While I discovered on my own the use of fresh local foods is important, I didn't know the full story. Ms. Andon's book explained it to me, the concept of Washoku, balance in a meal. There is the idea of cooking each dish in a different way, having different colors of food, and having different tastes to each dish served.

It's a challenging but fun way to cook. This isn't the first time I've cooked something from this book but it's the first time I've attempted a challenge. The food turned out quite well. What the dishes were for the challenge are Tangy Seared Chicken Wings and Tart Miso-Mustard Sauce which we ate on romaine lettuce. I paired this with rice and a few sauteed vegetables. I would have had a fifth dish but being so tired I decided this was enough. I could have added pickles but with the vinegar in the dressing and with the chicken it would have been overwhelming. As it was, as good as all the dishes were, pairing two dishes which have vinegar as a component was a bit too much. I would have rather had a ginger dressing on the salad with this chicken or perhaps fish with the salad I made.

My other challenge was to get a decent photos. Well, it's not the best, I need to work on lighting since I don't like the way flash looks on food photos. But at least the meal turned out well and was quite enjoyed!

Tangy Seared Chicken Wings

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Full Moon Viewing Udon (Tsukimi Udon)


Sadly didn't get to eat this during the full moon, but I still had to try it. Not as easy as it looks, but the egg adds a richness to the soup that is so tasty!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Last year, Kaiten Zushi at Kura Sushi in Costa Mesa, CA


I'm always up for trying a new kaiten zushi place. Even though I know it's not as likely to be as inexpensive and fresh as many of the ones in Japan.


This is Kura Sushi in Costa Mesa, Calif. Along with being a conveyor belt service, they also use the covers which help keep the food a bit fresher.








The dishes were pretty good and they also had eclairs! My only complaint is the music was rather loud. I wish more sushi places would focus on customer service and good food rather than trying to be trendy. But if I find myself back in the area I would go again.

Kura Sushi is located at  212 E 17th St, Costa Mesa, CA 92627.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Been thinking about the format of this blog, well basically blogger. Thinking that I will use it to post photos without too many captions. And make it basically a food blog. It may work better that way.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My that's a really big plane you have!

From a few weeks ago when President Obama was in town. I had no idea Air Force One was so huge!

yummy blossoms!

Spring in Japan means sakura blooming. And sakura showing up in so many different products. One delicious treat is sakura mochi. Which a couple weeks ago I was craving. But instead I gave into this treat.
These are sakura bean jam wafers. The outer part is like wafer cookies, only lighter and so sweet! They melt in your mouth! In the middle is a light bean jam. All through it is the delicate taste and smell of sakura. These were definitely worth trying!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

happy bunny day

just one photo I took today. The dress I bought one year ago at the Volks Kyoto Sato. The Love Rabbits are from various times, still want a larger black colored one. Some day. This is my Volks Jun Tachibana, my first girl. It was nice to give her some attention, I've not done that lately. The backdrop is my BtSSB Alice Card yukata. I love it. I think it was the first piece of Japanese designer fashion I owned.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Funny what one finds in the bathroom. A flat of different plants?

Everything replanted and growing.

Strawberry doing really well! It's twice as big already and should have something tasty to eat in a few days.

Violas transplanted. Bigger but waiting for the blooms to return. They will.

The rock garden planter, sans rocks. Roman Chamomile, Corsican Mint and two types of Crane's Bill. I like the way this turned out, looking forward to see how they grow.

I've always liked plants like these. Maybe someday I will be able to have a small garden with different mosses and ground covers and trees like Japanese maples.

Little suprises like these tiny Flore Plano flowers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

strange food

Looking through some of my photos and found a few random food pictures.

Special from Curry House. Always like trying the different dishes they have there. I don't remember what this was called, but there is a croquette on top of shrimp and other tasty things.

My version of Colcannon for St. Patrick's Day. Since I couldn't go shopping I had to use what I had. So this has spinich instead of cabbage. I guess that is in the spirit of the dish, since it developed from what the Irish had at hand. It was very good. Definitely will try this again.

One egg Omelet. I think I took the photo because people don't believe I can make an omelet from one egg. I don't remember what was inside, that depends also on what I have at hand.

And this we ate not too long ago. It is Rockfish in sake lees (akauo kasuzuke) with yakisoba. It was a special at Mitsuwa Market and turned out really well. During the winter sake lees (sake kasu) is available because the brewers are busy making sake. It's what is left when they filter sake, and it's rather popular to add to different dishes during the winter.

Monday, March 23, 2009

a year ago

I was in Japan for the first time, admiring the sakura blossoms and so many other wonderful things.
A lot has happened in that year, but I'd like to reflect on good things. So a couple weekends ago we did a little sakura viewing out at Lake Balboa in Encino, Calif.

Feeling a little hungry from walking and seeing all the picnics, we stopped at Jerry's Famous Deli on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.

I had a turkey, avocado and swiss cheese panini sandwich with a salad with honey mustard dressing. The salad was nice, the sandwich was dry sadly. The Italian pinot grigio wine was nice though. My companion B had pastrami, since he said he wanted to do the "deli" thing. He enjoyed his sandwich.