Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Sunday, January 31, 2010

A weekend to look forward to!

Well, sometimes life makes one have to spend more time dealing with it. Like taking care of sick kitties and other things. But did get a break this weeked. Got to go someplace I've wanted to go for a while. Saturday we were able to go to the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Will Call. Interesting place but no photos allowed. Also rather crowded, so much so couldn't sniff any of the samples. But did get to buy the scented oils I wanted so that was all good.

Later that night we headed over to another place I wanted to try out.


It was a rather interesting sushi bar experience. Very small place in Torrance, Calif. After being there, I think most of their business is take-out. It seemed like they weren't use to people sitting at the sushi bar and ordering a few pieces at a time. But I will say the food was pretty darn good and fresh and at a reasonable price. First time for trying abalone, different but not something I will probably order again. I love sitting at a sushi bar and watching the chefs work. This place I think it was just the husband while the wife handled taking orders and getting drinks.


So Sunday morning turns out we were pretty darn hungry even though we ate a lot of sushi. Headed out to another place I wanted to try for a few years.


This is King's Hawaiian Restaurant also in Torrance, Calif. Unusual architecture for the building. Many of the "rooms" are round.


Yes, they are the people that make all that bread.


King's Hawaiian Restaurant

The decor is interesting. This is suppose to be a giant pineapple.

King's Hawaiian Blueberry Muffin

Yes, they have great muffins!

King's Hawaiian Pancakes

Boyfriend's breakfast.

King's Hawaiian French Toast Breakfast

And mine, their French Toast. So good. The eggs were cooked just right with a nice buttery taste. Those are turkey sausages btw. Definitely good food at a decent price. Very filling, don't think I'm going to eat the rest of the week!

Monday, January 25, 2010

my kitty brothers

Here I have a blog named after them and I don't post their photos. My blukats, the brothers Shinji and Kenji.
I got them right after my cat Blues passed away. It was too hard losing him. But I decided that not having a furry one in my life was not okay either. So I got Shinji but he got sick so I got his brother in hopes that would help him. At least they get along most of the time!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One thing to do on a gloomy rainy day


Well one suggestion is hot tea and pastries.


Because a cup of hot tea at Chantilly Bakery in Lomita, Calif. is always nice.


Especially with a chocolate cream puff and macarons. I can't believe I've never had a macaron, what have I been missing! Well for starters, raspberry and mint chocolate.


And green tea and chocolate. Delicious!

Monday, January 18, 2010



First sighting of the year!  I had to check the date, can't believe these are for sale already.
Hey guys, is Easter early this year?

Saturday, January 16, 2010



I get to try Beard Papa's! I didn't even know they were around here. Once I did it took only one day till I got over there.
So, what's in the bag?


Now if this doesn't qualify as food porn I don't know what does. So good, chocolate eclair cream puff.
I have to get over there early one day to try some of the other goodies.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thinking about stuff

Looking at some of my older photos, these are from a friend's wedding over a year ago.

I don't know if I would do a strawberry tart as a wedding cake, however it did taste good!

The topper however...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

sitting here

wondering what I could do for those poor people in Haiti. The scenes remind me of what I personally saw after the Northridge earthquake in 1994, buildings destroyed, people sleeping in parks. Except Haiti is a thousand times worse.

Well, one thing I can do is let people know that Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab is donating all proceeds from their January sales of the following Orisha scents to the Red Cross

BPAL Excolo Scents
and of course Port-Au-Prince in the Wanderlust section.

That being said, I am super majorly going to do whatever I can to get to their Will-Call on the 30th. If anyone is interested in anything, leave me a comment. I have been wanting to go and this time, crossing my fingers and all that stuff.

If you are in Los Angeles tomorrow night, TiGeorge's Chicken Restaurant is hosting a fund raiser. Owner George Leguerre has become a central point for people looking for information and trying to contact others in Haiti. Which is extremely difficult right now so he is hosting a fund raiser at his restaurant starting at 5 pm January 14.
TiGeorge's Fundraiser

Thank you for reading my post.

eta: The International Red Cross website for those trying to contact people in Haiti
www.icrc.org/familylinks Pass this on if you can.

while I'm awake

I might as well post a few older photos since these were taken before I created this blog. It's a little funny because now I live not far from where these were taken. Which is Gaga Moc in Lomita, one of the few real okonomiyaki places around here. Complete with your own grill to make whatever type of okonomiyaki or monjayaki you chose from their extensive menu.

So first you start with this. Or a variation of this. Which is eggs, cabbage, okyonomiyaki mix and various other goodies.

So you cook it up on your grill along with whatever else you want to put in it. Pour on sauces, mayo, have fun.

Sorry not the best photo but on the right, that is what okonomiyaki can look like cooked up with lots of sauce.

Sadly my photos of the final products did not turn out so well, possibly due to attempting to cut the heat from the grill with the pitchers of beer they sell. I do plan on going back and also want to try making my own at home.

All I can say is if you ever get a chance to do this, try it, it's fun.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

66 bowls of miso soup

A couple weeks ago I read somewhere that there are aproximately 66 forms of miso soup. There was a list included. Now I'm thinking after looking at that list and looking up miso soup recipes that there are probably more. But it got me thinking. I've been wanting to have more fresh food in my diet, work on learning to cook what is known as shōjin ryōri or Japanese Temple Food. So now I'm tempted to try to cook as many versions of miso soup as I can. Hopefully all this year.

Now I'm not going to make all that were on that list, since a few included pork which isn't something I normally eat. But what is going to be interesting to me is not just learning more about Japanese ingredients, but really getting to know different types of miso and learning the tastes of it. I can't think of too many things that aren't more basic to Japanese cooking.

So, here is the first one of the year. Yes, I decided to try one which is probably a bit more difficult. Nothing like starting off in the deep end. With Kyoto-style Ozoni, a traditional miso soup for New Years. To begin with, here is pretty much what I put in the soup.

a few Japanese ingredients

From the top clockwise, saikyo shiro miso, mochi, daikon, carrot and taro root. It was interesting going to the market and trying to figure out what a few things were. Learning as I go.

So these are cut up and the taro root is cooked first in water with a bit of uncooked rice. The mochi is also cooked in water to soften it, but it dissolved a bit so I think I would just soften it in the soup next time. No dashi is used in this dish. The miso is mixed into water and heated, making a very rich and creamy tasting soup. I would definitely use this as a milk substitute in the future. The rest of the vegetables and some spinch were cooked in the miso soup and the mochi and taro are also added.

Kyoto-style Ozoni (miso soup)

And here is the end result. While a lot of times miso soup is served as part of a meal, this was pretty filling by itself. I served this with some pickles just to give a contrasting taste. Sometimes chicken is part of this dish but I wanted it to be vegetarian. I guess also in Kyoto some places make this with only white ingredients, thus the name. I found different versions of this on the internet, but the main thing was using a very fine white miso which has less salt and a sweeter taste than other miso. So, there is miso soup number one completed! Will see how far I get with this.

Friday, January 8, 2010

what is it with today?

Seems everyone is having stuff go wrong from little to big. Feels like pedalling a bicycle uphill.

On that note, yesterday I made Tataki Gobi. What's that? The long name is Smashed Burdock tossed in Crushed White Sesame.

I wasn't going to do the Washoku Warrior Challenge for January but decided to try this the other day. A lot of work but turned out decently. Still, I'm not a big burdock fan so this isn't something I will be making again.


Washoku Warriors New Years

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I almost forgot to post this

New Year's mochi

I don't usually go in for this sort of stuff, but I couldn't resist the cute maneki neko on the top.  Plus the mochi has turned out useful for a recipe or two...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

better late than never

toshikoshi soba

Toshikoshi Soba

That is soba noodle soup and it was very tasty! Along with the soba noodles is a few shitake mushrooms, a little spinich, green onion, kamaboka (fish cake) and that egg. Since it was a full moon I went with trying to cook the egg in the soup again. It may not look it but it was well cooked. Definitely something I will make again at the end of the year.

Going to submit this to Presto Pasta Nights since soba is made with buckwheat in a pasta form. Go see what fun dishes everyone came up with this Friday! Presto Pasta Nights

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Now I know why I have so many tigers...

Been a bit of a frustrating day so I'm just going to post a couple of photos from 1/1/10.


Hermosa Beach at sunset.


And just before.

(oh the answer to the question is while I may have been born in the year of the rat, per Chinese astrology the day you were born on is about you. And my birthday 12/28/xx just happens to be under white metal tiger.)

Now I'm going to drink a little of this homemade melomal and probably practice a few chords on my guitar.